Sunday, July 31, 2016

Mrs. HM Is Mad As A Hater (No, I Really DIDN'T Mean Hatter)

I must be brief this evening. I spent all day and half the night with water to my knees. WAIT A MINUTE! No I didn't! That was the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, singing "Ooh, Boys (It's Hot)."

No. It wasn't all that hot today, but it has been. And today, I spent six hours preparing foodstuffs for 24 traveling sun-vehicle personnel, who will be dropping by to feed and snooze in the Mansion's field Monday night.

Anyhoo, I am tired. I started at 8:30 boiling up the taters for the potato salad, and had the veggies and fruit prepped, and stuff moved to the BARn original FRIG by 3:00. Then it was off to town for my precious 44 oz Diet Coke. Let's not even talk about lunch, because I had none. Unless you count those 4 tastes of potato salad, and a couple of grapes that fell off the vine. You will be proud that Mrs. HM did NOT succumb to taste the cauliflower and broccoli. Tomorrow, I'll get to the baked beans.

So...The Pony was a major helper (as long as I don't refer to his duties as HELPING), what with bringing me items to save me a few steps. We loaded the results in T-Hoe, and I drove him to the BARn to unload them as I left on my way to town.

Let the record show that Farmer H was not very helpful throughout this ordeal, choosing instead to disappear, then show up at lunch time (for HIM) so I could make him something to eat. Then he disappeared a bit longer. Then he came in the Mansion to say he was leaving for a while. I knew he was going to Goodwill, even though he didn't reveal his destination. And he was JUST THERE last night!

Anyhoo...I told Farmer H, "I probably won't be cooking supper. I have to run to The Devil's Playground for some hamburger, then to Save A Lot for the bratwursts and giant hot dogs. I have been in this kitchen all day. You might want to pick up Casey's pizza for supper." And do you know what Farmer H said?

"I'll find something."

Meaning that he was NOT going to pick up Casey's pizza, which he does at the drop of a hat. Which left The Pony to eat six inches of his yesterday's Subway roast beef, and me to have a four-day-old boneless skinless chicken breast with some salsa and chips.

Okay, so as I started back from town, I tried to call, and then to text, Farmer H about unloading that meat into FRIG in the BARn. And to see if I should pick up some food. He had said he would be over there. But no answer! So I called The Pony, who said, "He's in the pool." So I arranged for The Pony to meet me on the porch, and I drove him to the BARn to unload my meat.

Let the record show that Farmer H was standing at the side of Poolio with his chin on his hands, staring at us as we drove back through the yard! AND when I walked across the back porch to the kitchen door, I saw that Farmer H had changed positions, and was on THAT side of Poolio, staring at me again. He was worse than that internet cat that creeps up when you're not looking.

"Why are you staring all the time? You watched us, but you didn't help like you said!"

"I waited. But then you didn't come back."

"I SAID I wouldn't even be back until at least 5:00. It's 5:20, and we've unloaded the meat already."

"Well, I had to sweep the dog poop off the porch..." (The Pony snorted at that, because HE swept the dog poop off the porch).

"So...I need to make myself some lupper? You're not getting a pizza?"

"Make yourself lupper."

I swear, I was certain that Farmer H was just being passive-aggressive again, and fully believed he would wait until I had my plate prepared, then drive off to town to get pizza, and bring it back and tell The Pony to tell me it was here. He's done that more than once.

Let me tell YOU, I was NOT going to have any of that passive-aggressive pizza! I don't care if it hopped out of the box, off the counter, slithered across the carpet and down the stairs, and jumped into my mouth and slid down my esophagus into my belly. I WOULD TAKE THE BIG BUTCHER KNIFE (made by Farmer H's employer) and carve that pizza out of my intestines so as to make it clear to Farmer H that I am tired of his shenanigans!

It kind of took the starch out of my sail when Farmer H did not go to town for pizza.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

A Car, A Jar, And Going Too Far

Sometimes, The Pony has the eye of a photographer.

He took that as he parked his little car last Monday evening. What he was really trying to get a picture of was this fat rabbit:

But the timing and conditions led to the other shot. Here's the whole thing together:

Yes, The Pony has a photographer's eye. Although, as he would be sure to tell you...

"But not in a jar beside my bed!"

Friday, July 29, 2016

A Crushing Work Of Breathtaking Insolence

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is crushed. Crushed, I tell you, over the behavior of Farmer H these past two days. I know it comes as a complete shock that Farmer H could be so oblivious to Mrs. HM's feelings. Okay. Not so much oblivious to her feelings as lacking a modicum of common sense innate to 50.4% of the U.S. human population.

Let the record show that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom stores her shredded lettuce for Super Nachos, her slaw mix for BBQ slaw, her broccoli slaw mix for crunching up her BBQ slaw, and the bag of romaine hearts for making the crisper of Frig II. You know what a crisper is, right? That little drawer compartment at the bottom of the refrigerator that is used to keep vegetables crisp. Am I right? Let me answer for you. YES. I am right.

