Monday, October 31, 2016

He Can't Drive 35

Look what I saw Saturday on the way home from a 44 oz Diet Coke run to the gas station chicken store:


He can't drive 35. Heck. He can't even stay alive!

No, I did not run over him. He was there on the way, too, but I had a better photo op on the way back. Look how artsy-fartsy Mrs. HM is with her hand-me-down phone camera! This is from behind the wheel of my Acadia. A-Cad. Because you may recall from elsewhere that I had major automotive troubles on Saturday, and T-Hoe had to stay home sick.

No, the hood of A-Cad is not misshapen. That's the style, baby! And that 35 mph speed limit reflection was a happy accident that I did not notice until now.

Poor Mr. Army Dillow. He was having an even worse day than T-Hoe. I don't think there is any recovering from what ails him. In fact, I know so! Because today, I saw him about a quarter mile up the road, not so put together, with three birds of prey sitting on him until I got really close. Sure, it could be a totally different Mr. Army Dillow, a doppelganger, perhaps, and the photogenic original Mr. Army Dillow got up and walked away.

AND INTO YOUR NIGHTMARES!

Happy Halloween.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Fruit Of Mrs. HM's Labor

This evening I inherited the chore of feeding the chickens and the goat and the mini pony, because Farmer H has forsaken me for Sweden. That's not an underage pole dancer. That's the country. He's away on business, or a spy mission.

The chickens were rude cluckers who would not come down out of their tree to eat. I think the overcast sky made them think it was bedtime a couple hours early. The goat screamed like a little girl when I started walking toward the pen. He's like that. Kind of excitable. The mini pony gave a whinny and shouldered the goat away from their trough made of a piece of plastic PVC pipe cut in half. Then he proceeded to run his nose down the length of it, pushing sweet feed off the uncapped end and onto the ground by his feet. He's either an evil genius, or a slob. The goat only had about 1/5 of that feed, but it's his own fault for running around like a chicken with its head cut off, and stepping into the narrow trough with his front feet, trying to look over the fence while I scooped out the food.

As I left the feeding area, I spied something on the gravel road that runs past Shackytown. What in the not-heaven?


As I looked at it, Juno ran up and grabbed it in her soft jowls and took off to taunt Jack with it. Huh. When did Jack and Juno get a ball? I proceeded to the outside spigot next to Jack's litter-box swimming pool, and ran a half-bucket of water to carry to top off the goat and pony's tub. While providing their hydration, I noticed two more of those things inside their pen. And they were broken on one side.

Oh. Those must be persimmons! It's that time of year! I can cut one in half and check on the seed shape for my blog buddy Sioux, to corroborate (or not) this year's Woolly Bear caterpillar long-range winter forecast. That's how Mrs. HM rolls. Always ready to help a friend who's still in the workforce.

Juno had lost interest, and left the persimmon in the yard while she rough-housed with Jack. I picked it up and put it on the decrepit picket fence that Farmer H insisted on putting along his brick sidewalk. As soon as I showed interest, I knew Jack would want it. So I put it out of reach for him until after my walk.

Huh. I've always asked Farmer H and The Pony to get me a persimmon. Now I have one. I've never cut one open before, because they would forget, and then tell me it was too late, because the goats had eaten them all. When I was a kid, my cousins and I used to get the persimmons that fell off the tree in my grandma's hog lot, and over the fence into the yard. We didn't cut them open, though. We ATE them. Or threw them at each other in a persimmon war.

Grandma's persimmons were not this big. And not this round. They were kind of flattened on top. More orange. With kind of a grayish dusty look to them in places. As long as you didn't eat the very sour skin, they were tasty. But these looked like giants compared to the persimmons of my youth. Maybe there weren't ripe yet. I need to go look up at the tree branches and see if there are more.

Anyhoo...after walking and giving the dogs their nightly treat, I went to the kitchen to prepare for my persimmon dissection. I put it on a paper plate, and got out my newest knife. Not the big butcher knife from Farmer H's factory, not the small paring knife that is my favorite. A knife that Goldilocks might have termed just right.

No matter how hard I pushed, or how many times I tried to slice, I could not get that knife more than a couple of millimeters below the rough surface.

Occam's Razor. Sometimes, a dog ball is just a dog ball.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Bully Woolly! Bully Woolly!

On the first trip up the driveway for my evening walk, I saw a Woolly Bear caterpillar. They are said to foretell the harshness of the coming winter, you know. I've been seeing them on the road, but without my glasses (makes you feel safe, huh) I can't tell how much of them are black, and how much of them are that rusty brown. Supposedly, the more black on them, the harsher the winter. If this little guy holds true to that superstition, then we have nothing to worry about here in Hillmomba.


Poor Woolly Bear! I had my hand-me-down-phone camera all lined up for a perfect shot, but then THIS BEAST came hurtling out of nowhere:


Don't you worry about Mr. Woolly Bear, though. Because after big bad bully Jack flattened him with one of his diggers while dancing on his hind feet in a ME ME ME bid for attention when he saw me with the camera phone, Mr. Woolly Bear revived. Uh huh. Exactly 10 minutes later, on my second trip down the driveway, the way back, I caught Mr. Woolly Bear trying to run away before we could squish him with a big fat puppy paw again.


Neither picture of the caterpillar is very clear, but that's the best I could zoom in on him without losing focus, or having a dog nose pop up on the screen. But if you look at how the setting sun glints off his woolly hairs, you can see that he is mostly rusty.

Too bad for my educationally-employed brethren and sistren...but so enabling for trips to town for 44 oz Diet Cokes.

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Things You Overhear At The Gas Station Chicken Store

So...as I walked into the gas station chicken store around noon today, I overheard this thirty-something lady at the counter telling the newest male clerk this story. I wish I'd gotten a better look at her, but I was making a beeline for the soda fountain to get my 44 oz Diet Coke.

"Oh, that's nothing! A few weeks ago, my husband and I were on the way back from California. We'd been driving a long time, and it was late, but I had to go to the bathroom. We stopped at a Walmart and I rushed inside.

There was a man in the bathroom, and I realized that I was in such a hurry that I'd gone in the wrong one. But I really had to go, so I went in a stall. When I came out, that man said, 'You are SO pretty!' I was kind of embarrassed, and said, 'Thank you. I feel bad for coming in here, but I HAD to!' 

I went back outside and told my husband that the man though I was really pretty. And he said, 'You idiot! You went in the men's room. He thought you were a transgender!'"

Yeah. I couldn't help but smile. I might even have snorted. So much for pretending I wasn't eavesdropping.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Something Stinks To High Heaven At The Dead Mouse Smelling Post Office

Perhaps you recall the saga presented two weeks ago concerning the loss of the weekly letters I mail to the #1 son and The Pony. While #1 received his letter the following Monday, three business days later than normal, even accounting for the Columbus Day holiday...The Pony STILL has not gotten his letter. The letter containing a check for his monthly expenses.

I held off as long as I could. Both boys are used to getting their expense money on the 15th. I hold them to it, because in the real world, a boss is not going to pay you early if you blow through your paycheck too soon, or an emergency comes up. Learn to live with a cushion, so you can weather the rough economic seas.

The Pony said he was fine for money. That we could wait and see if the letter showed up. When it wasn't there by October 21st, I did a mobile deposit to The Pony's credit union account at college. I had to drive to town to get a good enough telephone signal, and make sure I had glasses to read my phone screen, and took two tries to get a good enough photo...but I got it done. Not as conveniently as dropping a check in the mail for The Pony to deal with, as has worked in the past. But there was no great hardship on The Pony's financial well-being.

As of this morning, The Pony STILL had not received that letter, even though he has gotten two others that are newer. When I looked up the policy on lost mail from the USPS online, it said you can file a lost mail form, even for regular mail that is not certified or insured. BUT you have to set up an account and give your email and jump through many hoops, and it wants to know the size and how the mail was addressed, etc. I figured they pay people a salary (and good benefits!) to do that job, so I went to the dead mouse smelling post office in person this morning.

As you might imagine, that was a wasted trip, fraught with tomfoolery.

The old lady in front of me had just finished complaining about lost mail, I think. She was a nice old lady, wondering where in the world it could be, and worried that her daughter might not get it, or that it would be damaged. To further exhibit the niceness of this old lady, the object lost in the mail that she had sent to her daughter was a prayer book. Uh huh. So it's not like this old lady was a-cussin' the postal clerk and a-rippin' her a new excrement exit. She was being quite polite, voicing her worries, not pointing blame, simply wanting her daughter to receive her prayer book.

Postal Clerk was not the middle-aged lady I regularly deal with, who had a couple of kids who attended Newmentia under my tutelage. The one I had seen picking up the mail from the box early one day last week. Nope. This clerk was early-middle-aged, with a fried perm that wasn't bleached blond, but was bleached lighter than brown. A brassy color. And a tan from a bed, or out of a bottle, with that orange tint to her skin. She rushed that old lady out of there before she was finished talking. Sometimes, you know, it's more about what people NEED to say than what they are actually saying. The old lady was obviously thinking about her daughter, and wanted everything to be okay.

Postal Clerk brushed old lady aside by turning to me (waiting patiently behind, because where do I have to be, anyway) and asking how she could help me.

"I'd like to buy two books of stamps, and then I have a missing mail issue."

Postal Clerk foisted some stamps on me, but that part of the tale will be told elsewhere. Then she asked what my problem was with the mail. I had an envelope addressed to The Pony, in my regular writing, which, those of you who have seen it know, is the antithesis of sloppy. It's block letters. All caps. Neat. Legible.

"It was a letter to my son that I mailed at the box out there on Monday, October 10. I know it was Columbus Day, and the mail didn't go out until Tuesday. But I put it in the mailbox. It has been 12 business days, and my son has not received his letter. It's important, because there was a check folded up in the letter for his college expenses."

