Monday, September 30, 2013

Switching Hats Again

Just got home from the restaurant. It wasn't overly busy but the tipping gods smiled on me and I made enough to buy groceries for the week and have a few bucks left over. Tonight was my Friday at  the restaurant and tomorrow is my Monday at  the mattress store. Worked myself silly this weekend and looking forward to the quiet of the mattress store.

When I logged into my account tonight,  noticed my blog has 76,976 page views. Not bad for a rookie. I'm glad peeps seem to be enjoying it because I LOVE doing this blog.

It will be nice to settle into my other hat tomorrow. I like working alone. I like meeting new people and I like having time to myself. I come in and get everything ready, check emails and inventory then eat my breakfast my husband cooks and packs up for me every  day.  I upload pics of furniture and mattresses to Facebook to advertise then usually read my book waiting for people to come in. I loved the Game of Thrones series and was sad to finish it. A blog reader suggested The Pillars of Life and lucky for me, Massey bought it for my birthday.

Writing is my passion but reading is a close second. The written word is mesmerizing to me. I envision what every person looks like and know exactly how their voice should sound.  Sometimes I will see a random person and say to myself, "Well there goes Ned Stark, wonder what he's doing in Newnan, Georgia?"

The Pillars of the Earth had me on the edge of my seat by  the end of the book. There were plenty of characters to hate and despise and was on pins and needles until they finally hanged the Rat Bast I detested in the last few pages. I had been posting on FB about how great the book was and an FB friend brought me the next  book in the series to read.

I'm all pumped to go in tomorrow, open up get my duties done and start reading the second book.

The only thing crazier than the book series I am reading is that tomorrow is October. What the heck happened to 2013 and how in the heck has it flown by  so fast?

Life is good here. We've been through a lot survived a lot and been loved a lot. That should be my new motto!

The cooks at  work tonight were talking about me from their line across the expo counter in North Korea. (see previous post) They were talking about how much I eat yet how tiny I am. I do  eat like crazy at work but am running around even crazier. It's not like I'm kicked back in bed stuffing food in my mouth and not moving for ten hours. I rarely eat at home.  I cook at  home and love to. I'll taste test all through my cooking process but by  the time they all sit down to eat I am ready to start  cleaning up and putting it all away into  containers. I peered across the great divide and told them I was back up to a hundred pounds.

It started out slow and I am known for bringing in lots of candy. M&M's, Reese's, Whoppers and  like me some Sweet Tarts too. One of the cooks, who started as a dishwasher and thanks to my persistent nagging was allowed the chance to move up and has proved  to be a great addition to the cook line in North Korea asked me if I had any chocolate? I told him no and he asked if I had time to walk over to the candy store  and buy some. It was slow so I walked  over, it's only three stores down... they were closed up tight as a drum with a note taped to the front door: "Our last day will be Sept. 29"

On the other side of our restaurant is a theater so walked over there to go into the lobby to get my buddy his fix. They wanted four bucks for a tiny box of M&M's. I asked if the price included a movie ticket? It didn't so I walked back over to the restaurant.

I told my friend (who BTW is African American) "Hey buddy, sorry but if you want some chocolate your best  best is to gnaw on your arm."

He is one of the nicest most polite young men I have ever met. Always calls me Ms. Kelly and is a hard stinking worker. He also attended the camp my youngest son did for a thirty day stint.

Dollar Tree is right next  door to my mattress shop and will drop by  tomorrow and buy my buddy  all the candy  he could possibly want. I'll even pick me up another bag of Whoppers, the breakfast of  idiots.

Going to bed feeling blessed. I have two jobs I love , a family and a bunch of other peeps who always have by back. Yep...I'm sitting pretty.

Til next time...COTTON

Saturday, September 28, 2013

I Need More Days Like This

Work up early to Tim bringing me coffee and breakfast in bed, not a bad start. I watched the news and piddled around til noon. Tim and Zach drove downtown  to pick up Massey and have lunch  with Tim's Spanish teacher from high school who lives in Virginia/ Highland. Cut the front and back yard and got through  just in time to get ready for work. Massey and the boys got home as I was getting ready to walk out the door for work but at least  had a couple of minutes with her.

 A hug and kiss and touching their face is all you need sometimes. I went into work one happy ole gal.

Walked into total mayhem.
In less than one minute I was Lucy in the candy factory again. We usually run with no fewer than seven servers and sometimes eight. We had five servers (one almost nine months pregnant) and the place was already half full. I never wear my work shirt in  because it's so hot. I usually wear my little camisole and change in the restroom. They needed me to pick up a table immediately so I set my cup of water down,  pulled off my camisole right there in  the server alley and put on my work shirt. It's not like anybody in the kitchen had time to notice my pitifully small boobs and in under ten seconds I was ready to go.

 My first table was a party of five, ordered two large bottles of Pelligrino and a seventy dollar bottle of wine followed by two orders of Escargot. Their tab was well over a hundred bucks before they even ordered dinner. BINGO! Right after I served their entrees a party of twenty five came in that had requested me to be their server for their parent's fiftieth wedding anniversary. We were so short on servers I had to take the party by myself. YIKES!

We have a new girl who is still in training so she was helping everyone out and for the next  few minutes she helped me.

Last week I waited on a woman with her two daughters who I have waited on several times before. The first time I waited on them I noticed the woman's necklace and asked  her where she got it? She said she bought it at a boutique on the Newnan Square. I asked if it was made by Jill Massey Couture Designs and she looked shocked, said "Yes! How did you know that?" I told her Jill Massey was my cousin. Now they are regulars of mine at  the restaurant. Last week she told me she was bringing her parents in eat and wanted me to wait on them. I didn't realize she meant with twenty two other people.

The owner said to take the party by  myself and they wouldn't seat me any other tables. Luckily I had just dropped the check with my first table (who had ordered ANOTHER $69 bottle of wine with dinner). He left me a fifty dollar tip...AND I WAS OFF TO A GREAT START!

The new girl was really helpful and wouldn't have been able to do it without her. The main thing I needed help with was getting all the drinks and bread out to the table while I rang in  the twenty five orders. From  there I could handle it on my own. I thanked  the new girl, Leigh several times and she even helped refill  tea and water glasses while I served the salads and soups. I was chatting with the honorees and congratulated them on their fifty years together and threw in my standing joke "My husband says he FEELS like he's been married to me for fifty years."

I never like to compliment the chefs too much back across the cook line which servers consider the divide between North and South Korea but had to tonight. Ask a cook and we servers are N. Korea ask a server and they are. Well we all worked together tonight and my twenty five top went out perfect and it was one big happy table!

I cleared  the dinner dishes and  told the couple celebrating their fiftieth that the strippers were here  and we needed to make room. They both got a kick out of that. I told them I would bring out the cake to let them take pictures and then take it back  to the kitchen to cut and serve. They all thought  that was a great idea. I was getting the back  table in the kitchen ready to cut the cake when the sometimes sour puss sous chef  commented I could do it at the table  lot easier. I told him there was no  room, which  there wasn't and pointed my finger at him, winked my eye and said "Then they would know how much cake was left."

Needless to say they had plenty left to take home and we had plenty to eat in the kitchen! I talked to the woman who had asked me to wait on  them and said normally with a party this size wanting separate checks we added a suggested gratuity of 18% and did she think that would be okay? She said certainly so I did just that! The tab was over $400.00 and every one of them left me more than the eighteen. The husband who's anniversary it was (and who's tab was picked up by  one of their kids) handed me a twenty and said thank you. When boxing their leftover cake I made the comment to the anniversary couple "Now don't be showing up pregnant and having a baby nine months from tonight, because ain't none of us gonna baby sit for you!"

