Monday, April 30, 2012

Sick Kids Need Their Momma

I got a call at 8:30 this morning from Zach's current crib. "Your son is sick and you need to come take him to the doctor."

So they want to keep him under lock and key only letting him out for calls no visitation but when he gets sick suddenly they want me involved. Tim had already left the house taking Massey to school so I called him to go pick Zach up and take him to our current PCP "The Doc N The Box" by Party City in the strip mall next to Target across the street from my job and drop him off.  I had to be at work by 10:30 and of course I had no money...that's why I was headed to work! I called the owner of the restaurant and she met me at work before ten... loaned me some money so they would see Zach and I went across the street and dropped off the money. He was sitting in a chair in the waiting room shivering and his head felt like an erupting volcano. It tore at my heart.

They can be six months old or they can be a stupid nineteen year old but when your kid is sick... Momma worries.

I paid Dr. Ben Casey (only old peeps like me will get this one) and they led Zach back to an examination room as I left to go back to work.

I got all my opening work done and called the "Doc N The Box." Zach had just left with three prescriptions to be filled next door at Target.  I got in my car and drove across the street to Target to pick  him up but as I walked into the door my cell buzzed and Zach said weakly "I'm at the restaurant. They said it would be forty five minutes and they didn't have a chair."

Back to the restaurant I went...trying to keep in mind he was not only incarcerated but sick.

I gave him a huge glass of OJ and found a warm up jacket someone had left on the coat hook by  the lobby entrance. He went to the back of the restaurant and fell asleep in one of the booths. The forty five minutes turned into two hours. (How long does it take to put pills in a bottle?) Barb watched my tables while I woke Zach and stuffed him into my car. They had given him three prescriptions, one being 800 mg Ibuprofen. I told him to take one immediately for the high fever and drove him back to the cage.

He was supposed to work at five because we had a party of 55 to 70 people coming in. I dropped him off and said to ask someone for a slice of bread or a cracker so he could take his other two meds. I really wanted to get out of the car and hug him tightly. No,  I take that back. I wanted to take him home and tuck him into his bed. I simply had to leave  him at the gate and know I had done all I could do.

I screamed back to work running only two yellow  was now the middle of my lunch shift and I tried to compose myself. I didn't get off til four but right before clocking out the party called and downsized to thirty people.  My boss said to let Zach stay out of work and called another server and told them the same. At least he's got tonight off and should be much better tomorrow. I went home and assumed the Lily Munster sleeping position for thirty minutes and climbed back into my car. I didn't get off til almost ten tonight.  Went by Kroger and got some milk and bananas. As a bonus I picked up some Pepper Jack Cheez-Its and headed home.

At least after mopping floors and cleaning bathrooms he got to (hopefully) go to sleep and let the meds kick in.  I have thought about him all day...I  think about him every day.

Yes he made a stupid mistake.  Yes it has taken a toll on all of us but he is learning his lesson and paying the toll as well.

I am "SO" over neighbors not waving or even attempting to acknowledge me as I drive down our short street. You know what? They should instead be thinking "There goes the 52 year old woman who not only works seven days a week but keeps the front of the subdivision cut for us and is fighting back from what was almost certain foreclosure when her husband and she as well lost their job.  Her kid screwed up but at least he is paying for it...You know what? She must be a pretty good woman and mother. How much can it hurt to just wave at her?"

"Karma"...and in the words of Forrest Gump "That is all I have to say about that."

Glad my boy is getting better and glad that on Mother's Day...ironically I will have him back!

Til next  time (Did I sound too bitter?) COTTON

Sunday, April 29, 2012

I Love Atlanta

 I worked a day shift...and ONLY a day shift. It was Marvelous. I got off around three and Massey and I put the top down on the car and headed to Atlanta for the Inman Park Festival right around the corner from Little Five Points in midtown Atlanta. Parking was at a premium and we got there after four...I can only imagine how it had been all day. Took us about twenty minutes of circling to find a free spot. Walking the couple of blocks to the park we passed this Woodstock car..."YEP! Welcome to Midtown!"
 Then we ran into the "Morph" above ...definitely a male. (just stating the obvious)
 We were looking for my cousin's jewelry booth. She is a jewelry designer in Atlanta that we lost touch with after my mother died in 1977. Her name is Jill Massey...Go figure! Actually my daughter's first name is my mother's maiden name and my mother's brother was Jill's father.
 We found her cute little self just selling away!! She is an absolute doll. When she first saw Massey (who has dyed her hair) it was kind of sorta a "Hey there do I know you?" then the hamster woke up in his wheel and she squealed with delight.  She is as cute as she is talented and we have enjoyed reconnecting with her.
 Massey took a few pictures of some of her work and quickly decided which piece she wants her Uncle Chris to buy her for her birthday!
 If you live near me you can find some of her jewelry at Two Turtle Doves on  the square in Newnan or just check out her website at design

 Massey has her eye on  the anchor earrings...I want a necklace.

Massey said I looked like a goofball in this picture with my cousin...for Pete's sake...why fake it for a picture? I LIKE being a goofball.

 We wandered around the festival and took in the sights and saw some pretty crazy things. It was a beautiful day and I have always loved going to Atlanta. The city I was born and raised in is six miles outside  the Atlanta city limits. I spent a lot of time in Atlanta as a teen and have enjoyed introducing my own kids to the city I love.
 We wandered back across the park to get back to the car.

