Wednesday, October 30, 2013

We're Ready For Halloween!

Guess I'd better go buy some candy tomorrow, not so much  for the trick or treaters but just because it's Halloween and I have an excuse. A lot of people in our subdivision have lived here since we have so all our kids pretty much grew up together and are now all grown.

I've got my Peter Pan costume ready for work tomorrow and yesterday Zach told me he was going to a party and wanted to know if I would sew him one too. We went to Michael's and he got the felt so I took it to work with me today and whipped him one up, hat and all. I'll have to admit, my momma done good when she taught me to sew.

While Massey was still in high school she came home and told me she wanted to be a Panda for the trunk or treat at  the problem!
I just stitched it by hand but turned out pretty good.
So now Massey's away at  school and Zach's costume is made, mine too.

I didn't want my pups to be left out since they are my kids too. Ham's was pretty easy...

 Charlie decided to go as himself, since he thinks he's all that and a bag of chips...
Ziggy is going as an Alien, that boy's eyes are as wide apart as ET.
I'll just paint his first front toe nail red and teach him to hold it up when he barks for candy.

Sometimes I just like to make myself laugh.

I do miss when my kids were little and got all excited about their costumes. I stopped by  Party City tonight after work and picked Zach up a plastic knife for his belt on his Peter Pan costume. There was a little boy about four or five in front of me in line with his dad. The dad was looking at his phone when the little boy turned around to me and said "Hey!" I said hello back. He pointed to the bag his dad was holding,  a Superman costume and said "That's mine, I'm gonna be Superman."

Dang I miss my kids being little...until I remember all  the times they waited until the night before a project was due to tell me about it, and was always something that wasn't easy  to throw together.

I remember  many a Christmas Eve when I didn't get off from working  at a restaurant til late and came home ready to put out all Santa's presents only to find the kids still up.  I'd feel  their head and say "You  feel a little warm to me, we don't want you  to be sick when Santa comes" and give them  a dose of Benadryl.

Raising kids is wonderful. It's hard work but satisfying when they all grow up and become amazing young adults who are a positive addition to society. You  couldn't ask for more.

I have so many terrific memories about all three of my kids, my sister's kids and kids who grew up with them.

Not too many of you will remember this show, but I do...Heck, I lived it.  The  title of the show was spot on... "Kids say the Darndest Things."

I got three kids. They have aged me but have more importantly kept  me young at heart.

Hoping everyone has a Happy Halloween.

BOO YAH!!!!!!!

Til next time...COTTON

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

BOO to You!

This is my favorite Halloween cartoon.

So it's Halloween week once again. It was always such a fun holiday when I was a kid. By the time you were six or seven you could go out trick or treating alone with your friends and your parents stayed at was that safe and no one even had a cell phone. If they wanted you home they simply stood on the front porch and hollered your name. Boy have times changed.

By the time we moved to Newnan,  TJ maybe went trick or treating once, throwing a sheet over his head with two eye holes cut out and dragging around a pillow case for his candy bag but Massey and Zach were at the perfect age and enjoyed it immensely. I still have this picture framed and on my kitchen wall.

Not to be left out, I've had a few costumes of my own.
There was the year I was working at Western Sizzler  (as I now call it) and went to Waffle House and borrowed a complete uniform from a waitress who worked there. I thought the blacked out front tooth and hair net was a nice addition. I would greet every table with a loud "Good Morning!" The next year they banned us from wearing costumes.

The restaurant I work for now encourages us to dress up...gotta love a family owned business!
Made this costume myself for five bucks! I wore it two years in a row but this year I'll be Peter Pan at the Mattress store where I also work so I'm getting three years out of my five dollar investment! I guess I need  to  check and make sure it's alright but  can't see  them telling me no unless I was dressing as Miley Cyrus in her Twerking outfit.

My new funny Halloween fave is a video I saw on the Ellen show.

I laughed so hard I cried. I bet I have watched it ten times and still laugh every time! 

It's nice to be able to laugh again. I mean I always tried to keep my sense of humor but for a while there it was pretty tough going and not much to laugh about, although I had the crying part down pretty good for a short time.

Somehow, someway and with  prayers and help from many have reached the point where I truly think we can move forward from now on.

Sure we still have a few kinks to work out, like Massey's next three years in college or my dog's eye surgery or Tim landing a full time job but God is good and He will open the door when He is ready and holler for us to step through,  just like my parents used to holler for us to come home from our open front door when we were kids. I have no doubt about it!

Everyone have a Happy Halloween. Til next time...COTTON

Saturday, October 26, 2013


My high school had a get  together tonight. I really wanted to go, I went to a great school filled with wonderful folks. I hated that I missed it but duty called and  had to work.  I was going to go after work and hoped to sneak out by nine. No such luck. Busy as all get out, which on the other hand IS luck!

We don't even call them reunions anymore because for the past few years have been meeting at least once a year and sometimes more. We include and invite all classes. We usually have it at a pub in the town where we all graduated. Once a year we have a big blow out reunion at a hotel in the same town and there were literally hundreds and hundreds at  the last one I attended. My husband went with me to one of the big ones and said to me  after we got there, "Heck some of these people look like they graduated before I was born" ...and they did!

Here's the thing about the high school I went to. We were pretty much a strictly blue collar middle class school. There were a few peeps whose parent's had money but most all of us were in  the same boat, named "Working Class."

The city I grew up in had three high schools, I went to Russell. My father went to Russell (when there was only one high school) and graduated in 1942. There were two other high schools when I came along, Headland and Briarwood. Headland was our fiercest rival and their families had a bit more money than ours. Briarwood (where my husband graduated) was called the snob school because most of their parents had a butt load of money and spoiled their kids rotten, my in laws being two of them.

Russell was the poor school and was proud to go there. It was  the smallest of the three schools but I loved it.

When you  grow up without much you learn to appreciate even more. So now decades down the road we are all on equal turf. The economy is tough and neighborhoods have changed. The neighborhood I grew up in has survived the best. We were located right outside  the Atlanta city limits and people looking for a nice suburb not ten minutes away from downtown Atlanta have flocked to the area. It still has some depressed areas, what city doesn't? For the most part it is a city filled with many people who grew up and remained there. You have to expect crime issues when sitting on the outskirts of one of the largest cities in the south. I want nothing more than for the city I grew up in to continue to revive and grow.

I hate that I missed the "Shin-dig" tonight but know my former fellow classmates love nothing more than a get together and there will be another one to attend in a few months.

I planned on going, I wanted to go but simply couldn't so went to work instead and walked out with a pocket full of money that will help me get our car out of the shop on Monday.

Guess I'm still one of the poor peeps from Russell, but feel lucky to be one. The last few years have been tough on my family but have also been lucky enough to have not only my family but extended family  help us through the tough times and can finally see a distant horizon ahead which hopefully will lead back to prosperity.

Sounds crazy but am grateful to have been knocked and smacked back down to earth.

People who have everything sometimes have a hard time valuing anything.

We have what we need and have it because family, friends and even strangers loved and lifted us up.

We are on the cusp of being so freaking close to being almost not only caught up but inching ahead that it makes my  heart sing.

 "You've Got A Friend"

When you're down and troubled and you need a helping hand
and nothing, whoa, nothing is going right.
Close your eyes and think of me and soon I will be there
to brighten up even your darkest nights.

You just call out my name, and you know where ever I am
I'll come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call and I'll be there, yeah, yeah,
you've got a friend.

If the sky above you should turn dark and full of clouds
and that old north wind should begin to blow,
keep your head together and call my name out loud.
Soon I will be knocking upon your door.
You just call out my name, and you know where ever I am
I'll come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call and I'll be there.