Let the record further show that Farmer H has claimed the back right corner of that crisper to store one of his medications. One that he uses once a week. One that he refilled on Wednesday. Or rather made me drop off at his pharmacy so he could pick it up on the way home.

Let the engraved-in-stone record show that I despise his pharmacy, CeilingReds, because the workers always have a smirk when I go in there, like I am the butt of their joke, and that I in fact switched my own prescriptions out of another branch of CeilingReds where the workers were even polite. But I went out of my way Wednesday (by about 100 feet, as it is across the drainage ditch from the gas station chicken store) to drop off Farmer H's medicine box with the label stuck on it. And that I trudged through a downpour to the door, since I don't park in a handicap spot, and that the worker at the drop-off counter did indeed smirk at my drowned-rat-edness.

Imagine my consternation as I stood at the kitchen counter Wednesday evening, preparing Farmer H a delicious salad of romaine lettuce, shredded sharp cheddar, tomatoes, chopped egg, green onions, real bacon bits, and craisins...and heard a crunchy sound. I turned to see Farmer H bent over the crisper, rooting around, shoving that box of medicine over my bags of shredded lettuce, slaw mix, and broccoli slaw.

"Stop! What are you doing? You are smashing my lettuce! No wonder it turns brown before the Use By date!"

You know how fragile shredded lettuce is, right? It's as tender as a turn-of-the-century debutante. The least jostling will bruise it. Ruin it. And here was Farmer H, plowing through it like an Iditarod team through a fresh four feet of snow, in second place on the way to the finish line.

"It's fine. I'm putting away my medicine."

Because, you see, the thought of moving the lettuce, putting that box in the corner of the crisper, then replacing the lettuce...had not occurred to him.

Tonight I opened up the crisper for some shredded lettuce, and saw A 20 oz. BOTTLE OF DR. PEPPER laying across a bag of shredded lettuce! "No mas! No mas!" cried my Super Nachos.

Farmer H is either really, really dense...or really, really revenge-minded.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Do You Think Farmer H Is Trying To Tell Me Something?

Here is a picture he sent me a couple days ago:

Let the record show that we do NOT have a cow.

What in not-heaven would possess Farmer H to buy a sign cautioning people about a cow? Why would he spend his ill-gotten auction/Goodwill/flea market allowance on such an item?

I can only surmise that Farmer H is thinking that MRS. HILLBILLY MOM is a COW!

When questioned about the purchase, and the self-sent email that told Mrs. HM of this new addition, Farmer H replied, "Well, they didn't have one for a goat." Indeed. A likely story. So he immediately thought, I'll get a cow warning instead. A goat is kind of like a cow. Yeah. Right. No siree, Bob! Just ask blog buddy Sioux. A goat is NOT like a cow! Their eyes are totally different.

I think Farmer H was trying to put something over on me. Like inferring that I am a cow, and that people must be warned about me!

One thing is for certain. After this little incident...I'm about to have a cow!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom Can't Win For Losing

I firmly believe that some of The Devil's Handmaidens are moonlighting. Moonlighting at Save A Lot. In an attempt to cast off their wicked ways. Straighten up and fly right. They mean well. But they are having to deal with the consequences of the former path they chose.

When I tried to check out at Save A Lot earlier this week, I was stymied by the ol' Wrong-Lane Gremlin. You know. The knack I have for always choosing the slowest checker. It's even more of an art in Save A Lot. Because they never have more than two checkers working. I should just declare a moratorium on weighing my options, and make it my policy to always go to the opposite lane of the one I would have logically chosen.

Of course I went to the checker with a customer already nearly done. Just a couple of items left on the conveyor. Not the one behind the lady with the full cart.

The Saving Handmaiden gave the total. "That's $17.90."

"Oh. Just a minute." And she turned and grabbed a Snicker's bar from the display. Actually, she grabbed two, and one fell to the floor. But, to her credit, she put the fallen one on the counter, and put the other one back. The new total was not to her liking.

"Oh. Wait."

And the customer grabbed a Reese's Cup double. Which was still under a $20.00 total. So she fished around for a Hershey's.

"That's $19.80."

"All right."

"But I can't use your voucher for that."

"That's okay. I have cash for them."

In the meantime, another whole customer had gone through the other line. I could imagine problems with the voucher. So I moved out of my sweet-tooth line and into the other one. Of course the customer took her sweet time with a debit card that had a chip. After much bleeping and blooping, kind of like a casino jackpot, the machine accepted her plastic.

I only had a few items, you know. Four bags of Lay's Potato Chips. Some corn on the cob. Peanut butter crackers. And a box of fruit roll-ups for The Pony. My new Saving Handmaiden had them scanned quick as a whistle. I was paying cash. Ready to get out of there. I had more stops to make. I pulled the bills out of my shirt pocket.

