Sunday, January 31, 2016

Every Week Like Clockwork

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom hates Sundays. Always has. She'd rather get up on a Friday morning, facing a whole day of work, with the weekend spread out ahead of her...than arise on Sunday morning, knowing there was not enough time to get all the chores finished, and that Farmer H would be cranking back and slamming closed the La-Z-Boy alternately, every ten minutes, starting at 4:00, to remind her that she was also expected to cook supper (even though we don't eat on Sundays until after 6:00).

Yeah. It's 4:47 on Sunday. My nerves are shot.

I just spent over an hour filling out the FAFSA for The Pony. Not that it behooves either of us to do so, because the Hillbilly income is too much to qualify The Pony for educational grants and loans. But the colleges MUST have the FAFSA. No point in dragging it out. It's tax season, too. So that must be done, then the FAFSA updated with that retrieval tool that connects spying Uncle Sam to the college info.

Oops! There he went stumping into the bedroom and bathroom. Farmer H. Not Uncle Sam. I might as well give up this little writing pipe dream and go tend to his needs. He's the only one who counts around here. Can you believe he wanted ME to pick up some alcohol for him at the gas station chicken store? Like he doesn't drive to town two or three times a day. Just because I told him two months ago that they had a boxed set of some fancy whiskey with two tumblers, and he went to buy them, and then said they were NOT the price I quoted him. Because he picked up the bigger box, not the on-sale box. So he wanted me, after completing two loads of laundry, making the shopping list, facing The Devil, buying my 44 oz Diet Coke, putting away all the groceries, cooking him a SECOND lunch when I got home at 1:30 (a hot dog is not enough, it seems), and trying to explain to my sister the ex-mayor's wife that I did NOT get the same 1099 as her because she did something else with her go to town and buy his boxed set.

The #1 son is too busy to call me about HIS FAFSA, which I could have killed as my second bird with today's stone, except that the time is not convenient for him, and he'd rather do it later tonight, which is terrible for me. So now I can't simply transfer my parental information onto his, but rather must spend another hour at a later date filling in info so he can also be ineligible for college grants and loans.

Now excuse me, as I must go fill Farmer H's trough before he comes through the ceiling of my dark basement lair, and cook up three days of lunches for The Pony to take to school this week.

I'm so glad tomorrow is Monday!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

There But For The Grace Of The Pony Go I In My Sweatpants With The Hole In The Left Hip

We live in fear around here, The Pony and I. Like prisoners in our own Mansion. Oh, we would like to come and go as we please, wearing what we want to wear, without thought of the prying eyes of strangers judging us on our own turf.

I had just returned from Save A Lot this afternoon, with boxes of food to put away, when Farmer H made his grand entrance. He works until noon most Saturdays. I asked if he had eaten lunch, or if he wanted some of the Ferratto's Rising Crust Pepperoni Pizza I had picked up for The Pony, who, like me, does not like pepperoni. The intent all along was to get something easy to remove from half. I prefer a supreme, but I was not in a mood to pry onions and peppers and nuggets of sausage off a a frozen pizza before cooking.

"Well, I ate White Castle, but I would eat some pizza."

Of course he would. Who in their right mind would turn down Save A Lot brand frozen pizza. Besides Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, too lazy to buy the kind she favors.

Off Farmer H went to do outside things in the 64-degree yard. The Pony and I put stuff away, and I readied the pizza for baking.

"Pony. Take this old Chinese out and throw it in the yard for the chickens. They like the rice."

Off he went, only to return immediately. "I can't. Dad is in the front yard with a guy."

"Who is it?"

"I don't know. But I didn't want to go out there and throw rice." Let the record show that The Pony was still wearing flannel boxers and an old junior college science fair t-shirt that he sleeps in. He had already told me earlier that he had no plans for getting dressed today.

"Okay. Then go dump this leftover Coney Dog sauce off the back porch. I want to wash the container."

Off went The Pony to the back porch. The minute he closed the kitchen door, I hear a motor start up. Like a chainsaw. Or a 4-wheeler. Or the pool pump. The Pony came back in quickly. Mission accomplished.

"What's that noise?"

"I don't know. But now Dad is in the BACK YARD! Doing something by the pool."

"Is that man out there with him?"

"I didn't see him. But probably. I dumped the stuff anyway. I don't think I hit him."

Turns out it was one of the roofer guys. Farmer H called him because he left some screws, or he needed some screws, or he used the wrong kind of screws...who really knows. It was a screwy situation.

The least he could do is tell us about his cockamamie plans and visitors on the property. He himself used to walk out on the porch in his tighty whities and take a whiz whenever the mood struck. Mostly on the BACK porch, thank the Gummi Mary. And I always made sure to tell him if my mom was coming out.

Not that anybody's presence would have stopped him.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Reason #237 Why It ROCKS To Be A Teacher

 #237 THE SWAG!

Oh, I’m sure you were expecting to hear something about the great pay, the unequaled respect, the short hours, the unadulterated love flowing in from the families of the young lives you touch, or the intrinsic rewards of a job well done. But that’s where you’re wrong. It’s all about the SWAG, baby! And look what I scored today!

The college pupil who works for the replacement for the Tech Nazi waltzed in right in the middle last 10 minutes of my class before lunch. Okay. Waltzed would be portraying him as rhythmic, with energy. But he wandered in with a handful of bags containing wires, and said he was there to make sure none of my connecting wires were bad. Hmpf. If they were bad, I assume my technology would not be working. And it all works. However...even though I told him I would be out of there in 10 minutes to participate in the Semi Weekly Meeting of the Newmentia Lunch Time Think Tank, he insisted on providing his service right then. Because what are we faculty, anyway? Just roadblocks along the technological superhighway.

He assured me he could squeeze in between me and the spare student chair against the wall holding today's tests for my next class. But with that distance being the width of Giuliana Rancic's pinky-finger, I did not think even his emo-black-clad carcass would fit. I vacated my desk and roamed about the room, flashing science fair boards all willy-nilly, while he tossed those "not-working" wires into my wastebasket. The wastebasket under my control center! The one I empty myself! Not the big one by the pencil sharpener that the custodian empties.

