Friday, September 30, 2016

Maybe We Can Set Up A Psychic's Shed In Shackytown

There's an invisible bond between mothers and their children. At least around this ol' Mansion.

Every Monday, I mail a letter to the #1 son, and a letter to The Pony. #1 gets his on Wednesday. The Pony's usually comes on Thursday. The best I can tell. The Pony is not exactly one to rush to the mailbox and look for it. Sometimes he remembers. Sometimes I have to ask him if he got it. (Shh...don't tell anyone, but I tuck some money in there for his beloved Papa John's Pizza.) The Pony is a placid critter, and ambles through life getting around to things when he gets around to them.

#1 is a go-getter. He goes and gets the mail when he gets to his rented house full of computer brainiacs. Their mailbox is out on the curb at the end of their short driveway on the end of the cul-de-sac. If one of his roomies beats him to it, he finds it on the kitchen table. #1 might be more concerned with the mail because the house and utilities are in his name, and he's trying to build a good credit score. The fact that I put two lottery tickets and six dollars into his envelope might also have something to do with it.

Wednesday evening, in a short texting session with The Pony, I reminded him that he should have a letter the next day. I didn't bother him then, but today, two days later, I thought I would check. Just in case he forgot.

I left my lair and took a dog-bopped walk up the driveway twice. Then I went over by the BARn. Then came back and sat on the front porch pew. I didn't have my glasses, so I held my phone out at the end of my arm and sent a simple sentence:

"Did you get your letter?"

I had no sooner laid the phone down on the porch pew to pull my sweatpants legs up to my knees to keep Juno's burrs off of them than my phone chimed and vibrated. Meaning an incoming text. That was pretty quick for The Pony. He sometimes takes five or ten minutes to answer. And not because the text comes a long way from Oklahoma!

I picked up the phone and saw,

I read the letter!
I'm thinking of applying for the Honors at Oxford session this summer.

That was funny. It came in above the line I had just sent. Wait a minute! I hadn't hit the send arrow! My sentence was still sitting there waiting for more, or to be sent. WTNH? (What The Not Heaven?) I typed more, and hit the send arrow:

"Did you get your letter? do a bunch of people go? With a sponsor?
"Seriously. Did you answer about my letter before I sent it, or did it go through?"

And The Pony sent back, "I just read the letter!"

Got a little bit of psychic in us, it seems.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

A Cluster-Fraught Day Of Pure Even-Stevenness

I knew it would catch up to me. I DID! Even Steven never just drops $155 worth of winning scratch-off tickets in your lap the week before you're taking your 21-year-old son to the casino. There's a price to be paid for unearned income. A price levied in a day fraught with obstacles.

Today I whipped up a treat for the #1 son to take back to his college house on Saturday. Nothing elaborate, but it DID involve the oven for 22-25 minutes, and a sink of dishes. I picked up a bit of the Farmer H hoard in the kitchen. Surely you don't think Mrs. Hillbilly Mom would be a part of the clutter, do you? Just because the kitchen is HER domain doesn't make her responsible for every item that lingers there.

Like that Christmas gift bag that loitered under the right (as in direction, not as in a choice) window of the three big curved windows of the section that sticks out where the kitchen table resides. I know it's September. Twenty-ninth. But it wasn't MY gift. Under the red, green, and white tissue paper, I found treats meant for The Pony. I think he got this at school, from his secret pal right before Christmas. Inside was an 8-pack of tiny cans of Sprite. Little thin ones, not the squatty kind you might get on a hospital tray. One was missing. There were two bags of Haribo gummi bears, still squishy, which I set aside for a future care package. A bag of Cheetos (crunchy) that expired in February, which I threw away (don't need the chickens laying orange eggs), along with a can of regular Pringles (didn't bother to check the date).

Not that I got all the mess undone. That's just to show you why I was considerably late for my 44 oz Diet Coke today. In fact, it was after 1:00 when I left for town. I hoped to be back by 2:00 to enjoy my magical elixir alongside my lunch, which was only a TV dinner, but fast at 6:00 minutes. You know what? If Mrs. HM had hoped in one hand, don't need to know what with the other hand...I guaran-darn-tee you that her HOPE hand would NOT have filled up first today.

I stopped for the mail, which was only an insurance statement from Farmer H's most recent shot (THIS WAS NOT A BILL). No weirdo hanging around, but another strange sight that I didn't get a picture of today, so cloudy, but will try tomorrow. As I started T-Hoe to pull out on the blacktop county road at EmBee, a Lowe's delivery panel truck tried to squeeze in before I was out. Not a good omen. How often does Lowe's come out here, anyway? Rarely, unless somebody is getting a new Frig that they will dent the door of and somebody's husband will take a small discount rather than make them bring a new door.

You remember how Mrs. HM plays her hunches? Her Hunch-O-Meter was working overtime today. The whole way to town, I was debating on where to get my 44 oz Diet Coke. The fountain at the gas station chicken store has been dispensing delicious elixir this week. But surely it's ready to weaken. And parking is sometimes hard to find there. But it is at Orb K too! Except this was not lunch time, but 1:15. Something kept pulling me to Orb K. "It's only 83 cents there," the something said. "And you probably don't have your correct change for the gas station chicken store."

Huh. It was like in Animal House, when Pinto had the devil on one shoulder, and an angel on the other, both telling him how to handle his passed-out date. "But Orb K was out of Diet Coke that one time! It ran CLEAR! You don't want that." The other shoulder's occupant argued, "But Orb K is closer. You can cut five minutes at least off your trip if you don't go through the stoplights."

I had pretty much decided that Orb K it would be. It's not like anything was riding on this choice other than time and convenience. No lottery today. Not until after the casino trip. As I rolled past the prison, I decided that if parking was good at Orb K, that was a sign I should go there. Coasting down the hill right before my left turn onto their lot, I saw that Orb K did INDEED have plenty of parking spaces. Even my favorite, right by their sidewalk slanty part for the handicapped, so my knees wouldn't have to step up or down. BUT I KEPT GOING!

"I really have been enjoying the crisp taste of the gas station chicken store's Diet Coke. It was good yesterday. I'll just go there, and be sure." I went through the light. Under the overpass. Through the next light. Waited for my left turn signal at the third. "Oh. There's a red car in my favorite spot. But the driver's door is open! They must be leaving." My light turned and so did I, onto the lot. The red car was still sitting. AND there were two cars next to it, even though I don't park on that hill. AND there was a red pickup hitched to one of those plain white closed-in trailers like you can haul race cars in. Or work equipment. It was at one of the pumps, sticking back into the area where I usually park by the moat that separates the GSCS (gas station chicken store) from Farmer H's pharmacy. AND, as I got over there, I saw that another such rig, identical down to the color of the truck and trailer, was parked along the side by the diesel pump near the air hose and dumpster.

As you can imagine, I was kicking myself (figuratively, because my knees won't bend like that) for ignoring my hunch for Orb K. I had actually pulled into my parking spot. But then I thought how crowded it would be inside with all those people. So I backed up and went out the back exit and back to the light and back under the overpass to Orb K. As two cars turned in there ahead of me, and another oncoming car signaled and sat waiting on me. I knew I would never beat all three of them to the soda fountain. But here I was. Time was a-wastin'. And my favorite parking spot was still open!

Inside, the other patrons had gone to grab other conveniences. I bellied up to the soda fountain and pulled my 44 oz cup. A bit of crushed ice. I pushed it against the lever for Diet Coke, and


Sweet Gummi Mary! I didn't have time for this. No way was I going to show that layabout clerk that the Diet Coke was out. Not after last time, when it took so long, and then he offered to go switch it out, and then said, "Don't you want another kind?" No siree, Bob! I poured that clear liquid into the soda fountain trough and trashed the cup. Out the door I went. Let them come after me if they thought I just came in to sip-and-run!

Back through the lights and under the overpass. Back to the GSCS. The red car was still there. But a girl was standing in the open driver's door! Maybe she was just leaving. I drove past the lot and onto the side street to come in the back way. I'll be ding-dang-donged if those two trailered pickups were STILL there! I parked at my moat spot again. Shook my change container and came up with exact. Looked back over my shoulder at the red car, and saw that the hood was up, and a man was looking under it with the girl. So much for that plan. I wound my way around the end of that trailer at the pump, and went inside.

Nobody else was there! I pulled a cup, clanked in some ice, pushed the lever, and out came sweet, sweet Diet Coke! I sipped a bit so it wouldn't overflow the lid when I squeezed it to carry it, and it was tasty. Paid my money. Off to the Mansion and lunch.

The pump trailered pickup had turned around and was blocking T-Hoe with its trailer. Rassen frassen trucker! I muttered uncomplimentary assumptions about his lineage as I went around and climbed in T-Hoe. It was all kinds of tricky, but I maneuvered my way between moat and trailer and got out of there. Lunch was served at 2:30.

From the depths of my (lighted) basement lair, I think I heard Even Steven chuckle.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A Day Without Weirdos Would Be A Day Without 44 oz Diet Coke

Even if Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's power is cut off, her natural weirdo magnet will still have ample charge.

My power WAS almost cut off one time. Through no fault of my own! Not even Farmer H's. But that's a story several days down the road. Today let's dwell on that weirdo magnet.

I swear I am turning into a doddering old fool. I got up at 8:30 today (nothing wrong with THAT) and went about my daily activities. Took med 1. Sat down with cell phone charging, house phone next to me, Shiba on my lap, and cranked back in the La-Z-Boy for some internetting and TV. After an hour of old best pizza shows and some Man vs Food on the Travel Channel, I fell asleep. ASLEEP! At 9:30 in the morning! I woke up at 11:45! At least I woke up, I guess. I took meds 2 and 3, took a shower, took out the trash, and took myself to town for a 44 oz Diet Coke.

That's when I felt the pull of the weirdo magnet. Incoming.

