Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fake Doctor, Doctor...Mrs. HM? Can You Tell Them, What Ails HM?

Oh, dear. I took my mom to get the stitches out of her face today. Darn that doctor! Mom was done before the frozen custard shop opened! Ain't that a fine how-do-you-do?

So, we did the next best thing. Culver's was open. And Culver's has frozen custard. We had never tried it before. We went to lunch there one day after one of our numerous medical appointments, and reached the conclusion that Culver's is too bready. Too much bread for the meat. My best ol' ex-teaching buddy Mabel says that Culver's is tasteless. Pretty. But tasteless. She had a bad piece of fish. Not so much a bad piece of fish as a piece of fish that looked all presentable and edible, but which was, in all actuality, tasteless.

I went to the drive-thru for a small chocolate concrete with Oreos (mine), and a small vanilla cone (Mom's). Mom said it was really too much, but since we are newbies at Culver's and don't know the menu, I did not spy a child or toddler cone to get for her. We both pronounced our frozen treats delicious, and decreed we would return at another time. Bill-paying Friday is coming up, you know.

I took Mom home, refusing her offer of five dollars for my time and gas, and picked up The Pony from her short couch. We had to do the Devil's Playground shopping, since our routine has been thrown off by my medical summer and the #1 son's pop-in visits. We had a short list, which was carted in no time. The Pony went to the game room, and I was processed by the fastest Devil's Handmaiden who ever trod upon the mulch of The Devil's Playground. Kudos to her! I'm not just saying that because she said she loved. me. I wish she had not dared speak that love's name, but she was SO happy that The Pony and I put our heavy items in the cart with the bar code on top. You'd think we were heavy drinkers, what with a case of Diet Coke, a twelve-pack of Country Time Lemonade, a six-pack of Welch's 100% Grape Juice, and a six-pack of Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice.

On the way home, my stomach started to rumble. And by stomach, I mean the entire length of my digestive tract. I was starting to feel like Farmer H, who can't hold his Chinese. Except I held mine for right at 24 hours before it started jabbing me with invisible chopsticks, trying to escape. I was not in such distress that I had to miss a stop at Voice of the Village for my new guilty pleasure, a 44 oz cup full of ice with a shot of Hi-C Pink Lemonade Drink.

To add insult to my Chinese injury, I put too much ice in my cup, and some Hi-C spilled over the top when I pushed down the lid. Like any conscientious refill-buyer, I took the olive green hand towel they lay on the counter, and wiped up my mess. I had to jab in a straw and suck out some of the excess.

As we pulled out of the parking lot, I told The Pony, "I might have to wait before unloading the groceries. I think I have Dad's urgent problem. And to make matters worse, I had to suck some of my too-full lemonade out of the cup, and now there is even less room in my ascending and descending colons. Maybe I have lactose intolerance."

"Um. No."

"Look at this idiot! She has no idea where she's going. She's going to pull off in that giant hole. Nope. There she goes across two parking lots." I pulled out on the road and crested a hill. "Oh, no you don't! Wait right there! You're not cutting in front of ME!" I glanced in the mirror at The Pony. "Or maybe I just have intolerance."

"Uh huhhhhhh."

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. Self-actualized self-diagnoser.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Cock O' The Walk, Struttin' His Stuff

Apparently, the animals missed me today when I was at the doctor's office.

Juno ran to greet me behind the garage, while Farmer H said hurtful things about her being my stupid dog. Meanwhile, the really stupid dog, Ann, lay on the porch, thumping her thick tail that has a tendency to rattle the window screens when she's out front.

Farmer H deserted me to rush to the bathroom. That man just can't hold his Chinese. I gathered my two purses and my water cup, then stopped to pet my sweet, sweet Juno and snag a handful of cat kibble for her. That was Ann's cue to walk three feet to the steps, and stand with drool pooling under her muzzle while she thought, "Sometimes this means food." I swear you could almost see those cross-eyed squirrels running on a hamster wheel that are her brain. I gave her a miniscule pinch of kibble. Because, as I told her to her face, "I just don't like you as much."

Then, what to my wandering eyes should appear but a full-grown rooster on a sidewalk Farmer H holds dear. Yes. A rooster. Coming at me in peace, not like a floggin' rooster despised by Renee Zellweger as Ruby Thewes on the porch with Nicole Kidman as Ada Monroe in Cold Mountain.