Okay. So I’m not really sure what that is in the picture. And I DID take it out of the trash. But I’m sure it’s valuable in some way. One minute it was sitting there, connecting part of my control center to the other part, and the next minute it was garbage! Just like food expires at midnight. One minute it’s perfectly edible, and the next minute the stores are pulling it from the shelves, lest it kills someone. I don’t think my wires are going to kill anybody. Farmer H or the #1 son might have a use for them. At the very least, Farmer H might burn them for the metal for scrap. He used to do that with wire pulled out of his factory when he rewired it. Under the auspices of his employer, of course. In fact, he sold so much scrap that the junk man wrote down his address, just in case the law came sniffing around.

Anyhoo…now I have some extra wires in case anything around the Mansion needs to be hooked to any other things around the Mansion. All for FREE!

Farmer H is going to be so proud of me…

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Crisp Waters Run BLEEP

Perhaps you remember my tale of Crisp Water. The Glade air freshener that I bought out of my own money and put in the faculty women’s restroom. There is a need for such fragrance, you know. What with the things that go on in that room. Let’s just say Little Miss Puffytail and Daddy Gator ain’t a-woofin’ on those Quilted Northern commercials. Maybe nobody knows the horror they’ve seen, but Mrs. Hillbilly Mom knows the horror they’ve smelled.

Sweet Gummi Mary! You would think that my fellow female faculty had been feasting on three-day old skunk roadkill that had been bubbling in the sun before having its jellied remains scraped up and marinated with a rotten durian in a clay pot buried under the manure pile hosed off a hog barn floor to age for two weeks. Yum yum, gotta get you some...if you want the fruit of your innards to make a statement in the faculty women’s restroom of Newmentia.

Sure, I know a restroom is a place for…um…ahem…RESTING! So I don’t turn up my dainty nose, gag, and shout, “CHRIST! Did a cow shi crap in here?” when one of my cronies exits. No. That would be stealing a line from Kentucky Fried Movie. I recommend that you do not see it. Unless you are a 13-year-old boy. I do, however, recommend bringing your own air freshener to leave on the back of a workplace toilet, perhaps encouraging others to spray.

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom herself does not need to use air freshener, you know. Her gaseous emissions smell like honeysuckle wrapped around a carnation wrapped round a rose. A lovely scent that could be bottled or canned, and sold for profit. Perhaps on the counter of a proposed handbasket factory!

Which brings us back to the Crisp Water. I like that bouquet. I really, really like it. As much as people like Sally Field. So much so, in fact, that only yesterday afternoon, when The Pony joked that he went to the bathroom before we left school, and could have used the Crisp Water, I told him…

“I like that Crisp Water so much that it makes me want to poop!”

Yeah. He is. Most likely scarred for life.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Nearly Newly-Eyeless Attempts To Cheer Up The Murder Survivor

Talk at the Semi Weekly Meeting of the Newmentia Lunch Time Think Tank grew animated today. We covered topics such as BF or GF complaining to the athletic staff about their significant other’s playing time. Which is not allowed per policy. The crowing jewel of that conversation being the repartee of “I am 20-something years old!” and the reply, “I don’t know what to tell you, bud. Maybe you can adopt her.” Speaking of jewels…

I almost had an eye gouged out by Jewels! You'd think one would be safe from eye-gouging, at least at the Semi Weekly Meeting of the Newmentia Lunch Time Think Tank. The seating arrangement around our hexagonal feeding trough was upset because The One Who Does No Duty decided to show up and do duty. Which meant an extra body at the table, and the shiftage of other Think Tankers. Which put me right next to Jewels, without a buffer chair between us. Sweet Gummi Mary! If you tied that woman’s hands behind her back, she would be rendered mute. Which would be a shame, because then we would never have learned that a former BF had ended up incarcerated for attempted murder.

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, of course, is an optimist. “At least he only ATTEMPTED it!”

A fellow Special optimist said, “Yeah. I don’t know what you’re complaining about…YOU’RE still alive!”

I must admit, after further thought during my plan time, I pondered whether ‘tis better to only attempt murder and be classified as one who never follows through…or to make sure you are one who accomplishes what he puts his mind to.

Not that I wish to see Jewels harmed, of course. But if something happens, I would rather SEE it than only be able to hear it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Every Which Way Is Loose

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has hand-me-down furniture in her classroom.

There was a time when she couldn't even get that, being designated as a special teacher. One who worked with at-risk youth. As if she and they were not as deserving as regular pupils and teachers. Sad but true. Even when I was asked to give up the at-risk youth (who I had been asked to take on to begin with) it took several years to regain status as a core class teacher. Which still left me at the bottom of the pile.

My desk was a cast-off when a HOME EC teacher got a new one. Not that she was not as deserving as a regular teacher, heh, heh! I also used to have her old rolly chair, but the summer-work-program youth used it for races down the ramp to the library, and broke off a wheel. Oh, nobody told me about it. I found out when I went to move it back to where my furniture should have gone during those first pre-school-year days of workshops. Good thing it wasn't in the right place, just waiting for me to plop down in it! Anyhoo...I moved it, and the whole wheel and metal connector thingy fell off. I tried to imagine the youth setting the trap. Maybe he went on to work at a museum, and knows something about King Tut's broken fake beard thingy that was glued back on.

Anyhoo...I now have two rolly chairs. That's because I guess they figure two crappy rolly chairs are as good as one professional quality rolly chair. These two came from the cast-offs that were in one of the computer labs. Not good enough for students to sit on, but good enough for Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's rumpus. Thing is, these rolly chairs were designed to roll on carpet. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has industrial grade tile. You don't know how many times she has nearly broken her neck on those rollies.

The wheels don't turn when I go to roll forward or sideways. They scoot. And no matter how many times I stand up, kick that starfish-looking-base for the wheels around, and try to make them roll forward and scoot doesn't work.

Every time I go to sit down on that rolly chair, it rolls away from me like a paraplegic bat in a mini wheelchair with greased wheels out of not-heaven! Even when I hold the side and sit down, it shoots backwards and into the wall like I was catching a cannon ball with my gut.

I don't have a solution. But at least the window is there, and I don't slam my head into the wall, but only suffer whiplash several times per day. For only 75 more days.

Monday, January 25, 2016

In The Winter An Old Man's Fancy Heavily Turns To Thoughts Of Trusses

We are one-third of the way through winter, and Farmer H can barely still his beating heart. I came home to find his new love sprawled on the ground out behind the garage. For SHAME! All splayed out, leaving nothing to the imagination. In plain view of the road, for all the neighbors to see. I'll bet their tongues are sore from wagging. Yet Farmer H's latest infatuation bared herself to the elements and prying eyes. Bare as the skeletal timbers of an unshingled roof!

