Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

I found last year's Peter Pan costume in scattered places. The hat I made was in the garage, tights were buried in one of my drawers and the smock which took fifteen minutes to sew was in  the top of the closet which used to be Massey's bedroom.  It beat ironing a uniform for work so off I went this morning...looking like a ninety five pound idiot. I couldn't  find my sword from last year so I made one out of cardboard when I got to work. We were busy as poop and if I had  to tell one more old person I was NOT an elf or leprechaun I was gonna get ticked. Since when do elves or leprechauns have swords?

I went in at ten thirty for a lunch shift and got off at  five in the afternoon. It was of my own choosing but after explaining my costume all day I was just ready to go.

When my kids were little Halloween was a big deal. We bought a house in a new subdivision so all of our kids grew up together. Only a few families have moved so there are fewer kids left.

This pic was made when Massey and Zach both still got into Halloween. TJ was older and either at work or with friends. Zach thought he looked "Boss" and Massey knew she was destined to be a beauty AND drama queen.

I think she has accomplished both missions.
I used to open windows and put speakers in them with spooky music blaring from my stereo, paint my face green and don a witch outfit. One year I even had a haunted house in my gargage.
How did we go from TJ's second birthday to my youngest applying for college?

TJ was fortunate...or maybe unfortunate to be brought into my own crazy family. This is a pic of my brother tormenting my nephew, Griffin while TJ looks super happy about it.

All the kids have grown up and I have enjoyed every minute. Tim and I started out weak but grew more than we would have ever imagined. We were rocking life  then it kicked us in the teeth.

We have survived! And you know why? Because of love. My family loves me and I am a firm believer of "You reap what you sow." I am not a perfect person, never pretend to be but if you pay it forward every moment of your life, you will be blessed beyond belief and I have been time amd time again.

Not meaning  to sound sad or pitiful... because I'm not. I am one of the luckiest peeps on earth.

I have had bad years (who hasn't.)  I have had good years too and  learned how to tell the difference.

At the age of fifty two I have decided, if I have made it this far with the help of SO many others  I can't think of one reason to not "Steam ahead...Full throttle!" And hope to pay it back.

Til next  time...COTTON

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Bad, The Blind and The Uga-ly

I've had a great response to Ham's blog. I was supposed to be off tomorrow and had plans of setting up his account and creating his Facebook page but picked up a shift for tomorrow while I was at work tonight. Work has been slow so all I can do is pick up extra shifts and pray.

On Sundays we have a brunch  from 11 til 2 and the cooks always save me the left over biscuits to take home for my family.  We have awesome biscuits and the kids and Tim like to nuke them in the mornings for breakfast. When I left work last night one of the cooks told me not to forget my biscuits so I put the dozen or so in a big zip lock baggy and took them home.

Ziggy can sniff out food from a mile away, he ate a garlic bulb out of my potato bin last night, little idiot.  Maybe he knew it was Halloween week and is scared of  Vampires. I brought the biscuits home and left them on TOP of the toaster which is at the back of  the kitchen counter.

Massey left for school first this morning, then Tim for work. I went downstairs to get a glass of milk and it looked like someone had spilled oatmeal all over my living room carpet.  I wondered what it was until I saw the zip lock bag with a hole chewed in it.

 Ziggy had eaten ten huge biscuits for breakfast. He was fast asleep on the sofa, looking quite content...and full.

At least he ate something that wasn't bad for him. I came home from work Thursday night and found my bottle of nail polish remover on  the living room floor with teeth marks so deep  the bottle was leaking. Ziggy wouldn't even lift his head off the floor and I thought this maybe this time his luck had run out. Surely acetone isn't  meant to be ingested dogs OR humans. I dragged him out  the back door and watched him dry heave for a while, gave him a fresh bowl of water and  read my book while he stumbled around the yard. I brought him back in and went to bed knowing there wasn't much else I could do but pray for the little dummy.

He woke up the next  morning rearing to go! (And I thought Tim had a cast iron stomach)

Who would have ever thought Charlie (the bull dog) would be smarter than any other dog in our house? Certainly no one IN our house.

Ham's just content to be fed, let out occasionally and never wanders far from the back door except to poop.

Charlie is as lazy as a worker for the public works department. He's like the guy who stands around the hole with six others just observing while the eighth, who picked the short straw or lost at rock/ paper/ scissors was digging the hole while all the rest commented about how slow the one guy was digging. That would be my Charlie! If he was  human, he would be a wife beater living in a trailer yapping at his wife to shut up so he could snore in peace.

The thing much as I talk and write about my dogs, I have never heard one complaint from any of the three. No belly aching about how foul nail polish was.  No complaining "I can't see ten inches in front of my face" and no complaining "It's tough being ugly and not being able to jump."

I love my kids first and foremost... always will  but my pups are a close second. My kids gripe all the time but my pups seemed thrilled every  time I walk into the room and never back talk me. At least one of them snuggles with me nightly and another one wakes me  staring into my face with a smile and wag of their tail.

A  friend of mine commented on a blog I wrote quite a while back. He said "There is a reason dog is GOD spelled backwards."

Let's see...unconditional love, no questions asked and love even when you fail , forget or drop the ball.

I'm lucky to have total support from not only my pups but The Big Dude.

Til next time...COTTON

Sunday, October 28, 2012

What Happened to Autumn?

Guess I will be Peter Pan again this year for Halloween... Still have the suit and hat I made and even the green tights. Last night my co workers got all bent because I wasn't dressed up and made me be "Where's Waldo" and plopped a red and white striped cap on my head. They said "At least you  can wear your glasses all night now!" (trying to make an old woman feel even worse) Once forced to play, I called home and had Zach bring me the red and white striped shirt hanging in my closet. Granted wearing my glasses all night helped me see better typing in orders and running credit cards but I am far sighted so trying to walk up steps while loaded down with plates made me feel like I had Vertigo. I had a headache by  the end of the night because I usually only put them on when I need to read something up close. With my glasses on all night the plates of food I ran looked gigantic to me and only made me notice even more how badly I needed to do my nails.

It was an exhausting ten hour shift and I came home and fell into bed. I had to have Massey at her senior picture photo "RE" shoot at 8:30 AM and unfortunately it was going to be 47 degrees.

 Of course I wasn't the one wearing a thin cotton dress under a water fall but she has a lot more meat on her bones and is over thirty five years younger. I thought the first pictures were fine but the woman who made the last ones wasn't happy with the lighting and wanted to take more. I thought it totally unnecessary until she showed me on her digital camera screen  the most amazing picture of Massey I have ever seen. Her eyes have never looked as blue or she more beautiful. The woman, who is one of Massey's former teachers had the coolest most unique ideas for poses. From the way she wanted Massey's hair to way she wanted Massey's hands. If  you ever need pictures contact me and I'll hook you up with this woman. Granted she knows Massey well but has a great eye for detail. After two hours of shivering in my jeans, undershirt, tee shirt, hooded sweater and Massey's Letterman jacket we were through.

I went home with all my layers still on , climbed back into bed and settled in under the comforter. Snoozed for two wonderful warm hours and unfortunately had to get up. Like an idiot I picked up a shift today... on my day off. I gotta make a bank deposit tomorrow and I gotta get this woman a payment for these pictures.  "Typical Cotton"

I did get up from my nap early enough to go by and see my friends in the assisted living home before clocking in.

Massey went with me. We stopped by work and they made us a pizza to take to the wife who said she" Just had a taste for pepperoni pizza."

