Thursday, February 14, 2019

A Tale Of Two Kiddies: PART 1

I have no bone to pick with people who are out trying to earn an honest day's pay for an honest day's work. None whatsoever. I will stand patiently and wait for them to be trained. Keep my mouth shut, or offer suggestions if I deem it appropriate. Everybody has to learn sometime.

I do, however, have a problem with people who think they know it all, and fly by the seat of their pants, rather than checking with a co-worker to make sure the job is done correctly. Don't pee on my leg and tell me that it's raining. Don't blow smoke up my butt and tell me I'm turning into a prized ham. Don't shine me on like an extra-long, extra-heavy flashlight used by police. Get your act together, and admit that you are going to need a little extra time and help to learn your job. Simple.

Wednesday, I went to the pharmacy to pick up my prescriptions. A new girl greeted me. I told her my last name, then first. She started poking at the computer, then asked, "What was the birthdate?" This is standard procedure there. I replied. LASS looked confused. "Um. Just a minute." She went behind the tall counter, and came back with a seasoned employee.

"Oh. There it is. You didn't check the birthdate. You just took the name that came up first."

No problem. That's exactly what LASS should have done. She had difficulty, and went for help.

LASS found my bag of pills hanging over in the drive-thru bay. They put the plastic pill bottles in their white paper sack and staple the amount on its folded-over top, then put that paper sack down in a clear, ziplock-looking bag with a hanger on top. Then they hang them alphabetically on a rack at the drive-thru. A good system, really. LASS told me the total, and stepped behind her computer/register.

"This is a debit," I said, handing her my card. Same as I always do, every month. EVERY. MONTH. I waited for her to tell me to poke in my PIN on the little calculator-looking gadget wired to her computer/register, and then to sign the electronic thingy next to it to acknowledge who had picked up the meds.

LASS handed my card back. Took out the receipt and stapled that to my sack of meds. Asked me to sign my signature. Then handed over the meds.

"Oh. I was waiting to put in my PIN."

"I don't think we have a way to do that here."

"That's funny. I've done it EVERY MONTH when I use my debit card here. For YEARS."

LASS just looked at me. No offer to go check on it. No sign that something was amiss. No explanation.

I'm pretty sure everything will turn out fine. The Office Max over in Bill-Paying Town does that. But they tell you it will run as a credit card, rather than a debit card. Nothing untoward has happened when using my card there. I'm just suspicious, since LASS didn't seem to know what she was doing. I don't want the police chasing me from my appearance on the surveillance camera, saying I didn't pay. And I don't want to throw away an unfamiliar credit card bill, thinking it's junk mail. As far as I remember, the charges still come right out of my account, even though the card gets scanned like a credit card.

All that could have been remedied if LASS just admitted to herself that this was something she hadn't done yet, and perhaps she should consult a more experienced employee to be sure.

SWEET GUMMI MARY! Don't go telling me you don't have a way for me to put in my PIN! That sounded about as nonsensical as Michael Keaton in Mr. Mom, saying he was wiring the house for "220...221...whatever it takes."

These young whippersnappers think they can rule the world. Maybe they will. Incompetently.

Tomorrow: a tale of one who did the right thing.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Loose Lips Sink To A New Level

Farmer H has been spreading classified information. He denies it. Of course. That's what a spy does.

Let the record show that Farmer H has been known to make snide comments about the hour Mrs. HM starts her day. Never mind that Farmer H goes to bed at 10:00, and has been sleeping until 8:30. That's 10.5 hours. He sees Mrs. HM as a lazy layabout, for daring to snooze for six whole hours on a good day, between 3:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.

Over the weekend, when talking about freezing rain in the forecast, Farmer H, sitting astride his high horse on the long couch, said, "Well, by the time you get up at 10:00, it will probably have passed through already."

Of course I had a reply for him. No need to quote myself here.

Flash forward to my birthday. I had a text from Genius, and also one from The Pony. The secretary at our financial advisor's office called to extend their congrats on me making it to another year. The Veteran called me with his happy birthday wishes. That was at 12:31, as I was tooling up the driveway in T-Hoe, returning from an errand-filled trip to town.

"I tried to call you earlier, at 10:00, but I guess you were still resting."

Let the record show he wasn't being a smart-aleck about it, just letting me know he had tried to reach me, and figured I was still asleep. I bear The Veteran no ill will.