That's because she IS the skeletal timbers of an unshingled roof.

Farmer H's people, you see, work on their own timetable. Dropping in to throw metal in the back of an unmarked truck. Tossing trusses to and fro. Leaving bald patches in the thawing front acreage from spinning tires. And leaving MY MOM'S INHERITED CEDAR CHEST IN THE MIDDLE OF THE GARAGE! Good thing they left the light on for me.

Yeah. The nerve of that Ragtag Gaggle of Roofermen! I suppose they think electricity pays for itself. And that the purpose of a garage is to pile a long cedar chest, two large Rubbermaid tubs of Christmas decorations, and a bag of doghouse cedar chips in the middle of. Wait a minute! Maybe I need to inspect that cedar chest. What if that Ragtag Gaggle of Roofermen decided to make their own chips? And that pile of rectangular garage gold was right in the space where my precious new Acadia belongs. Except Farmer H and The Pony have her out today. More on that another time, another place.

Good thing Farmer H is not present. He would be running his hands over his pale mistress like The Old Man in A Christmas Story running his hands over his Major Award, the leg lamp, that arrived in a straw-stuffed wooden box marked Frah Jee Lay.

I hesitated before posting a picture of Farmer H's hussy. I hope you had the good sense to shoo the children out of the room.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

I Sincerely Don't Have The Stomach For It

Hey! Remember three days ago, when I had that little odor problem from Farmer H's pile of tighty-whities beside the bathroom vanity? That Everest-esque dirty-snow-capped and dirty-snow-sided peak, awaiting Farmer H's urge to launder it?

Well, let the record show that Farmer H DID wash this geographical master-bathroom feature on Friday night! But that's not the news here. Just a supporting fact.

Perhaps you remember (I'm saving you all from Alzheimer's, you know, by keeping your minds active like that little scraggly squirrel forever chasing that acorn in the Ice Age movies) how Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is kind of like a princess who can feel a pea under twenty mattresses and twenty feather beds. Or in this case, a pea under her heel and the fabric of one Doc Ortho black crew sock.

It really doesn't pay to be royalty when these peas are involved. Except in this case at 2:00 a.m. Saturday. Not meaning that it pays. Laws, NO! M-O-O-N! That spells it still doesn't pay to feel a pea under your heel and the fabric of one Doc Ortho black crew sock. The EXCEPT means that it wasn't a pea!

I strode past the kitchen cutting block and made a right turn into the laundry room to take some of my clothes and The Pony's clothes out of the hamper. Our clothes don't stink, you know. Because we are not sweaty-butted workingmen who wallow around in a factory all the live-long day. As soon as I stepped from the linoleum of the kitchen onto the gray ceramic tile of the laundry room, I felt a sharp pain in my right heel.

"What kind of royalty-testing idiot put a dang PEA on the kitchen floor?" I asked myself. Nah. I didn't. I was just funnin' with ya.

I stepped toward the dryer. Then back to the washer. Shook my foot like a cat at a party with drunk people who get a laugh from putting a piece of Scotch tape on all four of a cat's feet. Not that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has ever held the cat, nor done the taping, mind you. I thought perhaps I had stepped on a piece of pea gravel (see what I did there?) tracked in on Farmer H's boots, and that I could step off of it and walk normally again while pointedly leaving that piece of pea gravel there on the laundry room floor as evidence for him to be chastised for. But it was not pea gravel.


Yes. A pill. Not any kind of pea at all. A pill. The kind you put in your mouth each morning just before sipping water from a hopefully-not-stolen red Solo cup on the kitchen counter. But this was NOT Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's pill. It was one of Farmer H's pills. He doesn't even take his meds in the kitchen! He takes them in the master bathroom. Yet here it was. A tiny oval-shaped pill, about the size of a pea, but clear and gel-looking.

I put that pill on the cutting block. No need to step on that and squirt the gel out. You know who would be cleaning that up, and it isn't the red Solo cup thief. I told Farmer H (not at 2:00 a.m., but at 7:00 when it was time for him to get up and take his medicine) that I had found his pill on the kitchen floor.

"Pill? It's not mine. I don't take pills in the kitchen!" As if Mrs. Hillbilly Mom was some kind of not-knowing-what-a-pill-is kind of idiot who plays pinochle every week with the royalty-testing idiots.

"Yes. It's your pill. One of those squishy clear ones."

"On the kitchen floor?"

"Yes! I put it on the cutting block. You can look for yourself."

So Mr. Missouri Poster Boy, he of the show-me attitude, checked it out. He came back to the bedroom with it in his hand.

"Oh. That's my vitamin D. It had to have fallen out of my pile of underwear when I carried them to the laundry room."

And with that, Farmer H took that pill into the master bathroom, picked up his clear plastic cup which I resist stealing every single day, and swallowed it.

 I'm thinking it could be a new one of those Harry Potter Jellybean flavors...

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Sometimes I Wonder If He's Worth It, And Then I Read Back Over 10 Years Of Blog Posts And Realize That He IS!

You know that book, The Giver, that's kind of ambiguous at the end?

There's a story here in Hillmomba called The Taker. And it is not at all ambiguous in the end. In fact, it is downright predictable. At the end of The Taker (at the end of every chapter, too) you can be sure that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is missing something that once was hers, courtesy of Farmer H.

Just this morning, I reached for my red Solo cup to take my medicine. I do that every morning. Same red Solo cup, sitting on the kitchen counter near the wooden paper plate holder that says "Everyday China." My mom gave it to me. Don't be hatin'. No need to use a different red Solo cup every day. It's only water. And my own two lips. It's not like I'm Lucy Van Pelt, just kissed by dog lips, and need hot water and disinfectant and iodine to get rid of the dog germs. No sirree, Bob! It's not like I go around chewing on my sweet, sweet Juno's nose every morning before meds. The same red Solo cup can last for days, weeks, months, years... Unless Farmer H is up to his shenanigans.

So I told him, pointedly, as he reclined in the La-Z-Boy and I foraged for a new red Solo cup in the pantry

"Funny how my red Solo cup is gone. The one I left sitting right here on the kitchen counter. The one I take my medicine with every morning. I don't suppose you'd know anything about that, though, would you? How my red Solo cup could just disappear overnight."

