Saturday, May 28, 2016

Who Knows What Plans Lurk In The Head Of Farmer H?

You never know what goes on in the mind of Farmer H.

He sent me a cryptic text yesterday. I had been trying to contact him regarding the insurance for The Pony's new used car. What coverage, and whether we wanted to admit that The Pony would be the primary driver. I defaulted to the same coverage we have on T-Hoe, and let the cat out of the bag that The Pony will be taking this car off to college with him.

It doesn't pay to fool American Family, you know. What if The Pony was involved in a fender-bender, and then got stuck in a loophole because Farmer H was supposed to be the primary driver? Not gonna happen on Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's watch. No sirree, Bob! So we'll pay the extra thousands to insure our under-21 driver on his own car.

Farmer H's answer came 91 minutes too late for my insurance business. And it said, "No that's all fine X and Y had me in a meeting for almost 2 hours tell you about it tonight"

Huh. X and Y happen to be Farmer H's direct supervisor and the plant manager. So I had to respond.

"Are you in trouble?"

"No they are asking me about working part time without some of the things I hate anyway"

Well. Maybe Farmer H won't be underfoot so much after he kind-of retires in December!

This afternoon, I returned from town to find Farmer H riding his mower. I guess he was cutting grass. He was wearing his straw hat that makes him look like the farmer in that kids' movie Barnyard. I stopped T-Hoe in the driveway by where Farmer H was stopped. Admiring his handiwork, I guess. Or saving gas. I saw that he had moved The Pony's new used car from where he has to park now, to over beside the carport. The carport that houses Farmer H's main vehicle (my mom's old Chevy TrailBlazer) and Farmer H's copper-colored 1980 Olds Toronado under a car cover. Seriously. Why does it need both a car cover AND a space under the carport? It never gets driven.

"So...now that The Pony has a new used car, can he park under the carport? He asked me yesterday."

"No, he can't park under the carport."

"Can he park there behind the Toronado? There's room on the gravel. The Toronado isn't moving."

"I've been thinking about putting in a section for The Pony to park right there beside the driveway."

"You mean in front of that fence? By the carport?"

"No. I'll show you."

"Why can't you just tell me?"

"Because you won't understand."

"I don't know where you could be planning to make him park. You never could explain anything except one way. You think people should be able to see things like they are in your head."

"Just drive down like you normally do, and I'll show you."

So I drove T-Hoe down the driveway and stopped before going in the garage. I waited. And waited. For Farmer H to get that mower all the way down the driveway beside me.

"Right here."

"WHAT? That IS where he's been parking! He needs to get away from those trees so the pollen isn't all over his car. You said yourself that you took his truck through the car wash FOR FOUR DOLLARS that you're not getting back, because it had green stuff all over the hood."

"HM. This is not under the trees. It's BY the trees. I'm going to extend a little here--"

"It is EXACTLY where he's been parking, UNDER the trees. There's his tire prints right there! Why you need to 'put in' something here is beyond me! The Pony will be gone in three months! That will just be a waste of money to 'put in' something for him to park on. He will STILL be under the trees!"

"You don't understand anything." Off went Farmer H on his riding toy, maybe or maybe not with the mower blade down.

What I DO understand is that there is no reason to pay for gravel or concrete to put where The Pony is already parking on the other side of the driveway, under the trees. He had been happily parking where the carport is now, without benefit of a roof, until Farmer H paid for THAT monstrosity, and commandeered both spots--for his ride, and his collectible.

I hope that work thing works out for Farmer H. I, too, would enjoy him working part time. Without some of the things I hate.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Oklahoma Has No Idea!

Today The Pony ran errands with me.

We had to put insurance on his new used car, and make a deposit in his college account at the credit union, and put gas in T-Hoe, and gather provisions at The Devil's Playground, and pay tax and license fees for his new used car, and pick up a 44 oz Diet Coke for ME!

The Pony also had to call the car dealer to see if there was a second key, which there is not, but they'll make him one when their key guy comes on Monday morning after the holiday.

As part of the graduated, more mature Pony expectations I have set before he drives his new used car off into the sunset...I told him to sit up front in T-Hoe's shotgun seat. That put him beside me, you know. At my right elbow, only a console with a coin cup in between us. He had ridden there yesterday as well, when I had commanded him upon leaving the Mansion to meet Farmer H at the car dealer with The Pony's little truck to trade in:

"Clip those fingernails! I am not taking you into a car dealership with those talons!"

