Here's what happens when you're the recently-retired Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, spending your day with the not-yet-retired but not-working-today Farmer H.
Let the record show that Farmer H has to work most Saturdays. But not today! I asked him to set the alarm for 7:00 a.m., because I'm not gadget-friendly, and I had to put together a couple of contest submissions and get them to the dead-mouse-smelling post office by the deadline, TODAY, during its ever-changing hours this morning. The alarm went off, and Farmer H announced, "It's 6:30."
"I didn't want to get up at 6:30. That's too early. In fact, I want to sleep until 7:30, because I was up until 3:15 putting everything together. All I have to do is seal it up and take a shower and take my medicine."
Farmer H got up when I did, and said he was going out with the tractor to move some gravel along the sides of the road.
"Will you be in my way when I try to go to town?"
"No! Well. You can go around me. On the gravel that's there now. And you might bring back something for lunch while you're in town."
"Okay. If you're not going to the auction or anywhere tonight, I'm going to make some vegetables and pork steaks, Shake 'N' Bake." Because Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, Gourmet Chef, is IN THE MANSION!
Imagine my surprise when I left for town at 10:00, and saw no signs of Farmer H. But there was a vehicle parked by the BARn door. Backed down in there. Secretive like. I couldn't see it very well, because I was driving, and the land where the BARn is dips down away from the road. Of course I called him.
"Where are you?"
"Where am I?"
"Yeah. I don't see you on the road. And whose truck is by the BARn?"
"I'm smoothing out rock on the road to the cabin. Truck? Mine."
"No. Yours is there too."
"Oh. HOS's father in law was going to cut up that dead tree on the other property. For firewood."
"Then why's he backed down against the BARn door, all secretive?"
"Oh! That's my Trailblazer."
"Why is it there? All secretive. Not over under the carport."
"Um...because I brought home a paint sprayer from work. I'm going to use it to spray sealer on the BARn roof where it was leaking."
"What do you want for lunch? Burger, chicken, pizza, sandwich...?"
"A bacon burger would be good. From Dairy Queen."
"Okay. But I'm going in Save A Lot for the bananas you didn't tell me you needed when I asked before going to The Devil's Playground yesterday. And to get some lottery tickets. Then gas. And my soda." Farmer H did not seem to care that I had many errands that had to be done at separate establishments. I went on to town, and called him when I returned a little before noon. "Your sandwich is coming down the driveway."
"All right. I'll be up in a while. I'm mowing around the cabin." Let the record show that I have never known grass to grow around the cabin, because it's down in the woods, and grass doesn't grow in the woods. But I knew for sure that Farmer H was not going to be there to carry in the bananas and onions and potatoes I bought at Save A Lot. Or his own burger that I got at DQ. Or my purse or 44 oz Diet Coke. Farmer H is not a very good Pony.
That stuff didn't carry itself in, either. My old-lady arms are covered in bruises from draping shopping bags over them and crushing the tender skin of my blood-thinned flesh. I hadn't been home ten minutes, barely enough time to put stuff away and start my own lunch of taquitos to cooking, when Farmer H came to get his burger. Making a comment that HOS was over at the BARn, and they were getting started on the roof. Making me feel bad that I had brought nothing for HOS. Though, to be fair, my psychic powers did not tip me off that he was going to be there when I returned. Farmer H told me not to worry about HOS. That he had offered him half the burger, but HOS declined, and ate two pieces of cheese from the original Frig over in the BARn.
I threw a pack of baby carrots in the roaster pan identical to the one on the porch that holds cat kibble. Peeled and sectioned five onions. Cut up some potatoes, leaving on the peel (The Pony really DOES make less work for me when he's gone). Then I sprinkled some powdered Hidden Valley Ranch Dip mix on those veggies. That stuff is amazing. It's the AVON Skin-So-Soft of the food world! After that, I laid half a package of bacon strips across it, put on the lid, and stuffed it in the oven at 300 for a couple of hours. No vegetables are going to come out underdone on MY watch!
More old-lady-self-arm abuse occurred as I put two bubba cups of ice in a plastic bag with my 44 oz Diet Coke between them, draped it over my arm, and picked up my plate of taquitos to carry down to my dark basement lair. Where the phone rang at 2:38 with a notice from Farmer H's workplace's security company notifying him that a burglar alarm at the main building went off at 2:33, and the police were responding. I had to call Farmer H on the house phone, which, in a travesty of justice, is long distance for us to call our own cell phones. My cell phone was upstairs, and without The Pony to fetch it or his dad, I am resigned to spending a dollar every time I have to call Farmer H.
The house phone rang again at 3:38. With a message from security that a burglar alarm had gone off at the main building at 3:33. And the police were responding. Another robber, another dollar. I called Farmer H. He sputtered that THERE WERE PEOPLE WORKING A SHIFT AT THE PLANT, and he didn't know HOW they could be setting off the alarm and not turning it off. So he had to drive 40 minutes to work, fiddle with that alarm, and 40 minutes back. He got home at 7:17. To the vegetables that were sitting on the back burner in their roasting pan, and a pork steak that was still in the glass 9 x 12 that I couldn't wash until he did something with that meat.
I think Farmer H is ready to retire. I think I might almost be ready for him to.