"Oh, sure. I took it."

"Thank you! I knew you did."

"Yeah. Uh huh. Blame everything on me. I took it."

"I know you did. And I wish you'd stop doing that! Just because you're too lazy to walk to the pantry and get your own red Solo cup doesn't mean I should have to walk to the pantry and get a new red Solo cup when I left a perfectly good red Solo cup sitting right here on the kitchen counter, where it DISAPPEARED!"

The thing is, Farmer H did not give a true confession, or even act sorry about it, but instead gave a sarcastic faux confession, even though we BOTH KNOW he's the one who took my red Solo cup. And to rub salt in my festering red Solo cup wound, we are almost out of red Solo cups! Only about five left in the pack in the pantry. AND I was in The Devil's Playground, purveyor of fine red Solo cups, only yesterday!

I wonder if my not-for-young-adults book, The Taker, will be a new classic.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Somehow He Got The Message Later In Life

You know how you try to raise your kids to be honest? Well...unless, perhaps, you're Ron Moody as Fagin with all of his pickin' a pocket or two boys in the 1969 Best Picture musical Oliver! that is. But assuming you're neither Ron Moody nor a real-life Fagin, you try to teach your children right from wrong. Even when shopping at The Devil's Playground.

Today The Pony said he was tempted to get a donut out of The Devil's bakery case.

"Okay. You mean to eat when we get to the car?"

"Uh huh."

"I just wanted to make sure. You know. Because we have to pay for it up front with everything else."

"Yeah. I know. Dad and I do that when he does the shopping." (TWICE, let the record show.)

So we got up front, rather than dash to the gaming room with his two dollars, The Pony stood in front of the cart and "helped" me put things on the conveyor. Until I told him to stop! Because he messed up my system of boxes together, and cold together, and heavy, and soft, and hot deli.

I assumed The Pony was going to eat his donut while gaming. We were headed to Terrible Clips right after the shopping, so I didn't think he'd have time to eat it in T-Hoe. Especially if he didn't shame me into not driving up the one-way exit into the Terrible Clips parking lot.

"There. She rang it up. Are you taking your donut?"


Yet The Pony stood at the end of the cart during bagging.

"You can go play your games."


Huh. I parked the paid-for cart beside him while he was game-shooting and made a trip to the bathroom. It doesn't pay to make extra stops after taking the morning medicine. When I came out, The Pony was still shooting.

"I'm going out."

He caught up to me before I was out the exit door. Which made people trying to enter there sigh and frown. The Pony was still carrying that donut.

"I thought you were going to eat that."

"No. Not until the car. I have a dollar left, too, because I didn't have time to play it."

"I guess not, with only one hand to shoot with. All I meant about eating that donut in the store was that it's like people eating grapes and paying for less when they get to the front. You can't do that."

"I KNOW! But when I was little, and we used to stop by Casey's for donuts? I always tried to eat one of mine in line. All the time I was thinking, 'Then we'll only have to pay for ONE.' I thought that's how it worked."

Sweet Gummi Mary! You'd think we were paupers!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

It Was Like Rusty's Feet Were Propped Beside My Headrest In The Family Truckster As I Drove The Tribe Cross-Country

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom was questioning her own personal hygiene this morning. And after stepping out of the shower, too. Sure, by morning we're talking about 11:45 a.m. But that's still morning, technically.

Time flies when you're not at work. And at 11:45 on a regular day, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom would have already eaten lunch, and would be well on her way to frittering away the second half of her plan period. That hour is useless anyway, what with it falling over the lunch shifts, with nobody available for consultation, and Mrs. HM being persona non grata if she tries to run copies during that time, with her rumpus to the table of eaters in the teacher workroom. Even more so if a Kyocera jams, and she has to bend over.

Anyhoo...there she was, in her own master bathroom (because she's a MASTER teacher, heh, heh), having toweled off, combed out her coiffure, applied antiperspirant (never let 'em smell you sweat), dressed in her comfortable clothes, and in the midst of wiping the tile floor with her damp towel before tossing in a load of laundry...when she caught a whiff.

"Whoo! Something stinks. Is that ME? Do I stink? I just had a shower! How could I smell bad already? I scrubbed. With soap! What in the--"

And then she saw it. Over her left shoulder. The pile of tighty whities Farmer H collects in a Jenga-like tower rising from the white plastic lid of a clothes hamper. The business end of which was sitting in the bedroom full of the clean clothes from the LAST time Farmer H decided to do his laundry. Laundry he does because he refused to put his dirties in a clothes hamper all those many years ago when he and Mrs. HM were still in the honeymoon phase. An era in which she put her foot down and said, "If you want your clothes washed, you will put them in the hamper in the bathroom, and not leave them on the floor of the bedroom for me to pick up." Guess Farmer H showed HER, huh? Now in his 26th year of self-launder.

So good to know that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom herself was not less than fresh.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom And Her Life Partner Farmer H Navigate The Choppy Waters Of Technology

This afternoon, I made a trip to town to put yesterday's insurance check in the bank. What? Did you think I risked life and limb just to procure a 44 oz. Diet Coke? No sirree, Bob! Mrs. Hillbilly Mom was only replenishing the coffers for the payment to be made to the roofers.

The roads here in Outer Hillmomba were treacherous, even at 1:00. The sun was out for some melting, but not on our gravel or the blacktop county road. The lettered highway was clear, but not so all side streets. Farmer H had sent me a text this morning upon his arrival at work. He said the roads were terrible, and that his car, formerly my mom's Trailblazer, was useless. Au contraire. I replied that perhaps he was driving on ICE, a road coating upon which no vehicle is trusty. He agreed, having tried to put his auto in all-wheel drive and then 4WD Low. I, too encountered some slippery patches in trusty T-Hoe, even in 4WD.

On the way back from the bank, we stopped at a Save A Lot for The Pony to run in for some nacho chips. Of course he got the wrong kind, a fact which does not surprise me, but which I should have discovered the moment he put the bag in the car, and not upon unbagging them at home for my lunch. He had picked up the thick, salted kind, of which I already have two unopened bags in the pantry, and not the thin, crisp, unsalted restaurant kind from which I like to make super nachos. My fault, still, for not inspecting his purchase before we left the parking lot.

