Friday, August 17, 2018

Mrs. HM Bites The Hand That Feeds Her Cookies And Chocolate

Let the record show that Farmer H and I spent three days last week in Oklahoma, visiting The Pony. Our lodging was free, courtesy of Riverwind Casino Hotel sending Mrs. HM two free nights (good for the first two weeks of the month, with another two available for the last two weeks) as compensation for her gambling habit time and money spent gaming in their establishment on previous trips.

Another perk of that casino hotel was that they had two jars of FREE COOKIES on the check-in counter. Guests (and their guests, one would assume) could stop by and enjoy a cookie or two whenever they pleased. I only had one, a sugar cookie, as did Farmer H. They were the good ones, too. Not dry, packaged, storebought cookies, but the big soft kind, like served at Subway. We would have made bigger pigs of ourselves, but we had a busy agenda.

When I checked out that last morning, the desk clerk presented me with TWO big chocolate bars advertising the casino's name. Big as fundraiser candy bars! Nom-nom!

Let the record further show that Mrs. HM spent a lot of time in that casino. Her bankroll didn't even take a hit, shedding only $20 total, over two sessions per day, for two days. That's what they want in exchange for free lodging, you know. Your butt on a seat in the casino, the more hours the better. Sure, they HOPE you lose. And know you will, eventually. But the first step is getting you in the doors. I most certainly fulfilled my part of the bargain.

Imagine my surprise on Thursday, when I reached into EmBee's gullet and withdrew a postcard comp from that casino. Are you ready for this?

THEY OFFERED ME $10 if I redeemed it in the next 10 days!

Yeah. Like that's going to happen. I'll drive 9 hours out there, on $100 worth of gas, stay two nights gambling, another $100 to drive home...and take advantage of that offer.


Sure, they didn't have to offer me anything. It just seems like kind of an insult. All I need is the two free nights offer every month, in case we go visit The Pony. By comparison, our new favorite casino currently offers me $25 PER WEEK (plus $20 per week for Farmer H) in their August mailer, plus a $15 internet offer that can be combined with it. And we only go there once a month, for a couple hours.

I don't want to sound ungrateful. Really. But I don't even think people who live within a couple of miles would drive over to that Riverwind Casino for a free one-time $10.

Oh, dear! This is quite embarrassing. I was just upstairs, showing Farmer H my new $10 offer, and I noticed that it WASN'T EVEN FROM THAT CASINO HOTEL IN NORMAN!

It's from Downstream Casino near Joplin, where we stopped to play, and I had the char-bun chicken sandwich! Not an insult at all from THEM, because they gave me $40 per week in THEIR August mailer, and an extra $10 per week in a postcard, and two free hotel nights, any day, every week in July and August. So this is ON TOP of all that, and nothing to sneeze at, since anyone going there for the big bucks would simply have an extra $10 if they go within the next 10 days.

Um...never mind.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Dear HHHy

I swear, Farmer H is a regular Dear Abby. As if riding with him isn't bad enough in times of fair weather and both hands on the wheel...I was a captive passenger yesterday in the rain, at 70 mph while Farmer H took a phone call. Two. Three, in fact.

Let the record show that Farmer H had a bright idea to visit our new favorite casino. Because, you know, we've only been home five days after visiting three casinos in three days. Still, I had all my money intact, and who am I to deny Farmer H a pleasure trip?

The first call was our back-creek neighbor Bev, who is concerned about the Crazy Stick-Road Man trying to steal her land by running his sewage onto it. I don't know about you, but if I was trying to steal somebody's land, I'd want it to be pristine. As untouched as pure Rocky Mountain spring water. Anyhoo...Farmer H answered his phone, and was on it for about 20 miles, trying to explain the facts of septic tanks. That Crazy Stick-Road Man is many things, but a dude who secretly installs an underground pipe to squirt his poopage onto her acreage is not one of them.

"He may not even know. I looked at it when you called me over there. There's no pipe. His drain field is leaking. I told you, call the DNR and let them check it out. I know they'll just send him a letter. But that's all they CAN do. They can't make him respond. Then it will have to go to court. No. There's no reason for you to buy a septic tank truck and suck it up and spray it back on his land. That won't work anyway. How are you going to suck it up? It just seeps onto the ground. I can't really help you any more than what I've told you..."

