Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Vacuuming Sucks...If You're Lucky

Yes, I wore a dress while vacuuming today with my apparently not so trusty vacuum cleaner! Actually it was my work uniform which happens to be a skirt. Hot flashes make it way too warm for long pants so I work in a skirt.
Worked the day shift today and got off early, around three thirty. Tim came to pick me up in our clown car.

Tim was driving, TJ was in the front seat and Zach in the back. I jumped in the back too and off we went! We had to drop both of them off at work then Tim dropped me off at home before he headed  to work. When we dropped the boys off, three doors opened. They both got out and I moved to shotgun position for the rest of  my ride home.

Since I've dropped to working six days a week have been able to keep the house much cleaner and don't regret it one minute. It's not like that seventh day would get us out of debt much quicker and gives me some semblance of "Peace of mind."

Since my sweet sister and one of my besties gave us a kitchen makeover I keep the kitchen pretty much spic and span, except for the floor. It's hard when most everyone comes in the kitchen door from the garage and three pups come in the back kitchen door from the yard. I live with three men who have no more concept of wiping their feet than the dogs do their paws when they all charge in the door.

It was early so I got all busy!

My vacuum cleaner has been giving me fits. My old one went Kaput about a year ago when Tim had no job at all. I went to WalMart and bought the cheapest Hoover they sold. If a vacuum cleaner could run away from home mine would. Three men and three big dogs make a job tough for a cheapo vacuum cleaner. My new kitchen now looks so amazing  that you are immediately drawn to gaze at the wonder of it all and the floor often goes unnoticed...except (hopefully) by me.

I recently learned that at least once a week I have to take every filter out of the vacuum and wash them. They take forever to dry and you can't use the stupid thing til they do. I've never been one to wait so usually use my hair dryer to dry them.

 I did just that last week so today just emptied it and washed the little tank that sucks up all the dog hair. I started vacuuming and the thing was spewing more crap out the back than it was sucking up.

I, of course got immediately frustrated so took all the filters out and beat the crap out of them on the pavement in the driveway.

Started again and was like vacuuming with a Suzy Homemaker toy. I dragged it out to the garage and decided to see if the belt was broken. Been there, done that...many times.

It took me ten minutes to find a Phillips head screwdriver. I noticed a lot of the screws weren't tight on the face plate covering the bottom and decided THAT was the problem!

All screws tight and back into the house I went.

It worked even worse. I dragged it out to the garage again and took OFF the face plate.

I felt like throwing up.

There was so much junk and dog hair clogged up around the roller which DID have a good belt on it that it totally disgusted me. I'm definitely not a clean freak, who is that works six days a week, lives with three grown men and three huge dogs?

I took it to the kitchen sink and scrubbed off enough junk and dog hair to make a complete toupee for a bald Irish Wolfhound. I had to take a Zyrtec just to finish the job.

So two hours later, I REALLY got busy and ole Hoover worked like a champ, granted a cheap one.

I dragged my little cheap buddy back out to the garage to dump his tank one more time so if anyone else in the house suddenly got all crazy and wanted to actually USE the vacuum would be clean and ready to go.

There sitting on my makeshift workbench was one filter I had forgotten to put back in.

How stupid can I be? At least the vacuum had been cleaned really well. Imagine how good a job it would have done if it had ALL the filters in?

I'll tell you how stupid I am.

I do my own exterminating. I go to Walmart and buy the big jug of Great Value "Home Protection" pesticide. Three times a year I come in the kitchen door and start spraying the baseboards. I follow them from room to room completing the entire circumference of the house then go outside and do the same with the outside of our home foundation.

I went in the garage the other night, grabbed my jug and got "Busy with it."

 Unfortunately I didn't bother to put on my glasses. Heck, who needs glasses to pump a handle of pesticide and am pretty sure I know the floor plan of the house we've lived in for almost eighteen years.

We live in a tri level house. The first floor is kitchen, dining room, laundry room, bathroom and Massey's bedroom. Oh I made sure to douse it good, the pups were out back!

I got upstairs to the second floor, our huge great room when the phone rang. I found my peepers and put them on to see caller ID and answered the phone. After hanging up the phone I noticed the jug in my hand said "Weed Killer."

I went back downstairs to put the jug back out in the garage and the  kitchen smelled like it had just been fertilized.

And to think I complain about how dense the men I live with can be?

I opened all the windows and left the dogs out back til the obviously not so dense men all got home.

Am I an idiot or what?

Here's the thing...

Yes I rule the house and do most of the work but am always using it to point out what they DON'T do. Yet they never criticize me for going weeks without making them a home cooked meal. Granted they don't do things the way I want but all love me, even when I am an idiot.

They never massage my back long enough when it's killing me but always give an attempt. They DO notice when I cut the grass and compliment on how good it looks.

They overlook my "Breaking Bad" addiction... am currently re watching the entire series when all aren't home or get home and go to bed. They brag on me when I DO cook and have never complained about anything I make them to eat.

Yep, we own one car for the five of us but at least we HAVE a car. Yes the house smelled like the Uni Bomber lived here for two days but none of them complained.

Tim's really frustrated trying to land a full time job and obviously feeling bummed out.

Here's my TAKE:

We'll be just fine. It will happen. We'll be alright.

God's got this.

Happy to say nobody  died from me poisoning the entire inside of the downstairs and have full confidence everything will be okay.

I bet nobody has made God laugh as much as us! No worries, He's Got This.

Til next time...COTTON

Sunday, April 27, 2014

THAT'S The Way to Do It!

One of my favorite people got married this past weekend. She works with me and thanks to me everyone calls her Little Frenchy. She's originally from Montreal and all her family still live in Canada.

She asked me a while back to be her Matron of Honor. She has been engaged for about six or seven years but finally agreed to set a date. They are just the sweetest couple. He's from Florida and is where they first met. They now live here and she works at the restaurant with me. He's retired Army and a wonderful musician. They are riding Amtrack to New Orleans on their honeymoon and decided on a Madri Gras reception theme.

This is them first entering the reception after the ceremony:
She's so tiny she makes ME look big! She wore her mother's wedding dress from seventy five years ago and was simply beautiful, just like the bride. Sorry I turned my phone sideways but you get the drift.

Her (now) husband had friends of his play at the reception which made it even more special. They hired the chef we work for to cater. We had smoke salmon appetizers, stuffed mushrooms, hummus and pita bread followed by an entire sit down dinner featuring salads, bread, Salmon and Filet Mignon, pasta and vegetables. They had a full open bar with wonderful wines, twelve different beers, and cocktails to boot.

