Saturday, May 26, 2018

First The Parking Lot Rage, Now The Waiting Room Rage

Actually, my waiting room rage occurred on Monday, but I'm writing about it after the parking lot rage.

Monday, I had a regular 6-month checkup with my doctor nurse practitioner. He's okay, but I haven't cottoned to him like my old doctor, who was ex-military, and a straight-shooter. This nurse practitioner isn't much of a shooter at all. He just exchanges pleasantries, glosses over my concerns, and I'm out of there, with him $35 richer from my copay. Which is not to say I dislike him. He's likeable enough. As Obama once said about Hillary on 60 Minutes. waiting room rage had nothing to do with my doctor nurse practitioner, and everything to do with his staff. My appointment was for 8:45. I got a phone call telling me to arrive 15 minutes early to update paperwork. It takes me 45 minutes to get there. I left in plenty of time. Even with only one of the two elevators working, I got to the reception area at 8:25. I stood at the little counter, waiting for one of the two gals behind the sliding glass to wait on me. It's not like they had a bell to ding, like the dead-mouse-smelling post office.

The glass window is not opaque, like the one at my old dentist where the receptionist embezzled money and got fired and arrested. Clear glass. I could see them. So I know they could see me. Even though they were not facing the glass, but working on computers at a right angle to the glass, I knew they could pick up my movement with their peripheral vision. That's how eyes work, you know. I waited politely. Waited a little less politely. Got downright fed up. And left.

That's right. I went back to the one elevator (they had built a little closety thing around the door of the other one to keep people from falling down the shaft) and took a ride upstairs to the 4th floor. That's where my old doctor's office was. He's not there now, but working down the street at the veteran's center. But I knew there was a restroom on that floor by the elevators. So I went in and did my business and sent a text or two to my best ol' ex-teaching buddy Mabel. Sorry, Mabel, if you're learning that detail here. It's quiet on the toilet, with subdued lighting, and no sick people around you.

I'll be gosh darned if I was going to get to that appointment ONE MINUTE before my scheduled time! At 8:45, I took the elevator back down to the 2nd floor, and the worker opened that glass window right up. Since I only have one insurance now, I have a co-pay. Normally, I would write out a check for it. But just to make their life harder, I asked to use my debit card. Which meant that the receptionist had to do the work, not me, because they didn't have a slidey thing for me to swipe it.

I didn't even wait 5 minutes before I was called back. It probably won't surprise you to hear that my blood pressure was up. Although my doctor nurse practitioner attributed it to the fact that I had not yet taken my two pills for the day...I think it might have had something to do with my waiting room rage.

Friday, May 25, 2018

A More Aggessive Woman Might Have Beaten The Starch Out Of Her

The Universe continues to conspire against Mrs. Hillbilly Mom.

Thursday I went to Save A Lot, and all the parking spots on the store side were taken. TAKEN! Like saved seats at the Paradise Twin (for hardcore Seinfeld fans). Anyhoo...I drove around to the other side of the row, because I saw a few empty spaces there. I selected one toward the Subway end of the mini-mall. It was next to a JEEP that looked fairly new. I figured they wouldn't slam the doors into me, but just in case, I parked a little over toward the opposite line, which was an empty space by a light pole. No danger of backing into THAT one, because it was in front of me, unlike that long-ago nearly invisible light pole behind my old Suburban at the Office Max.

I was texting Genius about a problem with my Shaming Bracelet, and gathering my shopping list, and stowing my purse out of sight, when a lady came up to the JEEP. She was pushing a metal laundry cart about waist-high, and stopped right there at the JEEP passenger door, where she began FOLDING HER LAUNDRY out of that cart, and stacking it on the front seat! Meanwhile, I was trapped inside T-Hoe, because that laundry cart was only inches from the door.


I felt like that time Hick took 4-year-old Genius and toddler Pony trick-or-treating over by their daycare lady's house, and two teens soaped the windows of our car while I was sitting in the front seat! That's just disrespectful! That lady saw me sitting there. How can you miss something the size of Mrs. HM, only inches from your head, on the other side of a non-tinted window?