I had stopped at the end of the gravel road to get the mail from EmBee. I usually get it on the way home, but that's when I leave home before 1:00. As I parked on the edge of the gravel, I saw that somebody had abandoned a white sedan on the little road just across our low water bridge. The road that washes out EVERY time there comes a downpour, even though the county sends a crew out to fix it. They must have put in five new drainage pipes there over the past couple years. This last one might even be big enough, but the gravel on both sides of it washes out. We haven't had one of those rains for a month or so. Thus the ability of someone to abandon a car on that little piece of road, on the outside of their metal gate.

I opened T-Hoe's door and heard it. A man talking. I did not have my glasses on (who needs them for driving, anyway). I looked over by that abandoned car and saw an old man (probably younger than me, but bald) standing in the ditch. He was talking to himself, and music was playing. I didn't want to stare, because he was looking at me. Like with a wild beast or a bratty dog, you don't want to make eye contact with weirdos. That challenges them. Or encourages them. I suppose he might have been shoveling. He was up to his waist down in that ditch. It was dry, of course. But the gravel is that big rip-rap rock. Not easy to shovel.

I ducked my head and dashed (for me) across the blacktop to EmBee to pull out an alumni magazine from Missouri State, a junk mail catalog with Christmas gift ideas on the cover, and junk mail from our bank about a new credit card.

Thank the Gummi Mary this guy was gone when I came back. I did NOT go over to see if he had made any improvements to the ditch.

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom doesn't cross that bridge when she comes to it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Mrs. HM Might Be Thrown Into Hillmomba's Workhouse If She Doesn't Get Her Act Together!

Guess who's a deadbeat again! If you guessed Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, shame on you! But you would be 100% correct.

Last week I got my electric bill in the mail. That's how it comes, you know. In the mail. Of course I ripped it open immediately to commence remuneration. Incoming bills gather no moss here at the Mansion. In and out. That's how it's done. Not like Farmer H, when I met him, who would wait until two days before the late date to pay. "You're only giving them the use of your money to earn their interest if you pay early!" Of course, that was back when interest actually earned money. Still, I like to get it taken care of. Back when I was single, and fairly wealthy with no dependents' electronic habits to support, I would pay off all my bills for three months when I got my summer teaching checks. Over and done.

I glanced at that electric bill while I was fishing my checkbook out of my 20-year-old purse (it's leather, and wears very well...), and noticed that it seemed a bit exorbitant.  

"Huh," I told myself, "I know it was hot there for a while, but I haven't been turning down the air conditioner." Even the separate bill that comes in the same envelope for the BARn seemed high. "That Farmer H needs to stop working over there in the heat of the day! It's wasteful to run the air in a tin building. This is almost TWICE as much as last month's bill. Wait a minute! It IS last month's bill! PAST DUE? I'm sure I paid that bill. I always pay my bills! I KNOW I paid it! Let me in the checkbook...WHAT? I never paid last month's electric bill!"

Yep. No entry in my check register for an electric bill at the end of August. You know why, don't you? IT WAS FARMER H's FAULT! How could you not know that?

Here's the deal. We took The Pony out to Oklahoma on Wednesday, August 17th. He moved in on the 18th, we had a National Merit dinner on the 19th, and got home late on the evening of Saturday the 20th. On the way home, I asked Farmer H if HOS was feeding the animals that day.

"No. I told him we'd be home. I'll feed them when we get there."

"Where has he been putting the mail?"

"Oh....I don't know. Maybe in the truck. Or the BARn."

"You DID tell him to get it, didn't you?"

"I told him to take the trash up Wednesday night..."

"That's not what I asked. You didn't tell him to get the mail, did you?"

"No. I think I forgot about that."

"Well, I hope it's there! It's time for the bills. The Acadia bill should come."

I was thinking of the Acadia, because it's a newer payment. We haven't had a car payment for quite some time, and we'd only had about 7 payments so far on the Acadia. So I'm always looking for that bill. I don't want to mistakenly throw it out, thinking it's junk mail from Commerce Bank.

When we got home, Farmer H stopped at EmBee and got the mail. There wasn't much. I was surprised that we had so little, after being gone for four days. The bill for the Acadia wasn't there, but it came Monday. So I paid it, and mailed it Tuesday, and then the credit card bill came the next day, and I paid and mailed that. All was right with my bill-paying world.

Except I never got the electric bill.

Yes, Mrs. HM pays all of her bills the moment she gets them. But she doesn't pay them if she doesn't get them. That happened years ago with the electric bill. Never got it. That same time, I missed my back-to-school letter from the superintendent, with the schedule for the first few work days. I was complaining about not even getting notified when to come back, and how my mom saw it in the paper, when the other teachers said that THEY all got a back-to-school letter. Huh.

I don't know if the mailman misdelivered it, or if somebody took it out of the box. One thing's for sure: nobody paid my electric bill for me in August.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Maybe The Mansion Needs A Hound Dawg That Stays On The Porch

Remember way back in the first year of SNL, when they had a fake commercial for Puppy Uppers? I think Jack has been sending off to get them by mail with a money order. He can't be using my credit card for Amazon or eBay. He doesn't even have a phone or computer, silly! But it sure seems like something is up with our favorite pup.

This afternoon, I went out for a brief walk. Just because. The temperature hovered around 70, the slant of the sunlight was so FALL, and it was almost time for Farmer H to come home. I figured if I fell down in the driveway, he would be there soon enough to put me out of my misery. One way or another.

First of all, let the record show that Jack and Juno LOOOOOOOVE cool weather. They get all hyped up and thump around the porch and tear through the front yard-field and generally act like a poor pooch who took two years to chew through the chain anchoring him to his doghouse on a patch of hardpan in the corner of the back yard. You know that kind of dash for freedom.

When I left for town earlier this morning, they both came running to see me off. Instead of going back to their respective lounging areas when I entered the garage, they both ran around to the edge of the driveway and sat down, watching me like I was grand marshal of the Daily 44 Oz Diet Coke Parade. Which I kind of am.

Jack came running when I got home, and fidgeted and grunted and squirmed with pleasure during our hug, then ravenously dove into the meager pile of cat kibble I gave him. I'm not sure where Juno was at that time, but she reunited with us when I came out at 4:15 for my walk.

Could somebody please explain to Jack what a WALK is? Or at least start a GoFundMe page to buy him some Doggie Downers? That little longfellow was at me like a torpedo after a U-boat. He was like a circus dog jumping on his trainer, doing flips. Except I'm not in a circus. Though some may see a resemblance to a U-boat. Jack was at me again and again. I know I don't walk fast, but he'd dash ahead, then turn and run straight at me and launch himself so that his nose poked me in the upper thigh. Sometimes he even hit lower belly. As you might imagine, my stride was somewhat disrupted.

When we got back to the garage, Jack ran under the carport and up the steps to wait by the roaster pan of cat kibble high above his head. I fooled him, though, and kept walking across the front yard, over to Shackytown. Jack caught on soon enough, and hit me before I got to the end of the house. Let the record show that I had to go even slower, because SOMEBODY had dug two holes into the lawn, down to bedrock, even though that's only about 4 inches.

I had no idea that dachshunds were this high-energy. A heeler, perhaps, since they are meant for nipping cattle. Maybe Jack was only trying to steer me away from leaving the property, back down the driveway. I'm really glad he didn't bite me on the nape of my neck and shake me like a badger.

This ol' guy would have let Mrs. Hillbilly Mom take her walk

I mean the one without a hat.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom Needs To Be Very, Very Careful What She Wishes For

Everybody remember yesterday's title? "I Certainly Hope Even Steven Is Prepared To Reward My Generosity."

Today at 1:45, he did.

I went to town around 1:00 to pick up some supper groceries for Farmer H's request from last night. So maybe he's the butterfly who flapped his wings to set this all in motion. I had been thinking during my shower about where to take the money from for our upcoming casino excursion. I have some scratch-off winners stockpiled in my dark basement lair.

Yesterday I won $15. The rest of my stockpile are bigger winners. I'm holding onto them until the casino visit. Today I took that little winner, and put some lucky money from previous winners that is what I lottery (it's a verb for me!) out of, and bought six tickets at the gas station chicken store. I set two aside to mail to #1 tomorrow in his letter. (The Pony, being out of state, prefers his share in cash, for those expensive Papa John's pizzas he seems to live on.) The other four I scratched before my lunch (later every day) and after my first few sips of my magical elixir.

I had THREE winners! And this is the order I scratched them: $15 (ooh, got my cash-in back), $40 (that's a nice chunk of bills), and $100 (WHEE DOGGIES! THERE'S OUR CASINO MONEY!).

I am NOT buying any more tickets this week! I've got a nice stockpile, and three featherless, gaping-mouthed, loud-cheeping, baby-bird-type gamblers depending on me to feed them a gambling stake on Saturday. Oh, and provide sustenance as well. Alcoholic beverages are on their own dime.

Thanks, Even Steven!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

I Certainly Hope Even Steven Is Prepared To Reward My Generosity

The #1 son called this afternoon. I had my hands in the sink washing dishes. Have you heard? The Mansion has no dishwasher, save the hands of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. Not even a Flintstones octopus dishwasher with an elephant trunk faucet. I was also making my lunch of pulled chicken and taquitos and salsa with shredded cheddar.

Farmer H had just come inside, though who knows why, other than to annoy me, since he had been sitting in the rocking chair on the front porch eating a microwaved sausage, egg, and cheese croissant for his own lunch when I left for town to get my soda and mail the phone bill. He said, "It's #1," and answered the phone. "Oh. I thought you'd want to talk to your mom. Oh. Pain and numbness in my arm. But if I moved it, it went away. The vertebrae. They pinch the nerve. It's better after the plate in my neck. You probably just pulled something. Don't you want to talk to your mom? Here she comes! Here she is."

"Hello? Weren't you going to talk to me? I can't believe you! I just wanted to say, 'I'm elbow deep in dishwater, and I have chicken in the microwave, and taquitos in the oven, and I'm grating cheese for salsa.'"

"I KNOW! That's why I wasn't going to talk to you."

"Well, you should. I'm at a stopping point."