I stopped in a patch of clover looking for a four leaf  and almost immediately plucked up a five leaf clover.  Massey said she wasn't sure if that was good luck, excellent luck or just downright freaky and maybe I should get rid of it.

 I kept it. Click on the photo and you can actually see all five leaves.
 We hung around the park a bit and took some pictures  then headed back to the spot I had squeezed my tiny car into in front of some one's house.
 Wound our way back through Little Five...always interesting. The sun was starting to set over downtown and we decided to head to the Varsity for a lube job consisting of Chili Steaks, the best onion rings in the world, some fries and two "Co-Colas" (as we say here in the south)

 Atlanta's skyline is gorgeous. We maneuvered between the tall buildings and I told her how tremendously much  the city has grown since I was born in 1960.
 We probably didn't even drive the length of this building before we pulled into the parking lot of the Varsity.
 The great thing about the Varsity is you don't even have to get out of your car to clog up your arteries...they bring all the crap right to the window of your car and take the trash away when you're through!!
We got back home just as it began to get dark and the "Co-Colas" ran out.  It was a great way to spend an afternoon off. I need to do it more often.

Til next time...Goofball COTTON

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Just Glad They Had Fun

 This is the way it started...the Daddy/ Daughter picture in the front yard. My nephew's fiancee' did a knock out job with Massey's hair and make up. Maybe she could have rubbed a little sunless tanning lotion on Tim's legs but I'll let that one slide.
 They all met at the park in downtown Newnan and Massey and her friend gave each other their corsage.
 This is my favorite picture of captures her personality and reminds me why I put up with her. Her eyes say it all "I love life."
Here she is as they got to the restaurant to eat surrounded by my (and her) bosses. They were so good to these kids tonight. Came up with a modified menu just for them...saving the kids a ton while taking a cut in profit themselves. One of the many reasons I love working for a family instead of a coporation. THEY care about me.

Not only did Massey's group come seemed EVERY group came in, all at the same time. It was one crazy hour. I was suspended in time while being bossed around by thirty prom kids. Massey's group was patient and respectful...the others, not so much. By six thirty it was all over with and they were all out the door on the their way to  prom.

I took a huge hit waiting on my daughter's group but knew it in advance. It was my gift to them and I am a huge believer in Karma.

After that I was on the board...had a few tables that loved me and the night eased up. I felt bad because another server helped me with Massey's group and I had to tell her we weren't adding gratuity. She was very gracious about it and agreed with me about the whole Karma thing.

I could have easily made well over $100 but walked out the door with seventy and a smile on my face, knowing there was a smile on my girl's face as she danced the night away with her friends.

Her friend had an awesome time...and  was worth every penny lost plus a million dollars. I know how it feels to be down and more importantly I know how great it feels to be lifted up.

Helping this young girl helped me to remember how many people have helped us.

Love is all you need....

Til Next Time...COTTON

Friday, April 27, 2012

I Guess She Really HAS Been Paying Attention...

So tomorrow night is the big "Prom" at my daughter's high school.  I wouldn't know what a big deal it is...I never went to a prom. I was even skinnier than I am now when I was in high school,  unfortunately had almost the same hair cut and my big mouth was just as loud as it is now.

 Looking back I realize  why I was never invited to Prom,  but I'd rather be "Me" than anyone else so I'm okay with it.

We're sending Massey to Prom in the usual Cotton fashion...borrowed dress, borrowed shoes, home mani/ pedi and hairstyling compliments of my nephew's fiancee'.

She's going with fourteen friends on a party bus and they are eating before Prom at the restaurant where I work. She'll get her employee discount and I volunteered to wait on them since all servers despise "Promer's." I won't add gratuity just simply accept what they leave me and tell them to have a wonderful time!!

As usual nothing is simple at our house. Massey has a young friend who has been through the wringer this past year. Her home life fell totally apart and she is somewhat in the same but somewhat totally totally different predicament we found our own selves a few short months ago. With teens it doesn't matter why or just seems "Life sucks." With no possible way to afford prom, Massey took it upon herself to find a way for this young girl to go. She talked to an adviser at school and offered to take money out of her own savings account if they would allow this girl to go. (The dues were due last week)

This wonderful teacher  found a way for this young girl to go for free compliments of an anonymous faculty member. Massey is still going to pay for the girl to ride the bus with them out of her savings account and my big hearted boss is going to buy her dinner at  the restaurant. When Massey called her friend with the news, she cried. (So did I)

The girl is wearing a dress she has worn before that is hanging in her closet and I am going to get both Massey and her a corsage to wear tomorrow. I will funnel the money back into Massey's account myself...she deserves nothing less.

Massey can wear me out and often does, but when she goes out on a limb for someone else she goes ALL out. I know Massey is excited about prom but can you imagine how this other girl feels? She will be on equal ground, she will be "One of the group" and will most probably have more fun than any of the others.

I guess Massey WAS paying attention when so many others helped HER out when she was in this young girl's shoes. Massey's remembered how awkward and horrible it felt to seem like an outcast simply because of money...or lack of it.

Yes going to prom is frivolous to me...but not when you are sixteen and all your BFF's are going.

It's the first time in my 34 years of being a server that I am excited to wait on a table of "Promer's."