It was flat out one big PARTY! They had invited our entire family and unfortunately our oldest son was called into work but the other four of us went.

I was pretty nervous being the Matron of Honor. I've never been one before and dreaded walking down the aisle. The night before at the rehearsal the wedding coordinator had to tell me to walk more slowly twice.

Before I knew it the wedding was taking place and the coordinator gave me my que. I walked as slowly as I could with a nervous smile on my face. My daughter told me after the wedding that as I walked down the aisle her father leaned over and whispered "You know it's killing your mother to make herself walk slow." (and he was right)

I made it through the ceremony and breathed a sigh of relief. Now I could relax. Then began the most fun reception I've ever had the pleasure of attending. The live band was awesome, complete with disco ball! The food was amazing and the company was fantastic! Her family all came from Canada and were the most fun folks I've ever been around. My son Zach was taken with all the French language going on and introduced himself to all of them right off the bat. I haven't danced in years but sure enjoyed it. I couldn't believe even Zach was dancing! He's not really the type but was made to feel so welcome he jumped right on the party bus with us!

This is him with the bride's sister who was just cute as a button and really took a shine to Zach. She must be in her fifties but was so much fun and had the greatest personality. She even got Zach to wear one of the Mardi Gras masks he had refused to put on for us.  Zach even asked ME to dance! I was dancing with him when the sister saw us from across the room and put her hands on her hips looking at us shaking her head, marched right up and stole my partner. The smile on Zach's face made my heart sing. I haven't seen him laugh that much in a long long time. Believe it or not he even danced with his OWN sister as well.

My kids cleaned up pretty good and it made me happy to be doing something  with them all.

Massey picked out my dress and another co worker loaned me her pearls. Tim even remarked he hadn't had that much fun in a long time...and even danced with me! I can't remember the last time we danced together but am sure it was before we were married.

The groom's family was equally as warm and welcoming. That's his mom and dad dancing together behind us.

The groom even grabbed a sax and played as well. He's a great musician! Click on this link to see him really belting one out.

Even the owner's wife from the restaurant came by to check on how things were going. The band started up another song and she motioned to me to join her on the dance floor! We all danced and partied til almost eleven.

It was a wonderful evening with family, co workers, friends old and new.

I know this was supposed to be the happy couple's special day but sure was for ALL of us. I know they will be happy for years and years to come and appreciate them including us in one of best times any of us had in quite a while.

Never underestimate the value of a friend, good ones are hard to come by.

Til next time...Dancing COTTON!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Call It Like You See It

I opened the restaurant and worked the day shift today. We had one party of twenty booked at 11:45. I was looking at the reservation sheet and saw written in remarks "Administrative Professionals luncheon."

CRAP! It was Secretary's Day. For Pete's sake just call it what it is. This politically correct stuff is getting way out of hand. I myself, am a waitress. My sister was a stewardess.

It took me forever to call myself a server and still not crazy about the term . Waiting tables sounds a bit better than "Serving" them if you ask me.

Does this mean my husband is actually an "Often sarcastically chastised life partner?" I think Tim might just go for that one.

Does it mean my three dogs are really "Hemorrhoids" I couldn't live without and my kids are the "Greatest Headache" I've ever loved or enjoyed?

Does it mean my one next door neighbor is the "Loneliest nosy man ever" and my other one "My next door husband"?

I came home from work, actually my "Often sarcastically chastised life partner" picked me up in the clown car after dumping the two boys out at work. Our "Garbage Professional" will be here tomorrow so I rolled the can to the curb before coming in.  I trudged into the house and petted the three Hemorrhoids. I looked  out the back door and was amazed. Zach had cut the back yard for me!

I'm really picky about my lawn cutting and although it wasn't perfect, beat the heck out of the jungle it was before.

I came inside and decided to do Zach a favor. He hasn't filed his taxes yet. No biggie, he gets every bit back. I remember those days! I filled out the forms and now he's just waiting on what young single people call "Hell Yeah Free Money!"

I sat down and decided I had forgotten what else today was. Believe it or not, it's "Momma Ain't Doing Nothing Tonight"!!

Massey's at school  and the boys all at work. Actually I think the politically correct term for this holiday is "Everything Can Wait".

Like the politically correctness gets on my nerves, so does all this new fangled technology. Massey told me over the past weekend I needed to update the software on my iPhone. She sent me a text today instructing how to do it so I plugged it into the charger, started the download and went to watch the news (which was as usual almost all bad) or in the politically correct term "What the heck is wrong with this world show."

After two hours of almost all bad news,  trudged back downstairs to the kitchen to check my phone. "Update Complete" it boasted.

Then my phone rang a few minutes later and couldn't even figure out how to answer it without my glasses because everything had changed.

Here's what I really need. A rotary dial cell phone with a long curly rubber coated cord. I'd trade Zach's new PS4 for an Atari that plays "Pong" any day of the week. I'm almost to the point of wanting to go back to just four TV channels, and can we please just go out and buy me a Pinto to drive?

Our cable company changed all the channels yesterday. Are you really supposed to learn over four hundred channel's new location without some sort of hint or guide? I'd be fine without cable but Tim can't watch Gunsmoke, Bonanza or The Rifleman without it.

 That HAS to be the most ridiculous oxymoron ever!

 We got a great deal on the cable when Tim's buddy worked for them and signed us up as relatives.

Give me the days of one phone in the kitchen, one (maybe two) TV's in the house and no email or texts. Send me a letter in the mail written by hand.

I know we need all this new technology but as I politically correctly call it, it's  "The Pain In My Old School Butt."

Til next time, Old School COTTON

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Bumming a Ride

Most things about our current situation don't really bother me that much, especially since worrying doesn't help but having to bum rides do.

Here I am fifty four years old having to bum rides home from work. I don't have to bum rides TO work so that's a plus.

We travel like clowns in a car. I go into work at three thirty so Tim drops me off first. I get out of the front passenger side at work and retrieve my things from the back of the car while the two boys switch seats. Either Zach or TJ will get out and move to the front seat and the other one will stay in the back. Then Tim drops the boys off where they work and two more clowns jump out. Then Tim drives up to the airport to work.

When I get off work I usually always bum a ride home. Lucky for me one co worker goes right by our street on her way home. There's another sweet girl who lives in the total opposite direction but refuses to let me take a cab. There's a third girl who kinda sorta goes my way and has toted me home numerous times. There's also a bartender who has taken me home on several occasions and even picked me up a couple of times. I offer every one of these people money for gas and all decline. I guess they think if I can't afford a car I must be pretty broke, and unfortunately are right on both counts. I have made a couple of them take a little money or refuse to bum a ride.