You have to know who  to joke with and this was the table for it. They loved me and showed me their love.  There was one little old lady at  the table who's tab was only twenty three dollars, she had split a meal with her daughter. She told me four dollars wasn't enough of a tip and scrambled around in her purse and gave me a few more dollars. In the end they gave me about fifty extra bucks over the eighteen percent gratuity.

I worked my butt off, needed help from the trainee, Leigh to get it all started but was pretty much a flawless party.

I waited on just two tables but walked out with not only Ben Franklin but his twin brother and boy, did I need it.

The trainee was getting ready to leave and I handed her ten dollars and told her how much I appreciated her help. She looked at me quizzically and asked if the servers were supposed to be tipping her out? I said no but I was. I told one of the managers how much Leigh had helped me out and she said "Leigh isn't here tonight, that's the other new girl. This girl's name is Rachel."

I went to find Leigh/Rachel and apologize. She laughed and said she didn't even notice. It was pure pandemonium  and I can be quite bossy  when I get into my server groove.

Here's the real deal. I went into work today thinking how in the heck am I gonna make it through this week with all the bills we have due?

God provides...and HE did just that for me tonight.

Added bonus, the little old woman who scrounged in her purse to give me a couple of bucks extra...and she took a long time scrounging so  starting chatting with her and it ends up we both lived on Bayard Street in East Point back in the sixties. That just opened up a whole 'nother can of worms (as we say in the south) and chatted for about ten minutes about what a great place East Point was to grow up. Jeez, these peeps loved me so much I felt like taking a bow. Instead they all asked  for my name saying they would come back and ask for me again.

Once again I used my standard remark. "You don't have to remember my name just call and say you want the skinny old woman who looks like a lesbian."

So I got my butt kicked. It felt good. It made me realize once again, you get what  you  give. I was talking with the owner tonight before I left, telling him I gave Leigh/ Rachel ten bucks and still walked with two Franklins.

 He's so smart. He said that's a good thing, she'll learn early hard and you  will be compensated.

I've had no time to spend with my Girl. Got home after eleven and have to be at work by eleven in the morning but  made enough tonight to treat them all to brunch at the restaurant tomorrow and still get the bills paid. My boss  always gives me discount when my fam comes in.

I am a loved, blessed and lucky woman.  

Til next  time...COTTON

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Well that hurt.  This is  the first time I've ever struck  totally out at my retail gig. Three days of trying. I know that September is the slowest month in the restaurant industry, guess it's a slow one industry least I HOPE that was it. I had a big sale ready today, they were sure of what  they wanted just wanted to go pick up the husband and bring him back.  Well looks like some buyers are liars. Now watch them come back tomorrow when I'm not there. I went ahead, worked up a quote and left a note for the other manager saying they may be back on Friday. Hopefully if they come back he'll give me the sale.

Actually maybe it was God's way of giving me time to rest with pay.  I did make a few good contacts and one guy came back in today who was in last week saying he gets paid next week and will see me then. I did meet some interesting people though. I pry their story out of them. Met a woman who just moved here from Scotland, actually her plane landed this morning. Her husband has Parkinson's and they need a king size bed because he thrashes around so much in his sleep. I met two women who just moved here from Louisiana, one of them is a patient at the new Cancer Treatment Center. They seemed interested, hopefully will be back and when they left I told the one who was a patient I would pray for her. (already done)

I'm sure the owner of the store won't be too happy about me zeroing out but when you learn about people and connect with them  they are more apt to come back and I'm all about learning about some peeps!

My last day off was when we moved my daughter into her dorm room so pretty much  that doesn't even count as a day off since it was a bazillion degrees and her dorm room was on the fifth floor.

I feel much rested now and can go at least a few more weeks. It's not like I dig ditches for a living or tar roof tops.

I got to read my book, which I highly recommend "The Pillars of the Earth" and give myself a manicure. I got to eat three meals a day, something I rarely do. Granted I also ate  an entire bag of Whoppers...dang I love those malted milk balls! I dusted all the dressers and chests in the store and took out all the trash.

I got home from work tonight ready to clean my house. Three male dogs and two men make a house stink. I came home to a dark and deserted house and quickly changed my mind. The dogs haven't complained and no one else is home. I forgot Tim was going to the Tech game compliments of his buddy and Zach is obviously somewhere else. So I did what any smart tired old woman would do. I lit some tea light candles underneath my Yankee Candle tart burners and fifteen minutes my house smelled wonderful and sat down to blog. Granted my house isn't clean but it smells!

My  biggest  accomplishment  tonight will be rolling the trash can out to the curb for  tomorrow's pick up and they are lucky I am doing that.

I am going to see Frances again in the morning before coming home to cut the yards before work tomorrow night. I hope and pray she is either remarkably better or closer to her just reward.

Yep, I am lucky. Frances was lucky for over eighty years and now I just want luck  to find her once again, snatch her away and let her be whole again.

You never know, I may go tomorrow to visit and her be as alert as a bird. You can always hope.

"We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope." (Martin Luther King Jr.)

Til next time...COTTON

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Call Me Rain (Wo)Man

Another slow day at  the Mattress store. The weather was horrible (by Georgian standards) and people weren't out and about. I'm staying positive though, tomorrow will be MY day. My sister called me around noon. She had just left from visiting Frances in the nursing home. I was hoping to hear that Zach and I had just caught her on a bad day when we went last time and she was back to her feisty self.

No such luck. I asked my sister how Franny was and she summed it up with two words "Oh Kelly." I absolutely hated to hear that. She said Franny was despondent once again. Her minister was there to visit and my sister said he started to leave once she got there and leaned over to hug Frances. My sister said to let her write on the little board she has that he was leaving,  he shook his head and said she was even having a  hard time reading now. I noticed the same thing the other day when Zach and I visited. Sometimes when we would write something I could see her eyes following the words moving from left to right and she would nod or chuckle to let us know she read and got it. Other times she simply stared blankly at  the board and never even looked back up at  us.

You know, at this point in the game I just want God to take her and take her quickly, this is no quality of life for her and in her lucid moments even says "I just want them to leave me alone, why won't they just leave me alone?"

After Cindy got off the phone with me she called Frances' niece in Texas. Her niece agreed with me and Cindy and said she was just praying for God to take her quickly as well.

My sister called me while heading to the thrift shop where she volunteers (sometimes cell phones come in real handy) and we talked about Franny again. Cindy made the same comment I made to my son the other day, that we never want to be in a nursing home in that kind of shape. As much as I want a miracle for her I just can't see it in the cards. She suffers from heart problems, kidney failure, deafness, bad eye sight and now pretty much bed ridden with no way for us to even communicate with her. It will devastate us all when she is gone but if she's gotta  go, let it be quick.

I told Cindy the other day after we left from our visit with her I mentioned to Zach  that when Frances DOES pass on to her reward I want it to be a really uplifting funeral with lots of laughter and great stories about what an amazing, funny and independent woman Frances has been. He remarked wiping away tears he didn't think I noticed "Well then don't have that preacher who did Granpa's."

Cindy said that when she met Frances' minister today she was very impressed. He was a nice guy sporting a crew cut who had on khaki shorts, flip flops and wore a close trimmed goatee and mustache. In my book there's no reason to wear a suit and tie to a nursing home unless you're planning on them expiring while you're there and having the funeral immediately.