We found her watching ice skating on TV as we knocked on her door... barged in and announced  "Pizza Delivery!"

This tiny little woman (and I know all about being tiny) wanted us to crank up her bed so she could enjoy a slice. It made me feel good she wanted to eat! She wolfed one slice down which was good to see as I wolfed down three and Massey  two. Her husband is still in a separate room on the other side of the facility but she mentioned if we hurried we could catch her daughter in law who was visiting and missed lunch. When ole peeps boss you around you  are bound by moral law to obey so Massey took the remaining pizza and went to feed her other half and his daughter.

She came back empty handed and said they loved it. She also told me my dear friend's husband said not to leave without stopping by  for a visit. I had bought me and Massey a pizza as well that we ate all but two pieces of so we kissed our friend goodbye and said her better half wanted to see us before I had to go to work.

We walked into his room and at least this time his daughter was there to mute the TV.  I chatted with his daughter and Walter seemed to just be happy hearing conversation in his room. I looked at  the clock and told Massey we needed to go. I had to be at  work in ten minutes.

It's really nothing I am doing for this couple... but something that seems to mean the world to them.

This man flew bomber missions in WWII, his wife served in the Navy. They honored their country, raised kids, had a great life and now the curtain is starting to fall. I told his wife the other day

 "You have already won. Every day a plus, it's a bonus. You are almost ninety two and still look beautiful".. and she really does.

My skinny self can sleep in the morning, don't work til five but as long as Ruth and Walter are just ten minutes away, it would be a shame not to go by.

It is incredible how easy it is to make ole folks happy. We should ALL do it more often. When you are ninety two there's no room for  putting it off. There's no room for excuses...people either love and show their support, or they don't.

We all need to remember that will be "us" one day.

Massey is going by  tomorrow to pick up Walter's library book and return it before as he says " I owe them a hundred bucks!".

I may not be the best momma, I may not have the best kids and I may not have the best life but I know how to love. I know what love means and how special it feels to simply be loved by another.

The Beatles were just a rock band but so right when they said..."Love is all you need."

The Beatles

Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love.
There's nothing you can do that can't be done.
Nothing you can sing that can't be sung.
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game
It's easy.
There's nothing you can make that can't be made.
No one you can save that can't be saved.
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you
in time - It's easy.

All you need is love, all you need is love,
All you need is love, love, love is all you need.
Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love.
All you need is love, all you need is love,
All you need is love, love, love is all you need.
There's nothing you can know that isn't known.
Nothing you can see that isn't shown.
Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be.
It's easy.
All you need is love, all you need is love,
All you need is love, love, love is all you need.
All you need is love (all together now)
All you need is love (everybody)
All you need is love, love, love is all you need.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Update On My Friends

Massey and I went back to the rehab to visit the wife and fill up her bird feeder the other day. We filled her feeder before we even went inside so we could surprise her when we opened her blinds. We walked to her room and Massey noticed first. She said "Her name isn't on  the door anymore." My heart dropped. We opened the door and sure enough her room was empty.

We went to the front desk and asked where she was? The lady seated at  the desk said (much to my relief) "She has been moved over to the assisted living facility where her husband is."

We left...first stopping back outside to retrieve the block of bird feed we had installed in the feeder and then headed over to the assisted living facility.

It was a MUCH nicer place. There was a sign pointing to  independent living and another pointing to personal care. We decided personal care must be where they were. We walked in and no one was at the desk so in usual Cotton fashion we just roamed around looking for our friends. Massey found their name on a door and we knocked. We knocked again. We could hear a TV but no one answered. The woman at the rehab facility told us she thought they had separate rooms for now, with her needing more medical attention. I really didn't want to open the door so we wandered back up the the still vacant front desk and leaned over the counter til we found a sticky note and  pen. We wrote that we had come by  to visit and would come back soon. We stuck it to their door and left.

I went into work today and opened. I got off around 2:30 and had to be back by 5:30.  I called the assisted living place and asked if they had any dietary restrictions and could I bring them food? They said they weren't sure about her but he could have anything. The owner's son cooked the husband up some Nonna Bistecca, one of  the his favorites and I headed over.

I knocked on the same door Massey had found the first time.  After knocking harder the second time I heard "Come in" over the TV playing loud enough for Helen Keller to hear it.

I walked in and Walter was kicked back in a recliner watching television AND reading a book.  Dang... he's over 92 and is still a multi tasker! Both his legs were wrapped in these huge blow up compression devices but he looked happy to see me, sitting there in his WWII Bomber shirt. I was impressed that he could read a book, suffering macular degeneration but noticed the book was in a font larger than a small billboard and his glasses made him look like his eyes were the size of golf balls.

He was  happy to have someone visit so we chatted away,  with hm never muting or even turning down the blaring volume on the TV set. We just sat and hollered at each other for half an hour.  That's a man for ya. I put his food in the little refrigerator and he said he looked forward to having it for dinner. He can't see or hear well and has a hard time getting up or walking but the man is still sharp as a tack. He told me when his wife first went to the rehab...which was really a hospice, they gave her 2 months to live. He said she had stopped eating and lost so much weight she weighed just over ninety pounds. I only weigh 95 and know I'm too skinny but at least I'm not in a hospital bed and Depends. (yet)

She battled back though and started eating. She regained some strength and the doctors bumped her demise back to at least a year. Heck, if you are over ninety another year is like a decade to someone my age!

I went to leave and leaned over to kiss his cheek and hug him.  He hollered back at me over the blaring TV, "Hey, don't get an old man all excited!" He gave me directions to his wife's room, which were spot on and I knocked on her door, hearing the TV on. She weakly called out to come in and the minute she saw me, muted the TV. (That's a woman for you)

She looks much better than last time I saw her and after  telling her I brought her husband some food from the restaurant, asked her what she felt hungry for?  I told her I was off all day on Sunday (which I'm not) and would love to  bring her something.  She said she would like a pizza with... and held up frail fingers in the shape of an "O."

I said "Pepperoni it is and I'll be here with it tomorrow!"

I'll never make it to ninety. With the stress I have in my life I'll be lucky to make it to 53. But what I CAN  hopefully secure myself  a club level seat in  Heaven by helping others while I'm still here. If I'm wrong about my final destination and go the other direction, I hope I rate a window seat....These hot flashes are already killing me.

Going by to drop her off a pizza tomorrow and fill the bird feeder. Working tomorrow night to try and catch up with my own life, bills and problems...which after today seem trivial. Both served in WWII, over ninety, still aware, lucky enough  to be together.

Count your blessings them one by one.

Til next time...COTTON

Friday, October 26, 2012

Helping Ham

I just love this picture of Ham. He is such a magnificent looking dog. He is only six but has gone blind. He is young and strong and used to run and jump like a rabbit. This video was taken just a couple of years ago in our back yard as he tried to pull the broken limb of a tree from six feet off the ground.

We rescued him as a young pup and knew his father had gone blind at a young age but took him anyway. My sister owns his father and when Boss (his father) went blind they had lens implants put in costing over $3000.00 but he could see perfectly again. He is almost fourteen now and getting old but still has his sight.

Ham tends to live within his comfort zone of the house or back yard. He no longer catches like Andruw Jones or jumps like Michael Jordan but at least he is healthy and happy to be loved.

The other two dogs got out a couple of nights ago and for some reason Ham followed them. The neighbor brought back Ziggy and we found Charlie sitting by the garage but Ham was long gone. It took me over thirty minutes but I finally found him a half mile from our house wandering down  the middle of a busy road. I can't believe he didn't get hit by a car and had to pick him up to get him in my car, but at least he made it home.

