Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Charlie, Can You Hear me?

My Bulldog is definitely a Cotton...let me rephrase that; He definitely has Cotton in his ears!

I used to think he was just stubborn and chose to listen when the mood struck him. After googling "White dogs" and doing a little research I have decided he is as deaf as Helen Keller was and maybe has limited sight as well. He has one wall eye that wanders on it's own and two ears that are purely cosmetic. Sure they are cute soft ears and velvety to the touch but that is about ALL they are.

He is a goofy little fatso. He runs crooked, looks at you crooked and his teeth are crooked. He has a heck of an under bite and two cute pink balls with black spots. I've never thought balls were attractive with any stretch of the imagination but his are actually one of his most endearing features.

My other two dogs hear me when I put my blinker on to turn in the driveway. Charlie is always a day late and a dollar short. I can be in the house for five minutes and all the sudden he finally feels the vibration of me shutting a cabinet or the dryer door and he comes scrambling down the stairs skidding on the tile barking like he is the first to detect an intruder.

When we let the dogs out first thing in the morning my two Boxers are ready to go. Charlie is asleep in his cave under my king size bed snoring away and we have to knock on a wall to rouse him with some vibration. Once he feels that knocking he skitters out from under the bed full of that "Macho" barking like he's the boss.

He's the boss of the short bus bless his heart!

When he plows out of the back door...he ALWAYS has to be the first one out, he takes off at breakneck speed (for a shawty) sideways to the back corner of the yard. I'm not sure what is back there but he heads to the same corner every time . I think it is just his sideways way of running that leads him in that direction.

My oldest son bought Charlie when he was six weeks old for the bargain price of $3,000. Sometimes I wonder who's dumber...Charlie or my son.

My son and his girlfriend had Charlie for a few short months and when they split up my son moved back home with Charlie in tow. It took Charlie a couple of months and several butt kickings to finally figure out he was low man on the totem pole (literally AND figuratively.)

He spent several months in an apartment and absolutely loves having a wide open yard to run sideways in. If you walk towards the back door when he is in the room he is the first one to the door, waiting to squeeze his fat head into the open space and takes off like a little fat rocket.

He loves to squeeze into small places, like under your feet, under the kitchen table or under a patio chair. My husband calls him the "Weasel." After squeezing under everything in the house I have started to call him "Squeezel."

When I come home from work he scrubs up next to me covering my black work pants with his white hair in a matter of seconds.

When my husband goes into the back yard with the dogs, Charlie scrubs up to him spreading his slobber and slime all over Tim's legs and doesn't stop until you smack his fat wide head. Then all he does is cock his head sideways like "What?" and continues to parade around Tim's legs and finally with no provocation starts to jump up on Tim with his little pitiful attempts at altitude...he can't jump more than ten inches off the ground if you hit him with an electric prod.

I had a hard time learning to love my little doofus of a dog...but he has squeezed weaseled and waddled his way way into my heart and now he is the most entertaining dog I have ever seen. Even my two Boxers know he is "Special" I think I saw one of them actually roll their eyes at him one time.

Can't hear, can't run straight can't look straight has a horrible under bite and is still one of the cutest little :#$@'s you'll ever meet or love.

I took this video of him the other night just to prove my "Deaf" theory. He is either totally deaf or the most stubborn dog I have ever had...or maybe a little of both.

We love him either way...we put up with him either way (and so do my Boxers.)

He is a pure bread English Bulldog and a pure idiot. He is worth it simply for the entertainment value if nothing else.
Don't let my Boxer's know Charlie got this much 'face time' on my'll just be another fight!
Til next time...COTTON

P.S. Be sure to click on Charlie's picture and you will see how cute the little stinker is!

Back To the Grind

Back to the real world this morning...WORK.

After five days off I wasn't particularly looking forward to it but the minute I walked through the door I remembered that I had a job now that I love and that seems to love me.

Lunch was a piece of cake...slow enough that I got off by 2:30 and had a 2 hour break before I had to go back.

Came home and unloaded the dishwasher that my kids have obviously forgotten we have, sent my college room mate a birthday greeting via FB (gotta love this new high tech low effort age) and even had time to do a little weeding in my day lilies that have been taken over by a tree trying to sprout up right in the midst of them. Went to the Dollar Store (one of my fave stores) for a mop to try to help erase the fact that I have three dogs tromping in and out of my kitchen door on a revolving basis .

Wiped the sheen of sweat off my face with some toilet paper, rolled on some more deodorant and hauled back on my work clothes and returned to work.

The new Twilight movie just came out at the cinema next door to our restaurant and the people came pouring in (Thank you Jesus.)

As it usually always is in my new digs... quality over quantity. I had five tables , shared a party of ten with another server and walked with over $100.

My last table was a bit difficult. They made Meg Ryan in "When Harry Met Sally" look like the easiest person a server has ever waited on. The husband: "I want Eggplant Parmigiana with no cheese, pasta on the side with a side of meatballs and a small Mediterranean salad with dressing mixed into the salad instead of on the side. The son wanted the Steak Alla Pizzaiola with pasta instead of potatoes with sauce on the side and a small Med salad instead of a mixed green. The wife wanted a grilled chicken pasta or side but a side of Abbabriatta (might have spelled that one wrong, there's no Italian spell check) sauce. They ate the bread like they hadn't eaten in a week. They weren't ugly or stuffy about anything...just obviously have eaten there before and know how they like their food.

It took me five minutes and help from another server who has been there quite a while just to ring in the order...but I thought I had it right. I immediately went to the kitchen as my check came in to the cook to make sure I had done it all correctly. One more trip back to the table to confirm that it was marinara not tomato sauce they wanted with their side of bow tie pasta and I was good to go...with fingers crossed.

The food came out perfect and I felt like a kid that passed the test they hadn't really studied for. I kept the bread coming and their water glasses full. By this point I was waning...first day back after a vacation, even a short one is tough on an old broad like me.

It was my last table and I was ready to go home.

The tab was $53.00 and they tipped me $35.00. Guess it pays to get it right!


Went home and packed my husband a sandwich for work, unloaded the dishwasher (again) and hit the play button on the answering machine.

My neighbor from up the street (the vampire family...see previous post) had left me a weird drawn out message...

"Kelly, I notice that you leave your garage door open 24/7 and just wanted you to know that we saw a coyote in our front yard and want you to be careful when getting out of your car when you get home from work."

To me this translated into "My son is a werewolf and 'Eclipse' just came out today so please watch out for him because he likes skinny white women in their fifties that drive a Passat."

Number one...quit scoping out my house and garage.

Number two...if you want me to continue to cut your yard for free, because it looks like crap and is the first house in the subdivision next to the entrance that I "AM" being paid to cut...tell your son "Jacob" to leave me the hell alone and worry about your freak son not my open garage door.

Don't want to jinx myself so I stashed a silver bullet in the garage right by the kitchen door. I don't have a gun to put it in but he's a 13 year old punk and I'll just throw it at him REAL hard and let all three of my dogs out at once if I see his little freaky butt coming my way.

Sometimes I wonder about the people living in my know what they say "You never know what goes on behind closed doors...or catacombs or secret dungeons."

I'll keep my eye on them...obviously they are keeping an eye on us!

Til next time...going to bed with a garlic clove necklace.


Monday, June 28, 2010

100% Restored Mentally and Back Up to 100 Pounds ...

In the words of my fourteen year old daughter...OMG. In the words of her mother "Holy %$@& ."

We arrived in Destin after cruising out from home only to get four miles from home when the car made a funky sound that made Massey and I look at each other and say "Maybe it was a bump in the road."

Turns out it wasn't a bump in the road but a bump in the engine. The engine light came on like a beacon saying "Ha THOUGHT you were going on a trip."

We turned the car back and went to the only mechanic I know...the guy that put on my new tires. He bumped us ahead of every one of the dozen or so people sitting in his lobby and put a mechanic right on it. Thirty minutes later he said "You needed new plugs and still have an o2 sensor out but you are good to go for your trip."

I asked him how much I owed him and he said $172. I threw up in my mouth a little bit and asked him if I could post date a check? He said I could put any date I wanted... I tried to figure out what would be a year from now but figured two weeks would be good. He was so nice and this is the main reason that I always go to him.

We jumped back into the car and headed off...two hours behind schedule but feeling pretty good.

I got my directions from Google... they led us through every PO DUNK town there was in south Georgia and a couple of even smaller ones in Alabama if you can believe there are smaller ones than Prattville and I think one of them was called Mayberry Jr.

