Saturday, January 31, 2015

He's Sweeter Than A Wedding Mint Wrapped In Marzipan Dipped In Syrup And Rolled In Brown Sugar

No. I'm not talking about Farmer H. I'm talking about The Pony. That boy is just the sweetest thing!

He has been communicating for months by text and email and all means electronic with a little gal he met at his Missouri Scholars Academy reunion. He is quite smitten. Two days ago, he showed me her picture! All this time, he has been pointedly not giving out details. Even going so far as to shout, "Yay! PERSON!" when his phone gives a little text vibration tone.

I looked at the picture she sent him, and said, "You've been texting a while this evening. Your phone is hot."

"Uh huh. Just like her!"

"I think you need to work on your pick-up lines. That's not going to fly."

Apparently The Pony has mentioned PERSON to his circle of nerd friends at school. They are, after all, the closest thing he has locally to HIS PEOPLE. Even the principal made a mention of PERSON.

The Pony must really be getting comfortable with his long-distance connection, because he even showed PERSON's picture to his grandma Friday during our post-bill-paying visit. As we left the parking lot later, I told him, "You need to make sure you treat PERSON right. Girls get their feelings hurt over the least little things, and guys don't always understand that."

"Oh, I'll treat her right. You're the best things that ever happen to us."

I don't deserve him.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Kind Of Like an Easter Egg Hunt

You know in Aliens, when that hard-corps (see what I did there?) Sergeant Apone wakes the marines from their suspended animation, and announces, "Another glorious day in the corps! A day in the Marine Corps is like a day on the farm. Every meal's a banquet! Every paycheck a fortune! Every formation a parade!"

That's how I feel at work. Well. Except that I don't think the days are glorious. And it's not exactly like the farm, except that I DO hear animal noises on occasion. And the meals certainly are not banquets, unless the culinary tide has surged towards cardboard and Styrofoam. My paycheck is not remotely a fortune, unless you're surveying a four-year-old making Kathie Lee Gifford's clothing line. And each member of the parade marches to his own drummer. But except for all that, yeah, that quote is EXACTLY how I feel.

Lately, each day is like an Easter egg hunt. Except that there are no eggs, and no prizes, and no chocolate bunnies. But I DO have to find my doorstop every morning. Alas, I was so spoiled all those years when the custodian left Stoppie right there in my room, in the corner under the thermostat, just a leg stretch away from snagging him under my toe and shooting him out the portal and under the edge of the propped-open door. Now Stoppie may be laying out in the open no-man's-land that is the lengthy hallway. Or on the other side of the inner sanctum, behind the alcove by the cabinets.

But there ARE surprises! Like maybe I hid some Easter eggs last year, and nobody found them, and now they're like new again, and not even stinky, because they were plastic. Inside my cabinet is a roll of black trash bags. I don't remember putting a roll of black trash bags in my cabinet. Those things stay in the bottom of the wastebasket, under the current bag. Then the custodian needs only to pull out the used bag, and tear off a new one right there. Not anymore.

We have a revolving door of cleaning crew now. One of our major players had an accident, broke two bones, and is out of commission. So we borrow from other buildings. Not just one person, but three at last count. Of course each has their own way of doing things.

One day my personal desk wastebasket was missing. I looked EVERYWHERE. Except under the extra student chair that holds the blue cardboard box full of textbook accouterments behind my desk. GOTCHA! No wastebasket can hide from me for long. And TODAY, a person came in with a MOP and started on my floor while I was still sitting at my desk. Gimme a break! Why don't you just paint me in a corner next time? Hope they understand rhetorical speech.

Yeah. I might as well have The Pony bring along his old Easter basket that he used to collect the chicken eggs in. Never know what I'm going to find.

A tisket, a tasket…Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's about to blow a gasket.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

That's Kind Of Like Helping An Old Lady Across The Road When She DIdn't Want To Cross The Road

Sometimes my life would be easier if people didn’t help me so much. Today, for instance, when a kid pulled my emergency tornado evacuation poster off the wall.

“Here. It was falling down. So I got it for you.”

“That’s very helpful of you, but it was only loose on one corner.”

“But it was going to fall.”

“I just walked past it. All I do is push it back on the wall. Why are you taking the sticky squares off?”

“Because they are stretched out.”

“That happens when you pull it off the wall while it’s still stuck.”

“No, they aren’t flat, so it won’t stick good.”

“They’re sticky squares. They stick to anything. They’ll stick to the trash bag when you throw them away.”

“Here. What do you want me to do with this sign?”

“Well, I’d like you to put it back where you got it, but now there’s nothing to make it stick. I’ll have to put nine more sticky squares on it. I don’t have time for that right now.”

“Where do you want it?”

“Put it on the table back here until I get time to put it back up. Why don’t you just go around the room ripping all my posters off the wall and taking off their sticky squares?”


“Sit back down. That was a rhetorical question, requiring no answer and no action.”

“Oh. I thought you wanted me to take them down.”

“No. Just like I didn’t want you to take the first one down.”

“I was only trying to help.”

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Old Lady Master Went To The Pasture To Give Her Poor Cow A Hand

And I don't mean a round of applause.

There’s an old lady who lives on the sharp turn next to the sheep land on the county road we use to get to the Mansion. Farmer H knew her husband years ago. He has fallen on ill health, and it not quite mentally up to snuff. We used to see him and his wife working the cattle, moving them from the field next to their house to the field across the road where they cut hay. Now it’s just her. Sometimes I see one of their sons helping out, but they must not live nearby.