I've had close to 52,000 hits on my blog and hope maybe one of them may be someone who loves dogs as much as I do. I took twenty dollars out of the tips I made that night and set it aside, thus starting "The Ham Fund."  Lens implants are totally out of the question for us, we're barely getting by but if I could scrape together several hundred dollars we could have his cataracts removed and although it would be fuzzy, he would have some type of vision. He's healthy as an ox...and almost as big as one. He has many more years to live and I just can't bear them all being spent in total darkness.

If he had gone blind before Tim and I both lost our jobs , we wouldn't have hesitated to take out a loan and have lens implants put in. We have battled back from our lowest point of being on welfare, food stamps and generosity of family and friends. We managed to keep our house and have made great strides. The thing is when you are knocked out of the game for two years it takes at least ten to recover...not to mention we had three kids who came first.

I am calling the specialist on Monday who put in Hams father's implants and ask if he could just look at Ham and give us the best and most frugal way of giving my pup back some semblance of sight.

It's kinda like when the transmission went out on Tim's car when were broke as a joke. We hauled it over to a guy we trusted and several times a week I went by and gave him twenty sometimes forty or if we had been busy at  work fifty dollars and told him to let me know when I had given him enough to start working on the car. It took me almost two months two yard sales and a trip to the pawn shop with jewelry Tim had given me from our early years of marriage but we got Tim's car fixed.

We are making our comeback slowly but surely and will most certainly survive but coming up with money to fix Ham is far down the list of "Musts."

Massey emailed the guy with the dog with arthritis who's video went viral and has been flooded with donations. As of today she hasn't heard back from him.

Why should be Ham be any different? I'm thinking about making Ham his own FB page. Put his story out there along with pictures and videos.

Once we talk with the vet who specializes in this field I think I may ask him if we can set up a fund for Ham and just see what happens?

Can't hurt and might help.

This blog has been a blessing to me. It has let me vent, lament and put my life out here for every one to see... why be embarrassed about things you  can't control? I have had many comments from people across the world when one blog or another feels like it relates to them or sometimes when they relate to what I write.

Right now I just want to help our dog...but he's not just a dog. He is a member of our family and it hurts me that I am unable to help him.

My brother in law told me to put Ham and his plight on my blog and just see what happens so that is what I am doing.

He is a gentle giant, he is big and strong but has totally lost his sight. My other two dogs seemed  to realize something is wrong and lay in the floor behind me night after night as I type this blog licking and grooming him as if to say "It'll be alright buddy, WE love you."

If  you don't love dogs you will think I am an idiot and you are right . I AM an idiot, but besides that I am one who loves her pups and can't give up without trying every thing I can.

Ham has been an awesome addition to our family. How can I not try and give back to him all he has given us?

Calling the vet on Monday and setting Ham up on Face book!

Some people may think "If you don't have a lot of money why do you have three dogs?"

When we got Ham we were making well over six figures a year and thought we had made it. Then my oldest son moved back home and brought Charlie. He moved out but forgot to take his dog. Then  we both lost our jobs and almost lost our house. By the Grace of God and the help of many, we survived and regrouped...both with new jobs. Then after my female boxer died a good friend of mine had a hard time getting rid of her AKC registered boxer puppies. They had a six month old baby and not only the mother and father boxer but seven pups driving her crazy. When she asked if we would take one I couldn't resist. Heck I already had two, used to have three and would rather know the pup was going into a loving home.

I may be crazy...actually I know I am but we were beginning to get it together again and who could turn down this face?

So here I am with three dogs again. I've discovered  our county gives shots and medicine on Thursday's for free or for what you are able to pay.

My dogs are a part of our family. They don't contribute anything but love but sometimes "Love is all you need."

Will update you all On Monday when we speak with the  "Doggy Eye Doc."

Til next time...COTTON

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Peek Into My World

What a freakin' day! This picture seems to fit it best. I always WANT to think it's all flowers I'm constantly trying to peer through but it's the thorns that will kill you.

The puppy, Ziggy is slowly getting better but it takes diligence and routine to make it work...two things my youngest two kids are obviously incapable of. I've worked the past seven days and take care of the pups while I am home but it has generally fallen onto the kids to take care of them while Tim and I are at work. They are "Slackers" to say the least. I tell them time and time again, "They are three big dogs and need their water bowls filled at least twice a day...not one bowl but BOTH." Charlie, the bulldog eats enough for two and Ziggy is a puppy who is always hungry and Ham is blind so he just waits  to sniff around to find what's left. That's why I put out four bowls of dog food. They each have one and a spare. When dogs have plenty of water and plenty of food they are pretty much happy. It's when you forget to feed them or fill up their water bowls they start to wander. The gate in the back yard has been chewed to death by Charlie, the idiot.

Now that we have a small slim puppy, he was squeezing through. I stapled up chicken wire to keep  them contained and it worked for over a month. Last night when I came home from work, Zach told me the dogs got out. I asked from where and he said  "Dunno" and kept playing his video game.  I have put up so much wire and pounded in wooden stakes at the back of the yard that I knew it wasn't there. I asked Zach if it was at  the gate and he said "Guess so."

Seventh day in a row at work and I left without checking the gate. I should have and I would have, but at my age I feel lucky to just make it one more day and didn't even have time to check the water or food bowls. Note to self : If you want it done, do it yourself.

I know the dogs were fed because I went into the garage and picked up the almost empty dog food bin, put it into Zach's hands and said "Go feed"

Of course like an idiot I didn't say "And give them water" so I am sure they choked down their IAM's.

I got home from work tonight and Zig had pooped in the house. Zach was on the computer in the dining room and acted surprised when I told him there was a big sloppy pile of dookey in the living room. Number crap has more smell than the strongest potpourri ever made and Number two (pun intended) if you don't let a puppy out once every hour, they are gonna take a crap in your house.

I was tired and shoved all three dogs out the back door to clean up the mess.  I had picked up the mess and sprayed the carpet with cleaner, waiting the ten minutes it says on the can of cleaner to wait when  the door bell rang. It was the next door neighbor's kid with Ziggy in tow.

Zach immediately went into "Told you" mode and said "I told you  the dogs were getting out."

I went into the back yard, where Ham is usually always sitting by  the back door when the other two idiots break out. He is totally blind and tends to stay in his comfort zone of the back yard. All dogs gone...

This was around ten thirty at night. Zach found Charlie sitting by  the garage door but my precious blind Ham was gone.

Zach, who immediately felt guilty went walking down the street calling Ham's name. I told Zach that he never left the yard before because he knew he couldn't see and seldom left his comfort zone (our back yard.)

Charlie and Ziggy have escaped a couple of times but Ham always remained behind.

Tonight my Ham was gone and I was terrified...more for him than me. He's blind and we live five doors down from  a busy road. As Zach walked the street I got in my car and cruised the subdivision.

I got to the end of the subdivision, turned around went back up turned onto the main road. I got half a mile up and there was Ham in  the middle of the street looking lost and walking down the middle of the road. I stopped in the lane, put my car in park, got out and called his name. He didn't know where to look, because he can't. I went over to him and pulled him by  the neck into  the other lane as a car whizzed by. He couldn't even see to get into my car but I picked him up (not an easy  task he weighs almost as much as me) and  drove him the half mile back to our house.

I pulled into our driveway and Zach, still out looking for him but seeing my car turn in came running and yelled "Do you have him?"

