Saturday, August 31, 2013

Amazing Story Of Engineer Richi Parker! (Being Born Without Arms)

Productive But Hot Day

My little bestie came home for the weekend. It was nice to wake up this morning and hear her chattering away. I've missed my little talker.

 We drove over to the Fayette furniture store to buy her and her roomie a "Klick Klack." It's like a futon without arms and takes up a lot less space. They needed something to sit on besides their hard back desk chairs. The beds are lofted and not exactly easy to climb on and off. Her roomate's parents said they would split the cost with me so with my employee discount we each only had to shell out sixty bucks for a two hundred dollar sofa. Now they will have a place to sit together and study, watch TV or have a bed for visiting friends.

Took us a while to find the store, I've never been there  but finally found it, Massey parked her car and went inside. We stayed and chatted a while. I really like the manager, he trained with us when I was at  the old furniture store and have really missed the stock guy who moved there from my old store. He's an eighteen year old kid who is one of the nicest guys I've ever met. He lost his dad a few months back and can totally relate to that. We had quite a few laughs when we worked together and was good to see him again. We got a nice fabric covered couch, paid our half and told the manager Massey's room mate's dad would pick it up in his truck later.

We walked back out into the sweltering heat and Massey had a "Kelly moment." I went to the passenger side of the car waiting for her to unlock my side and she walked around to hers. She looked down at  the front driver's side and said "Somebody hit my car!" I walked around and sure enough, somebody obviously driving a white vehicle had smashed into her car right above the front tire. My  first reaction was "At least we can still drive it." The car parked next to us WAS a white SUV but didn't have any dents or scraps indicating it was was the guilty vehicle. Massey  asked if we had hit anything with her car while she has been gone and I assured her we hadn't. She took out her cell and called her daddy. She told him her car had been hit and he told her to call the police. I was fixing to go back inside the store to  ask if maybe any of them had seen anything when Massey said into her cell phone...wait a minute, this isn't my car." Her car was two spaces over. Granted the car we were trying to get into was the same color make and model, her little car sat dent free two spaces down! I told her, "You just had a Kelly moment!"

She's her momma's girl.

Went home, she and Tim made BLT's for lunch while I trudged up to the front of the subdivision to cut the jungle growing. They pay me sixty bucks a month and needed the money to help get me through the week. I'm not ashamed of needing money and never mind working for it, plus I love cutting grass. It takes me about a hour and a half to finish the cutting part and then another hour to weed eat. There are two deep ditches on either side and Johnny Dear has broken two blades hitting hidden rocks trying to cut them so I use my handy buddy, Mr. Weed Eater to do the ditches. Almost got hit by  two cars while riding Johnny...don't ask me why. Can they not see I am riding a mower with my back to traffic? My fave is when rednecks like to honk at me when then pass, scaring the poop out of me when cutting by  the street. Idiots! It was hotter than hot outside. I finished the mower part and trucked back down to the house on Johnny to rehydrate , drop off the bag of trash collected with my handy little 'picker upper thingy stick' Barb bought me. Ten minutes later I headed back up with a big cup of ice water between my legs and Mr. weed eater across my lap.  It hasn't rained in days but after all the rain we have gotten the grass has been growing like cray cray. (as Massey would say)

Took me a short while to finish the easy side with the small ditch, moved over to the side which has at least  fifty feet of ditch and hill. I cut til the line ran out then threw in the towel and putted back to the house. As Scarlett said, "There's always tomorrow."

Went home and took a shower for work and the mud and grass in  the floor of my shower bordered on the ridiculous.  My hair is only one inch long but had to wash it twice before grass clippings  quit falling out.

Little Massey made dinner for the boys while I went to (real) work.  It wasn't super busy but felt good to be in A/C  and did okay. Labor Day weekend isn't the greatest in the restaurant world but when you are a decent sever you can make it happen or at least worth your while.

Just feel grateful Massey's car wasn't really hit  or me either, cutting the front of the subdivision by  the road.  Got home at a decent hour, headed to bed and heading back to work again in the morning.

We are far from rich yet truly blessed. Click on this link for an eye opening, it was for me.

If this guy can be upbeat, happy and successful it would be a crime for me to complain about anything.

Til next  time...a lucky, lucky COTTON!

I don't  think the link worked so I am just posting it, hoping you take the  time to watch.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sweating Like an Oldie (old woman that is)

The new mattress store I work at doesn't run the A/C either. It's just to keep overhead down hence prices too, which is a good thing for customers....for hot flashing female employees, not so much. At least it's a much  smaller store and I have two huge double doors I keep propped open in the front and two huge cargo doors directly across from them in the back. It's no where near as hot as the furniture store was and  mattresses are a lot easier to load than couches, especially when you  weigh 99 pounds. It's started off slow being the first week  they've been open seven days as opposed to just Friday  through Monday. I sold a queen size mattress and two queen size box springs today so at least I'm on the boards.

Last night when I went to leave and lock the front door, my key the other manager had given me didn't fit the lock.  I guess I should have tried the key  the day he gave it to me but I'm not much of a thinker. I called him at  home and he told me to use a spare key he had made for the owner in the lock box.

