Tuesday, February 26, 2013

It Just Hit Me...She's Growing Up

Just got  home from a meeting at the high school about Massey's New York trip. I worked pretty stinking hard to come up with the payments and only one of my checks had to be run back through the bank. It's all paid for now and even more shocking to me is somehow the time is almost here to let my little girl, my best friend get on plane and head to New York City...without me.

 I am excited beyond belief for her but worried as crap for my own sanity while she is gone. I am a worrier anyway. Isn't that what a momma's supposed to do?

When her Chorus teacher said "We are traveling  to one of the world's busiest cities, so please understand  that certain policies are in order to ensure we are safe"...  I literally started to tear up. It didn't stop there.

How can I let her go without me? Should I have worked even more so I could go too or simply take a leap of faith and kiss her goodbye ?

It seems next Wednesday my heart will be getting on a plane for New York City...without me.

I feel much better knowing that even though 48 kids are going,  they have 18 chaperones...and know a few of them personally.

We came home to work on scholarship forms for college. Massey brought me her letters of recommendation from teachers and I  started crying again.

My girl is not only loved by us but by her teachers too.

One teacher wrote:
"The intention of this letter is  to recommend Miss Massey Cotton for your consideration in selecting her for your scholarship. Miss Cotton has proven herself to be one of the most extraordinary young ladies with whom I have had the pleasure of teaching. I was greatly impressed by her intelligence and work ethic. Miss Cotton's enthusiastic and congenial disposition towards classroom activities and discussion earns her respect from both peers and faculty alike." (My fave teacher )

Then I cried again and knew Karma was working.

Another teacher wrote in part : "While Massey is a a very smart young lady, one of her best attributes is her heart. I see a very bright and successful future for her."

The teacher who hit the nail on the head included  this in her letter...

"If  I had to choose one thing I will remember most about Massey it is dedication. No matter what endeavors she chooses to undertake in her life, Massey will succeed and will always push for more. Massey is dedicated, not only to her creativity and her academic success but has a strong moral code and sense of compassion for every individual she encounters and this makes her an amazing candidate for any higher educational opportunity. I can say without a doubt that if Massey is chosen as a recipient for your scholarship, it will in no way be under appreciated or wasted."

Sounds like I have a girl ready to conquer the world! I guess I'll start by letting her go to New York.

We barely have money to pay attention  but will somehow make it happen for this girl.

Yes she has  sometimes worn us out and been a brat...that's a kids job. Been there done that.

So I have one kid on the other side of the world and another wanting to flap her wings and fly away as well. I got one more strutting around the house but making me proud as well.

What the heck am I going to worry  about when they are all gone?

Til next  time...COTTON

Monday, February 25, 2013

Make it Go Away!

So  the sun came out yesterday and almost blinded me.  I was at  the furniture store, which  doesn't have heat so when no one was there I stood out front drinking in the warmth of the sun and flagging people inside. I did pretty good, sent over $1545.00 worth of merchandise out the front door and felt pretty  good about it. Got home before the sun was completely down and had a nice night with Massey...and three pups.

Let's talk about the three pups for a minute. With  all  this rain, they have been inside more than outside and  think it's made them nuts. (Huge pun)

Let me say right now  I dearly love and totally support my many gay relatives and friends but these gay pups are KILLING me! Since  this monsoon started well over a week ago, they have turned so gay they make Liberace look manly. It used to be Charlie and Ziggy, we called them Sigfried and Roy. Just the past week the fabulous torch has been passed and now it's the  "Ham and Ziggy" extravaganza! I'll have to say that when we got little Ziggy, Ham was already blind but Zig was a tiny pup. Now Ziggy is taller than Ham and is in dog years "A young stud."  Charlie is short and stout and can't even manage to hump him anymore. Plus he's lazy so gave up a few months back.

Ziggy is playful,  runs like a deer and never gets tired. He's started to really get close with Ham....a little too close. I'm thinking since Ham is blind, he probably thinks he is dating and licking the breasts of a really small chested woman. It's nuts! (another small pun)

The thing that kills me is Ham never quits panting after Zig.  Ziggy  will  take it for a hour or two then actually walks upstairs and gets in his crate with a look on his face like "Please shut and lock the door."

I've decided to take Ham to Dr. Marseli and have him neutered soon. He can't breed because his blindness is hereditary and maybe neutering will slow down his libido.

I came downstairs this morning to find Ham sitting in the kitchen dressed in spandex and wearing a lace collar just waiting on Ziggy  to be let out of  his crate. Not really...but the minute Zig was let out Ham was on him like stink on poop. I think Ham thinks he is the star of "Fifty Shades of Gay."

All the while, Charlie just sulks in the corner with a look on his face that screams "Yeah...you used to be MY bitch, you  traitor!"

Three male dogs with six balls , four eyes and not even one brain between them is not a good mix...especially when all have been sequestered for most of the time in the house for well over a week.

You can't MAKE up stories any more interesting than the life I actually live. I used to think my life was bad, and at one point it was.

Now it's just a sitcom...or maybe even a movie on the Lifetime channel.

My family has made it through the dark abyss. We are all still here and have survived. We are no where close to moving ahead but making amazing strides.

We have been humbled, we have been helped and we have been loved by not only The Big Guy but many many others.

It's a good feeling to wake up and know you'll still have electricity, water, gas and Internet. Internet seems frivolous unless you have a kid in school.

I have a new part time job, thanks to a friend of mine from high school. I was working almost thirty days straight slinging plates of food when she rescued me. Now I have two days a week to relax, sell some furniture and get home before midnight. It's refreshing, a lot less demanding and just what this tiny, worn out body needs.

Here's the real deal about life...

"I beg your pardon,
I never promised you a rose garden.
Along with the sunshine,
There's gotta be a little rain sometimes.
When you take, you gotta give, so live and let live,
Or let go.
I beg your pardon,
I never promised you a rose garden.

I could promise you things like big diamond rings,
But you don't find roses growin' on stalks of clover.
So you better think it over.
Well, if sweet-talkin' you could make it come true,
I would give you the world right now on a silver platter,
But what would it matter?
So smile for a while and let's be jolly:
Love shouldn't be so melancholy.
Come along and share the good times while we can."
I could sing you a tune or promise you the moon,
But if that's what it takes to hold you,
I'd just as soon let you go, but there's one thing I want you to know.
You better look before you leap, still waters run deep,
And there won't always be someone there to pull you out,
And you know what I'm talkin' about.
So smile for a while and let's be jolly:
Love shouldn't be so melancholy.
Come along and share the good times while we can."

Heading to bed...enjoying another day off and grateful to have it. Actually. I'm just grateful to have another day.

Til next time...COTTON

Friday, February 22, 2013

Seriously Rain...GO AWAY!

So it was raining when I went to bed last night. Woke up this morning and it stopped long enough for the pups to go out back for a bit. Tim was off  today and took Massey  downtown for the  tour at  Georgia State University. I had to be at work by  three so opted to not feed  the dogs, hence they  would have less pooping to do. One day ain't gonna kill em...besides we were out of dog food anyway. I left Tim some money and  told him to pick up a bag on  the way home from Atlanta.