We're into a real mess with this car thing.
This is the picture of the car I will eventually, hopefully be driving.

The deal was $3000.00. We could pay half down and they would drop in the new transmission and make payments on the balance.

We've paid close to two grand and the new transmission isn't even in it yet. Granted I've been paying a hundred dollars at a time but a deal is a deal.

The owner of the shop has pretty much dropped out of the picture (another blog entirely) but the mechanic who actually works on the cars has taken over. When I can come up with two hundred more dollars he will drop the new transmission in and then after five hundred more I won't be bumming rides, unless my new/used car breaks down. I totally distrust the owner of the shop by this point in the game but since we already have the title just need to pay off the mechanic and hope the car runs as great as they promised.

On  different note,  am attending the wedding of one of my co workers this weekend. Actually, I am her Matron of Honor. I've never been one before and didn't really know the rules. Lucky for me she is French Canadian and new to the rules of an American marriage. I nicknamed her "Frenchy" her first day at work and the name stuck like Gorilla Glue.

What do you have to do when you are the Matron of Honor? I started by throwing her a bridal shower. Since living together for over seven years they pretty much have everything they need so made it a Lingerie shower. It turned out really well and the champagne punch helped tremendously.

She's a tiny slip of a woman, even makes ME look overweight. She's one of my co workers who takes my tired old self home after work some nights. Last night she did just that. When I plopped down into the front seat of her car she was talking on her cell to her betrothed, telling him she was taking her "Matron of Honor" home.

I looked over and said "More like your Bum of Honor."

Then to make me feel even worse she gave me a beautiful gift for standing up with her. An aluminum wire bracelet with Austrian crystals and a pair of stunning black glass earrings.

This from a woman who goes over ten miles out of her way to dump me off after work then head back the other way twenty miles to her own home.

I feel terrible having to bum rides but on the other hand feel extremely loved. They could and can always say no or make up an excuse but never have. They all act like it's a  pleasure and no problem whatsoever.

So I let Massey go to our favorite consignment store last weekend and pick out my Matron of Honor dress. She did a great job, it's a size zero and should fit like a glove. Got to buy some shoes but then I'll be set. I borrowed some pearls from another co worker who constantly totes my butt home from work and just glad my black eye healed up in time.

Seems crazy to me (an oxymoron if I've ever heard one) but after all we've been through the thing which really bothers me the most is having to have people cart me around like cab drivers, then refuse to let me pay the fare.

Once again, I am truly a lucky and blessed broke ass Bee-otch.

I had a table at work tonight. It was slow, much to my broke ass chagrin but the woman paid their fifty one dollar tab in cash and said she didn't need change. I was in the back and after checking the payment book noticed  she had left four twenties.

I went back to the table, excused myself for the interruption and asked the woman how much money she had given me ? She looked worried but said "Sixty dollars" like I was going to accuse her of not leaving enough. I held out the four twenties.

Broke as I am, Karma is an even bigger Bee-otch. On one hand she could have been a really Phat tipper but didn't think that was the case. Boy I sure could have used that extra twenty but wasn't mine and I'm all about Karma.

I didn't get an extra twenty but felt better about doing the right thing.

 That's one of the main problems in our world today, people simply don't do the right thing.

Live your life, love your life even if it seems to suck. At least you're still around to make a difference.

I'm all about being positive, negative is just negative and never amounts to anything positive.

Our time is coming, I can just feel it.

Til next time, a bumming COTTON.

Monday, April 21, 2014

I Can Remember When I Thought Thirty Was Old

When I was a little kid my momma had an older brother who was in his early thirties or as I thought, "Middle Aged."

That's certainly a hoot considering in the matter of just three months I'll be turning fifty four and still consider MYSELF middle aged. Heck, my sister is sixty one and still think of her as middle aged.

Unless scientists make some pretty drastic advancements or discoveries, I'm as off the mark as when I was a little kid. Boy, THAT'S kinda a bummer.

Concepts are so different when you're a kid. I occasionally see people from our childhood who we considered  old then. Problem is they look exactly the same to me now. Did they just look old in their forties when I was a kid or do you get a free pass if you made it through WWII?

There is an orchestra teacher who taught in the elementary school I attended in the sixties. She came into the restaurant where I work now but the minute I saw her knew exactly who she was, even remembered her hobbling little style of walking as she tottered over to a table.

She looked EXACTLY the same to me. We go visit our childhood church every once in a while and all the old peeps I remember look exactly the same as well. Did people pickle better in the sixties?

I'll run into people I went to high school with and sometimes have no idea who they are.

I attribute it to the fact that times simply aren't as great as they were when I was a kid.

Actually I'm surprised when people see me again after three or four decades and know who I am. I've aged more in the past five years than I would like. My hair's going gray and have even more wrinkles than gray.

I always say money is over rated but that's probably because we don't have much. My husband got screwed in a bad business venture and our spiral started. It was horrible at first but made it through with so much help from others that it almost embarrasses me.

When life hands you lemons you make lemonade. When you can't even afford the lemonade you tend to let your sour attitude suffice. We didn't have to. Although it's been hard and sometimes harder, we've survived and is a lot better than some people have it.

I was at work tonight and stepped out back to make a phone call around four thirty. The guy who washes dishes pulled into the parking lot. He got out of a really nice huge Ford F-1 pickup.

Dang, I don't even HAVE a car! But then started thinking...

This guy works two full time jobs and a part time job washing dishes and doubt his full time jobs are much more pleasant.

 Yes he has a nice ride and I bum rides, but am four years away from owning our house free and clear.

 Sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture.

It's not a mansion but guarantee you is nicer than the place he parks his F-1 when he has time to drop by.

Tim is at his wit's end but has never given up or in. He spends at least two or three hours every day searching for a full time job and have full confidence God will make it happen soon.

All three of my kids are working now and don't have to help them out...well every once in a while but that's what parents do. My parents helped me out so much it was ridiculous.

We're hanging tough and doing okay. I don't drive a huge shiny truck, or own any vehicle at all but I don't work three jobs either. I think I like my life better.

I hope one day I'll run into someone from my childhood and when they say "You haven't changed one bit!" I'll be able to ask them how much time they have?

Yes my life has changed but even when I thought it was going the wrong way, it was just a detour.

