Monday, January 31, 2011

Zach's Conference...And a Nice Surprise

When you are Zach's mom...a teacher conference is a scary thing. He's not a bad kid, he just can't see the common denominator..."Him".

"My mom rides my butt, my sister is a brat, my dad is too strict with me, my teachers all hate me, school is pointless and so is this conference". It seems everyone in his life has problems except him.

I was much the same as a teen and the greater problem is that Zach and I are tremendously alike, which parlays into endless battles of the tongue, wit and mind. I'll concede that he is much more intelligent than I am, but for the life of me I can't get him to use it to his advantage.

I have faith in the fact that if you raise your children right from an early age; even as they falter and try to buck the system throughout their teens...they will one day come back to the values you instilled in them beginning in Pre-K and continued teaching, until they stopped listening in middle school.

Zach isn't that little boy anymore that was always happy and made me laugh so often. He is a young man now struggling to find the way.

I planted the map in him years ago, it is up to him to remember the way. I have full confidence in him...just hope I live to reap what I have so diligently sewn!

Zach's teacher told me over the phone last week that he had written a speech about a "Greener Newnan". She said he did it not because he wanted to but because it was a required assignment. His was one of three chosen to be read but Zach declined (no duh.) I asked her if she could give me a copy and she did today.

Zach would cringe if he knew I had it much less used it in my blog...but I was so struck by how on point and intelligent the paper was that I decided to brag on my boy and print it here. This may give you a glimpse of the brilliant mind that refuses to perform tricks on demand.

"Greener Greater Newnan"

By Zach Cotton

"At first I wasn't sure how to start this speech- a simple hello, a how ya doin, or wasup- but I think it should really start with a question. What do you do to really help out the environment?

It's a simple question and for some people a simple answer. Maybe you drive a hybrid or recycle, you use solar energy or bio diesel, but for some people the answer is the complete opposite.

I drive a Hummer, I litter and I don't recycle. I hope that these people realize what they're doing may not seem like consequence for your actions, and if that's what you believe let me be the first to tell you you're severely wrong.

It's like Newton's law...for every action no matter how minuscule it may seem there is an opposite and equal reaction.

For instance did you know that as much as 10 percent of the 260 millions tons of plastic produced annually ends up in the oceans? (

Don't believe me me it's okay. I know it's a staggering number and very hard to grasp but to give you an idea of how bad it's gotten let me tell you this fact. There is a trash ball two times the size of Texas floating somewhere between California and Hawaii at this very moment growing can look this up it's a true thing.

Now I know you're hearing this and some of you might be very angry wondering who it is responsible for this heinous crime against nature but the truth is you need look no further than at your own very self. I know you are thinking, but how ME? I have never even been close to California. I never threw trash in the ocean, but in fact most of the trash is household items that have washed down rivers or streams killing animals all along the way until it finally drifts into the ocean and begins its path of destruction and death as it floats across the ocean propelled by currents, winds and tide.

That's not the worst of it though, because over time the plastic breaks down and blends into the water making the water toxic which in turn affects fish and all sorts of sea life and anything that feeds on those including humans. That's right, so think about that next time you sit down to a fish dinner.

Here is the part where people want to start playing the blame game. There are lots of reasons why this is happening and certainly there are some more responsible than others and they should be punished accordingly and hopefully will some day.

Instead of of trying to blame one another for the problem let's simply work together on the solution, certainly with so many problems we can come together for some sort of solution or at least try to make a bad situation a little LESS bad.

For instance a big part of the problem is that third world and developing nations have no means to dispose of of all the trash they are producing and when you are producing a nation's worth of trash and have no means to dispose of it, it's almost certain to create a disaster.

Think of the United States with so many ways to dispose of our garbage. With things like landfills and recycling plants we still have and cause pollution problems. Certainly we are not putting forth a good message for industrializing underdeveloped nations.

All of this may seem like too much for one person to handle and I would never try to put all this on one person's shoulders. I just simply wanted to explain how bad things have gotten and put forth the point that if things don't change soon we are on a course for disaster and make no mistake we are close to the point of no return, where things may change and not for the better.

We still have a chance.

Now I am not expecting any of you to do anything major and I'm not asking for it...I simply want people to try to be a little more green, whether it's recycling or driving a hybrid or inventing new technology that can help clean up this crisis and stop us from destroying our planet and causing permanent changes that affect not only your children but your children's children.

Let's start preserving this beautiful place for future generations so that the children of the future can have not only a greener greater Newnan, but a greener greater Earth."

That's my boy...he made me proud today when I read this eloquent and well written (for him) speech.

He'll never be that little boy again who dressed in a ballerina costume and curtsied for my camera...but at least I still have the picture.

He is almost grown up and finding his footing on the slippery stones of young adulthood .

This speech his teacher gave me renewed my faith in him and gave me the will to keep on pushing him no matter how much he resents it.

I have told all three of my kids at one time or another..."The older you get, the smarter I will seem."

Till next time...COTTON

Sunday, January 30, 2011

It's a Winter Guard "Wonderland"

Yesterday was Massey's first competition of the 2011 season. It took tons of favors, switching shifts and having to work double shifts the next four days but I got the night off.

Of course it was 50 miles away and I drove up myself. I googled directions and wrote them down (printer out of black ink). The directions said it would take one hour and 17 minutes. They performed at 6:42 so I left a little before 5:oo.

I never got on an interstate, the directions took me through county roads and dumped me at my destination without ever having to battle highway traffic.

I did GREAT until the last 8 miles. It said to take Macland Rd. for 8.4 miles and the turn off for the school would be on the right. I turned onto Macland and started the last 8.4 miles. About one mile in I noticed that I was now on Lost Mountain Rd. I didn't like the "Lost" part and turned around. I went back to the intersection and turned back onto another road "New Macland" and went 8.4 miles to discover I wasn't on "Lost Mountain Road" but I was "Lost".

Still had thirty minutes to get there and tried it again. The next road curved and turned and led me back to my starting point on Macland.

I asked every person who pulled up to me at a red light if they knew where Harrison high school was? The first van next to me was filled with amigos and I think they thought I wanted to join their merry band.

Next was a woman that looked at me like I was going to jump out of my car and knife her to response from her.

The third woman at least headed me in the right direction.

I passed the same intersection for a third time, with fifteen minutes to go when I pulled into a high school that seemed to be having some sort of event. There was a cop in a golf cart and that was just what I wanted to see.

I asked him for directions and he told me "Go 8 miles down Lost Mountain Road and hang a right".

I jumped back in my car...ten minutes before the guard was to go on.

I made it to the school with four minutes to spare. The place was packed and I immediately worried about finding a close parking space. I turned down the first isle knowing it was a lost cause. I got to the end and had to do a three point turn to turn around. As I put my car in appeared out of nowhere, a space labeled RESERVED. I said to myself..."You're dadgum right, it's reserved for ME".

I flat out ran to the the school...paid for my ticket and didn't even have time to put my wrist band on that shows I paid...I just waved it at the door as I screeched around the corner to the gym.

They shut the doors between performances and you can't get in until the current show is over.