I am so proud of my daughter that I could pop. She can be a brat,  she can be a drama queen and has  often times been both. She can also be the best friend a person could ever hope to have. She has a heart  full of love and compassion and a brain above it to boot!

The greatest compliment of all came from one of my co workers  tonight after I told her about what Massey had done.

She simply said "She learned it from her Momma."

You know, I'm a dummy a lot of the time and by no means perfect or even remotely close. But if you can get it right when it really counts for a LOT!

All the kids are meeting in the local park downtown to take pictures before dinner and be rest assured I will post plenty tomorrow night.

My girl has realized of her own accord how extremely and vitally important it is to "Pay it forward."

Today is one of those days when a Momma realizes..."They really WERE listening to me!"

Til next time... Cloud Nine COTTON

Thursday, April 26, 2012

"Sleep" The Breakfast of Champions

Today was my day off. I worked for eight days straight, the past four all being double shifts and had grand plans for today. I took Massey to school and came back home to plan out my day. After letting the dogs out I started to think about what to do first.

 I quickly realized I couldn't think clearly with that big king size bed with the clean sheets and comforter seemingly screaming loudly at me from the third floor of the house so I went to investigate. I decided to lay down and watch the local news  to see what the weather would be like. I had two yards to cut plus the front of the subdivision. It was 58 degrees...too chilly for this Leo!  Then I decided I would roll over for just five more minutes since the pups were outside, Tim was at work and I had the bed all to myself.

I woke up when I heard the downstairs door open as Tim got home from work at noon and let the dogs back in. I thought about jumping up and acting like I had been actually doing something but my head seemed to be stuck firmly to the bed in  the most perfect position I have ever felt.

 Here's the thing...

I work a lot and I don't sleep enough (both my own fault) but even though my bed feels pretty darn good when I finally collapse into it at night, it never feels as good as it does when I have to get out of it. For the past week I've HAD to get out of it for work every stinking morning.

 Today I had only myself to report to and made an executive decision..."Screw it."

I heard Tim checking his email downstairs on  the computer and listening to the answering machine as the two pups came up to greet me like they had been away from me for a month (that's one of the many things I love about dogs) and we all settled back down. He came up stairs and asked me if I had to work today and I said no but a bowl of cereal would be lovely. Bless his heart he went back down stairs and brought me up a huge bowl of kicking "Honey Bunches of Oats." Only when I had the actual spoon in my hand did my head come off the bed.

By  this time I was busted. Tim knew I was still in did the dogs. Zach wasn't here and I didn't have to pick Massey up til four because she was staying late to take a test. Sounded like the perfect time to roll back over the other way  and give the other side of my face some love against the clean sheets!

Tim has to sleep in the spare bedroom we put black out curtains in to sleep during the day after working all night. I can sleep with the sun streaming in the window and CNN blaring from the boob tube. I know when I hear General Hospital's theme song come on it's time to savour those last fifteen minutes before I have to return to the real world of an upright position. I knocked out twelve hours like it was nothing.

I was suppose to cut my yard and didn' what? I was supposed to cut Mr. "Slow" Lee's yard but they are on an eighteen day cruise and highly doubt they are even remotely thinking about their front lawn. I was supposed to get my hair cut but as Tim often reminds me.."What hair?" I was supposed to go to the bank but believe it or not it wasn't a necessity. (First time)

I picked Massey up from school, went and bought some dog food...the only important thing on my list and simply went back home.

The only thing I really HAD to do was go to a circle meeting at my sister's church with Massey at 6:30. We got back to the house at almost 5:30 and all I really wanted to do was crawl back into bed. I love my sister almost  beyond definition but Webster's has one that describes our relationship perfectly: "Out of compassion; with no thought of reward."

My sister would...and often has done any and every thing for me. Bonus being it was an "Eatin' Meetin" and we were hungry. I thought we would dip in and dip out but once the speaker started I quickly realized I had done the most important thing on my agenda.

I was mortified when the speaker started and asked where Cindy's wild sister was in the audience... as Massey picked up my arm and waved it like an American flag at the Olympic games.

The woman who spoke was articulate, intelligent and hilarious...all epithets I would LOVE to have on my own headstone.

It was the best way I could have ever spent my one day off. At one point Massey reached over and put her hand in mine. That in itself made my one day off feel like a two week vacation.

So  the grass still isn't house still isn't clean and I still have a million things to do but for a speaker to move a sixteen year old girl and make her reach out for her mother's hand in a silent but endearing way meant the world to me.

It was a good day and there was MUCH accomplished!!

Shout out to the speaker at my sister's Methodist church...if you are on Facebook, it was Cathy Lee Phillips from Newnan, Georgia speaking tonight. She has written and published several books and Massey and I are new fans!

Til Next time...COTTON

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Now THAT Was a Week

It's after one in the morning and I just got home from work. I went in at 11:15 this off right before two, went straight to the high school to pick Massey up from volunteering for the Special Olympics held at her school today, went by  to drop off something at my sister's house, stopped by KFC to grab a bite to eat since I was starving (huge mistake and another blog altogether) and got Massey back to the house in  time to leave to go pick up Zach and drive us both back to work.

I really wanted it to be slow so I could dip out early but as always "Murphy's Law" took over. Four cups of coffee later I resigned myself to the fact I was stuck there for another shift. I tried to look at it THIS way. I worked Saturday night, Sunday morning, Sunday night, Monday morning, Monday night, Tuesday morning and Tuesday night, Wednesday morning's shift was behind me.  I made it that far... "What's one more shift?"

