Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Overfeeder Nonanonymous

I spent all morning showing off pictures of my new pony to anybody who would stop by my duty station in the hall and admire him. Thank the Gummi Mary it was raining outside, and I did not have to go to the parking lot where there would have been fewer opportunities to brag about him. I might just hand out cigars tomorrow.

Of course the horsey people were enchanted. Tomato-Squirter has a minipony of her own, a mare, 29 inches tall. I asked if she was looking for a suitor, perhaps with an option to cat around and end up in the family way. Negatory. That minipony is 14 years old, and considered too small by minipony standards to foal. She needs more room in her ladyparts to grow the bundle of joy.

One thing my lunch buddy Tomato-Squirter told me was that we need to be careful about feeding our tiny pony. She says he will be fine in the barren goat pen, because even if he was just turned out on grass, he could founder. She said that ponies have no idea when to stop, and they will gorge themselves until they founder, and then it’s too late. The damage can’t be undone. I remembered back to my childhood days when her mother’s pony, boarded at my grandma’s house, got into the corn and foundered. Poor, sweet Sugarfoot had curly hooves the rest of his days. It was hard for him to get around.

So…I need to lay down the law to Farmer H, overfeeder nonanonymous. All of his animals end up obese. He fed a turkey to death (not the one that got loved to death, nor her lover), and the goats are not svelte. Then we have that humongous cat that probably weighs as much as that new pony. According to Tomato-Squirter, we should only feed our teacup equine a handful of sweet feed, twice a day. She says it will be good to keep him put up in the goat pen, and let him out occasionally to graze.

I really hope Farmer H will listen to me on this one. I would rather give that precious beauty away than have anything happen to him.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Pony Comes Tonight

In Hillmomba, HM’s Hillmomba,
The pony comes tonight
In Hillmomba, rain-kissed Hillmomba
The pony comes tonight

Near the BARn, the red tin BARn
The pony comes tonight
Near the BARn, a lean-to BARn
The pony comes tonight

Hush, my heart, oh be still, my heart
The pony comes tonight
Like Christmas Eve, the excitement builds

Farmer H said we were getting our new pony tonight. The miniature stud-horse he traded two goats for. I was concerned how Farmer H was going to haul them. We don’t have a livestock trailer. They can’t stand in the back of a Ford F250. They can’t ride in the trailer that hauls the lawnmower, or on the trailer with ramps that can haul a car. Goats and (even miniature) ponies are too large for our plastic pet carrier. Too large for the metal crate that can transport chickens.

Then I was worried that even IF Farmer H had magically obtained a pony-hauler, he would not have a way to catch those two goats. Or to handle a pony. It’s not like the goats wear halters and walk on a lead.

This morning, my human boy The Pony explained it to me. “Oh. That guy Dad is getting it from is bringing the pony. And he’s going to help Dad catch the two goats. The black ones. Well, the one has a white face. But those are the two we’re getting rid of. The brown ones will be left. And Goatrude and Nellie.”

I hope the storm holds off. Wouldn’t want our new beast friend to feel frightened on his first night in Hillmomba. Our old dog Grizzly, picked up at the pound for the price of castration, was just a pup on his first night in a raging thunderstorm. Farmer H penned him up behind some plywood on the back porch outside the laundry room. Grizzly was good and dry, with a pan of food and a dish of water, but to the day he passed away in his sleep at the age of 12, stretched out on the gravel road between Mansion and BARn while we were attending our first day of school…he was afraid of thunderstorms.


Sweet Gummi Mary, the little guy is precious!

He's the poniest pony that ever poned! And he doesn't have a name yet. Maybe it's just me, but I think five years is a bit of a long time to let something this cute go without a name.

I hope my sweet, sweet Juno does not mind if I have found a new lovefest insterest.

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Stuff Of Nightmares

Last week The Pony and I marveled at the beauty of a flowering tree just outside the end door of Newmentia. Okay. I marveled at it. The Pony said, I believe, "Uh huh," as he tromped by loaded down like a pack mule. We walk out that way every day, and now that spring has sprung, April is bustin' out all over. This tree has some gorgeous pinky-white blooms all over it. Thick with them. Gorgeous. Until today.

Here is the sight that greeted us upon exit:

Yes. We have no pinky-white bloomy flowers. But that's not the shocking part. Did you notice, perhaps, the webby pod-looking bundles in the forks of the limbs? EEEEK! Something's gonna hatch there! But you don't yet realize the horror. I do. I will have nightmares tonight. Not like the ones last night, where I was grocery shopping with my little black bear cub, and some well-meaning busybody asked if I wanted help putting him on the rack at the bottom of my cart while I was checking out. No, thank you. My little black bear cub is free to roam the aisles as he chooses. It's free grocery store, you know. So mind your own business.

My research, assisted by my BFF Google, led me to common pests in Missouri, and the certain knowledge that the earliest intruder to assault the trees is the Eastern Tent Caterpillar. Uh huh. Guess what's inside those webby pod-looking bundles. Not spiders. Great big gobs of squirmy wormy caterpillars!

Yeah. I heard you scream. They come out and eat the new leaves, then retreat to their webs. Later in the summer, they will turn into moths and breed more of themselves.

Sweet dreams.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Assault On Mount Fridigaire

The #1 son was home for the day on Saturday. He had some major film-developing on his agenda. While he and his partner in what turned out to be crime were busy at my kitchen sinks, I fled to town for a 44 oz. Diet Coke to medicate myself. We chatted a bit when I returned. They finished up in the kitchen and descended to the basement darkroom that #1 constructed in half of Farmer H's workshop. Don't you all worry about Farmer H. He has large workshop in the bottom floor of the BARn, a workshop in one lean-to of the BARn (but not the one covered with that giant Save A Lot sign he picked up in town when the store was installing a new one), and a small portable workshop on skids over by the chicken pen.

With my tasty elixir ready for consumption, I went to draw a batch of ice to fill my yellow plastic bubba cup. I have to have water on the side, you see. The Diet Coke is a treat. The water is to slake thirst. Well. Imagine my surprise when no ice fell out of Frig's freezer. I felt like Old Mother Hubbard's dog. I pulled out the tray, thinking that the ice might have frozen to the bottom again, so that curly metal thingy couldn't push it forward. Nope. The ice cupboard was indeed bare. Not a crumb, not a smidgen, not a frost flake. And to think, I had just been in the gas station chicken store, which sells bags of ice that could have been purchased and hauled home and poured into the bin for a relaxing afternoon and evening with a surplus of cubes.

"Hey! #1! Where is all my ice?"

"Oh, the ice-maker was jammed. A piece was stuck. I cleaned it out for you. I was wanting to make some ice water, but there was no ice. I put it on 'extra ice' so it would make some faster after I fixed it."

"Huh. I just got half a cup from it at 6:00 this morning. It seemed to be working just fine then."

