Saturday, May 25, 2019

Well, That Makes All The Difference

Friday morning, I rushed to the main post office to mail the boys' weekly letters. On the way, I decided I needed some stamps. I have half a book of flag stamps, but I generally get something more colorful to put on the boys' letters. You know, because that's what twenty-something dudes dwell on when they get a letter from their mom, not the enclosed money or lottery tickets.

Yes, I guess those stamps are more for me than they are for the boys. I enjoy picking out which ones to put on. Let's see, they've had snowmen and songbirds and Hot Wheels Cars and childhood pets and classic trucks and funeral-looking flower bunches. Anything with several varieties.

There was only one man at the counter, and he'd been shuffled down to fill out paperwork. I stepped up and asked the mail lady for a book of stamps. She said, "That'll be eleven dollars." I handed her three fives (from the change I got back from my winning scratcher the day before), and she shoved the stamps across the counter before making change.

I took the four ones she handed me back (counting them to be sure!), and picked up the stamps. Oh. Not really what I had in mind.

"Do you have anything besides flowers?"

"I have flags."

"No, I still have some flags. Okay. Thanks."

As I started towards the door, the mail lady said, "Technically... they're CACTUS!"

I looked over my shoulder at her. "Oh. Well. THAT makes all the difference!"

The second mail lady, behind the NEXT WINDOW sign, snorted.
I'm killin' 'em at the post office.

Still look like flowers to me! I'm pretty sure the boys aren't going to glance at it and think: CACTUS!

Friday, May 24, 2019

Mrs. HM Crosses That "BRIDE" When She Comes To It

Wednesday, on my way out the door to do the weekly shopping, I got a text from Farmer H.

"The bridge is closed HM you can't get over it they're working on it"

Problem is, there are three bridges I encounter on my way to town, two of which I cross.

"On the lettered county highway? I guess I'll take the other blacktop road to a different-lettered highway?"

I can find my way around the major roads, only from being on them with Farmer H. I cannot (s)weave in and out through farmland like he does, or I would be hopelessly lost. Of course I heard nothing back from him. I wasn't going to wait all day. I didn't want to call him, because he and HOS (Farmer H's Oldest Son) were taking the blue tractor to town on a trailer. As you might imagine, Farmer H's sweaving is still a habit, even when pulling a trailer loaded with a tractor. No way did I want to have him answer his phone, and drive one-handed!!!

I stopped to pick up the mail at the end of our gravel road. I then had to make a decision. How does Farmer H's mind work? If he had been referring to the low water bridge on the blacktop county road, I could still get to town with a short detour of about 2 extra miles. If he meant the long high bridge that spans Big River (that's the actual name of the river) on the county lettered highway, my detour would take me 8-10 miles out of my way.

Well, whichever bridge Farmer H meant, I still had to turn left at the mailboxes, rather than right. Off I went, still contemplating whether I should take the long detour and be sure, or the shorter one. IF it was the long high bridge, they'd surely be redirecting traffic back onto our blacktop county road, and I'd only have to loop back around and then take the long detour. BUT if the bridge Farmer H meant was the low water bridge on the blacktop county road, I'd be home free with the short detour. I was willing to take that risk, with a chance of only going 2 miles extra, rather than 10.

Heh, heh! When I came to a stop sign putting me on the road that would branch off, giving me access to either the long or the short detour, I saw a BRIGHT ORANGE SIGN, pointed back the way I had just come, saying ROAD CLOSED.

YES! I had successfully read Farmer H's mind! He had indeed been talking about the low water bridge, and I could now safely take my short detour and get to town the mostly normal way.

You can bet that I sent Farmer H another text.

"Thanks for not answering. Good thing I know how your weird mind works, and took [alternate county blacktop] to [lettered highway]."

"The bride on [blacktop county] and I didn't hear you"

SHEESH! All he had to do originally was say: low water bridge out. I would have known EXACTLY which route to take, no questions asked (and unanswered). I didn't even taunt him about calling a bridge a bride. I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have gotten the joke.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Unwanted Gift That Still Gives

Last Thursday, I had one of those days. Nothing went right. I was pretty glad when Friday rolled around. Tuesday, I was plunged back into the maelstrom of Even Steven's evil glee.

