Friday, October 31, 2014

Getting Closer Every Day

I can't tell you how glad I am the page finally turned. For a while it even felt like wind was blowing  pages back and had to re read bad pages again and again.

I haven't gotten that hunk of cheese free and clear yet but have been nibbling away at it with my red helmet on as life simultaneously kept banging on it seemingly for years.

Thank the good Lord at least it didn't age me much. This is my favorite selfie.

When you suddenly lose a six figure income for a year before finding a starting over wage income while all the bills are still coming in it's tough to even make an attempt much less a comeback.

Guess who's almost pretty close to being there?

That would be this girl, lucky enough to have two absolutely wonderful siblings.

They have always taken care of their little sister and their little sister has always been grateful, even if she didn't always show it.

We were all three lucky enough to have terrific parents and the happiest childhood any kid could dream of.

We lived in a modest but roomy,  clean and inviting house in a great neighborhood tens minutes away from the heart of downtown Atlanta. It was the early sixties. Everyone slept with windows open and doors unlocked. We were a family of five and owned two house keys. Momma had  one on her key chain and Diddy the other on his.

 Momma died when I was seventeen. Diddy died from West Nile Virus at a totally healthy seven seven in a ten day sudden illness.

Well by the grace of God, family, friends and even strangers I survived. I even decided to change my hair. That way it would distract from staring at all my wrinkles. The color of my hair distracted from any staring at all the gay hair I was getting.

We're by no means in the black yet but the red is so dark I know that's changing too.

I came across a great quote that pretty much sums up these last six months.

"Damn that was hard"

No wait a minute!  Not that one (although pretty close)  I meant this  one.

Although technically am still just  a server (as some people consider) I stepped out of the box on this new job.

I was a fish out of water.

It  was like being from Bug Tussle suddenly working in Beverly Hills. I felt like  Granny Clampett working in a place so swanky the only feller she knowed who done had vittles there was Milburn Drysdale. When I first started waiting on people from the UK who would say "cheers" felt I should respond "Fabersham!" and tip my head towards them.

I was a nervous wreck the entire first four months there, no kidding.

I'm a slow learner, I went to Russell. (huge pun and shout-out to all my Wildcat peeps)

I still have a lot to learn (and will) but is a crazy massive amount of totally different things to know, know how to do and remember to do but is pretty much what gave us the kick start towards the deep red and away from the black abyss.

For months and months I've waited for the other (freaking next) shoe to drop but hasn't. We still owe everybody and their (my) brother. I owe my sister her retirement fund and countless others but the ones who could (would) sue us are regularly receiving  payments now.

It's a nice feeling to exhale, feel like we haven't in years.

As bad as it's been at times, have been blessed to learn how to be humbled, unashamed but extremely grateful and must be the reason God gave me a quick wit and (obviously) God given ability to find humor in any situation at any given moment.

It's been a journey. Maybe not one I want to take again any time soon, but was still a gift. I'm still present. Or as my dude says, "Pre Sent!"

Til next time. a LUCKY COTTON

Monday, October 27, 2014

My Wonderful Friday on Wednesday

I love my Fridays, which actually fall on Wednesday. I get to sleep until ten in the morning and don't have to leave for work until noon.

I stopped by Publix and got one of those friend chicken subs featured in their commercial on TV and headed to the airport with lunch in tow. I hated spending money on lunch when I can eat free on my break at work but thought if I powered up with the sub as soon as I got to work could go the entire shift without breaking.

It was slow when I got there so polished up some glasses, silver and finished my opening side work quickly and scarfed down the sub in five minutes. Even brought some brownies I made last night at home and in six minutes felt fueled up and ready to go.

The sub was huge so shared it with the bartender (insuring drinks for my tables would be made post haste) and besides that like the guy and could have never eaten it all anyway, even on a bet.

I was starving but actually the sub was pretty good. Not as good as it looked on TV but then again, TV made Larry King good looking enough to get his own show.

Things started popping around four o'clock.

Seems the Atlanta Falcons are playing another NFL team in London and plenty of people who have money to throw away were flying across the pond to see them (probably lose) over there.

I think every table I waited on with two exceptions were headed that way.

Had a couple seated at my table tonight when the bartender whispered "You got another celebrity at your table."

It was Eric Ogbogu, former NFL player and spokesman for Under Armour.


The famous UA logo was on everything he was wearing from his hat to his shoes to his neck pillow for the flight.

He was a very nice man and the conversation was light and friendly. He first commented on how I greeted them.

I asked how they were doing, replied they were fine and asked how I was doing?

I think I said "Absolutely wonderful".

He said, "I like that answer!"

My buddy the bartender said to call him by his nick name "Big E". I didn't at first but after a couple of hours when they asked for the check said "Okay, Big you need to know my kid's sizes or are we just going to do an open ended gift card?"

He laughed, tipped me over thirty bucks and took off for London.

I had no clue who he was when he sat down but can always kind of tell when it's "somebody". He was very unpretentious and a pleasure to wait on.

The peeps kept on coming in and coming in and coming in. We had to go on a wait, didn't get cut til nine o'clock but walked out before ten three hundred dollars richer...or as I should say, three hundred dollars less poor.

It's not like I make three Bens every shift but certainly the best job I've ever had.

Woke up on my day off and got so much done it was borderline ridiculous. I'm still wondering how I managed to work so much for so many years without completely losing what little sanity I have.