That boy must think I was born yesterday. I might have believed his story, if not for his penchant of filling a cup with ice, adding a dash of water, then leaving that cup sitting in various favorite locations around the Mansion until it was reduced to a tepid waste.

It did not help his case that I spotted two red Solo cups, one in his room, and one on the kitchen counter, sitting three-quarters full of water, chips of precious frozen solid liquid gold bobbing insouciantly in their languid pools of chilled hydration.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Never Look A Trade Pony In The Mouth

Well. I asked Farmer H for a picture of the new pony he traded two goats for, and he professed that he did not currently have possession of the pony, but would bring it home on Tuesday. And probably pay off his hamburger tab like Wimpy as well.

According, to Farmer H, the pony is 36 inches tall, five years old, red, and a little stud. Actually, the last bit of information was not forthcoming without interrogation.

"He's a boy."

"Is he fixed?"

"No. He's not fixed."

"Great. He's going to be a handful. No wonder that guy wants to get rid of him. He might bite. And kick. You can't tell what a little stud pony is going to do. He's going to be hard-headed."

"I'll fix him."

"You'll have to get the vet."

"No. I'll band him."

"He's NOT a baby goat. I don't think you can do that to a five-year-old horse or pony."

"Sure I can. I did it to the goats."

"He's NOT a goat! How about we band YOU?"

"But I don't WANT to be banded!"

"You think HE does?"

"No. But I can do it."

Farmer H. Animal Medicine Woman. Now with more bees in his bonnet.

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Revolving Door Of Fauna Continues To Spin

Farmer H has done it again.

He took the day off work. I'm not sure what he did, besides mow the whole front field, but he wasn't tired enough to lay in his La-Z-Boy after supper. He escaped the Mansion and my clutches. I know he didn't go to the auction. He's mad. Somebody called the health department, and the proprietor's wife can no longer sell food at the auction. Farmer H was in the habit of grabbing a sausage or two at that venue. Now some health nut has put an end to a woman's pocket money and sustenance for bargain-hunters. Sweet Gummi Mary! It's not like she laid out sheep entrails on a wooden table in the sun for 12 hours, letting flies do their breeding, dogs raise a leg, people sneeze, and folks fondle them with their left hands while debating on whether to buy a portion. That may fly in India, but it doesn't fly in Hillmomba, apparently. This might be the end of Auction Meat!

So...Farmer H left the premises, only to return some 90 minutes later and inform me that he had traded two goats for...wait for it...consider the possibilities...something hooved that can live with the four remaining goats...A MINIATURE PONY! Maybe he'll get me a picture in the daylight.

This might just be the best critter he's brought home since that big blue turkey.

HIllmomba Is Experiencing Technical Difficulties

Woe are the citizens of Hillmomba, who lost internet service last night due to Mother Nature. Not to worry. There are some beautiful new paintings on the cave walls.

For my loyal three readers (one of whom is silent)...I'm BAAAAACK! We shall convene tonight at our regular time.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's Cusdom Rat's Nest Of Discarded Paper And Cardboard

I am not a happy camper right now, even though I'm comfortably ensconced in my dark basement lair, fully Diet-Coked, with a heater blowing on my knees. I have not been a happy camper since approximately 3:55 p.m., when my classroom was invaded by Cus.

As you might surmise from previous tattle tales, there is no love lost between Mrs. Hillbilly Mom and Cus. Just the name sets me on edge. I think of it as CusCusCusCusCus. Like Popeye's laugh. Only not happy. As in not a happy camper.

You've yet to hear the rest of the story, with photo evidence. I can't squeeze all that into a weeknight post. But I can relate the latest little bit of Cusdom.

As I sat minding my own business, trying to enter tomorrow's assignments in my computer gradebook program, waiting for The Pony to finish with his Smartypants Team practice...Cus paraded back and forth past my door. Not once. Not twice. THRICE! That's three times down, and three times back. Wheeling the big cart holding mop water and a trash bin. JUST GET IT OVER ALREADY!

Cus entered my room. Dumped the wastebasket. And said, "I know this is probably a mistake to try and do this now, but it's looking pretty junky." And proceeded to go up and down the rows scraping junk out of the desks. Which Cus has pointedly not done since I refused to rearrange my furniture. In fact, I clean out those desks as needed. Just this afternoon, I threw away a returned assignment, and an empty water bottle. Sure, there might have been a sucker stick (thanks, NHS, for taping a mini Tootsie Pop to every student locker for Easter) and...I don't know what else. Because I cleaned out what I saw, except for the sticky stick, which requires a neon green hazmat suit paper towel to swipe with. The desks need cleaning out very seldom, because I see stuff and grab it in the morning when I go in and don't have to waste time rearranging 25 desks and 25 chairs. That, and Captain Mrs. Hillbilly Mom runs a tight ship, and has been known to track down a student at lunch and send him/her to the classroom to dispose of detritus left behind.

My point is that I see no need for the editorializing. Just scoop them out if you're gonna, and don't insinuate that my room is filthy because I'm a bad teacher. Not unless you want me to say, "Yeah. You haven't been cleaning them out for a while."

The old custodian never cleaned out a desk. I don't expect it. I'll do it myself if it gets to be a problem. I especially don't need to be trash-shamed for your job while I'm working at MY job.

One of these days, you'll get the full expose.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Juggling Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's Circus Schedule

When Even Steven opens one door...he slams shut another. And another. And another.

This weekend is the state youth bowling tournament for The Pony. He goes every year. Anybody in a league who is a member of the bowling association can enter. Last year, The Pony kind of got cheated. The #1 son was being recognized by Missouri Scholars 100 on the same weekend, and we went to Columbia with him while The Pony stayed with his grandma. The bowling tournament is not too far away this year, but far enough that Farmer H and The Pony are staying overnight.

Even though I will be without my shopping helper for the third weekend in a row, I was kind of looking forward to some quiet time. I've been planning on it for a few weeks now, ever since I made their reservation. Nobody to answer to when they can't find stuff. Nobody to prepare meals for. Nobody to drive around for school functions. I can laze about until late morning, or stay up into the wee hours. Just relaxing. Writing. Catching up on my DVRed shows. OR, I could put the Friday afternoon bill-paying trip off until Saturday, and take my mom along and stop for lunch. The possibilities are endless.

Were endless. The #1 son reports that he will be coming home for the second weekend in a row. And he's bringing a friend. You know what that means. I have to be presentable. Like, comb my hair. Wear real pants instead of the sweatpants that have developed a hole in the left hip area near the waistband. Put on a regular town shirt instead of my stained pinstripe affair. Leave my bright red Crocs parked beside the rocking chair. Oh, and the boys will be requiring one meal, but #1 doesn't know what kind of food they want. He thinks they are just coming for the day.