Tonight after we closed I wiped the greasy film of oil off my face with  a paper towel, clocked out and went to lock the door. I noticed I had TWO extra keys on my key ring. My sweet sis and her hubs have loaned us their spare car to use and when they gave me the key on a ring I guess their house key was on it too. Last night I was trying to lock the store with their house key, not the store key. Am I a dope or what?

Came home to a whole other issue. Suddenly and out of nowhere, the last couple of weeks Ziggy has decided he wants to go after Ham every time he sees him. The problem (well the main one) is that Ham can't see and instinctively goes in to defense mode...which added together equals a dog fight. Ham and Zig used to curl up every night together and seemingly out of nowhere there seems to be a dominance struggle. The last dog fight happened when I was home alone and absolutely terrified me. I got two busted knees just pulling them apart. Charlie has opted out of the last few fights, he used to get in fights with Ham when Ham could see and got his butt whipped so much we used to call him Scarface. I want to get all  three neutered and think it will help. Zach is all opposed to it, but of course his vote doesn't really count unless he wants to start paying for dog food , shots and heart worm preventative.

My  sister used to have two male boxers who started doing the same thing and they bought an electric  prod. They would just zap  them quickly on the hip and it broke the dogs up.  They haven't used it in a few years but loaned it to me. I bought new batteries for it but how do I know it's still working unless I zap somebody (it doesn't make any noise)? Tim very strongly  declined to be the test dummy and Zach looked at me like I was crazy when I asked him. It's gotten to the point that if Ziggy even sees Ham in the house he goes after him, therefore we have to leave Ziggy out back in the yard most of the day. Ziggy and Charlie still get along great, they can be out back together or in the house together but for some unknown canine reason, Ziggy just wants to go after Ham. Ham weighs almost as much  as me and Ziggy's getting close.

Tim said we needed to get rid of one of them but that's not an option to me. I love all three of the goofs and when I ended up with three dogs, vowed to take care of three dogs. I've read all Caesar Milan's articles on stopping dog fights but unless he comes to my house to show me ain't working.

I'm thinking chopping nuts is the best route. I wouldn't mind leaving Ziggy out back  all day but he is an escaper and we have to keep him on a cable run. Granted it runs from the top of one fence to the other but doesn't let him have full range of the entire back yard.

Here's what I'm gonna do since I'm the momma. I'm taking one dog a week to the mobile vet,  getting them neutered, and once all three have healed keeping the prod handy but electrifying the back fence where if the neutering doesn't work at least Ziggy can run and enjoy a half acre fenced in yard.

GVS turned us down for Ham's eye surgery saying it wasn't necessary surgery. They have given me four other organizations who help fund surgery for dogs and contacting all of them. If Ham could see, I truly believe it would be a different ball game. He gets so nervous now when anything out of the ordinary happens and I can't blame him...being blind is a tough nut to swallow. (small pun intended)

Here's my question, why don't vets do any "Pro Bono" surgery? If they read Ham's story and the situation we are in, shouldn't they WANT to help? Isn't there some kind of canine Hippocratic oath they take? Thanks to so many friends all  three of my pups are up to date on their shots, all heart worm free and all on preventative.

We need a miracle here because I have no intention of  getting rid of any of my precious pups, I simply need some help. They are part of my family and my family sticks together.
This is the way I want to see  them all together again...copacetic.Maybe the world can't get along, but these three pups surely and somehow can, or should  I have named them Iran, Syria and Afghanistan?

Til next  time...COTTON

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Day One Done

Just got home from my first day at  the new job. I moved from the furniture store to the mattress store.  It's the first day they've been open seven days so I  knew it wouldn't be terribly busy. The main difference is  that at the furniture store a lot of people just came in to pass time. When you go to a mattress store, you pretty much are looking for something specific to purchase. I had a few people come in and all seemed interested in buying. Granted they didn't but I think at least  three of them were serious and may come back later on this week and buy.

It was much easier than when I started at  the furniture store. At least I am familiar with the computer system and they have a lot of the mattresses we had. They also have some bedroom furniture I've sold before and got in a new shipment of mattresses today that are really top of the line. I'm not banking on the young woman who came in wearing a tube top, booty shorts and bedroom slippers but all the other customers seemed genuinely interested.

I never met the guy who worked there before me but talked with him on the phone a couple of times when we didn't have a specific mattress at the furniture store a customer wanted. Just like him, I work alone. I got tickled today when by  the front door and noticed a sign he had made to hang on the glass door of the store.
 Well, at least it gets the point across, but don't think I'll be using it. Then I flipped it over and laughed out loud.
Underneath the post it note he had written thirty minutes, then scratched that out and added another message. Then I guess he needed to be gone longer and a whole new sign seemed unnecessary so he just edited with a post it note... only a man.

Not meaning to diss the guy but these look like "will work for food" signs guys stand on downtown street corners with.

On another note, talked to Massey a couple of  times today and she seems to be loving university life. It hasn't been as painful as I  thought it would be, thanks to cell phones and social media. She seems to be making friends and settling right in.

It's been a long day. Started another new job, broke two nails and my lower back is aching like crazy thanks to my much unwanted visitor, Aunt Flow.