Six hours later we pulled up in front of a mansion (in our minds) and I told Massey not to get excited I might be lost again.

BINGO...for once Mama had it right and we had both hit the jack pot!

Right across from the beach...gated community, a house that I have dreamed of having... the kind I thought maybe Kevin Costner would somehow give me when he saw one of my facebook posts and say "This is a liberal gal that I need to help out."

BINGO...Me and Massey had just hit the big time!

We pulled into the drive and it was an instant "Nirvana" experience.

My dear friend from high school welcomed us with open 'gates' and Massey and I began a weekend of healing that I have needed for over a year.

Massey had asked me on the way down what the sleeping arrangements would be and I told her we would most likey be bunking together.

We arrived to have a tour of the mansion (in our minds)...and when Del showed us the first bedroom Massey said "Yes...I want this room." I said I was fine with that when my friend said "Okay, that means you have THIS bedroom, Kelly."

I was led to a room that I never wanted to leave. A huge suite with my own balcony my own bath and a bed that must have been the bed that Goldi Locks finally settled into. I have never felt a softer or fluffier bed. I laid down and immediately knew I would never want to get up.

I slept like a princess and woke to the smell of breakfast and Massey sitting on my comfy bed. She said her hair was wet but I encouraged her to just sink into my that you would never think of rising from unless there was a hurricane or unless my friend from high school said a tornado was headed straight for the master suite. If it hit downstairs I could still watch on CNN and hope for the best. 700 count thread sheets VS a storm...I'll take my chances She is lucky I didn't drive a truck down because that mattress would have been loaded in the bed of my truck before they ever got up and I would have slunk away from Destin with the greatest mattress on earth and consider it a swap out for feeding us for three days.

I didn't have a truck so I went downstairs to eat a huge breakfast and Massey and I were treated to a day on the beach like we were extras on a "Baywatch" shoot. They had a cart that held all the chairs towels and floats, we carried a cooler with a radio installed in the front, they had a huge canopy to sit under (Granted it was UGA...but a girl can suffer when she has to.)

We spent the day at the beach. I got burned to a crisp and we loaded it all back up and went home to a meal fit for Emeril.

Woke up the next day (a little too early for me in my new favorite bed) and did it all again.

We went out to dinner that night and I ate so much that I thought I would throw up, the shrimp was so good that it felt like a crime to leave a tail untouched and I was thrilled to be headed back to my feather bed.

Beach again the next day...The waves looked like they were rolling in from Maui. My friend and I went out to cool down and got pounded to death. When I saw my six foot tall friend go under the first time I knew my little butt was about to get creamed.

We laughed, we panted and we made it out alive with our suits filled with sea weed and our lungs looking for help.

Came home to another excellent meal...Crab cakes, Grouper with a mango salsa...fresh asparagus and garlic mashed potatoes. Elllen even threw in a pomegranate martini that just screamed "Take me back to my feather bed." To top it off we had Creme Brulee..." these people even know that I ALREADY don't want to leave?"

The first day we joined a "hands across the sand" protest on the beach where you stood by the shore for five minutes side by side...incredible how many lazy people wouldn't get out of their chair for five minutes to show support for the Gulf. It made me embarassed for them but grateful for the fact that it bothered my fourteen year old daughter.

It was an amazing was a weekend I have needed for over a was an eye opening experience that I have people that love me and want to help me. I have friends that care about me and show me the true meaning of friendship.

Massey was blown away by the love and care these women showed us. I was blown away by the fact that after 30 friend seemed to love me even more.

Enjoy the pics of their dogs (you know what a dog lover I am) enjoy the pics of their house and the pics of our trips. Enjoy and think about the pics of all of us standing hand to hand protesting the spill.

In my opinion the fisherman should go out to the contaminated waters...catch all the contaminated shrimp, fish and oysters they can and BP should pay them fair market value for their catch and relocate all wildlife that remains to a safe location.

Til next time ...COTTON

Be sure to click on the pics and be sure to click on the video... It was the most amazing time I have had in YEARS.
Can't wait to go back (Shhh...don't tell THEM)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thelma and Louise are OUTTA Here...

I can't remember which one was Thelma and which was was Louise...but I am obviously the older one. I could do a lot worse than being compared to Susan Sarandon.

The car is packed.

I cooked the ceremonial "Last Supper" consisting of steaks, baked potatoes mushrooms and onions and a salad with rolls that I burnt on the bottom. (Didn't hear any gripes so I KNOW I will be missed.)

I had a list a mile long to do before I left for the beach..."Clean bathrooms, mop kitchen, catch up laundry, dust and vacuum."

Who am I trying to kid?

I am leaving my husband and eighteen year old son at home for four days. Do I really think one of them will call me on my cell and say "You forgot to vacuum before you left, or the kitchen floor needs mopping...turn the car around."

I did what women do best.

I packed my bags and fed them one last time. I left detailed instructions of what bills HAD to be paid, left my husband with a full tank of gas and a refrigerator full of junk food and said "To hell with the rest of it."

My bags are packed and in the car. The biggest worry I have is for my three pups left in the hands of two men in ninety degree heat for three days.

I even went as far as leaving the pan I fried the steaks in soaking in the sink. I did the important things like watering the plants and giving the dogs their last bowl of water with ice in it and knelt down to pray they survived me being away.

I cut the front and back lawn, cut my elderly neighbors lawn, front and back and weed eated til it was dark.

After that I thought..."Tim and Zach could give a rats #@$ if I clean the house" and just made sure Massey and I had everything packed that we needed.I watered the plants and sat in the garage telling Johnny that I wasn't leaving him for good but just needed a break and maybe I would bring him back a souvenir...maybe some postcard of a hot 'Johnnie Deere" in a wet cover.

I am headed to bed. The car is ready, the dogs look frantic and I am just going to have to walk away from it all and hope for the best.

I shouldn't even be going away but if I don't I think my tiny head may explode off of my tiny body and catch the entire house on fire.

It's been a long year. It's been an experience that I hope I never have to experience again.

For the first time in over twelve months..."It's all about me."

Don't you worry..I am taking Massey's laptop and plan on blogging the heck out of this trip...Do you even know how much I need this?

Til tomorrow on "The Beach"....COTTON

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

All Set To GO !

I just got home from work. Had a great shift, some friends came in to eat with me and I had another table of regulars from my old place and the night ran smooth as silk.

Last night I was counting my money stash for the beach trip and starting worrying about how much gas was going to cost me. Gas alone was going to take a big chunk and after buying four new tires for the trip I was already riding on empty.

"Think Cotton..."

I didn't have to think long. "Bingo" I had an answer.

When Massey and I first starting planning this trip I was worried about driving to Destin on four tires that were balder than my father in law's head...and trust me that's pretty bald.

As usual I always look to my immediate family when I need help. My brother who has helped me more than I imagine he wants has a spare car that he bought. I told Massey, "Let's do this. Call your Uncle and give him 2 options: #1 Buy me four new tires and let me pay him back five dollars a week. #2 Let us drive his spare car to Florida."

Luckily I scrambled enough money together for new tires and a front end alignment. After running off the road a couple of years back when I was running my mouth instead of paying attention, my car survived but the front end alignment didn't fare so well. When I drive the car it shakes so bad that I have to hold the steering wheel like a vise so it doesn't jump out of the column.

Four new tires and a smooth riding vehicle is now at my disposal for the trip but it really put a dent in my already dented bank account.

Last night I decided to bite the bullet and email my brother, who is probably already in the first stages of a law suit disowning me as a relative.

You know me...I made it all cutesy and funny and said that I was considering driving Massey to Florida on my John Deere but we wouldn't get there until Labor Day. I told him as long as I hadn't asked for anything in a while (ha ha) I thought he might want to fill up my car with gas for the trip down.

When I was smack down broke and out of a job my brother gave me a gas card to put fuel in our cars so that Tim and I could both at least go seek employment. I returned the card in the mail with a "Thank You" note and still intend on paying him back... or maybe just signing off on the documents his lawyer is drawing up disowning me from being a blood relative.

Just like I knew he would ...he emailed me...called me , left a voicemail and a text.

For Pete's sake he isn't even in town but working in Orlando this week! He has a friend staying in his condo and had them leave me the gas card under the welcome mat.

Massey went with me after work tonight to pick the card up and now we are "Set like a tight perm."

I have the greatest brother and sister in the world who would do anything for me and often have.

