Sunday, June 25, 2017

There's A New Cup In Town

There's talk on the blog, it sounds so familiar
Great expectations, everybody's watching you
People who read, they all seem to know you
Even your blog buddies treat you like you're something new
Silver Buffalo, the new cup in town
Mrs. HM may love you, so don't let her down


Guess what I just carried in from T-Hoe's rear yesterday! That cup I bought at The Devil's Playground a while back, because blog buddy Sioux recommended something like it. There it was, that Silver Buffalo, right at my right hand at the checkout lane.

He's quite breathtaking, don't you think? I got the very best one. He's not silver at all, but GOLD. Shiny. That picture in the shade of the back porch doesn't do him justice. He's not even unwrapped yet. But look! It says he will keep things COLD for 18 HOURS!

We'll see.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

This Is A Test. This Is Only A Test.

I've got something for you, people! From yesterday's quest for a 44 oz Diet Coke.


See them there? Look closely, to the left of that pole. You can't see them very well because they're camouflaged by nature.

It's TWIN FAWNS!

Uh huh. There I was in T-Hoe, tooling down the gravel road, one bend away from EmBee on the county blacktop road...and these two little cuties paraded across the gravel behind their mom or older sister. That doe wasn't very big. She was smart, though, and blended right into the foliage. These young 'uns lagged behind. Stood right in the middle of the road, looking at me.

Of course I stopped. Deer usually don't wait around for you to take their picture. But the longer they lingered, the more I toyed with the idea of trying to shoot them. I picked up my cell phone and cursed my bug-spotted windshield. At least this first picture shows both of them.

One of the fawns wised up and went into the woods, but the other one stood there facing me. Flicking its ears forward. Took a step towards the woods. Flicked its cottony white tail up and down. I let T-Hoe creep closer and took a couple more pictures. I couldn't see the fawn at all in my phone. Just took a chance I might catch something that I could see on a big monitor.


There! If you lean in and squint, or if you have a phone that lets you zoom in on that picture, you can see a baby deer butt going into the woods. Too bad the cottony white tail was in the downflap.

Yes, I know that city people don't appreciate the deer. That they're like urban rats who eat away at yard stuff. But out here, if we're not licking our lips and thinking how delicious they are as jerky or slow-cooked in a crock pot with BBQ sauce...we're admiring their grace and beauty.

Hope you passed this eye test.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Mrs. HM Shows Nosy Nancy What's What

Today I headed to the bank to convert some large bills into reasonable bills. Funny thing about those casino cash-out machines...they give you the largest bills that fit the amount of your ticket. Except that one at the back that I've only used once, which gave me four $5s instead of one $20.

Anyhoo...my bills were larger than that, and I need a manageable denomination for my play money, because convenience stores don't really cotton to the big bills. Only the gas station chicken store and Waterside Mart don't look askance if you try to fork one over. The others aren't reticent about dishing one out, though, when a big winner is cashed in.

In addition, I needed to break a big bill to give Farmer H. He's got four tickets to the Cardinals game this weekend, and he's taking HOS and his wife and son. Don't go thinking that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom got the short end of the stick on this one. Mrs. HM has been going to Cardinals games since she was L'il Future Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, and her knees have no desire to carry her to such a game these days. Anyhoo...Farmer H is going to have some spending money (courtesy of Mrs. HM's high-rollin' ways) to buy refreshments for the HOS family, and he said he'd prefer five smaller bills rather than one large one. Heh, heh. I suppose I could have given him five dollars...but he probably would have noticed what I did there.

All the way to the bank, I was working on a dialogue in my head. It actually started last night. The last time I went to the bank with a sizeable amount of cash, it was either money from the boys' college accounts to deposit into the bank from the credit union, or the Christmas money I squirrel away all year and then deposit to pay the credit card bill in January. Anyhoo...the teller had voiced her curiosity right across the counter.

"Did you sell a car or something?"