"Oh, we don't have any way to check mail dropped in the box. Sorry."

"So...there's no way to see the last place it was scanned?"

"No. Probably somebody else in your son's dorm got it. A different room. Maybe they'll give it to him. Or it might arrive any day now. If it couldn't be delivered, you would have gotten it back, because the return address is clear."

How quick she was to deny responsibility and lay it at the feet of a lowly college student! That federal wench must take me for a complete idiot. A complete idiot who does not have access to the innernets. Seems one in her position could at least tell me about the process listed here and here, under What Options Exist for Late, Lost, or No Delivery of Mail? .

It's a good thing the dead mouse smelling post office didn't have a suggestion box on the counter.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Little Big Mom

Since her recent retirement, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has nothing better to do than roam the countryside looking for trouble, her mouth itching to write checks her ample buttocks can't cash. She's like a female rabble-rousing Johnny Appleseed, sowing ill will throughout Hillmomba.

Take today, for instance...

For two months now, signs have been in place by the oft-flooded low water bridge to prevent parking along the side of the road. The county road department even plowed in a big ditch, but whether the purpose was for water drainage or parking difficulty is a moot point. The law now says DON'T PARK HERE. There used to be people there all the time. Or just cars, with no people in sight. Who knows what was going on? Sometimes fishing off the bridge, making it difficult for cars to speed across pass. Sometimes swimming. Sometimes dumping old couches and chairs. Perhaps illicit trysts. Or drug deals. Which, the last time I checked (not that I'm in the market for purchase or sale) was illegal.

Anyhoo...signs were put up, and a ditch was dug.


People can still break the law by straddling that ditch with their tires. I literally chortled with glee one day to see a car hung up in the mud there after scoffing the law. The fact remains, however, that people are NOT supposed to park there.


ANY TIME! Get it?

So this morning I went through around 10:00, and there was an old lady with a buzz cut sitting on the bridge on an upturned white ten gallon plastic bucket, fishing. Over by the NO PARKING zones were a truck and a car. Parked. The white pickup was directly in front of that NO PARKING sign, facing toward the creek. I swear that its mirror had to hit the sign as it parked. It was that close. The dark blue sedan was facing up the hill. I turned to look as I went by, wondering how one lady could drive two vehicles. Or if there was more going on than I first imagined.

THERE WAS A WOMAN SITTING IN THE PASSENGER SEAT OF THE SEDAN!

Oh, well. I had my sunglasses on. I'm sure I was unrecognizable, throwing up my hands as it were, gesticulating wildly to convey "WTF! The signs say NO PARKING!"

I headed on to town on my everyday mission to procure a 44 oz Diet Coke. And I hatched a plan to snag a photo to put on my blog. A truck parked directly in front of a NO PARKING sign! That's never been done before, right? But matters were complicated by the presence of The Gatekeeper.

What was going on there? Was it a daughter who came along with her mom on a fishing trip? To make sure no ne'er-do-wells, like, perhaps, someone who would park right under a NO PARKING sign, would harm her? If so, then who put the truck there? Did the old woman drive the truck, and the daughter the car? If so, then why was the daughter sitting on the passenger side of the sedan? And had the old woman been ill, perhaps, resulting in the very short buzz cut? Was this on her bucket list, sitting on a bucket and fishing from a shallow creek? Or was she a woman who prefers women (not that there's anything wrong with that), who prefers a manly cut of her tresses? Too many questions for as-yet-uncaffeinated Mrs. HM.

On the way back, I was thwarted by a tractor in the middle of the county road, trying to go where no road went before, to some land that had been raped by the Rockers. Then a speeder ran up on T-Hoe's rear bumper. So I pulled off at the entrance to the sheep farm (the dog was minding the flock yesterday, but no sheep were seen today) to let it pass, and put my hand-me-down cell phone into camera mode. Mrs. HM was loaded for bear! She was going to get her picture of the scofflaw! From the side, to show the sign. No identifying license number. I waited for a school bus to pass. What kind of crazy route is that, a school bus out on the county road at 10:50 a.m.?

The thought of The Gatekeeper was weakening my resolve. What if The Gatekeeper hollered at me while I was taking the picture? I had my phone ready. It shouldn't take but a second. I could stop at the side of the road where a 20-something man asked if I needed help while I was taking the original sign pictures. If The Gatekeeper dared question me, I had a smarta$$ answer all ready, "I'm just taking a funny picture for social media. I'M not breaking any laws!" Heh, heh. That should put her in her place. After all, I live out here! Where did SHE come from, anyway?

I pulled back onto the road and proceeded over hill and dale along the dusty trail. I was afraid The Fisher would be gone. Nothing to see there. But as I crested the hill that drops to the creek, the one where I have the last chance to turn around if I see that it's flooded, I saw The Fisher, still perched upon her bucket.

AND THE GATEKEEPER WAS STANDING BESIDE THE SEDAN, TALKING ON HER CELL PHONE!!!

No way was I going to stop and snap a picture! Not with that gal out of the sedan. No siree, Bob! Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is not about confrontations. So now I'm mad as not-heaven, and I'm going to take it again and again.

There's no need to order more checks for my mouth...but my butt needs to get a check-cashing card.

Oh, yeah. And upon further scrutiny as I drove across the low water bridge...that woman sitting on the bucket was a man, baby!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

We Probably Shouldn't Be Allowed To Roam Freely About The County

I had lunch with my favorite gambling aunt today. While neither one of us gets up with the chickens, we do eat with the senior citizens. Early. The plan was to meet at 11:00 for lunch, but Auntie sent me a text asking to move that to 11:30, since she didn't get up until 10:00.

We drove separately to bill-paying town, where we planned to dine at Bison Tame Legs. Neither of us had been there since last summer, when we took The Pony and Auntie's grandson. Who's in his twenties, but not one to turn down a free meal. Today it was just the two of us, though.

Let's not forget that Auntie, most recently on one of our culinary excursions, ordered fries at Pizza Hut. And that when we go to Burger Brothers at the casino, she orders an Italian Sausage. Farmer H, who likes his taco salad to come from Hardee's, sees nothing wrong with this. I kind of do. At Bison Tame Legs, I had the naked tenders. They may not be legs, but at least they're CHICKEN. Auntie, though, had the little street tacos. Sweet Gummi Mary! We could have eaten at Hardee's if I knew she wanted Mexican food!

Anyhoo...as we were dawdling and fending off the waitress hungry for us to hit the road, Auntie said she had been to the city yesterday for a doctor's appointment, and that she ate at Tucker's. She highly recommended it, even though I rarely go to the city, and NEVER if I have to drive myself. But she insisted the food was delicious.

"You should look it up on the internet so you can see what they have."

"Okay. Is it a restaurant? Tucker's Restaurant?"

"Actually, they're a steakhouse."

"Okay. I'll look it up."

"Just look for Tucker's. It's by South County Mall. We were going to go walk around and look at stuff, but since neither of us can walk, we decided against it."

Let the record show that Auntie has new hips and they still hurt.

Anyhoo...you'll never guess what she had to eat at Tucker's that she was raving about. Oh, come on! You know better than to guess "steak." Uh huh. Auntie went to that steakhouse, and said they had the best PIZZA!

No point in this little tale, really. Except to point out that Auntie does not seem to choose restaurants for their specialty.

Let the record show my best ol' ex-teaching buddy Mabel that my calendar is open for lunch any day between now and...um...let's see...where's my social calendar...oh, yes...there it is...FOREVER!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Retired People Not-Even Problems

Dang the Devil! Off I went to The Devil's Playground this morning, index-card-list in hand, ready to fill my cart like a Supermarket Sweep contestant. Only not with 10 frozen turkeys and 10 cases of disposable diapers. I had places to go! Like the bank, because the #1 son needs a new pair of shoes. And the Casey's, because T-Hoe needed sustenance. And a 44 oz Diet Coke, because Mrs. HM needed her daily dose of magical elixir. No dilly-dallying was penciled in with The Devil.

So...I grabbed a cart from the corral by where I parked, but it was crappy, even for a Devil's cart. So after crossing to the next parking row, I left it and grabbed another one sitting by the Handicap Space concrete sign-holder. It was just as noisy, but steered straight, so I kept it. That's how Mrs. Hillbilly Mom rolls. Heh, heh! Get it? How I ROLL? Because I was rolling a cart, see? I crack myself up sometimes!

I went in the entrance door, and for the first time in a long time I was not almost run over by people exiting through it. The Pony was a stickler for instruction-following. So I always had to use the correct door, even though 90% of The Devil's people do the opposite. Of course my hollow victory was short-lived, because standing at the entrance to the Playground proper, two blue-vested blue-hairs were chatting with their hands, blocking my way past the seasonal shelf and the baskets of french bread. I had to swing way over, almost to the checkouts, to get past them.

Don't worry! I got my slaw! TWO containers, because they don't have the big ones anymore. The bananas were green enough. But when it came to the slaw mix, bagged lettuce, broccoli/cauliflower carrot aisle, another blue-vested soldier of The Devil's army had a cart parked in the way. Uh huh. That's the problem with shopping on a Monday. You'd think they could have their overnight crew do the stocking. Are you telling me that semi trailers full of fresh produce don't arrive until 8:00 a.m. on a Monday? You know that stuff was sitting in the storeroom, waiting. I barely contorted myself to snag a bag of slaw. Usually, The Devil's soldiers will move aside and say they're sorry. This one just ignored me. Oh, and they were fresh out of the bagged broccoli/cauliflower/carrots.

You know what else they were out of? My very special TV dinners, the Great Value Salisbury Steak with Potatoes! Darn the Devil! Darn him all to heck! I found my other items, and got the sour-faced checker who's really good at speed and bagging. So there's that.