Last Thursday started off with a regular 6-month doctor's appointment, a checkup, to get refills on my prescriptions that had run out. The doctor (nurse practitioner) sends them in through thin air now, using computer juju, rather than by phone. I got a text from my pharmacy that 2 out of 3 prescriptions were ready, while still in town. I figured I'd wait until Friday to pick them up, so I wouldn't risk making an extra trip. Surely they'd all be ready on Friday.

They were. I picked up my prescriptions without incident. I even had a worker who knew how to use my DEBIT card! Easy peasy. Tuesday morning, I took the last pill of my thyroid meds, and got out the new bottle to set on the shelf. I also looked at the other two bottles when I opened the stapled paper sack, because of course the one I wanted was on the bottom. Something caught my eye on the label.


What in the Not-Heaven? I can't use mail order for my prescriptions, due to the state of our mail service and location of EmBee. So I get a 30-day supply every month. Six refills total, then a doctor's appointment to check my bloodwork, and six more refills. It's been that way for years. I looked at the other bottles, and they were normal. I'd just picked them up, and both prescriptions showed 5 REFILLS remaining.

Of course I called the pharmacy. They were very polite, and looked it up with the prescription number.

"Yes. I see it here. That one only has 1 REFILL left. Is it time to visit your doctor?"

"No. I was just there on Thursday. That's when he sent in these refills. The others are right."

"Yes, I can see that."

"Why doesn't this one have all the refills?"

"I don't know. That's just how the doctor sent them in."

"Do I need to call their office?"

"No. When you use up the refill, and it's time for the next one, and it shows no refills, we'll call over there and get it."

Well. I don't know about you, but that seems like it might cause a delay and a snafu and the doctor (nurse practitioner) might try to demand that I come back for another appointment, four months early! I planned to call the office while I was in town, but I forgot to look up the number, and didn't want to use my land line later, since it's long distance. I figured I would call the next day. But I was in luck, because the doctor's office called ME that very afternoon.

"Is this Mrs. Hillbilly Mom? This is Dr. Nurse's office. Your lab results are normal, no problems."

"Okay. Thank you. I have a question about my prescriptions. I normally get six months of 30-day refills, and one of them only has 1 REFILL."

"Huh. That's strange. Let me check. Yes, I see that. I don't know why. Dr. Nurse usually does 90-day refills, twice."

"I have to have 30 days. Can this be corrected?"

"Oh, when you run out of refills, just call our office."

"The pharmacy says they can do that for me when I run out."

"Yes, that works, too."

"Okay. Thank you."

Sweet Gummi Mary! It's always something. I expect it will take three days minimum to get this straightened out. Guess I'll make sure to allow extra time when I need that refill...

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Day 4 Of The Creepfest

Nothing like an extra creep thrown into the mix, stretching this current series unexpectedly to FOUR.

Tuesday morning, I was snoozing away, recovering from Monday morning's rude awakening by Farmer H after a scant 4.5 hour night. I actually woke up at 9:00, but figured I'd treat myself to another hour of slumber. I heard the dogs carrying on, and what sounded like a motor. Meh. Not my problem. Nobody I was expecting, no packages being delivered, Farmer H off to physical therapy with This Guy (back surgery) who sold us the $5000 house. I sighed and nodded off.

I woke up again at 9:45, and got up to start my day. At 10:15, kicked back in the La-Z-Boy, still with bed-head and my jammies, I noticed movement over the top of HIPPIE's monitor. Sweet Gummi Mary! It was a silver pickup truck with a camper! I don't know anyone who drives that vehicle. Crap! The shades were open, and I had the light on because the day was gloomy with soon-to-arrive rain. I knew he had seen the light, and possibly ME, depending on his eyesight acuity.

I put on my heather green baseball style jacket that was hanging on the stair banister. You know. To go with my blue pajama pants with a sun/moon pattern, and the yellow stripes of my button-down short-sleeve cotton shirt. Yep. Clomp, clomp, clomp. Up the porch steps, followed by Jack. Juno and Copper Jack were still protecting me from the driveway.

Of course I opened the door. I'm not the brightest 20-watt bulb in Farmer H's workshop. It was some weird guy with a beard, asking if Farmer H was home. Of course I told him no. DUH! My brilliance was diminishing by the second.

Weirdo launched into a long sad tale about buying several dump truck loads of gravel, 3/4 inch. The truck driver dumped them in the wrong place. That being THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD. Weirdo couldn't even drive his truck up to his house. He said Farmer H had done some work for him before, moving gravel, and he was hoping that Farmer H could do it again.