That got Cin and me talking again about funerals. We seem to do that more and more often the older we get and more funerals we attend.

 Her ex husband and father of her two boys died from Alzheimer's six years ago. They had been high school sweethearts and after they divorced he eventually remarried. I called his wife after he passed and told her if there was anything I could do to let me know. She shocked me by asking if I would speak at his funeral? That wasn't what I was expecting  but told her I certainly would. I worked on the eulogy for days and can remember reading it aloud again and again to Tim and our kids on the way  to his funeral. I had known him since I was a little girl and had many memories of him. I included every  funny story I could remember about him. I included all his greatest qualities and accomplishments and wanted to leave his sons sitting on the front row mourning the loss of their father smiling through their tears.  I may have missed my calling because when I sat back down and the preacher took over my brother leaned over to my sister and whispered "They should have left Kelly up there."

I can't imagine God making Frances suffer much more, she's endured enough.

Cindy and I also talked about when my grandmother died. It was a horrible funeral. They attended a Baptist church in Grant Park and  her preacher droned on and on about scripture and barely mentioned my grandmother. My sister suddenly said, what was his name, I didn't think I'd ever  forget it. He was Dr. (somebody)

I came back with the answer immediately: "It was Dr. Waters!" and my sister said that didn't sound right.  I told her come to think of it that wasn't right. Waters was the name of 'the poor old woman'  Mema and Papa picked up every Sunday to give a ride to church. We both started laughing, mainly because we used to go to church with Mema and Papa every time we spent the night on Saturday with them. They would talk about poor old Mrs.Waters, she's alone and feeble but we pick her up every Sunday on our way to church. Then they would pull up  to her house and a woman who  appeared to be exactly the same age of our grandparents would come out of her house, no walker, no cane and get into the back seat with us grand kids with no assistance.

Cindy couldn't for the life of her remember but KNEW the preacher's name but had reached her next destination so we ended the call.

Like I said, it was slow at  work so I kicked back on a bed and started to read my book. My boney butt can only take so much of sitting in an office chair.

I was reading away on a thousand dollar memory foam mattress when suddenly out of the blue the preacher's name came to me and can't believe ME of all people would forget. His name was Dr. Kelly.

I knew Cin was working her thrift store gig so I text her cell and wrote "Duh! Stupid me to forget Mema's preach's name. Dr. Kelley...must really be a thinking mattress I'm sprawled out on." She text back in a few and wrote "Of course! TY. Whew."
Sounds crazy but I just have the gift of memory. Not ten minutes later I was reading my book when even remembered the preacher's first name. I shot off another text to Cin reading "Bonus points for first name too. Dr. Prue Kelley...dang this really IS a memory  foam mattress."  She text back and wrote "Sleep tight" to which I replied "Don't tempt me"   Five minutes later I got  text from her "You're Rain Woman." I text back and said "Gotta go, time for Judge Wampner."

I didn't speak with her til a few hours later but asked if she got the 'Wampner' joke? She thought I meant I had TV to watch some show. For Pete's sake...who remembers Rain Man but doesn't remember  that he freaked out if he couldn't watch Judge Wampner on People's Court?

I better start getting my material ready for my sister's funeral!

I absolutely hate it that we are losing Franny but if she has to go, God...make it quick. Nursing homes are an industry and the longer she remains alive the longer they get thousands of dollars a month from her medicaid . My sister told me today  that the aides who came in today to help when Frances needed a bed pan "Quick" took a few minutes but when they came in took care of her. My sister told them when they left she hoped they got paid really well for all they do. The young woman said they barely made over minimum wage.

What's wrong with our country? If Frances is going to die, let her do it at home where she feels comfortable. So she would have to have a person there 24/7 to help her on the bed pan and fix her meals. She's not eating much anymore, doesn't want dialysis or anything else to extend her suffering. They could surf the net or watch TV when Frances didn't need assistance. Then this person (like the aide from the nursing home) could be paid twice minimum wage and our Diddy's cousin could go to her reward in a familiar environment. It might cost some money but it sure wouldn't be four grand a month. (the average cost of a nursing home)

Of course  these are all just MY opinions, but that's what my blog is all about. When Franny finally goes to her much deserved reward and hopefully soon for her benefit...even if they don't ask for anyone to speak at her funeral I'm going to.

I'll always remember her crackly, scratchy voice. I've only known her for a few short years but knowing her has enriched all of our lives and feel blessed she came into my life.

Til next  time...COTTON

Monday, September 23, 2013

Oh Franny

This pic of Franny was taken at a family reunion a few year back. Deaf as a post but sharp  as a tack. I've only known her a little over ten years and witnessed her battle and overcome open heart surgery,  a botched catheter resulting in a two month stay in rehab, falls and other medical issues. When she went to rehab the doctors said she would never go home again. She showed them! She returned to her tidy little house and maintained for a while. When her doctor said she had kidney failure and needed dialysis several times a week, she declined. She was tired of the doctors and tired of tests, poking and prodding. She went on for a while then suffered a fall. Not good when you  are in your eighties. Believe it or not she survived that and kept on living in her little house, on her own. She now has 70% kidney failure and that ain't good. It affects everything else including circulation. So  they dismissed her to a hospice to die.

Well she didn't and hasn't so guess the doctors shrugged their shoulders after she didn't decline rapidly enough for their prognosis and moved her back to the nursing home.

The nursing home is about a hundred yards down the road from the hospice. Zach and I went to visit her this morning. I had a ton of things to do today before work but you gotta have priorities.

If I make it to over eighty and stuck in a nursing home staring at a wall and  the reason my relative didn't come visit was because they had to cut their grass, I'd be pissed, so off I went. I was impressed  that my younger son still went with me. He said he would last night but when you are twenty one you renege on a lot of promises. (been there done that)

We stopped to get Frances a milkshake before we got there and as we pulled in , Zach said dryly "DON'T get chocolate."  (read previous post)

It's easy  to miss the entrance because it sneaks up on you but now that she has been moved to the nursing home told Zach  to keep his eye out for the hospice so I would know when to slow down for the nursing home. He said he saw it , I slowed down and we turned in  the next  driveway for the nursing home. Zach looked back at  the hospice entrance behind us and commented "Guess they just pushed her over her in a wheel chair." I'm sure they didn't although  they could have but then couldn't have tacked on a three hundred dollar ambulance ride.

We found her room after asking at  the front desk. They have little pictures of who is in the room by  their door. Franny's room mate's picture wasn't too bad but Franny's was awful. They took it the day she moved in or shortly after and was in a hospital gown.  It didn't help her eyes were shut. We peeked into the room and they had the curtain drawn around her bed and could hear  the staff talking to her so we backed out to wait in the hall while they finished assisting her. It was almost noon and lunch trays were rolling down the halls.  Zach glanced at the picture of Frances by  her door once again, shook his head and said it looked like a mug shot.

We waited out in the hall for a while. A woman came by  with her lunch tray and stood to wait beside us. She finally went inside and came back out again with  the tray saying they were changing and getting her settled.

Zach told the woman he would be glad to hold the lunch tray and she quickly took him up on the offer.  We sat her milkshake on the tray and continued to wait while the more mobile old peeps wandered up and down the halls in their wheel chairs propelling themselves along with their feet. I told Zach  they must have tremendously strong calf muscles. We spoke to each and every one of them. Some spoke back, some smiled, some ignored us and some looked at us like "Get me out of here."

