Sunday, October 4, 2015

Pony, Take The Wheel

The Pony drove us home from The Devil's Playground today. Almost.

I had planned for him to drive home, but I always pick up Burger King for him after the weekly shopping. He eats it in the seat behind me as T-Hoe rolls along. So...we picked up the food (tried to get a black-bunned Whopper for Farmer H, to surprise him, but they were all out) so The Pony could strap on the feedbag, then went to fill up T-Hoe for the coming week. The Pony was still feeding, so I took the lake road and pulled over by the dead-mouse-smelling post office so we could switch.

Actually, I had to take a short detour around the little park by the dead-mouse-smelling post office, as three people had the audacity to check their post office boxes on a Sunday at 12:30. They were probably releasing mice that were knocking on death's door. Anyhoo...I pulled over by that little fountain across from the bed and breakfast, and let The Pony take the wheel. There's a wacky 5-way stop there by the post office. The Pony waited for the little red car on the left to go, but it was waiting for him, so he pulled out.

We tooled along past the post office, took the sharp turn by the Montessori school, waited for about 10 minutes beside the funeral home for a bunch of after-church traffic to pass by, then got out onto the main road where the telephone poles are a mere 1 foot off the roadway. The Pony drove admirably. He took us past the bar where Farmer H has a penchant for "eating burgers" without telling me (The Pony sings like a canary, even if you feed him a burger), past the Casey's General Store that's getting an addition built on, past Farmer H's pharmacy, to the light by the gas station chicken store. After that, The Pony took us under the overpass, remembering to swerve right where the lanes jog out of straightness. Up over the hill, out of town, past the prison, up to 45 mph on the straightaway, and a signal and left turn to get on our county road.

"That red car is still behind me. I bet he's not having a good time."

Probably not. "Don't worry about what's behind you. He's not going anywhere. Just watch the sharp curve, and the next sharp curve. Are you nervous?"

"Not really. The longer I drive on one trip, the easier it gets."

Past the old lady's house who locked herself out that fateful morning when I drove by and waved at her. She WAS waving at me, you know. But I turned around and went back, only to find two other people had already stopped to help. I'm no Pony.

Down over the bridge, past the compound of Fast Drivers--

"Mom. It turned off. That red car was one of the Fast Drivers. I bet that makes you happy."

"Yes it does! They need to slow down. He got what he deserved!"

One little misstep on the gas pedal as we ascended rutty gravel Barn Hill, and then we were in front of our very own property.

"I know I gassed it a little too much back there. But I didn't think I was going to make it over that rock."

"Yeah. If you ever meet a car there, slow way down. You can drive off to the side, but those rocks will put a hole in the bottom of T-Hoe if you go too fast. Hey! There's your dad on the Gator. Honk at him and we'll show him you're driving."

HONK. HONK-HONK. No reaction.

We went down the driveway. "I'll get the garage door. Are you good with that? Can you make the turn and pull in?"


"Close the mirrors."

The Pony looked on the left handle by the steering wheel. Where the wiper controls are. He's never driven T-Hoe before.

"No. They're on the armrest. No. That adjusts the glass part of the mirror. There. The one below it." T-Hoe was off the driveway and in the yard. "Dad was headed for the house. He's gonna see that."

"Oops! I was looking for the mirror control."

"That's why you NEVER look down while you're driving. Especially at a phone. Pull off and park."

"I know. I turn my phone completely off while I'm driving."

The Pony has a good head on his shoulders. I'd like to keep it that way.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Sometimes, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom Needs A Minder

With Farmer H and The Pony out of town for 23 hours to take the SAT (let the record show that The Pony was taking the SAT, not Farmer H, who would think it has something to do with being perched upon a chair and losing half a donut with no explanation of where it went)...Mrs. Hillbilly Mom had the Mansion to herself. Nobody to answer to. Nobody to cook for.

I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I picked up some gas station chicken, some scratch-off tickets (won $35 after cashing in a previous winner), and settled down at my New Delly to revel in my newfound independence. Some TV and a recliner nap followed. Then a sound sleep of the un-breathered. This morning I was able to snooze until 8:00 a.m. Instead of jumping right in the shower, I puttered around in my jammies. Took my thyroid medication. Made a bubba cup of ice water. Grabbed my blood pressure meds that I take an hour later, and sat down in the La-Z-Boy to call Farmer H.

