Thursday, December 29, 2011
"What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?"
I stressed myself to the max about two days before Christmas Eve. I didn't have a tree (for the first time in fifty one years) I hadn't bought the first present for anyone, let alone my kids. Unfortunately...or not , my kids all know I am broke and asked for nothing.
While at work the day before Christmas Eve, an angel came in and handed Barb, my boss an envelope to give to me. She left quickly saying she didn't want me to see her and when I opened the envelope there was a note that simply read "Merry Christmas from a friend" and had a hundred dollar bill inside. I was stressed because I knew I was negative in my checking account, which allowed no room for my artful kiting skills. I knew over the next two days I would make enough money to buy some food and a few small presents but was frantic over my bank account. My wonderful boss offered me a loan and between her and my Christmas angel I was on my way as soon as I got off work. My bank account was in the black and I had at least one present for each of my kids.
It doesn't end there. I got home with less than a hour before I was due back for the dinner shift and a friend of Massey's mother had come by and loaded my kitchen cabinets with food and my freezer as well. I sat at the kitchen table and bawled like a baby , wiped away the tears and headed back to work. I made pretty decent money and Christmas Eve day bought a couple more presents and since I was in the black went by my favorite store (who takes longer than any store I know to process a check) and finished my shopping. It was a bare minimum and I felt like a crappy Momma but now had some presents and food for Christmas Day.
I gave my husband the twenty bucks I had left and demanded he go out and find me a tree while I was at work Christmas Eve night.
We were busy as a bee hive at work and my last table (who came in five minutes before closing left me a forty five dollar tip on a hundred dollar tab.)
By the time I got off it was 10:45 PM on Christmas Eve.
Like any other waitress or bartender... I headed to the gas station...the only store still open. I was first in line with a Waffle House waitress behind me and her co worker behind her. I took that last PHAT tip and bought forty five scratch off lotto tickets. When I bought the tickets and commented they were for my kids, one of the waitresses behind me said "You're a good Momma!"
I got home and divided them up between my kids and two nephews. I called my sister (like I do most every night) and we decided to set ground rules. "If they hit anything over $100 I get a ten percent cut."
Barb had given me a Turkey Breast from Honey Baked Ham for helping the restaurant with their Face book page and once home, I was all set! The tree was up and decorated and my oldest son was there. I had all three of my kids there for Christmas, had presents , a tree and felt the weight of the world suddenly lift from my tiny, bony shoulders.
On Christmas morning I woke, tired as a granny from the ten shifts I crammed into the past week... but when my kids opened their presents and we had a tree to sit around, it felt really good.
A few hours later my nephew arrived with his girlfriend, followed shortly by my sister her husband and my other nephew. My brother showed up last announcing his arrival by coming in my back kitchen door blowing an air horn. It's the first time my bull dog's ears have worked and the hair on his fat little neck stood out like a Mohawk. He barked for five minutes and we all laughed for at least fifteen.
The party began, my brother started making bloody mary's and all the food was set out to eat. We laughed so much it was ridiculous, we ate drank and quickly became merry!
All the kids were spoiled rotten by my brother and we all laughed and laughed and laughed. If there is one thing I can say about my family...it's that we are a fun bunch!
The one person that deserved a gift from me was my brother. He was the one I didn't buy for but knew he would understand. He would want me to buy for my kids...and I did. My sister and I already pinkie sweared we wouldn't exchange gifts and were okay with that. She gave me dish towels that I desperately needed and I gave her a hour long massage that made us look like Ellen and Portia on their anniversary. If my family heard her utter one more time "OH yeah, RIGHT there" we would both be masters of ceremony in a gay pride parade. It meant a lot to her and she swears I could be a professional masseuse. (Shows how easy my sister is to please.)
The next day I got up to go to work and my car battery was dead. My brother in law came over and took the battery to be tested (it was dead as a door nail) and fixed the breaker switch so the washer and dryer my brother gave us worked .
It was a great Christmas! I was together with my family, we laughed more than I have in months and everyone had a good time.
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." (Dr. Seuss)
I am not a great person, far from it. But I work hard and love harder and my life has been blessed because of it.
Enjoy the video of my crazy brother berating my nephew for not knowing how to use Massey's camera...he was supposed to be taking a picture but shot a short video instead. A short glimpse into the family that means more to me than anything. They are my life and the reason I keep on keeping on!!
Til next time...COTTON
Saturday, December 24, 2011
I worked myself into a frenzy and had several breakdowns but as usual God , family strangers and friends made it happen.
I wasn't crazy about working Christmas Eve night but didn't have a choice...I needed to. Of course I got seated with a party of five, five minutes before we closed at eight PM. Only one woman ... with a child in a high chair. She was waiting for the rest of the party to show up. They got there at 8:20. I felt like throwing up. I had so many things to do at the house.
I sucked it in and treated them as well as I do any of my tables. It was their first time eating with us and I gave them my spiel. They were really nice... anyway, what does it matter if it is after eight thirty on Christmas Eve? Even Wal Mart was closed. I sold them two desserts and got the tab up to $100.
They left and I went to clear the table. They had left me a $40 tip!
I chased them down in the parking lot and told them how much I appreciated their generosity and said to the man who paid the tab "Thanks Santa!"
I got out of work around ten and headed for the gas station to finish my Christmas shopping I started today at noon. I was in line first with a Waffle House waitress behind me and her co worker behind her. I decided to play the odds and take that last phat tip and gamble it on lotto tickets for my three kids and my two nephews.
I said to the Indian guy behind the counter who totally spoke no English "I want forty Christmas scratch off tickets." Thankfully his cousin Apu was near by and translated. The waitress behind me looked at me and I said "They're for my kids." She said "Damn you're a good momma."
You know what? I have been so stressed thinking what a terrible mom I am not being able to spoil my kids rotten this Christmas.
But when I talked to my sister last night, all depressed about Christmas she reminded me that when all my kids were young and believed in Santa...Tim and I were sitting PHAT and spoiled them rotten.
Now they are all old enough to know that utilities and the staples of life are a gift. None of my kids expect anything but with the help of generous customers and my generous bosses they will all have a pretty decent Christmas. My brother came through , fixed our furnace and gave us a new washer and dryer, my sister came through and talked me out of my suicidal breakdown, friends have provided us with Christmas dinner and all will be Merry at the Cottons on Christmas morning.
Two tough years behind me and the world in front of me..
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
Til next time..Popping Cotton!
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
I make myself feel better by saying "Christmas isn't til next week." In fact Christmas is on Sunday, which is the first day of the week...so I'm good til next week.