The reason for my distraction was Farmer H. The Pony had sent him a text to report the deposit of the insurance check, and the immediate availability of the funds. Farmer H replied that he would contact the roofer, who had given him a receipt already for PAID IN FULL, because the insurance would not issue the roof money without proof that we had paid for the roof. Ain't that a sticky wicket? If people need insurance money to pay for a new roof, why do they have to pay for the new roof before they can get the insurance money? Thank the Gummi Mary, Farmer H has a stable of tradesmen who are willing to do things his way.

Farmer H also gave me a bit of unfortunate news about my cousin who bought Mom's house. He elaborated: I sent you an email.

I checked my phone. No email from Farmer H. We went back and forth, me telling him that I did not get it. He telling me that he sent it.

"Apparently not. I suppose somebody else got my cousin's confidential information."

"No. I sent it to your email."

I made him verify the email address. Except for having a capital letter at the beginning, and a space in the middle, it was the same.

"No space. No capital."

"I didn't put one. That's just my bad texting."

"Well, I didn't get the email."

"Oh. It's sent to home."

"The email doesn't know if it's going home or to my phone. It's the same account. That one comes in on my phone, too."

Farmer H declared that he had to get back to work. And I had to get to Domino's to pick up pizza for The Pony, who has been off his feed since Friday, when he came down with a sore throat and cough.

Once we got home, I sat down at my New Delly and saw that Farmer H had indeed sent me an email at 1:30. Once I opened it, that darn thing popped up on my phone and showed 'read.' I guess the email knew it was being sent home all along.

You can be sure I am not going to tell Farmer H that fact.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Better Than A Leg Lamp Packed In Straw Delivered In A Wooden Crate Marked Frah-Jee-Lay

Yep. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has done it again. Like a whupped wolf crawling back to the pack leader, like a beaten Shani Wallis as barmaid Nancy crawling back to Oliver Reed as Bill Sikes in the 1969 Best Picture musical Oliver!, Mrs. HM has come crawling back to those ne'er-do-well meteorologists who hold her heart and mind hostage through the winter.

Snow? A slight chance of, perhaps? Or a ground-slathering that will result in Newmentia's first snow day of the 2015-16 school year? Don't get the pump primed and then spout a single droplet on Mrs. HM.

REEEEE! Hold the presses! Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is now the proud recipient of her very own SNOW DAY!!!

I guess it took a near-shaming for the ne'er-do-wells to get it right this time, so the powers that be could deliver Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's much-anticipated award.

But listen to THIS! Newmentia let out early today! It's TRUE! I was carefully checking the radar every five minutes (don't you worry about those pupils--they were plenty busy with an assignment) and saw a band of precipitation approach and then cover most of Hillmomba. Still, nothing was falling outside my window. So I checked other sources, and saw that snow was due to arrive in 64 minutes. 63. 62. Okay. So maybe I checked a little more often than every five minutes.

AND THEN...I saw that a couple of districts to Newmentia's west had already declared early dismissal! Some as early as 11:30! And here it was, already 10:45, and nearing lunch time. Still, I wasn't concerned. After all, my main sources of forecasts said the snow wouldn't start in Hillmomba until at least 4:00.

So there we were, convening the Semi Weekly Meeting of the Newmentia Lunch Time Think Tank, not even a quorum present yet, when our key support maven, Flaming Red, waltzed into the cafeteria and told us, not even in a hushed tone, that we would be dismissing at 1:00, by cracky! Then she proceeded into the serving line area, and shouted at the top of her lungs (which is to say her normal tone) "Hey, girls! We're leaving at 1:00!"

Now you might assume that the pupils were all ears, seeing Flaming Red waltzing into lunch where Flaming Red usually does not waltz, unless she has envelopes perhaps pertaining to immunizations to send home. But no. These little log bumps were so busy texting each other across the table that they did not seem to notice. A hush did not fall over that crowd. Nor were there murmurs of suspicion. Everything continued as usual.

Until...Flaming Red returned to her office, picked up her telephone receiver like the trucker Rubber Ducky CB-ing, "Breaker 1-9," and proceeded to announce to the entire student body our little secret. Well. A rousing round of cheering broke out. A little bit of joy was sufficient. We did not need the prolonged frenzy that seemed about to engulf the entire lunch 20 minutes.

The Woodsman rolled his eyes. "I wish she could have waited until after our lunch shift was over."

"Listen to them," said Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. "They have no idea that WE are much more excited than they are."

And so ends Newmentia's first weather-related early-out of the season, and begins the eve of the first snow day.

Monday, January 18, 2016

The Man Who Typed Wolf

Farmer H nearly scared me out of my skin this afternoon. That man needs to think before he texts.

There I was, sitting at my New Delly in my dark basement lair, when my cell phone buzzed. That means a text. So I turn it on, and see "Dad" because the #1 son set up my phone, and of course not my husband's name comes up for his number, but only "Dad." And there on the main screen, at the bottom, right below "Dad" was the tail-end of the text. So all I could read was


Oh, dear. That set my heart to thumping. NO! What had happened? Was it one of Farmer H's workmates? Somebody from our enclave? A relative on Farmer H's side of the family? What terrible fate could have befallen them? The cold? Did somebody get locked out in this single-digit weather? Has somebody been ill? What could have happened? It had to be someone connected to Farmer H, or I would have been notified as well.

With shaking hands, I opened up the message:

"I need u to teach me how to convert a decimal to a fraction tonight I have no idea brain dead I guess"

Well. Thank the Gummi Mary! It was only Farmer H who was brain dead.

Not that I could tell a difference.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Never A Plan With That One

You know how you look forward to Fridays? And especially to Friday nights, when you have the whole weekend ahead of you, and in this most recent case, a THREE-DAY (!) weekend ahead of you, not a care in the world. A Friday night to let your hair down, relax, slip into your comfortable sweatpants with the hole at the hip, and your red Crocs, and your pinstriped oxford shirt with several stains upon the front. Perhaps order in some Chinese picked up by Farmer H. Ah, yes. Friday night! Could there be anything better to look forward to?