No, my fine feathered friend has a name: Survivor. That's because we came home one day soon after his arrival at the Mansion, and found him in the jaws of Ann. The #1 son jumped out of T-Hoe and grabbed the soggy rooster from the salivating maniac's maw. AND HE WAS OKAY! So his name became Survivor. Here he is, a fine specimen of roosterhood. He is the chicken we have had the longest.


Yes, my chicken has large talons. You can't see them here. Survivor has never spurred the hand that feeds him. We had a little checkerboard black-and-white banty rooster that flew at Farmer H every chance he got, digging his tiny (but apparently sharp) talons into Farmer H's ample belly. Let the record show that Farmer H did not laugh and let it shake like a bowl full of jelly. He snatched up a blue plastic show shovel and swung at that banty rooster like Babe Ruth in his heyday. Mother Nature, karma, and Farmer H are ALL harsh taskmistresses. I can't call Farmer H a taskmaster, because of that time he reached his hands into his coverall pockets and found dual nests of pink, hairless baby mice, and screamed like a schoolgirl.

Welcome to Hillmomba, land of fearless roosters and quivering farmers.

Is it just me, or is that chicken pigeon-toed?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Pony Goes A-Churchin' Uh Huh

Yesterday, a mere two hours after Farmer H bemoaned the fact that since returning from Missouri Scholar's Academy, The Pony has not been anywhere or done anything with his friends...The Pony excitedly announced that he was going to tell his dad to take him to a party one of his buddies had just invited him to.

The timing was suspicious. Farmer H sees this kid's dad at auctions. But this kid has been The Pony's friend for many years. Farmer H denied any knowledge of the shindig, and also claimed innocence in putting a bug in his friend's ear for his boy to text The Pony. So it must have been one of those odd coincidences that happen on a regular basis here at the Mansion.

However it came about, The Pony said there was going to be a big inflatable water slide taller than the church, and several of his friends from Scholar Bowl team. He packed his pack sack with dry clothes, put on his swim trunks, and off they went.

Four hours later, The Pony reported that in addition to the big slide, there was a dunking booth, a bounce house, and a smaller water slide. Oh, and the kids were served pizza as well. Hopefully after all the bouncing and sliding and dunking was done. The Pony said that indeed, he was dunked in the booth, and that his was the only turn where the armed lever functioned properly. On others, even though the lever was hit with the ball, no dunking was happening. So they had to run over and hit the lever. Uh huh. I'm sure that's exactly how it went.

He seemed to have a good time kicking up his heels with his herd.

Did I mention that The Pony can't wait until school starts?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Let's Open Another Folder From The "You Don't Know Whether To Laugh Or Cry" File

Farmer H has a new phone. I might have mentioned that his other phone was having issues. He could only hear people on SPEAKER. Yep. People could hear him, but he had no idea what to say, because unless he recognized the number, he didn't even know who was calling. Needless to say, Farmer H stopped answering his phone if he was around people.

Let the record show that Farmer H has had about three new phones since I got a new one. Sure, the #1 son gave me his third-in-line hand-me-down many months ago about a year ago when he wanted to use my upgrade on the newest gadget that came out. Then The Pony got #1's hand-me-down. #1 likes to keep a back-up in case he wants to try some fancy electronic shenanigans, so he held onto the second-in-line hand-me-down.

Now that Farmer H was having difficulty, #1 checked our account and discovered that Farmer H was due for a real upgrade of his own. I'm sure that sickened #1, missing out on an opportunity to glom onto somebody else's upgrade. Anyhoo, he found a phone that he thought was worthy of his expertise, yet still simple enough that Farmer H could operate it. Also let the record show that Farmer H thinks his recent phone problem just might have resulted from that dip in a toilet when he dropped it a little while back.

So...#1 found the perfect phone, some type of Moto. It arrived in the middle of the week, and sat on the couch awaiting #1's grand reveal. That boy purely does love to open up new electronics and fondle and stroke them right out of the package. Last night, #1 got the new phone all set up, old numbers and pictures transferred over, and taught Farmer H how to turn it on with a voice command. He came downstairs bragging, "I even have it set so he can activate it by saying (COMMAND REDACTED you don't think I would actually give it away, do you?) when he wants to turn it on or off." I was watching a rerun of the Big Brother episode that The Pony and I missed this week by assuming the time to be 8:00 instead of 7:00, so I did not really listen to #1 with both ears.

This morning Farmer H could not turn on his phone. "I know I can turn it on by hand, but I want to know what to say to turn it on. I'm pretty sure it was three words. 'You turn on. Now turn on. Come on now. Now come on.' None of them work."

