Friday, April 20, 2018

With A Vengeance!

Okay, so I thought that my luck had returned. Like a Capistrano swallow, it had come back. If Mrs. Hillbilly Mom was a cartwheeling woman, she would have been flipping for joy on Wednesday, winning scratchers clenched between her teeth. What could possibly top such a happy occasion as the welcome-home party for Mrs. HM's long-awaited guest of honor, Good Fortune?

Oh...I don't know...perhaps...THIS?

It's a $100 winner on a $10 ticket I bought Thursday, with some of the proceeds from my previous day's winners. I hit the WIN ALL symbol partway down. Of course I stopped scratching. I set it aside until the very end, hoping all the while that it would have a better prize under each number than the $5. NOT THAT I'M COMPLAINING! I had three other tickets, and two of them were winners as well, for another $25 to add to the day's total.

More money to stash in my casino bankroll. I wonder if my luck will hang around until Saturday's trip to the casino.

One thing's for sure. Just like a losing streak won't last forever...neither will a winning streak.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Back On Even Steven Keel

After a brief respite from scratching, my luck returned with a vengeance on Wednesday. My bi-weekly run to The Devil's Playground complete, I took some of my weekly allowance and hit Waterside Mart, the Hillmomba Casey's, and of course The Gas Station Chicken Store for some scratchers.

Read 'em and weep. Tears of JOY, this time!

According to my unofficial in-my-head running statistics, I am now only 3 winners behind according to the ticket odds, and I'm $20 ahead of what I usually recoup. Which is only 40% of what I spend, not counting the wins over $100 on a single ticket.

So...I'll be cashing these in, using some to play again, and stashing a large portion in my casino bankroll.

Cashin' and stashin'. That's how Mrs. Hillbilly Mom likes to roll.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A Couple Of Fugitives From The Most Unwanted List

Heading out on my 44 oz Diet Coke run Tuesday, I stopped to give my Sweet, Sweet Juno some cat kibble. Jack was nowhere in sight, so Juno got all the attention. Even though what she wanted was the cat kibble.

When I came home, the full crew was there to greet me. So I had to go back into the garage and use the mini non-stick saucepan to scoop out the kibble from the latch-top mini trash can that stores it. My eager admirers didn't mind the wait. Nor did they seem to care that the reason for it was that Farmer H did NOT feed the cats this morning, leaving that chore to me. I'm sure their dry-food buffet is not being depleted by me handing out handfuls to the dogs a couple times a day!

Anyhoo...when I left earlier, I noticed that Farmer H had made an addition to his garage-adjacent rock garden, and vowed to share that artistic expression with you when I got back.

Yeah. Copper Jack couldn't be bothered to get out of the picture, but he gives you an idea of how big those concrete flip-flops are. I'm not likin' the look. I guess they're better in this area than out in front of the house. By the beautiful partly-almost-white picket fence. That's the thing with Farmer H. He can make something that looks good, like the sidewalk made of bricks from a former old street behind my $17,000 house, and that rock garden with treasures that my grandma collected. But then he junks it up with something inane like those concrete flip-flops.

Farmer H. Can't live with him, can't pretend the footsteps upstairs are his without him.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

One Picture Is Worth 394 Words

There seems to be a running theme here at the Mansion.

I'm NOT! No siree, Bob! I'm NOT picking up that plate! Not only because I'm hard-headed and vengeful, but because around here, no good deed goes unpunished, and no good deed garners a Thank You.

That's Farmer H's plate, by cracky! Left there by him when I was in the shower on Saturday, when he came home early from the Storage Unit Store because of rain, rather than me meeting him there to go to the casino. While I was cleansing myself before spending hours in a smoky environment, Farmer H was hot-dog-loading for energy. Can you tell which cushion he sat on? I knew you could.

It's Tuesday, you know. That plate is still there. And here's part of the reason why...

As we were going out the door to get in A-Cad to leave for the casino, Farmer H walked RIGHT BY a bag of trash that needed taking out. Seriously. It was right there. I'd already taken it out of the wastebasket. Already put in a new bag. Already tied up the top of the old one. Yet Farmer H walked right by it.

"I can't believe you're walking out with nothing in your hands! I have my purse and my water cup. You have NOTHING."

"Oh. Well. I didn't know if it was ready to go out. There's not a knot in the top. That one time you said I took it too soon."

"That was when I had it sitting there with the top open, to put last-minute trash from the Easter meal in it as I was preparing it. Before taking it out. You never take out the bathroom trash, either! I bet I've done it the last 30 times!"

"Well, I don't put anything in it."

Yeah. His old razors and pharmacy bags and bandaids just dance themselves to the kitchen like the "Let's all go to the lobby" singing movie treats, I guess.

"I don't track mud into the house, either, but I'm the one who sweeps it up. I don't eat chili dogs, but I cook them and chop up the onions and shred the cheese. Then wash the dishes."

