Friday, November 22, 2013

Getting Ready to Get my Tryptophan On!

So Massey blew back into our lives last night like a typhoon. She's been gone since August, came back twice for short overnight stays but  arrived last night for a ten day stay.

We're all going to Orlando for Thanksgiving at my brother's new digs. He bought a lake house and bought a boat and for some crazy reason invited us all down for Thanksgiving. My sister and I are pumped! My  bro is an amazing carbon copy of our Diddy, except that he smokes an occasional cigar and likes an  occasional  cocktail. He's OUR kind of guy!

My brother is smart, not married has  no kids and a terrific job. Dang, why didn't I think of that route in life?

At least he did and loves his sistas!

We are leaving here after work on Tuesday. Massey, me and my sister.  Now THAT'S a road trip! We'll pull into Orlando late and wake up early to get my brother's credit card. We'll do all the shopping and bring home the groceries. Since we don't have to worry  about getting the house clean will just dive into the cooking. My brother is smoking a turkey so  that's one more item crossed off our list.

My wonderful boss, has given me the go ahead for taking Wednesday through Saturday  off.

I had originally asked for  Wednesday and Friday off but if my brother can stand us all weekend, I say "Hell to the Yeah."

Some of the fam can't go down  til  Thanksgiving Day, but that's a good day to fly and most all have  free flight privileges. We'll buy my hubby a buddy (don't that sound cute) pass and they will all be there by  dark thirty.

It's not like we're in a rush. We're staying the weekend.

One or two can't make it. Zach's working two jobs and my nephew's fiancee works in retail and thanks to the retarded (no offense intended) idea of Black Friday might have to stay home.

That's all the more reason to have ANOTHER Thanksgiving feast when we all get back!

I'm pretty pumped. Driving down to a new house (on the lake) which is clean and just waiting for the cooks to arrive.

I have a small immediate  family now. It's just me , my sister and brother. They are  the world to me and have had my back from the time our parents died. Our Momma died in under one minute when I was just seventeen. Our Diddy died in 2002 within the span of tens days, going from healthy as an ox to a man taken off life support, per his instructions.

Yep, I got me a crazy family and am the MAIN crazy. I like my title, it fits me.

Got my little girl back home, and amazed how bossy she's gotten. Heck, she might turn out okay after all.

Can't wait to tell you all about our trip!

"Sit right back and you'll hear a tale. A tale of a fateful trip."

I just hope The Professor shows up, makes a radio out of a coconut and contacts my work to tell them I need  two more days off!

Look for my S.O.S!

Til next  time, an excited  COTTON.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

She's Home!

Let the Holiday Season begin,  my girl's home! I've been stuck since August living here with five males,  who combined have ten balls and sixteen feet. That makes for a lot of foot traffic and misguided urine.
She bounced back into the house like a beach ball. We hugged, talked for a few minutes then she immediately took over the computer. Dang, I've missed her bossy ways. She'll make an excellent wife one day.

I've got her for over a week so felt okay when her brother suggested going to Taco Mac.

Off they went and here I sit. I'm a happy momma. I have kids who still want to hang out together.

I have three kids who have all traveled different roads. I have one on the underside of the world, another relishing the college life and still another who may have faltered but finally found his way.

I have five more days to work then we are headed to Orlando for Thanksgiving at my own brother's new lake house. Zach can't go, he is working  two jobs both in restaurants and trust me, it ain't easy getting holidays off. At least he will be here to take care of the pups and have already promised myself I will do something really nice for him when we get back.

It's been a tough road  the past few years but the way seems obvious now. Keep on truckin!

Life is almost back to normal, well as normal as us Cotton's get. We have four years of college to pay for but our house will be paid off by then so it kind of works out perfectly.

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.

Not only was Bob  Dylan a poet but could have been parent of the year.

I can't stop my kids from making bad choices...the line is drawn now. I am on the sideline as their cheerleader. But as I see them make mistakes, which they have, continually amaze me with their resilience and determination to own up, pay for and learn from unfortunate decisions.

Yep, I'm raising Winners!

The times they are a-changin'!

Going to bed a happy momma. We may not have a lot of money  but have a butt load of love in this house. And  Love is all you need.

Til next  time...COTTON

Monday, November 18, 2013

Getting Back to Normal (or as close as I get)

So I was off today until four PM so decided to sleep in. My son came into  the bedroom at ten thirty carrying my cell telling me it was work calling. My first comment was "Why'd you answer?" He said he thought it may have been important.

When you work for a restaurant and aren't scheduled to be  there, there's usually only one reason they are calling. They need you  to work.

I answered the phone and found out I was right.  A server who is a single mom had to pick up her kid from school with a stomach virus and  they wanted to know if I wanted to come in? Hmmm, that would be a "No" but really like this single mom so  said I would jump in the shower and head on in.

Tim ironed a shirt for me while I took a shower and twenty  minutes later I was ready to walk out the door when the restaurant  called back and said it was slow, not to worry  about coming in.

Well, crap. I put on make up for nothing. I decided to go on in just to make sure no large parties had walked in.  They were fine without me but told them I would run a few errands close by and if they needed me in  the next hour or so to just call me on my cell.

I decided to go to the Unemployment office to file from my mattress gig dismissal. I thought I remembered where it was but have only had to go there one time in my fifty three years, when I got fired from the "Western Sizzler." (I still refuse to use their real name)

I walked into a crowded room with two full lines. All I saw were signs for food stamps and the WIC program but when you get into a long line in a government office you never give up your spot so I remained in line.

