Monday, January 21, 2019

Mrs. HM Is Her Own Worst Enemy

Sunday, we had single-digit temps and uncleared roads. I didn't venture out in T-Hoe because...

Farmer H actually sent me a text asking if I wanted a soda from town! Of course I did! He brought me a 44 oz Diet Coke from ORB K! Seriously. Would it have been a hardship to drive another 1/4 mile to The Gas Station Chicken Store to get my magical elixir? I must say I was disappointed, but I've gotten my own magical elixir in the form of a Polar Pop before, so it wasn't a tragedy. It almost was, though, because Farmer H confessed that the lid had come off, and he nearly spilled it.

Even worse was what I did to my Farmer-H-delivered magical elixir. I dumped the powdered Sugar Free Cherry Limeade into it, but the last packet emptied itself without enough powder for proper flavor. No problem. I had another pack in the pantry. I peeled the film that prevented tampering, popped the top off the plastic container, and snipped the end off a foil packet. As I poured a generous helping into my 44 oz Diet Coke, I thought,

"Huh. That looks really green. Maybe they've altered it again, to make it more limey."

I put away the packet in the container and set it to the back of the counter. My first sip made me look again. APPLE! I had bought the wrong flavor! No mistaking that taste. Like pure apple juice. No hint of Diet Coke.

I cry shenanigans! The packaging is virtually identical!


I will scrutinize the label tomorrow. Maybe I should ask Farmer H if he needs any powdered drink mix to keep at his Storage Unit Store, for when he wants to add flavor to a bottle of water.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Don't Say Mrs. HM Never Gave You Anything

Now that I'm retired, I don't really have a schedule. As long as I make a daily trip to town for my 44 oz Diet Coke, and serve up something for Farmer H to eat every evening, the other 22 hours a day are mine. Now, I could use that time to improve my geography skills (have you heard, ENGLAND is an ISLAND!), or clean up my dark basement lair, or work on a cure for Idontwannadoititis. But I'd rather not.

Like right now, I could be revealing the latest attempt of Farmer H to possibly kill me, or his latest infraction of my ever-changing arbitrary rules. But those can wait. Because I've discovered the most incredibly time-consuming website ever!

https://interviews.televisionacademy.com

If you're a fan of television, especially vintage shows and actors, you will not regret checking this out. Just don't do it when you have limited time. I will not be held responsible!

I'm not even sure how I got there. I think I had looked up an old movie on IMDB. I saw it last night on TCM, just the middle part, and was curious. The title was "Butcher, Baker, Nighmare-Maker." It's a really bad horror movie from 1982. Then I got to looking at some other horror-ish movies. And somewhere down the line I got to "The Birds." And from there, I don't even know the connections, I found a site with Suzanne Pleshette being interviewed about her career.

Sweet Gummi Mary!

I spent several hours listening to those interviews. While doing other time-wasting computer activities, of course. That Television Academy site also has a list of TV shows, with some interviews concerning them. All you have to do is go into the ALL INTERVIEWS part, and you can pick SHOWS or PEOPLE or the other stuff, and have many glorious hours of entertainment. IF you like older shows and actors.

I DO!

As long as I have internet, this might keep me out of trouble for a while.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

I'm Pretty Sure This Internet Outage Thing Is Going To Be The Death Of ONE Of Us!

If the coily cable doesn't bring me down, I'm pretty sure Farmer H is going to suffer greatly from my internet outage. We have the crucial part. It arrived on Wednesday. As I'm typing this, it's Friday night. That crucial part is still on the back of the couch. In its box. Right now I am suffering from internet outrage!

Here's the thing. Every Thursday night, I write a letter to Genius and The Pony. I've done it since Genius left for college back in 2013. Some of the week's news I can copy and paste, but I always have a part of the letter specific to each young 'un. Maybe about the lost brownie maker for The Pony, and La Croix flavored water for Genius.

Last night, at 11:30, I started the letter for Genius. By midnight, I was done. The envelopes were already addressed. I hit PRINT. And NOTHING HAPPENED! That's because the bad part of my internet is the hub. The hub that connects everything to the home network, I'm assuming. I'm not a computer genius, but when assorted wires have been switched around, and the only time I lose internet is when depending on something running through that hub...it seems to me that the hub is the problem. The hub whose replacement is sitting in its box on the back of the couch.

I had a bright idea, though! I figured I could connect my printer directly from New Delly. That's how I used to get a printer to work, you know. Plug it into my computer. So I got to looking at the connectors on the back of New Delly's tower, and the connections on the back of the printer. Well. I figured out what everything did on the back of New Delly. Which wires were mouse, external speakers, keyboard, main internet, and PRINTER!

I looked on the back of my printer. Easy peasy! It only had a power cord, and ONE other wire. A wire that looks like an ethernet cable. With the clicky lever thingy like a plug for a land line's wall jack. It runs along the top of my desk, and drops through the hole in the corner. Underneath, it connects to the bad hub. Then another wire comes up from the bad hub and connects to the back of New Delly's tower. That HAS to be the printer! All other wires are spoken for. But this one is a weirdo thingy like it has a bunch of bits and two little screw thingies. Huh. I can't crawl down under my desk and unplug that from the bad hub. Otherwise, I figure all I have to do is run the other end of that screw-bit wire to the printer directly.