I was wheezing and more out of breath than I was on my honeymoon night when I told the woman guarding the door that I was there to see East Coweta. She looked down at her program and said "They are almost through with their show".

My heart dropped, my wheezing increased and I was already thinking how I could say to Massey "You were GREAT" !! and make it sound sincere, with my fingers crossed behind my back?

I asked the woman to let me peak through the door window to at least catch a glimpse of their show.

I didn't recognize one girl or see any of the props that went with the show.

I finally saw Massey's guard waiting in the wings to go one next... "Thank You Sweet Jesus, I made it".

Thirty seconds later they were announcing that next up was East Coweta.

I give new meaning to the saying "By the skin of my teeth".

I flew into the gym and bounded up to the top of the gym to film their premier performance.

As Massey came out to set up her flags I whistled loud and screamed out "GO MASSEY" so she would know I had made it.

I felt like I had run a marathon. Thirty seconds later they started their show. My hands were shaking, I was out of breath and felt like I was gasping for the next one but "I made it".

It's something about loving your kid. It's something about God letting you make the important deadlines.

I made it! I had two minutes to spare when I bought my ticket.

They were awesome and the envy of every other group. They got penalized for taking too long to set up. Without the penalty they would have taken second place. They got fifth...not too shabby and let the rest of the guard world know what kind of a fabulous show they have.

I have been sucked into this world, the "Guard" world.

It's not a thing that I dread, it's a thing that I am proud my daughter is a part of.

I am old (compared to them) but their dedication and commitment keeps me going.

We are SO close here at the house. We are SO close to being back to normal...if you can ever call a COTTON normal.

I am so glad that Massey has chosen to part of this great group. I have included a video of the crowd of guard's sitting in the stands...waiting on the final scores.

It's a different world, the guard world. It is a world that I feel honored to be a part of.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Driving Through Bugtussell With Hoke...

I did another catering job for the restaurant on Thursday morning. I worked Wednesday night...two days into battling a horrible cold and waiting (once again) too late to start taking meds for it.

I finally dug out the old prescription decongestant I got from the "Doc in the Box" when I was sick a while back but was feeling worn down and worn out when I left work Wednesday night. I didn't get off til after 11PM and had to be up at 4AM to go to the catering job in a neighboring county.

Tim is having car issues so I am letting him use my car. I called my ole buddy "Hoke" (see previous post) and asked if he would pick me up and let me ride with him to the catering job.

We had to be there by 6AM which meant we had to leave Newnan shortly after 5.

After less than 4 hours of sleep I dragged myself out to meet Hoke in the driveway to make the trek. At least his passenger side window was fixed, which meant #1 I didn't have to freeze to death and #2 I got to ride shot gun. (see previous post)

We headed out in darkness and as we approached the last town in Coweta County before crossing county lines...we entered what I like to call "Bugtussell". (You know I am a Beverly Hillbillies fan)

If this gives you anything to measure by, the trailer park is named "Camp Dang".

Hoke wanted a cup of coffee and as we slowed to pull int the gas station I noticed a Christmas Tree decoration fully lit on one of the telephone poles. You know how cities have decorations hanging from utility poles that they light up at night from Thanksgiving til New Years?

I remarked to Hoke that they must have forgotten to take that one down.

We went in and bought coffee and I remarked to the young girl behind the counter that she should call someone on the city council and tell them they still had a Christmas decoration up and lit.

She said "Du Whut?"

Hoke started laughing so I just said never mind and we got back in the car and traveled on in the darkness.

We pulled back onto the county highway and noticed we had only spotted the first. From the gas station on, every other utility pole had a Christmas decoration hanging from it glowing with wasted electricity. A snow flake, then a holly branch, next were bells and then a brightly lit Santa followed by reindeer and on and on and on. There were at least fifteen Christmas decorations glowing in the early morning darkness.

Okay, a week after New Year's I can see. But over a month AFTER Christmas?

Next we drove by a power plant with huge smoke stacks billowing out huge plumes of exhaust high into the atmosphere. I remarked it looked like Three Mile Island...I'm not sure what was coming out of the stacks but can pretty much guarantee it "Ain't good".

The above picture resembles most of the houses we passed. I am sure there are many nicer houses off the beaten path, but we were ON the beaten path and the path looked pretty darn beaten.

We reached our destination at 6AM. We were serving breakfast for 75 at 6:45 and lunch at 1:00.

We got busy setting up the buffet and getting all the chafing dishes ready for the food to arrive from the restaurant. When you have a buffet you use cans of you use when camping. I hate the smell but they serve their purpose.

It was 6:35 when the first people arrived. It was a learning seminar for a huge company and I guess these guys were either brown nosers or simply starving.

The Chef from work had just pulled into the loading dock outside with all the food ready to go.

I don't know if any of you have every smelled Sterno, but it is a pretty strong smell. It's liquid fuel in a can the size of Fancy Feast so it must be some powerful crap.

I already had the coffee brewed and the juices out and as I poured a cup of coffee for the first goof ball he remarked "Smells Good!"

I looked at Hoke and said "He's gonna be easy to please".

Breakfast went off smoothly and when they went into the auditorium for their seminar we broke every thing down and moved to the company's main office to set up for the lunch buffet.

Breakfast was pretty stinking good (no pun intended) omelets with ham, cheese, mushroom and peppers. Grits with cheese. Bagels with cream cheese, sausage patties, yogurt, fresh cut fruit, and oatmeal with brown sugar and cinnamon. We had orange juice, apple and cranberry juice and gallons of coffee.

Breakfast was served at a Cultural Arts Center on a local college campus but we had to load everything up and move it to the company headquarters to serve lunch.

Once again it was another delicious meal.

Sliced pork tenderloin with an amazing pineapple/cilantro salsa, Chicken Marsala, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans, salad, garlic bread and cannoli, brownies and peach cobbler for dessert.

We have a woman who sells all of our catering jobs. She sells the jobs, the restaurant makes the fabulous food and us servers dole it out. A pretty good combination of effort, salesmanship and service.

When the big wigs all get their fill , there is generally food left over and us servers get to eat and the woman who sells the job lets the underlings from the office pool come eat as well once the seminar has started back up.

Hoke, one of the chefs and I were sitting in the kitchen eating when the call was sent out that the secretaries could come fix a plate.

One woman stepped in the kitchen and picked up the phone and dialed an extension. In a hushed tone she said "They're done". She punched another extension and said "Come on". She went out to fix her plate and came back into the kitchen, plate in hand and dialed yet another extension. "Come now".

We were cracking up!

Hoke looked at me and said "The eagle has landed...the pearl is in the river..."

In less than two minutes ...the buffet was surrounded by underlings. It was like pigeons in the parking lot at the Varsity in Atlanta....except it was great food they were pecking at.

The big wigs ate first...but everybody got to enjoy.

I got home in time to pick Massey up from school, a little late but at least I got there.

I went home and fell into a coma on the couch. Woke up to take her to Guard practice and fell back into my coma. Zach picked her up at 9:30 and I slept for 15 hours.

I feel better... not well but on the road to recovery. Worked another double today and barely made it. I have Saturday off to go to Massey's first competition of the Winter Guard season.

