Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Day For Myself

So if you read my blog you know how terrible (or clever) I am with my checking account. Somehow  all my checks have cleared and that only means one thing to me...I can take a day off!

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

The Snow is Falling The Snow is Falling!

For Pete's sake...just MENTION the word "Snow" in the south and people go crazy (or as Massey says "cray-cray.")
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

Get Real, People!

 So I had ME a day off, thanks to The United States of America shoving all the native Americans out of their rightful homeland and cooking a big dinner to celebrate! My sister cooked a fabulous meal and we all ate drank and got tipsy! (My kind of day off)

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."

My kids have been exposed to so much dirt and grime growing up with a full time working mother that they are immune to most everything...except ME!

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

Giving Thanks...

Jeez...I have so much to be giving thanks for that I hardly know where to start.
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

Keeping On Keeping On...

I went into work at 10:30 this morning and got  home at 10:00 tonight. As you can see from the above picture I came home and kicked off my pumps. Obviously this isn't a REAL picture of me because the room around me looks entirely too clean to have been taken in MY house.

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

Our Family Just Got a Bit Bigger

 I absolutely LOVE this picture of my parents. This was when my life was a safe and wonderful utopia. I look at  this picture and it immediately takes me back. My Diddy in his work shirt, my Mama in a shirt she sewed herself. The red and white checked wall paper in the back ground with the trivets hanging on the wall (which I still have) hung above the bench my brother and I sat on to eat dinner (I also still have the bench.) I was a lucky little kid...and having that childhood , it made me a lucky slightly over middle aged woman. My Mama died WAY too early and even when my Diddy died 25 years later it was also too soon. They left me and my sister in good hands.
 My brother is larger than life. I have never met anyone who doesn't love him...except maybe one of his former employees that didn't work hard and  felt the wrath he can whip out when you don't give something your all when you are being PAID to. He is single with no kids (that he knows of) and has worked his way through the ranks, starting years ago at Consolidated Freight on the loading dock and now is what  my sister and I consider a "Big Wig" with a huge  company. He probably can't afford to have kids because he is so good to his sisters.

 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.
So as my life begins to regain some type of semi regularity I started thinking about my Mama's side of the family. Mama died in 1977 which caused the whole side of her family to fall apart.

 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."

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

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger... And Ready For the Next Hit

 I had a horrible  yesterday. Thank the Lord it is behind me. I have had a tough couple of years I would like to forget but need to remember.

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."

I was a VERY stupid kid and didn't begin to grow up til I was in my late twenties. I lost my Momma at the age of seventeen and my Diddy didn't have a clue ...Momma raised us,  he brought home the pay check and gave out the occasional whooping with his belt when we did something bad.

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

My 36 Hour Vacation

 I got home from work on Wednesday night after working a double shift Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Only worked a Tuesday night shift but headed back for one more double on Wednesday. When I got home I felt like screaming like the above photo "LEAVE ME ALONE!"

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!
They came and went about as I lay on the couch watching (sometimes snoring through) the same CNN news for hours on end. Zach went and picked Massey up from school for me and I struggled to the kitchen to throw a roast in  the oven and was back in a coma on my comfy couch before he got back with her.

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

Not a Fan of the Time Change...

We'll get to the time change in a minute...

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

Raising Little Ones Sure Has Changed

 I can relate to this photo...a Mom's gotta do what a Mom's gotta do! I recently went to a baby shower for a friend of mine (who is obviously much younger than me) and found myself running late as usual and totally unprepared. I went to the grocery store to buy fresh fruit to make a fruit tray to take and found myself desperately short on time. They wanted us to bring a pack of diapers for a game so I screamed over to the baby aisle...which I haven't been on in fifteen years. As I searched for a cheap pack of diapers I quickly realized there WERE no cheap diapers and threw a $9.99 pack in my buggy panicking that I only had one hour to slice up a fruit tray shower and GO to the shower! I turned around behind me and searched the shelves for a gift as well...may as well kill three birds with one stone.

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!
 Then I saw this above photo and thought "Been there done that (kinda.)  When TJ was about six we were at the beach staying in a condo with my sister. The condo was on the third floor and I wanted a pic of TJ and me sitting on the rail of the balcony with the ocean behind us. TJ is like his Dad...not too fond of heights and it took forever for me to get him to sit on the railing beside me but when I did the photo turned out priceless....TJ looked terrified and I was laughing so hard I was almost crying. For Pete's sake it was just SAND three stories below us. I still have that picture and TJ still hates it.

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.
Then when they survive long enough and you keep having more kids you begin to think about yourself again...hence the above photo. Everyone in the photo looks terrified and  looking out for their own safety while the toddler seems to be saying "Here I am, come to ME!"

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!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

At Least I'll Be One Hour Younger Tonight

Don't know how much longer I can keep up the pace. It's not all the work killing me, it's what surrounds "It."

Number one I've started to grow facial hair...how gross is that? I don't mean an Amish beard,  but fuzz  has sprouted out of no where with a random curly hair that  some wicked witch  transplanted to my chin when I wasn't looking.

I'm thinking that weighing a hundred pounds counter acts random one inch hairs..."Yep" that's my theory and I'm sticking to it!

Getting old isn't for the faint hearted...especially if you are a woman.

Number one: If you are a woman with kids you probably work WAY too hard and get WAY too few kudos.
Number two: Somebody give me a menopause manual because I find the rules very hard to follow.

I was okay when the night sweats began...it was like sleeping while  working in the yard in late August at noon. I can deal with the heat...I'm a Leo.

It's this gray hair shooting out of my head like fireworks and these monthly, semi monthly twice yearly cycles that are killing me.

For two months I thought I was done..NOTHING!
I almost threw myself a tampon bonfire party. But after a dry spell (so to speak)...it is crazy. After three weeks I wonder if I am becoming  anemic? I don't know if this is normal or if I should go to a Doc in the Box?