"No. I was in the shower then, I guess. Sorry I missed you."

Well. My cell phone showed NO RECORD of any earlier call. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Once inside, I always check the house phone for messages. They're generally from scammers telling me that they've been authorized to make a deal on my outstanding student loans, giving me a reference number and name of who to call. AS IF!!! Nobody in the Hillbilly family has ever had a student loan! Or else they're warning me that my social security number has been used in a criminal manner, and it's vital that I call to keep myself from being picked up by local law enforcement. Oh, how I long for the days when I was being offered free cruises, or remote help with my broken-down Windows computer!

Anyhoo...I checked my phone, and there was nothing besides a scam call. NOTHING around 10:00 a.m. So I found no evidence that The Veteran had indeed tried to call me earlier. I mentioned this to Farmer H, who said, "Well, you know how phones do funny things sometimes."

Of course I further mentioned that I did not appreciate him discussing the time I arise from the marital bed with his second son.

Of course Farmer H denied any such reveal of classified information.

Somebody here is lying, and it ain't Mrs. Hillbilly Mom.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

It Stinks So Bad I Can Smell It From Here

The dead-mouse-smelling post office has done it again. I'm sure you're all gasping in shock, holding your head in your hands, an expression on your face like young Macaulay Culkin with the aftershave in Home Alone. "But Mrs. HM, I can't believe you're having trouble with your mail delivery!" Au contraire. We all know such an occurrence is most certainly not rare.

The creeks are up, so Farmer H and I (and all the other denizens of our Hillmomban enclave) have been taking the alternate route to town, turning left at EmBee to wind around some other back roads, rather than turn right and go up the hill on the most direct blacktop road to town. I suppose that detour put us at the end of the mailperson's route on Monday. Because when I returned from town with my lesser (Polar Pop) version of a 44 oz Diet Coke around noon-thirty, the mail truck had just arrived.

I pulled off the side of our gravel road, next to HOS's (Farmer H's Oldest Son's) bus stop shed, to wait for the delivery. I was expecting a package. My email told me so! A set of DVDs that I'd ordered myself for my own birthday. In fact, Sunday night the tracking number had said delivery would be Monday, and further scrutiny showed that my package was OUT FOR DELIVERY. I was kind of excited about getting my present.

Imagine my surprise when I opened EmBee's lax mouth, and found only a casino promotions postcard, my Sprint bill, and a junk mail envelope offering Farmer H cheaper car insurance. Of course I knew that my package would not fit in EmBee's metal tubish figure. But there should have been a key. A key to the lock boxes, installed there for packages. Surely I was missing something!

I held the three items of mail, leaving EmBee empty. I leaned over and looked deep into her gullet. No key. I reached my hand inside. Felt all the way to the back. No corners inside EmBee! She's a pipe! Curved. I could feel all the way to the back wall. If EmBee was human, I would have triggered her gag reflex.

With no one around, I opened the black mailbox to EmBee's left. Shifted their mail, feeling for a key. Maybe it had been put in the wrong box. No key. Then I opened the white mailbox to EmBee's right. Shifted their mail, feeling for a key. NO KEY! Well! Wasn't THAT craptastic? I could see the lock boxes, three with keys still stuck in the locks, and one without. The keys are stuck there after you turn the lock. If a package is inside, there's no key showing, because it's in somebody's mailbox. So I had hope. But no key.

When I got home and settled in my dark basement lair, I checked my tracking number first thing. DELIVERED, it said! Sweet Gummi Mary! What in the Not-Heaven? WHERE was my package? I know it was coming by USPS. That's what the tracking information said. Surely they hadn't called in dastardly FedEx to bring it from the dead-mouse-smelling post office to the Mansion! I hadn't seen anything left in the driveway when I got home.

Wait a minute! What time was that package delivered? Maybe it HAD been brought by FedEx, and the dogs ate it already. As far as I knew, the only unusual dietary supplement they'd enjoyed was an Adidas slide, dark blue with white stripes, which was out in the front yard. I looked at the details of the tracking number. My package had been delivered at 12:29. That's when I saw the mailperson! I knew that, because I got a call from The Veteran as I was coming up the driveway, and my call log showed it came in at 12:31. So the mailperson had at least scanned my package and said it was delivered.


I called Farmer H to see where he was, thinking he could look around the carport and garage and front yard.

