Saturday, April 4, 2020

Nightmare At 12.5 Inches

Mrs. HM had a waking nightmare this week. Don't read this at night!

It was actually the early morning hours when fear handed Mrs. HM her butt. I don't mean to reveal too much about the Hillbilly marital bed, but here are some facts. Farmer H wears a C-PAP mask every night. He sleeps on the left side of the bed, the bathroom side. His position varies from lying on his back, to either side. Mrs. HM shies away from the C-PAP spray every night. She sleeps on the right side of the bed, the back-porch French door side.

My favorite sleeping position is on my left side. I can drape my lovely lady-mullet over my ear and face, to keep Farmer H's breather droplets out of my ear. After a couple hours of sleep, I get up for the bathroom. When I return, I sleep on my back for the next couple of hours. This exposes my face to Farmer H's breather droplets!

To prevent feeling the whoosh of breather air (and DROPLETS) on my face, I use a towel. A small soft kitchen towel, folded in half, and half again. I can prop it on my pillow, laying it alongside my face. That blocks the draft (and DROPLETS).

As I came back to bed from the bathroom, the twilight of dawn seeping through the French doors, I could not find my face towel. I squinted.

NOOOOO!!!!!

I found my face towel. It was DRAPED OVER THE TOP OF FARMER H's C-PAP MASK!

Whoa! I feel faint, just typing those words. My very special face towel, which I had just washed the day before, was now CONTAMINATED, getting contaminateder by the second, in direct contact with Farmer H's face mask, as he lay on his left side, face inches from my pillow! I snatched it away. Shook it out beside the bed. Asked Farmer H,

"WHAT IN THE NOT-HEAVEN ARE YOU DOING WITH MY FACE TOWEL?"

"Nothing. You put it on me."

"I did NOT! That's the last thing I would ever do! I use it to PROTECT myself from your germs! Why would I put my face towel right in the middle of all your germs?"

"I don't know. I didn't put it there. You did."

"NO, I DIDN'T! It must have fallen off the pillow as I got up. And you just LEFT it there? Who does that? Your breather is to give you extra air, yet you will lay there with a towel over your snout, blocking air!"

"I didn't touch your face towel, HM. You put it on me, and I knew if I touched it to get it off, you would have a fit."

"How would I know you moved it! You could have put it back on my pillow! It just fell off."

"I just left it where you put it, HM."

Sweet Gummi Mary! I might have to start keeping a hammer under the bed...

Friday, April 3, 2020

Mrs. HM Finds A Good Egg In Country Mart

Oh, my gosh! Country Mart was abuzz with people Wednesday afternoon. Between people getting their first-of-the-month money, and the county's impending stay-at-home order going into effect in the early morning hours of Friday, people were stocking up. The parking lot was almost 1/4 full! I did my stocking up on Tuesday (said the independently wealthy Mrs. HM, smugly), and was only in Country Mart for some deli chicken.

As long as I was there, though, I went two aisles over for some Pennysticks Butter Braided Pretzels, BBQ Pork Rinds, generic 3 x 4 bandaids, and triple antibiotic ointment. Imagine my surprise when I came back to the checkout, and saw three lines open, with five customers each. Let the record show that they were not maintaining a 6-foot distance from each other. I got in the first line, cooling my heels with my elbows on my cart-walker, rocking gently in front of the onion bin, prepared for a wait.

"Hon? Do you have anything that needs to be weighed?" The deli worker who had just bagged my chicken called to me. "Because I can ring you up over here."

"Oh, THANK YOU! You didn't have to do that."

"We just don't have anything to do over here. I'm glad to help. It gives me something to do."

"Well, thank you so much. I really appreciate it."

I was out of there in a jiffy. That deli worker is a good egg.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

He Had One Job To Do

As we returned from town Tuesday, with Farmer H riding shotgun, I pulled up to Mailbox Row for him to get out for the mail. Imagine my surprise, as I sat in T-Hoe, still in the road, blinker on, when Farmer H started perusing the junk mail he had pulled out of EmBee! Looking through the monthly ads with fast-food coupons. Finally he got back in. As we started up the gravel road, I broached the subject.

"WHY were you looking through the junk mail while I was parked in the road?"

"LOOK! It's like a check for $10,000! It looks real. An old person could believe that it's real! But it's something about insurance."

"Sounds like you almost fell for it."

"No."

Farmer H pulled out the other mail.

"Neighbor Dog-Clipper, Neighbor Dog-Clipper, Neighbor Dogclipper's Husband..."

"Well, crap! All that time you stood there, and you didn't notice you had the wrong mail?"

"Nope."

"I'm turning around as soon as I get to the side road! You're going to put that in her mailbox, and look in hers for OUR mail, and also in the box on the other side of us for OUR mail!"

Farmer H did, but we had no mail in those two boxes. We kept the fast-food coupons.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Danged If I Do, Danged If I Don't

HEELLLP MEEEE!

Tuesday, Farmer H and I made a joint trip to the Devil's Playground. I was actually fool enough to suggest it! I had a hand in my own non-demise! I even decreed that I would be driving. No sweaving this time, with me as a captive passenger!

For the most part, Farmer H was a complacent companion. He started out giving T-Hoe's speedometer the side-eye. Not because there was anything wrong with my driving, of course. I'm pretty sure he was trying to find fault. It's not like I go off the pavement, or hit the wake-up bumps. He's always claiming that he's followed me, and that I drive too fast on the county road. Au contraire. I informed him, lest he strain his good eye, that "I'm going 45 miles an hour." He claims that I drive 55 on this road. Nope.

On the way home, on the sharp curve by the prison, I SPIED A ROADWALKER! Not an escaped prisoner or anything. He was coming from out our way, toward the prison. But he was WALKING ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD. On the pavement! There is no shoulder. No sidewalk. To add insult to my driving, and his possible injury, a car was coming from the opposite direction. I could not cross the center line to give the walker room to live!

I squeezed the brakes to slow down, so as not to strike this RoadWalker. Farmer H threw himself forward and slammed back. I'd almost give him an Oscar for his acting. Almost. He actually threw himself backwards while I was still braking. It doesn't work that way. That fling shouldn't have come until I stopped braking. I'm a former physics teacher, you know.

Anyhoo...the oncoming car passed, and I was able to swing T-Hoe over the center line to give the RoadWalker his very precious entitled space to continue to live.

"What? Did you want me to hit him? Don't be so dramatic."

I sensed a smirk in my peripheral vision. On we went, down the blacktop lettered highway, and made our turn onto the blacktop county road that would eventually take us to Mailbox Row. Here came a car from the other direction. There's not even a center line on this road. I made sure to get over so the car and T-Hoe both had room to pass.

Farmer H threw himself sideways like one of those air-pumped, Gumby-looking things that sway to and fro advertising used car lots.

"WHAT?"

"You almost hit that mailbox!"

"You're full of it. I'd have to run off the road to hit that mailbox. Did I run off the road? NO. I was nowhere near that mailbox. This road is barely wide enough for two cars, after all the times they re-blacktop, and squeeze in from the edge, making it narrower and narrower."


"I drive this road every day, HM."


"Me too. Have I EVER run off the road? NO. But somebody in here has..."

So let's recap. Farmer H didn't think I should have braked and gone around the RoadWalker. But he apparently thought I should brake, then swerve over the middle because of a mailbox not even in the road, but beside the pavement.

Farmer H can really be a horse's butt sometimes. All the time. I'm so used to it, his little act didn't even bother me. I was more bothered by the bad luck he brought me on my scratchers. And by his behavior at the mailboxes....

More on that tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

In The Mansion Boudoir With The Stir-Crazy Hillbillies

Times are tough here in Hillmomba. With his recreational outlets closed, Farmer H is crazier than usual. It seems to have invaded his dreams. Get a load of THIS!

FARMER H IS PRETTY SURE I'M TRYING TO KILL HIM!

Heh, heh! What's bad for the goose is bad for the gander. Maybe it's his guilty subconscious talking to him in his sleep. When I returned to bed from a bathroom trip, and he was getting up for one...Farmer H broke the silence of the dark, and said,

"Whew! I was having a dream that you was trying to kill me. You and your boyfriend. You was hittin' me in the head with a HAMMER! We was over by the UPS Store and Little Caesar's. I grabbed you by the arm, and ran you down to the police station. Once we got there, I tried to tell them that you were trying to kill me, but YOU TOLD THEM I WAS TRYING TO KILL YOU!"