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE my #1 son. He is welcome in our Mansion any time. But since he's only been back twice since Christmas, I was a bit surprised. It's the lure of the darkroom. He did not have time on Easter weekend to develop his pictures. So here he comes again. And I will welcome him with open arms to embarrass him in front of his friend.

Maybe I can eke out some ME TIME on Sunday morning, before Farmer H and The Pony return. IF I do the shopping Saturday morning, and pencil Mom into the Friday afternoon bill-paying trip.

I really wanted to do some writing without interruption.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Ponychild In The College Land

It seems I've been remiss in telling you of The Pony's adventure last week at the #1 son's college.

No. He was not invited by his loving big brother to come down and see the campus. I know you find that shocking, what with the tight bond between them. The Pony's visit was all business. His W.Y.S.E. team had a tournament there. In which, by the way, they took 2nd Place in the small schools division. The Pony did not place individually, but he was a part of the team score.

Perhaps you recall that The Pony has gotten himself into the Missouri Scholars Academy for three weeks this summer. And that The Pony is the definition of a mama's boy homebody. In fact, if you look in the dictionary under mama's boy homebody, you will see The Pony's picture there, laying sideways on the couch, tangled in my apron strings. So it will be a stretch for The Pony to survive three weeks on his own. We won't even go into the laundry.

I have told The Pony he needs to start eating foods outside his comfort zone, to prepare. The trip to #1's college for this competition seemed like a good place to start. "I think you'll have lunch in their cafeteria. You need to see how things are set up in places like that. So you'll have some idea. And you'll have to find something you like to eat."

Upon return, I learned a lot. The Pony said the cafeteria was chaos. Students were everywhere. He managed to find himself a plate of pasta. With alfredo sauce. Oh, and a soda.

"Did you have breadsticks? Were there any breadsticks?"

"Well, they had some. But I didn't get any. They were extra. What I got, the noodles and the soda, was just under six dollars."

"You could have had some breadsticks. I gave you $29 this morning. For breakfast and lunch and if you saw anything you might want."

"They gave us each a six-dollar voucher for lunch."

"You know, don't you, that you could have paid for the breadsticks with the cash?"

"I know. Here's some change. I was just full. And besides, we were going for pie."

Ah, yes. The pie. The #1 son had told me on the phone that Newmentia's team was coming for the tournament, and he was going to meet them for pie. Apparently, there's a real kick-butt pie shop near to campus. When Farmer H goes down there, he says they go out for pie. Even though Farmer H is not supposed to have pie. So #1 had been talking at least a week about having pie with the team.

"There's not more change, because we stopped for breakfast, and also, I bought pie for #1."

"You bought pie for #1? I just sent him $20! And I NEVER send him money. But I did this week. What did he do with that? Why did YOU buy him pie? He's known for a week he was going for pie when you were there."

"He didn't ask me or anything. I just bought it for him. I think he didn't have his money with him. And the pie store didn't take debit cards. Only cash."

"What kind of pie did he have?"

" or cherry, I think. It was red inside."

"What kind of pie did you have?"

"You know I don't like pie. But when we went in, I saw they had brownies. So I had three brownies. That's how they came on a plate. They were really good. I think it cost me $10 for me and #1 to have pie."

"Did he talk to you? What did he say?"

"Yeah. He talked to me. Actually, he talked more to the people at my table. He got to the cafeteria just as we were finishing lunch and going for pie."

"What was he wearing? Shorts? Pants?"

"He was wearing his black college hoodie. I don't know about what else. I don't look at guys' legs."

"Tell me what he said to you."

"Actually...he said...'You're buying my pie!'"

"Oh, Pony. Why did you tell me he didn't ask, that you just bought it for him? Wishful thinking?"

"Yeah. Kind of. But he DID talk to me in the cafeteria. I told him what I was entered in, and that I didn't think I had placed, and he said that if I did, he would clap at the award ceremony."

Baby steps. That's all I can ask for. Baby steps.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Dinner Theme Song

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of an Easter treat
Some deviled eggs went out today, their ultimate fate to meet.

Twelve of those eggs had olives on, but four were olive poor
To please a certain ex mayor, for olives he abhors
Olives he abhors

Two years ago he ate them though, the olives that he hates
Because he could not pick them off, and lay them on his plate
Lay them on his plate

He spied the naked deviled eggs, "I see you left some plain."
Then picked one up
With olives on
Before the prayer...
He ate it.
Like it was good.
Then we had one less, for olive folks,
My plans simply in vain

The audacity of ex mayor man, to ignore his naked eggs
After I made them special for the one who crybaby-ly begs

So next year when I put olives on each and every one
Don't look at me and wring your hands, "Oh dear, what have you done?"

You'll get no more of my plain eggs, those heady days are through
Learn to pick or acquire a taste, these olives are for you.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Let's Not Issue That License Just Yet

OH! Oh, oh! Mr. Kotteeeeer! You won't believe what I just saw!

Out the front window, at approximately 2:14 p.m., I spied The Pony DRIVING!

Okay, so it wasn't his truck. It was Farmer H's Gator. He had left it in front of the rock garden that lies beside the homemade sidewalk made from bricks that used to be an alley behind my $17,000 house in town. I had sent The Pony out to throw bread to the chickens, then he was supposed to help Farmer H with one of his latest ventures that involved unloading sheet metal salvaged from an entire metal shed at work. He needs the trailer, you see, to load up the riding mower to take to my mom's house to mow her yard. I don't know what plans he has for the sheet metal.

So came The Pony, galloping from the goat pen area. I imagine Farmer H told him to come get the Gator. The Pony actually looked excited. The cart was before the horse. He hopped in, put his foot on the brake, and turned the key. Nothing. He tried again. Nothing. He took his foot off the brake. Looked down at the gear shift. Moved it. Turned the key. With a grinding sound, the Gator lurched forward. The Pony grabbed the wheel and began a wide left turn to head back towards the BARn.

When the Gator's motor roared to life, my sweet, sweet Juno darted down the porch steps, whipping her feathery black tail in excitement. Ann came from the side yard where she was no doubt stealing bread from the chickens. As The Pony motored across the yard, Ann stood her ground in front of the porch, and Juno dashed to the woods across from her. They both watched The Pony putt by. Then they gave each other THE LOOK. Like, "WTF?" When Farmer H drives the Gator, those dogs romp round and round it, feinting, grabbing each other's forelegs between their teeth, sprint ahead, look over their shoulder, race back, bark, and generally suck all the marrow out of life in this little interlude with their vice-master leading the pack on an adventure, perhaps to the creekside cabin, perhaps to the mailbox, perhaps up the road to Buddy's house. Now they were discombobulated. They followed The Pony at a safe distance. At a dogtrot.

Even the dogs know The Pony is an inexperienced driver.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Food Police Mount Another Investigation

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is a taker. It's true. I heard you all recoil and gasp in shock. I know it's hard to believe. But I am. A taker. A taker of lunch.