"Where are you?"

"Just coming up to the mailboxes."

"STOP! My packages is delivered, but there's no key, and I can't find the box. I saw the mail get delivered, and looked everywhere for the key, but there wasn't one!"

"Okay. Here. I'm going to look. Oh, here's a key."

"WHAT? Was it in the back?"

"No. Laying right in the front. I've got your package. Coming home."

I guess the mailperson forgot to leave the key, and came back after I'd taken out the mail. Or else it was in someone else's box, but they wouldn't have known whose to put it in. Or would have opened the lock box, and got the key stuck in there.

Something is fishy at the dead-mouse-smelling post office.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Goldilocks Goes Fishin' Again

You might recall my quest(s) to find the perfect sardine. Not even the perfect sardine. I'd settle for a palatable sardine. My current brand had become TOO BIG. But I couldn't be happy with what I had. The taste was great. Good enough. Just right. But no, I had to go and complain, and the very next tin of sardines that I opened were different! Smaller, and more watery! Not enough mustard!

Woe was me. I thought I might actually have to sample the sardines from Country Mart, rather than my usual staples from Save A Lot. But a funny thing happened as I walked by the sardines in Save A Lot on my next shopping trip. I looked. Just to see if the dates were the same as the two tins I had left at home. The ones I didn't like. And do you know what I found?


Beach Cliff instead of PortSide! Of course I bought two tins. I'd taken a sardine break for a few days, having my old lunch of Chicken Bacon Ranch Pinwheels instead. But THEY had changed, too. So I went back to try my sardines on Sunday.

They're the big ones again. Three to a tin. But lots of mustard, and the same mustard taste as the previous brand. Not watery. So I give them two thumbs up. Since I only have two thumbs.

Let the record show that I also bought two tins of sardines in oil. I might try one of them next...

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Two Terrible Cutters Cutting

You may recall that I headed to Terrible Cuts on Thursday to get my Lovely Lady Mullet hacked into shape for a new six-year driver's license photo on Friday. The result was... um... not great. Granted, it was a step above the usual terribleness of Terrible Cuts. But not the best terrible haircut I ever got.

I decided on a haircut at the spur of the moment, while in line at the bank drive-thru. I'd been planning to do it Friday, and go to the license office Monday, but figured while I was out and about, I might as well add another stop to my agenda. I picked up my phone and used the Terrible Cuts app (installed for me by The Pony) to check in. That means my name pops up on their computer, and I'll be the next person terribly cut once I arrive. UNLESS there's another person who did the check-in app ahead of me. Terrible Cuts said my wait was 13 minutes. That's about how long it would take me to drive across town.

When I arrived, I glanced at my phone and saw that my wait was now 12 minutes! That didn't seem right! Once inside, I saw my name was in second place on the list. I was the meat in a no-check-in sandwich! The two breads had not used the check-in app. The lady at the top of the list was sitting over by the windows, on the short leg of the L-shaped waiting chairs. The man under me was sitting in the chair closest to the door. I saw two terrible cutters cutting.

Once I sat down, another man came in. He was told there were three people ahead of him and it would be a 26-minute wait. Those terrible cutters must be some savvy mathematicians!

The terrible cutter I prefer was working over in the perm area. She was there last time when she terribly cut me, and the result wasn't half bad. In fact, it was more than half good. She had her hands full, though, with a screaming toddler. The only other terrible cutter was sweeping up around his chair. Yes. HIS chair! There aren't many male terrible cutters. I'd say... counting this one and the others I've seen there... the number of male terrible cutters is ONE.

Manny finished sweeping and called me back. I looked neither left nor right. I didn't want to see that waiting lady glare at me for jumping ahead of her. Too bad, so sad. She needs a college-age son to get her the app! Manny made small talk as I was settling into the chair. I mentioned how the temp had dropped five degrees in the last half hour. How I'd seen snow flurries when I came out of The Devil's Playground. Do you know what Manny did? HE TOOK THE BLOW DRYER AND BLEW IT ON MY HANDS! Somebody was earning his tip!

Manny was not the most manly of men. Not that you would expect such at a hair establishment. This isn't 1975, and Manny wasn't the Warren Beatty character in Shampoo. He made easy small talk while terribly cutting me, which was interrupted at several points by the screeching of Toddler Boy having a meltdown. He must have been about 2, and not at all happy to be terribly cut. I could see him in the mirror, writhing like a possessed serpent, while his mother tried to subdue him on her lap. Or at least keep his head, if not on top, at least parallel to the floor.