Why yes there could! A short visit from the #1 son on Saturday morning, to provide The Pony with his new hand-me-down phone, thus restoring The Pony's internet capabilities. So Mrs. Hillbilly Mom and The Pony were both stoked for the start of the long weekend. We were delayed a bit at Newmentia, because Mrs. HM had put in the wrong assignment title in preparation for Tuesday's work. But after that, we were making an early getaway, and stopping by Save A Lot briefly to pick up some hamburger. Save A Lot has their own butcher, and their hamburger is the best around! Forget that watery tasteless Devil's Playground hamburger. Save A Lot's hamburger is just right. Moist and tasty, drawing rave reviews in chili, soup, meatloaf, and grilled burgers. My mom used to quiz me on how I provided her with such tasty leftovers. It's all in the hamburger. And now I was picking up some hamburger to brew up a pot of chili on Saturday morning, to give #1 a couple of soup containers full of chili to take back with him. He loves my chili.

Yes, we had been workin' for the weekend. But now I was about to go off the deep end.

As I sat at my desk deleting and adding assignment titles in the gradebook program, my cell phone rang. I knew it had to be Farmer H or the #1 son, because they both call at absolutely the most inconvenient moments. That, and they're the only two people who ever call me.

"Mom? I'm in The Previous Population Center of the United States, on the way home. I'm switching out the phones today."

"WHAT? We did not expect you until tomorrow morning! We haven't even left school yet! And I was going by the store. I was planning to make you some chili! The house is a mess."

"I'll only be there about 10 minutes. I need to be back in College Town by six." Let the record show that College Town is 1:45 away on a good day. And it was already 3:20, with #1 an hour still from the Mansion.

"The phone is in a pile of stuff on the kitchen counter. I guess you can find it. Do you think you can get everything done in 10 minutes?" Let the record show that #1 had mistakenly had his NEW phone FedExed to the Manion, and had called the evening it arrived blaming ME because he didn't think to change the shipping address when he used my credit card to order HIMSELF a NEW phone so The Pony could get his hand-me-down. "Like I said, we really weren't expecting you. So don't think the house is going to be picked up. It's the end of the week, and I've been working."

"I'll find it. I'll probably be gone by the time you get home."

"I'm just saying...we were not expecting you. So the house won't be up to your standards."

"Then you're really not going to be happy to hear that Bud is with me."


#1 either lost service, or he hung up on me, because there was no further response.

I am sorry, Bud, that you were probably listening to my end of the conversation on #1's fancy phone-plays-out-the-car-radio system. I bear you no ill will, Bud. In fact, I find myself liking you better than #1, because you are polite, witty, and seem to share my sense of sensibility. Sure, you are probably just Eddie-Haskelling me...but you're a smooth operator, Bud. However...Mrs. HM does not like visitors in her house, especially when she has nobody willing to help, and no time to straighten up the Mansion. It's not you. It's her.

"Pony. You know how you just sent Dad that text on my phone to pick up Chinese? Do you think we ought to text him back so he can get something for #1 and Bud? He's on his way there right now. He says he's only staying 10 minutes."

"Nah. They'll be gone before Dad gets home with the food."

"Yeah. It's always at least 5:30 or 5:45 when Dad picks up Chinese. And #1 said last time that the Chinese he gets in College Town every week with the $6 that Grandma wanted him sent is SO MUCH BETTER than ours."

I decided to go straight home. No need to get the hamburger yet, because no time for the chili. It doesn't take long...but it takes more than 10 minutes.

Of course you know what happened. #1 had trouble getting The Pony's new old phone to utilize the unlimited internet on our plan. He fired up my Shiba in the front window and announced he would be using up 10% of MY internet remaining until the end of the month. Then Farmer H came up the driveway at 4:45 bearing Chinese. Which The Pony promptly ran to the kitchen to dish up while I was sitting in the La-Z-Boy entertaining Bud.

"Oh. Since you had only planned on being here for 10 minutes, we did not order you the Chinese we had planned on for supper."

"WHAT? I LOVE that Chinese!"

" can have what I ordered, but I don't think you like Hunan pork."

"Pony! Can I have some of your sweet & sour chicken?"


"Bud! Come on, let's get some chicken." And sauce. And then the pint of fried rice. Traipsing through the messy kitchen.

"I had planned to make you some chili to take back with you."

"Then get in the kitchen, woman, and get to making chili!"

"Um. I did not go by the store, because you were only going to be here 10 minutes. Now you've been here an hour and 15 minutes. I could have made chili. But you're supposed to be back in College Town in a half hour."

"Oh, I don't HAVE to be back. I had just planned on being back."

"Here. Here's some gas money for coming home to make sure The Pony had his internet."

"Good. Because I need it. Whoa! Forty? I thought it was only twenty!"

"Then give one back."

"No. That's okay. Hey, Bud. Here's a fortune cookie. Ooh! Listen to mine: 'You will come into some money.' Says the forty dollars in my pocket!"

"There's a container of Chex Mix left in that box on the kitchen table. You can take that back with you."

"No. You should have offered it before I was full of sweet and sour chicken. Anyway, I think we're done now."

"Well...maybe BUD would like to take it." Let the record show that Bud is an RA, trapped in the dorm, and that such sadness passed across Bud's face when #1 refused the Chex Mix that I HAD to offer it to him.

"Thank you! Yes, I'll take it." Said Bud appreciatively, as he traipsed back through the messy kitchen and popped the top and started munching.

#1 loaded up his laptop, grabbed his new phone, and hit the road. A whirlwind visit that only delayed Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's comfortable clothes and Chinese supper by an hour and 30 minutes. And used up 20% of her remaining internet for the month.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

What's A Worried Hillbilly Mom To Do?

I am worried about my sweet, sweet Juno since the sudden disappearance of her four-legged frenemy, poor dumb Ann.

Sure, my sweet, sweet Juno was crotchety with Ann when they both crowded around the side porch for pats and cat kibble. That was just her stomach talkin'. From her meager beginnings as a dumped puppy that my mom starved for two days hoping she would go away. Even as a tiny scrap of caninity, my sweet, sweet Juno growled and showed her teeth when scarfing down her half a can of puppy chicken from the paper plate set on the back porch by the kitchen door. Ann and our other dogs Grizzly and Tank the beagle crowded around, eager to lick what was left. Which was NOTHING.