So the contingency plan was to use my new wire that wasn't needed, the short 7-foot ethernet cable, from the back of New Delly's tower to the printer. Which I did. I unplugged the coily blue tripper wire, and put in my short black ethernet cable, and connected that to the printer, where I pulled out the ethernet-looking cable that runs across the desk and down to the bad hub.

Huh. New Delly didn't recognize the network! No dice. I didn't even get the message box that says the printer has a job waiting. Only a message box that said New Delly didn't recognize the network.

I guess Genius might have been able to talk me through it. Maybe something I had to do through settings, to make my printer run when it's not on the network. I just gave up, and wrote each boy a note by hand.

BUT HERE'S THE THING!

I tried to shame Farmer H into replacing the bad hub with the good hub. It will take about 5 minutes. It's plug and play. Unscrew the bad hub from the wall, screw on the new hub, and plug in three wires. Easy peasy! I'd do it myself if my knees were more cooperative about crawling on tile-over-concrete, and bending enough to get me up and down.

Can you believe my shaming tactic did not work? I'm sure you can. I told him how I certainly hoped the hub would be installed within a WEEK, because I couldn't print the boys' letters Thursday night.

In his little "Oh, you poor simpleton who can't do anything without my help" manner...Farmer H chuckled and said,

"Heh, heh. All you had to do was run that new black wire, the short one, from your computer to the printer."

Well. The joke is on him. Because that's EXACTLY what I did, even though he was too busy laughing at me to let me state that fact. It took three tries before he quit shaking his head and rolling his eyes and repeating the same thing, before I could tell him that was EXACTLY what I had done, and my computer did not recognize the new network.

All this happened while I was five steps down the 13 stairs to the basement, holding onto the banisters with one hand, clutching my supper tray in the other, because he just would not shut up and believe that I had done exactly what he was telling me would work.

I hope he enjoyed the colorful language that flowed back upstairs once I escaped. And that he enjoys seeing that unrecognized network message when I make him show me HOW that connection will make my printer work.

I'm not as dumb as he wants me to be.

Friday, January 18, 2019

The Bright Side Is, I Don't Need A Gym Membership

Dang! This problem with my internet connection is for the birds! Active birds. Not shuffling penguins, or perching vultures. Birds all hopped-up on the avian version of catnip.

I might have mentioned here or there that my ethernet wire is now plugged into a router under Genius's desk, and runs across the basement floor in all its coiled glory, through the door of my dark lair, up across the counter full of junk necessary items that might one day be needed, and into the back of New Delly's tower.


Every time EVERY TIME that I enter or leave my lair, I have to hurdle this beast! Let the record show that Mrs. HM's hurdling days are over. I must goose-step like a German soldier, or lift my knees like a prize Lipizzaner stallion to navigate those ankle-catching loops. So every time EVERY TIME my 44 oz Diet Coke demands that my bladder visit the NASCAR bathroom, I must overcome that obstacle. Which is often.

Yes, the giddy days of being reunited with my innernets have passed. I now take it for granted again, and am waiting for Farmer H to install that new hub that's sitting upstairs in its box, fresh from Amazondotcom on Wednesday, resting on the back of the couch right by the basement stairs. I'm pretty sure I could do it myself, if I could only crawl on my knees under my desk.

That's about ALL I can't do. I've been bending to look under there at the wire configuration. Stretching to see and reach the connections on the back of New Delly's tower, the back of the printer, and the wires on my old desktop that's now on the floor out by Genius's desk. Lifting and carrying that hub's Amazon box that also contained some items for The Pony's upcoming birthday (no, it's not a brownie maker...YET). Balancing myself on a 4-inch-thick slab of ice (good for the core muscles) while trying to reach the lock box that fit the key I found in EmBee's gullet.

Yes. I'm being whipped into shape against my will by this faulty connection. I miss the good old days of sitting on my ample rumpus, merely exercising my elbow for sips of my magical elixir.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Audacity Of Farmer H

I can't believe this guy! Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! Farmer H is one of those "Do as I SAY, not as I DO," kind of people. There's no other explanation for his shenanigans.

Let the record show that on Sunday, Farmer H had the audacity to say to Mrs. HM:

"I thought you just bought a new pair of shoes."

I know, right? He's lucky I didn't lop off his head with one of my new Pioneer Woman ceramic knives. Which, I might add, have a very sharp blade, and which, as you know, FARMER H GAVE ME FOR CHRISTMAS! I'm pretty sure that would be irony, me using the knives he gave me to lop off his head.

Anyhoo... I don't take kindly to Farmer H assuming that I should not be contemplating a new pair of shoes. The shoes, I might add, which are New Balance, of the stabilizer variety, to take the place of my very old New Balance 1011s, which I think came out in 2008, and are now quite without any cushioning, and very stinky, but work to make my Posterior Tibial Tendinitis feel better.

I've been thinking about getting a replacement pair since I hurt my ankle and found out that a motion control shoe is good for what ails me. Because the 1011s are no longer available, I've had trouble finding a suitable replacement. So I keep putting off the purchase.

Let the record also show that Farmer H and I went to Famous Brand Shoes (not exactly a high-end show store) to get us each a pair of wear-around shoes for CasinoPalooza 3. He got a nice pair of Skechers (The Pony couldn't stop laughing over that), and I could only find a pair of Nikes that were somewhat comfortable. I also had a $10 off coupon.