We may be waiting on a miracle but have no doubt all will be okay. God's got this.

I have a husband who for the life of me can't figure out why he stays with my crazy self but does. I have three great kids all doing wonderful things. I have three pups who never ask one question or complain even if their  food is one day late  and two sibs who care for me like the baby sister I am.

Vehicles are over rated too. Love is all you need and we have plenty.

Til next time, COTTON

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The First Cut is the Deepest

Opened the restaurant this morning. Couldn't believe it but brunch went smooth as silk, especially for Easter. I took in a bag of grapes to munch on and Three Musketeers, Sweet Tarts and Robin's Eggs to push me through.

I got off a lot earlier than expected and by four was home changing into my grass cutting attire.
The above photo is from when I cut at the cemetery where my folks now preside but the outfit is always the same...Old Woman Suffering From Hot Flashes.

It's always tank top, ratty shorts and flip flops. Obviously I'm out to impress no one. I putted up to the front of the subdivision on my buddy, Johnny Dear with two trash bags and my nifty little picker upper thingy on a stick my boss at work bought me. It sure comes in handy and REALLY did today.

It was my first time cutting the entrance this year and was a hot mess. I spent an entire hour picking up trash. I filled two bags completely and that was just on one side of the street.

Here's the thing. Who throws an empty can of potted meat out a car window? I understand the drink cups and beer bottles and even fast food trash. Today I even picked up an empty Styrofoam tray you buy raw chicken in, a remote control minus the back , some electronic device I didn't even recognize and  two reflectors that line the center of the road. The baby food jar had me miffed as did the container take out Chinese food comes in. It's like someone was riding down the road feeding their baby and tossed the jar out when the little tyke got full. I've never eaten Chinese take out while driving but guess we do around these parts. I never came across any chop sticks but picked up at least five Skoal cans.

Country living at it's finest!

It's been raining in "Ark" proportions lately and the grass was really tall. After cutting the grass I found yet another bag full of trash. I only cut where I know I safely can and after several years of cutting the entrance to the subdivision know where the big rocks start (after breaking two blades on my mower) and where to use my weed eater instead.

It took me another hour to cut on my mower and then putted back to the house to deposit all the trash and get my weed eater.

The boys used the weed eater a few weeks ago cutting brush in the back yard but whadda ya know? It just "Suddenly quit working."

It worked fine last year when I used it but let one of your kids use something you value or need and they are sure to break it. I tried changing the spark plug and even changed the gas replacing it with a fresh gas/oil mix.

I decided to run to Walmart and pick up another one just in case I couldn't get the old one running.

I buy the cheapest ones, probably not a good idea but wanted to finish the entrance today since I had already budgeted what they pay me to do it into my weekly finances.

I spent twenty minutes trying to fire up the old one before ripping open the new box and introduced myself to my new Murray weed eater. At least it cranked on the first try.

By this point I was on hour three of my cutting expedition and ready to get it over with. I told myself I would get my next door husband to look at my old one later, see if he could fix it then sell it to somebody at work for thirty bucks.

It took me another hour to weed eat but Mr. Murray ran great. After finishing the weed eating I discovered even more trash.

Dang people are lazy. How hard is it to simply toss something in the back seat or floor board and throw into the trash when you stop or get home? Obviously extremely hard.

With my fourth full bag of trash I putted back to the house. I decided as long as ole Murray was hot I'd trim up my own front yard. I whacked away for another thirty minutes and by the time I parked Johnny back in the garage and lay Murray to rest my body was shaking and not from the vibration of the mower or weed eater.

So the first cut is the hardest. It doesn't help I'm a year older than when I cut the front last and certainly felt that extra year today but the front looks pretty stinking good now.

I'm glad spring has sprung. Working in yards is exhausting but extremely rewarding.  Every time I leave the subdivision after cutting I admire my handiwork and hope my neighbors do as well.

So I'm getting myself back into shape after a cold lazy winter. My body hurt when I finished but it's wonderful to think of how much better everything looks and lucky me, get to admire it every time I leave or come back home. Satisfaction is a wonderful ego booster.

The boys grilled out steaks my boss hand cut us while I was toiling away and even semi cleaned the kitchen. Tim took Massey and her roomie back to college while I finished cutting.

I have grass and mud between my toes and in my hair. My clothes are filthy but I feel great. I have a huge rib eye waiting and fresh sheets on my bed (thank you Tim).

Thinking this momma is done for the day.

As my buddy Dr. Seuss so eloquently put it

It was a great day, I'm whooped but in a good way. Everything checked off my list but a hot bath.

There's nothing better than spring. It makes you feel alive and inspires you to bud like the bulbs in your yard. It makes it all seem okay. You survived the winter, you made it through the cold and can now feel the warmth of spring and a feeling of  the wonderful blossoms to come.

This old body will be aching tomorrow, an ache that lets you know you're still kicking!

Til next time...COTTON Blossoms

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Talk About Addictions

My younger son recently added a Netflix account at our house. I didn't even know how to turn it on for the first few weeks and rarely even thought about it. Both my boys and my husband watched it all the time.

One fateful night my son asked if I had ever watched Breaking Bad? I told him I had seen one or two episodes a while back when it was playing one weekend but didn't really understand it since I started in the middle of the series. He told me I could watch it on Netflix from the beginning. Of course he had to load the first episode for me since I'm a dummy but showed me how to just let it go from one episode to the next.

Now my life's a meth.

He got me started watching when I had fallen, busted my eye open and couldn't do anything but lay on the sofa.

By the time my eye healed enough to go back to work, I was totally addicted. I'd go to work, come home and do whatever had to be done then take my seat in front of the boob tube and get my fix on. I'd watch it til two or three in the morning then wake up and watch another episode if I didn't have to work the day shift. Oh I had it bad. I watched it every time I folded laundry. Once all the laundry was done I had to find another justification for being in the living room for hours on end. I cleaned the ceiling fan blades while watching, then cleaned all the baseboards. I cleaned all the wood with Murphy's Oil Soap and windexed all the glass and windows. My living room has never been cleaner. I guess I like a tidy theater. By the end of season one I had a huge crush on Aaron Paul, who plays Jesse Pinkman. "Yo!"

When I first heard about the series I wasn't crazy about the concept of watching a show about Meth but turned out to be about so much more.

I don't really watch that much television. I like Parenthood and Modern Family but usually record those and watch later. With this show I couldn't wait to see what would happen next and didn't.

My husband and sons made fun of me but I didn't care. Jesse needed me.