We chatted for about five minutes concerning his upcoming interviews with Boeing and Ford. Then he said he had nothing else to say, and I needed to take my taquitos out of the oven.

Around 6:30, while Farmer H was at work where he got called in at 4:30 because two people didn't do a simple job and he had to remedy a situation, I was making him coney dogs when the phone rang again.

"Hi. It's me again. I'm sure you are either in the middle of making supper or eating supper..."

"Yes! Of course I am. Are you all right?"

"Oh, I'm fine. But I was just thinking, how would next weekend be for a trip to the casino? I know you'd been wanting to go, and that's a good time for me."

Let the record show that I had asked if he would like to go and bring one of his friends who lives in his house and turned 21 over the summer. Last time we went, on #1's birthday when HE turned 21, he was by far the youngest person on the property.

"Let me check my calendar. Um...yeah...I think I can make it. Will you be coming by here? Are you spending the night? How much do I have to clean?"

"We'll come by there. Probably won't spend the night."

"So it's just the kitchen and the living room and one bathroom?"


"That only gives me a week!!!"

"A week of time that you are not doing anything else!"

"Hey! There's a 44 oz Diet Coke that had to be consumed every day!"

"Yeah, yeah."

"I like to go early. What time will we leave? Is your dad invited?"

"I don't care if Dad goes. It doesn't affect my money. But if we go in the morning, we can't drink. I guess that's okay. Drinks are expensive there."

"If we go in the afternoon and you drink, who's going to drive me home?"

"Oh, yeah."

"If your Dad goes, he can drive. But since I'll have to give him money, I can't give you as much as last time."

"Oh, I know. That was for my birthday. Anything you want to give is fine."

"I'll work it out. Let's plan on Saturday. I'll let you know what time, after Dad finds out if he has to work Saturday."

Looks like Mrs. HM will be cashing in some scratch-off winnings this week in preparation for a gambling stake. Make that three gambling stakes. Don't you worry about Mrs. HM. She has her own casino money stashed away.

I hope River City is ready for some high rollers!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Farmer H Is Magically Ambitious

Thanks to blog buddy Sioux for leaving me a thought-provoking comment yesterday. Inspiration is rarer than perspiration around my dark basement lair these days.

As you may recall, I did Farmer H's trash dumpster duties for two days. Sioux congratulated me:

"Lucky for you, you have plenty of time on your hands to do everything Farmer H thinks you should be doing..."

Oh, yes. I can't believe my luckiness.

I'm surprised that Even Steven hasn't put the kibosh on my luckiness. Until he notices, the possibilities are endless. I might look out and see that my front yard is a meadow of four-leaf clovers with a few blades of grass sprinkled in. A horse may wander up on the front porch and leave me its shoes. The chicken cook at the gas station chicken store may hold on to my breast, and in an ensuing tug-of-war, I could get the big end of the wishbone. A bunny might order furry little prostheses and give me his feet. The Irish could call any minute to say they're giving me their collective luck. Shooting stars will probably keep me awake tonight, lighting up the sky.

Alrightythen...perhaps not endless. But at least six deep!

Seriously. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom IS lucky. Do you know what happened last night while she was pecking away at an online crossword puzzle on her New Delly?

Farmer H scrubbed the shower!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Hillmomba People Problems

I caved in and brought the trash dumpster back from the end of the driveway today. Seeing as how if I left it for Farmer H, it might stay up there 12 days like when The Pony first left for college. Oh, and I also took it UP THERE to the end of the driveway yesterday, seeing as how if I expect to have my trash hauled away for the money I pay the Waste Management people, it can't be sitting here under the carport because Farmer H "forgets" to take it.

That dumpster is on its last wheels. It still rolls okay. But the lid is flapping by a thread. It's cracked in the middle, between the handles. It's like a 1964 Plymouth Valiant with a hole in the front floorboard covered by a piece of cardboard, and a hole burned in the middle of the back seat covered by a throw pillow. Except my high school buddy Mooner didn't drive a green trash dumpster.

Farmer H says he's going to ask his trash contact at work what we can do to get a better dumpster. We've had this trash service for 18 years. As Farmer H remembers it, we used to have a really good dumpster, but then they replaced it with this piece of crap. I remember it being replaced. But I'm sure there's been a little bit of wear and tear on this one over 18 years. The trash guys are not gentle with it.

I guess it's the least Farmer H can do...try to get me a new dumpster. Seeing as how he seemed believably sorry that he forgot to take the trash up yesterday. Except now he seems to think I am going to do that every week.

Inviting a vampire into the Mansion would have made more sense than caving in to dumpster duty. There'll be no end to it now.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Farmer H Rocks

Farmer H left for work this morning at 6:00, just like normal. He got home at 5:30, a bit later than normal, but he called ahead, so avoided the doghouse. The minute he got home, he went out to work on the road. His buddy, Buddy, had brought him another load of rock, and dumped it down the hill. Not on our property. On the main road. The one that runs out to the county blacktop road.

Let the record show that we are the second house on this road. A good portion of it does not have people living on the property that fronts it. But once you get past the Mansion, there are many homes. Many for Hillmomba, that is. Probably 15 to 20 past us. Let the record further show that these families use this road the same as the Hillbilly family.

Farmer H is a bit irked that he spent hundreds of dollars of his rock money on rock. I pointed out that nobody told him to do that. And that he didn't ask anyone for donations. So his plan to put a letter in the mailboxes asking people to buy a load of rock is not a good idea. It will cause ill will. Besides, that's a federal offense, putting stuff in mailboxes that hasn't been mailed!

I know I've mentioned this before, but I had to regurgitate it tonight because it's stuck in my craw. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom rarely takes Farmer H's side on an issue. But tonight, she must.

After Farmer H got home from his 11.5 hour workday, before he had any supper, he fired up his tractor and headed back down to the hill to spread gravel. Okay. So there was a brief hiccup in that plan as he ran out of gas in the (blue MoDOT auction, not green John Deere) tractor before he even got out of the BARn field. But he walked down to the BARn and got some gas, and drove it up to the tractor in his Gator. Then went to work on that gravel.

When he came back after the sun set, Farmer H said that one of the couples up the road had stopped while he was spreading gravel.

"Oh. It looks like we'll need to drive the Hummer if we want to get up the road now."

Let the record show that this couple has has never offered a penny, never smoothed an inch of gravel. They have both a van and a Humvee. It's not like they would have to buy a new car to navigate the road. And at the time, they were IN their Humvee. Farmer H said he was just trying to fix the road, since it has been washed out at the sides for over a year now. I told him he should have said, "Just like you have to drive the Hummer when it rains, because if you meet a car you have to pull over into the ditch."

On the porch, I tried to cajole him into believing they were just joshing, making conversation because they saw him out there on his tractor.

Inside the Mansion, and inside my head, all I could think was, "Some people go out of their way to be real a$$holes."

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Green-Eyed Monster Is Alive In Hillmomba

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is getting fed up with her fleabags! They are SO jealous of each other, it hardly pays (okay, there's no money in it, let's make that clear) to give them each a treat.

Sweet Gummi Mary! It's like my sister the ex-mayor's wife competing with me for the biggest slice of cake. Not that we had much cake around our house. But when we DID, such an uproar arose that one of us was given the knife (to slice the cake with, people, not for a weapon) and the other was given first pick. I'm pretty sure our mom was hep to King Solomon's ways, but cutting a cake in half would have made too much sense.

Today when I got back from town, Juno got to the side porch first to greet me. She's been staying in her house lately, not even coming out when I drive up, and when she does, she turns up her nose at the cat kibble! I think she has an attitude. That is not very sweet, sweet of her! I hugged her first (fair is fair) while Jack squirmed his way under her, looking downcast. Then it was his turn, and Juno tried to block his hug.

I reached up into the roaster pan of cat kibble for a big handful, and put a lot in front of Juno, and a little in front of Jack. She needs more calories, you know. She's a bigger dog. I give hers first, because she can intimidate him away from hers, and if I give Jack the food first, she takes his.

I'll be ding dang donged if Juno didn't sniff her large pile of cat kibble and go directly to Jack's smaller pile and start eating. Oh, don't you feel sorry for Jack! He was already on his way to Juno's pile before she could root her way into his.

I give up! Serves them right! Juno can get a smaller treat for being jealous of Jack's portion, and Jack can bloat himself for going after Juno's food.

Here they are on the front porch this evening:

Yeah. They're still running around like ferrets on crack when I try to get a picture. That spot on the porch is not a pee stain, but a greasy mark left from last week when the evening treat was a freezer-burned pork steak for each mutt, and Jack pulled his off of his paper plate. So did Juno, but she took hers to the yard while looking over her shoulder suspiciously. Tonight they had a couple of Super Bowl mozzarella sticks microwaved to unfrozenness. As you can see, Juno is inspecting Jack's area, just in case he got more while she was eating hers.

We'd best not talk about the fact that each of them had an egg in their mouth out in the yard when I walked out the door with their treat.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom Is...Chicken

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's addictions are escalating! Just when she thought she'd cast that gas station chicken monkey off her back, she had to go and buy some last week. And Sunday she was back for more! Not the economical 8-piece box to portion out over a few days and share with Farmer H, but a meal only for herself. A breast and a thigh! Yum, yum, gotta get you some! Also, a small cole slaw. Gotta have the slaw! It's in my DNA. Of course I only took about a third of that small slaw for my serving. You know, because that will certainly cut calories compared to eating a fried chicken breast and thigh!

Anyhoo...I stopped by the gas station chicken store on Sunday, because Farmer H had plans for the afternoon. And the morning. Too bad, so sad, no chicken for you! Though I doubt he mourned the missed opportunity of feasting on miniature legs and wings.

The chicken gal was frazzled. In fact, she asked me for a massage. I thought that was a bit untoward and off-putting, but I wanted my chicken, by cracky, so I told her I was not board-certified as a masseuse. She took it well. She said they had way too many orders to get ready for pickup by 11:30, and they'd been frying without letup. The owner was working in the kitchen with her. The man owner. Not the woman. Not-heaven NO! But I'll bet the man owner has dropped many a breast in his day. That's insider lingo. That's what they call it when they put a batch of chicken in the fryer. Dropping the chicken.