Now my sweet, sweet Juno is timid. Sure, she still yaps and frolics when Farmer H starts up the Gator. But she has no one to shoulder out of the way to run closest to the green machine. She does not bark her fool head off every morning. I fear that the neighbor's demon poodle may have his way with her. I imagine that Juno runs into her house and growls when dogs enter the yard now.

Just this afternoon, when I tossed some leftover Stovetop stuffing and corn muffins to the yard chickens, Juno stayed on the porch at my heels. She did not jump off and try to eat those snacks before the chickens. I took her around to her food pan on the back porch and poured out the remains of the beans and ham. She was excited at first, as I scraped all the meaty goodness off the sides. Until the cat came to her pan.

That tan-striped cat is a demon, I swear. I have never liked him much. Now that he has the fighting eye injury, he looks like a 1950s New York tough with a chip on his shoulder. He got up under my feet before I was even done scraping, lapping at those beans, dangerously close to a large hunk of ham and sinew that had fallen off the bone I gave Juno earlier in the week. Juno took a step toward the pan, a low growl rumbling from her chest area. That darn cat HISSED at her! At Juno's own food pan! I wanted to thump him on the head with the scraping spoon, but I didn't know what disease I might pick up from his gouged eye. Which is open now, by the way. But the fur is gone all around it. Instead, I said, sternly, in teacher mode, "Here now! None of that!" And my sweet, sweet Juno turned tail and ran! She thought I was scolding HER.

It took a lot of coaxing to draw her back. She lowered herself onto her stretched-out front legs, in a submissive pose, and crept forward a tiny bit, whining anxiously. I had to scoop that cat away with my foot. He jumped up on the porch rail with his crony, the female gray calico with a crumpled ear. They are a band of toughs, I tell you, those mailbox cats. So...after much making-over, my sweet, sweet Juno came to lick at the beans that had spilled on the porch boards. I kept pointing to the lump of ham in the pan. I'll be ding dang donged if those cats were going to get the meat!

While I was standing guard over my sweet, sweet Juno, that darn tan cat leaned off the rail, reaching for me with his right paw, claws extended! I know what he was up to. In years past, I used to walk around and around the Mansion porch for exercise. I would reach out and pet the cats sitting in various locations along the rail. Our best cat, Genius, now deceased of old age, was the best. He would arch his back and walk under my hand. So as I passed, I could smooth him from head to the tip of his yellow-striped tail. But this one would reach out, grab my hand, and try to BITE me! I do not think it was a love bite. Judging from the look in his eye. So now, I leaned over as far away as I could get, hoping he would fall off the rail onto the porch and scamper away in embarrassment. But no. He almost overbalanced, and drew back. Those two watched Juno eating at her own pan. Then she grabbed the hunk of ham and took off for her house.

I am worried about my sweet, sweet Juno. Spring needs to spring, so we can commence with the puppy-gettin'.

Friday, January 15, 2016

But Mrs. Hillbilly Mom STILL Got Two Christmas Cards And One Gift!

One of the signs of the impending end of civilization manifested yesterday in Mrs. Hillbilly Mom’s classroom. Make that two.

I was passing back papers as soon as the bell rang. That’s my MO. I have them sorted in the order of my seating chart, and carry them to the hall as I supervise runners and PDAers, then pass them out when the bell rings and I enter the classroom. That gives the pupils something to do during the 30 seconds that I need to take attendance, then we go over the answers before moving on.

I handed a stack of seven papers to a lad. I do it every single day. He knows he’s the one who starts the passing chain. Seven papers. Not a stack of 20 reams. Seven papers. Not too heavy. Laddy had his trapper/keeper on top of his desk. He was fiddling with something, perhaps his pencil, and reached as I was laying them on the trapper. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom waits for no pencil. Her schedule must be maintained. In the process of the handoff, the stack of papers slipped. Three of them fell to the floor right beside Laddy’s desk.

Let the record show that in years past, pupils were eager to help. Eager to nab any fallen educational accouterments. Like a toy poodle on a dropped chocolate-covered peanut. Like Red-Bull-fortified ball boys at Wimbledon. Center Court. If Mrs. Hillbilly Mom so much as knocked a paperclip off her desk, four or five of her pupils were after it like Super Bowl players on a fumble.

More recently, pupils do not respond. Sure, I could ask somebody to pick it up. Please. And they would. But not spontaneously, for the joy of helping. You’d think they were all mini Ponies, not caring one whit about helping others. And even The Pony would pick up something for a teacher! Or any adult. These current pupils knock a pencil off their desk, and look to Mrs. Hillbilly Mom as she walks by, as if expecting HER to pick up the pencil for THEM!

Let the record further show that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom HAS picked up items for pupils. But she prefers not to. First of all, she does not want to expose pupils seated nearby to a close-up view of her ample buttocks. Nor does she want to give a peep show down her shirt. Because unlike The Pony, Mrs. HM does not top-button the collar of her shirt like she’s trying to keep hazardous material out. And…Mrs. HM, a Rubenesque specimen, only clothed, is not particularly fond of bending over.

It’s not just the picking-up portion of common faculty/pupil etiquette that has gone the way of the dodo bird. It is customary, whence returning from an absence, for the pupil to get a slip from the office to present to each teacher for initialing. That way, we know if the absence was excused, and whether to give makeup work. It is customary for a student to bring that slip to the desk at the beginning of the class period, have it signed, and receive the work. Routine, you know. Nowadays, a student will wave that absentee slip like a NASCAR finish line flag as the teacher walks past on the way to her desk. Sometimes, I will stop and sign. But that means using the pupil’s pencil, no doubt laden with the prevalent virus at the time. The pupil is still expected to come to the desk for the work. But no. Only yesterday, a lass remained at her desk. I went to the back corner of the room to my control center, fished her paper out of the absent stack, and started all the way back to the opposite corner to deliver it.

“I’ll meet you halfway,” Lassie said. As if SHE was doing ME a favor!

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom’s retirement looms on the horizon.

It’s the end of the school as we know it. And I feel fine.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

So Popular An Attraction, It's Almost Impossible To Get A Seat

Bathroom time is at a premium in Newmentia. A one-seater for female faculty is not facility-using-friendly for the 11 faculty and support staff who must share it at this end of the hall. Not to mention the others from Western Newmentia who happen to be running copies and decide to partake of our privy. There are four minutes between classes. Not enough time for 11+ womenfolks to do their business. Just two days ago, Italian Chandelier came off the throne, threw open the door, saw us waiting, and said, “At the Newmentia faculty women’s restroom, you’re always third in line.” Yeah. On a good day.