Don't get me wrong, it is a clean and well run facility...but it's still a nursing home.

After thirty minutes we went in to see Frances with Zach carrying her lunch tray and her strawberry milkshake.

Here's the thing. With her kidney's failing along with her circulation she has developed horrible (and I mean horrible) dark bruising on the back of her calves, one is even starting to bleed. They are extremely painful and there isn't much  the facility can do other than dressing the wounds and giving her pain meds. They were applying ointment to them when we went in (she was in a wheel chair) she was telling the aides "DON'T TOUCH THEM, THEY HURT."

I glanced over at  Zach and saw his eyes were brimming with tears. He held them back but could tell he was shocked. We were both behind her and since she can't hear leaned over the front of her wheel chair, kissed her cheek and pointed behind me to Zach. Her heart has taken a beating, her body  even more. She can't hear squat but her mind is still there. She smiled up at Zach with her tiny little teeth.

It hurt her when they dressed her leg wounds but once they left we rolled her tray over her lap to let her have lunch. Zach was rolling the tray forward when Franny shouted out, "YOU'RE ON MY TOE!" Zach was mortified, looked down and saw he was nowhere near her little feet. Franny looked up at him , squinted and smiled!

How this woman still has her sense of humor amazes me. She was thrilled about the milkshake, not so much about the lunch. We write notes to her on these little dry erase boards Cin and I bought her after one of her nephews bought her one. With Frances, you need at least three boards in the room at a time. She said she wasn't hungry, her legs were hurting and just wished they would leave her alone.

This time Zach and I both teared up. I got her to eat a few bites of corn and a tiny piece of something that resembled a Mac-rib. By this time another aide came in and asked me  to write that she had some pain meds for her legs.

I was sitting by  Frances smoothing back her full head of soft gray hair when Zach picked up  the dry erase board  and wrote "You have more hair than my Mom." She smiled, it filled my heart and I think Zach's too.

She barely ate but had a bit of the milkshake and just seemed relieved they were leaving her alone for a while.

Zach wrote  a couple more notes to her, some with  eyes brimming. He even wrote he loved her.  She told us the wheelchair was the most uncomfortable chair she had ever sat in. It didn't have  foot pedals attached so her feet, attached to her excruciating legs were simply dangling. An aide came in and found the foot pedals in a closet and said she would have someone come attach them to give her legs some comfort.

The aide had been gone from the room for five seconds when Zach  went over to her closet, pulled out the pedals and attached them both so when she was in her wheelchair could prop her tiny feet up.

We sat with her as the pain meds finally kicked in. I wrote to her and asked if she wanted to be in her bed? She squinted up and nodded. I went out in the hall , stopped the first employee I saw and told her my cousin wanted to get into her bed. They came in and helped her into bed. We stayed til she drifted off, both of us now with tears in our eyes.

I told Zach as we were leaving her room to promise they (my kids) would never put me in a nursing home . He looked at me and asked, do you want me to murder you? I said "Yes and thank you." He replied that didn't work out too well for Dr. Death, aka Dr. Kevorkian.

The thing is Frances has no immediate family members here in Georgia. The only immediate family she has left are two nieces and a nephew. They live in Texas, Tennessee and the Carolinas.

So we are all Franny has left locally. I totally understand that her nieces and nephew can't drop everything and be here twenty four seven. Even we can't be here twenty four seven but can come by  every day or so to check up on her.

I'm just hoping she had a bad day.

When we were in her room today, noticed they had brought her a newspaper. It had a big sticker on  the front of it saying it was compliments of the local funeral home. That pissed me off and if she does pass soon will make sure not to recommend that facility. When she was in hospice a realtor had dropped by  leaving his card as well. My sister  threw his card away.

So let me get this don't love or even know my relative but want to be the first in line to reap from their passing, if or when it happens?

I was really proud of Zach today. It's not easy visiting someone you love knowing it may be the last time you  see them or the last chance you have to tell them you love them. I saw  the loving side of Zach  today. I saw the caring side and I saw the vulnerable side. Frances just brightened up when she saw Zach today. I need to take her lead and do that more often.

Til next  time...COTTON

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Howdy, Autumn!

Summer is my favorite season but love Autumn too. I  drove into Atlanta today after work to get my Massey fix. I talk to her every day but being able to give her a hug makes all the difference in the world. I picked her up outside her dorm and we tooled over five minutes to Virginia/ Highland for a bite to eat.
It's a beautiful part of town with lots of boutiques, galleries and restaurants. I decided to take her to Murphy's, a place I used to frequent over twenty five years ago. It moved a few blocks from it's original spot and is triple the size it used to be but still really good. I was a little disappointed they didn't still serve the stuffed chicken breast with Dill but we each got a nice salad.
Mixed greens with seared rare Tuna, shaved jalapenos, ginger, green onion, radish, avocado and ginger shallot vinaigrette dressing. Massey had a steak salad with bleu cheese,  red onion, tomatoes and spicy croutons. It was a beautiful afternoon and we sat on the patio overlooking the quaint neighborhood. It's been two weeks since I've seen her but she is really growing up...too quickly! We had a wonderful conversation and caught each other up on what's been going on.
Somehow, someway my little girl has become a young woman within what seems like the blink of an eye. She's loving the college life, making lots of new friends and enjoying this marvelous adventure. They had Georgia State night at Zoo Atlanta  this past weekend and she showed me all her pictures.

She's been walking all around the campus and city close by. I felt myself tearing up when I looked at  the smile on her face in the pictures. They were happy tears though.

Their dorm room overlooks the city and I love what they did to their window!

That's right little girl, seize YOUR day! We window shopped after dinner and stopped by CVS to pick up a few things on the way back to her dorm. I'm not quite sure how we went from this...
to this ...
but it certainly doesn't feel like it's been almost two decades. Yes, I'm tired and yes I work too much but spending three hours with her and seeing her look so happy makes it all worth while. Massey asked me how I was holding up working seven days a week and told her I choose to think of it as being off from the restaurant three days a week and being off from the mattress store four days  week. She agreed that was a good way  to look at it. I dropped her off at the dorm and watched her walk in. I had to roll down my car window one more time before she walked back in the door to her new home and holler from the red light across the street "I love you!" She laughed and said she loved me too. It's the little things that make you happy.

I got home a little after dark and don't have to be at work again til Monday night. Our new mattress is like a dream! The old one was almost as old as Massey and as worn out as I feel  sometimes.
My old mattress sat level with our night stands and as you  can see we've bumped up  quite  few inches. Ziggy , who is part kangaroo can hop right up. Charlie, on the other hand will never see  the top of our bed again. He needed a stool to get up on the old one. Ham was a little more than surprised when he first came into  the bedroom after we got it set up. He's blind so he thought he was jumping onto the same old bed. His face hit  about half way up the first time. He made it on the second try though. He may be blind but he can still jump. When I am standing next to the bed the top of the mattress comes up to about my waist.

 I bought the couple who gave us the mattress and box springs a gift certificate for our restaurant and they actually came in to eat last night. It was for forty bucks and my boss Barb gave me a discount on it. So now we're sleeping on a $3000 mattress (when it was brand new a few years ago)  for $30. I think that's  pretty good deal! I didn't wait on them but stopped by several times to chat with them. I told them how much we loved our new mattress and what a difference it made.