I was joking with Massey tonight and said "We got all we need now. We can eat at every Citgo station we see when we get hungry. We can feast on those big pickles they keep in a jar and I've always wondered about those pickled eggs and pig's feet that seem to be a staple down South. We can buy one of those hot dogs rotating around on a spike and try some of those peanuts they boil in the parking lot and pick up some pre packaged sandwiches that look so tasty next to the cash register."

I wonder if you can buy lottery tickets with a gas card?

Wouldn't that be great if I hit the jackpot and could pay him back in one fell swoop!!

I am TOTALLY kidding!

But it feels great to have a brother that doesn't bat an eye at helping his sister out ONE MORE time. A brother that graciously makes my trip feasible and treats me to a weekend away. I need this weekend more than you can imagine and now my big bro has made it happen.

No wonder he is moving back to Orlando.

One more shift at work and Massey and I are headed to the sandy shore not having to worry about gas money and only worrying about what the heck will happen to me if my brother ever decides to get married and have kids of his own. How will he manage to keep taking care of me and MY kids?

Maybe I'll give him a vasectomy for Christmas. Do you think urologists take Citgo cards?

All excited about our girl's get away. I work a day shift tomorrow and will cut grass when I get home so I won't come home to a jungle. I'm already worried about leaving "Goyd" in charge of the house and dogs.

I'll have to be sure and stop at a Citgo and pick him up a souvenir.

Til next time..."Coastal Bound Cotton"

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Am I married to Floyd or Gomer? Tough call...

Let me start by saying fortunately my husband doesn't read my blog unless he is forced to...and even more fortunate for me, I am the "Forcer."

I swear sometimes he reminds me of a cross between Floyd and Gomer, although that may be giving him more credit than he deserves.

At least Floyd and Gomer were both really nice people that everyone liked...a lot like my husband .

Yesterday I got up early to take my car to have new tires put on and have the front end aligned. Tim needed two new tires as well so I told him if he would follow me to the tire place and let me drop my car off I would take his car to work and when mine was finished he could get a ride to go pick it up and come to the restaurant and swap vehicles and go have his tires replaced as well.

How hard was that last paragraph to understand? Obviously it boggled Tim's Gomer/Floyd mind. Maybe his new nickname should be "Goyd."

I called him from work around 1:00 and told him they had called to say my car was ready. I was in the middle of a lunch shift, hiding in the restroom talking on my cell to him so maybe I hurried with my instructions too much. But for Pete's sake! I wasn't telling him how to deactivate a nuclear weapon I was telling him how to do the swap quickly and in the most efficient way.

Everyone knows this is a woman's's called "Thinking."

I was busy at work and between calling Tim secretly from the restroom (my bosses have a 'no cell' policy) and answering Massey's REALLY important texts...."bring me home a spinach roll...yummy' my mind was fully occupied.

I told Tim he had to come in to get the keys because I was busy in the middle of a lunch shift and to just come in the back kitchen entrance.

I heard the owner's son saying hello to Tim so I went and got the keys and told him I had to run out back and get my driver's license out of his car.

We walked out back and I looked for MY Passat. I asked him where my car was and Tim said he hadn't gone to get it yet.


He had our next door neighbor's kid sitting in his car parked next to Tim's car. I just decided not to say anything or point out the obvious flaw in his though process. I got my license and gave Tim Massey's spinach roll and simply said "Hurry back with my car I'll be off in twenty minutes and have to be back at work by 5:00."

My neighbor's kid looked like he was thrilled with having to come by Mama Lucia's to pick up keys and a spinach roll and THEN take my husband to the tire store to pick up MY car.

Ya know...I just let it go.

I kept my huge mouth shut and tried not to roll my eyes at my poor neighbor's kid who was carting Tim around the world in 96 degree weather.

THEN...Tm got into his car and told my next door neighbor to ride WITH him to the tire store so that they could drop off Tim's car and pick my car up. Where is there ANY logic in this sequence of events?

When Tim came back to pick me up and I got in the car my phone buzzed with a new text "Where's my Spinach Roll???????"

I looked in the back box. I asked Tim where Massey's food was and he calmly said "I must have left it in the car with Zach and Kevin."

Keeping my mouth shut again but now experiencing a twitch in my eye that I couldn't stop I called Zach's cell phone and asked if they were headed to the house. He said yes and I told him to take Massey her spinach roll. He said "Mom, there is no spinach roll in this car. Dad must have left it in his car when he dropped it off at the tire store."

I couldn't hold it in any longer but tried to be as nice as I could. I rolled my eyes although I really wanted to bang my head on the dashboard. Of course Tim was tooling along at his top speed of 35MPH and said "It's not the biggest deal in the world! We'll just go by the tire store and get the spinach roll out of my car...look on the bright side it may be ready."
Bright side Schmight side...I am riding around wasting my one hour break between my second double shift in a row in a bi gillion degree heat dressed in long black pants and a hot long sleeved shirt .
We get to the tire store and there Tim's car is six feet off the ground on a hydraulic lift with all four tires off.
I told Tim I was NOT going inside to ask them to lower his car so I could get a spinach roll off the back seat.
Tim ambled slowly (he ALWAYS ambles slowly) into the office and casually said to the owner "Kelly brought you some's on the back seat of my car. Did you find it?'
"HA HA HA...Tim you're such a QUICK wait a minute...that's a nit wit" was what I was thinking but just stood by my man reminding myself what a wonderful father he is and how he has put up with me for 22 years. Once again I kept my fat trap shut.
The owner walked out into the bay and said "Look out Pepe...we're gonna lower the car."
They lowered the car and I retrieved Massey's spinach roll from the back seat.
Nothing like wasting an hour and a half for a twenty minute task.
I just let it go but knew that Tim was just WAITING for me to unload or at least explode.
It's crazy but what calmed me the most was knowing that I was going to share all of this with you and give you a chuckle.
My life is full of blogs...the supply seems to be endless (at least as long as I stay married to Goyd.)
Taking Massey's laptop with us to Destin so I can blog from there.
At least my car rides great and Massey loved the spinach roll.
Til next time...COTTON (AKA Mrs. Goyd)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Almost There...To the REAL Beach!

This is a picture of "Barbie Beach." A fixture on the outskirts of Senoia. As far as I hear it's just a crazy older couple that have the display set up in front of their house on the side of Highway 16 and the scene changes with the holidays and seasons. It has all kind of Barbie's in various stages of dress (sometimes not even dressed.)
Anyhoo...We are headed to the "Real" beach in four days and I am beginning to catch some of the excitement Massey has been experiencing since learning of our trip (over 2 months ago.)
I worked a double on Sunday and a double shift today. I have a double shift on Tuesday and work Wednesday night and Thursday morning. After that I will jump on Johnny one last time and cut the crap out of some grass..nestle him back into the garage and kiss him good bye.
I am worried about my three big pups. If I can't teach them to speak English by Friday morning they will be left in the incompetent hands of my husband and Zach for three days in the broiling heat. They just don't get how often the dog's water needs to be changed or how often they need to be let inside to cool down.
If the dogs knew I was leaving they would have already crept onto my computer and ordered Rosetta Stone..English for Dogs ..."Crash Course."
I'll have to be sure to check the back seat of the car before I leave to make sure they didn't sneak in to hitch a ride with their "Momma.'
Today was slow at work for the lunch shift. On the upside they made us french toast sprinkled with Cinnamon and fresh blueberry pancakes. So basically I got paid to come in and eat til I couldn't hold anymore...made a little money and had a nice two hour break before the dinner shift.
Went back to work at 5:30 and dinner started. A wonderful family that came in to eat with me at Longhorn for years came in and it was great to see old regulars visiting me in my new digs. They have two precious little girls and have been huge champions of mine. Helping me out when Tim lost his job and often saving us with "love gifts." That's another way of saying that these people, when learning of our situation would write me a check as a tip and would be the ones that (pardon my French) saved our asses on more than one occasion.
I had another table that left me a $22 tip on an $80 tab and a couple of other tables that pushed me right up to walking with another $100 after waiting on only four tables again.
The "Jefferson's" theme song comes to mind every time I walk out the door of work these days..."Well I'm movin' on UP."
My husband came up to the restaurant today while I was working lunch to swap cars with me. I had my car in the shop getting new tires and when it was ready he caught a ride from a neighbor to come drive his car I had used to go swap it so he could get two new tires . (Another blog me.)
I had told him to just come in the kitchen door at the back of the store and I would give him his keys. He came in and I heard Leon, the owner's son and Sou chef greeting him. Tim has known him for years and I walked into the kitchen just as I heard Leon saying to Tim, "It has been a real blessing having Kelly to come work for us."
Dang!! That did more for me than a face lift or liposuction.
It's the little things in life that make a BIG difference.
It's this family owned business that has welcomed me with open arms, given me the chance to be the server I knew I could be and be appreciated for it as icing on the cake.
The owner gave me the time off of work to go to Florida with no hesitation. They seem to appreciate my sense of humor and my sense of loyalty without having to answer to the "Corporate Gods" and in my book all is well that ends well.
Some of my "friends" from Longhorn have quickly forgotten about me and some haven't tried to contact me at all. I guess that's what happens when you are working in a miserable environment.
I have been lucky enough to survive the bullet wound and healed quicker than I ever thought was possible.
I don't want to bash my old company but in hindsight see them doing it to themselves.
I am in a great place now. I am in Heaven. I am working a lot but it doesn't feel like feels like a relief and a well deserved reward.
Four more days and us wild girls are "Destin" bound. My sister has even started to say she might come with us. I say "Come on Biotch" let's go show that oil spill some attitude and have some stinkin' fun!!
I'll take my cam corder and can hardly wait for the blog that will follow after THIS excursion.
Look out "'Thelma and Louise" you got some Cotton coming...WOO HOO and HOOTY HOOT... Destin bound and making ground.
I can hardly wait for Friday...this is just what the doctor ordered.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Current Destin"y"