I couldn't sit there all day while that gal arranged her wardrobe. It was 86 degrees! I started T-Hoe, heh, heh, reveling in the look of fear in that Laundry Gal's eyes as she clutched her borrowed cart from the laundromat, AS IF it might be damaged by my actions. Hmpf! Only if my eyes could shoot daggers at it.

I drove around to the other side, but there were still no available parking spaces, so I rounded the end of the row and came back, parking one space over from where I'd been. That Laundry Gal didn't even have the gumption to look my way to see my displeasure at her antics.

Let's hope that Mrs. HM never makes the news for a case of parking lot rage.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Tuesday, I Was The Windshield

Not that anything fantastic happened, or that I wreaked havoc on society...but on Tuesday, I was the windshield. Not the bug.

The BUG was the bug!

Don't worry, no bug was harmed in the making of the events that led to this story. I might not even have been moving at the time. Or T-Hoe, that is. I was sitting on my ample rumpus in the comfy leather driver's seat of T-Hoe.

I'd just pulled into the garage, and put T-Hoe in park. I looked up, glancing through the window of the people-door, looking for my dog-greeters, and gasped to see a BUG on T-Hoe's windshield.

It was a pretty good size bug. I picked up my phone to take a picture, but even though I tapped the screen to focus a little circle on the looks like the camera focused on the background. Which is the front wall of the garage, in all its glory, with assorted unused indispensable objects hanging on nails.

There is Farmer H's jacket, which every couple of years gets encrusted with mud dauber nests. The fuse box that powers the lights in the garage and the non-running pump on the fake fish pond. A Scooby Doo mini tackle box that came with Toddler Genius's first fishing pole. Gripped handles of assorted golf clubs. The multi-colored plastic toboggan that Farmer H used to hook up to the 4-wheeler and pull the boys around the front field on a new snowfall. A lantern. A Styrofoam cooler. An insulated water bottle on a neck lanyard that we got at the local Labor Day Picnic about 12 years ago, and hasn't been used since. The handles of a push broom for water puddles from snow melting off T-Hoe, but more recently for nightly turds from our traitor cat Stockings before we locked him out of the garage. Boxes from the garage lights. Plastic bags of objects unknown. A folding stepstool/ladder that my mom gave us one Christmas. Oh, yeah, and my fat fingers that got in the way, and look like they're going to crush that bug.

I don't know what kind of bug that was, but it did NOT take kindly to a Nexus being held over it trying to focus for a picture. That thing skedaddled up the windshield and onto the top of T-Hoe. No way was I going to stand on the running board and look for it. What if, when I popped my head up over the roof, that bug was staring right at me???

I let it go. Somewhere, on T-Hoe or in the garage, is a big brown bug that looks like it would give a satisfying crunch if stepped on with a shoe sole harder than a Croc. I hope it was too big to crawl through the weather-stripping around T-Hoe's doors...

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Dog House Is Too Good For Farmer H

Farmer H needs to be in the dog house. But I won't give him the satisfaction. He should be OUT of the dog house. No roof over his head at all. Preferably in a downpour. His transgressions in the past 24 hours are unacceptable. I guess if they were acceptable, they wouldn't be called transgressions.

First and foremost, sitting on the long couch yesterday at 12:50, he informed me: "Poor ol' Juno got locked in the BARn all night."

WHAT? He said it like my Sweet, Sweet Juno was some bumbling idiot who misplaced the key and locked herself in! And we all know that the only way Juno is getting locked in the BARn is if FARMER H CLOSES UP WITHOUT LETTING HER EXIT!

"She didn't tear up nothin', though."

Well. I'm sure that makes it all better for Juno...NOT! He acted like Juno deliberately hid herself to be left inside all night, just so she could have her way with whatever junk was in her reach. When in reality, she was lonely and scared and holding in her poop and pee for over 12 hours, without food or water. Since Farmer H came to the house that evening around 5:30, and didn't let her out until 9:00 a.m. Or so he said. He might have just discovered her after noon, and didn't want to tell me. Because, you know, that might make me think he should be OUT OF the dog house.

