Friday, May 31, 2013

What a Whirlwind of a Week

Massey finally graduated this past Saturday along with 585 other classmates. The week leading up  to it was about as relaxing as a root canal.

I worked every day (or night) depending on whether I was serving tables or moving furniture. The morning before her graduation I was cat napping on the sofa before work when Tim let the dogs out back. When he let them back in, Ziggy staggered in like he was drunk. The boy was wobbly and wouldn't even sit. He just stood still (a first) and remained like that for ten minutes with slobber dripping. After about thirty minutes he finally climbed the steps into  the living room and settled in a heap behind the sofa. One hour later his tail was wagging but he was lethargic the rest of the day. We didn't know if he had eaten something poisonous or been bitten but at least he wasn't tearing up  the house. He never even went near the back of the yard where he regularly tries to escape. He didn't even eat any of the potatoes in my potato bin (a daily snack) or take a dump in the house. He was the perfect dog, albeit a puny feeling one.

Zach commented the next  day, "We need to find out what he ate and give it to him once  week." We found a small knot on his neck that looked like a bite and thought maybe he chased something that bit him. Knowing Ziggy, that could be anything from a rabbit to a snake. He survived and the week went on.

I had to work at the restaurant the night before graduation and got off after eleven. Zach took Massey  out for a graduation dinner with Tim and one of Tim's best friends. Massey's aunt Dellen and my brother joined them and they all came to the restaurant to eat in my section. I took everyone's order and took Tim's last. When I asked Tim what he'd like, my ever so funny brother piped in "An uncontested divorce." That got a laugh out of everyone and a thoughtful look on Tim's face.

 I went to the grocery store after work... came home, prepared food and cleaned house til well after three in the morning. I fell out for four hours and left the house for graduation shortly after eight.

The grads rounded the track and filled the seats and my heart was pounding. This was it! My last child was graduating high school. How the years flew by amazes me.

Had everyone over to our house afterwards. We cooked burgers and brats. We had BBQ chicken sandwiches, spinach rolls and sausage rolls with peppers and onions, fresh fruit, pasta salad, hash brown casserole  and my boss's son made Massey a triple chocolate layer cake as a graduation present. Lots of food and lots of laughter and love.

My college room mate came with her hubs and precious daughter. Oh the things we laughed about from our college days! Thank goodness most of it went right over her young daughter's head. Her daughter was an unexpected surprise when my roomie was in her later forties but is a doll.

Massey didn't feel too well, woke up with a fever and cough the day day of graduation but powered through. It all wound down around seven and by eight I had all dishes and the kitchen clean and crashed myself.

No rest  for the weary, I had cleaned out the island in our front yard the day before graduation and the chiggers made a meal of my body. I fell asleep on the sofa scratching myself silly all through  the night. I worked at  the restaurant the next day and came home to resume the scratching position, falling out as soon as I got home from work. Thankfully I had Monday off and took it easy. Massey and I went out for dinner, Tim and Zach were at work.

Tuesday came way too quickly and I was back to selling furniture. We're having a store closing sale and it was insanely busy. I moved over two thousand pounds of furniture and sweated like Mel Gibson at The Apollo Theatre from the time I opened the doors til the time I locked them at close. Wednesday was a little less frantic. Thursday rolled around and the mob was brutal. I had someone who came in at four to help me but before that was busier than I ever expected. I sold a queen mattress and box springs to be picked up the next  day so  decided to move them to the front of the store for pick up. We have a fancy  little rolling cart we load mattresses and box springs on. I tugged the mattress onto  the cart and like the doofus I am decided I would stand inside the cart and drag the mattress onto it. At the time there was only one other guy in the store and he was flat on his back testing out a memory foam mattress.

As I was dragging the queen size mattress onto the cart it shifted and the cart tilted. Two seconds later I hit the concrete floor with  a queen size mattress on top of me with my feet sticking out like the wicked witch from  the Wizard of Oz after the tornado tore up the house. It took me about ten seconds to wriggle out from underneath the mattress and untangle myself  from the cart but did it just in time before my customer got up from trying out the memory foam mattress to say he wanted to buy it.

By this point I was sweating like a fat wrestler and limping like Fetus from Gunsmoke.

The end result was great for me, made tons of sales and a nice commission check. I'm bumbling my way  through this furniture gig but selling like crazy. I screwed up the other night putting in my numbers (I've never used the system excel before) but when the owner called the next  day about my goof  said "We've never fired anyone for selling too much furniture."

I like having two jobs. My serving job I know like the back of my hand, my furniture job is a bit more complicated with the computer programs but know how to sell and  have been pretty successful so far.

