Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Blink Of An Eye... The Wrinkle Of My Skin

It's hard to believe it's been almost fifty seven years since the above photo was taken of me.

Time passes all too quickly, like the blink of an eye. The baby fat and curly hair has been replaced with gray hair and wrinkles. Doesn't really bother me, I've earned each and every one of them both.

What floors me even more is how quickly my youngest went from this

to this.

Massey is well into her senior year of college and before you know it will be a college graduate.

Our first.

She's smart, headstrong, generous, loving and almost as loud as her momma. All excellent qualities to have except maybe that last one, but at least my girl will always be heard loud and clear.

I got to practice first at being a momma after meeting my husband when TJ was just two.

 He was four when we got married.

And now he's thirty with a family of his own.

Not to mention how in the world has my middle one, my Lost Boy gone from this

to this?

 And then just as suddenly to this?

Here's the thing about having kids.

Almost thirty one years will go by before you look up, and suddenly notice they are all adults now.

I'm an excellent server, a pretty good wife and a so so momma but everyone made it this far so must be doing okay as a person.

They have all seen me at my best and put up with me at my worst. A woman couldn't ask for a better life.

Being a mother consists of countless good times, a few bad times, scared and worried times but is ultimately the best of times.

All three are uniquely different which has made it an even more fascinating experience for me. I have so many memories which make me laugh and a few which make me cry but cherish each and every one of them.

At the same time, they've have two parents who are polar opposites in pretty much every way as well.

Oh to be a Clampett!

My life has been an echo in every sense of the word. I raised three kids and sent them off to adulthood.

They have all three turned out to be wonderful human beings, my proudest accomplishments and delightful to be around as adults. I want them all just the way they are.

I'm not sure how I suddenly became an almost fifty seven year old woman closer to a walker (with tennis balls on the front legs) than away from... with kids now aging from thirty to twenty one; yet somehow stumbled and bumbled my way to this point with them all still alive and flourishing.

But I did it.

Kudos to me and even more Kudos to my kids who survived being raised by a crazy lady.

At least life was never dull.

Til next time...COTTON

Monday, January 30, 2017

Florida's Serious About Chilly Weather

I'll be the first to say have tremendously enjoyed the weather this (our first) winter in Florida. But if it drops below seventy, Floridians dig out hats, coats and scarves. Since moving here at the end of September have only had two or three days below seventy degrees and have yet to even turn on the heat in our house.

Fine by me. I like hot weather.

This morning it was around forty nine degrees at eight o'clock. By noon was up to fifty. I went to the store and people were dressed like this...

I cracked up when watching the news before leaving for the store. They were going to a commercial break with the weather forecast coming up next and flashed these words of impending doom for the day across the screen.

"Coats necessary all day long"

Welcome to Florida!

I'll admit,  enjoyed having eighty five degree weather pretty much all of December and still only have to put on socks when I to go to work.

Even our pups have turned into weather wimps.. Tim let them out back this morning. They promptly pooped and returned to the back door staring back into the house in under one minute. Tim looked at them and said to me, "They're  Florida dogs now."

When I went into work around four it was up to sixty degrees outside. Another server remarked it would probably be a slow shift. When I asked why he said because the weather outside was so bad.

And he was totally serious.

I commented that thought he meant because of the Pro Bowl being in Orlando that afternoon.. 

His reply?

"Oh, man!  I hadn't even thought about that!"

I guess it's all just revelant to what you are used to. It's gonna remain in the sixties until Thursday and by then I'll probably be whining about it too.

I've been talking with my Lost Boy back home in Georgia a lot more lately. I guess it's true, when a kid is hurting, there's nothing like being able to talk to your momma. He hasn't asked me for anything since moving back to Georgia but when he burned his hand at work I knew he'd also be hurting for money, especially after seeing the pictures he sent his sister every day.

Every shift when I have made a little extra money, have been transferring some into his account. Thank goodness we both use the same credit union. It hasn't been much but has helped him get by and always get a sweet text from him, thanking me and always saying I don't have to do it.

But I do.

I can't be there for him but I can have his back from here.

When Zach was about fifteen, he made two best friends who are still  his best friends. I dubbed them "The Lost Boys" and it stuck. Both the other Lost Boys have lived with us at one time or another and have both returned for short stints. They have always been helpful to me and have always cleaned up after themselves. They all three are good boys...just sometimes lose their way.