"Well, if you made me run to the police station, you were OBVIOUSLY trying to kill me!"

"YOU were killing ME! With a HAMMER!"

Farmer H went on to do his business while I made myself comfortable in the marital bed. He's a flopper, that Farmer H. Like a jolly good fellow being tossed in a blanket. He jounces me out of my comfortable position. If we tried that wine glass test on a mattress, it would shatter against the ceiling as Farmer H flopped on his side. He has also been waking me up lately, shaking the entire bed like he's having convulsions. I mentioned that to him.

"Yeah. Sometimes I wake myself up doing that. Maybe I AM having convulsions."

Anyhoo...I'd just gotten back to sleep. Suddenly, I was vaulted about three inches off the mattress by one of Farmer H's flipping flops.

I SO wanted to mutter, "Where's my hammer?"

For the sake of a sleep-stealing argument, I let it go...

Monday, March 30, 2020

Loitering On The Lot Of The Gas Station Chicken Store

Sunday, after allowing Typhoid Farmer H to dress my leg wound, I headed to the Gas Station Chicken Store for my magical elixir and lone human contact. As I was leaving my driveway, a text came in. It was from my favorite gambling aunt. I haven't heard from her for a month or so, since our last lunch date at the Pizza Hut that was closed with a plumber's truck outside.

"How are you doing? I 'm staying in, have for the past 2 weeks. Stay safe. How does ****** like his new job?"

Let the record show that ****** is the name of Genius's friend. Only Auntie had spelled it one letter off, as does my best old ex-teaching buddy Mabel. They follow Genius on Facebook, so I thought maybe this was some insider knowledge that I had not yet acquired. I'm not on Facebook.

"I'm driving to town now. Did ****** get a NEW job? Haven't heard from Genius in a week or so."

Last I heard, ****** was doing the same job, but had switched from a company that contracted with the big-name employer, to the payroll of the actual big-name employer. Surely Genius would have updated me of any other news. ****** is like family to us.

Anyhoo...as soon as I got to town and parked, I called Auntie. She's a talker, you know. In fact, at the very beginning of the call, I said,

"I can only talk five minutes. I'm on the parking lot at the Gas Station Chicken Store, and if Woman Owner is here, she'll call the police on me for loitering. She runs a tight ship."

Auntie agreed, and proceeded to tell me about her last two weeks of going absolutely nowhere. Like I said, she's a talker. We went on and on. I made four of five attempts to end our chat, without success. Before I knew it, 30 minutes had passed. It was sunny and 70, and the side of my face was getting hot from the sun coming in T-Hoe's window.

"Okay. I really have to go now. I only called because I got that text from you about ******."

Silence.

"Unless that wasn't actually meant for me..."

Turns out it WASN'T!!! Auntie has a grandson by the name of ******, which is one letter off from the name of Genius's friend. And the grandson really DID get a new job!

Oh, well. It was nice talking to Auntie. Even though I could have done it another time, from the comfort of home.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Mrs. HM Is FAR OUT

Sweet Gummi Mary! I just had the most scathingly STUPID idea!

Let the record show that I don't actually believe this idea. If I was a fiction writer, which I'm not, I'd run with it. A kind of horror (more likely horrible, if I wrote it) short story. A Twilight Zone-ish tale.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Here's what put this bee in my bonnetless noggin.

I was reading the local newspaper online. The lead story was the VIRUS. The article was from the county health center, the tracker of our local community infections. It had a link to show the current cases, with a chart.

Our county has four people who have tested positive. Twenty-three who have tested negative. The positives are all women, in the age categories of 1 in 20-29, 1 in 30-39, and 2 in 40-49. Of the four cases, one was a guest at a wedding, who was in close contact with an infected guest showing symptoms. Her occupation is not given, so I assume she does not work.

Here's where I got this plot idea:

The other three positive gals ARE HOME HEALTH CARE WORKERS IN ANOTHER COUNTY!

Sure, they could have picked it up in the other county, getting gas or lunch, or at their workplace, maybe. I don't know if they all work for the same company, though. Or if such workers have to go to the office every day before making their visits. So I don't have any facts for my story I'm not writing. All I know is that most home health care workers assist with household tasks, or check vitals, or give meds to the elderly. The prime group this VIRUS seems most deadly for.

My story idea: WHAT IF THE ELDERLY ARE THE ONES SPREADING THE VIRUS?

It could work. A whole nursing home full of elderly was the major hotspot at the beginning. WHAT IF a worker didn't bring it to them, but they gave it to the worker? And to visitors. Then it started spreading.

What if it works backwards like that? And that's the reason the elderly are recommended to stay at home. Because THEY are the spreaders! Everybody is trying to protect them but the reveal is that the general populace needs protection from the elderly.

How could that happen? We know that old people get a special flu shot. And a pneumonia shot. What if some dastardly villain gave them a shot from a special batch, and something in those vaccinations set off the VIRUS? Of course the villain would have also given himself and his fellow villains wishing to rule the world an actual, preventative vaccine to protect them ahead of time.

Again, I don't mean this to be serious. Just a thought for a plot. It's scientifically possible. Kids spread the flu, because they get the flu mist, which is a LIVE, weakened flu virus. It's called the attenuated flu virus mist. It actually gives them a mild case of the flu, so they can make antibodies to protect them from catching the real, unweakened flu. Anyhoo... when they're coughing and sneezing, they are spreading actual flu. That's why they shouldn't have the mist if they're not healthy, or live with immunocompromised  people.

I wish I could write fiction. If I had any talent, I could have another The Stand ready to flow from my fingertips. I'm wordy enough, but too plagiaristic.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

For A Man Who Doesn't Use It, Farmer H Is Overly Concerned

You may recall that on Friday the 13th, Farmer H was in a panic because This Guy's Wife put on Facebook that the Devil's Playground was out of toilet paper. I told him it was plentiful at Country Mart, so he said to get some. It has been in T-Hoe since then.

Last week, Farmer H said a guy at the storage units had bought up a large amount of toilet paper. A whole storage unit full! And that he was selling it for $5 a roll! Heh, heh. Little did I know what a bargain it was that the Gas Station Chicken Store had single rolls stacked on their counter for 87 cents apiece.

Anyhoo... Sunday evening, Farmer H sent a text to my BRIGHTER THAN THE SURFACE OF THE SUN basement lair. [TWO of my four lights have been replaced!]

"I just got a roll of toilet paper out. I thought you just bought some toilet paper we only have five rolls left"

"They are still in the car. You have had two shopping trips to bring them in. Two packs of four rolls. $40 worth, according to your buddy!"

"Okay just wondering ill get it later"

"Okay. Hope the neighborhood thieves don't rob us!"

"Hahaha"

At this typing, there are only three rolls in the hall closet. I suppose Farmer H will remember to bring in his precious paper treasure soon enough.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Smaller, In Comparison, Than Scarlett O'Hara's 17-Inch Waist

Sweet Gummi Mary! If it's not expired mayonnaise, it's a starving chicken!

I treated myself to some chicken tenders this week. Hardee's, because those in the Country Mart deli case were not at all appetizing, and the clerk herself mentioned to the other clerk, "Those are some crispy critters!"

Anyhoo...only the Hardee's drive thru is open. Fine with me. That's all I use anyway. I got home with my chicken, and set out a plate. Paper, sure. But STILL a plate! Mrs. HM is civilized.

It's always a mystery as to whether my bring-home food will be in the acceptable range. You know my luck. Even Steven must have signed a decree that I can only have normal food 50 percent of the time. This was NOT one of those times.

LOOK AT THAT! It's more of a chicken TOUGH than a chicken TENDER! Sure, there's some meat on the right end. And possibly meat in the blob on the left end. But that middle part is NOT meat! It's either sinew coated with batter, or it's just batter.

I do not wish for my chicken to have a wasp waist! I guess this is how they pass it off as a tender. Otherwise, if the parts were separate, they would be nuggets.

I know, I know...take it back and complain. YOU take it back and complain! Drive five miles (10 minutes) there, and 5 miles (10 minutes back). By then, I've worked up an appetite that needs MORE than this tender was worth. And I'm not going to be that person who sits at the window, opening the container and fingering every tender to see if it meets my not-really-high-at-all standards.

