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, 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 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!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

He's Got The Fever (Maybe)

Friday evening Farmer H called The Pony out to the garage for help. It's not like The Pony is capable of many skills that Farmer H would need that he can't do his own self. The Pony is not exactly mechanical. He doesn't drive. He can't lift much. He doesn't have common sense. Pretty much all he's good for is fetching items the two of us don't want to tax our old feeble legs to get. But there IS one area at which The Pony excels us both. He's NIMBLE!

There was no candlestick jumping involved, but our nimble Pony was needed to access the attic ceiling. The rafters are open, and in his nimbler days, or when he had the older boys to do his bidding, Farmer H laid a plethora of plywood across the bottom boards of those trusses. He uses that space for squirreling away the odd child safety seat, Christmas yard decorations, pet carriers, odd lumber, and many items which I can't see of which I am unaware.

The Pony's task, I imagined, was to climb the ladder to fetch a board for Farmer H. I found out later that such a technique was too sensible for those two. Farmer H used the push broom to lift up the end of the board, and The Pony used the other push broom to hook over the top and pull down the opposite end, thus removing the board from the rafters. Let the record show that I have only seen a push broom used for pushing in the 17 years we have inhabited the Mansion beside the garage. And in that instance, it was used by the #1 son for pushing water out the car door on my side after a heavy rain caused Lake GArage to form.

Don't ask why Farmer H can't store his wood away from me in the BARn. You know the BARn is full of all things that don't belong there. The reason for the board was that Farmer H is finishing his upstairs BARn room, and needed some door trim. Sadly, after carting it all the way over there in the Gator, on TWO new tires costing a total of $249 and change, but who's counting...Farmer H discovered that his trim board that he had down-loaded from the garage rafters was actually a piece of chair rail. A more carpentry-minded man might have notices when he carried it to the Gator, but Farmer H has tunnel vision where his pet projects are concerned. Like how he started out to get ONE Gator tire because it had a slow leak, but ended up with TWO, because he says the tires were an odd size that nobody carries. You know. Because the John Deere Gator is an obscure brand for which few people would seldom want to buy a tire.

Anyhoo...The Pony came back from his nimble duty, kind of whiny, lifting the leg of his pants (not slacks, they are saved for school, he can just be uncomfortable around the house) and moaning, "One of the yellow cats stepped on my foot, and his claw went in." Let the record show that The Pony, as well as not being a people person, is also not a pet person. We've only had these cats for a dozen years or more, and he can't be bothered to distinguish between Genius the yellow tabby or Simba the tawny tan tabby.

"It did THAT, through your shoe and everything?"

Then I looked down. The Pony still had his shoe on the unclawed foot. It was his old dirty beat-up white Adidas slide with the navy blue striped slide part. Uh huh. Snow on the ground, low teens wind chill, and The Pony had chosen those shoes to go outside around the porch down the steps across the sidewalk to the unheated garage. There was a puncture wound seeping blood between his index toe and the middle piggy that had roast beef. Surely the outflow of blood cleaned the wound.

I'm hoping The Pony doesn't come down with Cat Scratch Fever. He doesn't really care much about Ted Nugent.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

All That For Just THIS

Oh dear. Last night I ascended from my dark basement lair to make some supper for The Pony. The time was 6:00 p.m., later than normal for the evening repast. Life has a way of eating up my time on days off. We'd been to The Devil's Playground, and to drop off an official deed at my sister the ex-mayor's wife's house. Then we had to put away all the boughten stuff, and I had to make lunch, and my best ol' ex-teachign buddy Mabel rang me up, then Farmer H the everyday timing was off.

There on my cell phone on the kitchen counter were a bunch of symbols. Meaning that I had missed some calls and texts and Sprint wants to load some software on my phone and the temperature has showed up as 27 degrees for five days now. But wait...there was a text from the #1 son. Haven't heard from him since Feb. 12. That's EIGHT DAYS! And the poor thing said, "Call me when you get out of school." The time was 2:51. He knows we get out at 2:56 by our clock, which is 2:51 in the real world. AND I HAD NOT RESPONDED TO HIM! It was now 6:00!