"Somebody's not happy!"

"Yes. She took my boy for me."

Manny seemed quite relieved. I knew immediately that by MY BOY, he meant his customer, not his actual biological son. I guess I had shown up right after the transfer, when Manny was cleaning up the sparse evidence of the few terrible cuts he'd managed to make. I held perfectly still for him, and didn't screech, and told Manny, "I want nothing done to the bangs, except even them out from my trimming yesterday." Yet somehow, he got them crooked. That was about the terriblest part of my cut. And he left one side just a little longer. Otherwise, I asked for a little more off the back, and he happily complied.

I repaid Manny's hand-warming kindness with a 21% tip, and got out of there before Top Bread could organize a mob to tar and feather me. With both my shoes, too. Which is more than I can say for Toddler Boy, who'd left one laying on the waiting chairs. Top Bread was picking it up as I left. Hopefully not to wing at me as I passed.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

I Might Need To Set Up A Control Center In My Dark Basement Lair

That Farmer H! He is very trying. I swear, it's like leaving a toddler unattended upstairs, once I descend to my dark basement lair. Friday evening, for instance. I knew he was going to the auction. I knew he was going to warm up his own supper, from the Sloppy Joes I made at his request on Thursday night. A meal which wasn't hard for me to make.

I only had to fry some hamburger after going to the store for it. And use two skillets, because I don't like Sloppy Joes, and made plain hamburger to fix my own bowl of refried beans and Franks Original Redhot Sauce and salsa and shredded cheddar. Of course I cleaned up the kitchen before eating, after calling Farmer H in to make his Sloppy Joes. I figured he was capable. I'd set out the jar of dill pickle slices, which I'd made a separate trip to town for. And a fork. And his buns. In fact, Farmer H had turned down my offer of fries. He was really helping me out.

Until I turned around after the dishes were done, and Farmer H was sitting in his La-Z-Boy with two Sloppy Joes and some Ruffles, and saw that he'd left the pickle fork on the cutting block. Because, you know, to walk two steps to drop it into the dishwater would have been too much for him.

Yes, I knew Farmer H's routine for Friday evening. When I heard him enter the house around 4:45, I knew I should go to the bottom of the steps and holler up to him, so he'd know how to make his own supper. The leftover Sloppy Joes were in a plastic container in FRIG II. I don't want him microwaving red-sauced foods in plastic, because they stain. Even if it's my Hillbilly Tupperware of washed-out shredded Parmesan containers, I'd prefer that he use a glass bowl. They wash easier, and don't stain.

SWEET GUMMI MARY! Farmer H is a grown man! Surely he could use common sense and warm up his food without incident. Especially since I've given him that same microwaving lecture about 40-leven times. I heard him crank back the La-Z-Boy. I thought maybe he was expecting ME to warm his supper. He needs to eat by 5:30 to make the auction on time. So at 5:15, I started upstairs.

"Did you eat yet?"

"Yeah. I'm done."

"Oh. I was going to tell you how to warm up your Sloppy Joes."

"Already did."

In the kitchen sink, I found one of my four keepsake bowls that my mom gave me. They're usable as bowls, but they're old, and sentimental favorites. The only thing I use them for is making cheese dip for the Super Bowl. Two of them are cracked. Were cracked when Mom gave them to me, and repaired by my dad with some kind of glue. Noticeably cracked, but not leaky. So as you might imagine, I try to be extra careful with my two good bowls. Now Farmer H had used one to warm his Sloppy Joes, and it was sitting in the sink full of water, remnants of the red sauce around its flat rim.

"Why did you use THAT bowl?"

"I don't know. It's just a bowl."

"My MOM gave me those bowls. They're really old! There's only two good ones left, and you used one! Of all the bowls in the kitchen, you had to use that one."

"I use it all the time."

"Then I guess you secretly use it, and wash it alone and put it away again. Because I've never seen you use it."

"HM, it's just a bowl. I've used it for 20 years."