As Farmer H says, I just like to complain.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Mrs. HM Would Like To Make A Citizen's Arrest

oooOOOooo, oooOOOooo, weOOO, weOOO, weOOO, weOOO, weOOO, weOOO...

Oh. That's just how I image you'd write the sound of an Australian police siren. After googling it and listening to a clip. I can't verify that's the actual sound, though.

CALL THE COPPERS! There's a criminal in Hillmomba, and that criminal is Country Mart! Action must be taken! Since they keep getting away with it here, I'm turning them in to the Australian authorities.

COUNTRY MART IS SELLING EXPIRED FOOD AGAIN!

There I was, just rollin' down the aisle, singin' "doo wah diddy dum diddy doo... "

Oh, wait! No I wasn't! That was Bill Murray, before he got his STRIPES. Mrs. HM was actually rolling her cart/walker down the aisle, seeking Ken's Steakhouse Blue Cheese Salad Dressing, and Kraft Mayonnaise. Country Mart had every kind of Ken's but Blue Cheese. So I took a Kraft version. The mayonnaise was on the bottom shelf.

WHOA! A red sign taped to the edge proclaimed that Kraft Mayonnaise, the 30 oz jar, was TWO FOR $3.00! That's a bargain! I almost tipped over on my noggin, bending down to grab two jars. I had to reach way in the back. The shelf was nearly depleted.

HOLD ON A MINUTE! What was that fine print on the red sign?

Reduced for sale due to close expiration date

Huh. Probably okay. I use a lot of mayo. Let's see here. What's the date on my jars? Feb 2020? No way! And the other one? Jan 2020!

Sweet Gummi Mary! That's not CLOSE to the expiration date! In my book, the proposed tome I like to call Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's Common Sense, those dates are EXPIRED! Technically, in a court of slipshod U.S. law, Country Mart would probably get off with a wrist slap because January and February are CLOSE to March. If you don't count going backwards as being a bad thing in regards to an expiration date on perishable food.

Sure, if I'd had a jar in my cabinet, I'd use it a month or two past the date. NOT if it had been open in FRIG II. I might go one month past for open mayo. But I'll be darned if I'll PAY to buy already-expired food! If the chip man wanted to lay out individual bags of chips on the table in the Teacher Workroom at Newmentia, yeah, I'd take a couple. They're CHIPS. Not MAYO. And FREE.

Anyhoo...I put those jars right back on the shelf, and picked up a squeeze bottle that was the next closest in size to what I wanted. Dang. I paid $3.49 for the 22 oz squeeze bottle. But at least it didn't expire until JULY. Of 2020! I checked!



There's my old jar of Kraft Mayo, and the new bottle. Country Mart should be ashamed.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The EGGSacerbation Of Mrs. HM, Part 3: The Let-Down

Unlike the long-neck ice-cold beer of Luke Combs, Farmer H and the Gas Station Chicken Store have broken my heart. Let me down! Just when I needed them most.

Sunday, Farmer H called at 10:30 to say he was leaving his Storage Unit Store, due to lack of business. He was running by a guy's house to get a fishing pole welded, and then taking some old blankets and sheets from his storage unit stash to our neighbor who groomed Marley, for her to use in her second shop. Then he was coming home.

Of course I assumed Farmer H would be there shortly. Like, by 1:00, at the latest. Even if he got to talking, as he is wont to do. 2.5 hours is plenty of time to weld a fishing pole and drop off bedding. I waited. The plan being to remove my egg-blister bandaid for a shower, and then be re-bandaged before going to town.

When 2:45 rolled around, with no Farmer H, I took a shower anyway. I blotted the (still-yellowish) clear fluid from my egg-blister, washed it with soap and water, blotted more fluid, and put on pants for town. As I've mentioned, I can't get a 3 x 4 inch bandaid over the borders of that blister without sticking the sticky part on the blister itself. It's in an inconvenient location, kind of cockeyed, that is fine for one-hand tending, but awkward for two. For me, anyway. I'm no skeleton clicking my bones together while contorting. There's ample padding on my bones.

Anyhoo...I started to town, that 44 oz Diet Coke on my mind. It's the simple things, you know. Life hasn't ended. It's only slowed down. Contact with one person a day is a risk I'm willing to take.

I noticed that town was not busy. Nor was the Gas Station Chicken Store. Sometimes Sundays are like that. But town seemed emptier this day. I parked in my favorite spot near the door, and picked up my coin cup to get correct change. I saw a lady and girl walk over from the far side of the lot, from a truck pulling a camper. They got to the front door, looked, and turned around. Left!

Huh. That was odd. I backed up and pulled through the pump area. Looked at the door. There was a homemade message on the door.

CLOSED. We decided to go home for the day. See you tomorrow!

Darn that Farmer H! He's certainly not trying to kill me with kindness...

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The EGGSacerbation Of Mrs. HM, Part 2: The Germsman

Yesterday, I concluded with my home-care plan to doctor my leg blister. Sweet Gummi Mary, it's hard enough to get in to see a doctor with an actual injury these days! Imagine Mrs. HM seeking treatment with something so trivial as an egg-sized leg blister...

Anyhoo, after my shower, I gathered a clean towel to place under my leg, and laid on the bed for Farmer H to minister to me with a needle soaked in alcohol, to let the fluid out of the blister, and leave the skin intact for protection. The skin is your body's first line of defense against infection, you know. The procedure went well on Thursday morning. I was satisfied with my health-care non-professional. The fluid was drained, and a bandage applied.

Friday was another matter.

Farmer H fiddled about in the bathroom, door open, getting the 3 x 4 inch bandage out of the wrapper, and the poking implement. I had instructed a needle, but he had used a PIN he found in my mini sewing kit. I took his word for it that he soaked the pin in alcohol. However...I did not hear the sink water running.

"Did you wash your hands?"

"Yes...I washed my hands."

With that, Farmer H walked across the end of the bed, on his way to my side, and

BLEW ON HIS HAND!

"WHAT are you DOING? You have that cold! WHY are you blowing on your hand?"

"I'm not blowing on my hand. I'm blowing on the pin. To dry off the alcohol."

"WHAT??? The alcohol is to disinfect it from stuff like your breath! You might as well lick it! All the virus that you're breathing out is getting on the pin that you're going to stick into my flesh! Can you imagine a doctor blowing on his surgical instruments before an operation? They wear a MASK, so they don't breath on the scalpel, or into the cut-open patient!"

"I'm only drying it off."

AS IF having a bit of alcohol get past my skin defense and into my raw flesh could harm me!

I'm pretty sure Farmer H is trying to kill me. On Saturday, the clear fluid that had been filling the blister had a yellowish tint. I'm pretty sure my leg caught Farmer H's cold.

Monday, March 23, 2020

The EGGSacerbation Of Mrs. HM, Part 1: The Blistering

Farmer H, the bane of my existence, one day after outright trying to kill me (I'm pretty sure), let me down on Sunday. More on the attempted killing tomorrow, perhaps. The letting-down the day after tomorrow. YEP! You got yourself a 3-parter again!

Anyhoo...let the record show that Mrs. HM has a giant blister on the side of her leg. I'd show you a picture, but it's not pretty. It's on the outside edge of my left calf, about the size of an egg, full of clear fluid. Like I said, a blister. As if from a sunburn, friction from a rough shoe heel, or a burn. I have no idea how this happened!

My best guess is that I got too close to my underdesk heater for too long.

Wednesday evening, we got back from our six-hour drive (one hour added by a Farmer H detour, which will be discussed elsewhere). Riding in A-Cad, my legs take a beating. Not from Farmer H's sweaving knocking them around, but from being trapped in the car. Even with stops every two hours, my legs stiffen up terribly. Getting out is a chore, trying to bend my knees enough to get my feet out and on the pavement. One part of my left leg rubs against the frame of the car as I slide out. A-Cad is too low for running boards, but too high to simply step in or out.

Anyhoo...I remember rubbing my leg on the car frame when Farmer H let me out in the driveway. It didn't hurt any more than usual. When I changed into my lair clothes, I saw nor felt anything wrong. Sitting at New Delly, I had on the heater to take the chill off the basement. It gets nice and toasty. Even the old clear plastic mat for rolly-chair rolling has scorch marks on the wrinkles. I can't hold my hand down there for long, because it gets too hot. Like trying to hold your hand over a candle. Not that I've ever done that.