Staying positive, hoping my peeps come back tomorrow to buy and packing a big lunch. Ten hours at work even make a skinny girl hungry. The other manager came by  this morning to help unload the truck and while he was there I walked next door to the Dollar Tree to buy a clipboard for my inventory list. They didn't have a clipboard but  bought a huge bag of Whoppers, some advil for my back and a bag of  FunYuns. I took yogurt, fruit, two sandwiches and chips to work with me but the whoppers and fake onion rings got me through. I have terrible eating habits, or do I really even need to say that?

Waking up early and taking ONLY good things to eat with me. If you live near me and need a mattress or bedroom furniture, stop by and see me,  they have some really good prices. Just be sure to come by on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday!

Til next  time...COTTON

Sunday, August 25, 2013

First Visit

Worked the day shift at  the restaurant today. My sister and her husband came in to eat brunch with her former flight attendant buddy, her husband and one of their daughters. It wasn't balls to  the walls busy  so I got to chat while I waited on  them. It was my sister's friends  anniversary so Cin had me get my boss Len  to make them  his yummy cannoli cake for dessert.  I've told my sister about how when parties order one we take it out and show them the cake, let them take pictures then take it back to the kitchen to cut and serve it. That way, us servers are sure to get a nice fat slice too!

After they finished brunch my sister said "We'll be wanting you  to cut our cake at  the table please." She so funny!! There was plenty left over for us servers, Barb (the owner's wife) and the guests of honor. Len bakes a mean cake.

Massey's roomie's mom brought some blackout curtains and a curtain rod by for the girl's dorm room which gets full sun through a huge window so after work I went for a short visit. The bartender at  work wanted to go with me, got off when I did  and actually HAS a car, unlike me so it worked out great! We zipped up there in no time in her cute little Scion. We parked in the lot next  to  the dorm. It said $6.00 on  the sign and said to put  the money into  a slot on one of  those big self pay boxes. We were in space number 41. I went to put the money in but the numbers started at  101 and went up  to 180. I told her what the heck, we weren't staying long, lets just go get  the girls and take them to dinner.

If I was worried  about  Massey's safety (which I am) fears were quickly put to rest when we stepped into  the lobby of her dorm. I told them I was there to see Massey  Cotton. They told me she had to  come downstairs  to check me in. When Massey  got  there, I had to surrender my drivers license, give them my cell phone number and after scrutinizing my ID had a bracelet taped around my wrist. When you get in the elevator to go up to her floor, Massey has to scan her card before the elevator will work. So I had to wait in line for a minute or two, I'm  down with that...just keep my girl safe. Even when students  come into  the lobby,  they have to stop and show their ID before going to the elevators. I like it!

We went up  to their room and hung the curtains for them. We had the door propped open and  I bet at  least four people stopped by and said hello to the girls, one of them even said "You must be Mrs. Cotton, nice to meet you!"

I'm thinking I like this place!

I was worried about  my friend's car and would hate to drive back  to Newnan with her car booted. I remember a Simpsons episode when Homer's car got booted and he drove home anyway with  the car kerplunking over the boot. Click on the video.

Her car wasn't booted so we all piled in and went to the Varsity for a lube job. We ordered our  food when my friend decided to add a F.O. to her order. That  would be a Frosted Orange, a frozen specialty at  the Varsity. She told the girl  behind the counter "That's $2.39 extra." The girl said "How'd you know that?" My friend  said it was on the menu board behind the  girl's  head, but I chirped right in, pointed at my friend and said "She used to work here." The girl said "For real?" I almost said "Fo shizzle!"

Let me just state here that I have been eating at  the Varsity  since  the sixties and have NEVER seen a white person behind the counter at  the Varsity taking orders. Giving them, maybe. It's mostly African Americans and Indians ( dot not the feather).

We  ate our deliciously disgusting food and had  a great  chat. We  took the girls back  to their dorm taking the scenic route.  Downtown Atlanta is an amazing and beautiful city. I'm elated that Massey has  this opportunity and know she will make the most of it. We illegally parked again in the lot and walked  the girls back  to the front door of the dorm.

Hugs all around, kisses and hugs again.

It's crazy, but I'm okay with this so far. I thought I would be a wreck but feel really good about the security. If they are ever anywhere on campus and feel uneasy they can make a call and be escorted home by  campus police. Buses for  the school run every ten minutes and you can't get on one without scanning  your card.

It takes a little time to get into her dorm to see her but I appreciate the extra effort.

She starts classes tomorrow. I have a good feeling about this. It's not been easy getting her this far but know in my heart she will take and appreciate this opportunity, make us all proud and go far in life.

HUGE shout out to my brother who helped make it all happen. Huge shout out to my sister and bro in law who loaned me a car tonight so I can start my new job  this week. Just a general shout  to everyone who loves and cares for me, I am one extremely stinking lucky person.

Life is good, God is good and I am blessed beyond belief! It's a wonderful  thing to be loved.

Til next  time...COTTON

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Are You Kidding Me?

Haven't heard from her in  three months, no visits or any indication she had any plan to ever surface in  my life again,  yet she shows up at midnight knocking at my menopausal door...Aunt Flow.

I'm pretty ticked. She didn't even send her most obvious calling card, a zit. I'm just about ready to sue somebody. I'm definitely cutting THIS aunt out of my will. Here's the thing, I can deal with the night sweats, all it takes is kicking off the covers. Now she wants me to go buy more tampons for her unexpected visit, the selfish little bee-otch. What about men? What do THEY have to deal with in their fifties, besides crazy menopausal women? Case closed.