After thirty minutes I got my chance  to talk to the lady behind the secret glass partition and showed her my separation notice. She dully said "Building behind this one." (so much for customer service with  a smile)

I went to the building behind the building and had to try three doors before I found one that would open. I was standing in a foyer with another woman who said "What do we do now?" so we started knocking on doors. A lady finally opened one and the other woman who was with me in the lobby said she was just there to drop off a letter and left. I once again showed my separation notice and this woman told me I was in the wrong place.


I got back into my car and headed over to the Dept. of Labor. Woo-Hoo, I was second in line! Once she told me where the Department of Labor was, it all came back to me. I had been at  the office where I had had to apply for food stamps four years ago, when Western Sizzler fired me and Tim was out of work too. I had been so humiliated and upset at  the time they even took me into a back office where I could cry in private to a case worker.

I handed her my notice of separation and she asked me a few questions and if I wanted to file snail mail or online? I chose online and she pointed to a computer.

Two hours later I walked out and wondered how much longer snail mail could have taken? I had a major hot flash while trying to complete the form and was drenched in sweat. When I finally finished, and had answered the question "Do  you own or work on a farm?" three times was soaked, literally. When I walked back up to the counter fanning myself with my confirmation number, I told the woman behind the desk, "Crap, THAT FELT like a job!"

I should get extra money for not spontaneously bursting into flames in a government office.

It won't be much but will certainly help. I've been working and paying into  the system since I was fourteen and have only claimed once these  days and times, I call that a win!

Went into work at four, chugged four cups of coffee and waited on the tipping gods.

Didn't happen. It was  slow but in the end pulled out a twenty five dollar tip on an eighty dollar tab.

So I got registered for unemployment after sweating off at least five pounds and made enough money to eek us through  til I work again on Wednesday.

Tim makes the big call tomorrow about his job offer so will go to bed with fingers crossed and covers as light as possible.

This weather in the south is making me goofy. Cold one day, hot the next.

Waiting on possibly  the best news we have had in four years.

Til next  time...Hottin Cotton.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Dang My House Smells Great!

It's no mansion but it's ours and will be paid off in a little over three short years.

I used to keep  the yards immaculate but working so much lately, have let them slip a bit. I still mowed  the yards and trimmed them with the weed eater but the days of pulling weeds for hours on end fell to the wayside. I've always worried more about the outside of my house, mainly because neighbors driving by can't see the inside, and when it looks real bad inside,  won't answer  the door unless you have a no knock search warrant.

Lately it's been looking REAL bad. My hundred day work week pretty much demanded house work be put on the back burner and just focused on making it into work every day.  It helped  that Massey left for college in August and it was just me, Tim, Zach and the three pups here. Most males could care less what a house looks like on the inside as long the TV, refrigerator and microwave work...lucky for me, mine did.

The laundry got done but rarely folded and mostly sat piled in baskets.  The only clothes I needed for a hundred days were my work uniforms, underwear and a towel.

Around thirty days in, I learned quite a few tricks for a working mom. NEVER turn on an overhead light, especially if it is florescent. Always have tea light candles to burn tarts from Yankee Candle and buy store brand Febreeze in bulk.

 Sometimes Zach  would get a wild hair (or maybe a dog hair in his mouth) and do some vacuuming.

The dishes got done, but only when the boys ran out of cereal bowls. It seems to never occur  to men to clean sink traps, I thought maybe they were saving up enough food for a meal and let it go.

The bathrooms were the worst.

Number one, Zach and Tim have had penises their entire lives but obviously never mastered the craft of a direct aim. Number two,(no pun intended) I've never had a penis but pretty sure if I did,  I could hit a bowl over a foot in diameter less than two feet away. I just started peeing in the dark so as not to notice  their poor shooting skills.

The showers were even less of a problem. Zach had his own bathroom and if he didn't mind showering in a cesspool, who was I to stop him? I did keep my garden  tub pretty semi / clean since I am the only one who uses it but Tim's shower stall turned into a horror house. If I had to use it when I was running late for work (more often  than not) I felt like wearing  flip flops and would have, if Ziggy hadn't chewed up every pair I owned.

So this past week, after working every single day since mid August I had three glorious days a row!

Number one (again) I slept twelve hours straight. Number two (again) I bought a really big bottle of cheap Pinot Noir, and got my scrubbing groove on. I had plenty of cleaning products since I hadn't cleaned the  house in a hundred days.

It was a daunting task but have never been one to shy away from a challenge. I started with  the thing I hate most...laundry. What's the deal with socks and how do they always get lost? I folded all  the laundry in baskets, folded all the laundry piled on the dressers and put all of it away.

Now we're getting somewhere!

Got all crazy and pulled sheets and comforters. Even washed the pillows. (although when I was little momma always said to lay them in the grass outside overnight) I'll have to Google that wives tale.

Number three: Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are the bomb dot com. I cleaned walls and I cleaned baseboards. I didn't actually move any furniture  but the spots you  can see look great. I cleaned doors and I cleaned window sills. I used four the first day.

Cold weather is rearing its ugly head here in the deep south so it's time to switch  the ceiling fans from  blowing down to up. Lesson  learned, never do  it until you clean the blades.

I cleaned my vacuum cleaner after every  room I vacuumed. I sprinkled Arm & Hammer Pet Odor over all the carpets  and the results were astounding. (and embarrassing)

The more I cleaned the more I saw that needed to be cleaned. Let's clean this window, let's clean this door, let's clean this  intake vent and let's clean this furniture.