While I'm sad for Bev's paranoia seeping sewage issues, I don't think it's necessary for my life to be endangered while Farmer H sweaves one-handed in the fast lane alongside tanker trucks and car-hauling trucks loaded with next year's models.

The second call was Buddy, who gave Farmer H two chairs (that he had to drive home in the Gator after fetching them from outside Buddy's house) for helping Buddy in town at his rental house, moving in a washing machine. I couldn't deduce the question here. Maybe just whether Farmer H was the one who took the chairs that Buddy left sitting out. HEY BUDDY! I have two chairs on the side porch that you're welcome to come take!

By the third call, we were actually nearing the Mansion, on our gravel road. Good thing people can't see through the phone. "I'm not even home yet. [technically true] No. I don't. I don't have it. Uh uh. I can't." This one was sketchy, what with a relative asking Farmer H if he had anywhere near three or four hundred dollars to cash a check from a junkyard.

Seriously? According to Farmer H, every junkyard he has ever dealt with (you can imagine there are quite a lot), he's been paid in cash. He was also suspicious of claim that the local grocery store wouldn't cash it. "They cash checks all the time. From everywhere. Payroll checks. I can't imagine they wouldn't cash one from a junkyard." AND, the request had been to 'cash my friend's check,' which is probably the reason the store wouldn't do it.

"I'm not a bank! I'm not cashing a check! Then it becomes a THIRD PARTY check! NOBODY can get their money back for one of them if it's bad. YOU can't sue, because your name's not on the check. So you're stuck with a no-good piece of paper, after you've given them the money."

Yeah. Farmer H is full of advice. Sometimes, advice people don't want to hear.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Juno Needs To Buy A Safe For Her Valuables Before Her Roommate Moves In

Remember how Mrs. HM enjoys a sweet treat every night after supper? Dessert, if you will. Whether it's a Gourmet Lollipop, a Tootsie Pop, an individual cup of birthday cake ice cream, or the even better individual cup of Edy's Grand Ice Cream.

You may also recall that Farmer H does veteran character actor Wilford Brimley say it...THE DIABETUS. He is not supposed to have such sweet treats. But he does. If I don't buy them for him, he drives to Casey's for a couple/three donuts. On our trips to Oklahoma, he forages for candy bars at the rest stop vending machines. When I go to The Devil's Playground, I always bring him back a treat: the sugar free variety. Candies. And cookies. But sugar free.

Let the record show that Save A Lot has been out of my favorite ice creams. The only Edy's they've had are the VANILLA kind. I don't like vanilla. So I've gone without for two weeks. But Saturday, they had a few Drumstick and Caramel Swirl containers. Yippee! Drumstick is my favorite flavor! There were only four, and I had to rearrange some boxes to get to them in the back of the freezer case. I also took four of the Caramel Swirl. My second favorite. Because you never know when a new shipment will come in.

Once home, I put the Drumstick ice cream cups on the bottom shelf of FRIG II's freezer door. And the Caramel Swirl on the shelf above them. I contemplated starting out that night's sweet treat with a Drumstick. It's been at least six weeks since I found that flavor. But no. I decided to save them until last, and take a Caramel Swirl. "But HM, what if Farmer H takes one? Wouldn't you rather he got the Caramel Swirl and not your favorite Drumstick?" Well, yes! But Farmer H had already declared that he wasn't going to eat any, that decision being made upon his last A1C report from his doctor nurse practitioner.

I'd been buying him two of those Edy's per week, at his request, after he'd asked for, and been granted permission, to try one of mine. The Cookie Dough flavor. They're twice as big as his regular ice cream cups of vanilla with chocolate/strawberry swirl. Not good for him, either, but the lesser of ice cream evils. "Don't get me no more of them ice creams. I'll just eat my old kind." Straight from the Farmer's mouth.

By now, you've guessed what happened, right? I came upstairs for bed Sunday night, and saw the carcass of one of my Drumstick ice creams in the trash. I asked Farmer H on Monday night, as I was getting his supper ready, if there was something he wanted to confess.

"No. I don't think so. Nothing that I know of."

"Something missing? Something of mine?"


"Something in the kitchen?"

"Oh. I ate one of them ice creams."

"You didn't even ASK! At least you used to ASK!"

