Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Old People Aches And Pains

You know how it is...the older you get, the more aches you have. I'm used to getting up from my favorite old falling-apart rolly chair in my dark basement lair, and needing to stand still for a minute before my circulation gets going again. Let the knees unstiffen so I can walk not-so-much like Frankenstein.

Last night, around 11:30, I stood up and felt a pain in my big toe. It was on the bottom of my right toe. Kind of in the middle. I have a big callous on the side of that toe. On the left one, too, but neither of them hurt. My mom had them as well, and she used to sit around at night shaving them down with a flat razor blade. YUCK! Maybe that's one of the reasons I hate feet! toes don't normally hurt. It's not like I'm modeling Manolo Blahnik sandals. I don't mess with the callouses. I keep the nails trimmed. Except for that time I had a great big red big toe, I've had no problems. Yet, as I walked from my desk to the NASCAR bathroom next door to my office, that toe hurt. I thought it would quit as I sat on the toilet (sorry to be so indelicate as to mention that, but everybody sits on the toilet sometime).

What in the Not-Heaven? Was I having some kind of neuropathy? Was this going to be a permanent thing? Had I stepped on too-big a mud clod and injured myself in the kitchen? Should I slip on my red Crocs every time I got up, rather than pad around in sock feet? WHAT? What was wrong with my big toe?

I reached down to see if there was a knot on it. Nope! There was A METAL HOOK in it! Seriously! IN my toe! Stabbed into the skin! It was also entwined through the fibers of my white crew sock. Dang! That smarted! I had to wiggle that hook to pull it out. Then it was stuck in my sock. So I had to twist until it came loose. I carried it to my office for a picture. Pics or it didn't happen, you know!

Okay. So it wasn't a very big hook. That's not a wheel of cheese. Not a Roomba. Not a case for storing cymbals for the marching band. The maiming hook is posed beside an ibuprofen, on the back of an envelope.


Look at it! A miniscule minnow would have trouble getting loose if I went fishing with that hook! I don't know where it came from, or what it is. Only one thing is for sure.

I blame Farmer H.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Farmer H Has Different Household Expectations

I'm not going to give Farmer H a pass on his slovenliness and entitled attitude...but to be fair, he might really have to work to correct this behavior.

Farmer H grew up the middle of three brothers, in a small rented house with no indoor plumbing. His dad was blind, and his mom was hospitalized a lot with mental illness. So it stands to reason that he might not easily see how his clutter should be picked up BY HIS OWN HANDS in a reasonable amount of time.

In the past, he has commented on how his dad swept the floor barefoot, so he could tell when it was clean. Which should at least tip off Farmer H that floors are meant to be swept, and that men can do that job. I'm not excusing him here, although he might think that if there's a woman in the house, that is surely her duty.

Growing up in a male household, Farmer H sometimes sees women as mysterious creatures. But while he WILL put them on a pedestal, he neglects to dust them, or let them shine. In his mind, I guess, the are expected to dust themselves, and be allowed to shine if conditions are right and the sun reflects off them, no credit to their tireless dusting of themselves. But you'd better believe that Farmer H sees those women as his possessions, to be guarded from other men who might want them for their own collections, where they'd be dusted daily by a professional duster, placed under a spotlight to enhance their lustre.

No...Farmer H doesn't get a pass for his cantankerous demands. Seems like he knows better, but he is reluctant to put any effort into contributing to the household cleanliness. Even if it's HIS mess, he's not about to do one tenth of one percent more work cleaning it than he expects Mrs. HM to do. He's always quick, when confronted over a mess of his doing, to point out OTHER messes by OTHER people. Like his can be forgotten and forgiven, since somebody else did it too.

The Pony has inherited a bit of this attitude from Farmer H. Oh, he will do chores without complaint, in a timely manner. And pick up his own mess forthwith when asked or told. That's just it. If you don't TELL HIM that it's a problem or an expectation, he would never in a million years think to do it. Yes, The Pony WILL do the chores, but will usually have an explanation for why there were not done until mentioned. Not in a manner of backtalking or excuse-making, but like a logical (to him) explanation of delay.

Genius will volunteer to help if there's something in it for him. Like looking good in front of other people. Or maybe getting a monetary reward for his thoughtfulness. But to do it because it's the right thing to do? Not so much. He will also push to the limit to see what he can get away with. Why make himself a sandwich if he can nag me into doing it for him? Or bring him a drink, because he's really comfortable laying on the couch, and I'm up, anyway, washing dishes or putting away leftovers. Yes, Genius is in it for himself, but still, compared to Farmer H, he's like Gallant in the Highlights magazine I read as a child.

Yes, I'm rough on Farmer H because I feel that he's slacking in household responsibilities. But then, I had running water growing up, and didn't have to take my bath in a washtub on the kitchen floor, with water heated on the stove.

I guess Farmer H grew up with different priorities.

Monday, January 29, 2018

A Paper Towel A-Laying, Two Foil Wrapped Pigs!

Some days I think I could write a song about Farmer H, and call it The 12 Days of Slothness. That would mean that I only had 12 days, though.

Last night I pointed out a used paper towel laying on the coffee table, in front of Shiba my laptop, over by the long couch. I'm pretty sure it was put there by HOS-son during his pizza feast with Farmer H on Friday night before the auction. So it had been there three nights.

Well! Farmer H huffed and acted incredulous. As if he couldn't believe that I was pointing out that double-select-a-size paper towel with sauce on one corner! As if he thought it was MY JOB to pick it up! Obviously, I was slacking in my duties as Picker-Upper of All Things Left Laying Around. Let the record show that I cooked the pizza, and then went to my dark basement lair. Supper was served by Farmer H, who had extended the invitation to HOS-son without bothering to tell me until two hours before. I know that Farmer H ate while sitting in his La-Z-Boy, and I assume that HOS-son ate at the coffee table while sitting on the long couch. So it appears to me that, as host, Farmer H was responsible for supervision of a seven-year-old.

Sunday night, Farmer H also made a whooshing sound when I called over my shoulder from the kitchen for him to wrap up his leftovers when they cooled. It's not like that required MENSA membership, or superhuman strength. Farmer H had asked for hot dogs wrapped in biscuits. Pigs-in-a-blanket, some might call them. I made four. He was eating two. Which left two for the next night. They were each sitting on a piece of foil. ALL HE HAD TO DO was fold up the sides, and take three steps to FRIG II and put them on the top shelf.

But no. He took offense to that request, so I had to wait for them to cool and wrap them up myself. While waiting, I asked if he had swept the kitchen floor.

"NO! I didn't sweep no kitchen floor!"

"Oh. It was smooth. I didn't see mud on it, and my bare feet didn't crunch any."

"Well, I picked up that one big clod, because you kept harping about it."

So much for thinking Farmer H had done a good deed. He fooled me again. Kind of like that week I was really sick, and left the trash dumpster at the end of the driveway because I couldn't catch my breath, and the weather was cold. And Farmer H took out a bag of trash...but rather than having brought the dumpster down as I imagined...he drove the bag of trash to the end of the driveway and put it in the dumpster and left it.

I swear. That man is so petty that The Heartbreakers could follow him around, now that Tom isn't keeping them busy any more.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

An Indisputable Sign Of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's Impending Diet Apocalypse

You won't believe what I found today at Save A Lot! I could hardly believe my own eyes. In fact, I pushed my cart right past the cardboard tower display on my way to the Aunt Hattie's Hot Dog Buns. But I came back. C'mon! Admit it! You know YOU would have done the same thing.

Get outta my way, Great Value Raisin Bran Cereal! There's a new snack in town! One you can't compete with.

SWEET, SWEET Gummi Mary!!! It's BIRTHDAY CAKE in the form of a PIE!!! You might recall that Mrs. HM enjoys herself an individual tiny plastic cup of birthday cake ice cream every night. Unless she's having her new favorite, Great Value Raisin Bran Cereal. But THIS changes the whole snack ball game! I'm pretty sure it won't keep, once I bite into the crust. You know, that birthday cake pie filling will leak out. So I'll have to eat the whole thing.

The Banana Cream isn't such an innovative flavor. It's well-known around pie circles. But I never have a chance to eat banana cream pie. And this is in a SNACK PIE! Because we all know, seasoned blog readers of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, that Mrs. HM would not be able to stop if she bought an actual full-size banana cream pie. Oh, she might only eat one piece per day. But she would, indeed, finish that whole pie on consecutive days. So this single (?) serving banana cream snack pie is just what the doctor ordered.

Well. Probably not. I doubt he'd write a prescription for such a thing. But it's more likely to happen than a doctor telling a pregnant woman to keep smoking, because he didn't want her going through the stress of quitting while pregnant, because it's bad for the baby. Yes. I actually know of someone who said that. Mrs. HM might be delusional, and a low-will-powered snacker...but she KNOWS that a doctor would not suggest such a thing. AND Mrs. HM went totally without cheating with sugar even one single time when she was pregnant with Future Little Genius, and Future Little Pony, and was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I'm only hurting myself, now. So the wise choices may drop a few IQ points.

Good thing I only bought one of each kind. At least I have Diet Coke to wash them down!

Of course supper came early tonight, in order to get to my dessert treat.

