Sunday, March 1, 2015

What's Up Down Here

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has been a busy old flat-tailed, buck-toothed rodent today, whipping up a pot of vegetable soup (now with less juice), washing one sink of dishes, completing two loads of laundry, filing assorted receipts/statements/stubs, reviewing some legal forms concerning her mother's estate, submitting the #1 son's FAFSA, and sending off a story on the very last day of the deadline for consideration in an anthology.

"Well done, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom!" says Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, since she has grown cautious with all that self-back-patting lately, due to muscle strain.

Now all she needs are two blog posts, one of which this lame account will account for.

She has a son waiting, you know, to watch a new cooking show with. It's our bonding time. Now that Worst Cooks in America is over, we have to find new common ground. Cutthroat Kitchen comes on too late for the little nipper, what with his 60-minute shower awaiting. And no, there is no truth to the rumor that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom was turned down for participation in Worst Cooks because she is worse than the Worst.

So sayeth and so decreeeth Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, ruler of Hillmomba, devoted mother, loving wife, and blogstress extraordinaire on this 1st day of March in the year 2015.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Some People Are More Equal Than Mrs. Hillbilly Mom

People are d*cks.

This morning The Pony and I headed to The Devil's Playground before our latest dose of 3-5 inches of global warming was due to hit Hillmomba.

"Let's park on the pharmacy side. I think we'll have a better chance of finding a spot." It was not only the morning of an impending snowstorm, but the last day of the month falling on a Saturday, which I think means people just got their monthly checks for March. These weekends always bring out a crowd. "You watch over on that row while I go down this one. Let me know if I should swing around."

"Oh Mom. There's one."

"Yeah. It's not too far."

"Take it! I don't think you'll find anything better." The Pony is a remarkably good spotter from the back seat. "I'm waiting until you get out and put your coat on before I leave the car." Huh. That's what happens when you refuse to wear the coat laying right there between the seats, and run around in a hoodie all winter. I guess I should be glad he wears slacks now instead of shorts.

"Do you want me to grab you a cart out here?"

"Yeah. I'll try it out on the way in, and if it won't steer right, I'll trade it inside. Oh. I didn't park very well. I'm sticking out. I'm going to be THAT car. But I couldn't help it. That one pulled in across from me right as I did. I didn't know how far she was going."

"It's not THAT bad. But you do stick out. Cars can still get by."

The shopping itself was uneventful, except for the 15 minutes it took to check out, with only two carts ahead of me. We started up the parking row.

"See there? That car is sticking out even more than mine."

The Pony was walking ahead with the keys. He pointed to that stick-out sedan with both hands, like Carol Merrill showing off the showcase behind Door Number Two.

"Yeah. I see it."

"Um. Mom. It's parked in the cart return space."

And indeed it was. The front bumper was almost up against the metal bars. You couldn't have slid a cart in there sideways.

Still. That sedan stuck out more than T-Hoe.

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Pony Is The New Canary



Forget those coal miners and their canary safety net! I have THE PONY!

He’s great for testing the air. And even for warning me when he is the one who has befouled it. Not so great as a food-taster. I fear I would be poisoned forthwith if I had to rely on him for that task. For that reason, I never accept treats offered by students. I’m not going to be on the news because somebody put too much pot in my brownie, or rushed to the hospital for an IV to cure my dehydration after being secretly dosed with Ex-Lax in homemade fudge. Also, I keep my personal Bubba cup of iced well water from the Mansion behind my control center, out of reach of student hands. Nobody’s putting Germ-X in MY beverage. No sirree, Bob!

The true PEOPLE-HELPING nature of The Pony came through Thursday morning, when we encountered sleet and snow on the way to Newmentia. I can’t believe we didn’t cancel school! What in the world were those bus-route test-drivers thinking? This is unheard of! SCHOOL? On a day with frozen precip falling? Anyhoo…

I had T-Hoe in 4WD the whole trip. Our county road was covered, the town road fairly clear, and then Newmentia town’s roads covered again. As soon as we hit those city limits, sleet began to freeze on T-Hoe’s windshield. Of course his wipers were recalcitrant, scraping ice drops across other ice drops.

We pulled onto the parking lot. “Oh. I’m glad some of that salt they spread the other day is still here. This blacktop looks slick. See it shine?”