I made enough this week that I gave up my restaurant shift tomorrow night and will be okay.

I've been getting to sleep earlier every night and feel better every day.

God truly takes care of His own.

Til next time...COTTON

Sunday, May 19, 2013

It's Starting to Sink in

It's gonna happen. I'm just having a hard time accepting it. My youngest is graduating from high school in less than a week and I feel lost. How did almost eighteen years go by ?

She fought her way into  this world weighing barely four pounds. Her entire head was smaller than my own hand but after a two week stay in  the hospital she came home and began to blossom.

She had the curliest hair I had ever seen and was quiet as a church mouse. I started to wonder if she would ever come out of her shell when all of the sudden, she began to get more talkative. She still wasn't a loud mouth like her momma but began to blossom even more.

 One thing was for sure, she was a lot cuter as a toddler than I was. She had older nephews who adored her and two brothers who  put up with her.

I already had two sons and loved them tremendously but little boys can give or take being around their momma. I wanted a "BFF" and having a daughter felt like my best shot. I turned out to be right.

She was so girly and fun to be around. I didn't have to share her with anybody until she was about five and new neighbors moved in next  door with a daughter one year younger than Massey. Then the "BFF" status changed.

Massey and Lyss were made  for each other. Massey finally had someone younger than her to boss around and Lyss was just fine with it. They were together all the time, shared  clothes (still do) secrets and summers. They wore a path out between our two houses and forged a bond  which still remains.
So my little BFFL found another BFFL. She made an excellent choice so it didn't bother me all that much.

They were little goof balls but knew how to have fun and I was lucky enough to witness it. Of course they would have falling outs but were always eventually drawn back to each other.

Then before I knew it she grew up and learned  the more BFF's you  have the better and I just felt lucky to be one of them.

She's always been close to her daddy and in his eyes does no wrong. That's okay with me. Being the "Heavy" has always been my job. His job has always been security and provisions. We make a good team.

Then one day she suddenly looked like this and knew I was in serious trouble. How the heck did she grow into a young woman so quickly?

She simply took off without me then dragged me willingly with her. She  got involved in Guard at her high school , learned camaraderie, commitment and dedication and grew some really tough feet. She spent about five seasons with them and just like that, decided it wasn't for her anymore.

She decided she wanted to excel in the classroom, head  to college and make a difference in the world. I was a hundred percent behind her.
Two years later I am amazed at all she has done. She's made National Honor Society and  graduating with honors. She just got accepted to Georgia State University this past week and in less than a week will be walking across a stage and handed a diploma. In a few short months she will be walking onto another stage of life and certain she will blossom even more.

My little girl is now a young woman and  the pride I feel is enormous.

 My  two sons are doing great after several jump starts. The boys will be just fine once they finally meet the woman of their dreams who will shove them down the path of life.
I'm not the best mom, far from it but at least they are all three alive and still kicking. They all love me and all make me proud. A mom can't ask for much more.

I just can't seem to fathom how my oldest is edging towards thirty and in less than two months my middle son will be twenty one? Massey is leaving for college in a matter of weeks and I'll be here alone with my husband.

These three little goof balls were all kids last time I checked. Now they are three young adults  making their way without needing me  every single  day.

Wow...not too sure what to think about that. I know it makes me feel old but I've been feeling old for a few years now. Guess God was just preparing me for this week.

Thank The Lord I still have three dogs who need me.
It's a bittersweet week for me but considering the past four years,  feels like quite an accomplishment.

I've had lots of help and prayers. I've had bad breaks but I've had good breaks. I've had a support system which is incredible...and believe it or not have been able to laugh all along the way. Some days have been downers, but if you don't have bad days, it doesn't make the good days stand out. I'm all about making a good day stand out!

Til next  time...COTTON

Friday, May 17, 2013

And I Thought We Lived in a Nut House

So I'm getting ready for work yesterday morning. I'm sitting at my makeup table which faces the hall upstairs and something catches my eye. The kids bathroom is right outside my bedroom door to the left and there perched on top of the bathroom door was a little bird who flitted away as soon as I got up. I immediately got up, closed the bathroom door and went to wake Zach up. I told Zach there was a bird in his bathroom. From his bed he sleepily said "Let Ziggy  get it."

Ziggy chases birds all day long in  our back yard. He also chases squirrels, rabbits and frogs but birds are his favorite prey. I thought  about it for about two seconds and could just imagine what would happen if I let Ziggy into  the bathroom. He would go berserk, the bird would go berserk and the bathroom would be destroyed in under ten seconds. The shower curtain would be torn down, the shades torn off the window and I'd eventually have feathers and bird guts all over the bathroom.