Hey, ain't it good to know that you've got a friend? People can be so cold.
They'll hurt you and desert you. Well, they'll take your soul if you let them,
oh yeah, but don't you let them.

You just call out my name, and you know where ever I am
I'll come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call, Lord, I'll be there, yeah, yeah,
you've got a friend. You've got a friend.
Ain't it good to know you've got a friend. Ain't it good to know you've got a friend.
Oh, yeah, yeah, you've got a friend.

This man (for unknown reasons) has stuck by my crazy erratic self of a woman. He went to the snob high school, grew up privileged and spoiled but has since learned how truly hard it can sometimes be but has always done his best.

There will always be another get  together, us Wildcats are like that. We grew up happy and blue collar, we always had each  others back and always will.

I married me a snob from Briarwood and we rolled on that level for quite a few years, always moving ahead. Then we were knocked down so far we dreamed and longed for  the day we would be back up to Russell status!

I'm here to tell you, the Russell status is a pretty terrific place to be. We've had fierce rival Headland peeps and even the snobby Briarwood peeps help us. We've had strangers help us...simply said, "We've been helped."

So over  thirty years later I've come full circle. I started out lucky but not wealthy. The wealth I did have wasn't monetary but heartfelt and much more meaningful.

I wouldn't change one thing that has happened to me or my family. If I had, I would never realize how wonderful it is to be loved. I would never realize how amazingly right it is to "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

No worries, my classmates will have another get together and I'll go to that one. Tonight I go to bed thinking about how lucky and blessed I am to have the family, friends and people who care about me who have not only helped us over the hurdles but urged us on.

Yep...I'm one lucky Wildcat.

Til next  time...COTTON

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Turn Up the Freakin Heat

So  maybe I am exaggerating but absolutely detest cold weather, that's why I live in the south. Woke up this morning to go to work. Put on my shorts and work shirt and headed out the store with zero minutes to spare. Got to work and about got blown away when I got out of the car. I had my driver's license renewed in July and felt embarrassed to put down I weighed less than a hundred pounds so I fibbed and said I weighed three digits.

It's always hot at  work and when I have to load mattresses or furniture am glad I'm in short pants.

Today not so much. We don't run the heat or air so it's a sweat shop in the summer and cold as an igloo in the winter. I propped my front doors open and set out my sign with balloons attached and  within thirty  minutes I was freezing. The wind was crazy.

When I got out of my car to go into work I actually felt like I was skittering across the parking lot. Thank goodness I had my lunch box, my seemingly twenty pound work satchel and they weighed me down as I blew towards the door.

I immediately called home and asked my son to find the sweater my brother had given me last Christmas and bring it to me. Just like a man he said, "I'll be there in a little while." And more like a man , he wasn't.

Crap, I weigh ninety five pounds and was stupid enough to wear shorts to work after I watched the news and knew it was going to be a blustery day.

Needless to say my sweater never arrived. Instead my husband came by  on his way to an interview for a job and dumped off my son's bomber jacket. This was at two o'clock. I felt like an iceberg by this point. I had perched myself on a nice foam mattress and closed the doors after my sign blew over out front.

I don't do cold. I tucked my hands under my legs and  finally covered myself with a cover we put over the ends of mattresses so peeps can put their feet up. I finally warmed up around three and as the sun moved over the store and began to shine on the front side of the building. The temp in the store built up to a much anticipated seventy four degrees.

It's like a catch  twenty two. I suffer from hot flashes but hate to be cold.

It's bad enough  I'm too skinny and too stupid  to wear long pants but being cold absolutely takes the cake.

Now on top of everything else I have to dig out some black pants to wear tomorrow, the forecast is for temps in the thirties.

I was born in late July and  that's the temp I like.

One more day of my mattress gig to go and then it's back to slinging plates. I just feel lucky to be making ends meet and that's a lot more than millions are doing.

Once again going to bed feeling blessed and knowing how I should be  dressed in the morning.

Got my sweater, which I wanted today all ready. Got my pants on the hanger by the bedroom door and my confidence ready as well.

I am the little engine that could...and I will.

Til next  time, curling up and sleeping tight..tomorrow will be alright.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

It's a Small World

Finished my week as a server last night. It wasn't real busy but had a birthday party of ten and thankfully they took care of me. I'm always apprehensive about adding a suggested gratuity. We're allowed to but feel bad suggesting how much  someone should leave me. If I go out and they add a suggested 18%, that's all they get. I don't like people telling me what to do with MY money, however if they leave it blank and have given me great service I always tip over 20%. So I just gave the best service I could and rolled the dice. I've gotten burned doing that before but not often. The dad paid, it was his son's birthday, who looked to be around thirty years old. He left me 20% and I was grateful.

Woke up this morning as the mattress maven (that's what my sister calls me) and headed to my other job. Last week was dismal but the day started off pretty good. Lots of people seeming genuinely interested came in and before noon I had sold a mattress and box spring to a young couple who had just moved to town. I had another woman from last week come back in and feel confident she'll be back to purchase a king size set later this week.

Then a woman walked in to price some king size mattresses and we started chatting. She spent over a hour with me and I feel pretty good about her coming back. She grew up in the same town I did, albeit fifteen years later. We talked about her deadbeat ex husband and we talked about her losing a really good job a while back. She was really nice and we got along great. She talked about her kids and I talked about mine. I gave her my card and told her I would appreciate it if she came back one of the three days I was there and buy from me. I told her I had another job as a waitress (old school term) and if she wanted some good food come by  there as well. She asked me where I worked and I told her. Then she said, "I've heard of that place. Last night some friends of mine came by  my house after a birthday party there for their brother and said the food was fabulous." I asked her what their last name was and when she told me I knew it was my party from  last night. I always get out my glasses and see the name on the card so when I take it back can say, "Here Mr. So and So, this is your copy and this one is mine. I appreciate your coming in and hope everything was great."

I told my new Bestie that I had waited on them! We both got a laugh out of that and then at  the same time said "It's a small world."

I feel like I'm sowing seeds at  the mattress gig and know it takes time for them to take root but am beginning to reap some reward. Three of my customers  today were people I have seen before and gotten to somewhat know. One returning woman even gave me a hug when she left. Hugs don't pay  the bills but make you  feel like you are making a difference and that's a pretty  good feeling.

I'm established at  the restaurant and have lots of people who specifically ask for me.  Now I am beginning to establish regulars at  the mattress store as well.

I was pretty down last week after bombing out but started this week off feeling pretty  good about myself as a salesperson.

Going in again tomorrow and hope the good vibes keep flowing.

People like it when you  take time to learn and listen to  their story rather than try and shove a sale down their least I do.

Wish me luck!

Massey's coming home from the university next  weekend and bringing two buddies with her.  Zach's  doing good, working and helping me out around the house. TJ's visa in Australia will be up in January and he'll be back state side.

Massey called me at work this morning and asked if I had seen what Zach had written on his FB page? I said no and she read me a status he had posted that made my day:

"No girl I have ever met in my life has the ability to make me as happy as my mother and that's why I'm still single."

I must be doing something right! And shout out to Zach, never settle for something, wait for the RIGHT something!

I feel better about my life already... Til next  time, COTTON

Friday, October 18, 2013


I stopped counting how many days in a row I've worked and started counting the days until my next  day off. Hurry up Thanksgiving!!

Had a bummer of a week at my retail job.  I'm keeping the faith though. I didn't sell but swear  the peeps who come in love me and will come back to buy. I just hope they don't come back in when I'm not there and if they do, mention me.

On top of that, work wasn't so great at the restaurant tonight either. It was a weird full moon and brought out all the crazies.