OMG...I am headed for the beach for the first time in years.

A great friend of mine that I have known since I was 14 has invited Massey and me to come stay with her in Destin for three days.

I don't think I have ever been more excited about a get away weekend. It will be Massey's and my first "girls trip" and it is WAY OVERDUE.

My friend was lucky enough to retire... move to Destin and has graciously invited us to stay with her for a weekend.

Massey has been packed for two days. I have been working but will throw some crap in a bag at the last minute and off we will go!

The last year of my life has been a blur. It has all worked out for the best and I can breathe again without constant heart palpitations. Massey has been caught in the cross hairs...old enough now to know that we hit rock bottom but smart enough to know she can rely on us as parents to make it through the storm.

This weekend is going to be amazing. No husbands just two chicks off for a ride in a car and winding up on the sandy shores of Destin.

The owner's of my restaurant were gracious enough to give me three days off and Massey and I are "Fleeing the scene of the crime."

I don't care if I end up digging my toes into a tar ball. I don't care if it rains. I don't care if a hurricane blows through (well maybe I care about THAT one) but at least we'll still be at the beach with good friends and will have a relaxing wonderful time.

Massey needs this trip almost more than me. I have been high strung for over a year. My weight has dropped and my blood pressure has shot up. Until I got my new job I was a literal basket case and think the kids were googling assisted living homes for me.

I am back!

I am at a new job I love, my husband has a great future with a great company and tomorrow I get new tires on my car! The steel belts have been showing on my tires for over two months and I hunch my shoulders up every time I go over a speed bump or hit a curb (which Massey says I do a LOT.)

The money Gods have smiled on me at work, the GREAT God in the Heavens has blessed me beyond belief and once again I am feeling normal.(okay, NORMAL for me.)

I am so excited about this trip. It is only a weekend get away but for me and Massey to have three days together with one of my oldest and dearest friends is something I thought would never happen again after the last twelve months.

You sink into a depression and you think that life will never get better. Then you realize that so many people love you so many people care about you and that THESE people will take you from the darkness of depression and deliver you into the light of Hope.

I have been a lucky person all of my life.

I have taken some hits...losing my Mom unexpectedly when I was seventeen and losing my Dad to West Nile suddenly when I was 42.

But you know what? Through every tragedy, through every travesty I have always been backed by God and supported by family that still remain and friends that still cared.

WOO HOO..We are headed off Friday for 3 days that I have needed for a LONG LONG time.

I can almost smell the salt water now. I can almost feel that constant humid breeze blowing through my two inch hair. I can feel the love of a dear friend calling me to relax for 3 days and regroup.

This trip is going to be the best therapy I have had since that lobotomy Tim gave me as a wedding present...or was that a 'bottle in front of me?'

Til next time...COTTON


I have had my blog going on three years. Every year I bring this post back in honor of my Father. An amazing man, Christian, husband and father. This is a photo of him holding my youngest son, Zach when he was almost a year old...Zach is now almost 18.

Happy Father's Day to every Dad out there.

I know I was blessed to have a great Dad and in his honor I pull this blog forward every year to show my respect once again.

I know he is on my shoulder every day and the times he visits me in my dreams is a delight.

I wouldn't be half the parent I am without having had such an excellent example.

"Ten Days Down The Nile"