I vetoed that idea and went back  to Zach's room. I told him he needed to get the bird  because it would crap all over the place. Zach's reply was "Lucky for us it picked the bathroom." I was still wondering how the heck a bird got into  the bathroom on the third floor of our house but more concerned about getting it OUT of the house first.

I'm not a big fan of birds to begin with. Blame  the Hitchcock movie. I like looking at  them in the trees but not really a fan of them fluttering around inside my house. They tend to  freak out and lose their bowels.

I put on my big girl pants, game face, went into the bathroom and closed the door behind me. The little sh*t (huge pun) flew behind the shower curtain, darted  to  the sink and zoomed past my head on its way  back to the door. It hit the closed door and darted to the window and swerved back to the shower. I opened the window,  hurriedly took the screen off, flung it on the floor and made a quick exit  slamming  the door shut with thoughts of  Tippy Hedron in the back of my mind.

I went downstairs to get some orange juice and the kitchen door to our garage stood wide open, leading to the garage with one garage door open as well. It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how the little bird got inside. How it got past  three dogs still amazes me.

I went back upstairs and cautiously opened the bathroom door. No bird! Just some bird poop on the roll of toilet paper. At least it knew what toilet paper was for!

The screws had come loose on  the door knob leading from  the kitchen to the garage and wasn't closing tight, giving our unwelcome visitor, robbers, rapists and mass murderers  free  access to our house.

Guess we got lucky it was just a bird.

Working all weekend, furniture store tomorrow day  and restaurant tomorrow  night. Sunday is Massey's Baccalaureate and working at  the restaurant Sunday night. Finally getting somewhat ahead so all the work I can get is  a blessing. I've been getting a lot more rest having this dual employment and feel  pretty  good.

Massey graduates this coming  Saturday and it blows me away to think my youngest is fixing to  fly  the nest. At least she seems to have better direction than the spawn that invaded my bathroom .

Our house is falling apart, needs lots of work and repairs  but at least we were able to keep it. In four short years it will be paid off and  then can take out a home equity loan, fix it up and sell it for a pretty  nice profit.

Four years ago we were in such a bad state that wondered if we could hang on to it at all.

Thanks to God, family, friends and even strangers we have made it to the promised land. We hung on for forty eight months and in forty eight more months will come full circle.

It's hard being a grown up.

Sometimes I feel like complaining but ultimately always feel ashamed. There are so many millions and millions who are so almost ridiculously less fortunate  than us that I tend to just  feel blessed and keep on keeping on.

"A bird in the hand is worth two in  the bush."

 It's better to have a lesser but certain advantage than the possibility of a greater one that may come to nothing..

Til next time...COTTON

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Never Give Up

Like I haven't had enough snags in life we were handed a pretty  big one over a month ago. My daughter who  graduates high school this year decided she wanted to attend Georgia State University where her oldest brother went. It's a great school and slap dab in the center of downtown Atlanta, a busy and fabulous city with so many wonderful places to explore and get to know. It's also a great place to study  AND network.

She came  home one day last year and told me her SAT scores. I was thrilled, she almost got a perfect score! Then she informed  this old woman  the scale has changed since 1977 when I took it and 1400 was a perfect score. Seems its gone WAY up when I wasn't looking. She was devastated.


She's a smart girl,  a member of the National Honor Society but froze on the test. I'm the same way, I'm not a good test taker but told her that was only one factor. She has been involved in many school and civic activities. She has worked  with  the Special Olympics  and helped out in Senior Centers.

She applied to GSU and was later notified she had been wait listed. She was beyond upset. Like a good momma I didn't blog or FB about it but told her we needed to apply to some local community colleges just in case.

I never came up the money  to apply to the local colleges.  Heck, we had a hard time coming up with the GSU application money. Seems to me if you are applying to a university or college  you will be paying  tens of thousands of dollars to over  four years, they ought to cut you some slack on the paper work. I think my Diddy paid ten or fifteen dollars for me to apply at Georgia Southern College in 1977.

I had no other choice but  tell Massey not to worry. If she didn't get in GSU we would find another way  to get her in a college and the most important thing was to GO to college regardless of which one. That didn't set well with her but that's all I had to go with.

She's moped about it and know she has been depressed but my broke ass hands were tied. I prayed for a solution. I started thinking what bills I could put off to send off another application.

Got the answer to my prayers today.

I was at  the furniture store late this afternoon when I looked up  to see Massey bouncing in. I wondered what was wrong since I had spoken with her less  than an hour ago, still sounding depressed.

She got an email from Georgia State University today...She's accepted!