So, typical Pony, he had brought the clippers and did so on the way, with my strict instructions to throw the offending nails out the window, and to make sure they did not blow back in. Also in typical Pony fashion, he left the clippers in T-Hoe when we returned. Although he WAS driving his own new used car home, so might have honestly forgotten about them.

On the way to town this morning at 8:30, I spied The Pony's toenails. That's what he gets for wearing his Adidas slides instead of regular socks and shoes.

"Don't tell me you haven't trimmed your TOENAILS yet either!"

"There's nothing wrong with them."

"I can't believe you said that. LOOK at them! How are you ever going to survive on your own at college? You will be walking down the aisle at graduation in four years, wearing your cap and gown and special shoes that let your foot-long ski-like toenails stick out! You are NOT going in The Devil's Playground with your feet looking like that!"

"Okay. I'll clip them. But they're toenails. They'll fall on the floor mat."

"NO THEY WON'T! You know I can't stand feet. You find a way to get rid of them!"

"I'll just put them on the console."

"NO YOU WON'T! I can't stand it! I'm going to be sick!"

"Oh, mother dearest. They're ONLY toenails."

"That's the problem!"

"I'll do it while you're in the insurance office."

"Okay. Get rid of them I don't want them in the car."

We stopped by McDonald's to pick up a sausage biscuit for The Pony. Then on to the insurance office.

"Oh. You're not done eating yet. Remember to call about your key. And get rid of those toenails."

When I came out, The Pony was still on the phone with the car dealer.

"Did you clip your toenails?"

"Noooo. I was on the phone the whole time. I can do it while you're in the credit union."

So, next stop, I went in to deposit the money. When I came out, The Pony tried to shove his foot in my face.

"STOP! I hate feet!"

"I'm just showing you, Mother, that I clipped my toenails."

I backed out and started for the five-way stop. Made my turn. Twice. Got up some speed heading for the gas station.

"Where are they?"

"Here. I'll throw them out like my fingernails."

The Pony put his window down. Air swirled at my lovely lady mullet.

"NO! Don't throw them out! NO! If I get one of those blown in my mouth from the wind, there's going to be trouble!"

"Ha ha! I don't have them in my hand. I put them in my McDonald's sack!"

"Make sure you throw it away when we get gas! I don't want them riding with us."

"Oh, Mother! They're ALWAYS with us!"

After we exited The Devil's Playground, The Pony stowed the groceries in T-Hoe's rear, and I got behind the wheel and wrote the amount in the checkbook. The Pony clambered into the back seat behind me. It wasn't worth fighting over. We only had two stops left. As I pulled out of The Devil's lot and onto the road, a giant boy-hoof appeared on the console. It reached up and stroked my arm with its sole.

"ACK! Get that FOOT off of me!"

"I'm just showing you my shorn toenails, Mother Dear."

That boy really knows how to push my buttons.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

He Might Make A Good Circus Trick Dog

Puppy Jack has turned into a daredevil!

A few days ago, The Pony had him sitting on the front porch pew, and Jack jumped off! That thing is at least two feet high. And to think we were worried about Jack falling down the steps. The Pony said, "I couldn't grab him in time! Juno ran by, and he wanted to follow her. He's never jumped off before."

No. But he has fallen backwards off the porch edge, an  even greater height, but broke his fall on a log below, and then on grass. Not unforgiving porch boards. One of Jack's missteps came when he was barking at Farmer H, who was sitting on the pew, laughing at him. Two little back feet over the edge, and Jack was gone! Farmer H was not at all concerned.

This morning, Jack was a squirmy worm! The Pony went to get him out of the hutch, and carried him back through the rain to the front porch for feeding. Jack could not wait to squirm out of The Pony's arms and run to me, jumping against my leg, poking me with his torpedo nose, letting me know to pick him up. Then he immediately began to ascend Mount Hillbilly Mom until he reached my shoudlers. Then wiggled down to lick my chin. He's a loving little guy. In all his corkscrewing, he gouged my forearm with his needle-sharp puppy toenails and drew blood. The vet had offered to trim his nails for free, but I thought he might need them, being so little, with a cat out to get him, and who knows what other predators might try to nab him in the blink of an eye.

My forearm begs to differ.

When the rain thinned, The Pony took Jack out to the yard for pooping. Of course he was too busy exploring. Then he ran back to toward the porch. He made a leap at the single step to get up on Farmer H's brick sidewalk, and miscalculated. He slammed his chin onto the wooden board that holds in the edge of the bricks. That made him shake his head and sneeze. Then he acted like he meant to do it, and scampered up the four porch steps without incident, and ran to torpedo my legs again.

I'm growing fond of that little guy.


