Sunday, March 18, 2018

Mrs. HM Has An Earssue

For the past three days, I've had a pain in my ear/throat. It's a combination malady. Not just ear, not just throat. Every time I swallow, there's a pain that can't be localized to one or the other. It's pretty bad. Like somebody jabbing an ice pick in there every time I swallow.

You might not think about how many times a day you swallow. Until you have an ice pick poking you every single time. I guess I must make about a POOLIO full of saliva each day. It's agony to swallow, but impossible not to.

According to Dr. Innernets, I could have anything from a virus to thyroid cancer. I'm kind of leaning towards the virus. Which should be gone in 7-10 days, unless complications develop, and a bacterial infection settles in, which would mean I probably need an antibiotic to shake it.

Farmer H has been fighting another cold, which he came down with last Sunday. My symptoms started Thursday morning. I told Farmer H it looks like he infected me again, by spraying his infectious virus out his breather at night, where it settled into my ear as I laid on my side and slept unawares. Farmer H is a good scapegoat. Great, actually. There's pretty much nothing I can't blame on him.

However...what I'm NOT telling Farmer H is that on Wednesday, during my shower, I got my ears full of water. Of course it was due to Farmer H fiddling with the shower head, changing the angle of the stream, so that when I turned, rinsing my hair, the water went into my ears.

Anyhoo...I was conscious of my ears feeling watery that day, as I was out and about. And later, in my dark basement lair, the itching was distracting. So I took the cap off a ballpoint pen, and stuck it into my ear canal, and dug around a little bit, scratching. It felt good at the time.

According to Dr. Innernets, disturbing the interior of the ear canal can upset the normal status of the ear environment, and result in an infection.

As far as we're concerned, Farmer H is the culprit of my affliction. His contagious breather breath gave it to me. He's fully responsible for my ear issues. Which I'm calling EARSSUES.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Betrayer Is Betrayed

You know that old saying, "No delicious chicken for the fickle?" Okay, so maybe it's "No rest for the weary." Or as my second-best ol' ex-teaching buddy Karen used to say, "No rest for the wicked." She also favored "I can read you like the back of my hand," and "I know you like a book." But mangled sayings are not the topic today.

It's no secret that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom LOVES gas station chicken. Which she always gets at The Gas Station Chicken Store. Except last Friday. You see, Mrs. HM always pays cash at The Gas Station Chicken Store. But with Farmer H's need for a gambling bankroll each Saturday in March, in order to get free American Tourister luggage at the casino, Mrs. HM was running short on the weekly cash allowance Friday. The rest of it was earmarked for Farmer H to lose.

I could have gotten cash back at The Devil's Playground to use for chicken or casino. But that's not a habit that I want to get into. I did, however, reason that I could just get a container of The Devil's Chicken while I was doing the shopping, thus making the cash dilemma moot. It's not like I was saving any money. It was just a matter of the distribution of the cash itself. The grocery order was going on the debit card, and the cash could still be allotted to Farmer H.

We've had The Devil's chicken before. It's a different recipe, and more breading than The Gas Station Chicken Store uses. Not quite as good, in my opinion. But Farmer H likes it. And it would be something quick for him to grab before going to the auction Friday night. Except, once I got that chicken home, Farmer H wanted me to make him fish on Hawaiian Rolls with curly fries. No big deal. Only more work for me, but that's not really his concern.

I didn't mind all that much, because I could always have The Devil's chicken the next day. And the next. I like chicken. I made Farmer H's fish and fries, and after he left for the auction, I put my chicken in the oven to warm up.


Seriously! Who would have thought that? It's never hot. I mean SPICY hot! Like it had been soaked in a vat of Frank's Original Red Hot Sauce before deep-frying. And after. The chicken coating didn't look any different. But that thigh almost burned my mouth! Good thing I had many ounces of Diet Coke left to put out the fire.