I came home from running errands and started dinner. I had tried to call my sister a couple of times while running around and when starting dinner got a text from her.

"In Newnan hospital. Harvey in anaphylactic shock after bee sting."

She text back he was better but had been a close call.

I turned the oven down and got in my trusty Ronnie Ranger and went straight to the emergency room, the hospital was only five minutes from my house.

Bossed my way in as usual and went straight to the room. Harvey looked puffed up as a marshmallow, lethargic but alive.

Cin was in her paint clothes sitting in a chair next to him.

Harve was cutting grass and a Yellow Jacket stung him on the bottom lip. Recently finding out he was allergic went straight back to the house where my sister was leaving for a paint job and told her they needed to get to the hospital.

Just like us, they fretted over which car out of gas to take. At least they had two cars out of gas, we only own one but were borrowing yet another one from them.

She said by the time they were less than five minutes from the house he said he couldn't see. She pumped the gas pedal. By the time they made it to the closest gas station he was unresponsive, slumped over in the passenger seat. She called 911 on her cell and ran inside to buy a bottle of Benadryl and bottle of water. She asked if a cashier could help her but they said both registers were busy at the moment. She took the bottles and ran to the car where Harvey sat foaming at the mouth. 911 was still on the phone with her and said they had dispatched an ambulance. She told them she couldn't wait and jumped back in the car. She drove through a school zone going seventy dodging buses and ran the next two lights. She thought Harvey was dead for sure but suddenly his eyes popped open and she screamed into the hospital emergency entrance waving her arms for help.

His blood pressure was flat when they hooked him up but somehow he made it and by the time I got there a couple of hours later was almost back to normal. They probably should have taken my sister's blood pressure!

Needless to say an Epi-Pen will be on their next list of "must buy" items to purchase. It was a close call, that's for sure.

They wanted Harvey to stay overnight, he was still groggy from the morphine but Cin and I thought he'd be fine at home and would save them hundreds and hundreds of dollars. The nurse agreed all his vitals looked great but since the doctor had already admitted him if they chose to leave would have to sign an AMA (against medical advice) and insurance wouldn't cover the visit.

"Have a nice night Harvey, we'll see you in the morning."

Needless to say he stayed.

Just a reminder how fragile life can be. One tiny Yellow Jacket almost took him out. Kind of ironic, he graduated from Georgia Tech.

Went back home and finished dinner and ran the ole Hoover for a while. I'm not sure how my family stood me working so much, the house stayed a mess and the bathrooms were borderline disgusting.

I've cleaned out every closet and cleaned every bathroom. The laundry stays caught up and am back to cooking several nights a week.

Life is good.

Fast forward a couple of days...

TJ caught a ride home with me from work on Sunday after both worked a day shift. I had been running late that morning and had to park at the International terminal. Twelve bucks is a lot for me and hate having to do it but saves me twenty minutes to and from work. It wasn't overly busy but scratched out well over a Franklin and TJ paid for my parking since I was hauling him home.

We got off the shuttle bus to the parking deck with two male passengers, not with each other. We all clomped into the parking deck elevator. I was first in so stood by and punched the floors we all needed. One guy was getting off on 2 and us other three were all going up to 4.

When the doors opened on level two,  I said "Second floor, Ladies Lingerie."

The guy getting off kind of stopped not sure whether to exit as he looked at me with a puzzled look but finally wheeled his suitcase out and left. The other man started laughing as the doors closed again. TJ shook his head, looked at the other man and said "She'll say anything to anybody."

He's about right.

(Let's move on to the next another day)

So April 11, 2013 I made the first payment of a thousand dollars down on a 2002 Volvo station wagon. All it needed was a transmission and would be ours for three thousand dollars. The body was in great shape.

After that my husband lost his job again and were right back where we started. I paid fifty bucks here and there, sometimes a hundred when we could scrape it together and my brother kicked in more than he should have but I let him and will be eternally grateful.

October 27, 2014 it was finally ready after we also paid for a new engine. I only owe $700 more for labor but wasn't paying a dime of it until I knew the car ran great, as it should for the over four thousand we've eventually spent.

I went to the tag office today to get the title in my name and buy a tag. I still had a hundred bucks in my bank account and figured being a 2002 model would be around seventy bucks. The unfriendly woman behind the glass told me to swipe my debit card after saying it would be (what I thought  she said was $74.40) and swiped to clean my bank account down to twenty bucks and change only to see the key pad said $474.40 and please hit "enter".


I thought she had said it was for $74.40. She had actually said Four hundred seventy four and forty cents.

For Pete's sake...they've changed since I last bought a tag and now go by a one time fee of ten percent of the value and just twenty bucks each additional time you renew.

That'll help us in a year or two but hurt like a hang nail today.

I told her I'd have to wait til I got paid on Thursday, thanked her (NOT) for her time and left.

Went back home and Tim and I decided to use part of our mortgage payment due Friday and pay for the tag and half the labor on the car today.

Went back and stood in line again but at least left with a tag.

Got to work ten minutes late but had called two hours earlier and told them I was at the tag office with issues and told me it would be fine to come in thirty minutes later.

On my way up the escalator to the restaurant I repeated the waitress mantra:

"PLEASE let it be busy today."


Yes I had to stay until close but what's an extra hour to walk out with well over half a car tag payment?

I've waited, sweated and worried for over six years to feel the relief I have now.

