Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Let's Be Proud Of Farmer H

Just a couple days after the La-Z-Boy Pretzel, our old Farmer is growing up. Learning from his mistakes. Almost able to take care of himself. Let's not go overboard, heaping on the praise, though. There was a misstep along this short journey.

Sunday, I said I'd pick up supper for him at Country Mart's deli. He wanted a BBQ pork steak, green beans, and mashed potatoes. He'd at first mentioned macaroni and cheese, but switched that to the potatoes. As I waited my turn at the deli counter, I noticed that the after-church crowd must have been dismissed early. It was only about 12:15, but already the deli cupboard was showing signs of impending bareness. A scant amount of mac and cheese clung to the corner of the metal bin, and only three stubs of green beans floated in the murky water.

So...Farmer H got his pork steak (it was HUGE), and mashed potatoes with brown gravy, plus mac and cheese. He's probably pretty sure I'm trying to kill him with carb overload.

Anyhoo...knowing how he is, I told Farmer H before I went downstairs,

"You're going to put your food on a plate, right? And not try to eat it out of the foam container? Because a knife will cut right through that."

"Oh. Uh. Sure."

I was not exactly convinced. But when I came upstairs later, his dirty plate was sitting beside the sink. Along with MY SPECIAL BOWL that is part of a set my mom gave me! It's really old! So old that the "set" was just three plates and four bowls. In fact, two of the bowls are chipped and cracked. So I rarely use them. The only thing is when making Farmer H his salsa/cheese dip for Super Bowl snacks. Yet he'd taken it upon himself to use my special keepsake bowl!

"WHY did you use THIS bowl???"

"It's just a bowl, HM. I put my mashed potatoes in it."

"We have two kinds of disposable bowls, and the regular glass bowls with the stripe on the edge, which are in the front of the cabinet! WHY did you dig around to get THIS bowl?"

"I just did."

"Well. Don't do it any more. We have regular bowls. These are old, and special, and I'd rather not take a chance on them getting broken. My mom gave them to me."

"Huh. Okay. I'm always doing something wrong."

He ain't a woofin'!

Anyhoo...on Monday, since he was leaving early for an auction around 4:30, Farmer H said he would get his own supper. And he DID!

All I had to do was originally cook the spaghetti with hamburger sauce, freeze it, thaw it, and tell him how to heat frozen garlic toast in the oven (400 degrees, three minutes each side) and leave a pan lined with foil on top of the stove.

Farmer H did remarkably well. Even used the everyday bowl to microwave his spaghetti. AND none of it was found in the La-Z-Boy.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Each New Day Is Full Of Surprises

Okay, maybe not so much FULL of surprises. But living with Farmer H means that my day is never dull. He is really good about leaving me little gifts. Gifts that I don't particularly want. And gifts that he doesn't even realize he's giving me.

From the man who gave us the recliner banana peel, I present...


THE LA-Z-BOY PRETZEL!

There it lies, in all its twisty glory, upon the threadbare La-Z-Boy. I discovered it Sunday morning. Of course at first glance, I feared the worst. You know what I'm talkin' about!

I got a picture for evidence, then set that pretzel on the side table for shaming purposes. When confronted with it later, the pretzel-abandoner proclaimed,

"I THOUGHT I dropped a pretzel last night! I felt around between my legs, but I couldn't find anything. [!] So I thought maybe I was wrong."

"Well, here it is, on the table. You can throw it away yourself."

"I'll eat that! Ain't nothin' wrong with it!"

Sorry. I don't mean to flaunt my never-ending supply of blog topics...

Sunday, November 17, 2019

We Have Failed A Generation

Hold up there! By using the word WE, I am not taking responsibility! Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has NOT failed a generation. She has made sure her own boys possess this skill. And even seen them use it, on several occasions.

THE YOUTH OF TODAY DO NOT KNOW HOW TO OPEN A DOOR FOR SOMEONE!

Normally, I assume that these young people just don't care. They're so wrapped up in themselves that they don't even think about holding a door open for the person behind them, or coming at them. Unless they're like that ne'er-do-well who actually pushed the door shut behind him as I was walking up. Or the one who slipped through the door like he was Indiana Jones about to be crushed in the Temple of Doom. I'm pretty sure those two were just being d*cks.

