Thursday, March 3, 2016

So Sue Me, I'm Southern

I try really hard to reign in my heavy southern drawl when working. Yes, I sound like a hick and yes I'm always fixing something. I can be fixing to go to work or fixing to go home. I try really hard not to say y'all but slips out sometimes when busy or overwhelmed. Heck, if there's more than one person at a table they're y'all to me. I consider it multitasking speak.

I consider myself a speaking blend of Minnie Pearl

Feisty  Granny Clampett

with  the quick wit of Phyllis Diller thrown in for laughs.

Talk about a total package!

So a guy at my table tonight, an American seemed to get great pleasure out of making fun of my accent. When he asked for a pop instead of a soda  thought about popping him on the side of his face but didn't. I heard his wife berating him for making fun of my accent when I left the table  and was enough for me.

Go figure. If that's the worst thing a customer does to me, I'll take it!

The official countdown has begun, I'll be living in Orlando in six months or as I like to think; I have six months to get this house fixed up for the renters.

We did a lot of work on the front yard last summer and the bushes in front are all the same height now after whacking them off with my trusty chain saw.

All the rooms are freshly painted thanks to my terrific sister. The Lost Boys installed a new wood floor in my kitchen and my sister and a dear friend gave it a complete make over.

The back yard was next so like the idiot I am chose to tackle it in the middle of a rainy winter. Our three dogs made a mess out the yard surrounding the back porch, it was like a mud pit.

The fire pit I had cleaned out and relined with rocks last summer...

 now looked like this after three months of rain.

The above picture was taken after hauling and dumping almost a hundred pounds of drainage rock then hauling by hand over forty bags of top soil to fill in a sinkhole by the fire pit. It rained like crazy last night and held up well so think I did a pretty good job!

Of course Ziggy helped a lot...

Hands down the handsomest bad dog we ever had. In other words, "He's a pretty bad dog".

I hauled most of the rock and dirt in the back of my tiny car usually two or three trips each day, six bags at a time. Massey helped me out and carried five bags into the back gate for me while I went back for more. I had also picked up a huge bag of cedar shavings for their dog houses.

By the time I got back with another load, this is what was left of the bags of top soil and cedar shavings.

He was very proud of his work and looked ecstatic! I sat down the bag I had just carried back into the yard, turned around to go get another and he came bouncing over and began to nibble on his next snack. I sternly and seriously said "NO!" so instead he just hiked his leg up and took a leak on it.

What in the Sam Hill is so special about a stinking bag of dirt I'll never know but the boy simply couldn't get enough of it. I picked up scraps from the plastic bags for days, obviously he's picky about his plastic.

The picture below is totally our Ziggy.

So our back yard is looking great now too, put out two bags of grass seed and the mud sucked it up like a good cocktail. I'm going to have to get out the ole push mower soon , it's already about five inches high.

I'm also beginning to think about things I need to Pay forward before leaving the house and city we've been in for almost twenty years.

I think it's okay to write about this next part. My sister rarely reads my blog, I tell her everything anyway so doesn't have to. Her husband does read it though but know he'll keep my secret.

Her birthday is in thirty seven days (yes I'm counting) and wanted to do something special for her. I mailed her a card last year with a hundred dollar bill in it and she balked, tried to give it back and said it was too much.


I hands down have the best brother and sister a girl could ever dream of having and say with total conviction my family would not have survived the past (almost) decade without all they have done for us. If I had to put a dollar amount on it would embarrassingly almost ten grand with all said and done. I've paid back a hundred here, a hundred there but both always say "You don't owe me anything" and usually just end up having to leave it somewhere for them to discover after I've left.

Until this last year haven't really been in the position to do much more but try when I can.

The Pastry Chef where I now work came in one day with the most fabulous and colorful sling tote I've ever seen. It has smaller pockets all over it and zippered compartments on the the inside. I immediately thought how much my sister would like something like that. Easy to carry and holds tons of stuff. Chef said would be glad to pick me up one and was only fifteen bucks.

Perfect gift for my sister! She travels with a duffel bag or back pack every where she goes. She has to because her life is a multitasking amazement even to me. From her painting for a living to charity work for the battered women's shelter, free lunch program for needy children to all the committees she's either on or in charge of and even more numerous things she's in charge of at her church.

The woman is freakishly  the most charitable person I've ever known and's even more humble.

She's a hot looking Mother Teresa and lucky for me, my sister.

So the bag only cost fifteen bucks and looks kinda flimsy if new with nothing in it . I think she'll love it but made me feel kinda lame. Then I came up with the perfect solution.

I decided to Pay It Forward to her one shift at a time until her birthday on April 9th. Every night after getting home from work, take all the one dollar bills I have from extra tips on top of  added grats.  I crinkle them up like tissue paper and throw them in the bag.

I filled every little pocket first and will continue to fill the center until is a fluffy well puffed out bag of small Thanks.

I'm up to almost a hundred and still have thirty seven days left.

It's been thankfully amazingly busy at work and have worked fifty hours each of  the past two weeks. I got paid yesterday and was the largest check I've ever made.

It will be a drop in the bucket considering what I really  owe her but seems an excellent gift. Something she needs and something I owe her...represented in a small way but something  know can be useful in both aspects. She's not poor but not rich either. She's had  her own struggles these past few years but it never stopped her from helping with mine. I wouldn't have my incredible job except for the fact she and her husband loaned me vehicles for at least six months when I didn't even own a car.

I've gone from not even remotely barely making it (with much help from both sibs) to being incredibly blessed making more money than I've ever made in my life...largely thanks to them.

I tried to thank my brother too...but he declined my kiss of gratitude. Fortunately for me and my sister he is a bachelor with no kids (that he knows of) and makes a pretty decent living, leaving him to help not only us both but our kids as well so bought him this tee shirt for Christmas.

"PUNK" Professional Uncle No Kids.

I also bought him a glass storm door for the front door of his house so could keep it open and his two Dobermans be able to watch all the lizards scurry by. I hope it's strong glass.

Here's the real deal.

So many, many people were absolutely wonderful to my entire family and will always be eternally grateful to them while we were broke as jokes. They helped us tremendously but without my brother and sister would have most certainly lost our home.

But we didn't... and for some unknown reason they still seem to consider me an equal sibling. Actually the reason is known.

We had two parents who loved  unconditionally and taught us the true meaning of being a family.

You can tell from the above picture how happy they were... and continued to be, every day of their married life. (actually my Diddy looks ecstatic)

We never had a lot as kids but had everything. We had them.

And they had each other. It is a wonderful thing to come from a loving family.

We may have fallen but had family to help us get back up and keep on living.

There were days I wondered if we'd make it at all.

I should have known better having the above two for sibs.

I wouldn't change the last decade of my life if I could. It's made me a better person although wore slap out, but with The Good Lord willing and the creek don't rise am fixing to be an even better one!

  Til next time, COTTON

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