Brought home enough food from catering to not have to cook til at least Monday.

Can't wait to blog about her first competition and of course I will have a video.

Headed to bed...just wanted to share with y'all first!

Til next time...COTTON

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Slap in the Face From the Seventies Sure Stings

Jeez, we sure could have used that fancy dancy robot from Lost in Space today at work. I walked into work this morning and in the back were copies of the menu prices taped to the wall. There were stacks of order pads in triplicate beside a calculator, a list of tax for food a list of tax for alcohol and a stapler were where we usually keep the tea pitchers . Seems our beverage area had turned into computation central.

I didn't take ANY of this as a good sign.

It seems the computers had all crashed late Saturday night after I left and all day Sunday they had hand written checks, walked them back to the cooks and manually added them up, figuring out food sales tax in addition to alcohol tax and presented the guest with a "Waffle House" style check (showing all their math).

Sounds like a fun day...glad I took Sunday off.

When I came in this morning they were still waiting on the IT from our computer server to show up. He didn't get there until after 2:00. I guess he used to work for a cable company.

When you rely on computers...especially a restaurant touch screen monitor, there is virtually no need to think. If you punch in the order correctly and hit all the right special instruction keys...the computer does it all for you and magically makes it appear in front of the chef's on the line in the kitchen. There is even a key where when you get really busy and have to ring in several tables at once you can send them individually on a timed send delay so that your salads for each table are spaced apart and if it is an order that is prepared quickly it buys you however many minutes you want for it to appear in the kitchen. I call Timed Send the "Lifesaver Button".

Unfortunately none of it was working today and of course we got busy right off the bat.

We had to write in every side dish where normally the computer would do that. We had to make one ticket to go to the salad window another to go to the appetizer or dessert window. If you had a pizza you had to write yet another ticket for the pizza cook.

After that you had to figure up all their separate checks, add tax for food 7% and add tax for alcohol 10%. You had to know how much each beverage, soda, tea or alcohol was and add it to the bill.

I am so used to zooming through the computer, know exactly what keys are where and can split checks for a party of ten in under one minute.

Not today my friends.

My first table was an older couple. They are both WAY on up in their eighties but are regulars and I have waited on them before. She asked me if the Salmon was fresh and I assured her it was. Our Salmon comes in several times a week and is never frozen and hand cut by the owner.

Jessica Tandy ordered the Salmon and her husband, Hugh Cronin ordered the Chicken Marsala. I had to hand write what type of pasta he wanted, what she wanted with her Salmon, what type salads and dressings they wanted and walk it all back to three different cook stations...something the computer would have done for me in three seconds.

By then I had three other tables and had to repeat the process again and again and again. We open at 11 and I was worn out by the time my first order came out of the kitchen.

I took "Driving Miss Daisy" her Salmon and she stopped me on my way back through the dining room.

"This tastes Fishy".

I wanted to say "No duh, Me's FISH".

But I always follow a steadfast rule ... if you live to be in your late eighties you can do or say whatever you want or feel.

I took her "Fish" away and brought her a menu and she decided on a bowl of Cream of Tomato/Basil soup.

I took her plate in the kitchen and since they were both impeccably dressed and looked quite clean, I tasted her Salmon. I set it to the side and munched on it as I carried on writing orders on my big thick triplicate order pad.

Barbara, the owner was at the front door seating people when I went up and asked her to take the Salmon off the check for table 200.

She looked at me as if I were even crazier than I already am.

She calmly said "Kelly, the computers aren't even working, how to you want me to take it off their check"?

Dang! She got me.

You know me... I held out my big order pad and asked her if she minded scratching out the Salmon I had written on their check with her pen?

At least she laughed, because there wasn't much else to laugh at during lunch.

Once the computer geek finally showed up, we had to go back in and ring up all our orders on each individual table and send every one of them to the kitchen with instructions NOT to make them.

I felt as old as Jessica Tandy by the time I got off my lunch shift.

My kerchief goes off to all the Waffle House waitresses that hand write and manually add up every ticket. Not only do they greet you with a warm "Morn in' Hun" but can call out your order, bring it to you and give you a total without ever touching a computer screen.

Our society has gotten so lazy.

I don't even know my kid's or husband's cell phone numbers because they are programed into my own cell .

I never get up to change the channel on the TV...I'd rather spend ten minutes looking for the lost remote.

I don't have to run downstairs to the kitchen to answer the phone (like I did as a kid) because there is a phone in every room.

Got a question you can't answer? Google it.

Want to tell the kid's dinner is ready? Text them...even if they are just upstairs in their rooms.

Need to call someone...just go to contacts in your cell and click on their name.

My family isn't quite savvy enough to be considered members of the Star ship Enterprise but we are definitely "Lost in Space".

Til next time....Computerized COTTON

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Word From The Wise

I went to the high school today to help with the big consignment sale before work.

They had plenty of help so I helped in the most critical way...I went shopping.

I got Zach three pair of jeans, two pair of shorts and a sweater. I got some Levi's for myself and spent less than I do when I pick up dinner at a drive thru. It's like I went clothes shopping on the "Dollar Menu".

I went into work at 4 and by 5 I was totally lost. I shared a 15 top with another girl and had six other tables. The owner's wife came up and told me to pick up another table in the bar area and I felt like I was in a pin ball machine.

My new co-worker "Weeds" even said "I think we'll call you Weeds Senior".

It was the busiest two hours of my life.

The manager who was expediting food coming out of the kitchen remarked "When is the last time you helped run some food to a table"?

I felt like saying "Last night "... but stopped what I was doing and pitched in to help.

It didn't stop until almost 9:00 and by then I was so exhausted, mentally and physically that I began to wonder why I have this crazy job?

Zach brought me to work so they could have my car to pick Massey up from practice at nine and come back to pick me up when I got off (hubby still having car issues).

I didn't get off til almost 11:00 and when Zach came to pick me up he came in the front door of the restaurant.

Everyone at work knows Massey. She babysits for a couple of the girls and has hung out with me on some day shifts.

Zach is my loner.

He has worked there twice but in the kitchen so only the kitchen peeps know him.

The bartender told him we were closed, and he said he was waiting for his mom.

There were a couple of regulars at the bar and one or two tables left in the store.

One of the regulars at the bar was "Mr. P". He comes in on a regular basis. He is an older gent, and I use that word because he is a gentleman in every sense .

He wears a suit and tie all the time. If not a suit and tie...he is dressed to the nines. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York.

At Christmas we had a giving tree in the lobby from the Salvation Army. Some little girl wanted a bike and Mr. P wheeled in a brand new girls bike complete with tassells coming out of the handle bars, a basket on front and even a helmet . He said growing up he never had a bike and wanted this little girl to have one. BAM! She did.

I gripe about Zach to my sister and to you (he never reads my blog) but have never mentioned Zach to Mr. P.

Massey has sat next to him several times and eaten, with him always offering to buy her meal. I don't think I have ever mentioned my two boys to him.(my bad)

Tonight when Zach came to pick me up, Mr. P said "Is this one of yours"?

I introduced Zach to Mr. P and told him he was my middle child.