Anyhoo...I'll give credit to the young man at Orb K on Saturday. He tried. Good for him. He was just sadly inept. He lacked the skills.

Orb K has double glass doors. They both open out. You can see people on the other side. I was starting to go out the glass door on the right. This Young Man was starting to come in. He had not yet declared a door. He saw me, and did the oddest thing...

He grabbed both door handles and opened both doors! Like he was the master of a grand palace, opening the doors to his study. Of course this was not conducive to me making an exit. He stood in the middle, holding a door handle in each hand. Which left no room for me to go through the portal, unless I wanted to play limbo under his arm.

"Thank you," I said, my arm on the push bar, stopping one step out the door.

I guess This Young Man realized his predicament, and finally let go of the door handle, allowing me to make my escape.

His heart was in the right place. His technique needs work.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

A Sneaking Suspicion

I have a sneaking suspicion that Farmer H, failing to kill me by assorted methods, has acquiesced to declaring me mentally unfit! It didn't dawn on me until a few days after Genius called to chat. I was thrilled, I tell you. It's been a long time since Genius and I connected. Sure, he used to call me on his drive home from work. That was more of a time-killer for him, I think.

This recent call lasted over 90 minutes. We had a great time, with him filling me in on his new apartment and new job. We reminisced about some entertaining incidents from his childhood. He DID reveal that he was lying on his new couch, recovering from a hangover. But I'll take a 90-minute conversation any way I can get it.

A few days later, Farmer H let it slip that "You don't remember anything! Maybe you have Old Timer's. I was telling Genius the other day--"

Aha! He stopped abruptly. Farmer H is not a good secret keeper. I put the pieces of that puzzle together, and assumed that Genius had called to test my mental acuity.

Here's the deal. Farmer H was talking about knowing a lady in Pennsylvania, who had gone to school with him. He said she lived not near Genius's new place, but near where Farmer H's brother was buried. He kept blabbing on, and I said something to the effect that I didn't know his brother was buried there.

"You don't remember ANYTHING, HM!"

Well. Pardon me. I remember enough to have worked a full-time job while keeping the bills paid and your kids alive and food on the table and the laundry (of everybody but you) clean! So if some of those vital duties took the place of random minutia in my brain...so sorry!

Anyhoo...it was at least a dozen years ago when his brother died. I didn't go to the funeral. WAIT! Don't let him know that. I'll be in trouble if I don't know the exact date, and the time down to the minute. My point is that Farmer H has no room to chastise ME for not remembering things. Only last night, I heard him upstairs rattling pot lids at 4:55. I was on my way up the stairs at the time.

"WHAT are you doing?"

"I'm getting ready to warm me some chili."

"WHY? I'm on my way to do that! Why do you think I was asking you last night if you were leaving for the auction at the regular time? I said I'd warm up the chili, and put the rest in those plastic containers. And slice more of the Oberle cheese."

"Oh. Uh. I remember you asking when I was leaving for the auction. But not the other part."

"Uh huh. WHO can't remember things?"

"Well. I can remember. But I tune you out."

"You say that like it will make things better."

Anyhoo...I was going to tell you something else I told Farmer H, that he tuned out, but I can't remember what it was...

Oh! Yes I do! I had the big pan of chili on the front burner, and it wasn't warming as fast as on the back burner. So I told Farmer H, who was going to take his medicine,

"You can come get your cheese ready, and by then, the chili should be warm. I just turned it up."

So after he took his medicine, he came to the kitchen, grabbed a bowl, and elbowed me out of the way at the stove.

"No. Look at me. I said you can come get your CHEESE READY, and THEN the chili. I'm stirring it so the bottom doesn't stick. It's getting hotter."

"Oh. I don't remember that cheese part. I must have tuned you out."

Uh huh. Just as I thought. No wonder he can't remember that FRIG II's ice dispenser is broken, even though I tell him every night.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Farmer H Can Make Someone's Day

Farmer H went out to dinner last night. His dining companion is in 4th grade. It was a birthday treat for HOSS (Farmer H's Oldest Son's Son). They went to CiCi's pizza, more for the game room than the pizza. Although I'm pretty sure Farmer H enjoyed the pizza more. Afterwards, Farmer H took HOSS to pick out a present.