Every character on the show is great and the story simply grows with every episode.

Even when I'm not home watching I'm still hooked. I talk about it to customers at work and my co workers. I talk about it to my sister on the phone.

Today my oldest son and I drove into Atlanta to have lunch with my daughter. I talked about the show with TJ while we drove into town. We picked Massey up and went to eat. The first restaurant had two buses parked out front (not a good sign) and was packed like a sardine can. We decided to go somewhere else. As we were walking back to the car a cop directing parking lot traffic spoke to us when we said hello.  He spoke with an accent and after we passed him I looked at TJ with raised eye brows and said "Sounded like cartel to me." Massey just shook her head as if to say "My momma's an idiot."

She's not far off.

I absolutely loved the Game of Thrones book series and was all into it too. Some friends bought me season one for my birthday last year and have really enjoyed the show but it's just fantasy. Breaking Bad is really going on somewhere, trust me.

How can you not get sucked in? Here's just a sample of the different story lines. Cancer, Cerebral Palsy, underpaid teachers, crooked cops and good cops, crooked lawyers, people dealing (or not) with addiction, kleptomaniacs, marital affairs, providing for your family, illegals and even murderers. Dang, talk about a reality series!

Lucky for this addict I am on the last season and only have a few episodes left.

I don't get out much (obviously) and don't have a lot of money. I find pleasure in reading books, working in the yard during the summer,blogging and a good show when I find one on the boob tube.

I blame my addiction on my younger son. He's pretty smart about most things and when pronounced Breaking Bad the best show he's ever seen on TV, took his advice and tuned in.

I'm not sure how clean my living room is going to stay after I finish the series but at least the rest of my family had a pristine room to sit in while I'm at work these past few weeks.

Maybe that was their plan the entire time. Maybe, just maybe, THEIR the cartel!

Til next time, COTTON

Sunday, April 13, 2014

You Can't Fix Stupid

People never cease to amaze me and not always in a good way. Let me share with you a recent example.

Last Friday night I got off really early,which rarely ever happens. By the time the sun went completely down I was through with all my sidework, had cleaned all my tables and done my check out.

It would have been even better if I had a car and could simple walk out into the parking lot and drive home. I don't mean to complain, my co workers have been great about giving me rides and lucky for me a few go right by my subdivision on their way home. This particular night no one else was near to being off so being exhausted decided to call a cab. Let me point out after well over a year without a car this was the first time I've ever had to pay a cab so decided it was well worth it to be home before nine o'clock on a Friday.

I looked up the number in the phone book at work and lucky for me the guy said he could be there in five minutes. Guess they don't get real busy until all the drunks need a ride home.

I told him to pick me up behind the building and I'd be waiting by the curb. Sure enough five minutes later he pulled up in a minivan while I was talking to another co worker. As I walked over to it he rolled the passenger side window down and I told him one of his headlights was out. He said "Yeah, I know. You can ride in the front seat."

I looked back over my shoulder at my co worker who was chuckling and shouted "Shot Gun!" before climbing in next to the big burly looking old dude. He asked me where I was going and clicked the meter on.

He had a blue tooth in his ear and was chatting away with someone when another cell phone rang in his pocket. He retrieved it and spoke to them as well, then sent a text while turning right onto the busy By Pass.

He also had a Nextel Velcroed to the dashboard and within ten seconds it made that annoying chirp. He put the other cell down and started punching buttons on the Nextel as we cruised through the busy intersection at Lower Fayetteville Road.

I started thinking how many laws he was breaking and started to mention it, considering his headlight was out too but decided against.

For Pete's sake, this dude DRIVES for a living  not to mention usually has other people's lives in his hands or at least in his van.

Luckily by the time his cell on the seat beside him rang again we were safely on Poplar Road which is at least less populated. (by cars AND police)

He pulled into my drive way and said "I think I brought one of your boys home one time." I told him he probably did because my oldest son works at The Alamo (a local bar) on weekends and doesn't get off til around four in the morning.

TJ (my oldest) recently bought a motorcycle from somebody on the north side of Atlanta for $900. They brought in down in the back of a pick up truck, mainly because it doesn't run. He's planning on fixing it up with help from my next door husband's son but as of now it 's just sitting in my garage leaking oil onto the floor. Beside it sits a big box which came along with it containing both fenders, blinkers, back tail light and several more parts. Sounded like a horrible investment to me but what do I know?

As I gathered all my stuff from the floor of the Suicide Van to get out, the old dude said "Yeah he told me about his motorsickle (that's the way he pronounced it). I told him if it hadn't been so late I'd a like to crank that sucker up!"  I started to ask him if he was a magician too, because the motor cycle hasn't been cranked since it rolled out of the back of the truck that brought it. I went ahead and let that one slide.

Technology is great but sure has made for lots of stupid drivers. There's nothing that ticks me off more than have to beep at the car in front of me to get moving when the light turns green and they are looking down at their lap obviously texting or holding a cell to their ear. I also can't stand when people are yapping into their cell when a cashier is ringing them up.

I'm a server and can't tell you how many times a couple or even entire family sit down for dinner and all  stay on their devices the entire meal. People are losing touch with human socialization and seemingly prefer social networking. It's kind of sad if you ask me. Talking (one of my favorite things to do) seems to falling to the way side in these new modern times. Even if they have a toddler with them, they'll have an iPad to give the little kid. Pretty soon we'll all be Mutes or Mimes.

I will say I HAVE a cell but try not to do anything but answer it when driving. If I'm in a store I try not to be on it but if I am always hang up when I get to the register. I wonder how many irritated cashiers short change rude people too busy to get off their phone while checking out?

When I was a little kid I would never have imagined we'd be living like this today. Heck, when I was a kid even The Jetson's didn't have cell phones.

Next time you go into a store, bank, post office or sit down for a meal out, try talking to the people you are with or looking at. Trust me, that's why you have voice mail.

See, technology CAN be a good thing!

Til next time...COTTON

Saturday, April 12, 2014

I'm Not THAT Stupid!

So I woke up around nine this morning and started watching my new favorite/ can't stop watching show, Breaking Bad. I'm as addicted to this show as the meth heads are addicted to the product they make. Finally at one I had to MAKE myself turn off Netflix. My younger son bought Netflix for the house and got me watching and now I simply can't stop.

The phone rang so I wandered downstairs to the kitchen to answer.

