Sunday, July 15, 2018

THIS Good Deed Did Not Go Unpunished

With Farmer H away for four days, I volunteered to feed his animals. Yes. They're HIS. I think they would benefit from being given to people who are inclined to spend more time with them. But Farmer H likes his critters. In fact, he took in the goat as a favor, after I (and Mother Nature) [and perhaps a well-intentioned not-angel of not-life] succeeded in getting rid of the other 11 of them at various intervals in various manners.

Anyhoo...we normally have HOS (Farmer H's Oldest Son) feed the animals when we're gone. Since it was only those two critters, and they wouldn't require me to carry buckets of water as in the past, I volunteered. Farmer H has a big water tub for them now, and keeps a hose down in it, hooked up to the outside water spigot. All I had to do was turn it on as I walked past, and off when I went back to the Mansion. The dogs' food and water are on the back porch, right outside the laundry room door, so they were easy enough. And the cats' pan is by the garage door. It was really not a problem to dump two scoops of sweet feed for a goat and mini-pony once a day.

Or so you would think.


He's a cutie, that mini-pony.

I would show you a picture of the goat, but he's not as cute. He's bigger than the mini-pony. And I couldn't get a shot of his rectangular pupils for blog buddy Sioux. I know how she enjoys her goats. However...I WILL show you a picture of their food container.


Yes. That's a metal garbage can. It keeps the food dry and pest-free. However, Farmer H had to attach a bungee cord to each handle, to keep the food squirrel-free. They're scheming wizards, those squirrels, and can get the lid off. They used to do so regularly to the chicken feed can, so Farmer H kept a heavy metal auto tire rim on top of it. Uh huh. He's a scheming wizard at re-purposing items that other people might consider trash.

Anyhoo...on Wednesday, as I bent down to reach the dregs of the sweet feed with the scoop...I felt a twinge in my butt-back. The part of my back above the right butt cheek, but not quite over to my spine. YOWSA! That little twinge progressed throughout the day, turning into a sharp, shooting stab of agony.

I guess that part of my body is involved in just about every move I make. It hurts to breathe deeply. It hurts to cough and sneeze. It hurts to walk up steps. It especially hurts when sitting down and sliding behind T-Hoe's steering wheel. It hurts to get on and off the toilet. It hurts to sit in my OPC (Old People Chair), and arise from same, even though it has that remote lifty thing to tilt me up partway. Oh, and it hurts to lie on my left side to sleep, and to lie on my back to sleep, and to get into and out of the bed. The pain is not lessened in the least by aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen.

I told Farmer H about my debilitating injury on the phone while he was in Iowa, and he brushed me off with, "Eh. It'll be better in a couple of days." So sayeth the man who drove himself to the emergency room with a sore throat, and again with an earache.

No, I don't have any intention of going to the ER, or a doctor nurse practitioner. I'll wait it out. But that butt-back pain sure does smart. If I try to massage it, I hit a spot that sends an electric shock through my body. I guess I've irritated a nerve.

Welcome to Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's Unofficial Club of Irritated Entities, nerve.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Sold Rage!

Yes, Mrs. HM is complaining again. Today you get two for the price of one. Even though the price is always FREE.

Yesterday, I was on my way to mail the weekly letters for Genius and The Pony. I was planning to stop by two places to get scratchers for Genius's letter. I send him two tickets a week, you know. Just because I can. The Pony gets cash, because he's in the middle of Oklahoma, unable to cash in winners if he got one.

Anyhoo...the first stop was Casey's. I bought four tickets, and selected one to put in Genius's envelope. Off to my second stop, Waterside Mart. Or not. Because once I turned onto the side street and parking lot, I saw that an entire little league team was standing out front in their uniforms, around a table that's usually not there.

No, thank you.

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom will not be coerced nor shamed into donating. Especially not to a sports team. Pay your own way, boys! It's a privilege, not a right. I'm pretty sure you can come up with a couple hundred bucks for your special top-of-the-line baseball glove. And brand-name shoes. And stylish socks, and t-shirts that wick away moisture. So I'm pretty sure you can afford to stay four-to-a-room at the playoffs, if it's even more than a comfortable driving distance away.