I've finally found my groove. I feel pretty confident that although still have a lot to learn and actually pretty good at this.

We had a lot of late night flights to London, Dubai and Amsterdam. It wasn't crazy busy but nice and steady all night. I made $240 after tip out and walked out with eighty extra bucks in added gratuity.

God loves me.

Yeah I didn't get home til midnight and have to get up at six thirty for a day shift but will be off by five and home long before the sun sets...driving my new/used car, with it's new tag.

We are bounding ahead. Unfortunately we were years behind, but can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.

As long as it's not headlights of an oncoming train, we'll be just fine.

"True THAT."

Wow...this blog only covered a few days of my crazy life. Just reading it exhausts even me.

Tumbling into bed, propping my bum shoulder on a flat pillow, crawling out of bed again in four hours and doing it all again.

Stay tuned, it's never dull around here.

Til next time...COTTON

Monday, October 20, 2014

Every Day Is Different

So I worked a mid shift today at the airport. I had an attractive couple at one of my tables. Very nice, soft spoken. Nice looking dude and gorgeous petite blonde.

One of the cooks came up to me in the back and asked if I had table 213? He was stunned and told me that the guy was famous from UFC.

When I went back to the table noticed he did have a pretty terrific body, not to mention a beautiful girl with him. He left to go to the men's room and I was chatting with the woman who told me they had just been married in a beach wedding on Pawleys Island. I told her I had read a few books by Dorethea Benton Frank.

When I took their bill, told him my youngest son would think I was cool when I told him I had waited on him. I told him Zach had worked at Hooters where UFC is a really big deal. I told him I guess in the south, drinking and fighting went hand in hand! about a six pack!

So in other airport news, I was talking with one of the S.A.'s (servers assistants) tonight. She's a young chick I met on one of my first days at the airport. I was riding MARTA with her and  struck up a conversation. She was working out on F with me but at a small sandwich shop/ bookstore. We met a few more times on the commute and in the terminal and told her she should come to work where I did.

She finally did apply and got on as an SA, to transition into a server. Very cute and smart girl. She had just recently moved to Atlanta and after talking more realized she was renting a house in my old neighborhood of East Point, actually four blocks away from my childhood home, renting a house next door to a former high school classmate's mother.

Go figure!

The most senior SA in the restaurant is a guy from Ecuador...y muy loco. I like him!

I could file my fingernails on his spiked up hair. We took this selfie at the airport MARTA station one night when riding home at the same time.

Here's the thing. An "SA" gets paid bare minimum but makes their money off  tip outs from servers and bartenders.

I've been a server for thirty five years. Some servers are just cheap when it comes to tipping out and that really bothers me, especially here.

There is a guideline. You're supposed to tip out .02 to the SA.

Big deal....Right?

Trust me, I'm a Lifer server and if you are on top of your game at this place and doing your job right, you'll make enough money that 2% is nothing.

Well let's say ten servers are greedy, cheap and squelch on their tip outs. That's a lot money when you add it up at the end of the year.... or two.

I'm not secretive about what I make...

We were audited by the IRS years and years ago when the kids were little and learned quickly how important it was to claim all your tips. I always claimed mine because when buying a house, car or applying for a loan seemed to me better, to be able to actually prove your income instead of brag on one income and pay taxes on another.

Anyway, back to my story...

My little friend I encouraged to come over and join our team is a really hard worker and always look forward to seeing her. She has a great attitude but guess I got her in the restaurant on the wrong foot.

Suddenly some new girl comes over from another store nearby in the terminal and airport oldies start talking about them being some kind of a spy for corporate or something.  (extra huge eye roll)

For Pete's Sake you idiots, we're not dealing dope, smuggling babies, illegals or trying to blow up a plane...she just wants to get her foot in the door. The worst thing she could tell corporate is that YOU are cheap!

Carlos, on the other hand has no problem whatsoever calling you out or asking for a tip out you forgot to leave him.

We use these cardboard coasters at work and Carlos always has one in his pocket with server names written, dates and when they worked. When you tip him out he'll scratch your name off...if you cheat him he mentally scratches you off and don't blame him one bit.

I'm bringing home a thousand a week just working five days and shifts.

Do you not think the SA's are seeing the tips left on your table when they bus and clean them?


What's two percent and be's called "Paying it Forward" and not only that but Karma.

Yes they eventually bus all the tables but whose table do you think they will go to first...mine or yours?


Sometimes you just can't fix stupid.

I've decided to give Carlos a special Christmas present. I'm going to get him a little coaster laminated with spaces for the AM servers on the front and PM on the back.

My little new friend/ spy had a great idea to give him a dry erase marker to fill it out every day.

After they all started calling her a spy, TJ came up with "Inspector Gadget" but after she tumbled on the escalator the other day on the way to work, had horrible bruises and scratches said maybe we needed to call her "Pink Panther."

I liked that!

I shortened it and now call her "P -Squared".

Come on people now, smile on your need to love somebody right now.

Love is but a song to sing
Fear's the way we die
You can make the mountains ring
Or make the angels cry
Though the bird is on the wing
And you may not know why
Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now
Some may come and some may go
We shall surely pass
When the one that left us here
Returns for us at last
We are but a moment's sunlight
Fading in the grass
Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now
Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now
Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now
If you hear the song I sing
You will understand (listen!)
You hold the key to love and fear
All in your trembling hand
Just one key unlocks them both
It's there at you command
Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now
Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now
Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

Til next time...COTTON

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Life In The Fast Lane

I may not be rolling Phat in the fast lane yet but at least am finally moving in the right direction.

