Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Another Awesome Day

This was my first day off in over a week. I'm doing much better. I used to work week after week after week but after seven years  that got old and made me even older.

We're broke but we're a happy broke. "Broke" isn't behind but means you are making ends meet and just don't have savings. I can live with that. (for now)

Here I am sitting at my desk at Harris Street School. I remember that dress, I remember that watch and am embarrassed by those bangs. Guess I don't need to tell you I was one hot mama in elementary school! (not)

I'm not even a hot mama NOW but at least I'm still kicking, laughing and loving life.

Massey  took me down to the court house today to get a copy of my birth certificate. We walked into the office and there was a sign taped onto the back of a computer monitor which read "Please don't stand in front of this computer." I immediately walked over and stood directly in front of it, at attention. Massey rolled her eyes and shook her head but the lady behind the desk started laughing. I told her my daughter didn't  think I'm funny but know I am. She looked at Massey  and said "Well your mom made ME laugh!" She told me to give her five minutes and she would give me a copy of my birth certificate. I told her I would wait right in front of the computer I was supposed to stay  away from. She looked over her shoulder  when she walked away and said "Or feel free to sit in the chair that is marked PLEASE DO NOT SIT HERE"

Now I've learned they also want a copy of my marriage license to re issue me a driving permit. Looks like I'll be driving illegally for a few days. Oh. wait a minute! I don't even HAVE a car so I guess  there's no rush there.

Came home and Zach wanted me to watch the latest Batman movie with him. I didn't want to,  but Zach seldom wants to spend time with me so I agreed. It confused me more than General Hospital which is  totally out of control, even for a Soap. Batman wasn't even in it for three fourth's of  the movie and made me think that's why James Holmes went crazy and shot up the theatre in Colorado last summer.

I woke up  this morning, the day of my birth. Around three thirty the rain started pounding and only two of the dogs were  around me. Ziggy was hidden away on a couch in the living room but as an animal lover I woke up worried and lucky for Ziggy,  always get up pee about that time. All three dogs were there and  went back  to my sweat soaked slumber.

Massey  woke me up  with breakfast in bed, and I loved it. I  pittled away  the morning listening  to God water my sod and watched  the news.

 I got out of the bed around three (my present to myself) and Massey and I headed off to meet some FB friends in Fayetteville.  They were loaning me the first two seasons of Game of Thrones.

We met and hugged. We talked for almost a hour and we left. I was all giddy about going home and watching. Massey and I stopped at  the store, went home and I made a spectacular meal while Massey  got the DVD's ready.

I guess there is a new thing called  Blue Ray videos and my ole big tube TV's don't read them.

I googled a fix and there wasn't one but at least  we had a great meal.

Then out of the blue (pun) my new friends asked for my address  and ordered  the first season to be delivered to my house for my birthday!

I had a terrific birthday. I am a person blessed beyond  belief. Waking up tomorrow and doing it again.

Til next time, an even older COTTON

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Way I Roll

I haven't bought a new front tire for Johnny Dear yet. I had a can of FixAFlat in the garage and thought I'd just pump up  the tire one more time to cut the front yard. I propped a block of wood under the front of his frame to lift my buddy off the ground.  I discovered the valve stem had come out and was inside of the tire so pumping FixAFlat into it wasn't an option. Next I decided to just  take the tire off and go buy another one. They're not cheap but at least it was the smaller front tire which is cheaper than the huge rear ones. I tried for thirty minutes to get the snap ring off the axle when it all came back  to me how hard it is to do...been there done that.
I highly detest these little buggers. I tried needle nose pliers, then when I couldn't find a flat head screw driver I tried the tip of my little garden spade and a hammer. Then I tried the tip of a Kebob skewer along WITH the pliers. Still no movement. Then I called my buddy  at the tire store I use and asked how to get "that little horseshoe shaped flat ringy  thing" off so I could remove my flat tire? He asked if it had two small holes on either side and after wiping off all the grease and grime, said "Yep." He said it was  called a snap ring and there was a tool specifically designed to get them off. I countered with "Well wonder if I don't happen to have that particular tool?" Even though it was a phone call, I could just see  him shaking his head slowly and rubbing his temples. He told me I could TRY using a flat head screw driver but it wasn't easy to do and be careful because if it DOES come off it will shoot like a rocket.

Back to the garage I went, more determined than ever. I finally found a flat head screw driver in the back of Zach's car and forty five minutes later the snap ring literally shot across  the garage, hit the wall and rolled out into  the driveway. At least it didn't hit me in the face and at least I got it off and at least I  found it in the grass.

I headed up to the John Deere place and asked how much for a new tire? He said he sold every thing but tires and sent all his customers to B&L. Hey, That's MY tire dude! I didn't know he sold little bitty  tires too. Since I would have to take it there to be mounted anyway, it worked out for the best.  Extra bonus the two shops are less  than half a mile apart.

I walked in with my tire in hand all pumped up looking (unlike my little tire) simply because I had gotten it off all by  my little bitty ole self. He told me he would mount it for me and call when it was ready. He told me to go to Tractor Supply and buy snap ring pliers. He said they sold sets but to only buy the pliers. Off we (Massey was driving me in her car) went. Tractor Supply only sold the set which was $9.99.  That disappointed me but I'm here to tell you, it ain't easy getting those rings off and sometimes even harder getting them back on...been there done that too. The lady rang me up and handed my debit card to Massey. I didn't have my glasses with me and can't read those debit machines without them. We got back to the car, Massey looked at the receipt said "They only cost $5.38."

Not sure what happened but I felt lucky!

I came home and went ahead with my weed eating. My new sod is taking off like crazy and trimmed out around each patch. I trimmed around the island in the front yard and trimmed around the back door of the house where I recently blew out a dining room window pane. Now tomorrow all I have to do is cut the grass.

Got bad news about Tim's car today. The engine is blown. We couldn't catch a break if we were holding out a shrimpers net.

I went into work at  five, once again driven by Massey. About two hours into my shift finally realized how lucky we really are. A family came in. They've been coming in as long as I've worked there. A mom, her husband, their daughter and their granddaughter. The little girl is eleven and battling cancer. She's been bald since I've known her but always had on cute ribbons and hair bands. The last time I waited on them she was growing out beautiful peach fuzz and since then her hair has grown out to almost MY hair cut! Tonight she was bald again.

And I thought "We" couldn't catch a break.

About halfway through  the meal I said  to the little girl "Are you  going through another round or did you just decide you liked this hair cut better?" I added that she looked gorgeous either way but usually wore a bow. Her mom said "She decided  this round to go without the bow."

Here I thought my life is bad because my husband's out of work and we don't have a car. This eleven year old, precious child is battling for her life and I wanted to feel sorry  about mine?

Reality check noted.

This little girl shouldn't have a worry in the world. Instead her mom must  feel the weight of the world on her shoulders.

I have three healthy kids and a roof over my head. This small girl has nothing on her head but a reminder that she is sick...very sick.

Sometimes you need to quit whining and look around you. I have a pretty terrific life. I seriously doubt homeless people have a John Deere with a flat tire much less a car  with  a blown engine. I bet this little girl's momma would trade places with me in a New York minute.

Going to bed realizing yet once again how lucky I am. Sending a prayer up for  this little girl and sending a prayer up for myself to remember how truly and extraordinarily lucky I am.

It's making that twenty five bucks I'm having to pay for a copy of my birth  certificate  seem like small beans. It's making me realize millions of people don't even own a car much less have to replace one. It makes me realize that on a scale of one to ten I'm living at least a nine.

Massey asked me today what I wanted for my birthday? I told her I didn't want anything and  meant it. To go buy something would be ridiculous and a total waste of money. I have every thing I need. I have a family who loves me for some idiotic reason...because let's face it, I'm a goof ball and have friends who love me too. I have every  thing a person could want...everything else is gravy.

Some people have nothing. Some people have little and some people have loads to bear so much larger than mine that it not only humbles but inspires me.

In the grand scheme of things...I'm living on easy street!