I was in the mode and the mode felt great. After five hours I  quit smelling dogs and  that was another inspiration.

So I'm a hard working woman, I'll accept that label but  I've been a terrible wife and mother. My momma would have fainted if she had witnessed  the despair I had left the inside of my house in.

Lucky for me I only live with men now and are all straight. A gay man would have fired me on the spot.

It took me over three days to get my house over/semi clean but looks and smells wonderful.

Even my three dogs look happier.

Here's the big thing. When my kids were younger I would give them chores. They always did a half a** job but at least  MY job was half done after they attempted theirs.

I came home from work today and felt wonderful to walk into a house that didn't stink.

So I was a crappy house keeper for three months, but the house is still here and on top of it all I cooked a fabulous meal. Tim put the roast in the crock pot when I left for work this morning and I came in (home) as the pinch hitter and made gravy, rice and corn muffins and even threw together a green bean casserole.

All's good here at  the Cotton Compound. The house is looking and smelling clean, I've drafted yet another letter to UGA about Ham and his eye surgery and waiting for a reply.

It's nice to not gag when you walk in the door...just saying.

Til next  time...COTTON

Saturday, November 16, 2013

My World is a Rainbow

Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red, brown, yellow
Black and white
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children
Of the world.

This was always one of my favorite Bible School songs...and over fifty years later the lyrics mean even more.

Yes I live in  Rainbow World and it's a wonderful place to be.

I went into work early today, four o'clock. One of my first  tables was a single black (old school term but absolutely mean no disrespect) man. Some servers hate getting one tops, I kinda like it. I can be their dining partner as I wait on  them. He had just left the gym (already getting to know him) and ordered a nice bottle of wine that he could cork and take home with him after dinner. He was reading "The New Yorker" so I knew we were most likely kindred spirits.

Just last month someone posted on FB  the difference between Repubs and Dems is  that Repubs say work hard, be dedicated and you  can have anything you  want. Dems say  here you can have this whether you  work for it or not.

I really took offense at this. Number one, I consider myself  a Democrat although am fed up with both sides of the aisle. I'm more of an Independent. I've voted across party lines many times. I vote for  the person and policy, not their party.

Number two, I do consider myself a Liberal. What's wrong with being "Not limited to or by  traditional, orthodox or authoritarian attitudes or dogmas; free from bigotry. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of  the ideas and behavior of  others; broad minded."?
Yep, call me a big fat ninety five pound Liberal.

And even if I am labeled a Dem, have worked since the age of fourteen. I've paid into  the system since 1974 and yes have been  taken care of  by  the system, for the first time when  in my late forties. I'd say I was due.

When I took my new friend / customer his check this afternoon, he actually thanked me for being so nice to him. I told him it was much easier to be nice than mean and he agreed.

There is too much meanness and there are too many haters. There are too many people who think it's "Their Way or NO way."  There is too much "I'm right and you are wrong" in our society.

Society is defined as "The totality of of social relationships among human beings."

That means not just Dems, not just Repubs. Not just Whites, Blacks, Asians, Indians or Latinos. Not just Christians or Muslims, Buddists or even the Agnostic. Not just Heterosexuals and not just the rich or the poor. It means ALL OF US.

Simply put, there are good people and there are bad people and it's up to the good people to come together and try to overcome the bad people and make  THEM the minority. Then  WE (the good people ) will have control and things will start becoming better and better. This applies to politicians and this applies to random people walking down  the street.

Now for a short lesson from Dr. Seuss (a genius in my book).

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go."

 "A person's a person, no matter how small.”

 “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It's not."

 "To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.”

 "Today I shall behave, as if this is the day I will be remembered.”

I am appalled at the bigotry and small minds of not only this great country I live in but the world in general.

To hate a person who is Gay is like hating someone who has blue eyes.

To look down on someone on welfare is like like saying you'd never be on welfare. I have worked for over  thirty nine years and had to go on assistance to keep my family fed. Was it embarrassing? You betcha, did it keep my family afloat, it sure did. I was humiliated, humbled but grateful.

Of course there are people working the system. Like I said, there are good people and there are bad people. But some of the bad people have little kids...sometimes to get a bigger check, but who are we to deny these little people who didn't ask to be born into this world?

Yes we need more checks and balances, not only for us but the government as well.
 Going back to my original theory, There are good people and there are bad people. Some are rich  and some are poor. Some are scamming  and some are needing.

 Come on people now!

I've lived over half a century and have lived high and I had lived low.

It's time to come together.

Til next  time,  a believer in the power of LOVE. Maybe the hippies had it right.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Amazing Days (off), How Sweet They Are

These last three days have been amazing. Number one, I worked from mid August until early November without a single day off.  My end at  the mattress gig couldn't have been a greater blessing. After my last day there had to work nine more days at the restaurant but then had three  days a row!

My first day off I slept til noon and then got up to tackle the house. It's taken three days but have forgotten how clean a house can smell when it is "De-dogged." My only daughter has flown the coup to college and am left home with two men and three male dogs. That means I live with ten balls who could care less.

My first day off got me a little down. The house was disgusting. My husband and son probably wanted to complain but knew better. Lucky for me, the dogs don't speak English.

I started with the job I hate the most, matching socks.  It took me over an hour to match what socks were left after the other ones seemingly walked away.

I continued with the laundry mode and after three hours had most of it caught up and put away.