Okay. I'll be honest. I actually had the Birthday Cake Pie after LUNCH! And while it looks like I could barely slow myself down to take a picture before it was gone, let the record show that it's the perspective, people! I'd only taken two small bites off the end, to show the filling.

I DID finish the whole thing, though. It was delicious. Although VERY SWEET. I'm actually still feeling a bit queasy. Perhaps a deterrent to looking for more the next time I'm in Save A Lot. I don't even want to admire the box of the Banana Cream Snack Pie right now.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Mark Your Calendars!

I can't be certain, and I certainly don't want to assume...but I THINK Farmer H swept the kitchen floor last night or this morning!

The reason I feel that way is because I walked on it in my bare feet this morning, and IT WAS SMOOTH! Nothing gritty under my soles. And I didn't see any mud clods!

Sure, there was a wet puddle by FRIG II. I don't even want to entertain the thought that he mopped. I'm pretty sure an ice cube was stuck in the dispenser from when I filled my bubba cup at 3:00 a.m., and then it melted itself loose, and fell out, and bounced off that little shelf in the door and onto the floor, and finished melting.

I meant to ask Farmer H if he'd done such a good deed, but I forgot. I don't really want to be disappointed if he didn't. I'm thinking that maybe he felt bad about springing the surprise HOS-son supper on me at the last minute.

Let the record show that HOS-son said he prefers his pizza from Domino's, with pepperoni and cheese, rather than the Devil's Playground Meat Lovers that I served up as planned. Maybe he should take that up with his dinner-inviter.

Also, HOS-son decided that he would rather not go to the auction with Farmer H, and went back home instead because he said he missed the company of his dog.

Heh, heh! I think that's more a statement of Farmer H's company and recreational activities than the mettle of a not-yet-tweenager. I most certainly would not want to spend 4-5 hours at an auction with Farmer H. And I'm not so fond of that pizza myself.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's Kind Of Awkward, Somewhat Annoying, Still Better Than Being Employed, Day

Oh, dear. Some days just don't go as planned. Every little thing turns into an ordeal. Like walking across your kitchen floor first thing in the morning, and feeling like your bare feet are OUTSIDE walking on dirt. Because you ARE walking on dirt!

I was headed to the main post office to mail the boys' weekly letters. T-Hoe wasn't even to the mailboxes at the end of our gravel road when I heard something skitter off the console into the back seat area. It was the little pill box that I'd stopped to put my medicine in at the end of the driveway.

That was because I'd forgotten that little pill box in T-Hoe overnight. And I stopped at the end of the driveway to take two pills out of my pocket and put them in it. At the end of the driveway, because I hadn't brought the trash dumpster down yesterday. And it had blown over in the strong wind, because apparently some new guy took over our route in the past three months, and parked it with the wheels facing back towards the house.

Anyhoo...I stopped down by EmBee's row of mailboxes and found the pill box on the cup holder of the back seat, and headed on to the main post office. I had parked and was ready to open the door when a lady parked beside me, and then walked around her still-running car to get something off the passenger seat. So I couldn't get my door open. And she hadn't pulled in all the way, so her mirror kept T-Hoe's door from opening all the way. So I had to hold it to keep from hitting her car, and weasel my knees out the lesser opening.

When I came out, that lady had just gotten inside her car, so I stood at T-Hoe's hood and waited for her to back out. You know, so I didn't make her wait while I was wrestling the door. Except she kept sitting there, even after three cars had driven by behind us making their exit. So I wrestled the door and got in, and wouldn't you know it, there went that lady as soon as I got inside.

I stopped by the Casey's where I get my gas, to trade in some scratchers. I parked in front of their dumpster, leaving plenty of room next to me for the air hose. It's in high demand there. I'd no sooner turned T-Hoe off than I saw the garbage truck pull out of the car wash exit, so I started him up and moved to park around back. Once inside, I learned that THIS CASEY'S IS CLOSING NEXT MONTH!

On to The Devil's Playground, where I had to wrestle three carts to get one loose from the baby-seatbelt latch that was hooking them together. I could probably start a second career as a wrestler. I made it through the Playground with only a couple of people glaring at me when they jumped around an end display and into my path as I was pushing my cart slowly and methodically down the aisle.

At the checkout, the Devil's (old) Handmaiden rang up my four Chicken Bacon Ranch Pinwheels, and said, "Hm. These must be really good." As if insinuating that I was a glutton, and going to eat all four at once. I was polite, though, and even told her she'd forgotten to scan my 8-pack of mini Diet Cokes that I'd draped over the side of the cart.

While I was paying, a weirdo almost climbed on top of me. He was tall and bald and old and was with his wife or some woman he had captured. The minute the conveyor started forward, he grabbed that divider and jammed their stuff up as close as he could to mine. I guess he just lives his life that way. I may or may not (okay, I most certainly DID) give him the stinkeye while I was trying to punch in my PIN, and he was ON ME like stink on roadkill. Then he said, "I'm going to just scoot through here," and wormed his way behind me and past, heading up toward the return desk.

I made a comment that I'd THOUGHT he was getting kind of close. As I left, he was coming back with a cart full of empty boxes, and said he was sorry, he was just after those boxes, and apologized for being a close-checker. At least there's THAT.

Once I braved the high winds and made it back to T-Hoe, parked way up almost at the end, the better for more exercise, which always seems like a good idea going downhill toward the store, but never upon coming out and heading uphill with a loaded cart, I got inside to write down the total off the receipt. I got my change out of my change cup, ready for my next stop at the gas station chicken store for a 44 oz Diet Coke. I'll be ding dang donged if I didn't knock that medicine box off the console again!

This time it fell between the passenger seat and the console. I could see a corner of it. I could pry my hand down in that crack, but couldn't grasp it or move it forward or back. It slipped all the way under the passenger seat. So I had to get out and go around and stick my arm up in under that seat, amid several metal bars that make the track for the seat to slide on for adjustment. I got the pill box, but I must have nicked my skin, or that metal is rusting like a beached battleship, because my whole forearm had a couple of red streaks down it. So I had to get out the Germ-X and take a car bath.

Once at the gas station chicken store, parked over by the moat, I took my pills and checked my phone and looked over my $40 winner that I was cashing in...then got out. The minute I started across the parking lot, a guy in a big white diesel pickup, pulling a trailer, who had been sitting in it since the time I pulled in...started revving his engine like I was impeding his exit. Trucker!

Inside, I at least got my magical elixir into the cup without incident. Then I got in line. A man at the counter took his own sweet time writing in his checkbook. I think maybe he was balancing his account. The next lady had a case of beer (no worries, it was 1:00) and asked for two packs of menthol cigarettes. Then she wrote a check, which they had no record of her doing there before, so the Asian dude clerk I like so much had to get all her info. I must say he was patient and calm, and a better man that I. But while waiting (not like I had anywhere to be) I noticed that the beer-buying lady was wearing a jacket with a SCHOOL BUS embroidered on the back! Not a decal. EMBROIDERED. That's not cheap. Why would somebody wear a jacket like that, unless...oh...I don't know...maybe...they were a SCHOOL BUS DRIVER!

Anyhoo...she paid for her beer and cigs, then I got my turn, and thought I was off to my Mansion Sweet Mansion where no further trouble could befall me...made all three lights green...only to have a TRACTOR pull out in front of me at the junction of Save A Lot and Orb K. A big orange tractor, top speed 15 miles per hour.

15 MPH, people!

Yes. I finally made it home. Finally got my lunch ready. Had partially eaten it. When Farmer H appeared at my dark basement lair door, to inform me that he had invited HOS's boy to supper and the auction. Seriously. Two hours notice. Though I'm sure this plan has been in effect since last weekend's auction. So supper plans changed. I got the two of them fed.

Now I'm off to make something for myself. I hope I don't sever an artery.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

A Sweetie And A Rogue

You know that expression, "Keep your nose clean." The one that means to stay out of trouble. Some people are good at it. Others are not. Same with animals, I guess.

My Sweet, Sweet Juno pretty much lives her life by that saying. Jack...not so much. He's a feisty fellow, while Juno is more timid, and hates turmoil, and just wants to have things her way all the time, and not be bothered by other dogs. Jack is always in the middle of any activity, sometimes instigating the turmoil. I blame Farmer H for blaming any unpleasant findings on Jack. Like poop on the back of his 1980 Olds Toronado. Or poop in the garage. Or holes dug into the front yard. Or a FedEx package chewed up, with gift wallet made of Bison leather, monogrammed, with RFID blocker, from Sharper Image, 1/3 eaten. Okay. Jack IS guilty of the last two. But he has such a gusto for life!

Look at that precious face! Sweet, Sweet Juno knows I saved her from starvation by taking her in as a tiny pup, dumped out along the road at my mom's house. Oh, and believe you me, my mom had no intentions of feeding her or taking her in. Genius is the one who kind of coerced me. But Genius isn't here for Juno to be sweet and loving to. So I'm it.

In the background, you might notice that scalawag Jack. He can't be still for a moment. It's like trying to catch lightning in a bottle. I DID get a picture of him while he was trying to lick up the crumbs left from Juno's pile of cat kibble.

That's when I saw that the top of his nose was caked with dried mud. I don't have any idea what he's been up to today. I'm sure he will be falsely accused of many things, but one of these days, he's going to be guilty of one of them.