Til next  time...COTTON

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Staying Positive

Today was my last day at  the furniture gig. Tomorrow is the actual last day it will be open but I'll be slinging dishes at  the restaurant. I'm moving to the mattress store here in Newnan but it doesn't start  for a couple of weeks so I'm back to being a plate slinger full time for a while. I wasn't as busy as I'd like this week and  today seemed like more of the same until seemingly out of the sky fell almost $3,300 of merchandise sold and out the door. Go me! (and go figure)

It's been a tough week. Tim's still looking for a job and spends hours every day on  the Internet filling out applications and searching for opportunities. He had an interview the other day and on the way home his car broke down. Now the only people in our house with vehicles are our kids. On one hand, how sad is that? On the other hand, guess we're pretty lucky those two kids still live at  home!

I'm going to my bank Monday to apply for a thousand dollar personal loan to try and go ahead and get my car I have been paying a hundred dollars a week on, trying to get it paid down to the drive out point of  being half paid off. Guess I'll dig out my cute black dress (every woman owns one) and trot my self down there like I'm somebody and beg for a loan. It's highly unlikely (considering my crafty banking ways) they will say yes but the president of the bank comes into the restaurant all the time and knows who I am. My boss kind of softened him up for me when he was in last Sunday by  explaining my circumstances and what I needed. He said to come by and talk to him. That made me feel good...Talking is definitely my forte'.  The worst they can do is say no. Actually the worst  they can do is laugh in my face but I think banking laws strictly prohibit it. (at least I hope they do)

I was kinda getting down in the dumps by Friday morning. I had a slow, sweltering week at  the furniture store and was feeling like a fifty three year old failure, having to bum rides from my seventeen year old daughter until my sister reminded me we bought her car for her. Looks like that was a smart move on our part. She shuttles us around and loans us the vehicle whenever we need it. Unfortunately, HER car has been acting funny and we just keep our fingers crossed it's nothing major.

Last night I bummed a ride home with one of the servers at work (a college student). She drives right past my street and is a totally great girl so of course said she didn't mind one bit. Once again, feeling like a loser (it was slow at the restaurant too) I climbed in her car. It was a short ride but a big lesson.

She told me how much  she admired us. She told me how amazed she was how I busted my hump at two jobs to help keep my family afloat. Let me add she is pretty straight shooting chick. She makes "ME" look like a shrinking Violet!

That made me start  thinking again. I "Am" a lucky woman. Yes lately we've hit yet more bumps in the road but at least we are ON the road, albeit bumming rides. We've struggled by (with the help of so many I can't count them all) but struggled on. We may continue to struggle for a while but giving up or having a defeatist attitude won't help one stinking bit.

I have two weeks to wait tables full time, pick up as many shifts as I  can, march into bank and at least try to get my loan. If they tell me no, I'll simply withdraw my twenty three dollars, close my account  and go join the credit union the rest of my family belongs to. That will show them! (not really but will make a twenty three dollar point and make ME feel better)

Today helped even more. It was slow at  the furniture store and once again began to doubt myself . In the last hour I sold the most expensive couch in the store and two of the most expensive recliners. I sold a queen size bed, mattress and box springs, then pushed through  financing for another six hundred dollar sale. Guess I'm not a failure after all.

As Benjamin Franklin once said, "When in doubt, don't."

If I can hang on two more weeks,  make some decent money slinging plates and  (fingers crossed) Tim lands a job we'll be back on the top of the bottom!

I'll be selling strictly mattresses and bedroom furniture in my new store and feel more confident about those products.  At least I'll be going in ready to sell. When I started managing at the  furniture alone, I spent my entire first day constantly praying no one would come in and want to purchase anything because I wasn't even certain I knew how to ring up a cash sale much less run a credit card or God forbid  a finance application.

Look  who's all grown up now! I know a lot more about mattresses and have done pretty well at  selling them thus far.

Actually, I can't believe they haven't fired the woman in our Human resources department who recommended me for the job. I made a lot of mistakes early on but learned a tremendous amount since starting in February. HUGE shout out to Vicki for having faith in me and making me have faith in myself!

My server friend last night on  the ride home urged me to contact our local paper with a sampling of my writings and  thought I was a perfect fit to write a column. I already have a name for it..."Column Cottons" (get it?)

Going to bed feeling much better about myself, my life and our situation.

Quoting yet another one from my buddy Ben Franklin, "Having been poor is no shame, but being ashamed of it, is."

My life is what it is, what I choose to do with what I have is what it will become.

The good things in my life far out weigh  the bad. Sometimes I just need a kick in the pants to remember.
Consider my pants kicked!

Til next  time...COTTON (or hopefully as I will be known in the future "Call 'em Cottons"

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Another Day Older and Deeper in Sweat

Another day in the ole literal sweat shop! Started out my day by loading up two king size box springs and rolling them to the loading area for afternoon pick up. I was drenched in sweat by  the time it was done and only took five  minutes. Not a good sign when it's ten fifteen in the morning and  you work til eight at night. I could feel the trickle running down between my A cups and down from my arm pits. I had to cut on the A/C for fifteen minutes just to dry out. The rest of my day was easier, pushing through paper work and working up quotes. I had a guy come back from yesterday and bring his wife with him (always a good sign) to pick out a sofa, loveseat, side chair and two pub stools.  It's over a grand and said they would be back later on in the day to decide between two different couches.  I have them a quote all written up and although they didn't come back today feel pretty certain they are serious...I know I am!

Right before noon I got a break and sat down in front of my three fans. I checked my messages and had one from the foundation who previously offered to help with Ham's eye surgery. I sent them a message last night when I got home from work telling them I had found a vet willing to operate on my pup's eyes and wanted to see  if they were stilling willing to help. She said she was forwarding my message to the director and they would be contacting me!

Looks like we are one step closer to Ham seeing again. Even if it's blurry sight, at least it's some sight. Hopefully after reading Ham's Facebook page I told them about will maybe even kick in for the Full Monty, lens implants!

So many people have donated to get Ham to this point and that is the one requirement, you  are actively fundraising for your dog's treatment. I feel pretty confident this wonderful organization will be the answer to our prayers.

Tim had an interview yesterday...another good thing. As just like our luck , his car broke down on the way home from it. He at least got back to Newnan and less than five miles from  the house. Just like Ziggy being a good bad dog, us Cotton's have good bad luck. It could have happened on the interstate or as a good friend pointed out, could have happened on the way TO the interview. Tim said the place where he interviewed at didn't even have a driveway and had to bump up on the curb to get into the parking lot. I love Tim dearly but for Pete's sake,  then leave  the car BY the curb. He must have either knocked something loose or busted the oil pan because as he got off the highway his oil light came on and he limped his way into the Auto Parts store parking lot where he bought two quarts of oil that immediately began to drip out from the bottom of the car. Our mechanic who is literally across  the intersection is picking the car up and seeing what's wrong. I don't care what it is as long as it's a cheap fix.

Massey and I were in her car one day when she was driving me to work (since I don't have a car either) and I started singing the old song from the TV show,  Hee Haw.

"Gloom, despair and agony for me. Deep dark depression, excessive misery. If it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all...gloom despair and agony for me."

Massey being seventeen had no idea where the song came from but said matter of factually, "Please never sing that song again, it's a total downer."

Here's the real deal. Yes we've had lots of bad luck but have had some really good luck too. There were days a couple of years ago when I didn't know if we would keep our house. There were days when I didn't know if we'd have electricity, water or even groceries. We've come a long way, thanks to the Grace of God, family, friends and even strangers.

We made it through to the other side. Granted we're starting over but so many people never get that chance and so many people don't have the network of support  we do.

I wake up every morning tired and go to bed every  night exhausted but at least I do it knowing  we still have our house and a multitude of peeps who have helped make it happen.

Add to the mix I have three kids who mean the world to me and three pups who run a close second. I'm a Momma and Momma's take care of  their own.

When I take into consideration all the bad things that have happened and all the good things that have happened, I realize what a wonderfully lucky person I am.