Call me crazy, you won't be the first but when my blind dog was out there all alone, I was mortified. Zach  could have fixed  that fence or at least  reminded me after seven straight days of work that they were escaping before I shooed them out the back door at ten thirty at night.

Zach was, much to my surprise pretty upset when I went up to his bedroom. When you are twenty you act like you never shed a tear, but a Momma knows better.
He helped me nail up the gate and fortunately or maybe not so fortunately, I still have three kids and three dogs.

Will my life ever be normal? The bigger question is ..."Do I really want it to?"

Til Next time...COTTON

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Things That Annoy Me

I am not a patient person and realize this. My husband is the most patient person on earth, which just irritates me even more. He only loses patience with me...but that's to be expected.

There is nothing that irritates me more than to be  running late and be behind stupid people in a line. It can be the bank, the gas station grocery store or  post office. Case in point: I am  zooming to work with no minutes to spare, have to stop for gas. I get in line, only one person in front of me, and this is the conversation: "Yeah, I think I'll take two of those umm, number threes and maybe two of the number fourteens. Let's see, maybe I'll get a mega millions ticket. Let's get it straight wait a minute. Let's just get four more number eights and a cash option for the power ball on Saturday."

I took Massey  to get her driver's license this past summer and out of the thirty people in  front of us in line maybe four had all  the required documents. Same thing when I went to get my car  tag. There were twenty people in line taking up space in front of the three of us who had every  thing we needed to get our tags. Sheesh!

I went to the post office the other day. I just needed a stamp to mail a bill. They had closed five minutes earlier but the door was still open. I thought I would just buy a stamp  from  the machine. I looked up and saw a sign pointing around the corner to the "Stamp Machine." I rounded the corner to see a blank space where the stamp machine USED to be. No wonder the postal service is going broke. There was a woman checking her PO box and I asked her where the stamp machine was? She said they had taken it out a few months ago and commented "It never worked anyway half the time."

It's like picking up the phone at  work and people wanting to place a to go order.  You  ask them what they want and they put you on hold three times to ask someone what type pasta they want or what kind of salad dressing they would like? Aren't these  things they should have already talked over or written down?

How about the person in front of you at  the grocery store who diligently watches the cashier ringing up  their order but waits until the cashier tells them their total before they even attempt to find their purse, dig out a wallet and take out their checkbook. Then they say "What's the date?" Or even worse..."Do you have a pen?"

These are all obviously people who have a LOT more spare time than I do and it's irritating to those of us who don't.

There should be two for the people who are ready and one for the people who are idiots.

I also get irritated when someone is in line in front of me , their transaction has been completed but  continue to chat it up. I say move to the side and talk while the rest of us move along.

Maybe one day I will have plenty of time and be one of the "Chatter's."

A girl can dream.

Til next  time...COTTON

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Boy the Times Have Changed

Here's my girl , my youngest child...less than two weeks old. My tiny hand is  larger than her even tinier face. She came into this world at four pounds.

Today she is a senior in high school. Tonight was the homecoming dance. The homecoming game was last night but the dance was tonight. Seems messed up to me but what do I know?

They all came into the restaurant tonight. Not just Massey's high school but another as well. You would have thought they were all headed to the Oscars. Shimmering dresses, gold flaked heels that even a hooker would have a hard time walking the streets in and a LOT of skin showing.

When I was in high school... we had homecoming, played the weakest team on the schedule beat their butts and immediately all went to the auditorium where the mirror ball had been hung. It was before Disco or it would have been called a Disco Ball. No other decorations, just a live band on stage comprised of fellow students who  had put together a garage band and played at local parks and our high school dances. When my older sister graduated it was "Hot Ice."

I couldn't remember the name of the band who played, but know that Big Mike was the  drummer and the Alston's along with Mac Greene. NOW I remember..."Alien!"

What great times! We shuffled over from the football field in our "Barefoot Sandals" and Levis. They were huge "Queen" fans but played everything from "Walk This Way" to  "Dream On" to  "Stairway to Heaven."

No fancy dresses or suits. No fancy dinner, just pizza from  Gigi's or burgers from  Mac Donalds's. Just a couple of hundred kids having the time of their life!

Oh to think back to nights at Perkerson Park. The band playing and all of us hoping to just hook up for a kiss, hug or even a wink. (I only got winks but felt lucky)

It was like being at the skating rink again but you had "matured." If that ain't a laugh, just quit reading this blog because you don't understand the mindset of which I speak.

It was a time when you thought everything was crucial. You thought if you weren't one of the popular crowd or at least FRIENDS of the popular crowd you would be wiped off the face of the earth. It was a time when your life seemed so important that not only are your parents stupid but incredibly  embarrassing.

"Been there..done that!"

I've spoiled my kids, not financially but spoiled them none the less.

If they had the great experience of growing up when I did, they would know right off the bat... "Dang , I'm a lucky stinking kid."

I love being a kid of the seventies. It was wild and furious. It was a time when we still had a conscience if you were raised right.

We grew up,  manned  up,  forged ahead and made a difference.

Two kids to go.

Having raised three kids, I am glad they have just survived. The world isn't like it used to be.

There are no bare foot sandals, there is no letting your kids roam without Internet access.

It's pretty scary  and a  hugely large and potentially dangerous world out there.

No more"Mirror Balls"

It takes a talk, it takes some time and it takes an effort.

Til next  time  COTTON

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Taking "Zig"ventory

Our newest little boxer is a demon you  gotta love. As bad as he is he's just so stinking cute you have to love him. Here's a pic of him taking a nap with my son after Zach got off from work. Just click on the picture and look at that sweet face, how could you not love him?

He loves the older two dogs and except when asleep is always and I mean ALWAYS pestering them.

Let's take an inventory. As of yesterday he has eaten four TV remotes, three pair of reading glasses, two coke cans, one beer can and  numerous water bottles;  not to mention too many empty toilet paper rolls and shoes to count and two of the three plants I 'HAD' in my living room. Add in my door mat from the back porch...Zach's stocking hat,  the stick of butter he ate off the kitchen counter last night along with the pack of ten large flour tortillas and half of the plastic package they came in.

Dang! You'd think he would be getting full!

I got home from work tonight and told my husband I guess I need to feed him more. Tim's reply was "Why? He seems to be eating twenty four /seven."

Oh... let's don't forget about the book I am currently reading which I borrowed from my sister. It is 641 pages long and now in 641 pieces. At least every page is still  there and readable...only the back cover is missing. (Guess that part was REALLY tasty) It took me over an hour to put every page back in order but also takes into account how many times I smacked Ziggy on the butt with the book I had to piece back together. I think I'll tell my sister we had a tornado hit but I was fortunate enough to recover every page...and "Ain't she the lucky one!"

Here's the thing. We got  Ziggy at a really low point in our life. We couldn't afford to buy a pure bred boxer and basically got him for free. The other two dogs (after sniffing his butt for two hours) decided they liked him and so did we. He's such a  kid. He's such a baby and he is so freaking cute!

He's slowly getting least now when he does something wrong he scrambles under the living room table which is less than a foot off the ground. The top is glass and he looks up at us like "I really didn't mean it! I love it here a lot and just look how cute I am?"

You know, it's not like my house is a mansion...I've raised three kids and four dogs here and have holes in some walls and stains to support the fact. We've had good times and we've had some bad. Now we have Ziggy's smiling face and horrible antics to remind us..."Love is all you need."

I love all three of my kids. They have torn up and broken a lot of things; they have disappointed me but  also brought me the greatest joys a mother could ever imagine.