Guess I don't have much choice but to let her visit, but I'm still ticked. I got off from work after ten and went to the store before heading home dog tired from a huge butt whooping. Could she not let me know she was coming before I checked out at the store? Aunt Flow is totally insensitive and last time I checked wasn't even on our family tree. She's simply a rude intruder.

On a brighter note, Massey's all moved into her dorm room and beginning her college life. I'm going up to visit her tomorrow after work to take her  few more things and treat her and her roomie to a lube job at The Varsity. The Varsity is definitely an Atlanta experience not to be missed.
The best onion rings in the world. Hot dogs are incredible too but my favorite is the chili steak. A little burger with chili. I eat mine with lots of mustard, a little ketchup and tons of raw chopped onion. The fries are pretty stinking good too. It's a greasy dinner but wonderful!

Starting my new job at  the mattress store on Tuesday. With Massey gone it will take my mind off losing yet another kid to the world.

These past few weeks have been nice only having one job but realistically I need the two. My new/old car isn't ready yet so my sister and bro in law are loaning me a car for a week. (Go Family!)

Life keeps rolling along whether you are ready or not.

Going to bed in a tee and undies, feet sticking out for cool air and waiting for Aunt Flow to wreak havoc. Some relatives are just  a pain in the butt.

Til next  time...a hot flashing COTTON. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

That Wasn't So Bad

We moved Massey into her dorm room today. She's going to Georgia State University located smack dab in the middle of downtown Atlanta. It's a huge school surrounded by an even huger city. She's one block up from the Municipal Market and as we passed it, brought back many memories of going there as a little kid with my grandparents. It was Atlanta's original farmer's market and you  can still buy just about anything there. We got there right on  time following in our car behind her room mate's parents. Free parking right next door to the dorm for move in day. I haven't seen free parking on an Atlanta downtown street since...never and I grew up here.

Still didn't make it easy. These two girls brought enough stuff to move to another planet. To top it off their dorm room is on the fifth floor and it was boiling hot outside. At least it wasn't raining and at least they weren't on the top sixth floor.

Massey's room mate's parents (who I could never say enough nice things about) brought a handy little collapsible wagon and we loaded it up and all carried armloads as well. You had to wait in  line for the elevator  and the line was out the door. I'll have to say they handled the crush of kids moving in really well and tried to load the elevators according to what floor all the peeps were going to to save time. I was sweating like an overweight man in thermal underwear and a snow suit.

Tim went back downstairs and rented us a huge push container large enough to move a small pony in and that helped.  Every time we went back to the parking lot we loaded the container and the wagon. Ten loads later we had everything up  to the fifth floor and were  all sweating like Mel Gibson at a temple.

Tim and Allen moved  the beds to make more room for the girls and we started unpacking. Pretty much all we took were Massey's clothes and bedding. She had some nice graduation presents, towels, coffee maker, mugs, and cool things my friends  gave her, rolling cart, desk top accessories, rugs, mattress pad, spare linens, cool Indian looking throw, desk lamp and a few other things. My biggest donation was a new tunnel fan I bought when our A/C was out.

Massey's  room mate brought a cool retro fridge and microwave, flat screen TV, brand new printer/fax/copier and  a wireless router. Her dad sat it all up and programed everything. (you  gotta love a Ga. Tech grad)

Here's the thing that touched me the most. He went on and on about how GREAT it was to have a tunnel fan in  their room and seemed totally sincere. Let me also say he's a pretty massive guy, we wore him out and he stood in front of it multiple times to cool off after helping to lug enough clothing to cover every  naked child in Ethiopia up to the fifth floor of a dorm room.

It's not like this family is rich (although compared to us they are.) They don't flaunt it, they  share it. They don't look down on us, they lift us up. They love my girl and my girl loves them.

Today we were all equals. Today we were parents dropping our girls off at  college and I was blown away by  their generosity, sincerity and humility.

Massey knows how to pick a room mate.

Massey did bring some really cool  circle stickers, some made of chalk board and some made of dry erase to leave notes for each other and looked awesome on their closet doors.

Here's our "Tech" man hooking up the printer, TV and wireless router. Massey did paint the hanging over her room mate's bed with her initials.

We all went downstairs to eat with the girls  to see what  the meal plan offered.

 All kind of vegetables, baked ziti, tofu for the vegans, wild rice and scalloped potatoes.
 Flounder stuffed with crab meat, rolls, cabbage.
 Chicken Marsala.
 A huge salad bar with everything you could ever possibly want on a salad and then some.
 They even had pizza. Four different soups to choose from, rotisserie chicken and even fried green beans.
They had at least twenty different kinds of breakfast cereal to choose from and an omelet bar.

They had frozen yogurt, ice cream, all kind of desserts, smoothies and cappuccinos.

Tim ate like he was at  the Golden Coral after a two month fast  and I can't much blame him.
My fave was the mac& cheese bar...four different types to choose from.
Talk about a dorm room with a view. They are in the nerve center of one of the biggest cities in the United States.

And this is just looking out the window of their dorm room.
The school mascot, Pounce even  came by  to meet them!
It was such a long hot day , had so much  to do that it all just became "Blurred Lines"as Robin Thicke sings.