It turned out well for me but was bitterly painful. My feet ached like they never have before. I was dead tired but drank one more cup of coffee and forged ahead. I actually set a new record. Waited on four tables and made $129.00. One table  was a party of ten celebrating a 65th wedding anniversary and the tip was $140 bucks. That stopped the throbbing in my head but my feet still ached. I split the party with another server so we each made seventy bucks.

Zach was working in the kitchen tonight and got his skinny butt thoroughly handed to him. He got yelled at by servers, cooks and even the owner.  He looked like he felt like either crying or quitting but did neither. I wanted to hug his neck but had to remember I was a server not his Momma while clocked in. It's tough working in the restaurant world...even tougher when you're the new guy.

I had hoped to get off by 8:00 but instead walked out the door well after 11:00. I came home and let the dogs out and did some dishes. I left the house at midnight to go back and pick him up. I got there and they STILL weren't through cleaning. I picked up a broom and helped them sweep  the line behind the expo area. He was exhausted and so was I. He seemed to have recovered from his berating and I didn't even mention it. (water under the bridge)

We got in the car at almost 12:30 and he ate some food he had cooked himself out of a bowl while I drove him back.

I have Thursday off and would love nothing more than to stay in bed all day. Unfortunately when you only have one day off there is so much to be done that it's almost like not having a day off at's like working for free. Gotta wake up before eight to take Massey to school. I have to cut two yards front and back, cut the front of the subdivision and catch up the laundry. (Tim HAS been helping with that...gotta remember to give him a gold star) I have to go to the bank and I need my hair "Re-Butched." I need to vacuum but thinking about just raking the carpets. The dogs are out of dog food and every time I come in the door they look up at me with their heads cocked to the side as if to say "NOW? Are we gonna eat NOW?"

On the upside I LOVE yardwork and it's supposed to be nice on Thursday. On the down feet hurt, my back is sore, my face is greasy and my bedroom is on the third floor of the house. Maybe a Natty Light will give me enough "Pep" to make it up there!

I am off til Friday at five and look forward to my 39 hour vacation.

Til next time...COTTON

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Feeling Pretty Good!

I don't want to jinx myself but today was a pretty stinkin' good day! Just when you feel like things will never be normal again, it have a wonderful day!

It was a busy day. Went to bed too late last night but that glass of wine was just the night cap I needed. I am in the middle of the longest part of my work week. I worked a double on Sunday, Monday and just finished another one today. I picked up another for tomorrow mainly because it's "Secretary's Day" (or as we have to call it now in this ridiculous world of the politically correct) "Administrative Professionals Day" but mostly because my boss asked me to and after all they have done for me who I am to say nope?

Took Massey to school this morning , came back home and took a forty five minute Siesta before jumping in the shower for work. I got to work this morning and the lunch shift "Rocked!" I was a selling demon...sold almost $100 worth of wine at lunch and scooted out the door with Ben Franklin just in time to go pick up my boy for the night shift. I took him to cash his paycheck and dumped him off at work and came home to drop  Massey off the salad for dinner I had bought at work. Sat down for ten minutes on the sofa, closed my eyes and "listened" to the five o'clock news (all bad again) and sprang up with seven minutes to spare to get back for my dinner shift. Three cups of coffee and I was good to go! (again)

Dinner was just as good as lunch...only waited on three tables and walked out the back door with Ben Franklin's twin brother. I had a table of two businessmen who showed me some love, a table of five Ya -Ya's out for a women's night who I won over with my PHD in BS and  a table of four flight attendants having a belated Christmas get together. They worked for the same airline my sister retired from and we all ended up being "BFF'S." I actually knew one of them, didn't recognize her at first but when I shook my head really hard and that hamster woke up in his little wheel I remembered who she was. They were  a hoot to wait on and seemed to enjoy my act as well. The woman I knew reads my blog so they got a free dessert...Len's wonderful new chocolate ice cream cake. Chocolate cake, vanilla ice cream center with hot fudge and white chocolate chips topping it off.

The icing on top of MY cake was my manager said he would give my son a ride back to the "Pokey" after work. Usually I have to either wait around or come back to take him home to his current "Crib." Since I picked up yet another double shift tomorrow he said it would be no problem to drop Zach off after work.

It was a good day. It was a long day. I don't mind a good long hard day!

As I said at the beginning...I don't wanna jinx myself but it all seems to be coming together. Finally got my car repair paid off yesterday, got Massey to the Doc N the Box paid off and her on the road to recovery and still have my bank account in the black. I remind myself every day...Keep on keeping on and good things will keep on happening!

There may be blips on the radar screen and bumps along the road of life but if you persevere and give it your all, Karma is your friend. Of course the Big Guy upstairs is ultimately in charge,  but when He sees you truly trying your best He always rewards you. Sometimes He has to throw you a curve to keep you on your toes  but I have had toe shoes on for a couple of years now and  guess my bunions and corns have made Him realize I was due for a good day!

I don't know what tomorrow will bring, no one does. What I do know is that if I have made it THIS far, no telling how far this skinny lil'  Momma can go!!

I'm little but I feel's a good feeling! I have God, friends, family and even strangers that love me. What else could I possibly ever want or need?