My first table was three ladies. They ordered  two appetizers so I was off to good start. When they ordered dinner the first woman ordered then the second one asked if she could split a meal with  the third woman? No problem, I said. They ordered one of Massey's favorite dishes, Chicken Lucia. Chicken breasts marinated in Mediterranean dressing and topped with sauteed  grape tomatoes, red onions, kalamata olives and topped with feta cheese. I asked if they wanted pasta or potatoes? One wanted pasta and the other wanted potatoes. For pete's sake you're splitting a meal, not side dishes. It took some talking but the cooks agreed to do it.

It went downhill from there. Sometimes  you  have a phat night and sometimes you are the bug on the windshield. I was the bug tonight. Everyone was busy except me. It doesn't help  that the hostesses are high school kids. Crap, we're lucky if they even show up for work. I make a point of not going to the host stand to pester them about how they do their job but when eight o'clock rolled around (been there since five) and I had three tables, I wanted to strangle somebody.

It's not like me to just stand around so for three hours ran everyone else's food and helped other servers who WERE busy.

I had to make myself get over it and did...after complaining to Barb and pointing out I had two customers and the other closing server had thirteen.

I had a rebound table and walked with over eighty bucks but it still ticked me off. I got my work done, and walked out shortly after closing. Actually it felt good to just be leaving early.

I'm pacing myself, I'm maintaining. When your current work week is from mid August until  Thanksgiving you have to allow yourself to go all crazy every once in a while.

It's been a tough week around here. Zach lost a friend, and when you are twenty one that's an especially  hard thing to deal with.

I'm just floating along, maintaining. Every morning I wake up I have to stop and think, am I a waitress today or a mattress salesman?

 If I'm a waitress (old school term) I can roll back over and sleep. If I'm a mattress salesman I jump out of bed  and  think of ways to get to work on time. Tim always makes me breakfast to take with me. I've learned I can take my make up bag with me and put on my face there and  cut down my getting ready time by  thirty minutes. That's thirty minutes more I can lay in bed.

The amazing  thing I HAVE learned is that a pillow against your face, in just the right position never feels as good as it does when you have to get up. When you need to get out of bed, the bed has never felt more comfortable. I've also learned that five more minutes in bed goes by way too quickly but is greatly appreciated.

I'm no rocket scientist but know now what small simple pleasures can do for a body...LOTS!

I'm a waitress again tomorrow so know that I can sleep until this tired old body needs to.

Then as Jackson Browne sings, "I'll get up and do it again... Amen."

When you are a wife, when you are a mother and when you have can do anything , and will.

The Pretender"

I'm going to rent myself a house
In the shade of the freeway
I'm going to pack my lunch in the morning
And go to work each day
And when the evening rolls around
I'll go on home and lay my body down
And when the morning light comes streaming in
I'll get up and do it again
Say it again

I want to know what became of the changes
We waited for love to bring
Were they only the fitful dreams
Of some greater awakening
I've been aware of the time going by
They say in the end it's the wink of an eye
And when the morning light comes streaming in
You'll get up and do it again

Caught between the longing for love
And the struggle for the legal tender
Where the sirens sing and the church bells ring
And the junk man pounds his fender
Where the veterans dream of the fight
Fast asleep at the traffic light
And the children solemnly wait
For the ice cream vendor
Out into the cool of the evening
Strolls the Pretender
He knows that all his hopes and dreams
Begin and end there

Ah the laughter of the lovers
As they run through the night
Leaving nothing for the others
But to choose off and fight
And tear at the world with all their might
While the ships bearing their dreams
Sail out of sight

I'm going to find myself a girl
Who can show me what laughter means
And we'll fill in the missing colors
In each other's paint-by-number dreams
And then we'll put out dark glasses on
And we'll make love until our strength is gone
And when the morning light comes streaming in
We'll get up and do it again
Get it up again

I'm going to be a happy idiot
And struggle for the legal tender
Where the ads take aim and lay their claim
To the heart and the soul of the spender
And believe in whatever may lie
In those things that money can buy
Thought true love could have been a contender
Are you there?
Say a prayer for the Pretender
Who started out so young and strong
Only to surrender

I still stand firm, I am one of the lucky ones.

Til next  time...COTTON

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I've Felt Sick All Day

Zach got  home from work last night around eleven. I was on the computer when he came into  the room and told me a boy he's known since elementary school had just died. Zach repeated kindergarten which means he was a year older than most of his classmates, this kid being one of them. That would make this kid twenty years old.

Sometimes good kids make bad choices.

I know I did. I know my own kids and all kids do. I was one of the lucky ones and my kids have been lucky ones. I learned  from my mistakes, sometimes the hard way but by my late twenties finally figured things out for myself. Zach struggled early. He has ADD and was a tremendous hurdle through most of his school years. He rebelled authority and authority beat him down instead of lifting and helping him up.

Once I started to worry about him in high school I first thought I was being an over protective parent. I have learned since, there is no such thing. If you think there is something amiss with  your kid, you are most probably right.

Zach detested me for a while but I never gave up. I'll never apologize for the snooping, creeping on his Facebook or reading his cell texts. Number one, I paid for his phone, Internet use and he was living under my roof.  All in all it was a two year battle which ended in me having to bail him out, literally. Some of his so called friends hated me but that was okay, it was Zach's love I was concerned about.

Zach made some bad decisions but just like the person I brought him up to be, manned up and paid for his mistake; albeit with encouragement from  the judicial system. The bottom line is, he was one of the lucky ones.

I still worry  about him, all parents worry but he has made me proud and continues to do so. He had to break away from a lot of his friends. He still has his besties and all still  hang out at  my house but was running with way  too many kids that simply weren't good for him. It didn't mean they were bad kids, they just weren't good for Zach to be around. You  can't simply change playgrounds, you have to change playmates. I went through the same thing in my twenties. It didn't mean I hated those people or judged  them, it simply meant I chose another path.

"You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
And  you are the one
who'll decide where to go.   (Dr. Seuss)

This kid was from a good family and  know his parents are absolutely and totally devastated...I know I would be.

After he and Zach quit running together I would still see him around town and he always spoke to me with  a smile, "Hey Ms. Cotton!"

He was a good kid who made some bad choices. Zach was lucky, this boy wasn't. This could have just as easily been my son's fate. This could have just as easily been my son. By God's Grace I still have my son and he's doing wonderful.

My heart goes out to his parents, my heart  goes out to  this kid.  My heart  goes out to every parent who prays their kid will turn out to be one of the lucky ones.

I thought about this all day long. It was on my mind and heart  all day and  simply couldn't quit thinking about this boy. Yes it's a tragedy and seems so senseless.

The only positive I can gleam from this is that maybe all the kids who knew and loved this boy (and he really was a sweet kid with a great smile) will look at  their own life and realize how very precious it is and how quickly that gift can be taken away.

Life has no guarantee or come with a warranty. There are no "Do Overs." This is it, you got one shot, take good aim.

Life is this immediate instant.

You may draw in a breath but not guaranteed to be around to even exhale. Life's that fleeting.

Yes I'm one of the lucky ones . I had three kids...
and still do.

Sincere and heartfelt condolences go out to this young man's family. May their son's passing be a lesson to us all...Life doesn't offer "Do Overs."

Geez, I wish for their sake it did.

Til next  time...COTTON

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

As Jed Clampett Would Say, "Pitiful... Just Pitiful"

Dang it, I've struck out the past two days at  the store and it ticks me off. I've had some people come by and seem very interested always promising to come back. I even had  two people call back to ask questions after they left and one guy come by twice. I still have tomorrow so I'll have to make it big could happen! I Facebook a lot of pictures and offers and have made three big sales just from social networking so maybe tomorrow will be MY DAY!