"You really should write things like that down. Go ask #1."

"He's still in bed. I don't want to wake him. I'll find out later."

"He's going to the state park later to swim. And he might spend the night with his friend. You'd better ask him now in case you miss him. There's no service down there."

Farmer H still didn't want to disturb the Prince of the Mansion. I had no qualms about waking the heir's spare.

"Hey! Pony! It's time to get up! Do you remember the command to turn on Dad's phone?"

"No."

"Was it 'Turn on now'?"

"Something like that."

Farmer H kept trying. He was ready to go outside. He gave in and pounded on #1's bedroom door. "Hey, bud. What was it that I'm supposed to say to this phone?"

Well. He had two of the three words right, but not in the proper order. I ripped off the end of a 3x5 index card and wrote it down. "Carry this with you. You know you're gonna need it."

Sweet Gummi Mary! That man will be incapacitated if PINS and passwords are replaced by voice commands. He will have to carry a three-ring binder.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Like Melted Ice In My Veins

It takes quite a bit to spook Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. She does, after all, live with Farmer H.

This morning I had a bit of a fright. A bit of a fright that I have not had since many a year ago, NINE years, in fact, when I was surprised by a garage invader. But this time was in broad daylight, and I kind of brought it upon myself.

I was rushing down the gravel road in T-Hoe, on the way to Save A Lot and my mom's house to tend to her recent facial stitches. Never mind that I took her bandaid off yesterday and coated her with triple antibiotic ointment because she was afraid to touch it, only to have her call an hour later and ask if I thought it would be okay if she scrubbed it with soapy washcloth to see if there was any dried blood that could be removed.

Uh huh. Those octogenarians and their fastidious ways! Let the record show that Mom was a bit embarrassed on the day of her face-slicing, because as she stood at the window awaiting her next appointment, Doctor walked by in the hall behind her with another patient, and said, "Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's Mom, you can shower tomorrow." Which made her feel like people would think she was all dirty, and only takes a bath when the doctor tells her to. Or that she was stinky, and he was chastising her so she would cleanse her Pig-Pen-like self to be presentable to society.

Anyhoo, there I was, jouncing creekside along the gravel, almost to the end of the trail by the mailboxes, when I saw an oncoming vehicle. It should have been no big deal, because the road there is plenty wide for two to pass. I was on my side, and he on his. It was a dark green or blue pickup truck, not new, not old. There is a truck kind of like it that lives up past our Mansion, but I was not sure of the color, and I don't know the guy who drives the local pickup.

That truck stopped. Sat there on its own side of the road, running, brake lights lit up, with the window down. Sometimes, people in these parts do that if they want to talk. To ask a question. So I slowed down my careening to be neighborly, just in case he wanted to warn me about a blockage in the road where I was going, or to ask directions if he was not who I thought he was. I could see a little dog with its front feet on the window ledge.

So...I slowed. Put down my tinted window, ready to make small talk...and that guy just sat there and glared at me. My blood ran cold. He looked like he wanted to slice off my head and shove me down a cistern. Creepiest encounter EVER! I did not stop. Just sped up and went on past. I made sure Creeper saw me looking at him in my side mirror. The one that works. The one that actually contains a mirror. If I had thought more about it, I would have held my phone out the window like I was getting a picture of his license plate. Hindsight is 20/20. Or in Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's case, 20/40.

I still had chills by the time I left the blacktop county road and hit the lettered state highway. I was angry today, my friends. Like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli. My adrenaline was coursing through my thinned blood, making me a bit shaky. Fight or flight, and I flew like a canary.

Part of my uneasiness was because I had left The Pony home to fend for himself. With doors unlocked. I'm going to have to ask Farmer H if he knows if this guy and little doggie live here.

That truck came to a stop right under the sign that says "Private. This road is watched. Trespassers will be prosecuted." Yeah. I didn't make the sign. That one is an update of an older one. Maybe that guy was up to no good, and stopped short before trespassing. He sat there until I turned off the gravel and onto the blacktop. Then I saw his brake lights go off.

Very creepy. He had dead eyes.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sickening The Patient

Ahhh...I woke up well-rested this morning, thinking I could just spend a lazy day lounging around the Mansion, one of my few days left not to be marred by a doctor visit or back-to-work time to serve. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom plans...Even Steven laughs.