That's not right, people! I bought an 8-piece container of The Devil's fried chicken as usual. Nowhere did it say that it would be FLAMING HOT. I guess they sell both versions, and somebody put in a mixture. The breast was not hot. Nor the thigh I had the next day.

I guess I should have stuck with the gas station chicken. Never trust The Devil.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Farmer H Is The New Morris

Remember Morris the Cat? The orange tabby in those cat food commercials? The cat who spoke in that nasal, put-upon tone? The FINICKY cat, Morris? Farmer H is just like him. Okay...he's not as entertaining as a talking cat, and not something you'd want to cuddle up with on your lap...but Farmer H is FINICKY.

The other night I offered him three different meals, and even though he deigned to choose one, he acted like none of the choices was quite up to his standards. And this is the guy who eats six-week-old bologna and expired slaw. And dog bread. If he was holding out for Broccocaulipeppot for a side dish, he should have asked.

Anyhoo...because it's so hard to read Farmer H's mind, and prepare something that he sees fit to eat, I have been trying selections from The Devil's Playground deli. They have some new pre-prepared items. I served Farmer H some Chicken Marsala a couple weeks ago, and he said it was good. He also had a salad on the side, and said that the Chicken Marsala itself was enough. I asked if I should get it again, and he said yes.

The next time I served Chicken Marsala, I mentioned that I don't really like it all that much. It's seasoned chicken breast over long flat noodles, with some mushroom sauce. The flavor is fine, but I'm not much of a noodle-lover. Anything that's awkward to eat is not something I relish. The boys rarely got spaghetti growing up, because I don't like noodles. If they asked, I'd make it, and then I'd eat something else. The Pony had the idea to make it with elbow macaroni, so that's how we had our spaghetti. Easier to eat.

Anyhoo...the second time I served Chicken Marsala, I mentioned that the noodles seemed dried out, and that it was hard to eat them, because they were in a clump, and seemed about a foot long, wanting to fall off my fork, or slap against my chin. I wondered aloud if maybe I should put a little butter on them prior to putting that pre-made dish in the oven for warming. Farmer H said, "You could put some mushrooms over the top."

Farmer H loves mushrooms. So I used a small can that I keep on hand in the pantry, just because Farmer H loves mushrooms. We add them to our pizza, and into spaghetti sauce (which I now make with the real spaghetti noodles, for Farmer H [sorry, boys], because he's so FINICKY, and that's one meal I know he will eat. For two or three nights.

Anyhoo...this most recent Chicken Marsala night, I asked Farmer H if he wanted the mushrooms on it again. He said he did, but acted kind of weird, even for him. Like I was forcing him to eat the Chicken Marsala, and he didn't want it. Even though he had agreed to it the day before.

"I thought you liked it..."

"I do like it."

"Well, you act like there's something wrong with it. Like you don't want it. Do you want me to sprinkle some mozzarella cheese across the top?"

"Yeah. That might help it."

SWEET GUMMI MARY! Now Farmer H was judging the pre-prepared Chicken Marsala, that he'd said he liked. It's not like I'm going to let him have hot dogs every night. I was actually doing him a favor, warming this pre-prepared Chicken Marsala in the oven, since I don't really like it, and making myself something different anyway.

It gets tiresome, making one meal for Farmer H, and then a different meal for myself. When I ask what he wants to eat, he says, "I don't know. What do you have?" And then he never seems to like the choices, even though they were bought after interrogating him before the weekly shopping trip.

Last night, I made Farmer H the poor man's chicken and dumplings that he likes. Made with tortillas and canned chicken. I called him to the kitchen when it was done, so he could dip his own bowl. You know Farmer H. He doesn't like "juice" in his food. He's the guy who piles his vegetable beef soup up past the sides of the bowl. The vegetable beef soup which Genius says isn't really soup, as much as a bowl of assorted vegetables.

I had put away the leftovers, and was washing the pan, when I called to the living room, "You probably have a spoon in there, don't you?"