The first order they needed consisted of FIVE 20-piece boxes! That's 12.5 chickens!

I felt so bad for her that I did not ask for a bag. She put my breast and thigh and the little tub of slaw in an 8-piece box. Usually, they will put the two pieces of chicken in their own little foil pouch, and then put them and the slaw in a white paper sack. Even with a regular 8-piece order, they put the box in a sack with the slaw beside it. I didn't want to give her any extra work, so I juggled my box and 44 oz Diet Coke while I tried to use my key clicker to undo T-Hoe's locks. They're just awkward, that big soda and a rectangular chicken box. I used to only have that predicament when they were training new employees.

I've thought about taking a Devil's Playground plastic bag in there in my pocket, to pull out after paying and put my stuff in. Loop it over the arm, and my hand is free to grip my 44 oz Diet Coke. Even with a white paper sack, I can flatten the top and hold it between my fingers while using thumb and forefinger to hold the soda.

Yes, I've thought about taking in my own plastic bag. I stop short of that solution, because I don't want them to think I'm a...weirdo.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

A Night Not On HM's Schedule

The best-laid plans of Farmer H and Mrs. HM always go awry. Our night not-on the town was almost the night that never was.

Yes, Mrs. HM had her timing to a T. She had set the DVR to record the pregame show at 6:00, and also the game at 6:30. If something (like Farmer H) threw a monkey wrench in her plan, not to worry. The game could be watched from the DVR, commercials fast-forwarded, and real time caught up to forthwith.

At 5:50 Mrs. Hillbilly Mom was picking peppers off the pizza. How many peppers did Mrs. HM pick? Too dang many! But since they all went on her side of the pizza, there was a built-in reward. The pepperoni-picking was simple. Stick the edge of a knife under them and pop them off, then drop them on Farmer H's side.

By 6:00, the DiGiorno was in the oven. Where it would remain on its hole-y pizza pan for 22 to 25 minutes. It was a rising crust. And we like our bottom crust crunchy. As the pizza went in the oven, the queso and salsa were combined. In a real glass bowl, people! Not in a foam bowl. Farmer H was instructed to put it in the microwave for 20 seconds, check, stir, maybe an additional 10 seconds. He wanted that treat for halftime, you know.

Yes, all systems were go. Farmer H had come in at 6:10, and decided he had time for a shower. He had worked half a day, then fiddled around in his BARn with new flea market toys he had bought himself. I sat down in the La-Z-Boy to watch some of the pregame show while waiting on the pizza. I'd had one ear on it while in the kitchen. Had glanced in to see the TV. There was a huge dark cloud handing over Gaylord Family Stadium. That's what they called it most, although it's also Owen Field. Or Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Anyhoo...I saw the gray behemoth hovering, and lightning flashing. The reporter said that film was taken at 5:15. As I went about stirring queso and salsa, I figured everything would be fine. Because I heard the reporter say that at the moment, he was under bright sunshine, no clouds. And it was after 6:00.

You know how a dark cloud is used to portend trouble? This was Even Steven and The Universe foreshadowing what was to become of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's night not-on the town.

As I sat in the La-Z-Boy, I saw a scroll across the bottom of the screen. I picked up one of my two pairs of glasses from the side table, and saw that


Let the record show that our DiGiorno was a cooked goose. Already in the oven, almost done. And Farmer H didn't even know yet! At 6:20, I was checking on the pizza when he wandered out of the shower. Thank the Gummi Mary he had put on shorts and a shirt! I told him of the new kickoff time. I set the done-to-perfection DiGiorno on the stove to cool. Farmer H said it was no big deal. We'd eat our pizza, then he could have his chips for kickoff.

We went out on the porch for a few minutes with Puppy Jack and Sweet, Sweet Juno. They had a leftover 6" Coldcut Combo for their evening treat, thanks to Farmer H's dietary restraint last week. When we came back in, the game time had been moved up to 8:01. You can't tell me that being on national TV didn't affect the timing of the presumed safe period after lightning.

So...we watched our game 90 minutes late. We probably should stop watching altogether, because the Sooners bit the big one again, and lost 45-24 to the Ohio State Buckeyes. Farmer H went to bed at halftime and a score of 35-17. We didn't even get to see the Sooner Schooner, because the ground was too wet, and the mini horses and their little Conestoga would tear up the field. Not that they would have made that many trips onto the field...

Still, we had a fairly decent Saturday evening. Next week no Sooners, since they're off. But the week after, it's on to Texas to play the TCU Horned Frogs. I'll probably be hoppin' mad by the time that one is over.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

A Night Not On The Town

Tonight Farmer H and Mrs. Hillbilly Mom will be screaming along with 85,000 fans (probably more) as the Oklahoma Sooners face off against the Ohio State Buckeyes. We might be sorely disappointed by game's end, because the Sooners fell from grace (and a #3 ranking the first game of the season, when the Houston Cougars beat them by 10. Let the record show that it was more accurately the Sooners who beat themselves. Anyhoo...they are now ranked #14, and the Buckeyes have landed the #3 slot. Still, it should be an exciting game. Farmer H is even venturing down the steps (for a reason other than to flaunt his assets in tighty-whities on the way to the pool) to watch the game with Mrs. HM on the basement big-screen.

Yep. A social event unrivaled since the last Super Bowl is about to unfold at the Mansion. Mrs. HM is pulling out all the stops. Okay. Not all of them, but most. Well, a few. Alright, a couple. We are having DiGiorno, people! DiGiorno Rising Crust. Supreme! Farmer H would have preferred the Meat Trio, but he didn't do the shopping all by his lonesome at The Devil's Playground, now did he? So he will have the peppers picked off, per his preference, and the pepperoni of Mrs. HM added to his side. Don't you worry about Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. She gets the extra peppers!

Also, Farmer H will have a half-time snack of On the Border Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips, accompanied by some queso sauce and salsa (mixed together), Mrs. HM drawing the line at making her Velveeta cheese dip which is reserved for the Super Bowl.

Mrs. HM will have an individual pack of Smartfood Mix variety pack popcorn (Kettle Corn), and 1/3 box of Sno-Caps for her snack. She has been making wise choices, you know. But she's NOT scrimping on the pizza! It has been budgeted into her daily meal plan.

As the leader of Lower Basementia informed a team of students playing at a trivia match a couple years ago: "This is what you have to look forward to when you get old."


Friday, September 16, 2016

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom Is Wingin' It Tonight. So She Has A Leg To Stand On.

Trying to slap something up here quick, because there's a big wall of radar rain headed this way. I would have been happily oblivious, but Farmer H called to tell me he was sitting in water up to his wheel wells at a stoplight on the way home from work. He said there had been tornado warnings for his workplace area. But seeing as how I was sitting in the basement, it didn't really matter.

I should say not! Even if I was upstairs trying to check on the weather, my DISH would be out. My internet had just gone out when Farmer H called. So I figure it will be sporadic tonight. Enjoy a picture of gas station chicken:

I know that I usually tout the deliciousness of this greasy treat. But the picture tells a thousand words. Not that it will stop ME from telling a thousand words. This was not good chicken. I picked it up a few days ago. Let the record show that the breasts were voluptuous! And the thighs plump! But the wings and legs left a bit to be desired. They might have come from pigeons or crows. Or those tiny little Cornish game hens. But it made no nevermind to me, because Farmer H got those parts!

I must also add that I am not thrilled with the camera on the new used phone I inherited from the #1 son. At least the old one, without a lens on the camera, took bright pictures. This one ignores the ambient light, uses a flash, and puts out dark pictures. I'm sure there's a setting I'm missing. Perhaps #1 can enlighten me ON THE PHONE!

Anyhoo...trying to get this up before the power or internet goes down. Bon appetit. Don't say it the Sean Connery SNL way!

Whoops! No internet. Trying again. Should have taken a stitch in time, I guess. So close.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Juno Had Better Not Get Wind Of This

I apologize to my loyal readers. I know I have gone to great furlongs to whip this deceased equine, but Farmer H has done it again!!!

Tonight, right after I had put his meat loaf and roasted vegetables in the oven to warm them, expecting him home in 15 minutes...he called to say he was just leaving! Seriously? Did he not know at 4:15 he was not leaving? The time he leaves on a normal workday? Do you think he was standing in the other plant and saying to himself, "I'm on the way home right now. Yep. Gonna be there at the regular time, eat my warm supper, and head out to a game I plan to attend."


Farmer H knew at leave-time that he wasn't leaving! So what did he do? He waited another 15 minutes, giving Mrs. HM time to ready his supper and pop it in the oven so it would be 15 minutes overcooked, and THEN called her!

But that's not what has gotten Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's goat tonight. Let him eat limp veggies and leathery meat. No, it was what he did after eating that rankled Mrs. HM.

"Okay. I'm done now. I'm going to give Juno the rest of my meat loaf."

"WHAT? There's half a piece left. And you LIKE the end."

"Well...if you want to put it back in the refrigerator, go ahead."

Oh, no he didn't! Farmer H was standing in front of Frig II. Setting his plate on the cutting block. I was way over by the sink. On the other side of the kitchen. Farmer H was between me and Frig II.

"Why don't YOU put it in there?"

"I'll just give it to Juno."

"STOP! I'll do it. WHY couldn't you, though?"

"I didn't want to get in your way."

"I was nowhere near you! You were RIGHT IN FRONT of the refrigerator!"

"I don't know where it goes."

I opened Frig II's door and reached for the blue-topped long fake Tupperware rectangular container on the bottom shelf. What's this? Farmer H's giant water bottle that he fills every night. Laying directly on top of the meat loaf container.