I'm not stressing too much. My kid's are old enough to know I am broke as a joke. My sister and I have agreed to not buy each other presents. I am giving my brother a check for $1000.00 post dated for 2014 and giving my nephews gas cards. Depending on how much I make tomorrow on my double shift... they may get twenty a piece or if I hit the jack pot, thirty.
I am more concerned about buying a ham and a turkey for sandwiches on Christmas Day when everyone comes to our house.
I truly believe that this is our last "poor" year. I have Massey's wish list covered when I get off from my lunch shift Thursday, my boys could care less about a present and as long as I have plenty of food and drink we will have a fabulous time.
It's hard to be fifty one and struggling. On the other hand it has brought me promptly back to Earth. Nothing is promised, nothing is guaranteed. The things that are important change as you grow older and you simply adapt.
I am more worried about getting my house clean before everyone comes over on Christmas Day to get their "Non" presents. I have two dogs and two teens who battle for the messiest and I am working double shifts on Thursday and Friday... My oldest son has moved away but will be here too.
It will be a house full of Leach/Cottons and a place that will warm my heart and soul.
It will be what Christmas is all about...family, fun and tons of laughter.
My present will be all of us being together. Trust me, when my brother and sister are here...add me in the mix and it is a pretty good time!
We had great parents...they left us way too early but left us in the company of each other. I think being around my sister and brother is the greatest Christmas present I could ever wish for.
I may not be able to buy presents but my family's "Presence" is just the thing I need !
Working double shifts Thursday and Friday. Have Saturday day off to scramble together food and first/last minute shopping.
I have a feeling this will be the greatest Christmas EVER!
No wonder they call me Rotten Cotton...I am spoiled beyond belief. To put it simply... I am loved!
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
So I've bought two...Starting early this year! You know I used to get stressed out. I passed stressed out about a year back, moved on to freaking out , sat in a closet and cried for a day and then just moved on to face the rest of my life. You can hide from your problems but they won't go away...only YOU can make them go away. I was one of the lucky ones, I had tons of help...more than I deserved.
I am lucky that my kids are 25, 19 and 16. The Tooth Fairy , Easter Bunny and Santa years are behind them. For years they were all spoiled rotten, so was I.
The past two years have been eye opening yet heart warming. We have made it through, lost some perks but have learned to truly appreciate.
My kid's are kids. They took everything for granted. Over the past two years they have learned (along with me) NOTHING is guaranteed. They have learned how to make dinner out of whatever is in the kitchen cabinet and not one of them has whined about it. (well maybe, but just a little)
I think this may be our greatest Christmas ever...
I have tomorrow day off and plan to go buy a Christmas tree. Heck, shouldn't they be marked down by now? I may bring home a twenty foot tree for twenty bucks! Then I'll go into work and let Zach decorate it. Granted I may come home to a "Bob Marley" Christmas tree but that's okay with me...maybe I'll drink some"Red, red wine" and help him.
I have been paying bills and just trying to stay ahead of my checks. I have been working like a demon while being sick for over a week. I am old, I am sprouting more gray than Betty White but bursting at the seams with the Christmas Spirit.
It's not about the gifts. It's about saying Merry Christmas to random people you pass on the street. It's about holding a door open for someone. It's about letting people cross in front of you when you are sitting in your car waiting for a parking spot while they are walking in the rain carrying packages.. It's about dropping a dollar into a Salvation Army bucket every time you see one. It's about going to Big Lots and buying baby dolls and dropping them off for "Toys for Tots." It's about telling people "God bless you" when you hear them sneeze.
It's about not judging people. It's about loving. It is about knowing however bad off your life is, there are literally hundreds of millions that would feel lucky to walk in your shoes...Heck, they would be thrilled to just HAVE shoes.
I am not worried one bit. I have a houseful coming over on Christmas Day...but they are MY family and I could feed them all Spaghettios and they wouldn't complain. That's how lucky I am.
I am one of the luckiest women in the world. I have a husband that for some bizarre reason loves me. I have three kids that are healthy, perhaps sometimes underfed to their glutton's desire but doing okay. I have a brother and sister who have come to my rescue more times than I can count. I am a lucky woman.
My Christmas will be amazing...it already is. Our furnace is fixed thanks to my brother, who is probably still looking for a transfer to Yemen to get away from me. I have a sister who is my touch stone.
Christmas will happen...I am sure of it. It may be a Christmas of home made gifts and excuses but it will be a Merry one.
I will be at the gas station on Christmas Eve. I will start on the motor oil aisle, work my way to the gift card stand and end up buying scratch off tickets and gas cards for my nephews.
We'll have a big ham and eat sandwiches all day and my brother will bring his rolling bar and provide us with Bloody Mary's.
Never take for granted what you have today, just be thankful for God, family and the chance to wake up tomorrow and make it a better day.
So what I'm not a big dog anymore...I have seen Chihuahua's that could chew your arm off, or at least act like they could.
It's not the size of your stature but the size of your heart. Tell a random person "Merry Christmas" and notice the surprised look on their face...That should tell you a lot about what is wrong with this world.
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
Merry Christmas...God bless, and Pay It Forward!!
Til next time...COTTON
Thursday, December 15, 2011
I waited on a table the other day of six Blue Hairs, all decked out in their Christmas sweaters, earrings bracelets and socks. They were so sweet but it started me thinking..."This will be ME in twenty years." (if I live that long)
I went to take their drink order when the one on the outside of the booth was dabbing at her nose with a Kleenex . I asked what she wanted to drink and she promptly pulled out her blouse and tucked the tissue into her bra and not batting an eye said "I'll just have water." For Pete's sake! It wasn't an embroidered linen handkerchief from her great grandmother, it was a piece of tissue... (fancy toilet paper) but she was saving it for future use.
People in their eighties remember what it's like to be poor and most probably are freaked out over gas being sometimes almost four dollars a gallon and monthly electric bills that would once have heated their house for the entire year . People in their eighties know how to stretch a dime and obviously a Kleenex too. People in their eighties are ME in less than thirty years...YIKES!
I like waiting on older folks. You bring bread to their table and they all clasp their hands together in joy as if you sat down a plate of caviar. Most all servers I work with are in their twenties, so when I wait on seniors and chat with them I remember things that they do...rotary dial phones, even the ones you hand cranked. My mom had one hanging on our kitchen wall. Ours didn't work but the bell still did. I remember black and white TV, rabbit ears and "Charles Chips." I remember the Cuban Missile crisis , Truth or Consequences, The Lawrence Welk Show and Art Linkletter.
JEEZ...I AM old!
How did it happen? I don't stuff Kleenex into my bra (although I did in high school) but I AM guilty of sometimes squeezing my legs together when I sneeze real hard. I still weigh what I did in high school and it suddenly seems that is about all I have left of my youth.