She is beyond thrilled  and so I am. Now begins the search  for every grant and scholarship we can find. I look at it this way, we've gotten this far by  not  giving up...nothing can stop us now.

My girl is going to the university of her choice come hell or high water!

When you have and love kids who deserve something you  simply MAKE it happen and I will do just that .

Just watch me!

Til next  time....COTTON

Monday, May 13, 2013

"The Fun Girls" to the Hundreth Power

Have you ever seen the episode of the Andy Griffith Show, "The Fun Girls?" Well I met some girls who make them look like "The Church Lady" from the  SNL skit.

My sister took a road trip with us this past weekend for a 36 hour visit to the beach. Dear friends of ours had a beach wedding and invited all their friends down to join them. They rented a house on the beach  for a week which sleeps twenty  two and over thirty showed up and squeezed in.

We got a late start Friday then ran into a horrible accident around Montgomery which put us behind another hour. We rolled in shortly after dark. Our friend had sent us a text with the front door code number so we could let ourselves in. Heck, there wasn't even a need to give us the house number,  we  could hear  them all before we even got out of  the car.

It was a high school friend of mine getting married. She worked for the same airline my sister  worked for and had many friends in  common. Some of them played together on the company softball team, some were flight attendants or gate agents together and some just knew each other through high school or college acquaintances. Some knew each simply by being  "Guilty  by Association."

It was one crazy scene we walked into. My  friend had warned me it was gonna be a party and offered for Massey and me to stay at her own house a few miles away. I told her we'd be fine at the beach. Number one I didn't WANT to miss the party OR the beach and Number two, Massey's older brother cusses like a sailor. He always says "It's no big deal, it's just a word." I warned Massey to  ignore any bad language she might hear and remember her brother's just as bad.

Well, Massey learned a LOT of new words in less than fifteen seconds after we punched in  the door code and they all finally noticed us walk in. I noticed in under fifteen seconds  that my son's mouth wasn't so bad after all and wondered if we had mistakenly opened the door to "Fleet Week on the Gulf?"

There was one group of about twelve  seated around a huge dining room table with  a pile of money in the middle obviously drinking while they gambled. A few others were sitting at a smaller dining room table drinking. One had a microphone  belting out lyrics  to  the song currently playing and another ten were milling around the kitchen with  bowls of a delicious smelling shrimp creole dish served with rice. We immediately got in line for a bowl. Every person we  were introduced to didn't just smile and shake our hand but grabbed us with a welcoming, genuine tight (alcohol induced) hug.

We instantly felt at  home and my sister and I did our best  to  catch up on the alcohol consumption  with great success. Massey already knew a lot of them since she spent a month with my friends last summer .

A lot of them were married having left their husbands at  home like my sister and me. Some were single,  a few had dared to bring their husbands who just  simply shook their heads at all the craziness and some were with their partner. (Yes my friends who were getting married are "Gay" (which in my book means happy and carefree) and  every person in that house that night was EXTREMELY gay! They have been  together since 1982 and  worried if something happened to either of them they would have no legal rights as far as medical or  financial decisions  go.

Thanks to idiotic homophobic people and politicians, we got to go  to a big ole PAR TAY!

I haven't laughed that much in a long, long time. They all swore like sailors and laughed like hyenas and were totally infectious. Naturally  they all fell in love with Massey (the only sober person in the house) which pumped me with tremendous pride.

They had name tags on  all  the bedroom doors and we found ours and dumped our bags. It was a beautiful house and a beautiful night. I met two of the craziest sisters I have ever known.
My own sister warned me  they were four sisters, equally crazy but only two of  them were  there. I couldn't imagine being around all four at once. There may be some law against it...if there isn't  there should be. They are the happiest, funniest crazy girls I ever met. One of the sisters was sitting next  to me on  the couch and at  one point said "I gave up on trying to figure out who's gay"  to which I responded "Me too, I thought YOU were  til you started talking about your husband and little girl. At least you don't have MY haircut, I may as well give up." She said "You know, I just love people...I don't give a sh*t about gay or straight I care about good or bad."

Not too sure what  time we went to our assigned bedrooms but I slept like a rock. Every bedroom had queen sized beds and your own bathroom with a tub and shower.

We let Massey bunk in our room, not being assigned a room. My friends were gonna let her sleep on an air mattress on the floor in their master suite which was huge but I let Massey have my spot in  the bed and slept at  the foot of the bed in our room on  the air mattress. When  you're two sheets to  the wind an air mattress feels  just fine with one sheet on it.

Finally all the sailors crashed and the huge house quieted.