I'm beginning to really enjoy my new job and all the benefits. It took me a second to figure out the commute to and from work but with trial and error have it down to a science.

So first it was MARTA that threw me for a loop. Then it took another second to figure out the way to use the Sardine Shuttle effectively.

The bigger problem was learning how to find my way around the huge city called Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. I'm okay in and around the International terminal where I work. Put me off at another concourse and I'm as lost as all the other wandering suitcases. I can find the way to my favorite places to eat free and know where the yummy cupcake stand is but still have to keep a map of where everything else is located in my nifty clear pocketbook for reference.

The biggest problem was learning the menu and wine list at the place I work.

Talk about a fish out of water! They served grilled octopus, beef tongue, duck confit and even had fava beans. Until I worked there the only person I knew of to eat fava beans was Hannibal Lector in Silence of the Lambs. To make it even harder, it's a seasonal restaurant and changes menus four times a year. I guess an old dog can learn new tricks!

This next week will start the fall menu, featuring a Pigs Foot Ragout, a Chorizo, roasted pear and Bleu cheese pizza, Choucroute Garni with duck sausage, and confit duck leg and a Fall Baby Jewel salad with fresh sliced apples, shaved celery root crisped in the fryer, pickled red onion and a buttermilk-sage dressing with olive oil and apple cider vinegar.

I tried the Ragout last week and was more than pleasantly surprised! The new salad is off the chain and can't wait for Tuesday when we get to taste eveything.

I still stumble with pronunciations but  sound like a Hick to all the international travelers anyway with my deep southern accent. I still have a hard time saying the freakin' German beer , "Weihenstephaner" and pronounce it differently almost every time I say it. I simply try to say it with confidence and if the peeps aren't German can usual get away with it.

Then there are the wines...


I sound like Granny Clampett trying to sell Cremant de Bourgogne, Rosso di Montalcino, Chapoutier or Viognier.

I'm not a nervous wreck every day anymore and have actually caught on better than I thought I would.

We were at the host stand talking today before we opened and my co worker asked me why I had driven my sister's car the day before? I told her Tim's car bit the dust, blew a head gasket or something detrimental and was toast so had borrowed my little Ford Ranger for him to drive to work yesterday.

My manager was standing there with us and started laughing. He said he liked the way I always just rolled with the punches. Good thing he doesn't know how often we've been punched  the last few years.

Then again, maybe that's what has made me this way.

He continued and said "You're always the same, whether we are slow or getting beat to death with people.  It doesn't bother you. Your car's toast but you act the same and just shrug it off...I mean what can you do about it anyway? I like that about you."

Here's the thing. Yeah I'm pretty disgusted over all our car issues but they're just cars. In the big picture, what's a  car really matter? I mean it helps get you to and from places but that's about it.

It doesn't love you, in fact most of our cars seem to care less about their performance or even cranking at all.

What matters are the people you love, and also love you.

I have been tremendously blessed and surrounded my entire life by people (and dogs) who genuinely love and care about me. I have three kids healthy & happy and a husband with the patience of Job. I have a brother and sister anyone should be jealous of; they are both terrific people and excellent sibs. I have family and friends who have morally and literally helped support us these past few years and even managed to keep our house out of foreclosure and kept the utilities running most all the time.

Laughing about it is what has kept me  somewhat, kinda mostly sane. Sometimes I felt like crying and occasionally did . Crying did nothing but make my nose snot up and eyes red and puffy.

That doesn't help a bit, especially when you're my age. When I'm sad, I look even older.

Certainly not helping! See what I mean?

Not only have I landed the best job I have ever had, my husband had finally landed a job with a reputable company and although starting from scratch, can definitely grow into a great position.

Tim has really aged these past years , not that being married to me helps. For seventeen years he was the bread winner and we lived an extremely decent life by my standards.

The last few have been quite a struggle.

I kind of sort of had a major meltdown last week.

I was cleaning out the refrigerator and pulled a small bowl off the top shelf. Tim had put Italian dressing in a bowl to dip carrots in and left it uncovered on the top shelf, above my head and sloshed out all down the front of my brand new, freshly ironed and ready for at least one more shift work shirt, down the leg of my recently washed, good for another four shift's blue jeans and all over my Dansko shoes.

It was the straw that broke Granny's back.

I went OFF!

For Pete's sake, put it in some Tupperware or at least cover it with plastic wrap, or here's an idea...dump it out.

I made the biggest, no let's make that hugest deal out of it.

What really ticked me off was he thought it wasn't.

The last seven years of built up frustration came out and was no stopping it.

I didn't like having to be the bread winner, especially when it fell right on top of everything else I do. Working like a demon I can do day after day, week after week, lately year after year with no problem.

Throw in the laundry, yard work (front of subdivision too) house work taking care of the pups, not only buying but cooking most of the groceries and often cleaning up after they hadn't done it to my satisfaction (which really isn't that high of a standard) and scrubbing commodes in a house full of balls with seemingly no sense of direction compounded with the fact this wasn't really the life I meant to sign up for had all come to a head over a stupid bowl of carelessly left out salad dressing.

I'll spare you the details but it got ugly.