Farmer H had no answer for that, other than a heavy sigh as he picked up the trash bag with his formerly empty hands.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Lest You Assume That I Exaggerate

Seriously. There is a black cloud hanging over me. Saturday, it was an ACTUAL black cloud. Not a figurative black cloud. The closer we got to the casino, the lower and blacker that cloud appeared. Until the very last minute, when the rain slacked off, so we had hope, and bypassed the FREE valet parking.

Yes, Farmer H swove us to the casino to see if we had our Rewards Offer doubled. The promo says it will be doubled on two Saturdays in April. Then it gave us a HINT, nudge-nudge, right there in maroon-and-white on the mailer, that the first of these two doubling days would be April 7th. We went last Saturday, and the doubling DID happen. Farmer H got $20 free play, and I got $50 free play.

Of course Farmer H and I are pretty savvy customers, so we figure that the next double-day will be the LAST Saturday of the month. Just so the casino can drag you in there with doubling hopes the other two Saturdays. Still, we went to the casino on Saturday. We got in the habit while harvesting our FREE luggage those four Saturdays in March. Anyhoo... our Rewards offer was not doubled on Saturday. Nor did we win the Mercedes for a year. No big deal. We were still at a casino, with money to play, and nothing but time.

And also with a powerful thirst.

Farmer H had been selling in his Storage Unit Store all morning, and I was dried out from withholding liquids so I wouldn't have to stop on the hour drive there, having taken my blood pressure meds before leaving. We went our separate ways once inside, but each with plans to go by one of the free soda fountains before settling down to play.

First of all, don't got thinking the black cloud is about losing, because we always go in with the expectation of losing some or all of our money that we took. And this day was no exception. No, the black cloud was just from simple everyday interactions that could have gone better. Like at the soda fountain.

The place was teeming with old people, and the soda fountain was a prime watering hole. I think there were four people ahead of me. It's on the wall, with the ends of several slot rows across from it. There's not much room to get by if you're walking down the wall of the casino. People were grabbing a cup, filling it with ice, getting their beverage, and moving along. It was a one-way flow. No room for two-way traffic. While we were waiting, other people shouldered their way past us, going from one area to the other.

The old white-haired man in front of me got his soda, and then turned to SWIM UPSTREAM! I had people behind me in line. People passing by my left shoulder to get by. There was NO ROOM for this guy. He faced me, and glared like I was the one in the wrong! SWEET GUMMI MARY! I had nowhere to go. I guess he was going to stare everyone down until he got out of our line playing chicken one person at a time.

Seriously. I don't cotton to crap like that. I did NOT move for him. Mainly because, as I've stated, I had nowhere to go. White Hair stood at my right shoulder area, in the little alcove afforded by the wastebasket. When I had enough elbow room on my left to move forward, I did, so I could get past White Hair to the soda fountain.

There's always one, isn't there. One person who has to upset the apple cart. Demand special treatment. Refuses to go with the flow. I hope somebody bumped him, and spilled his FREE soda. Not so it got all over his pants in an embarrassing area, though that would have been like icing on a sweet, sweet cake. But only because I wish he had to go back through the line to get another FREE soda.

I've vengeful like that.

Oh, yeah. Farmer H and I ordered our burgers. Both the same way. Medium. With onions and pickles. Farmer H also got pepperjack cheese on his. When the burgers were served, Farmer H's was done just the way he ordered. Medium. Pink and juicy. Mine was well-done. It had the consistency and taste of sawdust. Even though I don't eat sawdust. I'm pretty sure I won't need to now in order to describe the taste. "Oh, you know. It's just like a well-done Burger Brothers hamburger."

I'm like Pigpen, hygienically-challenged friend of Charlie Brown. But with a dark cloud, not a dust cloud.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

I Can't Even

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's life is off course!

While walking down the 13 basement steps to my lair this afternoon, my SHAMING BRACELET ABANDONED ME!

That's right. The Fitbit-style doodad made by Garmin, that Genius gave me for Christmas, threw in the towel, and flung himself from my wrist right down those remaining 5 stairs, thumping on at least three of them.

Yes, Mrs. HM is such a loser that even her SHAMING BRACELET, whom she displeases daily by not meeting her goal five days out of seven...chose to jump from her wrist and hurl himself into oblivion (or at least onto the hard press-down tile of the basement concrete floor) rather than ride down the rest of the way strapped to her wrist.

Let the record show that on the band, there are two hard plastic prongs that fit into stretchy rubber slots, and a turny thing to keep the prongs latched in. I had pronged and latched as usual. Nothing was malfunctioning. Upon closer inspection after the fact, there was no damage to any part of the Shaming Bracelet. Even though it caught for a moment on the plastic bag handles of the Devil's Playground sack that I use to ferry down my drink cups, such an incident happens every single day. There was no reason for this sudden leap of non-faith.

This does not bode well for Mrs. HM.

