Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hillbilly Mansion: Now With More Horse

Ack! I was sure we would be out of school today due to snow. After all, the forecast was for, depending on assorted meteorologists, 1-3 inches, 1-2 inches, up to 2 inches. Ahem! We had absolutely NO accumulation, unless somebody climbed up a tree and measured the depth of snow on the branches. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, I wanted to make sure. Fool me thrice, keep fooling me forever, because I'm a TEACHER, by cracky, and I must have hope.

I don't know why I cared about a snow day. I've been scheduled off on this date for over a week, for a doctor's appointment. So I dropped The Pony off at school, wiped away my separation tears (it doesn't get any easier after kindergarten), and headed for my mom's house for a short visit. No snow. Just an annoying mist that was too thick to leave off the windshield wipers, but too thin to keep those things from screeching on the slowest intermittent setting.

After the appointment, I had several errands. Once I was home, the dogs started acting up. Barking. Racing down the porch steps and halfway to the gravel road, warning warning warning something or somebody to stay the not-heaven away from the Mansion, or else...or else...they might just let the offender parade right past them and up on the porch.

When I left to pick up The Pony, I saw what all the hubbub was about. A HORSE. Yeah. My eyesight is not so bad that I can't see a horse. I saw the horse. It's our neighbors' horse across the road. The horses they drape with horse blankets in the heat of summer, and one of which they put a blinder halter on so it just kind of follows the other horse around. Don't know what their deal is, but no ribs are showing, so I guess maybe one is just nervous, and they're protecting their equines from some fly- or mosquito-borne illness.

Anyhoo, they have a bay horse and a dirty-white horse. Plus now, since yesterday, they have a little bay horse. It's the size of a regular pony, but the proportions of a horse. You'd think maybe my loyal fleabags might have gotten a whiff of the new small horse. But no. They were barking their fool heads off at the shaggy white nag.


Yeah. It was trying to get back in, I think. Being neither a horse wrangler, nor someone who cares about my neighbors' stuff (cough, cough, dead chickens due to their mutts, cough, cough), I did not attempt to corral their large mammal. I guess they'll find it, or find it gone, when they get home from work. It's not like the neighbors' neigher is on the freeway or anything. Gravel road. Mile away from blacktop. Sparse traffic on this dead-end spur.

I suppose The Pony comes by his not-really-caring-about-helping-people gene naturally.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

EmBee Is NOT A Thanksgiving Turkey, You Know

Last week, an amazing structure was erected beside our mailbox row. At first I thought maybe it had something to do with utilities. Aftet all, the area where it grew had been marked with wires tipped with orange flags for several days prior. I don’t know the utility secret codes. Maybe a gas line needed digging up. Perhaps the phone lines were about to go underground. In either case, I could imagine a catastrophe, what with the creek backing up in that area during torrential rains.

Once the metal monument was complete, I could see that it contained four lock boxes. Aha! Something most likely having to do with the post office. The Pony and I went round and round, speculating.

“There are only four boxes. I wonder if they are for rent?”

“Then mail wouldn’t get stolen. And people don’t have to drive to town to a post office box.”

“Yeah. But what if more than four people want them? Will they build more? Is it first come, first served?”

“Maybe it’s to put in packages that are too big for the mailboxes.”

“How would people get them out? Only four boxes. But we have a dozen mailboxes. What about the keys? Does everybody get one?”

“Would one key fit all boxes?”

“What would keep somebody from checking them all and taking your packages?”

“Well, at least we would know it’s one of the people who live out here.”

We were not quite certain how this newfangled contraption might work. But we found out soon enough on Monday.

“Hey! There’s a key in our mail. I’m going to check that box.” The Pony put the key in the lock of the top right box and turned. It opened. And gave us a package with my name on it. “Huh. The key won’t come out. It stays turned. I guess now we know. The post office will have to open it to get their key back.”

“What’s to keep someone from opening all the mailboxes to see if there’s a key, and then taking the packages?”

“Don’t know.”

“At least they’re not in plain sight on top of the mailboxes. And we don’t have to wait until after noon the next day and drive to town for it.”

“Yeah. Unless the package is too big for the box.” Not perfect. But a definite improvement.

Now Embee won't be subjected to having her body cavity crammed full of cardboard.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Thorn Is To Lion As Needle Is To Pony. An Analogy In Real Life.