Anyhoo...sometimes my legs or ankles get an itch, and I use my telescoping metal backscratcher hand to scratch the itch, pulling up my blue sweatpants leg with the gray and white stripes. I'd done that a couple times. AHH! The relief! I was all toasty and scratched. As the heater would get too hot, I'd turn it off. Then back on when I got chilly. A couple times, I reached down to scratch my leg with my hand, since it wasn't out of range so far as to need the backscratcher.

About the time I was ready to call it a night, and move out to my OPC (Old People Chair), I reached down for a scratch. Huh. That felt weird. Like a knot. But squishy. Hm. Maybe I was getting a bruise from rubbing my leg on the side of A-Cad. Perhaps the heat had exacerbated the swelling. It didn't hurt. I thought no more of it. Didn't even look. Just a bruise.

The next morning, when I was up to use the facilities, I reached down to see if my knot had gone away. NOPE! It was a giant egg filled with fluid! A slight bruise above the area, but the knot itself was a big blister! It was just far enough around the side of my leg that I couldn't get a big bandaid on it myself. I couldn't see all the edges, to keep from sticking that 3 x 4 inch bandage on the fragile blistery part.

Farmer H followed my instructions to pierce that flap of skin with an alcohol-soaked needle, just to let the fluid out. Like you do a heel blister, if you're in college running five miles a day, breaking in new shoes. Leave the skin on for healing, but let the fluid out. It's not painful. Just weird.

Although Farmer H tried to utilize that method to kill me on Day 2...

Sunday, March 22, 2020

What We Have Here Is A Failure To Entitlementate

You're not gonna believe this one! Not after two days hearing about the entitled weirdos drawn to Mrs. HM's weirdo magnet. Nope. It was a miracle. One for the records. One for the calendar.

Saturday, I went to Save A Lot for romaine lettuce, shredded cheese, tomatoes, sour cream, tortillas, paper plates, TV dinners, and hot dog buns. Yes. The last two were for Farmer H. Anyhoo...you'd have thought it was the day before Thanksgiving! The long narrow parking lot was full! As I drove around to come up the other side, a car backed out, and I got a space. Yay, me!

As you might imagine, the self-bagging counter along the front window was full of people after I paid. Again, somebody left, so I got their spot. I had a sturdy box, but wasn't sure if I'd have overflow and need a bag. They're on stands along the counter. I parked my cart near one, but not in front of it.

As I was boxing, a man pushed his cart right next to mine.

"Oh, I'm sorry, Ma'am. Were you using these bags? I don't mean to get in your way."

"No. I think I'm fine with the box. You're not bothering me."

"Well, if you need a bag, just ask, and I'll hand one over to you."

WHAT IN THE NOT-HEAVEN???

How did I find a nice, polite guy in Save A Lot? Let the record show, he looked like Dr. Mark Greene, from ER.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Offhand Joke, Or Premonition?

Friday, while out mailing the boys' weekly letters, I stopped by the School-Turn Casey's for scratchers. I bought four. As the clerk was tearing them off the rolls, and laying them on the counter, three slipped over the edge.

"Darn it! I hate it when that happens!"

"Heh, heh! They're too heavy, because they're winners full of money."

"Wouldn't that be great, if they were all winners?"

"I've had that happen before. Not often. But it's happened. From this store, too."

I brought my tickets home. Didn't get around to scratching them until after 5:30. THREE of the four were winners! A $15, a $15, and a $10. I doubled my money!

The bottom two tickets have part of their winnings from the second chance on the back, lest you think I am lying about my winnings. AS IF Mrs. HM would dare to violate the Truth in Blogging Law!

Surely it was just a coincidence that they slipped over the edge of the counter...

Friday, March 20, 2020

Entitledee Or Entitledumb?

I think they call ahead to tip each other off! ANOTHER entitledee found me on Monday. In Steelville, Missouri. Yes, the very next day, sixty miles away, Mrs. HM was again subjected to somebody who considered himself special.

Farmer H and I were on our way to Oklahoma. We stopped, as usual, to use the restrooms in the Steelville Casey's. Of course donuts were also in the picture, and scratchers. Farmer H had made his purchase while I was still using the facilities.

I came out to buy my scratchers. I stood at the counter while the clerk rustled around behind the scratcher case. I didn't want to be rude. I waited for her to step over and make eye contact. An old man came up behind me in line. He held a plastic coffee cup in his hand, even though a big red sign on the door said NO REFILLS DUE TO CORONAVIRUS.

As I waited for the clerk's eye contact, Old Man waved a dollar bill over the top of the scratcher case.

"While she's making up her mind."

The clerk looked at him. Took his dollar.

"I know exactly what I want. I was waiting my turn."

Heh, heh. I guess I showed HIM! Don't trifle with Mrs. HM in a Casey's line. She's over that Crazy Donut Man from back home.

"I thought there was no coffee refills," added Farmer H, my knight in second-hand scuffed armor.

Old Man went on his merry way. The clerk apologized.

"I was waiting for you to get finished."

"I know what you were doing. Some people!"

You can't really blame the clerk. I was the lesser of two evils. She was pretty sure I wouldn't make a big cranky to-do about Old Man jumping ahead. And pretty sure HE would have, if she told him to wait his turn.

I'm still waiting to inherit the earth...

Thursday, March 19, 2020

The Entitlement Simply Oozed Out Of This One

Old People Problems. Mrs. HM sighs heavily, adjusts her shawl, and pounds her cane on the linoleum floor with her liver-spotted, palsied hand. Wait until you hear THIS one!

Sunday, I headed towards the double glass doors of Orb k. They both open out. Have a vertical metal handle to grab and pull. I stayed right, as with proper traffic etiquette, and saw through the left-side door. A dude was about to come out.

I hoped we didn't have that awkward moment when both doors opened dead even, making us squeeze through at the same time. Oh, there's room. It's just odd timing when that happens.

Well. I needn't have worried. Dude hung back. I opened my door and walked in. I gave it a little extra oomph, because I'm slow, and it stayed open a second, didn't slam on my heels.

Dude darted over and went out MY open door! Is that the height of entitlement, or WHAT? A Dude about 23 years old, waiting for an old lady to open up her own door, and then using her effort to exit without expending any of his own.

At least he didn't come out and shove the door shut in front of me.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Hillmomban Columbo Solves Marley Mystery

Farmer H has solved the mystery of Marley's disappearance! As you may recall, Marley is the little white fluffy dog we took in when HOS (Farmer H's Oldest Son) moved to town. Marley didn't get along with Jack, and liked to roam too far if let out of his pen.

After Marley had been gone for over two weeks, I suggested that Farmer H inform HOS and family. He sent a text asking if they came to get Marley, and the answer from HOS was:

"Marley showed up at our house."

That was a head-scratcher, wondering how Marley could have found his way 10 miles, through a couple towns, to a house he might have ridden to once.

Anyhoo...Farmer H's plan was to get information from HOSS (Farmer H's Oldest Son's Son) when he took him out for pizza once a week. We got busy around the time we visited The Pony in Oklahoma for our February birthdays, and then there was some bad weather on pizza night, and then Farmer H was busy helping a friend in the hospital from a heart attack. So I wasn't until last week that the pizza nights resumed.

"Did you find out about Marley?"

"Yeah. I said, 'How did Marley get to your house?' And HOSS said, 'Dad came and got him.' So HOS knew all along how Marley got there, because HE came to get him! Marley didn't just show up at their house!"

Well. That's a curious fact. It's not like we wanted to keep Marley for ourselves. I don't get the secrecy. But now the mystery is solved, by our detective who doesn't show the slightest bit of finesse.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

We Have Nothing To Fear But Other People's Fear

A few weeks ago, my sister the ex-mayor's wife asked if we wanted to meet up for a mini casinopalooza. Of course we did! I guess I could call it a CasPlooza. Just the four of us, not the whole family. Sis and the Ex-Mayor would be leaving earlier, taking a different leg of a larger palooza, with more family.