That man is the picture next to LAZY in the dictionary. Or maybe he's in the A section.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

And I Could Use A Ball-Nozzle Dispenser Bottle For Diet Mountain Dew, Too

Farmer H has moved himself from the Mansion to the doghouse once again. I know you're shocked to hear that. Even though a long, long, long, long time ago, I told you of how he tried to make the Mansion his own personal doghouse by putting a dog pillow on the marital bed. might remember back only to yesterday, when Farmer H told me that he wouldn't be home for supper on time, so I got him a Subway sandwich. At the time, we discussed (meaning I talked, and Farmer H heard, "Wah wah wah" like Charlie Brown's teacher) how I had been planning to make a meat loaf and roasted veggies. I told him I would make them instead today, when he would be home like normal.

This morning I spent 45 minutes getting the vegetables ready. I put them in the oven and babysat them for two hours. Because you really shouldn't take a shower and go to town while leaving your baby in the oven. You don't know what might happen while you're gone. I also used the time to put together the meat loaf. I made some trash doing that, like the hamburger tray, and eggshells. Smelly trash if you let it hang around. Since the kitchen trash was almost full, and the hamburger tray was barely balanced on top (even though the eggshells fit quite nicely into yesterday's 44 oz cup), I bagged that trash and took it out to the dumpster.

With the veggies out of the oven, and the meat loaf inside Frig II, I went to get my 44 oz Diet Coke and the mail. Can you believe it? Farmer H got a bunch of coupons from a casino! He barely even plays, by cracky! That's discrimination, sending comps to the man who barely plays, while ignoring the woman who pays the payroll at least a month out of the year.

By the time I got home, it was 1:30. That meant my lunch wasn't ready until 2:00. And at 4:30, I had to leave my dark basement lair to put in the meat loaf and warm the vegetables. I sat down to watch the tail-end of Jeopardy (the Final Jeopardy answer was SMOG), but missed who won because the phone rang and I had to hoist myself out of the La-Z-Boy to get it. Oh. It was Farmer H. He was just leaving work.

Sweet Gummi Mary! That would put him 45 minutes late getting home! Farmer H, so perceptive to the emotions of others, sensed my distress.

"What's the matter?"

"I put your supper in the oven 15 minutes ago."

"You said yesterday you weren't making anything."

"Yes. YESTERDAY I didn't make anything. I told you at least 5 times that I was going to make that meat loaf today!"

"Well, I can still eat it. But I have to stop in town for a minute. And then HOS is coming out to help me put the cover on the pool."

"Fine. I'll leave it on the stove and you can get yours later. You'll have to put everything away, though."

"Okay. I'll see you later."

Huh. Ain't that a fine how-do-you-do? I spend all that time making him a meal that will be eaten in 10 minutes, and he can't even pay enough attention to let me know if he's running late. Now if nothing special was going on, he would have called me five or six times throughout the day, just to see what I was doing.

I conceded the battle and started packing up the leftovers when it was done. No need to let it sit out for food poisoning until Farmer H deigned to sup. And here he came in the door! What a mean trick that was, arriving just as I had the dishwater ready and the food put up.

This is why Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is loathe to spend half her day preparing food, and a sixth of her day cleaning up, just so Farmer H can have 10 minutes of feasting.

Sometimes, I would like to find a feeder like you give a hamster, or cats, or chickens, where you fill it up and food comes out the bottom as your pet eats.

Don't go thinkin' Farmer H is my pet.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Hoff vs The Mom. Think The Food Network Would Pick It Up?

Farmer H had a previous engagement this evening. Which let me off the hook for supper. I had planned to make a meatloaf and some roasted vegetables (that's vinchtables to The Pony), but I can make them tomorrow just as well.

Since we were unsure if Farmer H would come to the Mansion first, or go to his activity straight from work, I volunteered to pick up a Subway for him. Uh huh. Because Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is selfless like that. And since I would already be there at the Subway counter, I might as well get something for myself, right?

Farmer H enjoys the coldcut combo. I can never remember the name exactly, but I think that's it. He takes it on wheat with pepper jack, spicy mustard, and pickles, onions, and tomato. I chose the roasted chicken today. Everything the same as Farmer H's preferences except I take no cheese. When he picks up sandwiches, an event that hasn't happened for nigh on five years now, for sure since before the #1 son left for college, Farmer H orders my sandwich first, and when they ask about the cheese, he tells them, "Pepper jack. And I want it put on the NEXT sandwich." As Farmer H sees it, Subway owes me cheese, and if I don't want it, they should put it on his. I will not stoop to those tactics, even though I know people who work in Subway from my Newmentia days.

We always get the foot long. Today I had half for lunch, half for supper. Sometimes Farmer H eats his in one sitting. Sometimes he saves half for the next day. Which gets me out of more cooking! Anyhoo...I didn't know if Farmer H was coming home. I called to ask if he wanted some extra onion and pickle to put on his sandwich. I was slicing some for mine. But he took an early lunch, and couldn't answer his phone. I found that out later, when he called while I was eating my sandwich.

"Oh, I just wanted to know if you would like some extra onion and pickle tonight for your sandwich. But it's too late now. Because I sliced them up, and put it all on MY sandwich. Sorry."

"That's okay. I'll have mine when I get home later. I'm not coming by there first."

No harm, no foul. Had he only contacted me earlier, he could have had some tasty fixin's. You snooze, you lose around the Mansion. I'm not proud that I ate an entire red onion today. And what's up with that name, anyway. RED onion? They're PURPLE, by cracky! The whole pickle doesn't mean anything. But that red onion...I think Even Steven was trying to call me out for my onion gluttony.

The pickle went on the sandwich just fine. It looked like the onion did, too. I sliced it pretty thin, without even lopping off the end of my thumb. Again. I spread it all out on the two sandwich halves. Wrapped up one to leave in Frig II, and took the other to my dark basement lair. I wrapped it, too, in that inner plain white little piece of paper. Swaddled it like a newborn.

Note to all hospitals, everywhere: Do Not Let Mrs. Hillbilly Mom Swaddle Newborns!

I had that sammich wrapped up tight. All the fixin's were accounted for. So what if I had six layers of onion? A whole red onion is quite a lot. It's not like a little green onion, or those in a jar that I hear are used for cocktails. I had put the pickle slices on the bottom bread, and the onion on the top of the sandwich. On top of that slab of roasted chicken that they take out of a tepid water bath with tongs and shake it until it drip-dries.

The beginning of the sammich-eatin' was pretty routine. Then I had to peel back some of the swaddling. Well! That was like undoing a hook on Dolly Parton's bra! The rest of the contents were not-heaven-bent on escaping! When I leaned over my plate and tried to take a bite, those onion slices exploded out of my sammich like cards out of my hand in a game of 52-card pickup! I felt like David Hasselhoff trying to eat a cheeseburger! Not that I'm a drunk with a daughter filming me on a cell phone as I lay on the floor of a hotel in Las Vegas...

I must say, though...that sammich was real, and it was spectacular. Twice.

Monday, September 12, 2016

What We Have Here Is Grand Theft Mojo

I don't know if it's been mentioned here before, but Mrs. Hillbilly Mom occasionally, once in a blue moon, you know, enjoys trying her luck on a scratch-off lottery ticket. Or two. She usually fares well. One day last week, she had a $100 winner AND a $25 winner AND a $40 winner. Some might consider her a lucky duck, what with being able to play on a regular basis, and maintain an almost even balance in output and income. A Hillmomban Even Stevonica, perhaps.

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is in a slump.

Can you believe it? I lost my mojo! That stands for MOm JOy. There is no joy in Hillmomba. Mrs. HM hasn't lucked out. My last two purchases were losers! I think I know why.

Farmer H left Friday for Oklahoma to see a Sooners game. Oh, and The Pony. He took his oldest son, HOS, along with him. Imagine my surprise when Farmer H called me Saturday morning on the Mansion phone. Okay. That was not actually a surprise, because he calls at the worst times, almost like he can see through the phone wires. I had just sat down and cranked back the La-Z-Boy, with Shiba propped on a pillow on my lap, and was logging onto the innernets for a morning perusal when that phone rang. On weekdays, I always bring that phone over to the side table, because many scam calls come in, and I can see them and not answer. But on Saturdays, I'm not expecting that in the morning. Farmer H never calls when he's on a trip, unless it's in the evening. Which this was not. So I had to dump that pillow and Shiba on the floor, and hoof it over to grab the phone off the cabinet holding the ruby red depression glass dish set that my grandma gave me, because I no longer have The Pony to trot to the phone and haul it to me.

"I just thought you might like to know, I took HOS to show him the casino this morning. He put $5.00 in a nickel machine, and won $97.00."

Yeah. I really wanted to know that. I'm happy for HOS. He helps out around here a lot. Usually, when we're gone, he feeds the animals for three days. I had mentioned right before Farmer H left, "I bet HOS is going to miss that money we give him to take care of things while we're gone." HOS would never ask for money. Even refused it the first trip we made. But I insisted. I don't expect people to disrupt their schedule for free. And gas is expensive. Sooo...looks like HOS won't miss that money from this trip at all.

Meanwhile. Mrs. HM has lost her mojo. Seems it has attached itself to another member of the Hillbilly family. I hesitate, though, to call it HOJO.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Take Care When You Drive The Hillmombahn

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is puzzled this evening, my friends. Puzzled. Not like a 10,000 piece seascape jigsaw, brought home borrowed for fun by her grandma from State Hospital Number 4 (as a worker, my friends, not a patient) to put together on the dining room table. No. Puzzled. As in confused.

The main road to town is two-lane blacktop. A lettered county highway, twisty and turny. Mrs. HM is only on it for a couple of miles. On the good end, that's mostly straight, and passes in front of the prison. People (not Mrs. HM, of course) drive recklessly on that road. My best old ex-teaching buddy, Mabel, would attest to that, I'm sure. Heh, heh. Get it? An ex-teacher will atTEST! I crack myself up sometimes.

My own dear mother used to worry me when she drove that road, because her top speed was 45 mph. Not fast enough! Not for the folks who scream down that lettered highway. The actual speed limit is 55, which is quite reasonable.