I felt like I weighed seventy pounds after I unloaded.

We didn't speak for a couple of days...we didn't need to , we had both said a lot that night.

From the job debacles to the car debacles to the finance debacles, I hit all the nails on the head...several times and then some.

I got over my hissy fit about forty eight hours later.

Yesterday I borrowed (yet again) my sister's car to go to work. Tim was driving my little Ford Ranger to his job and I was worried about a radiator leak. I got off early and took my sister's car back to her house so she could in turn take me to my house.

I gave up wondering when the car I bought over two years ago would be ready to drive and thanks to my new job was able to buy the Ford Ranger I had borrowed for five months from my next door husband and was pretty picky about it.

I got home after my sister graciously took my sorry butt back to my house and got all crazy with a huge garbage bag, Murphy's Oil Soap, Mr. Clean and my buddy, Hoover.

I stopped around eight to send Tim  a text, telling him to check the fluids in the truck before leaving work, forty five minutes away.

Around ten he called back to say he got my text and would be sure to check under the hood. He said he was currently in Jackson, Ga. and had to go back to the Fayetteville store for two more deliveries and then would be through for the night.

He left the house that morning forty five minutes before me and I had left a little after seven.

He's fifty two years old delivering and putting together furniture with co workers... some of who are younger than his oldest son.

Not to mention I've never known him to be able to put together anything other than an occasional sentence or remark.

He's a good man, he's just not a HANDY man.

Guess he is now!

I told him thanks for calling and got back to my Cleaning Pa Looza.

I should have said, "Dang, Tim I'm sorry you're working so late I know you must be tired, be careful on the way home."

I didn't.

Instead I called my sister and told her.

(It's a female thing)

Just like the awesome sister she is, she listened.

I shouldn't have blown up at Tim but I did.

The thing is, she's my sister before she's his brother in law.

She also knows (like I do deep down) that Tim is a good man and hard worker who has also been put through the economic, emotional and egotistical wringer. She made some valid points.

Tim got home really late as I got through scrubbing the last penis funnel also known as a toilet.

I found things under the sinks in the kid's bathroom from when they were six. I threw away old Polly Pocket dolls Massey used to play with in the bath tub, Legos from when Zach was young and bottles and bottles of old and out dated lotions, creams and even a little Suzy Homemaker blender of Massey's from around the year 2000.

I cleaned all three bathrooms so well they didn't even need their Glade or Febreeze Plug In.

Yes I over stepped and over verbalized my pent up feelings the other night, but as Tim often says and after seven years dread hearing (mental eye roll to hear him quote)

"You can't go back."

I moved forward showing him all I had done around the house and then simply left him alone.

He acted like he really appreciated all I had done and appreciated even more being left to watch college football with no interruptions.

I've been with Tim since 1988. We have three great kids and are three years away from our mortgage pay off with three pups in tow. Nobody has a terminal or serious disease and  know of no impending court dates or deadlines. I couldn't say that a couple of years ago but can now. That's definite progress.

"Why give up now?"

Through this last stage of our financial debacle, a guy who used to come into Johnny's Pizza when I was a manager there in the eighties had a sudden and rapid health scare.

He went from being a really cool guy with a great sense of humor and good job to being in a re hab / nursing facility in five month's time.

I'll be honest, following his sister's updates for weeks thought it might be time to drag out a black dress again.

Whad'ya  know?

My fellow ole fart has survived and just days away from coming home.

I took my breakfast break at work yesterday and saw this post from him on Facebook:

"Bingo at 10:30. I will once again take to ther battlefield in an effort to win a 7.5 oz coke. I need a 7.5 oz coke. I want a 7.5 oz coke. I am a 7.5 oz coke. Feel the 7.5 oz coke. Taste the 7.5 oz coke. Be the 7.5 oz coke."

I cracked up.

If this guy can laugh and still be witty after all he's gone through, who am I to complain?

What's a car? What's a job?

They are nothing compared to waking up, being loved and having another day to try your best to beat old people at Bingo for a Coke.

Lucky for him he had an angel. He had a sister.

They are a tiny family but fierce with love, dedication and compassion.

I commented back to him, smiled as I posted  and stopped again to think how really lucky I was.

May sound crazy (because I'm most probs over halfway there) but wake up every day now realizing how truly blessed I am.

So my buddy, Jack is back.

Here's a guy who beat the odds.

He's beaten all the ole farts at Bingo this past week and bet he's done maybe a couple of exquisite glued macaroni on  paper plate creations for his sister at Christmas.

I bet it will be the greatest present she'll treasure.

Thank you and shout out to Jack and Nita for smacking me in the face.

It's just a car.
It was just Italian dressing.
It was just something we were destined to go through.

I work at the world's busiest airport, in the international terminal. Ebola is all the rage. Peeps complaining because they're bring patients home to Atlanta for treatment at an excellent hospital in the city where the CDC is located.

Ebola is horrible and needs to be squelched but is in a third world country location.

Well over four thousand people have died from it and is a tragedy but almost 500,000 people die from the Flu each year world wide.

Gee whiz...just wash your hands. Didn't they teach you that in "Kinnny Garten"?

Til Next Time... COTTON

Friday, October 17, 2014

I Should Be Used To This By Now

Tim drove my little truck to work yesterday since his is toast (after spending $268 on new brakes) and I was off.