I had to make sure he had taken The Pony to the testing site on time. Not that I could do anything if he had failed. Yes, he had accomplished his mission, but they at first thought they were lost because there were no signs, and people told them the only thing going on at the school was a basketball tournament. Then they backtracked and saw an old lady (Farmer H's words, not mine) walking in, and stalked her, and she admitted to administering the SAT.

I watched some Trisha's Southern Kitchen. The Pioneer Woman. Some Texas Flip and Move. Had a little nap. Decided to make some oatmeal. Took a shower. Called the pharmacy to see if a prescription was ready for pickup. Found out they close at 1:00, not 2:00 on Saturday. Rushed around to take off my Crocs and put on town clothes and shoes, since it was now 12:05 and time was ticking. Grabbed my cell phone off the table next to the La-Z-Boy.


That's what happens when Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is thrown off her routine. Normally I take them an hour after the thyroid pill. So today they were three hours late by that schedule, and six hours later than my normal dosing time.

Sometimes, even a valedictorian is not all that smart.

Friday, October 2, 2015

If He Gets His Own Reality Show, I Want My Face Blurred

The Pony is a small-town celebrity.

He was on the front page of the Daily Hillmomban this morning (online version) and most likely on the front page of the print version this afternoon. With a PICTURE! That's why I'm not linking it. Well...that, and his real name. Not good for Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's anonymity.

The occasion was the official announcement of The Pony's National Merit Scholar Semifinalist status. He is the first one from Newmentia to earn that distinction in 30 years. Truth be told, he's probably the ONLY Newmentian to earn that distinction, but the official who made that statement has only been around for 30 years.

It was a flattering article and a flattering picture. I don't know how he does it, having the camera love him like an exotic paramour, when it treats me like a spurned ex-spouse who lives under the bridge, moonlighting as a troll. The reporter told him she would like to interview him again when his story comes out in a Mars anthology later this month.

Big fish. Little pond. The #1 son will be green with envy, yet declare he isn't. Different species of fish. Different ponds. There's room in the Hillmomba ecosystem for both.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Another Hole In My Life

Sometimes, I really wish I had my mom to talk to.

Like today, when I wanted to roast the collective a$$es of the staff at the credit union where I have the boys' college money safely saved. It used to be the credit union of my dad, a loyal worker for Southwestern Bell Telephone. Yeah. That's before it got deregulated even before air traffic controllers, and millions upon millions of baby Bells sprang up, much like babies off a spider's back when it falls with a soft PLOP onto your box of Puffs With Lotion at midnight in your dark basement lair and nobody can hear you scream.

Anyhoo, now that credit union says it is for the community, don't you know, and we loyally kept our money there, some in CDs, some in savings accounts, because it's a hometown credit union and has been around for nigh on 50 years, even though they changed the name of it once. My mom had a special friend who works there, who cried right along with my sister the ex-mayor's wife and I when we went in to settle up Mom's accounts. I called today and asked for her, but I was informed that she was with a member.

"Okay. You can probably help me. I want to take the money out of my son's CD, and put part of it in his savings account so it's available for his college expenses, and put the rest into another CD."

"Is it mature?"

I resisted the urge to snicker, thinking of that Cheez It cheese that is definitely not mature.

"Yes. Today. The date on it is October 1."

"All right. I'll cash out that one, put the money in the account, and then take out the amount you specified to start a new CD. Do you want everything the same on that CD as on the old one?"


"Should we mail the paperwork, or do you want to stop by?"

"I'll stop by between 3:30 and 4:00."

"All right. We'll have it ready."

You know they didn't have it ready, right? I got there, and the window lady went back to get another lady, who told me that she didn't get there until after noon, and that when I was there (wrong) this morning, that CD hadn't matured yet. Are you freakin' kidding me? Is not October 1st the same as October 1st? How could it not be mature in the morning, but it WAS mature in the afternoon? Money drawing interest of about 0.000001 % sure is tricky, isn't it?

Anyhoo, she said she had called me and left a message to call her. Huh. At my house. When I was at work. And then when I got home, I saw that the message was at 3:20 anyway, and how would I have gotten from home to their office by 4:00 when they close even if I had gotten that message? She had me sign two receipt thingies, and I said I would stop by tomorrow to pick up the paperwork.