"Do you know the price on these Little Debbie Muffins? Are they 2 for $3.00 or 2 for $4.00?" And to think I had been worried about the voucher lady. This new one who had taken my place in that line had a problem, too.

I'll be ding-dang-donged if my Saving Handmaiden didn't turn around. And offer to go look! Rather than tell that other Saving Handmaiden that she should go see for herself. Sweet Gummi Mary! If your customer doesn't know the price, and your register is not programmed, then get your own lazy butt down the aisle to look it up yourself! It's not like my Saving Handmaiden was without a customer! HELLOOOOO! I was standing right there, my money ready. But NO! My Saving Handmaiden LEFT ME holding the cash, and walked all the way down to the Little Debbie promotion, and called back, "They're 2 for $3.00."

Sometimes, I think I am destined to stop shopping and raise my own vittles.

Those Little Debbies will be a challenge.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A Sight That Could Have Traumatized Helen Keller

Are you sitting down? Do you have the smelling salts nearby? The tale today is not for the faint of heart, nor those of weak constitution. A pregnant woman with a heart condition and severe agoraphobia exacerbated by acrophobia would fare better on a dangle-legged roller coaster than an unsuspecting reader clicking onto this post. You have been warned.

I don't know what time you'll be reading. But if you're wiping the lobster butter from your chin, or nom-nomming a bowl of Edy's Grand Slow-Churned Double Fudge Brownie, or sitting down to a Cronut you waited in line four hours for...push away from the table. In fact, a mini-fast is in order, until your gorge will no longer have the urge to rise.

The sight I saw one evening last week has quite possibly scared me out of a year's girth. Hard-telling WHAT future effect it may have on The Pony's tender psyche.

Let the record show that every evening, Farmer H comes home from work, passes through the kitchen of the Mansion, sometimes grunts a greeting/sometimes doesn't, and heads out the front door to feed his animals and tinker with one of his current projects. Not that there's anything wrong with that. He could be telling me he was going to his basement workshop, turn on the table saw, and walk up the street to a neighborhood bar for several hours. Not that he ever exhibited such behavior with his previous wife, of course...

Anyhoo...after a couple hours of doing dude stuff, Farmer H returns to the Mansion to slip into something more comfortable. That being his once-silky SpongeBob once-bright-blue boxers. He tromps down the stairs, through the basement, through the workshop, and out the back door to Poolio. There's no rhyme nor reason to his wardrobe. He has two pair of perfectly good swim trunks that fit him fine. He chooses not to use them unless he's going to a Holiday Inn Express. The Pony and I know his habits. He'll stay out there about an hour, then come inside, tromp back upstairs, and find his supper on the stove.

One evening last week, The Pony drove himself to town to have a sit-down supper at a local Chinese restaurant. Not the one I prefer with the delicious hot & sour soup, but the one next to the old Sonic, where a couple of former Newmentia cronies refuse to eat, having made a deal with a higher power one autumn evening that if they were allowed to live, they would never eat food from that establishment again. Which is how half the faculty ended up with Chinese takeout on parent conference night, and the other half with Mexican cuisine.

I was in no hurry to prepare supper for Farmer H. It wouldn't be eaten until after his workweek routine, so whether it was merely cold or later cold didn't matter much. Farmer H came in while I was cooking, donned his swimwear, and headed down the steps. When the future meal was underway, I went out on the porch to give Puppy Jack and Juno their supper. Farmer H was in Poolio, and hollered up to the porch how the water was perfect. So cool on that 97-degree day. The day he'd spent in the oil pit at work, where there is no air conditioning.

I had to watch my sweet, sweet Juno lest she growl at Jack and take over his food pan lovingly stand too close to Jack while he was eating. I talked to Farmer H over my shoulder. About how Jack really needed that swimming pool Farmer H had promised to make for him out of a cut-off blue plastic barrel. I turned to head back inside when Jack was done and rummaging his tiny nose around the not-eaten dry dogfood in Juno's pan.

Then it happened. I caught a glimpse of Farmer H bobbing around in Poolio. He eschews the normal blow-up see-though cheap rafts from The Dollar Store, and chooses to bend two pool noodles to sit on. The two hollow back ends curve up behind Farmer H's back, and he holds onto the two front ends like they're controls to that stand-up loader thingy that Sigourney Weaver drove on the loading dock in Aliens. Or, if you haven't seen that classic, like he's an elephant holding onto his own tusks.

It was then that I became aware that tusks were not the only thing Farmer H had in common with an elephant.



Except that an elephant would have been embarrassed to have such a trunk, and would have perished, due to being unable to use that stunted appendage to grasp food, suck up water to squirt into its mouth for drinking, or spray its own back to cool off.