The Pony put a foot wrong! Not so much put a foot wrong, as put a foot in the wrong place.

We stopped by my mom’s house to visit after school, what with her being a shut-in for a while, unable to drive for six months. I took her some pita pockets and grilled chicken (to make a sandwich with SLAW), and some chocolate chocolate chip cookies (with fiber), and some cranberry juice in individual bottles, and a mini pecan pie.

It happened in the midst of Mom coming upstairs to the kitchen to ready her evening meal. Even though I offered to bring it down to her recliner, she insisted on getting back in the swing of things, and wanted to do it herself.

The Pony was running up those eight carpeted stairs to get some items from Mom’s fridge that needed tossing. In his sock feet. The Pony purely despises being shod, and throws a shoe as soon as he hits carpet. Halfway up the steps, he pulled up lame.

“Oww! There’s something in my foot!” He sat down and peeled off his sock. “It’s a needle! A broken-off needle!”

Since Mom is neither a heroin addict nor a diabetic, I assumed it was a regular sewing needle. Not hollow. It might even have been some kind of staple or nail used to fasten down stair carpeting. Anyhoo…I was just glad it wasn’t in Mom’s foot. And that The Pony seemed like he would have a short recovery period. I’m pretty sure he got a tetanus booster last year. That’s who mainly occupy the County Health Center on vaccination days. High school sophomores, and infants 2, 4, and 6 months old. I put some triple antibiotic ointment on his instep after dabbing away the blood. This morning he reported that it did not hurt.

I can rest assured that if I am ever throw into an arena with The Pony, he will not eat me.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Some Calls Him A Peckerhead. I Calls Him A Head Pecker. Mmmhmm.

Sweet Gummi Mary! Who do you have to…um…drug with NyQuil to get a decent night’s sleep around here?

I thought I had felt it all. The raptor claw toenail. The New York Harbor holiday boat spray of breather mist. The punch to the head. The elbow between the shoulder blades. But Saturday I was in for a new Farmer H wake-up call.

I was snoozing soundly. Dreaming. Sawing logs. Counting sheep. Had taken up residence in the Land of Nod. But something startled me from my slumber. I had a pain in the back of my head. I reached my hand around there, and felt it. The proboscis of Farmer H’s breather mask, poking into my noggin.

Countless times I have cautioned him to stay off my side. Seriously. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is not a toucher-feeler. Sleep time is sleep time. I don’t want to be snuggled. I don’t want to be spooned. I don’t want your raptor claw toenail imbedded in my shin. I don’t want to be your punching bag. I don’t need to be misted like the vegetables in the grocery bins, with or without fake thunder. I don’t want your 50-pound bowling ball head laid upon my chest. I don’t want your hammy leg draped over my hip. I don’t want your snaky arm burrowing under my tower of pillows. And I especially don’t want your breather muzzle jammed up against the posterior of my skull.

Enough is enough.

The first image that popped into my mind upon regaining consciousness was that of a storm trooper’s gas mask. Which, perhaps, speaks of my penchant for spending too much time researching conspiracy theories.

I just want a restful sleep, five hours or so, unencumbered, unmolested, un-breathered.
Is that too much to ask?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

I Am Josephine's Anger: A Drama In Real Life

WooHoo! We almost saw some fisticuffs this afternoon on the parking lot of The Devil's Playground! Here's how it went down.

The Pony and I got a late start due to the delivery of our new Frig. So the after-church crowd was there. The parking lot was full up to the last five or six spaces in each row. We found a decent slot off to the side of the grocery end, and had no issues ourselves. It was on the way out that the drama reared it's ugly fists.

We went cruising in T-Hoe down the main drag. That's because it's a shortcut to get to Burger King across the road for The Pony's late lunch. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, of course, stops at all crosswalks and stop signs. It was at the second one that the issue occurred.

A green car driven by a blond lady was coming at us from the other direction. She turned in front of me. She had time. But she stopped. STOPPED! Right in the roadway. Blocking me.

"Oh. I see what she's doing. She's waiting for that car to back out." Indeed. It was a slot second from the end. Near the pharmacy entrance. So she waited. Backed up, even, to give that leaving car room to get out. But she still blocked. Me. As long as I could see her intentions, I was fine. But then...just as she started to pull forward and take that space, A MAN IN A BLACK SPORTS CAR PULLED THROUGH FROM THE OTHER SIDE!