That's why I wish I had Mom to talk to. She really disliked this one worker there. Not that she ever dwelt on it, but every time she had a transaction with her, it came out wrong. AND my mom was on the board of that credit union, too.

I really miss having Mom to complain to. Misery (AKA Mrs. Hillbilly Mom) loves company.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Time Has Come, The Powers Said, To Speak Of Many Tools...Of Mrs. HM's Workmanlike Performance, And Stubborn Missouri Mules

Every dog has its day. And yesterday was that ol' b*tch Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's day!

You know how Newmentia has been in the throes of that dadblasted S L O and U O I gobbledygook? Even The Pony knows. He had to give a speech for his public speaking class (duh), after interviewing a faculty member. And that faculty member was Mrs. Hillbilly Mom! Go figure! He got to choose his interviewee.

As a part of the speech, he had to ask the interviewee's opinion of those dreaded alphabet soup programs. And Mrs. Hillbilly Mom pulled no punches. She did not hold back one iota. Okay. Maybe she reined in a plethora of iotas. But she still told The Pony how she really felt. Like that crap was a lot of busywork to awkwardly document what we already do.

But wait! That's not how Mrs. Hillbilly Mom had her day!

All these years, she has toiled long and hard, burning the afternoon oil whilst others made hay while the sun shone. Chained to her mini-desk, not even a proper desk to call her own, but a mini-desk, kind of like those sheep in Cold Mountain that Renee Zellweger as Ruby Thewes deemed not big enough to count as proper sheep, a desk inherited from a long-ago retiree.

But wait! Mrs. Hillbilly Mom did not get a new desk. Are you crazy? She's about to retire in only eight months and one week. Nobody would give her a new desk now. What would be the point?

You might recall the workday on which Mrs. HM was sick as a dog, but attended. And went to Urgent Care the next day. On her very own Saturday. Uh huh. She went to that workday to learn more about the S L O and U O I. Even though she had a fairly good grasp of the topic, having paid attention at all the regular meetings, and having built her own curriculum last year as instructed, even though that program has now fallen by the wayside, and cannot even be accessed to find the work Mrs. HM did, burning the afternoon oil at her mini-desk.

Others in her circle pooh-poohed the S L O and U O I. "I think I'll just make something up. I'm serious. That's just busywork. Nobody cares. Really. I might even make up my student list, too. Create some kids who don't exist." Let the record show that such a statement was NOT made by Mrs. Hillbilly Mom.

In fact, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom had most of her U O I in place at the end of May. Because supposedly we were to have it ready upon return in August. The whole shebang is due at the end of the week. Okay. Not the WHOLE shebang, but half a shebang. Mrs. HM slid her lever to READY today. Because it was ready.

And now...sit up and pay attention...DOOT DO-DO DOOOO! That's the long horns from that old Imperial Margarine commercial, just before the crown appeared on the head of the margarine-eater.


Now don't get me wrong. Mrs. HM knows she has been appreciated all these years. Has she not been awarded the $150 stipend for not missing a single day all year, on four different years? Has she not been offered various subject matter to teach, because she is a Lifetime Certificate Holder of All Trades? She has been mostly left to her own devices. Supported when need be. Allowed free range with her subject matter, hair style, clothing, and classroom management style. And while Mrs. HM was never singled out for praise, even when praise was due, and that praise was on occasion heaped upon Arch Nemesis, who downright admitted to having no hand in the success that garnered her accolades...neither was Mrs. HM singled out for chastisement, or heralded as a bad example. So it came as quite a surprise yesterday when Mrs. Hillbilly Mom opened up her email and found a glowing endorsement of her superhuman effort.

"I reviewed your UOI and it was very well done."

YES! Fist-pump, baby! Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has been recognized for setting the bar. With such a glowing report, she can only imagine that the local newspaper will be knocking on her door for an interview. After all these years, Mrs. HM has finally done something right. Too bad it comes only eight months and one week from her retirement.