When I left for work at two thirty I put Ziggy  in his crate.  He didn't fight me at all and has been going in there on his own quite a bit even when we are all home. I knew Massey  and Tim would be gone for at least four more hours and Ziggy has been known  to destroy my house in less  than ten minutes  so "A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do."

By the time I got off at ten it was coming down pretty hard.  I just don't like rain...unless I was rich, had no place I had to be on a rainy cold day and could pay someone to take my dogs out to crap in  the yard.

I'm not rich, always have someplace I have  to be and my dogs seem  to hate the rain and cold worse than me. I came home from work tonight around ten.  Ham and Ziggy  were  sitting by  the back door, looking all like "Let us out!"

I opened the back door and it was pouring outside. They looked out and I actually think I heard one of them say "Is she outta her mind?" Maybe it was just they way they looked back at me but neither one wanted anything to do with it,  which suited me just fine. Eight less paws and two less backs to wipe.

Charlie hasn't moved since I got home. I sat down at the computer to chat with TJ and blog. Charlie climbed under my desk so I  took my work shoes off, shoved my feet under his fat little body  and they have been warm ever since. Charlie's PAYING his rent!

I paid a ton of bills this week with our table hog server at work still in the pokey, but was cutting it pretty close today. I keep  forgetting I have a new second job with direct deposit each Friday and when I got home from work tonight it was like a party in my bank account! I bet that dollar fifty two I had in there yesterday said to my direct deposit today..."Dang! Where'd all Y'ALL come from?"

So what I have had one day off since January. At least I  had a day off...and have money in my bank account to boot!

Heading to bed. Gotta be at the furniture store tomorrow.(now today)  I have to work from ten in the morning til eight but it's been years since I got off at eight on a Saturday night.

Chatted with TJ for a bit on Facebook, talked to Massey briefly when she woke up to pee and have been thinking about Zach who is with his Aunt up in Raleigh at her "Magic Eight Ball" convention.

Seems like my life is finally back on track. It's a good feeling, one I haven't had for three years but one I have been frantically waiting for.

It's still raining...it's still  cold but I feel warmth coming. Got one son exploring the "Land down under" another son exploring the powers above and a daughter snoozing behind me excited and ready to start  her college adventure.

Still working too much but so much better to have a break two days a week and do something different.

I used to ask myself how much more I could take?  Now I know. Break it up, switch it up and enjoy life for a change.

Banked at work tonight and am good to go til Monday.

Life is crazy, raising kids is crazy, having dogs even more so. What would be even crazier (for me) is to kill yourself at  one job when having two makes it so much easier.

If the rain would just go away I'd be a happy camper.

Heading to bed with a bag of Wasabi Almonds to watch  the new General Hospital, AKA the Jodi Arias trial on CNN. What was SHE smoking? Yes I am riveted. Sometimes I think it's not a trial but a mini series. It's just a not so gentle reminder that "I'm doing okay."

Til next  time...COTTON

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Losing My "Bee-otch"

Zach's been putting in applications to no avail but finally got the call today. He's starting at Texas Roadhouse next week cooking in  the kitchen. Great for him...kinda a bummer for me.

He's the best free help I've ever had. He's by  far the best cleaner in the house, runs a mean vacuum and my kitchen is spotless when he gets through with it. He has fed the dogs every day and hunts down Ziggy when Houdini makes an escape. He cooks breakfast for me in the mornings and watches the pups while I am at work. He's earned money from odd jobs and has never once asked me for money since being unemployed.

His attitude has changed over the past year. He went from a surly miserable know it all who didn't get along with anyone to a young man who owned up to his mistakes, paid for them and came out a better and wiser young man.

He left today with his aunt from Sacramento who is here on business for  a seminar in Raleigh, North Carolina.  She's all into spiritual advising and healing arts. She does readings, gives lectures and is right up Zach's alley... a free spirit and open minded individual. It's not really my bag, but she makes a good living at it and loves her job.

This will be a good trip for Zach. My sister in law will take good care of him and I  think they will get along fabulously.

He was all pumped today when he got the job and even seemed excited about his trip with his aunt. They will be back on Monday and I'm glad Zach got to take a little "Va-Cay." He stayed home and worked when we went to St. Augustine for vacation in July.

My kids are all so diversely different it amazes me they are even related. What amazes me even more is the fact  they have finally grown up enough to appreciate and fiercely love each other. My kids are closer to each other now than they have ever been.

It warms my heart. No... it FILLS my heart, completely!

After all we have been through the past few years, after all  the help from  family,  friends and even strangers...having my kids genuinely love each other and become thick as thieves  with each  other is an amazing feeling  and well worth the price.

I think Dr. Seuss summed it up best...

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”

Til next  time...a  Happy COTTON

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I Am a Doofus

Had a great day. Massey and I  made the trek to the Sock Shoppe in Griffin to buy new work tights for me and return my inlaw's Christmas presents...bought the wrong sizes and just haven't had time to make the trip. Hers was a nice wool sweater and his a lined flannel shirt. Since spring starts soon I had to make the time so they could at least get a little use of  them THIS year.

We popped in and out in less than thirty minutes and stopped by  to get  a burger and slaw dog at Griffith's Drive In. If you're ever in  Griffin, Georgia, stop by for a tasty  delight! It's on highway 16  just a few blocks east of the Sock Shoppe.

Got home in time for a quick border patrol in  the back yard...which was once again breached by Houdini (our boxer, Ziggy) in  the time it took me to use the restroom, leaving him out back to do the same!

Massey and I got him back in our yard after a brief Laverne and Shirley skit around the neighbor's house.

I had twenty minutes left to get ready for work and barely made it on  time. Walked straight into another debacle.

A server ended up in  the slammer last night and couldn't make bail. I like them well enough but their story  seemed to have more holes in  it than a kitchen colander. They were supposed to work tonight but ended up destined to remain at the "Three Hots and a Cot" motel at least another day or two.

Sucks  for them...dollar  signs  for me!

As Murphy's Law would have it, we were busy  as crap. A skeleton crew on the floor, new guy in  the kitchen and large parties out the ying yang. I had a party  from the new cancer hospital recently opened across  the street and table after table after table. I greeted my next  table and was surprised to see one of my husband's high school  friends seated at my table accompanied by his wife, daughter and mother. It was his mom's birthday. If I had to guess, I'd say she was in her seventies. He announced it was his mom's birthday to which I replied with  a smile "Dang, the male stripper is off on Wednesday!"  I asked  the birthday girl if she wanted a cocktail or glass of wine? Her son immediately said "Go ahead mama, have a glass of wine."

I asked her what kind of wine she liked and after giving it a long thought looked up at me questioningly and said "Sherry?"  I've been a server  for well over  thirty years ad this was a first request. I remember years and years ago an older woman asked me if we carried Manischewitz? It was all coming back to me now.

The only people I have seen drink Sherry were Fraiser and Niles on re runs of Fraiser but knew what kind of glass they drank it out of....and we had those.

The daughter in law ordered a  glass of Merlot and said to bring the birthday girl one as well.