I know it could be worse but I sure wish I could roll the clock back JUST a bit. My twenties I don't really remember much (oops), my thirties were great and my forties were outstanding.
Now I sit at the top of the last slide of life. I don't want to go down but I have to. Age is behind me shoving from the back. I can hear them laughing "She can't even read a book without glasses, just give her a push... she won't see where she's going."
I had kids late in life so now I am faced with growing old and still having to stay somewhat young so I don't look like a complete idiot to my two remaining teens and their friend's that feel my house is a food/ drink/ video/ cyber magnet.
I like having teens here, I really do. If they weren't all hanging at my house I would just wonder where they were... worry more and increase my wrinkles/gray hair intake.
My doctor (the one on General Hospital) says to keep stress levels down so I just let them all hang here and have learned quite a bit from them along the way.
It took me a while to learn how to use "Word" on my cell phone and even longer to learn all the text acronyms. I am now FYI, SMHS at WTH is going on with not only society but the world in general. We seem to need help ASAP and realize WWJD?
I'm hanging in there, I'm coming off a two year run of bad luck but by the grace of God and the love of family and friends will make a while longer.
I am thinking about a book of acronyms for us ole farts. I Like HFM "Hot Flash Momma" or BIKM "Back Is Killing Me." How about SCP911 "Sharp Chest Pains 911" I think the best would be MCBRTY..."Merry Christmas Blog Readers Thank You."
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
Sunday, December 11, 2011
We are a bunch of nuts at work and all a little crazy in our own individual ways, but that's the way I like it. Mixed nuts have always been my favorite.
She's not feeling her best, our furnace has been out for three days and of course she came down with a cold right before the heat went out. On top of that her bedroom is the only one on the ground floor with the garage on the other side of one wall and the front of the house on another...in other words her room is the coldest one in the house. Luckily I bought her a small ceramic space heater last week on a whim for her room and also she is right by the kitchen so I just turn the oven on 200 degrees before I go to bed around 2 and Tim turns it off when he gets up early for work. Heck, I should throw a roast in the oven before I go to bed and dinner would be ready by six in the morning!
She worked with us last night busing tables and I'll have to hand it to her, even feeling like crap she did a great job. She has grown up surrounded by the restaurant world and knows how the system works, knows to ignore the potty mouth she hears from the back and how to behave in the front of the house. One of the hostesses who is eighteen decided to call in and quit over the phone so she got got put on the schedule for this morning as well. I had to close last night and didn't get out til late so Tim picked her up and she came home... fell into bed with another dose of cold medicine and was ready before me this morning for work.
When we got there she asked who the hostess was and I told her "It's YOU."
With brief instructions we opened the doors and "Off she went!" She did just fine and hung in there til almost four this afternoon when I got off. I took her across the street to Target and bought her some flu medicine, bought her and Zach some sandwiches from Panera and dumped her off at home and got back to work ten minutes late for my night shift. What amazes me is she did a better job than some of the grown people we have had host for us. She made me proud and has fifty bucks to show for it.
She has the owner Len wrapped around her little finger. I have never seen the big ole bear as sweet as he is when talking about or to Massey.
Another server, Hoke (my best friend...remember Driving Miss Daisy?) told Massey "Don't get sucked into this restaurant world...it's like a drug, you just can't stop or get out." He is right in a way...look at me! It's a life I chose but a life that has served me well. (small pun) Every shift I work is pay day, the better I do my job the better the pay check. Not always, but if you do your best the odds are in your favor. At the age of fifty "ish" I think of myself more as a writer...a poor writer but still a writer. I have faith in myself that one day it will happen for me and being a server has helped support my family until I can reach my OWN goal... of being discovered, published or both.
Massey will go far in life, I have no doubt. She is driven and hungry (totally a metaphor...I DO feed my kids although we HAVE been through a ton of peanut butter in the past two years and she has only recently learned to drive.)
She will use this job as a vehicle to help her reach her her desired goals and it will be padding along the bumpy way to a successful life.
She's working with a bunch of nuts, me being one of the biggest ones. I like being a nut, makes life so much more fun!
Another server and I had a group of ten older ladies in a private room today for their little Christmas get together. They all came, each in a Christmas sweater or vest..some had both. Of course it was all separate checks. I had the checks printed off but when I went back into the room they had all changed seats to chat with other friends so I just called out what they had ordered wanting them to raise their hand and claim their check.
The first check, I said "So who had the small Barbarella salad?" They all sat stunned and no one said said anything. I repeated it and they all sat silent and stared at me. Finally the woman in the reindeer vest sat up straight and said "Oh, that was me!"
I said "Thank goodness, I thought maybe I was in the wrong room...it happens to me all the time, that hamster falls asleep in his little wheel." That got a chuckle and things went smoothly after that. They were adorable and left us a phat 20% tip.
I enjoy being in charge of my own destiny. The harder I work, the better service I give... the better my audience seems to appreciate me.
My co worker was right in a way...waiting tables IS like a drug. You need money... you work. If you need more money you work even more. You work until you have what you need then enjoy the high of your success and want even MORE!
People who don't think being a server is a real job aren't being real...trust me!
I don't wanna brag but I am a master of my craft and a professional at what I do. What makes icing on the cake is that I enjoy it and it suits me just fine.
Call me a dealer...I am! I deal out great service in a time when people want the best bank for their buck. When they go out and spend hard earned money...how lucky are they to get not only excellent service but a comedy show for free?
Come see me...I do ten to twelve shows a week!
The beach season has opened in the restaurant world...three weeks where you pack your nuts for the rest of winter. Hopefully my little cheek's will be poppin' and droppin' !!
Come see me for some yummy food and meet the new Hostess Extraordinaire!! Remember, mention my blog and you get a free appetizer or dessert!
Til Next time...COTTON
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Me...I'll attempt anything and usually get the job done with a minimal amount of duct tape. I have replaced the faucet and pipes in the kitchen sink, fixed ole Johnny Boy on numerous occasions and fixed our dryer several times. My next door husband has taught me a lot and I learned a lot by trial and error. I have unstopped drains and replaced the innards of toilets. I have fixed ceiling fans and I have replaced many a vent hose. Lawn mowers seem to be my "Forte" I feel like I could build a John Deere from the ground up.
Our microwave quit turning about a year ago and was just aggravating. The food never heated all the way through because the table didn't turn and burned popcorn every time for the same reason.
I work in a restaurant which means we are in our "Beach Season." We have from Thanksgiving to New Years to pack our nuts for the Winter. Massey was at work with me one day last week and as I counted my tips said "Let's go get a new microwave when I get off."
A co worker said "Can you wait three days?" Of COURSE I can wait three days...I have been using a piece of crap microwave for over a year. She owns a house in South Carolina she is trying to rent and had an extra microwave in it. She was driving up to check on the house and said she would bring the spare one back for me.