Heading to bed and know I will sweat throughout the night, wake up tomorrow and sweat throughout another day.

It most certainly beats  the alternative, not waking up at all.

Turning in for the night and turning the covers back. I'm here to tell you, I thought financial ruin was bad until I started menopause.

Holy Crap...It's a killer. Somebody come up with a cure for this and they will be the next Bill Gates!

Til next  time... A Sweatin' COTTON

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Several Blasts From the Past

What a bizarre day. Number one I was once again a selling boss. Number two the past came a calling too.  It was slow but the peeps just seem to love me.  The most expensive bedroom set we have is selling for $1199 and a great deal. Nice queen size cherry four post bed with an iron work head board. The dresser was beautiful, ten felt lined drawers and a huge mirror with iron work above it as  as well. It was originally over $2200. A guy came in and looked at  it and I told him I could bring it down to $1068. He asked if I could hold it for two hours and I gave him three. Sometimes people are serious and sometimes you never see  them again.

Two hours later he came back in with his dad. I'll be darned! His dad looked really familiar and asked where I knew him from ? He said he had been in the store before but I knew that wasn't it. I asked what his first name was and then it hit me when he said "Raybun." You don't meet too many people named Raybun.  When my kids were younger I did a three year stint as a "Lunch lady" at  the elementary school they attended. It was one of the hardest jobs I've ever had. It's not much fun scrubbing pizza pans for over six hundred kids and once a month you had to work in the dish pit for a week. We didn't employ a  dishwasher so the 'lunch ladies' took turns. This was about fifteen years ago and most all the women I worked with were in their fifties and sixties. Some had done this for thirty plus years. They were all southern small town women who would announce every morning as we began to serve the first class, "Here comes the Kinnygarden, y'all git ready." This father who had come back with his son to the furniture store was married to the woman who ran the lunch  room. I had heard she recently passed away and stepped forward and immediately hugged his neck,  saying "You're Harriett's husband!"  He accepted my hug and returned it as his son stood by looking dumbfounded. I told him how sorry I was to hear about her passing and was working so I couldn't go to her service. She was diagnosed with cancer around March was gone by  June. Being a somewhat expert in the "losing your parents" club told him I was glad God took her pretty quickly. As the son still stood by  with his mouth open thinking "WTH?' I launched into about how I was a lunch lady and how I had worn Harriet out.

 I've always been kind of a rebel and my lunch lady gig was no different. When the kids would come through the line turning their noses up at  the lima beans I would tell them we had put secret prizes in some of them. They snatched them up like crazy!  The one week a month I had to wok the dish pit, sometimes I would put in my Bubba Teeth to take the trays from the kids as they stacked them in my window. The kids loved me and I loved them. The free eating wasn't bad either. I ate from the time I clocked in til  the time I left. The fish sticks were pretty stinking good, tater tots were yummy and the fried chicken was awesome. Around Thanksgiving they had a spread. Ham, turkey, dressing and gravy, green beans and pear salad. They baked cookies and made cakes and the yeast rolls were my favorite.

I told Raybun his wife had been a pretty great cook and mentioned I may be skinny but I like to eat. One day in the kitchen at the school I was eating a yummy broccoli and raisin salad and commented to Harriet how good it was. Her dry reply was "Kelly, I could boil sh*t  and you'd eat it."

I told her husband that story and he chuckled.

It's really hard to go from someone you love being perfectly okay then lose them a matter of weeks  but assured Raybun she was lucky and a lot better off now. The only one's it sucked for were those left behind to mourn but in a few years, maybe even more would understand what a blessing it was for her.

I told both father and son I had lost my momma in the span of thirty seconds and my diddy in ten days and although both deaths devastated me,  years later realized what a blessing it was for them.Go quickly and gain your much deserved reward. The son cocked his head and said it was rough on them but I might be right, they wouldn't have wanted her to suffer.

Another blast from the past came into the store, a woman I grew up with in East Point Christian Church. I haven't seen her since probably 1978 but she popped into the store to see me. She reads my blog and just came by  to say hello. We sat on a couch and chatted for thirty minutes, catching up and commiserating about life in general.

Then another hour went by and the past walked in the door again and blew me off my feet. It was the Rat Bast general manager who fired me from the Western Sizzler (I still refuse to name the real place) I worked at for fourteen years. He fired me over a cup of ice cream I gave Massey for free. He fired me knowing my husband was out of work and I was supporting my entire family. I had to file unemployment, fight it when they initially declined to pay, I had to apply for food stamps and put my kids on Peach Care insurance. It was the most humiliating experience I ever went through but I did it.

I used to think about what I would do if I ever saw him again.This will sound even crazier but the night before I had a dream about him. I was at some gathering of friends (dreams are freaky like that) and he walked in. In the dream I immediately got up and left the room to avoid him...Now he was standing in front of me in real life.

I did the same thing to him he did to me four years ago, I turned my back on him.

The other salesman worked with him and I totally avoided him, wanting secretly to strangle his neck and watch his tiny feet dangle in the air like my whole family dangled for three years trying to recover. Can you  tell I read the Game of Thrones series?

I'm twenty pounds lighter now but still have the same loud voice and made sure to use it as I helped another customer. I am sure he saw me, if not he heard me. I just wanted to punch him in the face.

What's even better is that corporate fired him over something even more stupid than a cup of ice cream three years down the road. Icing on the cake,  his marriage fell apart (I shouldn't say that but karma is a big fat bee-otch). Of course he didn't have three kids to take care of and made out a lot better than me but at least he got fired...and that's never a good feeling.

It was the best week I have ever had at the furniture gig. I sweated like a hoss but sold like  boss.  A couple of sales fell through but still did excellent.

Worked today at  the restaurant where the peeps love me too.  Left work and swung by the furniture gig to purchase an area rug for Massey's dorm room.  I'm not sure why she needs one but actually I had one in my dorm room my Mema gave me and it does make it all nice and comfy. It retailed for $199 and I got it for $25. It's a six by eight tan shag rug. While I was there I stopped by  the sod pile where the landscaper from Academy Sports had piled up all my sod. There were ten or twelve pieces left, kinda beginning to brown put taking root so I knew they were still good. Threw them into the back of the station wagon and drove home. Patched up the last bare spot in  my front yard and prayed for rain.

Got the rain, unfortunately it was when I was walking out of the grocery store.  Came home soaked but satisfied. I got my boss at  the restaurant to shave me some rib eye steaks and made some awesome cheese steaks.

I am off tomorrow, I live for my Monday's! Cutting the back yard,  cleaning the house and watching General Hospital. Okay GH fans, I know it's a soap but they are bringing back the same characters but as a different person. What the hay?

I have made it this far which seems incredible to me and plan to go much further.

Sometimes you have to thank your lucky stars, thank the peeps who help you and strive to pay it forward.

Calling the vet again tomorrow about my Ham. Hoping for good news.

I don't lead a luxurious life but it's a great life. It could be  whole lot worse. Counting blessings and hopefully waking up tomorrow to do it all again.

Til next  time...COTTON

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sweating Like a Hoss and Selling Like a Boss

Can I load some furniture or what? Just kidding although I have squeezed some pretty big loads into some pretty small vehicles. It's amazing what you can do when you work on commission. I've strapped things on top of cars and I've wedged things into them. I've had people get in the passenger side seat and made them hold things in their lap.

Today started out slow. Had a few people meander through. One man came in and spent about  thirty minutes looking around. I spent some time with him but never hover over people unless  they act like they want me to. The lunch crowd came and went.

Massey  brought me lunch and after I loaded up three tables for a lady, strategically squeezing all three into her mini van,  we ate and settled on a nice comfy couch directly in front of three fans on high and read our books. She's on book one in the Game of Thrones and I was finishing up book four. She keeps a notebook with her to try and keep everyone straight and had some questions for me. By  now, I'm all about it and answered her questions. It's hard when you  first start reading the books because they skip around a lot. Massey left and I sat on  the couch and finished the fourth book.