Yesterday, on her way home, Mrs. HM was going 65 64 mph. There's a difference, you know, bigger than 1 mph. As one of the members of the Newmentia Lunch Time Think Tank used to advise the robot team (including the #1 son) on their way to competitions in her van, "The police saying is: 'Nine is fine, ten you're mine!' Don't go 10 miles over the speed limit, boys, or you'll get a ticket." Uh huh. To teach is to touch a life forever.

Anyhoo, there I was, going 65 64 mph after rounding the sharp curve just past the prison, where people run off and have hacked hunks out of a tree trunk by a little pond. The road straightens out there, and it's just a short jaunt down the hill, then up over the high bridge to where I make my left turn onto the county road. I have driven that road for 28 years now, and have exemplary control of T-Hoe on that stretch.

So...I'm tooling along, not a care in the world, a fresh 44 oz Diet Coke at my side, when WHOOSH! A sedan blew past me going at least 90 mph! He came out of nowhere! I swear there was nothing behind me when I started past the rich houses.

Here's what puzzles me. Why does anybody need to go faster than 65 64 mph on a road like that? We have speed limits for a reason, you know. This is not the autobahn! It's not like he was heading to the hospital with some crybaby who cut her thumb while slicing an onion. The hospital is in the other direction! It's not like he had escaped from the prison in a car that a visitor left the keys in. The highway is in the other direction!

I can only assume it was somebody who really, really couldn't wait to get home with his 44 oz Diet Coke.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Look Away! It's Hideous!

I'm warning you now (especially YOU, my best ol' ex teaching buddy Mabel) that you should look away! I hope the picture doesn't show up before the bottom of the screen. I'll try to put in some filler to delay the inevitable. There is some blood coming up. Okay, not so much blood, as a hint of it, a shadow, and then some of the dried version. It's not like a puddle or anything. But if you're the squeamish type, this is your warning.

Last Saturday, I was slicing an onion. Part was for my Super Nachos, and part was for Farmer H's tacos. I'm not a sous chef, but I know how to cut an onion. And the cheese, as well! My fingers were not in any danger. I didn't think my left thumb was, either. But it was. This was a BIG onion. I had cut it in half, taken off the outer layer, then laid it on the flat side for slicing, then dicing. I was over half-way done with the first half when it happened. The blade of the longer-than-usual knife went through my left thumb like butter! Only with butter, or even margarine, you don't have that moment of shock, waiting for the pain to strike.

Oh, I KNEW I was in trouble. Sweet Gummi Mary! I could feel the textural difference in the knife, even, went it went from onion to thumb. I immediately laid down the knife and turned to the sink. Let that cold water run over my thumb. Big mistake. It hurt like the dickens. Or like an emmer-effer, for those who are wont to swear. Bright red blood rushed out. Which was a signal for me to immediately clamp my index finger on the end of that thumb. Hold the flap on. Stop letting that stream of water get inside the thumb's crevice.

I felt better at once. The blood ceased to flow, and the pain abated. I pretended all was well. My cut was resealed, the flow of my life force was stoppered. In my mind. I found a Band-Aid sterile adhesive strip on the kitchen counter. Don't judge me! Everyone should keep a couple there. I wrapped up that thumb and kept on truckin'.

Little did I know that later that evening, the sterile adhesive strip would show evidence of a new rupture. Probably as a result of me grabbing the edge of the bathroom counter to assist rising from This was apparently a deeper cut than I had first imagined. Oh, you might think that it was nothing. Unless it was on YOUR thumb.

Sure. Everything looks under control after 15 minutes of continued pressure with a paper towel. Nothing to see here. Healing already. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's index finger is the next skin glue.

But once you think it's under control, and jostle it just a bit, or grasp something with it, that index finger glue loses its adhesive properties.

Quite an awkward spot to almost amputate one's own thumb. And I'm not talking about the kitchen. Such an injury makes one feel positively unprimatelike!

By Tuesday, my thumb was on the mend. But I still kept it covered 23.99 hours a day. So as not to peel back the skin that was sure to die.

Do you know how many things are hard to do without the use of one's left thumb?

Pulling pants up and down
Popping the lid off a bubba cup of ice
Popping the lid off a bubba cup of water
Slicing foodstuffs for meals for yourself or others
Washing dishes
Blowing your nose if you always use your left hand for it
Lifting the lid off a 44 oz Diet Coke to add Cherry Limeade powder
Washing your hair
Typing on a keyboard
Switching channels with a remote control
Fast-forwarding DVR programs with a remote control
Opening an individually wrapped Ghiardelli snack chocolate
Opening an individual 4-pack of cheese/peanut butter crackers
Fastening hooks on your bra
Taking the lid off a toothpaste tube
Pulling open the cellophane bag inside a box of Corn Chex
Pulling open the cellophane bag inside a box of Rice Chex
Pulling open the cellophane bag inside a box of Cheerios
Opening a bag of stick pretzels
Opening a bag of twist pretzels
Cracking open an egg. Three times (different eggs)

I'm sure there are more, but since I'm healing now, without pain, the disadvantages fade. Let the record show that part of my thumb is irrevocably damaged, and is now trying to slough itself off. It peels back and leaves a gaping trench, with the top layer getting caught on everything you could imagine.

It's been a week now. I've a good mind to find some scissors and trim that top layer of epidermis away. The only thing that stops me is the fear that I will cut my thumb.

Friday, September 9, 2016

One Girl Working

Must work quickly! The clouds are rolling in, and the thunder is rolling with them. I foresee a loss of internet forthwith. But then, I'm a foreseer like that.

I wanted to get a haircut today. Sounds simple, doesn't it. All I had to do was check in through my Terrible Cuts app that the #1 son so thoughtfully installed on my new phone (that is his hand-me-down) after I reminded him three times.

Guess what? I had to set up an account all over again. While sitting at the end of the driveway in T-Hoe, because forget about reception inside the Mansion. Guess what else? Google does not like our reception at the end of the driveway, either! Who knew? Certainly not ME back when #1 strong-armed us into going with SPRINT so many years ago, so he could have unlimited data. Which we appreciate now, IF we can get data. Which is not possible here.

Anyhoo...I finally got an account set up, and somehow made Google understand the store I wanted, even though the map kept giving me a message that it couldn't work. Aha! Checked In in spite of cut-blocker Google. Wait time, 0 minutes!

Of course it took me 15 minutes to get to that town. When I walked in, there were SIX people waiting, and only one worker. The not-heaven you say! On a Friday at 10:30 a.m. That's preposterous. skin of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's nose, because the one girl working said, "I'll be with you in a minute." Heh, heh. Get the app, suckers!

Those other waiters were kind of old. Older than me. So I doubt they know what hit 'em. But after playing Public Employee Standoff with no other worker there, One Girl Working called me over. Wouldn't you know it? She was the relative of one of The Pony's friends. The one I never want to get. Still...I went ahead of a bunch of waiters, even another couple who entered after me. You'd have thought Terrible Cuts was having a senior citizens' special.

I swear. That little gal can pull my hair this way and that, make a noise with the scissors, and say I'm done. Then ask if it looks all right. I told her it didn't look short enough. And that one side looked longer than the other. She felt it and said I was right. Made some more cutting noises. I asked her to layer it, like it was layered when the other girl cut it last time. She kind of fiddled with the left side a bit, and pronounced me layered!

I agreed and paid, just to get out of there. That was a wasted trip. I don't know how I can look worse when I come out of there than I do when I go in.

That pretty much set the tone for the rest of the day. But there's no time to elaborate. Storm's a-rollin' in!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

If It Weren't For Stupid People, I'd See No People At All

Signs, signs, everywhere are signs...

You learned that song several days ago, didn't you. Didn't you? Because today we have the reprise.

I was tied up with do-gooding for Farmer H's impending visit with The Pony, and I left for town late. It was 2:00 late. The time I'm usually preparing my lunch. Ah...the retired life! Ain't it grand? So off I went, right as the rain slacked up a bit, with my TV and internet still out. My brain cells were clamoring for their daily 44 ounces of Diet Coke.

It was just past the not-yet-flooded low water bridge, beyond the new NO PARKING signs, at the top of the next hill, where I met the tree shaver. You know what that is, right? It's like a big yellow backhoe, with an attachment on the side that mows the limbs off trees. It's like a sideways lawnmower deck. Kind of looks like something you'd hook on for an arm with the old McDonald's Happy Meal toy of Inspector Gadget. Only a lot bigger.

He was driving down the middle of the road, so I pulled way over to where there was no shoulder, just a ditch, and let him come toward me. It's not like I had a deadline to meet. Or that's I'd be late for (snort, snort) WORK! I knew that when he got past the mailbox of that house, he would pull over to his side, because there would be room for his mowing arm. And he did. By that time we had a line backed up, but I left them in the dust. Or what would have been dust, if we weren't on a wet blacktop road.

On to Save A Lot, where all I needed was a box for Farmer H to cart stuff to The Pony. They give them away free, you know! As long as you walk in there and bend over and dig through the assortment up front under the counter for boxing your own groceries. Don't try it on a Saturday or Sunday. They're fresh out. Like at the 1st and 15th of the month, too. The free box thing isn't a very well-kept secret. I found two good ones and left. No need to patronize them. I'll be back there soon enough.

Across the road to Orb K for my  44  40 oz Diet Coke. Their soda is actually cheaper than the gas station chicken store, and comes out of the machine way colder. Just depends on which place has their carbonation at optimum levels over a several-day period. I like to spread my wealth around. Besides, I have really good lottery luck at Orb K. In fact, since I won $160 yesterday, after cashing in some of my previous winners, I took 4 tickets worth a total of $50 in there with the intent of buying more. But stupid people had other ideas.

When I got to the counter with my soda, I saw that the worker was that former student from Newmentia. Not that I have anything against him. It's not like I was there to buy a daily fifth of whisky and case of sponges box of condoms, you know. The woman who usually rings me up, and hands over so many scratch-off winners, was not working the second register, but was running around trying to find something. Which might have been the common sense of the two people ahead of me in line.