The first sentence out of Mr. P's mouth was "Are you doing good in school ? better be because chasing the skirts takes a lot of money and with a good education you can make a lot of ladies happy".

Zach shot me a look like "Thanks a lot" and I quickly told Zach I had never even mentioned having other kids besides Massey to Mr. P.

You brag about the good one's and help out the struggling one's is my motto.

I had to go to the back to check out in the office and when I came back Mr. P was still lecturing Zach on what it takes to make something of your life.

God bless Mr. P.

After we left, Zach said "He was a pretty cool old man."

Obstinate teens can buck and rebuff every single thing a parent says and tries to do.

Let a wise man...a "Dapper Gent" give them a dressing down on their first meeting and it is incredible what they take away from it.

I may have to see if Mr. P wants a room mate.

Made a ton of money...had someone connect with my teen that has disconnected from me for no apparent reason and once again realized the effects of Karma.

Keep giving...and it will be given back.

Keep the faith and faith will be restored to you.

Love and you will be loved.

It's simple...It's so simple that it amazes me.

The Bible sums up life in one sentence...

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

Is that really THAT hard to understand?

Somebody tell God we are sick of Winter in Georgia...He has some skinny Christians freezing down here!

Til next time...pumping up @ 100 pounds strong....COTTON

Friday, January 21, 2011

Don't Turn The Wipers On!!

Sometimes you are the windshield...sometimes you are the bug on the windshield.

Guess my maiden name came in handy tonight...because I was DEFINITELY the bug on the windshield.

I worked this morning and it was slow as Aunt Jemimah's syrup. I didn't get off til almost four and had to be back by 5:30. I left and had to take Massey a sandwich at the high school where she was helping out with Guard stuff. She told me she was in the old gym. I went to the old gym and they told me she was in the band room. I drove to the band room and they told me she had just left to go to the old gym.

It was already getting OLD to me but I got back in my car and drove back around the school, which is the size of a small college campus. I found her there, smiling and happy to see her sandwich. It didn't occur to her I had wasted fifteen minutes just trying to find her...but as usual she was all smiles and I quickly forgot what a pain in the boo-tay she can be.

I went home with 30 minutes to spare. Swept the kitchen floor (never, NEVER own 3 dogs in Winter) loaded the dishwasher that is too complicated of a contraption for anyone to understand but a Mom. Made Zach a sandwich, just because I had Made Massey one and now he was home too.

Tim was having car issues (let's just pile it on) so I had Zach drive me back to work so Tim could drive my car to work at 10:00.

All the while I was counting on that $150.00 I make every Friday night.


It started out with a bang but died early and I was cut after a frantic two hours.

I made good tips ..just not enough of them. When you are a server for a living, your shift is your pay check.

Not ten minutes after I got cut we got another pop. I had already thrown in the towel and was just helping others when the new girl at work passed me with a look in her eyes like she had Charles Manson chasing her.

She had picked up two of my tables that had been seated since I had been cut, in addition to her own set of tables.

She is cute and young (they are ALL young compared to me). I could tell from her frantic face she needed help.

I ran some food to her table and they remarked "Gee, that was fast... we haven't even had our salads yet".

They were very nice, a young couple...and I told them I would get them some bread and their salads.

This server was so overwhelmed. I know she was because even at the age of fifty I have BEEN there. In restaurant speak we call it "In the weeds". It means you are so busy that you can't seem to find your way out of the weeds. You lose sense of time and direction. It is a horrible feeling but one that EVERY server has experienced.

I helped her out a little and after ten minutes of being in the 'Server time warp' she regained her composure.

She just started a few weeks ago.

One of the first days she was there someone mentioned my blogging to her and talked about the blog where I gave everyone nicknames or characters. She asked me what HER nickname was and I told her I would have to think about it.

After all settled down and I helped everyone else make money...I went up to her and said "Well you made it. You finally earned your nickname".

She was still a little shell shocked from being thrown into the line of fire (the ONLY way to learn).

I said "We'll call you 'Weeds'."

I think it will stick.

When she went back to the young couple who I had helped her out with, they mentioned they had both been servers in college and knew she was in the weeds.

Can I call it or WHAT? It's a gift...Tim calls it my PHD in BS.

Had to bum a ride home from another server since Tim had my car.

Walked in the house tonight, already dejected about being the bug on the windshield and went into the bathroom off the kitchen to discover I was also Josephine the Plumber.

How hard is it to push a suction cup on a stick up and down a few times in rapid motion to make a problem disappear?

My kids prefer to close the toilet it's some kind of magic trick. They'll come back when they HAVE to use the restroom wearing a cape and waving a wand.

They'll tap on the lid three times with their wand and "WA LA"... "Mom came home".

If my life wasn't so funny, it would be sad.

So I didn't make much money tonight. It was more than I left the house with.

I gave a new server a new nick name...and trust me it'll stick whether she like it or not!

Yesterday Tim and I bit the bullet and decided to write a new chapter in our lives. We are beginning with Chapter 17.

I hate it but I also feel a tremendous sense of relief.

Our mortgage company has taken us on a year long trip of "What If" too many times.

Now we will keep our home, with our stopped up toilet and our muddy kitchen floor because of the pups. I can once again answer the phone hanging on the kitchen wall and know that in a few short years all will be said, done and paid for.

Yes I am fifty...but as I sat in the attorney's office yesterday looking at my husband who is two years younger than me and now completely gray I know we made the right decision.

I don't even look in the mirror anymore. I know I am skinny, but that doesn't mean I look good.

I think I will start writing my life story now me it has been amazing, devastating, rewarding and eye opening.

I think I will call it "Chapter 18".

Til next...after I wake up and work the consignment sale at the high school til 3 and go into work again at make up for last night....

It could be worse...but it's gonna be better.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Kids Will Be Kids...Even When They are 24

No one under the age of fifty will recognize this picture.

When I was a kid, Art Linkletter had a show called "Kid's Say the Darndest Things".

This was back when reality TV was Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, Candid Camera and Art Linkletter... unless you considered Let's Go to the Races as reality TV.

I know I just confused anyone under the age of fifty and made everyone above the age of fifty chuckle.

I have been working like a steam engine... eleven shifts last week and eight this week (because I screwed up on when Massey's competition was) so I will be picking up another double Sunday and bumping back up to ten!

It's wonderful to have a job where I can work as much as I need and bring a paycheck home after every shift.

Tonight after it slowed down we were all standing around talking when I mentioned my MLK blog to the owner and remarked "What were white people THINKING in the 50's and 60's?" Not to mention that we loaded them all up on a boat and chained them together and brought them here to be treated like animals, and sometimes the animals got better treatment!

He whole heartedly agreed. I asked if he thought ANY of those people that fought SO hard AGAINST equality for everyone were embarassed today by their actions then?

We agreed that some are and sadly, some are not.

I mentioned that when Zach was in fifth grade... still sweet and "Un"Anti Everything, he was a big advocate of equal rights. He used to get really upset about bigotry and bias and was ALL over the self serving politicians.

He wanted to change the world and for about 2 years I thought I may being raising a future presidential candidate. I almost got excited about moving into the White House and having someone else to clean up after my family of slobs.