Now what am I gonna do?

Not a  problem. I was pouting about not bringing book five with me to work on my stool by  the front door when the guy from this morning walked back in with his wife. BINGO!  I greeted him with "I see you  brought the boss back with you!"

Not even thirty minutes later I had sold them over $2,100.00 of furniture. They wanted to finance and have it delivered tomorrow. I gave them the application and told them what they needed to bring back with them. I was a little worried because I am off  tomorrow and didn't want to lose the sale so I worked them up  quote,  had all their info and pricing done and told them to bring it in tomorrow and the other manager would fax it to the finance company.

I returned to my stool to pout about not having my next book. I sat there about fifteen minutes when  my guy drove back up and got out of his car carrying a lot of paper work. He walked in and I said "Ready to do  this?"

He had all his paper work. Pay stubs, cancelled check, bank statement and form filled out. I faxed it all to the finance company and we sat and chatted (we had lots in common) while we waited. Thirty minutes later he was approved and we had a contract. BAM!

Not thirty minutes later a  woman walked in and in under fifteen minutes picked out $1,700.00 of furniture for her son. I worked her up  quote too and she's coming back tomorrow to purchase it.

Excellent day!

Sweated like a hoss but sold like a boss!

Side note... While it was slow today was cruising through Facebook on my phone. A high school friend of mine has been posting status after status about her goose who has been sick. When I read the first few it struck me that I had never known a person to love a duck so much.  She had been taking it to the vet almost daily. I thought, well "To each their own." Then noticed she posted that her goose had died. THEN I noticed her picture of goose. It was her pup! I messaged her and said I was a little slow, actually I said I was a doofus. I thought she has been talking bout a duck when she was talking about her pup. She has two pups, Goose and Maverick. Then I made the connection...Top Gun fan! I sent her a message apologizing for my stupidity  and telling her I knew from experience how hard it is to lose a pup.

This is the link I sent her. I hope it works is really touching. Dogs are truly man's (and woman's) best friend. I have three,  two are idiots and one is spectacular but blind. I love all three.

I still have a shift Saturday at  the furniture store to try and sell even more and will keep my fingers crossed.

Tomorrow is Massey's orientation at Georgia State University. It starts at  seven in the morning and ends around five. I wanted to go with her but Tim is out of work and I am scheduled to work at the restaurant. It doesn't make sense for me to take OFF work when Tim is OUT of work and can go. I know I disappointed Massey but am trying to do every thing I can for her to GO to college. I told her I would take her down there on Sunday and we would tool around and see everything.

A Momma's gotta do what a Momma's gotta do.

Massey simply said "You're a lot more fun." Way to go, make me feel even worse.

Tim came downstairs a few minutes ago while I was sitting here blogging , turned around to him and said Massey was disappointed I wasn't going tomorrow and instructed him to be as fun as he possibly could. The look I got wasn't pretty...MEN!

I'll take her down there Sunday and we'll tour every inch of the campus we can. She starts in less than a month and until then need to work every shift and every day that I can. I will be there when we finally take and move her in, will blubber like a baby when we leave her but until then I simply have to work all I can...and will.

She'll forgive me and years later even thank me.

Like my Momma told me when I was about fifteen, "The older you get the smarter I will seem."

Til next  time...COTTON

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Lord It's Hot

Boy it was a hot one at work today. I usually don't cut the A/C on. Actually I didn't even know we had A/C until I went into work one day on my day off unexpectedly to get something I had forgotten and the other manager was chilling away. I got  him to  write down specific instructions on what breakers to flip so I could enjoy some cool air every once in a while too. I'm skinny as a rail and if I'm not loading furniture am fine sitting in front of a fan.

Today around three o'clock you could have wrung my face out and deep fried chicken with the grease. Hot flashes don't help either so when it gets brutal I flip the four obviously formerly secret breakers and cool down. It only takes about ten minutes to cool the building down and then I turn it off.

Had a visitor today, a woman who grew up in the house next door to us back in East Point. That would be the mid sixties.  She and her friend came by. They had gone to the restaurant where I work as well and one of the server's text me to ask if I was at  the furniture store? I told her I was and she said she would send my friend by.

I haven't seen this woman since the sixties but vividly remember her family living next  door to us.  A car pulled in out front and I was standing by  the door.  A woman got out of her car. She kinda sorta looked like she might maybe be my former neighbor so when she walked in I said all cheerily 'Hey  there Linda!'

She looked at me funny with her cell phone stuck  to her head and said her name was Pauline. So much for remembering faces!

It's crazy but when the real Linda walked in I immediately knew it was her. She brought two pictures she had of me and Cindy with her from  years and years ago.. I looked like a  fat baby in a dress  I do remember my Momma sewing with a little red bow taped  to the side of my extremely over sized head . I couldn't have been more than three in the picture.

This isn't the pic she brought of Cin but it's close. The girl had some chompers. Of course she ended up being the Homecoming Queen at the high school and probably the most loved girl to ever graduate RHS. (Now I'm just bragging)

How did  almost fifty years go by so quickly and where has the time gone? This is the house we all grew up in.

These are the wonderful parents who raised us.

These are the three kids they raised.

This was one happy family to grow up in. I am  lucky beyond belief to have had parents who were outstanding and lived a charmed childhood.

It makes taking all the challenges of my life today seem totally worth it.

Going to bed and getting up tomorrow to do it all again. I hope my own kid's feel lucky when they look back on their childhood years.

Til next time...COTTON, formerly but always a  LEACH.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pretty Great Day!

My day started off with trying to clock in this morning but the computer was down. Took a couple of phone calls with our IT guy at  corporate and twenty minutes of me squatting on  the floor reading off numbers and verifying which lights were and were NOT on the router and modem. No fifty three year old woman likes to squat, I don't know how hot flashing Ethiopian women do it? Most of them don't even have a house much less a chair, it's brutally hot and they seem to always be squatting...not to mention all  those pesky flies.God bless 'em and Thank You Lord for letting me be an American.

Computer issues were finally fixed and I waited to hear from a friend of mine who was in town to call.

It's a crazy story (as most all of my stories are) so I'll back track a little for you.
Last year around this same time I did a blog about our dog Ham following my other two idiot dogs out of a hole in the fence at  the back of the yard one night. One of the idiots ran around and into  the garage to wait by  the kitchen door. The other one ran around to the front of the house and waited by  the front door. Ham simply got lost. Ham is blind and once out of the comfort zone of his back yard  wandered off. It took me a good bit of time to find him but finally did, a half mile from our house wandering down the middle of a busy road. I had to get out of my car and physically help him into the car because he couldn't see it but at least I found him. This was at  a time when we were barely scraping by. Tim had been out of work for well over a year and was working again but we were playing a tough game of "Catch up."

A guy who  reads my blog, who I have never met and lives in Miami contacted me and said my blog about Ham touched him and his wife as well.  His birthday was coming up and told his family all he wanted was money for his present. He sent me his birthday  money, kicking in some of his own to take Ham for an evaluation with a veterinary ophthalmologist. How nice was that?

Long story short (kinda) we got Ham up there to be seen, with several other people helping us with money  for dog food and gas to get us up to  the north side of Atlanta to see the vet.

Zach went with me and  the vet even had a picture of Ham's daddy in her office...she had done lens implants for Ham's dad a few years back.

All systems were go and had a foundation who would back us because we had been actively fund raising for Ham. The bad news is I  took Ham to our local low cost mobile vet to get his shots updated for surgery and he tested positive for heart worms. Not good.

Once again my (and Ham's) friends rallied around us and paid for the quick kill method of treatment which isn't cheap but Ham could live being blind but wouldn't survive with heart worms.

Three months and tons of love and help later he tested negative for heart  worms! We called  the vet back but they told us at this point considered eye surgery elective because they were worried he may not be able to survive the anesthesia required.