A man with an accent as thick as the hair on my winter legs asked for Kelly. I fessed up it was me. Then he goes into a broken English one sided conversation about how he was with the IRS and there was a problem with my taxes requiring my immediate attention. He asked for me to get a pen and write down my case number and name of the agent assigned to my case in Washington. I took the number down mainly because in actuality Tim and I DO have some problems with the IRS stemming from a couple of guys who made Tim the fall guy in a trucking business they all had a few years back. We're unfortunately stuck with a $28,000 payroll  penalty tax we are having to pay off. Of course I didn't mention this but as the guy kept talking about how important it was I contact my caseworker, I began to question HIM!

It went something like this:

"So let me get this right. The IRS is calling me on a Saturday afternoon to let me know there is a problem with my taxes? Number one , you don't even sound American. Number two, you sound like somebody I get on the phone when I call my cable company for technical support and somebody in Indonesia answers."

The guy went on and on when finally I simply said "Yeah, right" and hung up the phone. I started worrying maybe he was legit so I called the number he had given me to contact my caseworker. A man picked up on the second ring and said "Internal Revenue Service." I immediately hung up. Crap! Were we really in MORE trouble?

Then I decided to put the phone number into the Google search bar and see what came up. There were at least five queries saying it was a hoax and that the number I had dialed was in fact a cell phone in Washington but not related to the IRS.

I started thinking about what happens when he calls old people, not too smart people or illegals worried about their immigration status.

I didn't give the guy any information, just an ear full. I know times are tough, no one knows that more than us but to scam people on a cell is pretty stinking lazy if you ask me.

Tim wasn't home at the time, he had gone to the park to walk. When he got home I told him about the call.

He said the guy had called around nine this morning and asked for me. Tim knew I was downstairs getting my Breaking Bad fix and didn't want to bother me so took the number down himself. He called the number right back and a man answered. When Tim said to the man "You sound exactly like the same guy I was talking to ten seconds ago" the man hung up on Tim.

I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed but for Pete's sake, how stupid do you think we are?

What worried me more is that obviously these guys are getting a few people's financial information out of them and possibly stealing money or they wouldn't keep doing this.

All our (unfortunate) dealings with the IRS  have always been through certified mail. Actually one time they DID make a house call but after setting up an appointment via certified letter. It was nerve wracking and I let Tim talk to him in the living room while I stayed upstairs. I came downstairs to sign papers and scooted from the room as soon as my name was signed on the dotted line.

I should have known better from the jump but when you already owe the IRS you get nervous. The IRS gets our tax returns for the next seven years plus we're on a payment plan for the rest. At least the IRS has the courtesy of paying for certified mail to let you know.

I went into work feeling better knowing it was a hoax. It was pretty slow again but got lucky with a few great tables.

Tim was off today so I had Zach take me to work at four and then he took the car to his job at five. I got off around nine and caught a ride to where Zach works. I was starving so Zach asked me if I wanted something to eat before taking the car home? I told him I would love some wings so he ordered me some. I saw him at the counter with his credit card and went around to pay for them myself. I handed the waitress a twenty and said not to take Zach's card. Zach took the twenty out of the waitress's hand and made her put it on his card. He stuffed the twenty in his back pocket and thought to myself "What just happened and where did my twenty dollars just go?"

I didn't say anything then but when Zach brought me my box of wings to take home just said "Use that twenty to take a cab home tonight."

I suppose it's the thought that counts.

Zach has been good to us though, helping out with bills and can't say I don't enjoy his Netflix account tremendously.

It's getting better around here, slowly but surely. At least I know now we don't owe the IRS any MORE money. My job has been a blessing, the boys are pitching in when we need it and know God will provide Tim with a good job soon.

Ate my wings when I got home, even shared some with Tim. Now I'm going upstairs to the living room to watch Breaking Bad again...yep I'm a junkie for the show.

Talked to my girl at college for a few minutes, took the dogs out and now it's "Me" time. I've learned that "Me" time is a necessity I ignored for way too long.

As Alanis Morrisette so eloquently said "We're broke but we're happy."

Til next time...COTTON

Friday, April 11, 2014

Back to Work!

Had a wonderful  forty eight hour vacation from work. I got lots done around the house and even managed to get the front yard cut. I got all the laundry caught up and even got caught up on my latest obsession, "Breaking Bad."

The show is as addicting as the meth they cook on the series. My younger son bought a Netflix subscription and unfortunately turned me on to the show. After watching it until three this morning I'm up to season four. It's great and can fold laundry while watching. I even managed to match an entire basket of socks I've been avoiding like the plague.

My vacation was over at three thirty today so I showered and pulled back on my uniform.

It was slow as Christmas at work which turned out to be a good thing. My current ailment is a kink in my left butt cheek. I'm not sure if it's from working in the yard for the first time this spring or from sitting on the sofa for hours on end watching "Breaking Bad."

Here's the thing about a slow night at work. The only thing that saves you is having regulars who come in and ask for your section. I had three different ones tonight and made my night worthwhile and profitable. The owner told me this was the slowest week of the year in restaurants except for the week of July fourth...and I believe him.

I did have one strange table. (There's ALWAYS one)

The couple sat down and the woman asked if our water was filtered or just tap water? I told her we offered Saratoga or Pelligrino but nixed the two which cost money. I took the high road and said we get our customers water from the soda machine which in fact has a filter so she went with it. We were running a great dinner special on the special's menu: All natural chicken with jerk seasoning, pan seared, served with fried bananas and roasted red bliss potatoes. She said they were both gluten free and asked if the special could be prepared gluten free? I told them of course, every dish is individuallty prepared and can be modified any way you want. They, of course turned down the offer of bread with the meal and once again reiterated the fried bananas needed to be gluten free as well.

I went back to the cook line and made sure it was all doable. The owner's son, the sous chef was the one cooking at the time and I dreaded asking him once again about the bananas. He's a great cook but his temper can be shorter than his dad's hair. Let me insert here that his dad is totally bald.

Then the couple wanted to know if the jerk seasoning was wet or dry?


Once again I went back to the cook's line to get yelled at but learned they used both wet AND dry. I relayed the message to the couple, leaving out the four letter words.

When the two dishes came out,  they DID look amazing and proudly sat them down in front of the couple. The woman immediately asked if the fried bananas were gluten free? I told her the owner's son had cooked both dinners and had asked him about the fried bananas before I even picked up their plates and had assured me both dinner plates were gluten free.

The woman asked me what the bananas were battered in and if could I go ask?

Once again I was forced to go back and talk to the cooks. Cooks are temperamental A-holes, every server knows that.