Anyhoo...these Nikes were not meant to take the place of a good motion control shoe. They are lightweight and cushy, but wearing them more than for short trips to get my 44 oz Diet Coke will wreak havoc with my posterior tibial tendon, since they don't have good arch support, and don't prevent pronation.

Let the record further show that I only brought up ordering those special New Balance in conversation, in reply to Farmer H saying he needed a new pair of work boots (even though he's not working) because his old boots have worn soles and are slippery on ice, snow, and wet surfaces. I don't begrudge Farmer H a pair of new work boots. In fact, I've encouraged him to go to his special boot store and get them. I thought he had done so, back in December.

Sweet Gummi Mary! "All for me, and none for thee!" That must be Farmer H's unofficial motto. He didn't say I didn't need new shoes. He didn't say not to get them. He didn't even act like I shouldn't get them. I just took offense to his comment.

It's not like I'm shopping for Jimmy Choos or Manolo Blahniks or Louboutins! I wouldn't know one of them if they bit me on my ample rumpus. Just a pair of sturdy New Balance. That's all I'm looking for.

Let the record never forget that Farmer H has spent $1700 on a new lawnmower without consulting me. And bought himself a new used tractor after swearing he was going to sell the old one (didn't happen). And built himself a freight container garage with a car lift that was stuffed with the contents of 18 storage units within a month of being completed. AND SPENT $1000 ON SHOE INSERTS AT THE GOOD FEET STORE!!!

So excuse me if I take offense to his casual comment: "I thought you just bought new shoes."

While we're on the badmouthing Farmer H bandwagon, let me also inform you that Farmer H can go to bed at 9:00 p.m., and sleep until 9:00 a.m., yet complain if I get more than five hours of sleep! Not so much verbally, but by sending me texts that say, "IF YOU'RE UP, then you can..." do something or other for him. Or "IF YOU'RE UP and are going to town, watch out for slick parking lots." Rather than just saying what he means.

ANDDDDDD...Farmer H grabbed my ethernet! Uh huh. After all the trials with my computer woes, hooking and unhooking assorted wires, telling ME to drag out New Delly's tower and disconnect and connect the wires! Yes, a bug must have crawled up Farmer H's butt while he was down on the floor under my lair desk. Because all at once, he popped up and grabbed my coily blue ethernet, knocking several items off my piled-up desk top, when I had laid that wire aside, ready to slip it right back where I'd had it, and plug it in.

Farmer H needs to learn his place. And it's NOT deciding my wake-up time, or when I can buy shoes, or grabbing my ethernet coil.

There. Now I feel refreshed. Ready for a new onslaught of out-of-place Farmer H-isms.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom Is Butthurt

Yes. It's true. I've hurt my butt.

Now don't go thinking I've overextended myself with a New Year's Resolution workout plan. No siree, Bob! I'm pretty sure I hurt myself sitting down on the toilet. It's not a resolution. I pretty much have planned all along to sit on the toilet throughout 2019. No special resolution there.

I suppose my ample buttocks are not as ample as they once were. Because I have a pain in that bone where your butt cheek turns into your upper leg. It's pretty hurty. I have to lean sideways on my broken-armed rolly chair in my dark basement lair. And adjust my position every five minutes or less. Getting up hurts. Bending over to pick up anything off the floor hurts. Ascending and descending the 13 steps to the basement hurt. Climbing into T-Hoe hurts. At least my OPC (Old People Chair) has a lot of cushioning.

I think it happened last night, when I left my OPC and paid a visit to the NASCAR bathroom. My right knee was acting up a bit, and I suppose I plopped down on the toilet more forcefully that usual, favoring the knee, not wanting to bend it too tight. In retrospect, I wish I'd held onto the edge of the air-brushed race-car countertop, to slow my trajectory. Also, that I'd not used the words plopped and toilet in the same sentence.

Surely I will feel better in a couple days. I'm writing about it Sunday night, so by the time you read it, perhaps I'll have healed already.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Lurking In The Shadows

You know how people sometimes take a picture, and upon later viewing, notice something in it they didn't plan on? I'm not talking about misty ghosts or strangers exposing themselves or premeditated photobombers. Not even awkward family photos, that seemed like a good idea at the time, but later ended up in a book or calendar. Uh uh. I'm talking about a detail that was overlooked.

Like this picture I took mid-snowstorm on Saturday, after the initial photo of the sidewalk right after the snow started.

Well. Now I've tipped you off, between that description, and the title. But when I first took the photo, and glanced at it, I just thought I was showing you how we'd gotten a bit more snow after a couple hours passed. And that Farmer H had driven his truck through the front yard, as he is wont to do, and hopefully to show you the flakes falling. They didn't get picked up by my phone camera. But something else did!


I'm sure you saw it right away. Down at the end of the porch. The shadowy silhouette of Copper Jack! I swear, when I first noticed this on New Delly's monitor, I heard in my head the REE! REE! REE! of the Psycho knife stabs!

I'm pretty sure Juno's heart was racing as well, at the moment I took the photo.

Monday, January 14, 2019

A Game Of Chicken

I called my sister the ex-mayor's wife Friday evening. Okay. I sent her a text mid-afternoon. Asking if she had time to chat. My social calendar was free, not having internet access on New Delly, and snow falling to prevent me from joy-riding in T-Hoe. About an hour later, Sis replied that she was not home, but that she could call me when she was. I told her I was planning to make supper at 4:30, but otherwise, that was fine.