Til next  time..."Big Ole COTTON"

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pretty Proud of My Boy

This Saturday my boy will be halfway through his (and unfortuately my) ordeal.

He started out pretty bitter.  I can't blame him yet I CAN blame him, but regardless of the fact I love him.
It woke him up and made him grow up. It taught him  the consequences of his actions and sadly taught him how corrupt the "system" really is. It taught me that I underestimated how much I really love him. It hasn't been a bed of roses for me. I have to pick him up for work which means I have to get ready for work two hours early, leave a hour early and sit in the prison parking lot for an undetermined amount of time while they choose to let him out on time or make me wait twenty minutes. (I've made a lot of new BFF guard friends while waiting though) That would be BFF...Buddies For Four (weeks)
They wake him at five and he works for them until I pick him up to work for my boss. He comes to work exhausted from working all day but has had very few complaints. He has picked up the pace at work a bit and either because he doesn't want to go back or wants to prove his self at work, is always the last one to clock out.  My boss  LOVES me and a few people at work dislike me for the fact... when in fact it's because I WORK the entire time I am clocked in. I always find somethng to do or there is always something that needs to be done.  Zach has watched me work and slowly but surely has picked up my vibe.

I got off early tonight from my double shift but had to go back and pick him up to return him to "The Pokey." It was just the owner and me left waiting for Zach to  finish. The owner commented "Since he's been in jail my floors have never been cleaner...they must be teaching him something."

Zach joined right into the conversation and both the owner and I could tell he was just talking to put off going back..."Who wouldn't?"
My boy screwed up question about it. But  my boy has turned into a man. He is taking his punishment and   trying to make the best of a bad situation.  It has been the wake up call he needed..."Go into Political Science" or millions of others will suffer. My boss and I sat for thirty minutes while Zach swept and chatted us up. Number one my boss loves me and number two he knows I love my son. Number three, I think my son has landed in a work place where he can learn the culinary art for free while being paid for learning.

He always wants me to take the long way  back to jail...and I can't blame him, and it just makes me want to reach over and hug him. He tells me at least three times before he gets out of the car "I love you Mom."

At least my kids screw up early (while they are still kids) would really suck if he was married with three kids,  a wife addicted to QVS and they all wanted to move in with Me!

Til next time...COTTON

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Beating a Dead Horse (one of my better qualities)

So I worked a double shift today, have another tomorrow and yet another on Tuesday. This has me working every shift at  the restaurant from Saturday night until Wednesday lunch. On top of this...  Massey has been complaining about her throat for at least a week and I have kept saying what any other broke mom would..."It's just allergies."

Barb gave me an ink pen the other day at work that had a little pen light on one end (it's a pretty bright light) and I told her as soon as I took it home Massey would take it from me. The next day she brought me in another one to give Massey. I forgot to give Massey the pen until last night when I got home from work. It was late (very, very late) so I simply left it on her desk.

I got up this morning to open the store and as always left with no minutes to spare. Our garage door opener broke about three years ago and is so far down the list of things to fix it falls right behind my back surgery but in front of my need for an eye exam and glasses, which fall behind my need for a mammogram and pap smear ten years overdue only overshadowed by  the dentist which I haven't been to in thirty years.

 Yep...I'm good as long as I can talk one of the kids into hauling up that heavy garage door (which kills my back and bum shoulder) so I can simply get into my car and drive away from the chaos and go do it again.

Massey opened the garage door for me and had her new pen in her hand. Before I got into my car, she said "Look at this" and shined the pen into her mouth to highlight the ulcers on the back of her throat.

Dang it! She IS sick. I felt terrible.  When I got off from my lunch shift I took home some herbal tea from work and a lemon. I forced her to drink it, loading it down with honey. I got home at 3:26 and had to be back at work by four. After ten minutes of "Mommying" I got in my car and headed back to work. At least the fifty pound garage door was still open and she got to stay inside and rest. Tim had left for work a hour earlier and it was just her and the least I left her in "Good paws."

Went back to work and relieved my two co workers who were also working a double shift. One of the girl's is a doll that has come on board recently (compared to me.)

 When she first started she did what any good server would do  when starting at a place having such a huge and massive menu... fake it as best she could while trying to seem well informed. She was at a table one night and offered soup or salad to a table. They asked what the soups were and she said 'The cream of crab soup (an up -sell) is a bit more but VERY good." Then they asked about the Lobster Bisque (a HUGE up-sell) to which she remarked "It is VERY Very good."

That's all it took...once I heard about that I ran with it. I will hear her at a table trying to sell a bottle of wine and will remark from the next  table "That is a VERY, Very good wine." Or I will help her take food to her table and set the dish down in front of the customer and make the comment "You enjoy this, it is VERY, very good!"

The problem is my co worker unfortunately thinks I am "VERY" funny and as I comment about the "Very" fabulous dish or drink in front of them (which by  the way is) she always cracks up. I can hold a straight face... which she is totally incapable of.  I could go on for a VERY very long time about this, and  have...for months.

It's like when they hired a cook in the back of the house named "Darquan." Yes he was African American and I often wonder if there was some kind of play on words  naming him that? All I have to say is that's great but don't do it in the south...the deep south. Not everyone is as liberal as me.

So I beat a dead husband has reminded me of this for years. Obviously he has a VERY very good memory!