Tim had to leave on the job search front so I bummed a ride home (getting good at it) with Massey's roomie's parents.

Massey was so happy and I was so happy for her I forgot to get emotional. I simply hugged her and told her I'd see her soon.

The only time I teared up was on my bummed ride home. I told them I wanted them to know how much we appreciated  all they have done for my girl.

And like the wonderful people they are  said they felt blessed Massey had come into their daughter's life.

Icing on the cake, my brother got Massey tickets in a private suite tonight for the Bruno Mars concert at Phillips Arena. I called Massey and said "There will probably be lots of food in the suite so take some zip loc baggies with you."  She totally shot my idea down.

We all told the girls before we left today to take a cab to the arena, a five minute ride from their dorm and take one back home. I'm a little nervous about it but you  know what? They are both eighteen and living in the ATL now.

You  gotta let them grow up sometime.

My back is killing me from the move but am a happy mom. My girl is moving on , spreading her wings and taking flight.
That's why they call them high school GRADUATES.  Graduate is defined by  Webster's as  "To advance to a  new level of skill, achievement, or  activity."

I think she's hit all three today. Can't wait to see what else she can do.

Once again reminded how absolutely lucky we are.

Til next  time...COTTON

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I'm Ready Now

It's been a long and twisting road. It's had good  turns and some bad detours but we've made it to the starting gate. Thursday morning we move Massey into her dorm room. It just seems funny using Massey  and dorm room in the  same sentence.

She was a happy little girl and  hate to lose my daily bestie but know it's time. I'm over the sad part and beginning to feel her excitement, it's contagious.

Yes I've spoiled her but at least she's not rotten. She's a driven young woman who knows what she wants and chomping at the bit to get started. How can I be sad about that?

I'm ready now. I'm ready  to take her up there, settle her in and come back home to wait and see what  all she can accomplish on her own.

I wish I had been half the kid she is at  the age of eighteen.Waking  up tomorrow and taking her to college.  Coming home without her.

Leaving her in good hands, a great  room mate and a great university. I'm over the anxiety and simply excited to see how far she can go.

You got this girl, I know you do!
Eighteen years ago you  were a tiny four pound baby who was lucky to survive.
Today you are a young  woman who not only beat  the odds but is destined for success.

Go  gettum girl. Show  the world what a Leach/Cotton can do!
You are a beautiful young woman, inside and out. I know you will make me proud, you  already have!

Til next  time...COTTON

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Oops...My Bad

I accused Zach of something today and he denied it. I knew he did it, but he wouldn't fess up. My three dollar carton of sour cream was missing from my refrigerator and it sure didn't walk off by itself. I even called Tim after he left the house to see if he had taken it. I was making leftover fajitas and couldn't find  the carton I had just opened last night. Zach is a cook and loves to go his friend's houses and create meals for  them. He often takes my spices and sometimes my cookware. Sometimes he brings them back but more often than not they are gone for good. He left around ten thirty last night and came home a little after midnight.

When my sour cream went missing I just knew he had taken it. I know it just cost three bucks but it was the point. DON'T TAKE MY STUFF and if you do, admit to it. The argument escalated and Zach ended up walking out of the house. I didn't see him the rest of the day. I guess he walked the five miles to work since his car's in the shop. I was livid. If you'd lie about a stinking carton of sour cream what did THAT say?

Let me say here that Zach and I are so much alike it ain't even funny, except that he is on the verge of being a genius and I am a doofus. He has made some wrong choices but paid for his mistakes and doing great with his new job.

I am a stressed out almost broke fifty three year old waitress with  a husband on unemployment trying to send a daughter off  to college this week. She needed  few more  things today so I headed out this morning with her shopping list. I began at  the Dollar Tree, where everything is a buck and worked my way up to the Dollar General. I relented and bought her name brand tampons.

Zach was on my mind all day.  He is as headstrong and willful as I  wonder we often butt heads.

Tim left today on his job hunt and packed his lunch  to take with him. He came home around eight and said "You know what? I DID pick up  that sour cream carton out of  the refrigerator, I thought it had leftovers in it."

Oops...My Bad.

Tim went to pick Zach up from work while I sat here feeling like a big ole pile of Ziggy's dog poop. I told Massey what happened and she simply said "Sounds like someone owes somebody an apology."

Zach came home and went straight up  to his room. I followed him up and knocked on his door. I apologized and said I was wrong. He said he was moving out at the end of the week. I apologized again, what else could I do at  this point? I told him to wait until at least he had his car fixed and some money saved up.

So  a stupid missing carton of sour cream sent me over the edge. I'm not sure what that says about my mental stability. I've been a bit stressed lately with  Massey starting college, me down to one job and Tim looking for one.

I need to take a deep breath, step back from the edge I feel myself teetering on and realize how blessed I really am. Did I actually lose it over a three dollar tub of sour cream? Granted I love my sour cream, but is it worth losing a son over?

I have  a blind dog I am worried  about, I have a daughter's college education to pay for  and a husband who needs a job.

Then I watch  the news and see some idiot nineteen year old walking into an elementary school with an assault rifle wanting the local TV station to show up so  they can film him 'Killing some cops."

My kids aren't so bad...even IF Zach had taken  the sour cream, he'd never walk into a school full of little kids and shoot up  the office.