I'm glad I skipped buying scratcher tickets today.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Storage Unit Fairy

Last week, I woke up and went to the kitchen for my medicine. There on the counter was a GIFT for me! Or so I assumed. It was something that wasn't there the night before, and it was in my food-prep area that I harp about keeping clutter-free. Also, it was not something that I could imagine Farmer H using for himself.

It was a case, by cracky! A hard-cover case. With polka dots! Not at all unappealing.
I quite liked it.

There was a little latch on the front that allowed entrance to the case. It was just like the ones I bought at Christmas, in assorted solid colors like red/blue/purple/green. For the guys to put their casino players' cards in during Casinopalooza 2.

Plenty of room for lots of cards! I think I have 11 of them. I almost had one of these cases for myself, but Farmer H saw me wrapping them, and said that HE'd like to have one, so there went the one I had ordered for myself. You know us gals...always doing without so their guys can have nice things.

Anyhoo...Farmer H said he found this one in his storage unit stuff, and he WASHED IT and brought it over to the house for me. You realize, right, that Farmer H is giving up a possible 50 cents in sales for me, don't you? And also that I'm going to wash this case again!

It's the thought that counts. And I also have this sweet card case!


Now, a follow-up. Here's what those Easter Sweet Tarts looked like. I don't have any of the actual candy to show you's already been EATEN! But here's the box, to give you an idea.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Won't Somebody Please Help Mrs. Hillbilly Mom?

I don't know why no one wants to help pitiful Mrs. Hillbilly Mom.

Earlier this week, I pushed my cart into a line at The Devil's Playground. There was only one lady ahead of me. As soon as her items were conveyored forward, I grabbed that little divider thingy and put mine on the counter. It wasn't a lot. Maybe 12 items total. Not a full grocery order. In fact, everything fit in the top section of the cart. The child-riding seat.

The old Devil's Handmaiden conveyed my own items forward. She took the payment of the customer ahead of me. Then she turned to me and said, "I'm leaving. But Gabe will help you. She's very good."

I'm familiar with Gabe. Short for Gabrielle, I assume, because she's a gal whose line I used to seek out all the time, since she IS very good. Quick and efficient, and sensible in her bagging choices. There she was, standing at the end of the bag carousel, waiting to take over.

But wait! A supervisor came over and spirited Gabe away to a different register!

The old Devil's Handmaiden could barely contain her disgust.

"Don't everybody fight over me!" I said. In an attempt to alleviate the tension. And perhaps lessen my unwantedness.

The old Devil's Handmaiden dutifully went about her business of ringing me up. Asked some extra questions concerning my purchases. But I could tell she was just patronizing me. As if it was my fault that I dared patronize The Devil, providing her with job security.

A couple days later, I stopped by the original Waterside Mart, which is now halfway up the hill, its former building at the edge of the river being occupied by a restaurant with a name sign in letters too small to read from the road. My intent was to buy three scratchers, two of them for Genius's weekly letter.

A shrimpy guy was behind the second register, the first one being unattended. Four people were in line ahead of me. No big deal. I have nothing but time. As I queued up behind them, the manager came over from the deli area, and opened up the first register. I know her as a former student. I would have gone to her line, but Mrs. HM is not a line-jumper. The people ahead of me had been waiting longer. So when Ms. Manager said, "I can help somebody over here," I let the two ladies in front of me go over there.

The next customers were done in no time. I thought about switching over, just to chat with Ms. Manager a moment, but then a straggler came up to the remaining lady there, with an energy drink, complaining that it wasn't really what he wanted, and she told him to take it anyway. I could see their transaction might take longer, so I stayed in my line. Which was moving again, and it was my turn to step up.

"I can help someone over here," called a dude from the drive-thru window register.

Well, since it was my turn at the original register, I did not move over there. Can you believe that the Shrimpy Guy cut eyes at the Drive-Thru Guy? Like how dare I step up to be waited on! Seriously. It was my turn, and Shrimpy Guy didn't want to serve me! I guess he was entitled to do nothing, while I was supposed to go over to the drive-thru area and ask for lottery tickets, which would have sent Drive-Thru Guy traipsing halfway across the store, behind Ms. Manager's register, to get them. IF I remembered the numbers of my selections, unable to glance at them in their case.

SWEET GUMMI MARY! Give me an effin' break!

I am a PAYING CUSTOMER, not a plague-ridden, brain-eating zombie!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Mrs. HM's Timing Is Off

Nothing has been going right lately. Oh, my life has been right enough. Not complaining. Well. Any more than usual. No catastrophes. But my luck has disappeared. Trickled out of me like those sands through the hourglass in these, the days of our lives.

So it's no wonder that my inadvertent washing-out of my own mouth with soap came a few days too late. Not in a timely manner, when it would have served a purpose.