"I don't think I have to ask to eat anything in this house."

"You're just like Genius, eating The Pony's brownies and leaving the empty box! You say you don't want anything from the store, and then when someone else gets something, you eat it!"

"It was just an ice cream."

"Yeah. My FAVORITE kind! That I haven't been able to find for six weeks. AND you said not to get any for you! I always put yours up on the top shelf, with your other ice cream."

"HM. It's ice cream. Quit making a big deal."

"I'm making a big deal because you didn't ask. I would have told you to eat the Caramel Swirl. You just assume everything in the house belongs to you! You sit in there like a king on your throne, taking what you please, never giving anything back. AND you won't even admit that you shouldn't have done it!"

"I don't know why you have to go on and on. It's not a big deal."

"It IS a big deal! After 29 years of this stuff! You know, I don't have a $17,000 garage stuffed with junk. All I wanted was a $1.00 ice cream for my own."

Really. Is that so wrong?

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

No Chip On Mrs. HM's Shoulder

I always have lunch in my dark basement lair, seated in front of New Delly. My lunch is usually Chicken Bacon Ranch pinwheels from The Devil's Playground, with a side of BBQ potato chips. Oh, and a 44 oz Diet Coke to wash it down.

Seeing as how no one is there to see me eat, my manners may not be up to Emily Post standards. Don't judge.

You know how locomotives have a cow-catcher? Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has a chip-catcher. Courtesy of her ample boobage. And now for the question.

Is it sadder that I look down and find an errant chip lying on my chest? Or that I look down and find an errant chip lying on my chest, and say, "YES! A chip!"

Monday, August 13, 2018

Fat Chance, Farmer H

Ho! Ho! Ho! Pardon me for being so jolly. I'm tickled by the machinations of Even Steven.

Before we left on our Pony-visiting trip last week, I'd written up a series of blog posts to automatically publish while I was livin' the high life in Norman, Oklahoma. One of them was yesterday's tale of greedy Farmer H, and his luckless lottery life.

When we stopped for gas on our trip, numerous times, you know, because it's a 9 hour drive...I figured I might as well pick up some scratchers. When else would I have a chance at distant tickets? Of course, it only worked on the Missouri stops. Oklahoma has scratchers, but their payoff isn't as good. I think I only bought a couple, the very first time we went out there with The Pony, to his summer orientation camp.

Anyhoo...I had some of my own winners to cash in. But on the first stop, not one of our usual Casey's, I didn't take them in (nor any cash) as we went inside to use the facilities. Farmer H said he'd spot me. He bought himself one ticket, and two for me, with the promise I'd pay him back farther down the road. All three turned out to be losers, but that's why they call it gambling, not winning. Of course Farmer H was not surprised. He rarely wins. I knew that a bigger sample should even out the odds. They're 1 in 4 for the tickets we play.

At the next stop, the Steelville Casey's, just for the bathroom this time, since A-Cad's gas was holding up...I cashed in one of my previous winning tickets, and got four more. Two of them, I owed to Farmer H as repayment. Once in the car, I fanned them out.

"You can pick whichever two you want. I don't care."

Of course he picked the two I like to play. But that was fine. I'd scratch the tickets I don't really like, and don't normally get. That store only had four kinds of the $5 scratchers, so I'd gotten one of each. As Farmer H drove, I scratched his tickets. Loser. Loser.

"Well, that figures. I don't never win."

Then I scratched my two tickets. Winner. $5. And the last one was THIS:

If you look closely, you'll see that I didn't match any numbers, but I got a FAT WALLET! That meant I won all 15 prizes!

Poor Farmer H. Winning was within his grasp. I'd held out those four tickets, giving him first choice. He had a 1-in-4 chance of picking that $100 winner. But he didn't.

Like he says, he never wins. I think we know why.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Why He Doesn't Win, The Greedy B*st*rd

Farmer H won $15 on a $5 scratcher the other day. He should have been content that he actually had a winner.

"I wish I could win something good."

I was thinking that by something good, he meant $1000, like me. But no.

"About $8000 would be good."

"There's the thing. You would spend it on your own junk, and I would put it toward the household. Like health insurance, or The Pony's college housing."

"No you wouldn't."