"I don't think so. What's wrong with the regular bowls? Are you too lazy to use the regular bowls? Just because you'd have to lift up the plastic measuring cup laying in the top of the stack? Wait a minute! The measuring cup isn't even there! It's in the sink from me washing it. There was NO REASON not to use the regular bowls. How would YOU like it if I went over to one of your BARns, and found your oldest something, and wiped my butt with it? Huh? How would you like THAT?"

"It's just a bowl HM. I should have known you'd have some complaint about it."

"Then you shouldn't have used it!"

I swear. Farmer H can't be left alone for a few seconds. If I thought he'd install surveillance cameras for watching himself, I'd relax the purse strings for their purchase.

Friday, February 8, 2019

A Date With Destiny, Perhaps?

Woe is Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. It's that time again. Time to dun dun dun...


You can't imagine the image Mrs. HM has had hanging around her neck like an albatross for the past six years. That's right! A driver's license is for SIX YEARS now! So long ago that Genius was still in high school, and my mom was thriving and doing her best to consume the world's supply of slaw.

I remember Genius laughing so hard at my picture that he choked. He immediately took a picture of my license photo, and set it to pop up on the screen of his phone when I called. I'm pretty sure he showed all his cronies at school.

My mom said, "Oh, my!" And tried not to laugh. She wasn't very good at stifling her emotions.

I even had to tell her, "Mom! It's ME! Your sweet baby girl! How can you laugh at my picture?"

Her answer was suggesting that I call the office and tell them that I lost my license, and needed a new photo. I explained that I didn't even have the actual license yet! I was showing her the paper printout temporary license to use until my new one arrived. I was almost hopeful, until I realized that they'd only use the same digital photo and make another license with it.

I can't even begin to relate the horror (and hilarity) caused by that driver's license photo. I can, however, link you to my other blog, and the 3-post arc that resulted from the trauma.

The Face That Launched a Thousand Quips

The Journey to Renew One's Driver's License Begins With a Single Trip to Town

The Face That Even a Mother Can't Love :(

Enjoy. I'm off to get a new SIX-YEAR driver's license picture taken today.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Indisposable Incoming

Let the record show that this is your warning. You do not want to be reading this one over lunch. Or supper. Or a snack. Or any food. Really.

Farmer H and I went to lunch with my best old ex-teaching buddy Mabel on Wednesday. And her Hub. It's a little diner kind of restaurant. The food is always good. At least the two things I've ever ordered there. Which are the chicken quesadilla, and the homemade pretzels with mustard dipping sauce. Farmer H had the breakfast skillet with fried eggs, sausage, hash browns and toast. Slathered in white gravy. That's what he had last time, too. Mabel had a cheeseburger and fries, her Hub had chicken strips, fries, and slaw. Nothing extravagant. Just tasty food.

I'm sure there was nothing wrong with my chicken quesadilla. It was most likely a malfunction of my digestive system. Anyhoo...a few hours after our meal, I felt like the chicken was trying to peck its way out of my descending colon.

We were still at Mabel's house, visiting, but it was time to go. REALLY time to go! There'd been a lot of rain, and our creeks were up. We like to get off the two-lane blacktop before it's school bus time. So we made our goodbyes, and started for home. The plan all along had included a stop for gas in A-Cad, at the Love Station just off the highway. Also some scratchers for me from their machine.

"Man. I really have to go to the bathroom. I don't think I can wait until we get home. While you're putting the gas in, I'm going in the store. I'll be in the bathroom, then at the ticket machine, and then at the soda fountain. So wait for me at one of them, since I won't know where you park."

Farmer H said he would, and I hurried inside. I was feeling quite... um... indisposed. We've stopped there before, so I knew where the bathrooms were at the back of the store. There's usually nobody else in there. The place is mainly a truckstop, with two restaurants attached. So mostly men are doing business there, with their big rigs parked off to the side in a huge separate lot. Otherwise the clientele is people traveling across the state, from top to bottom or bottom to top. Still, I rarely encounter anyone in the women's restroom.

Of course you know that's not how it went on Wednesday, when I was feeling overwhelmingly... um... indisposed. I pulled the door open and rushed to the right, toward the handicap stall. It has hand rails, you know, to assist my knees in rising and lowering.

SWEET GUMMI MARY! There was an employee cleaning the women's restroom!

Of all the times for this to happen! She wasn't in the handicap stall, though. So I dodged around her collapsible trash bag on wheels, and saw with relief that the green VACANCY slot was showing on the lock. Once inside, I was hesitant to do my business. You know. With somebody else in there, listening. It's not like somebody else in another stall, doing her own business. This was an employee. Not doing business. Just cleaning up.