In fifth grade the kid's write their first "Real" paper. Zach's was in February so of course being "Black History Month" he was all excited. The paper had guidelines and rules. It had to have sources and be backed up by facts you could show.

Zach came home beaming and said "I chose Martin Luther King III" to write about.

I immediately said "Why don't you write about his father?"

Zach said that every one was writing about him and he wanted to (bless his little young Liberal heart) do even MORE!

We checked out every book they had on Martin Luther King, Jr. and there was hardly ANY mention of "Marty'. At least we learned he had a nick name.

We could find no sources saying where he attended school or what he was doing in in his younger years.

I guess when you know you are in the cross hairs of society you keep your kid's life pretty private.

Zach sat down and started writing about how smart Marty was and I said "How do you KNOW that?"

I told Zach he had to back up all of his paper with facts. The smile faded after two hours of finding nothing more than Marty was MLK Jr.'s son.

He was required to report on their education and accomplishments. He was to report on when and how that person had died and back up all his facts with sources.

He spent hours on the computer and proudly gave me the report to read.

Thank the Lord he wasn't in the room because after I read the first paragraph...I immediately called my sister to read her his report.

He skated around every rule of writing the paper that he could...and did it quite well for a fifth grader.

Where he was to report about his subject's education, Zach had written "We can only assume he did well in school".

It went on and on with "Assumptions" and when it came time for him to tell when and how this person had died, he typed "He is not dead, but is happily alive".

I told my sister that his teacher probably had his paper tacked to the board in the teacher's lounge just to give all the other teachers a laugh.

My boy meant well...and that's all that mattered to me.

I kept that paper for years but went looking for it last year and couldn't find it. I guess Zach found it and decided to destroy the evidence.

My kids have given me so many laughs and wonderful things to look back on and remember. It is a good thing I write them all down.

I remember as well... Zach had a crush on a girl in third grade that wouldn't give him the time of day if he was on death row the morning of his execution.

He came home from school and said "Melissa hurt her leg, she's on crotches".

Or when he brought home his new best friend in third grade to spend the night and announced "He's spending the night. He's a severe alcoholic but brought all his own stuff with him". I asked Zach "I thought he was Diabetic?" And Zach said "Yeah, same thing."

I miss when my kids made me laugh. They still give me a chuckle every now and then so I guess that counts.

I hope every Mom writes down all the things their kids say and do. They will be priceless memories for one of the grand kid's to read back to us in the ole folks home as they shovel jello into our mouths.

KIDS..ya gotta have them. Be good to them...they are the one's that will pick out our hospice!

My kid's have given me so many smiles and laughs...far outweighing the negatives.

They tend to rebel as teens but if raised right, they will come home to the values you instill in them as children and continue to make you smile.

Til next time...COTTON

Monday, January 17, 2011

Martin Luther King, Jr. " I Have a Dream..."

Most people that know me well, know I am somewhat of a Liberal.

There are many definitions for the word and I do not fit them all.

My best choice would be "Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of others; broadminded".

I also like: "Not limited to or by traditional, orthodox or authoritarian attitudes or dogmas; free from bigotry".

I love God...but am not limited to believe that He doesn't love us because of sexual orientation or the color of our skin.

Bigotry is a HUGE sore spot with me.

How can you hate a person because they were born with a different skin color?

Life is a crap shoot.

Any ONE of us could have been born White, Black, Asian, Muslim or Latino to name a few.

We could have been born to rich parents or a single parent, grown up in the ghetto or in a gated community.

You could have been born with a disability or a mental illness. You didn't just deal with the cards you are dealt.

It's what you DO choose to do with your life that ultimately makes the difference.

It takes all kinds to make up this world...and we all need to begin to pull together instead of all pull this world apart.

I BEG you to take 5 minutes out of your day, 5 minutes out of your life... to click on this video and watch and listen to one of the most inspiring and encouraging speeches I have ever heard.

I memorized and recited part of this wonderful and eloquent speech as my final exam in English my senior year in high school.

As I recited these words out loud to a classroom of a racially diverse group...that may have been when I decided to be a Liberal.

Til next time...hoping you still love me, COTTON

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Am I Living in a Sitcom?

When I got married at the ripe (make that RIGHT) age of thirty I had grand ideas of what my life would be . I would be June Cleaver with a job. Maybe I wouldn't wear dresses all the time and maybe my house wouldn't be as spic and span but I would live the American dream...raise kid's that would be wealthy enough for me to retire early and THEM take care of ME!!

I can pretty much scratch that first dream off my list. My oldest son has decided to be a "Gradual Student" and drag his college degree out until he hits his thirties.

My middle son is a senior in high school, studying to be a homeless drifter.

My daughter is a sophomore in high school and currently majoring in "Drama"...and doing quite well!

My husband is a wonderful man that for the love of Pete, seems to love me. I can't be easy to live with... especially if you are him.

He is as laid back as I am manic. I want and need things done "NOW" and he is of the mindset "Okay, baby...I'll try and get it done".

Trying don't get it in my book.

He works long hard hours out on a loading dock in this freakish Winter weather and I'll give him that.

What he doesn't understand is the life and role of "Mom".

I am the one the school calls when our son is late to class for no apparent reason...both his legs work just fine when he is running out of the house to jump in the car with his buddies.

I am the one who runs the Funnel Cake stand at every football game going straight from work to the game.

Granted when he had a day job he helped me with the Funnel Cakes but this year I have flown solo.

He works long hours but five days a week. I work at least ten shifts a week. My shifts are short, usually four or five hours but it leaves me with one day off and squeezing in Massey's practices , grocery shopping, occasionally cooking dinner and taking care of our three pups leaves little time to spare.

I call home from work to make sure the dogs have fresh water, and the kids assure me they do. I get home and they are drinking water that is nothing but slobber from their jowls with a couple of snails that have managed to climb in. "H2O with escargot".

I am reaping what I have sewn.

I am a "Doer" and after all these years they have let me be JUST THAT.

I came home from work tonight after working another double shift... have another double tomorrow and another one Tuesday.

When I left this morning I told Zach to drag the Christmas tree that Massey had undecorated two days ago back to the woods .

I came home tonight to find it outside the back door. Granted my two males dogs found it a nice convenient place to hike their legs...that wasn't where I had told him to take it.

So being the "Doer" I am I dragged the tree out to the fire pit to just burn. It was dark and I stepped in a hole that for some unknown reason Zach had dug right by the fire pit. My right foot sank into a hole filled with icy water and I said a few bad words.

At least the tree was out of the we'll give him a "C" . Didn't follow my instructions but at least heard the part "Get the tree out of the house...TODAY".

I thought I would be June Cleaver but have ended up being "Roseanne".

At least Tim rubs my aching feet when he comes home from work and I am waking up to go to work.

He doesn't want to, and my Boxer/Boyfriend Ham gets really jealous but it tends to be the thing that saves me from snapping. That and rubbing my shoulders...It's hell being fifty!

Came home from my double and they had cooked and left the kitchen a mess.

Guess what?

I piled it all in one sink and refused to load it in the dishwasher. If they don't mind a sink full of dishes why should I?

At least I know they ate.

The stove top was covered with grease so I wrote "Please clean me" with a wooden spoon handle and went to blog.