"Yes. I would. What am I going to do, sit on $8000 and use it for casinos? I don't think so. I used my first $1000 ticket to buy Genius a laptop. And other big wins to give the boys and YOU gambling money for the casinos when we took our first Christmas trip to Oklahoma for CasinoPalooza. But you would keep all that money for your own selfish self."

Seriously. That is why Farmer H can't win on the scratchers. Life is a balance. Give and take. He's just a taker.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Mrs. HM Is John Travolta

Did you ever see Urban Cowboy? When John Travolta as Bud gets all hung up in a safety rope on the side of an oil silo thingamabob, and breaks his arm? His mom comes over to the trailer Bud shares with Debra Winger as Sissy, to make him something to eat, because Sissy isn't home, being out secretly practicing to ride the mechanical bull at Gilley's.

Anyhoo...when Sissy finally gets home, Bud acts all Pity Party Guest Of Honor, and whines to Sissy that she's not doing her wifely duties (okay, he knows THAT part is good), and his mom had to clean the house, and when she went to make cornbread (because cornbread tastes real good when you're hurt) she couldn't even find a box of instant!

I didn't break my arm on an oil silo thingamabob, but I DID get hurt on our trip to Oklahoma. It just so happened that I hurt my own arm. In a casino. In the bathroom.

Maybe I zoomed in a little too close. That's the top of my left forearm, about two inches from the elbow. Because I also zoomed in a little too close to the door in the women's restroom, hitting my tender fleshy forearm on the latch that sticks out. The injury is just a few minutes old here, when we sat down at the little cafe in Downstream Casino to have lunch. Not much discoloration, but a solid knot under the skin.

On the walk from the restrooms at the front of the casino, to the cafe in the back, I showed Farmer H my arm, and told him what happened. Expecting sympathy. Sympathy feels real good when you're hurt. Of course I expected my Sweet Baboo to say how sorry he was, and ask if I was okay, and was there anything he could do.

I'm sure you'll be shocked [SHOCKED] to find out that's not how it went down.

"I cain't believe you done that!"

Uh huh. That's all I got. Even after he felt the knot. Not so much sympathy, as ridicule.

Juno is going to be unhappy with me. When Farmer H hogs her house and snores while she's trying to sleep.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Out Of The Frying Pan, Into The Dog House

Farmer H is treading on dangerous ground. He's used to having his feet held to the fire, sitting on the hot seat. But Monday he almost went too far.

It started out as one of those favors he does for me. Just trying to help. I dashed into the Mansion after returning from my replacement-SHIBA shopping trip, having taken my blood pressure meds while out and about. Farmer H strolled out the door and said, "What do you got?"

"Just my purse, and a laptop and bag of accessories in the back."

Time was short that day, preparing for our trip to visit The Pony, departure scheduled for 6:00 a.m. Tuesday. I still had to bake his Oreo Cake and pack. I'd planned on baking before I went to town, but didn't want Office Max to sell out of my intended bargain, what with the back-to-school crown having their first-of-the-month money to spend. But I'd gotten the Oreos chopped, and had everything set out on the counter for mixing, with the cutting block cleared for filling the pans with batter.

When I came out of the bathroom, I saw that Farmer H had plopped my NEW LAPTOP, in its box, right on the cleared cutting block.

"I can't believe you did that! Any place I clear off, you have to fill it!"

"Well, I don't know where else you expected me to put your new laptop."

"Oh, I don't know...maybe on top of my OLD laptop? Or the coffee table right beside it? Or one of the couches?"

Sweet Gummi Mary! WHO puts a new laptop in the kitchen???

I also bemoaned the fact that the stupid mailman woman must have misread my HOLD MAIL form that I turned in last Thursday, for mail to stop from Aug 7-9. 8:30 p.m., Farmer H deigned to inform me that he'd picked up the mail at 3:30. I was washing up last minute dishes then, after icing the cake and getting my supper. I found the mail and opened it, to see TWO notices, one to me and one to Farmer H, that the bank where we have the loan on A-Cad said they had been notified that our insurance was cancelled.


More of Farmer H's doings. Remember, how he had saved us $2000 over a year's time, by putting ALL of our vehicles on the same policy? So the premiums for all of them fall on the same date and bill. Which required re-configuring the policies, first cancelling the old ones and then issuing the new one. We got all new insurance cards to keep in the vehicles, with the new policy number. Apparently, that bank pays attention to notices that a policy is cancelled, but not notices that a new policy is in effect the same day.