Taking my girl to the doctor tomorrow, actually my VERY very nice husband will. I am leaving the money  for him to take her to the Doc in the Box for fifty bucks and having the antibiotic filled for (hopefully) free at Publix or Kroger.

 I am VERY very tired and I am VERY very old but you you know what? I am VERY very much alive and VERY very able to get up in the morning and do it all again.

At least I laugh every day. At least I have a job I love and for some crazy reason my bosses love me. It makes battling back a heck of a lot easier.

My girl will get to the Doc in the Box tomorrow, thanks to my VERY very sweet hubby, I will work another double which will get me VERY very close to being back in the black and if not I have four more shifts to go to insure it.

I am a VERY very lucky person...and this said with NO sarcasm. I am a "LUCKY lucky woman."

My girl will get well tomorrow and I will keep on keeping on.

Til the next time..."A VERY very grateful COTTON"

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sometimes Reality Bites

It's been a long couple of weeks in my tired ole life. I am almost fifty two and should be  10 years from retirement, instead my retirement date seems to have been pushed back to my funeral. At least that will make it a party too!!

I've attended the funeral of a young neighbor my own oldest son's age who grew up at my house eating and tearing up everything in my house along with my own three kids and at least half a dozen other kids...I loved every minute of it. Our house has always been a kid magnet but at least I knew where they were all "sticking together."

The funeral  was one of the saddest  I have ever attended and being over fifty I have attended more than my share. This kid was shot in the chest, point blank at a local tavern after a shove during a dispute about the guy flirting with my neighbor's girlfriend after she had asked him to stop. He stopped flirting with her and immediately stopped another young man's life.

The funeral was held in his parent's home town about twenty minutes away at their church. It was packed ... with people standing in the back. It was filled with young people, all friends of Chris and the minister took the pulpit and not only had us all riveted but hanging on to her every word. It suddenly made me realize after going through my third tissue that when I die I want not only a black minister but a room full of black folks. (No disrespect intended calling them blacks. My high school was a 50/50 mix of whites and blacks..."Ebony and Ivory")  When African Americans send off their loved ones they do it loud long and large. They don't preach to show off , they preach to teach and when the peeps sitting in the crowd agree they don't just sit there, They raise up their voices to be heard loud and clear rather than nod off  or simply nod their head in agreement.

Three days later I was sitting outside a courtroom with my younger son,  witnessing how pathetically slow our justice system works and even more  pitiful how much of our society is. You couldn't even get into the court room so my husband and I sat on a six foot long bench outside the court room with our son waiting to be called in. Once again, standing room only.

When I was brought up you dressed up nice for church, picture day at school and  court dates.
 Obviously that rule has changed.

 There were peeps in pajama pants and people wearing tank tops they had airbrushed on a trip to the beach. One couple was snuggled up asleep together on one of the benches like they were at home in bed together while an eighty five year old man stood hunched over his walker in his own pajamas. It was a sad statement of our current society but one I was unfortunately included in.

 I made my son wear Khakis a starched shirt (Thank you me) and a tie. After two hours of waiting I went back downstairs to get my book from the car...obviously I was in for a LONG wait.

Being born in the early sixties I knew how to dress..."WEAR a dress!" I got into the elevator to go down and was accompanied by a lone man around the age of thirty. After ten seconds he simply said "You a lawyer ain't cha." I thought about saying  "No but I  play one on TV."

Hour number three later I left my husband and son and went to throw some  money at the blood sucking Verizon network that unfortunately keeps us all connected 24/7 and in this world cannot live without.

By the time I got back the deal had been struck. Zach pays $17.50 a day for thirty days to live in prison. He paid a fifty dollar application fee (seems that background check is an oxymoron) and just another way to get money .

At least this seems to be the beginning of another end. I have learned in my decades of being a parent that it truly NEVER ends but ebbs and flows.

When I take a look at the BIG life's okay. When I start breaking it down, kid by kid, bill by bill and event by event it's pretty discouraging. On the upside, at least I am still around to be discouraged.

With God as my witness, I will  hang in there til the Fat Lady sings  (Glad I am skinny and not fat)

Til next time...COTTON

Friday, April 13, 2012

Life is a Lesson...

 I've always pretty much put my life "out there" on my blog. It tends to be an open book for the world to read and have never been one to shy away from telling the truth as I see it...negative OR positive and was actually the reason for starting it in the first place.

 My life has literally been through the wringer over the past couple of years. We went from a very comfortable middle class family to one on food stamps , unemployment and unconditional love and support from family , friends and even strangers. It was a reality check for my family and a lesson  well learned for me. "The Golden Rule works!"

Almost a year ago my youngest son got into some trouble. In a way I saw it coming but chose to turn a blind eye. Hindsight is 20/20. You never want to think your kid is screwing up but sometimes you need to .

 While I was working one night...most probably my twentieth shift in a row, the cops came semi knocking but totally busting into my house looking for my son with a warrant. They threatened to shoot my dogs and not only terrified my daughter but pointed a gun  at her chest and handcuffed her as well. By the time I got home from work after receiving a call from the Sheriff's dept they had turned my house upside down. It was a wreck, so was my daughter and so was I.

Yes Zach made a mistake...a really stupid one but  it broke my heart  to see him taken away in hand cuffs. We left him in jail overnight to think about his actions but the "Mommy" in me couldn't stand leaving him there any longer after coming home from work the next  night and hearing his pitiful sounding voice on my answering machine apologizing for messing up and asking if I could possibly bail him out? He said if I didn't have the money he would understand and ended with the clincher "I love you."