Well. Nothing is ever that easy for Mrs. HM. Who was planning to make some corn muffins at 4:30 to go with her big cauldron of beans that she'd been simmering all afternoon. Of course Sis sent a text at 4:38, that she was home, and could chat. So I told her to call.

"Yeah. This is fine. My corn muffins are in the oven."

"Oh! What are you having with them?"

"Beans and ham. They smell delicious."

"Mmm... That would be good. I bought some beans a couple days ago, but I haven't cooked them yet. We still have some ham left that I was going to put in them." [I'm assuming it had been frozen since the Christmas Eve festivities]

"Yeah. I used ham and neckbones."

"Neckbones? Why would you put NECKBONES in your beans?"

"Because they give it such flavor! And the meat."

"Eww! There's hardly any meat on neckbones! And why would you want that flavor?"

"You'd be surprised how much meat is on neckbones! It just falls off. But you have to be careful, in case there's a little part of the bone that you think is meat."

"Well, I've never see a chicken bone with enough meat on it to bother."

"CHICKEN? I don't put CHICKEN necks in my beans? Who does that? Eww!"

"You said neckbones. What other neckbones are you putting in?"

"Pork!"

"What kind of animal does that even come from?"

"Uh... a PIG? That's what pork is, you know. Pig."

"And you get neckbones from it?"

"Yeah. They're delicious! I get them at The Devil's Playground. In the meat department. The PORK section. They only had a big package, so I froze half of it for next time."

"Huh. I guess that would be good. When you said neckbones, I thought of chicken necks."

I really wish Mom was around to hear this story. I imagine she would be laughing so hard she couldn't breathe.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Mrs. HM Is Not Eating Chicken Heads

It looks like a chicken. I noticed that once my picture was loaded on New Delly's screen. My supper ceased to be a mini frozen sausage and pepperoni pizza from Save A Lot, and turned into a chicken head.


No. Really. To me it looks like a chicken head, but it's actually a slice that's 1/4 of a frozen mini pizza.


And from this angle, it's screaming.  Same slice, just turning it over to show you that I got CHEATED on my Save A Lot frozen mini pizza. I think I at least deserve some substance for my sustenance! Mrs. HM does not live by air inside a hollow chicken head alone.

Let the record show that I am actually complaining about my empty pizza. Not trying to show off my unmanicured fingernails.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Not Yet A Snowpocalypse

I did most of my errands yesterday, in preparation for the inclement weather rolling in today (Friday as I write this). All I had to do was mail the boys' letters, and that could have waited. However, the snow was just starting when I got ready to leave, so I ventured out.

The sides of the road, and people's roofs, and some car hoods were covered with snow. But it slacked off by the time I got home around noon. I got my pot of beans with ham and neckbones brewing. Looked outside around 1:00, and saw the snow had started again.

I also found (formerly known as Puppy) Jack waiting for me.


He's a good boy! Also a beans-with-ham-and-neckbones sniffer! I sadly turned him away with nothing. Don't you feel sorry for Jack. He'd already had a handful of cat kibble, and some tortilla ends left over from yesterday's Chicken Bacon Ranch Pinwheels.


Copper Jack keeps his distance. I can't figure out why he detests me, what with him getting a treat every time my own dogs get one. He minds his Ps and Qs most of the time, with Juno going ballistic every time he comes up on the porch. Even though she was ensconced in her insulated doghouse with shingled roof, in the back porch alcove by the kitchen door, she would have come running if she heard his heavy footsteps on the porch.


At this point, we might have had an inch or two of snow. Still looking for about 8 inches, according to the meteorologists. We'll see how that pans out.

Farmer H currently has me plugged into the internet by awkward, toe-snagging ethernet wire run from Genius's desk, across the basement floor, into my lair, and across my desk. If I don't break my neck, I'm hoping for uninterrupted blogging.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Technological Difficulties

My internet has been coming and going, and now it's almost 11:30 p.m., and I don't have time for anything witty. Just so you know, if I seem unproductive for a while, it's due to New Delly fritzing out, and not my own personal laziness. It's harder to think when I use HIPPIE.

C'mon. Don't tell me you don't know what I mean. Anything different about the writing process will throw off my creativity. Even changing the time I usually get my inspiration will fling a monkey wrench through my thinking cap. At least it's not as bad as something else a monkey might fling.

If I have the juice, I'll still post regularly and keep my comments timely. It doesn't help that a snowstorm is headed into Hillmomba on Friday night. Even if my in-house hardware is working, I don't know how well my satellite connection will stand up to a blizzard that's supposed to be bringing us 8 inches.

So bear with me while I try to harness Farmer H into testing my ethernets, and possibly replacing a bad one. Why do I keep getting an image of a giant lightning or electricity bolt jolting the Mansion off its foundation?

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Full Of Hot Air

I think we are finally going to get some cooler weather rolling in by the weekend. I'm already planning my menu. A pot of beans sounds good, so I bought some neck bones at The Devil's Playground on Wednesday. I already have corn muffin mix (no, shockingly enough, Mrs. HM is not one to make cornbread from scratch). Also have onions and a jar of Sweet Banana Pepper rings. I am starting to salivate at the thought.

Farmer H said that Friday's forecast includes snow. I wouldn't know. My weather site has gone all wonky, and won't show me a 10-day forecast, but only the day and the morrow. So I'll take his word for it.