Since we found this out at 8:30 p.m., Farmer H was going to have to find a place to stop with cell phone service on the way to Oklahoma. Which is not as easy as you might think across backwoods Missouri. He'd have to call the insurance lady and have her provide the proof to the bank. Farmer H had the bright idea to just send her an email right then, but of course an insurance card lists the agent's phone number and address, but not the email.

Oh, yeah. And another thing. When I went to ice the cake, my cake-icing knife was missing. I found it on the counter by the sink, Farmer H having used it to butter a roll. All the knives available, and he chose that one. It's just a butter knife, but not part of my set of 8 that are heavy on the handle end. This was one of my mom's that we ended up with (sorry, Mom, if you spent years griping that someone lost one of your butter knives), and I like the balance of it for icing cakes.

Farmer H might want to watch the auctions for one of those little hand-held personal fans. Because I'm not done roasting him here. Not by a long shot.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

This Is Why You Can't Trust A Plastic Bag From The Devil's Playground

Well...and THIS.

That's a previous bagging faux pas from one of The Devil's Handmaidens. A more recent one was not even her fault.

It looks huge there, from the perspective, but it's only a 3-pack of Puffs With Lotion tissues. Which are not at all heavy, each box smaller (and lighter) than a six-pack of Diet Coke. So you can imagine my concerns of yesterday, with all those heavy cans and jars put in together in one (double) bag.

I think the best use of those plastic bags might be to lay across T-Hoe's bumper during the rainy season.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

What Are These Handmaidens Doing During Training?

I just can't figure it out. Surely The Devil trains his handmaidens before turning them loose on the registers. How can SO MANY of them be clueless when it comes to bagging the groceries?

Those are the heaviest items I had, ALL IN ONE BAG! I guess she put the Pepcid in there by mistake, because it's not heavy. But everything else went in together. At least she double-bagged it, but I wasn't trusting my RAGU Alfredo Sauce to the whims of The Devil's plastic. I carried this one bag by itself, supporting the bottom. If The Devil's Handmaiden had separated my heavy items and included them in other bags, I could have draped them on my arms.

What are they doing during training??? Thinking they already know it all?

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Village Of The Blamed

Here in Hillmomba, taking responsibility for one's own actions is virtually unheard of. So is that unwritten rule of writing, about using prepositions to end sentences with. Or maybe it's written down.

Anyhoo...Farmer H went to the doctor last week for his regular checkup. Whoopsie! Did I say DOCTOR? We all know that was a nurse practitioner. She was not pleased with his A1C. I don't  think it was very high, but then, I don't deal in A1Cs. Back when I was gestating Genius and The Pony, blood sugar was measured in those other units, where normal was between 80-100. I think Farmer H said she wants it at 6.5, and his was 7.2, which doesn't seem all that much to me. But I'm not a doctor. Or nurse practitioner.

Farmer H says the NP wants him to exercise more. She tells him that every single visit. He gets around, and is active, not sitting in front of a computer all day like me...but his activity is sporadic, going here and there, to and fro, without sustained cardio. Farmer H also said he's supposed to drink more water.

"I tell you that all the time!"

"HM, I DRINK water!"

"With a meal. Or when you sit down at night. You need it through the day, especially when it's so hot, and you're on the tractor or mower for five hours!"

"I can't just drive the tractor over here and park it to run in and have a drink!"

"I don't know why not. You even keep a case of water over in the BARn. In Original FRIG. I might have an old purse laying around, that you could drape around your neck and carry water in!"

"Well, I have a wife, who could drive and find me with a cooler of water, and snacks."

"THAT ain't happenin'! I'm not your freakin' servant!"

"I knew that's what you'd say."

Seriously? What will I be expected to do next, pull his lips apart, pour the water in, tilt his head back, and pinch his nose until he swallows? All while hanging onto the back of the tractor seat, that wished-for cooler on my shoulder? And we don't even want to THINK about what my duties might be when that water needs to come out of him!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Whatcha Gonna Do

I had a most difficult time getting my magical elixir on Saturday. The Gas Station Chicken Store seems to be sending me a message. A message best decoded as DON'T SHOP HERE!