That is nobody's business, I think. Last time I checked, bank patrons don't consult hourly-wage tellers concerning the use of their money. Besides, this was money GOING IN to the bank. Not even money coming out. So I don't see any reason for a teller to know my business. The last time such an inquisition occurred, I answered. It's not like it was a secret. I just thought it was untoward for the teller to ask. If that stupid bank would not put a 10-day hold on cashier's checks, I wouldn't HAVE TO deposit the college money in cash so I can make an e-payment for tuition for #1's non-scholarship remainder.

Anyhoo...I was all worked up, and ready to give any teller who asked about my money a GREAT BIG CHUNK of my mind! Uh huh. I wasn't going to be rude or anything. In fact, I was going to say,

"I'm not trying to be rude or anything. But that's really none of your business. I'm sure you're just trying to be friendly and make conversation. But people don't like being interrogated about their money. So next time, you might want to think twice before you ask somebody, who might think you're being awfully nosy."

Uh huh. Not quite Julia Sugarbaker worthy, but a little speech, nonetheless. I was fired up. Primed and pumped. Loaded for bear.

I walked into the bank lobby with my stack of large bills folded up in my pocket. Carrying my checkbook in case they wanted proof that I have an account there. Can't blame them for that. No need to work for free with money that has nothing to do with their facility. And they don't all know me, because I usually use the ATM or the drive-thru.

Only one customer was ahead of me, and the next teller was available. She motioned me over to her counter gap and asked how she could help me.

"I'd like to change these hundreds into twenties. A lot of twenties."

"Oh. About how many?"

"Well, there are [REDACTED] hundreds there."

"Oh. That IS a lot of twenties."

Well. You know. They're a BANK, for cryin' out loud! If anybody is going to have a lot of twenties laying around, it's a bank. Or a casino.

Teller fished around in a drawer and took out some bundles of twenties and tore the paper wrapper off them, and started counting them out. I did not want to bother her. No need for distraction. But the silence was uncomfortable. It's like when a teacher asks a question, and none of the kids wants to answer, but if that teacher keeps her mouth shut, one of those kids is going to crack, and volunteer some kind of answer, and that will get the ball rolling for a discussion.

Teller had the bills counted out, and stashed the rest back in the drawer. She set the stack of hundreds aside so she had room to count back my twenties.

"I CASHED OUT AT THE CASINO, AND THE MACHINE GAVE ME BIG BILLS! NOW I NEED SMALLER BILLS SO I CAN DEAL WITH THEM."

"Oh, yes. People don't want to take big bills anymore."

Yep. I showed that teller! NOBODY gets into Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's business, by cracky!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Another Good Deed Goes Punished

I really should start a site for disgruntled shoppers. Those who get about as much respect as Rodney Dangerfield. Lately, I feel like I have a sign on my back, and front, and tattooed on my forehead, that says, "PATSY." And I don't mean that in the manner of being labeled with a given name, like a pair of underwear headed to summer camp.

Last week, I stopped by Country Mart. I actually went down the aisles this time, not just to the lottery ticket dispensing machines up front by the door. I didn't take a cart. All I needed was a card. A Father's Day card for Farmer H. Country Mart has decent cards at decent prices. Unlike their cheese and mayonnaise, which are often past date, and overpriced.

I selected my card and went up front to check out. I'm usually there mid- to late-morning, and notice two checkers on duty. Not counting the lady at the service counter, whom I have only dealt with once in all these years, the occasion being to return expired cheese that I had bought for my grandma's Christmas basket.

Anyhoo...on this card-buying day, only one checkout was open. The one with the lady Farmer H has chatted up, who, according to him, is 81 years old. She doesn't look a day over 70, but some of us just have good genes, I guess. Her leathery tanned skin and bleached blond hair don't hurt. She has a really gruff voice, like she started smoking in the crib, and never laid down her butt.

Anyhoo...Smokey was ringing up a pair of adult ladies who might have been mother/daughter. In line behind them was an old man with a few items in his cart, among them a small watermelon. I stepped in line behind him, but that put my rumpus out in the main aisle that crosses the front of the store. An old gal pushing a cart came along, so I stepped back to give her passage. Old Gal wheeled her cart past me, made a U-turn, and

GOT IN LINE BEHIND MELON MAN!