I never know quite what I want to take. It must be something simple. Something that does not require a lot of prep time pre-taking, nor a lot of making-edible time post-taking. Something that will not dirty my microwave at school. Something that will not dirty the work togs of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. Something without offensive odor that leads to my lunch companions talking about me when I get up from the table. Something that can be comfortably consumed at 10:53 a.m., in about 18 minutes.

For two weeks, I have been taking a sandwich of deli turkey on whole-wheat English muffin. With mayonnaise, of course. None of that sweety-sweet-sweet Miracle Whip. The miracle is that I don't whip your butt, Miracle Whip, for ruining perfectly good mayonnaise.

Tomato-Squirter, my left-hand lunch buddy, used to have an irritating habit of commenting on my lunch. that's before we joined forces in our plot to regain our rightful lunch chairs from Jewels. I broke Tomato-Squirter of her bad habit by bringing a solid week of inedible lunches that I pretended were real. Things like sardines in mustard sauce with a peanut butter and marshmallow topping. A baggie of Meow Mix and Cocoa Puffs mixed together. Just before digging in, I would say, "Huh. That school lunch looks so good today. I think I'll go get that." Then I would close up my inedibles. Tomato-Squirter went so far as to actually pick up the baggie of my crunchy treat and open it. I snatched it back forthwith. "Oh, no you don't! That's MINE!" But that's another story.

On Wednesday, I had a headache. One that started in the evening, and persisted into morning, squeezing the area above my eyebrows until I wanted to squeeze it with a vice to lessen the pressure. On my plan time, I took an ibuprofen with a little bottle of Diet Mountain Dew. This will usually do the trick, but I did not want that ibuprofen eating its way through my stomach lining. I went to my mini-fridge and got out my sandwich. I didn't want to eat the whole thing. Just send some buffering agents down into my gullet. I unwrapped my sammie and ate the turkey hanging over the edge. Like gnawing kernels of corn off the cob. Then I put it back to wait for lunch.

Wouldn't you know it! Tomato-Squirter snagged her seat away from Jewels. She was up to her old tricks again. "Did you bite the meat off your sandwich?" She seemed bemused. Like I was a child hiding my Brussels sprouts under my mashed potatoes. Or a stand-up comedian stuffing mutton wrapped in Gramma Mimma's napkins into the pockets of my jacket.

"Yes. I did." Oh, there was so much more that I wanted to say. But I didn't. It wasn't worth starting my head to throbbing again. Really. Since when is it a crime to make your meat fit your bread? Is that frowned upon? Because if I'd known that, I would not have done it. So we can forget the whole thing.

I swear. Let me consume my lunch as I see fit. All at once, or in installments. Until my food is photographed every day for publication in a School Lunches Around the World calendar, there is no need to make it pretty.

Sweet Gummi Mary! It's not like I brought stinky fish or asparagus.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

I'm A Nixer, I'm A Mixer, I'm A Nine A.M. Fixer...I Repair Laptops Just For Fun

Alas, I was tied up at The Pony's academic practice, then got into some roadway resurfacing on the way to the bank to send the #1 son money to drive home for Easter, and I simply do not have time for a good Cus-ing tonight. But I do have a somewhat related tale.

I spent my plan time today solving a computer problem. I KNOW! Surely the end is near, what with Mrs. Hillbilly Mom discovering super powers in the technology realm. I was going to email my company computer guy, but I didn't want to be proved a fool.

First, I consulted my BFF Google. My school laptop has been losing power. That is not acceptable. My laptop never leaves the dock. It should be charging continuously, always at 100%. Last year I had this problem, too. Out of the blue. One day I noticed my power was at 99%, the next day at 98%, then 97%...I think you get the drift. Then, after bottoming out at 94%, it was cured. Miraculously healed.

Back then, I saw the company computer guy in the hall. We're not supposed to talk to him. He's like a celebrity, with a rider in his contract that we peons don't make eye contact with him. Any issues we have with computers, we must create a ticket for tech support. None of this buddy-buddy stuff of encountering him on the premises, and casually mentioning an issue. So, risking a stern talking-to, I said, "Hey, company computer guy! Thanks for fixing my laptop. It's back up to 100%." And he said, "I haven't done anything to your laptop. I haven't been in your room since August." So I blathered about the previous problem, now solved. And he said, "If that ever happens again, you need to let me know."

So, since last week, it has been been happening again. But I took matters into my own technologically-challenged hands. I checked all my plug-ins. I uncoiled the wire on my charger. It was coiled tightly, like a spring, and secured by a velcro thingy. I let the kinks out. And while I was at it, I noticed the the cord for the dock had been wound like a rope that hangs on the saddle of a calf roper, and secured by another wire, one of about 19,478 wires garbled upon my control center table. I did not remember my wires being wound so tightly. So I set them free to meander. Still, no power.

Then I took the laptop out of the dock. IT STARTED TO DIE! I grabbed the power cord, and plugged it directly into the back of the laptop. It was easy as lemon meringue pie, with a yellow ring around the connector, and a yellow ring around the socket it goes into. VOILA! The power as restored. So I knew it was not a bad power supply.

I unscrewed that flat connector to the main power cord that plugs into the dock. You know. The kind with two screws you can turn with your thumb and forefinger. It looked a little corroded inside. Some of those 30-something pins had white gunk on them. I blew on it, with no result. So I screwed it right back in.

My laptop can't have its power cord connected while it's in the dock. There's a thingy in the way. So I had to set it back up like normal, and the lack of charging started all over again. So I went wire by wire to the two power strips. I took the plug-in for the power supply out of the power strip, and plugged it in to the only other slot available. It came out pretty easy. So I'm thinking that it must not have been in all the way as I had first assumed. Because when I jammed it into the other slot, my laptop started charging! Within ten minutes, I was back to 100%.

Yeah. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is a computer trouble-shooting genius. And Cus is an overzealous control-center-table-duster.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Leaning Tree Of Hillmomba

For two years now, The Pony and I have been observing a freak of nature. No. We're not talking about Farmer H.

On the way to and from school, we drive down a quiet residential street, one lined with classic homes from a bygone era. Large homes. Homes that look like they might have secret passages, dumbwaiters, and parlors. Most are in good shape. Some are in the process of rehabbing. But for the most part, it's a scenic avenue with stately real estate.

The house that catches my attention each a.m. and p.m. is not all that stately. In fact, I could not describe that house if a 44 oz. Diet Coke depended on it. I am too transfixed by what stands in the front yard. It's a huge evergreen tree of indeterminate species. Cedar, perhaps. It leans alarmingly towards the street. For two years, I have been leery of this behemoth. "That tree is going to fall on us. I can feel it."

The Pony feels that my worries are unfounded. The odds of that tree falling at the exact instant T-Hoe rolls by are outrageously high. Huh. Let's not forget the fears of Aunt Josephine in A Series of Unfortunate Events. A tree canting like a drunken sailor cannot defy gravity forever.