I was going to get up and take him to work since he was working nearby in Fayetteville but when six thirty rolled  around  decided to just be car less for a day. It's not like I'm even really used to having one anyway.

He needed to drive it again today, was working up in Cobb county and was no way I was making that trip twice.

My sister had offered the night before to loan me her car for the day and by noon decided to take her up on her offer. I had a ton of errands to run and was my last day off til next Thursday.  Just like a   "Leach" sib, she came over and picked me up forty five minutes later.

After taking her back home I dropped off our winter coats for their "Every four year" dry cleaning, went by the bank, went by the grocery store and came home in time to give Zach a ride to work. He's saving up for a car and don't mind taking him since he works ten minutes away and is an excellent vacuumer!

Before he left for work, had been working with another one of the Lost Boys out in the garage. They managed to fix my garage door opener which has been broken for over four years. I think I finally threw the remote away last year when cleaning out the junk drawer.

Decided to stop off after taking Zach to work at Walmart and pick up a new remote. Took my twenty five minutes and the start of a bad headache to find anyone to attempt and help me.

Come find out a half hour later, they used to sell them but don't anymore.

I went next door to Lowe's and found exactly what I needed I under five minutes. I picked up one car remote ($34) and went crazy and bought a key pad for the outside of the garage for others not having a remote in their car, if we ever get another car.

Got back home.

I opened the universal "Genie" remote and looked up at our newly fixed garage door opener to see

My bad.

Called the Sears store here in town and found out yes they had them and yes they closed in fifteen minutes.

Took my sister's car to the Sears store, got there five minutes before closing and bought another remote and key pad... clearly marked "Craftsman".

Got back home and one of the Lost Boys was there. I handed off the new remote and key pad and went back to Lowe's to return the Genie and get my seventy two dollars back.

Got home at dark but my Lost Boy had everything hooked up and ready to go!

It will be nice having a remote again with winter coming and think how nice it will be when we finally have two vehicles again and don't have to pull up a fifty pound door every time we come home!

Got all the laundry caught up, a meal made and finished ironing my last work shirt. No ironing for a week now which saves me ten minutes a day for the next week. That's over an hour I'll have back.

Got all my goodies for my work kids all bagged up and ready to, painting my stubby nails and taking a hot bath (saving another ten minutes in the AM) and calling it a day.

It's getting better and I know it is but can't wait to wake up one morning and be back where we were six years ago.

Think how much younger I'll be!

Til next time COTTON

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Guess I Was Destined To Be A Momma

I may not be the best wife, sister or in law but think was always destined to be a "Momma."

I've learned this even more so after working with all my new "Kids" at work. I'm old enough to be all of their grandmas.

I came into work a couple of weeks ago with a huge bag of Rice Krispie Treats and they all went wild. One young girl said she'd pay me to bring her a batch of her own.

It just seems to come naturally to me. I always make sure I know every dishwasher and cook's name and speak to them as an equal, because they all have to work a heck of a lot harder than I do for a lot less.

The hosts and server assistants like me because I don't cheat them on their tip out (server assistants) and will make a cup of coffee for the hostesses just like my Mema used to. Kiddy coffee, mostly sugar and lots of cream. It's still the way I drink my own.

They all seem amazed I am still with "Baby Daddy" after almost thirty years and our kids were raised under one roof (crib).

I'm an Old School Momma.

My sore shoulder is still keeping  me awake at night but had no problem snoozing the afternoon away...and did.

Made a batch of three dozen Toll House cookies and a double batch of Rice Krispie Treats tonight for my own kids tomorrow and my work kids this weekend.

I'm quickly becoming popular with my work kids.

One of the girls was asking when I was baking again the other night at work  and TJ commented "She makes awesome brownies."

Guess I'll need to add brownies the next time!

When you're a momma you fly by the seat of your pants. You get it wrong sometimes but  always seem to make it right enough.

My own kids aren't perfect and neither are my work kids but all seem to love me doing the momma thing and will hopefully instill in them what it means to be loved by a Momma.

It's insane for me but have yet another day off tomorrow. Heck, I may even make those brownies too.

Til next time...Momma COTTON

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Housewife Kind Of Day

Everybody says I'm a good cook but my kids are always wanting me to make something new so today I did! I made two huge pots of this soup with tortellini , spinach, carrots, celery, onion, garlic and chicken stock. Gonna freeze some for Massey at college and TJ and his fiancee (yes you heard that right) and have plenty of leftovers to freeze for later.

It's been beautiful weather here lately and this past full moon was spectacular.

I took this with my cell phone after getting home from work the other night. I had zoomed in which made it grainy but after looking at it thought it turned out pretty cool.

A "Monet" looking moon for sure!

I had cut both yards late last week and still looked good since I cut them shorter than a putting green and hasn't rained much.

Since having two days off a week the house has been staying in a semi clean mode so I could scratch that off too. Even got the laundry room organized.

It's like I now have a forty eight hour staycation once a week. So I switched to "Piddling" mode. I went to this discount store here in Newnan the other day, "Ollie's".  It's like an organized unmessy "Big Lots". I had bought those huge plastic tubs to store things in for $3.99 and found Zach some Denizen jeans marked $40 on sale for $7.99. He's a Flaco and 29" x 30" men jeans are hard to find...especially for $7.99.

I got the tubs out of the garage today and loaded up all Massey's college stuff she's not using right now crammed in a corner of her room and packed it all away neatly.