Again, I emphasized that I was completely home alone, what with Farmer H gone over to Bill-Paying Town with This Guy, and not expected back at any certain time. But I said that I could call him, and have him give Weirdo a call back. "Who should I say stopped by?"

Can you believe it? Weirdo would not give me his name! Sweet Gummi Mary! It's as if he was afraid I might do something to him, I guess, and he was being safer rather than sorry or dead! So then I said, "Does he have your number?" Weirdo didn't know, but said, "I guess I can give it to you."

So then I said I'd have to get something to write with, and turned my back on Weirdo, leaving the door open! It's a wonder I didn't disappear from foul play, my body leaving no forwarding address!

Anyhoo... I wrote down the guy's number, and he left, kind of put-out that he wasn't getting tractor service right that moment. Farmer H didn't remember Weirdo's name, but said he had moved gravel for him before. It's the people whose kids HOS (Farmer H's Oldest Son) built that Bus-Waiting Shack for down by the mailboxes. When Farmer H came home around 2:00, he took his tractor up there for 3.5 hours.

"That was a lot more gravel than I expected! The guy couldn't even get to his house. I couldn't hardly get the tractor where I needed it, until I moved a bunch out of the way. The guy and his son stood around watching for a while, then got in the car and left. You'd think he might have at least offered to pay me something, but he didn't. I did my good deed for the day, anyway."

Actually, Farmer H did TWO good deeds, by taking This Guy to his therapy, and then the gravel. Probably over four hours of good deed.

I would have been upset about the gravel thing, but then Farmer H said they have an older son who works at the prison, and WALKS HOME if they can't pick him up. That's FOUR MILES! I've seen him on the county road in his uniform, but didn't know who it was. If somebody wants to work that bad, I don't mind Farmer H donating $5 of diesel gas, and 2.5 hours of his time to help!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Late Morning Creeps On Miniscule Arthropod Feet

My torment continues. Saturday morning, I scurried around to get out of the Mansion by 10:00, to get to the store before the day wasted away. Let the record show that I normally don't arise until 9:30, then putter around, head for town between noon and 1:00, and start down to my lair near the 2 o'clock hour. But Saturday, I had some things to carry down before my arms were laden with lunch and a 44 oz Diet Coke and two bubba cups full of ice. I figured I could bring up my bag of trash on the way back.

Imagine my shock and consternation, as I side-stepped down those last five stairs, clinging to the items with one hand, and the basement ceiling for support with the other,
to see


Sweet Gummi Mary! The hair on the back of my neck rose like the helium balloon of a toddler at the zoo within 30 seconds of purchase.

I knew the millipede was there, and I knew I had to pick it up, and I had to watch it for those last five stairs, lest it get away and surprise me again another day. Or night. I made those noises again. Not quite words. Worried noises combining fear and disgust. I set down my Puffs Plus Lotion box, and the roll of Charmin Extra Strong, and hurried to my OPC (Old People Chair) to snatch a Puffs out of the already-open box on the TV tray that acts as a table. Thank the Gummi Mary, there were still two tissues left in the box.

I gritted my teeth and pounced on that millipede, holding it in the tissue at arm's length as I old-lady-ran to the NASCAR bathroom to flush it.

When I had stepped off the bottom stair, I swear that millipede looked over its shoulder at me. We both had the same unspoken question in our mind: "What are YOU doing here?" Just like Jerry asked Elaine in the hospital as he pretended to smother George with a pillow after his fake heart attack.

The millipede was heading from the area of Farmer H's workshop toward the area of my lair. Farmer H had been in there on Friday with the air conditioner repair guy. They must have let that millipede get in through the big metal basement door. There are old leaves that blow up against the door and back outside wall of the basement. That's where millipedes like to live, right? In old leaves. Not in a basement. No. Surely not.

Now I don't know if I should pop down to the basement at irregular times, to catch a millipede in the act... or only go down on my usual schedule.

Even though I was pretty sure a millipede is an arthropod, I googled that question. As an ex science teacher, I don't want to provide false information, and I especially don't want to violate the Truth in Blogging Law!

PLEASE don't google "Is a millipede an arthropod?" The picture that pops up almost made me scream.