Last week, perhaps due to rain, perhaps due to wind...The Leaning Evergreen of Hillmomba moved a few degrees closer to terra firma. A portion of the trunk snapped at the base, on the house side, leaving a shard of wood the size of rolled-up newspaper (Sunday edition) reaching skyward. "Look! That tree has shifted. It's going to fall. It's going to take out those power lines. I can't believe Ameren Missouri has not fed that behemoth to the wood chipper!"

Tuesday morning, The Pony had to be at Newmentia by 6:30 a.m. to leave for a W.Y.S.E. competition. Farmer H selflessly volunteered to drive him, so I did not have to spend 90 minutes at school waiting to start my day. I was missing my little Pony as I drove myself to town at the regular time. Sure, he sits behind me, and rarely speaks except to say, "I really don't want to talk right now." I know he's there, even though he leans toward the window so I can't see him in the rearview mirror. When I talk, I can pretend that I am actually talking to him, not to myself.

Tuesday morning, I talked to myself. "LOOK! I KNEW it was going to happen!" The Leaning Tree of Hillmomba had fallen, and it couldn't get up. The only thing keeping it from blocking the road was the power lines. That tree laid across them like Paul Bunyan laying sideways across a hammock. And my Pony was not there to see it! I couldn't get a picture, because my Pony was not there to snap one for me. I sent him a text once I arrived at school. Of all the days to miss our morning ride, The Pony had to miss this one.

I was eager to show him the carnage on the way home. Of course The Leaning Tree of Hillmomba had been surgically removed. Only about a foot of the trunk, and a few piles of sawdust, remained. I wonder if Tanya Tucker wants to come out of retirement to recreate one of her biggest hits. Some things are just not strong enough to bend.

There's a tree, out in the front yard, that finally has been broken by the wind...

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Obviously, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom Does Not Possess A Round Tuit

I must confess, blogoholics, that I have been holding out on you. I have another installment in the series I refer to inside my addled noggin as: Cus Wants to Kill Me.

I am unable to give it the proper attention it deserves tonight. And also unable to slather it with the right amount of tender loving care on Wednesday night. That's SURVIVOR night, people! And The Pony has his Smartypants practice. But maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to put it together by Thursday night.

You know you want it. I shall not disappoint. I've been keeping a log. Not a log that you might find under our front porch as of Sunday morning, a log from the creek bank most likely full of termites eager to jump from log to wraparound wooden porch to cedar mansion. Nor a log like Carrie Mae spoke of in The House Bunny. No. I've been keeping a written record of the latest atrocities Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has suffered at the raw-knuckled hands of Cus. With pictures!

So check back later in the week. You're in for a treat.

Unless something happens to me between now and then, like a mysterious workplace accident...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Why Can't We Just Trade Chickens And Goats?

I wish I had something scathingly brilliant to report tonight, but alas, I do not.

I have been updating the FAFSA. I do not find pleasure in updating the FAFSA. There's all that signing in and remembering passwords and PINS and figuring out what is the bare minimum that needs doing. I would happily have gone on with my life tonight, ignorant of the FAFSA needs, except that FAFSA sent me an email. Uh huh. Wanting me to update the status from "will file" a tax return to "filed" a tax return.

Hey! FAFSA! Have you heard? People have until April 15th to file a tax return. So why you wanna do me like this, FAFSA? Jumping the gun, putting the cart before the horse, counting the chickens before they hatch...let's take a deep breath here and allow the proper interval before chomping at the bit over this impending deadline.

It's not like my kid is going to qualify for any aid. Seriously. We're the pay people. So why do we need the FAFSA? Oh. Another link in the chain of financial information the government collects on law-abiding citizens. Pardon me. My conspiracy slip is showing. I blush.

Last year, it was like planning a Seinfeld baby-viewing expedition. Instead of, "You've got to see the BABY!" all we heard was, "You've got to file the FAFSA!"

In other news...The Pony will be getting a free ride to the Missouri Scholars Academy this summer. Three weeks on Newmentia's dime. If, by dime, we mean $500. Newmentia is picking up the tab for his fee. HooRah, Newmentia! Schoolin' my Pony! What a lovely way to say that you're thinkin' of me.

Enough is enough. I'm off to the counting house to count out my money. I might even take a break to partake of some bread and honey. One thing's for certain. You won't catch me in the courtyard hanging out the clothes.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

TV Is My Life

So many TV shows to watch, so little time!

I have frittered away my day with laundry and dish-washing and a trip to Save A Lot so my family does not starve, and a bit of bill-paying this morning so we're not out on our ear. Now I want to sit in my blue basement recliner and stare at the big screen TV and enjoy The Amazing Race, and Naked and Afraid, and something on the Food Network, and some stuff I have on the DVR from other nights when there were so many shows, so little time.

I'll leave you with my newest find this morning, while I was paying the bills. I don't remember the channel, and I think it's in reruns, but it's called An Idiot Abroad. On the episode I caught, this dude from somewhere in England (have you heard, it's an ISLAND!) was sent by Ricky Gervais to China. Ricky starts the show by saying how much fun it is to put his friend out of his comfort zone, and that he wants him to have the most miserable time possible, and that this show is quite possibly the most expensive practical joke he's ever played on anyone. Of course the dude is not thrilled to see The Great Wall of China, what with not just seeing the touristy part, but covering the entire wall, all the way to where it goes into the ocean. He declares that it really isn't protecting anything, because all one has to do is roll up one's pants, take off one's socks, and wade around the wall and voila! He's in China, ready to pillage.

Also, this dude did not care much for the food, what with eating a bag of "crisps" he brought with him while watching an old Chinese man eat a thousand-year-old egg. "What IS that?" Dude asked his cameraman. "A FETUS? Who eats a FETUS? Besides that gentleman over there. Can't he just let it be born, grow a little bit, THEN eat it?" Indeed.

Sorry. I have to skedaddle. My shows are coming on.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Pony Is Back In The Paddock

The Pony has had a busy day.

He (and I) had to arise at the crack of regular-school-day so he could take the ACT. It's his second time. He wants to better his score of 33 on his first attempt last fall. I went inside Newmentia to make my shopping list. I figured The Pony had earned a day off Sunday, and would rather lay about the Mansion rather than traipse through The Devil's Playground with me.

Ding dang dong if a plethora of testees (heh, heh, I said testees) didn't come waltzing into my room to sharpen their pencils. Okay. Perhaps waltzing is not the most accurate description. Shambling, maybe. Teens are not at their best at 7:30 a.m. The Pony was at first to blame, inviting one student to put a point on his graphite. Lucky they weren't vampires. Once you invite them in, you can't get rid of them, you know. A couple of others came to the door and politely requested sharpener privileges. Which I granted magnanimously, of course. I'm a sucker for a well-mannered request. But then the floodgates opened. It was like a house party gone wrong. I swear adolescents from the entire Mississippi River watershed showed up. Cus is going to think I am bent on revenge, what with the amount of shavings to be harvested from that metal teardrop.