Wanting to treat my husband's friend's mom (already  confusing) to an ultimate birthday dinner I not only brought her a glass of Merlot to taste but grabbed one of the fancy port glasses off the bar and headed back  to the kitchen after Barb told me they indeed had sherry in  the kitchen for cooking. Len (Barb's husband) was cooking on the far end of the line and although he was balls to the wall, asked him if we had sherry? He half screamed  (in typical Len style) "Yeah, it's right THERE!" And pointed to a bottle by  his end of the line. I took the little fancy  glass and poured her a sample taste out of the bottle (there were at least six different bottles there but chose the one I thought he was pointing to) and returned to  the table thinking "This is what a good server does...go above and beyond!"

I returned to the table and said almost radiantly as I sat the port glass down in  front of her "Here you  go, Birthday Girl! See how you like THIS! "

She turned it up, took a sip. She took another sip. She looked straight ahead then thought about it for a second or two and turned to look me with a sweet solemn face and quite simply said "Tastes greasy."

I went back to the kitchen on Len's side of the line and told him "She said it tasted  greasy." He asked which  pan I got it out of and I pointed out which  bottle I got it from.

He said "You Knuckle Head...that's 100% cold pressed extra virgin olive oil. It costs more than the sherry sitting beside it!"


I poured her a glass of REAL sherry and took it back to the table. She loved it! I didn't tell them about my goof  til  the end of dinner but when I did , thankfully they all laughed.

The server who was unfortunately incarcerated is a table hog and I told Len tonight, if they can't make bail for two more days...I'll be in the black! I suggested sending messages to the jail like "Hang in there buddy, we almost have the money raised!"

Yes I'm a doofus. But it is so nice to be able to laugh at life and have people laugh with you.

If this kid can sit in jail two more days (being in jail is rarely NOT your fault although it's possible) I'll  be singing like Maria on the side of a Swiss  Alp running up the hill singing "The hills are alive, with the sound of money."

Strike when you can...help when you can and always know Karma is right there waiting to bite your adversary in the booty.
 Til next  time...COTTON

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Fantabulous Day Off

My last day off was in January, I've been waiting for today for what felt like forever. Woke up this morning and watched the news on  the couch all wrapped up in a cozy blanket while Massey cooked breakfast for me. She even brought it to me along with a cup of coffee. Zach brought me a big glass of Nestle' Quik ( morning fave) and my day off was off to a "Fantabulous" start.

Houdini has still been escaping so I went out back on border patrol armed with chicken wire and covered every weak spot I could find.

Last week while waiting on two sisters at work, who are great regulars at the restaurant somehow the topic of good spots to eat home cooking came up. They asked me if I had ever eaten at Mother's Kitchen in Newnan? I  told them I had never heard about it. They said it was a tiny hole in the wall down a side alley off the town square. Owned and operated by a black woman who did all  the cooking herself, it was packed every day and sometimes even ran out of food if you  didn't get there early enough. Policemen, fireman, council members, lawyers and locals packed the place every day.  A meat and three vegetables with cornbread for six bucks.

I decided to take Massey and Zach there for lunch so after Border Patrol we headed into town. After calling to make sure they were open since it was a holiday and they feed a lot of politicians who  had the day off,  just told the kids I heard  about a new home cooking restaurant and  told Massey, who  was driving to head to the courthouse. A block before the courthouse is the tag office... across the street from  a huge old factory that builds gigantic culvert type pipes. I told Massey to pull over and park.  Both kids asked at  the same time "Where's the restaurant?"

I pointed to an alley that ran beside the factory. They both looked down the alley  and said "Nothing's back there and we ain't going down an alley....You never said anything about going down a back alley."

I assured them I was right and as they grumbled, led them down the alley. The two sisters had told me to walk down the alley  til I saw a screened door on the right. They warned me there was no sign...just simply a screened door. About halfway down  the alley I smelled fried chicken and continued on as Massey and Zach asked if I was trying to get them killed or what?

We reached a screened in door on springs just like every kid I grew up with had on their own back kitchen door . I pushed it open and looked in. There was a black woman standing behind a counter and another sitting in a chair in front of the counter. I asked "Is this Mother's Kitchen?"

The older woman in the chair smiled and said "It sho is and even if it waddn't come on in anyway."

Some people would have and probably HAVE been shell shocked...I immediately felt at  home. I went to a high school that by the time I graduated had more blacks than whites. I felt like I had stepped back in time. We went in and immediately the older woman asked Zach what his name was? Then the black guy behind the counter commented  on Zach's Hooters tee shirt. Then  another black woman came out of the kitchen where I saw another woman cooking away on a stove and asked "You  the one's who been calling on the phone?" I told her I had just called once to see if they were open and she simply said "Hmmph...somebody's been calling here all  day, can't find the place."

I looked into the dining room where a family of whitey's sat eating food that simply smelled Heavenly! I asked if we should go sit down and she said  "Nope you order right here at  the counter."

I looked for a menu on  the wall and then saw a beat up spiral notebook sitting on the counter. It had
Fried Chicken
Pork Tenderloin
Baked Ham

scrawled in ink pen on one side of the page and

Collard Greens
Speckled Butter Beans
Macaroni and Cheese
Dressing with Gravy
Black Eyed Peas

on the other side. Below it was a hand written Bible verse.

When we ordered, a HUGE black man who I  think starred in The Green Mile said "Don't forget dessert" and pointed to pieces of Red Velvet and German Chocolate cake wrapped up on paper plates behind the counter where we ordered. Behind him on the wall was a health  inspection report touting a score of 99.

The woman in the chair in front of the counter had been chatting with Zach the entire time Massey and I  were ordering and by then knew his life history. The woman behind the counter said "Zach, what do you  want to drink?"

While I was paying the screened door behind me opened again and an older white woman looked in and asked hesitantly "Is this Mother's Kitchen?"

Once again the woman came out of  the kitchen and said "You the one's who been calling?"  The  woman said yes and went back out the door to tell  her own friends they were indeed down the right alley.

By this point I was in love with the place! These were probably the most pleasant people I have run across in quite a while and the entire place smelled delicious!

I looked at the woman in the chair and said "I bet most people that ask that are white aren't they?" She said "All folks are welcome here...even if they ain't looking for Momma's."

We were sitting down to eat when another man (white as well) poked his head in and asked "Is this Mother's Kitchen." The reply was "Come on in."

I had a veggie plate...Black eyed peas with chopped onion and tomato on top, dressing, rice with gravy and collard greens. Massey had the Pork with sides and Zach had the most awesome fried chicken I have ever stolen a bite of. It was steaming hot and good  to the last bite...all for six bucks each.

I got Zach to go to the register to break a twenty for me so I could leave a tip and Massey and I both laughed when the woman behind the register hollered "Momma, Zach needs some change!"

After we were full and done I asked Momma if she would let us have our picture taken with her? She wiped her hands on her apron and said "Well just let me go put on some lipstick first." I told her she was beautiful just the way she was.

Momma also has this posted on her wall and says it all. It's stuck up with a push pin but hits deep.

What a wonderful day. What a wonderful restaurant. What a totally wonderful experience. The two tables that came in after us had heard about Mother's Kitchen on  the Internet. One group was from LaGrange (thirty minutes away) and the other  from Columbus (an hour away.)