The little guy means well, though.

He just needs to learn how to get rid of the evidence of his possible ne'er-do-well-ness. I'm shocked that I got this last picture, because he was already running around by the time I looked up. I think he was hoping he could jump up and put his tongue on my teeth while I was trying to get him in focus.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Hillbilly Code Is Hard To Break

In case you have never assumed so...Hillmomba is a very hillbillyfied area. Which is not always a bad thing.

Yesterday, I was coming out of Waterside Mart, having cashed in this ticket and another.

I was happy as could be to find $50 waiting for me under the winning numbers, and even happier when I scratched this little guy's back to find

ANOTHER $50 waiting for me! That $5 ticket won me $100, by cracky!

The clerk who sold it to me is really a store manager at another branch of Waterside Mart. She used to be one of my students. I told her she had a lucky touch, and pocketed my big win, and bought one ticket with the other winner, which was only $5.

On my way out, I saw a lady ready to come in the glass double doors. She was slowed down, because there was a sign on the door to her left. "PLEASE USE OTHER DOOR." The wind catches that one really bad, so on windy days, they put up that sign, and lock the door so it won't break the hinges. I pulled the other door open, and held it, allowing her to come in. That's the polite thing to do.

Behind me was a hillilly-looking dude in jeans, slightly younger than me, slightly thinner than Farmer H, with a little bit more hair that him. Since I was already holding the door open, I gestured to him to go on through. "I've got it. Go ahead." Because that's the polite thing to do, and because it was the quickest way for us all to enter and exit. Not that he was impatient or anything.

But...let's not forget, Hillmomba is a hillbillyfied area. That dude didn't want to go through a door that a woman was holding. A woman older than him. It wouldn't be right, by hillbilly standards. So he balked.

"You go ahead, doll."

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

An Epic Fail From The CEO Of The Department Of The Same Name

Ho ho ho! This is rich! Here I am, complaining about the epic fail of the Save A Lot brand raisin bran, only two days ago...when I, myself, am guilty of an epic fail!!!

I mentioned the irony of a lady asking me about the little boxes of raisins, and then, in my comment later, suggested that I should give Farmer H this cinnamon-babka-of-a-raisin-bran-brand to feed to the goat and mini pony. When all I had to do was...actually buy some little boxes of raisins to add to the Save A Lot raisin bran!


So I did, at The Devil's Playground over in Bill-Paying Town today.

Yes. I only found the brand-name version. And yes, they were darn hard to find! Not on the individual fruit pack aisle. Not on the boxed snacks or fruit roll-up aisle. Not even under the salsa like at Save A Lot. They were with THE NUTS. And yes. There IS a box missing. I tried it already.

Let's just say that while the Save A Lot raisin bran was now more palatable...I'm glad I also bought a new box of the Great Value Raisin Bran for when this one runs out.

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Denier Lives Eternally In Denial

I've gotten used to Farmer H being home 24/7/365. His retirement has definitely made more work for me. Not that he would admit it.

This evening, as I walked from the kitchen to the master bedroom, behind Farmer H in his La-Z-Boy, my white-socked Croc-less feet (I leave them under the desk in my dark basement lair when I make sorties upstairs for supper-making--the CROCS, not the feet) were jabbed by foreign objects. Oh, they're not so much FOREIGN as they are from outside the Mansion, on the grounds. They are actually PART OF the grounds. The ground. Dirt. Mud. Clods carried in by Farmer H's boots, loosened as he tromps across the kitchen and carpet.

"Ow! I'm tired of stepping on mud clods!"

"Well, I don't know how you're stepping on mud."

Seriously? SERIOUSLY?

How can Farmer H not know how that happens? As I puttered around in the kitchen, I muttered that of course he didn't know how I was stepping on mud. Obviously, it had nothing to do with him being outside all day over at his BARn and Freight Container Garage, and feeding the goat and mini pony, and walking through the house in his waffle-soled work boots. Nothing at all. Obviously, I was digging up clods of mud in the yard with a spoon, and sprinkling them around the kitchen and living room so I could step on them and complain.

Farmer H has got me figured out.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Memo From The Desk Of The CEO Of Epic Fails

You may remember that only a couple of days ago, I sang the praises of my new favorite treat, Great Value Raisin Bran.

I figure that a store brand cereal is pretty much the same as any other store brand cereal. Great Value is a product of The Devil's Playground. But I wasn't going there today. So I just knew that the Save A Lot brand, Kiggins Raisin Bran, would be equally delicious. After all, I used to buy cereal for Genius and The Pony there. They were fans of the Circus O's, a low-cost version of Froot Loops.

Many times, the store brand product is exactly the same as the brand name product. Even made in the same factory, but with different packaging and marketing. Or two different store brands might be the same. Not so with this raisin bran!


Okay, the Truth in Blogging Law says that I must inform you that there were actually TWO raisins in my bowl of cereal, not one, as pictured. What can I say? I'm a greedy glutton, and ate that other one before snapping the photo. But truth is...there were only TWO raisins in that entire bowl! Too bad there's not a Truth in Cereal Box Pictures Law!

Let me just say that in my Great Value Raisin Bran, each and every bowl was teeming with raisins. From the first serving out of the box to the last. AND the flakes were thin and crunchy, whereas these in the Kiggins Raisin Bran were thicker and chewier. They had the consistency of recycled paper made as a science project by one of my 7th graders at Steelville Middle School back in the early '90s. Not that I tasted the paper or anything.

I feel so CHEATED! Even posing that last remaining raisin right there in the middle, and then saving it for the last bite, admiring it with each chew, did not make me feel like I enjoyed a healthy taste treat.

Also, I'm no expert on irony...but I DO think it was, perhaps, ironic, that a total stranger stopped me on the cracker aisle at Save A Lot, to ask if I knew where the little boxes of raisins were shelved! Had I only had the hindsight, at the time, to have the foresight to buy some of them, when I stumbled across them under the salsa jars, to make my Kiggins Raisin Bran more palatable.

This is one of the few times that a Save A Lot brand has let me down.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

I Really Hope I'm Not THAT Weirdo

This morning I put on the jacket I have hanging over the basement stair rail, to take some stale grease bread out on the porch for Jack. The dogs have been doing without their regular evening snack, due to cold temperatures and early darkness and my intermittent winter driveway walking. Instead, I give them extra cat kibble as I come and go on my way to town for a 44 oz Diet Coke. Oh, believe me, they have adapted. I can't sneak out the kitchen door without them coming running to greet me before I get into the garage.

Farmer H was in the house, and I saw Jack laying by the Gator in the front yard. So I grabbed the foil-covered pizza pan holding bread that I'd soaked in the juices from roast potatoes/carrots/onions with bacon laid on top. Since Farmer H had been wearing a jacket, I figured it was still pretty cool outside. Maybe in the 40s.

I put on the heather jade-green snap-front baseball-style jacket that I wear when I'm out and about, or in the casino where it's always too cold. I drape it over the rail so it's ready when I need it. I don't do anything to get it dirty. Casino smoke makes it stink, but that usually dissipates within a day, even if I don't wash it immediately, what with the wind blowing on it, and just hanging free. It kept the chill off while feeding Jack. Trust me, that's heather jade green, not baby blue!

Farmer H came out, and after calling Juno around for her share, I asked him to dump the remains of some Chex Mix out in the yard for Copper Jack. It was just Cheerios and some almonds. The stuff Farmer H leaves behind. He took that pizza pan, and FLUNG the Chex out into the grass.

"Seriously? I could have done that! I wanted you to tilt the pan and pour it into a pile. Not make him search for each individual Cheerio in the grass."

"He'll eat it. He's a dog."

Yeah. Okay. I guess the excuse for how Farmer H distributed the food is, "He doesn't know any better. He's a man."

Anyhoo...I came back inside and took off my jacket and SAW BROWN STAINS on the upper right front shoulder, and the neck band!

Sweet Gummi Mary! Had I been walking around Walmart like that? Through Country Mart? How long had my jacket been stained? I swear I didn't see it two days ago when I wore it to town. Yesterday I didn't wear it at all, and wished I had, because the wind was cold, even thought the sun was out, with a high in the 50s.

I put it in the washer with a couple of towels. I'm really hoping that I'm not the weirdo people see walking around in stained clothes! Sure, I wear my ratty baby blue sweatshirt. But only around the house! I'd never wear it out in public! I'm hoping I didn't parade around the public in a soiled jacket.

I'm hoping that it was dried muddy footprints, from Jack jumping up on me at the side porch a couple days ago. I remember scolding him. He likes to get his face right up by mine, and try to stick his tongue on my lips. I remember pushing him down and getting him cat kibble when I came back, after setting some bags on the porch chair.

Sure. That was it. My jacket got dirty when I came home, and I didn't go out in it. Yeah. That's gotta be it.

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Newest Treat That Mrs. HM Is Craving

I've re-discovered an old friend in the treat department:

Yeah. How could I forget? I used to have this all the time. And by all the time, I mean every day, for a month or so, until I grew tired of it and moved on to something else.

I don't have it for breakfast. No. I usually don't have breakfast, now that I'm RETIRED! I used to have a bowl of flavored oatmeal made from the packet by adding water and microwaving. That was after I tired of having two mini sausage biscuits. But now, I get up at 9:30, and do my running around, and then have lunch when I get home. That's usually between 1:00 and 2:30.