That's 45 minutes of my life I will never get back. And now I have to go BACK for the dinners and the broccoli/cauliflower/carrots later in the week.

I hope I can find time in my busy schedule...

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Mansion Is NOT An Unlimited Canine Buffet

You might recall that for a while, we had trouble with the neighbors across the gravel road from the Mansion. Not so much a problem with the neighbors as with their aggressive, chicken-killing, pet-attacking standard poodle and bob-tailed brown dog. For a while now, those dogs have been penned up. Oh, don't think it was because of our chickens. Farmer H let them know, and they said they'd been trying to get their invisible fence fixed. But the devil dogs still ran rampant. And then they killed the fowl of the people who live on the land behind them, and the dogs got penned. Maybe those other neighbors made some threats. Or some promises. Anyhoo...it solved our devil dog problem. Thank the Gummi Mary the penning happened before we got Puppy Jack. I don't know how I would cope if I found him murdered in the yard.

Puppy Jack has his moments. Lots of moments. He's a chaser. If it moves, Jack's on it. Loudly. He is not, however, a killer. He chases all of our cats if he catches them moving across the yard. If they're on the porch, he just tries to hump them. He chases our chickens and guineas and turkey. Not so much the turkey, who stares him down. The guineas, who I am convinced are Satan with feathers, squawk their tiny heads off, and run like the wind. The chickens run around like their heads have been cut off, dropping feathers here and there, like when the guineas grab them by the butt and swing them around. Still, Jack has not harmed any of our animals, though he HAS made their heart rates increase.

One thing I noticed about Jack is that he seems to be STEERING the fowl to where he thinks they belong. For example, if I walk over to the BARn field, and Jack sees two or three chickens over there, he runs them down, barking, until they take off for the roosting tree or feeding area. It took me a while to decode this pattern of Jack's behavior. Farmer H feeds the fowl in the evening, right after I am done with my walk, and I think Jack knows that they belong in that area. Every time I see him chase one, he's making them run to the pen/tree/feeding area. Maybe I'm projecting sense that Jack doesn't have.

Our side neighbors have a dog. It's quite breathtaking. I don't know what kind. It has a golden/mahogany shiny coat, like a boxer color, but it's not a boxer. It's tall and muscular. Seems friendly enough. It has just recently matured into doggy adulthood. It used to sit at the edge of the front yard, just across the property line of its own acreage. No problem. Just sat and watched me interact with Jack and Juno, until they smelled him and ran at him and he left. Then he started sitting his ground, and they'd run up to an invisible wall, and bark at him. Whenever I caught him in the yard, I'd stick my head out the front door and yell, "Get out of here!" And he would.

Several weeks ago, Big Mahogany started coming around in the evening. That's when Jack and Juno have their snack on the porch, then frolic in the front yard. Big Mahogany sat by the garage, watching. It seemed like he wanted to play. Jack and Juno did not like that at all. Bark bark bark. Jack would dash at Big Mahogany, then hold up, because he DOES know that he's a little shaver, and could be chewed up and spit out. Big Mahogany started to feint and wag his tail. Like he wanted to join in playing. For a couple of nights, they all played chase, though there was none of the friendly biting and wrestling that Jack and Juno have between themselves.

THEN...I stared seeing Big Mahogany in the front yard in the daytime. Jack and Juno yapping at him. It was like their line of defense shrunk. From the edge of the yard, to the driveway side, to the front yard proper, to the imaginary line from porch to well spigot.

The fur hit the fan a couple Saturdays ago, when HOS was with Farmer H over by Shackytown, and Big Mahogany came charging across the front yard chasing the turkey. Farmer H's turkey! Bore down on him like a locomotive, until Turkey flew up into the roosting tree. Let the record show that Turkey does not usually roost in the tree. But he sure got up there in a hurry, even though all his feathers didn't.

Did I neglect to mention that Farmer H had been finding piles of feathers for a couple weeks? Like the three piles of white ones I can point out from the porch right now, fresh from last week? Two under the cedar tree in the front yard where the chickens have a dirt bath, having scratched the grass away. And one in the side yard, towards the chicken pen. Not just errant feathers here and there, like we find often. PILES of feathers. Like a chicken exploded. Farmer H has only found one body, though. One of his latest chicks, that was now half grown. We stared with seven of them, and have two left. Not to mention 30 chickens total a few weeks ago, and now only 9 remaining.

That dead little chicken, and the turkey incident, are stuck in Farmer H's craw. We like our side neighbors. But I DID take a shot at Big Mahogany with the 30-year-old BB gun the other day. He turned to look at me like, "AND...?" Didn't even run off.

Here's the happy ending. So far. We haven't seen Big Mahogany for about a week. Yet when I go out to walk, and Jack and Juno start yipping and frolicking alongside me, I HEAR Big Mahogany, through the trees, in the direction of the side-neighbor homestead.

Here's Farmer H's theory. Big Mahogany had been killing the chickens. Probably after Farmer H left for work in the mornings, because the dogs had been waking me up (I know, tragic!) barking at something in the yard. Since Farmer H only found the one body, he thinks Big Mahogany was taking the carcasses home, and that neighbors found them in their yard, and thought, "OH SH!T, that's Farmer H's chicken!" So they penned up Big Mahogany. Because good pens make good neighbors.

Let the record show that Side Neighbor Gal had also seen Big Mahogany sitting in our yard one evening, and stopped her car on the gravel road and yelled at him to get home. Not that it worked. But she tried. And that the side neighbors had a pretty black lab a while back that somebody shot and laid at the end of their driveway. That dog WAS rambunctious and a nuisance. But you don't just kill somebody's dog unless it's killing a person at the time. Anyhoo...that might have been on their mind, too, when they penned up Big Mahogany.

So...we haven't lost a chicken or found a pile of feathers for about a week.

But I'm looking for a dog-friendly shock collar for Puppy Jack.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Eyes Have It

Today I was minding my own beeswax in the line at the gas station chicken store, a 44 oz Diet Coke in my left hand, and a plastic bag containing a cardboard box containing fried chicken looped over the same forearm. The reason for my wait was the inconvenient convenience store behavior of customers who dared patronize Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's favorite establishment at the same time as she.

The newest cashier dude was trying to explain a lottery procedure to two old ladies who had already paid for their purchases. After they finally exited, two young dudes took their place. I swear one of them was a student of Mrs. HM about four years ago, a transfer to play a sport, clever enough to pass with minimal effort. He was absent more than he was there, so he may not have recognized me. However, he DID seem to be avoiding my gaze. Usually I give them a curt greeting, just so they know that I know who they are.

The guy the anonymous pupil was with got some gas, some PowerBall tickets, and started quizzing Cashier Dude on recent winners on various scratch-off tickets. THEN he pulled out his checkbook. I can't with these people! I just can't!

While I was treading chicken fumes in line, two ladies and a loud girl came in. Loud Girl was, perhaps, 9 years old. The first thing out of her mouth, LOUDLY, was "My sister thinks you're cute!" I thought she was talking to Anonymous Pupil, because he was the best-looking guy in the store. He did not respond. Didn't glance left, nor right. Loud Girl went down the next aisle with the ladies. They pulled a cup and ran ONE fountain soda. "Gotta get Grandma's soda." I don't even know if one of them was Grandma. And I surely don't know why it took three of them to get one soda. They stood close behind me, perhaps waiting for the chicken tender. The two ladies carried on with each other. "She's going to get us thrown out of here!" And, "Yeah. I don't know why she has to be so loud all the time."

Anyhoo...they were behind me. Loud Girl flitted around, loudly, and darted past me to grab a plastic spoon with a pen taped to it from a holder on the counter. They use that for scratching scratchers that novices don't know enough to have ready, showing the bar code to be scanned for the winning amount. Or for customers to use to write checks. That guy at the counter ahead of me was using the one from the active register.

Then Loud Girl turned into one of those cats that has to someplace else immediately. She tore around me like a non-champion barrel racer, and hit my bagged chicken box, making it swing to and fro, shaking my arm, agitating my 44 oz Diet Coke.

"Oh. I'm sorry."

She stopped and turned to look at me. Morphing from cracked-out cat into a headlight-mesmerized deer. I did not reply. That's what happens when you are allowed to get away with nonsense, and not have your butt swatted from an early age, or get escorted back to the car with a firm grip on your wrist, for misbehaving in public places: somebody gets their chicken rattled and their magical elixir shaken.

I gave her the teacher stink-eye. In case you are not an education insider, let the record show that this look is NOT accompanied by a smile.

"So sorry..."

Loud Girl continued out of the store, and came back shortly, a bit more subdued, and took a different route to get back to her insouciant minders.

No. It's not cute when you let your offspring run amuck. Good luck in five years.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Hillmomba People Problems In A Nutshell

This morning was beautiful! All sunny and bright, temps in the low 50s, a brisk feel to the breeze. I headed to town to mail the electric and trash pickup bills. More evidence (SEE?) that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom actually pays the bills she receives! I pulled over at the dry-fountain park beside the drive-thru mailbox that is apparently a black hole where expense checks to Oklahoma Ponies are concerned.

It's a shame, isn't it, that I have to drive all the way to town so that I have enough signal to make a mobile deposit in The Pony's account? Even though the #1 son told me before I left that all I had to do was connect to the Mansion's Wi-Fi. Yeah. I heard you snort. Same as me when he provided that cockamamie tidbit like he wasn't doing something the equivalent of telling our old dog Grizzly (several years deceased) how to fly a 747.

That bit of cell phone banking only took me TWO tries! I might start looking for part-time work in the technology industry! Anyhoo...I was glad to have that chore over, so I could pull away from the dry fountain, because a lady a few houses down from the Bed and Breakfast that I parked across from had been giving me the side-eye while pretending to be cleaning out her car. I hope that doesn't mean that I look like a crazy clown. I'm not used to raising suspicion all willy-nilly like some weirdo who got thrown out of the gas station chicken store a couple summers ago for taking pictures.