I went on through the parking lot, and out the other side. Too bad for Genius. He was getting both tickets from the same store today.

After more errands, I stopped by the Original Waterside Mart for scratchers. Those winners were burning a hole in my purse! Once parked, I saw more players from that team staking out this store as well! Let me give you some advice, boys. Even though I had no intention of giving you anything...it would behoove you to at least speak up and ask for spare change. Because from what I saw, you were wasting your day standing in the heat, holding the door open for old ladies like me, not even requesting a donation for your trouble.

But that's not my main complaint!

I stood in line while other players bought themselves treats. Then I handed over my scratchers, telling the clerk I was trading them in for more tickets. There was a man behind me who stepped to the next open register. No big deal. I gave my clerk the numbers of the tickets I wanted. He was kneeling behind the counter, tearing them off, when the clerk waiting on that formerly behind-me man walked over. "I need a number 11."

MY CLERK HANDED HIM THE #11 HE HAD ALREADY TORN OFF!

Yeah. The ticket meant for ME! Already in hand, with a #10, waiting on #12 and #13. How is that even permitted? It was clearly MY ticket! I asked for it first. My clerk had it in hand, already torn off. But no. He gave it to that fomerly behind-me man!

You know what happened, right? The #11 ticket that I got was a LOSER! I'm going to be really, really mad if I read about that kind of ticket from that store winning a big jackpot.

Friday, July 13, 2018

The Saddest Sack Who Ever Sacked

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has been bumbling around for two days, deep in a biorhythm valley. You know about biorhythms, don't you? Some days, you're firing on all cylinders, at the summit of all three (physical, emotional, intellectual) cycles. Then you enter a slow decline, where they're not aligned, until eventually, you're in the trough of all three. I'm pretty sure if I was reading my current biorhythm, I would find that it had dropped off the bottom of the page. Not a trough, but an abyss. If that's possible.

With Farmer H gone, I've been on my own. I thought I'd make a salad for myself, even though I was out of mushrooms. And the little grape tomatoes were getting wrinkly. But still, I had romaine, and cheese, and sunflower seeds, and boiled eggs. Except when I cracked the first boiled egg, it was pretty apparent that I wasn't going to be using eggs in my salad.

I stopped to get the mail before heading into town, but somebody not the Speedy McSpeedster lawyer's wife pulled up behind me, flapping her arms and no doubt cursing me. Even though I had T-Hoe parked with his right flank up against the leafy tree limbs, far enough back from the county road, and turned off. Any other fool would have been able to tell that I was PARKED, and not just sitting there before pulling out. There was at least a car length and a half in front of me. I guess it's too much trouble to pull around a parked car these days. So I started up, signaled, and went to town against my will, the mail waiting for me to return.

I picked up some fried chicken at The Devil's Playground, just because it was easier getting it there, rather than waiting for it to be boxed up and juggled with my 44 oz Diet Coke at the Gas Station Chicken Store. Sadly, when I sat down to eat it, I discovered that I had mistakenly picked up a container of SPICY HOT chicken.

I cashed in the $40 scratcher winner, and have not won a single thing in three days. The new clerk at the Gas Station Chicken Store, rather than giving me back four $5 scratchers and a twenty, counted out $18.31, because she did not take my proffered exact change of $1.69 for my magical elixir.

On the second night of eating my SPICY HOT chicken, I forgot my ear of corn in the microwave, all wrapped up in cling wrap, ready for nuking. It wasn't worth climbing 13 steps on my creaky old knees, so I went cornless.

At 1:20 a.m., I exited my lair to watch the DVR of Wednesday night's Big Brother episode. I was recording two other shows at the time. I turned on both TV and DISH, clicked on my recordings, selected Big Brother, pressed START, and turned to set down the remote as a commercial was playing. THE SCREEN WENT BLACK! I hadn't even tried to zap those commercials yet! It was 1:20 a.m., and I had a blank TV screen. I worked 45 minutes trying to revive my RCA. But no. None of my life support measures worked! I pressed a plethora of buttons, but nothing would come up on that TV. Not even with the TV remote, going through the set-up stuff. It just kept telling me NO SIGNAL, then going black. Even though I was on the correct HDMI 1 thingy.