Well. My... um... indisposedness would not be denied. I didn't really have a choice in tabling my business till another time, perhaps when the worker left the restroom. WAIT! Oh, I couldn't wait, but I did hear someone enter a stall. As if to do her own business. So I figured the worker wouldn't know if it was me or the other gal who was being... um... indisposed.

Once my business was done, I left the stall (automatic flush) and went to the sink to wash my hands. At that very moment, the other stall opened up, and the employee came out!

SWEET GUMMI MARY! I'm pretty sure she knew that smell of... um... indisposedness came from ME, and not from her own self! She high-tailed it out of there after a cursory wash of her hands, though stopping to prop the door open with her foot to allow me to exit ahead of her! I made an immediate right, to head across the back aisle to get to the lottery ticket machine. Then I went back across the store for a 44 oz Diet Coke, where Farmer H met me to go pay.

Of course Farmer H was getting himself a FORBIDDEN CANDY BAR, a Milky Way, and a bottle of Diet Coke. He laid them on the counter, and I set my 44 oz Diet Coke beside them, and looked up to see that the cashier was THE SAME EMPLOYEE FROM THE RESTROOM!

I hope she didn't put up a picture of me from the surveillance camera, to bar me from future visits.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

My Sweet, Sweet Juno Needs An Intervention

The dogs usually greet me as soon as I come out the kitchen door. Juno first, because her house is right there. Jack has to run in from the yard, where he lolls about with his buddy Copper Jack from next door, who follows along and stands respectfully on the brick sidewalk. Juno and Jack sidle around the side porch, shouldering each other out of the way, waiting for a handout of cat kibble.

Sunday, I noticed an unpleasant odor emanating from my pooches. "Whew! Jacky boy! You stink! I don't know what you've been rolling in!" I barely petted him. Don't want carcass slime on your hand when you're heading for a 44 oz Diet Coke.

Monday, Juno pranced up to me with a pelvic girdle in her mouth. You know, the connected hip bone sockets from some critter, without the actual hip bones. I'm sure she has assorted hip bones in her house, but I doubt they belong to this animal, or are a matching pair. So enamored of her pelvic girdle was Juno that she couldn't put it down for cat kibble! She stood there looking at me, pelvic girdle in her mouth, then at Jack, then ran to her house, then back to me. Finally she entered her house. I couldn't see the door of it from where I stood, but I heard the bones rattle.

Juno is The Bone Collector. She could have had a movie made about her life, if not for that dadblasted Angelina Jolie and Denzel Washington stealing her title! Juno never met a bone she didn't like. A lot.

I don't want to show you a picture of her house, because, well, you know how it is when company comes over, and you don't want them to know that you're really a big slob, and you stash the dirty dishes in the unworking dishwasher. Yes. I hear you. "But Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, you don't HAVE a dishwasher!" That's correct. But in college I did. And for our weekly weekend parties, you can bet my two roommates and I made creative use of it!

Anyhoo... that's the moment the light bulb went on over my head. JUNO was the stinker! From laying around on rotting bone-flesh! Sure, some of her collection is sunbleached and meatless. But others are in varying stages of decay. Hick says he needs to clean out her house, but I know Juno will have an anxiety attack! She wouldn't even lay that pelvic girdle down at her feet long enough to eat cat kibble. I can imagine her treasures being flung all willy-nilly over the porch rail, and the whimpering that would ensue.

How I long for the days when my Sweet, Sweet Juno smelled sweetly of cedar chips, her bedding. Now she sprawls in a nest of bones. And possibly one antler.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Sometimes, It's Like He TRIES To Be The Squeaky Wheel

Farmer H will never slip through life unnoticed. He's not loud or boisterous, but he does have a way of calling attention to himself. Even when it's at home, where he's the only one I have attention for these days anyway.

No, he CAN'T simply pick up a bag of chips and open them in the normal manner. I have no idea why he opened this bag from the bottom! Last I saw, it was sitting on the cutting block, right side up, leaned against an unopened jar of olives. The logical thing to do would have been grasp the top edges, and pull them apart. Not pick up the bag, flip it over, and THEN pull the sides apart.