I started with the kitchen on the first floor and worked my way up. I scrubbed the sinks and scrubbed the  traps which are in the sink. I think I heard one of  them scream when I doused it with Ajax, but took that as a good sign and kept on going.

I moved out of the kitchen into the dining  room and was disgusted by  the smell. I know we have three dogs but who told them THEY could take over the smell of my house?

Momma got busy again. Note to all, when cleaning carpets, Windex is a wonder worker...even the store brand.

I wore myself out on the first day but got all the way up to the second floor of the house.

I had promised my daughter I would ride into Atlanta and visit her. It happened at  a great time. I got so lucky at work Monday night. I waited on two tables and made over $95.00. Add in my other tables and I walked with enough money to catch up all my bills and have some to spare.
I was taking her and her roomie to lunch and had talked about going to  the Varsity. On the way into downtown Atlanta I started thinking about Mary Mac's Tea Room. It's a blast from the past and and a really cool place to go, home cooking at  its southern best.

The girls were so sweet. They pooled  their money for me to park and come up to their room. Parking ain't cheap in Atlanta. You pay six bucks to park or get your car booted for  two hundred.

I usually always pick Massey up by  the curb but it was nice to go up and visit. She has a wonderful roommate and when I see them together,  reminds me of the bond I had (and still do) with my own roommate at  college.

They were thrilled about going to Mary Mac's and we had a blast.
I ate like a boss and it felt wonderful. I took the girls to an Atlanta iconic restaurant and we had an absolute blast. We walked through the place after we ate looking at all the pics on the walls. Former Presidents and even the Dalai Lama ate there, although the girls were more impressed that the Beiber had.
 We left the restaurant and  told the girls we would stop by a drug store to pick them up any items they might need.

What I needed to do  was read the street signs. I took a wrong way turn up Piedmont when it was one way and after Massey hollered at me, calmly said "I'll just back up onto this sidewalk and turn around" which I did.

Could have gotten a ticket, didn't get a ticket. All's well that ends well.

I blew almost a hundred  bucks but was well worth it. We had us a fantabulous day.

Came home and continued my cleaning frenzy. Here's the thing. You get side tracked by the Internet.

Of course I thought it was so funny that I had to share it with  a few friends and showed both Tim and Zach. This couple was so cute, it really made my day.

After a few minutes I resumed my cleaning. Here's the thing, I have no idea who invented the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser for walls but they obviously owned dogs who slobber a lot. I cleaned all the walls in the kitchen and downstairs hall. I cleaned the chair rails and walls in the dining room and cleaned all the doors as well. I knew Tim or Zach would never notice, but "I" did and it felt great. I went through four erasers in no time. I even did the base boards.

Now feeling truly inspired I moved up the the next floor and tackled the living room. I spot cleaned the carpet with an old towel and windex. Note to self: NEVER choose light blue carpeting if you have kids or dogs.

Took my vacuum cleaner apart,  washed and cleaned all the parts and filter and it ran like a champ. When you have three dogs, it's rough on a vacuum. Cleaned the blades of the ceiling fan, it's almost time to switch the direction of the fan and will sling dust everywhere...been there done that.

Sprayed every couch, sofa and chair with  pet deodorizer and cleaned every table and window sill with Murphy's Oil Soap.

I'm embarrassed to say it has been months since I have cleaned house. I mean if I knew peeps were coming over I'd shove crap into closets, light a scented candle and dim the lights. In my defense, working almost a hundred days in a row  gave me a free pass.

But I had three glorious days in a row off and after a twelve hour nap came out swinging a dust rag like nobody's bidness.

The more I cleaned the better I felt. The better the house began to smell the more inspired I became.

It helped that Zach and Tim weren't home. Zach was at  work and Tim was helping out at  a freight company. I'd open a bottle of wine and get busy as soon as they both left at night.

I'd take breaks and check out what everyone else was doing on FB and add my own little comments, then get right back to work.

The dreaded bathrooms were a bit tougher. They were in desperate need of attention.  We have three bathrooms and I used an entire can of Comet and two bottles of cleaner just to get them looking good...and then I felt even better. I cleaned Massey's bathroom first since she'd been gone since August and was the least disgusting.

Then I cleaned Zach's. He's a boy and could care less unless the water stopped running hot. I know he's got a penis but he's had it for over twenty one years and obviously couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with it. I cleaned the toilet seat, sides of the toilet and the base surrounding it. Geez, he's a terrible shot.

I scrubbed his shower and tub and even hung fresh towels for him to throw on  the floor. But man, it felt good!

I took a break from bathrooms and cleaned all the intake vents on the ceiling. I knocked down cobwebs I had considered Halloween decorations until it turned mid November and even wiped every window sill and mini blind.

By this time I also had all the laundry caught up. I do laundry but tends to pile up clean in baskets waiting on someone to put it up, which rarely happens around these parts. I made it happen  and even hung all jeans and shirts on hangers and put them all in their rightful closets. GO ME!

I tackled our bathroom last and it was a beast. I cleaned all the bulbs above the double vanity which were covered with dust. I scrubbed both sinks and the counter sparkled. I moved on to the garden tub, which only I use so gave it some tender loving care.

The shower stall, which Tim uses was ridiculous. I can't believe he hasn't died from a fungal infection or at least complained about it. It made a camp shower stall look like a five star resort.

It took me an hour, squatting "Nekkid" armed with two bottles of cleaner and a scrubber. All my nail polish and half my nails were gone when I got through but  looked so  good I grabbed a bar of soap and took a shower myself!