The cows get out several times a year. Once time all 20 or 30 of them took a trip a half mile down the blacktop and across the low water bridge. It’s not hard to get them back. All you need is a pickup truck with some hay in the back, or a person riding along on the tailgate holding a handful out to the lead cow. The rest will follow. But it takes more than one person in order to warn traffic.

Every now and then, a single cow escapes. Then it wonders how to get back in. Idles in the middle of the blacktop while ruminating, after finding out the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence. The #1 son has stopped to help the old lady put a cow back in.

Last Thursday, The Pony and I saw the old lady at dusk, on our way home from visiting Mom. The old lady had her truck parked in the road. No shoulder. She had no choice. And there she was, on the other side of the road, trying to climb through the barbed wire fence. No cow was out. The cow was in. Standing by a tree in the near-dark, with drizzle sifting down, the temps dropping into the 30s. Beside the brown cow was a white calf. Newborn. And behind it, another white calf. Also newborn. TWINS! Twin calves! That doesn’t happen very often. I guess the old lady had been checking on that cow to see when she birthed her baby, and found TWO.

I don’t know how she did it, but those two calves are thriving. They’re healthy as two horses. We saw them again yesterday. Robust and sturdy.

Life must be hard for that old lady. But now she has twins. I imagine that brought her joy.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Up, Up, And It Went

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is dragging this week, my blogfriends. Her get-up-and-go done got-up-and-went. Her candle is burning at all three ends. Her wagon is draggin’. Life is kicking her butt. She feels like Sisyphus.

Something’s gotta give. Like my best ol’ ex-teaching buddy, Mabel, says…”You have to take care of yourself. Because if you don’t, you can’t take care of anyone else.”

I am that chicken with its head cut off, and I am trying to find my head. Newmentia is draining me 2/7 of the day. Then I’m off to visit Mom at her rehab. That's 40 minutes of drive time to get there, spend an hour, and drive 40 minutes home. Then it’s dark, and I have to warm up some food in the oven or heat it in the microwave. Which creates dirty dishes for my dishwashers, aka HANDS. Then I might be able to steal a little computer time. Once I sit down in my blue recliner, I am tired to the bone, and generally fall asleep in front of the big screen. I did not even finish watching last week’s Kate Plus Eight, and now it’s time for a new episode.

I’ve been dealing with an attorney concerning Mom’s situation. Her facility is ready to kick her to the curb with her belongings in a red bandana tied to a broom handle, because they can’t keep her while she does follow-up radiation since her skin lesion removal. That’s because they would have to pick up the bill for radiation. We don’t know what we’re going to do with her. Sis says the facility is trying to find a way to keep her if she pays for her stay, and lets her insurance pick up the medical tab. They will have a meeting Wednesday.

It's tax time, you know. And I just got an email from the #1 son's college that billing statements are out. According to #1, we are getting a refund. I suppose the check is in the mail. Oh, and here's another email from college. It's time for the FAFSA.

One set of my students is entering the world of science projects, and the others are being prepped for the upcoming EOC exams and the new mandatory ACT. The Pony is in the heart of Scholar Bowl season, and needs a ride home anywhere from 7:00 p.m to 8:30 p.m. on competition days. Which makes for a 13-hour day at school for me.

In the a snow day too much to ask?

Monday, January 26, 2015

OOPS! He Did It Again

Once again, Farmer H has crossed the boundaries of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom’s expectations. And not in a good way. The transgressor has transgressed again.

Sunday evening Farmer H grilled our supper. Let the record show that the temperature was in the 30s, wind chills even lower, but Farmer H had this bright idea on Saturday, so I bought the fixin’s. Makes me no never-mind if Farmer H freezes his rumpus off while preparing our evening meal.

The Pony had a ribeye, because he’s a meat-eating kind of equine like those nags on the South Pole mission with Robert Scott. Farmer H declared that he and I would have pork steaks. Fine with me. A meal I didn’t have to warm in the oven or heat in the microwave. All I had to do was whip up a salad for The Pony, make him some garlic bread, heat up some beans in a saucepan for Farmer H and me, and make him garlic cheese bread. In retrospect, perhaps he had the better deal.

The boundary-crossing transgression occurred AFTER supper. In fact, I was happily oblivious to it until 4:50 a.m. the next morning. Farmer H is generally the last Hillbilly puttering about in the kitchen, sometimes helping himself to second helpings. As the last man helping, he puts away the remainders of the meal.

Did Farmer H put the leftover pork steaks in the flat rectangular plasticware that we use for such items? NO! He wrapped them in foil. Consider the dire consequences of such an act. HE WRAPPED BBQ PORK STEAKS IN FOIL! Which meant that all the BBQ sauce clinging to them abandoned the pork steaks to cling to the foil.

Did Farmer H wrap the stack of three pork steaks in one piece of foil? NO! He wrapped each one individually.

Did Farmer H set the pork steak on the foil and fold over the top? NO! He tried to make each package airtight. He crinkled that foil like some foil decoupage craft project.

“Why did you wrap the pork steaks in foil?”

“They wouldn’t fit in those containers. They were too long.”

“That’s why we have knives.”

“I figured you’d complain if I cut them.”

Obviously. Because I unhinge my jaws and swallow my food whole, like a snake, and would not want my tasty BBQ pork steak dripping with sauce to be cut into a piece smaller than the whole.

We will feast on leftovers of bare pork steaks. Flavorless. Bare. Pork steaks. Whole.