Theirs would include time in Hillbilly Vegas, which everyone probably knows better as Branson. Not to Silver Dollar City, but to that Dolly horse extravaganza hand-eating show.

Sis contacted me last week.

"Are you afraid of the coronavirus?"

"Nope."

We left it like that for a few days. Then I called her.

"Are YOU afraid? We won't care if you decided to cancel. We can cancel our free rooms. But we'd probably just go anyway."

"OH, WE'RE GOING! I'm not afraid! Ex-Mayor thinks we shouldn't go. He gets EVERYTHING like that. He's had bird flu and swine flu and SARS and Ebola and the Zika virus, and something to do with tomatoes. I forget what that was about. Anyway, he always thinks he has it. I'm going to tell him to take some of those face masks he wears while mowing the yard, and then act like he's not with us. And if he doesn't like it, he can just sit in the car, or go back to the room!"

Heh, heh! The room where the maid has touched everything, and former occupants have done unspeakable acts. She'd better not mention that part.

Monday, March 16, 2020

The Pony And Genius Are Uprooted, Yet Not

The Pony's spring break is this week. Looks like it might be a little longer than he planned. Not that he's coming home, of course! That's not his style. The slow internet is the kicker. Anyhoo, The Pony sent me a text on Thursday.

"It's official. OU is going to virtual classes after break, until at least April 3."

"So will you have to move out of your university apartment?"

"No. It's not closing campus, and even when campus as a whole is closed the dorms and housing are usually open."

"Okay. What about your research?"

"It's not closing campus. Research and faculty stuff still goes on just fine."

"Well, this is the best scenario for you."

The Pony has been studying for tests. Trying to decipher some professor notes. It's all greek to me. My advice was: "Find a word you know. See how the letters are formed, and try to match them up elsewhere." Hope I'm not telling any tales out of school by releasing this!



Genius also sent me a text. On Friday morning. His are rarer than The Pony's.

"Guess who's working from home until April."

"I just posed that question in the letter I wrote you last night!"

"Well sorry to spoil your surprise then lol."

"Hope you don't go stir crazy in your new home office."

"It's been two days and I already have cabin fever!"

Heh, heh. It's kind of nice, being RETIRED, so not in school, not at work. Nothing is going to disrupt my routine. Unless it has to do with toilet paper.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

The Madness Has Reached Hillmomba

Our sleepy little enclave has been puttering along, not a care in the world other than mailbox weirdos and would-be dognappers and truck runners-off-the-road and take-out-food swindlers. Yes, Hillmomba is an idyllic place to drop anchor.

In fact, the recently publicized frenzy to hoard toilet paper and bottled water and hand sanitizer had not reared its horrendous head in Hillmomba. Until Thursday.

Farmer H sent me a text at 9:50 p.m. Him in the La-Z-Boy, me in my dark basement lair.

"This Guy's Wife just posted that she did an order for walmart pickup and toilet paper was not available"

"Well, they are either rationing, or the people panicked after the Presidential address Wednesday. The shelves were full when I was there last Thursday. If you are scared, I will pick up some toilet paper in Country Mart tomorrow!"

"Not scared I can wash my butt in the shower"

"Heh, heh! Amazon won't sell some stuff because people are jacking up the price and reselling. Like hand sanitizer."

"Im sure it will sell high at auction"

"If she put that on Facebook, now 50 people will rush to buy it off the shelves everywhere."

"She put it on face book"

Friday morning, Farmer H called from his Storage Unit Store.

"My buddy said he was at Walmart, and the toilet paper shelves were empty! Also the sanitizer."

"See? They all read it from This Guy's Wife last night!"

I came out of Country Mart, and sent Farmer H a text while he was at the doctor.

"Plenty of toilet paper in Country Mart. They have signs that limit each person to 4 packages. You might want to tell your buddy. I didn't think to look at the hand sanitizer."

Thank the Gummi Mary, Farmer H did not bring up the SHOWER THING again!

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Infraction Number Four Might Have Mrs. HM Knock, Knock, Knockin' On (Hopefully) Heaven's Door

Yes. I know. It's been...

Two days since you read the first, shook your fist and maybe then cursed. 
One day since I slaked your thirst, finished up just like I rehearsed.
Three days that I've dragged it out, I know it's my fault, but please hear me out.
Maybe today you'll forgive me, allow me to say that I'm sorry...

Okay. Enough appropriation of that song that perhaps Blog Buddy Sioux will recognize. I can't help it that just when I thought it was safe to go back to Country Mart's deli...the worst infraction of all was discovered.

Farmer H sliced up that baked chicken, and ate some on a night that I had part of the pork steak. When I came upstairs, I saw Farmer H balancing a paper plate with baked chicken skin and bony carcass on his leg. We KNOW how good Farmer H is at balancing things on paper plates, don't we?

"Watch out! You'll spill your chicken."

"That's okay. I'm done with it."

Let's pretend that Farmer H didn't act like it would be perfectly okay to spill chicken on the carpet. It's not like we have house dogs to come hoover it up.

"You didn't eat all of it."

"No. It was pink in the middle. I put it in the microwave, but it's still pink."

"Huh. Sometimes it gets like that along the bone."

I didn't think any more of it. Farmer H took his plate and dumped it on the back porch boards for Juno. Jack is going to learn that you snooze, you lose, when Farmer H is tossing out his garbage. I'm sure Jack got a good licking off those porch boards, though.

Anyhoo...on Thursday, I got out the chicken and put it in a roaster pan in the oven to warm it. I even forgot. It spend 20 minutes in there, at 300 degrees. You might think I had over-warmed it, and dried it out. Which happens with my fried chicken sometimes.

Anyhoo...I grabbed a slice of Nutty Oat bread, and headed to my lair. I cut into the flat part of the wing, and ate it. Hm. It was okay. Not as tasty as The Devil's chicken. Then again, it was just plain, not lemon pepper. The skin was brown, but didn't show any flavoring. In fact, the skin itself was rubbery and inedible. That's okay. It happens when you warm up a cold chicken.

I tried to twist off the drum part of the wing, but it was sturdily attached. Usually, a baked chicken falls off the bone. You can hardly get it from the warming pan onto the plate. I twisted and twisted and hacked and hacked with my knife. Nope. I just cut off some meat and ate it. Just okay.

Next, I tried to twist loose the leg. AW NOT-HEAVEN NO! It would not release. When I finally got a knife through the skin, like I was slitting open a patient for surgery...I saw that the meat was PINK! Not near a bone. PINK chicken. It wasn't done!

I shoved that carcass away from me to dole out to Jack and Juno. I suppose they'd put something on the breast of the chicken to make it brown up in their oven. But they sure didn't cook it nearly long enough!

You can bet that I am going to make a snide remark about the baked chicken, next time I go to Country Mart's deli!

Farmer H has not yet died of E. coli. I guess you'll find out whether I do if this story never comes to light. Oh, wait...

Friday, March 13, 2020

Third Infraction Comes To Light, I Hope You Were Able To Sleep Last Night.

Let's hope that curiosity didn't kill you cats! I know waiting overnight to hear the rest of a story is not something you would choose, but contrary to popular opinion, there IS a limit to odd things I can blog about.

I stopped at Country Mart with a list. One item was DELI, and I went hog wild with the chicken tenders, BBQ pork steak, and also a pre-packaged baked chicken. Farmer H still had hot dogs left, but I told him later he could eat them for lunch the next day, or I'd throw them BACK on the porch boards for the dogs to eat. Anyhoo...we're set for a few meals.

Also on my list were Bounce for the laundry, tomatoes, sweet Vidalia-style onions (they were OUT), solid white albacore tuna, Ritz crackers, and chips. I stuck to my list.

As usual, I grouped my items at the checkout for how I wanted them bagged. You know, cold with cold, soft with soft, etc. Except I didn't have anything cold or very soft. Save the tomatoes. My main goal was to get that box of Bounce put in with the two cans of tuna. Bounce if quite fragrant, you know.

I'll be darned if that friendly little checker gal didn't sneak my Bounce into the bag with my Ritz crackers! Sweet Gummi Mary! I know the Ritzs are wrapped and in a box, but they're just the kind of item and wrapping that will let such a strong fragrance through. When I got out to T-Hoe, I took my Ritz out and set them aside. At every other stop, T-Hoe REEKED of Bounce fragrance every time I opened the door.