Woke up this morning and felt like a champion, and was. The house smells and looks wonderful. Even Tim and Zach have commented on my handiwork.

Even  my dogs seem happier.  Maybe they got sick of smelling themselves too.

Then the downside of all my cleaning reared its ugly head when I went back to work tonight. My  right shoulder (on my scrubbing arm) was absolutely killing me. I had a hard  time even carrying plates and  hurt so bad I almost felt nauseous. Lucky for me, I had excellent tables and tips. After waiting on two four tops I had made sixty bucks. I walked (limped) out with Ben Franklin and a couple of buddies holding me up.

Even luckier for me I still had one 800 MG Ibuprofen left from when I was sick last year. I stopped by  the store and bought some Epson's Salt and fixing to go relax in my huge, clean garden tub. It's actually so big that the hot water runs out before it gets full so I'm boiling a five quart pot of water on the stove to add to it.

Getting old sucks but it's a fifty/ fifty suck. Yes my right shoulder is killing me, but my left one is fine. Yes I have carpal tunnel in one of my wrists but the other one is still strong. Yes I have one bad knee but could hop on the other leg all day. Yes I have hot flashes that could start a forest fire but when it's cold outside, they keep me comfy. Yes I've been a horrible house keeper the past few months but only live with two men who are too scared to complain because they both know I'd wring their necks and never cook them a home cooked meal again.

My dogs don't care...well maybe they do but find it hard to bitch, they're all three male.

Tim has a wonderful opportunity coming up in  the next couple of weeks and seems we may be coming into a great turn around and maybe even a move.

At least my house is ready for the celebration.

Over the past four years it's been a roller coaster ride and sometimes even when we seemed derailed  kept our seat belts on and prayed we'd finally smile when the ride was over.

I'm ready to fling my arms up in the air and scream "WOO-HOO!"

Til next  time...COTTON


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Can This Be Real?

So I finished my gig as a "Mattress Maven" (as my sister called me) on Thursday. The last day was a stressful one. Let's talk about it:

A dude was buying a mattress (from the other salesman who works when I am off) going through our financing option. It took forever for him to finally get all his paperwork together but came in to make the down payment and take his mattress home. I know the guy so after faxing over the contract, getting his check for the down payment and sticking it into  the check processing thing a-ma-jig (technically speaking)  went to the back of  the store to help him load it. He borrowed a truck from a friend, who sat in the passenger side. I weigh ninety five pounds soaking wet even with hot flash sweat but the guy who bought the (king size) mattress is kinda big so together we hoisted it out the back door. Getting it up onto the truck was another thing.

The guy asked "What do we do now?" to which I replied "How about asking your friend to get out of his truck and help?"

I know I said it loud enough for the non helping dude to hear but obviously felt his loan of a vehicle was help enough and remained in his truck.

It wasn't easy and my neck still hurts but simply pushed my head under the mattress and held it up while the other man pulled it into the back of the pick up.

Major success. Off  they went! (after convincing  him to tie it down)  I was behind a vehicle once with a mattress flopping in the wind and the driver pulled over at  the last minute before it flew off the roof.

Sweating like a lone Klansman at  the Apollo I went back inside to finish up the paper work. I pulled his check out of the processing machine for his down payment to  write down the approval code and immediately felt like throwing up. The message on  the machine read "DECLINED."

I just let this guy drive off  with an almost thousand dollar mattress and even waved good bye to them.

I immediately called him on his cell and told him his check had been declined. He said that was crazy and I said that may be so but the contract for financing called for him to make the down payment and since he hadn't, I was in deep do do.

He asked if it was okay to take the mattress home since his buddy needed his truck back and then come back to give me the down payment? Like the idiot I am, I said  that would be fine and mentally crossed my fingers.

Now don't get me wrong, over the past few years when we were desperate I would kite some checks but were to keep  the lights, water or gas on and I had overdraft protection.My checks always cleared, I was just left with a hefty NFS charge.

He called me back two hours later and said "We" had a problem with the mattress." I wanted to say "No sh*t. It's not paid for."

He told me the mattress didn't fit on his bed frame. I told him if he had a king size bed, we had loaded up a king size mattress (as I rubbed my sore neck) and it should fit. He said he would just bring the mattress back.

Maybe he re-thought his bounced check or maybe he was an idiot or maybe I didn't even care at this point...all I knew was my last day was the next and certainly wasn't going out leaving  almost a thousand dollars worth of merchandise unaccounted for under my watch.

I clocked in for my last shift the next  morning and was a nervous wreck. I called his cell numerous times and got no answer. I got smarter and used a land line he wouldn't recognize and he picked up after the first ring. Once pegged down he said he would bring the mattress back but didn't have a truck. I told him Home Depot rented them for $19.00 for seventy minutes and he'd best hurry over there and rent one. He promised to have the mattress back by five.

By six I was sweating, and not only from hot flashes. Fifteen minutes before we closed a big ole truck backed up to the loading door and saw the mattress in the back.

Once again he got out of the truck and had another story. The dude driving just had back surgery and couldn't help. By this point I would have carried it myself and almost did.

All's well that ends well. It was still in the bag and made it back to inventory.

It was totally my fault for not running the check first, therefore it was totally my fault for letting it go out the door.

I was just worried we'd never see it again  and go out as a scorned and burned mattress maven. Not to mention I'd be responsible for the cost of the mattress.

So I squeaked out clean and relieved.

The owner sent me a nice text  after I posted my last rms. (retail management system report) and said I had done a great job and hoped to work with me again in the future.