I called Auburn and we were on the board again when they suddenly lost their ophthalmologist.  I waited a month, no change. Then a friend of mine (another I've never met) told me about an ophthalmologist not twenty minutes away.  So  we are back in business. They may not be able to totally restore his vision but give him limited, blurry sight.  I am sure Ham would be as thrilled as me for that blessing.

I got an email the other day from my friend in Miami, he was coming to Atlanta for work and wanted to meet with me if he could. "Hell Yes" is what I should have written back. He and his wife had these awesome Thank You notes made up for me to mail to all the many people who have helped Ham on his journey. It had this picture on the front of them...
 This guy and his wife who I have never met have been so sweet to us and our pup. When I blogged about my feet freezing in the furniture store during the winter (we don't run heat) they mailed me a package of "Toasty Toes" for my shoes.  At Christmas they mailed us an adorable boxer ornament for our tree.( the one Ziggy tore down but the ornament survived!) You dog lovers are pretty cray-cray about our pups. The out pouring of love for Ham has blown me away.  I sent out over twenty  Thank You notes to peeps who helped my pup and had to buy more. We truly wanted to help Ham and did what we could but sometimes you have to draw the line when it's the mortgage payment or vet bills. We  were threatened with foreclosure and only had five years and our house would be paid off.

These friends, some from high school, some from college, some from the church where I grew up, some from my blog and some who I didn't know at all, pulled my Ham through this and will always be eternally grateful for each and every one of them.

Back to today...Massey  thought it was creepy (she thinks a lot of things I do are creepy) I was meeting up with someone I had never met but knew he had helped Ham so she agreed to bring Ham up  to the furniture store for the meet and greet. My friend called to say he was on the way around elevenish this morning. It was a good day to come, Tuesday is the slowest retail day of the week. Let me also say this  guy  drove almost thirty minutes just to meet my dog!

Massey  arrived with Ham, took him out of the car  and he promptly took a dump on the wood chip covered island in front of the store. Good dog! I wish he could teach Ziggy  that trick.

My friend pulled in not ten minutes later. I told him I almost didn't recognize  him without his floral print shirt on and said he could go back to the car and get it if I wanted!  I knew immediately I loved this guy! We shared a long tight hug, the kind that means something.

He met Massey and he met Ham. We sat outside for a good thirty minutes. Massey was smart enough to bring Ham a water bowl and he loved all the attention. We chatted for a while, I left a couple of times to make a sale, had one customer comment on how handsome my boy was. While I was inside working the peeps, Massey and Jerry sat outside with Ham talking. When Massey went to take Ham home she turned  to Jerry and said "I'm going home and adding you  to my friends list!"

We took a couple of pics, this first one I took of the two new BFFL'S
Then I had Massey take a pic of me and him with  the Hammer...
After Massey and Ham left we went inside and talked for over a hour.  I told him a lot of stories about my struggling  debut as a furniture store manager and we had a few laughs. (I do  lot of things to laugh about) The time flew by and felt as if I was talking with a life long friend...which he is now!

He started to leave and we walked out front of the store. He told me he admired me for all we had been through and all we had accomplished. I told him it was because of people like him, friends and family. If he hadn't started the ball rolling, I wouldn't even know Ham had heart worms and by  now Ham would most probably be dead. Thanks to Jerry and his wife Dee Dee I have a huge network of people who love my pup and have given him his life back.

I got kinda emotional when Jerry  went to leave and just wanted him to know how much their kindness and generosity has meant. We hugged , I grabbed his bearded face and kissed him on the lips! He cracked up when I said "Don't tell your wife I kissed you on the lips but if you do tell her I will kiss her on her lips too when I finally meet her!"

We took a "Selfie" as Massey calls it when he left and the rest of my flew by.

I produced some numbers, sold and loaded out a lot of product but the thing I was most proud of was being able to thank someone in person for loving not only me but my family...which always includes my pups!

Look forward to someday getting down to Miami and meeting his sweet wife too.  Shout out to Dee Dee...Your husband made my day, and Ham's too!

Life is a journey. There's no map, simply guidelines. Live right, help others, love others and it will all be okay.

Today was the perfect example of how  true that last sentence was.

Til next time...COTTON

Monday, July 15, 2013

Love Me Some Monday!

Of course I would wake up at six AM my only day off and be unable to go back to sleep. I refused to get up so just watched the news and  weather shows til noon. Feeling finally rested I got up and hopped on my honey, Johnny Dear to cut the back yard which was in dire need of cutting. It takes so long for it to dry out enough to ride my my big heavy Johnny back there but my next  day off is Monday and by  then the dogs wouldn't be able to see over the grass and I wouldn't be able to see them out there either! Since shattering my dining room  window a few weeks back , I'm scared to even cut anywhere close to the house so it takes me thirty minutes to weed eat around the kitchen door and remaining dining room windows. Then I get back on Johnny raising the blade up one level starting in the center of the yard around the fire pit and cut going the opposite way to blow all the clippings out until I reach the fence so the yard is free of grass clippings the dogs would love to tramp into the house with covering   all twelve paws. Cutting the yard is a science to me. I feel like I have my degree in Yardology. Then I rake up all  the clippings from around the back door and windows and dump them in the fire pit which isn't really a fire pit when it rains for a's a small  pond surrounded by huge rocks I toted home one by one from building sites when nearby neighborhoods were being built.

Yes I am a scrounger, but has brought me many great results. Case in point:

This was my front yard on the fourth of July...
And this is my front yard nine days later!
This was my side yard nine days ago
And  this is my side yard today
Bam! There you have it folks, all for Free Ninety Nine and all it took was eight trips to and from the sod pile and a couple to and from  the dumpster. I know all my neighbors were looking out their windows at me nine days ago telling each other "Look at that insane skinny old woman who lives across the street putting down dead scraps of sod." Today they looked out their windows and wish they knew where I got it!

After finishing the back yard today I jumped in  the shower and Massey and I headed up to Little Five Points in Atlanta. I usually always drive but Massey has never really driven on the interstate and it's high time she learns, especially since she starts at Georgia State University next month  smack dab in  the middle of downtown Atlanta. She asked if I felt safe with her driving and told her there was only one way  to find out. Off we went!

She did great. It gets a little crowded when you  get to Hartsfield  Airport but by  then you only have fifteen minutes to go. I snapped this picture when we rounded the curve in East Point, the town I grew up in. It's the first glimpse you have of downtown Atlanta and is always a sight to see. Today it suddenly became hard to see because the rain started.
Massey commented "So I guess this is God's idea of a funny joke. Let's make it rain the first time Massey  drives into downtown Atlanta."

No worries, five minutes later the rain stopped and we were now just ten minutes away.
It gets hairy once you  hit the city and people drive like idiots but my girl did great!
I even felt safe enough to multitask and take pictures. When you  hit the Grady curve even a seasoned driver sometimes thinks "Yikes" so I concentrated on telling her which lane she needed to be in to get off at  The Carter Center/ Freedom Parkway exit. When she pulled to the first stop light on the Freedom Parkway we high fived.

When I was a teen we drove into Atlanta at least once a week when just sixteen but it was a lot smaller city then.

I'm not sure who was prouder, me or her when we pulled into The Junkman's Daughter parking lot. We walked around our favorite part of Atlanta simply window shopping and people watching. We finished up at our favorite store,  Rag O Rama and I bought a cute print top for $6.50. Massey bought a beautiful black linen top for $8.00.
This isn't the black top she bought but is the girl who drove her momma smack into the middle of the busiest city in the south east. I have exactly thirty nine days left with her then she'll be gone. If she loves the college life like I did, I won't be seeing much of her. Of course I loved college life for different and totally wrong reasons...that's what going to Georgia Southern College did back then in the late seventies. My Diddy drove me and my room mate who I never met until the morning we picked her up to ride down with us to Statesboro early in August. We didn't go home until Thanksgiving.

The good thing is I am still dear friends with my college room mate. As you can tell from  the photo she is still a doll and Massey loves her to death, just as I do!  The peeps you meet in college are usually friends for life.
I hope Massey makes life long friends too. It's a bittersweet feeling I have about this. I'm losing my "Bestie" and she's off to make new ones. She's always chosen friends wisely so there are no worries there. I just hope I don't lose my spot in line.