Oh, it doesn't hurt the chips, the bag being opened from the bottom. It can be flipped over and stood upside down, with the clip at the "top." Farmer H bought the chips, anyway. They were $1 each, and he got two bags. At the auction. That's a good deal on these chips. They'd be over $3 at Country Mart. And probably near expiration, too!

Farmer H said the guy who sells these chips has cases of them, and brings them all the time. I told him to get more next time. Maybe he'll stand on his head to do the bidding!

Monday, February 4, 2019

I'm Tired Of Getting PRIZES Like This

Back when I was a kid, it was fun to get prizes in my food. Like those records that came on the back of a cereal box. Or the dinosaur pencil-top erasers that came in the multi-pack box of individual Fritos bags for my black-and-red plaid metal lunchbox. Now that I'm an adult, I'm not such a fan of prizes in my food. They're not real prizes! They're SURprises!

I'm pretty sure I've told you about the time I bit down on a bone in a can of Swanson's white mean chicken. And more recently bit into a nut shell in a slice of cheesecake. I know there have been other unwanted objects in my foods, but I can't remember them all.

Well. Sunday for lunch, I had some leftover pizza, and a bowl of instant Raisin Spice oatmeal. Of course the first bite of oatmeal contained my prize.

Can you tell what that is? I put it in a fresh bowl for the picture, but my hands and camera blocked the light from my only working fluorescent in the ceiling of my dark basement lair. When I originally took it out of my mouth, it looked like a popcorn hull. It had a rounded shape. When I glanced back at it later (of course I ate the rest of the oatmeal! You don't think I'd waste it, now do you?) the foreign object had accordioned in on itself. I tried to spread it apart, but this is all I got.

I'm hoping it's a husk from the oats used to make the oatmeal. The only other possibility is that it's part of an insect's exoskeleton. I know there are allowable insect parts in processed foods. That doesn't mean I want to eat them.

I'm not averse to wasting insect protein from my cereal.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Sweet Gummi Mary, Don't Let It Be The PopArm!

You may recall that Farmer H has an affliction that I call his PopArm. Like Popeye for the name, but because he tore his bicep, and heard a pop. His arm is still inflated in the area, looking quite muscular, though in reality his injury is unrepairable because he didn't get to the doctor and have surgery (that has a questionable success rate) within three days to stitch him back together. It doesn't hurt him any more, but he is, as you might imagine, weaker in that arm.

Farmer H originally hurt his arm lifting a set of dresser drawers into the back of his Ford F250. That was back when he was working with his original bargain 18 storage units full of junk. He said he hurt the arm (his right bicep) while lifting, but it wasn't until later that he felt the POP. That he was on the toilet, reaching around to wipe his butt, when he heard the POP.

Saturday morning (and by that I mean 2:20 p.m.), I was getting dressed after my shower, preparing for a trip to town. I happened to be sitting on the toilet, and noticed that my toes were still wet with droplets of shower water, having not dwelt upon them when toweling off. I took a square of toilet paper in each hand, and leaned over to blot away the moisture. As I was reaching back with my left arm to deposit the toe-blotters into the wastebasket, I felt a sudden pain in my left bicep area!


I do that when Farmer H is gone to his Storage Unit Store and I know I'm alone in the house. Talk to myself.

Sweet Gummi Mary, that hurt! I didn't hear a POP. So there's that. The best I can determine, mine is not the bicep. Nor does it appear to be the deltoids. My injury seems to be the muscle between the bicep and the deltoids. Not on the front of my hanging arm. Not on the side. But about 3/4. Does that make sense?

Let's explain it a different way. I know my readership is old enough to remember clocks. So if my hanging left arm has the bicep at 12:00, and the deltoids at 9:00, my injured muscle is at 10:30. It doesn't throb. It doesn't hurt with every movement. Only with some. I guess it's whenever that muscle is isolated, doing motion the bicep and deltoids don't do.

Uh huh. Mrs. HM. She doesn't hurt her arm lifting. She doesn't hurt her arm getting into Farmer H's new truck, SilverRedO. She hurts her arm reaching back to put two squares of toilet paper in the wastebasket.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

If It's Not One Thing, It's A Bother

Farmer H has been at it again. I swear that man is trying to kill me by goading me into a fit of apoplexy! He had his requested chili dogs Thursday night for supper. I'd tried to entice him into Gas Station Chicken, but he said he'd rather have the chili dogs.