After 2:00 a.m., those shows should have stopped recording, but the red lights were still on, indicating that was not so. I was at wit's end. I got my mini flashlight to search behind the table the TV sits on, amongst the web of wires and dust bunnies, until I found the power supply cord for the DISH receiver. I unplugged it for one minute, then plugged it back in. A message came up on the TV that DISH was loading its information to restart. Within 5 minutes, I had TV again!!! Yay, me!

Thursday morning, I turned on my Shiba, and got the white screen of death. It's different from the black screen of death. And not just the color. It looked like I was opening a window, but it never loaded. It said it was loaded, down at the bottom, but all I had was a white screen with the task bar up top. On every page I tried to load. Heady with my success from the night before, and ignoring the little voice in my head nagging about the box on the screen that keeps nagging me every time I turn it on, that Windows Vista is no longer supported...I did a restart. YAY ME! That made it work.

The ice in FRIG II's freezer was only one layer of cubes thick in the ice collector. Only days ago, I had a plethora of ice, almost piled over the top. Yet now, FRIG II had gone on an ice strike.

When I ran water in my yellow bubba cup in the NASCAR bathroom, a spray from the spout went up and over the hand-painted countertop, due to lime buildup around the spigot.

Oh, yeah. And when I fed the goat and mini-pony for the second day, I hurt my back putting the lid back on the feed can.

Maybe my malaise is just because Farmer H is away, and I'm pining for him...

NAH! That's definitely not it!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Old Goat Is Missing

No, I'm not talking about the disappearance of Farmer H. I know where he is. At least I know his whereabouts, give or take 500 miles. He's visiting a friend in Iowa.

Farmer H always gets the wanderlust in July. Specifically, the first two weeks of July. That's because during his work career (as opposed to his laying around at home career), that's when he got vacation. He actually had to work during one of those weeks, depending on when the rest of the management personnel were in the office. He got other vacation time, which he liked to take around Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

While the rat's away Farmer H is traveling, I take on the chore of feeding the animals. We don't have many left these days. No herd of 11 goats, 36 chickens, three guineas, and a turkey. Nope. They've all gone to live on the big farm that is NOT-HERE. What we have left are a goat and a mini-pony, who are frenemies trapped within the same pasture.

I've fed them before. The goat, Billy (Farmer H's creative naming), has always been very forward. He'll stand up with his hooves on the top of the fence, looking you in the eye with his rectangular pupils, butting his head at your arm while you pour the scoop of sweet feed into his trough. Barry the mini-pony (already named when we got him), is more well-mannered, acting all aloof, but not afraid to kick up his heels if Billy invades his corner of the feeding area. Of course Barry has his own little trough, wired to the fence.

Farmer H usually feeds them in the morning, but they were lucky to eat at 11:40 on Wednesday, before I got ready to leave for town. No one was in sight when I stepped up to the pen, having survived Jack torpedoing my upper thigh as I walked across the yard. I hollered, "Doesn't anybody want to eat?" And Barry trotted up from the shady area behind the shed they have for shelter.

Barry made little horsie noises while I scooped his feed. That's because he's a little horse. I didn't see Billy, so I banged on the lid of the feed can with the scoop. No sign of him. He could have been anywhere in that pen. It goes way over behind the BARn, and partway down to the creek. It's not like you can see all corners of the pen, because over half of it is woods. I banged on the lid of the feed can again with the scoop. No sign of Billy.

I called Farmer H, who said to bang on the lid of the feed can with the scoop. "I did that. I'll try again. But what if he doesn't show up? If I leave his feed in his trough, won't Barry eat it? I don't want him to founder." That's what happens to horses if they eat too much all at once. Their hooves grow out like elf-shoe-feet, and they can hardly walk. I'm pretty sure other bad things happen to them, too, but I've only seen one foundered horse, and it's his feet I remember.