I guess that little gal hasn't had much experience with Bounce.

Don't cut her a break and say she was only putting boxes with boxes! The baked chicken went into a bag alone, because it had liquid in the bottom of the container, and I asked for that. Who's meek NOW, huh? Not Mrs. HM.

The foam BBQ pork steak and the foam chicken tender boxes went into a bag together. The chips went together. But then she put my FOUR TOMATOES ON THE STEM in a bag with two giant cans of tuna, and the Ritz, and the Bounce! Seriously? Is there a shortage of plastic bags?

I really hate to do this to you...but a NEW infraction was discovered since the original two-part story. Of course, it will have to wait until tomorrow...

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Three Infractions, One Store. You'll Have To Read Tomorrow To Find Out More.

Is that a dirty trick? Stringing you along until tomorrow? I think not! I'm teaching you PATIENCE! You know, I've heard that sometimes we teach BEST, what we need most to LEARN.

Anyhoo...quit your bellyachin'! You're getting two of the three infractions today.

I fear that I will have to start making my food at home, and give up on expecting fair treatment from COUNTRY MART! They sure like yanking the Charlie Brown football out from under my foot!

Wednesday, I stopped in for a few items. It helps me avoid The Devil's Playground. I think I only went there once during February! I know things cost a bit more at Country Mart, but it's not such an ordeal to go there, and I avoid picking up too many things not on my list.

I shouldn't go when I'm hungry, but there I was at 1:30, without lunch or breakfast in me. I pulled up to the deli counter, and asked for four chicken tenders. There was a new guy working, all polite, calling me "Ma'am." I also asked him for a BBQ pork steak. And here we have the two infractions!

New Guy got a foam container for the pork steak. He had the square kind, like you can put a dinner in, but without the two little sections for the sides. Sometimes they use the big foam container, sometimes they use a half-size one. The pork steaks are big, and fit better in the large container.

HE LAID THE PORK STEAK ON THE LID, AND CLOSED THE MAIN PART ON TOP.

I didn't know it at the time. I trusted New Ma'aming Guy to do it right. I didn't know until I got home that my BBQ pork steak was upside down in its container. Kind of awkward with the sauce when you peel off the plastic wrap and open it.

I noticed the second infraction right away. But of course I'm too polite to say anything. I was being Ma'amed, you see. He was a polite wrong-doer. Usually, the chicken tenders are put in a bag, smaller than the ones they use now for the 8-piece chicken.

HE PUT MY TENDERS IN A FOAM CONTAINER!

Sure, it was the half-size foam container. But still a foam container. Thing is, the chicken tenders are sold by weight. He even called to another employee to ask her about that, and she said, "Oh, she's just getting a bag of them, not a dinner?" A clue that fell on deaf Ma'aming ears. For that New Guy carried my foamed tenders back to the scale.

I know foam isn't heavy, but I'm pretty sure foam is heavier than a plastic bag. So I paid for some foam along with my chicken.

The other infraction was done by the cashier. You'll find out tomorrow...

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

How Many Cats Could A Catnapper Nap If A Catnapper Did Nap Cats

Such strange goings-on around here lately! Not strange as in paranormal. Only several ladybug sightings, a dead light coming on, and phantom walking. Mild compared to previous happenings. No, over the past few days we've had Crazy Stick-Road Man running Farmer H off the road, and a lurking weirdo at the mailboxes. And Tuesday, I encountered a possible catnapper!

I was on the way home, 44 oz Diet Coke sloshing like a can of paint in a Lowe's mixer, up the gravel road approaching Farmer H and Buddy's Badly Blacktopped Hill. A gray pickup truck was PARKED there. On the hill. On the bad blacktop. No brake lights. PARKED. I've seen that vehicle out here before. It's a small truck, with a two-tiered camper shell on the back. They must live up past the Mansion.

At first I thought maybe it was out of gas. Or had mechanical problems. Then I saw movement in the woods, off the road, to the left. About five feet off the road. By the truck.

It was a big white cat! White and fluffy, with black on the face and ears, and two big black spots on its side and back. Huh. I've never seen that cat out here. It was about 50 yards from a house where they have dogs. Inside dogs. A beautiful Husky, the other one I don't remember. They get walked on a leash in the yard. Don't run free. Pity for the Husky, but I'm not about to judge anybody on how they raise a pet, as long as it's loved and taken care of.

Anyhoo...I guess the driver of the truck saw me. It started up, and drove off. As I went by, the white cat blended back a little farther into the woods.

Did that cat belong to the people in the truck? Were they trying to lure it back to them? You'd think they'd get out and pick it up, if it was their cat. OR were they trying to entice it close, to nab it and drive off? I guarandarntee you, Mrs. HM won't be nabbing a cat! They have CLAWS! A cat either comes to you, or it doesn't. No strong-arming a cat!

I could understand if the cat was down by the mailboxes, no houses in sight. Maybe somebody might assume it was a stray [I haven't forgotten you, prospective Jack-napping ladies!], and bring it food, and take it home. Closer to the houses, I'd think it belonged to somebody. This white cat wasn't scroungy or dirty. It looked plump and sassy.

If it was their cat, they could turn around and come back for it. I wasn't up on their bumper. I waited at least five car lengths down the hill. I didn't know if they might have to roll back to get out of the way. So don't blame me if their pet had to spend a night outdoors.

On second thought, maybe THAT'S what makes our dogs go crazy at night, and why the cat food pan is always empty, despite us having only one cat left. You'd think I would have seen it, though.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Frown To The Left Of Me, New Gal To The Right, Here I Am, Stuck In The Middle To View

Don't you hate it when you get stuck in an awkward situation? Of course you do, unless you're some kind of freakin' Hillmomban weirdo!

Monday, I stepped into the Gas Station Chicken Store for my 44 oz Diet Coke. There were no other customers, and the new cashier greeted me. She has just lately formed a bond with me, gotten used to my correct daily change, and makes small talk. She greeted me just as I realized...

"I forgot my change in the car! I had it all laid out, too. I'll be right back."

Back across the parking lot, through the rain, for my 69 cents in coins. I swear! The wind itself would have been bad enough, but the combination of the wind AND the rain had my hair swirled and sticking up like Woody Woodpecker! Ah ha ha HA HA!

Anyhoo...as I returned, a dude had just come out the door. I stepped in again, and on the left, by the cash machine, was Woman Owner. She's a good gal, but a bit strident when communicating her wishes. She hasn't run that store for over 30 years by being meek!

"You gave out an application? YOU AREN'T AUTHORIZED TO GIVE OUT APPLICATIONS!"

At first, I thought she was joshing with the New Cashier. She had that over-the-top delivery. I could imagine myself saying it, then laughing along at the preposterousness of it. But NO. Woman Owner was dead serious!

Upon further thought, I can see how it is. She wants to SEE the prospective applicants first, to decide if she would want them working there. For example, do they look clean? Do they have facial tattoos, or giant flappy ear loops? Would they scare a little old lady? Do they make eye contact? Do they mumble? All these things that she wouldn't know if she read their name on an application. Maybe it's not fair to judge, but it's HER store, and she wants people who represent her brand.

Anyhoo...I went on around to the soda fountain. As I was drawing my magical elixir, a man came in to pay for gas. His back was to me. He was looking down, counting out his money, and New Cashier caught my eye. She shook her head, and I raised my eyebrow.

She'd been in trouble last time, for ringing up my soda AFTER ringing up the scratchers. Woman Owner had made her void it, and do it the other way. I guess because that's how she does it. I felt bad for her then, and when Woman Owner went back to the office, I said,

"I guess this is how she weeds people out. By seeing how well they can follow her directions."

"Yeah. I've already been in trouble earlier today, for giving out too many red tickets! It's a lot easier when she's in the office!"

Those red tickets are given with so many dollars of purchase, for a weekly gas drawing. Lots of people don't even take them. Like me. So I don't see how that could have caused a hardship. It's just a matter of feeling people out, to see if you can trust them to follow orders and accept criticism.

Anyhoo...that new gal is doing a good job as far as I can tell. I hope she can maintain her composure for future faux pas. Because you KNOW there will be more. I can't really take a side. I just felt bad to overhear the chastising.

The Gas Station Chicken Store is always advertising for cashiers.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Oh! The DOGmanity!