Anyhoo...I have my Raisin Bran in a small Styrofoam bowl, as my nightly snack. No milk for me. I'm not a fan of milk. I don't even use a spoon. Just eat that Raisin Bran with my fingers, like Chex Mix. It really does look like the picture on the package! No milk, of course. And a different bowl. And I don't have those wheat bran plant thingies in the background. But the cereal looks like that! It's not crushed. It has actual raisins. I think it makes a good snack. Replacing my Gourmet Lollipop, which has become hard to find in flavors I like.

There could be worse things to snack on.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Seriously, I Only Want To Trade A Chicken Or Some Eggs

It may come as no great surprise that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is back to complain again about modern technology and how it interferes with her bill-paying.

First of all, update on my previous problem with my automatic payments on the disability insurance. I called the automated line for my bank account (the only technology that I look favorably upon) today. It said that TWO stop payment fees of $35 were taken out of my account on the date I called the bank last week, and only ONE was credited back.

Sweet Gummi Mary! How hard is it to not screw up a simple request?

Anyhoo...I decided to check back on that $24.75 fee that was pending from the AD&D insurance, back when I originally called to see why my stop payment from November hadn't been honored. Well. There was NO AUTOMATIC PAYMENT of $24.75 taken out! Not since back in October.

When I had called the AD&D offices (twice, since I had to round up Farmer H to speak to them) last week, they had told us both that we couldn't stop their service this time. That it was too late. Ha ha! I guess the joke's on them, because that payment actually WAS stopped, while it was pending. Even though it cost me $35 to stop a $24.75 payment, that's what I had originally set out to do in November. So right now, everything seems fine.

I'm not holding my breath until April, though. That quarterly payment may rear its head again, and I'll have to renew my efforts. I got my DISH bill. It powers my internet too, you know. It's not just TV. So I'm very careful about it, since I don't want to go without internet. Or TV, of course. DISH has a habit of dragging their feet on the crediting of the payments. Mine is due on the 24th of the month. That's when my internet allotment resets. So I'm quite cognizant of the date. I always check to make sure my payment has been credited. It usually shows up the day before. Maybe two days before, if I'm lucky.

Here's the thing. That bill is mailed out on the 10th. As soon as I get it, I write the check, and put it in the mail the next day, before the mail pickup deadline. At the main branch post office. Last month, I got the bill on the 15th, and sent it right back. Surely it doesn't take 9 days to get there. The Pony Express was faster than that. So obviously, it's gotta be the DISH people taking their own sweet time with paper payments.

No way can I mail that bill tomorrow, the 19th, and expect it to get there and be credited by the 24th. It's possible for a regular letter to make it by then. But not the way DISH does business. I think it's a conspiracy to switch people to automatic withdrawal payments. I'm not doing it! I'll go online and pay by credit card or however I've done it on other such occasions. No way am I calling a real person to make a one-time payment, and let them "mistakenly" switch my billing, like has also happened before.

I just don't have good luck with this automatic payment crap.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Even Steven Owes Jack

The weather here in Hillmomba took a turn for the colder, and Newmentia teachers had a FIVE-DAY WEEKEND! There was really no reason for them to be out Friday. I think it was mostly the light precipitation falling at 5:00 a.m., and an uncertain forecast. But Monday and Tuesday, the roads were very slippery. They were fine today, though, so I was unMansionbound.

I thawed out some ham and beans for our supper Monday and Tuesday. I must say, it was better the second time around. Maybe because I added the big ham bone that I'd also frozen with the leftover beans. Mmm...with Jiffy Corn Muffins, too!

Anyhoo...I had that ham bone waiting to give to the dogs. Or, as it turned out, the DOG. My Sweet, Sweet Juno. I didn't want to give it to them when the weather was really cold, because it would just freeze, and they'd have a ham bonesicle. Today was around 28 degrees when I got back from town. Bright and sunny. I took the trash dumpster to the end of the driveway, and the dogs romped along barking like old times. Even though this was around 1:30, and not a regular evening walk.

When I went back inside, I told Farmer H, who'd said he would wait to carry in groceries if I'd be there within 30 minutes, to toss that bone and some other leftovers to the dogs. Of course he said he would, and then gave me dead silence when asked to repeat the instructions. I know he was just playing The Incompetent Game. Even though he SAID he didn't hear me. Uh huh. He heard the first part just fine, and acknowledged that he would give out the treats.

Anyhoo...I put on my red Crocs and went back outside. Juno was in her house right by the back door. I meant to give her the big part of the ham bone, and Jack the clump of gristle and shredded meat attached to it, but the latter lump stuck to the bone that Juno had already grabbed hold of, so I let her take it into her house.

Jack was nowhere to be seen. He had run off with Copper Jack at the end of the driveway, and I'd heard him whimper as I came back. Juno didn't run to his aid, though, so I figured she understood his language better than I did, and that Copper Jack was not chewing him to bits. With no Jack in sight, I didn't want to stand in the cold holding a plate of leftovers, and I didn't want to take them back inside. Juno had enough to keep her busy for hours.

I walked around to the front porch, and tossed the food onto the area in front of the door. There were three rolls, a corn muffin, some tortilla strips that I'd trimmed off my homemade pinwheels, some gristly ham chunks, and some cheese and chicken that had been trimmed off the pinwheels also. I went back in, but remembered something in T-Hoe that hadn't been carried inside, and went to get it.

Here came Jack, loping up the brick sidewalk by the garage, all happy to see me. I took him around front to show him the treats he was missing. The first thing he took was the corn muffin. Even over the ham/chicken/cheese scraps. That little guy LOVES his corn muffins. He took the whole thing in his mouth and hopped down the steps (in the way only a long little half dachshund/half heeler can do) to the front yard.

As I got to the bottom of the steps by the garage to go get my envelopes left in T-Hoe, I looked left to see Copper Jack running across the front yard, back toward his own house, WITH THE CORN MUFFIN IN HIS MOUTH!

That is SO not fair! At least my little Jack got all the other stuff, I guess. Next time I make corn muffins, he's getting two, and I'm going to sit down and supervise him until they are eaten.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, DDS, Hangs Out Her Shingle

When we last convened, I was bemoaning a tongue too big for my mouth. A tongue damaged on a sharp edge of a broken molar. A tongue that silently screamed in pain every time I swallowed.

Well. After a whole day of suffering, not even all that sad that I didn't have my 44 oz Diet Coke, because drinking through a straw was even more painful that sipping from a cup or bottle...I healed myself! Uh huh. After realizing that my nightly aspirin did little for the pain, and an acetaminophen did absolutely nothing for it, and worrying that it may take DAYS to build up a tongue callous, and most certainly not wanting to make a dentist appointment... I took matters into my own hands. The left one, specifically. On the same side as that back molar.

I reached in and felt that sliver of sharp tooth. It has been there all along, ever since I dislodged a temporary crown with a lime Starburst, but I think the big burger at the casino rearranged that enamel particle, so that the sharp edge was more exposed. I could wiggle that shard just a tiny bit. Which gave me hope!

I had some Chex Mix on hand, sitting in a festive snowman-patterned red plastic tub. So I took a small handful. Fingerful, really. A couple of Chex, an almond, and about a third of a pretzel. I actually chewed on the bad tooth side! I normally don't chew over there very often. But I did. It didn't even hurt as much as I imagined. So I thought maybe a part of the almond jammed down on that point of enamel, protecting my tongue. I had a couple more bites. Then I re-examined.

The shard was looser! I wiggled and waggled it. Back and forth. Had another bite of Chex. Repeat. After much stronger efforts at wiggling and waggling, the broken piece of tooth came loose! I'd show it, but I don't think you'd want to see that, and I laid it on a paper plate, and I've already thrown it away. It was really quite smaller than I expected. About the diameter and length of a mechanical pencil lead that breaks off when you're writing all tensed-up.

I am available for private consultations for a reasonable fee. No insurance accepted. Cash or barter only.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Like A Zombiefied St. Bernard

If you are seeking entertainment at the Mansion tonight, folks...abandon hope, all ye who enter here. I got nothin'. Oh, I have somethin'! But it's not worth typing it all out tonight.

We had a glaze of ice and a little snow last night. I would have gone to town for my 44 oz Diet Coke as usual, since nobody bothered to tell me until I was DRESSED AND ON THE WAY OUT THE DOOR that the roads were a little slick. So slick, in fact, that Farmer H, who was unsuspiciously absent until noon:twenty, asked to use T-Hoe for a trip to get de-ionized water for his breather. Uh huh. The very same man who wanted to GET RID of T-Hoe, to save on insurance bills. Wanted to DRIVE my precious T-Hoe on slippery slopes. Not his own Trailblazer, whose 4WD does not work. Nor his Ford F250 Long Bed Club Cab, which has 4WD itself.

So I went without my magical elixir, which is better than risking life and limb, and made do with bottled Diet Coke. Ounces indeterminate right now. Which is possible what has put me in this funk. Or not.

It might have something to do with my tongue, which is too big for my mouth, and hurts severely when I swallow, due to slicing itself on a broken back tooth that has been broken for a while now, and does not hurt in and of itself, but makes life difficult for my tongue, especially when chowing down on a big burger yesterday at the casino.