Yes, I finally got some restful sleep, though with bizarre dreams. We won't go there. But the fact is, I was not awakened by Farmer H when he got up at 5:20 a.m. Nope. Nor when he flounced on the bed to tie his work boots at 5:50. Somehow I escaped the wakeful wrath of Farmer H. So it was going on 9:00 when I got up. The first thing I do is take my thyroid pill and check my phone.

Huh. I had a text from some odd number. Oh. I recognized it. My doctor's office, at 8:53. How odd that they cannot be bothered to answer the phone at that hour, yet they can call me. My phone has a terrible voice-to-text program dealybobber. The message went a little something like this: Hello, Hickberry Dom. This is Christy from doctor to Monty. Please give us a call at (NUMBER REDACTED PER PRIVACY POLICY).

Well. Ain't that a fine how-do-you-do? My doctor never calls. Oh, he says he will. But he does not. So I started to worry that something was wrong after my CAT scan yesterday. I tried to call the office. My cell phone doesn't work in the house. Back to the land line. They put me on hold. I vowed not to waste 10 minutes of long distance charges on hold again. I would hang up after two minutes. Which is the exact moment that gal came back on the line.

"Somebody from your office left me a message to call."

"Well, I don't see your name here. I don't know why we would have called."

"I'm just calling back like the message said."

"Do you have a lab?"

"I did yesterday."

"Let me see if I can find out who called you."

"I think it was Christy."

"Oh. I'll be right back with you."

Yep. The HOLD vortex from which few escape. It went on. And on. But I had gotten this far. Very much later, a gal with an accent got on there and said, "Doctor wanted to call you about your lab results. He is with a patient now. He will call you back in about two or three hours."

Great. So I could stew for a few hours, wondering if I'm going to drop dead from something they say in my CAT scan.

My mom, the eternal optimist, said, "Well, with that message, they probably weren't even calling you. They just somehow got your cell number, and by mistake dialed it, thinking they were talking to that Hickberry Dom. I'm sure it's got nothing to do with you."

"Um. YES. It has everything to do with me. He never calls with routine reports. Now I'm concerned."

"Oh, I'm sure it's nothing. I can see them running around trying to find out who called you, and I can hear him say over his shoulder, 'I'll call her.' He's like that."

So...I went about my business, and two hours and twenty minutes later, Doctor called me and said he had reviewed my lab results, and they looked good. Simple as that.

I don't know why my doctor is trying to give me a stroke.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Oops! Mrs. Hillbilly Mom Did It Again!

Today I had to return to the hospital for a CAT scan of my lungs, to see if those persnickety blood clots are dissolving as they should. I took Mom upstairs for her facial de-lesioning, then parked my rumpus on a chair in radiology to await my test. I signed in--new policy alert! Instead of a list on a clipboard for all to see, including name and doctor and time, the hospital now has a flap of privacy covering the list, ordering you to sign only your last name. I guess it's a step in the right direction.

In no time, I was called up to the intake cubicle to provide my vital financial information. Yes. It involved handing over my beautiful likeness on my driver's license. I'm surprised they did not keep their own copy to frame and hang as a Mona Lisa portrait to brighten their department. After several signatures on that little electronic thingy, the last of which I actually got to appear legibly, on the line, I was free to go sit some more and wait my turn for the magnetic donut.

I had popped my anti-anxiety pill just before going to the cubicle. It works for about 45 minutes. Good thing I gave it a trial run, since the doctor had told me to take it one hour before. Pshaw! That would have left me with all my tender nerves tingling at the time I most needed sedation. I took sips of 7-UP while waiting. I checked my cell phone every three minutes, since there is no giant clock on the wall in radiology.

And then it happened. Apparently, in one of my 7-UP-sipping frenzies, I got a little drop on my finger. Because my cell phone had a sticky spot near the bottom. Right where I need to drag that little bar to unlock it. Right over the icon for email. You see where this is going, don't you?

I licked my finger and scrubbed that sticky smudge off my phone. I LICKED MY FINGER! My finger that had touched the pen at the sign-in paper, and my finger that had touched the fake pen on that electric signer, and my finger that had touched the entire electronic signer to pull it across the desk towards me. SICK PEOPLE GO TO THE HOSPITAL! I felt worse than Lucy Van Pelt after she was kissed by dog lips.

PTOOEY! I wanted to spit. And to rinse my mouth with bleach.

I blame the lengthy wait and subsequent time-checking on those barium drinkers. I know they were ahead of me. They had not even started sipping when my 10:30 appointment time rolled around.

What that hospital needs is more magnetic donuts.