Monday, May 20, 2019

More Creeping: Turtleless Daylight Edition

Of course the very day after Friday night's creeping, there was more. It wasn't a turtle. In fact, there were three creepers, two of whom I'll mention now.

When I got home from town Saturday, that turtle was gone. I know Jack didn't eat it or carry it off, because his tiny mouth can't even open enough to fit in a corn muffin. I figured it either worked its way under the porch lattice, or turned around and got back to the yard.

I had two boxes of Save-A-Lot groceries to carry to the porch. While I was fetching the second one from T-Hoe's rear in the garage, all three dogs went nuts. Juno and Jack rushed down off the porch. I could hear them and Copper Jack baying at the end of the driveway. When I came out of the garage with my second box, I saw this:

Actually, that picture wasn't taken until I'd made three trips, carrying in my purse and magical elixir, then each of the food boxes. The dogs had gradually retreated. I called them over for a treat, but that truck still sat there. It really had no reason to be stopped on the gravel road right in front of the Mansion. I've seen it out here before, but I don't know who drives it. There was a passenger and a driver. I didn't care one bit that they saw me point my phone at them.

After giving the dogs their treat, I LOCKED THE KITCHEN DOOR!

The only explanation I can think of is that maybe the driver was talking to someone on a 4-wheeler. I didn't SEE a 4-wheeler. Or hear one. But I'd been in the garage when the truck stopped. Besides, now that I look at the picture, there's something on the other side of the truck. I had originally thought it was the legs of the driver who had gotten out.

So... I put the groceries away and changed clothes. While I was making lunch, I heard the dogs going crazy again. But in a different area. This was about 20 minutes after the truck incident. I went to the front door and looked out. All three dogs were standing over by the chicken pen, at the beginning of ShackyTown Boulevard. They faced the BARn field, and were barking their fool heads off. I didn't see anything over there. I made sure to lock the front door.

When Farmer H came home, I showed him the truck picture. He says it's a guy who lives up by HOS (Farmer H's Oldest Son) on our other property. I told him he might want to check on his BARn treasures, because the dogs had noticed something over there.

"Oh. That was just HOS and his father-in-law. They came out to get some axles that I sold him for $250. I bought those axles a few years ago from Buddy's son, and Father-In-Law had been interested in them. He just now decided he needed them. HOS called, and I told him yeah, to come on out."

It might be nice if Farmer H could let me know these things in advance.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Things That Creep In The Night And Daylight

My little Jack spent most of Friday night barking his fool head off. He has a shrill bark, like a little yippy dog might have. Farmer H was home from the auction, kicked back in his La-Z-Boy. I couldn't believe he wasn't investigating. After all, he'd just told me before he left, "People are crazy these days. You need to keep this door locked while you're downstairs. I have a key. Even during the day, keep it locked." When he went out, he made a point of saying, "I'm leaving now. And locking the door!"

I admit that during the day, especially when Farmer H is around, I leave the kitchen door unlocked. I know I shouldn't. So with Jack raising a ruckus, I was shocked that Farmer H didn't at least open the door to take a look. Anybody could be over in the BARn field, carting off his valuables, without us knowing it. I sent him a text.

"Jack's going crazy! I hope no one is stealing."

"Ya I'll look it's a full moon probably nothing" [Farmer H's actual typing]

I heard the La-Z-Boy crank shut, and Farmer H stumping across the living room on his footless ankles. Heard the front door open. Heard Jack's barking more clearly. Then the return to the La-Z-Boy, and another text.

"He's barking at the whiperwills and frogs" [More actual Farmer H text]

"Or something you can't see..."

Saturday morning, I think I solved the mystery. I went out to the garage, and saw

Maybe you call it a box turtle. It's probably actually a terrapin. I just call it a turtle.

The dogs heard me, and came running from the front porch. They were so excited to see ME that they didn't seem to notice the turtle. Maybe he doesn't have much smell. Maybe the wind was blowing the other way. Juno was probably planning her next SNEEZE on my face. Finally, Jack turned his attention to the turtle.

As you can see, Jack is on alert. He didn't bark, though. Maybe because after 12 hours of it, he noticed that it wasn't working. Or maybe because he gets in trouble on the side porch for barking at the cat who hides under the wooden bench.

Anyhoo... Jack was a good boy, and the turtle was gone when I came home from town.