Food crisis again! I swear, it's never going to end. Farmer H suggested that he grill some hot dogs for supper. He's been planning to do it all week, and even ate two of the hot dogs before he got around to it. But Sunday evening, he fired up Gassy G Jr, the smaller grill he got at Lowe's to replace the original Gassy G he got from an auction.

Anyhoo...Farmer H tipped me off that the hot dogs were ready, and went back to fetch them off the grill. Usually, I put foil on a pizza pan, for Farmer H to stack the BBQ on. This time, it was only hot dogs. I figured they would roll off the side of a pizza pan, and that Farmer H would be smart enough to take out a paper plate for collection.

Let the record show that I do not like BBQ sauce on my hot dogs. I like them charred, with mustard, or sometimes slaw on top. Farmer H likes the sauce. We decided that he'd grill the open pack, with six hot dogs left, and the other pack as well. Since six hot dogs would only give us one meal, and somebody another one. Yes. We eat two hot dogs apiece.

Anyhoo...I was in the kitchen, turning off the pan of Maple Bacon Beans, getting ready to dice an onion for Farmer H to add on top, when the tragedy happened. I heard the kitchen door open, then a THUD, then

"OHHHHHHHHH #@%&!!!"

Yes. The pooper of every party, as well as the back of the toilet seat, shouted the actual curse word for POOP.

"No you didn't!"

"I DID. I dropped the hot dogs."

"How many?"

"All of them! We can still eat them! We can wash them off!"

"WHAT? We're not raccoons! Water will ruin them! But we can wipe them off. With paper towels."

"JACK! GET BACK!"

"NO! NO! JACK!!! NO!"

Happy little Jack had rounded the side of Juno's dog house. Tail wagging. The location of the droppage was RIGHT WHERE I TOSS DOWN TREATS FOR JACK EVERY DAY! I'm sure he thought he hit the jackpot! 14 hot dogs was way better than the slice of cheddar and the slice of bologna that he ate there only a few hours previous.

Juno came out of her house, afraid she was missing out. She did not look at all sweet.

"JUNO! NO!"

I could imagine both dogs darting in to snap up a couple hot dogs apiece. But they stood their ground. I was proud of them. It's not like they have the self-control to be those pampered pooches who can balance a filet mignon on their nose for five minutes, before tossing it in the air to eat it.

Farmer H picked up all 14 hot dogs, and brought them in the house, 7 on each plate.

"Mine have sauce. Yours don't. I think that one is your plate."

Sweet Gummi Mary! Did that mean Farmer H had been sorting the hot dogs as he picked them up? So much for the 3-second rule.

In polishing my plate of hot dogs, I found 3 that were really sticky, leaving residue on the paper towel. Of which I used several, one side for each hot dog, so as not to be rubbing scraped-off stuff back onto another hot dog. Funny how Farmer H had 3 hot dogs that seemed kind of dry. So we swapped them out. Three days of supper, and maybe another for Farmer H if I give him my 7th hot dog.


They look gigantic here, but I assure you, they are just regular hot dogs (albeit the fat ones), which are not quite bun length, even though they look it. The torn-off bun butts on my plate now beg to differ. Hope the mustard didn't trigger you! It's even on the buns underneath the dogs.

I asked Farmer H how he managed to dump all 14 hot dogs off the edge of a plate with sides.

"I had yours on one plate, and mine on the other plate. I balanced the bottom of one plate on my hand, and the other plate up my arm, while I opened the door with my right hand. They fell off. Now you have a story to tell! Except the eating them part. I bet you don't tell that."

Sweet, simple Farmer H. I suppose he would blatantly disregard the Truth In Blogging Law. Good thing he doesn't have a blog of his own. For more reasons than THAT!

I'm assuming the home-brewed beer (and possibly a bottled one) had nothing to do with the accident. I figure we'll survive eating just-grilled hot dogs off the porch. It's only the boards where the dogs lick up the juices from their spoiled-food treats, and walk their paws that may or may not have already walked in poop. I figure the worst that can happen is that we'll get worms...

Sunday, March 8, 2020

The Dainty Hummingbird Stomach Of Farmer H

Saturday evening, I prepared a Devil's Playground deli flatbread pizza for Farmer H's supper, before he left for the auction. They're fast. Suitable pre-auction fare. Not likely to give him digestive problems. Even though he likes the pepperoni version, which I abhor.

This pizza is on extremely thin crust. It crisps up nicely on my holey pan, to cracker consistency. The toppings are not overly abundant. They're just right. Goldilocks herself would approve.

Anyhoo...I was sitting on the short couch conversing with Farmer H while he ate his pizza in the La-Z-Boy, watching the end of The Replacements, a football movie about rejects with Keanu Reeves, bemoaning the fact that none of his building shows were on PBS. Farmer H set his plate aside, and said:

"Whew! That's the first time I ever ate the whole thing. I usually only eat half."

"That is such a lie! I cut it in four pieces, and you usually eat three. Besides, you've eaten the whole thing before. I don't know how you can think that fills you up! You can eat SIX pieces of Casey's pizza, with the doughy crust and about two pounds of cheese!"

"Well, yeah. I can eat CASEY'S pizza..."

I don't know what Farmer H's angle is here. That flatbread pizza is NOT going to fill up his bottomless stomach. In fact, he was SO VERY FULL that he immediately got up and went to the kitchen to fetch a Krispy Kreme donut for dessert!

It wouldn't surprise me if he also had a snack at the auction...

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Green Is My Favorite Color

I know this is probably the last thing you want to see from me right now. Well. Maybe the next to next to last, after pictures of a Farmer-H-befouled toilet seat, and pictures of Farmer H's toenails needing clipping. Still, I can't help it. I MUST share this image with you. Because I'm a giver like that.


Guess who's the possessor of another $100 winner? That's right! You are such good guessers! It's ME! It is I! Mrs. Hillbilly Mom! Purchased Friday at the Gas Station Chicken Store, by cashing in two $10 winners.

I had planned to buy one of those purple $10 tickets, and take the rest back, to spend elsewhere. But the GSCS was out of the purple ticket! I didn't like the other $10 tickets, but this bright green ticket caught my eye. Green is my favorite color, you know.

Let the record show that Mrs. HM rarely buys a $20 ticket. Not because she's thrifty with her money, but because she hardly ever wins on them. The last ones I bought were at Christmas, for the boys. The last one I bought for myself was probably before Thanksgiving.

Anyhoo...I bought this one on the spur of the moment, while looking in the case as the clerk scanned my winners. I matched five numbers, each a $20 prize, making it a $100 winner.

I'm pretty happy about it. I have no plans to buy any more $20 tickets.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Make. It. Stop.

The Universe continues to conspire against Mrs. Hillbilly Mom! Continues, I say, to meddle with her food sources!

Let the record show that I haven't been to The Devil's Playground in nigh on a month. Country Mart and Save A Lot have sufficed. But Thursday, I resorted to The Devil for his line of faux Pepcid (mint flavor) tablets, and Farmer H's giant bottles of flavored water, and a few odds and ends like broccoli slaw mix, and Great Value Sugar Free Cherry Limeade powder.

There wasn't much on my list. I went through the deli first, and picked up some already-packaged chicken wings. I could see through the top, so I was fairly confident that I knew what I was getting. I'd have preferred the plain ones rather than ranch, but when you get there after 2:00 p.m., you take what you can get. What they should warn you is: "B-b-b-baby, you ain't seen nothin' yet!"

When I was putting the wings on a foil-covered pizza pan for oven-warming, I was SHOCKED to find a non-edible wing section at the bottom of the pack.


SERIOUSLY?

Nobody eats that section! It's the part that you twist off and feed the dog. It's nothing more than goose-fleshed (or chicken-fleshed) skin, with little feathery stick-out thingies, unsuitable for human consumption! It's neither a drum nor a flat, as the deli ling goes on chicken-wing parts. It's the fingers! The bony section with only skin over it. Nothing to eat! Unless you want chewy, unswallowable skin coated with breading, fried in grease.