When one of my kids did something wrong or bad, they always looked at me (after I bailed them out...sometimes literally) with a face and a seriously tight hug, which told me they not only loved me but appreciated me. Sometimes it was a project for school  they forgot to tell me was due that very morning, sometimes it was a mistake they were afraid to admit they made.

Webster's defines appreciate as "To realize the quality, significance, or magnitude of."

I think at the tender age of almost fifty three, all three of my kids have finally gotten it.

Ziggy still needs some help but who doesn't?  It's been an epiphany for me.

I have finally realized the quality, significance and magnitude of my life and it is pretty  stinking awesome!

Til next time...COTTON

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I'm One of the Lucky Ones

Massey and I went to visit one of the regulars from the restaurant where I work. They are in their nineties and up until about six months ago were tottering along just fine. Both still sharp and handsome. He is losing his sight and has trouble getting up or down but his wife always held his arm and even though it took them five minutes to get to their least they got there!

She fell at their house a few weeks ago and was taken to the hospital. They had recently sold their house having decided it was time for assisted living. I wish  they had made the decision earlier. Now he is in assisted living and she in a rehabilitation facility. They discovered cancer in numerous places and she lost her ability to walk. She seemed upbeat (as upbeat as you  can be) and Massey and I stayed with her for an hour. Massey is distraught they aren't together and made no bones about voicing that opinion. The problem is with all the medical issues,  this woman must  remain where she is with 24 hour care. It broke my heart. The left side of her face is still black and blue from her fall and she's lost so much weight that even I weigh more than her...and that's not good.

I  told her Massey and I would come pester her a couple of times a week and she weakly smiled.

Here's the thing. If you live with your spouse until you are both in your nineties and in reasonably good health, I'd call that a "Win."

She seems frightened of not being able to walk but Massey (in her always cheerful tone) said "We can always get you one of those little scooters! I'll get you a basket for the front and even put a ribbon on it!" My dear old friend said "I'd like a yellow ribbon." Then she drifted off for a nap.

And to think I  feel sorry  for myself sometimes... That will never happen again. So  what I got knocked down? At least I can get up and walk. At least I can fight.

These people are nearing the end of their fight and have no recourse other than to accept defeat and simply wait.

On the plus side (which I reminded my old friend) they both were sound mentally and had their memories. They could still remember all the years they had together. He could still you about all the bomber missions he flew in  WWII and she could still tell  you about her own stint in the Navy.

Life is but this immediate instant and these two people have a combined life of over 183 years. That is a "Win" no matter how you look at it. If they have to go I hope is quickly, if they still have a couple of years I hope they can be reunited and live out their remaining time side by  side.

My friend has a bird feeder outside her window and Massey and I told her we would fill it so she could enjoy the view. I also told her about the debacle I caused when we decided to do the same for my Diddy's older cousin who was in rehab a couple of years ago. My sister and I decided to take Frances a bird feeder and while my sister sat in the room with her I went to find a door to go outside and hang the peanut butter covered pine cone in a tree by  her window. I opened  the wrong door and as the alarm system went off I hurried through the gate (which set off another alarm) and while all the ole folks tried to scramble down the halls on their walkers with  tennis balls on the front thinking surely the place must be on fire and trying to choose which direction to go, I placed the pine cone in  a tree by her window and decided to walk all  the way back around  to the front door like I had just arrived. So I'm a good person...just not a smart person!

I want every one who reads this to send up prayers for my two old friends. I told the dear sweet woman before we left that we would be back and to just rest, God takes care of His own.

God has always taken care of me....and I depend on that.

Til next  time...COTTON

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Chugging On...

This is a pic of me with my oldest and dearest pup. He's my baby, has been the "Good" dog since my sweet Rosie passed. (His Aunt) The past year he has gone blind. It kills me I can't afford to help him see. My husband used to call him Andruw Jones. He could catch a  ball on the fly or jump a six foot   fence like it was a baby gate. One eye went bad, he learned to deal with it and was still okay. His other eye is almost glossed over too from cataracts but is somehow still fumbling and sniffing his way through life.

I went into work today and was surprised to see one of my absolute favorite customers. Mr. Ferrari. He and his wife are ninety two years old. (today was his birthday) His wife was both of them have been for over a month which already had me worried. They are both sharp in the mind, always dressed to the nines. Walter is losing his sight but in my opinion the world isn't such a pretty place to look at these days so maybe he is lucky in that respect. He was a bomber pilot in WWII. His wife was in the Navy.  When I first  started waiting on them over two years ago I had her bring me a picture of her when she was young. She was still so beautiful at the age of ninety that I just had to see how gorgeous she was when she was young. She brought me a pic of her sitting on the hood of a little MG convertible. It was taken in the early fifties. She looked just like a young Jackie Kennedy!

I always love waiting on this couple. They should have been one of the interviews in the movie "When Harry Met Sally."

Her husband was in today with his children, who are of course my age or even younger. Seems my beautiful Jackie Kennedy look alike has been diagnosed with cancer and it doesn't look good. She is in a nursing home and he in assisted living.

One year ago they tottered into our restaurant at least three times a week. They knew their limitations and came early to be home way before dark.

Now they are separated and it upsets me greatly.  I spoke with the daughter in law as they left today and promised I would visit Ruth tomorrow. I also promised Walter I would visit him  as well.

I told the daughter in law...You know what? They had over ninety years of health and happiness. I'd call that a "Win."

I told Walter I couldn't promise too many visits because I am so loud and boisterous I usually get kicked out after one visit. He just smiled, not even being able to see me clearly but when I hugged him, I knew what I needed to do.

Go see his wife, chat her up and try to cheer her on. Then I will go visit him and try to do the same.

If I make it to ninety it will be a miracle.

This couple IS a miracle. They lived and loved. They have lost but also experienced more of life than I ever will. They made it through the great depression, they lived into their ninties with grace and clear minds.

I am heading over to see Ruth first tomorrow. I've heard she is down and plan on holding her hand,  and reminding her how absolutely great she has made my life by just meeting her. Then I will go visit Walter.

I constantly think how tired I am and how old I am getting. I need to back up and be grateful for every day and make the most of my life.

"There but by the grace of God goes anyone of us."

I can assure you after both my visits, there will be a blog worth reading. Til next time...COTTON

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

It Was Worth a Shot

Still hanging latest fiasco has been with my car. I have a 1995 BMW 325 convertible we bought with the insurance settlement we got when Zach totalled out my 2002 Passat. It's a rattle trap, all four shocks are gone, the radio hasn't worked since Tim put a new battery in and since we don't have an owner's manual, BMW wanted $175.00 to tell me the code to reset it. I decided to just sing while I drive. My back two tires were showing steel belts and  when I bought two new tires from my buddy at  the tire place he found a bad bearing in one of my back wheels. With no money to fix it he suggested putting the new tires on the front since the bad bearing was what was making the tire wear and shoving the two still good tires to the back. He didn't use the word "Shove" but that's the way I thought about it.

It's what I always do...shove something over or rearrange. Duct  tape is another thing I always use to fix things. Paper clips also come in handy and I love me some twist ties and Gorilla glue.

He put the new tires on the front and the semi good tires on the back and I was good to go! He told me I needed to get the bearing fixed because it would wear my back tire quicker and eventually the wheel would fall off.  Eventually to me, is a LONG way off and considering it would cost several hundred dollars to fix I told him I would save up the money  and come back to see him. He also told me it sounded like the rear end was about to go and I'd be looking at  a couple of grand when THAT happened and my best bet was get rid of  the car. I told him I really didn't have that option but it was nice to be informed.