I wasn't so much worried about Barry eating Billy's scoop of food...as I was about Billy being not-there. I didn't want to think that he had died of old age on my watch. And I most certainly wasn't going to dig him a grave, or build a funeral pyre. I didn't say as much to Farmer H, who couldn't be of any help, all the way across the state.

"He'll turn up. Barry probably won't bother Billy's trough. They fight over them, that's why I've got Barry's around the corner from Billy's. Put the food in there. It'll be okay."

So I banged on the lid of the food can with the scoop, and here came Billy barreling across the dusty dirt from the wooded area behind the BARn. I sent Farmer H a text so he wouldn't worry, and dumped Billy's scoop of food in his trough.

Crisis narrowly avoided.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Slicey And Dicey

No, I haven't severed any digits in a kitchen chopping frenzy. I'm referring to my trip to town yesterday, which was both slicey and dicey.

After my weekly Devil's Playground adventure, I cruised over to Waterside Mart for some scratchers. Glad I did, because I discovered later that I had a $40 winner on a $5 ticket! However...I was nearly maimed for life on the way out of the store.

Of course I kept to the right side of the double glass doors. I pushed it open, ignoring the sign taped on the glass. Nobody reads those, do they? The homemade signs, sometimes on bright pink paper like this one. I guess it might have been advertising the daily special in their deli. Anyhoo...I pushed open the door, stepped through, and

THAT PAPER FLAPPED UP IN THE WIND AND NEARLY SLICED MY RIGHT CORNEA!

I know they can do cornea transplants now. But I don't want a cadaver's cornea! Nor do I want to wait for somebody to die, just to harvest their cornea. I prefer to leave my cornea intact, and not sliced by a paper cut from a sign taped to a convenience store door by the top two corners.

Seriously! OSHA needs to have some kind of regulation for door signs!

Whew! Having narrowly avoided having my cornea sliced, either by my ninja-like blinking reflex, or Even Steven controlling the wind gust or my stride to keep me a fraction away from disaster...I hopped in T-Hoe, adrenaline pumping, and headed back towards the Mansion.

As I rounded the curve by where the old Casey's sits, across from my mom's former bank...I saw an orange diamond-shaped road sign. The canvas fold-up kind. It said UTILITY WORK AHEAD. Let the record show that this sign was just past the police station, before the old Casey's, kind of across from the quick oil change place.

I did NOT want to run into any delays. Since that warning was put there to clearly warn people there might be delays, due to UTILITY WORK...I got in the left turn lane to take the old road that runs past the lake. I was not going to continue on past the Devil's Playground and through the lights. There's all kinds of utilities that might be worked on up that way.

About a half mile up the lake road, over a little hill and around a curve, I saw TWO ELECTRIC TRUCKS parked halfway on the road. Dang it!

That's dicey, my friends! Dirty pool. Pulling the wool over drivers' eyes. Bait and switch. Putting a sign out on the main road, with nothing at all indicating that the work was occurring on a side road. I call shenanigans!

Lucky for me, the big truck headed for the quarry, and another car in front of me, swung over the center line to go around, so I followed along behind them. The line of cars waiting while we used their partial lane was about 5 deep.

At least I had full vision in my eye, what with my cornea intact.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

You're Not Scammin' ME, Baby!

Monday morning, right after logging onto Shiba, I got a text from an unknown number. It said someone with a name I didn't recognize had shared an album with me, and gave a link for a Google app.

Well. NOBODY is going to trick Mrs. Hillbilly Mom into clicking on an unknown link, by cracky! Sometimes I get those weird texts or calls right after logging onto Shiba. I guess the scammer network knows I'm up, and ready for scamming. That's even when the house phone starts ringing with unknown numbers made to look like local calls.

I did a search on that unknown guy's name, and it didn't give me scammer/spammer results. I typed that long chain of letters and numbers into Shiba's search bar. Better to infect 10-year-old Shiba with a fatal virus than my five-year-old Nexus hand-me-down from Genius.