So I tried to call him. Something must be wrong, right? For him to want my immediate response? There was no answer. My phone was acting all wonky, so I called three or four more times. No answer. Voice mail. Of course I did not leave any. I'm his mother, by cracky! I don't leave voice mail. What am I going to say? "You aren't answering your phone! Are you okay? Are you unconscious? Are you dismembered? Are you locked up? Does your head hurt? Do you have a fever? Is your heart broken?" No. No message.

I went back to read the text again. "Call me when you get out of school. I need you to send me something." Oh, no! Should I have mailed something after school so he will get it sooner? Now it will be Saturday at noon before I can mail it. And the weather is supposed to be bad! What is it? Medicine? Money? Tax info? Insurance card?

I called some more. No answer. Farmer H came in. "Your son has left a message, and now I can't reach him. I hope he hasn't decided to try and drive home tonight because I didn't respond! The weather is terrible!"

"Yeah. There's a fine mist right now. It's freezing on the windshields. I hope he has more sense than that."

"He always picks the worst times to rush home. Why else won't he answer? He would be in the middle, where there's no phone reception. Or maybe he's sleeping and can't wake up. Or maybe he's working on the solar car."

"Here. I'll text him." Because of course he would answer Farmer H's text but not mine, right?

I got The Pony's supper. Told Farmer H he could have leftovers. Choice of Casey's pizza. Chili. Or new food. A flatbread Devil's Playground pizza, or hot dog, or hamburger, or some of the tuna salad I was thinking about making for myself. Or a can of sardines in mustard sauce. Seriously. You would think Farmer H would be losing weight. I only named the simple things he could get for himself. Because I was preoccupied with contacting #1.

"He didn't answer."

"Maybe he'll see that I called and get back to me."

So I took a can of sardines in mustard sauce and a big pretzel roll and some pecans down to my dark basement lair to sit by the phone. BINGO! The minute I started eating, #1 called.

"I see you have frantically been trying to contact me numerous times over the past hour. I was holding interviews for next year's RA candidates. I got this break by a stroke of luck, because the girl who was scheduled did not show up. I need you to send me something. Tell The Pony to look around my desk, but I think it's up in the attic. Send him up in the attic to look for... joystick that I used on my computer airplane-flying game."

Yeah. All that for just this.

I'm about ready to turn in my Mom Card. The stress is nearly too much.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's Top Ten Perks of Being a Teacher in the Wintertime

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's Top Ten Perks of Being a Teacher in the Wintertime:

#10. When you're headed home after dark, it is easy to justify take-out for supper.
#09. A couple extra hundred bucks bonus on your December 5 direct deposit.
#08. Vegetable soup/grilled cheese in the cafeteria. (Oops. Now just vegetable soup.)
#07. Carols over the speaker during class change the last week before Christmas.
#06. Candy canes taped to your classroom door by student club members.
#05. Many students missing intermittently for caroling or community service.
#04. A tin of Danish butter cookies/jar of Hershey kisses on your desk from the principal.
#03. Other faculty willing to take your basketball game duty for extra cash.
#02. Two weeks off at Christmas.
#01. SNOW DAYS that give you a 9-DAY WEEKEND!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Don't Bring Me Down. Are You Pickin' Up What I'm Layin' Down?

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is fit to be tied.

Okay. That's not quite true. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom would not be considered, by any stretch of the imagination, as being "fit" unless perhaps by one of those 900-pound people who must be cut out of their house walls and loaded in the back of a pickup truck (a Ford F350) for transport to a livestock-weighing scale before Dr. Nowzaradan tells them to lose 300 pounds before he will do a gastric bypass on them.