Be careful for what you ask for!

Bullet dodged and lesson learned.

Back to being a server full time but hitting it at  the right time. The holidays. It's our beach season. Did great all weekend and with fingers crossed, Tim flies out of town this next weekend to explore a job opportunity that may be an answer to all our prayers. Keep me on your prayer list.

It's been a hard tough four years but we've made it. I've been with Tim for over a quarter of a century. (He says it feels more like fifty) We sailed smoothly for twenty years then hit an iceberg which felt like living on the Titanic with  three kids aboard, three pups who needed us too and no where to run (or swim).

Swim, tread water, paddle and pray...and not in that order.

I'm the luckiest woman on earth.

I know I use Dr.Seuss quotes a lot, (my younger son is a Seuss fanatic) which is a good thing to me but the man simply seems like a genius to me.

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”

It's all about Karma. Live your life and expect nothing more than you've given.

Yes I'm a you tube music freak but here's some words that totally speak to me.

"Lean On Me"

Sometimes in our lives
We all have pain, we all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there's always tomorrow

Lean on me when you're not strong
And I'll be your friend, I'll help you carry on
For it won't be long
'Til I'm gonna need somebody to lean on

Please, swallow your pride
If I have things you need to borrow
For no one can fill those of your needs
That you won't let show

You just call on me, brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you'll understand
We all need somebody to lean on

Lean on me when you're not strong
And I'll be your friend, I'll help you carry on
For it won't be long
'Til I'm gonna need somebody to lean on

You just call on me, brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you'll understand
We all need somebody to lean on

If there is a load
You have to bear that you can't carry
I'm right up the road, I'll share your load
If you just call me.

We have had so many people who not only shared our load but lightened it. I have so much to pay back it could be a full time job and would feel blessed to have it.

 Thank You God, thank you family, thank you friends and thank you thousands who read my drivel. I love you all right back.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Well that was just NUTS

What a day at work, from beginning to end. It started out normal enough but quickly became almost laughable. I had a few things to do right off the bat, emails and returning customer calls. Like an idiot I didn't eat breakfast and was starving by eleven. I had brought two small frozen pizzas with me on ice in a cooler to nuke for dinner and didn't want to eat them for lunch, knowing I would be ravenous by the time I got off at eight PM. I found a coupon in  drawer for Chinese food and wondered whether to use it. What the hey, I was hungry and could take the leftovers home for Tim to eat tonight so I ordered. With tax and delivery it was only twelve bucks and we'd get two meals out of it so called in my order.

Number one I work in a restaurant so this ain't my first rodeo. When ordering  specifically told Hop Sing I was at work with no utensils so be sure to send me some and please don't forget lots of soy sauce.  "No problem!" was his cheery reply. The guy seemed really nice but after he told me my total I went ahead and reminded him one more time that I needed a fork,  AND a spoon for my soup AND don't forget  that yummy soy sauce!

I was all excited...with my coupon I was getting a salad, soup, chicken and shrimp with vegetables and steamed rice. Thirty minutes later a young girl came in the store wearing a server uniform, name tag and apron, toting a huge paper sack containing my treats! Guess if your section isn't full in that restaurant you  get to deliver take out. They had already tagged on a delivery charge but I gave her a couple of extra bucks. She was young (everyone is compared to me) and friendly, told me it was all there and hoped I enjoyed  it. The bag was stapled shut so I sat it on the counter and ripped the bag open ready to devour some food. First styrofoam container had my salad in it. I was a little disappointed, it was nothing but lettuce but at least they gave me two small cups of  that yummy ginger dressing. I sat it to the side and got out my soup. I know it's just broth with spring onions and paper thin sliced mushrooms but I like it! My chicken and shrimp with rice was still in the bag but wanted to eat my soup and salad first. I couldn't find the utensils or soy sauce so figured they must have gone into  the bag first and took out the plastic dish with my entree.  All that  was under it was a piece of cardboard. I was ROYALLY ticked...and starving. Naturally the young girl who delivered it  was long gone. They could have at least sent me chop sticks.

I called the restaurant back and Hop Sing answered. It  told him they had delivered my food with no napkins, utensils or my yummy soy sauce. He asked if I was sure? I said yes, unless there was some secret compartment underneath the card board bottom and quickly checked just to make sure.

There was no secret compartment.

He apologized and said as soon as she got back he would send me some. She got back twenty minutes later while I stared at  the food wondering if I should just eat it with my hands, I was starving. I almost asked for my two bucks back but since I'm a server, bit my tongue. She handed me a small packet and apologized saying they had told her everything was in  the bag.

So now I had to nuke my soup but by  this point could have eaten it cold. My lots of yummy soy sauce turned out to be one tiny pack but at least I had something to eat with.

Note to self: Never order from this place again. I ate the lettuce and the soup and a portion of the chicken and shrimp doused with my 1/2 ounce of yummy soy sauce. I thought about chewing on the card board in the bottom of the bag but didn't have any soy sauce left to dip it in.

The day got worse as the day went on. They dock me thirty minutes for lunch so I always climb on my favorite thirteen hundred dollar mattress and read for thirty minutes when no one is in the store.

Enter crazy lady.

She walked in with her bag from the Dollar Tree next door in her hand and climbed on the mattress beside me as I went to get up.  She said "I like this one, how much is it?" I told her with box springs it was $1299. She said "I'll take it."