"I have a fork."

Silly me. I thought that Farmer H might bring his fork to the sink for me to wash. I guess he figured that since he'd eschewed the real bowl in favor of a two Styrofoam bowls stacked together, his dishwashing assistance should be unnecessary. So I dried the Dawn suds off my hands, and went to the living room to get Farmer H's fork and bowls.

"HOW did you end up with all this liquid in your bowl?"

"I don't know. I don't like liquid."

"I KNOW. That's why I told you to use the slotted spoon."

"I used the dipper."

"Don't you know enough to tilt it to the side, against the pan, and let the liquid drain out?"

"I thought I did."

Much like anything else, Farmer H's efforts to feed himself appear to be a bit lackadaisical.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Slawmaster

Time to get back on track and start singing the praises of dishing out more insults about Farmer H!

Have I mentioned how hard it is to feed him? I'm pretty sure I have. That man will never make a decision. But I DID get him pinned down to one of three choices I gave him several nights ago. Farmer H decided on shrimp, curly fries, and slaw.

Let the record show that it's not like a healthy meal. No siree, Bob! Not for Farmer H. The original plan was for a big salad, with cubes of chicken breast, but he didn't seem too keen on that, once time to make it rolled around, and I said I was going to prepare it. Farmer H preferred frozen breaded shrimp, frozen fries like the curly seasoned fries they have at Hardees, and slaw.

The night before, I'd had slaw with my meal of fried chicken, but Farmer H had wanted chili dogs. So...after scooping out my slaw, with just a tiny bit remaining, and seeing that the date expired that very night, I decided that it was done.

I didn't throw away the plastic container, because they are very lightweight, with a good lid, and are great for shipping Chex Mix to The Pony in a care package. It's our Hillbilly Tupperware. I didn't want to walk around the counter and scrape out the remaining slaw off the back porch like I usually do. It was dark already. Farmer H was at the auction. I decided to put it back in FRIG II, on top of the new container of slaw that I'd bought that day, and dump it the next day. So it wasn't sitting on the counter getting smelly at room temperature. it was, near time for Farmer H to leave for his auction. I had his shrimp and curly fries done on time. I called him to the kitchen to fill his plate. I thought I'd set out everything he'd need. I knew he'd go back to the La-Z-Boy with his plate. I'd set out the cocktail sauce for the shrimp, and the ketchup bottle for the fries, and a plate, and a roll, and butter. I guess I forgot the slaw.

Next thing you know, I'm sitting on the short couch, making conversation with Farmer H for a few minutes as he ate. The clock was ticking. He finished and set his plate aside. I knew he was getting ready to leave. I went into the kitchen to prepare my own food, the leftover chicken. And slaw. I opened up FRIG II and saw that the slaw was unopened.


"Oh. I guess I forgot to set out the slaw."

"That's okay. I got some."

"Wait. Where did you get your slaw? It's not open."

"There was an open one in there."

"NO! That was expired! You weren't supposed to use that! I was saving it for the container. I didn't scrape it out yet. I put it in there so it didn't get hot. You should have reminded me about setting out your slaw."

"It tasted okay."

"Well, it tasted okay to me last night, too. On the night before it expired."

Sweet Gummi Mary! You'd think that man could read an expiration date every now and then! Especially when the open item is sitting on top of a brand new identical unopened item.

Farmer H is like a one-man locust cloud. At least where expired foods are concerned.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

My Name Is Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, And I'm A PEEPaholic

Only a few more weeks of PEEP season! They may still be around the day after Easter, but then it will be a long dry spell until...oh...maybe the 4th of July. I think I saw some Independence Day PEEPs last year. Or online. They really don't come out again in full numbers in The Devil's Playground until Halloween. PEEPs have a website somewhere, but I'm too lazy to look it up.

Here are my latest acquisitions.