Nor is Mrs. Hillbilly Mom tie-able, since she will not sit still for such shenanigans, especially after her own #1 son was hog-trussed at the tender age of eight by some middle grade kids at summer school where he went for enrichment because he's a genius, with the custodian even supplying the rope, and the staff member in charge LAUGHING about it when I said why he wouldn't be back.

But that is neither here nor there, because this is all about Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's gambling attempt today, and the crankpot who rained on her parade.

I saw the stern lady behind the register when I went into the gas station chicken store. Normally we are simpatico, she being my clerk of choice over that smirking bald man, though I must say he gives me more scratch-off winners. I only had three tickets to redeem. And I had already scratched off the bar code, the code number, and the little rectangle with the three ID numbers. All she had to do was poke it in the machine like a time card. That machine would tell her the amount of the win, and all she had to do was print a receipt for the total. It's not like it was a giant win, or an obscure number. Thirty dollars. Round number. I also had one corn dog for The Pony, with the ticket from the kitchen. Not even any chicken parts for Mrs. HM. Just thirty dollars of winnings, and thirty dollars of new tickets, and $1.93 out of two ones for the corn dog.

But no. That crankster had to take out her bad mood on me. She was even more stern than usual. Sighing. Slapping my tickets around. Kind of sneering. The chubby happy clerk said, "I'm leaving now." It was, after all, the stroke of 2:00. And Crankster said, "Can I go with you?" Hmpf. I wanted to say, "Um. I'm right here. Your customer? Who's always right?" But I didn't. No need to poke a rabid dog with a stick. She would not have acted that way if the owner was there. And she would have fallen all over herself helping me CHEERFULLY if the owner's WIFE had been there. They're all afraid of her. Even the owner.

The reason for her badder than usual mood, I think, was the lady ahead of me, who handed her a bunch of those fill-in long tickets people use to choose their numbers for PowerBall and MegaMillions. She kept pulling them out of the machine and giving them back to the customer, saying, "That one's blank. And that one's blank, too." Not my fault. Also not my fault that the guy waiting behind me had a fountain soda and some chicken. I had my transaction ready. As simple as could be.

And to top it off, Crankster only gave me $8.00 worth of winners.

Who's cranky now?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

An Appointment With Destiny, Now With CAKE! it is, Tuesday afternoon, and I'm sitting in my dark basement lair, off school due to 8 inches of snow, waiting to see if I have another day of reprieve...and the phone rings. I knew it wasn't school. I have caller ID, you know. Only the most modern technology for Mrs. Hillbilly Mom and her land line.

"Hello? May I speak to Mrs. Hillbilly Mom?"

"This is her."

"I'm calling from Dr. Foreigner's office to confirm your appointment tomorrow at 1:30. With cake."

"Oh! Sure. I think I can make it."

"Good. We'll see you then."

Wasn't THAT a fine how-do-you-do!

I knew I had an appointment in the city with the physician who had done a bit of minor surgery on me last fall. To tell you the truth, I am not all that fond of him. He is the kind of guy who does not really seem to think a woman knows anything. Not because he's a doctor. Just like we aren't worthy. Oh, he was entirely competent and knowledgeable about the procedure. But I felt kind of like I was an ungulate, and he was a veterinarian. He did his best to take care of me, but did not want any input from me. He was doing it for my own good.

Yes. I knew I had an appointment. Had I not left my plans upon my desk for Wednesday when I left on Friday, just in case we had a snow day in between, so I wouldn't have to rush and get things together? I swear. I'm never gonna burn these sick days. I have had this appointment since last August. What are the odds? his office was confirming my appointment, and promising CAKE! Just to sweeten the pot, I suppose. Take a dreaded office visit and offer a confectionery carrot on a stick. Come to your appointment, and you can have some cake!

Or...wait...maybe she didn't say cake. Maybe she said cape. Perhaps I was supposed to dress in a certain manner. No superfluous below-the-waist garments. A cape. Drape myself in a cape. That would be kind of drafty, what with the temperature at 17 degrees, and the wind chill in single digits. Surely I wasn't supposed to arrive like Batman. Or Little Red Riding Hood. Or Superman.