Yep, I have once again forgotten  how lucky and blessed I am. I hope Zach forgives me. I hope he waits until he has enough money  to move out. I don't mind his moving out at  all, just want him to have a vehicle and some spare cash first.

In  the words of a an old movie..."It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World."

I'm not the best mom, I'm not the worst mom. I'm simply A mom.

Til next  time...COTTON

Friday, August 16, 2013

Boy Do I Remember This Day

It was 1977. I was at  cheer leading camp right before starting my senior year of high school. I'll never forget it. My good friend Olga Watts (our cute little mascot) told us Elvis Presley had just died. It rocked us all. The King was dead?

He was so sexy  when he was young. Of course when he died he was a big ole fat dude but was still "The King."

For some unknown reason, it troubled me deeply.

I remember going into a phone booth and calling my Momma. This was at a point in my life when I NEVER called my Momma. I was seventeen and the captain of my cheer leading squad. I had reached the highest level of "Coolness" with my peers and Momma was a woman who crossed her knees when she sneezed. I allowed her drive me to school every morning but made sure she let me out of the car a block away from the school. I was on top of my game...a rising senior and captain of the squad! 

When Elvis died, it suddenly struck me. If the "King" could die, anybody could.

I sat in a corner of the phone booth after dialing  home. When she answered, I asked if she had heard the news? She said she had and I simply started crying. I'm not sure why I was so upset. It wasn't like I was a huge Elvis fan but his death struck a chord with me.

 I unloaded my soul. I told her I didn't realize how quickly death could approach someone. Then I started sobbing. I told her I was sorry  for what a selfish brat I had been. I told her how sorry I was for the way I treated her. I told her I was sorry acting like she was an embarrassment to me when in fact she was the greatest thing in my life. I told her I loved her.

She simply listened to my blubbering and the one thing I remember most is that she said "I know you love me, don't ever forget it."

She picked me up  from camp two days later. She sat on a bench with my best  friend and co-captain's mom and waited for us.
This is the last picture ever taken of my Momma. She sat there on that bench, in an outfit she had sewn herself, pants and top. She held a bag in her lap she had also made. She never mentioned my tearful phone call but hugged my neck and  said "Let's go home."

The next  day she took me shopping for school clothes with my older sister who was married and I can remember laughing behind her back when she sneezed while crossing her legs.

I was in the dressing room  trying on another pair of jeans when my sister yelled out for help. I looked out to see Momma clutching for a rack of clothes. She seemed dazed, held onto  the rack but fell bringing the rack down with her.

My  older sister immediately started CPR and the store clerk called 911. Ten seconds later she opened and shut her eyes.

She was gone before the ambulance ever got there. She was gone by the time our Diddy got there from Fulton Industrial Boulevard, a twenty minute drive from his work place. They loaded her into an ambulance and took off for Grady Memorial hospital with my sister and me close behind in the car.

We got to Grady and  Diddy  was sitting in a room alone with  a phone book in his lap calling  a close friend to go pick up my brother from work at  the grocery store.

She was gone.

One of my aunt's came by  the house the next day. She told me  Momma had talked to her the day before and said how much my call from camp had meant  and  that I never needed to tell her I loved her, she knew I did even if I didn't show it.

I beat myself up for years after that, but do you know how much worse it would have been if the King hadn't died and  woken me up to the fact  that life has no guarantee?

My kudos to Elvis.

When my kids diss me, roll their eyes at me or talk smack to me, I take it all with a grain of salt.  They love me. They love me with all my faults,  they love me with all the embarrassing things I put them through  and  love me for all  the things I have helped THEM through.

" Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

Although  I have to sometimes constantly remind myself...I am  the luckiest woman, wife and mother on the face of  this great big planet we all call home.

Til next  time...COTTON


Thursday, August 15, 2013

I Am Pig Pen

I've been off for the last three days, which is highly unusual for me. Not having a car makes it difficult to pick up shifts because I not only have to pick up a shift but a ride to it as well. I had two nice days off with  Massey though and spent some much needed Momma/Daughter time with her before she leaves for college next  week. Today she decided we had had enough  time together and left around three with her college room mate to spend the night at her house. They are going shopping for cheap text books tomorrow, trying to get a peek inside their dorm and having lunch at  The Cheesecake Factory in Atlanta.

I was fine with that. Zach's helping a friend move, Tim's off hunting jobs and I have the house to myself.

I gave myself a much needed manicure. I even got all crazy and trimmed my cuticles. Then I decided to paint my toe nails too. I took  off my flip flops and was disgusted by  the dirt between my toes.

I'm not a clean freak, whether it be my house OR me. I normally work six days a week and shower six days a week. I clean house about every other week but keep it liveable in between and Tim  and the kids kick in to help every once in a while. I mainly concentrate on the kitchen and baths, the rest is window dressing  to me. When you have two kids still at  home and three dogs, keeping the house immaculate is pretty much impossible unless it is your full time job. I get my spurts and will  attack a  room with Mr. Clean (Febreze scent) windex and Murphy's oil soap. (my three favorite cleaning products) I am always amazed when I get through  how little time it actually takes and how wonderful the results can be.

I basically haven't left the house since bumming a ride home from work Monday night. I get up in the morning, brush my teeth, run a washcloth over my face and call myself clean (enough). I like to think of myself as being very European. When we used to go to Florida every summer for vacation with my family, as long as we had the ocean and a pool to swim in I was good for the week. I might shower once if we went out to eat.