Then you  get that ONE person come in. She was in her sixties wearing her bedazzled jeans, wrists loaded with bangles, fingers weighed down by  tacky rings big  as a watch, a watch  that was even bigger and the strongest smelling perfume I've ever smelled. I could still smell it a hour after she left.

She didn't want to buy, I think she simply wanted a friend. She got me.

My LAWD, she talked for almost a hour. Her husband (Richard, I learned) was at  the Dollar Tree next door. He needed a comb and she told him  to go right on in there and get him one. At first I was pumped, she started out talking about how they had spent three thousand dollars on a Temperpedic and it killed her back. She tried out every mattress in the store and told me a different story while on every bed she tested.

 I finally got tired of following her around when she launched into the story of her only  pregnancy at  the age of twenty one which ended in a miscarriage. I plopped down on a huge memory foam mattress (my favorite one) and asked if she minded me laying down for this one?

She didn't bat an eye, just came over and joined me on the king size bed. Then I heard all about the forty acres they own and always intended to build  but the time just never seemed right. They are still in a subdivision, but  you'd never know it. They said  they were going to put up a sign for the subdivision when they built but never did. You just have to look for the street sign.

Once she got comfy on the bed beside me I heard all about her aunt who died out of the blue. She never knew her aunt was sick, she seemed healthy but just like that she was gone. She wished she had known her aunt was feeling poorly because she would have gone down to her house and taken care of her.

Then Richard (her husband) walks into  the store looking for her. I asked him  to show me the comb he bought but he was looking at his phone. I didn't know a Jitterbug had text capacity but he looked busy so I left him alone. She told him to come try out the bed we were on, which immediately got me up.

Then she started telling Richard all the things she had been telling me. I heard all  the stories yet again and after her asking for his input, he had nothing to say but continued to stare at  the screen of his phone.

Then she launched into  a story about a woman at her church who was helping with Wednesday night dinner when somebody spilled grease on the floor and didn't bother to wipe it up. Poor old Inez, who already had a bad hip slipped on it and has been laid up ever since.

I started thinking to myself that probably wasn't  even a phone Richard was carrying around.

Then after she told me about their trip to Biloxi with a bed in the hotel room so uncomfortable it made her own bed feel like heaven. I had to stop her before I killed her. (totally kidding)  I told them it had been great chatting with them (her) but guessed I had better get back to work.

Then she said the most bizarre thing. (like the rest hadn't been bizarre enough) She wanted to know when I worked and told her Tuesday through Thursday.  She said "Will you be here about six months from now?"

I  told her probably so and she finally followed Richard (who was still looking at his pseudo  phone) out the door.

I'm no doctor (although I could play one on TV)  but almost feel like Richard  takes her out places to save his OWN sanity.

I didn't sell squat but had plenty of spare time and think I made a woman who's mind is in the beginning  stages of "Exit stage left" pretty happy and gave Richard a hour off.

I didn't make any money, I didn't make a sale but  made a woman happy for one hour.

Not sure what the commission is for that but it ought to be something.

So maybe it wasn't a total loss for me today, it certainly wasn't for my new friend who never even told me her name. I'm not sure she knows it either but at least she was happy for one hour.

Til next  time...COTTON

Monday, October 14, 2013

Poor Tim

I am married to the most patient man on earth, except when it comes to me. I'll be the first to admit I am partly to blame. He's all laid back and I'm all "In Your Face!"

Perfect example. I was getting ready for work the other morning in our bedroom. It was early and kind of chilly outside. I was sitting on the bedroom floor in front of the little mirror I use to put on my face and asked Tim to turn off the overhead fan for a minute. There are two switches by  the door. The first switch  controls the light, the second controls the fan. Tim walked over and cut the first switch off. Like the sweet person I am, looked up and said "Are you serious?" Standard Tim answer, "What?" He said the first switch controlled them both. Here's my question. We've lived here for almost eighteen years. Hasn't he ever wondered what the second switch was for?

Second example. Zach took me to lunch today before going into work for what felt like the hundredth day in a row. (although I am getting close) We got home and like the old woman I am had to pee RIGHT THEN. We have three bathrooms. One in our bedroom on the third floor, another in  the hall upstairs by  the kid's room and one on the first floor right off the kitchen and garage. I screamed in the door and turned the corner to  the bathroom to find the door shut and locked. I banged on the door and heard Tim say "WHAT?" I asked him what he was doing in there and told him I had to pee really bad. He said calmly from  the other side of the door "What do you THINK I am doing in here?"

I guess it's not like he heard my car pulling in and thought to himself "I bet Kelly really has to pee, let me go into the bathroom and lock the door."

I got to work tonight and realized my bosses who  are married to each other are much like Tim and me. Barb was in the office griping at her husband , Len because when he goes into  their laundry room instead of hanging a hanger on the rack above  the washer simply leaves it on top of the washer. HOW DARE HE?

I looked at  Len, who looked at me with  a look on his face like "Somebody help me here."

I decided to help him out after realizing I treat Tim much  the same way. I told them both about being mad at Tim for being in the bathroom when I got home needing to pee. Barb took it completely the  wrong way and wagged her finger in her husband's face saying "See, you're all the same!"

Barb walked off and so did I. I found Len in the back of the kitchen a few minutes later going on hour eleven of his work day and apologized. I told him I had being trying to help but was sorry it didn't work out that way. He smiled and shook his head as he calmly said "Barb is like one of the old Western movies. Shoot first and ask questions later."

Had another magnificent night at work. You  can't always count on them but you  always appreciate when they happen.

My first  table was a young couple. I seated them since the hostess wasn't there yet. I asked if they wanted a table or booth? He said it didn't matter when she spoke up and said "Booth please." I winked at him and said "You'll be married one day and won't have to think again for the rest of your life." She cracked up but he said "Please don't encourage her."

The next  table came in and was the other server's turn but  asked for me. I seated them right behind the young couple I was already waiting on. They are an older (than me) couple who are Italian and love our food. The husband asked if we had the new Black Label Budweiser beer? I told him that Barb didn't even carry Budweiser anymore and he asked why? I said I guess she was trying to weed out the rednecks.

The young girl and guy I had seated behind them first laughed and the girl was covering her mouth so she wouldn't show her amusement. I glanced over at her table and said "That's okay, these peeps know me and how I am."

I turned back around to the older couple and said "Barb did add PBR and Colt 45 if you're interested .

This got a flat outburst from  the young girl seated behind them. When the young couple paid their tab, $49.00 they left me a twenty seven dollar tip. I wasn't there when they left so ran out the front door to thank them. They were walking out holding hands and I shouted "Thanks for the phat tip!" She smiled , said  they had enjoyed the meal and  the show. I told her she must be a server and she said she was. That's the way it is in our serving world. We take care of our own.

Once again the tipping gods smiled on me and I once again walked out with my buddy Ben before nine thirty.

Came home tired and ready for bed. Zach was  off from work and all pumped up to fry chicken using the recipe we got from the church ladies at Franny's funeral when they fed us an all out feast after her service.

Of course I bitched about it. It went something like this:

I told Zach  I was tired and want to go to bed. Zach came back, "Who's stopping you?" I decided to blog and let him fry chicken. Two of his buddies came by to eat and it felt good to have kids in  the house again. Zach's buddy is from San Salvador and I got him to help me with my lingo. I always say "O Mi Dios" at  work to the Latinos and they always laugh and sometimes say it back to me. I know  it isn't the correct  way  to say OMG but gets my point across and besides that, they all love me.