Huh. Maybe she said, "With Kate." Yeah. That's the ticket. Maybe someone who works there is named Kate. And she would be doing my exam. Not that condescending doctor. That had to be it. Not as good as CAKE. But better than seeing the doc.

I just hope she didn't say kale.

Alls I know is...I have an appointment.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom Goes Off The Deep End, And Is Currently In Free Fall

Okay. Here's the warning. The disclaimer. Don't come suing me when you have nightmares. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is not some socially acceptable horror taler like Stephen K. Nope. She's rough around the edges, like those crusty bunion callouses in the foot-shaver commercials. Nothing pretty here. Nothing tied up, all loose ends accounted for, with a pretty pink bow. No sirree, Bob. Mrs. HM does not write fiction. She tells tales from the trenches. In this case, her bed-wallow. Now is your chance to turn around. If you thought that part about Gage in Pet Semetary was unnerving, you don't want to go here. No need to subject yourself to unnecessary nightmares. Turn back now.

Thing is, it was only a dream for me. Not a nightmare. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

There are some things in this world that can't be understood. Can't be explained. The noises and happenings in the Mansion are some of them. Mrs. HM was always scientific. One who must have evidence to believe. Ghost? Surely you jest. Until the unexplained came a-knockin'. But this vignette is not so much about the unexplained as it is about Mrs. HM's subconscious. Her dream life. Her way of working out grief, perhaps. So whether you believe in the Sweet Hereafter, Eternal Life, Reincarnation, Valhalla, Nothingness, Nirvana, Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, Paradise, The 144,000 Chosen, Non-being, Summerland, or An Infinite Dirt Nap...this revelation has nothing to do with religion. It is one woman's dream from Friday night/Saturday morning, between 2:00 and 3:30 a..m.

Enter at your own risk.

The first part wasn't a dream. The Pony and I were watching our DVR of King of the Nerds. We had started it around 8:20, so we could fast-forward the commercials. The Pony, as always, was on his bargain couch with his laptop open, glancing up at the TV at opportune moments. I was in my blue recliner controlling the fast-forwarding. Between 8:30 and 9:00, we heard a giant THUMP above our heads.

"Um. Yeah. There it is," said The Pony, raising his eyebrows.

Normally, we hear footsteps. But this was a heavy THUMP. Like somebody jumping off the top of a bunk bed. Like somebody just getting used to coming from one dimension to another. Unsure of how much energy was needed. Not understanding the powers of manifestation. Rather than being in the area of #1's bedroom that runs alongside his bed, this THUMP was right in front of his door. Like a step in from the hallway. It was the only noise we heard. No more.

I dreamed about Mom that night. It was one week to the day since we had buried her. After a 2:00 service and a short drive to the cemetery. We were out of there by 3:30. The dream was as follows...

I was sitting at my New Delly in my dark basement lair. It was night time. I thought everyone else had gone to bed. Then I heard a voice. It sounded just like my mom. I knew that there were only guys in my house. I went out of my office and into the main basement area. There was my mom, in the blue recliner, but in the area by the steps where #1's desk is usually parked.

Mom was sitting relaxed in the chair with her right leg crossed over her left, having a casual conversation with Farmer H and the #1 son and The Pony. Her hair was poofy, like when she was in her late 30s, like in one of the old school pictures Sis had at the funeral home, from when Mom taught 4th grade.

In this dream, Mom was obviously not alive, but neither was she a see-through ghost. She had on no clothes, but was not at all concerned or even aware. She had a big "Y" incision closed with big black stitches on her chest. She was gesturing with her hands, like she always talked, saying, "No. That's not what I wanted. See my will." She was not agitated. Just talking matter-of-factly. I joined the group, and stood there at Mom's left, while the guys were kind of behind her chair.