On the short drive from CiCi's to The Devil's Playground, HOSS said, "This is the best day ever! I got to have pizza and play games, and now I'm getting a toy!"

Aww. That melts my cold, cold heart.

Farmer H told HOSS he could pick out anything for $20. Meaning it was a general amount. Not thinking the kid would take it literally. The Lego kit came to around $26 after tax. As they left the store, HOSS told Farmer H, "I have some birthday money at home. When you drop me off, I'll give you the money back." Meaning the amount over $20.

That DRIP DRIP you hear is once again my cardiac juice.

Farmer H told him, "You don't have to do that, bud. I'm glad you had a good time."

Thursday, November 14, 2019

I Figure It Will Boost My Immune System

Last night for supper, I made myself a sandwich. The effort was not a success.

Remember the pulled-pork sandwich on ciabatta bread? That's what I set out to make. But we'd run out of the pulled pork in the plastic tub. So at Country Mart the other day, when I bought my ciabatta bread (use by November 18), I looked in the cooler case for more. I saw that brand in the same round red tub, but it said something about TANGY sauce. Which I'd thought was too spicy for my tastes last time. But there was another container, same brand, that said PULLED PORK and didn't say TANGY. So I bought it.

I knew this sandwich wouldn't take long. I set out my ciabatta roll. Sliced my pickle (oh, how we all love pickles, heh, heh, covering every inch of our sandwich). I opened the rectangular container of pulled pork, and almost dislocated my jaw as my mouth dropped open. It was a shrink-wrapped lump of pressed meat particles. I wish I'd taken a picture, but I was so discombobulated, and thinking on my feet, that I did not.

I decided to go ahead with the sandwich. I cut open the plastic pouch, and squeezed out the end of the lump. Sniffed it. Huh. Smelled like SPAM. The food, not the computer junk. That's okay. I like SPAM. I've never had it with BBQ sauce. Which was apparently not part of this PULLED PORK package. Seriously. The puller was asleep at the forks. Or else a chunker filled in for him that day. I sliced my congealed lumps, and put the slices on my ciabatta roll. I added some mayo instead of BBQ sauce. Piled on the pickles.

As I was wrapping it in plastic wrap to stay fresh in my lair until I decided to eat it, I thought I saw something on the corner of the ciabatta roll. Huh. Was that a dot of MOLD? It was smaller than a pinhead. But it sure looked like MOLD!

No way was I going to trash that sammich! I pinched out a dime-sized particle of the ciabatta roll and threw it away. Then I pretended nothing was wrong.

I'd give that meal a 3/10. Probably won't be having it again. I see ciabatta in the dogs' future. Maybe some PULLED PORK as well. I'm NOT making them each a sandwich.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Juno Doesn't Know I'm Two-Timing Her With Marley

I'm a little behind catching you up with our resident terrierist Marley. I don't know for sure that Marley has some terrier in him, but he certainly has the energy and determination of one.

Two Sundays ago, I returned from town as usual. I eased T-Hoe into the garage. It takes me a minute to gather up my stuff. Jack runs in to wait by the people-door for me, where I pet him and open the door to let him through. Marley has not quite gotten the hang of it.

Marley camps out under my driver's door. I have to be careful not to step on him as I slide out over the running board. Ever since I stepped on the boys' daycare lady's Boston Terrier, Bostie, who screamed like a woman...I'm leery of treading on a paw. Bostie was fine. Perhaps a bit overdramatic. Didn't even limp.

Anyhoo...Marley pounces on me before I even have both feet on the concrete. He jumps up like a Superball defying the laws of elasticity. Each bounce or jump should be lower than the one preceding it. Energy is used up with each bounce. But not from Marley's sinewy legs!

When I command "NO! Marley! NO! Down!" he will crouch down, all wiggly, and lean on his haunch, halfway exposing his belly to me. I reward him with petting. Which makes him think everything is fine again, so he resumes the leaping.

On this particular Sunday, Marley faked me out. I chastised him. He crouched down. And as I bent to pat him,

MARLEY LEAPT AT MY FACE, AND PUT HIS NOSE IN MY MOUTH!

Oh, yuck! A butt-sniffing tool jammed between my lips! It's not like I am a stranger to such intimate interactions. There WAS that time Juno poked her nose in my mouth while I was sweet-talking her.

Let's not tell Juno about this, okay?