I actually teared up when I wrote that last sentence.

Guess I better get used to it. It's hard to send the last one off. It's hard to think that the day you  thought about for years and years is less than forty days away.

She's always been a princess. She almost killed me and herself just coming into this world but we both survived.

 She's given me more good times than bad and being a momma who raised two boys first knew that would happen but was thrilled about how few bad times happened with her!

So she's off to make her mark in the world next month! At least now she knows how to get there.

I love my boys and I love my girl. All three are different but all three are equally loved. All three have chosen different paths and directions but at least they are branching , reaching and moving in the right direction.

Looks like soon the neighbors will be looking out their windows saying "Look at that crazy old skinny woman wandering  around  aimlessly."

I still have over a month, just preparing myself!

Til next  time...COTTON

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Almost Done...For This Week!

Woke  up  this morning  sore literally from head to toe. Did yard work from one to four yesterday and clocked in at the restaurant by five. Got off right before midnight, blogged and hit the hay. Woke up stiff as a board. Tim made me pancakes for breakfast and rubbed my shoulders and legs for me. My calves were killing me from toting Mr. Weed Eater around the front of the subdivision and toting plates of food all night.

I clocked in at  the furniture store before noon and believe it or not was selling like a boss again. I sold and moved out a bunk bed, full size mattress, a nice accent chair, three piece sectional and ottoman and a queen size bed in under three hours. Had a lady come back today  who was in on Thursday. She is interested in buying a bedroom suit selling for $1,100. She brought her mom back with her today and I sat and chatted with them for over thirty minutes.  I now know where they all grew up, where they landed, how many kids they had and what the parents did for a living. You  "Gotsa" get to know your customers and that is one thing I'm good at...talking! I am pretty  sure they will come back and buy the suit.

The lady I sold the bunk bed to was another chat session.  Once we started talking found out we had friends and problems in common.  Her husband had also been out of work. She had recently been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I have a relative and a dear friend suffering from the same. She mentioned she worked in veterinary medicine and I immediately brought up my blind pup, Ham. I told her his story and she recommended a specialist near us. I told her one of my FB friends mentioned the same one. Come to find out she works with my FB friend! I'm calling them Monday to get another ball rolling for my boy!

Came home from work and had to drive myself to the front of the subdivision (a five house walk) with the weed eater in the trunk to finish the front. Got through in about twenty minutes and drove  the five hundred feet back to our house. Yes I am getting old!

This next part would totally gross Massey out but is just a fact of life when you work on your feet for a living. The dreaded corns have come back on each of my pinkie toes and are bigger  than the nails they surround. If you've never had a corn on your pinkie toe, pray you never do. All it takes is a slight touch to make you double over in pain. I always mean to pick up a pack of corn removers when I am at the store but never remember. I took matters in my own hand today. I got out my big toe nail clippers and hacked  away at them. I cut them out and sanded my little foot digits. It was like heaven when I put my shoes back on. How sad is it when getting rid of corns on pinkie toes makes you happy?

It's tough getting older as a woman. Your body starts falling apart, hair starts sprouting from places  it never grew before and sometimes you wet your pants when you sneeze.  It's hell to bend over and crouch, and more excruciating to stand back up...especially when having to stand back up lifting one end of a couch.

I'm still twenty in my mind though and that's the most important thing to me. I'm too skinny but strong as a bull. I am determined and extremely strong willed. Most important of all I am loved by my family and friends. I am surrounded by love and in my mind is a wonderful place to be.

Took thirty minutes out of my night and watched the Tripp Halstead video of his new home. That made my night. This family has been nothing but positive from the beginning. Good things happen  to good people and pray this new home helps ease the huge battle they are destined but determined to fight.

So as I sit here typing I hear from Massey that George Zimmerman was found innocent. I have a son who wasn't an angel. He made some bad decisions and hung with the wrong crowd. Granted he made wrong decisions but so did George. The police told him to stay in his car and not confront. He took it upon himself (armed)  and ended up killing a seventeen year old (unarmed) kid just walking to his Dad's house. So he's innocent? How did George know this kid had made mistakes in the past? He didn't. Yet he most certainly has taken away any chance of this kid doing just what my son has done, turn his life around and make a momma proud.

Shout out to best be on patrol looking out for Karma now because it's a bitch and  always comes back around. Even my right wing husband agrees with me on this one!

Til next time...COTTON

Friday, July 12, 2013

Yowza! What a Day

I worked in the yards from one until four today. It was a hot one. Took forever to cut my front yard having to strategically maneuver around the patches of sod I recently put down but dang they are taking root like crazy with all this recent rain.

Massey called and said she was on her way home from the beach.

I was beginning to think she had moved down there permanently and from  the looks of this picture she took, couldn't much blame her.

I couldn't cut my back yard because it takes forever  to dry out so I rode ole Johnny Dear up to the front of the subdivision to cut. (at least I get paid for THAT cut) Dressed in my usual cutting apparel... shorts, flip flops and bathing suit top; toting  two garbage bags for trash, my handy little picker upper tool and Mr. Weed Eater across my lap and a large Co-Cola Icee between my knees  looked like a landscaping version of the Beverly Hillbillies in their junky old truck.. I'm not big on worrying about my appearance, especially when cutting grass in eighty seven degree heat. The humidity made it brutally hot but cars whizzing past me doing fifty MPH almost felt like a breeze. I even got a few honks from passersby. I chose to think of it as flirtation when in all actuality was probably them  being irritated I was taking up six inches of their lane while I was cutting by  the street. Some peeps are nice and swing wide around me, some are a**holes and come close to hitting me and a few are just complete Richard Noggins and scare the crap out of me by honking when they come up behind me.   One hour later it was cut and I parked Johnny in the shade to start the weed eating, which takes twice as long. I love weed eating, it makes things look so nice and neat but  wears my bony arms out and still feel like I am running it three hours after I have cut it off and put it down.

Got through at  four and had to clock into work by  five. Of course I hadn't eaten so I hurried to have time to swing through a drive through with my free coupon for a Chic Fil A.  Go was "Cow Appreciation Day" and the place was swamped. I just went into work and asked my boss if I could have a cup of Pasta Fagioli soup and a salad? He said sure so I grabbed a salad  and scarfed it down before having my soup . I scored a side of roasted red potatoes from  the owner's son and he actually gave me part his smoothie when I told him I had been cutting grass all day and didn't eat, like a dummy. Then Barb had a nice filet later on  she let me have part of and before you knew it I felt normal, well as normal as goof balls like me ever feel.

Walked out a little before midnight but with a full belly and my buddy Franklin in my pocket.

Back to the furniture store in the morning but I get off at six. I have about twenty minutes of weed eating left at  the front of the subdivision and then I am done for this month.

My body is aching like it's breaking but all in all has been a tremendously successful week for me. As I finish this post,  have Ziggy  under the computer desk snuggling on top of my feet with  Charlie and Ham laying two feet behind me. They love their momma and their momma loves them for loving her!

Got a great story for tomorrow night's blog...stay tuned.

Til next  time...COTTON

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Loading is Done...For This Week

No more loading for me this week...I'm done. I only had to move one table, four chairs and one swivel chair today and was grateful. I work again there on Saturday but  have a stock guy on weekends to move and load all the furniture. It's amazing what you can move with dollies!  I've moved entire sectionals by myself using them. I don't get paid commission until it's out the door so trust me, I can load some furniture.

A dear friend of mine from the Western Sizzler I got fired from came by to visit me today at work. Actually she is the one who told me to start a blog. Big shout out and  thanks to Lisa! While she was there I sold a table with four chairs and a leather swivel chair to a woman who wasn't in the store fifteen kind of sale! She's having it delivered tomorrow so I only had to roll it all out to the pick up area. I was telling my friend how I only made commission once products left the store therefore try to make them take it with them if it will fit.