We all talked a while, then Mom said it was time to go. She got up from the recliner and walked toward the steps. I walked along with her, like she used to walk us to the door of her house, and later, to the door of her room at the rehab center. At the foot of the stairs, Mom said, "It's time for me to go." Instead of walking up the steps, she turned right, towards the electric fireplace. And then she kind of turned into a genie-like column of vapor that still had her coloring, and went up the fireplace.

That dream was SO real! When I woke up at 3:30, it was like she had just been there. She was fine. Not alive, but fine. I was SO disappointed as that dream wore off. It was so real.

I couldn't believe that she was gone. Not that I thought she was alive. I just thought she was still in the house, so I could talk to her some more.

Yes. I know it's my way of working out my grief. That's why I just put it here, where my three readers can like it or lump it. I don't expect comments on my craziness.

It's something I had to do.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Laying Out My Plans

I had grand plans today. Plans to get my blog posts done early, and to sit down and enjoy myself in my dark basement lair. Treat myself to a little writing time. I had two brilliant ideas. Now, not so much.

The Pony needed some lunch, so I made him pasta. Then I whipped up a vat of chili, which Farmer H had for HIS lunch. Not the whole thing. That's supposed to be tomorrow's supper. After a brief interlude when laundry called my name, I put together a meat loaf for tonight's supper, and poured some bread mix into the Bread Man. Then I had to wash up all those dishes. And fix my own lunch. It was going on 2:00 by then. The meat loaf had to be put in the oven by 4:30. Then I had to get the mashed potatoes ready.

The supper dishes are going to wait until morning. I deserve a break today. school tomorrow. Then I have a doctor's appointment Wednesday. I left my plans at school, everything ready, just in case of this scenario. With any luck, we'll get out Wednesday, too, which will solve the problem of getting The Pony to school and getting back in time to pick him up.

Hard to believe this is only our fourth snow day. But you know what is truly amazing? THIS IS MY LUNCH DUTY WEEK!

Tomorrow, I have grand plans.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Farmer H Is Butt-Bitten By Even Steven And Karma (Once On Each Cheek)

Farmer H has a flat tire. Not a spare tire. Everybody knows THAT. But now he has a flat tire on his precious Gator. Uh huh. He sprung it on me over my birthday dinner, which was today and not on my actual birthday.

"I have a flat tire on the Gator."

"Huh. I guess you'll have to keep putting air in it."

"I need a new tire."

"I don't know why. When I had a flat tire on T-Hoe, I had to stop every week for The Pony to put air in it."

"But his one goes all the way flat."

"Mine would have, too, if The Pony didn't put air in it for me."

"I'm going to run by Tractor Supply on the way home to see if they have one."

"Shouldn't you wait six months? That's what I did when I had a tire going flat."

"I need a tire. I've been airing it up every day with my compressor."

"Which is more convenient than stopping by a convenience store if they don't have somebody blocking the air hose, and having your son jump out no matter what the weather, and put in six pounds of air to last you three days."

"I'm getting a tire."

Even Steven and Karma are quite a duo. Tractor Supply was fresh out of Gator tires.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom Is Having Issues

Can you see fit to send some sympathy Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's way tonight? She has endured a two-day visit from Mr. Murphy. No. He's not related to Aunt Flo. He's not the heir to a flush toilet fortune. Nor the inventor of a bed that folds up into the wall. He's the law Murphy. The one who postulates that whatever can go wrong WILL go wrong.

The most recent prophecy fulfilled concerns Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's supper of a homemade chicken fajita fat burrito. Uh huh. I gathered my ingredients. Laid out foil to wrap my delicious monstrosity. Warmed the tortilla. Chunked up the chicken. Shook on the shredded lettuce. Used a cheese grater on the sharp cheddar, without even losing a millimeter of finger flesh. Spooned generously the mild salsa. Dolloped on the sour cream. Wrapped that fat log in foil to decrease dripping. AND SAW THAT I HAD LEFT OFF THE DICED ONION! Oh, the inhumanity! Nancy Kerrigan herself could not have topped Mrs. Hillbillly Mom's whine of "WHYYYYYYYY?"