It's taken six months but the bad bearing finally wormed his wicked way to my back tire that USED to be semi good. My  son noticed last week that I had steel belt showing again on the bad wheel.

Dang...what to do when you can't fix it with duct  tape or Gorilla glue?

Ding Ding Ding!!  (That means I had a brilliant idea)  I told Zach yesterday  to check the spare I have never even looked at in my trunk and see  what  the tread looked like. He said it looked fine so I said "Well slap that bee-otch on the bum wheel and let's get another reprieve!"

He and his friend changed the tire and the spare looked a little low so they drove it next  door  to my next door husband's house (who doesn't have Gorilla glue or paper clips but every actual tool you could ever need) and they pumped up the tire with his compressor.

As usual I woke up for my day shift with zero minutes to spare. Four minutes for a shower, three minutes for make up, two minutes to give the dogs food and water out back and out  the door I went!

There sat my little Beemer...with a flat tire. It used to be called my spare tire but now it was called a headache.

I called work and the owner answered. I told him I had a flat and he said "That's why you have a spare...start changing it." I told him it WAS my spare that was flat but I'd get there.

I called a taxi and the guy said he had two people in front of me and it would be forty five minutes. For Pete's sake...what's he got, one cab?

I  called my sister who was luckily at  home and came to my rescue within fifteen minutes. We pulled into the parking lot at work and  the cab I had tried to  call strolled across in front of us. Whatever!

The night before another server had called to say his mother had been admitted to the hospital and asked if I would work the night shift for him after my day shift. Number one I have GOT to quit answering my cell phone on my day off,  number two I caved and said I would...not knowing I would wake up to a flat tire.

After my sister dumped me off at work (only fifteen minutes late) I plotted my next  strategic move. I called another server who was sick and off til Friday and asked if I could borrow her car? She said sure and I thought about calling back the "One Car" Taxi service when yet  another server came into the restaurant to have lunch. I asked her if she could drop me off to pick up my friend's car when she left and she agreed.

I picked up my friend's car and headed to the high school to pick up Massey (who's car was in the shop) and took her to pick up her car. I made it back to work with five minutes to spare. (Spare being a good thing this time)

I woke up  this morning and decided to just take the bald tire to a used tire dealership and buy a used one. The first place I stopped, which SHOULD be named "Casa de Viejo Tires" was no help at  all. All the amigos were busy putting thousand dollar rims on used tires on pimped out 1996 Chevrolet's and Cadillacs and were no help at  all. Fat boy behind the desk told me to try somewhere else and when I asked where he replied "A mile or two down the road."

I went to the place my Bro & Law had mentioned and walked out twenty minutes later with a brand new USED tire mounted and balanced for $49.00.

At least I am on the road again! I tried a quick fix which quickly turned into a disaster, but at least I tried!

When I took Massey to pick up her car yesterday, the guy who sold it to us ( fixed her problems and replaced her two front tires for free) told me he would take my car on a trade for a 2000 Audi he had put a new engine in and let me make payments. I am tempted.

I love my little Beemer but I just can't afford fixing all his ailments. This guy can fix and sell him whereas I can barely afford the gas for him much less shocks, bearings and a new rear end.

I think this may be the way to go. If it were the beginning of summer I would balk. I never put my top up between May and late September. I loved having a convertible. I'm just gonna think I had a good two year run with my little buddy but it's time to turn him out to pasture.

I guarantee you when we get back up to snuff  I'll get me another little convertible Beemer. But winter is coming, we ain't getting richer as fast as I hoped and with cold weather coming it may be a good thing to have a hard top over my head again. Maybe the car even has a radio that works!

Take the good with the bad. When you hit the bottom there is nowhere to go but up, unless life sends you six feet under and so far I have manged to stay on this side of the dirt.

Life is like a roller coaster in the dark. You don't know when it's gonna turn or go down or up. You never know what is around the bend...just make sure you are buckled in and  make it to the end of the ride.

"Watch your knees and exit to  your left."

Til next  time...COTTON

Monday, October 8, 2012

The World Keeps Turning

"To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to build up,a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to mend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it's not too late."

It's been an extremely stressful week for I thought. Work has been painfully slow while the bills just never seem to stop. I count on making a hundred bucks every shift and usually do. Sometimes a bit less but sometimes a bit more. When it's slow for an entire week it is devastating. I certainly don't have any savings...unless you  count the change in the floor of my car. (which I have done twice this week)

Four years ago we were making over six figures and had $14,000 in savings. Today we live day by day, paycheck to paycheck.  I have been blessed with and taken care of by so many family members, friends and even strangers that somehow we have survived. We still have problems and still have a long way  to go...but we are STILL here!

I checked my bank account the other night after I got home from another depressing shift and found I had bounced a check I had all intentions of covering with  a great night at  work the previous shift...which didn't happen and the domino effect started. I sat at the kitchen table alone and cried like a baby. I thought to myself "How am I going to make it?" I'm almost 53 and living like a bag lady with a really nice shopping cart with a roof on top.

I caved and sent my brother a text asking for help. Surprised  he hadn't changed his number or blocked mine, he text back and said to come by the next  day.

I woke up the next  morning with eye lids that looked like I had silicone injected into them and after a quick glance in the mirror determined crying doesn't help one bit  and seem to make gray hair grow even quicker.

Before I went to my brother's house the next  morning my husband mentioned  he'd read on the "know it all" Facebook that  a friend of ours from high school lost their twenty two year old son the night before from a seizure.

This stopped me in my tracks. This humbled me beyond belief. It made me count not only my blessings but my kids...yes they were all accounted for.

I'm crying over having no money when these friends are crying over not having their son.

God is Large and in charge. He must have greater plans for this kid, which is wonderful but hard to understand with our small puny human reasoning. How can you lose a child and ever get over it? It would be a feat to even learn to live with it!

These parents will have to...and to think  I sat crying at my kitchen table over a couple of bills.

The only bright spot, if you can find one is God took him home quickly. He didn't suffer with  cancer,  he didn't linger or waste away slowly, he didn't lose his mind and become someone  they couldn't communicate with and they didn't become parents he no longer recognized.

My brother was right when he said that our own family was lucky..."We  always take the express check out." Both our parents died quickly. One in a matter of seconds and the other in a matter of  days.

That's the way to go if ya gotta go. GO ON! Go on to your glory and go on to your reward.

The hurt doesn't diminish and the pain is still like a knife to the heart but that's the way it works when you are left here on the tumultuous soil of this earth. You just learn minute by  minute, hour by hour and day by  day how to live with it and struggle on.

They have gone on to glory and their reward...They have walked through the pearly gates and their hurt is no more. It's OUR hurt we have to deal with.

I will never cry over bills again or lack of money again. I will never worry about petty  things even if they seem huge and looming in my tiny mind.

I will wake up every day and feel grateful to have woken up. I've said it before and will say it again..."Life is but this VERY instant moment in time."

No guarantees, no "Do overs."

This kid obviously got it right the first time. It will be tremendously hard for his loved ones but they need to keep in mind, he is gone on to  a much greater glory. I hope he tells both my parents, the parents of all my friends and the loved ones we are still missing that we all love them... but are glad they have reached the place where we all hope to join them one glorious day!

Peace be with these parents and my prayers are with them.

Til next  time...COTTON

Friday, October 5, 2012

Happy Birthday Momma!