So that's it for now. I'll be groggily drooling over at my not-so-secret blog, attempting to put out some content. And for blog buddy Sioux: Newmentia had a snow day in place of regularly scheduled MLK Day, which was being used to make up LAST WEEK's snow day. And they're out again tomorrow.

Not that I care...

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Hillmomba, One Big Public Dump

Do you think that slogan would be good for tourism?


That's what people use it for, you know. That's why most of our unwanted visitors stop here. Still no news on that furniture in a white truck. Haven't seen it along the gravel road. But yesterday, we got a Christmas tree!

 I know. It's kind of early for a Christmas tree. There are still 352 days until Christmas!

Oh, wait a minute. Maybe this was a USED Christmas tree. I get it now. Nobody was delivering a present to the residents of Hillmomba! They were using us as a GARBAGE DUMP! Getting rid of their old Christmas tree! As if most communities don't have a designated time and place to do that. Or, if you live in the woods anyway, you might...oh...I don't know...PUT THAT TRASH IN YOUR OWN BACK YARD!

It's not like they dumped it in the creek, to create habitat for fish. That's what the town does, you know. They collect the trees, and put them in the lake. One year it was frozen over, and they laid on top of the ice for several weeks. But these folks just jettisoned their Ol' Tannenbaum along the side of our gravel road. On land that is marked with purple paint, AND a No Trespassing sign, which both signify...wait a's coming to me...NO TRESPASSING!

"Oh, Mrs. HM," you might say. "It's JUST a tree. In the woods. What's so bad about that?"

Well. If you owned a unicorn farm, and people dumped a dead unicorn in your pasture, would you feel the same way?

What, exactly, is WRONG with people today?

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Who Do You Have To Pay Off Around Here To Stop A Payment

Perhaps you are aware that technology is not Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's friend. In fact, they are barely on nodding terms if they pass in a brightly-lit hallway that is hardly wide enough to accommodate the both of them.

I am the type of old fogy who prefers getting paper statements in the mail, rather than looking up my information online. Likewise, I am not a fan of automatic payments withdrawn from my accounts. I mail my payments as checks, by cracky! And I write in CURSIVE on them, even though that is a skill no longer taught in the public schools, and the Millennials getting my checks probably think it's some kind of code, and have notified Homeland Security. Oh, who am I kidding? As IF there's actually a PERSON processing those checks. I think it's been proven that you can sign them "Mickey Mouse" and they'll still go through.

Anyhoo...I won't do those automatic payments. I'll pay an extra processing fee to pay my Sirius XM Satellite bill for a whole year, rather than have an automatic payment come out of my account once per month. I don't mind paying for stamps. I write my checks and mail them the day after I get them. Not gonna be my problem if the post office people are sitting on their hineys and there's a delay. Of course, there have been those times when I never got a bill, so didn't think to pay it. But overall, my system works.

My boys do the online banking stuff. Not me. No siree, Bob! I don't want my payments being paid without me having a hand in it. I have argued with Genius over this numerous times. He calls me a conspiracy theorist, but it's not like that's an untruth. My reasoning, though, is that it's too hard to stop those payments when you need to.'s the latest. Back when Farmer H and I were just starting out, we opened a joint bank account, and one of the perks was $1000 of free Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance. Who's not gonna jump at THAT? Since we had a house payment, and future little Hillbillies in our long-range plans, we also took out a little more of that insurance for Farmer H. He was driving to the city every day, working on machines, in a not-so-great neighborhood, and we wanted to feel secure in case he was incapacitated for a while.

The cost was reasonable. It was less than $100 a year. The only way to get it was to pay quarterly, $24.75 every three months. Since it was a product offered by our bank, it came right out of our checking account. Not a big deal.

Now that we're both retired, one kid educated and working, the other on a scholarship with two years of college left, house paid off, no credit card debt, only A-Cad needing a regular payment...Farmer H and I decided that we don't really need that insurance any more. Well. The underwriter or whatever you call it has changed several times. There was a class action suit, for which we received a small payment. And I had no contact information to stop this automatic payment.

I figured the bank could stop it. Right? You tell the bank to TAKE OUT automatic payments. So surely you can tell the bank to STOP automatic payments. Apparently, the bank operates like that rent-a-car company who TOOK a reservation for Jerry and Elaine, but didn't HOLD a reservation for Jerry and Elaine.

On November 21, I called the bank and explained my plight. I fully identified myself, gave the exact amount of the quarterly payments, said who it went to, gave the dates the payments came out, and asked for them to stop. The girl had me on hold for a while. She said she couldn't find the contact information. Well. Welcome to MY world, girlie! She told me that maybe I should tell the underwriter that I didn't want the product any more. Huh! That's what I called HER for! She said she had it stopped, though. That there was a number in their records. She kept trying to give it to me, but since she said she was stopping the payments, I didn't see any reason to call.

Of course, stopping that automatic $24.75 payment cost me a $35 fee from the bank! I made sure to ask if that was a one-time fee, or if they were going to bill me $35 every quarter. She assured me that it was only once. Since I was stopping the payments, it would be like a stop payment on a check. I didn't agree with that, but whatcha gonna do?

Thursday, I was checking my bank transactions on the automated phone line. Might as well USE that technology if they have it! I can punch numbers into a phone. Because I still have a land line, and I can hold it out and see the numbers. Anyhoo...I had a pending charge of $24.75. NOOOO! That's not supposed to happen!

I called the bank. Of course this girl didn't know what I was talking about, and said I'd have to take care of that myself, because it was between me and the underwriter. So I asked why I was told that my payments would stop, and CHARGED $35 ON NOVEMBER 21, 2017. At first she said she didn't see any record of that. But when I kept harping that it WAS taken out of my account, and it seemed like I was charged a stop payment fee for a payment that wasn't stopped, on that specific date, she suddenly found it.


Anyhoo...she SAID they're going to refund my $35, but that I'd have to call the underwriter myself. Because apparently the underwriter has control of my checking account, since I can't stop the payment from coming out! That doesn't sound right, now does it? AND she said the other gal had put in AD&D instead of ADD to stop that payment. Which is weird, because everything list that insurance as AD&D, and NOT the ADD she's trying to say it should be. What a bunch of hooey!

SOOO...I called that number, and while reluctant to give my personal info over the phone (because I couldn't find a nine-digit account number from...oh...I don't know...29 YEARS AGO)...I did give the address and name. Of course I went through it all, only to be told that I could not stop the payments and drop the insurance, only FARMER H could do it. And he was out on the tractor somewhere.

Once Farmer H came in for lunch, I made him sit down, and shut up, and not do anything until I handed him the phone to say STOP THE INSURANCE. But of course he got chatty, and was agreeing to things I couldn't hear, and we ended up keeping the $1000 of FREE coverage. As if anybody's gonna remember that if something happens to him.

SWEET GUMMI MARY! I just wanted it to be over with! Sever all ties! Now, even though it's not (supposedly) going to cost us anything, we're still on their accounts as having the insurance. Oh, and they couldn't stop the pending $24.75 for this quarter. They can't stop it until April. I have a feeling I'll have to go through all of this AGAIN at that time. And I haven't checked to see if the $35 has been refunded by my bank, either.

Can't we go back to the days when Farmer H could drive a basket of eggs and a couple of chickens, and maybe some cedar posts, to their headquarters, and pay by bartering?

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Cheese Wallows Alone

Let the record show that our basement runs the entire length of the Mansion. My office is at the front right side, with the NASCAR bathroom next to it, and Farmer H's workshop on the back half of the basement. The left end is open, with a TV area up front, and the pool table behind it.

Preparing for the Christmas holiday, I cleaned up the basement. At least the common areas, since we put up our tree, and unwrap gifts in the TV area. My OPC (Old People Chair is there, too). I didn't bother with my office or the workshop. But the rest of the basement was dusted and swept. I had a small wastebasket outside the NASCAR bathroom, under a desk that holds assorted junk like some of the boys' old computer games in cubbies on the built-in cubicles up top. There's a blue bean bag chair under the desk, on a rectangular carpet remnant, where The Pony liked to sit and play Nintendo, which is hooked up to a little TV on the wall across from that desk.

My cleanup went smoothly. Farmer H even helped by dusting part of the room, and The Pony, who arrived a week early, dusted all the way down the wooden steps for me. So basically all I had to do was sweep the basement, and clean the NASCAR bathroom.

Today, as I was carrying my lunch to the mini fridge under the basement stairs, I had a mishap. I kind of eat my lunch in stages. What's the rush? I have the rest of my life to finish lunch! I'm on the Forever Vacation. I first fill my bubba cup of ice with bathroom water. Then I get a bottle of Diet Coke ready to add to my 44 oz cup as I sip some room into it. I scratch my lottery tickets. I check out my blog comments, and start with the day's stories. Then I'm ready for lunch.

So...when I first descend to my dark basement lair, I start up my New Delly, and go put my lunch in the mini fridge. That means pinwheels in the fridge, and an individual plastic cup of Birthday Cake ice cream goes in the mini freezer for dessert.

Today I also had 3 slices of Oberle cheese as a side dish. Oberle cheese is tasty. Garlic flavored soft cheese, in a tube shape. It fits great on a Ritz cracker when you slice it.