Just like my email address says, we are "The Clampetts." She brought it to work with her a few days later and I stuck it in the trunk of my car when I left after a lunch shift to go pick Massey up from the high school. When Massey came out and popped the trunk to throw her book bag in she squealed "OOH a Microwave!"
We took it home and you would have thought I brought a new puppy to the house. Zach came into the kitchen and commented on how much bigger it was and toted the carcass of the old one out to the garage to die. Massey immediately wanted to cook some Ramen noodles and I took a picture of her using the microwave for the first time and we sent the pic to my co worker on my phone.
Some people may think that is pitiful..we call it "Stinkin' Grateful!"
Massey and I went to the grocery store and while there picked up some microwave pop corn in celebration. I asked Massey if we should get big bags or mini bags? She voted for the mini bags so we chose them .
I got home from work the next night and Massey told me when she asked Tim how he liked the new microwave he said "Well the POP CORN button doesn't work, it burned the crap out of it."
I think microwaves are spooky too from the get go. They move molecules around and cook things. But they aren't smart enough to know if you put in a mini bag or regular size bag of pop corn!! I guess Tim thought they did.
Yes, he is my "Homer Simpson."
But if he can put up with me I guess I can put up with him...
Til next time...Marge COTTON
Thursday, December 8, 2011
I didn't want to open the attic door on the top floor of the house, flooding the upstairs with cold air in case it was something I couldn't quickly fix but did it anyway. The furnace was making noise so I scampered back down the stairs and quickly shut the door.
Like the new age techno savvy mom I am I went to Face book for an answer, getting post after post from a friend of mine from when I worked for Johnny's Pizza back in the early eighties. That's what broke people like..."Free advice."
We went through several question and answer posts and after determining it was a gas furnace and secretly going into my kitchen to light the stove top to make sure we hadn't had our gas turned off, my friend mentioned maybe I should check the batteries in my digital thermostat. Heck I didn't even know it HAD batteries! I pulled the cover off and discovered three totally dust covered AA batteries. I went around the house and pulled three AA batteries out of remote controls and plugged them in. When the thermostat came back on the numbers were so bright it looked like a neon sign in Vegas.
I was on the phone by this point with my sister. It was cold in the house so I started drinking some wine Barb had given me from work. (A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do to keep warm.)
When I changed the batteries we went from 64 to 65 in a matter of five minutes.
I told my sister I never even knew the thermostat ran on batteries. It reminded me of the time when the kids were still young and they came out with the wireless mouse for your computer. Of course when they first came out you paid like thirty bucks for one and since we were still doing well back then I ran out to Circuit City and purchased it.
About eight months later it stopped working and I took the mouse back to the store. I told the woman behind the service counter it had stopped working and wanted another one. She asked me if the batteries in it were new? I said I didn't know it took batteries and she simply replied "Baby, did you think it was magic?"
Well as matter of fact I did! It came with a little plug in for my modem and I thought it was working off of that. I felt like an idiot (what else is new) when she put in two AA batteries and it worked like a champ.
So a digital thermostat has batteries too... Learned me another lesson! We are back up to 65 but still a little chilly. I think my batteries were dead in my thermostat but may have a furnace problem too. Just going to bed with the oven on 200 degrees and dealing with it tomorrow.
Massey has a space heater in her room and I have one in the kitchen. All the rest of us are on the third floor where it is five degrees warmer.
Surviving another night here in the Cotton compound. If we can can live without money for two years we can make it one night without heat!
At least I don't have to worry about hot flashes tonight...
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
I started my blog as a vent but it grew into a personal venture and a healing machine for my soul and sanity.
I went from comfortably well off upper middle class to welfare in the span of less than twelve months. It was an eye opening jaw dropping lesson in humility and gratitude. I have learned a lot about myself and a lot about how much I am loved and how many blessings I have.
We are on the road back to what Massey calls "Being unpoor." Although Tim and I felt the finacial weight bearing down on us like a ton of bricks, it wasn't easy for my two kid's still at home. We actually had to not so gently shove the oldest out to flap his own wings and fly away. I still feel bad about that, but he has matured and made it on his own and it makes me smile to know how wonderful he has turned out to be.
Still got two at home both in their teens driving me to look like the above photo. Massey is a great girl but when you are feamle and sixteen...Drama is your middle name. I remember it well.
Zach is like a son in a sitcom series....somebody's gotta be making this crap up! I love him anyway but he is close to getting shooed out of the nest as well. (Maybe his older bro needs a room mate.)
My life is comical to say the least. It is never dull around here.
I came home from work tonight after working an eleven hour shift to find my living room all re arranged by my younger son. He moved the 42" TV to the other side of the room which was fine by me. Now it won't have the glare coming through the windows making the picture harder to see in the daytime. My problem was he routed the cable wire across my fireplace mantle and had it tacked down with push pins (nice touch.) He also moved my sofa out of the living room and into my dining room for some unknown and bizarre reason.
I came home from work and sat down at the computer in the dining room to check my email when Tim came downstairs from the bedroom and spoke to the two dogs laying on the floor behind me. "Well look at this, now Momma can do her blog and then just plop on the couch and go to sleep."
I glared at him but relented the glare when he rubbed my aching shoulders for about 45 seconds.
Now tomorrow I have to drag my couch back up to the living room. At least the living room is all vacuumed and ready for the return of the "sitting device."
One thing is for sure...there's never a dull moment in our house (unless we are ALL gone) but then again who knows WHAT my two crazy pups do when we are!
Thinking about getting a Christmas tree on my day off tomorrow. Heck I could buy a forest of trees with all the room we have now in my livng room...
Til next time, lived another day to tell another story COTTON
Monday, December 5, 2011
I work like a demon but it is TOTALLY my decision to do so. Two years ago Tim and I were bringing in six figures a years. We bottomed out when Tim lost his job and fell into bankruptcy when I lost mine.
We have scraped, kited and been blessed with amazing help from family friends and even strangers we are almost there, we are on the cusp. We can breathe and answer the phone again.
I was pretty pissed at my former job for firing me, actually I still am...and will be for at least the next ten years.
Tonight I met my former co workers for a Holiday dinner at my new place of employment for some of the best food and drink you could have. We laughed and remembered old times...the GOOD times.
My boss gave us all free appetizers and the meal was outstanding...the company even better.
You know, I had a couple of tough years but when you are fifty one, that is a blip on the screen in the grand scheme of life. I had so many friends tonight tell me that I was doing it right. Keep going, don't look back...there is nothing you can do about the past, you can only control your future.
My future will be great. Heck give me another year and maybe I can also solve the whole "Hot Flash" thing because it is driving me insane. When I was younger hot and sweaty meant great sex...now it means "Turn the ceiling fan on."