I went back and said "My customer wants to know what the bananas are battered in?"

He peered at me from under the heat lamp, tongs in hand and said "It's F****** cornmeal!"

I smiled and asked if he would like me to quote him? As a matter of fact he did, with a shake of his head and huge eye roll. (actually for once I was on the cook's side)

Message relayed (minus the "F" bomb) and both seemed to enjoy the chicken.

Here's the thing about serving. Even when people tend to wear you out, question you and RE question you, it's your job to do just as they ask. After all , it's THEIR dime, THEIR dinner and THEIR decision to dine in your establishment.

All ended well and when I took their check the husband asked me if I was a manager? I told him no but if he needed to see a manager could certainly get one for him. He replied he didn't need one but thought I WAS one.

BAM!!  That's what you call going the extra mile. That's what you call "Doing your freakin' job right!"

They weren't the friendliest peeps in the world but weren't the meanest either. They were simply people who wanted to not just be waited on, but served and served well.

If you are  professional server which consider myself to be, you have to be accommodating and go the extra mile for EVERY table whether you feel like it or not. It's your job and if done consistently and correct will more times than not, be justly rewarded. And I was.

Got off early because it was slow. The Masters in Augusta, opening weekend of major league baseball and NHL playoffs made sure of that, not to mention the weather was beautiful outside.

I came home, put an Icy Hot patch on my sore butt cheek and cracked a cold one.

Both boys and Tim are still at work. Got the house to myself and one more season of Breaking Bad to watch.

Life's what you make it. Make someone else's night and you're good. Take a demanding table with a bad attitude and you're sure to get screwed if not complained about.

This is why I chose serving as a profession, I GET it. The one's who don't are nothing more than order takers and will never reap the rewards of a job well done.

Til next time...COTTON

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sisters... and More!

So today is my sister's birthday. She is sixty one years young and a beauty inside and out. I had to work today and as usual without a vehicle so did my birthday shopping at work. My boss, Barb is the hugest wine snob I know so went straight to the source and got my sister two bottles of wine. Both are wines she wouldn't be able to purchase which made it a bit more special but not by much. One is from South Africa and the other from California but neither sold retail. Nothing says "Happy Birthday" like grapes with a buzz!

She has two grown sons and a step son at Vanderbilt.
Casey is her oldest. This is a pic of him with his girlfriend, Eli who is already considered family as well.

This is her younger son, Griff with his girlfriend, Jamie also already one of our family.

Here's our  whole somewhat dysfunctional yet lovable family. Her step son wasn't in this shot but picture her husband decades earlier and you have him.

We lost our mom in 1977 and Cin has been the mother hen since. I've never met anyone who doesn't love my sister...and wouldn't care to if such person exists.

Every time we are together is a joy, blessing and ultimate laugh fest. She has done so much for not only me but my family all while taking care of about a million other things. I always wanted my daughter to have a sister but over the years have decided having an Aunt Cindy is even better.

We both have super short hair and most people who don't know us think we are either related or lesbians. Neither label bothers me. (or my sister)

Over the years she's painted every room in our house and just recently re painted my kitchen top to bottom. I know how to pick a pseudo lesbian sister or what?

When I was a lot younger and had money I used to help her out when she was a single mom raising two young sons. She has paid me back ten fold and then some over the years.

On a slightly more remorse note, another young person I know has passed way, way too soon from an overdose. It just boggles my mind. When I was a kid in high school, this never happened. We had one kid die in a car wreck which put one in a wheelchair and seriously injured the third. It was totally a freak of nature to us back then in the late seventies but has become a too often occurrence in these current troubling times.

The loss of my mother from an aneurysm devastated me when I was seventeen. I cannot imagine enduring the loss of  one of my own children to a gun, needle, pill or bottle.

I know teens and young adults think they are invincible, I felt the same way but was one of the lucky ones. For Pete's sake, you could get hit by a bus but never invite one into your path of life.

I know these kids, almost ten of them by now never meant to die... but did. That's not much comfort for a parent, sibling or friend.

My kids have survived to thrive and thank God for that every day. For the parents whose kid's didn't, you have my heartfelt sympathy.

My husband and I were talking just the other day. He had come to pick me up from work after dropping off one of our sons at work and then swinging by to take me home before he went to work himself. A car was behind him and riding on our tail. Tim made the comment "Dang, he's on my butt like I owe him money" to which I retorted "We probably do."

At  least Tim got a chuckle out of it.

Yep, we owe everybody and then some. That's what happens when you lose a good job, then your wife loses hers and the bills start to not only stack up but keep coming in.

So what we are behind? We're nowhere close to the depths of debt we were before and making strides...small strides but at least slowly moving in the right direction.

Her's what's positive about my life. I've always been an extremely nosy mother and know when something's amiss with one of my kids. I have never minded butting into their private life when I have the feeling I need to. They may hate me for it then but at least be alive to thank me for it later.

We've had some issues, nothing as detrimental as overdosing but just lack of good judgement on one of my kid's part. We had to let him man up, and he did. It wasn't easy for me and certainly wasn't for him.

He came out of it a much better person...and a man.

I realize some parents aren't as fortunate as me , through no fault of their own. It simply lets me know once again how lucky and blessed we truly are.

I say time and time again that money is over rated. Of course it's easy to say  that when you don't have any,  but you know what we DO have?

We still have three kids driving us nuts, but only with things like not flushing a toilet or loading the dishwasher. They start a load of clothes in the washer and leave them to sour. They drink the last of the milk without telling anyone or eat the leftovers in the fridge I was really looking forward to. They forget to pick up their shoes or take the trash out when it's full and overflowing. They take things of mine and swear they don't have them only for me to find my nail clippers in their bedroom or tweezers in their bathroom.

These are things which may irritate but in hindsight, make you grateful they are still that little tiny rock in your shoe which annoys you with every step.

Tomorrow is my oldest's birthday. He's the one who didn't leave stretch marks. In other words, he's my my step son but have always hated that term.  He was just two when he came into my life and practiced on him for  several years before pushing a kid out of a pin hole myself. His natural mom and I mended fences years ago and now share him although I've thought thought about sending him back for a visit. Men are hard to live with. Now that Massey is away at college I'm stuck here with a massive amount of balls, counting the dog's there are twelve.

Just gonna count my blessings once again, wake up tomorrow and hope a car isn't chasing Tim and me down the street again. If they are, I hope they'll take  a post dated check.