I, myself, did not. Juno and Jack, definitely.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Out Of The Lying Plan, Into My Ire

I'm sure you recall that Mrs. HM doesn't ask for much. That the soda fountain at the Gas Station Chicken Store have Diet Coke. That T-Hoe keeps air in all four tires. That I don't sit in poop on my toilet seat. That a TV dinner contain the items shown on the box. That my Country Mart 8-piece chicken have two of each appendage. AND that the seat in A-Cad stays in my set position!

Tuesday morning, I opened A-Cad's passenger door to climb in, for a trip with Farmer H to a casino town that harbors a delectable (for him) pawn shop that deals in munitions. I slung my left leg into the car, started to plop my ample rumpus onto the seat, and recoiled with discomfort.

"WHO has been in my car NOW? I can't even get in without throwing out my back. The seat was moved."

"NOBODY has been in the car, HM. Not since we got back from Oklahoma. OH. Wait. THIS GUY and THIS GUY'S WIFE were in it. For the hospital. But I moved it back."

"Obviously, you didn't." I said while pushing the lever and sliding back the seat.

"Well. I moved it up so one could ride in the back easier."

"Ooh! It stinks! Every time I open up the door, this car still smells new. But NOW it smells dirty! It stinks!"

"Their house is not dirty, HM. It's clean enough to eat off the floor."

"Everybody's house has a smell. OURS smells like a clogged up drain. Because we have a clogged up drain. Or a dry trap, as you call it. Every time we come back from somewhere, I notice it. But this car stinks."

"It's in your head."

"I didn't even realize you'd been driving them in this car. The last I heard, you took THIS GUY'S WIFE up to the hospital in your truck. Following the ambulance."

"I did."

"The next day, and the next, you talked about her leaving a bag of his clothes in your truck."

"When he got released, I took the car."

I put down my window a crack, trying to let some of the bad air out. It was an old, musty, cooped-up smell. I couldn't leave it down on the highway, and Farmer H wouldn't leave them cracked at the casino, but when he went in places, I made him put down his window, and mine.

"We've got to get this smell out. It could have had the windows down in the garage. That might have helped."

"It doesn't smell."

"YES. It DOES. Like when I noticed the stink in SilverRedO, and then you pointed out the bag of clothes from your storage units that you were taking to wash."

"Huh. Maybe it was those framed beer signs I showed you. They were laying out here since I bought them."

Those beer posters are in Genius's room right now, waiting to be sold. I guess our house will have a different smell now.


Wednesday, March 4, 2020

The Universe Never Tires Of Conspiring Against HM

I don't ask for much. Just the simple necessities of life. That the soda fountain at the Gas Station Chicken Store have Diet Coke. That T-Hoe keeps air in all four tires. That I don't sit in poop on my toilet seat. And that a TV dinner contain the items shown on the box.

Like the Salisbury Steak with Mashed Potatoes, Corn, and Cinnamon Apple Dessert.

Image result for tv dinner salisbury steak mashed potatoes corn apples
I know it doesn't come on red plates. I know it doesn't look that appetizing. But I DO expect my frozen dinner to contain the items shown.


SERIOUSLY????

Where are my apples? It's almost as if somebody ate them before the tray was slid into the cardboard box! There was nothing that spilled out. The box was more bare than the deli counter at Country Mart at 2:30 on a Monday afternoon! Which we all know is almost as bare as Old Mother Hubbard's cupboard.

That's ALL the apples I got! And one of them isn't even an apple! It's a corn kernel!

I don't have a solution for this. I can't open up every boxed Banquet TV dinner in the store freezer, to make sure I get what I pay for.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Might As Well Tattoo WELCOME On My Forehead

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is a doormat. I try not to complain (heh, heh, except here on my supersecret blog). I meekly put up with the lemons life slips me in a bag of limes. I'm not a boat-rocker. I figure everybody encounters an unfortunate incident every now and then. Yet I am continually trod upon! Like a multi-colored, wildly-patterned casino carpet on a first-of-the-month Saturday night.

Monday, I stopped by the deli counter of Country Mart, looking for some lunch that I didn't have to prepare. I had in mind some chicken tenders. Perhaps a BBQ pork steak. Farmer H was heading to the auction mid-afternoon, and would grab something there. So I was happy to grab some LUPPER, to count as my lunch/supper.

The unfortunate thing about lupper is that grocery store delis are not down with that! They put out hot food at lunch. Then at supper. So I found their food case sadly reminiscent of Old Mother Hubbard's cupboard. There were side dishes, which I didn't want. No mashed potatoes or green beans for me. Only the entree. Two chicken livers were not enough. The only other choice was fried chicken.

You know I love fried chicken. That would do. The 8-piece is the best deal. It comes with 2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 legs, and 2 wings. A full chicken! Nobody was at the deli counter. Including workers. That didn't matter, because I saw three bags of 8-piece chicken already bagged up, in the warmer. I remembered last time when I asked for an 8-piece, and that guy pointed out the bagged version.

Well. You don't have to shame me twice. Besides, I didn't want to wait around and hope for an employee to show up. There's no bell on top like at the post office counter. It was already 2:30. Getting almost too late for lupper! By the time I got home and put away my groceries, it would be 4:00. Almost supper time.

I took a bagged 8-piece. Paid. Got some scratchers and 44 oz Diet Coke. Headed home.

Sweet Gummi Mary! My 8-piece chicken had a mastectomy!

I looked through the pieces, to get a breast and a thigh. My 8-piece chicken contained 1 breast, 3 thighs, 2 legs, 2 wings. I had a Frankenchicken!

I know, I know. NEXT time, I'm going to wait at the counter and demand an 8-piece put in a bag while I watch. Maybe THAT'S why the 8-pieces are bagged now, instead of put in plastic trays with a clear top. So people can't see what pieces they're paying for!

Monday, March 2, 2020

Money, Money, Everywhere, But Oh So Hard To Withdraw

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's financial woes continue. Don't get me wrong. There is plenty of money. It's getting ACCESS to my money that's the hardship.

Last week, I went by my bank to withdraw some money for our weekly cash allowance. I figured I'd just use the ATM, since I wasn't taking out a lot. Not too much for that new version of the ATM to count, and not cheat me out of a twenty this time. Besides, the drive-thru tellers might ask if I'd recently updated my ID again...

But when I went to the bank ATM, a guy standing out of his truck wouldn’t leave. You know, one of those people who don't reach through the window, but park and get out to do the ATM. Then a bank lady, and another man, came walking around the corner of the building, and THAT guy started motioning for all of us in line to go away.

“The machine is empty! Out of money!” We believed him, I don’t know why. He looked like a regular customer, and was carrying money in his hand. Not nearly enough to fill an ATM. I think it only opens once a day, at a designated time. Because when I’ve forgotten my card in it, they tell me I have to come back the next day, and a certain time. That they can’t just open it up. That darn Even Steven! He’ll give me pennies, but deny my weekly cash allowance! I had to go park and write up a withdrawal slip for the drive-thru, because all the parking spaces in front were full. Thank the Gummi Mary, I did NOT back into a guy with a crazy meth beard, and a pitbull on a chain.

I went to our credit union over in Sis-Town, to withdraw money for The Pony's budget for March. I write him a check from our bank account, and replenish our money with cash from his college savings. Easy peasy, right? Usually, it IS.

However…when I went to the credit union to withdraw the money, there was a man backed into one of the three parking spaces in the little parking lot on the side. He had his truck door open, leaning against the seat, smoking. I parked in the handicap space, so as not to be right next to him.

Wouldn’t you know it! The gal who gave me the money asked if I wanted the receipt. Of course I did. Instead of just pushing it out the little window scoop with the bills, she FOLDED IT AROUND THE MONEY! Like a wrapper on a packet of bills from the bank. THREE FOLDS.


The problem with that is that it prevented me from folding the bills in half and sticking them in my shirt pocket, out of sight. I didn't want to fiddle with them at the window. It's an almost non-existent waiting area. Other customers are practically up against you like a queue of new recruits getting their army physicals and vaccinations.

If I’d known that camo weirdo was going to still be parked out there, I would have stepped aside and taken the bills out of the receipt to put them in my pocket. Safer inside than outside. But no. I put the awkward long bills in my jacket pocket. Then I had to take them out when I got to T-Hoe, because it’s difficult to try and get something out of my left pocket when I have the door closed and am sitting behind the wheel.

I could feel Camo Weirdo robbing me with his eyes. Which is the least of many evil scenarios, I suppose.