They all help...don't get me wrong, but THEIR idea of help is much different than MINE. If I start a task or project it isn't complete until it is totally done and I have the wonderful satisfaction of feeling the job is well done.

My family has been conditioned to know "Just give it a shot and Mom will know at least we tried".

I am a freaky sort and knowing that helps me tolerate THEM.

If I don't tolerate them...who will?

I guess that's what you get when you have three kids and three big pups...a whole Lotta work.

I wouldn't trade my life for anything, but wouldn't give up complaining and writing about them either.

I kept a written journal from the time I was nine until Massey was born. After that the days, months and years flew by so quickly that I have turned to blogging.

I still go back and read favorite posts. Sometimes I laugh and sometimes I cry.

Sometimes I sit down with all my written journals, read them and wonder where that nine year old girl went?

Tonight she dragged a Christmas tree out to the fire pit, wrote with a wooden spoon on the grease that was left on the stove top, left her shoes that had been soaked in a hole out in the yard to dry in front of the space heater in the kitchen and made herself laugh about it all.

I may not be June Cleaver and I am too skinny to be Roseanne.

What I AM a happy woman with a wonderful job, a wonderful husband and three kids ... three pups and a life that I am incredibly lucky to have.

Would you read about me if my life was dull?

Heck..I wouldn't even have a blog if life was perfect.

What makes it life is the spice!

And I am ONE HOT MAMA...

Til next time....COTTON

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Paying It Forward

I have had many knocks in my life over the past year. I have had even MORE blessings. Without God... family, friends and even strangers we wouldn't have survived. Let me share with you what it is to TRULY survive. A friend of mine that I have known as long as I can remember married another friend of mine from high school.

Lesson # 1 : Don't get married right out of high school, you are both still kids.

He went on to remarry and inherit step kids, much like myself.

I have had my step son far longer than I have any of my natural children (if you can call Zach natural in any sense of the word).

My friend's step son joined the Marines elite recon division. He was sent to Afghanistan .

When I was a kid, the Vietnam war was raging. I never knew anyone personally that lost their life. I had a POW bracelet that I wore and often wonder whatever happened to Lt. Duncan(the name on my bracelet).

Flash forward to this horrible war our brave men and women are fighting.

A family that I grew up with in East Point Christian Church lost their loved one when his Black Hawk helicopter went down. It was one of the most moving and heart wrenching services I ever attended.

Not even two years later a girl I worked with got the news that her brother had been killed in Afghanistan.

Once again the loss hit close to home. I took my younger two kids with me to watch the plane bring his body home to his loved ones. Thousands lined the streets to pay their respects to this young soldier as his procession went from the air field to the church. Another moment I will always remember.

In October my high school friend and his wife got the call every parent of an Armed Service member dreads.

Their son who was due home Christmas day had been hit by an IED. He lost both of his legs and one of his arms.

He is now in Walter Reed undergoing intense physical therapy after many surgeries, infections and phantom pains in his now lost legs.

His mother has been with him constantly. His brothers, relatives and girlfriend as well.

I follow his story through a couple of websites. Face book has a page for him and Caring Bridge has one as well.

His attitude has been absolutely astounding and totally inspiring. I know his mother must be as worn out as most of my dish rags but she is just happy to HAVE her son back.

Granted all of him didn't come back but the parts that matters did...his heart, soul and mind.

What I have been through this past year is a walk in the park with a little bird poop falling on my shoe compared to what this young man has been through.

This week his prosthetic legs came in and he stood for the first time since October. With every one watching he stood up one holding him. He got a huge round of applause from every one in the room...and it was a BIG room.

I sat at my computer in my house with a husband at at a new job, two kids upstairs in their cozy bedrooms with my three pups at my feet. As I watched his video and cried tears of joy for this brave warrior who managed to make it home to his own loved ones I decided my first payment forward should be CPL. Todd Love.

I am writing my congressman and writing to an even higher power, Stephen Colbert.

I am sending Todd's story to John Stewart, Ellen Degeneres, and even Bill O'Rielly (I'm not a fan of his but hope he will become a fan of Todd's). I am writing the White House and sending his story to as many people in as many places of power and persuasion as I can think of.

Todd is from metro Atlanta but there has yet to be ONE story of him on the news channels.

My mission is to get his story out and have it heard.

He has survived but it is going to be a long and costly road to recovery.

It may sound stupid but I thought my blog was a good place to start.

To my amazement I have had over 11,650 hits on my blog.

I will make this my launching pad and make getting Todd's story out my first big "Pay it Forward".

Help me help this young can you NOT ?
He once stood tall and proud as he stood by his parents in these pictures above.
He is still proud and has the greatest attitude I think I have ever seen. He will stand again one day. He will walk again one day.
I will help him THIS day and for many days to come.
This kid will go far. This kid gave two legs and an arm for our country. This kid needs to be recognized for the hero that he is.
To me, he is a kid (I am an old 50 year old bag of wind).
In reality he is a man among men. He is what makes our Nation strong and keeps our lives secure.
Please go to the website www.CaringBridge/toddlove/Welcome or on Facebook go to Prayers for Todd Love.
If that doesn't work you can go to my own Facebook page, Kelly Leach Cotton and pick up his link off my profile page.
I think this is a great way to start out my new year ...helping someone who has helped me without even knowing it.
We type every day on FB and skype and email and text. I blog every night and go to sleep in my own bed.
There are hundreds of thousands not only on the battlefields but in hospitals and re hab... some are homeless and many are in graves.
They are ALL on my mind, in my heart and in my thoughts.

The quote comes to mind "Brother can you spare a dime"?
I can't even spare a dime...but what I CAN do is ask every person that reads my blog or hears about my blog to help this young man.
Just go to his website and look at one of his videos and see the expression on his face.
This is one "Kick Ass" young man.
He has made me realize once again how easy I have it with my petty money problems.
My life is a breeze compared to his... yet he seems more upbeat than I have felt in over a year.
That's messed up and I have had to re check myself more than a couple of times.
So whadda say blog readers?
I say "Todd Todd Todd Todd" !!
I am excited to see what kind of response this blog gets.
I did it with Todd's Mom giving me the go ahead...I hope we don't let her (or Todd) down!

Til next time....COTTON

Sunday, January 9, 2011

BLEE ZARD in Jaw Ja !!

After days of anticipation and the shelves of the grocery store being raped of their staples it has finally begun.


It doesn't take much to make us Southerner's flat out panic.

I went to the grocery store last night after work and every carton of milk... whole, skim, 2% and even soy was gone.

There was a huge sign on each door like crime scene tape, reading "Due to the inclement weather we are out of milk. We expect another delivery this afternoon".

It should have read "Due to the fact that day after tomorrow we MAY have inclement weather people have freaked out two days in advance and have started to stockpile milk".

I thought that since everyone had plenty of time to prepare it would never happen...but it seems to have arrived.

I worked a lunch shift and went back at 5:00 to an empty restaurant. Us Suthner's scare easy. The owners of my store are from New York and were ticked that the media scared everyone into staying home before even the first flake fell.