Why this precious woman isn't a millionaire baffles me. If you  are ever in Newnan, Georgia or ever remotely close...walk down the alley between the factory and Mexican place on East Broad Street. You will smell the fried chicken before you ever hit the screened in door!

Massey, Zach and I all walked out full and happy.  It's not only a great restaurant but seems to be one of the happiest places on earth.

As an added bonus to my one day off...got home and it seems I finally have Houdini penned in. He spent four hours in the yard and didn't escape once. Thank goodness no one can see my hillbilly/ghetto patch job but if it works...I'll call it a success.

We are no where close to being rich in the sense of the word but way beyond it in  the concept. I am happy, my kids are happy and life is good.

Til next time...COTTON

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The little boy I met with his Dad when he was just two (almost four in this pic) is now in his mid twenties and living half way  around the world.
He grew into an awkward  tween...who doesn't? He wasn't real crazy  about his little sister  then but they have  come  full circle.
TJ and Massey are now,  as Forrest Gump would say "Go  together like peas and carrots." She is so proud of him and he is proud of her.

TJ and Zach were like peas and carrots too. Then they fell apart, then they came back  together.

It's great to have all your kids love each other. It's a feeling that makes it  all worth while for a Momma.

TJ has moved to Australia for a year and once I got over the shock, realized he is doing what I wish I had done when young and single...Go see  the world!

I got  home  from work tonight around six thirty,  started dinner and by  eight we were all around the computer skyping with TJ .

Tim was still at work but we brought all three dogs in for a viewing, brought out old pics and held them up to laugh at and talk about and it was like we were all at the dining room table together.

I worry TJ may be homesick because we are all homesick for him but he is such a handsome and charismatic kid with a personality that is off the charts, I know he will  do just fine.

We spent over a hour chatting and it was just like he was still in north Atlanta just forty five minutes away. I know he isn't but to be able to talk to him daily and look at his sweet  face makes all the difference.

I am so proud of him for taking such a big step. Stepping out of the box called everyday life and seeking something greater.

It's a good  thing...when I get home at night from work is a perfect time to chat or skype with him.

As long as I can look at  him,  see his face and hear his voice...it will be okay. We laughed tonight and  was like we were all sitting around the dining table together.

What a wonderful way to start my day off!

I have three kids who "Wore me slap out" but couldn't imagine my life any other way. What's even more crazy is they love me too!

I am the luckiest woman on the planet!

Til next time...COTTON

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Cold Sale

So I started my third weekend at my new part time gig. It's nice to be doing something different two days a week and after the week I had at the restaurant was sorta like a paid vacation. I'm selling furniture at a discount/no frills store. Low overhead, low prices and even lower temps. The place doesn't have heat which is fine when people walk in out of the cold and wind already bundled up  to spend a few minutes looking around. When you are there for ten hours, weigh ninety nine pounds and  a sissy when it comes to cold weather, you better be prepared.

I layered up every where but my feet. I was fine from the ankles up but forgot to put on some thick socks. I wore sock  tights under my jeans but like a dummy didn't put socks on over them. I won't be doing that again in this weather. Tootsie issue solved.

I like working there. The people I work with are nice as can be and very helpful to me.  As for my part...I'm learning something totally new and am pretty  much there for entertainment purposes between customers. A couple came in the store today who are regulars at the restaurant where I work. On their way out they stopped and looked at me for a few awkward seconds before asking where they knew me from? When I told him, he said he wasn't used to seeing me standing still.

LIGHT BULB! I'm gonna have to use one job  to network the other! I can do  the crazy  frenetic thing five days a week and the slower paced two days a week.  If I can keep  this up just a few more weeks I may be able to have a day to myself once a week. One day off is all I need...for now.

I wasn't on fire like last weekend but had two customers pick up items from last week and five minutes before closing had a woman come back and purchase a nice sized sale she had looked at  a couple of hours before. So I wasn't a total loser and have tomorrow to go  at it again.

I have my clothes all laid out...extra socks and my long trench coat with the wool lining. Like a dummy I wore my short leather jacket today.

It's different, but a good different. The more I learn the more I will be able to confidently sell. It took two hours for my feet to warm up when I got home but the pups were happy to see me.  The kids and Tim all asked about my day. I think this may work out just fine.

I'm heading to rest early, running on fumes. Like the health nut I am, have pizza rolls in the oven and three pups waiting for me to join them on the couch underneath a nice warm blanket. I have one more day to go and then have a day to myself.

It's crazy  the things you  are able to do when you have a family. It's a lot easier when family realizes what you  are doing for them and not only pitch in but pump you up.

Trying again tomorrow...in two pairs of socks!

Til next time...COTTON

Friday, February 15, 2013

Almost There!

It's been a long fifteen day run and I'm running on fumes but almost there. The last few days at  the restaurant 'wore me slap out' but  made it by sleeping late every  day... getting ready for work at the last possible minute and coming back home, staying up late to get  everything done I needed. I'd go to bed exhausted, wake up and  repeat the process.

On the up side, I finally got all my bills caught up and have enough money  to squeak through having Monday off. The kids have helped out as well. My house is a wreck but if they don't mind...I don't mind.

 If  the door bell rings I've instructed the kids to barely open the door , step outside to greet  the 'ringer' and tell  them we are under quarantine and no one is allowed inside of our house. It's rained for an entire week and  own three dogs who hate rain and don't know how to use a door mat. Need I say more?

It was sunny yesterday  but the back yard was still  a swamp. Ziggy aka Houdini was still leaping out of the back yard every time we took our eyes off him for three minutes. I went to Lowes today and bought seven foot wooden stakes and two rolls of wire netting. I came home , planted the stakes and stapled up the wire across every spot I have seen him leap over like a gazelle. I came inside to check my email. (I can watch  the back yard from my computer) He hunted around and found the one weak spot. I knew I should have covered that spot too but for Pete's sake...it's not like he's in a concentration camp or being mistreated. He has half an acre fenced in to  enjoy. The boy just has wanderlust. He simply HAS to be on the other side of that fence. I had fifteen minutes until I reached my window of 'no time to spare' to get ready for work. I grabbed my staple gun, more wooden stakes and wire and tried to  block the little bast in one more time. So far so good.

Got to work and said to a co worker immediately, "I'm just not feeling it...can I take my toys and just go home?"

Had to stay so I did. On the upside I now have enough money  to survive having a day off. It wasn't fun staying, but no one ever said life would be fun. Well maybe Ronald MacDonald or HR Puffinstuff did but they were paid to say it.

I have to work ten hours Saturday and six on Sunday but is a lot less stressful than restaurant work. I took a long shower before work today and should be good for twenty  four hours. I'll sleep  til the last minute, wash my face and go in to try and sell some furniture. The only downside is I am a sissy with cold temps and the furniture store doesn't have heat. I have it all planned out. Wearing pants with  my sock tights on underneath. Camisole, long sleeved tee shirt  and work shirt. A padded bra never hurts. Got my full length Misty Harbor coat and a nice silk scarf.

Sometimes when people ask me why  our email is The Clampetts I simply want to ask "Have you ever read my blog?'