I set my 3 slices of Oberle cheese on top of my ice cream container, on top of my pinwheels container, to carry to the mini fridge.

Of course I have to hold that in my left hand, and my bubba cup in my right hand, because I make a stop to fill that cup with water at the NASCAR bathroom. I was just preparing to set down the pinwheel/ice cream/cheese tower on the game-holding desk when calamity befell me.


Uh huh. The exact spot on the floor where I'd swept the entirety of the basement's floor dust, to scoop it up with a dustpan.

Do you know how much dust and hair one slice of Oberle cheese can pick up, even though, to the naked eye, there was no dust and hair on the floor? You might be amazed.

Being a soft cheese, though, Oberle lends itself quite well to having a layer scraped off to reveal pristine cheese goodness underneath.

Make that about 2.5 slices of Oberle I had as a side dish with my lunch today.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Dollar Jeans

You may have heard that the Hillbilly family is having a problem with POOP in the Mansion garage. We won't get into that now, but a blogworthy incident has occurred.

Yesterday I entered the garage for my daily drive to town. Of course I smelled poop. I backed T-Hoe out onto the concrete, and went back in to shovel some sh!t. Farmer H keeps a curved blue plastic snow shovel out there for scooping the poop. He usually does it, when I'm gone with T-Hoe. But he's been derelict in his duties for several days, and I've done it myself.

It's easy enough to scoop the poop when temperatures are sub-freezing. Those turds are like petrified logs, and don't smell. They scoop right up, or roll along the garage floor ahead of the snow shovel. Once out the big door, they go over the side of the concrete, down a three-foot drop onto grass, to turn into fertilizer for next year's yard.

This time, temps were in the 50s. That poop stunk. And it didn't want to scoop or roll. Some of it smashed along the shovel edge, and crumbled, and was a pain to get out of the garage. Some of those crumbs must have landed on the mossy patch just outside the big garage doors. Unbeknownst to me.

On my way to town, I noticed the odor of poop inside T-Hoe's cabin. Cruising along at 55 mph, I put down the passenger window up front, and both rear windows, and turned up the fan on the heater. It worked! Until I rolled up the windows.

PEEEE YOOOO! What a stench! I was almost gagging from the smell.

That's not happenin'! Not on my sweet ride! T-Hoe is not going to stink like poop! I tried to brainstorm how to remedy the problem. I could take out the floor mat, in case I'd stepped in some poop. Use a wire brush to get rid of the muddy powder when it dried. Shampoo that mat with dish liquid or laundry detergent. I could get one of those mirror-hanging tree deodorizers at the car wash. I could leave a box of baking soda in T-Hoe to soak up the odor. Or put in a Bounce fabric softener.

At each stop, I ground my shoe soles on the pavement. Walked through any puddles I could find. Dried my shoes thoroughly on the entry mats at each establishment I entered. I bought two gallons of bleach for $1.15 apiece. Not the good stuff that was $2.66 on sale. I called Farmer H on the way home, to tell him of my plight. And to declare that this HAD to stop, and that I was not risking my A-Cad, parked most of the time inside that garage, but on the side away from the Mad Pooper's chosen dumping ground.

Farmer H was waiting for me when I arrived home. Like a trauma team waiting on the helipad for a 'copter. He opened up the garage door, but I didn't pull inside. Farmer H came out and got the bleach from T-Hoe's rear. He started pouring before I even walked through carrying the floor mat to lay out for safe keeping above dog height. I had to watch out for him as I passed through the garage. He had a push broom, making a tide of bleach roll across the smooth concrete floor towards the door. I told him I was leaving T-Hoe outside until my driveway walk, so as not to disrupt his scouring procedure.

When I came upstairs later to get supper ready, Farmer H was more talkative than usual.

"You know when you gave me that bleach?"

"Yeah. Did you get some on you?" Because it's happened to me before, while pouring it in the sink to clean the drain. I ruined a shirt. And now I don't work with bleach unless I'm wearing old clothes.

"Uh huh."

"Very bad?"

"Well, not bad. But you can see the spots."

"Were they your good jeans?"

"I got them for a dollar at Goodwill."

"Oh. Well. Maybe someone will die soon, and you can find another pair." Always the Pollyanna, seeing the bright side, the pot of gold at the end of the bleach-accident rainbow, our Mrs. HM.

"Eh. They'll just go from my good jeans to my wear-around-here-to-work-in jeans."

Maybe Farmer H learned a lesson. I doubt it. But one can always hope. T-Hoe didn't stink like poop today. Though he DID smell faintly like bleach.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Unfortunate Straw-Drinking Faux Pas of '17

Back before the new year started, before Christmas, even, when CasinoPalooza 3 was just a blip on the horizon...Mrs. HM suffered an accident of enormous magnitude.

Okay. Suffered may be a bit of a stretch. If I had gone to the emergency room for treatment, and a skeptical, cold-hearted nurse had asked me, on scale of 1-10 what my pain level was...I would have had to answer 0.5. Because you don't wanna skew the felt-pain scale, lest you regenerate your gallbladder and get a stone stuck in a duct, and need morphine to keep you from pulling your own teeth as a distraction. But accident was nothing to sneeze at.

I had carried my yellow bubba cup into the NASCAR bathroom one evening for some water. Yes, Mrs. HM drinks bathroom water. It's easier on the knees than ascending 13 wooden steps for kitchen water. Anyhoo...I had run out of water, and Diet Coke is not a thirst-quencher. It's a treat. A pick-me-up. The greatest beverage ever invented! But I wanted a drink of water.

The NASCAR bathroom sink has a bit of a calcium build-up on the spigot. Rather than clear cold well-water pouring out in a steady stream, you get clear cold well-water spraying out as if a toddler had put his finger over the end of a garden hose. Like a fancy rain shower. The bathroom counter is lower than a kitchen counter. I have to lean over and kind of balance myself at an awkward angle to tilt my bubba cup so that the spray doesn't erode my ice while filling the cup. Sometimes I rest an elbow on the edge of the sink to steady myself, and take tension off my back. This time, I did not. I just leaned over that sink. If I had a dowager's hump, my body might have been the perfect shape for this task.

When I was done filling the bubba cup with water, I turned off the cold-water handle with my left hand, and reached across the sink to pick up Bubba's lid. I plopped Bubba's butt end on the edge of the round sink rim, and pushed until his lid snapped on. Still off-kilter a bit, my vertebrae starting to screech in protest, I simultaneously leaned my head down, and raised Bubba up, to wrap my lips around the red straw jutting out of his blowhole. I miscalculated just a skosh.


I imagine that my teeth looked like when a territorial german shepherd hears the mailman's step on the porch. I daresay my lip was dislocated up to near lower eyelid level. That smarted. Elicited tears. I dabbed at the bottom right side of my upper lip, and the back of my hand came away bloody!

Sweet Gummi Mary! Who knew that drinking water is so dangerous?

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

It's Never Too Cold To Lose Some Cold Hard Cash

On Friday, Farmer H took me to our local casino. You know, because we didn't lose ENOUGH money at CasinoPalooza 3.

He'd first offered to take me on Wednesday. I think that's because of the cold snap, and he really couldn't do anything outside or in his new Playhouse. That's what I've been calling his Freight Container Garage lately. He installed a wood stove, but with temps in the teens, it's still pretty hard to get anything done in that huge building, unless he's huddled up around the wood stove.

I was so sick that I turned down that trip, but said we could go Friday if I felt better. Better might not have been the right word for it. But on Friday, I at least felt different. I could drag myself around, even though I still had a cough and chills. The sore throat had ebbed a little bit. AND I still had a sense of smell and taste, so I knew I'd get a burger out of the trip, anyway.

It was so cold that Farmer H let the valet park the car, rather than us walking in from the south parking lot, past the parking garage, past the valet lots, past the hotel check-in counter, past the shops and event center. Instead, like when my favorite gambling aunt drives, we got out right at the front door. Good thing. Farmer H didn't want to wear a heavy coat all day, and I was a wheezer.

I had gotten a promotional card saying that I had free play if I scanned my player's card at a kiosk. My usual free play for this month, on Fridays, is $20. The promotion said I would get anywhere from $25 to $5000 worth of free play. Of course you KNOW it will be $25. But that was still more than my regular play. I figured it would be like the other promotions I get. They are not to be combined with another offer. So instead of $20, I'd get the $25 in free play.

Of course that's what I was given when I scanned my card. $25. What made me mad was that I couldn't access it at the slots. I did recall that it said "usable in free play at most slots." Huh. The regular free play works with all of them. So I figured I was getting cheated out of $5. Because once I punched in my PIN and used my Friday free play of $20 that was showing, I wouldn't be able to use the $25 from scanning my player's card. By the fourth slot I tried it on, I gave up and used that $20. You don't want to FORGET to use your free play, by cracky! It's only good on THAT DAY.

Neither Farmer H nor I was having much luck. The place was full of OLD PEOPLE! We could have been at a geriatric home! Seriously. It was crowded, and they were all OLD PEOPLE! I couldn't get on any of my favorite games, so I made do with others that had done me wrong in the past (and still did me wrong) and a couple I'd never played. I won a little bit, but not as much as I'd spent.