Uh huh. That's dirty pool. He could see she was headed for that spot. That she had been waiting. And his spot was perfectly good. Mere feet farther away than the new one. So the green car blond lady backed up again. Motioned for Black Car Guy to come on through. Because isn't that what one would think? That a person that close was probably just on the way out, without backing up. Because he had a perfectly good spot. But no.

Black car guy refused to pull on through. He motioned his hands at Green Car Blond. I don't know what his signals meant. I think he was waving her on by. Like, "You'll never get this spot away from me, Girlie!" He was an older man. With tinted windows.

Green Car Blond flipped up her palms. Like, "WTF? Why are you doing this to me?"

Black Car Guy kept motioning.

Green Car Blond finally gave up. And got out of my way. I wasn't even motioning to her. As we went by that aisle, I saw her pull a U-turn and get into a spot three from the end, in the aisle across from Black Car Guy.

"Pony! We need to circle around! I want to see what happens. I bet that lady goes over to the black car and gives him a piece of her mind!"

"Nah. We don't need to do that. That's what we did the last time. It took twenty minutes."

"Yeah. But it was great. Until that policeman made the guy going the RIGHT way back up, and let the wrong-way guy go through. I want the good guy to win this time. Wait! What are you doing? Are you hiding back there?"

"No. I'm banging my head on the seat."

Apparently, The Pony is not concerned about a drama in real life.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

I Have A Little Liar That Goes Round And Round With Me

I may be known as The Five-Dollar Daughter, but my mom now has a title of her own: The Habitual Liar.

I called her that today. She was laughing and snorting over a bottle of water that she SWORE was her fifth one since yesterday, when her trash bag revealed only three empties. She must stay hydrated, and has never had a love affair with water. "I just don't like the taste," she says. Only now she declares that she got used to drinking water in the hospital. And swears that she has been drinking 80 ounces a day since she got home Thursday evening. Au contraire. In two days, she drank 60 plus ounces. according to her wastebasket and the barely-touched bottle from which she was swigging.

And another thing. Yesterday Mom told me that she has no trouble getting up from the toilet, because she used the towel rack. Farmer H had a fit when I told him. "That will pull out of the wall and she'll fall. She was told specifically when they discharged her from the hospital that she could not use a towel rack to pull herself up. In fact, I went into her bathroom, and tested it, and reminded her that she can reach the sink and use that to pull herself up. She tried it, and agreed."

This morning on the phone, I again reminded Mom that she should not use the towel rack. That they would not have discharged her if she had told them that was her plan.

"Nobody ever told me not to use that towel rack. It's just SO CONVENIENT! It's not going to pull out of the wall. It's sturdy."

"You should let Farmer H put you a pull-bar on the wall. Make sure it is anchored and won't come out."

"We'll see."

So, later, at her house, when Farmer H got there and mentioned how he could put in a pull-bar like a towel rack for her to grasp, so she wouldn't be in danger off falling if that came loose, Mom denied it all.

"What? I never pull on that towel rack. Is that what it is? I didn't even notice it. It's so high. It would be awkward to try and get up using that."

PUH LEASE! There is not an Oscar in your future, Mom. You're like that kid years ago who got called to the principal's office and was told to dump out the contents of his book bag, and a bottle of Jack Daniel's rolled out. The kid who jumped back in shock and hollered, "How did THAT get in my bag?"

I will be listening closely to see if you start ending your sentences with "Yeah. That's the ticket!"

Friday, December 12, 2014

There's Likely More Joy In Mudville Right Now Than In Hillmomba

Do you think Santa can fit a side-by-side refrigerator in his sleigh for Mrs. Hillbilly Mom?

And furthermore, do you think Santa can fit it in his bag? And carry it? And get it down the chimney that the Mansion does not have? And can he do this by tomorrow morning?

Yeah. I didn't think so either.

Frig passed away after a short illness, succumbed to a fever of 60 degrees.

Don't worry. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is not one of those people who vow to never own another Frig because the loss is simply too devastating to go through again. Nope. She can't wait until the stores open tomorrow, to pick out Frig's replacement.

Life's a biotch, then your Frig goes on the fritz, then he dies.