I know all too well how important it is to keep good friends.

That's why they are called "Besties."

They bring out and are the best part of you.

At least Zach still has his two Besties back in Georgia...and both have pretty great moms as well.

Bonus points, my sister is still  living there and helping him out as well. Oh yes, she's my oldest and biggest "Bestie."

It's obvious he can't work as a cook with his hand like that and hoping he'll decide to come down and stay with us here for a week or two. I certainly can't be the one to mention it. Been there, done that.

So I'll just continue to continue on getting used to being a Floridian, the illegal way. Still driving around with a Georgia tag hoping to not get caught. Heck, it doesn't expire until July so why not? It's a tourist town. A new car tag here cost around six hundred bucks when moving from out of state. A new driver's license is around sixty five bucks so still driving on my Georgia license too.

If I get pulled over this week will just tell the officer it's just so darn cold here I can't even think straight.

If you'd asked me three months ago I'd have said this move wasn't working. Well... it turned out to be work, but if you want to succeed you have to work at it.

I did work at it and am succeeding. One day at a time.

My biggest fear now is the state of  this (my) country.

We should be able to realize as Americans; if there is a left side and a right side to things, meeting in the middle is the only solution. Trace any American's roots and you will find out we are all immigrants.

I'm trying to understand. I'm trying to wait and see. I seem to be waiting on Karma, but seems to me (and just my opinion) that our new leader is "Making America Hate Again."

Here's another option.

Do we really need hippies from the nineteen sixties to remind us what to do in 2017?

Certainly makes us look like slow learners...that's all I'm saying.

I will always be proud and grateful to be an American. I will respect the election results and pray for the elected leader to do well.

I truly hope he does but have reservations and way too many close Muslim friends, who are also American citizens but can only imagine how they feel about these recent events.

People are either good or bad. Race doesn't matter. Religion doesn't matter. Sexual preference doesn't matter.

What matters is that you are a good  person...and a positive addition to the human race.

Is it really that hard to figure out?

Til next time...COTTON


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Moving Ahead...Finally

I've been so back and forth, up and down and every which a way since moving here this past Fall. Everything is so different to me. The weather, the highways, the toll roads, the water, the rental house, the huge birds (I keep calling flamingos, storks and pelicans but apparently aren't) who freak my three dogs out on a daily basis in our back yard, the new job and most sadly the lack of close friends.

So I cooked us up a mess of vittles and invited over a new friend from work, along with her boyfriend who I only knew from creeping on via social networking. At least I immediately admitted it to him as soon as we shook hands after they both arrived.

So once again I have a work bestie who (bonus points) is the total package, having a terrific boyfriend who my husband really likes as well.

Problem solved.

God knows, it took me six months to even  fake it at my last job until I felt comfortable enough to make it.

Now here I am almost four years older and having to start over again!

I was a nervous wreck for about two months before finally deciding (realizing) I may be nervous but am certainly not (that big of) an idiot when it comes down to just being a good server. For God's sake just sling the plates and quit overthinking it.

As my husband has told me more than once, I have my PhD in BS. So I re evaluated my life, with all my Thinkyness.

New friends?

New job going pretty well?

You know, when moving to Orlando after living in Atlanta for over fifty six years fell into a depression which was extremely hard to kick.

But kick it I did...and Kudos to my old ass self.

My latest worry?

We all live together in this house called The United States of America. Yes, there will always be the crazy relatives. There will always be the Blow Hards who we all roll our eyes at and always be the ones who think they have all the answers.

One of the things great(est) about this country, our country is the freedom of speech. Having said that, try and remember it.

Hate filled rants do nothing more than make you seem and look hateful.

It's a democracy we are all lucky enough to live in.

Time will tell.

Hate never helps.

Love always does.

This "I hated him, I hated her, I hate this one even more" is as bad as "He's the greatest, so much better and will do so much more than that one I hated."

How do you know?

You don't.

Reign those feelings in, keep them to yourself or at your own dinner table instead of flat out inciting hate towards another via social networking.

Your opinion is one thing.

Hate is another.

Definition of hate

  1. 1a :  intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury

Hostility? Aversion?