In Georgia, you only have to MENTION the word snow and we panic. Throw SLEET into it and the roads are barren and all the bread , candles and milk are wiped off the store shelves.

I'll admit I sent Tim and Massey out this morning before I left for work to buy candles and batteries.

How many D cell batteries does it take to get a computer running when the power goes out?

How big of an antennae will I need on my roof to still get cable when the signal goes out?

How can I Facebook on my phone?

Can I blog on my phone?

I only recently learned to use "word" on my phone. I'm not sure if I am capable of using the internet option.

Thank God I have teen agers!

When I was 12 years old we had an ice storm. The power was out for almost a week and my family slept in the living room in front of our fake gas logs wishing they actually put out heat.

Having no TV wasn't that big a deal. There were only four channels. 2, 5, 11 and good ole Ted Turner's channel 17.

There were no computers...only the Atari hooked up to the black and white TV set in the den that had a set of rabbit ears on top with aluminum foil wrapped around each antennae for maximum reception (NOT).

So we couldn't watch "Let's Go to the Races" with Freddie Miller or wrastlin' on Channel big loss there.

We almost froze to death outside playing every day and almost froze to death in front of our fake logs every night.

Simpler times...I miss them.

Now I sit at a computer typing as the sleet and snow fall.

My cell phone is by my side so I can keep in touch with Zach who is God knows where with God knows who and can text Massey who is WAY upstairs on the third floor in her bedroom on her laptop and listening to her ipod.

Dang..I'm one of The Jetson's !!

I grew up as a Flintstone and didn't mind it one bit, but now that I have moved on to The Jetson reality you couldn't pay me to go back to making my car go with my feet. I don't care how good that little Woolly Mammoth Wilma used to push around the cave could suck up dog hair.

I live in the Dyson age now (not that I have a Dyson...but I COULD one day) and I have been spoiled with Internet , cable and cell phones.

Hoping that we don't have another ice storm. Snow storm I can storm, not so much.

Hunker down Suthner's...."It's HERE".

Til next time...loving the smell of a fire in the fireplace. COTTON

Friday, January 7, 2011

Here It Comes... (So they say)


Snow forcasted for Georgia.

It started out 2" quickly went to 4" and now some are saying up to a foot of snow in North Central Georgia.

If it snows a foot in Georgia call out FEMA and call it a disaster.

We are Southerner's and over three inches shuts the city down.

I can kinda understand it. We aren't engineered to survive in heavy snow. No one has snow tires or snow blowers here...we barely have snow flakes.

If it hits like some are predicting...get your candles and sleeping bags out.

I am sure the grocery stores are already crazy and I suppose I will join their frantic shopping frenzy tomorrow morning after I take Massey to her 9 to 9 practice at the school .

They will probably be out of bread and milk before I get there. We don't fool around in the South. You mention snow and we all scream to the store like there will never be another day above 12 degrees.

I inventoried my cabinets tonight. We have 2 cans of chicken noodle soup and a few cans of tomatoes. A full box of saltines and some random cans of Navy beans and Pintos.

Throw in half a pack of hot dogs and some lunch meat and we're set for the blizzard (NOT).

I really had the money I made today earmarked for bills...just wondering if I should freak out with the rest of the city and use it for some food and candles?

I guess I'll use the half hearted approach and just buy some basics.

I remember one time when I was a kid and an ice storm hit. It wasn't pretty, we lost power for three days and all slept on the living room floor in front of the gas logs (that put out NO heat).

So do I pay Verizon or stock up on grub?

I'll give it til tomorrow night to decide. I don't have a lot of food in the house, but if you can consider stewed tomatoes, cream of mushroom soup and an unopened jar of mayonnaise staples, we're set!

People in the South freak out if you even mention sleet. Mention a foot of snow and you start a run on not only the grocery store but Lowe's and Home Depot.

Hey, at least the local economy will get a boost!

It can do whatever it wants...just don't let the power go out.

I still have two teens at home and the thought of having them without hair straightener's and Facebook is just too much to fathom.

Do what you want, Mr. Winter?

Just don't make me suffer through a storm with teens with no Internet or way to straighten their hair.... That would just be cruel and unusual punishment.

We can always eat the hair gel'll kinda be like Jello and God forbid, if I have to sit by candle light and play Spades with my cheating, sand bagging 18 year old son I may go mad (madder than I already am).

I am reciting the Serenity Prayer over and over (just in case).

Update tomorrow...

They say we have another day before "The Storm of the Century" reeks havoc on my house and reminds me why I gave my husband a vasectomy for a Christmas present 15 years ago.

Til the storm hits...COTTON

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Are You Kidding Me?

So I was taking Massey to school yesterday and the Bert Show was on. It's a local radio station, Q100 that is basically for teens and mothers of teens that are restricted from changing the station while their teen is in the car.

I hated it at first, but with this being my third teen have finally just given in and often find myself listening to the Bert Show when I am alone.

They were talking about all the hoopla of Taylor Swift dating too many different men and that they were all older than her.

Number one, she is an adult now.

Number two, men don't even begin to mature until they are in their thirties so now we know she is an adult AND smart.

Massey made the comment that if they wanted to talk about something REALLY ridiculous it should be the fact that Hugh Hefner is marrying a girl 60 years younger than him.

Can you imagine when she went home to tell her parents?

"Mom, Dad...great news! I am marrying a man that went to college with great grand dad. He was a senior when Pee Paw was a freshman".

I don't care how much money Hugh has... a room doesn't get THAT dark.

We talked about it at work last night and one of the guys said it was all just about money and besides, how sexually active could an 80 year old man really be?

I told him that's what would bother me most.

He probably wants to bring in contraptions and maybe farm animals...or even midgets dressed up like him.

My second complaint is that someone needs to tell him that smoking jackets went out of style in the 1940's.

I told one of the male servers that I didn't mean to knock men, but their "Privates" aren't their most attractive feature. At least a woman's body can be a beautiful thing...almost "Art like".

Think what an 80 year old man looks like butt naked...."BLEEHHH".

I told him maybe if they put a little pair of glasses and a fake nose on it at least it would look cuter.

He actually agreed with me and said "Honestly, I've often wondered how women do IS pretty ugly to look at".

ANYHOO... The owner's son at work gave his girlfriend a ring for Christmas and they are getting married.

I told Leon at work last night that it would be my pleasure to sing at their wedding and I wouldn't even THINK of charging them, it'd be my gift.

I couldn't carry a tune in a bucket if it had a lid on it, but at least his mother laughed.

Tonight his fiancee came in to eat and I went up to her and said "I don't know if Leon told you but I have graciously offered to sing at your wedding and have even taken the liberty of choosing the song because I wanted you to have one less thing to worry about. I thought the song "You Light Up My Life" by Debbie Boone would be a good choice but it's YOUR wedding".

She didn't miss a beat and said she was thinking about "I Honestly Love You" by Olivia Newton John.

At least this couple are both in their thirties. To me that is a perfect age to begin to think about getting married, especially in this day and these times.

He has a great job working in the restaurant as the Sous Chef and future owner. She and her mother have just opened their own hair salon together.