The husband said he loved their new mattress but the wife said she didn't really like it. She said it was hard as a rock.  For Pete's sake, the huge label on  the end of the mattress said "Ultra Firm." I felt okay about it because I didn't hard sell them at all (no pun intended) and actually SHE was the one to pick out that specific mattress. He was looking at another one but she insisted on the ultra firm. I told her she should go buy a  pillow top or egg crate top for it. She sighed and said maybe it would break in soon. As I walked them to the door of the restaurant I hugged both of their necks and told them once again thanks for the mattress and box springs and that we absolutely loved  it.

The woman looked at me and said "Please quit saying that."  I think she was kidding...I hope she was kidding. It's hard to tell with old peeps. I told her if it didn't get more comfortable, sell it on Craig's List and buy another one. The mattress alone they bought retails for $2799 not to mention $200 for the box springs. They got the set for $1099. I told her to call me if she wanted me to help her sell it.

I think they will be fine. The man loves it and he's the one who paid for it. I know I'M happy with mine! I came home from work and stretched out on it for thirty minutes before heading to Atlanta.

Going to visit my Diddy's cousin, Frances tomorrow morning and cutting the back yard tomorrow afternoon before work. Frances was in  hospice but believe it or not the tough old bird isn't getting  any worse so they have moved her to the nursing home. My sister went by  to see her the other day when they moved her and Frances hollered (she's deaf) to the social worker "WHY'D THEY MOVE ME HERE?" The social worker told Frances that hospice was for patients  who are dying and she isn't getting worse. Frances, always the thinker hollered back "WELL WHY DIDN'T YOU PUT ME HERE TO BEGIN WITH?" The social worker replied that they didn't have room for her at  first and Frances came right back with a loud "WE PASSED ABOUT SIX EMPTY ROOMS WHEN THEY BROUGHT ME IN HERE!"

My sister said the social worker didn't have an answer for  that one.

 Cindy said before she left she asked Frances if she needed anything and as usual Frances said no. Then my sister asked if maybe she would like a milk shake next time? Frances said that would be nice. My sister asked what flavor and Frances said it didn't matter. Cindy was getting ready to leave when Frances looked up and Hollered "DON'T GET CHOCOLATE."

Zach's going with me in the morning to see Franny, take her a strawberry milk shake and then treating me to lunch.
It's nice spending time with your kids especially when they don't mind hanging out with an old fart.
It's hard to believe my oldest is twenty seven and my youngest is eighteen. Time flies by  way too quickly my my daughter's dorm room window reminds us all, "Carpe Diem."

Til next  time...COTTON

Friday, September 20, 2013

What is it About a Full Moon?

I never believed in the whole "Full Moon" theory until I started waiting tables. In other words, I've been believing in it for thirty four years now. This was a big one, the Harvest Moon and the equinox is Saturday...double whammy!

My sweet bro in law came over with his truck today and we went to pick up the mattress from my customer yesterday at  the mattress store. A gentleman and his wife bought a new king set from me and needed to get rid of their other one that was five years old. Our mattress is going on eighteen and been bad for ten. I told the man I would take it and even give him a gift certificate for the restaurant. On the way to the man's house my bro in law said "What if the mattress looks crappy?" I told him our mattress looked so crappy that even if this guy's was old it would be new to me and thirteen years newer.

We got there and I was highly relieved. The mattress was spotless, looked like new and so did the box springs. They had kept the mattress in a mattress cover and it looked brand new.

Now that I am a mattress aficionado (not really but am learning) and saw that it was a Simmons Beauty Rest king size pillow top I knew we hit the jack pot. They retail with box springs for almost three grand.

We loaded up  the mattress and box springs, drove them home and dumped them in my garage.

I told the man I would drop off a gift certificate for the restaurant and leave it in his mailbox. I'll work  that one out later.

I got ready for work two hours early and decided to try and find the BBQ place again from last week.
It seemed a lot closer this time since I knew where I was going. Zach checked my radiator for me before I left and Tim had added two quarts of oil. CHECK!

When I reached the point where I turned around last week it took me less than a minute to reach  the BBQ place. (yes I'm a dummy) The wife was behind the counter and recognized me immediately. The sandwiches were only three bucks a piece so I  got five. One for me, Len, Barb, a server who did me a favor last week and one to take home for Zach.

I got to work ten minutes early with a big bag of goodies! It was slow. The fair opened this weekend. You know, the small town kind. I'm not sure what's scarier, the people operating the rides or the fact   they were most probably the people who put the ride together. I got lucky and my few peeps loved me!

I told Barb about my mattress adventure and asked her if she would let me have a discount on a gift certificate. I was smart and did this as she was eating the BBQ sandwich I had bought her. Of course she did.

I came home from work hoping to find the mattress and box springs gone out of the garage and up in my bedroom. No such luck. I came home to an empty house with three dogs. I called Tim and asked where he was? He said he had just got finished working with another guy and was on the way home so I couldn't blame him.

Tim had been on the fence about the whole mattress thing until he came home and saw what a great mattress it was. He immediately went upstairs to the third floor and took our old bed apart. He marched down the box springs one by  one. He dragged the old mattress into  the living room on the second floor and went into the garage to bring up the new box springs.

I really didn't want to help but Zach wasn't home.  I let Tim do it alone until he was wraslin the huge king size mattress into the house.  I was thinking along the lines of "I helped the old dude load up his new king size matt and boxes yesterday, swung the deal for us to get  this new one, picked them up  today, bought the guy a gift certificate so pretty much I've done my part."

Tim seemed okay with that line of thinking and really didn't ask for help until he shoved the huge mattress through the kitchen door from the garage. I helped him get it up  to  the third floor, then  announced  I had broken three nails and had just painted them yesterday. I'm not girly about a lot of things but like my nails to look nice.

Our old mattress didn't really bother me that much but then again I don't even weigh a hundred pounds. Tim weighs over two hundred and that makes quite a difference. Actually it makes such a difference that I have never seen Tim so determined. He pushed, he pulled, he tugged and once he got it to the third floor I helped again.

Dang! The mattress sits over  twice as high as our old  sagging almost twenty year old one and feels like heaven on box springs! Charlie couldn't even jump up onto our last one without a step stool and will never see the top of this one unless we install a doggy ladder. Ham might be able to once he blindly jumps into the side of our new one a few times. Ziggy leaps up onto it like it's nothing, I swear he's a black kangaroo.
To give you  a gauge to  go by, my night stands are two feet high. I was worried  about brokering this deal but once I saw the shape and condition of the set  was thrilled. Thirty bucks for a king size Simmons Beauty Rest Pillow Top mattress , box springs included? Yep  I got a deal!

Going to see my Diddy's cousin, Franny in the morning. She's refusing to die, not getting worse so the hospice shipped her back to their nursing home. A nursing home isn't the bomb dot com place to be but beats the heck out of being in hospice aka the prelude  to your funeral.

I'm starting to feel upbeat again. Tim has a lead on a full time job, Massey is loving college life. Zach's doing great, TJ is amazing me living halfway  around the world and if  things all work out before you know it I will have a day off. Climbing up into that big ole fluffy  bed will help too.

Til next  time...COTTON

Thursday, September 19, 2013


The day started out shaky. Number one somebody stole my balloons from out front. I don't take that lightly.   One of my phobias is balloons popping unexpectedly and every morning when I fill them from the helium tank, I have my eyes squinted half shut and a grimace on my face especially when   tying them off. They just seem to help draw folks in, kinda like "Hey, it's a party!" so I do it every day.

I was ticked when I walked by  the front door and they were gone. It was busy today. I had lots of peeps coming in and even had two different people leave and then come back.