First Guy was not buying anything that I could tell. He was a little man, with Little Man Syndrome, giving my Checker Boy a hard time. Checker Boy was calmly explaining, "Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. You never know. We've even had people come in here to work on it, and it still does that. It has never worked with a chip. Sorry, Bud." I don't know if that guy wanted to buy something and couldn't (nothing was on the counter) or if he had to pay cash, or if he wanted to prepay for gas. But he was not happy when he left. Even though he should have known that his unhappiness could not make Checker Boy wave a magic wand and restore his ability to use the credit card scanner.

Next Lady had a  44  40 oz just like me! I even think it was Diet Coke, because she was in my way when I was waiting to open the spigot. Right on, Sistah! You rock! Ain't nothin' like The Real (fake) Thing, baby! REEEEE! She asked for SIX PACKS OF CIGARETTES! She was NOT my kindred spirit after all. I'm not pickin' up what she's layin' down. Or what Checker Boy was layin' down for her. I didn't even know you could get cigarettes that cheap! It was $17 for the soda and the smokes. But who am I to judge? That's between her and her lungs.

Next Lady tried to use that card scanner. As you might imagine, she had trouble. Had she not been listening to Checker Boy? Sweet Gummi Mary! She bumbled and fumbled. He leaned his head over and told her, "If it's a debit, you need to push the button that it's a debit, and it might work." It finally did, after more instruction from Checker Boy, who I would never have pegged back at Newmentia as one to enter the teaching field.

MY TURN! I stepped up and placed my magical elixir on the counter. Waved my four scratch-off tickets. "Just the soda today. I'll bring these back another time. You seem kind of busy." You don't have to hit Mrs. Hillbilly Mom over the head with a broken card-scanner to tip her off that this is probably not her lucky day on lottery. I left Checker Boy sighing with relief, ready to attend to the next five people in line.

On the way home, I crossed over that low water bridge and rounded the sharp curve where people run off in the snow. Up the hill, just past the driveway to the house where the brick mailbox holder was bashed, was the tree shaver. Dang! He had not gotten very far at all! He had a sign on his rumpus that said, "Keep Back 500 Feet." So I did. Or at least 50 feet. I WAS in a hurry, now. I had my  44  40 oz Diet Coke whimpering, "Drink me! Drink me!" My stomach was expecting to have lunch before suppertime. And the rain had almost stopped, so I had high hopes for internet. At the top of the hill, a journey which took five minutes, Tree Shaver pulled over so I could pass him. I assumed he could see down over the other side.

I was free! Free as a bird! A retired bird, with lunch and a Diet Coke in her very near future.

Maybe I should go back to my old pal the gas station chicken store every day. In there, the worst thing is guys hollering how they'd like two breasts and two legs, every man's dream.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Knees

You know how Mr. Wilson always yelled, "DENNIS!" when something went wrong? I have spent most of my life doing the same thing. Oh, I don't know anybody named Dennis, except that security guard when I worked in the insurance salvage store, he with a fondness for stealthily following co-workers around, then grabbing them from behind by the forehead and chin and giving them a free, unrequested, thankfully unmaiming, amateur chiropractic neck crack.

No, I don't have a Dennis around here. But I have a Farmer H.

With only Farmer H and me around the Mansion these days, it's pretty obvious who the culprit is when things go awry. Just ask me! Oh, he still tries to deny his shenanigans. But he doesn't have a leg to stand on. And I don't have a chair to set on. My groceries, that is.

We have a mesh metal patio chair on our side porch. Most often, it rests in front of Gassy G, the auction grill. Since Farmer H only grills once in a blue moon these days, and since I no longer have The Pony to carry in my groceries every week, I moved that chair over by the rail for the porch steps. That way, I can put my grocery bags on there, and Jack and Juno don't walk all over them, or get tempted to nose around in there. Not that my Sweet, Sweet Juno would do such a thing. But Puppy Jack might. He's inquisitive.

By setting my grocery bags on that chair, I can go back to T-Hoe for more, and pile them on. Then I make one trip up the steps, go unlock the kitchen door, and come back a couple times for my purchases. WITHOUT going down and up the steps several times. Anybody with sore knees knows what a big deal this is. I'm looking at YOU, Madam. The newly-knee-challenged.

Today I came back from town, having traipsed around Country Mart looking for snacks for Farmer H's upcoming jaunt to Oklahoma for a Sooners' game to visit The Pony. I had two bags of snacks, and 16 Diet Mountain Dews. They were only the 12 oz bottles. Two 8-packs. HOS is going along with Farmer H, so he, too, must stay hydrated. Don't even ask them why they won't drink water. For snacks. they will have sugar-free mini Hersheys, sugar-free mini Reese's Cups, sugar-free York Peppermint Patties, Lance Peanut Butter Crackers, and Lance Buffalo Wing Blue Cheese Crackers. Hey! It's a 9.5 hour drive! Farmer H is not going into a coma on my watch. He can't be left to his own snack selections. Said the Snickers bar he ate out of a vending machine at a rest stop while I was in the bathroom.

I had the two bags hooked over my arm, and an 8-pack in each hand. BUT MY CHAIR WAS GONE! Okay. It wasn't GONE, gone. But it was way over by Gassy G. I couldn't reach it from down on the sidewalk. So I had to set down my sodas and go up the steps and into the Mansion to put them down. Then come back out to get my purse and 44 oz Diet Coke from T-Hoe. Then take them into the Mansion. Then come back to the porch for my sodas.

If my holding chair had been where I left it, I could have piled the stuff on it from the sidewalk, gone back to T-Hoe for my purse and soda, carried them up the steps and inside, then come back onto the porch for the snacks and soda. Easy peasy. Instead, I had an extra trip up and down.

The dogs didn't mind! They got a flat chew treat of some kind that I found in the laundry room before I left, and a handful of cat kibble when I came back out for the soda.

Upon interrogation later in the evening, Farmer H denied moving the chair since grilling on Sunday, even though I know I used it for holding my Save A Lot box of groceries on Monday.


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom Imagines Herself A 5X

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is quite embarrassed this evening, having committed a lottery faux pas.

My luck has been good lately, evening out that terrible run I had about three weeks ago, when only 3 tickets in 32 were winners. Those weren't all in one day, or one week, of course. And included those I give to the boys. The odds of winning on the tickets I buy are at worst 1 in 4. So Even Steven was toying with me back then.

Now, though, the dark basement lair of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is flowing with scratch-off milk and honey. Today I took back a few winners to cash in. I had a stack of 7 that I'd been saving until I felt lucky. I took four into Casey's when I bought gas, and traded them for more tickets. Of the winners left in T-Hoe, I wanted to cash in one at the gas station chicken store's competitor, Orb K.

I picked up that winner specifically. Only a couple stores still carry it. It's an older game, with a chance to scratch off 20 times rather than 15. I knew I had a $25 winner, and planned to get more tickets with it. I got my 44 oz Diet Coke (which seems to me like only 40 oz here) and handed the clerk my winner. She scanned it and said, "That's five dollars."

"Twenty-five dollars?"

"No. Five."

"Uh uh. Could I see that ticket?"

The clerk acted a little bit annoyed. Maybe this is a scam that high-rolling scratchers run. Or maybe she took it as an affront that I didn't believe her.

I looked at that ticket. Whoopsie! It was a $5 winner. The one I had THOUGHT it was had a 5X symbol where I scratched the winner.

"Oh. Sorry. I thought I brought in the other one that was twenty-five."

Seriously. It's an honest mistake, right? Anybody could do that. I wasn't accusing that clerk of scamming me. I thought somehow she'd read that amount wrong after the ticket-checker device scanned the bar code.

I think my face is still red. But that could be from the 101-degree heat index, after sitting on the front porch pew with Puppy Jack and Sweet, Sweet Juno. At least they think I'm a winner.

Oh, yeah. I won $50 today.

Monday, September 5, 2016

You'd Think It Was Contraband, But THAT Would Be Easier To Get

This morning I started watching The Birds. I've never seen the whole thing. Still haven't, since I missed the first 20 minutes, and gave up on the last 10, because I was tired of the commercials. Besides, it was 1:20 already, and I hadn't eaten lunch, and I didn't have my 44 oz Diet Coke!

Besides my soda, I only needed one thing from town. Still, it's good to drive the 10 minutes to civilization every day, because in town, I get ALL THE BARS on my 4G connection. So I can email myself pictures, or download stuff in seconds, things that won't happen at all at the Mansion.

I ran in Country Mart to get some cupcake papers. Save A Lot only had the little short paper ones when I looked yesterday. I wanted normal size, in foil. Well. You'd a thought it was the day before Thanksgiving, so many people were shopping at 1:30 on Labor Day! Especially the differently-abled, because all the handicapped parking spots were full. Not that I park in them. But I park in the ones next to them, up by the building. And THOSE spots were full, too. But don't you worry about Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's jacked-up knees, because there was an end spot right across from the exit door. The door that says EXIT ONLY, but has the vestibule clogged with carts for people to grab to do their shopping when they enter.

I took a cart, even though all I needed were some cupcake papers. Carts are like walkers, but without the fuzzy yellow tennis balls on the feet. I actually think they were new carts, all lightweight, with gray-plastic-like paint over the metal. The wheels did not have rubber flapping from the tires. And they steered straight. I wouldn't mind having one at home, but that's probably frowned upon.

The best place to look for cupcake papers is on the baking aisle, right? I looked. And looked. Looked some more. I saw candles and tubes of icing and sprinkles and those packs of 8 different decorating tips. Across the aisle, there were paper plates and foam plates and plastic silverware and disposable containers and foil. Back to the cakey side, there were mixes and muffins and graham cracker crusts and bread mix and NO MUFFIN CUPS. I went all the way down the aisle, and finally found exactly what I was looking for under the seasoning packets for fish frying, I think.