I have always been blessed to have had the greatest parents brother and sister a person could ever hope for . We grew up in a small community on the outskirts of Atlanta , Georgia . My Dad was a blue collar worker , selling parts for lift trucks . My mother was a stay at home mom who was always the room mother president of the PTA and about a million other committees and projects . She could sew like the wind ... making all of our clothes even suits for my Dad , upholstering for our furniture …evening gowns for my sister , and even the cheerleading and majorettes uniforms when my sister and I were in high school . Shortly after making my sister’s wedding dress and of course all the bridesmaids dresses , we were all shocked and deeply traumatized by her sudden death from an aneurism while out shopping with me and my sister . She was dead before the ambulance got there , and the funeral was the largest our church had ever seen . We all went home to our now empty and seemingly lifeless house to try to figure out how to go on without her . It wasn’t easy , especially for my Father whose main function was to bring home a paycheck week after week at a grueling thankless job and to be the undisputed head of household . Now he was stuck with the task of having two of his three kids still at home with no idea how to cook for , discipline or show love to without his mate of 27 years . We all struggled especially me , the lost 17 year old with a chip the size of Texas on her shoulder and no regard for the financial struggle that my Dad was going through . Always expecting to go first he had almost no life insurance on Mama and the hole that he found himself in was only deepened by my thoughtless and careless spending as a senior in high school with thoughts for no one but myself . Yet my Dad still loved me even after 2 years of partying at college bouncing checks and living it up with my new college friends . Once home I started my career as a waitress ... one that I still have at the age of 46 . I finally found my niche … using the PHD that I have in BS . My Dad so lovingly forgave me for all the wrongs I had done in my wild and crazy youth and supported me fully in a marriage to a wonderful man that I met gaining a 4 year old stepson that I adored and in-laws anyone would love to have . Things went along .. I had a son , Zachary joined later by a daughter Massey who of all things , was born 18 years to the day that my mother had died . My mother’s maiden name was Massey, so I took pride in giving my daughter the gift of her grandmother’s name. Once a horrible day to remember in our family was now my little girl’s birthday … August 19 . God took so dearly from us but gave back so sweetly . I still feel mama was cheering me on that day . As the years passed my dad never remarried , dating and breaking the hearts of many women ... none of which could measure up to the loving relationship he had shared with my mother . He finally seemed content with a sweet woman he met in his neighborhood who was sharp as a tack and truly loved my dad . They enjoyed going up to her little shack in the Blue ridge mountains working on the little house clearing brush and just enjoying the peace of the mountain air . Right before his 77th birthday we all began noticing little quirks and inconsistencies with my dad . Always sharp and quick , he began to lose interest in things he had always loved … tennis , reading , crossword puzzles , even going to his church . I think the first big clue was when he held his fork upside down at the dinner table at my sister’s house and tried unsuccessfully to eat his brocoli . Unknown to any of us , his doctor had told him a couple of years back that he had the beginnings of Alzheimer’s and put him on medication . His fear of what may possibly come to pass was terrifying to him and he tried to keep it from us as long as possible . We all tried to cope as well as we could trying not to baby my dad but be there for support . He seemed to know his limitations , like not driving too far or not at night . The day before his 77th birthday everything changed and definitely not for the better .We asked him what time he would like for all of us to meet for his birthday and his reply was to put it off a day or two saying he just felt “yucky” . He claimed to just have a bit of a bug and we believed it to be nothing but . He lived in a downstairs apartment in my sister’s house giving my sister the knowledge that we could keep on eye on him discreetly without him feeling pampered . My sister called me at work to say she was worried about him , finding him downstairs staring at the 3 D flashing screensaver on his computer saying that it was bothering him . The next couple of days led to no real improvement so my sister took him to see his Doctor ( who was as old , if not older than my Dad .) That proved to be one mistake we made in letting him go to a physician that we had no faith in . My sister mentioned that we were concerned about west nile virus to which he replied “If it were that , he’d already be dead ." My dad had also worried tremendously about skin cancer that he had had from years of playing tennis and wore long sleeve shirts in the sun along with his floppy white hat . Knowing that he had the beginnings of Alzheimer’s , he truly dreaded possibly contracting the west nile virus that was at that time just coming to attention of the medical world and media . The old codger of a doctor , gave my dad a prescription for penicillin saying that would take care of whatever my dad may have and sent us on our merry way . We kept a close eye on my dad and watched a sudden and rapid decline . I took off work on a Friday night to sit with him and watched him lay on his sofa with no TV , music or sound and seemingly drift in and out of a troubled sleep . The next day his girlfriend Elizabeth took the task of staying with him on the pretense of just having someone around in case he needed anything . My sister called me at 7:00 in the morning to tell me to come to her house immediately …something was definitely wrong with my Dad and could I come quickly ? The feel of impending doomed followed me all the way to her house and I was shocked to walk into my Dad’s bedroom to see him sitting in a chair by his bed totally nude and wringing his hands together . Elizabeth had spent the night with him and said he paced about all night long making no sense or reason with the statements he made . Something big was wrong and we all knew it needed more than a visit to his tired old outdated doctor . We pulled him into his pajamas and assisted him into my sister’s car for what we know now would be his last car ride anywhere . We took him straight to the emergency room of the hospital and had to get him in a wheelchair just to get him through the doors . The man I brought to this hospital was a stranger to me , so frail and unresponsive . I felt that the nurse taking information from us was thinking that we had brought in an old feeble man whose senility was almost gone . How could this be .. I wanted to say .."This is not the state of mind my father was in less than 48 hours ago , you just don’t know what a sharp man he really is .“ But current facts don’t lie and it broke my heart to see her write “altered" on his metal status . I think this is the moment that we all felt our hearts slowing voices became fuzzy , none of it made any sense . This is a man whose tennis partner is 81 . A man who leads services at nursing homes for invalids . This was NOT our father and please do something to bring back the man we love . After finally getting him through the piles and piles of paperwork and insurance , we wheeled him back so that we could get all this mess cleared up and return to the life we had with him . This was not to be the case and with every hour that passed the dread I felt building seemed to crescendo and pound into my brain that something huge and horrible was happening to us at this very moment . When the doctor entered the curtain in the emergency room our first question was “Could it be west nile virus ?” His answer seemed to quiet our worst fears saying that it was a one in 114 million chance that my dad had the dreaded disease .We didn’t a know what he had but were all a little bit eased by the odds in his favor . Test after test were run all coming back negative for many things . About seven hours into the hospital visit I called my husband to bring me some clothes . I wasn’t going anywhere until we figured this mystery out . The last test was a spinal tap . It wasn’t very pretty , having to sedate my dad did not go over well with him and he was rolled back to his ER cubicle sweating profusely and totally altered by this point . After waiting what seemed hours the news came back … he may have some form of encephalitis . The words seemed to come from a million miles away not from across the bed as the doctor spoke . By this time we called our brother who lived in Orlando at the time and said “You need to get on the next plane “ . Everything was changing and none of it for the better . My brother arrived ... a big burly charismatic person that everyone who had ever met fell in love with . We weren’t close as kids but the older we got the closer we became . He is a carbon copy of my Dad personality wise and is probably the reason for him being so well thought of by so many people. He was close to my father , even though he lived farther away . I felt immediate comfort just seeing him walk through the hospital doors and knew now we would get to the bottom of this unfortunate mystery . Doctor after doctor talked to us giving us all their opinions options and suggestions . Things with my dad , known to all of us as “Diddy” got worse more quickly than any of us wanted. His first night in the hospital his temperature spiked at 106 and we were witnesses to what exactly goes on in the all night world of a hospital . They wanted his exact weight so they could give him the maximum amount of medicine to try and bring his fever down . I remember swabbing my Dad with cool cloths to no avail and then the staff had us help put my Dad onto a hammock type weighing device to get his exact weight . I should remark here that my Diddy was extremely close to his God, having raised us all in the church and lived his life as a total man of God. I never heard my Dad curse and neither one of my parents ever drank alcohol or lived their lives in any way but the straight and narrow. My Dad , delirious at this point called my brother Chris “A son of a bitch” for rousting him onto the scale to which my brother replied “ Diddy , you aren’t the first person to call me that even today. “ They brought in a cooling blanket that filled with cold air to try to bring his temperature down and even had us put on masks at one point thinking that he may have some “contagious” disease . That lasted about 20 minutes with me and my brother and sister . We just knew in our heart of hearts that it wasn’t some communicable disease and it felt almost like being scared of our Diddy to wear the masks . I remember one of my friends from work coming into the room around midnight to check on us and from the look on her face I knew we all looked frantic desperate and losing any positive attitude we may have originally had . That night my brother and I slept on the fold out couch in my Dad’s room with the thermostat set on 60 degrees praying prayer upon prayer that the morning would bring a glimmer of hope . The nurse came in the next morning asking how we had slept and my quick witted brother remarked “You know it is cold if you feel like spooning your sister”. The nurses that we were blessed with were the sole companionship we had for ten days and the most professional caring people that one could ever hope for in this situation . They never treated my Dad with anything but the utmost respect and caring and never catered to the fact that he was in an altered state . My respect for these women is huge , and my gratitude will be undying to them … they made my Dad’s last few days ones of dignity and of the premium care that I wanted for my father and I was so fortunate to have had him receive . To this day… years later I still send the nurses a Christmas card with a note to thank them once a year for the professionalism, patience and love they showed not only to my Dad but to his children as well. The next day we got our first glimmer of hope with a great neurologist that we got lucky enough to be assigned to . He was a small stature of a man but came quickly to be a giant in all of our eyes. He never pumped us with false hope but gave it to us straight and never pulled any punches. I felt such gratitude to this Doctor that a couple of months after this experience I felt compelled to send him a Thank You note as well for all he did for our Dad. He came in the next day for an examination of our father asking him to say such phrases as “Today is a sunny day” and asking him if he knew where he was . My dad answered that yes he knew where he was … "The Blue Ridge Mountains." That answer seemed prophetic to me as if that was where he really wanted to be.