The Pony was whisked away from the test minutes after completion, to high-tail it to his District Scholar Bowl Tournament far away in a region known for Oberle sausage, old houses, flooding, and French stuff. He and Farmer H just returned shortly before 9:00 p.m. I am pleased to report that the Newmentia team took first place, and will now compete at Sectionals. Yes. We are the mighty Newmentians!

I'm surprised our heads are not proportioned like that of the Fred Flintstone's little green buddy, The Great Gazoo.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Loosening The Noose

Farmer H is from the Bizarro World. He hears my commands, and does the opposite.

Just last evening, I told him to loosen Juno's collar. I have told him this on a regular basis for at least a month. And still, my sweet, sweet Juno cavorts around the acreage with a red collar of come-a-long material, woven nylon, I believe it's called, constricting her Adam's apple. If female dogs have Adam's apples.

So Farmer H comes over to the side porch, site of many a love-fest between Juno and me, where recently she has been receiving special treats of cat kibble. Juno was having none of Farmer H's commands to "Come over here, you stupid dog, so I can help you." He dragged her over to his woven metal porch chair, from which he holds forth on BBQ days with Gassy G. My sweet, sweet Juno crouched down, her feathered tail wagging nervously, the whites of her eyes showing as she implored me: "MAKE IT STOP!" Juno is not one to mince silent words. Nor is she a daddy's girl. It did not help matters that each attempt of Farmer H to loosen her collar resulted in a tightening of the collar.

Never have I seen a man who makes a living maintaining machines so clumsy in the mechanics of a woven nylon dog collar. Farmer H could not figure out the latch. The buckle. The hasp. The thingy that holds the collar closed. Nor the other thingy that loosens the neck noose so the pooch can grow without choking. After much stress to Juno and to Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, and a rare visit from The Pony to see what was taking us so long on the porch...Farmer H called for his surgical implements: Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's kitchen shears. He snipped that collar off of my sweet, sweet Juno and declared, "I'll buy her another collar."

Juno bounded the two feet across the porch on her four prancing dog feet. She snuffed up under my chin. She turned her head toward the roasting pan of cat kibble up on the shelf against the outer garage wall. "Turn your head," I told Farmer H. There's no need for you to see this." I grabbed a tiny handful of cat kibble and dropped it on the porch. A miniscule portion, really. Not enough to keep a bird alive. Okay, not enough to keep a big fat turkey alive.

"Huh. She gets enough food eating the hens' eggs all day."

No. She doesn't. She's just filling out. Becoming a young adult. Her figure is changing.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Dodging Most Of The Bullet

Today I took no chances. I stopped short of rounding up my class for a field trip to the cafeteria just before the bell. But I planned ahead. I put the mayonnaise on my turkey sandwich this morning before leaving home. Sure, it's better when I slather it on right before chowing down, with a white plastic knife, from a small square container with a blue lid that I keep in my mini-fridge. But a spread in time saves whine.

I popped that sandwich out of it's recycled turkey container, slapped it on a paper plate, grabbed the Lays and the water AND a hunk of paper towel, and hoofed it down to the lunchroom. I admit I was looking over my shoulder. AHA! I was the first faculty to arrive! I picked my seat (heh, heh) and plopped down like royalty upon a throne. Chipper showed up next. "Good to see you out here. I totally did not notice that chair thing."

And here came Tomato-Squirter. "Well, look at YOU!" she said, all Buddy the Elf talking to that raccoon in the woods on his way to New York to find his real father. "Sitting in your very own chair!" Let the record show that she staked out her rightful place with cup of caramel-colored indeterminate liquid, and reappeared mere seconds later with a full tray. I explained to those present that while I found Czar Gab likeable enough, I had no desire to sit in his lap and be bathed by his saliva.

Wouldn't you know it? At that very moment Czar Gab appeared in the doorway of the kitchen and in two telescoping strides was upon us. "Good to see you're back!" Czar Gab grabbed the buffer chair, and pulled it back away from the table, and sat down next to me. But not too close!

The Scorekeeper rounded out our Think Tank today. She arrived with lunch in a bottle and a tale of intrigue about a now-missing student, just before the announcement for kids in Jewels's class to report to her room instead of the cafeteria. Yes, my best-laid plans were all for naught, what with Jewels not even planning to eat at our lunch table today. Still, we had a rousing good time, just the five of us, with no beefs at this table of sloppy joe eaters. Near the end-times, I got up as usual to bid my adieu.

Upon reaching my destination of the faculty women's restroom, I made a disappointing discovery. The facilities were taken. TAKEN! More taken than seats at a multiplex draped with the coat of a woman with a face like a frying pan, big wall of hair. What a fine kettle of fish THIS was. Here I had protected my seat, escaped the two-days-ago smell of salmon and asparagus, only to find my pit stop thwarted. But wait. There arose from the interior a whale of a clatter. Like somebody did not know how to work the deadbolt. A novice was inside. Not Jewels.

I waited a polite distance away, over by the open mailbox cubbies. And then she emerged. The Book Lady. Neither fish nor fowl is she. Not a faculty member. Yet not a stranger. A businesswoman allowed into the inner sanctum every two weeks to hawk her wares. I daresay if we had a secret faculty swimming pool room, she would be given a key. Few people know her name. Me included. But here she was, fresh as a daisy, from her interlude with our toilet.

With a scant two minutes before the lunch bell summoned the teeming masses, I darted inside to do my business.

Those fans experiencing no joy in Mudville would have looked ecstatic compared to my emotion upon stepping into that private, hermetically-sealed, concrete-block tomb to relieve myself.

The Book Lady had just poo-pooed. Dropped the kids off at the pool. Pinched a loaf. Restocked Commode Lake with brown trout. Backed the big brown Caddy out of the garage. Sent the Browns to the Superbowl.

The AUDACITY! A faculty women's restroom is not just for any Pam, Vick, or Mary to waltz in off the street and make a deposit. There is a women's restroom right next to it! Our private craphouse is not for any adult who thinks they are too good for the regular plumbing. We are on a schedule! If you don't want to be pooping with high school students, perhaps you should schedule a time besides lunch. Just sayin'.

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom plans. Even Steven laughs.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

This Is Getting Out Of Hand

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has been unseated!

Yes. It happened again. There I was, with turkey sandwich and Lays potato chips and bottle of water in hand, happily trekking to the cafeteria, ready for a sumptuous repast and stimulating company. Hey. I can dream!