I got kinda pumped but thought it was kinda weird. She said she needed pillows too and wanted to know how much our foam pillows were? I told her and she said she wanted two. I went to work her up a quote while she wandered to the back of the store. She hollered at me to add on the chest of drawers and dresser  she was standing by, and to throw in a mattress protector.

You  shouldn't prejudge people so I didn't, thinking  maybe I just got lucky and some eccentric woman with money to burn hated shopping around and wanted what she wanted.

When I asked her how she wanted to pay she pointed to the "No credit check" financing sign.

That's okay too, I'm down with that.

She pulled out her drivers license and asked what else I needed? I told her she needed her latest pay  stub  and a thirty day detailed bank statement.

(Crazy Lady): "Well I clean houses for a living." That didn't bother me, plenty of people do that, it's good money and actually wish  they would come clean mine. I told her if she was self employed she would need three months worth of bank statements.

Then she said without batting an eye, I just opened an account two weeks ago at that bank they have in Wal Mart. I  asked if she had a previous account somewhere to which she replied, No.

This wasn't going well at all.

Then she said out of the blue, "Well I'll go by  there and see if they can give me a sixty day statement." She had said two minutes earlier the account was opened two weeks ago and my head started to throb. I didn't even bother to remind her I'd said she needed a ninety day bank statement.

Then  she said "Guess how old I am?" I almost said "Old  enough to know better?"

In my defense, there HAVE had people just walk in and point out something and pay for it off the bat so you  always need to  take customers seriously but by this point knew I was just letting a woman window shop and dream.

I did the right thing though, worked her up a quote and told her to bring back all the required documents.

Maybe I'll see her again and maybe I won't.

Then I had a couple of people come in who were serious about buying, worked  them up quotes too, gave them my card and told them to come back to see me. I didn't tell them tomorrow was my last day. I'm a team player and still want to help the company.

Enter crazy man.

Yes he was nice. No he wasn't ready to purchase, and yes will probably come back to purchase but the guy could talk the ears off an African Elephant.  I can now tell you all about his parents, his lineage and how his dad wanted to marry  a Korean gal when he fought in the war but never did.  His dad died but his mom still has the letters he wrote his Korean girlfriend. He used  to work out but he just let himself go about ten years ago. His son is super smart and will probably get a scholarship, at least  they are hoping so. He went on and on and on. He told me about how he wanted to travel one day, maybe to explore his roots, his family was originally from Ireland. After one hour I moved from behind my desk and started to walk to the back to get another cup of ice out of my little ice chest to add  to my now Luke warm water...he followed me back.

Finally my son, Zach walked into  the store as the man's cell phone rang and God smiled on me when he said he needed to take the call but would come back to see me.

So tomorrow is my last day. I've met a lot of people and made a few new friends. I may not be the best sales person but I am a good sales person. I am headed back to being a server full time but  told the boss if he opens another furniture store in Newnan I would love to give it another shot.

It was just a crazy day.

So tomorrow is my last day. I'm sad in a way. It's been nice taking a break from  the grueling life of  being a server day after day after day.

Hope I go in tomorrow and have my biggest day yet. That would be a good way to go out and a good way to hold my spot when they open another furniture store here.

Tim just got home and is heating up the Chinese leftovers. Hope he doesn't want any yummy soy sauce.

Til next  time...COTTON

Monday, November 4, 2013

Shut The Front Door...Literally!

I can feel it coming. Winter, my least favorite season. It doesn't help I skitter across parking lots when the wind blows too hard but simply don't like being cold. I know this goes against all my gripes about hot flashes...I'm beginning to think they are God's way of keeping me warm through the winter months.

Simply stated, there is no happy medium or season for a menopausal woman. You  can keep the heat turned down to 67 in your house yet still wake up several times a night soaked in sweat and none of them involve romance. But as soon as you kick off the covers and the sweats begin to stop you grab for the covers and snuggle under... and it feels wonderful, for about a hour.

It's like 'shampoo, rinse, repeat' all night long except you wake up in the morning with your hair matted to your head.

My sweats don't bother me  too much during the day, especially in summer months because I love working in the yards and don't mind the sweating. I end up the day wrung out like a dish rag but my yard looks great and gives me a satisfying feeling of accomplishment.

Waking up every hour on the hour during the night...not so much.

When I am at work at the restaurant and begin  to have sweats I tell myself it could be worse. I could be a cook standing on  the other side of the expo line in front of three ovens set on 450 degrees and three open flame  char grills. I immediately feel cooler. It's  the only time I feel sorry  for cooks.

My gripe is when it is too cold to work in the yards, too cold to sit out back with the pups, too cold to sit and read my book in the hammock...and even my hot flashes can't keep me warm.

Weren't women punished enough with "The curse"? Weren't women punished enough when God determined  we would be the sex to push a human being out of an orifice the size of the diameter of a pencil and then expected to take it home two days later and be a momma?

I think if you manage to  push a human being out of your body, there should be an immediate six month round the world cruise you  board while the father stays home and learns how to be  'baby daddy'. That's  the least he can do, and at least it doesn't hurt him to sit on a hard chair.

Seems I've strayed away from night sweats and dug up repressed feelings. I must be having a really severe hot flash.

Yes I have a great, wonderful husband and he is a good father, but know and recognize some male limitations ladies.

I told a young co-worker at work tonight who was having problems with her boyfriend three really important rules about relationships.

Number one, if they are really a man, they're not going to change much...they are a stubborn breed. Some change some don't. You're taking a chance.
Number two, the more you  do for a man the more he will let you do.
Number three, never settle...wait to fall in love and know he loves you even more. That one will be the keeper and you will grow old together, no matter what.