Tonight not only had some fantastic fried chicken at  midnight but learned that I should be saying "Ay Dios Mio."

It was nice to have a house full of kids again, they keep me young. Tonight was my Friday at  the restaurant and  tomorrow is my Monday at the Mattress store. Headed in with a bag of chicken instead of a sandwich and looking forward to it.

Ay Dios Mio, I am a truly blessed woman!

I saw this on Facebook tonight and was what started the entire thought process  for this blog. Tim would never in a million years do  this to me but makes me re think how I view our marriage. Yes he can be a dummy but he is a dummy who loves this crazy person and  this crazy person loves him.

"I am weird, you are weird. Everyone in this world is weird. One day two people come together in mutual weirdness and fall in love.” (Dr Seuss)

Yep, I'm lucky!

Til next  time, Senora Algodon!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Still Truckin'

Woke up this morning stiff as a board, a reminder that this ole broad ain't getting any younger. My buddy, Mr. Weed Eater wore my right shoulder out Saturday not to mention putting him down yesterday afternoon only to pick up heavy trays and dishes a couple of hours later. I got my eight hours of sleep though and after convincing myself a person only needs to bathe every twenty four hours slept a bit longer. I showered before work on  Saturday afternoon so felt okay about waiting. I scrubbed my face, washed my hair, brushed my teeth and slapped on some make up. Clocked in right on time.

Brunch  started slow. No worries, I come in after the  two opening servers who get cut  as soon as business begins to slow down. I stay on until the four o'clock server comes in and reap the rewards. I work with  mostly young people and once it starts to get later in  the afternoon they all want to be cut and go along their merry, broke way. I hang around and hog all the tables. I'd LOVE to cut out early but don't live with my parents. I "AM" a parent.

My first table was an older couple I've seen and waited on in the restaurant many times . Another server, middle aged as well and could talk the ears off an African Elephant had seated them and came up to me asking if I had waited on  them before and began to tell me how to wait on them and how the man wanted a BIG cup of coffee as opposed to the smaller cups we have and to be sure to keep it filled constantly. I looked at him and said "Go away, this ain't my first rodeo."

Of course that just got me a thinking so went behind the bar and got a tiny porcelain cup we serve single espressos in along with the tiny saucer it sits on. I filled it with a thimble full of coffee and marched over to greet them, catching his wife's eye and winked before sitting the tiny cup in front of him. He looked perplexed but his wife starting laughing and didn't quit for at least fifteen minutes. I went back to the server alley and retrieved his BIG cup of coffee and sat it down in front of him. He looked up grinning  and said "The other server must have told you to do that" to which I replied "No sir, he's nowhere near as funny as I am." I promise you  his wife laughed and laughed and laughed. When they left they stopped by Barb who thanked them for coming in and the old codger said "That girl needs to respect me more." I immediately went and picked up their tab and they had left me ten bucks on  forty...and the wife was still laughing as they walked out the door. She turned and said to me as they left, "You just made my day!"

My  next  table requested me.  Three people and left me twenty bucks on a forty dollar tab. In the words of Alicia Keys, "THIS GIRL IS ON FIRE!"

Another single woman came in who I didn't wait on but knew from coming in every Sunday. She always brings a book to  read. I told her a couple of months ago about the Game of Thrones series and low and behold she sat there today when I walked up  to speak to her and held up her was "Game of Thrones." I immediately sat down across from her and gave her all  the skinny. "Be sure to use the appendix where all  the houses are listed, they seem confusing at first and I like the maps in the front of the book to see what  kingdom they are talking about." I told her when she finished a couple of the books I had the DVD's of  the first season  on HBO some dear friends had given me for my birthday  and would love  to loan them to her.

Yep, I'm a talker too!

A six top walked in  around three and the other server asked if it was my turn for a table? That always means "I don't want them, do  you?"

Family of six, celebrating grandma's birthday. Naturally I used my PHD in BS to its full advantage. Granny said she'd just have water but encouraged her to join her son and daughter in law with a glass of wine. Her son asked to change his order but I shook my head and said "Sorry,  I'm writing in pen." I made sure it all went perfectly.  They didn't want dessert but I brought out a cannoli for Granny with  a candle in it. I sat it down in front of her  and asked how it felt to finally be forty? Her son paid, handed me back the credit card slip and said "I just want you  to know it has been years since I've had a server who earned a twenty five percent tip."

I walked out of the door of work right before five. I was once again exhausted but sold five hundred dollars worth of food and walked out with  a hundred and twenty bucks in my pocket, after tipping out.

I got in (my sister's) car and cranked it up. A Great Clips ad came on the radio saying they had a $7.99 sale going on and drove straight over. Got my "Hurr" did for less than eight bucks, left her an almost  hundred percent tip and walked out spending only fifteen bucks.

I should have stopped on by  the grocery store then but knew Tim was home and could give me a much needed back rub. I loved on all my pups, got a back rub,  read for fifteen minutes and then went to Kroger. Finally did it like my own momma did and bought a week's worth of groceries.

I came home and Tim unloaded the groceries. I had all kinds of food in the house now but had no intention of cooking any of it. I did think of them and also bought frozen pizza , Chef Boyardee ravioli and cans of tomato soup.

So  what do I do? I sit down and blog about my day.

At least momma's happy.

I don't have to work until Monday afternoon so it's kind of like a day off.

You have to roll with the punches,  you have to use your talents wisely and be a stand up person.  Live life that way and you'll be okay.

Til next  time...COTTON

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Johnny Dear's Farewell Weekend

This is the last month for me cutting the front of our subdivision til Spring. I'll miss that check once a month but won't miss the cutting. First off I have to pick up all the trash people carelessly toss out their car windows into the ditches on either side of our street. Today I filled an entire kitchen bag with cups, bottles, cans and believe it or not an empty Styrofoam raw chicken tray like chicken comes in from the grocery store. I can't stand litterbugs. How hard is it to wait until you stop or get home to throw something away?

As usual I was in my grass cutting gear.
This is a pic Massey took when I was tromping through the cemetery where my parents are buried.  Ratty shorts, coolest  top I can find and my trusty flip flops. When it's a bazillion degrees outside I just wear my bathing suit top with shorts. Sometimes it pays to have itty bitty ta ta's.

After I picked up all  the trash I cut both sides. Then like the good Samaritan I am, go back out into the street and blow all the clippings back onto the grass. That's the easy part. On both sides of our street are ditches with tons of huge exposed rock. After I broke my second mower blade decided to weed eat them instead of riding. A weed eater only weighs a few pounds but when you don't even weigh a hundred and are five foot four after about fifteen minutes it feels like you are slinging around a fifty pound piece of equipment. It kills my shoulder but there is nothing more pleasing than finishing up and admiring your handiwork. I'll have to admit, I do a bang up job.

I was working under pressure. I had to be at work by four and had promised Barb I would go by our new favorite BBQ place and pick her up some sandwiches. She's the eating-est thin woman I've ever met. She told me last night at work before I left, "I want three sandwiches and some Brunswick stew." I told her last time I went and Massey was with me she wanted one of their loaded potatoes...a baked potato split in two filled with pulled pork, sour cream and cheddar cheese. Barb added "Get me one of those too."

Last weekend when exhausted after work and my table sat for over a hour after paying, another server offered to clean the table for me and sweep so I could leave. She refused to take any money  from me so told her I would pay her back with homemade toll house cookies. I bought the stuff to make them with on Monday but was just too tired to make them when I got home from work. She worked tonight so before I went to  the front of the subdivision to cut, left out two sticks of butter to soften and planned on being through with the front by one, make cookies til two and be on the road to the BBQ place by two thirty.