Strange. As I was typing the last sentence of the first paragraph, I heard a WHIRRING. I'm sure it came from the tower of New Delly, sitting at my right elbow, since I've pulled it out from the corner due to intermittent innernets disruption. Not that this does anything to solve the problem, but I can seen the ethernet cable in the back, and jiggle it with low levels of success in getting my yellow flashing light and orange solid light that signify connection.

What could cause a whirring? There's not a CD or DVD in the drive, because I took out the one in there when trying to remedy my disconnections. That's just bizarre. A whirring with nothing to whir. The little fan inside never makes a noise. Maybe it just went all steroidal and started spinning. I don't know. I don't see any shadows inside from movement, or feel any vibration. I can usually see that fan turning lazily when I look through the tower. Now it doesn't appear to be moving.

Just one more mystery of the lair.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

If Only You Guys Were Seinfeld Fans

Yes, if only you'd watched every episode two or three times, you'd be familiar with the one where Jerry reserved a rental car at the airport, and the girl at the counter told him they didn't have his car. And he realized that the car rental company knew how to TAKE a reservation, they just didn't know how to HOLD a reservation.

Same way with FedEx. They know how to TAKE a Vacation Hold. They just don't know how to HOLD a Vacation Hold. Which, as you may recall, I had requested online, and given a credit card number for the additional charges.

There I was, in Wyandotte, Oklahoma, having a blast with The Pony on our last night of togetherness before he went back to college. We'd just left our second casino, and I was $50 up (it was not to last), and giddy with excitement. As we were rolling down the road after checking in at our hotel with The Pony's free room, my phone buzzed.

It was an email notice from FedEx that my package had been delivered at 4:05 p.m.

Well! As you might imagine, that yanked a knot in my tail! Now I had to worry about what was going to happen to those checks before we got home the following evening. Would the dogs chew them up, as is their general policy, like with Genius's (first) bison leather wallet, monogrammed, with RFID technology, from Sharper Image? Or would somebody come to the Mansion, see the package, and take it for themselves, to forge checks at will for the next 20 years? Or would the dogs drag them off for somebody to find in their yard? Or would we never know what happened to them, thus causing constant worry?

"Crap! Stupid FedEx delivered the checks! I put a VACATION HOLD on packages until Friday! AND I gave a credit card number to deliver that package Friday between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m.! But then every time I checked on it, the website said I had no packages! I don't know what to do, but I guarantee you that those checks won't be there when we get home!"

Farmer H put in a call to HOS (His Oldest Son), to see if he could run down and find the package. HOS was keeping his own six-month-old son right then, his wife being gone in the car, and couldn't ride his Gator-thingy down there with the baby. But he said he'd check, as soon as his wife got home.

We were waiting for our food at a steakhouse when the text came through. HOS could not find the package. The time was right around 6:00. The package had been delivered a mere two hours ago, and there was no sign of it. Farmer H told HOS to look all around the porch, in the garage, on top of Juno's dog house by the kitchen door. And out in the yard, in case the dogs already got ahold of it. And on top of the dumpster, and Farmer H's car under the carport. And in the back of the Gator.

HOS could not find the package. Farmer H told him it was most likely in a envelope, not a box. It was dark by then. Not the best time for finding a package. My anxiety was building. If we found chewed-up checks in the front yard, that was fine. I could order more checks. But finding NO checks would be bad. Farmer H didn't tell HOS what was in the package. No need for him to ask around if anybody found a package. The fewer people who knew, the better. Don't want folks out looking for my checks like they're Easter eggs.

I was about to give up hope, and spend the next 24 hours fretting, when HOS sent a later text. He'd found the package IN THE DRIVEWAY. He said it was all muddy, and had been run over. He hoped he wasn't the one who ran over it, because he didn't want anything to be broken. We assured him it was unbreakable, and Farmer H told him to put the package inside his Trailblazer.

So here's what it looked like when we got home Thursday evening.


Yeah. WHO throws an envelope out in a driveway? FedEx, that's who! No attempt to set it on the hood of a car, or lay it on the rolling dumpster at the very corner of the carport. Nope. Just tossed it out the door. Didn't even get out, I'm sure. Who gets out to lay a package on the driveway?

I'd give the delivery driver a break, and consider that he'd set the envelope on the porch, and the dogs drug it to the driveway... but why would a dog drag a package to the muddy driveway? The dogs would chew it up right there on the porch, or out in the front yard, like with Genius's bison leather wallet, monogrammed, with RFID technology, from Sharper Image.

It is unclear whether the FedEx driver himself ran over the package for spite, or whether HOS ran over it with his Gator-thingy in the dark. Looks like there's tread going more than one direction. It's not like we have a lot of people driving up our driveway. Last time we got anything from FedEx was before Christmas, when we got home from an afternoon at our local casino. We found two boxes sitting in the driveway. Behind the Gator. All askew. The dogs had already chewed the corner of one. Thank the Gummi Mary, those boxes were too big for the dogs to pick up. All the driver had to do was set the boxes IN THE BED OF THE GATOR, to keep them from the dogs.

I'd like to get a picture of that fake camera on the pole across the gravel road. Several pictures. Each one zoomed in a little closer, until the position of the fake camera is revealed. And then, pretending that it's a real camera, email FedEx to say we have the actions of their driver recorded.