(I've told this story before but I'm  a repeater by nature so bear  with me.) I told my friend about a woman who came in when I first started working alone. Number one, who goes to buy a queen size mattress driving a Camry?  Well  this woman did. Massey happened to come by as I was finishing the sale. I asked the woman if she wanted to take it with her? In broken English she asked how and I  told her we'd just tie it to the roof of her car. Massey helped me load the mattress and roll it out, hoist it onto her tiny vehicle and I went back inside for some twine. We had the woman roll down her windows and that was the last time she helped us. She just stood off  to the side.  No problem. I wanted that commission and where there is a will there is a way. I didn't tell her I had never tied a mattress down before but with Massey on one side and me on the other we got all busy with the twine and had that sucker strapped down in no time.  Then Massey asked how the woman was going to get back in her car? We had wound the twine through the open windows and over the roof with the doors shut. I shushed Massey and we unwound it, opened the doors and rewound it.

"There you  go!" I proudly announced to my  customer. I told her to drive off kinda of fast to make sure the mattress didn't fly up from the front. She looked at me kind of funny but got in her car and took off. The mattress didn't move so I gave her  two thumbs up and yelled "Drive slow!"

Never heard back from her so  assume we did a pretty good job.

I managed to shove a writing desk and chair into the back of a Dodge Durango yesterday and once even loaded a king size bed, mattress and box springs into and on top of a Suburban.

I've goofed up a bit along the way, made some mistakes but have all in all done okay with this new job. (I think)  I like it, it's hard sometimes but I've never been one to shy  away from a challenge. Other times it's slow and have some "Me Time"  something I've missed greatly. I get  all my work caught up and when no one is in the store  pick out a comfy chair and read.

Tomorrow I pick up a serving tray again. It's like I'm living a double life...but at least I'm living!

On another note, Ziggy's "Birth mom" had pups again and my friend finally posted a video of the pups. OMG...if I had enough land I would take all of them! Ziggy is the best  worst dog we've ever had and  love the little guy. He's the happiest dog I've ever met and even when he does something wrong, he's awfully proud of his handiwork and with tail waging has a huge smile on his face that is simply hard to resist.
He was happy and proud when he took down our Christmas tree last year while we were out, pulling all the lights and ornaments off. He was extremely proud of the carpet he chewed up, down to the sub floor in Massey's old bedroom when we left him locked in while gone to Tim's parent's house for a few hours. He is simply the best worst dog!

He loves his Frisbee, even when it looks like this. Believe it or not, it will still sail through the air in this condition. I went to Wal Mart after work tonight and picked him up a new one when I got some groceries.

So here's a recap of my week. Got my dryer vent cleared.  Got my new/used dryer installed.  Sold furniture like a boss. Brought home eight loads of free sod and covered all bare spots in my front yard. Actually have the house pretty clean, cooked dinner twice and don't have to be at work til five on Friday.

Hopefully it won't rain tomorrow and can ride ole Johnny Boy up to the front of the subdivision  and cut it before work to make another sixty bucks.

I'm turning in early and waking up early. You never know how much time, how many minutes or even seconds you have left.

Strike while the iron is hot!

As a side note, if any one knows of a job in logistics, freight or trucking please let me know. My husband Tim is a great worker, been in the business for  over twenty years and  looking for  a job.
Just thought I'd throw it out there, they say it's all about networking and I have had over 72,000 hits on my blog. Never hurts to ask!

Til next time...COTTON

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

It's Bad When Hot Flashes Cool You Down

Went into work today knowing I had at least two customers coming to pick up merchandise. When I saw the first truck pull up I went to the back and switched on the A/C which I rarely use. First load out was a recliner. I've gotten all handy dandy with the system. You tilt the piece of furniture up and roll the dolly under it with your foot. Then after making sure it is in the center of the piece, set it down and away you  go!  Thankfully, two men came to pick up the recliner so all I had to do was go into  the back where it feels like Afghanistan and tilt, let down and roll. They were really nice guys and took over as soon as I came out of the stock room with their chair. I think my pit stains helped!

Second out  was a woman picking up her writing table and chair. Dangit...she was already on a walker so I immediately felt sorry  for her and told her to go into the now cooled  down showroom and kick back in a recliner while I wrestled her furniture in to the back of her SUV. Thirty minutes later I was covered with sweat but both pieces were wrapped and  loaded into her vehicle, so I went back inside and gently woke her up from her nap. She was a really sweet woman, I didn't mind doing it for her one bit and she was extremely grateful. Trust me, she'll come back and buy from me again. We're BFFL's now.

Had a break, no one was in the store so I took my shirt off and stood in front of three fans on high and cooled down to hot flash status. It felt wonderful.

I usually have a rush of peeps when I first open. They seem like people who are always first ones to a yard sale on Saturday morning. Tim makes me breakfast every morning before I go to work and take it with me. After the initial rush, things settle down.  I nuke my breakfast and have some time to read.

Then I have the lunch crowd who go through a drive through and still have twenty minutes to kill. Then we had  a major rain storm so I got to read for another thirty minutes. I'm hooked on the Game of Thrones series and eagerly reading, waiting on that bee-otch, Cersei to "Get Hers!"

The rain cooled things down a bit and then  had my late afternoon rush. A woman from  this morning came back to buy a  mattress and box springs. I went to the back while her hubby  pulled his truck around to the pick up door and loaded the mattress and box springs. I'm getting pretty good at  this! When I rolled them out he asked  if I had loaded them and replied, "I'm skinny but I'm strong."

Guess  they took my words to heart because the wife just stood by  while I helped the husband wrestle box springs and a mattress into the back of his truck.

Sold a set of bed rails later and chatted up a woman I think may come back and make a major purchase from me.

Came home sweating like a hog but feeling pretty good. Dinner was ready in the crock pot and all I have to do is wash a crock pot after putting leftovers in Tupperware.

I have more than three friends who right now are in dire need of prayers. Yes we're broke around here but broke doesn't kill you...some things can, do and have.

All you folks stay strong and know this Cotton Ball of energy is sending up prayers on your behalf. He's answered tons of my prayers and actually we're BFFL's too so no worries!

One more day at the furniture gig tomorrow and back to the restaurant gig  on Friday.

At least I HAVE gigs!

Feeling sweaty,  tired but blessed . My nails are filthy from loading furniture, my feet are stinking from having to run out in a rain storm to roll up the windows of Massey's car when I  left them cracked and had on my Danskos with  no socks but I'm  home...some people would feel blessed just to HAVE a home.

I'm putting up a yummy dinner that will feed us again tomorrow, we are all healthy and lucky for me hopefully I will wake up and do it all again tomorrow.

I love my life. It ain't easy but it sure is satisfying and lots of fun to write about!

Til next  time...COTTON

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

One of the Good Things about Geting Older

One of the good things about getting older is bed time comes earlier. I've worked six days a week since I was twenty so am used to it. Give me two days off in a row and I don't want to go back.

The bad  thing about getting older is putting  up with crap. I have little tolerance for it. I had an older battle axe of a woman come into  the furniture store today. She  was in last week, I remembered her because she had two black eyes. Now I know why...she's a biddy and somebody slugged her, twice.

She looked at  a marble table we had for $599 (formerly $699) and wanted it cheaper. It came with  four chairs and  is a pretty  good deal. Today she asked what else I could do and after calling my manager told her I could give her twenty dollars off. She told me that was ridiculous to just take twenty dollars off and I reminded her it used to be $699. She haughtily told me it was $599  last time she came in , not $699. I explained that last time she came in it had just been marked down $100 making it $599. With the extra twenty off she would be saving $120.00.

She put her hand up in my face and said not to insult her. Insult I did not...I simply walked away instead of telling her now I know how she got those two black eyes.

For Pete's sake, it's not like I go into  the parking lot and force them to come in. It's discount furniture, do peeps want us to give it to them for free? When you start with low prices, you can't go much lower.