The neurologist said that my Dad’s B-12 level was very low and that had been proven to be a big determination of diminishing memory and comprehension . We were all excited that maybe with monthly B-12 shots his Alzheimer’s may be helped to be kept at a minimum. He also said that he had sent a blood sample off to the CDC in Atlanta for a test of the West Nile Virus , but it would not be back for a while. He said the treatment for any Encephalitis was the same but if it was in fact Encephalitis his chances were not good . He said younger people could fight the sickness and come through fine but given the fact that Diddy was 77 it did not look good. We all still clung to the fact that he had a one in 114 million chance of contracting West Nile and that at this point in time his chances seemed pretty good. The fever was down yet he remained in a state of constant sleep which is one of the main symptoms of the illness . He woke up once that day and recognized two of his life long friends from the church and even called them both by their nicknames. I took this as an encouraging sign as we hadn’t had too many and we all continued our constant bedside vigil. The next day was much of the same … sleep, sleep, sleep. On the third day in the hospital my brother decided to take an hour off and go eat at the Varsity in downtown Atlanta. Cindy and Elizabeth were in the room with Diddy. I had stepped out for a few minutes . Upon my return I noticed how ashen my Father looked. I feel like had I been sitting in the room with him the change was probably so gradual that I likely would not have noticed as my sister hadn’t . He just seemed almost ghostly. I immediately went to get the nurse who by now was our best friend in the world. She came to his room right off and after taking one look at him called a code Blue. Then it all began to happen. I have never been through a more surreal period of time as when it all started to escalate and time seemed to freeze. The cardiologist came first followed by a team of nurses aides other doctors, and assistants. My sister and Elizabeth and I were asked to leave the room, but I just could not leave. If he was going to have all these people that had never met him working on him I felt he would need me there all the more. The cardiologist said he was having a massive heart attack. I have never been struck so harshly by words and the panic I felt almost took my breath away. They allowed me to crouch beside his bed holding on to his hand and letting them do their best to save my Father. The monitor started dropping, they were losing him. The doctor asked if my Dad had a DNR and I said that he had expressed to all of us children that he never wanted to be kept alive by a machine. Being the one in the room at the moment I was at a loss, asking the Doctor what he would do if it was his father in that bed? He responded, “I would bag him to get his he heart started again and see if he could come back on his own”. I replied, “Do it.” His heart rate had slowed to 5 beats a minute and although I prayed and willed it to come up on its own it did not. They started compressions and bit by bit his heart seemed to come back to life. He was moved immediately to the ICU, a trip none of us wanted to make but reluctantly followed. By this point in our journey we had a support group of friends that astounded us completely. My sister’s best friend seemed to be there with a hot thermos of coffee every time we started to fade. People from my work collected money to pay my bills since I had walked away from my job. Teachers from my kid’s school brought baskets with snacks , magazines, drinks, candy , and a different friend of mine was picking up my kids from school every day taking them home with their own families and not letting them worry one bit. More than that I didn’t have to worry about my kids at all, they were totally taken care of. My husband was taken groceries and my yard was being mowed. I will never forget the immense sense of true friendship that I experienced from all the co-workers relatives and extended family members that hovered around us the entire time we were at the hospital. All I had to do was worry about Diddy and that was consuming all my time, emotion and energy at that point. They had to shock him twice in the ICU to get a rhythm back and it was a totally frightening situation we all walked into in the small world of the Intensive Care Unit. I think by this point we were starting to grasp at straws... hoping for a miracle or just hoping to wake up from a dream. The nurses that my Dad had had upstairs came by after they got off of their 12 hour shift to see how my Dad was doing. We came to make more friends in the ICU but it was a different group... more people prepared for the worst and praying non-stop for the best. We met and lost several new friends that day and it almost came to be a common thing to be sitting in the waiting room with people who learned while you listened that they had just lost a loved one. We met a man who lost his sister the same day my Dad was brought down to the ICU , we probably took her room... but the next day he called the ICU waiting room to speak with us and see how our Dad was doing. In the time of his own grief he felt compassion for us three kids sitting in a room with no way to help no way to understand.. Yet he reached out to us in our time of need. I will never forget the friendship that he managed to show us in his own time of grief . We spent another night on chairs in the ICU waiting room which had come to earn it’s name… we were waiting. The waiting gave us plenty of time to reflect on the years we had all shared. We truly bonded with each other those couple of days remembering stories laughing at the good times we had shared, and crying over the bad ones. I would not take a million dollars for that time spent with my siblings, growing closer to them than I ever had in my life.

The morning brought us a visitor from the hospital’s infectious disease nurse to tell us what we all knew at this point in time was destined to happen. The CDC had confirmed that my father had indeed contracted West Nile Virus, in fact two different types of Encephalitis. Suddenly we were faced with some pretty heavy decisions. Should we keep him on life support to fulfill our desire to have a father or let the brutal nature that had encompassed his body let it take him from us completely?

My father never regained consciousness after his massive heart attack and my brother and I spoke several times about the fact that Diddy was such a good man of God that he probably had been gone from this Earth since the heart attack. We were just consoling ourselves by pumping air into a body that God had already taken home.

After we all talked... my brother , my sister , Elizabeth and I we all knew it was already in God’s hands… a place that we all four needed to be now. The papers were signed and the forms filled out.

Now nothing was left except our goodbyes to a body that used to house the most incredible man in our universe.

I remember finally being able to push all the tubes wires and ventilators to the side, and crawl into bed with the man that had shaped... formed and brought me in to this world and now ironically I would lay next to him as he left it.

Somehow it was very comforting to be with him even in his disparaging state. I will never forget the prayers apologies and promises I made to him on that bed and hope that by the time I was saying them he was already at peace with my mother wishing us to not be sad but to be grateful for the chance to have been his children...and hoping he had done a fantastic job of being a good and faithful servant.

The heart monitor slowed down to a mere beat per minute and finally but not willingly I knew he had gone Home.

I miss him every day of my life but am so grateful that I was lucky enough to have had him in my life at all. By the time I reached the age of 42, I had witnessed the death of both of my parents.

Two people who still remain so vivid in my heart that they will be with me every step I take and visit me in my dreams every night.

Time marches own... memories dim but the chasm he owns in my heart and soul will be his and etched in my mind for a lifetime.

Ten days down the Nile .. A trip that I never wanted to take but one that God had destined for me to experience.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Seasons in the Sun

"We had joy we had fun we had seasons in the sun." That was a big song when I was young enough to think roller skating was cool. His name was Terry Jacks and I hope he didn't spend all his money at once.

I am enjoying my season in the sun, but today I felt like I needed the JD wagon to haul my body back to the house. Except I would have just have died in the wagon because no one was there to pull my sorry butt back to the house.

It was a million degrees when I pulled out of my driveway on my JD at four in the afternoon to go cut the front of the subdivision.

I had a great day off. I slept til 10 and Massey brought me some grits and OJ in bed. I remained there for the next 3 hours. I dozed and woke, dozed again and just let my ole body rest. Once I roared out of the bed at 3:00 I was ready to roll...

I have been working double shifts all week and like an idiot stay up way too late. But when I have a day off I make it my own.

I bounced out of bed at 3 , did some stretching and said to myself, "Let's get this day started."

After feeding my starving kids I cranked ole Johnny up and headed to the front of the subdivision. It was at least 140 degrees.

The cars zooming by me doing 50MPH gave me somewhat of a breeze and somewhat of a heart condition but after two hours I was done.

Trucked back to the house to cut my own back yard. Mr. 'Slow' Lee's front yard needed cutting too but I tend to take care of my own yard first (selfish ain't I?)

He has just returned from Hawaii with his wife and I was almost sure he was in his house gettin' my grass skirt and coconut bra he had brought back for me to wear while I cut his yard ready when I swung ole Johnny into my own back yard. Whew...dodged That bullet. He kinda gives me the creeps the way he just stands and stares at me while I mow his yard. Massey says he is just bored. I'm more thinking 'board" or maybe a possible "Woody." He wears those short gym shorts like guys wore in the seventies (That's probably when he bought the ones he wears) and never has a shirt on (eewww,)

While I was cutting HIS yard he was leaning over the side of his diesel pickup leering at me with a smoke in one hand and a Bud in the other when the first crack of lightning hit. I thought he would jump out of his Richard Simmons shorts and possibly either drop his Bud or pee his pants. That's all it took for him and he retreated into his house (probably with binoculars at a window,)

The lightning subsided and was replaced with a misting of rain. What the heck...I was already filthy and sweaty...kinda felt good. I finished his yard in the rain and by the time I pulled ole Johnny back into the corral I call my garage all the clippings that were stuck to my shins from the weed eater were washed off and I decided it was a win/win situation.

I got to finish without Mr. (slow)Lee gawking at my 'A' cups and didn't get struck by lightning.

I started this blog yesterday but have picked up tonight to finish it. Just got home from work...went in at 11:30 AM and worked til 10:00 PM. Long day for an ole gal but my new restaurant is so pleasant to work at it is a piece of cake.

What ISN'T a piece of cake is finding Zach on the computer playing a game. At least Massey was spending the night off so I told Zach to bring me her laptop and I would sit out back with the dogs. At least the pups were delighted! Problem is she shuts the laptop down without logging off and it takes me forever to log on. I install all the updates she ignores and clean it up so it runs ten times faster.

My problem is that I find it hard to use the finger tip mouse pad and often forget about it. I tend to lose my place and often start writing somewhere that I don't intend to and have to backspace a lot. (Just had to do it again)

So I have mastered "word" on texting...I guess next is retraining myself on a laptop.

I actually DO like the fact that I can sit out back at the patio table with the pups listening to the crickets frogs and owls. It is just hard for an ole fart like me to get used to the difference of using the finger tip versus the mouse. Maybe it is a good thing....keeps that hamster from falling asleep at the wheel in my big ole empty head!

I don't know if I am just getting old but laptops are SOOO different to me. It's like using a computer with a different language.

I have tomorrow off...going to a high school reunion with my hubby for his school. He goes to so many of mine with me I couldn't say no. Russell (my school) has three or four a year... us "Wildcats" love to party. I know quite a few people from his school and I think it will be fun. One of his classmates I have never met made a comment on something I wrote on FB and said "You have a great sense of really crack me up." I wrote him back and said "Tim says I really crack myself up too."

Very true...but if you can't laugh at yourself life is a really long depressing road. I try to find the lighter side of every situation I find myself in and try to find at least one thing that is funny. So far I have done okay. Between my husband losing his job, me losing mine and raising three life has turned into one big "HOOT."