Let the record show that this is The Pony's leg, not mine.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

If He Only Had A Memory

I sometimes think Farmer H was the inspiration for the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz. Sure, he wasn't born back then. But maybe there was some wrinkle in time. Or a time-travel machine like that little Doritos boy made during a Super Bowl commercial. Not like the one Napoleon Dynamite's Uncle Rico ordered. It didn't work!

This evening, Farmer H decided to get Poolio's filter ready, since he has begun the filling process. Oh, don't think he completely drained Poolio last fall. Nope. It's still going to be butt-water soup from the last 10 years. But there WILL be some fresh well water to top it off.

Farmer H had The Pony helping him. That means they lifted three bags of sand purchased from The Family Center into the back of the Gator, and drove it around the back of the garage to Poolio, and took the top off the filter, and poured in the sand.

Problem was...they couldn't find the guts of the filter.

"I always put it in here! Right inside, so when we take the top of the filter off, there it is, ready to go the next year."

I was observing over the back porch rail. Under the guise of telling them their supper was ready.

"Did you put it somewhere else?"

"We looked inside the bench with the pool noodles. But it wasn't there, Mom. We found a wasp nest, though!"

The Pony is observant. That wasp nest was laying at the bottom of the filter. It was at least 8 inches in diamter. I don't know why it was moved from the bench with the lid over to the filter area.

"Did you put it in the workshop?"

"No. Dad had me look in there, too." Like that's going to find it. Like father, like son.

"I looked, too! It's nowhere in the workshop."

"In the garage?"

"I haven't looked there yet. If I can't find it, I'm going to have to get on the internet and see if I can find parts."

"You and your hoard. It's no wonder you can never find anything."

Let the record show that after supper, Farmer H went back to the workshop. I know, because I heard him stumping down the stairs on his ankle-bones with no feet (that's how it sounds, anyway), and I heard his phone ringing on the other side of my office wall, in his workshop. Then I heard a cry of surprise. It wasn't exactly 'EUREKA!' But something like that. Mumbled.

"Pony! I found the filter parts."

"That's good." Once The Pony gets back on his couch, nothing much excites him.

Maybe Poolio will be ready for swimming before The Pony has to pack up and drive out of my life to Oklahoma.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Not In The Job Description

I think The Pony is throwing away his future by planning to study chemical engineering at the University of Oklahoma. He seems to have a brighter future as a Keystone Cop, with on-the-job training provided right here at the Mansion, free of charge.

Sunday, we had to wash Juno. Let the record show that my sweet, sweet Juno rolled in some kind of feces, most likely in an effort to get rid of the liquid flea and tick medicine Farmer H squirted between her shoulders. It was brown and dried on the tips of her fur, like a fancy lady with frosted hair tips. Not that a fancy lady would tip her hair with poop, of course.

I told The Pony to get the Mane and Tail Shampoo. Of course it was nowhere to be found, The Pony being the last one to touch it, back when I told him to put it away before our Easter feast. Or our Christmas feast. Or our Thanksgiving feast. One special meal or another. Just so it was off the kitchen counter. Isn't that were everyone keeps their Mane and Tail Shampoo? I know I told him to put it in the laundry room. But even though The Pony is an exemplary beast of burden, he can't remember how many hooves he has most days. So we had to make do with the Medicated Dog Shampoo that I found on the laundry room shelf, after The Pony had already searched it for shampoo.

Sunday was bright and sunny, temps in the mid-70s by 10:00 a.m., on the way to 82. What better day to wash a black dog? We stole the hose Farmer H had hooked up to the tall spigot pipe that rises from the ground near the well head, over by the chicken pen and Puppy Jack's hutch. Farmer H had been dabbling with filling Poolio, but must have reconsidered, planning instead on letting the rain contribute this week, due to the forecast.

"Let Puppy Jack out. He can run around while we wash Juno. Let's put her in the side yard, where it's all sunny, and close to the hose."

"Letting him out now."

"He'll have to entertain himself. We're going to be busy. I'll hold her and rub in the shampoo. You will wet her down with the hose. Don't get it in her face! Just her shoulders. That's all we need to do for now. Too bad you couldn't find a leash in the garage."

"I thought we used to have one in there. But I couldn't find it." (shocking)

"Here. I've go her. Get her wet. Whoa! Watch her face! You're going to drown her. Hang on, Juno. You're a good girl. Yes you are. What a good doggy. Just washing off your poop. Hold still. JUNO! NO! That's a girl. Almost done. Hand me the shampoo, Pony. Make sure it's open. You squeeze some out. I've got to hold her by the fur. There, Juno. Just some shampoo. To get the poop off. There. Good dog. Yuck! I have brown blobs all over my arms. Pony! Watch out for Jack! You got him wet!"