I'm pretty sure FedEx doesn't need any more bad press, what with so may videos of them tossing out packages all willy-nilly, and not taking them to the porch. They'd have to save a lot of little old ladies who'd left their packages on the porch, due to falling inside the house and not getting up, to neutralize the package-chuckers.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Mrs. HM's Last Words Prove Prophetic

"HO HO HO!" said Even Steven, eight days after Christmas.

Remember when I was worried about my checks being shipped a week before the order form clearly stated they would arrive? Uh huh. My last line of that tale was: "Why do I have a feeling this won't end well?"

Well, the reason I had a feeling this wouldn't end well is because obviously, it was NOT going to end well! 

After writing about my concerns, still unable to find confirmation of the new delivery date I'd entered a credit card to pay for... I'd been checking my tracking number. Which STILL said I didn't have any orders. Which was stupid, because it also showed my delivery date of January 3, by 8:00 p.m.

Lucky for me, I found a way to hold my delivery! Uh huh. It only took about 45 minutes and everything but a DNA sample to register with FedEx for such a service. SWEET GUMMI MARY! That form asked for my WEIGHT on my driver's license! And gave a list of four people, and told me to select the one associated with me. Which were NONE of them! But it didn't give me that choice. So I had to cancel the whole thing. But I started over, to try again. And this time was asked my driver's license HEIGHT, and how many acres we own, and to pick the city where Genius lives. Seriously! I'm pretty sure this is just a ruse to harvest information and turn it over to the feds.

Anyhoo... I made it through the registration this time, and put a VACATION HOLD on all my package deliveries through FedEx. Yep. No packages to be delivered until after January 4th. I even got a confirmation email from FedEx on December 30th.
___________________________________________________________________

Dear Hillbilly Mom,
We have updated your FedEx Delivery Manager profile as requested. We have changed the following section:

Vacation Hold section

If you have not requested these changes, please call Customer Service at:
(WeD) ont-Care
___________________________________________________________________

Okay, that's not their actual phone number. But it might as well be. I didn't know that then, though. I was pretty pleased with myself that I'd finally outsmarted FedEx, and made sure my package wouldn't be arriving on the day we took The Pony halfway back to college.

I'm pretty sure you know what happened, right?

You can check your own prophetic powers tomorrow, when I reveal the outcome.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Exsanguinate Was Not On Mrs. HM's List Of Things To Do Sunday

I had very little planned to do on Sunday. Just a simple drive to town to pick up my 44 oz Diet Coke, and a side trip through the back alley of Farmer H's pharmacy store parking lot to Casey's, for scratchers. The whole thing would take less than 45 minutes. Even if, perchance, I found a penny to photograph and pocket.

It was shortly after noon when I left, having just stepped out of the shower, dressed, and grabbed my purse. The sun was shining, 58 degrees, a nice day for Farmer H and his Storage Unit Store. There was quite a crowd there when I drove by. I parked over by the moat at The Gas Station Chicken Store, counted up my correct change, and headed inside.

As I bellied up to the soda fountain, I saw that my thumb was bleeding. How did THAT happen? I didn't recall bumping it on anything. I sure didn't want anybody in the store to notice that I was bleeding out! That kind of thing is frowned upon. Nobody wants to see such a sight at the soda fountain, or take money at the register from a hemorrhaging hand.

There are strict rules in school about such issues, with a custodian being summoned with a bottle of bleach if even a drop of blood spills on the tile. I'm pretty sure food establishments have such rules. Even CASINOS in Oklahoma have a sharps container mounted on the wall of the restroom, to prevent folks from coming in contact with the blood of others at the ends of pointy objects.

I carefully reached into my right pocket for a tissue. Forgetting that I had just washed my jacket free of the smoke of the casinos, after removing the tissue I keep in the pocket. I hadn't needed the jacket due to the warmer temperatures, and in fact didn't even need it that day, once I got over the chill of shady garage-kept T-Hoe's leather seats. So there I was, without a tissue, and the fountain of blood now smeared across my thumbnail. Don't even suggest that I should have peeled a napkin out of the holder at the chicken counter! People don't want to see other people's blood around their chicken!

I awkwardly hid my spouting digit behind the foam cup of my 44 oz Diet Coke, and reached into my shirt pocket with my left hand, for my dollar to pay. I surreptitiously transferred my 69 cents of coins from my bloody hand to the good hand. Pretty sure I made it out of there without anyone saying "YUCK!" after I left.

The fact that I take an aspirin every night, purposefully to keep my blood thin, after my unfortunate bilateral pulmonary embolisms a few years ago, and that I had delayed taking my blood pressure meds until right before I left home... probably contributed to the outpouring of my life fluid. I swear I even SMELLED that blood while trying to hide it inside the store! Like Stephen King described it in Carrie. A coppery smell.


Oh, sure. Pooh-pooh my possible life-threatening injury! It looks GOOD, there. That's after I dabbed it five or six times with a Puffs With Lotion. And right after that, it started seeping again, on the way over to Casey's, so I had to soak up another Puffs full.

The wound finally sealed itself, on the drive home. Which lasted until I washed my dog-hands, and dislodged the tentative scab.

No, exsanguinate was NOT on my unwritten list of things to do on Sunday. Neither, apparently, was "put on lotion."