Signing off now because this laptop is kicking my butt and I probably have 30 minutes worth of editing to do. Does anyone else have problems using a laptop versus a PC...or is it just my "Russell" education coming back to bite me in my "Cyber" butt?

Can't wait to post tomorrow after my hubby's reunion, that should be a "HOOT" as well and give me lots of material. He went to the "Richey Rich" high school whereas I went to the"Cheech and Chong" high school.

Sounds like another blog to me!

Please excuse all typos and errors in advance and I promise to get better at using a laptop! (Hey that could be another blog!!)

Til next time...wheel's always spinning and the hamster's still alive...for now!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The "WORD" is Magic...

Number one, I LIKE this 'hands free' model cell phone...looks like something I could afford.

Number two, I remember the first cell phones...the first time I saw one of these was at my sister's house when she was married to her high school sweetheart. I thought she had either married a millionaire or my parent's were just trying to hold our family back from moving into the new millennium in "Style."
Turns out my sister wasn't married to a millionaire and my parents were the type that neither understood or desired to be a part of the "New" age of communication.
Fast forward 33 years and I have three kids that all have cell phones that they keep closer to their bodies than a heart monitor needed to keep them alive.
I'll admit that I like to be able to contact them at any given time...whenever I want.
When my oldest got a cell phone it was a fiasco. This was before texting was the rage and he went SO over his minutes that we wound up with a cell phone bill bigger than our mortgage.
The cell phones went away...took me a year to pay the bill off, $20 at a time and I swore we would never have them again.
Flash I have two MORE kids that are teens and cell phones that used to be an extravagance are now a necessity.
Unfortunately I am a slow learner. But...I learned quickly about what kind of phone plan to get...unlimited texting, but,
I'm just not a quick texter.
Number one: My eyes are terrible and the letters are so small on my phone that it takes me forever to send a text.
Number two: I was an English major and refuse to send a text with mis spelled words.
Number three: Having three kids requires A LOT of texting.
My two teens that are still at home kept telling me to use "Word" to send text messages.
It was like they were telling me to use the XrG2 factor button and to minimize mistakes , upload the tool that can only be optimized by hitting the pound sign twice followed by a secret code only received via satellite from the planet "Krypton."
I tried the "Word" thingy...Didn't work for me so I gave up.
The other night I took Massey to guard practice and she gave me a verbal tutorial on the way. "Mom, it is sooo much easier. When the word doesn't appear just press this button til the right word pops up."
I blew it off and returned home to jump on my "Johnny Dear" who I DID understand and cut the crap out of some grass.
I went back to pick her up at the school at 9:00 PM. As usual she was late getting out of practice so I decided to try her "Word" theory.
In my girl's world... it was OMG ROTFL LMBO . In the words of my 18 year old son it was WTF was I thinking? As I sat in my car (with my glasses on) I sent Massey several "Fake" text using 'word' and got the hang of it after 4 or 5 text.
In "MY" words "OMG" where have I BEEN?
It was like MAGIC !!
I used to slip in the restroom at work to send them a text and it took me five minutes to say "Where are you" or "What do you need."
BABY...this 'word' thing has opened an entire new avenue to being a working Mom.
How in the heck can a cell phone know what you mean, translate letters that are originally typed in as scrambled words and transfer them into a meaningful message???
I'm here to tell you that it is "MAGIC" pure and simple.
Thank the Lord I have teen ager's.
They have taught me more about living in this new age than I thought I would ever have to learn.
I swear I feel like our last name should be "Jetson."
I almost feel sorry for my kids.
What the heck are THEY going to have to learn to keep up with MY grand kids??
Hopefully by then "Hover Crafts" will all use "Onstar" and be guided to my nursing home by the push of a button.
Of course by then there will be "Parent Block" laser feature or a "send the ole fart a card" button that they can hit and feel justified in the fact that they made an inter celestial attempt to keep in touch with me as I scrub down the halls of the nursing home on a walker with tennis balls attached...waiting for my next text. At least I now know how to send them a QUICK text saying "Put a pillow over my face and don't remove it til my legs quit kicking."
Totally kidding (I hope)
Til next time, a savvy new user of "Word."


Sunday, June 13, 2010

"I'm Melting" and It's Only June...

I know the expression is "hotter than a witch's titty." But this weather is hot enough to melt the wicked witch of the west. (Wasn't it the WEST?)

I got off work last night at 10:30 and walked outside to a smothering 84 degrees. It was so hot it was hard to breathe.

I am all about some summer time. I will get out and work in the yard when it is noon and the temp is over 90 but if I have to put on long pants and a dress shirt with an apron and go to work, it KILLS me.

When I am working in my yard I am dressed like Daisy Duke's Grandma and couldn't care less. If I had big "hoo hahs" or weighed over a hundred pounds I might think about more clothes. As it is, the people that see me and don't know me probably think I am a slim fifty-ish male cross dresser that can make a bikini top work! My 14 year old daughter has bigger boobs than me. I'll be grateful for my " itty bitty's " when I don't have boobs hanging around my knees as I shuffle down the halls of the nursing home on my walker looking for a way out...I've heard old men can still cat call even with a colostomy bag dragging by their wheelchair...guess they don't have much else to do and who's gonna beat up an old dude anyway?

It's weird... in a "Kelly' kind of way.

If I am out in the heat working in my yard or the neighbor's or the OTHER neighbor's or at the front of the subdivision the heat doesn't bother me a bit. Make me get dressed for work and go have to wait on people and I feel like I am suffocating. My face gets all greasy my arm pits feel like I should have swabbed a couple of more times with the Soft and Dry and I just feel drained walking from my car into the restaurant.

I guess why that is why I was born under the sign of Leo...Them big cats don't seem to mind the hot that much and "Hey" they are wearing fur coats and a huge fuzzy hat all around their faces in the middle of the Tundra.

I feel caged in when I am inside, whether it be at work or home. I love the outdoors I love the smell of freshly cut grass and I love the feel of John Deere under my butt (nothing sexual intended..but then again, maybe I should consult a therapist.)

I can sit in the yard and read good book for two hours in the sun, with the sweat being licked off my legs by my three dogs (they seem to like it) and it tends to keep the bugs away or I can work a weed eater like nobody's business for two hours and feel almost exhilarated when I get through and see how nice and tidy an area looks without weeds lining a fence or curb.

Call me crazy (get in line for that one) or just call me a Summer Lover. As long as I am DOING something out in the sun I feel great. Tell me I have to put on clothes get in a hot car , go somewhere to go BACK inside and do manual labor indoors and it drives me nuts!

I may have to look into a landscaping job...if only I spoke more Spanish I would be a shoo in!

PS.. So There... Ms. Walsh, I'm not a heat whimp I'm a work whimp.. (private joke)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Growing Older With "Grays"

I think we a set like each of these at one time or another in our house when I was growing up. TV's were like pieces of furniture some as big as a love seat. Ours always had a set of rabbit ears on top with aluminum foil crumpled around the end of the never seemed to help but we fiddled with it endlessly and no one dared to take it off.