No... I didn't have the money but somehow scraped it together. As the swift wheels of justice turned like a squeaky rusted out tricycle tire... the cops who  arrested him followed him every time he left the house and often sat across the street from my house just simply staring at my house.

 In my opinion they made a few mistakes as well which I won't go into but it just left a bad taste in my mouth.

Zach got  part time job at a gas station stocking shelves and guess who wandered in on one of his first nights there and said "Hey there buddy, how ya doing?"

I know Zach made a stupid STUPID mistake but it border lined on stalking and harassment in my book. (one they obviously never read)

Then the fall out from the neighborhood started.

My daughter was on Facebook one night and mentioned she couldn't see one of our neighbor's pictures. They had blocked her. Then another neighbor did the same. And I'm not talking about teens but grown women. I was furious to say the least. Block ME...I couldn't care less but to make a young girl feel like SHE had done something wrong made me realize how wrong THEY were.

So their lives are perfect and we are people to be avoided? I  guarantee you at some time at some point their kid's will screw up too.

So what mine did first? But to be a grown adult and hurt the feelings of an innocent young girl made me realize even though they talk the big CHRISTIAN talk... they have no idea how to walk the walk.

After almost a year the date finally rolled around and feeling embarrassed yet still supportive (as a parent should be)  I sat in a courtroom and saw my own child sentenced to thirty days. He got lucky and will serve it with a work release. I had to leave him there and he was taken into custody and shipped over to the work release program. They let me pick him up to go to work and I return him there after work. They strip search him every time he returns which hopefully reminds him that "This ain't no joke."

He didn't kill of the kids who was in court today did. My boy made a stupid mistake and  is paying for it. I dropped him off at the gate tonight after work and he checked back into his cell. It hurt leaving him there but  felt good knowing he was "manning up" to his mistake and learning a life lesson.

Raising kids isn't easy, I don't care who you are. If you  think they are perfect you are in for a rude awakening. No one is perfect...some just get by with it for a little longer.

 I have faith in my son.

 I have learned that a parent cannot be TOO paranoid. I have learned that sometimes it hurts to watch your child learn a lesson but  is better than them never learning one. I have learned that they can't have shaving cream in jail that contains alcohol. What idiot that drank shaving cream for a buzz and ruined it for the rest of them is still a mystery to me but I am sure I will discover a lot of new things over the next thirty days.

Yes this is my life. It isn't perfect but it is real. What is even more real is that I will not only make it through this but both my son and I will be stronger. He is learning a life lesson and so am I.

No one is immune to failure. To think you are is worse than blocking someone from an FB's blocking reality.

Til next time...COTTON

Friday, April 6, 2012

Google Maps Let Me Down When I Already Was

Went to the visitation for a kid who grew up across the street from us and was killed for senseless reasons. It was held in the hometown of his parents so I googled the place with their "maps." You would think Google used the above photo to get me there. It took us well over a hour to get there and since we didn't really know where we were going we had to simply rely on "Big Brother" aka The Internet.

 Before leaving for the visitation I picked up a former neighbor who used to live two doors down but has since moved to "The Kuntry." She was riding shot gun and filling in as my GPS...that means she had glasses on and was reading the driving directions to me. Somehow we must have gotten on a truck route and had to finally stop at a gas station for help. The guy behind the counter looking like Apu from The Simpson's said "I am not from around here (No Duh) let me ask someone else."

 He sauntered over to the video poker machines to a black woman who seemed to be a regular. I told her I was looking for a certain funeral home, knew the name of the street but didn't know the name of the funeral home. She asked if the deceased was black or white?

BINGO! Had my directions. Here in the south we lay our peeps out by  race. Sad to say but it is the truth. In less than five minutes us whitey's pulled into the lot. It was a sad affair to say  the least. My neighbor didn't really want to look at our young friend but the book was in the room with him so I stepped in to sign it for the both of us.

 I am almost fifty two and have attended more funerals than weddings at  this point in my life. When my mother died I wasn't really happy with the way she looked. She looked fake to me and I made the mistake of touching her hand,  which didn't feel like the hand that had held mine or hugged my neck for seventeen years.

I looked at this young man and he looked exactly as I remembered him asleep on my couch after spending the night with my own two boys. Peaceful and at  rest.

It made me cry uncontrollably.

My neighbor and I went over to his parent's house afterwards and talked for a hour about the kids. They had two, my neighbor had two and I had three. They ALL grew up together. When we moved to Newnan Massey was two, Zach was four and TJ was  eleven. All our three and their combined four ruled the neighborhood and not only wore us out but wrecked our houses, dug holes in our yards, shot BB guns when we told them not to and pretty much gave us gray hair earlier than any of us parents desired.

But you know what? They are your kids and you love them regardless. That is what a parent is for and that is what a parent is SUPPOSED to do.

My kid's have made so many mistakes they make me look like "I" was a good kid...which in fact I wasn't but my parents loved me anyway ... helped me  when they could and made me suffer consequences when necessary.
I am a firm believer in bringing back "Butt Whoppings."

But when you lose a child (who will always be your CHILD) it tends to feel like too much too little too late.