I take maybe one day off a month (maybe two) but tonight was one that made me smile, made me happy and made me feel like I was young again.
It is nights like this that make it all worth while...I felt young and pretty (all dressed up) and spent the night with peeps that I love.
Thank you PEEPS for making me feel loved, I needed that!
Til next time..Contented COTTON
Saturday, December 3, 2011
This was one of the last Christmas photos with my Diddy while he was in complete control of his faculties and still the Diddy I grew up with. He died from West Nile virus in 2002 and although it almost killed me it also made me realize how lucky he was to go from healthy to death in the span of ten days. My brother always reminds me..."Our family takes the express checkout."
I have had a fabulous life. I had a childhood that millions of children dream of. I have had an adulthood that I didn't deserve after my wicked twenties and have a family of my own that I love so intensely it sometimes consumes me. Completely.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
I had Thanksgiving Day off and have worked eight shifts since. I could tell you I am embarrassed to be a fifty one year old woman still living not only paycheck to paycheck but shift to shift. In the grand scheme of things I feel pretty stinking lucky. So what I am just a waitress? If I worked in an office, bank or some big company do you think I could say "Oh crap, I am fixing to bounce a check, let me stay late and write up two more proposals and do another power point presentation?"
Well you know what? I may be just a "Waitress" but when I need money I just pick up another shift and another shift and when everything is covered THEN I say "Give me a day off."
It's been a while but that day has arrived and I am delighted beyond belief! I got off at nine tonight and don't have to be back at work til Thursday morning. I usually pick up on my off day but by the grace of God and some great regulars I have enough money to claim being current on my bills. Not ahead (but I like "Baby Steps.")
For two years we have been stressed not only to the max, but sometimes looked back and saw max with his hands up like "What the hell?"
Tim is working again and it is a great job with much room for advancement. Me , I am still just a waitress ...but at a restaurant that has not only given me a chance but helped us not only over the hump but urged us forward.
They let me work like a demon for almost two years, shift after shift after shift. That's the way when you are a server. If you work you make money, if you take a day off you take a pay cut. I have been there about a year and a half and have taken off maybe twenty days. Not because of them but because of ME!
But we have battled back, I have paid quite a few NSF fees and have a new branch of my bank opening thanks to my generosity. (There better be a plaque of me on the wall in the lobby)
I am on the cusp of being right on the brink of being almost there!
I used to think I would retire when I was sixty five...that's probably the funniest thing I have said in a while.
I work with kids in their twenties who whine like babies when they have to work a double shift. I am fifty one and grateful to have a job where I can work day after day after day until my bills are paid. THEN I take a day off!
Guess what? WOOT WOOT... hell YEAH...True THAT and SEE YA! I finally have it all covered , a fire in the fireplace a cold one in my hand and not stepping out of my house til Thursday morning! I still have family and friends to pay back but lucky for me they haven't enforced late fees (but do not think I have forgotten.)
Of course when I go back on Thursday it is another double shift and so is Friday...but you know what? I will get back on top sooner than sissies who are scared of working hard...
I am just lucky to have a job that allows me to work when I want and thankfully they love it when I do!
Somebody tell Santa all I want for Christmas is a hour long foot massage...
Til next time...COTTON
Monday, November 28, 2011
Granted just this past week I had to turn the A/C back on in our house and now I am sitting in flannels with my tights from work still on underneath with a pair of tube socks and my bedroom shoes. That's okay, in fifteen minutes a hot flash will hit and I will be peeling off the layers just as quickly as I put them on. Just call me a "Flashy Mom."
I went into work at ten this morning in my usual uniform...skirt, black tights and work shirt. I came out of work at nine tonight and the minute I opened the back door of the restaurant and saw how far away my car looked , it felt like I was wearing Daisy Dukes and flip flops. God turned the heat off and forgot to warn (or warm) me.
It's all the buzz around here "The snow is coming the snow is coming!" Ask someone that lives in North Dakota...they would consider this a balmy breezy day!
So in anticipation of no accumulation but a slight wintry mix..us southerners have raped the store shelves of milk, bread , Red Man and Pabst Blue Ribbon.
I myself stocked up on what I consider the essentials...Tomato soup and Velveeta cheese to make grilled cheese sammiches.
It's not like an ice storm is headed our way... it's more like a break from the heat is headed our way. The power bill absolutely killed us this summer...obviously our A/C unit runs on 14K gold .
We are dressing in layers and throwing an extra blanket on the bed if we can't get one of the pups to sleep on our feet.
When you live in the deep south you live in a totally different world. There seems to be a low tolerance for cold weather, Liberals and homosexuality. Thank the Lord I only hate cold weather.
Watch it snow a foot and make me look even MORE stupid...at least I have two pups and four cans of tomato soup...that should keep a hot flashing ole woman good for now!
Til next time...Cold Cotton!
Friday, November 25, 2011
Right back to the grind today. I am working double shifts the next four days and already dreading it. The holiday season in the restaurant world is like the summer is in a beach town. This is my summer and I gotta strike while the iron is hot!
Worked the lunch and dinner shift with my buddy, Hoke. We could have fun together at a blood letting. It was pretty stinking busy, our restaurant is located in a popular outdoor shopping park and with all the big "Black Friday" hoopla (don't get me started on THAT...another blog altogether) we banked at lunch.
My last table was a party of four...a family. A man and his wife, maybe a sister and their mother. The mother was a trip from the start. We had been busy and had to clean off a table for them. The old mother shook her head and said it simply wouldn't do. She couldn't sit this close to a kitchen or area where people would be leaning over her table and "Doing all that sneezing on us."
Barb moved them to another table (of their own choosing) so far away from my section of tables I felt like taking a golf cart to go greet them.
I told Hoke I was gonna go up to Granny and say "Sorry it took me so long to greet you but this Swine Flu has been kicking my butt. I thought that Legionnaire's Disease was bad but WOO...this makes THAT look like a sniffle, by the way does this rash look contagious?"
Of course I didn't but every time I went back into the kitchen Hoke and I came up with another good one. "How about saying can you feel my head, do I feel feverish to you?" Or "That turkey gave me the trots yesterday, I'll be back in a minute."
If you are a germaphobe restaurants probably aren't your best bet...we aren't called "Food Handlers" for nothing.
It got worse, she didn't know how to read a menu either so I spent five minutes explaining where to find the salads..."They are listed under the section titled SALADS." After I also pointed out the section titled "Pasta" her daughter rolled her eyes for at least the fourth time and smiled sweetly at me. Thank God I was just their waitress...when they left I would be done with them, the daughter lives this EVERY DAY.