I could use about ten more of those tubs and may go back for more tomorrow. I usually bring home boxes from work to pack stuff up in but they always fall apart and the stuff gets dirty out in our not so pristine garage or in our really not pristine attic (also known as the closet company will never look in so throw it there).

For the first time in well over five years the house and yard work was all caught up and I had two whole days off to "Piddle."

I think I was truly meant to be a housewife instead of a housewife with a job too but I'm certainly getting closer!

I originally went to "Ollie's" to get another microwave. Ours bit the nuclear dust last week. I was cooking pasta and using the timer on the microwave since the one on my stove doesn't work. I set it for twelve minutes and continued making the sauce. After about fifteen seconds heard a "BLAM" and turned around to see the empty glass rotating in the microwave. I had hit cook instead of timer and sparks were flying.

My bad.

We had gotten the microwave from a co worker a few years back when our old one went Kaput. She had an extra one and offered it to us.

It was a great little microwave...reminds me of a story about when we first got it.

I had brought it home and put it in the kitchen. A couple of nights later I told Tim where we'd gotten it and commented how that nice of Dani.

He said "Yeah it was but the 'popcorn' button doesn't work, burnt mine slap up."

I had bought a box of single serve instead of regular size bags of popcorn the week before and Tim had put the tiny bag in and simply hit the 'popcorn' button.

His bad.

Tumbled into bed at a decent hour because I had to make a quick trip up to see the college girl tomorrow.

(continuing blog from last night)

I woke up this morning around seven decided it was way too early, chugged some orange juice and fell back in bad. Massey didn't get out of class until noon and didn't have to work until three.

I packed up some soup and drove into ATL around noonish and traffic was still a nightmare. Sitting on the Grady Curve saw a bumper sticker on the car in front of me:

"Dear Lord, please let me be the person my dog thinks I am."


My dogs love everyone but really love me...a lot. They seem to know it is me that makes sure those two huge water bowls are clean and refilled twice a day, give them flea and tick treatments, heart worm meds every month and make sure they have food (almost) every day.

Picked Massey up by the curb out front of her loft and took her for some fresh veggies at "Eats" on Ponce de Leon. Half a chicken, three veggies and cornbread for $7.75 including iced tea. Not bad...and neither was the food! Massey had lemon pepper chicken and I had the jerk chicken. We had fresh green beans, mashed potatoes with gravy and broccoli casserole. Since it was so cheap even bought Zach a plate to take home.
The food really seemed made to make Massey feel better, it made me feel better to see her smile.

We had a nice quick visit,  brought her some meds and soup for her cough and congestion, a twenty  just to have some extra cash and dumped her back off in front of her loft forty five minutes later.

Sometimes, a quick visit makes all the difference to someone you love.

Traffic was just as bad on the way home but glad I went. Sometimes you do just need your mama, even if it's only for forty five minutes.

(continuing to the next day)

Tim leaves for work when I get up for a day shift at six thirty. I left the house a little after seven and got a text from him that his car had broken down on Canton highway (five minutes from his job but an hour away from the house).

At least he (almost) made it to work.

I had cut the front of the subdivision the day before after getting back from my recon visit to Massey. That weed eater gets heavier every time I use it. My right shoulder was killing me by the time I was put-sing (Asian term) back down the street to our house.

 Guess I need to face the fact that am getting too old to do this every month. I used the heating pad for heat and a Natty Light for the alternating cold. Heck it took me fifteen minutes to think about vacuuming with my left arm instead of my right... same thing with pulling clothes out of the washer and scrubbing the kitchen sink.

 How stupid was that? It wasn't like I was trying to neatly pen a letter to someone important.


Tim had to have the car towed back home for $200 and picked him up after dumping his car at the mechanic's.

At least if we are still having car problems are at least both working now...kinda counter balances our seemingly always vehicle bad luck.

The good luck part of it was he was off the next two days.

It's pretty sad when the most (only) reliable vehicle you own at the age of fifty four is a 1990 Ford Ranger with a Cobra head gearshift knob, bought from your next door husband after borrowing it for free for over four months.

Thank God they moved in next door to us (said my next door husband never).

Tense night. Tim was ticked about his car and I was ticked about him being ticked about a stupid car.

I wanted to say "You think YOU'RE ticked, try being me for the last six years."

Then it all exploded.

Let's just say it wasn't pretty.

Yes it's been tough the past six years and seems I had a lot of pent up frustration. Didn't help  that I can have an extremely sharp tongue,  quick wit and mostly always sarcastic come back before you can even finish your sentence. (which will be wrong anyway if you want my opinion)

Woke up the next day. Sped away from the house just in time to barely make it to work on time. You know what I thought of on my way to work after the pretty ugly blow up?

We started in 1990 with "this day forward" and so far death hadn't parted us so guess I need to focus more on that "for better for worse, for richer for poorer" part.

My bad. (but with a several points well stated or maybe just finally well released)

It's been two days of silence (Tim's probably enjoying it) and a lot of soul searching.

You know what?

I signed up for this dance...

Nobody forced me to.

May as well dance with the one that brought me.

We started off slow dancing twenty six years ago and worked our way up to a Cha Cha then a Tango.

Seemingly  just as quickly,  we somehow lost it all.

I'm pretty ticked about our car debacle too but you know what?

For Pete's Sake (as my Diddy would  always say) it's a stupid car...or so what even in our case, two.