Tonight I'm going to have to break down and take a nice long hot bath...I'm beginning to get a bit rank. Even the dogs quit licking me.

Speaking of dogs...
These aren't my dogs but may  as well be. Dog fights are horrifying to me. They escalate from growling to a full out fight in less  than two seconds. I have big dogs and weigh less than two of the smallest ones put together.  Used to be it was always Charlie and Ham battling for the Alpha Male spot. Charlie got his butt whooped time after time after time and has finally learned his pecking order.
Ziggy is an extremely slow learner. He loves Ham, that's his buddy and sleep spooning each other. Ziggy just doesn't understand  that Ham is totally blind now and when he jumps on Ham in the back yard trying  to play, it takes Ham by  surprise and of course Ham's reaction is to defend himself. Ham could kill Ziggy if he wanted to, he's a massive dog. I couldn't imagine being totally  blind and having others jumping on me not knowing if they were friends or foes. Ham has gotten grumpier after losing all his sight and Ziggy is still a playful pup. We had another dog fight day before yesterday and luckily Massey was there  to help me break it up. Ziggy has a couple of superficial scars but Ham wasn't letting go being in the dark so  to speak and came out with several wounds from Ziggy's sharp  young teeth. I simply can't take it anymore and have to keep Ziggy out back all day, which isn't like a prison. He has a huge yard to  play in, or at least fifty yards of it when he is on his "Escapee" run. I go out back several times a day and let him off  the  run to let him romp. As soon as I get a vehicle we are starting the chop shop for all three. The local mobile vet does neutering on Thursday's. We once  thought about breeding Charlie because he is so spectacular  and looks just like UGA. Then we thought about breeding Ziggy because he is AKC and the most beautiful boxer I have ever seen with his perfect markings.

Then I started thinking about how many dogs are neglected, mistreated and  abandoned. Yeah, we're broke and studding out a male dog would bring in some money but I need to maintain some sanity around here and it's not like studding them out will entirely fix our economic debacle and the world certainly doesn't need more dogs, there are plenty out there who need a good home first.

The person I am in contact with at  the foundation that offered to help Ham is out of town until next  Monday. I am formulating my letter from  Ham to them. Ham's a great dog, didn't ask to be part of our family we adopted him. He's gone blind and  it's become an issue having two other rescue males here. I've become afraid of letting all  three in the house at once until Tim or Zach  get home and that's not the way I (or the pups) want it.

People have helped Ham get so far. Ham would be dead by  now if they hadn't pitched in to not only send him for eye evaluation but pay for his shots, gas to and from vet visits and even dog food. Then they paid for his heart worm treatment. The boy has come so far  thanks to so many and I simply want Ham to go the final mile and be able to see again, and limited vision is all we ask for.

Once again harassing the foundation tomorrow with yet another email but at least they have so far responded every time. To people who don't have dogs, I know I sound crazy. To people who DO have dogs, thanks for loving my Ham and helping him get to this critical point.

Back to the  real world tomorrow, working all weekend and only have to bum a ride on Friday!

Soaking in a hot tub, washing away three day's worth of grime and waking up tomorrow to do it all again.

"It's not about what it is, it's about what it can become."  (Dr. Seuss)

Til next  time, a stinky dirty but extremely lucky and grateful COTTON.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wonderful Rainy Day

Sometimes a rainy day is a wonderful thing...especially when you have the day off. I woke up at four thirty this morning and couldn't get back to sleep so I settled in on the sofa in the living room and watched the early morning news til I dozed back off around seven. I woke up again around eight thirty, saw the forecast for rain all day and decided to stay where I was. Massey  ran a few errands for me early before Tim took  her car for job hunting around eleven. I had gotten all  the yards cut, trimmed and walkways and driveways swept yesterday and made a huge pot of stew that will last for days so I had nothing pressing to do. Well, I COULD have cleaned house but that didn't sound like much fun so I opted for a work free day.

Massey and I watched the boob tube for a couple of hours, me on the couch and her on the chaise both wrapped up with a light blanket and a bowl of popcorn. Around three we decided to make an entire day of it and started watching movies. First up was "The Perks of Being a Wallflower." It's one of Massey's favorites and she wanted me  to watch it with her. It was a great little movie. The rain didn't let up so we didn't get up except for bathroom breaks and more comfort food. We ate watermelon, fruit bars and popcorn with cold "Co-Cola's." (as my momma always called them)

You  would think by  this time I would be getting bed sores, but in fact the longer I stayed horizontal, the better I felt!

Next it was  "Pitch Perfect." Definitely a teen chick flick but since I was spending the day with MY teen, watched it with her. Had some cute parts but would have never bought a ticket to see it.

After that movie, Massey went downstairs to the kitchen and heated us up some leftovers and brought them up  to the living room and we continued our marathon. By  this point it was almost seven at night and next up was "Silver Linings Playbook." I had done absolutely nothing all day but watch  TV and stuff my face...literally. Massey waited on me hand and foot and the only time I got up was to use the rest room or let one of the pups out. It was fabulous and I actually think Massey enjoyed it too.