We met for lunch at 2:30. Farmer H and I both ordered our burger medium. He usually gets medium well, and I usually get medium. This time, his came out medium well, and mine came out EXTRA RARE. I don't know how they do that lately. The burgers used to be cooked just right. Goldilocks herself would have been satisfied. I still ate mine. At least it had flavor. It's not like they made it well done. Besides, I was happy that I was sick, but could still TASTE my burger.

Anyhoo...we went back to play for another hour, and the first machine I sat down at popped up a message that I had $25 BONUS PLAY! Huh. I don't understand that, but I took it! That meant I had a total of $45 free play that day! Lost it all, though. But that's what you'd expect, right. It's a casino, not a money-handing-out-o.

Right before time to leave, I saw a Wonder 4 Tower game open. There are only 3 of them, all together. The middle one was open! I scurried through the opening in the table games, and was all set to shove my card in that open Wonder 4 Tower. Only a couple steps to go! And the lady at the left-hand machine got up, and draped her coat over the chair of the open machine! If I hadn't been sick, I would have beat her to it! I was slowed by lack of lung power!

Anyhoo...that lady pulled her player's card out of the left machine, so I had a glimmer of hope. Then she cashed out her ticket. Then she grabbed her alcoholic drink in its glass glass. Then her box of Marlboro Gold hard-pack cigarettes. That should have been foreshadowing for me, I guess.

I sat down at her vacated machine, and Smoky started playing on the middle one. I hit four bonuses before I'd even run my twenty down to eighteen dollars! Not big bonuses. But bonuses that pay a little are better than no bonuses at all. They're the fun part of the game. I figured Smoky was getting mad that she left the machine. I didn't hear HER getting bonuses.

Here's the thing: Smoky SMOKED! The whole time I sat there. I bet she went through 15 cigarettes in 15 minutes! The smoke was wafting directly across my face. You could SEE it. Like in a cartoon. I'm sure it was due to the ventilation system blowing smoke back INTO the casino, rather than letting it seep out into the restaurant and shop area. When Smoky stubbed out that first one, I was so relieved! Until she flicked her lighter on the second one. I don't know why she didn't just light it from the dying ash of the previous one. Maybe that's low class. I don't know. I'm not a smoker. On purpose.

Anyhoo...a friend of Smoky showed up, surprising her. I guess he used to work with her, or gamble with her. They seemed pretty familiar. I think they were high rollers. He said he had a free buffet there every day of the week, but he didn't really like their food. But then again, what was he going to do on the way home from work, pass by there and pick up a pizza? So he came in almost every evening. Smoky asked him to watch her machine while she went to the bathroom. It had hit a bonus that was playing out.

I breathed a sigh of relief as she stubbed out THAT cigarette. Figured I could get some oxygen while she was gone. I'll be ding dang donged if her friend didn't take a cig from her pack, and light up as well! She returned, and he left, and the player at the right-side machine asked Smoky about her winnings.

"I'm sorry. I don't mean to be nosy. But I thought I heard you tell your friend that you just won big."

Smoky said that she'd just won $3200. On the machine that I was currently playing.

I call shenanigans! AND bullcrap! If you win $1200 or more on one game, you have to call an attendant. It's called a HAND PAY. They take all of your information for taxes, then count out your bills by hand. You can't just take them on a cash-out ticket. I had just walked up when Smoky switched machines, and there was no hand pay going on. You would think that if she'd gotten a hand pay earlier, she would not have still been playing that machine. You win, you move on.

Something was fishy there. But at least, after turning around to scan the exit for Farmer H, and then playing again, I hit a good bonus and cashed out ninety-something dollars. Still not enough to make up for what I played that day. But at least more money to add to what I'd won back to take home.

My scratchers need to start coming through for me again, so I can build up my bankroll.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Chicken Little Liar

You may have noticed, here and there, that I've been a little bit critical of Farmer H lately. Well. Moreso than usual. Maybe that criticism is unfounded. Maybe he's just not capable of understanding. Maybe he simply can't function at the level I expect from him.

 Poor Farmer H. He doesn't know his chicken parts!

On Saturday, I got an 8-piece box from the gas station chicken store. They were having a sale, you see! An 8-piece box for only $8.00! Normally, it is $8.99. Not such a big discount, but when you're sittin' on the chicken fence, that right there will push you off and into action. Here's the catch, though. Along with their computer-printed sign on the door proclaiming this sale, it said: "We pick the pieces."

Huh. That was almost enough to make me wary. But we haven't had their chicken in a long time, and I was sick and didn't want to cook, but there was nothing wrong with my sense of smell, so I got us some chicken. And a small mashed potatoes and gravy for Farmer H. Because I'm thoughtful like that.

When I got home, Farmer H even came out to help me carry in the shopping. I took the chicken in myself. I explained about the pieces sign.

"I haven't looked in it. For all I know, we could have eight wings! I hope not. But it's a possibility. That would suck. I don't know how they can say that. The girl who got mine knows I'm in there all the time. Maybe she gave me good ones."

I peeked into the box before I took my 3:30 lunch down to my lair. It had two breasts on the bottom, and two thighs on top of them, and a leg on the front side of the box and another one at the back, and two wings jammed down at the end. It was a regular 8-piece box of chicken. And it looked delicious. Better than previous times, when it looked like they were frying up Cornish hens.

I put the chicken in FRIG II. Farmer H was going to the auction, and I hadn't even had lunch yet, so that was going to be our supper. He'd warm it when he got ready, and I could get mine later. Much later, since I wasn't having lunch until 3:30. I heard Farmer H come home from the auction sometime between 9:00 and 10:30. Time means nothing to me any more, now that I'm RETIRED.

Farmer H came stumped downstairs to tell me about his bargain of $75 for 10 jugs of laundry detergent and toilet bowl cleaner and something edible, I forget, maybe hot sauce. He had watched a lady who regularly buys that kind of stuff bid up to $70 and quit. Then Farmer H got it for $75. He plans to sell it at his Storage Container Store, or maybe at another auction.

Anyhoo...I asked about his chicken. You know. Just to assess what I was having, and what would be left for the next day, for lunch or supper for one or both of us.

"I had two legs and a little part. know...a ...wing."

When I went up, to get my supper around 10:00, I saw that both wings were still there. The two legs and a thigh were gone. The bigger of the two thighs. Like I said, these were good pieces not like the miniature ones I've shown pictures of a while back.

"Oh. You ate a thigh. Not a wing. I figured you had more than that." Not that I care. Farmer H can eat whatever he wants, but don't tell me some fiction when I'm trying to figure out what I'll have, and what's left for tomorrow.

From his La-Z-Boy, Farmer H insisted that he'd eaten two legs and a wing. I know he likes the legs. I don't. He always eats the legs, and sometimes a breast or a thigh with them. Legs are not very filling, even with mashed potatoes.

I took the remaining thigh, and a wing, to the La-Z-Boy to show him. Because he was still playing that story of eating a wing. Not accusing him of eating pieces I wanted. Not calling him a liar. Just letting him know that I KNEW that he didn't really think he ate a wing instead of a thigh.

"This is a wing. This is a thigh. They look pretty different to me. Don't you know the difference?"


"Well, you didn't, apparently. THIS is a thigh. THIS is a wing."

"I had that one on the right. That's what I had."

"Uh huh. The thigh. It's not a LITTLE piece. It's bigger than the leg. And surely you knew since you already ate it, that it had different bones that what a wing would have. And you didn't have to unfold it. And it had more meat. And it was dark meat, not half dark on one bone, and half white on the other bone. You are old enough to know the difference between chicken parts!"

"Whatever! There you go!"

"I only asked what you had, and you're the one who hesitated and made up that story. I don't know what the big deal is. Just tell me you had two legs and a thigh. Then I know what's left."

I swear! ALWAYS with the untruths! You don't dare call them lies, because they came out of Farmer H's mouth, and to him, saying it MAKES IT SO.

He's so very imaginative that he could write fiction. He had no reason to fabricate a story of eating a wing, like I wasn't going to notice when I looked at the chicken. Or maybe he thought I didn't look already, and he could pretend that they gave us THREE wings, and ONE thigh. Though I don't know how that would benefit him in any way. It's not like he's pretending he's on a diet or anything. Along with that chicken he ate TWO jumbo cinnamon rolls, which he also stated. Truthfully.

I can never really believe anything Farmer H tells me.

Sunday, January 7, 2018


Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is a gal of hidden talents. She has a penchant for getting to the bottom of things. Perhaps that's due to her career as a public school teacher. Perhaps that's due to her marriage to Farmer H.

Anyhoo...Mrs. HM is hanging out her Private Investigator shingle. Hoping nobody steals it.

On the way home from town yesterday, I turned T-Hoe onto my gravel road and saw a white truck up ahead. That's not unusual. Several people out here have a white truck, HOS (Farmer H's Oldest Son) being one of them. I'm not well-versed in truck models, but this one didn't look like the one I see parked in our BARn field when HOS is there helping Farmer H.

Normally, I wouldn't freak out about such a sighting. It's probably someone who lives out here. What caught my eye was an object in the back of that white truck. I don't know what it was. It looked kind of awkwardly loaded. Not all wrapped in an old bedspread, or tied down with come-a-longs like a valued piece of furniture might be, if somebody was moving it to their house.