We have three kids who can (have) and will drive us bonkers, often do but just as easily make us go "DUH" and realize we brought them into this world. It wasn't their decision, it was ours and who else are they going to look to for an example but us?

We brought them to the dance.

If I can be a momma they love and respect...will feel as if I was crowned Homecoming Queen at a high school football game and beat out a hot blonde with big boobs and a reputation of going to third base on the first date.

Day five, now six.

Had to get up early this morning to take Tim to work since his car was in unstable if not most probably inoperative shape (after recently being towed to the shop) before I headed to the airport.

It rained the entire way and I hate driving in rain, especially when Tim and I still aren't speaking.

I dropped him off and headed to the airport with zero minutes to spare as the rain started coming down even harder. I was a nervous wreck by the time I pulled into the Intl parking deck. I didn't have time to park and ride MARTA free so had to shell out twelve bucks to park but's almost worth the forty five minutes it saves you to and from work especially when it's pouring outside.

(So we're about four or five days into this blog by now)

I had a nice surprise at work tonight while  sitting in the food court taking my break grubbing down on two complimentary chili dogs, fries and large F.O. from The Varsity when I noticed a message on my phone. One of my blog readers and good cyber friends was in the airport on a two hour layover and wanted to stop by and see me.

I've only met her once before but feel really close to her, especially in this new fangled techno time of Social Networking.

She got to meet TJ since he was working too and even met Ziggy's grandma who not only got me my job but gave us the best "Bad Dog" we've ever had.

It was slow so I got to chat with her a little bit. She reads my blog a lot so already knows what's going with me but was really great to be able to hug her neck and talk face to face for a few.

As she left to make her connecting flight told her about a short cut back to the plane train for the concourse she was flying out of ... just take the far bank of elevators down and it would put her out right by the plane train.

Seems my new friend has a phobia about elevators. I pointed to the escalators instead but mentioned was strange how she had no problem about getting inside a metal and aluminum hollow tube and going up to 30,000 feet and screaming across the sky to the other side of our nation in four hours.

With a guy you never met behind the wheel.  Go figure.

We laughed, hugged her and she headed for the escalators.

I got back to her table and had she not only left me a tip like I told her not to but had tipped me really Phat to boot. I stopped and filled up with gas on the way home thanks to her!

(next day)

It was so slow at work we heard crickets all day. It was a good wake up call not to take this job for granted and be grateful for every Phat day, not simply count on it. I had to pick Tim up after I got off from my dismal shift and he said there was a shutdown on the highway heading home so showed me a back way. He saved us three hours of sitting in traffic so was glad he was at least speaking to me again.

Pulled into the driveway so tired I was having to concentrate just to stay awake. Since I wore my shoulder out weed eating the front of the subdivision a few days ago has been killing me, especially at night when I try to sleep. I was sleep deprived, even for me!

I came in the kitchen door to hear not only the washing machine but vacuum cleaner running.

Zach was cleaning house for me and immediately made me feel better!

(and now the next day)

At least pay day is tomorrow. It's the one slow month at the airport but at least Tim and I are both working and have one reliable vehicle.

You know, I was in a really bad mood the other night and had a lot going on in my own head when Tim and I had our falling out and as we finally stormed away from each other thought about this song.

It can't be "Over"... death hasn't parted us yet!

Yes Tim has his faults as do I.

Granted I'm usually right because feel like I am... but are two sides to every story and two partners in every marriage. (unless you count that creepy 'wanna be hip dude' from Sister Wives)

It would be a shame to give up now, not that I am the giving up type and definitely the fighting type.

(Small Pun)

If not having a second car is the biggest problem we currently have, should both be smacked in the face and wake up to the real world around us!

I won't lie, peeps everywhere freaking out about Ebola and me working in the International terminal at the world's busiest airport make my hot flashes seem insignificant but have total faith in the CDC.

By this point in my life,  have complete Faith God is in control and could possibly step off a curb at the airport and be smashed like a bug in an instant.

We've made it to the corner. We've had so much help and so many prayers that feel we'll make it come hell or high water.

I look at it this way...

Tim and I have the rest of our lives together to get over a fight.

I think he now understands why I'm exhausted and what it means to actually take care of a house.

(and next day)

It's pay day tomorrow and couldn't get out of work fast enough tonight. Didn't bank but made a heck of a lot more than would have made street side. One old dude who comes in twice a month on his way out to or from the oil rig off the coast of Bangkok loved me and tipped me a ridiculous amount, my shoulder is feeling better, I made the last MARTA train before they switched to twenty minutes between each ride and was sitting on my bony butt at home blogging by ten.

I think this is my favorite quote as of late:

If life is easy, you're either incredibly blessed beyond belief, cheating, or missing the most important lesson.

I am the luckiest unlucky person I know...and I know a lot of peeps.

When you want to gripe about your own life, look around at the actual big picture.

And I'm worried about  the cheap ceiling fan upstairs in a spare bedroom that isn't working?

With God as my witness, if this blog ever makes me money will so  pay it forward. I don't wanna brag but this world needs a lot more peeps like me, one's who actually GET it.

It's extremely simple.

Love and Be Loved. Never expect more unless you are willing to give it.

If you don't pay life forward, you'll always be behind.

Tumbling into bed, older but wiser.

Life is a gift.

Til next time...

An extremely humbled  COTTON