I had a $5 winner to trade for another scratcher. I parked off by the moat separating the GSCS's lot from Farmer H's pharmacy. I nearly skipped toward the door (only my creaky knees, and the GSCS's humped-up gas tank manhole covers preventing such), dreams of that 44 oz Diet Coke dancing in my noggin.

An unsteady dude with a crutch entered before me. I noticed a long line snaking back down the soda fountain aisle from the register. I figured I could get my sweet, sweet nectar and perhaps the line would be moving.

Alas, a weekend dad with a toddler girl blocked the back aisle, the little lass switching out each spouted drink bottle for another in indecision. Crutch Dude knew them, so Weekend Dad chatted, in no hurry to let Crutch Dude into that cooler, thus clearing my path to the soda fountain.

Meanwhile, I could hear the next-in-line woman berating her own preschool daughter for not staying in line, her own self hands-full with a giant box of chicken and a fountain drink.

No. Just no. I can wait in a line of 10 adults and not get antsy, as long as they are minding their manners and own business, no weirdos in the vicinity. It's not like I have a pressing engagement. But I do object to small children running amok, and find it hard to smile and pretend they are precious. So I turned on my heel and headed for Orb K. Where things got even dicier.

First of all, my favorite parking spot was occupied. The truck door was open, but I didn't see anybody getting in. I bypassed the very first spot, because it's hard to back out of with a curbed sidewalk impeding a cut of the tires to angle out, and gas pumps directly behind.

"Oh," I thought. "I'll just go around to the very end. The walk will be good, and I sometimes find pennies along there."

Huh. As I got past the end of the building, I saw two police cars parked askance on that side of Orb K, and sitting at a canted angle on the sidewalk at my intended parking space was a dude in yellow shorts and handcuffs! So much for that idea. So I circled around the line of gas pumps, and went back to the first spot.

I had to wait at the fountain to get my Polar Pop 44 oz Diet Coke, because a dude in a bright green worker vest was pouring FOUR Polar Pops. Then another lady was waiting behind him, singing to some obscure song blaring from their sound system.

At least I found FIVE pennies near the counter! I paused back in T-Hoe to send those pics to myself. The guy who'd been in line behind me came out and got in his white work pickup that was parked past an empty space to my right. He must have been sending himself pictures, too, though it wasn't of pennies, because I got them all!

I started to back out, but a white SUV pulled its bumper past the pumps, and was making it a tight squeeze going back. I was game, though. Until I saw a semi truck trailer coming at me, the driver threading it across the drive-thru exit so the rear doors were over that sidewalk. Huh. I cut my wheels the other way. I'd just loop back down around the pumps again. Maybe I could see that perp!

Whoopsie! Construction Pickup Guy  chose that moment to back out, casting no caution to the wind, having not taken his eyes off his phone to scope out the coast being clear/not clear. His door was within three feet of T-Hoe's bumper when he looked up. He gave me the sorry wave, and pulled back into his spot, so I didn't even have a twinge of parking lot rage. Inattention happens.

Almost to the back of the gas pump row, I met an ambulance coming at me from the crime scene. The lights weren't on, so I don't know if the perp was inside, or had just been checked out. A police car was following it. As Farmer H said later, "If they tased him, they had to have him checked out at the scene."

Never a dull moment in Hillmomba. For me, anyway. Only for those of you who have to read about it.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

A Fresh Coat

I put a new coat of color on my lovely lady mullet Saturday morning. It's no secret that Mrs. HM is no stranger to L'Oreal. In fact, she's been a regular customer since she turned mid-thirties, even though she could have started earlier. It's a genetic thing, I prefer to believe. We don't lose our hair, but we do go gray early.

Here's the thing about teaching. The students are SO helpful! "Hey! You have a gray hair! You should pull that out. No if she pulls it out, she'll get ten more! I think she already pulled one out! Yep! You're going gray! Hey, look! Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has gray hair!" Yeah. So helpful. Just ask the teachers who are balding...

Anyhoo...I put a fresh coat of Medium Brown on my tresses. I really need a haircut before we go see The Pony this week. Because right now, I kind of look like David Cassidy in his Partridge Family years. Not as lean, and I don't have the puka shell necklace. But the hairstyle is kind of the same.