I stopped for my 44 oz Diet Coke, then headed for home. I was enjoying the beautiful fall weather as I rounded the corner where the sheep-watching dog is employed. Not there today. Nor were the sheep. Must be in a different field, away from the road.

CRACK!!!

WITNH (What In The Not-Heaven) was THAT?

I thought I had been shot at! That a brick had been dropped off a highway overpass onto my windshield! That a derelict dump truck had propelled a rock of 3-inch minus at my T-Hoe with its un-flapped tire! It was all I could do not to jerk T-Hoe back and forth across the road like Farmer H on a normal day of driving.

Up on T-Hoe's roof, where there is unfixed hail damage (though we got the insurance payment for it), among the rails of the luggage rack, I heard skittering. That was unsettling. I heard it twice. In two different sessions. Then nothing.

Sweet Gummi Mary! I had no idea what was going on. But thankfully, there was no star crack in my windshield. I figured I would look up on the roof by standing on the running board when I got to EmBee to pick up the mail. It was about a mile and a half away. All the while, I was wondering what was up on my roof. Had a limb fallen down? Did a bird hit me and flop up there, injured? Was a squirrel or possum on a limb that gave way? Because I was right under a tree when that non-mark-leaving CRACK happened. I made up my mind that I was NOT touching an injured critter. It could lay there and start stinking, and wait for Farmer H to remove it.

Once I had stopped in the road beside EmBee's mailbox condo, I didn't want to look. But I HAD to look. So I got out and turned around.


Well. Wasn't THAT anticlimactic? Looks like a hickory nut had fallen off a tree and hit T-Hoe's windshield as I drove by. I was only going 20 mph. Or LESS! Because that's a 90-degree curve right there by the sheep field. Those hickory nuts sure do fall hard! Of course, they're not in a soft cushiony green cover like a walnut. No siree, Bob! Hickory nuts are in a WOODEN cover. Looks like this one split apart, the other parts skittered under T-Hoe's luggage rails and fell off, and the nut and this section got wedged.

Whew! That was a relief! It made for a pretty picture. But I almost needed a defibrillator for the initial shock.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

My Mind On My Mint And My Mint On My Mind

As you may recall, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has been making wise choices. While she would love to kick back in her basement blue recliner every evening with a plate of FUDGE, she resists the urge. In its place, and in her LIT basement lair, she has a bag of LifeSavers Mints: Orange. Okay. She also has a bag of the Wintergreen, too, but we're not talking about them today. A few from each bag in the evening, and sometimes 1/3 box of Sno*Caps, and Mrs. HM is sated.

Last evening, I was getting ready to play an online crossword puzzle, and reached for an orange LifeSaver mint. They're not minty at all. Just orange. But not the clear kind like a regular LifeSaver. These mints are solid white, with orange speckles. So anyhoo...I had my eyes on the crossword puzzle, and felt something amiss with my mint.


That picture is after I had already opened the wrapper. But I put the pieces back in just like they were. I thought, you see, that a mint had broken in shipping. But then I took out the two halves, and they weren't mates at all! Not even proper halves. One was bigger than half. If I tried to put them together, I got this:


Yeah. It says "LIFE SAAVERS."

How could this happen on the assembly line? I watch that Food Factory USA show. There are computer and/or human checkpoints where something like this would get kicked out. It's called quality control. Somebody was asleep at the switch.

You know what, though? It still tasted the same.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Pics Or It Didn't Happen

Farmer H has told me for weeks now, months even, that Puppy Jack swims in the fake fish pond. I have no reason to believe that he's making it up. There's plenty of circumstantial evidence. Jack sometimes has a green tint to his white coat. A fishy smell about him. And just the other day, when I made a garage loop during my driveway walk, Puppy Jack jumped over the side of the concrete retaining wall, chased the tan-striped cat, Simba, without barking or biting, and returned all wet. Let the record show that the fish pond was in the direction he was chasing the cat.

Even though I believe Jack has taken a dip or 20 in the fake fish pond, I can't catch him in action. I kind of want to see that. As in an, "Oh, that is SO cute!" kind of way. But Jack is either lucky or as sly as a fox. I can't put an eyeball on this behavior. Until yesterday.

I came home from town, and walking out the people door of the garage to distribute hugs and cat kibble, saw Jack nudge his way through the wooden lattice that goes across the bottom of the porch. That way he can get to the back yard without running all the way around the garage. Then I heard a SPLASH!

OOH! This was like trying to spend the night in the woods and see Bigfoot! To stay up all night on Christmas Eve and catch Santa. I hurried up the porch steps and strode toward the railing.

THERE WAS JACK, SWIMMING IN THE FAKE FISH POND!

The cuteness took my breath away momentarily. Then I grabbed my phone out of my purse to document the occasion. It's not like the National Enquirer would buy my photo of swimming Jack, like they would a picture of Bigfoot or a picture of Santa. I simply wanted it for myself. And for my loyal readers.

It would be easier to snap a photograph of the Roadrunner (BEEP BEEP!) during a battle of wits with Wile E. Coyote than it was to get a picture of Puppy Jack, hyper as a ferret on crack, taking a dip in the fish pond. Here it is, though:


I swear that's Jack! See the extra-long tail? See the spot on his rumpus? That's HIM! The water is still all stirred up from his effort to hoist himself out of that ersatz swimming pool. Darn the lag in button-pushing and picture-taking!


Jack ran around to the other end, and proceeded to bark and bite at the thin trickle of water. He might have found a frog. Or he might just be a canine idiot. In any case, he disguised his face pretty well. He came up with a mouthful of weeds, shook them like he was attempting to snuff the life out of them, and buried his head again to repeat that act.

I saw Jack swimming in the fish pond yesterday. Really.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Hillmomba People Problems Of The EmBee Kind

Apparently, the problem we've been having here in Hillmomba with both *outgoing and incoming mail is not limited to Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's family.

Saturday, I was halfway down the gravel road, just past the spot where the traveling meth lab seizure had backed up traffic several years ago, when a lady on a 4-wheeler wearing cowboy boots and Daisy Dukes (the lady, not the 4-wheeler) flagged me down coming the other way.

"Are you going to your mailbox?"

"I was headed to town. I usually stop on the way back. But I'm sure it's here by now."

"Uh huh. I was expecting a package. My husband is at work, and he says the package has been delivered. He checked the tracking. But I didn't have a key in my mailbox. I thought maybe it got put in somebody else's by mistake."

"Did you look in the other boxes? If you saw it, you could contact the people to check on it."

"Oh, I would NEVER open up somebody else's mailbox! That's against the law, I think."

"I do it when I get somebody else's mail in my box. To see if that's who it belongs to. Some of them don't have numbers on them."

"I've had Buddy up the road get my mail, and his wife brings it to me. Then there's a gentleman on up the county road with the same number address, different street, that gets mine sometimes. And he calls me to come get it."

"You are very lucky. I've had BILLS go missing several times, and nobody ever brings them to me. If I don't know who it belongs to, I drive it into town and put it back in the mailbox. They can just deliver it until they get it right." 

Mrs. HM is not in the business of tracking down strangers whose mail appears in EmBee, and delivering it to them out of the goodness of her heart. She did that with some UPS (Unqualified People Shipping) boxes one Christmas season, taking them up the gravel road, and thought she might be killed. [Here's a snippet from that rabbit trail of a blog, not archived by single posts, way back on December 16, 2005, a post with the title of "Jack London, Bad Boys, and Deliverance."]

We arrived home to find three large packages on our back porch.
I didn't think I was spoiling my kids THAT much for Christmas.
I hauled them in, and found out that two of them were not ours.
(The packages, not the kids.) Go figure. Our address is 7365.
The address on these two was 7414. Gosh. Even my seven-year-
old could guess that these packages go to two different houses.
Gosh-darn UPS (Unqualified People Shipping). We called a
neighbor's girlfriend with the same first name as on the package.
Nope. Not hers. But her address is 7400, so that was a workable
clue. We drove up the road until we found the address.

At this point, I am making a NOTE TO SELF: Hillbilly Mom,
when you want to live dangerously, next time leave the
children safe at home. This driveway wound through the woods.
Then we passed the pen with the goats. Then the dog on a chain.
The front yard housed a cathouse. Not that kind. For a little kitty.
Next thing we know, the garage door started to rise. Then a
Deliverance-looking fellow popped up from behind the open
hood of a cherry-red Corvette and walked toward us. #1 son
was already out of our large SUV, as I had commanded him to
go knock and announce that we were delivering UPS packages.
This guy had most of his teeth, no hair, and bleeding knuckles.
I hoped I had not interrupted a human sacrifice in the garage,
and that he had just nicked them on some sharp engine thingy.
The goats were bleating or baaing or whatever little horny goats
do. Chickens ran around in the yard. A black cat tip-toed around
the cathouse, rubbing on the corner, looking at us like: "This is
mine. Don't you even come over here." The guy said, "You didn't
have to bring them. You could have called." Uh, yeah. We didn't
even know if they had a phone. He said he gets packages for an
auto body shop that is out on the county road. Stupid UPS. I
guess the deliverer thought, "Hey, it's Friday afternoon. I'll just
leave the rest of my packages here, they'll give them to the
neighbor. WooHoo! Weekend!" Stupid UPS. I liked the old
driver, a woman who threw out dog biscuits to the animals.
You hardly even knew she was there. She would drive up, grab
the package, toss her biscuits on the porch, set down the package,
rap three times on the kitchen door, and was gone by the time
you looked out. She must have a better route now.