Here's my thing. I know you want  a good deal but  there is absolutely no reason to be ugly about it and she was flat out ugly  with me. I held my tongue (not an easy thing) and  the most ironic thing is when she left , looked over her shoulder and said to me "Have a nice day."

Didn't sell a lot but Tuesday's are slow. I handed out a lot of my business cards and have four different people who I think will come back and buy this week. Fingers crossed and boxing gloves behind the counter for my rude, angry woman. (JK)

Left work tonight and went by  the bank to make the bank deposit. It's a huge steel door you have to open and it wouldn't budge. I even got out of the car and tried with two hands. Three attempts later I gave  up.

Now I have to get up twenty minutes earlier to go back by  the bank tomorrow. I need all the beauty sleep I can get, especially if I have to wrestle the ole biddy about the marble table again.

Here's the thing. Peeps  come in and say "I can get this same  thing for a lot less at *******."

That's total garbage. If they could ...they would have already done so.

These peeps don't realize I have my PHD in BS.

I'm heading to bed. It does suck getting older but always, ALWAYS beats the  alternative.

Any  day on this side of  the dirt is a good one!

Till next  time, COTTON

Monday, July 8, 2013

I Love Mondays!

The good thing about having only one day off a week is you  really learn to appreciate and make the most of it. Today was no exception. Zach took me to lunch at  Mother's Kitchen, which is  always a treat. I dropped him off to pick up his car that's been sitting at his friend's house since his birthday and ran a few errands. I came home and walked into  the house hearing  the vacuum running and thought either Tim had lost his mind or  a cleaning service had the wrong address. I stepped into the hall and discovered my next door husband in our tiny laundry room with crap flying out of our formerly clogged dryer vent smacking him in the face. He turned, saw me and immediately hollered, "Tell Tim to cut it off!" I ran out the back kitchen door where Tim crouched by  the outside dryer vent with our leaf blower stuck in the pipe.

Guess they solved  the dryer vent problem!

Poor Ron was covered with wet dirty lint crap but on  the  upside my dryer vent was free and clear! After trying two different snakes going from outside in and inside to out, they brought over Ron's air compressor and  tried blowing from inside out and outside in. Then they got a pool que and taped a  stick onto the end of the que , then taped a screw onto the end of the stick. Then while Ron  was on the inside peering into the clogged vent, Tim was on  the outside of the house with our leaf blower when crap literally hit the fan...or at  least the leaf blower, then my next door husband's face.

They moved my new dryer into the laundry room, hooked it up and my neighbor went home to most probably look for house listings far away  from  anyone with the last name Cotton. He has been so wonderful  to us. He's fixed every one of our cars at  least once, fixed our oven, fixed our dishwasher, our dryer twice before and helps out whenever I get the balls to call him again.

Feeling so blessed once again I had to pay something forward so I took one of my blog readers leftovers from last night's dinner. Sat and chatted with her a bit,  went by  the grocery store and bought groceries for the week and went back home.

The minute I walked in, Zach said "The new dryer works GREAT!" He also added maybe we should have started to worry  about the old dryer when it started taking three hours to dry one one load.

I got worried  about the last load of sod I put down yesterday. It hadn't rained yet today and was starting to brown so I dragged the hose from the back of the house to the front yard and was pleased to see dark angry clouds rolling in from the west. I dragged the hose back around just as the heavens opened up and watered my precious "Free Ninety Nine" sod.

Came inside and made an excellent dinner. Fried flounder, cole slaw, hush puppies and french fries. I need some fat food and it was truly yummy.

My new dryer just beeped behind me so I'm folding one more load and calling it a night.

I live the most fantastical, unbelievably  redunkulous life. Okay, so I made up one of the words  but  all really fit the description of my life. It's crazy,  it's complicated but somehow it always works out.

That's what happens when you  are an optimist and a believer. When chatting with my friend today while dropping off  a plate of food, she said I needed to contact the local paper to see if they wanted me to write a weekly column. You know what... how hard would it be to simply send them a link to my blog and let it sell itself? If  they like it, great for me. If they don't, no harm done.

Thanks, Connie for urging me on!

Another positive day...a girl could get used to this!

Til next  time...COTTON

Sunday, July 7, 2013

First I Would Like to Thank the Academy...

First I would like to thank the academy...Academy Sports that is! This picture was taken on the fourth when I first started laying the sod scraps the landscaper gave me.

This is two days and five loads later. Already greening up with all the rain we've had and hopefully taking root.
I went back again today for load eight and nine and had enough to patch two more bare spots. I had to crawl into the dumpster this time but was well worth it. I had to move around a few boards and empty planter buckets but I dug out all I could. On the last load I noticed the security guy in back of Academy Sports standing by  the back door so I moseyed over and told him the landscaper said I could raid the dumpster for sod. I think his comment was "Knock yourself out" so I did!

I finished patching three more bare spots between our house and my next door husband's and my front yard is totally covered! The hill between the trees used to be red clay too but sodded them a few years back with scraps from another landscaper. Now my yard is completely covered with sod...well it will be as soon as it all spreads out.

The bartender at work was laughing at me when I told her my "Sod Story." She said she was at Home Depot the other day when they were laying the sod and noticed all the piles of scrap. She said "Only you  would think to ask for it."

Dang Skippy! You never know til you  ask. The worst  they can say is no and lucky for me they didn't.

I have new respect  for landscapers, my back and legs are killing me but it was so worth every bit of effort.

Making Zach his birthday dinner albeit a day late. Fresh collard greens, black eyed peas with bacon and jalapenos, rice, chow chow and corn muffins.

He's feeling poorly today. Turning twenty one  takes a toll on a boy, especially when you start your day at the Sweet Water brewery  and end up at Texas Roadhouse. At least he was smart and had designated drivers.  Needless to say he slept on the floor of his bathroom by the ceramic throne, surrounded by pups. He was home before midnight and I was grateful for that.

I made it through  another work week and am grateful as well.

Tim has a couple of interviews this week and some good prospects. He's really helped out around here and turns out he's a pretty good house husband.

Massey's still in Destin, which means I still have a car to use...that's another win/win. Getting her back up here is another story  but we'll cross  that bridge when we get to it.

My  tennis shoes  I bought used from a friend seven years ago were in pitiful  shape and killed my feet. After picking up my last load of sod I stopped by  Wal Mart and got a pair of Dr. Scholl's tennis shoes marked down to $13. They are the most comfortable tennis shoes I've ever put on! I swung by  the little boys dept and got a pair of boys size 12 black shorts for work too, under ten bucks! There's some good benefits about being skinny.

Dinner is ready and it's not even dark yet...another plus.

We're not poor, we're not rich.  We are quite simply blessed beyond belief. God always has our back and family, friends and even strangers have helped us along.

I took  a meal of left overs to a friend last week. First time I have ever been to her house. She lost her husband recently and suffers from physical disabilities. When I drove up she was out in her drive way on her walker waiting for me. You  would have thought I brought her  dinner from the Ritz Carlton.  Heck it was just left overs from the Cotton Compound but we sat and talked for a few minutes. Sometimes it only takes a few minutes to make someone's day. The hug she gave me when I left was long , tight and telling. I had made her day, which in turn made mine! It's all about being grateful  for what you have and taking time to share it with others.

Hope my friend likes collard greens, black eyed peas,  rice , chow chow and corn bread because she's having another plate delivered tomorrow! (Shout out to Connie)

Life is described by Webster's in many ways. My favorite is: "The physical, mental, and spiritual experiences that constitute existence. Human relationships or activity in general: real life."

We're living a real life around these parts. We've been knocked down and we've also been held up. The thing a lot of (most) people don't understand is that when you have been helped it is instantly time to help others. God is my King but Karma is His sidekick.

Live your life  and help others. It may be something as small as a phone call. It may be something as tiny as a smile or hug. It may even be a huge gesture (Thanks Tom)  Just make that gesture, just make that difference, just make someone's day. If you do I  guarantee you will be blessed beyond your wildest dreams. What goes  around comes around . I'm almost dizzy  from  it!

Til next  time...COTTON