Huh. That was just blatant line-cutting! What was I to do, shove her cart aside and get back in line? I was taken aback. That's what I get for stepping back to allow her cart to pass, I guess. Seriously. She had at least 15 items in her cart, and all I had was ONE SINGLE GREETING CARD in my hand! It's not like I was being kind and letting somebody with fewer items go ahead of me. My generosity was forced upon me!

I stood there silently stewing, and what to my dagger-shooting eyes should appear but another full-cart woman down the aisle, drawing near. And there I was again, fully in the middle of the aisle time, since the sideways cart of Old Gal was taking up the room where I previously stood, third in line. Of course I backed up into the condiment/cracker/cookie aisle to let Full Cart Woman pass by. She proceeded past me, made a U-turn, and

LINED UP AT AN ANGLE BEHIND OLD GAL!

I swear those two entitled old ladies were in cahoots! They must have attended a seminar at The Learning Annex about how to cut in line ahead of patsies at the grocery store.

What was I going to do, confront FCW? After I'd let Old Gal butt in front already? What did they think I was standing there for? It's not like I'm carved out of wood wearing a headdress and standing in front of a cigar store. I wasn't handing out food samples. I obviously had an item in my hand for which I wished to pay.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?

Now two more carts were coming up the aisle. I did not budge. Even though I'm retired, I don't have all day to stand at the end of an endless line, by cracky! THEN a young worker opened up another register several lanes to my left. "I'm open now."

It was like the starter's pistol went off at the 100 Meter Dash final at the 1968 Olympics! Old Gal and FCW wheeled their carts around and took off. I jumped across the main aisle to cozy up to Melon Man's bubble of space. The newcomers, wheels still rolling, had an advantage over Old Gal and FCW, and beat them to the new checkout.

It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway, that those four customers were all checked out and had exited the store before I even laid my card on the conveyor. Those two women, you see, had some major malfunction. Smokey took out a two-inch three-ring binder full of barcodes and such. The women fiddled with cards or papers or coupons in their purses. And then they were done.

You probably won't be surprised to hear that Smokey told Melon Man that he had to put his melon on the counter, that she couldn't do anything with it in the cart. So he hefted it out, and handed it over, where Smokey rolled it across the barcode scanner. Not that it had a sticker on it, mind you. Then she gave it back to him.

You probably won't be surprised to hear that after his transaction was complete, except for the paying...Melon Man fished around in his back pocket, took out a checkbook, thumbed around in it, meticulously tore loose a check, handed it to Smokey, and said, "Fill that out and I'll sign it." Not that Country Mart has one of those things where you insert the check and it gets printed, like The Devil's Playground. Nope. Smokey had to fill that check out by hand. But Melon Man signed it!

Melon Man was in a chatty mood after he got his receipt. He still stood there. Turned to me and said,

"Got me a burger over at Dairy Queen."

"Oh! The A1 Bacon Cheeseburger? I keep seeing those commercials. One of these days I'm going to try one."

"Well, it was good. But it was only THIS big." He held out his hands, making a circle that would have enclosed a tennis ball. "But I had fries and a soda and a ice cream, too."

Yeah. It takes longer to buy a card when you're retired.

I was hoping things would run more smoothly for me. After all, on the way into the store, I'd bent over and picked up a big screw from the handicap spot (one of about 20) right in front of the door. I'm pretty sure it fell there the day before, when a man was screwing on new letters above the door, making me pretty certain that one of them, or the worker himself, would come crashing down on me as I entered to buy my scratch-off tickets out of the machine. Kind of an embarrassing way to meet your demise.

Even Steven must have been asleep at the switch. You'd think saving a differently-abled person from getting a flat tire would at least merit an uneventful Father's Day card purchase.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Farmer H Takes A Dump...ster

As you may recall, the Hillbilly family pays a pretty penny for a big green trash dumpster that is emptied once a week. Unless there is ice on our gravel road. Or snow. Or a 25% chance of rain. It's a major-name trash service, but the service part is questionable.