I rounded the corner by the twin giant gray industrial plastic trash cans, and saw that my seat was taken. TAKEN! Uh huh. Jewel was plopped smack dab in the middle of my chair, with an empty one where she usually sits, the former lunch seat of Tomato Squirter. I swear. Can she not make up her mind who she wants to anger each day? I've a good mind to whip up a little voodoo doll to teach her the error of her ways. Surely, after three quarters of managing to stay out of my lunch chair, she can make herself remember to avoid that ONE little section of the table until school is out. Uh huh. That's what makes me think she's doing it on purpose.

I turned on my heel and went back to my room to enjoy my meal with my favorite company: me, myself, and I. Oh, Jewel saw me see her. Yep. And she continued to sit smugly in my place. I was in no mood to take the next seat over. Remember what happened last time I did that? Sir Gab hydrated my inner elbow with his saliva. That's not happening again.

There is one week of my lunch duty remaining. After that, I don't know if I even want to go out there at lunch time. The rewards barely outweigh the aggravation.

Yesterday, even though I snagged my rightful rump-resting place, I was subjected to asparagus and salmon outgassing from Jewel's plate.

Next year, I have fourth hour plan period. That means I can choose which lunch shift to eat. I will only be pinned down to a specific shift for five weeks of duty.

Yes. I can dream.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Younger Than The Mountains, Growing Like A Weed

The Pony is a little hoarse. That's a punchline to a corny joke somewhere. But I am not joking. He has picked up a cough, and declares that he's just fine, but it's been going on since Sunday. I'll give him a week to ten days, then I'll take him to the vet doctor. Gotta keep him healthy. He's got some big days ahead of him.

Saturday is the ACT. That's in the morning. Then his Smartypants Team-mates will wait for him to finish, and depart for the District Academic Team Tournament. Tuesday The Pony goes to the College of #1 with the W.Y.S.E. team for a district competition. His coach told him he'd be eating lunch with his brother. Let's just say The Pony curbed his enthusiasm quite well.

The poor little fellow was certainly on his feed today. He tossed in an extra bag of Doritos for his lunch. After his academic practice, he was famished. He grabbed a handful of Starbursts from the snack file. He devoured two Grandma cookies in T-Hoe, then a baggie of Chex Mix that she brought US on Monday. While I was whipping up a supper of tortellini and salad and garlic toast, The Pony pranced around the kitchen while he was supposed to be helping. He was friskier than Juno hoping for a handful of cat kibble.

"Look, Pony. I'm making you the GOOD cheese. Sharp cheddar, fresh off the cheese grater. None of that bagged stuff tonight. Do you want tomatoes in your salad?"

"No. But since you would want me to eat my salad first, why don't I just eat it NOW, while you're cooking the pasta? Here's the dressing. Hand me the croutons." While accessorizing his salad, The Pony popped crumbled chunks of non-grated cheddar into his gaping maw. I swear I never even heard them hit the bottom of his bottomless gullet.

That salad was gone in two shakes of a lamb's tail. The Pony waited. He was like a hollow-legged millipede. Off he went with his heaping bowl of tortellini, and two of the four garlic toasts.

I think he might be entering a growth spurt.

Monday, April 7, 2014

I Demand A Silkwood Shower

The universe is not enough. You'd think the universe conspiring against Mrs. Hillbilly Mom all the live-long day in and day out would be sufficient karma for Even Steven. But no. Now the Newmentia ne'er-do-wells have to join forces with the cosmos to torment tired old HM and deny her the smallest pleasures of her workforce life. Pleasures like having her classroom furniture remain where she left it overnight. Pleasures like sitting down at the same place at the teacher lunch table where she has sat for the last five years. Pleasures like eating lunch in a relaxed manner while remaining dry and unmolested.

Today I slapped some home-brought mayo on my deli turkey on whole wheat English muffin, then grabbed a snack bag of Fritos and my water bottle, tore off a school issue paper towel from the huge white roll in my cabinet, and headed for the cafeteria. You'll never guess who was in my seat. Okay. You WILL guess. That's right. It was Jewel. She with no concept of personal space or staked territory. Had I been dead, my corpse would not yet have been cool. Sure, I was out Friday for the science fair. It's not like I took early retirement over the weekend.

Not only had Jewel consciously moved one seat to the right to steal MY seat, which is one seat over from the seat Jewel usually steals from Tomato-Squirter...but Jewel had deliberately left an empty seat, her USUAL stolen seat, between her and the seat Tomato-Squirter was in now. To me, that says that Jewel was in Tomato-Squirter's seat, then moved out of it into mine once Tomato-Squirter plunked down her soda cup and went in search of a tray. Well, of course this upset the apple cart of lunchtime interaction. I had to sit to Jewel's right, which put me in the empty seat usually left between me and Sir Gab.

Do you grasp the gravity of this situation, people? I WAS SANDWICHED BETWEEN JEWEL AND SIR GAB! On my left, Jewel gesticulated wildly, encroaching on my space, nearly whacking my turkey sandwich from my hand as she animatedly put her two cents worth into every conversation. On my right, Sir Gab chose this day to whisper conspiratorily about days gone by, past students, old incidents, like an bipolar low-talker in the manic phase. That meant I could not hear any other more interesting conversations, and had to nod my head like a back-windshield bobblehead on two miles of bad road, since he prefaced every sentence with, "Hillbilly remember the time..."

As if that was not torture enough, the waterboarding began. Sir Gab leaned in close, and spoke emphatically for effect...AND SHOT A BLOB OF SPITTLE ONTO MY INNER ELBOW! Oh, the HORROR! Of course he pretended it never happened. I could feel that saliva start to evaporate. I could not lean away to my left without risking decapitation by the karate-chopping hands of Jewel. I gave one last nod, grabbed up my paper plate and other trash, and left that banquet from not-heaven.

Thank the Gummi Mary those women who wait until I head for the faculty women's restroom, and then dart in there like Wimbledon ball-girls on Red Bull, were not expecting me quite so early. Sometimes, in the course of the work day, it's necessary to take a sponge bath in the faculty restroom sink.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Juno Haters Gonna Hate Juno

Farmer H abandoned his Gator this morning in favor of his lawnmower. He actually likes mowing the acreage. He did, however, have an agenda where my sweet, sweet Juno is concerned.

"Your dog's toys are all in the back of the Gator until I finish mowing. She had them scattered all over the front yard!"

"Well, she's a dog. Where else is she supposed to play with them? It's not like she has a toy box and picks them up every night before bedtime."

"I'm just telling you. Her toys are put away until I'm done."

"Fine. She'll just have to find herself another baby rabbit."

"Uh huh. A soft toy."

"Your old dog Grizzly ate rabbits, too."

"Yeah. I know."

"Juno cannot live on morning dog food, all-day eggs, afternoon cat kibble, and table scraps alone!"

"She chases the chickens when we're not looking."

"Grizzly chased the cats the minute we pulled out of the driveway. We caught him when we came back to get something."