"Oh, I would never have my important mail sent here! My bills go to my post office box in town. I wouldn't be that worried, but it's a PS Vita for my son. I don't want somebody else to get it. And it says it was delivered."

"Okay. I'll go look."

"I'll follow you."

Just then, she got a phone call, so I went on while Daisy sat on her 4-wheeler taking the call. We both know there's hardly any reception down in the bottom by the mailbox condo. I parked and walked across the road to EmBee. Only mail. Mostly election propaganda. I wanted to wait so Daisy could see that I didn't palm the key for her PS Vita, but I was not going to stand along the road. Another car came out and went towards town. Then here came Daisy. 4-wheelin'.

"Sorry, I didn't have a key in my box."

"That's okay. My husband thinks maybe they delivered it to the post office box." (Which normally they won't do, you know. But this is the dead-mouse-smelling post office we're talking about.) "I'll go to town and check on it. Thank you."

Well, good luck to Daisy Dukes. Because it was already 12:15, and the dead-mouse-smelling post office closes at noon. Or 12:30. Or whenever they feel like it on any given Saturday.

*******************************************************************
*Let the record show that the #1 son received his missing letter Monday afternoon, 7 days after mailing. And that The Pony still has not gotten his as of tonight.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Pretty Sure Farmer H Would Build Me A Rumpus Shack If I Asked

What the world needs these days are more rumpus rooms! No, I'm not talking about subterranean, wood-paneled hide-a-ways where parents can play pinochle, teens can make out, tweens can construct Cootie, or tots can be sent to pummel the bejeebers out of a Bobo Doll. I'm talking about a room for kicking someone's rumpus! Someone quite deserving...

Remember Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's call for rumpuses to roll at the dead-mouse-smelling post office? Well...today she had a chance to plant a kick on one of those rumpuses! But refrained. Because she's refined like that.

Neither of my boys got their letter last week. The ones I mailed on Tuesday morning due to the Monday holiday. The ones that usually take two days to arrive. Not the #1 son, two hours away in College Town, nor The Pony 8.5 hours away in Norman OK. Which means they didn't get their monthly expense check. #1 was the most hurt by this turn of events, his bills being due on Wednesday (two days from now) and his name being on the rental house and utilities. I don't know if he lets his four housemates run a tab, or if they pay him on that date. But I do know that he is used to getting his money on the 15th, and it is now the 17th, and the piper needs a-payin'.

This morning I left home at 10:35 to head to the bank to deposit cash in #1's account, and to the Devil's Playground for my weekly torture. I had the letters for this week ready to send the boys. Mail goes out at 11:00. That's what it says on the drive-up mailboxes, anyway. And the slot in the wall inside, if you like smelling dead mouse before noon. I was sorting out the letters and a DISH bill (see, there's proof that Mrs. HM DOES pay her bills when she receivers them) from three winning scratcher tickets that were jammed in my purse, and turned to slip them into the snout of the official U.S. Postal Service receptacle, when a motion caught my peripheral vision.

IT WAS THE POSTMASTER!

It was the lady who runs things in that little dead-mouse-smelling building, who is most often found behind the counter during the hours of your-guess-is-as-good-as-mine. I know the typed-up sheet of business hours is always changing, but I'm pretty sure she can't do that with the pick-up times. That is stuck on the snout of the mailbox, on a sticky label that looks official.

PostMistress was carrying one of those white plastic tubs to collect the mail. I said, "Whoops!" Because she had kind of snuck up on me, sitting there in T-Hoe rummaging for my mailables. Besides, the time was only 10:52! I cry shenanigans! She was picking up early! What if she decided to do that at midnight on April 14? How about that? What if she picked up at 11:52 then, and caused people to pay a hefty tax penalty for late filing?

PostMistress did not respond to my "Whoops!" She had a dour look upon her mug, and I did not want to push my luck and have her single out my letters from the top of the pile for ill treatment. I would have loved to harangue her, though, about my boys' missing letters. And checks.

If ever a rumpus needed a swift kick, I'd say I saw it today. Bent over at the drive-up mailbox.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

DeepBLEEPing Horizon: Trouble In Future-Retirement Paradise

You know Farmer H plans to retire in December, right? You might want to invest in earplugs now. I don't care HOW far away you live! I'm giving you the opportunity to prevent profound hearing loss.

Today we went to the casino. Rather, I paid Farmer H to drive me to the casino. That's what it amounts to, what with me giving him my hard-won scratcher profits to play away to nothing. Except today, I think he won a little. Which I did not. I'm sure I could have recouped my losses, had he only allowed me to play longer. I was actually breaking even about 20 minutes before time to leave, but I threw good money after bad in a frenzy of wild abandon. Because HEY! I had to leave in 20 minutes! Who knows how long before I get to play again?

Anyhoo...we were supposed to leave at 2:00. I had just hit a mini jackpot, and had 153 credits (in quarters, so that's $38.25 to the mathily-challenged) on my machine. Common sense would say to cash it out. Break even. Okay, break within $1.75 of even. But who's counting? Not Mrs. HM, that's for sure. I looked around. Didn't see Farmer H. "Oh. I have a few more minutes to play!" I sent a quick text to him, "Where are you ?" I didn't know if he was expecting to meet me at the money machine, or if he was playing some last-minute windfall himself.

Just as I hit SEND, I saw him walking towards me. I held up my phone. "Oh. I just sent you a text to see where you were. Do you mind if I play this until I hit FREE PLAY?" That's how I won my mini jackpot, you see. 12 free plays, with one of them also being 12 more free plays, and it all added up to my tidy windfall. Which I proceeded to play down to nothing, the pall of Farmer H hovering over my machine draining the life force from my innate lucky bone.

So...Farmer H drove us home. He was kind of cranky, I don't know why, you'd think a man who was handed a stack of cash in the low three figures to have his way with for the day, and having some left over for the first time in forever, would have been more congenial. But he had been snippy all day. Because, he said, he has THINGS TO DO! Perhaps he should have done them over the two days he took off work, and Saturday, rather than lay around the shanty calling Mrs. HM to check on her whereabouts on Thursday.

Anyhoo...when we got home, Farmer H stopped A-Cad so I could climb out before he pulled into the too-small garage. I petted Puppy Jack and my Sweet, Sweet Juno while he parked and unlocked the door. By the time I entered through the kitchen, Farmer H was already slamming the front door. Oh, well. I gathered my purse (you don't carry a purse in the casino) and left in T-Hoe to get my 44 oz Diet Coke. It was 3:30. I figured Farmer H was off doing his STUFF. Not that he bothered to tell me. Just disappeared. The dogs were gone, so I figured he was over at the BARn or Shackytown as I backed out of the garage.

When I came home, Farmer H was mowing along the far corner of the second property. He glared at me from under his Farmer in the BARNYARD movie hat, and turned the mower like he was making a row back the way he had come. I blew past him (at 20 mph) in a cloud of dust. I might have let out a chuckle. Don't quote me on that.

WELL! The minute I got inside and set my magical elixir on the kitchen counter to add Cherry Limeade powder, Farmer H was storming through the front door.

"I can't BELIEVE you can't hear a lawnmower!"

"What does that even mean?"

"This text you sent me!" [in a mocking tone] "Where ARE you? I was right out there mowing the yard the whole time!"

"Um. If you bothered to even check, I sent that to you at the casino. At 2:01 p.m. So you need to know what you're talking about before you come in here yelling at ME!"

"Oh. At 2:02...well...Where were YOU?"

"Where do I go every day? To get my soda. You know that."

"You never even told me you were going."

"You didn't tell me where you were going."

"I was mowing the yard! I ALWAYS tell you where I'm going!"

"You never do. I wake up and you're gone for four or five hours. I went to town for 30 minutes."

"I don't tell you because you're ASLEEP! How am I supposed to tell you?"

"Um. Text? So I'll see it when I get up? Or a note on a paper plate like you used to write?"

"Well. That's stupid. To go off to town and not even tell me! I'm going to get gas!"

"Okay. I'm making supper. It will be sitting on the stove. Getting cold. And old."

Sweet Gummi Mary! You'd think I had left home at 6:00 a.m. and returned after noon, saying after the fact that I had gone to get a haircut! Oh, wait! That was Farmer H who did that.

Delicate hothouse flower Farmer H needs to get over himself by December.


Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Kind Of Tale For A Gloomy Day Near Halloween

The boys have this uncomfortable joke about white vans. I mainly heard it from The Pony, who, after all, was with me the past three years, while the #1 son was off carousing at college. It's not an actual joke, but a comment.

"At least I didn't get thrown into a white raper van."

For some reason, that van is always white in their reference. Usually, I picture an older style van, with no windows. Not a modern day minivan or 70s/80s conversion van.

On the way to get gas Friday, on an overcast day, rolling down the lake road, I came up behind a questionable vehicle. The windows in the back doors don't fit with my image of a raper van. The whole vehicle is a bit too new in model years. But this van was kind of decrepit. You can't see the dings and paint-rubbings very well at the bottom of the doors. But the license plate was behind a gray tinted plastic thing so that I could not see the numbers. It was going pretty slow. I'm sure the driver wondered what I was up to, because I threw caution to the wind to sneak a picture. DO NOT TAKE PHONE PICTURES WHILE YOU ARE DRIVING!

I'd almost get a snap, and then my phone (the latest hand-me-down cast off by #1) would go crazy, and switch to video, or back out of the close-up. I took three picture, but this one here is the best representation of the creepiness that is the white raper van.


I made it into town without crashing due to my photographic proclivities. And was backed up many cars deep waiting to cross over to Casey's for my gas, the culprit being a semi truck trying to make a left turn. Not the one in that photo. That was a long line of traffic.