On this day in 1928 my momma was born. She grew up desperately poor and without a father. Her mother divorced an alcoholic and was raising two kids on her own  during the great depression. She met another man when  my momma was in elementary school, they married  and he became their father for all intents and purposes. He was a huge man  who drove a tank in WWII under the leadership of George S. Patton. He brought home a Nazi flag that my grandmother sewed into a quilt and we had it for years and years to remind us how warm it was but never considered it's historical value.

Then my Momma met the man of her dreams. This pic was from her wedding shower...Then she married him!

My sister and I always laugh about how over the moon my Diddy looks in every picture at their wedding.

Then they had us...and we sucked 'em dry! We always had a used car, usually ugly but always reliable.  A repairman was never called to our house...our repairman was our Diddy. He fixed the cars, the appliances and the furnace and even threw in quite a few whippings with his belt in  the dreaded "green bathroom." My momma made every meal, sewed almost every outfit and even upholstered the furniture in our house.

We had a youth any kid would envy.  Our house was the one EVERYBODY wanted to be at, and I'm not just talking kids. We had fresh eggs delivered every week and the "Egg Man" as we called him would sit for over an hour in our kitchen talking to momma while she cooked, pickled or baked. He was an insurance man by trade, his son is a well known gardener on HGTV, his first name escapes me but his last name is Reeves. I think it's Walter?

She could pop gum like a firecracker (Wrigley's Doublemint), I've always wanted to do that...

Then there was the man who owned the local Gulf gas station...Herman Jeans.  He was so in love with my momma, even though he was an ole fart when I was just a young fart.  He was pretty well off (by our standards) but his wife was a miser and hated it when he came over to visit my momma. He would sit in our kitchen for hours talking to her and bring her free dishes from the station which you got when you filled up your tank.

Then there was my Diddy's buddy from high school who he served with in the Navy. He would come over and sit in my momma's kitchen for three hours straight. They would both smoke Kool Milds, drink iced tea and gossip like two old women.  Diddy called him Pierce (his last name) but his nickname  was always "Bud."

East Point should have been called Mayberry because the town I grew up in was absolutely the most magnificent place a kid could land. We had a movie theatre that cost $1.35 and could take the back alley all the way up from the back my house to the back door of the Theatre.

Then the unthinkable happened. On a Friday afternoon shopping trip with momma and older (then married) sister for school clothes because I was starting my senior year of high school in a week...our entire world crashed. I was in the changing room and my momma was getting me another pair of jeans to try on when I heard a crash.

My momma had crashed, into a rack of clothes and only opened her eyes once before God thankfully took her quickly. The above picture was taken maybe a year after her death at the place we all went to every year for vacation.

No one can replace the kind of momma we had. We struggled for years to compensate, but how can you when you had the greatest  momma on earth?

My diddy hung in there but in 2002 West Nile took him too...I guess momma got lonely.

The above is what's left of my family. A wacky bunch but one that loves with no reason or blame.

Yes I would love to have my momma still here but as the saying goes "It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all."

I know momma and diddy are together again and that makes it somewhat better.

I aspire to be the woman she was but could never fill her shoes...I just pray that I make her proud and hope my own kids one day love me the way I loved her.

Happy Birthday "Ann Massey Leach"  YOU BROKE THE MOLD!!!!!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

He's Back!! (Kinda Sorta)

Turns out I didn't need the switch I bought from the John Deere store but at least now I have a new one. I didn't need any new parts, just lots of help.

My brother n law came over and tried for over an hour to help  the other day and had some great suggestions that I need to follow through on regarding maintenance. I finally figured out how to change the oil and will start keeping my lil buddy a lot cleaner.

Mr. "Slow"Lee was no help but donated a roll of electrical tape and tons of opinions and always loans me tools.

Who'd a thunk it would be Zach and his buddy to get Johnny to finally roar to life? Not this momma!

I opened this morning at work, got off around two, went  to the bank drive through and made my deposit at  the last drive through farthermost from the bank while making a fake call on my cell phone which is also about to be cut off. I like to look busy when I am worried about my balance so if they one day finally press their little speaker and say "Mrs.  Cotton, could you come inside please?" I can say into my cell phone which is really off anyway  "Oprah, I'm sorry but I'm gonna have to call you back."

No worries, God looked out for me once again and I'm good. After tonight's shift I'll be even Steven and by  the end of the weekend will be a millionaire...not really but it will feel like I am.

Came home and changed into  shorts and worked on Johnny for over an hour. I googled solutions, I tried the test light and I tried holding his little steering wheel and  saying a prayer before I tried once again  to get him "Crunk." No go!

Zach finally came out in the garage and helped  calling his buddy next door to come asses the situation. His buddy is my next door husband's son who knows almost as much as his dad. Not really but he's a pretty  sharp kid. His dad is getting married on Saturday, they have a lot to do so I have tried not to bother him. I like to save my next  door husband for big emergencies like house fires or  hot water tanks that go out in the middle of winter.

Since our tools consist of duct tape one screwdriver, rusty pliers and Gorilla glue, they pushed Johnny over to his house and started surgery. They took off and cleaned cables, found two wires that weren't even connected and spliced, soldered and pieced his innards back together. I was out back with the pups and heard Johnny roar to life next  door!

One wire still isn't connected but they can touch the wire to the post and he cranks right up...that's all I needed.

I went back to work and managed to stay late and shark the other two servers out of the last four tables and make enough to cover my bank deposit for tomorrow. Heck, I might even go inside like a big shot to make my deposit!

This lifestyle is beginning to wear me out but when I make things work out it makes me keep  the faith and keep on keeping on.

On a brighter note my hot flashes have really subsided. Last night I had a biggie and wondered why? I learned why when at 6:45 this morning Aunt Flow came a knocking like a tsunami. For Pete's sake, it's been three months...I'm over fifty two years old and tired of it. Massey was awake and said "This is my last one, take it."

I often wonder...what is man's torment in late mid life? Then I remember Tim is married to me and hasn't tried to kill me once. He'll get a free pass on that one.

I'm just so excited that I can cut grass tomorrow. All I needed was one more cut. My yards, Mr. "Slow" Lee's and the  front of the subdivision. (which will bring in sixty more bucks)

We're getting there...I'm getting there and we'll all get there if we just hang in there!

I can't go  to the wedding of my next door husband on  Saturday because it's in the Blue Ridge Mountains and I have to work at five but at least that way I won't be tempted to protest when the minister asks if anyone has objections. I'm losing my next door husband (sigh) but gaining a next door sister wife! Massey, Zach and Tim are going and what a great weekend to go to Blue Ridge!

Massey is taking the wedding pictures and although I hate missing it know they will have an awesome time. It will be nice for them to be away from bossy me.

I'll stay here, take care of our pups and our next door neighbor's. I'll get the yards all nice and trim and get us back in the black.

It's a win win situation.

Life is what you make of it. Work with the cards you are dealt and if you live life right will almost always have a winning hand.

Congrats to my next door husband and his bride.

Til next time...COTTON

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

When Will Life Be Simple?

My boyfriend is still sick out in my garage...he won't  whine or even turn his engine to even look at me.

I originally thought his battery needed charging so like an idiot I asked my twenty year old son to help me. In hindsight it was a bad choice. I should have known better...when I was twenty I did nothing to help my parents, granted I only had a Diddy but  gave him nothing but grief until I was at least twenty two.

I had Zach go over to my next door husband's house and borrow his battery charger. Actually Zach just called my next door husband's son (his buddy) and he brought it over. They hooked it up in the garage that night I  thought I would be good to go come morning.