"I know. But the cats clawed him so he didn't hurt them."

"Juno used to have scars on her face. I guess she learned her lesson. She doesn't hurt the chickens. Only grabs a tail feather. The guineas do that!"

"When that Alaskan dog was here yesterday, chasing the big red rooster, I was hoping she'd catch him so he could flog her real good. That'd break her of it if she gets loose again."

"Uh huh. And if we had a male dog again, maybe HE would keep other dogs from chasing our chickens."

We're working on Farmer H for a new pet. I hope he does not know the analogy of slowly heating a frog in a pot of water until it boils.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

New Dog In Town

The talk in the yard; it sounds so familiar
Great expectations, everybody's watching you
People you meet, they all seem to hate you
Even your old friends treat you like you're something new.

I looked up from bill-paying in Farmer H's La-Z-Boy this morning to see Farmer H driving his Gator through the front yard. Chasing a Malamute/Husky-looking dog. It was a slow-speed chase, kind of like a Humpty-Dumpty with a melon head being pursued down the sidewalk by an angry mob mounted on Rascals. The white-and-brown-furred canine disappeared past the driveway, and Farmer H turned and headed back for the BARn. I figured that Ol' Blue Eyes had high-tailed it under our neighbor's fence and was their problem now.

But no. About five minutes later, Ol' Blue Eyes was at it again, running across the front yard. CHASING CHICKENS! I did not see any feathers ripped out, but that flock got to hoppin' in a panic and ran into the woods. I launched myself out of Lazy and ripped open the front door. "GIT! GIT! BAD DOG! GIT ON HOME!" Because of course dogs understand exactly what I'm saying.

Ol' Blue Eyes had the audacity to ignore me! She walked across the yard where Ann and Juno like to sunbathe. She sniffed a pile of what might have been two-day-old rabbit fur. She looked at me insolently. AND STRETCHED OUT TO TAKE A PEE!

Clapping hands did not deter her from her mission. I suppose she grew tired of agitating me, because she headed up toward the road, and made a left at the sinkhole. I called Farmer H to tell him we had a chicken-chaser. Yes. He knew. He said she belonged to our down-the-hill neighbors, and they were trying to get her back. Hmpf. Not trying very hard. They have four-wheelers and a golf cart and a horse and a pony. Did they hop on and come get her? NO!

Farmer H said he had been aiding in the capture of Ol' Blue Eyes. Uh huh. Putting in as much effort as her people. When I went to town later, Ol' Blue Eyes was in their front yard, where they were peering under the hood of their son's truck. She was free as a bird. No leash, no rope, no chain, no collar.

I hope she has not developed a taste for feathers.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Nobody Knows The Damage I've Done, Nobody Knows His Horror

The Pony started the day in an especially festive mood. After all, he received a bit of good news in the mailbox Wednesday, he was missing a day of school to attend the annual science fair at the local junior college, and I was driving him through Hardee's for a sausage biscuit for breakfast. PLUS his grandma was bringing him pizza for lunch so he could avoid the line of the student center grill, AND she was picking him up after the fair to spend the night at her house.

As we headed up the driveway, T-Hoe's bucking steering wheel reopened a small cut in the bendy crack of the first joint of my right hand index finger. "Ow! Look, Pony. I cut my finger last night. I should have put a BandAid on it, but I'm not going back in now."

"What did you do to it?" Let the record show that on a normal day, The Pony would not even glance up at the cut, but would either grunt, or say, "Huh." Neither with any discernible emotion. But this morning he was all caring and sharing.

"Um. You really don't want to know."

"Yes I do. What happened?"

"Well, last night, as I was removing of the hooks pulled loose, and the ends opened up like a staple, and the sharp points cut my finger."

In the rearview mirror, I could see The Pony forehead-palming.

"And it's in this crack where it bends every time, and it will gap open every time I wash my hands, and it's going to take forever to heal."

"I am scrubbing that from my brain right now. No good to bring it up again. I won't know what you're talking about."

At the fair, The Pony saw an older lady walking around on the main floor, a college faculty member with her gray hair pulled back in a neck-level ponytail. "Hey. That is probably what Mrs. Colleague is going to look like when she is old."

Of course I told Mrs. Colleague. She chuckled. "Except that I'm not a lesbian."

Right before the awards were handed out for The Pony's category, in which he won 1st place, I turned to him on my left, and nodded my head over to Mrs. Colleague on my right. "You know, I told Mrs. Colleague what you said about her looking like that gray-haired lady when she's old."

"What did she say?"

"You don't want to know."

Thursday, April 3, 2014

What's Up? Rabbit Butt.

Caution! Do not read if you're a PETA operative. Don't be blastin' your Sarah McLachlan tear-jerker with your sad-eyed, one-legged, bald canine looking over your shoulder. Bless your pea-pickin', caring and sharing heart. I admire your selfless devotion to all critters great and small. But this post is not for you. Do yourself a favor, and teach your pound pup to shake hand. Look away.

The Pony ran down to my dark basement lair this evening after supper. He'd been working on a part for his Science Fair project display with his dad in the BARn. They cut a piece of plexiglass in a triangle form to represent a prism. The Pony has arranged rays of colored paper to shoot out from one side, while a plain white beam of paper light shines in the other side.

"Guess what your monster Juno is doing right now!"

"Uh. I don't know...eating eggs?"

"No! She's eating the back end of a baby rabbit! Actually, she's not even eating it. She's tossing it in the air and chasing it and tossing it again. And it's still alive. At least if she would eat it, the end would be over mercifully soon."

"Huh. What is Ann doing?"

"She's chasing Juno around, hoping to get a bite, but Juno is fending her off."

"That's my girl!"

Sorry, politically-correctors. I am not going out in the yard to chase a border collie/lab through the mud and wrestle a limp rabbit baby from her mouth. No. Not happening. I don't like to hear or observe animal cruelty. I'm talking about animals' inhumanity to animal. But there will not always be somebody around to protect the tender baby rabbits while I'm away. I can't punish an animal for what an animal does naturally. Unless it's for growling at another animal in our pack, of course. That's different. Because I say so.

Anyway...Juno grew up running rabbits with Tank the beagle, our dear deceased hound who had registration papers and a trial champion mother. No, we didn't seek him out and pay a fortune for him. The Veteran, Farmer H's second son, gave him to our boys for Christmas one year because he wasn't home long enough to take care of him. So Juno cut her teeth on rabbits. They were a three-way tag team, Tank and Juno running the rabbit, and Ann waiting in the BARn field to join them when they flushed it from the brush. That's what animals do. In nature. And that's the reason rabbits breed rabbits!

Juno must have a hollow leg. Legs. Her regular food, plus treats saved specifically for her from leftovers, handfuls of cat kibble, and eggs (ALLEGEDLY) are not enough. Now she wants rabbit butt.

I feel like an enabler.