Til next time...COTTON

I would love to correct the typos but using my son's computer and it is going bonkers on me when I try to edit. (Another great thing about having kids live at home) At least all the toilet seats are down.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Luckiest of the Unlucky, That's Me!

So a dear friend of mine, actually the person who talked me into starting my blog contacted me after my sister came and painted my kitchen. She wanted to do some decorating and add a few finishing touches. At first I declined her offer. Number one, I'm easy to please and was thrilled with just the paint job. Number two, once I told my sister about the offer, big sis told me that in fact I DID need some finishing touches and to accept her offer!

This morning she came over a little before ten to get started. Tim was in the kitchen making us some breakfast and I bounced out the door to the garage to she if she needed help with anything.

I brought her into our kitchen, letting her go in the door first. She immediately turned around and asked if I wanted her to wait outside for Tim to put pants on or to just come on in? bad.

At least Tim had on a pair of his nicer boxer briefs. He went upstairs, shaking his head and we didn't see him again.

I was just excited to get things started! Then she told me I had to leave. She had everything planned, with her and wanted it all to be a surprise when she finished.

I had plenty of errands to run so left her in charge. Around noon I came back home and she met me in the driveway.

Needless to say I was thrilled with the additions!

She had even bought a quart of the paint my sister used so it all matched . We now have a chalkboard mounted on old shutters with a hook at the top and nifty basket attached to the bottom by bent spoons, she even brought us some chalk! The other wall decorations were wonderful too and now have a matching lampshade for my lamp! I have a cool Lazy Susan on my table with a silver pepper grinder.

She made new curtains to replace my seventeen year old ones and even mounted them with a cute black rod.
She had found a huge clothespin and added a magnet to the back to hang on our refrigerator for To Go menus!
She mounted a collection of plates, some china some silver and arranged them on the wall.
The kitchen looks fabulous and the more I looked the more I liked it!

Yep, we got us a big ole "C" over the nuclear wave too. And notice the cute statue she painted black to match!

So now my kitchen is absolutely awesome! I tried to give my friend some money for all she did but refused. It's a good thing since I was down to chump change.

When she first told me I had to leave so she could work her magic I told her I had plenty of errands to run and lotto tickets a customer (another dear friend) had left me to cash in. I told her it was a new game. They give you twelve numbers...if you hit them all you win $250,000. or if none of your numbers hit, you win!

I told her we were all about not hitting the numbers right so thought we had a pretty good chance! As I walked out the door she shouted "Come back a millionaire!"

I didn't come back a millionaire but came home to a pretty awesome kitchen and still have a pocket full of lotto tickets to cash in. So my first ticket didn't hit, no worries.

I seem to being having a great run of luck and can't wait to see what the other tickets may do. My friend/ customer also gave me free scratch offs, so wish me luck!

When my friend left today she hugged my neck and said she prays for Tim every day to find a job. Extra prayers are always good.

So we've been through a lot here but on the other hand have been blessed every step of our unfortunate way.

I'm thinking our time is coming...and just think how great my house will look when we throw a big party for Tim's new job!!

I am truly the luckiest unlucky person EVER!

Til next time...COTTON

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Three Amazing Words..."Pay It Forward"

I got a message from a friend of mine wanting to meet up with me and asked if I was off On Tuesday? I told her no but to come by the restaurant and eat with me.

She came bopping in with her boyfriend and they ate at one of my tables. She also reads my blog so of course pretty much knew who every one there was!

I met Kim a few years back through a Facebook page my sister and I started for the church we attended when we were kids and then young adults. Kim was now a member and joined our page.

The above is a shot from the fifties. Both my parents and Aunt and Uncle are in it. It was a neighborhood church and from this picture quite obviously in a white neighborhood.

Today the church is still  true to the existing neighborhood and  is a racially diverse congregation, just like my friend and her boyfriend.

She's come down to eat at my sister's house with us and we have kept in touch. She came in today and I had the owner cook their meals. As usual, he rocked it and think they enjoyed it. The owners bought them dessert and I sent them packing with tons of leftovers. I ran her credit card but put a zero in the tip column, telling her it was my treat and no tip was necessary.

I introduced her to Barb (one of my bosses) on her way out the door. Kim told me I should play the lottery tonight and thought it was a joke about how unlucky I am. I had done a blog about that a few nights ago and guessed she had read it.

I went back to her table after they left and sitting under the bill was a big stack of lottery tickets with a sticky note on top reading "May you win the biggest tip EVER!! Kim and Matt".

Here's a girl who until recently rode the bus everywhere and didn't even own a car. She worked several jobs trying to land a full time position. She eventually got a car and a job. She sends me uplifting messages and always encourages me. She's a delight and feel lucky to have her in my corner and on my friend list.

I gave my boss, who takes care of me as if I was one of her kids a ticket. I gave the two girls working with me who give me rides home from work time and time again each a ticket. I didn't want to leave out the owner's husband (as Barb calls Len) one for cooking their dinner and buying their dessert.

It's all about Paying It Forward. My friend paid it forward to me and I paid it forward to ones who have helped me.

What a thoughtful thing for her to do!

I was all excited she was finally coming to the restaurant where I work (an hour's drive) and having Len make her food. I thought I was doing something nice for her not accepting a tip and turns out she once again one upped me!

Needless to say everyone at the restaurant was excited about a one time shot at ANYTHING and now know what a terrific girl my friend, Kim is!

Oh I have my stack in the kitchen on the counter! I had to bum another ride home from work but tomorrow morning will go get my "Luck On" at the local gas station before Tim takes the car to work.

It sounds silly but if people lived by the "Pay It Forward" rule, things would be wonderful and only continue to get better.

I am a firm believer in Karma and Pay It Forward, therefore know with sincerity everything will be okay for us.

My eye is almost healed and as I say, am down to "Car wreck" status. My back's flared up again but bought some Icy Hot patches and are working wonders.

Sometimes it's easy to get depressed about your life but have decided I don't like the easy way.

I have so many blessings it would take Rain Man to count them.

I'm a crazy loud mouth skinny woman with an excellent sense of humor (unless you ask my kids) and find laughter is truly the best medicine.

I have The Big Guy upstairs, family, friends and sometimes mere acquaintances who lift me up every day. When I feel down and out, I look up. When I think all is lost, I find something to hold on to. When I think I can't go on, I do. Sometimes I stumble but simply persevere and clumsily find the way.

My life's not pretty but it's MY life and am grateful for it. I am loved and hopefully others feel MY love.

If you don't give of yourself, why should you ever expect to receive anything?

Til next time, an extremely grateful COTTON.