I wish I had had that much to my advantage when I got married...but at least when I got married the economy was still decent and Tim and I did well for ourselves and had a 22 year run before stumbling a bit.

Now that I have a new career as a Wedding Singer, things should be really taking off for me.

I've thought about singing at divorces too.

Nothing says good bye like a rousing rendition of "Paper Roses" by Marie Osmond. I know every word (seriously).

Maybe when Hugh Hefner's new wife finally realizes that not even money can make an 80 year old man's naked body parts look attractive in any way and she gets tired of almost throwing up when he takes his smoking jacket and Depends off, she'll call me to sing at their divorce.

I'm debating what to sing... "Please Release Me Let Me Go" by Tom Jones or Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive".

Whadda ya think?

Til next time, once again cracking myself up....COTTON

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I Am One "HOT" Mama...and That's Not a "GOOD" Thing

I'm not too sure about this whole menopausal gig I am currently sweating my way through.
It was horrible about six months ago and then as suddenly as it soaked me on a nightly basis, it just as suddenly went away.
Guess who's back?
It's weird, I have no symptoms during the day but as soon as I get all comfy in the bed surrounded by pups and finally fall asleep I wake up drenched...and I mean literally.
I shoo the dogs off the bed because they keep me from being able to stick my foot out from underneath the covers (a thing I have always liked to do) and dangle it off the bed for a breath of fresh air. Not that my feet stink... but since I was a kid I like to feel air on my tootsies. Now that I sweat like a roofer working in Ecuador on an August afternoon while I am simply laying in bed on a cold winter night I like to have that option of a cool breeze on my footsies.
Like women don't have it rough enough from adolescence on.
We turn 13 or 14 and can't go swimming four weeks out of the summer unless we are lucky enough to have an older sister that will "Show us the way." By that I mean "Show us the way to use a Tampax".
Then we grow up and marry... and for some ridiculous reason agree to push a watermelon out of our body after carrying it around for nine months.
Then we spend a year trying to be able to sit on a bench or have a bowel movement without screaming.
Then we raise the "Watermelons" and let them give us wrinkles and gray hair WAY before our time.
We teach them to know their alphabet and colors.
We take them to get "safe" scissors and all needed supplies for kindergarten ... even stay in the classroom with them when they cry on their first day (even though we are wearing bedroom shoes).
Once the watermelons are almost ripe they begin to get an attitude.
I never knew watermelons could have an attitude, but after pushing two of them out and raising one that my husband's ex pushed out...I knew it was a job that should be one of the highest paying one's out there.
Granted these watermelon's loved me and knew who to go when they needed something, I kinda felt like looking around to see who planted that seed?
Oh, that's right...he's at work.
I have a wonderful husband, but they never completely understand the role of the "Watermelon Pusher".
Once the watermelon's are old enough to drive and go their own way... you begin to feel these intense heat waves at night.
Males talk about wet dreams as a young, I have wet dreams even when I'm not dreaming.
Since I turned fifty....someone turned the heat up while I was asleep, and not in a Hugh Hefner kind of way.
As soon as I get soaked with sweat and stick my feet out to catch a breeze, just as quickly I am freezing and pulling the covers up to my once dripping with sweat chin.
There is no happy medium when you are a fifty year old woman...TRUST ME.
I blame it all on Eve. Her and that stupid apple.
She should have offered him a watermelon.
All three of my watermelon's are almost grown.
I am left to sweat myself to sleep every night...alternating with adding covers as the "hot flashes" disappear as quickly as they attacked.
"I am Woman, Hear me Roar".
I don't think so.
Helen Reddy should have written a song entitled "I Am Woman, hand me a wet cloth and somebody open a window...NOW shut it and give me a blanket".
Going to bed wearing a tank top with the blanket folded at the end of the bed for quick reference.
Til next time..."Cold wait, make that Sweatin' Cotton"

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Living in "Ordinary" Time...Not Easy With My Life

 The first picture above is from the 100th year anniversary at our childhood church in East Point. Double click on the photo and right above the knob  on the door to the left is a picture of two of my parent's best friends...J.E. and Cookie Tyler. Number one, who could make up those names?

 Number two,  why was I so blessed to not only grow up with them but still be great friends with their kids?

I told one of their son's who comes in to eat with me at Mama Lucia's that his Dad looks like "The Great One" in this photo. For my younger readers that means "Jackie Gleason". (google him)

 Lynn (I don't think he will mind me using his real name since he has finally been pardoned) LMAO... and  his wife have been regulars of mine since I worked in my old hell hole of a steak house and have loyally followed me to my new digs. Our family's spent every Summer vacation together and every Fall we  went to the mountains ... Nantahala,  to rent a huge place that slept at least thirty. Our parent's weren't swingers so every one had to have a bedroom. Those are some of the fondest memories of mine as a teen.

We would spend a day in Gatlinburg cruising the street...Ripley's and the many fudge shops and I even remember Lynn's cousin buying a "Lute".

We used to drive up on Friday and one of the parents would stay in town to drive all the teens up after the football game. One year we thought they had arrived only to discover it was a bear tromping through the garbage cans on the porch .

Those were fantastic and precious times.

Over the years I lost touch with quite a few of these friends but have reconnected with them and they are some of the many that have helped push and carry me through this last year. Lynn's  sister , Tracey is  one of them.

She is another friend of mine that is gay (That means happy and carefree in MY book) and when I ran into her after 30 years at a funeral she introduced me to her partner and said they had been together for over 20 years... she remarked "That's 150  in straight years." I laughed for five minutes...

Yes I love all my friends and my family. (straight or gay) Yes I love all my gay relatives (shout out Mr. Joey and Mr. Kevin)  Yes I love all my Re pub friends too. I LOVE... That is what you are required to do according to the BIG Man.

To me that seems to be the problem. Too much hate and criticism and way too much bashing.

 Some people have no idea what it is to be different by genetics and not by choice.

 To me, that is totally THEIR loss and a huge part of the person I AM.

 I am a person that loves without conditions.

I have a large and eclectic family. I have arms that are short and small but that can wrap around anyone that loves me or needs to be loved.

I have been laughed at for days about my post before New Year's actually hit. I don't blame them..I laugh with them too. My greatest quality is knowing my faults and I knowing I am an idiot...but a good sort of an idiot.

I went into work today and the bartender (the one we'll call "Hooters Extraordinaire") told me about a calendar that we had at the restaurant. It was bizarre...some of the days were marked "Ordinary Days".

Sometimes it would say  "Fourth Sunday in Ordinary times". Or it would say "Easter Sunday in Ordinary times".

This calendar came from a regular at the bar at work.

 HMMMM. It came from his Catholic church.

Those Catholics are a crazy bunch. They got that Pope in that fancy Bubble Mobile and who is to say who is in charge of the calendar?

No wonder I got so screwed up with midnight on New Year's...I must be a Catholic by mistake. Dang...Now I gotta whole nother faith to be thankful for.

 I got me a smiley face made out of birds and a NEW YEAR that screams "Let's GO Kelly".

I don't even have to go to confession to know that the Pope  is saying "Remind her she grew up in East Point Christian Church" but    BTW "WE love everyone".

Hoping  2011 is as good for everyone as it is going to be for me!