The Pony got out. He rides behind me, you know. So he was on the same side of T-Hoe. We were parked in our usual spot, down at the end of the building, backed into our slot, facing downhill. The Pony usually grabs the keys, my school bag, and his lunch and heads for the door. “Hey Mom. This is not salt. This is sleet. It’s a little slippery here. I'll wait and make sure you get inside. You can hold onto my arm if you need to.”

Say it now. All together. “AWWWWW!”

That’s my little Pony. He’s awwwwwsome.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Am I Blue? No. But He Is.

Such a trying time I had last evening. I was without my closest friend. My near-constant companion who spends every evening with me, wrapping me in his loving arms. He has even been riding to school with me as of late. And going inside to wait until the end of the school day. He stays right there in the classroom with me, but I have to keep him hidden from the students. It's our little secret that he's just a few feet away, only a thin layer of particle-board separating him from my pupils. After school, I wait until the halls are clear to reunite with my old softie. We hustle out the door, hoping to remain unseen.

Yes, I spent last evening without him. Hating every second. My blood ran cold. I was yearning for his soft touch. His caress. Nobody warms the cockles of my cold, cold heart like he.

Sure, our relationship is not perfect. He's a bit of a pest when I try to wash the dishes. And on occasion, he simply rubs me the wrong way, and gives me static. But I would still rather have him in my life than not.

The Pony offered to go up and look for my closest friend. I declined. I knew the reason for our separation, you see. In fact, I was the cause. No. I'm not proud.

I threw my near-constant companion into a maelstrom and left him. The reason? His complexion. He had developed more spots than a dalmation pup snuggled up with a leopard on the back of an appaloosa. Yes. I know that's shallow of me. But it was to the point that I was embarrassed to be seen with him clinging to me.

Time heals all wounds. This morning he was refreshed. His complexion clear. We reunited just before breakfast. Such a warm fuzzy feeling to be in the arms of my dear companion once again.

I truly love my blue Hanes sweatshirt.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

There Must Be 50 Weeks To Do Lunch Duty

As all good things must end...so, too, did my magnificent 10-DAY WEEKEND! The only person I know who can top that is my best ol' ex-teaching buddy, Mabel, who has AN INFINITY WEEKEND! Which she is not too shy to tell me about. Sometimes she calls it her FOREVER VACATION.

Meanwhile, back at the old salt mines...WAIT! It's not the old salt mines. It's the updated old low-sodium, tasteless mines. Anyhoo...Tuesday at the Semi-Weekly Meeting of the Newmentia Lunch Time Think Tank, it was announced that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is so worried about having withdrawal symptoms when she retires that she has volunteered to do lunch duty every single day from now until she begins her very own FOREVER VACATION. Au contraire.

I believe that somehow my meaning was lost or misconstrued, so I repeated myself, at the risk of being crude: "I do not regret one bit that my entire lunch duty week was consumed by snow days." There was no mass exodus as Jack slipped out the back, Gus hopped on the bus, and Lee dropped off the key. However, I can not be sure whether or not Stan made a new plan.

It didn't seem to grieve anybody to see me in such pain from losing my lunch...duty. A few did, however, say they would appreciate it if I could just explain those 50 weeks of lunch duty. Chewing mouths gaped open as if on hinges. We agreed to sleep on it tonight, and believed that in the morning we would see the light.

I kind of think they are a bit jealous. It can't be that they are only thinking about a rearrangement of the duty schedule so that they have one less person, thus more opportunities to duty away their lunch.

Bring on the half-hot-dogs and unspotted buns! Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is ready to feast at 10:53.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

It's 27 Somewhere

Welcome to the Land Of 27, formerly known as Hillmomba!

The road signs haven't changed yet, nor the maps, but I'm sure the updates are imminent. Because, you see, for the last two weeks, every time I check my phone, the temperature is 27. I know that can't be right. Bright sunlight, dripping eaves...or bone-chilling wind, T-Hoe's in-mirror thermometer proclaiming 4 degrees...my phone says I'm in Hillmomba, and the temp is 27.