"Yeah, she sure was happy to see them other dogs when I cranked up the door. She ran out barking, all excited."

"Well, you know dogs really don't sense time like we do. She was locked in, and probably thought she was living the rest of her life in there. She didn't know you'd come back."

"I knew I didn't see her last night, or this morning when I went to town. So that's where she was."

"I heard Jack barking his fool head off last night, over by Shackytown, around 11:00. Not his annoying bark. His panicky bark. I should have known to go out and see what he was doing. Maybe he heard her and was worried."


"Last time I heard him bark like that was when you closed him up in the garage all night."

Not only had Farmer H locked up my Sweet, Sweet Juno in the BARn...but he's got some other explainin' to do about the BARn. Or his new Freight Container Garage.

"I just paid the electric bills. The BARn is 63% higher than this time last year. And the house was only 6% higher."

"Well, I told you, I talked to my buddy who works for UE, and he said their rates went up."

"They didn't go up more for the BARn than for the house! That's what you tried to tell me LAST month when I asked why the BARn was so much higher."

"Well, I turned off all them lights I was leaving on. So it should have been lower. I bet they're charging me the commercial rate! My buddy said that they'll give you one outbuilding on residential, but any more they classify as commercial. And that rate is higher."

A likely story. Farmer H is probably selling electricity to someone else, pocketing their cash while I pay the bill.

Oh, and last night, he went to the auction in the city, without his regular auction partner, and stopped by the casino, which is virtually next door. Uh huh. Farmer H went to a casino without me!

I don't think I have to worry about Juno sharing her house with him.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Lend An Ear To The End Of An Era

Technically, you should be lending an eye. Or both eyes, since you're not Farmer H. To read my boring story about the demise of my favorite Casey's. They're a convenience store chain. I remember the day when Hillmomba had one on almost every corner. And between corners. Every little connected town that makes up Hillmomba had one. I suppose there's too much competition now.

The Casey's I used to work at, in the town out past my mom's house, is long gone. I can't say I really miss it. But it might have been fun to point out to Genius and The Pony on the couple of times a year we went by there.

The Casey's down the street from the high school where I was VALEDICTORIAN has also been gone for quit a while. I miss that one a little more, because it was only a few blocks from my $17,000 house in town. While Farmer H was working during the day, and I was off for the summer, I made a daily trip there for...can you believe it...a DIET COKE! I don't think they had the 44 oz cups back then. I had one of their plastic cups for refills. So I'm assuming it held 32 oz.

The Casey's I'm bemoaning now, though, was my favorite. It was on the way to school, which also made it on the way home from school. We made many stops there for morning donuts if the boys were being especially cooperative. And even more stops there to get a called-in pizza on the way home after Genius's practices for freshman basketball, and later Scholar Bowl practice for him AND The Pony. The Pony loved their cheese bread, but not so much their pizza. Which was fine, since the special often included free cheese bread.

You can't even tell that it WAS a Casey's! All markings have been removed. The sign was gone the day after it closed! Now the red fake brick roof is gone, too. The window is boarded up!

We also made many a stop for air. FREE AIR! Because Farmer H does not maintain T-Hoe's tires properly. C'mon! That's the job of the man in the house. But I had to rely on a Pony to do a man's work. And now I have to do it myself. WITHOUT my special Casey's.

That was the place I bought T-Hoe's gas. For years. Ever since the 7-ELEVEN out by the park closed. So NOW my gas comes from a lesser Casey's. Not the one in Hillmomba proper. They only sell the regular. I put the premium in T-Hoe. The price per mile comes out about the same, but I have to get gas less often if I used the higher grade.

The Pony was my main gas-pumper once Genius stopped riding with me AS SOON AS HE GOT HIS LICENSE. Oh, come on. It's not like pumping gas is hard. Casey's had a covered roof. So The Pony didn't even get wet during a rain. In fact, the checker grew to know him as Correct Change Guy. No more gas now, the tanks have been dug out and the hole filled in!

Yes, I'll miss my special Casey's, because of all the memories it gave me.