Anyhoo...a couple months ago we had a problem with the lid. The middle of the handle was cracked, making it almost impossible to get a grip and haul that two-wheeled dumpster down the long, long driveway. Farmer H has connections, and called his work rep at the trash service, thinking we might get special treatment, meaning a timely replacement of our dumpster. We've had it since The Pony was born. Except for when we parked our dumpster at the end of the driveway one Wednesday evening, and pulled another one back up the next afternoon. Don't know why they switched it out randomly, but it was the same style, just a slightly different color, with a different serial number.

Anyhoo...the dumpster sits barely under the edge of the carport. I'd take a picture, but my android phone has a beef with Gmail's outbox, and I can't just post pictures all willy-nilly anymore. The dumpster has to leave room for Farmer H to back his Olds Toronado out from the carport once every blue moon when he takes a notion to drive it. Which he did last weekend. And for me to walk past it every single evening, twice, unless I've been to the casino.

I am the one who takes the trash up and brings it back, now that the #1 son had the gall to go off to college, and his replacement, The Pony, left the state to avoid this chore. I have a spot where I park that dumpster. A spot midway between that darned ugly paint-needing decrepit picket fence Farmer H put up, and the side of the Toronado. There's room to back it out without hitting the side mirror on it, and room for me to squeeze by between the dumpster and the fence.

Sunday evening, I didn't walk, because I figured my casino workout would substitute. On Monday, I noticed that the dumpster was all cattywompus. I couldn't squeeze by without sidling like a wishful, yet deluded, circus fat lady through Fat Man's Squeeze at Rock City, near Chattanooga, Tennessee. As I investigated further, making mental notes for The Inquisition of Farmer H...I saw that the front of the dumpster was cracked! Caved-in! Broken and flappy!

I asked Farmer H if he ran over the dumpster. He denied it. Funny how I didn't notice that the dumpster was cracked when I had pulled it back down the driveway on Thursday evening. Farmer H further added, "I don't know what them trash men did. They must have hooked it up to dump it, and dropped it."

Let the record show that back when I used to get up before 7:00 a.m., I saw the trash men many a time, and they do not hook up our dumpster to anything. They reach inside and pick up the bags and toss them into the back of their garbage truck. That's why I was mortified when Farmer H tossed a meat tray inside without benefit of a trash bag. I knew one of those trash men would have to touch it, if the smell when he opened the lid didn't make him keel over.

I'm pretty sure there's more to this story. One thing I know for sure. Farmer H is full of garbage.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Mrs. HM Knows A Bargain When Somebody Tells Her She Got One

Yesterday I bought some mushrooms at The Devil's Playground over in Bill-Paying Town. They looked FANTASTIC. Just a little pint cardboard container of sliced mushrooms. My intention was to put them on a Devil's deli pizza. You know what happened, right? I forgot the pizza.

So...I had these beautiful mushrooms, so firm and white and fresh (as fresh as fungi can be). I didn't want them to go to waste. That's what happens after a couple days in FRIG II. Those mushrooms get all slimy and dark, and nobody wants a slimy dark fungus going over their lips and past their gums. No matter how you cook them.

I had some romaine lettuce, so I thought of making a salad. However, when we're going to have salad, we like a BIG SALAD. I had no eggs to boil and put in the salad. I figured I could add some frozen diced roasted chicken. And shredded sharp cheddar. Or shredded mozzarella. Or shredded parmesan. Or all three! Plus some sunflower seeds, and diced Craisins. Diced onions. That would be pretty tasty. But Farmer H is not really a salad fan unless he has some slab of meat on the side.

Since I was heading to town anyway for my 44 oz Diet Coke, I decided to run in Save A Lot and pick up one of their pizzas. They look just like the deli pizza from The Devil's Playground. They are wrapped, enclosed in a box that you can see through, and located in the cooler back by the hams and hot dogs. Not frozen. I saw pepperoni, and supreme. Of course I picked up a supreme, because I move the red and green peppers all onto one side, and the pepperoni all onto the other side. The sausage stays where  it is. Then I add a diced onion, and those beautiful sliced mushrooms.