It's getting better, it really is. We have made tremendous strides, taken  a few hits but hit right back. We are so close that I can't even make a joke about it.

If I do well this weekend at my new job, we're thinking about buying a house in France.

Oh wait a minute...that was the Kardashians, not us!

It's gonna be nice to switch jobs this weekend. It's no where near as physically demanding and I love the peeps I work with. My manager looks like Ray Romano and I call my fellow sales associate 'Snookie' cause she is DEF a Jersey girl. It will be nice to relax. I'll be sure to dress warm.

Gotta have Massey bring me lunch again, she was my good luck charm last weekend and I need all the help I can get!

Til next  time...COTTON

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

So It Begins...

Does anybody  remember the movie 1941? It came out in 1979 and had John Belushi playing the part of Capt. Wild Bill Kelso,  a fearless renegade fighter pilot. I loved that movie...and felt like I was in it this morning at work.

Let the Valentine's Day Massacre begin! I walked into work at ten thirty and the phone was already ringing off the hook. Reservations for tomorrow and reservations for today. We open  the doors at eleven and in came a ten top of  "Little Ole Blue Hairs" ready for some lunch and wine. Then a fourteen top came in the door followed by  table after table after table.

The owner was on line cooking, only assisted by two Latino cooks, a male who  is pretty new and a female who has been with us long enough  that we can almost understand her now. Her favorite saying when we are busy is "Hokay, Take it Heasy!" His son was due in at one.

During the middle of the lunch crush I went to fill up a glass with water and noticed it wasn't coming out very fast. I needed four waters and after filling two glasses the water simply stopped coming out. I went to the hand sink and turned it on and the water just dribbled,  then just stopped. I went to the coffee maker and tried the hot water spigot we use for hot tea. Same deal.  As my Latino friends would say. "Aqua no mas."

I peered back through the cook line where Len, the owner was trying to put out thirty plates of food at  once and said "We don't have water."

He screamed back (He's def a crazy Italian) "What do you think I can do about it right now? Go find Barb!" (His equally crazy wife)  I found Barb in the office and relayed the message. By now we had about six more tables go  down and as Murphy's Law would have it...everybody  wanted a glass of water.

Len (the owner) was fighting his own battle on the other side of the cook's line, a language battle. He was yelling out orders as to what he needed. What he really needed at that moment was to be fluent in Spanish.  The male cook, Jesus (that would "Hey- Seuss" in English) was  trying to keep up and little Carmen was doing her best as well. Of course Murphy's Law kicked in again and every  ticket had special instructions. Yes I needed two Eggplant sandwiches but they didn't want it on Ciabatta bread, they wanted it on  flatbread. Len  was trying to explain the difference when his fuse blew. (It's a short fuse anyway) I bet I heard the word "Flatbread" yelled at least fifteen  times before we had to turn the music in the dining room up.

Hey-Seuss was doing his best and think he was glad he didn't completely understand everything Len said, although  they were mostly just four letter words.

I was on  the other side of the cook line, which  is a narrow window we peer through at the cooks with a new server beside me. Once again Murphy's Law ...me and a new server on a day like this. Not only that but he is a religious zealot compared to Len. He said quietly to me, I think I'll just go back out front." I wanted to say "Run Forrest, Run!" but just said "That's a good idea, it'll all blow over."

It didn't blow over. It blew up. It was a water main break down the street and every one lost water which  encompassed most probably almost one hundred places of business.

Barb came back into  the kitchen to peer back  through the cook line window and deliver the news. She said "We have to close."

By this point, Len was in "Capt. Wild Bill Kelso" mode. "NO we DON"T" he screamed..."It could be back on in five minutes, get this food OUT of the window, we'll recover and power through!"

By this point, Hey-Seuss and Carmen were beginning to wonder if America was really that great after all and hoping maybe one of the tunnels back home was still open. My new co worker seemed shell shocked and I simply began to laugh.

Here's the thing. I work for a family owned business. They don't have corporate back up. This restaurant is their life and their life was on the line today. The owner, Len is ten years older than me and works a minimum of ninety hours a week, and most probably thinks of this store in his sleep...which  can't be much.

The water came back on before I left for my break, we were closed for maybe thirty minutes.

I went to the bank and gas station and saw  the crews digging up  the water line. It was ten guys standing around a hole with hard hats and a shovel while one guy operated a back hoe. (Classic)

I zoomed home and cooked some Hamburger  Helper for the kids and went back to work. Now the night shift was there. I told Kory, another cook who had just come on that he missed a crazy  lunch and he asked why? I said ask 'Hey-Seuss." He asked Jesus (Hey-Seuss) how lunch was and my buddy (we used His name a LOT today spelling it with a "J" and a few added expletives) blew out his breath and said "Not Heasy."

One more shift and we are done til Mother's Day. It was crazy, it was fun to laugh about after the fact. It's just the way it works in the restaurant world. I slapped the owner on  the back when I left on my break and said "We're giving you a new nick name...FLAT BREAD!"

In the words of my Latino friends..."O Mi Dios"

Len  was totally "Wild Bill Kelso" He was fighting through and determined. He was crazy and deranged. He scared everybody in the place but the crazy Bast made it happen. If there is one thing I can say about Len, he's nuts but seems to love me and that's a good spot light to be in.

Til next  time...ALGODON!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Happy Birthday Timberly

This is one of my favorite pics of Tim. Yes I married a pretty  boy. The past few years have turned him totally gray but he is still a pretty  boy,  hence the nickname. This is Massey with her arms wrapped around him.
Today he turned fifty.  No fanfare no party. I was asleep when he left for work and still AT work when he got home.

Like a good wife I stopped at  the gas station on the way home and bought him a six pack of Yuengling  for his birthday.  We had a wine tasting at work and the chef made a special dessert cake and gave me a slice to take home to him as well. I even had a candle to stick in it! Zach had even baked him a cake from scratch...GO Zach!

Got home after ten and logged onto FB so Tim could chat with our son TJ in Australia. Tim has never "Chatted" before on  FB and it was quite amusing.  He said he felt like Fred Flintstone. I could totally envision that.  Tim was like Fred trying to understand that little green martian guy...remember him? (Well I do, but I'm fifty three)

Tim came up behind me and handed me an envelope saying "Read  this, it's  how I started my day... was taped to my car windshield this morning when I left for work. I'm keeping it in my Bible as a reminder."

The letter was from Massey, to her Dad. It read:

"Daddy, I'll start off with how much I love you. You  are truly the greatest daddy a girl could ever ask for. You're my number one fan, my rock and my every thing. Everything  we've been through would tear most families apart but it brought us closer together. You've taught me to stand up for myself and never back down. You've taught me to follow my dreams and not let anything get in my way. You've raised me with respect, honesty, love and faith. You've taught me to respect my elders and NEVER take anything for granted. You taught me to love and live life one day at  a  time. Most importantly you've taught me that rooting yourself into Christ and always trusting God above is  the only way  to live. We live for The Lord. We may  not have had  the strongest Christian upbringing but you're the perfect role model for living your life through Christ. You've made me realize what is truly important in life...Faith, Family and Love.

"I can do all things through Christ who  strengthens me."