We woke the next  morning  and I heard my sister say from the bed above me (imitating the sailors  from the previous night) "I slept pretty effing good, how bout you?"

So  this is the crazy mob we stayed with. It was an  eclectic bunch of straight people, gay people, married people, single people; family, relatives and in laws. Five dogs (one dog changed outfits more than I did) an internet ordained minister, one teenaged kid who overlooked the potty mouth but won every one of their hearts and made more new friends than me.

All in all the weekend made me realize even more that I'm right in my perception of the whole debacle over  sexual orientation.

You're either a good person or a bad person...nothing else matters and if it does, God will hold you  accountable one day, not us.

It was a great  trip. It was a short trip but was certainly "A TRIP." Couldn't think of a better way  to spend a Mother's Day weekend; with my sister,  my  daughter  and forty good people. Even the caterer's servers from  the reception went home, changed clothes  after they got off and came back to join our party. They said it was the most fun wedding  they had ever worked.

What's really proverbial icing on the wedding cake is  at  the same  time on  the beach several hundred yards away another couple was getting married on  the beach as well. A man and a woman. They had to pay  a huge fee to have their wedding ceremony on the beach. My friends  didn't have to pay a dime because their marriage isn't  recognized in the state of Florida.

They took care of  that legality back in October in a private ceremony in New Hampshire, just the two of them. This weekend was just  about celebrating  the victory...two good people becoming one good family.

Congrats to my dear friends and  thank you  for an absolutely wonderful weekend.

Til next  time...COTTON

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

One Crazy Day (again)

Went into work feeling a little more confident this morning. I still don't have my new/used car so Zach has to take me to the furniture store every  Tues, Wed and Thurs. He's not real happy about it but at least he HAS a car.

Started out busy,  had a queen size bed, mattress and box spring going out for delivery and since I don't have a stock guy had to  move the mattress and box springs up  to the delivery area myself. Took me two trips and one rest stop but I did it. The bed the customer bought was one off the showroom floor and didn't even attempt to take it apart but thought I would be nice and take the mattress and box springs off so the delivery guy could disassemble it more easily. Took me forever and when it was done realized it was the wrong bed. Then I  had to lug  the box and mattress back onto  the WRONG bed and repeat  the process  on the RIGHT bed. Yes I am a dummy.

Then the delivery guy was almost two hours late and the customer called to reschedule for  tomorrow because she had to go to work. She was fine with  it, I was not. I was soaked with sweat and it wasn't even a hot flash.

At least I had the right bed ready for delivery and the mattress and box springs ready by  the delivery area.

All I heard for three more hours were crickets but it was a much needed rest. I can't remember my last day off and down time at  the store gives me plenty of time to try out a comfy recliner and read my book.

My  fellow employee Snookie, calls me "Last minute Lucy."  Most all of my big sales come in the last hour we are open.

It was no different tonight. I had a guy wanting to buy a sofa and loveseat a hour before closing and had another family wanting to pick up part of their order. I'm not real savvy on a partial pick up, especially when it's not my sale and they went through financing with another sales person. I've  only recently learned how to clock in without a glitch much less process a financed order.

No wonder I weigh  ninety five pounds, between hot flashes and stress about this new computer system it's a wonder I am even on the pay roll.

I finally got in touch  with  the salesperson who sold the family and just told me to let them pick  up what they wanted, sign for it and he would process the paperwork later.


I still had a guy sitting at the check out desk wanting over a grand's worth of furniture. Then he wanted to finance it.  I've never done that, I've watched it being done and it didn't look like brain surgery so I gave it a shot. I "can" read so read to him what the application required and hoped he would say "Let's just do  this tomorrow."

No go. The man wanted to buy it tonight and pick it up tomorrow.

Crap, now I  gotta act like I know what I am doing! I looked through all my notes and somehow fumbled my way through the process. He just has to bring back one more document tomorrow and I'll be able to make the sale.

Tomorrow I'll go in early and teach myself how to process his papers and have another notch on my belt.

Still without a ride, Massey  came to pick me up from work and we screamed home in time for me to finish weed eating the front of the subdivision in the pale moon light so I can get paid. I need the money to  pay for the trip to Destin for  a wedding this weekend.

Massey came up  to the front of the subdivision to take pictures of me weed eating in the dark but  thankfully it was too dark.

It's a whole different gig selling furniture but  have a BFF at the corporate office who totally has my back.

Yes I've made mistakes but yet have made some sales. I truly think that I can be good at  this job.

I'm kinda digging this new job. I have down time when I can relax, something I've been needing for almost four years and seem  to be pretty  good with my people skills and closing a deal.