Anyhoo...after at least 10 minutes just sitting there, all the other cars ahead of me, including the white raper van, made a right turn. I did, too, to get out. Then an immediate left to double back to Casey's for my gas, since some YAY-HOO had not pulled all the way forward at the two pumps where I could have driven straight across to a pump. I, however, DID pull all the way through at my pumps on the other side of him. Because I know proper gas station etiquette. Don't tell me there may have been a car in front of him when he pulled in. You forget that I was sitting there for 10 minutes, with a view of Casey's gas pumps.

Anyhoo...I stopped at the front pump, fiddled around in my 20 30-year-old purse for money, and stepped out to grab the nozzle. As I was hooking up T-Hoe with sustenance, I noticed a car pull in behind me. See? Good thing I know proper gas station etiquette! With everything hooked up and running, I turned to see who it was. Hillmomba is a small town, you know, and I sometimes run into former students or people who knew my mom. Not literally, of course. Meaning the running into. Not the knowing. But that too.

Imagine my surprise to see right behind me

THE WHITE RAPER VAN!

Sweet Gummi Mary! He must have doubled-back farther up the road in order to get back to Casey's. What if that dude demanded to know why I was taking pictures of his white raper van? I figured I might as well come clean and tell him the whole truth about taking white raper van pictures for The Pony. But he went inside to pay before I did. Once inside, I didn't know which one he was, because as soon as I saw that van, I turned my head away. So...I stood in line while each person paid. The cashier asked the dude in front of the dude in front of me if he had gas in that white [raper] van. He said no. Which meant I was directly behind the white raper van driver!

Indeed, that was confirmed when he said he was paying for gas. And he wanted some cigarettes. But he did not say anything extra. The girl even asked him a couple of things, but he did not respond. Just looked at her. He was a little creepy. In his mid-twenties. Not unattractive. Dark hair, cut reasonably short. A blue plaid long-sleeved shirt. Black jeans. Still, he gave off an odd vibe.

I made sure he had pulled away from the pumps before I left. Even if it meant buying four scratch-off tickets.

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Nom-Noms Are In!

Yesterday I had lunch with my best ol' ex-teaching buddy Mabel. I went all out, not making a terrible choice, but not making such a wise one, either. I had two big pretzel sticks with mustard dipping sauce. The only unfortunate detail of my appetizer meal was that the pretzel sticks were deep-fried. Like Krispy Kreme donuts, perhaps. Let the record show that nowhere on the menu does it tell you that the pretzel sticks are deep-fried. However...I had them last time, so I knew.

Anyhoo...my pretzel sticks were real, and they were spectacular. Sorry there's no picture. They were gone before I knew it! I ate them with a knife and fork, although if I ever have a Snickers bar again, I will forego the cutlery. I heartily enjoyed my giant fried pretzel sticks, and as the last morsel crossed my lips, I suddenly felt remorse, and apologized to Mabel: "Oh! I meant to offer you a taste, but I just ate the last bite!" Mabel said she did not want to try them. She's a pretty good liar, I think. To my credit, I resisted the urge to pick up the bowl of dipping sauce and lick it clean.

When I got home, I knew that supper would be light. For me, anyway. Farmer H is another story, which will be told elsewhere over the weekend. I had my tastebuds set on my new favorite frozen meal, Great Value Salisbury Steak and Potatoes.


Only 340 calories! In case that means anything to you. As an added treat, I had a bowl of steamed carrots/broccoli/cauliflower on the side. Don't worry, I heated it in a regular glass bowl in the microwave, not that foam bowl that probably gives off none-too-healthy gases when nuked.

Are your salivary glands leaking yet?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Rumpuses Are Gonna Roll!

I demand that the dead-mouse-smelling post office workers get their dead-mouse-smelling rumpuses in gear! We went several days last week, you know, with a single piece of mail, that being a glossy, stiff, unwanted political advertisement trying to buy our vote with campaign propaganda. THEN there was the Columbus Day holiday on Monday, meaning that Tuesday and Wednesday, we got EmBee stuffed to the gills with mail order catalogs and other junk mail.

Here's the deal. I mailed the #1 son (and The Pony, too) a letter on Monday. Yes, it was a holiday. But I always mail on Monday, so I drove by and dropped those letters in the box across the street from the dead-mouse-smelling post office proper, at the drive-thru box next to the little park with the fountain in the middle that's turned off now because it's not the one month during the summer that they run it. #1 usually gets his letter on a Wednesday. Once he even got it on a Tuesday!

This evening, #1 sent me a text that he still has not received his letter.

You would think it would have arrived today. But maybe his own post office has been hoarding junk mail like the dead-mouse-smelling post office, and the carriers were too loaded down to carry a single letter like that in their official vehicle.

Here's what I find a bit disturbing. Yesterday, I went by to mail two bills. Yes, contrary to popular opinion and my checkbook register, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom DOES pay her bills on time, as long as she receives them IN THE MAIL! These were for our umbrella insurance policy, and for SPRINT, in their little recyclable return envelope. Don't get me started on that contraption again!

I was surprised that when I slid those two envelopes into the snout of the big blue mailbox, the one we saw a child's rainboot sitting on only a few months ago, the bills did not want to be paid! At least the envelopes didn't want to slide down the chute. They were stuck on something! I pulled them out and lifted them up and tried again, and they at least disappeared. I didn't reach my hand down in the mailbox snout to see if there was a logjam of paid bills, because WHO DOES THAT? There could be a crazed clown hiding down in there, ready to chomp my hand off!

Anyhoo...I don't think a mailbox should be stuffed to the gills with bills or other mail at 10:45 on a Wednesday, when the mail is supposed to be picked up every day except Sunday at 11:00 a.m. Even accounting for that holiday on Monday, that mail should have been shipped off from that mailbox on Tuesday, mid-morning. You can't tell me there was a rush of people mailing stuff Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday morning. Not enough to fill up that box. It's not even THAT stuffed on April 15th!

Somebody needs to get on the stick at that dead-mouse-smelling post office, or rumpuses are going to roll. At least if Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has anything to say about it!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Who's In Charge Of Making The Choices Around Here, Anyway?

Fie on the gas station chicken store for trying to force Mrs. Hillbilly Mom into wise choices!

It's no secret that Mrs. HM has been a bit under the weather. With this being Day 7 of her infirmity, she is feeling almost normal again, despite a constant tickle in the back of her throat leading to an unproductive (much like Mrs. HM herself) cough, and the movage of green mucus from her lungs to her nasal cavities. Okay. That last part is a bit of a fib, because Mrs. HM is still coughing up green junk. But it HAS migrated to her nose.

Lucky for Mrs. HM, she still has her sense of taste. And today marked the return of gas station chicken! They call a moratorium on it for Mondays and Tuesdays, you know. With her relapsed addiction to that greasy goodness, Mrs. HM has been jonesin' for some fried fowl. Off she went at 10:30 this a.m. to procure her fix.

I should have known to hop out of T-Hoe the minute I pullled into my favorite parking space. But no. I was fiddling with my scratch-off tickets that I wanted to cash in. Which let a big red truck park in the space beside me, TOO CLOSE, even though I was over against the side concrete bumper. That dude parked with his tires RIGHT ON the line. So I couldn't open up T-Hoe's door all the way, and had to bend my knee tighter than it prefers.

Anyhoo...I went around to the soda fountain and ran my 44 oz Diet Coke, keeping an eye on that dude, who was easy to spot, what with wearing a neon green work vest of the type favored by outdoor near-traffic laborers. That dude had the nerve to order a snack box of chicken. Taking the VERY LAST thigh from the chicken warmer. One breast remained. And a couple of tiny wings. The dude was blathering about how he was going back to his office and having a feast, since his boss was off today, and wouldn't know what was going on at work.

I stepped up next, and said, "Am I too late to get a breast and a thigh?" Let the record show that it was 10:59 a.m.

"Oh. I have a batch cooking. It will take six minutes."

"All right. I'll wait." When you've looked forward to your gas station chicken for a week, you figure you can allow six minutes out of your totally nothing-going-on day to wait and get what you came for.

A trio of older women came through the door while I was cashing in my tickets to trade for an equal amount of new ones. (Let the record further show that I cashed in $12 worth, and won $50.) The ladies wanted some chicken! They were sorely disappointed to find the cupboard bare. One of them, not with the other two, spied the last breast. "Can I have that one? It looks so good!" Let the record continue to show that it DID look good. She left a happy customer.

The other two ladies went for the 8-piece box. My order came out first, and the boxer/fryer told me, "You might want to open the top of the box so it doesn't get soggy." Duly noted. But Mrs. HM is not a gas station chicken novice, and does that all the time.

Imagine my consternation when I got home, and saw that not only was my thigh a bit on the underdeveloped side, but that my fairly large breast had very little coating on it. In fact, it had a bald spot! How dare that boxer/fryer cut back on my crispiness! That's the whole point of gas station chicken! If I didn't want fried crispiness, I could have baked myself a boneless skinless breast!

Anyhoo...my chicken was delicious, even though not quite of the level of decadence I desired.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Scenes From The Movie Struggle In Outer Hillmomba

Not sure why I thought of this topic tonight. The Mansion has been fairly calm lately, only a couple of bumps and thumps each night, between 12:30 and 3:00. Maybe it's Halloween coming up that's on my mind. Besides the thought of candy, I mean.

Do you have certain movies with scenes you refuse to watch?

First of all, let's get The Exorcist out of the way. I won't watch ANY of that! No way, no how! I read the book when I was in high school, and was spooked out of my wits. So even though it's campy now, allegedly, with all its cheesy outdated special effects, I won't take a look. Ever. Nor will I watch any of those Grudge movies. Or Paranormal Experience. Not my cup of tea. I DID watch The Blair Witch Project way back when HOS and The Veteran were teens, and the opening credits scared me more than the movie, which I knew was fake anyway.