My kid's aren't perfect. My kid's have worn me out time after time but yet  other times have warmed not only my heart but my  hand as they have held it.

These parent's will never feel that warm hand again. Sometimes there are no "Do Overs" in life. This is one of those times.

There but by  the Grace of God goes anyone of our kids. Hold them tight, it may tick  them off but it beats going to a funeral.  Keep a check on them and pray for the best. Kids think they know it all...I know I thought I did. These parents did the same thing but lost the gamble. In the world today you just never could have just as easily been one of my own kids. I have known this family for over a decade. Good people, wonderful people  They are sitting  where I could be sitting.

 Wake up kids...That's about all I can say. The ball of life is in YOUR court.

Times have changed and I'll stand by my comment "It's a scary world."

On the way back we got directions from Big Chris (the dad) and it took us twenty minutes to get home. As my daughter would say "SMH."

Til next time...COTTON

Monday, April 2, 2012

It's a Messed Up World

I had to work another double shift today and got up with a heavy heart. Last night right before I went to bed I found out a kid who not only grew up across the street from us but grew up with my own three kids was shot in  the chest Friday night after an argument at a local tavern. He was only 25 years young. Now he'll never grow old.

What kind of argument makes you think it is okay to point a gun at a person's chest and pull the trigger?

There may be a couple of exceptions that I can think of... but an argument over a girlfriend isn't one of them.

When he was in high school he worked at the grocery store where I shopped and ALWAYS took our groceries out. (Said he loved getting out of the store for a bit) He had a smile that was infectious and came from a great family. His sister was one of Massey's first baby sitters and his parents were good people too.

When he was just a kid he'd come down to our house and play basketball or video games for hours with Zach and TJ. I remember the first time he came into our house with a black nylon dew rag on his head and our boxer, Rosie went berserk because she didn't recognize him. We laughed about that for years.

I'm not laughing tonight. He was one year younger than my oldest son. He had decades and decades and decades ahead of him... and then some.

Now he is gone. In the matter of a split second he left this world. It saddens me to think  guns are what some people choose to settle an argument with.

Webster's defines  argument as "A discussion in which disagreement is expressed; a debate."  I don't see the  word "Kill" in any of that definition,  yet a young man  lost his life  during an argument.

I witnessed the death of both my parents and it still unsettles me to say the least. If I lost one of my children, especially in such a senseless way I don't think I would ever recover from it.

This young man is gone...forever,  after the simple click of a trigger of a weapon that should only be used for deadly and warranted reasons.

It's a scary world we live in now.

Til next  time...hoping there will be one, COTTON

Sunday, April 1, 2012

It's Official..."I'm Tired"

I tried to remember my last day off... but even THAT made me tired. I thought it was last week but I picked up a catering job on my day off. That would make it almost three weeks and  depressed me even more so I quit thinking about it.

I have a wonderful husband (not that I let him know) and he works hard on  the worst shift possible, midnight to noon. He is a monster of my own creation. I am a "Doer." I may wait til  the last minute and scramble like a cornered rat but I get it done...somehow someway.

He is the most lackadaisical person around  the house  I have ever met and have only myself to blame. As of late I have tried to correct the problem with mixed results. Being a "Be-yotch" wasn't  the good idea  I thought it would be... then I remembered my Momma  saying to me as a kid "You catch more flies with honey than vinegar."

When she died suddenly...out of the blue,  I was a stupid selfish clueless seventeen year old idiot of a kid. (But she still loved me)

As the decades have  passed,  I tried to forgive myself but have often remembered some tidbits of advice or sayings  she offered  when I was a stupid teen with my eyes always rolling when she spoke,  like SHE was the idiot!

I got up for work today... a double shift with another one on Monday looming ahead. I plopped the two overflowing laundry baskets down in front of Tim, who was  watching either Gun Smoke or Bonanza on cable. (If Hoss ain't in the shot I get them mixed up)

 I "kinda" nicely said  I would really like for him to not only START the laundry but finish and put it up.

 That's just the way  you have to put it with men. Say "Do  the laundry!" and they throw in a load and find Brave Heart or The Rifleman on cable and forget about it.

I worked the lunch shift and got off around two. I knew we were low on laundry detergent and stopped by the store to buy another jug. I walked into  the house and he said rather jubilantly from upstairs watching a car race "We're out of detergent!"

Kudos to him he threw in another load as I shucked off my uniform and jumped on Johnny. I cut my front yard and side yard, my neighbor's back yard and weed eated both. Took a towel and brushed off the grass clippings from between my toes and on my legs and pulled back on my tights, put my back brace back on covering it with my work shirt and drove back to work with the top down on my car to blow the grass clippings out of my hair.

I struggled at work. It wasn't really busy but I was bushed. The bartender even said "You're always our PICK ME UP person, are you okay?"


Luckily it is Spring Break week and I snuck out shortly after closing. I came home to empty laundry baskets, a small load in  the washer and one in the dryer.

THAT my friends,  is progress!

I just HAVE to remember to ask nicely. I just NEED to remember that my husband is not even remotely geared the way I am. I just have to remember that my husband doesn't ask me to work day after day week after week...that's all MY doing but is just the way "I" am geared.

It's a good mix. It works for us. I  need to sometimes take a step back and realize "Rome wasn't built in a day."

Til next  time (still brushing grass from my hair while plugging in my heating pad)
...Cranky but Content COTTON