I had to put my diced onion in a little bowl to apply with a spoon to each bite. That's a lesser chicken fajita fat burrito right there.

The Pony also endured Mrs. Hillbilly (his) Mom's Murphy wrath. He needed a trimming of The Sideburn. He did so himself, with his shaver, but there was a swatch of hair growing down in front of his ears that he said the shaver wouldn't trim. So I reached for my trusty black-handled fake Fiskars. And came up as empty as Old Mother Hubbard's dog. The #1 son was here over Christmas, you see. And in the last day of his break, when he was no longer deathly ill with a meningitis-mocking headache and stiff neck virus...he felt like working with his photography sometimes-paying hobby. My fake Fiskars are but a gleam in #1's eye.

The Pony ran to fetch the next best thing, a pair of blue-handled fake fake Fiskars. I cut those uneven hairburns to make him presentable. He was going to meet his paramour for an evening of laser tag to celebrate his birthday tomorrow. Alas, only one of his regular friends could go, what with the short notice, the frigid weather, the upcoming snowstorm, weekends with non-custodial parents, and this being Valentine's Day, and one of the friends having his own paramour who had other designs on his time. Do you think The Pony gave a fat rodent's behind? NOT-HEAVEN NO! He was going to meet his paramour. With a tidy little gift bag of Valentine treats that he did not care to share with moi. Our little Pony is growing up.

I would love to regale you with tales of my other Murphyisms. Like how every time I put the diced onion on my chicken fajita fat burrito, it bounces off the top and drops to the counter of my dark basement lair built-in corner desk and then bounces again to the floor, and how I arrived at the mailbox at the same time a guy parked on the wrong side of the road in front of Mailbox Row and proceeded to fetch a package from the package lock-box. And how Mrs. Hillbilly Mom herself had trouble with said box last night. And how as soon as that guy took his package and left, a neighbor pulled up to get her mail, so Mrs. HM had to wait some more, and how all this and a trip to town put her lunch off until 3:00, the lunch she is used to consuming at 10:53 a.m., and how she did not even have a carload of guys to give her a Snickers bar. However, I have no time.

A chicken fajita fat burrito is calling my name.

Friday, February 13, 2015

You Won't See Giada Do THIS!

Oh, dear. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has been a bit preoccupied this week. Not only did she eat a moldering hot dog at lunch on Wednesday, but she found herself involved in another foody faux pas this evening.

I wanted a meal of soft tacos from Taco Bell. However, once the spoils were ill-gotten from the drive-thru, handed over by a giggling lass who might or might not have done something unspeakable to my order...I remembered that it's Friday. The day Taco Bell makes their tacos with 94.995% shredded lettuce, 4% tortilla, 1% cheese, and 0.005% meaty-looking-worm-protein. So I limited myself to two soft tacos.

That was not enough protein. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom demands balance in her nutrition. So I popped open a tin of sardines in mustard sauce. They're bursting with protein. And calcium, too, from those little bones that crunch between your teeth. When getting a jar of salsa out of Frig II to add to my lettuce tacos, I spied a sad salad purchased at The Devil's Playground mid-week. Darn that Frig II. He has different crannies than the original Frig. I had forgotten all about that chef salad dated 2/13/15. Which was TODAY. So I added that to my menu, taking credit for buying my own big salad. I tossed in some chopped onion that I was adding to my soft tacos. I don't know why I don't just buy tortillas and make them myself. Yes I do. Because that is too much work on a Friday evening after a very trying week at Newmentia.

I shook on some ranch dressing, part from a bottle of lite, part from the real thing. Then crumbled some croutons on top. Good to go. I alternated among my three courses. They were nothing to write home about, nothing to pitch a show about to the Food Network. But filling. In fact, as I was stabbing away at my big salad, I realized that I would not be able to eat the whole thing. A realization that came, in part, when my fork stopped short and nearly dislocated my wrist.