We have some really high end king mattresses we got from Macy's which retailed for around $3000. We are selling them as is for $1099 and include the two box springs. (which  would be another $200) Most of them are Stearns and Foster, Simmons or Serta.

Around three a nice looking couple walked into the store. They were older than me but was hard to tell how much older because they were black. I know I should say African American but  never did when I was a kid and never mean anything derogatory by it.  What I mean by it is that black people hold their age a heck of a lot better than us white peeps. White people you  can see all their blue veins and age spots.

They settled on a Stearns and Foster. The wife said they had a Simmons but she didn't like it.  They asked if we had delivery and I said we had a third party who delivers. I asked how far  they lived from the store and he said Lora Smith Road. My kids went to elementary school on Lora Smith Road (less  than three miles from my house) when I was a lunch lady, then an after-school assistant coordinator. I told them  they would be better off borrowing a truck and I would help load it.  The gentleman said he had a truck at  his house and could go get it. The wife asked "Well what are we going to do about the mattress we have?"   I told them I lived near there and added  "Heck I'd love to have it!" just (kinda) kidding. The mattress Tim and I have is a king but we bought it over seventeen years ago and in the words of Jed Clampett  is "Just pitiful."

Okay so maybe this would freak some folks out. Well it didn't freak out me. These people were amazing. I asked the man while typing up his work order his name and said  his last name was Smith. I commented that he also lived on Lora Smith Road and he said yes, that was my father.

WOW! I knew that Lora Smith was a man who grew up here and his relatives still owned all  the property from  the elementary  school up to highway 34 on both sides. I shook his hand and told him I felt like I was meeting part of history.

Then my history lesson began. He said when he was a boy Highway 34 was a dirt road. It is now the busiest highway in our city or maybe even the county. He said his father grew or raised everything they ever needed. His father had cows for milk, chickens for eggs, fields  full of every vegetable they could want. He said his father never worked for any one other than his self. He cobbled shoes, he drove trucks and  did about every  thing imaginable and his family not only survived  but prospered.

 Now we're talking about a hundred years ago, in the deep south, in turbulent and brutal times, especially if you  were black.

To me this is simply incredible. Now a hundred years later his son is still living on the land his father owned, surrounded on both sides of the road by  other relatives which probably now still encompasses well over a hundred acres.

Somebody needs to write a story about this family! He and his wife were  two of  the most sincere nicest and happiest people I have ever had the good fortune to meet.

He bought the mattress and left to  go home and get his truck.
Last night I had a Latino couple come in late with their father looking for a twin mattress, box springs and frame. They said they would come back today  to pick it up. While my new friend went home to get his truck  the Latinos came back in a van to pick up the twin mattress. They all three came back along with a teen in tow.

I rang them up and told them to drive around back so we could load. We had to lay all the seats down just to be able to put the mattress, box springs and frame in the van. I asked where the other two were going to ride home and they acted like it was not an issue so I just let it go. Super nice folks as well, they own a Mexican restaurant in town and told them I would come eat there. I love me some good Mexican food.

Not ten minutes later my other friend was backing up to the loading area to pick up his king size mattress and box springs. The bed was a display model so we had to wrestle it back into the bag. Let me tell you, they come out of the plastic bag much easier than they go in. The mattress alone weighed twice what I do and then some. This man was 75 years young and man handled that mattress like it was nothing. Me, I was sweating like a pig. I apologized but pulled my shirt tail out (felt like tucking it under my bra) and after ten minutes of 'Wraslin' got it wrapped and moved to the back door. We chatted the entire time between me huffing and puffing. He said he had taught school for a while, drove a big rig for a bit, graduated from a seminary and was a minister for a while.

I thought I was going to faint as we pulled, rolled and lifted  the mattress into the back of his truck. He never broke a sweat and he is in his seventies and was wearing long pants and a collared shirt.

He  asked if I still wanted his old mattress and  said "Yes please." I told him I would figure out some kind of way  to pick it up tomorrow and God bless him  he said if I couldn't he would bring it to my house.

Now bringing home someone else's mattress might freak some picky people out, but not me.  In the span of a couple of hours I learned this man's history and story. His niece was a teacher at the elementary school my kids went to and I knew her well.

I told him we would come to his house tomorrow to pick up  the mattress and box springs and thanked him once again.

He tapped his chest with his finger and said to me "If you don't have Him in here, you're not going up there" and pointed upwards.

What a crazy day. When he left I collapsed onto the nearest mattress and cut the A/C on  for fifteen minutes, granted I had it set  for 82 but  felt wonderful.

 Some people may be grossed out by me accepting the gift of a used mattress. I felt blessed to have the offer.

So I'm through slinging mattresses til next week , after I help wrasle my new one home on Friday.

God is good. We're living on the fringe here but know  having this new/old mattress and box springs is one more of His blessings. I know meeting Mr. Smith was.

You  can't hard sell when you are in my line of work if you want to succeed. You sell yourself first and then everything else will fall into place.

Til next  time ...COTTON

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Monday the 16th was my Friday the 13th

I woke up Monday morning and felt like I had been run over by a train. I'm good for about three weeks working every day but then need to crash for about twelve hours and let my body catch up. Lucky for me I have a tiny body so twelve hours is about all it takes. I woke up before eight, decided that was way  too early to get up then remembered I needed to cut the back yard. I gave myself til nine but by  then the news about the Navy yard killings was all over CNN so I gave myself another hour to catch up on that horrific tragedy. By ten my bed and pillow felt so good it would have been another tragedy to even sit up so I didn't. I knew I should be cutting the back yard because Monday was the last chance to cut before Friday. I'd be at the mattress store ten hours a day Tuesday through Thursday. I got my front yard cut so at least the part neighbors can see looks good. The dogs are the only ones who really use the back yard behind the privacy fence and so far not one of them have complained so I bumped that to my Friday list of things to do before working at the restaurant Friday night. Problem solved. Around two I started feeling better or maybe just guilty,  got up feeling refreshed and ready to go. I had to be at work by  five and wanted to drop off some Turnip Green soup to a good friend of mine who has been under the weather.

Last weekend while working at  the restaurant I waited on a young couple who after chatting with  told me they owned a BBQ place in Franklin, a town just down the road a bit. (her words not mine) I told her I loved good BBQ and by this time it was late in the evening. I was the closing server and the owner stopped by  the table to chat with them too. They had never eaten creme brulee but tried ours and we make a mean one. Len (my boss) was giving the husband the recipe for it while I chatted with the wife about how to get to their place. These were her seemingly simple directions, verbatim. Go to the end of Franklin highway turn right and we are on the left. Sounded simple enough. Told her I'd stop by Monday before work and get Len and me a BBQ sandwich. They left me a twenty dollar tip on a sixty dollar tab so I made a mental note to be sure and remember to stop by before work on Monday.

I left my house before three and dropped off the soup to my friend. I told her I couldn't stay I had to run an errand before work at five and headed towards Franklin highway.  I knew exactly where it was but have never really gone down it.

I started down the highway and my radiator light came on. No problem, I'd just pull into the next  gas station and put water in it. The next gas station was over eight miles down the road for Pete's sake! I got out and let the car cool a bit while I walked around looking for a water hose. No hose. Once again, not a problem. I keep a handy gallon water jug in the back seat but it wasn't even half full so I walked into  the store and asked the nice Indian (dot not feather) behind the counter if I could use his restroom to fill the container for my car? Super nice guy. He said sure and pointed me in the direction. I opened the door, the light was off but could see  the sink on the far back wall. As  the door started closing I flipped the light switch, the poop fan came on but was standing in total darkness the  second the door shut. I tried stretching my leg behind me to keep  the door open but it was one huge room. I went back into the store and saw a water fountain. Once again, problem solved.  I crammed the jug underneath the tiny spout and pushed the button. The water dribbled out like a  dripping faucet. I was starting to get irritated.