So back I went up front, ready to get out of there and get my soda and get home for lunch. Two checkers were open. One had a guy with gray Bob Ross hair, in raggedy jeans, who had been consulting with a younger guy who was at the quarter-pusher machine over at the end of the checkout lanes. It seemed like they had just run to town in the midst of a cookout to grab some things. Not saying they were drunk, but they were a bit off kilter. My weirdo counter (like a Geiger Counter, only silent) was clicking in my head. It's like they'd come at each other from opposite ends of the store, talk with their hands (and voices) about what they should get, then go past each other. Bob had several items already on the conveyor, including a frozen pizza in a box, a gallon of milk, and small cans of something that didn't occur to me to care.

The other line had an older lady (probably younger than me) with half a cart full of groceries. She had it already on the counter, her last two items being a chocolate half-cake in one of those odd clear plastic half-circle containers, and a white foam carryout container from the deli hot food bar. I figured she'd be the quickest customer, so I pulled in my cart with its two tiny containers of foil cupcake papers in the baby-seat area.

Of course you know what happened, right?

The checker fiddled and faddled. She stopped, with only the cake and deli remaining un-rung, and re-did all of her plastic sacks on the bag carousel. THEN the customer asked her how to fill out a check. So...I did what anyone would do, especially that Murphy guy, because it's the law, apparently, and backed up my cart and went over to Bob Ross's checkout.

You know how this is going to end, right?

Bob had already put all his stuff on the conveyor, and the checker had rung them up, and she was giving Bob the total, and he was scanning his card. Piece of half-cake, right? But then I heard that noise of a declined card. And Bob turned to the quarter-pusher all the way across the store, and hollered his name, and started waggling his fingers, and Q-P waggled his back and Bob said, "It's 2, right?" and went back to poking at the card scanner. Then the checker told him it was six more dollars and some change, and he pulled a roll of bills out of his raggedly pocket and peeled one off and paid.

By now, people were lining up. The half-cake lady's checker called for backup. Mine scanned my two packs of cupcake papers. Except they refused to scan. BOTH of the packs. So she had to poke the numbers in by hand. Then she said, "That'll be $13.53."

The NOT-HEAVEN you say!

"That can't be right. They were only a dollar-twenty-something apiece."

"Oh. Yes. They were $1.23 each." She fiddled and faddled and recalculated and charged me two dollars and something.

Why does it have to be SO hard to buy regular foil cupcake papers in Hillmomba?

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Nightmare On Mansion Counter

You know how sometimes, you get that feeling of dread? Like something bad is about to happen? So you avoid certain places of situations? Well, I don't have that. But I'm developing such a sense.

Farmer H is responsible. He's a secret spender and a junker. And sees nothing wrong with it. In fact, bring it up, and Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is the bad guy! This week, Farmer H spent a hundred dollars on gunk and screws to repair the roof of one of his shacks. Can you believe it? The outlay for Shackytown alone is enough to force Mrs. HM back to the salt mines. Then yesterday, Farmer H spent another $23.87 for TIN for A NEW SHACK! I swear, the apopadopalyspe is on the horizon.

Farmer H also has a penchant for not telling me when he spends this money. I rue the day that our bank gave us each a debit card. I was fine with doling out allowance to Farmer H, from the sock buried in the back yard of my old ($17,000) house in town. Those were simpler times. When Farmer H was an hourly employee, not salaried. When he made overtime, but had a less flexible schedule. Meaning he spent more time MAKING money than SPENDING money. I fear that I will have to put him on a cash budget when he retires. He can't go on living this life of champagne wishes and caviar dreams.

The amounts Farmer H squanders are not that much in single outlays. But they add up. We're not paupers yet. The boys won't have to drop out of college or pay for their own insurance. The part that makes Mrs. HM wary of waking up to a retired Farmer H every day for the rest of her life is this (cue the REE! REE! REE! Psycho music):

I cannot stand to walk into the Mansion kitchen and find one of these on the counter. It's always a day or ten late, and makes the bank account a couple hundred dollars short. Farmer H thinks he deserves a medal for showing me his bill. Who does he think he is, Daffy Duck after a shotgun blew his beak around backwards? It's not that special to give your wife your receipts so she can balance the joint checking account.

There very worst part is that Farmer H leaves this afterthought right on the part of the kitchen counter that I keep clear for food preparation. And he does it in the dark of night. Stealthily. And he doesn't even bother to UNFOLD THE RECEIPT! I swear, I am having teacher flashbacks about those absentee slips that were tossed willy-nilly upon my desk, having been fished out of pockets and foundation garments and backpacks and probably shoes...strewn about my desk as if I was the one supposed to unfold them. At least Farmer H's folds are not soggy with something I don't want to know the origin of.

I think I need to designate a new throw-down area for Farmer H's afterthoughts. And keep a ledger with a running total each week, and each month, with a cumulative total at the end of each year. Surely I can find time to do that, can't I? Even with the full calendar I have with this new retirement gig.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

It's A Nice Day For A Pup Wetting

I came back from town around noon and met Farmer H in the Gator on the road in front of his freight container field. With him were The Veteran, and two of his little girls. Ranging out in front was my sweet, sweet Juno, and running alongside was Puppy Jack.

Perhaps running is too strong a word. Farmer H does not drive a fast Gator. Puppy Jack, short-legged though he may be, was barely trotting, and had no trouble keeping up. Juno had to rein it in, her long legs aching to race like the wind.

While I was blocking my half of the road, and Farmer H his, Puppy Jack grew bored. He walked in front of the Gator, looked up at Farmer H, looked over at me, then crawled under the front end, by the right front tire, for a nap in the shade.

"Don't run over Jack! He's under the Gator!"

"I won't run over Jack. He'll get out when I start it up again."

"Just out for a Saturday drive?"

"We're going up to the other land."

"Look out for Jack!"

"I will. He'll be going swimming." With that, Farmer H fired up his engine, Puppy Jack ran out from under, Juno darted ahead barking, and off they went.

Upon his return, Farmer H reported that Juno waded into the creek, Jack ran in and started swimming, and The Veteran's littlest girl (around 6) followed them.

"Don't go in the water! Stay away from the creek!" And in she went. Where she slipped and fell on her butt. Kids. What are ya gonna do?

Jack was all dried out by the time I went out this evening to feed him an old hot dog. Who knew that dachshunds or heelers liked to swim so much?

Friday, September 2, 2016

For Somebody Without Any Livestock, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom Sure Gets Her Goat Taken A Lot

He's done it again. Farmer H got my goat.

Oh, he doesn't plot and finagle and do it consciously. It just happens, by way of his lax household skills. As if it's not bad enough that he abandons his ripe bananas like a foundling on a doorstep, with nary another thought. He also believes that packaging is permanent.

Here's what I found in Frig II at noon after braving the first-weekend-of-the-month, Friday-before-a-holiday, Devil's Playground shoppers:

Uh huh. You know that individual tub of puddin' would have collapsed without its giant cardboard package, right? That's why Farmer H left it there.  A giant cardboard package, protecting a single individual tub of puddin'. I daresay Farmer H would have left the packaging on the back of the top shelf of Frig II by itself, even after taking the last individual tub of puddin'. But...we'll never have that data, because I threw it away and put the last individual tub of puddin' back on the top shelf of Frig II.

Farmer H probably won't eat it now. He'll think there's something wrong with it.

No, the tub of frosting in the corner of the photo isn't for Farmer H. I'm not trying to send him into a coma. YET. That's for the Oreo cake I will be baking this week for Farmer H to deliver to The Pony when he visits him in Oklahoma. 

And the scarred cutting block is a huge thick one on metal legs that was saved from the cleanout of the basement of Farmer H's old knife-making factory, before his current employer lured him away the year that the #1 son was born.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Sock It On Me!

Sometimes, lives tend to parallel and intertwine, much like the antics of Jerry, George, Kramer, and Elaine on an episode of Seinfeld.

Blog buddy Sioux rode with The Pony and Mrs. HM to a writer's conference in July. Funny how we both retired from the public school system in May, although Sioux, always chasing the big bucks and cushy perks bestowed upon such revered employees, turned right around and dived into education again. Maybe that's how she hurt her knee.

Funny, how we were discussing painful knees while waiting for the next conference session. Sioux is the one who brought up how old folks rock back and forth several times before arising. Right before Mrs. HM rocked back and forth several times in order to get up from the inches-from-the-ground cushioned blocky chair she had fallen into.

Funny, too, how Sioux was just the other day touting the benefits of putting a sock on what ails ye! A sock filled with rice warmed in the microwave, to ease those aching knees. Well. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has an old electric heater under her corner countertop desk in her dark basement lair, which heats her knees just fine. But she appreciated Sioux's info, and the almost-title of her post. Because on that very morning, Mrs. HM had taken a sock OFF what ailed her!

Here's the proof:

Don't be afraid! It's not a boa constrictor. You're not in danger. That's just a big ol' Doc Ortho sock, which Mrs. HM has put on each early-morning and taken off each morning for the past three days. What's so strange about that, you might ask. Well, let me tell you! That sock wasn't on her foot. No siree, Bob! That sock was on Mrs. HM's hand, of course. Because there's something funky going on with the inside edge of her left ring finger. No. It has nothing to do with a ring. Mrs. HM doesn't even wear rings. And it's NOT so she can catch another man just like Farmer H.

Yep, something has gone all wonky with that finger-side. It's even on the fingertip. I could be a spy, probably, because my prints will be messed up. That fingertip gets all dried out and wrinkly like when you sit in a bathtub for too long. Only dry. Not moist. The finger. Not the tub. So...the best remedy is to put some Vaseline on it overnight. I had some in a little rectangular plastic jar from about 25 years ago. It still works.

All you have to do is slather some of that Vaseline on your finger, and put a sock on your hand overnight. That way your bedclothes don't get oily, and your skin can marinate for at least 4-5 hours (if you sleep like Mrs. Hillbilly Mom).

With all the expert advice from Sioux and Mrs. HM, I'd be surprised if you ever have to go back to a health professional again. I don't know about her, but I'm pretty willing to jab you with needles and perhaps carve out minor organs if the pay is right. Of course, Sioux has a new cushy job, so she might not want to climb down from her pedestal and get her hands dirty.

I'm here if you need me. Just call 1 HIL LMO MBA1.