By the time they left Hoke and I had come up with about ten more jokes to play on "Granny Germaphobe."
The restaurant I work for is hands down the cleanest one I have ever worked in and I have worked in quite a few. People need to get a grip and reconsider their gripes.
I have a ton of shifts ahead of me and have to pace myself. The shifts aren't so bad but some of the people I wait on could kill you quicker than a mean H1N1 virus.
Heading to bed to rest up...
Til next time Contagious COTTON
Thursday, November 24, 2011
This time last year we were in a heap of do do so high we couldn't peek over the steaming stack of crap on our plate. This year we have scraped away at the pile and it's down to just scrubbing up and keeping on keeping on.
I aged more than I have in ten years in the past twelve months but lived to tell the story.
It is the story of a family that after twenty three years of sitting pretty hit a bump so high that it rocked us to our bare existence and made us realize how true the words are "Love is all you need."
By the grace of God the love of family and the help of many, many friends we made it through. I never pass a homeless person without thinking about how close we were to being their neighbors.
I went to Little Five Points this last weekend with my brother and sister to meet up with a long lost cousin. We had a ball and a great meal, all thanks to my bro and his excellent credit. He thought he was riding with me to meet a cousin we haven't seen in decades and re connect. It was really HIM treating US to a great time and my sister and me re connecting with a long lost cousin and our brother's wallet.
When we left the restaurant I had an awesome half a turkey club sandwich in my hand when a homeless woman approached us and asked if we had any food? I really wanted that sandwich but thought about the fact she was most probably living on the streets and would most probably never eat a club sandwich still warm from a restaurant. I handed her my box and my sister immediately said "Good for you, Kell."
That's the way it is in my family and that's the way it is in my life.
The Golden Rule is what we should ALL live by. Not doing so is the result of ALL our problems. Just think about it...
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
It's so simple..."Others" have not only taken care of me but gotten me through and made my life all the better.
Can we not love EVERYONE like my family and friends have loved ME?
So what there are a few (million) free loaders. Hasn't there always been? They profit from our generosity and sincerity but I am a firm believer in Karma... Pay your taxes learn the language and make a positive impact on our society.
I have never been homeless but been close (kinda in my book.) To not experience begging for a meal... only tells me I am on top and one of the lucky ones. The top of the lower middle class suits me just fine...heck it is a step up!
Count your blessings name them one by one....It's amazing when you do!
I went to my sister's house for Thanksgiving today. My sister is struggling just like me and my brother is just happy he only has see us twice a year (Thanksgiving and Christmas) . "One down one to go!"
With my brother at my back and my sister by my side...My blessings are easy to count..God blessed me with amazing sibs and friends too numerous to name.
When you think your life sucks, think about kids that are sexually abused. Think about kids that are bullied. Think about people who are starving ...think about people who are blind , deaf or mentally challenged. In the grand scheme of life I am "Effing Lucky."
True Dat, High Five and a WOOT WOOT!
Til next time...COTTON
Monday, November 21, 2011
It's not like I live in a dump but having two teens at home I have decided at the age of fifty one, if they don't mind dust and dog hair...neither do I.
Just in the last few weeks I have noticed how the past two years have aged me. I HAVE to quit using my magnifying side of my make up mirror. My face looks like a tangled up piece of Saran Wrap.
Jeez...I have to smile all the time or I look like Cloris Leachman really pissed off. When I smile it seems to dissolve some of the wrinkle action but when you have three kids, two of them still at home it ain't easy.
They wonder why I get so ticked so easily? At least they can still jump on a trampoline or sneeze without wetting their pants.
I am a server but when I card people for their ID I have had to fake it some times when I don't have my glasses on me. One woman today had "Check ID" on the back of her card. I read that when I was running her card but left my glasses on the computer when I took the check back to the table. I asked for her ID and when she showed it to me I said "This all looks like gibberish without my glasses but the picture kinda looks like you...if it's not leave me a really big tip cause it ain't your money anyway."
I get home from work at night and my feet feel like I am walking on pegs with spikes going through them. My shoulders feel like I have been hunching them all day saying "I dunno."
My sister and I used to laugh at my Mama when we were younger. She would be pushing a shopping cart down the aisle of the A&P and cross her legs when she sneezed or coughed. We thought it was a hoot...now I know it was because her era was waiting for "Depends" to be invented.
I am only fifty one...I like to use the word ONLY hoping I make it much farther. But with the hairs I see sprouting out of my face and the aches in my back and the creaks in my knees and the pains I feel in my feet, I'm not really sure anymore.
You know us women...we will keep on keeping on until we can't bitch any longer and then blame it all on our husbands.
So I still weigh what I did when I was fifteen...that's gotta count for something doesn't it?
Some days I wake up and think I can't do it anymore. Some days I wake up and think that it is getting better. Some days I wake up and think "Thanks for letting me wake up!"
I am trying to be a positive person that has a suddenly wrinkled face and mucho gray hair...At least I WOKE up today... "Put that shovel down grave diggers...it was just a HOT flash."
Til next time Hottin Cotton
Sunday, November 20, 2011
He has helped me out so much over the past couple of years that I almost feel like making my kids call him Uncle Daddy. I have never asked him for help and been denied.
It's not like I call on a whim but when our life took a downward spiral, he was there for me and my family.. and has continued to be .
I've heard through the grapevine that he still has a request transfer in for Yemen.
She was the strong one. She grew up very poor, her mother divorced when divorce was unheard of. My grand mother started working full time and my mother pretty much raised her younger brother (my uncle.) She doted on him and continued to throughout her adulthood.
My Mama met my Diddy, they married and started spitting out babies. I think Cindy was born nine months to the day they were married (wink wink) Chris came four years later and I surprised them three years later when a condom probably broke while Chris and Cindy were at a sleep over. We had a middle class family that was made to feel like a palatial family of five by my Mama's handy sewing, art of refinishing and restoring anything she lay on her hand on and their wonderful sense of morals and clean living. Every one loved my parents...including me and my Sib's.
Once Mama died we lost touch with her side of the family. We have continued to keep in touch with Diddy's side through reunions every few years but the two cousins we had on my Mama's side got lost in the years of growing up and starting our own families.
Last year I starting creeping (as Massey calls it) on my cousins from my Mama's side of the family. I knew I had two but hadn't seen or heard from them since their own father (my Mama's brother died in the early eighties.) It took me a while but I tracked one down (like the stalker I am.)