I thank God for how blessed I am for having you as a daddy. I'm sorry  for for being a brat  sometimes. I am going to make you proud one day and going to change to world for the better. I'm  going to make an impact.

My dreams are big and adventurous because you  always believed in me, which  made me believe in myself. I will make you proud.

Happy birthday to the greatest daddy in  the whole wide world.

I love you more than anything,
                                                      Your baby girl"

If  THAT ain't  a fantabulous present, what is? Tim  said reading this first  thing this morning when he got in his car for work pumped him up the entire day.

You know, I often worry I haven't been a good enough mother...then one of my kids hits us with  something like this.

Maybe we HAVE done okay. Maybe we  could have done better but certainly could have done worse.

All I know is that Massey made her Dad's birthday and made my day as well.

Sometimes kids can seem to kill you and sometimes they can touch and warm your heart. Take the good with the bad and if you're lucky you end up with more GOOD.

Happy Birthday Tim...you  are a truly inspiring daddy. What a wonderful thing to be!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Simply Wonderful...

Came home from work, tired. Day number twelve in a row with no day off  in the near future. Didn't make squat at work but found the Internet out. Talked to the cable company for a while and finally got back online. I never log onto Chat on facebook but since TJ moved  to the "Land down under"  have discovered when I get home late from work, it is mid morning for him and we had a nice long chat. It was awesome. It was inspiring and just what I needed. It was kinda like when Massey and I comment on each others posts on facebook when she is fifteen  feet behind me in her bedroom.

He is doing great...I knew he would but a mom still needs to be reassured.

  So I have three kids. One didn't give me stretch marks, I married his dad when he was two. The other two didn't give me stretch marks either but lots of gray hair and lots of wrinkles.

TJ  was different. He was always a good boy. He bobbled a bit in his senior year of high  school but rebounded.

He left home on fire for college, met a girl who sidelined him and came back home with a dog. He left home again (leaving the dog) thinking making a little money would be better than college. I told him "If you  think you are leaving college to make a little money  for a while...that is all you will do...make a little money."

It was rough and tumble for a couple of years. Once Tim and I hit the skids (how embarrassing is that  that when you are in your late forties) we had to shove him out of the nest that was going into foreclosure.

He landed on his feet and bounded back beyond belief.

He got a good job , saved his money and took a leap of faith. I am his step mom...which is a hard pill to swallow except for  the fact his birth mom is an excellent mother and I am almost jealous of her stretch marks.

I got home tonight, tired and worn out. I saw TJ's name pop up on chat on facebook and logged in. I usually never chat but when you have a kid halfway around the world, it is a good thing to even see their name pop up.

We had a great chat. It was one hour that made the past two weeks of working straight seem like nothing. To talk with him, even on  social networking meant a lot to me. He said he is doing well and just like a momma I typed back "I am proud of you."

So he has two mommas. I consider that a fact he is one lucky young man.

We all love him and all have the same wish.

Go TJ! Go gettum. GO see, explore and conquer the world. Wish I had been as smart when I was  his age.

Til next  time (tomorrow night)  COTTON

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Maybe I Undersold MYSELF

So I went into my new second job today as an actual salesperson, not a trainee. Started out slow and the pace picked up. My co worker made sale after sale as I stood by like a dummy. But I'm a smart dummy and listened to her as she talked with her customers. She knows her stuff and always seems to know the right thing to say.

 Massey came up to have lunch with me and I gave her the grand tour after we finished our burgers in the break room. In true Massey  fashion she told me I needed to "Get my game on and do some selling."

BAM! Sold a bedroom set. King size none the less. He also bought a king size mattress and box spring set. I was on the board! Then I sold another king size bed and then sold another king size mattress.

Maybe I WILL be good at this. Only time will tell. I'm a fish out of water and have much  to learn but what the heck.

It's nice not working at a frantic pace two days a week and the people I work with are fantastic and very helpful.

Here's  the thing...I'm almost fifty three and killing my spirit by  working insane hours at a physically demanding job. Now two days a week I slowed down the pace and enjoy it. I have a lot to learn but am willing and ready. If I can sell two grand as a newbie, it's just the inspiration I need. Of course some just fell into my lap but actually made contact and kinda sorta bonded with others.

Working there again tomorrow and like a dummy picked up a shift at the restaurant after I get off at six. Gotta strike while the iron's hot.

If I can make a go of this it will be awesome. If I can learn my new product well enough  to sell confidently, it's gonna be a whole new ballgame and may even feel  good enough to go into extra innings!

Stay tuned... COTTON

Friday, February 8, 2013

Technology is Exhausting to Me

I went into work at three thirty today and clocked out after eleven tonight. I started out running  and quickly went into scrambling mode. I've worked there for three years and have never seen it busier. That's a good thing, but hard when you're fifty three and running on fumes. I made my goal which was pay my sis back the loan she gave me and have gas money.

I  came home and sat down to log in on the computer. Most peeps log in to facebook first...I log into my bank account first. "Server down" No connection. That's bad karma in my book. I called Charter (our provider) and crossed my fingers that someone who was fluent in English would answer. I've called before and felt  like I  was calling Mars. Sometimes you  can't even understand them and they certainly can't understand you. Just saying...

I have called when they  say "This is Quan, how I can  help you?" I simply hang up and redial until someone speaks to me in clear English.
I hit the jack pot and got "Emily" on the first  try. While we were trying to fix the problem, she even  heard my dryer buzz in the background and said "Your clothes are dry."

I should have gone to bed two hours ago, have to be at  my new gig by  ten in the morning but had such a great experience with Emily that I wanted to share it. After going through  the robo menu and finally hitting the "Speak to an agent" button I crossed my fingers hoping for an American. No diss meant for the over seas help  but I struggle with computer issues and language barriers don't help.

Emily felt my pain about not being able to access my bank account. We chatted throughout the entire process and once she got me back on line,  informed her  I was in fact the proud owner of  one hundred and thirty six dollars! She replied "That beats the heck out of  seeing  a negative balance...been there done that."

Outsourcing is a big gripe of mine.  Don't charge me American prices and have me talk to someone in Indonesia when I have an issue in Newnan , Georgia. It's just not right...or as they would say "That no good."

So I should be in bed and will be there shortly.

One last note. Went and got "My Hurr Did" today. It cost $7.99. I tipped her six bucks and walked out looking like a lesbian (as my kids say) for under fifteen bucks! I love it, it's short but so am I.

Saturday  and Sunday I am a furniture salesman (hence the haircut)

It's nice to work there, laid back and relaxed. Let's see if I can sell some stuff this weekend!!

I should have saved "Emily's" cell. I think we could be BFFL's.

Til next  time...COTTON

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Rolling With the Punches "Cotton Style"

It's been quite a week. I started my new job last Saturday and worked there again on Sunday.  Monday morning I was a server again and have worked all week. It was nice to do something different for two days to break up the monotony as well as the job is no where near as physically exhausting.

The restaurant has been steady all week and the tipping gods have smiled on me. My dear sis floated me a loan for a week and all was peachy til my stinking oven went out.  When I was a kid an oven would last twenty five or thirty years.  Mine's broken three times in under sixteen years and was brand new when we bought the house. I gave it two days, thinking maybe it just had the flu and didn't feel like working. I tried several times to light the pilot with my fingers crossed to no avail. I called a repairman who I used years ago for my washing machine. He was an appliance repairman for Sears for decades and now just does side jobs in his retirement.