Let the record show that three weeks ago, I mailed an Easter box to Genius and The Pony. I crammed as many treats as would fit into those flat rate boxes. A couple of items didn't fit. One of them being a box of Easter Sweet Tarts. Let the record show that there is no truth to the rumor that I bought too much, knowing that some would be left. No siree, Bob! Even the overflow used for HOS's boy's Easter basket did not use it all up.

I don't know if you are familiar with Easter Sweet Tarts. They have the same tangy deliciousness of a regular Sweet Tart, but are in the shape of ducks, bunnies, and chicks. Same regular flavors: pink, yellow, green, blue, purple. You know that leftover Easter candy is a terrible thing to waste. So some nights, I would count out five Easter Sweet Tarts. They only have five calories apiece, you know. I didn't consciously set out to get one of each color. I just shook them out of the box. But last week, I picked out five blue ones. The purple are my favorite, but I didn't want to eat them all at once. Blue is a close second.

Well. When I went upstairs for bed, and stopped to brush my teeth, I saw that my tongue was BLUE! Huh. That might explain the feeling that something was coating my tongue, drying it out. I just figured it was the tangy-ness of the Sweet Tarts. Maybe my taste buds had been burned by the citric acid that makes them so tart.

I brushed my teeth and TONGUE. Gave special consideration to the front part that was so blue. More vivid than my favorite ratty old baby blue sweatshirt! But that blue still didn't come off! No manner of scraping and brushing and sudsing with Sensodyne would remove that blue from my tongue! I figured it would be gone by morning.

It was not.

I was a bit self-conscious during my errands. Even though I'd scrubbed again during morning toothbrushing. That blue didn't go away for TWO DAYS!

I'm wondering now if that Bath and Body Works soap might have done the trick.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

I Washed My Own Mouth Out With Soap

Don't go jumping to conclusions! Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is not a potty-mouth! She even says Not-Heaven instead of that H E Double-Hockeysticks place. Sweet Gummi Mary! It's not like she deserved it, like Ralphie helping his dad change a tire in A Christmas Story.

No, the reason for the tongue-laundering was not a punishment for foul language. The reason was carelessness.

Monday night, Farmer H grilled some hot dogs on Gassy G. If I was my ex-teaching colleague Sir Gabs-A-Lot, a former tablemate from the Semi-Weekly Meeting of the Newmentia Lunch Time Think Tank, I would say that Farmer H grilled some wieners. Heh, heh! The students loved it when Sir Gabs-A-Lot read the lunch menu on hot dog day.

Anyhoo...we had hot dogs and potato salad and SLAW for supper. I put mine in little plastic ramekin thingies that Farmer H got at the auction a while back. A LOT of them. That he got. Not that I filled with potato salad and slaw! What good would that do as a portion control tactic? Precious little, that's what good it would do.

Anyhoo...I had TWO plastic ramekins of slaw, and one of potato salad. That's as it should be, you know. I set them on my tray to take down to my dark basement lair. By that time, Farmer H was already done inhaling his entire meal in the La-Z-Boy. I had a paper plate on there. And an individual stick of sharp cheddar for a snack later. And an individual bag of plain chips. So my tray was pretty full. I found a sliver of space in my side dish assortment, where I could lay a fork without it sliding off the tray.

I have a white plastic fork that I like. It's smooth, without grooves in its molded plastic, and it doesn't taste of metal. I only have one fork like that, and it was laying on the kitchen counter awaiting a washing. I picked it up and slathered on some Bath and Body Works White Citrus Deep-Cleansing Soap from the pump top bottle that my sister the ex-mayor's wife had given me for Christmas. I scrubbed that single fork under a stream of cold water, dried it on my favorite ratty old baby blue sweatshirt (it's utilitarian, like Linus's blanket!) and put it back in that crack between ramekins on the tray.

As I navigated down the 13 steps to my dark basement lair, I noticed that white plastic fork moving. NO! I was hoping it wouldn't go over the side. Because I didn't want to step on it and destroy it. Forget about it being freshly cleaned. A fall to the floor wouldn't keep me from using that fork! I have an infinity-and-3-second rule.

By the time I got to my office, the white plastic fork had its handle laying across one of the slaw ramekins. Which I might have overfilled slightly...

No problem. I picked up that white plastic fork to lick the slaw juice off the handle. Only it wasn't slaw juice.

It was the liquid soap that apparently had escaped the drying capabilities of my favorite ratty old baby blue sweatshirt.


Soap is not tasty. The flavor lingered for about five minutes.

I kind of had the urge to cuss.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

They Might Want To Invest In A White Noise Machine

Monday morning, I got a call from an unknown number ON MY CELL PHONE. Dang it! You never know. What if something happened to one of my boys, and my number was in their phone? I rarely get scammer calls on my cell phone. That's probably because I never put my number on the cell phone Do Not Call List. Seriously. I think that's where scammers get some of their numbers.

Anyhoo...I answered.






"Mrs. Hillbilly Mom?"

"Who are you calling, and for what reason?"

"Is this Mrs. Hillbilly Mom?"