We met up with her yesterday in Little Five Points, my favorite part of Atlanta. I arranged it all (like the creeper I am) talked my sister and brother into going to meet with her after almost a quarter of a century. She is a jewelry designer in Atlanta and after quite a few emails we decided we would all meet in Little Five for lunch. I wanted my brother to drive since gas is so high and we had given him back the gas card he loaned us for a year. He text Massey and said his Taurus was in the shop and only had his Porsche. (rubbing my fists on my eyes like I am crying for him... NOT)
I told him I would pick him up in my little Beemer and we headed out for our adventure. We left his apartment complex and I mentioned I only had a quarter of a tank of gas and I needed to stop at Kroger and pump in ten bucks. We pulled up to the pump and he said (as usual bless his heart) "I got it." When it hit $34 I hollered out the window for him to stop and thankfully he ignored me and filled my tank.
I don't think he was pumped about going but he is my new DIDDY and has resigned himself to the fact. We got to L5P's and parking was $5. I tried to pay (I really half way did) but he chucked another five out his window and we parked.
We met my cousin in Junkman's Daughter and when she walked in it all changed...for the better!
We connected immediately. It was like all the years lost simply dropped away. She was cute as a button, the spitting image of her mother with a new age twist.
We all went across the street to have lunch. It was me, my brother and sister, my sister's oldest son and my youngest daughter Massey, who is named after my Mama's maiden name which happens to be my new found cousin's LAST name! Ain't life weird?
We had an absolute ball.
Number one: my brother is so funny he makes me seem gloomy.
Number two: My sister is the most precious person I have ever met.
Number three: Our new found cousin was a breath of fresh air in a part of our family we thought was gone forever .
We laughed, we ate, drank... we remembered and shared so many memories. She was all I expected her to be and then some. She is beautiful and successful and made me realize my Mama's side of the family isn't gone...we've just lost touch. Family is important to me and this re connection was amazing and eye opening.
My new found cousin and Massey got up to go to the restroom and my brother followed . The waiter brought the bill and like the quick, broke thinker I am said "Wait til I go the restroom. When they get back , if you can get my brother to pick up the whole check My sister and I will each give you an extra five bucks."
DING DING DING DING!!
Bless my brother's heart...I bet he is at home right now researching if his company has any locations further away than Yemen. He not only paid the entire bill and tipped but bought me a tank of gas and paid for parking for a wild hair I had to find a cousin we haven't seen in decades.
But you know what? After we left the restaurant , we went by her jewelry design shop to take a look.
We got back in my little Beemer to go home. My bro commented "There aren't many artists that can support themselves totally with their craft. I'm impressed."
I was impressed with the entire day.
I have a new found cousin who is a total delight. I have a full tank of gas and am reminded once again how important family is (especially brothers)
My life has had its ups and downs. It has good days and bad days. But if you have good FAMILY...you have the warranty. They will have your back...no matter what.
Til next time...COTTON
Thursday, November 17, 2011
When life is going great it is TRULY great.
Life can change in an instant and end just as quickly. Mine hasn't ended (yet) but yesterday I reached the end of the frazzled rope I have been desperately clinging to.
Work sucked (which it normally doesn't) and my kids were driving me the short distance to crazy. By the time I got home from yet another double shift... I sat in my car for five minutes in the garage wondering how people actually hook up those hoses that feed exhaust fumes into the car. After five minutes I had a good cry , remembered I had thrown away the garden hose anyway so I got out of the car and went inside.
I called my sister and we complained together. I am fifty one years old. I should be picking out a time share in Aruba. Instead I am picking out who to kite a check to to keep the utilities on and continually telling myself "It could be worse ."
I woke up this morning after a late night big ole fat come to Jesus meeting with my nineteen year old son who is playing me like a broke fiddle (huge pun intended.) I finally broke down with him (blubbering like a baby) and broke it all down FOR him.
I am a server. If I need money I work. If I need more money I work more shifts. If I don't have money I can't take days off. If he doesn't help me he's hurting me. If I'm hurt I can't work. If I can't work you may as well kite another one of my checks, go ahead and buy another garden hose... run it into the garage and crank the engine on my car up....and pick up a shovel while you are there.
My point hit him hard...my fists wanted to but he's a smart kid, He got it!
Sometimes you just have to lay it out. "This is our life, this is the way it is. It could be a heck of a lot worse or we can try our best to make it better."
My family is much the same way...Tim brings home his paycheck and asks where he left his belt when he gets up to leave for work.
It's getting better, it really is. I just have a meltdown once every six weeks or so (you think the fam would be marking the days on their calendar.)
Let me cry and puff up my eyes, make Zach hug and tell me he loves me ... Massey will clean her room and after a good night's sleep it is back to what "We" call normal.
Til next time...Hangin' on and doing it again tomorrow COTTON
Friday, November 11, 2011
I changed into a sweat shirt and pajama pants and hit the sack. I woke up Thursday morning to the sound of Tim taking Massey to school and meandered downstairs to the sofa in the living room and pulled a blanket over my head. There! I DID something.
That was the last thing I did for the next ten hours, unless you count rolling over or hollering for someone to bring me a glass of iced tea or rub my back. I moved to the living room because it is on the second floor of the house and when I holler for something, whether they are downstairs OR upstairs they can't say they don't hear me. I will have to admit the family was pretty decent to me while I was on the couch for my 36 hour stay cation. I didn't leave the house once, didn't comb my hair or brush my teeth. When I got hungry they brought me a snack, when I got thirsty they brought me some juice or tea (of course I am sure they rolled their eyes and stuck their tongue out in my general direction) but they know when I crash like I did...I NEED IT!
I continued my zombie state until seven o'clock when Massey had the nerve to say she was hungry.
I rolled my eyes when she wasn't looking and dragged myself to the kitchen and made gravy from the roast in the oven , cooked some rice and field peas and even cooked some carrots. It was the longest thirty minutes of my life. When the dishes were done I was exhausted and crept back up to the living room and "Resumed the position."
This morning I woke to Tim once again taking Massey to school and think I may have heard the word "Bum" tossed around but figured they must have been talking about one of the dogs and rolled over and went back to sleep. Tim got home from taking Massey to school and I remembered it was his day off..."BINGO!"
I hollered upstairs and asked (kinda) nicely for a cup of coffee ... heard him let out a big sigh but ten minutes later he brought me a steaming cup full of sugar and loaded with cream (love me some kiddie coffee.)
He hadn't been upstairs five minutes when I hollered up again "Dang it's cold down here can you bring me a comforter?" He looked like he wanted to smother my face with it as he walked down the stairs but at the last second draped it quite nicely across me and I settled back in for a nice morning nap.
Zach wanted to borrow my car so I bargained that he could as long as he picked Massey up from school at 3:30. He had already cooked me a cinnamon raisin English muffin (although he DID just bring it to me in his hand, no plate no napkin... at least he he toasted it.)
I heard murmuring upstairs and Zach left saying "Dad will pick Massey up."
Okay, so I still had Tim there.