No, I'm not talking about scenes you cover your eyes for in horror movies. I'm talking about regular movies that seem tame by horror movie standards. Two scenes come to mind for me tonight.

Practical Magic.
It's an innocuous movie, a dramedy, perhaps, with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman as modern-day witches with love trouble. I'm shocked the studio didn't consult me for a logline, aren't you? If you haven't seen it, track it down over the magical thin-airwaves. It also stars Goran Visnjic and Aidan Quinn and Stockard Channing and Dianne Wiest. Did I mention Goran Visnjic?

Anyhoo...there's this scene where Sandy and Nicole (I'm sure they'd tell me to call them by their first names, aren't you?) are trying to resurrect a certain character. They chant some spell. AND I WON'T WATCH OR LISTEN! Something is too creepy about that. When my boys were younger, and I could still persuade them to watch chick flicks with me, I would fast-forward that part. Little #1 son would say, "WHY? Why can't we watch that part?" I just told him it was too creepy for me. My sister the ex-mayor's wife took him to see his first 'R' movie when he was 14, and I did not find that nearly as objectionable as this part of Practical Magic. I'm a weirdo, I guess.

Copycat.
This is a psychological thriller, in my opinion. It's been on TV quite a bit. A famous criminal psychologist offers the local police department unwanted help in catching a serial killer. Again, I'm available for logline services! This stars Sigourney Weaver, Holly Hunter, Dermot Mulroney, and Harry Connick Jr. Put it on your watch list!

My fast-forward scene involves a snippet of a video sent to Sigourney Weaver's computer. Every time she opens that, I have to fast forward. It's hokey and animated, in an outdated technology kind of way, but I can't watch. No siree, Bob! Everything else is fair game, disturbing as it may be, but not that one snippet of a video.

How's about it? Anything you find too creepy to view in a non-horror movie?

Monday, October 10, 2016

Ponyless Monday

Have I mentioned how much I miss The Pony?

Today was one of those days when I missed him most, having to deal with The Devil's Playground all alone. He used to happily trot over to the cart corral and pick out a cart for me to push into the store. Shh...we're not discussing how I use it as a walker. And we're not discussing that time The Pony returned the cart after shopping, and rode it right into the side of the corral.

Today I picked out my own cart, proving that I am in the lower echelon of cart-choosers. I knew by the time I got past the opening display of Halloween candy that I had made a bad decision. But I didn't want to go back. There are only so many steps per day in my contrary knees, and it was worth struggling with a cart that veered to the left rather than go back for a different one.

The Devil was out of sliced French bread. And sliced Italian bread, unless you wanted the kind with all those spices sprinkled on top, which I did not. A worker with a produce cart monopolized the slaw mix/lettuce area, so no slaw mix for Mrs. Hillbilly Mom this week. Don't worry. I got a pint of actual slaw in the deli. I looked for a bag of frozen fajita veggies, which I KNOW I've bought before. Now, they're apparently calling them Three Color Pepper and Onion Strips. I wanted a couple of frozen dinners for when I don't want a full meal while Farmer H is otherwise occupied, but a worker with a cart was pulling Banquets from the shelves. I snagged a couple of Great Value Salisbury Steak while his back was turned. I had to root around on the back of the shelves for fresh buns and Nutty Oat bread. No. I'm NOT going to buy the ones that expire in three days.

I kept seeing teenage kids in there! It's a school day, people! At 10:50 on a Monday morning! These kids should be in school! Nobody I know cancels school for Columbus Day. I haven't had Columbus Day off since I worked for the State of Missouri! Well. And now.

On the chip aisle, I was sad to see that there was no 12-pack of individual White Cheddar Grooved Cheez Its. They had 'em two weeks ago. Or maybe three. I bought them for Farmer H to snack on. He never opened them. But I did. And we're down to only 5 packs left! It was hard to see the Cheez Its, because a worker man in a tie pulling a stock cart moved from the Ritz to there, where he met a long-lost friend, and they were busy slapping shoulders and shaking hands and blocking my view, plus that lady who darted in front of me to grab a box of 12 regular individual Cheez Its for her elementary age son, who should have been in school!

I stopped along the back aisle for the bathroom, but somebody was in the handicapped stall, which I like to use because of the pull bar to hoist my contrary knees into standing position again. So I headed on to the pharmacy area to score some Vicks VapoRub. Of course wives and husbands were standing in my way on the main aisle talking to each other, like they can't do that crap at home!

On the way out of the Playground, I passed a woman stocking the stuffed animal grabber machine. Alas, my little Pony! You always had such good luck with grabbing. I loaded the groceries in T-Hoe's rear by myself. Returned the cart by myself (without riding on it or crashing). Washed my hands with Germ-X by myself. Went home and carried them in by myself. And put them away by myself.

I really miss my little Pony.

************************************************************************
Let the record show that the garden center already has Christmas trees up and decorations on the shelves.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Loser Of A Sloth VS Slug Race Could Have Passed Me On The Way To The Kitchen, IF We Allowed Nature's Slackers In The Mansion

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is moving slower than Uncle Joe on the porch of the Shady Rest Hotel in Petticoat Junction. This sickness has reset her internal clock. Sleep is not forthcoming until the early morning hours, due to a cough and pain in her throat. This morning, though, Mrs. HM laid abed until 10:15. It was the best rest she's had in a week.

At 11:15, I remembered that I had promised Farmer H a pot of chili today. So it was out of the La-Z-Boy and into the kitchen to rattle them pots and pans. But I didn't look pretty gosh-darned good doin' it. So I might lose my good thing. (If you know what movie that's a quote from, or the artist who said it, without kahooting with my estranged BFF Google, then you're in sync with Mrs. HM. And no, it was NOT NSYNC.)

The chili was a success. Even without undue tasting, with tastebuds that may or may not be up to par. Sometimes you throw in just the right amount of browned ground beef, chili seasoning, diced tomatoes, jarred pizza sauce from Save A Lot, chili beans, Cowboy Billy's Baked Beans, blackeyed peas, minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce, Heinz 57 sauce, BBQ sauce, ketchup, Frank's Hot Sauce, Splenda packets, and sweated diced onions.

Yes. It IS a similar recipe to Mrs. HM's vegetable beef soup.

On the side, we had a batch of poor hillbilly's Cheddar Bay Biscuits, these in a box mix from Save A Lot. Farmer H partook of this meal fit for a tyrant around 6:45, him having taken his Olds Toronado with half-working brakes to Goodwill for some browsing buying of used stuff nobody else wanted. I had mine for lupper. That was the plan, anyway. But it was so late at 5:10 that it actually qualified as supper.

I didn't even leave for town for my 44 oz Diet Coke today until almost 3:30. THAT'S how kinda slow Mrs. HM was moving, her head all foggy from this sickness, her breakfast of a bowl of instant oatmeal at 2:00 p.m.

Tomorrow I need to get back in the swing of things. It's Devil's Playground day. Farmer H is out of NutriGrain Blueberry Waffles for breakfast.

I don't know why he can't just have chili.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

If It Weren't For Bro Luck, I'd Have No Luck At All

You know how, where you're sick, everything annoys you, and nothing seems to go your way, and you really just want to sit down and cry tears of self-pity, but it hurts your throat too much? Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is having one of those days.

I couldn't sleep past 8:30 (I KNOW! Hillbilly Mom people problems!). I got up and fought with my constricted throat to swallow a tiny little thyroid pill. I can't imagine if I'd tried to slip a giant potassium pill past my contrary epiglottis. Probably would have felt like a cartoon picture of a snake that swallowed football.

I tried to nap in the La-Z-Boy without much success except for 20 minutes around 11:30. Then I took a shower and went to town for the Save A Lot shopping I've been putting off all week. I'm making some chili tomorrow, and need supplies.

You know how, when you go into a store sometimes, there's a person right behind you that always gets in your way? It's like whatever you think to get, they need the same thing, and are in a hurry, and make you rush to get out of their way. The only solution is to go two aisles over, shop out of order, then go back to the beginning after they're away. What? You've never done this? I don't believe you.

There was a middle-aged lady chatting with the adult stockboy about whether they carried some item they don't anymore. Then she asked him what was a good lettuce for a salad. I think she was trying to pick him up. Who in her right mind asks a dude about a salad? I went around them, not in the mood for fresh produce today, except for some white onions for my chili, a bag of which I'd already picked up before the great lettuce salad come-on.

Just as I stopped at the shelves where the latest specials are, to pick up some Campbell's Chunky Chicken Noodle Soup, they were on me like birds on Suzanne Pleshette's schoolchildren. It was a clueless dad who still had his hair, an athletic bro son of 17 or 18, and a gamer-looking son about 14. Let the record show that they were doing nothing wrong. Just three dudes out shopping for dude groceries. But Mrs. HM was under-the-weather and over bro-shoppers.

BroDad was hung up in the produce, perhaps trying to lettuce-block the adult stockboy from the middle-aged woman. AthBro, with his muscular legs in shorts, crew socks, and cross-trainers, hollered at GameBro, in his steel gray sweatsuit with the elastic ankles, draped from the waist up over the red plastic cart like a Salvador Dali clock, to pick up a can of biscuits, not the kind with butter in them, but the regulars. By this time I was at the eggs, touching each one in the carton, lest the third time be not a charm and result in a purchase of 10 good eggs and 2 imperceptably cracked eggs for the trifecta of bad-egg buying. The eggs. Right next to the biscuits.

I kept the carton I'd picked up, and scooted over to the glass-doored cooler to get two sour creams and a French onion dip. While I was putting back the expiration date of Oct 29 in favor of a Nov 5, AthBro told BroDad that he'd go get the sour cream. He stood patiently waiting for me to clear my carcass out of his way. I rolled my walker-cart over to the pickle/ketchup/mustard aisle, where GameBro was all splayed out sideways with his cart, waiting on the sour cream. AthBro had it, and sprinted over, telling GameBro, "Dude, get out of the way."