I only had time to bake two pans but have the rest of the dough in the fridge for tomorrow. At least I had her twenty four cookies. Jumped in the shower and left only fifteen minutes later than anticipated.

You know me, had to stop for gas and put water in my radiator. I got smart and called in my order to the BBQ place. I've been going there the past few weeks after waiting on the owners one night at work. I called work to tell Len, Barb's husband not to eat because I was bringing him a sandwich  too. The server who answered the phone said to bring him one as well. I ended up ordering seven sandwiches, a loaded potato and a pint of stew.

I got to work ten minutes late but fortunately we were slow and they didn't need me. I walked in with  the two huge bags of food and another cook said "I wish I had known you were going there, you  could have brought me one."

Guess I'll just start buying in bulk and selling sandwiches to other employees at a slightly inflated price to compensate for gas.

Drank four cups of coffee and started another shift after scarfing down a yummy BBQ sandwich.

I'm running on fumes.  My last day off was late August and my next  day off is Thanksgiving. I feel like a Latino who can't be kicked out of  the country.

When I checked out tonight, Barb asked how much she owed me for the food? I told her eighteen bucks. She gave me ten and a twenty  five dollar bottle of Chianti which I am drinking right now.

So what I work seven least I am working. There are people who would kill to have my work schedule and unfortunately some who work to avoid it..  I am loved and cared for by  my restaurant employers and have three other days to sometimes rest and read between moving out some mattresses and furniture. I give both jobs my all and that's all you need  to be successful.

Success is defined by Webster as "The achievement of something desired, planned or attempted."

I desire, sometimes ill plan but always attempt.

We aren't rich, aren't poor but simply living hand to mouth and we are happy.

Here's the zinger. Webster's also defines happy as "Enjoying, showing or marked by pleasure, satisfaction or joy."

My life hits all the marks. I am successful and I am happy.

Tens of millions would be grateful to walk in my flip flops.

Heading to bed  to resume my horizontal position. Waking up again tomorrow, now today and kicking butt again .

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. The more YOU love the more you will BE loved.

Til next  time, a much wiser COTTON

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Mama Told Me There'd be Days Like This

So I've gotten into my groove with this seven day work week. Get a bath  before bed and you  can sleep fifteen more minutes in the morning. Put your makeup on at work, sleep eight more. Eat  breakfast at work, there's another ten minutes easy. It's not like people are lined up outside the door to stampede in wanting to be the first to  buy a mattress. I usually have at least twenty or thirty minutes before someone comes in. I go in, open  the store, check emails and inventory while I eat my breakfast and put on my face. It's not like I wear a lot of makeup but it sure helps.

So first off,  I am sitting at my desk eating my yogurt and dabbing on some mascara when a man comes rushing in the door like someone's chasing him. He started walking toward the back of the store so I put my mascara down , rolled my eyes ate my last spoonful of yogurt and followed him.

I asked if I could help him and he told me he'd  purchased a twin mattress and box spring set from us for his mother and the bed sat too high off the floor for her. He said the other guy had shown him some thinner boards in the back room which fit under twin mattresses.  The first thing that irritated me is he had bought the crappiest mattress in  the store for his MOTHER! I only suggest that mattress for kids bunk beds, day beds or RV's.

He just heads into  the stock room to see if we have one left, I guess the other guy had shown him one. I followed him back and we had one left.  On  the upside I made a sale right off the bat but it kinda got on my nerves he acted like it was a self serve gas station. It only cost fifty bucks but he had her sleeping on a hundred dollar mattress. I rang him up and he toted the board out with him.

I decided I looked good enough and put my makeup bag away.

Not a hour later  a lady walks in with  a young girl. She tells me her mother (here we go again) bought a bed frame from us a while back and she needs another one.  I hate to be judgmental but could tell  right off the bat the elevator didn't go all  the way to the top floor. She wanted a bed frame that didn't stick out for you  to run into it and hurt your leg on. I told her the bed frames hit about six inches from the foot of the bed and that shouldn't be a problem.  She wanted to know what they looked like and I told her to look around, every mattress in  the showroom was on one. Then she asked if we had ones on wheels.  I told her we did at  the other store but all ours had feet. She tilted her head back and puffed out a breath like I had just told her her dog (that she didn't like anyway) died. I asked why she needed wheels on the frame? She looked at me like "I" was crazy and asked how she was supposed to move the bed around?  I decided to play and asked back why she needed to move the queen size bed around? She said "Well you  gotta move it around when you  clean." Yep, she's a freak.

Now I'm no Suzy home maker, but have never MOVED a bed around to clean.  I stick a vacuum hose under it but unless I am moving the bed to another spot or room, it's pretty much gonna stay where it is. It's not like we eat dinner under our bed or  throw food under there. There's not even anything under my beds except  an occasional pup.

She went on and on about how she didn't want to hit her legs on  the frame and I explained again and again that our frames did NOT stick out from the end of the bed. She looked at me and had the nerve to ask "Are you sure?" OMG...shoot me in the head! I once again took her over to one of the twenty mattresses we had on the show room floor and showed her where the frame hit...six inches from  the end of the bed.

She sighed and said "I'll think about it" and thank the good Lord above, left.

I made me a bologna sandwich and read my book. I was tired, stupid people wear me out.

So after a couple of normal people came in to shop, a man walks in talking loudly on his, not blue tooth but full out head set. That got on my nerves at once. Yes I haven't had a day off since mid August and may be a little stressed but I won't even talk on my cell phone when at the cash register at a gas station, it's just rude.

You know me, I walked right up and loudly asked how I could help him? He gave me the hand so I walked away. He walked around the store for (I'm not kidding) thirty minutes talking loudly.  By the end of the thirty minutes I knew he was in the trucking industry and that he called his wife Boo. I knew that his daughter wanted to try out for track but try outs were tomorrow and she needed thirty bucks to try out. I learned that his other daughter (baby  girl) had gotten a bad hair cut and  was upset, he could just hear it in her voice. (his words not mine)

Then my own cell went off from behind the counter. It was a 'boing' so knew it was Massey, that's her ring tone on my cell. I answered and after  finding out she just wanted to chat told her quietly I was proving a point and would call her back.

Then as I approached him after he hung up with baby  girl once again asked if he had any questions? He started to ask about king size mattresses when his phone rang  again...I kid you not.

Now I learned that the dispatcher he uses isn't liked by  anyone else but he's okay with that as long as  the guy is straight up with him and lets him know what is going on. Then I learned that he had to drive out of town again tonight but would be back in Newnan tomorrow.

Then I finally realized he simply wanted to be out of his big rig and stretch his legs and my store looked like a good place to do it.

He did finally talk with me about mattresses for about two minutes when his head set went off again. I got the hand in the face again so I handed him my card and said to come see me when he had some time.

Had a lull after that and  was grateful for it. Called Massey back and text my sister at her thrift shop where she volunteers. I asked her if they had any pants for Zach, a skinny 29x30? She text back they only had fat man pants today and I text back "Tim don't need any."

She text back, "Must be slow there." I text  back that it was so slow I had just shaved my legs in the restroom. I hope she knew I was just being funny!

Here's the thing. Cell phones are great to have but you need to use decorum. Don't walk into a store where a salesperson is waiting to assist you  and talk on your phone for thirty minutes, it's just rude.

Yep it was slow today but you never know in sales, tomorrow could be the least I hope it will.

I've been going to bed earlier and earlier as I get older and older and that helps. Dealing with idiots just makes it harder but makes me grateful that at least I am a normal human being with a head on my shoulders that appears to work.
I'm moving forward and that is all that matters!

Today was a bust but who knows about tomorrow until it gets here? I'm looking forward to it, how about you?