Sounds weird to put this in my blog, but I tend to put EVERY THING in my blog. Since I have no insurance I thought I would put it out there to the 27,000 hits I've had on my blog...surely to goodness one of you is a doctor (or knows one) that enjoys my writing enough to give me free medical advice...or free tampons. (Super Only)

I blame it all on Adam...the weak little %$@*!&% *  ... it was ONE apple, can you NOT live without eating ONE stupid apple? I bet if he hadn't eaten the apple, Men would have had the babies, periods, hot flashes and menopause.  So what Eve gave it to him, she was probably tired of cooking. Thanks a lot guys...once again you dump the problem in our lap and of course like the "Fixers" we are we take care of it.

I just recently learned what "smhs" means. I thought it was a yiddish type sound like "SCHMUAH!"  (kinda like Yadda Yadda). My daughter told me it was a texting thing that meant "Shaking my head slowly."
I say Fo Shizzle, True That and BAM!
Now  a lot more FB posts make sense and I feel pretty cool again! (Massey will be "smhs" when she reads this)

Gotta work another double shift on Sunday but with the time change I will be one hour younger...

Til next time...OLD COTTON

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Finally Feeling Better...After Getting My Diagnosis

I feel much better today...actually almost 100%. Getting sick during a double shift, limping my way through it and turning around and working another double the next day impeded my recovery. Only worked one shift on Tuesday and felt better. Today I worked another double and although I am tired I feel MUCH better. Lunch was busy enough that I made some $$ to throw into the automated machine  at Verizon (they must be really hurting for money because they are constantly calling me for some!)  My account is constantly behind (matching all my OTHER accounts) but I have discovered it you made good faith payments, albeit small ones you can generally keep things going.

My motto is "Keep on keeping on" and it has worked pretty good so far. A few stumbles a few NSF charges (Oops my bad) but we are making strides daily and weekly.  If the power is scheduled to be cut off I would rather bounce a check and pay the ridiculous $32 NFS charge than have the power cut off and have to pay a $75 re connection fee. Am I a bargain hunter or WHAT?

Got a couple of gripes...well, I gotta bunch but I'll pick out a few that really bug me.
Do people on Facebook really know what 'being a friend' means? Something happens and suddenly you find yourself deleted for stupid childish reasons. These people should start their own social network...Babyfacebook.

I had one friend on FB who  wasn't really a FRIEND  but we grew up in the same church together and my husband grew up next door to him (so Tim WAS friends with him.) Tim isn't on FB, he's barely on our email. The internet or social network just isn't his thing ... besides he has a big mouthed wife who does all his talking (and sometimes thinking when I can sneak it past) for him.
If the theory "Opposites Attract" is correct Tim and I are a match made in Heaven.

Anyhoo...I posted a picture from a relative of mine. I have many Gay friends and relatives. In my mind... to hate a Gay person is to hate a person with Dyslexia, Autism, Diabetes, MS , Alzheimer's , people with freckles or green eyes, Muslims or Catholics and the  hundreds of  other facets  that make up the Human Race.

 I learned very quickly  he had turned into someone that was in desperate need of remembering "The Golden Rule."
He covered my wall with profanity and protests so strong that I almost wrote back "Me thinks the redneck doth protest too much."
Jeez..if he is straight  and single (which he is) he should champion the  gay movement...the gay men aren't after what HE is...he should send them a Thank You note for improving his odds.

Number two on my gripe list:
It's another 'friends' thing on FB.

I haven't put it out here... but my younger son got in some trouble a couple of months back. I wasn't happy about it and I'm sure he wasn't  but  I would rather him make stupid mistakes now as a teen than when he was married and had a family of his own. At least now HE still has parents to help. I lost my Momma when I was seventeen and my Diddy a few years back.
I had many people tell me  what to do... and how I was doing it wrong. Most of them don't have children or a clue as to how much you love a child and how far you will go to help them.
I do.

I did some stupid things when I was a kid. I did some stupid things when I was  teen and even stupider stuff in my twenties. My parents still (as a kid)  bailed me out time and time again.When I cut the neighbor's prize rose bush or ran into Mr. Golden's yard to chase a kickball in his "Perfect" backyard (He was an ole Coot) or went to "The Blue House" around the corner...or even the Sheat's garden across the street. All forbidden places and neighbors... my parents backed me up. My Momma died when I was seventeen and my Diddy was left to love and help me stumble through my twenties . I came out roaring and wise in my thirties. In my opinion the best way to go!

Once my MY son got into trouble ... and it was a spectacle for the entire neighborhood  to see, my neighbors began deleting Massey on FB one by one. I call them neighbors because they live on our street but will never call  them friends again. It upset Massey a lot... and I am sure it did, she is a  sixteen year old girl...They are grown women and supposed Christians (reality check much needed!!)

Myself... I didn't notice they had deleted ME until she mentioned it and I checked my own  friends list.  YEP,  I was gone too!

SO what? Do you  think THEIR kids will never make bad choices or mistakes? Will THEIR life be perfect or without ups and downs? Not unless their last name is Kardashian and I haven't seen THAT name on a mail box on my street.

You know,  when they drive past me every day on our street they are the ones I ALWAYS smile and wave at. Whether they wave back doesn't matter. They sure don't mind me picking up trash and cutting the front of THEIR subdivision...I've never seen one of THEM on a John Deere. If they start turning their heads when we pass I will start honking my horn to catch  their attention and give a vigorous wave and a huge smile.

Kill em with kindness and wait for Karma to roll its way back around.
At least my kids screw up early and get it out of the way.

Just my opinion...just my family...just MY life. I wouldn't trade it for theirs or anyone's.

Just sayin'