About 2 o'clock I bellowed up the stairs from my position on the couch that some heated up left overs would be really nice. I knew I was pushing it but I only had three hours left in my staycation, I had to work at 5:30.
Ole Timmy boy came through for me like a champ. Of course by this time every one was ready for me to go back to work, but when I finally crash...I crash, HARD.
He went and picked Massey up and I rolled back over to keep myself from developing bed sores. I didn't crawl off the couch until after 4:30 when Massey screamed from downstairs it was time for me to get up. I rolled over once again and woke back up when Tim hollered from upstairs that it was 4:40. I hollered back upstairs that if he ironed my work shirt for me I could sleep five more minutes.
So I abused my family for 36 hours...they have abused me for 23 years.
I didn't want to get up but when I stood and felt woozy from being vertical I knew I had rested enough. I only had to limp through a night shift but had a double shift Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Sometimes I just need to check out of life for a day (or 36 hours) and can come back strong(er.)
My family depends on me...I have created a "Momster."
At least when I finally tucker out they all realize that they can either pamper me for a few hours or be left to do it all for themselves ALL the time.
It was a great staycation. I can tell you about every update on the Penn State debacle (which BTW chaps my already bed sore a**) and catch you up on General Hospital , my previously recorded episodes of Parenthood and tell you the weather outlook for the next week "Verbatim."
Now I am back! I feel rested I feel renewed and ready to go.
A big shout out to my FAM for loving ME when I needed some loving!
Til next time a rested and LOVED COTTON
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
I found this old ID card of Zach's in a junk drawer last week and still laugh every time I see it. Number one if the look on his face isn't pitiful enough just look at his hair.
This was the year Zach began to rage against the "machine" and entered his Anarchy phase that he is currently still in at the age of nineteen. He wouldn't cut his hair (like THAT made any kind of statement) but realized at a young age how pathetic society was becoming (making ME realize what a smart kid he really was.)
I love the way he filled out the back of the card. Under distinguishing features he wrote "Ugly, thin, fast." That's my boy! A 90 lb runt with "Dirdy" blond hair that can out run anybody.
I saw a picture the other day that reminded me of Zach. Someone had spray painted on the side of a building "Spread Anarchy." Someone else had come back and crossed it out and spray painted "Don't tell me what to do!"
I've got my hands full with this man/boy but if he ever realizes his full potential "Look out world!" He will make Bill Gates look like Urkel.
Now on to the time change...I HATE IT. I have an internal alarm clock and now wake up every morning a hour early. I NEED that extra hour sleep but haven't had it yet.
The only time I liked it was when all the kids were too young to tell time. Five thirty would hit and the sun would go down. I would tell them all "Go put on your PJ's and Momma will read you ONE more story before you go to bed." Come six o'clock and I had the rest of the night to myself!
When Tim and I first got married and were pretty poor (the first time around) we would wait til we had a few extra bucks and buy the kid's a toy they wanted and a cake from Wal Mart and announce to them in an excited voice "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!" It worked for several years til they started school and learned how to tell time and read a calendar (Darn those teachers!)
It's always been like that in my house...CRAZY but full of love.
Even my Anarchist still calls me Mommy when he is sick or wants something from "This" machine. When I call home from work on the restaurant's phone he will answer our house phone "Thank you for calling Mama Lucia's... how can I help you?" The first time he did it I thought I inadvertently called the office from the hostess stand and someone from the restaurant had answered.
He's a trip... he's WAY too much like me and it is a constant battle of wits, sarcasm and mental arm wrestling. I wouldn't have it any other way (well maybe I would but it ain't gonna happen so I just love him like he is.)
I got my $7.99 coupon in the mail from Great Clips today and went and got "re- butched" between my shifts. When I went back to work the Latino cook said "Hola nino." He asked me where I got my hair cut and I told him a military base.
I like my hair short, it takes all the gray out takes ten seconds to style and six weeks to need another cut. "True THAT!"
I shouldn't even count the number of days in row that I work but I do. My last day off was Oct. 29 but I have tomorrow off and I am elated. All my checks have cleared and I am the proud owner of $5.99 in my checking account. Went by and threw forty bucks at Verizon when I got off tonight and in celebration wrote a check at Kroger (God bless their three day processing time) for some groceries.
Tim didn't get his promotion but we are making strides, don't have to worry about renting out our house and it gets just a bit easier every week.
A "Bit" is all I need to keep "My" machine going.
Til next time...COTTON
Sunday, November 6, 2011
I found a quilted "Thing-a-ma-bob" that you can put in a high chair or shopping cart to keep your baby all nice and comfy and put a buffer between them and all the germs of the world. I flew home to wrap the present and found we were out of tape so I settled on a gift bag we had that said "Happy Birthday" and decided I would just hide my present when I got to the shower. I did just that , because every present was wrapped or packaged perfectly and looked like a picture out of a baby catalog.
I sat with some old friends at the shower and remarked that I had run out of time and hit a new low buying a shower present at the grocery store. I told them what it was and one of the women at our table (who I DIDN'T know) remarked how handy they were! My friend next to me said "When my kids were little I just stuck them in a shopping cart and they gnawed on the handle while I shopped." That started the old "Clean pacifier" discussion...you know, when you have your first baby and they drop their pacifier you run to the kitchen and boil a pot of water. When the next one comes along you run it under hot water after it gets dropped. When the third baby arrives and drops it you stick it in your own mouth (taking the germ hit FOR them and plug it right back into baby number three's mouth.)
You know how my kids have survived? I started building up their immune system from the get go. In the event of a nuclear apocalypse the only thing left roaming the earth will be cockroaches and my kids!
My sister went to Miami to visit a good friend of hers when her boys were young and on an outing in the Everglades they came across an alligator sitting on the bank. My sister's friend (who never had kids of his own thankfully) said "Get over there and I'll take a picture of you boys ." Then he said to move closer and my sister said she thought that was close enough. He prodded them to move closer while my sister started to sweat. After the THIRD "Move closer" the picture was taken and the Game Warden rambled over and remarked "People forget these are wild animals." My sister says she still has bad dreams about that photo shoot.
Young parents come into the restaurant with their kids and it takes literally five minutes for them to settle the kid in their comfy quilted "thing-a-ma-bob" and plaster down a plastic mat for the kid onto the table for a sterile eating surface. Then they all get out the hand sanitizer and pass it around. I feel like I should be wearing a Haz-Mat suit just to take their order.
Protect a kid too much and you shield them from the real world. My view is expose them to the real world and teach them to make good choices!
I can remember being a cautious mom and that is a good thing. Overdoing it just blinds your kids to reality and makes it harder when you aren't there to boil their pacifier.
Live and learn!
Til next time...COTTON with three kids that have the immunity of a cockroach!