So...I took my cart up front, it containing two jars of salsa, a bunch of 6 bananas, a bag of white onions, and a supreme pizza. The lady rang it up, and it was $9 and change.

"How are you? Did you find everything okay?"

"Great! Yes, I came in for just a couple of things, and that's all I got. For once."

"You got a really good deal on that pizza."

"Oh, I did? That's great. You can't beat that!"

I don't really pay a lot of attention to the prices. Not because I'm rollin' in dough, but because, you know, it's SAVE A LOT. And prices there are generally cheaper than at The Devil's Playground, or Country Mart. So I'm not comparison shopping. I throw it in my cart, take it up front, and pay.

"I need to take care of that. Methuselah's Granddaughter! Bring me up one each of these pizzas."

Methuselah's Granddaughter is the small older lady with coal black hair who looks like she spent the majority of her life sitting in a shed where hams are smoked...smoking.

"Why? Is there something wrong with them?"

"No. They are ringing up for $1.99! We need to fix them in the system."

"That's what they're supposed to be. Jimmy said."

"Nuh uh! No way! Why would they be that cheap?"

"Jimmy said he's tired of them sitting back there and then throwing them away. People aren't buying them. He said he'd rather they sell than get thrown out. They get too close to the expiration. Check the date."

"I DID! It's the 29th! That's 9 days out!"

"Well, all I know is that Jimmy said they're supposed to be that price."

All this while I was punching in my debit card info. I didn't want to think there was something wrong with my pizza. But $1.99 is pretty cheap. Even for Save A Lot. As I moved my cart over to the bagging counter, the checker said, "You enjoy your pizza!"

"Oh, I WILL! I've been thinking about going back there to buy them all!"

Not really. I don't have the freezer space. But it WAS a good deal. I put my salsas and bananas and onions in two bags, and carried my pizza ($1.99!) out on the palm of my hand. The checker was headed for the manager's office.

I told Farmer H about our bargain as he was hovering in the kitchen watching me put the finishing touches on it.

"That's a good deal! $1.99 for a pizza!"

"Uh huh. I bet if I drove back over there, they would NOT have been $1.99 any more. Or they would have been GONE. Because a pizza really should be more than $1.99. I'm hoping they didn't pull a fast one and switch out the orange date sticker. It SAID 6/29. But maybe they changed it from 6/19."

"Oh, well. That was only...yesterday. It's fine if they did. It was $1.99."

Yep. The Hillbilly family is no stranger to expired foods. We don't go digging through dumpsters to forage our meals. But let's not forget, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom DID grow up in the house of her mother, who seemed to patronize Ye Olde Expired Food Shoppe.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Don't Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor...Dollars Yearning To Be Spent

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is declaring war on you folks who can't take care of your money!

I do NOT want to be the customer after you in the gas station chicken store, getting your tired old dollars in my change. Dollars should not be damp to the touch. I don't know if you've spilled your 44 oz Diet Coke on them at the register, or just removed them from your shoe, sock, bra, or thong. NO! Just no.

Also, I do not want my change all creased at various cattywompus angles. A dollar bill should be carried in the pocket, folded in half. And not the long way, either! Not like you're going to tuck it in some stripper's g-string if you can lure her off the pole. Folded in half. Kept unwrinkled. That's how it should be.

It is SO difficult for Mrs. Hillbilly Mom to handle her change if the cashier lays one of those crinkly dollar bills that have been wadded up all willy-nilly across her palm. And then dumps on the coins. Very hard to handle that avalanche-wanna-being pile of change while trying to stuff it in her pants pocket, her other hand busy with a 44 oz Diet Coke, scratch-off tickets, and a white paper sack containing a small mashed potatoes and gravy for Farmer H.

Besides, it is SO hard to force that crumpledbillskin into a slot machine accepter. Not that dollars are Mrs. HM's denomination of choice, mind you.

FOLD YOUR MONEY, people! Fold it right, or don't fold it at all!