Farmer H says I might as well let it go all the way gray. I'm not ready for that yet. I'm no Emmylou Harris. What does HE know, anyway, about hair?

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Another Timeless Standard, Fallen By The Wayside

Remember cursive writing? And smallpox vaccinations? I'm sure you all do. But they are foreign concepts to those beneath our advanced age. Here's another concept they just can't grasp: WAITING IN LINE!

It happened Friday in my very own Gas Station Chicken Store. No matter what time I plan to leave home on Fridays to mail my boys' letters before the 11:30 deadline...I end up at The Gas Station Chicken Store, two minutes on either side of noon. I don't know how that happens. I can be rushed, afraid I'm not going to leave home by 10:30, or leisurely dallying with my Shiba, thinking I have plenty of cushion time. No matter how many other stops I make (credit union, bank, Original River Mart, gas for T-Hoe), no matter how long I wait in traffic, I STILL arrive at The Gas Station Chicken Store two minutes either side of noon.

Today a squad of cars pulled onto the lot as I was getting out of T-Hoe. You'd have thought they were undercover cops responding to a silent alarm, so fast did they arrive, and so fast did the occupants scurry inside.

As I approached the door, a woman came from the other direction, and opened it ahead of me. She DID give it the wide swing to accommodate my entrance. After me came two of her passengers. I veered right, to head past the register and chicken-ordering station, directly toward the soda fountain. They went down the middle aisle. I had no idea if they were going to browse at the soda/beer coolers along the back wall, blocking my path. Thus my alternate direction.

Several people were in line to pay. And the Lady Owner was leaning against the chicken counter, talking. She saw all the customers, and said, "Oh! I'd better get out of the way!" I stood across from the soda fountain, allowing her to pass, intending to step up after she cleared out of the way.

I'll be ding dang donged if those other three gals didn't come up from the back aisle, and STEP IN FRONT OF ME TO POUR THEIR SODAS!

Seriously. Not just one. All three! They could clearly see that I was waiting politely for access to the soda fountain.


I assume they were from the factory a few buildings up the outer road. It lets off for lunch at noon. After those three usurpers had their own magical elixirs, they moved along to the chicken counter. As I turned with my own 44 oz Diet Coke, to head towards the pay counter, another gal came down the aisle and stood with the 3 Amigos. I'm pretty sure she worked with them. Because she just butted in to order chicken, having no care in the world if that's what I was waiting for.

Good thing I wasn't. I might just have spoken up for my already-in-line rights!

Friday, August 3, 2018

The Most Effective Military Weapon

It hit me today. The most effective military weapon. No, I wasn't bombed or shot or skewered with a laser. The REALIZATION of the most effective military weapon hit me.

The Uniform.

Yeah. Who woulda thunk it? But I saw first-hand evidence.

I'd gone to the bank, switching around funds for parts of The Pony's fall semester charges. He's got housing and meals to pay for, even though his tuition will be covered by his scholarship. Across from the bank is a cemetery. It's one of the oldest cemeteries in Hillmomba, I think. Not as old as the vampire graveyard, but still old. It's surrounded by a rock wall about waist high, with pillars by the two entrances.

A white car was parked on the entrance road, facing out. Two young soldiers stood in front of the car. I don't know which branch of service, because I don't know my uniforms. They had navy blue pants with a red stripe, tan short-sleeve shirts, and shiny white caps with black bills. Perhaps they had jackets to don for official appearances, but had taken them off for the heat. I'm guessing they were waiting for a funeral procession of a veteran, or that one had just concluded.

Anyhoo...two local young men were talking to the soldiers. I assume they were local, because they were in the usual jeans and plain t-shirts worn around here, and were carrying a paper sack of Hardee's food, and a soda cup. Obviously walking back home from buying lunch at the nearby Hardee's.

I assume that these young men stopped to chat with the soldiers. Those uniforms made them look like a million bucks. THAT'S when it hit me. You don't need fancy TV commercials or a recruiter if your regular soldiers can attract interest with their uniforms. Especially in economically disadvantaged regions such as Backroads. The military is a way out. A way to gain status and respect. A career to earn a decent living and support a family.

When actual recruiters came to Newmentia, the kids would flock to them during the lunch period. The only worry those kids had was whether they could pass the physical.