Did you know that The Devil puts his tubs of Marketplace All Natural Buttermilk Ranch Dressing down inside the big salad, to make it look bigger? Uh huh. It's true. I knew that. But in my haste to augment my other two courses, I forgot to root around in there and take out the tub. It did, after all, take up a fourth of the room in the salad tray.

One of these days, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is going to cook from scratch. Until then, she will have plenty of blog material.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Unintentional Inadvertent Insensitivity Of The Attendees Of The Semi Weekly Meeting Of The Newmentia Lunch Time Think Tank

I know it was not intentional. A simple social faux pas. Nothing more. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is a bit sensitive this week, after going through one of life’s greatest stressors last week. It didn’t help Monday when the Newmentia Lunch Time Think Tank not only pointedly ignored Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, but even seemed a bit put out that she dared to reclaim her seat at the table. I’m sure the alleged slight was imagined on my part. But something didn’t seem right. Our chemistry was out of whack.

Don’t think for an instant that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom was a moper. Nope. She pulled up her chair four legs at a time like everybody else, and attempted to join in as permitted. One member of the Think Tank was written up in the local paper, for becoming a big fish in the big pond of technology. The reporter had listed the ages of the students in the accompanying photo, and had then listed Big Fish’s age after his name as well. So they were ribbing him. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom commented that she had seen the article, and the age, but had thought nothing of it, because magazines do that with famous people in the news all the time. Crickets. Like Mrs. Hillbilly Mom had announced that last night she shot a unicorn in her pajamas. It seemed as if they were trying to block me out. Then the hubbub resumed, concerning the new reporter who must not know have known any better.

Tuesday, a Think Tank irregular graced us with his presence, and let it slip that he had a cleaning lady. Well! So did the Big Fish. They then commenced to expounding that the cleaning lady made their wives actually pick up the clutter in order for the house to be cleaned. And that if a cleaning lady could clean the whole house in two-and-a-half hours, surely the wife could find that much time throughout a two-week period to do the same.

From there, talk went to the stuff filling up the house. Like PLANTS FROM THE WIFE’S MOTHER’S FUNERAL! How she refused to get rid of them. How the plants made the house look like a jungle. Those plants served no purpose. It had been YEARS, and the plants needed to go. Never mind that they were thriving. So another Think Tanker jumped in to reveal that she still had plants from her father’s funeral, and it had been 16 years. Yet another Tanker chastised the original Tanker, because how dare he think those plants were worthless. She drives by her last-fall-deceased father’s truck on the way to work every morning, and it brings tears to her eyes. To which Original Tanker replied, “Well, I can understand that. It’s still so fresh to you.”

And there I sat, my slaw-loving mom gone less than a week, listening to them discuss the departed. Like I didn’t exist. How could they not notice this elephant in the room? It’s not like nobody knew about my loss. Five of the seven Think Tankers had been to the funeral home and offered their condolences. And they later got onto a discussion of how they have morals and know what’s right and would act as avengers if anyone was being harmed. Like stopping those twenty football players in the news who beat and raped a coed and put it on Facebook. Okay. So Mrs. Hillbilly Mom was not in the company of twenty football players, and did not need that kind of rescuing. But somebody could have suggested a new topic for discussion.

I’m shocked they didn’t just burst into a round of John Brown’s Body Lies A-Moulderin’ in the Grave. Or a rousing chorus of “The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out, the worms play pinochle on your snout.”

No, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom does not need to be rolled in cotton batting, encased in bubble wrap, and placed on a bed of downy duck feathers. But there are standards of common decency, are there not? It’s not as if they didn’t know, and coincidentally asked how my mom was doing. They knew. And saw nothing wrong with it. I’m a nobody. Don’t mind me.

On the other hand, a special student stopped in the hall to offer her condolences, because she heard that my mom passed away.

Some people could learn a lesson from that special student.