"What are you calling about?"

"Do you live at 1313 Hillmomba Lane?"

"Why do you need to know that?"

"This is the XYZ Roofing Comany--"


"--we are--"


I hung up. Blocked that number and reported it as 5PAM. The sound of about 100 others in the background, making the same call, kind of gives away the scamminess of their venture.

I really hope Farmer H hadn't called somebody about our roof after the hailstorm last week.

Monday, April 9, 2018

This Does Not Make Hillmomba Look Good

Let the record show that every weekend, I watch LIVE PD. It's a show on A&E that follows police departments across the nation. Mainly in Florida (because, seriously, that's where the CRAZY is), and South Carolina, Louisiana, Texas, Utah, Arizona, and Washington. I'm sure I'm leaving some out. Like MISSOURI! Which has just been added over the past few weeks.

Not only am I familiar with MISSOURI, but I am familiar with GREENE COUNTY, where the action takes place. That's where I went to college. It's Springfield and the surrounding area. So I kind of like to compare how we stack up against criminals in other parts of the country.

Sweet Gummi Mary! On the first two nights, we barely saw MO on the program. Oh, they tried. We started two or three car chases, but then aborted them due to traffic and a danger to innocent people. Well. The next week, they stayed in a traffic chase, after a motorcycle, which promptly ran a red light, clipped the back of a car, and sent the driver and his girlfriend sailing about 30 feet through the air before gravity exerted its influence.

Okay. That was exciting, but kind of stomach-churning. Because that was a live chase. No faking. The car that got hit was sitting there with the driver all hysterical, even though she did nothing wrong. The show didn't let us see the bodies until it was determined that both riders were conscious, and there was no pool of blood, and no limbs were dangling. However...the driver's leg was at a wonky angle, and he was whining that he'd broken it. Sorry if I don't appear sympathetic.

Anyhoo...I don't know if that made us look good or bad. You can't abort every chase, and you can't predict that some yahoo on a motorcycle is going to run a red light. Turns out that the chase continued because that driver had already been arrested for evading, (which is running from the police) on a motorcycle. He also had warrants for other crimes.

So...Saturday night, Missouri was once again a hotbed of crime. But Sweet Gummi Mary! Do we have to show our stereotypical rednecks to the world? I'm not sitting up here on my high horse, thinking I'm better than them. There are people in our state who live this way, and do the best they can with their upbringing and education. It just seems that there could be more exciting crimes to show than our denizens from the hinterlands.

This was a road rage incident that didn't even happen in Greene County, but the one next to it. A man with about three teeth and a beard, in overalls, was pulling a trailer piled high with belongings like a couch and washer/dryer and kitchen table. His chubby wife with poor grammar, and his adult daughter with bleached hair, were eager to tell the story of the girls previous co-habitor chasing them and slamming on his brakes when he got in front.

Their story was crookeder than a pig's tail.

The other guy showed up, and though a bit more well-spoken, seemed to have holes in his story, and readily admitted to passing them on the two-lane road, declaring, "It's a passing zone there!"

Seriously. Why would he pass them if he was following them to ask for the washer/dryer back for the landlord? Something doesn't add up. He'd already moved out of the house (for not paying rent, but was staying in a motel), so why would he care what SHE did with her belongings?

Yes. We DO have people like that here. And also like the three folks at the end of the show, who led yet another police chase, down a street I knew as soon as the camera was on. They had a little machine-gun looking weapon, and drugs, and a he-said/she-she-said story about not knowing each other or whose gun it was or why they were evading. I know you can't pick and choose your criminals, but maybe they can show more folks like the lady a couple weeks back who was driving 20 mph in a 30 mph zone. That's because she was a farmer, and lived out of town, and didn't know the city, and wanted to be cautious.

I don't think LIVE PD will want to film here. The mailbox thieves are common, but the headless bodies are few and hopefully far away from the Mansion next time.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

A Narrow Miss

As much as I complain about Farmer H, I don't want to think about life without him!

Yesterday, Farmer H told a tale that may or may not have been designed to get sympathy. Probably not. He's not that calculating unless food or money is involved.

"I was on the Gator, heading up to Buddy's house, and that lawyer's wife lady came around the curve in the middle of the road. I bet she was going 50 miles an hour! I got off on the grass as far as I could, because of the fence. She hit the brakes and swerved. Sprayed gravel all over. Barely missed me! If she'd hit a hard patch, she would have flipped that SUV."

"Yeah. She's a maniac. She needs to slow down. Everybody says that, but nobody will tell her."

Let the record show that I don't get out that much and talk to our other residents...but TWO of them have complained to me about this lady. She's also the one who was quite vocal in complaining about Farmer H and Buddy working on the gravel roads. Even though she has not donated one red cent for the gravel, or her time driving a tractor to spread it. She could at least keep her opinions of their work to herself. Without them, and the monetary donations of several others, we'd be mired in mud every spring and half the winter. Maybe the roads wouldn't have so many ruts if she'd lift her lead foot and stop spraying gravel!