BroDad had made his way up the same aisle, and was perusing stuff on the left that I never look at. So the family was strung out along that aisle. Did I mention that my sense of smell has not yet left me? My still-empty stomach with its three dissolving pills did not take kindly to the odor emanating from one of them. It was probably just old tennis shoes. I blame GameBro. He looked the least kempt.

I could tell this was not going to work out. So I stood at the Heinz 57 display, and picked up a ketchup, and a Worcestershire sauce for my chili. I let the Bro Family move on. That way I could tell where they were. When they cleared the next aisle, I rounded the corner for my chili beans. I'll be ding dang donged if AthBro didn't come back up from the other end. "Dad? Dad? Do you want stew? They have big cans of stew!" BroDad hollered that no, he didn't want any stew. I felt kind of bad for AthBro, because I think he really wanted some stew. Those giant cans caught my eye as I rounded the corner, too. AthBro was up and down that aisle. Hollering to GameBro, "Do you need some ravioli? If you do, let's get you some ravioli."

Again, they were doing nothing but shopping for dude food like dudes. AthBro seemed like he kind of took care of everyone. I had the impression he might not live with the other two full time, or was home from college, or the most responsible of the three. BroDad had asked if he needed peanut butter, and AthBro said that no, he had gone to the store earlier in the week.

I don't know what AthBro was doing, but he was behind me while I looked for black-eyed peas, which were down with the tomatoes instead of in their rightful bean section. It sounded like AthBro was clanking cans. He had asked BroDad if he wanted a box, but BroDad had told him no, they would have boxes up front. Seriously. Even I was on the lookout for boxes. It's the WEEKEND. Anyhoo...AthBro started hollering for BroDad and GameBro, but they didn't come. I didn't want to get involved, and hot-footed it off that aisle to the cornbread aisle, making a detour over by the hot dogs to get around GameBro Dali and his cart. Seems that AthBro had picked up a flat of something, perhaps ravioli, and the cardboard collapsed, and he was about to be buried. But he got out of it, even though he couldn't believe his Bro cry was not heard.

Everywhere I went in that store, the Bro Family turned up. It was uncanny. Just when I thought I gave them the slip, they appeared. Even when I doubled back two aisles and though I'd follow them, there they were, following me again. I saw Nurse Nan, who used to work at Newmentia, and chatted for a few minutes. I swear, I thought the Bro Family was going to chat with her too!

At the checkout, the one on the end, where I DIDN'T find any pennies today, I was glad to see that two more checkouts were open, with nobody in either line. But wouldn't you know it, the Bro Family came and got in line behind me! However...Nurse Nan came back over, and started chatting with me and the checker who is the mom of a girl who graduated in the #1 son's class, about our sicknesses, and AthBro said, "Hey! How about we go over to 3? Yeah. That's it! On to 3!"

Don't think I got rid of them that easily! When I set out my two boxes and started putting in my purchases at the long counter at the front of the store, the Bro Family came right up next to me. AthBro was a bit discombobulated by the selection of only large boxes like twelve packages of toilet paper might come in. That dude had the right idea when he was box-searching.

I'm waiting on my hot & sour soup now, courtesy of Farmer H's four wheels, and hoping it perks me up. I kind of wonder what's going on it the Bro household at the moment.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Even Farmer H And His Breather Can't Be Blamed

Let the record show that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is feeling under the weather and over the hand-coughing clerk at Casey's last Saturday.

I can't prove it was her. But Saturday evening, she coughed into her hand before giving me my change and handing me my pizza. I am quite conscious of not touching my face until Germ-X or soap-and-water cleanse my hands after a trip to town. BUT...

Monday and Tuesday I had a headache. It wouldn't go away, up over my eyebrows. Nothing incapacitating, but enough to take OTC meds for. Which didn't work. The same days, my joints were killing me. My walk up the driveway Tuesday was not pleasant. I felt like I was underwater, in slow motion. No energy. And my nose dripped a couple of times. Then Wednesday was no headache, but a lot of throat-clearing. Thursday morning, I woke up with a sore throat. Thursday night I slathered on the Vick's VapoRub. And now I am sneezing clear stuff and coughing up yellow stuff, with wheezing and throat-clearing.

Seriously. I am not around people! And by people, I mean 100 kids in and out of a classroom every day, and a couple of hundred of them in the cafeteria traipsing past me. HOW DID I GET SICK?

I think I must have inhaled a few of the microbes coughed out by Casey's Clerk. That's where this debilitating illness has started: in my lungs. Not with a runny nose, not with watery eyes. I didn't exactly jam my microbey fingers down my trachea to put the virus in there. I think I just breathed it in.

I'm not really good at holding my breath around sick people any more, like I once was at my desk, and standing in my doorway when they strode down the hall, trailing sickness in their wake.

I'm kinda miserable.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

We Need To Talk About Farmer H

Yes, Farmer H has been off the ol' blog hook for a week now. And I don't mean OFF THE HOOK in a good way, like those young whippersnappers use it these days. Or ten years ago.

Farmer H said he would like some Lit'l Smokies (Hillshire Farm's spelling, not Mrs. HM's) in BBQ sauce for supper last night, along with mashed potatoes. That's not a big deal. Easy enough for Mrs. HM to heat on the stove. We had no potatoes in the Mansion, but there was a box of instant mashed potatoes that The Pony liked. Both my boys eschewed REAL mashed potatoes for the boxed kind. I blame their daycare provider, thought of by both #1 and The Pony as a gourmet chef. "Why can't you make it like VICKI makes it?"

The supper was made. And left to sit on the burners, because Farmer H had alternative plans that included picking up a stump in the scoop loader on his tractor. The blue MODoT auction tractor, not the green John Deere tractor that he was going to sell to pay for part of the blue MODoT auction tractor.

I didn't care when Farmer H ate his supper. I was having something else, that being a Banquet TV Dinner, BBQ rib with mashed potatoes and corn. I told Farmer H to leave the Lit'l Smokies in the pan and put it back in FRIG II, and the potatoes in the plastic container that I set out for him. Farmer H is not good at making decisions.

Imagine my surprise when I went to bed, seeing two empty pans on the stove, and inside FRIG II, the potato container, and another one that Farmer H had picked out, that one being clear with a blue top, for the BBQ Lit'l Smokies. Here's the thing. I plan on feeding Farmer H these leftovers on Friday. Now I will have to wash the pan and have him dirty it again. OR he will take the easier route, and microwave the BBQ Lit'l Smokies in that container, and burn a BBQ sauce stain into it, if not totally melting the plastic at the top of the BBQ sauce level.

Oh, and Farmer H always thinks he's doing me a big favor by partially rinsing those pans. Here's the evidence:


He never rinses them completely. I don't see the point in doing it half-a$$ed. Either rinse them, or leave them. Why go to the trouble of rinsing when they're still dirty enough to need scrubbing? But even more striking a discovery, after seeing that Farmer H had gone to all that work to almost clean the pans of potatoes and sauce remnants, was to find that he had left THIS:


Uh huh. The paper plate that I had laid the stirring spoon on, that Farmer H likes to eat with, because he prefers a serving spoon since it is easier to shovel larger quantities into his gaping maw, I suppose. And that plate was left behind in case I wanted to use it again, perhaps. Since it would not have been all that hard to grasp it between finger and thumb, pivot, and drop it into the wastebasket under the kitchen counter where my dishwasher has been going to be installed since we moved into this Mansion back when #1 was about to turn 3, and The Pony was kicking up his heels in my belly.

Maybe I shouldn't have thrown that plate away. Maybe I should have saved it for Farmer H to use on Friday.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

I TOLD You I Have A SuperPower!

Just in case there was any doubt about Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's superpower being serendipity...I present the following vignette from today's trip to town.

This morning I planned on getting gas station chicken for my lunch. You snooze, you lose, when you wait until actual lunch time to procure your gas station chicken. Last week, they barely had any left when I got there at 11:15. Silly me. I thought they probably put it out at 11:00, but it appears that it's at least 10:30. After all, I spent almost 20 years with my allotted lunch time starting at 10:53. It's only fitting that the chicken is ready early here in Hillmomba.

I knew I wanted to leave home between 10:00 and 10:30. I prepped Farmer H's supper materials so they would only need a-warmin' later. Cleaned a few items out of the refrigerator. I washed dishes. I checked the innernets. Watched a few snippets of Don't Be Tardy, which was apparently a partial marathon today. I took a shower.

By now it was 10:10. I fished around in the side of my purse for the chicken-buyin' money. Found my phone and went out to the garage. I heard Jack raising a ruckus down behind the house. I thought of calling him, but decided against it. I hit the doorbell-like button and opened the garage door. Climbed into T-Hoe and started him up.

The radio came on and--

Let the record show that ever since Farmer H had that metal roof installed, I can't get my SiriusXM stations in the garage. Once T-Hoe is halfway in, the radio goes silent. I can still get the regular AM/FM stations, though. Mostly, I listen to the satellite stations, and end and start my drives in silence. Not today. I'd left it on a regular station, 96.3 KNOU, yesterday when I parked. So, the radio came on, and--

I heard the announcer jabbering the end of something she was promoting, and in the background, the beginnings of my second-favorite song lately that I was hoping to hear,

"Thinking Out Loud." By Ed Sheeran.

Yep. Right from the beginning. The minute I turned on the car. Every little second taken up by my chores had led to this specific moment. Right down to how many swallows of water I took with my medicine, and the number of times I rinsed my mouth after brushing my teeth, and how many times I ran the pick through my lovely lady-mullet.

If I hear my third favorite song in the car tomorrow, I'm gonna be a little creeped out...