Every now and then it switches location when I haven't moved. It shows that the Earth is dark while the sun beats down on the Mansion. Something is rotten in Evo land. I asked The Pony if I need an update. Remind me to thank him for not snickering. Or whickering. He said he doesn't know how to make my phone weather work. What does he know? He lost the ability to open his email on his last phone. That's kind of one of the crucial things he used the phone for. Certainly not for calling people. He doesn't really care about them, you know. He uses his phone for tethering and unlimited internet, for texting his paramour, and for checking his email in case he gets notices from colleges. Somehow the situation resolved itself when he took over the #1 son's old phone.

Springtime is just a month away. Then summer. I wonder how chill I will feel in the Land Of 27.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Would Einstein, With Any Other Hair Color, Still Look So Smart?

You know what Einstein's hair looks like? That's how I feel like mine looks right now.

Don't even think about suggesting I check it out in the mirror. That would take too much effort. And too much time. I have worked myself to nearly the bone today, the 10th day of my 10-day weekend due to icy roadways around the byways of Hillmomba. I think Newmentia is gonna pull out all the stops to get us back within the wallowed walls of academia on Tuesday, though. I have to get back to work so I can get out of work and then start my very last year of employment, you know.

Yes, I am as frazzled as my hair, which is not, as my sister the ex-mayor's wife might wish, the same color as Einstein's hair. Since 6:30 this morning, I have been working on the Hillbilly taxes, after spending about 6 hours on them last night. The fly in the ointment is the #1 son, who MUST file a return this year, because he dared to work and earn a scant $300 over the filing limit. FIE ON THE FILING LIMIT! I still provided over half of that boy's support, so I can claim him. You would think one so gifted in the math and computer fields would be able to file his own return. But no. Mommy is strangling on those apron strings right now.

Here's how a day off goes for Mrs. Hillbilly Mom.

6:00 a.m.-awakened by Farmer H who has to say "Bye" before going to work.

6:30 a.m.-arise because there's no going back to sleep.

6:46 a.m.-begin working on tax info.

8:15 a.m.-send email to lawyer concerning Mom's house and insurance.

8:?? a.m.-text my best ol' ex-teaching buddy Mabel in response to her weather update.

9:00 a.m.-make biscuits and search Frig II for sample jellies for The Pony. He reports that Black Current Jam is not all that similar to grape jelly.

9:15 a.m.-read email from lawyer concerning insurance.

9:20 a.m.-call insurance rep to question his shadiness. End conversation unsatisfied, but with a copy of the policy (heh, heh, I first typed that as police, wouldn't she be surprised, probably thinking he was a stripper) on the way to Sis.

9:28 a.m.-text Sis with a heads-up about the incoming insurance policy.

9:30 a.m.-make my breakfast of two miniscule sausage biscuits.

9:45 a.m.-answer phone to chat with Farmer H, who can't stand it when we're home.

9:55 a.m.-toss a load of whites and towels into the washer.

10:00 a.m.-take shower.

10:15 a.m.-eke out some uninterrupted time to work on taxes more than intermittently.

12:14 p.m.-open the can of worms that is communication with #1 in an effort to get info on his tuition/scholarship totals.

12:30 p.m.-cherish an hour of uninterrupted time to finish my own fed and state forms.

1:40 p.m.-put the clothes in the dryer before whipping up lunch for The Pony.

1:50 p.m.-stop in the middle of putting my lunch together and finishing the dishes to have several phone arguments with #1 over his fruitless attempts to gain a PIN from the IRS.

2:28 p.m.-savor the third bite of lunch until interrupted by Farmer H's second phone call to see what I'm doing and tell me he's leaving early for the dentist.

3:35 p.m.- field another call from #1 about his predicament, and inform him that his refund has been cut by $23 because he has to report his own interest income.

4:00 p.m.-get most of #1's info into TurboTax before being interrupted by his fifth or sixth call today, to excitedly tell me that he won $50 on the scratch-off ticket I sent him Saturday. Inform him that maybe it will fill the void left by his reduced refund.

4:30 p.m.-receive a visit from Farmer H in my dark basement lair just as I am getting ready to print #1's tax forms for mailing (as we who have had our identities stolen are wont to do).

5:00 p.m.-call #1 to ask for his financial institution digits so he can directly garner his precious kickback.

5:32 p.m.-still waiting on #1 to send me that info. You'd think he was soaking up book-learnin' or something. Perhaps spending his $50 windfall.

If I could just get than info, I could print out these papers and be done for the day.

Next on the agenda? THE FAFSA!