Must be nice, the only thing I will be doing at  this rate after my retirement is heading to the funeral home to have my makeup done for my farewell party. Actually I am going to be cremated so guess I'll just head straight for the bon fire!

Ziggy  has continued to  find an  escape route out of the yard at least once a day. I've been working every day and patching his escape holes when I can. First day I have off I'm going to buy another roll of wire and run the length of the top of the back fence. That will make the fence over seven feet high. Dang, the boy's a jumper. Six feet is nothing to him. When I  go to open the back kitchen door he gets so excited. He puts his paw on Charlie's back seemingly to push fatty out of the way when the door opens  and once out the door, leaps like a deer over the mud surrounding the back deck. He bounces like Tigger to the back of the yard and if a squirrel or rabbit happens to be frolicking on the other side of the wire fence he clears it in one attempt in  a split second with such grace it's hard to be mad at  the little demon.

He ate a pair of my earrings today. There's another dollar wasted at the  Dollar Tree. I hope they weren't real pearls.

Ziggy has gotten better since we got the crate. When we all have to leave the house we put him in it. He isn't thrilled at  first but every  time we come back home he is laying down and doesn't even get up til we unlatch  the crate. I went to work the other day and walked by  the "Crate Room." (Massey's old bedroom) All three idiots were just standing inside of it. Well, Charlie was stretched out on the floor of it but Ziggy and Ham were both in there too. Go figure?? I've caught them doing that several times since and need to snap a picture. It's like they are saying "We like our Crib."

So it seems my oven wasn't on strike or mad at me for not using him enough but was actually broke. I looked at him  and said "Welcome to my world."

 The repairman came this morning and took his innards out in emergency surgery. He left to get  the new part...the ONLY part.  Dang, there ain't much TO an oven in  the way of parts. He returned an hour later and replaced the part. My ole boy fired right up!

Yesterday I put together baked beans and put two pork tenderloins in a pan and took  them to work with me three o'clock. I had the cooks put them in the oven and Massey  came by the restaurant at  four when she got out of school to pick up dinner.  Yes I am a resourceful momma...especially when we are out of bologna and fish sticks.

When the oven doctor doctor  told me today the part might be around a hundred dollars before he left to go get it, I got nervous. I had sixty bucks in cash and nine dollars in my checking account. When he left to go get the part I came clean with him. I told him I could give him sixty bucks and could my husband post date a check for Friday, when he gets paid? He was so nice and said that was fine...makes me wonder if he reads my blog?   I gave him the cash and the check and you know what? He said "How about I wait til Monday to deposit the check?" I told him  to take all  the time he wanted!

To  some I may seem pitiful. To me I feel blessed.

Went into work again today at three...had a rough shift and came home thinking "How am I gonna make this happen?" The kids had cleaned and vacuumed and even done the laundry.  There on the kitchen table was an envelope addressed to me.

Thinking it was a bill, I opened it to see who wanted money now,  and low and behold it was a stub telling me I had a direct  deposit from my new job last weekend going in at midnight. (Dang! I had forgot about that!)  It was just enough to cover Mr. Oven's surgery , gas money for the weekend and some grub for the house. I can even pay my sis back!

Here is my my point. Never give up...never quit trying...and never be ashamed to accept offers of help. You can always pay it forward when you are able and always SHOULD. Trust me...I will!

It's crazy. When I think we are gonna sink and go under, we are lifted at  the last minute. When I fret about how we are going to make it happen...It happens.

I'm back  to working seven  days a week but it is such a breeze now. Two relaxed days at my new job and five sometimes demanding days at my old one. I've finally gotten smart and simply rest until I have to get up and get things done. When the kids were little I worked seven days a week for six years just to keep  them in the school district I wanted. I did that for them. I'm doing THIS for me.

You wait and see...It's gonna happen for us.

Til next  time...COTTON

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Just Another Day

You  can whine, cry and complain but that doesn't help anything.Doing something does. We've come a long way over the past three years and are so close to almost being almost caught up to just being slightly behind that it amazes me. We've gone from being almost six months behind on our mortgage to being almost current. It wasn't easy and we had lots of help from family and friends. We are still tight as a drum but still beating.

Then as I get ready for work day after day after day I listen to the news. Some crazy old dude killed a school bus driver and kidnapped a six year old off the bus. Wouldn't  you know it, the little boy had special needs but was unwillingly taken to an underground bunker to live in captivity for almost a week with his deranged kidnapper. A decorated Navy Seal sniper was shot in the back,  killed at a shooting range while trying to help a fellow soldier with PTSD. He could have been  blown off the planet by  an IED in the field of combat but lost his life here at home .

Kids and teachers killed in an elementary school just last month.

All the while, the fat cats we elected sit on their fat wallets in Washington,  infighting each others political party while WE all sit on empty  wallets waiting on them to do something about us...the American people.

While the people who elected them continue to struggle, they seemingly do nothing except still get paid..by us!

Let's get rid of the elephant AND donkey in the room. Let's do away with  the blue or red states. Let's be the "United States" of America and do something positive for Pete's sake!

If I could, I would fire every one of them and replace them with the average Joe.  I would send a hard working blue collar worker to Washington who has actually suffered and knows what it's like to not be able to pay the bills although they are working tirelessly. I would send single moms who don't have more kids just to get a bigger check but single  moms who want to be able to do it themselves for the kids they have.

I would take care of the soldiers who fought OUR battles, forgotten when  they come home to just be bound by  red tape and hoops  to jump through...held out by  the Rat Basts with deep and filled pockets.

I'd get rid of the homophobic and racist first, just cause  they  tick me off.

YOU have your beliefs, that's great, but who's to say YOURS are right and someone Else's are wrong?  Webster's defines belief as "The mental act, condition, or habit of  placing trust or confidence in another."

So are the Dems or Repubs wrong? Are the gays or straights wrong? Are  the rich or poor wrong? Is the NRA right or just effing nuts?

I'll give  you my take...It's not our place to judge, That's the Big Guy's job. OUR job to is live a clean and honest life. Our job is to live and love each  other.

It's a motto that has worked for me for over half a century...not that I'm bragging, well maybe a little bit.

My family is the product of hard work, love and help when needed . My family pays it forward every  chance we get. We expect nothing for free but know we will be provided with what we need if we help every person  we can, no matter how big or small.

Here's the real deal in my book...even though I am not Buddhist , it makes sense to me.. It beats being a Dem or Repub these  days.

Karma..."The  total effect of one's actions during  the successive phases of one's existence, regarded  as  determining one's destiny."

I bet Buddha and God are BFFL's... just waiting on us to wake up and smell the coffee.

I'll take mine with  four sugars and a butt load of cream please.

Wake up peeps... we are living in the Jetson age with a Flintstone  mentality.