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Good Chick, Bad Chick

That Farmer H! Sometimes he drives me crazy! He's just not picking up what I'm laying down. Friday, for instance. Props to Farmer H for coming out to the garage to carry my meager groceries inside. He plopped them on the cutting block (you surely didn't expect him to put anything away, did you?) and then cranked back in his La-Z-Boy.

I was talking to Farmer H from the kitchen as I put things away. About how I'd bought him some Baked Lays, which are chips he likes but never eats because it doesn't occur to him to buy any. Also, about the Save A Lot supreme pizza we were having for supper before Farmer H's auction. About whether he'd already had lunch, and what.

"Okay. Ham is good. I was hoping you didn't eat that chicken. The date on it is January 11th, but it has already been open for at least a month, back when I was making my own pinwheels, and the package is getting poofy. 

 
I'm going to give it to the dogs tomorrow. In fact, I'm going to lay it out now. So I don't forget, and so it's not cold when I give it to them."


I went on putting away salsa and Wheat Berry bread. Some sardines in mustard sauce. Hot dog buns. Smoked sausages. Farmer H's swirly ice cream cups. Then I opened up the frozen chicken strips I'd just bought, to repackage them into baggies for individual use.

Farmer H is a talker, and he wandered into the kitchen to tell me about Storage Unit Store stuff. He was standing between FRIG II and the stove, at the counter. I was on the other side of the stove, by the sink, pouring the chicken strips onto two paper plates, so I could balance the amounts I was putting into baggies.


"Is that the chicken you were talking about?"

"Talking about?"

"The chicken you're giving the dogs?"

"NO! This is the GOOD chicken! That I eat, when you get a supper of delicious food. I just have some chicken and salad. I just bought this! No way am I giving it to the dogs!"

"Well, you just said you were laying out chicken to give the dogs."

"THAT chicken! Right in front of you! In the poofy bag! It's the BAD chicken! Don't eat that."

"I won't."

"I mean, you can have some of the good chicken, if you want it. But not the bad chicken."

I guess Farmer H really didn't know the difference between GOOD chicken, and BAD chicken. But he'd better learn, by cracky! At least he had mastered the first step: asking questions of the lady in charge.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Seriously, WHAT Is Wrong With People?

Have I asked that question before? I'm pretty sure I have. And though many of you have tried to provide an answer, I don't think we have it figured out just yet.

Friday, shortly after noon, I came out of Save A Lot and climbed into T-Hoe. While I was writing the amount of the receipt in my checkbook (yes, I'm old-school like that), a black four-door sedan pulled into the handicap parking space on my right. I didn't even notice until I had T-Hoe running, in reverse, and turned to check if the coast was clear to back out. T-Hoe has no fancy-schmancy backup camera, and his beeper hasn't worked for years.

I saw the driver lady from the black car open up her door all the way. No harm, no foul. I also open T-Hoe's door all the way when I get out. She didn't hit his side. There was room. About six inches to spare. Plenty of room for comfortably throwing open a door, but not quite enough to comfortably back out without a fear of hitting that door with your T-Hoe's side mirror. So I waited.

Oh. Well. Parkstress was standing with her right shoulder to T-Hoe, facing the store, lighting a cigarette. Hmm. You can't take a cigarette into the store. Seemed wasteful to me. Because I was sure Parkstress was going to close her car door and go inside to shop. I could wait a few seconds until she closed her door.

Oh. Well. Parkstress leaned over into the car. Her torso, anyway, while her feet remained on the pavement. I figured she was getting her purse out. You want your purse with you to go into the store to shop. Not me. I just put the debit card and list into my shirt pocket. But most ladies seem to carry a purse. Only a few more seconds. I could wait. Then she'd close her door and go in.

Oh. Well. Parkstress was climbing back inside her car. I guess she was going to finish her cigarette first. Those things are expensive, according to Farmer H, who is not a smoker, but makes note of how much people are paying when he's in line to get his own addiction, Orb K hot dogs. Any second now Parkstress would pull that door closed, now that she was back inside her sedan, and I'd back out.

Oh. Well. Parkstress apparently likes to smoke her car cigarette with her door open. Even though her passenger-seat companion was gesturing toward either me and T-Hoe, or the sedan door. Just a few more seconds, and Parkstress would see how she was inconveniencing me, and close her door. Then I'd back out.

SWEET GUMMI MARY! Parkstress was simply NOT going to CLOSE HER CAR DOOR!

I couldn't wait any longer. Two cars were stopped, seeing T-Hoe's back-up lights, and waiting for me to emerge from that prime parking spot. I inched back. Hit the brakes. Inched some more. Cut the front wheels sharply. Inched back. T-Hoe's side mirror must have cleared that sedan's door by two inches or so, and I was FREE!

The car directly behind me did not pull into that spot. It was following me as I rounded the end of the row to exit. As I went down the parallel road by the parking lot, I saw that the white little SUV, which had also been waiting on me, was halfway into my just-vacated parking space. Blinker on. Waiting for Parkstress to close her door so it could get all the way in.

I figure it was going to be a long wait.

Friday, January 4, 2019

The Pony And Mrs. HM Are Pod People

Or at least, we're pod people witnesses. Heh, heh. When I first typed that title, I put in POT instead of POD. We are NOT pot people. Not even pot people witnesses. Make sure the record shows that!

Anyhoo...when we were coming home from CasinoPalooza 3, we encountered a strange load on a passing vehicle.


There were two sizes on the trailer, but we don't know if they were able to connect, or if they were different versions of the same (for lack of a better word) POD.