Once I got into that app, I saw two pictures. I must admit that I was very apprehensive, having no idea what might be on there. What if it was a link to PR0N? And when I become famous (hopefully for GOOD, not for BAD) somebody digs around and sees it and says I'm a skeevy perv? Which could happen, people, because those two pictures were of a newborn baby boy, getting his footprints inked, naked as the day he was born, because it WAS the day he was born! Oh, and the pictures were from the neck down.

I did what any skeevy perv not-wanna-be would do, and fired off a text to Farmer H.

"Did HOS send me pictures of his new baby?"

Because, you see, HOS's wife checked into the hospital Sunday night to have her labor induced.

Farmer H said he would check on it, and shortly texted back that it was indeed HOS's new baby. Farmer H was at an eye appointment, and said he was running over to the hospital afterward to see the baby. He took a much better picture, of that sweet baby wrapped in a blanket, wearing his newborn sock cap. Let me tell you, I'm not much of a baby person, but

THAT BOY WAS BEAUTIFUL!

I won't share the picture, because even though Farmer H said he sent it to me, it never came through. And I wouldn't show it anyway, because I don't put recognizable pictures of my family on the innernets.

You'd think, though, that HOS could have included the baby's face in his picture. And put a message that it was his baby. Or at least sent it from his own phone. That's number four for HOS. Two girls of high school age, and two boys.

Welcome, Baby HOS.

Monday, July 9, 2018

The Bizarro Hillmomba

I never thought it would happen. Or at least I never thought I would admit it.

I am growing jealous of Farmer H!

Farmer H might become a Future Junkyillionaire before I can even dream of becoming a Future Pennyillionaire! It's like we're living in the Bizarro Hillmomba. Now HE is a money magnet, and all I can attract is weirdos.

Sunday afternoon, Farmer H revealed that he'd taken in $348 at his Storage Unit Store over Friday/Saturday/Sunday. Sure, he had some money invested in his inventory, since he bought some of it at auctions. And sure, it was the first real weekend of the month, so people had money in their pockets.

"Wow. If you made that EVERY weekend, you could almost pay for one month of our health insurance premiums."

Not that I wanted to rain on his income parade. Just point out the outrageous money we are spending on health insurance for him, me, and The Pony. I would never expect Farmer H to use HIS money to pay for any necessities for US. Because HIS money is for him. And OUR money is for things like building him a junk-holding Freight Container Garage, complete with car lift thingy.

Anyhoo...Farmer H also saved us over a $1000 this week. No, it's not from NOT-BUYING shoe inserts from The Good Feet Store. Though technically, he did that as well. But I'm not ready to say he saved us $2000 this week.

The savings came in the form of auto insurance premiums. We have quite a few cars, you know. And two 4-wheelers, and two Gators. Insurance for them, and T-Hoe/A-Cad/ Trailblazer/Toronado/Ford F250/Rogue doesn't come cheap. Especially the 2013 Rogue, driven by The 1998 Pony. We were supposedly getting the multi-car discount, along with another for having our homeowner's insurance with the same company.

Funny how having all the bills come due on the same date can save you $1000 over a 6-month period. And I don't mean funny ha-ha.

Yes, since the beginning, we've paid our auto insurance every six months. As we started to amass more and more vehicles, I told Farmer H that I was tired of getting bills for them almost every month, which defeated the purpose of knowing when one was due, and how much to put aside. So, supposedly, he got them all to come at the same time. Almost.

But THEN he went in to pay in person for the 4-wheelers, since he had the coverage lessened, now that they're older, and if they get stolen, too bad so sad. The office gal told Farmer H that he could save almost a $1000 by getting all the cars due at the same date. Which we thought we had.

Anyhoo...this might be some new policy, and they weren't really holding out on us like my suspicious mind suspects...because the office gal told Farmer H that she'd just done that with her OWN insurance a couple months ago. True. She didn't have to point that out to him at all. But now we're getting a savings of about $2000 a year on auto insurance.

Which would pay slightly over the cost of one month's health insurance premium.