Til next  time...COTTON

Monday, February 4, 2013

Yes My Life is Crazy

Good Lord I am WHOOPED! Got  home from work late Friday night and had to be at my new gig on  Saturday morning by  nine. It was twenty two degrees when I left my house and didn't  get  much warmer when I got there. The place I am also working for is a no frills discount store. No heat...just low prices. (and temps)

I wore my sock tights under my pants,  had a thick sweater on over my camisole and training bra. I had on the Misty Harbor long trench coat with wool lining my brother gave me for Christmas a few years back. I love it...it  hits around my ankles and is like a fancy "Snuggie." I had  my silk scarf I got  from a customer YEARS ago wrapped around my neck and remained in this outfit  the entire day... I was still cold. Granted weighing ninety nine pounds doesn't help but my  tootsies are normal size and even THEY never warmed up.

I started  this new job and felt immediately lost. I've been a server for well over thirty years.  Yes I am a salesman but have always sold food. Thank The Lord it was slow and the people who I  worked with were extremely tolerant and patient. I've learned more about furniture, bedding and furnishings in the past two days than I have  in my fifty three years of  having a furnished house.

We got to know each  other and clicked immediately. They love and have dogs...I love and have dogs. That's all I needed to hear. Now they are both BFFL's. They both know their job extremely well and were so helpful to me. Like the good student I am I took a notebook with me and filled up  page after page with info , descriptions and helpful hints.

I may be old but I know how to learn.

I worked there on Saturday and Sunday. I'm just in training, not selling til next  weekend but when a few peeps were in the store and both of them were busy a lone man walked in and the girl I was working with asked if I thought I could take care of him?

BAM!! I did it.

Older Asian man, could barely understand him but got  that he needed a stool. I directed him to the section with stools . There were about six of them but he  worried over those stools for at least ten minutes. He asked if I could come down on the price? For Pete's sake...it's a discount store, it's ALREADY discounted! I didn't say that but  somehow managed to point out they were solid wood and quite sturdy.

Guess what? Who sold a stool? "I" sold a stool!

So I'm on my way (kinda) and you know what? After three decades of  the same type of work it's nice to be doing something different.

Still have my old job but it's been nice to do something out of the box and totally new.

My sister came by yesterday to visit me at work and when  she called me later that night said "At least you are giving them something to laugh about."

Oh I am all about some comments and observations. You don't work as a server for over thirty years without some stories to be told.

I like the new peeps I work with and who have been incredibly helpful and nice.

I may just be on to something! Only time will tell.

Time WILL tell. But for now, I like it!

Til next  time...COTTON

Friday, February 1, 2013

Society is Getting on my Nerves

I've been a server non stop since 1979...that's a pretty long time. I've seen some pretty  funny  things and also witnessed a few awful things. Although I am grateful for all  the technological advances, it amazes me how much it has diminished personal interaction.

I honesty can't think of the last time I waited on a table without at least one person having a device either on  the table or in their hand. The only ones who come to mind is my dear friends the Ferrari's and they were both in their nineties. I know for a fact she had a cell phone because when I visited her in  the hospice she gave me her number but warned me she wasn't too sure how to answer it.

I wait on families who have three year old's playing games on their parent's cell or iPad. Most all tweens have a cell phone and stay on  them the entire meal. Sometimes it's a couple out for dinner and both stay on their phone the entire dinner.

When I was a kid,  us kids were just so excited to go out for dinner we were on  our best behavior. Of course going out to eat for our family meant The Varsity on Friday nights. When we went on  vacation every summer my parents would take us out to Captain Anderson's one night and BOY was THAT a treat! It's the first place I ever saw a pat of real butter (My momma used margarine) all wrapped up in a fancy foil pack. I could have just eaten  those saltine crackers with that sweet creamy butter on them and been satisfied.

And here's the kicker. We simply sat and talked. Well, the adults talked. We kids just mostly sat and listened. I can remember hearing from  a young age, my Diddy  say to us  that his own parent's said "Children should be seen and not heard."

My own parents didn't mind us talking but most certainly expected us to be on our best behavior when we went out to eat. Heck...they wouldn't even allow us to fuss and fight at the dinner table in our own house, much less in public!  We were a totally middle class family growing up and to even be taken to the beach once a year for a week was amazing!

We had one phone in our house, a black rotary dial that hung on  the wall in our kitchen. I remember thinking we had hit the big time when we got a long cord for the receiver so momma could walk around the kitchen cooking while still on the phone.

We had one TV and it was in the living room. It was as big  as a love seat with a sixteen inch screen. It had rabbit ears on  top covered in foil and you had to constantly  move them around to tune into one of the three channels every household had. I remember it was a banner day when Ted Turner launched Channel Seventeen...then we had four! Granted Channel Seventeen only aired old "Dagwood and Blondie" episodes, "Little Rascals" "Merry Melodies" cartoons and "Wrasling" with Freddie Miller from the Atlanta Municipal Auditorium, but it was our favorite channel. We didn't get a color TV til late in the sixties and it was a used one. The first shows I watched in color were Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie. Granted everyone looked green, but HEY! Green was a color and we were all excited. There was no cable...there was an antennae on our roof seemingly big enough  to pick up a signal from  Mars. We didn't have computers or cell phones. We didn't have iPods. We DID have transistor radios with a strap on it and carried them with us every where, and tuned in to WQXI 94 once FM radio happened. I can remember sleeping on the screened in back porch of our house during the summer months, stretching  that fancy long phone cord out of the kitchen and calling in requests to  the radio station and then waiting hours just to hear my song come on. It was usually either "Rocket Man" ... "Seasons in the Sun" by Terry Jacks or Helen Reddy's "I am Woman." Then I would cry myself to sleep  about the boy who never asked me to slow skate the night before at the Greenbriar Skating rink. It was just a tragedy...but I survived (and by  the way, he's a big fat slob now)

Don't judge me.. I was a kid!!

Kids grow up too quickly these days. They seem to skip  childhood and go straight to young adulthood and still don't have a clue. No wonder so many seem lost and do  really stupid things without thinking about the repercussions. Too many of our youth aren't taught about repercussion or even know right from wrong.

My kids WERE spoiled until the youngest hit middle school. Then Tim and I hit the skids. Then my kids learned ALL about life, the hard way. In hindsight, it was the BEST way.

They all know first hand how life can be taken for granted then seemingly change over night. They have witnessed first hand how you  can be knocked now...way down.

They have also learned that if you live your life right and help others, others will help you when YOU need it.

So I'm starting  a new phase of my life on Saturday. I've accepted a position with a company starting part time, still with my old job just adding another. If I don't try, how will I know? A friend from high school  who I haven't seen in over thirty years but reads my blog drivel has suggested me to her boss. I'm giving it a shot. I may fail or I may surprise myself and be great at it.

All I really want to say by all of this is...modern technology is great, it's fantastic! But don't forget the "Human Touch." Don't forget that pat on the back or that warm hug when someone needs it. Don't forget that no matter what, life can change without someone giving you a warning with a hash tag on Twitter or update status.

We need to rely more on true emotions and physical interactions. It seems to be a lost art in this age of technology and networking. It can be a good thing... don't get me wrong,  but you  need to remain grounded and remember where you  came from before you end up wondering "How in heck did I end up here and why isn't anyone tweeting me back?"

Just my take on it..COTTON