Yesterday was not a good day. I hoofed it up the hall, hoping to grab some prime water-closet real estate, only to find Sweet Alabama Beige standing in front of my desired destination, her hand on the door handle. She was having a discussion with The Professor.

[Pardon me while we stop to trash The Professor, the only teacher whom, in a variety of courses, has ever stymied my boys. They have never been able to earn an A. Oh, the occasional A- has slipped through, probably an oversight on The Professor’s part. And it IS true that Newmentia has an elevated 11-point grading scale, with a 93% being necessary for an A-, and a 97% for an A. But still. If a Commended National Merit Scholar and a National Merit Scholar Semifinalist (so far) cannot earn an A, who in this Newsweek Top 500 School can? It seems to me that an A must at least be attainable. Faculty who dish out too many Fs are encouraged to review their methods and curriculum. So, too, should those whose educational currency is the incredible unattainable A.]

Anyhoo, now that I’m refreshed from my soap box sojourn…I was standing outside the faculty workroom door, looking in at the not-quite-animated discussion. Knowing that Sweet Alabama Beige (bless her heart!) is not one to end conversations succinctly, but is wont to explore all options before putting the brakes on her vocabularic vehicle, I abandoned all hope before I entered there. Not gonna happen. No way was Sweet Alabama Beige going put that confab to bed and take care of her business within four minutes. AND there was the matter of The Professor. Merely chatting, or waiting for a turn? Nobody knows.

That is one of the perks of being retired, I suppose. Using your own bathroom whenever the urge strikes, and not standing in line, or having somebody thumping on the door the minute you descend onto the throne.

Have you heard? I will be sitting blissfully on my own toilet in a mere FOUR MONTHS!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Mrs. HM Would Probably Make An Exemplary Undercover Agent

Newmentia was having a meeting yesterday after hours. A meeting for a select few faculty involved with teaching the upperclassmen, to determine ways to provide motivation and preparation to the junior class, which will be taking the state-required A-C-T test in April. The meeting date had been set last week at our First Monday meeting.

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom rushed through her final bell tasks. Recorded scores from the assignments she had just graded. Grabbed some paper out of her printer tray for note-taking. Snatched up her brainstormed ideas that were required for the meeting. Looked through her desk drawer for the materials she had used last year to prepare last year’s testees (heh, heh, I said TESTEES!). Then off she went, making a quick stop by the faculty women’s restroom, and hoping she would not be the last one to arrive.

Upon entering the library, Mrs. HM encountered a colleague not summoned to the A-C-T meeting, carrying out a stack of boxes. Also the librarian. It was her lair, after all. As she rounded the corner of the counter, Mrs. HM saw that she was not the last one to arrive. Out of the seven teachers summoned, she was the FIRST to arrive.

“Oh, I’m glad to see I’m not late!” Mrs. HM said to Lib.

“For what?”

“The meeting. The meeting for A-C-T ideas.”

“Oh. That meeting was canceled.” Lib knows a lot for being shut away in her own peaceful lair all day.

“Canceled? Nobody told me it was canceled. I didn’t get an email. Or a call. Nobody said anything to me. Just at lunch, I asked where we were meeting, and was told the library.”

“Well, the man in charge was called away for a family matter. Sweet Alabama Beige said she was letting everybody know.”

“Oh. I guess she meant everybody but me.”

That’s right. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is an afterthought. A tagalong. Not even a fifth wheel, but one of those undersized donut spares in the bottom of the trunk. No A-C-T love for Mrs. HM. She’s out of the loop. Not a card-carrying member of the A-C-T club. And after all she does for Newmentia!

They shall rue the day Mrs. Hillbilly Mom retires. She will be sorely missed.

IF anybody notices that she’s gone.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Newmentia Lunch Time Think Tank Strolls Down The Boulevard Of Broken Bones

Discussion at the Semi Weekly Meeting of the Newmentia Lunch Time Think Tank turned to maimed children last week. Maimed children of the faculty. It all started when a kid walked by and somebody said she was getting around quite well, what with having a vestigial organ removed over the Christmas break.

“Yeah. She had been complaining for a week that her stomach was hurting. Then she had to have emergency surgery. Her dad had told her to suck it up.”

“Well, you just never know with kids. My sister thought her toddler was just wanting to climb in bed with them every night. The kid came in saying her arm hurt. ‘Oh, you’ll be fine in the morning. Let’s go back to your crib.’ Come to find out the next day, she had fallen while climbing out of her crib, and broke her collar bone.” Jewels was first to jump into the discussion.

“When my son was little, I put him down for a nap when he had a broken arm. I thought he was just being cranky.” Very Special still had three other sons. So I guess one was expendable.

“We did the same thing. My son broke his wrist, and my husband said, ‘If it’s broken, it will still be broken tomorrow. Let’s wait and see how it feels in a day or two.’” Poster Boarder is unflappable.

“I think I told you about my boy. He said he thought his arm was broke. He was just in elementary. We had tickets to the Cardinals game that night. I said, ‘We can go to the ER, or we can go to the game. There’s not time to do both.' Usually, you can hand a kid a bat, and tell him to hold it with his arm straight out. If it’s broke, they can’t do it. My boy couldn’t do it. But he said, ‘Let’s go to the game.’ The next day, I took him to the ER, and it was broke.’” Sports Fan let the kid decide.

“Wow. Now I don’t feel so bad about the first time The Pony broke his elbow, running down the hall here after school. I was going to the dentist, and I had already rescheduled the appointment twice. The Pony was crying that it hurt, so I told him we’d see how it felt after my appointment. That appointment was 40 minutes away. My Mom drove us up there. She gave The Pony a can of Diet Coke out of her cooler to hold on his arm, while it was laying on the armrest. Genius had a fit because he wanted to DRINK the Diet Coke. We called Farmer H to meet us after the appointment, and he took The Pony to the ER. Where X-rays showed that he had broken the end off his ulna, and the fragment was laying alongside the rest of the ulna, with a gap where that piece should have been. So I’m a model mom, really, for getting her offspring to the ER within four or five hours of his maiming.”

I think that deserves a plaque. I can add my other titles as well. Model Mom. Master Teacher. Almost a Mother Teresa.