Til next  time...COTTON

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Fabulous Farewell

Some bright morning when this life is over
I'll fly away
To that home on God's celestial shore
I'll fly away
I'll fly away oh glory
I'll fly away 
When I die hallelujah by and by
I'll fly away.
Frances had a  wonderful send off today. Every seat was filled and that thrilled me. Tim, Zach and I sat with my sister and her husband. I was worried it may be one of those depressing funerals and had my eulogy ready to interrupt and uplift.  Much  to my relief it wasn't needed. Her niece from Tennessee did a GREAT job and gave a funny yet touching eulogy. That's all I wanted for Franny.  That's what she deserved and just what she got!

I want to share a funny story she told about dear sweet Frances.

Her niece said Frances was a champion Scrabble player, no one ever beat her. On a weekend visit from Tennessee she and Frances were playing Scrabble when she looked down at her tiles on the rack and saw that she had a four letter word worth quite a  lot of points. She said this wasn't a very nice word and one she had never said or used and certainly never would. She thought to herself  maybe this was her chance to finally win a game and put her tiles on the board. Frances stared at  the board and squinting up at Barbara said loudly (she said every  thing loudly being deaf) "What's THAT word?" Barbara couldn't bring herself to say the word much less describe it so instead got out the dictionary, looked up the word and showed the page to Frances. Frances read it, moving her lips along with the words then simply shut the dictionary, looked up at Barbara and said in her scratchy voice, "Okay."

The next  day the assistant from social services who came twice a week to help with Frances was there when Barbara and Frances played Scrabble again. Barbara said the young girl always liked to watch them play and stood behind Frances to observe the game. Low and behold, Frances' rack of tiles held the same four letters from the day before and Frances carefully arranged the tiles onto the board to the shock of the social worker. Frances smiled and looked back at the young girl and hollered "BARBARA TAUGHT ME THAT WORD YESTERDAY!"

Classic Franny moment.

At  the end of the funeral the pastor asked the entire congregation  to stand and sing one of Frances' favorite songs, "I'll Fly Away."

It was obvious the preacher cared deeply about "sister Frances" as he called her. It was obvious every one in that sanctuary  cared deeply about Frances. I was thrilled it was such an uplifting funeral. The preacher said we were all invited to the Fellowship Hall where lunch was prepared for us all.

Now you're talking!

I thought maybe it was sandwiches, nuts or crackers but I need all the food I can get so we went. The small church was packed, well over a hundred people. We walked into  the Fellowship Hall and I was amazed to see a huge buffet spread out. All kind of deviled eggs, potato salads, every vegetable you could want, even fried okra. There were butter beans, lima beans, crowder peas, green beans, corn, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers. They had at least four different potato or hash brown casseroles. Bread pudding, succotash, macaroni and cheese, pasta salad and dinner rolls. At the end of the buffet line was a huge bowl as big as a wash tub filled with fried chicken.

Another huge table held red velvet cake, pies, cobblers about four other different cakes, cookies and every sweet you could want.

I went through the line twice.

I was so relieved Frances got exactly the kind of send off I wanted her to have and got a belly full to boot. I mentioned to one of the women from her church  that everything looked like it had come from someone's garden and she assured me it did. There were no can openers involved in Frances' feast. The sliced tomatoes fresh out of the garden were the best I have had all year.

I'm sad we won't have Frances around us anymore but thrilled she has gone on to her reward. She can hear again, see clearly again and dance with angels.

I talked with her nephew from North Carolina after my second trip  through  the buffet line and asked for his address. I told him I had written about Frances and wanted to mail it to him. Thankfully my big mouth wasn't needed today and only had to use it to devour all the fabulous home grown food.

 Frances is gone and that makes me sad....for us. I am thrilled for her. I just hope they don't have a Scrabble game in Heaven.

Til next  time...COTTON

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Praise God!

Got the text  early today. God  finally took Frances. The text  wasn't  from God but the blessing was.  Every  time my sister and I went to visit these past couple of weeks the people from  the nursing home were nice and said "She's fine, she's doing okay and isn't in any pain." Well number one they didn't know Franny like we knew her and number two the woman laying in that bed not even able to recognize us at  the end wasn't the Franny we wanted to remember and know Franny wouldn't want to continue this way.

My sister sent me a simple text "Frances slipped away today, PTL."

She never wanted to be a burden and she never wanted to waste  away in a nursing home. Maybe a few weeks is a pretty short demise but Frances would have never wanted it. She wanted to remain in her house and go peacefully. That wasn't in the cards so even though painful to watch we alternated visits and sometimes went together. The first couple of weeks were okay, the last few not so much. When it makes my twenty one year old son cry, you know it's bad.

Halleluiah, God took her today. The instant her heart stopped she was whole again. No more heart problems, no more kidney  problems, no more deafness. No more worrying about people having to look after her. No more worries about the horrible pain she was in from  the bleeding bruising  on the back of her calves from losing circulation.

Once she took her last breath, it was a whole new ball game. I can just see her strutting through the pearly gates and with her raspy voice asking St Peter where my Diddy (her cousin) was and demanding to be introduced to my Momma. I can hear her saying in that scratchy voice of hers to God, "What took Ya so long? I've been ready for a while. Where do I go and what do You need me to do?"

Does it sound bad I am thrilled she has passed onto her reward? I don't care if it does. I'm glad she is gone. I will miss her, but being a Christian and knowing she is now flying high and bossing around the angels makes me smile. The last few weeks seeing her have made me sad and that's not the way she should be or would want to be remembered.

Her funeral is Monday and believe it or not  my youngest  son , Zach wants to go with me. The last time she was coherent was when Zach went with me to visit. It was the last time she cracked a joke. It was the last time she seemed like Franny. She was in pain but though her pain still cracked a joke with Zach and even asked about Massey and asked how she liked college?

This woman was dying in a nursing home and smart as she was , knew it but still cracked jokes with Zach and asked how Massey was doing .  She was and IS an incredible woman. The stories we have about her are endless and hoping to share a few at her service. If they don't ask me to speak, no worries. I have no qualms about raising my hand to speak or interrupting the service. Frances was a marvelous amazing woman. She deserves to have stories told about her and laughter be abundant.

She would never want tears unless they were tears of joy and laughter. I think I can take care of that for her, it's the least I can do for a magnificent human being like her. I swear if I can be half the eighty two year old woman she was, I'll be doing it right!

Praise The Lord...Frances hurts no more.

Til next  tome...COTTON

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Time to Switch Hats...Again

Finished my week at  the mattress store today. It was a busy week. I moved out almost $3400 of merchandise on Tuesday and well over a grand yesterday. I work alone therefore I  move and help load alone. I went in this morning pretty stinking tired but feeling good, it was my best week there by  far. I was hoping to strike big again today but didn't. Guess you need to be grateful for what you have not for what you want.

I had a man come back from yesterday bringing his wife with him this time. He was looking at a mattress for $1099 and I was hoping his wife would like it too. No go. That's okay, you win some you lose some.

Actually I was grateful for the down time, I'm whupped. I had time in between customers to read my book and eat lunch undisturbed. A few more peeps came in and then I had another lull. I got crazy  and decided to install the update for my iPhone.
I've never had an iPhone before and only got this one because it was free. I hadn't upgraded in ten years and when I changed plans got the phone tossed in for free. Well, nothing is free from Verizon but at least they didn't charge me for the phone. Massey had to set it up for me and it took forever for me to even learn how to place a call. I regretted getting it at first but after a few tutorials from my kids learned to like it. I could check my bank account balance or lack thereof, I could check emails and even Facebook. Working alone ten hours a day the iPhone came in pretty handy. You  can't surf the web on the company computer and at any time corporate can log into  your computer or view the history.