The Pony couldn't quite catch up for me to get a better picture.


We debated on what this thing was. A house for school kids to wait for a bus? Probably not. We haven't seen any prefabricated bus stops like that. They're all homemade. Some survivalist pod for the Apopadopalyspe? Doubtful, but possible. I'm thinking it's some kind of hunting shack, what with the tiny slots for poking out a gun, or the vertical one for a bow. There are other "deer stand" type shelters, up on metal legs, that we see for sale often along the road. But I've never seen this kind.

Maybe it's a podular tiny house. I'll probably never know. Farmer H didn't recognize it.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Don't That Just Beet All?

Farmer H's idea of straightening up the kitchen is not the same as mine. Oh, he'll remove his snack food stash from half the kitchen table if specifically instructed to do so. And he'll clear away the random paper plates with notes, and old pocket-sized spiral notebook, and assorted tooly gewgaws from the kitchen counter by the door if I wave my hand grandiosely over it and declare that it has to go. But he won't remove EVERYTHING, preferring to push part of it against the wall. As if it then becomes invisible.

So it really wasn't a surprise when, in the middle of the Dec. 30 Christmas Dinner, that Genius asked,

"What's that red stuff on the kitchen counter?"

He was probably thinking it was some kind of alcohol, since behind it were two other bottles of alcohol, bought at auctions or estate sales by Farmer H. He's a buyer, not a drinker.

"I'm not sure," said Farmer H.

Can you believe that? He was saving something, and didn't even know WHAT IT WAS!


"Oh. Well. It's sitting on the counter. So I though you might know."

"I got it up at the storage units. It's preserves, maybe. Strawberry."

"Uh. It looks more like BEETS to me!"

"Well. Yeah. Maybe it's beets. I'm not really sure."

So I guess we're keeping them indefinitely. On the kitchen counter. Next to the empty Coke bottle that says "DAD." Given to him by The Pony on his birthday. A happy accident being that The Pony bought a bottle of Coke on our drive home from CasinoPalooza 3, and only later, when ready to throw the bottle away, noticed that it said "DAD." And thusly declared, "Oh, look. My Coke bottle says "DAD." I'll give him THAT for his birthday!"

If you're thinking that the Coke bottle sat on the kitchen counter about 1/4 full of Coke until three days after Farmer H's birthday...you'd be wrong. Farmer H saw the Coke bottle, and put it in FRIG II. The Pony thought it had been thrown away, and was a bit disappointed that he didn't have the gift to give, even though he told Farmer H on his birthday, "And I'm giving you my Coke bottle, because the name on it is "DAD."

I found it in FRIG II behind some other stuff when I was trying to make room for more stuff. So I washed it and let it drip dry, then put it on the counter by Farmer H's stuff, and reminded The Pony to tell him of his "gift."

Good thing I care more about helping people than The Pony. Farmer H would have been in for a rude awakening when he tried to spread those preserves on a biscuit. The more I look at the picture... I'm not even sure it's beets.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Kind Of A Surpise

Since I've been displaying my Christmas swag lately, I will also show you a precious gift that was unexpected. It was bestowed upon me by my sister the ex-mayor's wife. Oh, I expected a gift. We always exchange gifts. This one just caught me off guard.


Isn't that sweet? I think a couple tears formed when I unwrapped it Christmas Eve. It's a key ring, but so much more. Now I feel bad about poking some fun at Sis every now and then. Not that my motives are ever evil, mind you.

Not lost on me is the fact that the two beads are our birthstones. That's gotta be more than a coincidence, don't you think?

It makes my gift to her, of two retro Betty Crocker cookbooks, seem a bit impersonal, even though Sis likes to cook.

Well played, Sis. Well played.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Mrs. HM Is Sharper Than Ever

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom starts 2019 on the cutting edge of new culinary gadgets. Okay. We're just talking about knives. But they're NEW TO MRS. HM. In fact, it's one of the best Christmas gifts that Farmer H ever provided. Right up there with my very first rolly chair. Sure, he struck out with the pizza pans I had requested, getting me a more expensive, larger version that was necessary. Not that they cost a lot, mind you. But they're too big to set on top of the stove. Too heavy just for covering with non-stick foil to warm things on. His heart was in the right place, but his gift selection was not.

EXCEPT FOR THESE KNIVES!


Here they are, with their plastic blade-guards. I guess that's what you call those sheaths to keep you from amputating a digit. Though blade-guards sounds like something a hockey player might put on his skates.

Here's what they look like without those safety covers:


That's not why I love them so much. A plane blade, unadorned with floral artwork, would be fine. No, it's the SHARPNESS that appeals to me. These knives have ceramic blades. THEY CUT SO WELL!

Sweet Gummi Mary! You'd think I was getting a kickback for singing their praises! If you think that, you have obviously never heard me sing. I just love these knives! The Pony is also a fan, because I let him use the short one to cut his Christmas Day steak that Farmer H grilled on Gassy G.

According to Farmer H, he got my knives, which came in a 2-pack, at The Devil's Playground. They are Pioneer Woman brand. I like the Pioneer Woman well enough. I haven't watched her lately, but I used to, after or before Trisha's Southern Kitchen, on Saturday mornings, back when I was still a workin' woman.

Anyhoo, just sayin'... I LOVE THESE KNIVES!

Farmer H did good.