Come on Americans, we're better than this...or should be.

Did I vote for Obama?


Did I see and hear this (my) country berate him and his family for eight years from the get go and flat out sometimes call him a nigger, Muslim and not a U.S born citizen?


Did I vote for Trump?


Will I call out Trump for the things (I) think he is wrong about on social media?


I may point them out or click on Like to something but will never bash him, his wife or his children like so many Americans did Obama and his.

My theory is "time will tell."

Trump is the newly elected president of my United States of America. I respect the results of the election and hope he does well for this nation...MY nation. Our nation. Not  to is basically wanting our nation to fail.

If I'm right about my feelings, only time will tell...not some timeline feed, social networking or even a Tweet. It's time to grow up, grow a pair and let the dice tumble.

I'm just hoping we don't Crap out...

Women think I'm tasty, but they're always tryin' to waste me
And make me burn the candle right down,
But baby, baby, I don't need no jewels in my crown.
Cause all you women is low down gamblers,
Cheatin' like I don't know how,
But baby, baby, there's fever in the funk house now.
This low down bitchin' got my poor feet a itchin',
Don't you know you know the duece is still wild.
Baby, I can't stay, you got to roll me
And call me the tumblin' dice.
Always in a hurry, I never stop to worry,
Don't you see the time flashin' by.

(Crazy ass Rolling Stones)

Here is an even better idea.

Our future is somewhere over the rainbow, not under a sludge pit of mud slinging.

Til next time...COTTON

Thursday, January 26, 2017


My brother makes fun of me a lot... but usually with good reason. He makes fun of the way I speak, with my huge southern drawl. He makes fun of the way I pronounce my husband's name, making it two syllables. "Tee-Um." I thought that was the way you pronounced "Tim."

He even makes fun of my good attributes. I have a most excellent memory for things, especially from way back in our past.

He calls me RainWoman.

That one I'll give him!

Case in point: (and one of more than many)

I got a text from my sister the other day, sent to both me and our brother.

"I just met Jeff Sheasly's wife...didn't we know them? Where did they live?"

I immediately text back:

"He's my age. Lived next door to where Cecilia Douglas lived (now Stewart Bishop's house) and next door to Sam Lee, the fiddler player on the other side. I ran into his mom at a funeral a couple of years back."

My brother text back "Never heard of him"

My sister responded "I was more depending on R.W. anyway."

I had to stop myself from responding back "And their name is also spelled, Sheesley."

(Nobody likes a bragger)

It's the only thing I have over on both my Sib's, so guess I need to brag!

That's Jeff Sheesley, on the front row in the tan shirt under the year numbers 1971-72. On his left is Donald Young and on his right is Loy Hayes, who is sitting next to Glen Epperson. And by the way, That's Cecilia Douglas on the back row far left. There are only two people in this photo I can't name by first and last name; ironically enough are the girl next to Cecilia and the boy in front of Cecilia.

Guess I really am RainWoman.

A few years back my sister and I attended a funeral together. We met at the church and my sister asked me to sit with her so I could tell her who everyone was. She'd point someone out as they walked in and I told her who they were. This went on for a while when finally a last minute straggler, some dude with the longest beard I've ever seen ever... walked into the church just at the last minute wearing a flannel shirt, faded blue jeans  and sat down. She leaned over and whispered just as the music started, "Who's that ?"

I leaned back over to her and whispered "That's one of the lead singers for ZZ Top."

Needless to say neither of us could stop giggling. We tried to, we really did but just wasn't gonna happen. We finally just put our heads down and both pretended to sob.

I have the best brother and sister in the world. We've all three managed to somehow overcome awkward youth (above photo) and also survive losing both our parents. (below photo)

It starts at home. And that's why we are all three good people. We were raised by two even better people.

My awesome sister is keeping tabs for me on my Lost Boy who horrifically burned his hand at work back in Georgia.

And this was day five.

My brother has been awesome to us since moving to Orlando and's been nice to be with him more these past three months than have the past four years. Not sure how he feels about it, but I love it.

I kinda feel stupid for being so worried about our move all this time. If I have Cindy and Chris at my back and on my side, how can I possibly lose?

And I'm the one who supposed to have a great memory. Why do I keep forgetting that?

Til next time...COTTON