I waited for number three.

Dang, maybe I should be a marriage guru!

I haven't broken out in a sweat in over two hours so know I'm due.

Back to my original gripe, I hate cold weather, even if it helps with my hot flashes.

Winter months to me seem like  eating in a Waffle House, wishing you had brought your sweatshirt. The food is okay  but won't last too long in your goose pimpled  body and  you're glad when you get out of there.

Hurry back Spring !

Til next  time...COTTON

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Talk about a perfect fall weekend. Massey came home for a much anticipated visit. She was asleep by the time I got home  from work Friday night but headed out together Saturday morning for a way overdo momma/daughter day. We started off by going to the Christmas Marketplace at  my sister's church. I bought a huge bottle of local honey. Honey has so many great uses. It helps your respiratory system and is a natural healing miracle. It works great on burns or wounds , not to mention using it in cooking or a cup of tea. Massey found a retro suitcase she simply HAD to have and since it was one dollar she got it! I found a nice leather shoulder bag big enough  to carry all my work junk in for five bucks and we called our visit a success. We took the back roads through the country heading  home and decided to stop for lunch at a country diner. Only bad decision of the day.

It's a home cooking buffet so we stopped in for a bite to eat. The fried chicken was pretty tasty and creamed potatoes were yummy. I was  about halfway  through my chicken  breast when I discovered about a four inch hair. I'm a waitress and know that sometimes these  things happen so I didn't mention it to Massey but knew with certainty it wasn't mine since my hair is about an inch long. When I turned the breast over to pluck some meat off  the back side I found another hair and Massey noticed it too. She put her fork down and simply said "Please don't eat that, let's get out of here" so we did. Massey gets grossed out pretty easily whereas I don't, but two hairs is even a bit much for me. We didn't say anything to anyone but mentally scratched this place off our list of places to go.

We drove into downtown Senoia, a beautiful quaint little town where they film "The Walking Dead" TV series. We window shopped and and spent some great quality time together. It was a spectacular autumn afternoon made even more so because I was with my little girl.

We headed back to Newnan and suggested going by my favorite boutique, Ross...or as we call it "Ross Mess for Less." You have to hunt and peck and scrutinize every selection for missing buttons, rips or broken zippers but you  can find some really good deals. I found a fifty dollar cable knit turtle neck sweater for $12.99 and Massey found a precious colorful heavy wrap around sweater that retailed for sixty but was $16.00. Ross is a great store, a little messy but can find some really good deals if  you look long enough.

Then we drove across the street to battle the idiots at Wal Mart.  I know you save money there but sometimes (usually always) the people can drive you insane. We got Massey some things she needed for school and got her some snacks and toiletries for her dorm room.

I was mentally adding all this up in my tiny empty head knowing we couldn't really afford it but you only live once and money is over rated unless you can use it to make someone happy. I'm current (in my book) on most all my bills and just wanted to spoil my girl a bit and it's not like I took her to Neiman Marcus and Whole Foods.

We had to head home because I was on  call for the night shift at  work. My last day off was the day we moved her into her dorm room. I'm not complaining, it's been of my own choosing but an entire day off sure sounded nice to me and I called work with my fingers crossed. BINGO! They didn't need me and immediately felt even better.

Zach got  home from work early and  we enjoyed a  family night together. We all sat around together and talked. We  watched music videos on YouTube and tried to one up each other on which song was better. We had a blast watching everything from Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music to Little Feat to Jimi Hendrix to Don McClean to Old Crow Medicine Show's "Wagon Wheel." We  even watched an old video of  Steve Winwood's "Low Spark of High heeled Girls."

If we just could have  caught TJ online and sykped with him in Australia it would have truly been picture perfect.

On top of it all, the time change  even gave me an extra hour of sleep! I had to  work at  eleven on Sunday and the family came in for brunch before Zach  headed to work. Zach even sprung  for  the tab!

It was an excellent weekend. It was a fabulous weekend.

I got off around four and  came home to drive Massey  back to school. The drive into downtown ATL is never dull. Those guys on crotch  rockets are insane. I bet a guy passed me doing 120 mph weaving in and out of lanes like he was in a Frogger video game. Holy crap, what  are  they thinking? If  they crash and hit the pavement at well over a hundred mph do they think they will survive with just a helmet? Not to mention they scare the crap out of you when they scream up beside you seemingly out of nowhere and pull in front of you with  two feet to spare.

Massey had  three loads to carry up and it  costs  eight bucks to park so I sent her up with the first load and told her to  find  a friend to come back and help with  the rest. I hate not going up but it's ridiculously high to park in the ATL. She came back down a few minutes later with her buddy, Chris and  they  took up the rest.

I climbed out of the car and hugged my girl tight before I left. I told both (Chris is a great guy) I loved them and felt better about leaving with him walking her back in. A momma always worries.

With  the time change I made it back to the airport by  sunset and  home by dark.

Massey's doing great at  the university. So far all A's and B's. I knew when we took this tremendous step to send her she would make us proud and has stepped up to the plate.

It was a fantastic weekend  and well worth working almost three months straight for. If you're gonna have a day off, wait til it counts for something and  this one counted for a lot!

I've had many ups and downs with raising my kids and lucky for me there have been mostly  ups! They have all worried me to death at some point but have all made me proud at other ones.

One more week of the seven day work week and I'm going back to a normal one, if you can call anything about me normal!

I like being a weirdo, it makes me stand out.

Til next  time,

One happy COTTON