When I left the restaurant Sunday night reminding Len I was going to get us some BBQ sandwiches Monday his wife, Barb was standing in the office too and told me NOT to be late on Monday because she wouldn't be there til later on. I thought about that as I waited for  the water to dribble into the jug.

Now I was getting nervous. It took forever and a day to fill the jug halfway and the fountain was so small that's all I could get in it anyway.

I poured the water in.  Waited for it to go down, poured more, waited for it to go down then topped it off. Now we were getting somewhere!

Got back in, the light was off and so was I. I kept going a few miles, passed the turn off for where they hold the Powers Crossroads festival every year and always considered  THAT event a bit far away from my house. Ten minutes later I passed a sign saying I was entering another county (Heard County) and almost turned around, then thought to myself it's probably just over the next hill. I crested the next  hill and saw three more hills in front of me. By  this point it was almost four thirty. I thought if I could make it to the place in two minutes, order and be back on the road in two more I'd be okay.

Then I  could hear Barb's voice in my head "DON'T BE LATE ON MONDAY." I  finally came to  a red light and was in a town square. They had a sign pointing towards Bowden and knew that was the last town before the Alabama border. I was hoping to see a dead end sign and turn right and see my destination on the left, no such luck. The road ahead was yet another hill so decided to cut my losses, turn around, be on time for work and save my job.

I got almost back to Newnan when my gas light came on so screamed into a gas station to pump a quick five hoping it would get me to work. Gas was sky high so just bought a pepsi because I was sweating to death. I was scared  to  run the A/C with lights coming on for the radiator and thought if I drove with my fingers crossed and windows down would make it to work.  I was paying the attendant when someone tapped me on the back. It was a guy who used  to cook for us and  WAS from Heard County. I told him my story and he laughed, then said which I already knew by his laugh, "You were one minute from the BBQ place."

At least I got to work on time albeit without my BBQ sammiches. Len laughed at my story and said people who  live way out in the country make the drive so much it's nothing to them but when you  go somewhere for the first time and have never been there it seems to take forever. He was exactly right.

I made  a pot of coffee, drank four cups and ate a box of  M&M's I had hidden in a cooler.

Then walks in round two of my nightmare. I had a party of seven women. It was a surprise birthday party in a private room. They stayed three hours and fifteen minutes. They were nice enough but  ran me ragged. It started when the last woman got there. She was late. (and large) We had them in a nice private room with tables covered with nice linen cloths. The tops are glass and just sitting on the frame with suction cups. Big girl went to get up and put both hands on the table to help her and flipped the entire table sending water glasses, silverware and everything else flying. I knew she was embarrassed but told her she wasn't the first person  to do that. They had appetizers and lots of cocktails and wine. (a good thing for me) Nothing runs a tab up more than alcohol and I was glad to oblige.

They  finally ordered but every single time I went into  that room someone needed something. and I mean some ONE.  One at  a time they asked for it.  A dish of lemons, another fork, another plate, extra salad dressing, red wine vinegar instead of balsamic, the list went on and on and dinner hadn't even been served yet.

I had described each and every dish  they ordered letting them know what it consisted of and tasted like.

I ran all the entrees with help from my two co workers and only had to go back to the kitchen five times to grate more Parmesan cheese for them. Sheesh, no pooping from them for a while.

I went back to see how everyone liked their meal when one lady looked up with a sour face and said hers was too sweet. I felt like saying, maybe it was the brandy cream sauce or the Marsala wine the dish was made with, DUH! Then another woman said hers wasn't right and then the birthday girl joined the revolt. You  can't  argue with  the guest of honor so I toted back three entrees, over forty dollars worth of food and they each ordered something different that someone else at  the table was eating and said was delicious.

I know this restaurant, I know Len and I know what quality of food they put out and here's the biggest  thing. We aren't a huge corporate industry. They just cost a Mom and Pop shop over forty dollars plus remaking three more entrees. I was nice , even bit my tongue apologized and asked if the new entrees were better? I had to go back for two more shakers of Parmesan but they were finally happy. I started  to look around the room for a hidden camera or half expected John Quinoes to step into  the room telling me I was on an episode of "What Would You Do?" He never showed up.

I usually don't add a suggested gratuity but got nervous. They had taken up my entire night and only had three other tables, who suffered because I was constantly having to get or fix something for my ladies.

I took the check after three hours and fifteen minutes of intense laboring and crossed my fingers. They even left me ten extra bucks so all in all  was worth it, but a lot of work. They marched out the door and I went in to clean  the room. I looked for  the credit card slip and couldn't find it on the table.


Lucky for me  they were yappers like I am and were in the parking lot talking. I asked the woman who signed if she could check and see if she had the merchant copy? She did have it in her pocket and apologized. I'm sure she didn't mean to take it but that was my paycheck for  the night and I needed it.

Then round three of my nightmare began.

We close at  nine thirty and I didn't leave til almost eleven. I knew I was almost out of gas but knew I could probably make it to the Asian Stasian. It's the Chevron station closest to the restaurant owned and run by the nicest hardworking Asian family. The parents eat at our restaurant and the sons have wonderful manners, their gas is just too high. I usually go to Kroger about a mile away but they close at  eleven and I was,  as Jackson Browne said "Running on Empty."

I went inside and paid for ten bucks so I could sleep  ten more minutes in the morning and not have to get gas til I got off work Tuesday night.

I went back out and started the pump. It pumped sixty two cents and cut off. I went back inside and the son  told me they had run out of gas earlier but the supplier had been by and  filled them up so maybe I should move to another pump. I pulled up  to the next  one, he credited the pump and I tried again. I got to a dollar sixty and it cut off again. Walked back inside reminding myself I liked this family a lot. He apologized and said to  drive over to  the other end if I didn't mind. I went all the way to pump one, I had started at  pump twelve. I got out and started again, this time getting seventy cents worth. That's right, I tried one more pump getting ninety cents worth and when I went back inside he apologized yet again, gave me the cash difference back and I screamed down the road to Kroger  as they were turning out the lights. At least I had once again dribbled enough liquid into the car to get me from here to there.

You  just can't make this stuff up! Well you could but it wouldn't be as funny.

I got home and was exhausted then unfortunately looked at  the calendar on the wall in the kitchen. It was the night to put out the four TV's the Kidney Foundation was going to pick up early Tuesday morning. None of them worked and they were willing to take them all giving me much more garage space, guess they sell them for parts. I dragged two out and even managed to drag the sixty  two inch wide screen that quit working well over a year ago out. It's not like you have to be careful when moving a non working TV. The last one was too heavy  for me so I  went upstairs and woke Zach to move it. It's not like I was giving away flat screens. These were all big heavy sets with huge tubes in the back but at least I was getting rid of them...for free and somehow someway helping the Kidney Foundation.

Barb had given me half a bottle of red wine from behind the bar. If it's dated over four days old she calls it not fit for guests and gives it to me. I poured one glass,  tasted fantastic and tumbled into bed.

I don't think I've had a day that crazy in quite a while, but there's always tomorrow.