Yes. The most effective military weapon is the dress uniform. It makes kids yearn to be one of the few. The proud. Or any other branch.Without soldiers, no other weapons can be effective.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Say It Isn't So, My Sweet, Sweet Juno

I fear that my Sweet, Sweet Juno is inheriting Farmer H's hoarding tendencies! You know the concept that people start to look like their pets? Well, my pet is starting to act like her person's spouse! No joke. Juno's house is full of crap. Or as she might say, if she could talk...collectibles!

There are assorted dried-out bones that I know she's not noshing on as a snack. She's just keeping them so the other dogs can't have them. There's an antler in there, too. And some sticks.

Wednesday afternoon, I took a partial carton of eggs out on the back porch, to toss into the woods. They were 10 days past the date, and I didn't want to take a chance baking The Pony's requested Oreo Cake with them. Can't be taking food poisoning in his hand-delivered care package. Juno came out of her house to see what I was offering.

"No, Juno. I don't have anything good. Just eggs. You used to like our fresh eggs, right out of the chicken, though. Here. I can give you ONE!"

Thing is, I've given all the dogs an egg before, out in the front yard, and their initial excitement turned to judgmental stares. Like, Why are you give us THESE THINGS? And then they walked off, leaving the eggs in the grass. I've even broken eggs over their dry dog food, in their usual pans, and they walked off, leaving the treat uneaten. But Juno looked so hopeful, I gave her a single egg. It helped that Jack and Copper Jack were not around. I figured if they wanted eggs, they could walk to the edge of the yard by Poolio, and forage for them in the woods.

Juno took that egg in her mouth. Did she crunch it and let it dribble on the porch boards, and lick it up? No, she did not. She took that egg into her house. I swear I heard it crunch.

"Oh, Juno! You're making a mess in your house!"

I came out later to get something from T-Hoe, and saw that egg laying on the floor of Juno's house. Juno was in the back, her front legs stretched out by the egg.

"Aha! That's going to stink! Since you're not eating it, I'm taking it back."

I reached in and picked up the egg. Which was completely intact. Juno came out, tail wagging, like she thought I was playing a game.

"Darn it, Juno! You can't have this egg in your house." Again. She looked so hopeful. " can have it back. But take it somewhere else!" Thus commenced an awkward dance of Juno trying to slink back into her abode, and me trying to block her way.

Juno is pretty smart. Maybe even valedictorian smart. She headed around the corner where the kitchen alcove bumps out. Towards the food pans and water bowl.

"That's it, Juno. Take it to your pan. Eat it there. No, Jack! It's not for you. I don't have anything. Nope."

Copper Jack was also lurking over behind Juno's house, with the hope I might be tossing out leftovers as I often do. None on the menu this time. I went back in and closed the kitchen door. As I rounded the counter, I saw Juno through the windows, walking back to her house with that egg in her mouth.

You can't reason with a hoarder.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Another Not-Glowing Product Review

Mrs. HM here again, with another critique of processed food sold at The Devil's Playground. After making food for Farmer H, food that I don't necessarily like or care to ingest, I want something quick for myself. This caught my eye last week.

They make it look really good on the package. Let the record show that it does NOT come in a clear bowl, but in a black soft-plastic bowl, with clear wrap on the top. Nor do the components pile over the top like that, but come about 3/4 up to the top of the bowl. And I didn't see any piece of chicken that big, but there was ample chicken included.

This meal was actually quite tasty. And filling. Of course, as with any prepared foods, it was high in sodium. But it DID have a lot of protein. Now that I've seen what's in it, I can make my own if I want, end even re-use that plastic bowl.

The other flavor did not fare as well on my persnickety palate.

The first thing I thought, upon taking it out of the box, was, "WHERE'S THE BEEF?" Seriously. There were only a few scraps of beef in there, smaller than a dime. And not as much broccoli as pictured, but enough slivers of carrots. The main thing I disliked in this bowl was the QUINOA. Let's just say I'm not a fan. It was red quinoa, which reminded me of chiggers. I don't like the texture, when those little dots pop. AND they get stuck in my teeth. Uh uh. Not a good meal for me. I won't buy this version again. It was mainly mushy, and kind of flavorless.

You're welcome. Now you can avoid the tasteless one, and I might have given you an idea of something to create for yourself.