I guess we'll see tomorrow when I have to close the deal with my new buddy  from tonight.

I'm an old dog, I'm learning new tricks but willing to take the chance.

Before you know it, I'll actually KNOW what I'm doing!

I don't give up easy and don't give up without a fight.

One more day and I get two days off. Heading to the beach for a wedding with my sister and Massey.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Two days with my sister and Massey surrounded by good friends is just what this skinny girl needs.

Til next  time...COTTON

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Age is Just A Number

This is a picture of my Diddy's aunt Frances who we affectionately nicknamed Franny. For those of you new to my blog, Diddy is my late father who died from West Nile Virus in 2002. None of us met Franny until she came to an extended family reunion in the late nineties at my sister's house one summer. This photo was taken at her eightieth birthday party almost two years ago. She's a pistol. She's computer savvy and sharp as a tack. She's also very hard of hearing and you have to almost yell  for her to hear. She lives on her own in a small tidy house right down the road from the family plot where both my parents and grandparents are buried.
Around 2010 Franny had a catheter put in but the doctor botched it and hit an artery. She had to go to a rehab facility for a couple of months in a neighboring county. Her closest relatives live out of state so my sister and I volunteered to go by and check on her a couple of times a week. It was great getting to know Franny and every visit was a hoot! She was in a semi private room with an older woman who was in pretty bad shape. The woman's daughters were there every  day but  the woman couldn't even feed herself or speak.

Every  day or so either Cindy, my sister or Massey and I would pop in for a visit with Franny. It was always interesting. Frances was always upbeat, never complained and made us all laugh. The part she was in was a rehab facility but for all intent and purpose  was a nursing home to most, and their last stop.  Reality can be brutal.

We decided to put a bird feeder outside Franny's room so she could watch  the birds. I made the alarm go off as I walked out the back door to hang it, got locked out and am pretty sure was on a caution list after that. We were always loud when we were in the room with her because number one: I am a loud person and Number two: We like to laugh a lot.

About one week into her at minimum eight week stay, my  daughter went off to band camp and I offered to bring her laptop for Franny to use. The place offered free WiFi and Franny was very computer literate. She paid all her bills online, checked the  family website daily and most importantly read my Blog.

I took Massey's laptop to Franny the next day and was right off the bat disappointed about the boasted WiFi connection. We wheeled Franny around the entire place before we could pick up a signal. Once we found a signal (in the main lobby) the old peeps on walkers with tennis balls on the front and old peeps who  had been wandering the halls in their wheelchairs for years by scrambling themselves forward with their feet instead of arms were all looking at us like we were from Mars with some new gadget from  another universe and since they all had nothing but time left wanted to see us use  this futuristic device.

The next day was  Sunday, my son Zach and I went to visit Franny. They told us she was in the church service and we waited outside the glass enclosed room. All their heads were bowed and commented to Zach...I don't think ALL of them are praying, I've been known to snooze through a sermon too!

While we waited for the supposed prayer to end we met a therapist waiting for  patient as well. I mentioned I had brought a laptop for my aunt to use and wondered if they had an extra desk for her to keep it on? She said "Well I'll tell you what I tell most of my patients. "When you come here, don't bring valuables, rings or even your teeth, they have a way of walking off." She added it didn't necessarily mean employees but anyone walking through the facility who may see something they could simply walk off with unnoticed.

That made me start thinking, The laptop wasn't even fully paid for and now had to worry about someone stealing it.

When we wheeled Franny back to her room, then up to the front lobby  to log in as all the long term peeps followed us I began to worry.

The next  day I went to buy a case to lock the laptop in but all were soft cases anyone could cut through or walk off with. I ended up at Home Depot and bought a small hard case tool box I could store the laptop in, a bicycle chain to attach the tool box to her bed with a combination lock to open  the  tool box holding the laptop. Dang, was my aunt living in Gitmo or a Turkish prison?

My next  concern was telling her why I was walking into her room with a tool box, bicycle lock, combination lock and putting the laptop inside of it without having to scream at her to understand "They got some thieves around these parts and we gotta lock up the computer."

I printed off a letter for her to read explaining what the therapist had told me so she could read it instead of me screaming it out for everyone to hear.

Franny took my letter and started  to read while two of her church friends sat on her bed. She mumbled along quietly as she  read  and suddenly looked up at  them and said loudly "They say don't even bring your TEETH into this place!"

That's my classic Franny moment. I love this woman. She's a pistol, she got out of there in a few short months when  all the odds were against her. She is still living by herself and over eighty. Yes she has health problems but at least she's not scooting around the hallways of a nursing home in a wheelchair with her feet with nobody to visit or love her.