AND this white truck was driving really slow. I know that some people have a nice car, and don't want to kick up dust from the gravel road. This was not a nice car. The area where I came upon the white truck was where we found a broken aquarium that had been trashed there a few months back. It's near the shallow waterfall of the now-frozen creek, where there's a little gap in the trees. Ne'er-do-wells have always used that area for dumping.

Had I come upon a would-be dumper?

Well! If I HAD, that varmint wasn't going to get away scott free! No siree, Bob! I could gather evidence, and turn it over to my enforcer, Farmer H. So I took out my phone, and tried to get a picture of that truck. Unfortunately, that road is bumpy, and my picture-taking leaves a little to be desired, even when I'm NOT piloting a 2008 Tahoe.

He must have seen me waving the phone around, because he sped up a little bit. Didn't stop and drop his truck bed load. He turned left on the first branch he came to off that gravel road. It's a dead end up there. So either he lives on that branch, or he thought he was escaping my investigation.

Farmer H says there's a new guy out here who just bought a house. But you can't reach it from that road the truck turned on. He doesn't know what the guy drives.

You can bet I'm going to leave this case open.

Saturday, January 6, 2018


Perhaps by now you are familiar with my routine. I spend the late afternoon/evening hours in my dark basement lair, which I now leave lighted, though two of the four overhead lights are currently out. I peruse the innernets, check up on my blogs, inform myself of the newest conspiracy theories, eat my lunch at my New Delly, and usually supper, since Farmer H is always popping out to an auction and grabs his as the time suits him.

I sip on my 44 oz Diet Coke throughout the afternoon and night. I add Cherry Limeade sugar-free powder mix to it, and extra ice, and freshen it with a bottle of Diet Coke (the hard stuff) as it weakens. I keep a baggie of frozen ice cubes in the basement mini fridge to apply to my knees. It has been melted and refrozen many times, and still hasn't sprung a leak in its double baggie.

Sometimes I know it's time to put away the knee ice when I feel it slipping down in the fold I've made by flipping my striped sweatpants leg into a long cuff. Sometimes I know because my knee starts hurting from the cold. Other times it comes at a logical cut-off point when I get up to go to the NASCAR bathroom next door to my office.

Sometimes, I just KNOW that my knee ice has sprung a leak. I can feel the trickle of melted water (which I guess is actually melted ice, having turned into water) down my shin. Imagine my surprise when I reach down, and find my soft cotton sweats dry as a bone that's been laying around Sweet, Sweet Juno's house for a year or two. I guess I feel the phantom trickles.

Today, I was typing away at my not-so-secret blog, about CasinoPalooza 3. I felt that feeling on my leg, but since I wasn't wearing my knee ice, having laid off from driveway-walking in this frigid cold snap, and not feeling as much pain in that joint. I thought something along the lines of, "Aha! You can't fool ME! I know I'm not wearing my knee ice. It can't be melting." I went on typing, my phantom drip out of my mind.

An hour or so later, I felt that drip again, so I reached down, and



It was a CRICKET!!!

Yes! A live cricket! Having apparently been sitting on my shin for about an hour or so! Just sitting there! A CRICKET! On my LEG! With its little cricket hands and feet (SIX OF THEM, I know my insect morphology!) grasping the stubs of my leg hairs that might not be so very stubby, here in the deep dark days of winter!


Have I mentioned that I hate crickets? Almost as much as I hate feet! And now I had cricket feet on my bare skin! For about an hour or so!

I couldn't smash that cricket! It would leave cricket guts on my bare skin, and in my sweatpants leg! I felt it start scrambling when I touched it. So I shook my pants leg, and looked down in horror to see that cricket fall out! It was a big husky specimen. I couldn't stomp it. My shoes were off. Red run-down Crocs abandoned further under my desk. Besides, blog buddy River says crickets in the house are good luck!

In spite of losing my shirt and half my wardrobe at CasinoPalooza 3, and being sick these last six days, I really consider myself pretty lucky. So I let that cricket be.

It was horrifying.

Friday, January 5, 2018

This Isn't Supposed To Happen!

Let the record show that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is sick. Sick, SICK, SICK!

That shouldn't happen, right? I am not trapped in a classroom with 100 students per day any more. Not required to stand sentinel at the doorway as they pass by, hacking and snorting and spewing all manner of viruses at my exposed mucous membranes and the gases about to enter my respiratory tract. NO! I am a stay-in-lair retiree who only makes one trip to town every day for the purchase of a 44 oz Diet Coke. And maybe a few scratch-off tickets.

This is not my first rodeo. I've been around the block. I didn't just fall off the turnip truck. I am an ex-science-teacher, by cracky! With BIOLOGY knowledge. I know that you don't succumb to a sickness by going out in the winter with wet hair, or catching a chill. You get a sickness by allowing the virus or bacteria that causes that sickness to gain access to your innards.

I do NOT touch my eyes, nose, mouth, ears, or face while I'm out and about. No siree, Bob! An itch will have to wait for the scratch after a Germ-X wash. Door handles and cart handles and slot machine handles and all manner of knobs and levers and keypads and vending machine buttons are rife with the sicknesses of other people. You might as well run your tongue over them as touch your face after handling them. Although the saliva and your digestive juices would probably start disarming those viruses and bacteria right away.

So...I don't know how I became ill.

It started on Monday morning. I woke up with a sore throat. Not the normal sore throat, up in the back of the roof of your mouth. You can gargle warm salt water and make that kind feel better for a while. Mine was in the lower neck-throat area. Like down on the vocal cords. The left one, more specifically. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday... It won't quit! During the day, it sometimes becomes bearable. Then overnight, it goes back to feeling like I'm swallowing crushed glass.

I've been drinking a lot (WATER and DIET COKE, of course) to thin the mucus and make coughing it up a little easier. The dizziness is better. It's not really in my nose, just a few drips. Clear. I have Halls Mentho-Lyptus Honey Lemon, and The Devil's brand Equate Menthol Cherry cough drops. I can't talk much (Farmer H is rejoicing, I'm sure, when he's not saying, "WHAT?"), and when I do, I speak in a register lower than Farmer H himself.

Poor Farmer H. Heh, heh. You know I don't really feel a lot of sympathy for him, don't you? He has driven to town for three days in a row, trying to get a haircut, only to see a sign taped on the door of his barbershop, saying that the barber is out sick. "He must have what you do! He's NEVER been off this long."

I'm sure it's just a virus. Nothing I can do for it. Except whine, of course. Hoarsely. On Monday, I was dizzy when I woke up. I figure something got into my throat and made a run for my ears and down my neck. I can only imagine this virus got in because I dared to breathe. That's right. Mrs. HM is a breather. A MOUTH BREATHER!

Probably, in my travels, I was not quick enough to stop breathing when a ne'er-do-well coughed without blocking their spray of pathogens with a hand or elbow. Or I stopped breathing right then, but could not escape the full cloud of pathogens before I had to inhale again. Because your sickness will start in the area you first make contact with the pathogens. If I was a nose-breather, I'd have started with a standard runny nose, which would then progress down my throat and into my lungs. Or if I touched my eyeball with a pathogen-coated finger, I'd have had the watery eyes, then runny nose, then cough, etc.

I'm thinking I caught this sickness after we left the casino on Friday at 11:30. Otherwise, it's a pretty long incubation period. Maybe I got it at The Devil's Playground on Saturday. Or Save A Lot on Sunday. Various and assorted coughers were abundant in both places.

Right now I'm pretty pitiful. So pitiful that I turned down a trip to the local casino on Wednesday! Farmer H says he's taking me Friday. So I guess I'll feel good enough to go. Alls I know is...I'm typing this up on Thursday evening, hoping to make a miraculous recovery in the next 12 hours.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Ze FRAMES, Blog Buddies! Ze FRAMES!

Forget that Mary Richards stuff! That is SO yesterday. Or 1970s. We're moving on to Fantasy Island tonight.

I'm a little too tall to be Tattoo, and I'm not nearly tanned enough to be Ricardo Montalban. That man had skin like fine Corinthian leather. No, I'll just be my everywoman self, and report the facts. I'm already living my fantasy of being RETIRED.

Farmer H got some more snazzy gold picture frames for my best ol' ex-teaching buddy Mabel. So it's HER fantasy today, not mine. Farmer H also found Mabel another mirror! Isn't it cute? These are small frames. The whole five pieces here were only $20 total. AND he got another one, 6" x 7".

I think he said the small frames are plastic, and the mirror frame is wood, because it's pretty heavy. Don't remember what he said about Blue Boy, whose price was $5.00. Typical Farmer H, to frame (see what I did there?) the picture with a lot of empty space, and the subject tiny, in the center.

I don't know what that reedy-looking basket thingy is in the first photo. To the right. Probably not for Mabel. It must be one of Farmer H's fantasies. Could be a fishing creel, maybe, for his Fishing Lair shack. Or a snowshoe for BigFoot, to display with his other oddities in The Pony's Sword Shack. It seems to have become a catchall for things he's not sure what to do with. Maybe it's a picnic basket, because we only have three or four already. And let the record show that we have never taken one on a picnic.

At least while he's Goodwilling, Farmer H is not partaking of his own fantasy, which is building new structures that clamor for funding, and clutter up the landscape.