The next morning I went out in the garage to discover not only had they hooked Johnny up to a battery charger but had left his key turned on. Well at least I knew NOW I definitely needed a new battery.

When I told my sister about it her comment was "Why do we even ask them to help? They don't even help when they TRY!"

Next  stop was the cheapest battery I could purchase so Massey and I headed to Wal Mart. The bolts had rusted off the post so we needed more and of course in  true WM fashion the guy sold me a set that didn't fit...swore they would and seemed to mean it when he handed them to me.

Lucky (or not) for me my old neighbor Mr. "Slow" Lee was out in his driveway peering at us over the back of his diesel "PickemUp" truck and declared the bolts the wrong size when he helped me install the battery. He did find some that fit in his garage and that WAS lucky! I know he wants Johnny fixed almost as bad as I do since I cut his yard too.

New "battry" (as my grandfather used to call them) was installed. I jumped on my boy and turned the key. All I heard were the crickets in  my back yard...I was devastated. Then Mr "Slow"Lee started poking around with his fingernails that he could pick a banjo easily with and declared Johnny had a bad switch.

Next move was to call in the big guns. My next  door husband is getting married on  Saturday so I felt bad even asking him so I asked my brother in law to help. I called their house and when no one answered left a message in a deep voice: "Harvey, this is Johnny. I don't feel so good could you  come see what's wrong with me?"

He came over yesterday and told me he thought I needed a new switch. (Shout out to "Slow"Lee for calling it right) and today I trucked up  to the John Deere store and purchased a new switch. Came home, put it on and what did I hear when I turned my brand new switch? A big fat nothing...

I called my BFFL at  the JD Clinic and he said he would try a solenoid switch next. I trucked BACK up to the clinic and when I went in the second time a young mechanic who actually WORKS on the mowers was sitting at  the desk. He asked what model I had and I told him. He said he wouldn't spend anymore money on parts until I found out which switch was bad and as old as Johnny was I could unplug and circuit around the bad switch with a paper clip and electrical tape. I felt like asking him what time he got off work and did he like leftover spaghetti but decided instead to take the four paper clips they gave me and a John Deere ink pen off the counter. He also told me to use a tester light to see where the bad wire was. I thought he meant a flashlight but it seems there is some nifty tool you can buy to tell which wire isn't making a connection.

Next  stop...Autozone. They had several and I chose the $3.99 version. It was little but so is Johnny. He rang it up and said "That will be three dollars and twenty cents." I thought that was odd  once they added tax it went down a dollar but who am I to argue with a scanner and took it home. Mr "Slow" Lee said he knew how to use a tester light and would help me but when I pulled back in my driveway he was hosing down his chimney top that had flames coming out of it on a balmy seventy degree day.  They burn a fire every day from October to June no matter what  the temperature and it looked kinda scary so I just went inside and left him to save his house.

I have no idea how to test the wires or switches or even where to find them...and what's a ground wire? It sounded important because there was an exclamation point after that part of the instructions.

I opted to just start dinner...I KNOW how to do that.

I would say I'd just crank up the push mower I bought from a guy at work for forty bucks two months ago that is self propelled but Tim burned the motor out the first  time he cranked it up trying to surprise me by  cutting the back yard when Johnny had two flats  and the grass was high and the blade was down too low.

Can my life get anymore "Redunkilous?"

On top of that I have three GREAT one, one bad one and one REALLY bad one but  love them all. I have three kids and despite their mistakes, failings and terrible decisions love them all too...and not one of them ever crapped in my floor. They wrecked cars but they were all potty trained.

Here's the thing:

No one said life would be easy, although it is for some. The one's who have it easy are missing out. My life has been wonderful. It has also been horrible. I have been the same person I have always been and for that,  have always been loved back.

"Love is all you need."

My body has taken some hits and I'm about fifteen pounds under my fighting weight. Through it all I have managed to laugh at myself and situations we have been in. Laughter is the greatest medicine of all.

What has it done for me? It has made me survive and determined to succeed. I've used shortcuts, rationalization and the help of many others.

So  Johnny won't start. Yeah I'm ticked at him but over the past few years I've felt like not startng several times.

Somtimes you have to take a break from life, regroup and go at it again when you feel stronger.

I have a house and I have a husband who loves me. I have three kids who have survived having me for a mother. I have a brother and sister who are my biggest champions and a network of friends who support and urge me on.

“If things start happening, don't worry, don't stew, just go right along and you'll start happening too.”
Dr. Seuss

It's something different every day here but I've learned different is better than dull. It's never dull at my house...and on top of that I still HAVE a house!

As broke as we are , we are rich beyond belief. My goal is to be a good wife and mother. To be a true friend and to reach out when others need help. It may be a dollar or it may just be a prayer but at least I help.

If you don't help your fellow man... how can you expect help for yourself?

“I know, up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights.”
Dr. Seuss

We will be okay and I am totally grateful that my biggest  current worry is getting my lawn mower cranked.

It's the millions and millions of others who don't even have a house or yet let alone a bed to lay down on.

How can I feel like we have it bad when so many others would feel lucky to just have MY life?

LOVE YOUR  FELLOW MAN.  Never prejudge and be grateful for what you are blessed with and always pay it forward.

Til next  time..COTTON


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Been a Busy Week

I've been meaning to blog but life keeps getting in the way. Work has been hit or miss and that always stresses me out. Sometimes I feel like I should be ashamed of how I put our life out here for everyone to read and see. Then I think about the millions and millions of others even more  unfortunate than us and think , maybe I can give them hope.

We are so close I can almost taste it. It will take another five years before we are back to where we were ten years ago, but I'm okay with that!

My neck has been killing me for over a week but then again my kids have been killing me for 26 years and I'm still here.

My latest current fear is my boyfriend of four years seems to be in a coma out in my garage. Johnny Dear fell ill two weeks ago and  after consulting with my older neighbor, Mr. Slow"Lee" determined I had to call in the big Bro & Law. My younger son thought it was the battery so he got a battery charger from my next door husband  on the OTHER side of our house and hooked Johnny up. The problem is he left the key turned on . Johnny sat in the garage on a charger all night but if the problem wasn't a dead is now.

It's like my sister said to me "These kids don't even help when they TRY  and why do we keep asking them to?"

My bro&law at least determined the engine was still good when he got Johnny to turn over putting a screwdriver to the switch. Visiting hours are limited so don't drop by without calling first...he needs his rest.

I'm headed to the John Deere place in the morning to get a new cut off switch for the seat and picking up a new engine switch as well.

Massey has turned me onto Icy Hot patches for my neck and they are the bomb!

Zach had the day off too so he has been on my computer all day playing some geek game with his buddy sitting on his lap top behind him. At least I know where they are and what they are doing... which by now is getting hungry. Once again no worries...I made a pot of spaghetti sauce last night big enough to feed the neighborhood.

I'm off again tomorrow but trying to pick up a shift. I got two out of three bathrooms cleaned, all the laundry caught up put away and feel confident that the new switch will bring Johnny back to life tomorrow morning and be able to cut the front of the subdivision for an extra sixty bucks.

Making me a big salad,  heating up some "Sketti" and garlic bread and taking in a little TV time. Those peeps on Private Practice are a screwed up bunch. They may have money and pretty clothes but if they don't stop sleeping around with co workers will be soon be inbreeding.

Next blog will be about "Honey Boo Boo Child" How stupid can parents be?

Til next time...COTTON