All I can say about "Silver Linings" is WOW! I knew it won some awards but I never go to the movies. I think the last movie I bought a ticket to was "Slum Dog Millionaire." (which  was well worth the price)

"Silver Linings" is my kind of movie. It moves fast, has great characters and excellent actors portraying them. Lots of "F" bombs but Massey worked with me at  the restaurant for a while so it was nothing new to her. Restaurant workers tend to have foul mouths. When you wait on the public for a living sometimes you just have to walk back into the kitchen and verbally unload.

So our marathon didn't end til  after ten o'clock. It was a really pleasant day. Massey and I haven't spent  that much  time together in quite a while. I seem to work all the time and she is always doing  "Teen" things like I used to in the seemingly pre historic seventies.

Reality is setting in, In eight days we'll be moving her into her dorm room. Who will spend my rainy days off with me? Who will keep me abreast of what peeps are posting on FB  or tweeting? Who will fix me leftovers and bring them to me on  the couch much less watch a chick flick with me? Who's gonna tell me when the outfit I'm wearing isn't cute? Who's going to roll their eyes at me when I get the words to a song wrong? Who's going to be my bestie?

I'll be left here in a house with five males, ten balls and sixteen feet. That's a frightening thought.

I'm excited for Massey to be starting her new adventure but feeling a little lost myself.. At least she'll just be thirty minutes away but that's a long way for somebody to just bring me a "Co-Cola."  So I am enjoying  this last week. I should be working a lot more but have to bum rides to and from work without a vehicle. I started thinking tonight, maybe that's why God hasn't given me wheels yet, so I can enjoy  these last few days with my girl.

Today was an excellent day.  I am off again tomorrow and although I need and  wanted to work I think I need to take advantage of this last week. I need to spend all  the time I can with Massey before she leaves, maybe not for her as much as for me.

We've already decided on tomorrow night's movie, "Good Will Hunting."  I can't believe she hasn't seen it but loves Matt Damon and his buddy Ben Affleck so I'm sure it will be a hit with her. Still have plenty of leftovers and cold "Co-Colas" and popcorn.

When I wake up tomorrow I will only have seven days left with her. I'd better make them all count!

Til next  time...a getting near to being a teary eyed missing a daughter  COTTON

Monday, August 12, 2013

Ten More Days

Almost eighteen years ago  I took an ambulance ride at three in the morning after calling 911, to have my lower belly ripped open and have a tiny four pound baby extracted from me almost three months early.

She quickly blossomed into a beauty with a head full of curly hair and a smile that still makes my heart sing.

She still has that curly hair but can work a straightening iron like nobody's business when she wants it silky straight. She has the bluest eyes I've ever seen. Her younger/older brother has beautiful blue eyes too although  they are a totally different shade. Her older brother has gorgeous green eyes. All three of my kids have awesome eyes and  hope they use them wisely to view life through and look at  the right path to choose. 

The boys stumbled but both rebounded. Massey is just getting started. My oldest son got lucky, we were living high on the hog bringing in well over six figures when he graduated high school. When my younger son graduated we had hit the skids and barely making ends meet. Lucky for me, boys are low maintenance and Zach, my younger son has never cared about  material things. He got into some trouble after high school and had to let him sit in the Pokey for a couple of days before we could scramble the money  to get him out. In hindsight it was a blessing, he  came out grateful and remorseful.

So now my oldest is living halfway around the world in Australia doing what I wish I had done when in my twenties, exploring the world. Zach has lived the straight and narrow after his brush with the law and made me proud.

Now my youngest is beginning her own  adventure, college.
We made it through over three years of  a total financial debacle by  the Grace of God , help from my wonderful family and the blessing of having many many friends.

In ten days we move her into her dorm room at Georgia State University. She'll be living on campus, a decision we tried to sway her from. It almost doubled the cost but  also made me realize it was worth it. She is head strong and determined and wants to push straight through for her PHD.

She had a good time in high school and in her underclassmen years did guard with the band and learned a lot of lessons about camaraderie and commitment. Many people helped us  to let her do guard and I spent a lot of time volunteering to compensate best I could. It was an experience I am glad she had and most probably enjoyed it even more than her.
Then her junior and senior year put all her energy into her studies and became a member of  the  National Honor Society and focused on one thing...her grades. She decided she wanted to attend Georgia State University where her older brother went. After graduating with honors and a pretty  stinking good GPA my husband and I decided we needed to make it happen. After filing for all the grants and financial aide we could, we came up a little short. Less  than two weeks away from her move in date, God smiled on us once again. Needless to say, we are blessed. We've borrowed from Peter to pay Paul and  have realized that we are truly loved.

Last night we had a send off party for Massey at my sister's house. Massey is rooming with a friend of hers from high school. I am sure it is  strain on her room mate's family but an enormous strain on our  already empty  wallets. Actually neither Tim or I even have a wallet!

Massey's uncle (my brother) has helped us out so much it feels like a crime. He loves and believes in Massey and her desire to achieve. I have no doubt she will make him, us and her own self proud.
Massey's future college roomie came to her party along with her mother and gaggle of sisters.
Five women, young and old walking away from the camera and two young women headed off  to change the world.

I have no doubt these girls will go far. I hope they remain besties like I have with my own college  roomie.

Oh little's  your time to fly. Make the most of your flight.

Til next  time...COTTON