Maybe Farmer H should have kept that motorcycle helmet he found in one of those storage units, so he could wear it while driving his gator. I hope he at least raised his Poparm and shook his fist at that lawyer's wife.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Good Thing The Easter Duties Were Done

When I left for town yesterday, Jack did not come running for a pat and some cat kibble. Sure, he was probably full from the potatoes and carrots cooked with bacon that I shoveled out into his food pan an hour earlier. It was time to dispose of the Easter dinner leftovers and wash the containers. So Juno and Jack got some tasty bacon-infused veggies on top of their dry dog food. Juno still came for a hug and some kibble. It was only Jack and his partner in shenanigans, Copper Jack, who were absent from the side porch.

I could hear Jack yipping. It wasn't his territorial bark, or his intruder bark. It was yipping. A kind of excited, insistent bark that he sometimes uses when the cats won't comply with his wishes. I couldn't tell where he was, but it was somewhere out front. That yip is close to the injured yip, so I was a little worried that he might have gotten mixed up with the crazy Rottweiler beast from across the road. I looked all around that area as I left the driveway, but didn't see either Jack.

When I got home a couple hours later, I stopped T-Hoe at the end of the driveway, and walked the big green trash dumpster back to the house. My Sweet, Sweet Juno again greeted me. Alone. And I could still hear Jack yipping. On the way back up the driveway to T-Hoe, I determined that the yipping was coming from the area behind Farmer H's Shackytown. In the stand of trees around some gentle depressions in line with the sinkholes.

Of course I felt terrible. What if Jack had tumbled down into a sinkhole, and I'd left him trapped all this time? There's only one sinkhole there that's bottomless, that you can hear splashing if you drop something in. The others are pretty shallow. Since I could hear Jack, I knew he hadn't fallen into the water table.

I started across the yard when I was about halfway up the driveway. When I got closer to the trees, I could see Copper Jack, all tensed up like dogs get when they're about to pounce on something. A little closer, and I could see down into the depression. There was the back half of Jack! Wriggling and tail-wagging and darting forward and back. He had something trapped under a rock the size of a kitchen table. Copper Jack ran to the other side, waiting for the something to be flushed out.

Whatever it was, I don't think it was leaving any time soon. I mentioned it to Farmer H later, and he said it was probably a rabbit. I agree. When we came home from the casino trip Monday night at 10:00, a big rabbit ran across the gravel road and into the BARn field. Two more darted across the driveway towards that very sinkhole area. AND two weeks ago, there was a headless, chewed-on rabbit carcass behind the Gator.

I thought at first they may have trapped a squirrel. We have dozens of them. They eat the chicken feed that Farmer H throws out for his remaining guinea. But squirrels are quick to run up a tree. In my dreams, it would be a mole that those dogs were intent on killing. The front field is full of mole tunnels. More extensive than I knew, before I walked across it looking for Jack. But again, a mole would have merely ducked into its underground labyrinth to evade the dogs. I often see them digging to get at one, but we haven't found carcasses.

At least a rabbit can keep Jack busy. And I'm pretty sure we're not going to have a shortage of rabbits if he gets one.

Friday, April 6, 2018

STOP, Possible Thief

Wednesday, as T-Hoe chugged down the gravel road alongside the creek, nearing the blacktop county road junction for our trip to The Gas Station Chicken Store for not-chicken...I saw a red pickup truck at the mailbox row.

Let the record show that our mail carrier does NOT drive a mail jeep. It's usually a woman, in some kind of small SUV. White, I think. The car is not marked or modified for mail delivery. No steering wheel on the opposite side. No lights on top. No markings on the car. There IS, however, a magnetic bumper-stickery rectangle, white with black letters, U.S. MAIL, that she slaps onto the rear of her car. Haphazardly.

This red truck did not at first command my attention. It could have been one of the residents of our compound, picking up his mail. I say that, because the truck was on the wrong side of the road. Like, facing into oncoming traffic. No big deal. Farmer H does that when he's picking up our mail. Pulls up alongside Mailbox Row so he can remain seated in his vehicle, and reach out the window to get the mail out of EmBee.

I didn't recognize the truck, but in the past, there's been a red pickup that goes up our gravel road. I was looking at the side of it before pulling out onto the county road. Couldn't see the back. Couldn't see the license plate. Not that it would have mattered. Because taking a picture of it didn't cross my mind. UNTIL...

I pulled out onto the road, and saw that red pickup truck pull forward. The guy was opening ANOTHER mailbox about 5 boxes away from the first one I'd seen him in. What was going on here? I couldn't have seen if there was a U.S. MAIL bumper-stickery rectangle on the back, because of the angle. I just ASSUMED it was a resident picking up mail. But a resident shouldn't be opening up more than his own mailbox!