It's not like chili dogs are hard to make. I just cover an old pizza pan with foil, and slide the hot dogs into the oven while I warm a can of storebought Hot Dog Sauce, as they label it, on the back burner. Takes about 10 minutes. 15 tops, if you count dicing an onion for him, and pouring some pre-packaged cheddar cheese into a bowl.

Oh, yes! That's a must. Otherwise, Farmer H thinks nothing of digging his hands of questionable hygiene into the bag. I learned this lesson years ago. Uh huh. I get everything all ready for him. Short of laying out his buns. They might get stale. It's not my fault Farmer H grabs the OLDEST package of buns, which have already expired, and reaches inside (I'm not as finicky about my buns as I am about my cheese) and grabs a moldy one!

Anyhoo... I had everything ready. I'd set the pan with the hot dogs on the other back burner, on top of the better pizza pan, which I leave sitting there in case I need two pans, or a tray. Farmer H had already fixed his plate. I was kind of proud of him, except for the buns. He was almost self-sufficient! Even though he'd left the fork laying on the counter. The one I'd laid out for him, because he said he uses a fork, but no knife. Turns out he uses a serving spoon to eat his chili dogs. The one that had been used for the hot dog sauce.

Anyhoo... Farmer H had put his hot dogs on the buns, covered them with the sauce. The whole can, but he DID ask if I wanted any. I did not. I'd made myself a hot dog as well, but was planning to have SLAW with it! He had sprinkled on his cheese from the bowl. And topped that with the diced onions.

Yes, Farmer H had his whole plate ready to go, and started for his La-Z-Boy to feast. But then he came back! Still holding his plate in his right hand. "I do think I'll use this tray." He reached for the other pizza pan with his left hand. As I was screaming, "WAIT!" And trying to grab the hot dog pan.

Uh huh. Farmer H tried to pick up the better pizza pan under the worse pizza pan that still held my hot dog. Do you know what happens to a hot dog when the pan it's laying on is tilted?


All the way to the edge of the stove, where it jumps the little lip edge UNLESS MRS. HM IS THERE TO GRAB IT WITH HER FINGERS!

That's after the rescue, when I laid it back on the pan. Good thing I have cat-like reflexes! There would have been NOT-HEAVEN TO PAY if my hot dog rolled onto the floor! It was the last one!

If Farmer H wasn't so gosh-darn impatient, I could have picked up my hot dog, or gotten the pan off of the one he wanted to use. Any fool knows that you don't just tilt up a pizza pan to slide it out from under a pizza pan holding a hot dog!

Farmer H isn't just any fool, I guess.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Of Course

It just doesn't pay to be Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. Oh, what a wonderful world THAT would be, to draw a paycheck for simply being! Being me. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. Could my pay be docked if I wasn't feeling like myself one day? Could imposters get a share of my salary? We'll never know. Because once you read this, nobody will want to be Mrs. Hillbilly Mom.

Remember when I was bemoaning the change in Sardines in Mustard Sauce since I remembered them as a younger, future, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom? Well. Be careful what you bemoan the change in, is all I have to tell you! Okay. Not all. Of course I have more to tell you.

A few days ago, I bought more Sardines in Mustard Sauce, because I was running out. Wednesday, I opened up a can of the newest purchase. I know they were the newest, because I stacked them on a different shelf in my pantry, and the expiration date is newer. Or older. However that works.

They look quite the same on the outside:

But on the inside, there's one major difference.

See it there? ONE EXTRA SARDINE! Now there are four, instead of three. That's fine with me. But there's actually MORE than one major difference. The taste has changed, due to the mustard. Oh, the mustard itself is pretty much the same. But the sardines used to come with one end full of mustard, and the other end full of oil. I guess it has something to do with shipping, or how they were packaged.

Anyhoo... those sardines were quite tasty. But NOW, the oil end is a watery liquid. That's right. Thin and watery, kind of mustard-tinted. But not tasty. And there's not as much mustard. That photo is misleading, because that's the majority of the mustard right there. In fact, I had to bring a bottle of Dijon with me, to supplement my Sardines in Mustard Sauce.

Just sayin'. I bought SIX cans of them. Four are left. I might have to try the brand at Country Mart next time.

I can't help but believe I would still be chowing down on my delicious sardines if I hadn't complained about them coming three to a can rather than four...