Til Next  time...COTTON

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Tomorrow is Friday and Tuesday is Monday

Life's been crazy round here. In other words "same ole same ole." I kinda like having a crazy life, beats the heck out of a dull one. Work was pretty slow today, Falcons game at one killed the brunch business but walked out with more money  than I walked in with and that's all that matters. Packed up a box of stuff for  Massey  to mail tomorrow and made another pot of the soup I made yesterday. I swear it's amazing, and SO easy.

Turnip Green Soup

1 large can of Margaret Holmes seasoned turnip greens
1 can chicken broth
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can of black-eyed peas (drained) I used Black eyed peas with bacon and jalapenos
1 can of navy beans (drained)
1 can of kidney beans(drained)(or any beans of your choice)
1 lb. smoked sausage (I used Chorizo)
1 large onion

In a large pot add the first six ingredients, Then Sauté 1 lb smoked sausage chopped into bite size pieces and 1 large chopped onion until sausage is browned. Add sausage and onion to turnip green pot. Heat for 30 minutes or longer to let it cook and the flavors blend.

By far one of the best and easiest recipes I've ever found.

House work has fallen to the wayside with my work load. I keep  the laundry up with help from Zach and Tim and we all help do the dishes but mopping a floor has turned into a laughable offense. I prefer spraying Mr. Clean with Febreze on the floor and mopping up whatever needs to be cleaned with my foot on top of a beach towel. It's worked pretty good so far.

I got home from work today  around four and sat on the couch next  to Zach for a few minutes before he left for work. I could have just nodded off then but still had to go grocery shopping and wanted to fix another pot of soup.

When I got back, Zach was leaving for work . The old lap top Tim uses for  job searching was on the fritz and he had his buddy who is a computer whiz on the phone trying to fix it. Tim isn't very  computer savvy so I told him to let me talk to Rick. (our personal IT and Tim's best  friend) I got on the phone and told Rick that Tim had trouble trying to play PONG on the Atari. Tim let that one slide as he stood behind me while I downloaded the program for Rick to take over our lap top and fix the problem. Tim said from behind me "Ask Rick where he was twenty  three years ago today?" I just ignored Tim, thinking it was probably a concert they both went to. Ended up, Rick had to come over to our house to fix the problem and Tim asked Rick  the question again. I looked at  Tim like he was an idiot and almost said as much when he said "You were at our wedding, we've been married twenty  three years today."

Oops...who's the idiot now?

Poor Tim has put up with me and my big mouth for twenty five years, been married to me for twenty  three and lived to tell the story. We had  a great nineteen year run, then hit the skids but did it together and have remained  together. That's why they ask "For richer or poorer?" At least I was listening then!

I have finally realized that all  the sayings my parents taught me as a child are oh so true. Take the good with the bad. What goes around comes around. Remember the Golden Rule. Never prejudge. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Choose your battles wisely. And most of all...I love you and always will.

I was a really ugly kid, looked like Beaver Cleaver in drag, and what are those bangs doing?
I didn't improve much in five years but at least  had a pretty sister and an older brother to stand up for me.

I had the best childhood a kid could ever dream of. I had the best parents a kid could ever want.
I have the best  brother and sister.
My parents were just as in love the day my momma died as when they were when they married.
We all grew up together knowing nothing but happiness.
My Momma was a beauty inside and out, my Diddy  adored her and they had three lucky kids. I was fortunate enough to be one of them.
I had so much positivity around me as a kid that I'm still good now, thanks to my parents.

I've been with Tim over a quarter of a century. We've been through  all the vows.

Groom: I, Tim take thee Kelly to be my lawful wedded Wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.
Bride: I,Kelly take thee Tim to be my lawful wedded Husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to  cherish,  till death us do part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I give thee my troth.

Well we've been "throthing" along for twenty three years now and there is certainly something to be said for that!

He loves me and I love him. We have three kids together and are all so different it makes a nice mix.

If we've made it this far, no telling how far we can go.

Guess I'll go let him out of our walk in closet where he is probably sitting in a fetal position banging his head against the wall screaming "Why me?"

Life's tough, nobody ever said it wouldn't be. You have to roll with the punches and come up swinging.

“It's not about what it is, it's about what it can become.” (Thank you Dr. Seuss)

Here's to twenty three more!

Til next  time...COTTON

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Still a Night Owl...But a Wise One

Had to close at  work tonight, didn't get off til  after eleven and made my daily run to the grocery store on the way home. I've been finding a lot of great looking recipes on Facebook lately and have expanded my dinner options. Today I made a yummy pasta shrimp salad for lunch before I went into work and made a pot of Turnip Green soup when I got home tonight for tomorrow.
 The shrimp salad was good but next  time will add a few of my own ingredients to it. I think sun dried tomatoes would be a good addition or roasted red peppers.

 It was pretty slow tonight at work...stupid college football games killed us but I hung in there til the end and walked out with a decent paycheck. I was hanging out at  the bar with the owner and the bartender waiting on my last table to leave. I was telling them about visiting Frances yesterday in the hospice and thought about something that made me chuckle and told my boss and the bartender about it.

Yesterday when my sister and I went to pick  up  the dry erase boards for Frances, we stopped at a drive in a friend of mine from high school told me about. They have awesome burgers and hot dogs. Griffin is a little country town about twenty five minutes away from where I live. It's biggest claim to fame is that Atlanta Motor Speedway is right up the road but it's still small town America.

Cindy had never eaten there so I suggested we go. Every person besides us who came in they all knew by name. Cindy asked what she should order and I suggested a slaw dog but told her the burgers were good too. We decided to each get a burger, share a slaw dog and get one order of fries and one order of rings. Number one we sounded like idiots when we ordered,  we had the entire "What should we order" talk right in front of the woman taking our order. She was a really friendly black woman...we liked her immediately. When we stepped up  to the counter my sister asked how she was doing and the woman replied "I'm doing marvelous, and yourself?"

She wasn't  "Okay" or "I'm alright" she was "I'm doing marvelous." We bungled our way through the ordering process wearing her out but she smiled through the entire order and we went to find a place to sit. Being a server I didn't want to take up a big table for the two of us but ALL the tables were big so we settled on one way off to the side. We sat across from each other and chatted while they cooked our food. When the food came out my sister said if we were sharing we should sit by each other so I moved around to her side of the table.  We were sitting there in small town America when I looked over at my sister, who's hair is just as short as mine and said I bet they are all commenting to each other "Look at those two old lesbians having them some lunch." That's all it took...I grabbed the ball and ran with Cindy close behind me.

She was out of tea and since I was on the outside of the table in the now getting crowded diner told her I would get it. She said she would get it but I said "I'll get it for you, baby, I'll be right back" Not to be one upped, when I returned, put her tea on the table and sat back down , she turned to me...gave me a kiss on the lips  and said "Thanks sweetie."

Okay, so we're bad...real bad.

Let me state here and now if you are reading my blog for the first time; my sister and I are of the same mind set. We have many gay friends, relatives and realize what a difficult plight they endure, but think it is totally ridiculous.  To bash gays is like bashing someone with's simply who you  are and how God made you and if He thought it was okay, who are we to challenge or question it?

So us two ole fake lesbians held hands as we walked out of the burger joint. What makes this really crazy is that I kiss my sister on  the lips all the time anyway. I hold her hand (even though when Zach  was little said "You look so young Aunt Cin, but your hands look really old") and I am not gay.

People need to get  off their high horse. People need to live and let live. People need to concentrate on the important stuff and besides all that... who someone else loves is none of your business.

Til next  time...COTTON