Now I'm wondering if I'm going to be missing some mail this month! When I came back from town, there was only one item in EmBee. What if this guy had taken some of my mail? The next day, I had more mail, but only one statement from our credit union. There should have been two. Because The Pony has an account there. So now I have to wonder if they were going to arrive on separate days, even though they were mailed at the same time and place...or if one is never going to arrive.

It's not like I'm expecting any money in the mail. But our bills and account statements have our account numbers on them. And Hillmomba is full of ne'er-do-wells!

I'm pretty sure that red pickup driver was not a substitute mailman. I'm still hoping he was just a resident, picking up his mail. He didn't look at me in a panic, like he was doing something shifty. Then again...maybe he's a hardened criminal with no conscience...

I guess I should just start taking a picture when I see suspicious activity. I have been brainwashed well by the government agenda of SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Sweet, Sweet Justice Prevails In Hillmomba

Yesterday, as I pulled out of The Gas Station Chicken Store's parking lot with my 44 oz Diet Coke, I saw justice in action.

The Gas Station Chicken Store is on the corner, by a stoplight. I saw a black, unmarked police car that was headed across the intersection, coming my way, make a U-turn. He put on his blue flashing lights, and pulled over a small silver sedan that must have gone through the red light. Couldn't wait his turn to get to Domino's or Country Mart, I guess. Even though I enjoy a tasty pizza, and scratchers out of Country Mart's machines...I still abide by the traffic signal.

This is a large intersection. Maybe seven car lengths distance to get from one side of the intersection to the other. It's not like you can dart across and not interfere with cross traffic, due to the delay before their light goes green. No siree, Bob! If you continue through a yellow or a red here, the other cars are chomping at the bit to rush through their now-green light. It's a pain when cars don't obey the lights, because it throws everyone off. A line of traffic has to sit and wait for you to get your sorry bumper across their path, even though the light is green.

The car pulled over right away. The police officer looked fine in his black tailored tight-fitting uniform. Can't have a ne'er-do-well grabbing a swatch of fabric in a scuffle, you know. He walked toward the driver's door to lay the smack down. Unfortunately, my light went green, and I had to go.

I don't care if that driver got a ticket. Times are hard, and people need their hard-earned or government-scammed cash. Even a stern warning, with the police officer shaking his finger, saying, "Shame, shame on you for running through the light," would satisfy me.

People need to be kept in check. What's the use of a stoplight if nobody stops? Before you know it, Hillmomba could be like the Arc de Triomphe!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Records, Or It Didn't Happen

Genius seems to be having trouble proving that he was born!

I can verify that he was. I was there, you know, for 14.5 hours, my wits not compromised with any medication, save half a shot of something from a full syringe that the doctor left with the labor nurse when he went to catch a nap. We were too late for an epidural, because Farmer H said he needed to take a shower and pack a bag before driving me to the hospital.

You might recall that I sent Genius two official copies of his birth certificate, freshly purchased (and not reimbursed by richy rich Genius) for $15 each at the county health center a couple weeks ago. Genius needed one for his passport, but upon closer reading, discovered that he needed TWO, and that if he lived in a state that said not to copy them, he would need two official copies. Of course Missouri is a state that prints DO NOT COPY on their official birth certificates.

It was no big deal, because Genius had two right there. But he wants one to have on hand in his records in case he needs it. Again, he volunteered to pay, since I put in his weekly letter that I am ON A FIXED INCOME now. He's supposed to get back to me if the passport people kept both of his official certificates, so I can fork over another $15 for one to send him. He just took care of all that business on Friday, and I haven't heard back about it.

I DID, however, hear from Genius. On Monday evening, in the casino. People NEVER communicate with me, you know, while I'm sitting hour after hour, day after day, in my dark basement lair. No siree, Bob! They don't want to hear from me unless I'm out doing something, or driving, or on the phone with someone else.

Genius wanted to know if I had his shot record.

"Is it safe to assume you have my vaccination card/record thing?"

"Maybe. But I think the county health center can issue another one?"

"Okay. I want to get a copy of it."

"I'll check when I get home."

Two hours later: "I'm on the road home with Sis and the Ex-Mayor and Dad. We went to the casino. They won. We lost. Probably won't look for your shot record until tomorrow. If I don't find it, I'll go by county health center. It will only show your childhood shots. Not the two you got at CeilingReds before you went to college. When we forgot that you'd already had one."

"Do you remember what I got before college? I'm assuming MMR. What else?"

"Meningitis? The HIB?"


"Look up HIB. I'm in the middle of nowhere, typing with one finger."

"Okay. I'm looking for this because I'm setting up my PCP here and they asked for it."

Huh. I don't know what a PCP is. Last I heard, it was a drug that makes you jump out of a building, like a horse tranquilizer or something. I'm guessing it's some medical file now, though.

I found Genius's original little cardboard folded-up shot record from when he was a baby, with all pertinent vaccinations recorded by hand. Even the meningitis shot (one of them) before college. And also a printout from the county health center, because apparently I was lax in keeping track of that little record before.