Thank the Gummi Mary, the Little Caesar's is still in business. That's where I told The Pony to hurry up with his SuperBall prize arcade game, because "Do you know how hard it is, standing here, holding this pizza and your balls?"

Monday, May 21, 2018

By The Time He Got To The Start Of The Oregon Trail, He Would Have Been Shell And Bones

On the way to town Thursday, I saw a big turtle at the end of the driveway, on the grass where I park the trash dumpster, which I'd be hauling up there when I returned with my 44 oz Diet Coke. Dumpster-pullin' is thirsty work.

It wasn't a turtle turtle, a web-footed swimmer. It was a plodding terrapin, made for land. But we call them turtles around here. I thought about stopping for a picture, because while we see them quite often every day, crossing the roads, we don't see them this big. I didn't want to exert myself right then. I had several stops to make. No need to get all sweaty before you even get out in public.

Did I mention that this turtle was BIG? When I came home, I could see that he was no longer in the short grass where the dumpster would soon sit, but easing himself through the tall grass that Farmer H had just mowed, but was already sprouting up again. I could see the top of his shell, and his long neck, moving through the grass like a Conestoga wagon across the prairie.

I parked at the end of the driveway, and started walking through the yard toward the house, planning to get a picture of that turtle on my way to grab the dumpster. I often do it backwards like this now, so when I get back to T-Hoe, I can drive to the garage and unload my stuff. It seems like a shorter process than unloading first, and then taking the dumpster up.

Anyhoo...Jack and Juno and Copper Jack heard me. They came running from over by the BARn. Which meant that just as I was focusing in, Turtle puled his head back inside his back-house. It's not like the dogs showed interest. They ran up to sniff that turtle and alert him to danger, then took off to snarl and play-fight.

I think Turtle was too big for them to get their muzzle around. I'm sure Jack, with his tiny mouth, would have starved to death if he only had Turtle to eat, and not delicious cat kibble handed out to him each time I leave or return to the Mansion.

I might have mentioned this before, and if I did, I think I misinformed you. Farmer H found out an interesting fact about turtles at the bird sanctuary last week. A turtle lives on a section of land about the size of a football field. If you think you're doing a good deed by rescuing them from the road, and driving them somewhere else to let go, or keep in your back yard for a're sentencing that turtle to death!!! They only know where to find food in their football-field-size home, and they will slowly starve to death if transplanted. Even if food is there, they won't have sense to eat enough to live.

So says Farmer H, anyway, quoting a worker at the bird sanctuary, who must surely be an expert on turtles.

This one looks pretty healthy, even though that may be an old scar from dog teeth before he got too big to bite. I left him right there. I'm not gonna be the one to starve a turtle to death. No siree, Bob!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

How Much Is That Doggie In The Pickup

I never know what I might see on the daily trip to town. Hillmomba is kind of unpredictable that way. Like the time The Pony and I were coming home from school, and got behind a car with HONK IF YOU LIKE BOOBS written on the back window. He snickered, but I did not honk. Then we parked at the Gas Station Chicken Store another day, next to that SUV with Civilian Air Patrol painted on the side, and some contraption in the back. So you never know.

Thursday, on the way to get my 44 oz Diet Coke, I pulled up to the light and saw this:

I actually took the picture because he was a happy little dog. Not morose, like he appears in this snapshot. You know how dogs the time you click the picture, they're nowhere near the pose you tried to capture.

Anyhoo...this little beagle looks well-taken-care-of. He's not roaming around in the bed of an open pickup truck like many of the mutts you see in Hillmomba. Not standing with his feet on the wheel well, being flung every which way as the truck starts and stops and turns. Not likely to fall out. He's safely contained in a wire crate. He can see out. He can breath. He has room to sit and stand. His driver has thoughtfully left the back of that camper shell open, and also the sliding window on the back of the cab, for air flow. With him being a beagle, and treated so carefully, I imagine he's worth a pretty penny, and either on the way to/home from rabbit huntin'.

Dogs are man's best friend, you know. And pretty good killing companions.