I remember when we got our first color set...I thought my Dad must have surely struck it rich. Happens he just struck a deal with someone on a used color set.
When I was a kid there were three channels (not counting PBS that we only watched in school for our Spanish lessons.) Channel 2 channel 5 and channel 11. That was wonder no one had bothered to invent a remote control yet.
When Ted Turner came along with WTCG (before it was WTBS) we had a new station to watch. Problem was there was nothing NEW on it to watch. Their repertoire was "The Three Stooges" "The Little Rascals" "Roller Derby" and old cartoons. But it was a new channel and all us kids were mesmerized. It wasn't a VHF channel but a UHF channel which meant the picture was even fuzzier and you could crunch and re crunch the aluminum foil on the rabbit ears but 'kinda' fuzzy was the best you'd get.
Ted later on changed it to WTBS and a star was born! He added "Let's Go to the Races" with Freddie Miller emceeing a horse race from who knows when that you could get little tickets for at the A&P and hope your horse won. I never knew anyone who had a winning ticket but he also added "Blondie and Dagwood" to his line up and it was our favorite channel as kids.
We never had an ice maker either. We had the little metal trays with the handle you pulled up to loosen the ice. I remember when the plastic trays came out and once again I thought my Dad had struck it rich. All you had to do was bend them from side to side and the ice popped out like magic!
We had one phone, a black rotary dial hanging on the kitchen TV set, in the living room and my mother bought one six pack of cokes to last a whole week. Everyone got one coke and since there were five of us my Dad got two. (maybe he WAS rich.)
Times were simpler and sweeter. If something was broken my Dad fixed it. If we needed new clothes my Mom sewed them. Our car was never new, most of the times embarrassing and my Dad worked on them as well. I remember the time he bought a new (used) station wagon with an electric back window right before we went on vacation. My brother , sister and I sat in that wagon all day before we left on our trip, mesmerized by the fact that you could push a button and the back window would roll up and down on command. We woke up at 4AM to get on the road early. Our cars didn't have air conditioning and it was best to get an early start in the middle of July leaving Atlanta and heading to Panama City. The car was loaded and we all got into our seats. My father hit the ignition and nothing happened.
We had played with the automatic window so much the night before that we drained the battery. My Dad was furious as we all got out to push our wagon off to jump the engine while my Mom sat behind the wheel. In the words of Jackie Gleason..."And AWAAAY we go!"
I honestly don't know if my three kid's could have made it growing up in the 50's and 60's. Kids are so spoiled today. The kids of rich parents are ridiculously spoiled and my own kid's growing up in middle class aren't far behind.
The past year has been a wake up call to them and in my mind that is a good thing. They now realize how lucky they have been and know for the first time in their young lives that "Life ain't easy."
When I was a kid you played in the dirt til you were old enough to learn how to ride a hand me down bike so big that your feet didn't even touch the ground. We skated the streets in skates you strapped onto your tennis shoes and tightened with a key. We did move on to white shoe skates (black ones for boys) and once again I just KNEW my Dad had been made vice president of SOMETHING!
We never dreamed of helmets or knee pads...that was what Bayer aspirin and Mercurochrome were for.
If you had told me when I was a ten year old little girl listening to a transistor radio and writing in my diary that I would have three kids one day, they would all have cell phones and TV's with remotes in their you know what I would have said?
"That means I'm gonna be really rich!"
No wonder I so much gray hair. No wonder neither of my parents did. My Dad died when he was 77 and hardly had any gray at all.
I don't know if I am growing old with grace but I am certainly growing old with grays.
Don't get me wrong. I wouldn't change my life for anything.
I WOULD like to transport all three of my kids back to 1960 for just one day. Wouldn't THAT be a hoot?? I 'd love to see them trying to text me on a rotary dial phone. Do you know how impatient they would get just waiting for the dial to click back around when they had to dial the O ?
Til next time...a time warped COTTON

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Cool Mom...or Just One Trying to Keep Her Cool ?

Massey informed me today that I "Wasn't" COOL. She finally relented to the point of me being cooler than most but "Def' not totally cool.

I can accept that.

No one has to tell me I am fifty...I feel all fifty years every day when I wake up with creaking knees , ringing in my ear and especially when my ulcer flares up. I used to be proud of being slim but now wonder if it is just me shrinking to my stooped over granny weight. I gotta check out that Sally Field commercial about osteoporosis.

I embarrass Massey on an hourly basis and luckily most of it is done within the walls of our house .

I got home from work tonight around 9:20 and after checking knew that rain was coming. I cut the yards yesterday but ran out of time to do the weed eating before work and to ME the yard isn't done until it is all trimmed out with my secret lover "Mr. Weed Eater." Please don't tell "Johnny" he'll be ridiculously know how those motor heads are.

When I got home tonight, bringing fabulous gifts of home made meatball subs and chocolate amaretto mousse from work I told Massey that I was going to go out back and weed eat before the rain hit. I made the mistake of asking her if she thought it was too late..." NOT go out there and crank up the weed eater!" I told her one of our next door neighbors, Mr. "Slow" Lee and his wife were in Hawaii and the other next door neighbor (my next door husband) worked at night only has teenagers and they probably weren't home.

I turned on the flood lights out back and cranked 'big boy' up. HEY! I was done in ten minutes. If anyone called the cops about me I would back in the house with the weed eater hidden in the garage and the leavins' dusted off my shins. Massey rolled her eyes at me and went upstairs to her "hovel of a mess" that we call her bed room.

You know, if they made a silencer for a weed eater and I could get me some of those night vision goggles I could be in business 24/7. I wanted to weed eat the front yard but decided as long as I was out of view in the back yard from the cars and neighbors trying to take a relaxing night stroll maybe they wouldn't know which yard the racket was coming from.

All finished... and tempting as it was to go rent flood lights from a utility company and set up in the front yard I decided to call it a night (without complaints other than Massey's.)

I came on inside and settled on FB'ing and blogging.

One of my good friends had commented on one of my posts and her new profile picture was amazing. She is short as *&#* to begin with and has been doing the weight watchers thing. In the words of Massey...OMG. She looked totally different. She looked so much like her daughter that I thought it was a picture of her daughter instead of her.

Being funny like I am (in my own small mind) I sent her a message and told her she would be in a thong by the Fourth of July.
Her response was ""

You know, I don't even weigh a 100 lbs but if you catch me in a'll be because my undies are so old that the back ripped out of them and I didn't know it. Wedgies drive me insane and I just can't imagine wearing a thong. Maybe Massey is right and I'm "NOT THAT cool." I know they look good on girls in Playboy or maybe girls hanging onto a pole ..but Massey IS right..."I ain't THAT cool."

I like the Lacey look of the top of them in the back... but to a fifty year old woman who has three kids and can still remember at LEAST six people in the room with her as she popped a human being out of a hole that was originally the size of a nickel...I like to keep that area pretty much covered up and kept secure.

Now I know Massey IS right..I'm not THAT cool...but trust me , I'm still pretty stinkin' cool.

At least until someone tells Massey about this post.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

It's Not Brain Surgery...

I just got home from a 'spankin' at work. It was GREAT! Today was my day off and I picked up a shift, so everything I made was "gravy." It started slow and immediately went crazy in a matter of ten minutes.

We had a party of 14 come in followed by a party of 12. I got the party of 12. All women, and a couple of them recognized me from Longhorn. Right after I got the 12 top, I got a 6 top and I began to wonder if I had forgotten to put on deodorant. I was sweating like a 'ho' in church scrambling to make salads, get appetizers out and try to keep drinks filled.

Another server who is new like me, asked me where we kept the ice bucket. Number one: keeping the ice bin full when it is busy is a full time job in itself. Number two: a lot of the time the cooks have it back on their line icing down food products and forget to return it.

I told her if it wasn't where we kept it, the cooks probably had it. She said "No, I mean where do we keep it?"

For Pete's sake!

She has been there for almost two months and doesn't know where we keep the ice bucket? I was nice and said "On top of the ice machine." I was even extra nice and didn't add "DUH!!"

I had a killer night, that almost KILLED me! I waited on four tables and walked with $110.00.

I worked in the yard today for two hours before I went to me that HOT Georgia sun. My body is slowly falling apart limb by limb but I have been lucky.

I have ONE bad knee, the other one is fine. I have carpal tunnel in one wrist from carrying dinner plates for 33 years but the other one is fine. One of my thumbs has been numb at the tip for over two years but the other thumb is fine. I have a constant ringing in my right ear and lately it feels like it is stopped up with water but if I pinch my nose and blow real hard it pops open for a while...the other ear, fine.

It's kinda like the "half full/ half empty glass theory." I have bad parts but I still have good parts. I may be fifty, but I weigh less than I did in high school. My hair might be going gray, but it is short and hard to notice. I have three kids but the 24 year old is gone and the next one turns eighteen next month. I have a lawn mower that causes me grief but a next door husband who can fix anything. I have a daughter who drives me nuts but is one of the sweetest girls on the planet. I got fired from a job that I hated and have a new job that I love. I am a hurricane and my husband is a gentle breeze. I have three dogs to feed and water but I have three dogs that love me unconditionally. I have bill collectors calling me but I have friends calling me too.

Life is a crazy mixed up thing. I have decided that if I am breathing, I am doing okay. Everything else will fall into place and work out on its own. As long as I have my blog, I have "MY" place. I have a place to go that I love and that for some reason other people love too. To feel loved is a marvelous feeling and one that I never take for granted. As long as I am breathing I will feel blessed. The other stuff is just the "half empty" part. As long as I have a "half full" part I feel pretty darn lucky.

Getting up early tomorrow to plant my Morning Glory seeds...probably late but I am thinking "Better late than never." Getting my hair cut to chop out the gray, putting my "Ring Relief" drops in my ear ...doing my nails just to feel "prettyful" (one of Massey's big words) and doing it all again.

I think my new motto is "Keep that glass half full."

Til next time...Halfway there COTTON