I'm only showing you one box, because...well...the other one is GONE! Gone, baby, gone! Yes. I have a problem. I have a PEEP tooth. I can't help myself. These are not even the most photogenic of PEEPs. They have a wave of sugary goodness cascading down their belly. And that one has...I don't know...perhaps...a sugary tumor on its neck! It will still be just as delicious, though.

Nom-nom! I LOVE PEEPs!

The dogs and the new cat kibble that Farmer H bought yesterday? Not such a match.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, Agape Avenger

I was almost a superhero today. Almost. Had every intention of being one, despite my creaky knees and advanced age and generally apathetic attitude.

I was leaving Save A Lot. I had only stopped for a few items. Some onions, but they were out of the white onions, so I didn't get any. A pizza to bake at home, but all they had were pepperoni, so I didn't get one. Some curly fries, because Farmer H really likes them, and plain potato chips with ridges, for the same reason. I also threw in two boxes of PEEPS, the pink bunny kind, because that's what was available. And a pack of paper plates, because we're running out.

So...I didn't have many items, so I didn't need a box like I usually put my purchases in at Save A Lot. I had three bags slung over my arm, and pushed the cart back to the rack, so nobody would have to bring it back in from the parking lot. Because I'm selfless like that.

The carts are parked at the entrance, near the produce section. A man with a cart was having a short maybe-argument with an older-teen/early-twenties boy/man. I couldn't tell if it was a real argument, or just loud manspeak. So I minded my own business. But while I was doing just that, the boy/man announced,

"OKAY! So I'll meet you in the car!"

He started out the door. Nothing to see here, right? Even though I was looking, because I was turning around, having parked my cart, and was headed out the door my own self.

The boy/man was clutching a four-pack of paper towels under his arm!

Whoa! Wait a gosh-darn minute! He was heading for the door! With PAPER TOWELS under his arm! I thought surely he was going to go past me, up the unopen checkout the wrong way, and get in line to pay. But he didn't! That boy/man was hoofin' it toward the doors! I'm pretty sure my mouth was hanging open as I stared.

Um! Hey! Uh! Shouldn't somebody be watching this guy? And stop him? Before he shoplifted a four-pack of paper towels, and whatever else he had in his other hand? But nobody was running after him! They weren't even looking! Should I do something? Maybe holler, "HEY! Did you forget something?" Or, "STOP!" Or run over to get a checker's attention? Or try to get in front of him and prevent him from leaving?

Oh...never mind.

As he turned to go out the automatic door, I saw that Boy/Man had a yellow bag looped over his other arm. A bag from the Dollar Store next door. He'd obviously bought that stuff in there, and stepped inside Save A Lot with his purchases. I've done the same thing before, rather than take the Dollar Store purchases back to T-Hoe when it was raining. I guess Boy/Man just wanted to let the older guy know where he'd be waiting.

Sometimes, I'm glad my reaction time is slow, or I'd have a Not-Heaven of a predicament to get myself out of.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Let The Invalid Heal Himself

Farmer H is sickly again. I really think it would be healthier for him to skip his weekly shot. This is becoming a habit. He goes to the doctor's office every Friday afternoon, and comes down with a sickness on Sunday night or Monday morning. If he was still working, I'd declare that he was faking it. But now it interferes with his own personal junking time.

I was heading to town around noon, so I set out a saucepan, a mug, a large spoon, and a can of chunky chicken noodle soup. I even put on my glasses to make sure the expiration date was September 8 of 2018. Not 2016.

Farmer H had agreed to have the chicken soup for his lunch. He probably thought I'd be making it for him, though. occurred to me halfway to town that I'd forgotten to lay out a can opener. I guess Farmer H managed all right. I made sure that the soup I bought while in town has a flip top.

When I got home, the soup was gone. The pan had been rinsed clean. The mug had been rinsed clean.

I'm pretty sure my sink drain is going to be clogged with tiny pieces of noodle, carrot, and celery.