Massey and I stopped by  a few weeks ago on the way  back from the Sock Shoppe in Griifin to drop off a hot dog from Griffith's Drive In  but  need to  go by  more regularly and check on her. I don't want to  grow old unless I do it like Franny, with a sound mind and a loud voice!

Franny has another birthday coming up in a couple of weeks and I'm gonna be sure to drop by and holler at her!

Wish I could get my sister to comment on picking her up at the airport...Franny is a delight and always makes you smile!

Til next  time...COTTON

Friday, May 3, 2013

Vertical Fetch

The Comfort Zone

So it was back to the restaurant tonight for me. Waiting tables is NOT easy work but something I've been doing for  thirty four years, hence it's my "Comfort Zone."

I had a good night's sleep and got lots of errands run today. Got my Hurr Did, groceries bought, bills paid and yard cut. Work was great, it was busy and I had four different tables come in and ask for my section.(always a good thing) No hunting and pecking at computer  spread sheets or Excel, just talking and putting in orders and giving good service. It's so much easier now that I'm not doing it seven days a week, I actually enjoy it much more. I went in tonight and one of the managers said "Hey Ms. Cotton! I sure miss you around here."

I've stepped out of my comfort zone with this new part time job and sometimes feel totally overwhelmed, which is a good thing. You have to push yourself to get ahead. I sold a mattress and box springs to one of my restaurant coworker's boyfriend yesterday and when I went into work tonight she said he really liked the new mattress and slept like a baby last night. She also made the comment that he said I was going to do great at  this job. I hope he's right!

Life is closing in on me fast. In less than a month my youngest  graduates from high school (with honors) my oldest is living on the other side of the world and my middle one is turning out to make me pretty dang proud too!

What more can a girl ask for? I have two jobs I really like, three kids I absolutely adore and one husband who deserves a gold medal for putting up with the likes of me. Tim and I are a combination of Ralph and Alice, Al and Peg and Ricky and Lucy with a touch of  Archie and Edith except that I wouldn't be caught dead in one of Edith's dresses or Peg's heels and hair dos.

On top of it all I have three pups who I love too. One's blind, one's deaf (or just extremely stubborn) and one's just BAD. I wouldn't trade any one of the three, I love my pups and they are all crazy about me! I have three kids who are all different and unique in their own way....the pups followed suit.

I reached a stand still with  the Vet specialist I took my blind dog to. I'm going another avenue, contacting the Auburn Veterinary Program about having his sight restored. My vet thinks he is healthy enough for eye surgery and since he saved my Ham from heart worms, I'm going with his vote. It may sound uncaring or cruel but I am willing to take  the chance on his eye surgery.  He never runs anymore, he never jumps anymore, he simply bumps and bumbles his way though every  day. Click on this link to see Ham, being Ham!

This is a video of him in his prime, just a few short years ago. I'm willing to take the gamble. He doesn't want to be a doddering old man, he wants to be HAM again!

So I worry  about my dogs  almost as much as I worry about my kids....I think that makes me a pretty caring person. That's not such a bad thing to be is it?

Swinging back to selling furniture tomorrow and swinging back to being a server on Sunday. I'm a lucky wife, a lucky mom and pretty satisfied person.

There's always room for improvement!

Til next  time...COTTON

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Today Was Friday, Tomorrow is Monday

Week two of the new job behind me. I like the the job except for  the fact the computer part scares me to death. So  far I haven't crashed any of the system so guess I'm doing okay. It's kinda embarrassing having to call guys at  corporate who are my oldest son's age to ask for help but they have taught me a lot and I feel more secure every day. I've learned to swallow my pride so much the past few years I consider it my biggest caloric intake. No wonder I weigh 100 pounds.

Yesterday was really slow but today wasn't so bad. A friend came by  and bought a mattress and box springs set from me. We wrapped it up and tied it to the roof of his truck. It was a little hairy when we had to  lift the queen size mattress on top of his vehicle  but thank goodness I am scrawng. (scrawny but strong)

I work by myself three days a week and for the most part feel comfortable and safe. When I don't feel comfortable I just lie to reassure my safety.

My very first day alone my very first customer walked in and looked like an axe murderer. Have you ever seen  the old movie "The Burbs" with Tom Hanks? Remember  the Klopecks?
Well this looks like the guy that walked into  the store. His first question after wandering around   was "Are you  alone?"

I answered "Yes, it's just me and the  stock guy". I started to add Mongo is in the back bench pressing sofas." Remember Blazing Saddles?
It was my first  day and was already nervous.

Every day I have gained more confidence and after my first scare have felt totally at ease. I'm keeping Mongo the stock guy comment for future reference.