So now, I think Genius should be able to prove that he was born, and how many times he was shot.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

I Never Thought I'd See My Fingers Type This

I'm DONE with the lottery!

Okay. Not permanently, of course. That's not gonna happen. But lately I've been on a not-winning streak. Uh huh. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is a loser! Oh, sure, every now and then I win $5 here and there. Or maybe $15. But I haven't had a big win in THREE WEEKS!!! That is unacceptable!

Here's my last good one.

That was on March 15th. Seems like forever ago.

I don't even like that ticket! It's been around since last year. It's a double-sized one that you can't get out of the machines. It costs $20. I'd been buying the fives, but something kept telling me to get this ticket at the Casey's across the moat from the Gas Station Chicken Store. I resisted the urge for about 4 days, and then switched up and bought this on March 15th. Looks like the luck of the Irish was with me two days before St. Pat's.

My lucky hunch seems to be on the fritz lately. I don't feel compelled to go to any certain store, or buy any specific ticket. I just buy whatever. And that hasn't been working out. So I'm not spending my hard-not-lost casino bankroll on tickets until after my next casino trip. Which is on the horizon at the end of the week, anyway.

Maybe a little re-calibrating of my luck is just what Even Steven ordered.

Monday, April 2, 2018

A Tale Of Two Tail-Waggers

My Sweet, Sweet Juno is a girly girl. She usually minds her manners, her only vice being gluttony. And maybe jealousy. But she generally keeps her nose clean, and leaves the scene at the first hint of discord.

Jack is a guy's guy. Rough-and-tumble, the instigator in every game of I'll bite your tail and you try to run away and drag me as I growl. Juno and Copper Jack are not really fond of that game.

This picture captures their personalities. Juno has just sipped in a ladylike manner from the front yard drinking bowl, and Jack has been romping in the rain. Notice that Juno's fur is still dry and silky, her only coming out to see what I was doing when I got home with my 44 oz Diet Coke. Her feet are still dry, with feathery fur between her toes. Yes, she's a dainty thing, except maybe when she belches in my face, or whacks her head on the metal chair or wooden handrail of the side porch when she's cavorting.

Jack, though, is all snakes and snails and...well...puppy dog tails. And poison frogs that make him convulse and foam at the mouth and hide under the Little Barbershop of Horrors in Shackytown for 30 minutes. He always has his nose in Juno's nether regions, even though she's had her very special operation. You can plainly see that Jack is all wet, shaking himself without regard to those who are dry around him. His paws are all rough and Frito-smelling.

You'd never think that animals could have such different personalities. Unless you have an animal companion.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

It's All Over But The Whinin'

I served up our Easter feast at 1:25 this afternoon. Farmer H didn't open his Storage Unit Store, although he DID take some new merchandise up there, and DID travel to some entirely different storage units with HOS, to see about moving some items to a different locker.

Let the record show that I underestimated the work that our Lesser Easter Dinner entailed. It took 3.5 hours to prepare. At least Farmer H dilly-dallied over it so that it was not consumed in 10 minutes, but took 15 instead.

You may recall that I told Farmer H that the kitchen table would need to be cleared for our feast. And that HE, the one I hinted at for clearing duty, most items being his 6-packs of Diet Mountain Dew, 4-packs of flavored water, and assorted treasures from assorted auctions, declared that a table feast was not necessary. That we could eat it wherever. Because he knows that I like taking my meals down to my dark basement lair. Uh huh. Totally selfless, that guy. Not-clearing the table out of regard for my preferences.

Anyhoo...because of that plan by Farmer H, I'd told him that I would be cleaning up the kitchen before I got my plate and descended to Lairville. No way did I want food left out, and dirty dishes congealing, while I tried to enjoy my feast.

I called Farmer H to fill his plate. He elected to use the paper china, rather than my white plates with red/blue/yellow swirl that he calls red plates. I was not pleased to see that he put the 7-Layer Salad on his plate. Seriously! I put a lot of work into that salad, and I feel that it deserves its own bowl. AND Farmer H used his forearm to shove things aside, and sat down at the kitchen table to eat, while I was standing at the sink washing dishes! Which made me look like the bad guy, when in fact I was just going along with the original plan set in motion by HIM!

When I looked later at the serving bowl of 7-Layer Salad, as I scooped out my portion, I knew how Farmer H could have put his salad on a plate with everything else. He'd taken only the top 3 layers, and a bit of the 4th! He had BACON, CHEESE, MAYO, and some PEAS. Yeah. It's pretty easy to get that on a flat plate, I guess. I had mostly LETTUCE, GREEN ONIONS, BOILED EGGS, PEAS, some shreds of CHEESE, and two particles of BACON. Pic, because it happened...

Yes, I know that's a perfectly good meal, quite filling. I had just expected more of the good stuff in my 7-Layer Salad.