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom will be sorely disappointed if she finds out that a plethora of others received the same message. Especially an other with a list of fictional pupils.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Heaping Helping Of Not-Heaven

Has Mrs. Hillbilly Mom ever mentioned that not too fond of people? I think, perhaps, the exact words might have been PEOPLE PISS ME OFF! Yes. That's it. I'm sure I mentioned it.

Last evening, The Pony had an appointment. The appointment has a waiting room approximately five feet by six feet. With a corner table, and four chairs. Two on each wall flanking the table. There are three doors that open off of the waiting area. And a short hall at the entrance, with a bathroom on the left, and an office on the right.

As you might surmise, quarters are tight. As of late, there has been a certain family that annoys the crap out of me while I'm waiting for The Pony to finish his appointment. This woman brings in a teen girl, a teen boy, and a snippet of a girl who makes Honey Boo Boo look like a wallflower. One time, the lady went in with her teen boy, and left that Snippet with the teen girl. Some people need to make their kids behave. Is all I'm sayin' is.

In the parking lot, a van (much like our $100 Caravan) pulled in. We could hear a ruckus. "Pony. I think that's the family that annoys me so much! I am NOT sitting in there with them tonight. I'll wait in the car."

Of course the minute we went in, that family was on our heels. A man who was waiting stood up to give them his seat. Teen Girl and Snippet sat down, while mom and Teen Boy stood against the wall with Man. Snippet whispered behind her hand, unsuccessfully, I might add, that The Pony had hairy legs. In came another mom and another snippet, though a little better-behaved. And out came Man's son, and the dude running things, which meant that 11 people were in that shoebox! I got up to leave. Told The Pony I would meet him outside. The mom of Snippet 2 said, "I usually go out, too, when she's called in." I didn't care. I was too busy not letting the door hit my a$$ on the way out.

I settled into T-Hoe with my newest copy of The Writer. Ah. A little relaxation time. Then I hear it. JABBERING! I could not find the source. I looked left, right, behind. I looked in the rearview mirror, the left mirror, the right mirror. Nobody. WTF? Those voices went on and on. It sounded like they were directly behind T-Hoe's rear hatch. Like somebody was sitting on his bumper. Then I hear a squeal, and caught a glimpse of movement.


I call shenanigans! Those people ALWAYS stay in the waiting room, ruining it for everyone else. If I was inside in the air conditioning, with the perk of a restroom, trying to read my Writer, they would be there staring and loud-talking. Now, with the exception of Teen Boy, they had followed me outside.

That, my friends, I why PEOPLE PISS ME OFF!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Farmer H Would Have Made A Good Juror

Did I mention once upon a time that Farmer H was almost shot twice in one week? I'm sure I did, here or there. It was a few years ago, when he asked a new property owner to remove his junk (like an old garage door) off our upper property. He did not so much ask as leave a note.That's because nobody answered when he knocked on the door, even though a curtain moved. "Would you please move this over onto your property and off of ours? Here is my name and address."

That upset me, because he just flat out told that guy where we live! Farmer H could have just as easily left his phone number on that note.

Anyhoo...Farmer H returned to find even more junk on our side of the property line. He kept going by (it WAS on the road out of here that Farmer H takes to and from work) until he saw the guy in the garage. He parked in our road and asked the guy if he could move the stuff. That got him a royal cussing.

"I'll put my stuff anywhere I want to put it, and you're not going to stop me. Come back here again, and I'll shoot you!"

Even Farmer H knew it was time to make an exit. So he came home and called the county sheriff, who sent a deputy to take a report, in which Farmer H declared that he didn't want to shoot nobody, but if that guy came down here on his property, he WOULD! Lucky for us Farmer H didn't get locked up. And that the neighbor guy up by the other property did, for threatening to shoot the deputy. Anyhoo...that is just the lead-in to a story last week when I came home from jury duty and told Farmer H that about a fourth of our jury pool declared they had a gun pointed at them.

"Like you, I guess."

"I didn't have no gun pointed at me."

"Oh. That's right. The guy only THREATENED to point one at you, and pull the trigger. And that same week, those teenage boys actually shot at you and hit the roof of your cabin, but maybe they didn't point their gun at you."

"Yeah. Oh, the #1 son pointed a gun at me. That Airsoft gun."

"Because you TOLD him to! AND you told him to shoot you."

"Yeah. We were trying to see how much it hurt."

I have no words.