So I bit the bullet today and finally hit the 'install update' icon. It made me immediately nervous. It took about forty five minutes to load.  I spent the time tidying up the bathroom and taking out the trash.

Some more customers came in and I gave them my best shot. The first was a young girl talking on her own iPhone as she cruised through the store. I said a friendly hello and asked if I could help her? She totally ignored me...not a good thing to do. I followed her and repeated "How are you doing today, can I help you?" She continued to ignore me and I continued to  slowly follow her around, keeping my distance but doing my job.

She looked at  several mattresses and then I couldn't hold back anymore. I walked right up to her (she was off her phone now) and asked what size mattress she was looking for? She shot me a look and said "I'm just looking." Maybe I shouldn't have but said "Knock yourself out, I'll be right over there if you need me" and pointed to my desk.

When you are fifty three years old working seven days a week, happen to be in the middle of a ten hour work shift and hot flashing most all the time in a store with no A/C  a snotty nosed twenty year old kid can really tick you off, especially when you've extended the olive branch several times.

It didn't phase her but when she walked out once again on her phone I made sure to say "Thanks for coming in!" (and even managed to not sound sarcastic)

My two younger kids are right around the same age this girl was. My kids can wear me out and often do. Sometimes I have to remind them they are talking to their mother and best  remember it. That usually gets the me the old eye roll and they pipe down...but when they are out in public with me are the most gracious and well mannered kids I've ever met.

When Zach went to the nursing home with me last week he was a knight in shining armor. He held doors open, he helped aides with lunch trays and asked every old person scooting down the hallway propelling themselves along by  their feet how they were doing? He put the foot pedals on Frances' wheelchair so her legs wouldn't hurt so much and spoke to every person in the hall again as we left, whether a patient or guest.

Massey is the same way. She can get snippy with me and sometimes does but take her out in public and she's adored by  the masses and with good reason. It's all "Thank you, yes ma'am, no sir or You are quite welcome!"

Here's the thing. Kids turning into  young adults are gonna push you, I know I did my own parents. Momma more than Diddy. My Diddy didn't play (he always had his belt on and wasn't scared to use it) and my Momma died when I was seventeen but was unnecessarily bossy  to her when I didn't need to be. It's one of the things I have always regretted. She died when I was a snotty brat who thought she knew everything. What I didn't know was that she would drop dead on the floor of a store in front of me when I was seventeen fixing to turn eighteen and would never have the chance to grow up and tell her how smart she really was and how right all her unwanted advice and unwanted wisdom turned  out to be.

I know my kids love me even if they don't show or tell me every day. I was unlucky to lose Momma that way but it taught me to read between the lines.

I too, was pleasant and cordial to others when sometimes a snot nosed ungrateful brat to my own Momma.

She knew I loved her. She knew I was a good person. She knew I had learned from her how to be a good person and was evident in the way I treated others.

Unfortunately my  Momma didn't live long enough for me to mature, realize this and thank her and I  mentally kick myself daily.

 She didn't and doesn't mind. She loved me and knew I loved her even if I didn't show it all the time.

That's what it means to be a parent, that's what it means to be a "Momma."

You raise your kids to the best of your ability.  Forgive them their many faults and pray  they remember the lessons you taught them. Then when they finally make their way into the world on  their own realize how very  right you  were.

“To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.”  (Dr. Seuss)

I gave it my best shot as a parent. I'm extremely imperfect but who isn't? I think I did okay. I hope I live long enough to see all the great things they  can do with the tools I gave them. I gave them love and taught them how to love.
I grew up in an amazing home with amazing parents. I look at this picture and simply think "Wow, I was one lucky kid."

I hope my own kids do that one day.

I was one of the luckiest kids in the world to grow up with these parents in this house.
Yep , we were lucky

and still are...we still have each other.

Lots of families grow apart as they grow older, ours shrank to three but became a tight knot of nuts!
This awesome couple married and although neither lived to see it,  have six grandchildren doing incredible things. Some made mistakes  along the way but have all learned from them. They are what they are  today because of these  two people or because of someone who loved and learned from them.

Yep, I'm one lucky daughter, sister, wife and Momma!

"You are you. Now isn't that Pleasant?" (once again the very smart Dr. Seuss)

 Being loved is a powerful feeling. It empowers you to love others and that's what life is all about.

Til next  time, COTTON

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Baby Steps

So I loaded up all my food and drinks, ice chest, book and headed into my second job today. I failed miserably last week and started having second thoughts about this job as I drove into work, running five minutes late because I had to put water in the car radiator before I left. I'm borrowing my sister's spare car which although even twenty five years old still runs great, just needs a little extra attention from time to time. I clocked in and opened up the store and sat down to eat my breakfast. I thought that I would be better at this job and was a little disappointed.

Not one hour later a woman came in with her grand daughter  and started looking around at  mattresses. You know me, I started asking where she lived and where she had grown up. Found out she went to the same high school my husband did and we compared notes about growing up in East Point. She said she was looking for a full sized mattress for her grand daughter and selected one. Then we sat down on a huge memory  foam mattress and chatted some more. She commented about how good it felt and I told her to kick back and lay on it. She loved it and decided to buy the king size mattress for herself as well. She needed box springs too  and I was more than happy to oblige. She wanted it all delivered today and paid for it all before leaving. Before noon I was on  the board with over $1600.00 in sales.

Then being the doubting Thomas that you should NEVER be I sat back down in my chair thinking I was done for the day.

Another guy came in and wanted a queen size bed. We had one he liked but asked if we had any sale going? I told him it was a pretty good price anyway but said I would let it go out the door for the marked price and we'd pay the sales tax. He said he didn't have a truck and couldn't afford delivery. No problem! I had the exact same bed in the back in boxes and they slid right between the seats of his SUV.

Now we're getting somewhere!

I thought to myself, NOW I'm done for  the day. One hour later the phone rang and noticed the number was my brother's. He just bought a house in Orlando and asked me if we had a queen size bed and dresser? Heck yeah! Then he added  a mattress and box springs.  He wanted it all delivered to his Atlanta office where they would ship it to him.

Granted it was my brother but was a really good deal. $299 for a queen size Cherry sleigh bed, $699 for the bed dresser and mirror.

I hauled everything to the back door of the store for pick small task. The only thing I didn't move was the huge king size memory foam mattress, it weighs twice what I do.
Don't ask me how my delivery dude managed to get a king size mattress,  two box springs, full size mattress and box springs, queen mattress and box springs, dresser with mirror and a queen size sleigh bed into the back of a pick up truck but he did. These Latinos are some amazing workers!

In the mean time an Asian man came in to price full size mattresses. His wife and  children were coming here from Japan to join him. We only had two left and he needed two. I told him he needed to come back tomorrow before we sold  one of them, he promised he would. When he left I said "Konnichiwa." (Good afternoon in Japanese)  He smiled and I quickly said that was about all I knew not to get too excited when he bowed, said "Sayonara" and I perked back up and said "HEY I know that one too!"

That's  the way  you sell. You don't just sell the merchandise, you sell yourself. I've been doing it for a few weeks now and finally it is all starting to pay off.

I posted my numbers from today on the  computer when I ran my report at closing and not five minutes later the owner of the company called to congratulate me.

Yep, I was the big dog today. I know it was MY biggest day and def  caught the boss man's attention.

I truly think I may have some MoJo going on and beginning to reap rewards of  the seeds I've sown.

Going in again tomorrow and  giving it my best  shot. Wish me luck!

Til next  time...COTTON