"He ran under the hose. I didn't do it."

"Here. Rinse her off. More. Just let it run. JUNO! NO! Hold still! There. Good dog. Almost done. Up under her neck, Pony. Don't get her face wet! Don't get the hose under my feet. My Crocs are soaked! So are my pants. There. Rinse her back again. Okay. I'm letting her go. WATCH OUT FOR JACK!"

Let the record show that my dog-washing ensemble consisted of dark-blue print pajama pants, red Crocs, and a yellow-and-white striped cotton oxford shirt. Which all went directly into the wash, except the Crocs, which were put on the back porch rail to dry out.

You would have thought The Pony was wrestling a wild boa constrictor, the way he manhandled that hose. He was better than no helper at all. Jack was happy as a puppy in wet grass. Juno shook like a whirling dervish and took off running around the yard, barking like she does when Farmer H fires up the Gator.

I can't imagine a chemical engineer having such a good time.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Maybe Granny Can Boil Me Up Some Medicine For A Poultice In Her Kettle Up At The Cement Pond

Puppy Jack and Mrs. Hillbilly Mom both have medical appointments tomorrow. With different doctors, in case you feel the need to ask.

Puppy Jack gets the early bird's worm. He has to be in the office at 8:00 a.m. The office gal asked if I knew how to get there. "Yes. I'm really old. You're in the building that used to be Pizza Inn, right behind where the old 7-Eleven used to be, by the park." She laughed. "A lot of people tell us that." So apparently, we are going to the geriatric pet-owner's veterinarian of choice. We used to take our pets to the one way over in bill-paying town, but I'm ready to cut down the travel time with a pooping, yapping, captive passenger.

Jack is just getting a new-pup check-up, his first shots, and a re-de-worming. The gal said the shot will be $20, and the de-worming is based on the dog's weight, and will probably be around $10. Farmer H found that funny. "I doubt that dog even weighs a pound-and-a-half. It won't be that much."

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's appointment is at 3:00. No early worm and no de-worming for her! Just an old-gal check-up. She'll be lucky to be out of there by 6:00. That's closing time. Once, years ago, she thought they forgot about her, back in the exam room, because she could hear them getting ready to lock up. One thing is for sure. She won't be getting in at the stroke of 3:00.

I'm taking a book. Maybe two. My original appointment was for 9:00 a.m., but it was on the day before school was out. My last full day of school EVER! So I changed it, and they made my lab work that day, so I could still make it to school. Now I will be an afterthought after Doc gets 30 minutes behind in the first half-hour after lunch. One good thing about that, though. He won't dwell on my ailments. Just give me the once-over, discuss the lab results, and give refills on my meds. There IS one little thing I'd like to bring up, though.

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has a rash around her belt line.

Not that I wear a belt, of course. And this rash just appeared TODAY! What grand timing! It's a little red pin-point sandpapery rash that reminds me of when my kids had a strep rash, known in pioneer days as scarlet fever. However...I am not in the least bit feverish or sick.

It all started when I began sitting out on the porch pew playing with Puppy Jack once I RETIRED. I got a really itchy rash, solid red, along that area. Funny thing is, the bottom border of that rash was a straight line, just above my belly button. And it was darker in the middle, in a kind of V shape. I think I got a sunburn! Where my shirt gapped a little, and through the white cotton where I was covered. It was powerful hot out there. Juno was panting like a DOG!

Anyhoo...today I checked the status of my red rash, which was kind of getting less itchy and going away until YESTERDAY, when I sat in the sun again, and the middle V got all red and itchy. Imagine my surprise to see that pinpoint red rough rash! That part didn't itch or hurt. So we'll see what dog disease I might have succumbed to.

Maybe I should ask the vet what she thinks...

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The First Day Of The Rest Of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's Retirement

Hey! Tomorrow is Monday. And do you know what?

MRS. HILLBILLY MOM DOES NOT HAVE TO GO TO WORK! EVER AGAIN!

It still has not sunk in. I will be calling to make a vet appointment for Puppy Jack. Choosing one room of the Mansion to clean. Getting a 44 oz Diet Coke from the gas station chicken store. Making Super Nachos for my lunch. Throwing a meal together for Farmer H's supper. Playing with Puppy Jack and pacifying sweet, sweet Juno. Writing two blog posts. And in between, starting work on a substantial writing project that has been awaiting my retirement.

I don't know how I ever got anything done while I was working.