It's crazy, the people who walk in and  think are just passing  time sometimes are your best  buyers. It was right before closing tonight and a woman walked in, asked me where the twin mattresses were and in five minutes picked one out and we were tying it onto the roof of her car ten minutes later. Thank goodness Massey always  comes up to hang out with me the last hour.

We hoisted it atop her vehicle and  used  at least fifty feet of twine to tie it down.

I'm not making more money than I was just being a server but I'm not making less and my stress level has decreased tremendously. Once I get the hang of this truly think I can make some serious money.

I'll always have Mongo in the back stock  room!

Massey has twenty  something days til graduation.
I have college tuition knocking at my front door and old age sneaking in  the back door. I'll make it happen, somehow...someway.

No one said life would be easy and so far they are right. I feel better having two part time jobs instead of one relentless one. I can catch my breath and the mix is nice.

Tomorrow I go back to serving, which I can do on auto pilot.

Seems crazy I am over  fifty and starting a new job. I must truly be a "Golden Girl."

Thank YOU for being a friend!

Til next time...COTTON

PS  Read the "A Game of Thrones" Excellent read!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Old Dogs CAN Learn New Tricks!

A friend of mine from high school sent me a message a few days ago and suggested I make a Facebook page for my blog. I've had over 67,850 page views and published over 1,200 posts.

I'm a mom first, a waitress second and now a mid week manager at a furniture store third. What I really want to be is a writer and this seems to be the avenue to take.

I've never been very techno savvy. When my kids taught me how to use "word" on my cell phone I felt like they taught me a magic trick, I was totally amazed by it! They just rolled their eyes and laughed at me behind my back.

I've been a server ever since I got out of college, well over three decades ago. I consider it sales and marketing.  It helped raise three kids and provided lots of leftover food. I was starting to get burned out because I got sucked into the "server" routine. If you work you make money, if you don't work you don't make money. We hit a financial snag a few years back and  just started picking up every shift I could. My work weeks started to run together and sometimes my months too.

It became exhausting after four years. When  in my twenties I could do it no problem. The problem now is, I am in my fifties working with kids in their twenties who have no qualm about letting the old dog do most of the work. I already get that at home from the Hubster and kids...but at least I love THEM!

A friend of mine from high school who  reads my blog suggested  I try working part time for the company she works for. She's head of the HR dept for a furniture store which has a location in the town where I live.

Talk about a fish out of water! It was more like a fish out of water with the deer in the headlights look hoping  to be the old dog who could learn new tricks.

I was a sales person for about eight weeks. I liked it. I had good days and had slow days but I had two seasoned people working with me and learned a lot. (I thought)

Then they decided to open the store seven days a week instead of four and wanted me to be the mid week manager. I accepted the job. ( think I threw up a little bit in my mouth )

I was a nervous wreck from the jump. I open the store all by  myself three days a week and have no one to ask for help.

My first day alone I prayed no one would come in. ( I am serious) I did okay til about three o'clock when a family came in and wanted to buy a bedroom suit. I was a nervous wreck. It took me almost a hour to just ring up the transaction and while hunting and pecking on the computer system sweat  was rolling down my back. I finally finalized the sale (after three calls to corporate) and when they left the store felt like falling into a heap on the floor.

Trial by  fire is always the best way to learn and I smelled heavy smoke when they left.

I'm in week two of being by myself and kinda like it. They've just started opening seven days a week so I know it will be slow. It's up  to me to build business. I'm good with customers...talking is my forte'.

When it's slow I do my nails...they haven't been done in a fort night. I get that saying from the book I am reading when no customers are in the store...A Games of Thrones (great book by the way)

When a customer does comes in , I know how to play it. They all say "We're just browsing." and let them be, then I start. If you engage people, if you become an ally they trust you and I want them to trust me...I'm a trustworthy person!

I didn't sell anything today but made three contacts who am certain will come back.

I like having some down time and  having the knowledge to sell. Remember, I'm in sales and marketing!

Every day I feel better and more confident. I started out making a lot of goofs but as my daughter pointed out to me, "If you don't make mistakes how will you learn how to correct them?"

Every day I spend at least a hour on the computer notating what we have in stock and walking the floor to see where everything is. I'm an old dog but I'm a smart dog.

I get home at  a decent hour and even my boss at the restaurant is encouraging me. He told me just last week that he would never hold me back from something greater and hopes I succeed.

I need to have more faith in myself and am working on that. Every day I go in I feel more confident.

Nobody told me getting older ain't all that easy....but it sure beats  the alternative.

Til next  time...COTTON