Farmer H had taken off his once-silky SpongeBob once-bright-blue boxers, and was bobbing around Poolio au naturel, sporting three noodles, only two of which had come from The Dollar Store.

I averted my gaze and castigated Farmer H for his uncouthiness.

"I can't believe you're swimming like that!"

"I take off my boxers so they don't get wet. Ain't nothin' wrong with that."

Let the record show that this IS the man who bundles up his work uniforms from the floor of the walk-in bathroom closet every Sunday evening, and walks them out to his car (parked under the carport, mind you, not inside the garage) while wearing only his tighty-whities. Let the record further show that the walk from house to car is in full view of the road. And that if a vehicle would happen to drive by, Farmer H would most likely wave to them.

The Pony arrived home shortly after I had returned to my dark basement lair. I had no intention of serving him up a scoop of my unwanted eye candy. Sometimes, one must suffer in silence to protect the innocent. Later, as The Pony reclined on the couch, and I reclined in my recliner, we heard a doggy commotion on the front porch. We heard Farmer H come out of the bedroom, and saw his ankles as he stumped across the living room to flip on the porch light and step outside.

"I hope he's wearing clothes."

"I KNOW! I saw him in the pool when I came back from supper!"

Poor Pony. He slapped the heel of his hand to his forehead, and began rocking gently to sooth himself. Much like he did a few minutes ago when I asked him what night it was that he went to town for Chinese last week. A date which he seems to have forgotten.

Unlike the unforgettable sight from the back porch, around the kitchen nook, where Farmer H floated in Poolio, sporting three noodles, only two of which came from The Dollar Store.

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Devil Is In The Retail

As you saw from the photo of my jacked-up Chinese Tupperware yesterday, the Mansion is stocked with cherries. I don't know if they're in season here in the good ol' U.S. of A., or if The Devil imports them from a far-away paradise where toddlers are paid half a zwieback a week to harvest them. What I DO know is that they're shiny and firm and as big as plums, and I buy a bag every week.

And now, for my tale of outrage...

Sunday, I was not happy to find myself in the slowest checkout line in The Devil's Playground. Of course I could have switched. But I have a knack for picking the slowest one. Without even trying! I chose the line where the lady at the register was forking over her cash. Almost. Because she decided on a card instead. And then she hadn't put her bags in her cart yet. She had a lot of bags. The Devil's Handmaiden was kind of talky, too. I stood there behind the next dude, who only had a ceiling fan and a couple of hardware items for attaching it. I stood there. For four minutes without moving. So...I looked into the lane to the right, even backed up and started over there, because while the customer piling merchandise on the conveyor had a lot of stuff...that Devil's Handmaiden was scanning it like she had been promised ice water by The Devil himself.

Yes, I backed up without beeping, and started to get in line, but an old guy and his woman cut in there forthwith. Let the record show that they, and the next couple who came up behind them, were paid and done before I got my stuff on the conveyor back at my original choice. Finally, my Handmaiden handed the receipt to Fan Dude and moved my stuff up to the scanner. I swear, she talked so much that I figured she was related to both of the previous customers.

I had hardly anything in my cart on Sunday. Everything was in the child seat section. We have a full freezer, and just needed a couple of basics. Some Pepcid, paper plates, paper towels, chicken wings, slaw mix, broccoli slaw mix, sliced red apples, a 2-lb. block of Extra Sharp Cheddar, and a bag of cherries.

The Devil's Not-Handy Maiden asked me how I was. Not as good as I was 20 minutes ago when I got in line. But I did not say that. Only, "Fine." Not wanting to encourage repartee. Not-Handy Maiden babbled on. I noticed that nobody got in line behind me. I guess they had already had the pleasure, and recognized her like a 1920s con man on an FBI Most Wanted poster. I also saw part of the reason for her measure-with-a-calendar checkout times.

The Devil's Not-Handy Maiden double-bagged everything. Every single bag. She took them off the wire holders and set them down in another bag. Seriously. She's costing The Devil an arm and a leg. No ice water for her!

"I put your cherries in that bag. (BAGS!) Except for the loose one. One got out. I didn't figure you wanted it. So I tossed it."

Yeah. I'm sure she did. AFTER she had weighed the bag and charged me by the pound for them. I daresay Not-Handy Maiden cheated me out of about 5 cents!

Or gypped me, as my mom might have said.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Denial Is A Fibber Egregious

Remember back a month ago, when The Pony and Farmer H went to Oklahoma for The Pony's OU registration? When The Pony drove his Rogue? I sent snacks for them in the cooler Farmer H packed with bottled water (but forgot the Diet Mountain Dews that I bought for him at Save A Lot).

Yes. Snacks. I packed some of those little crunchy breadstick/cheese packets. And peanut butter cheese crackers. And a Chinese Tupperware container of green grapes and stemmed cherries that fit perfectly in the cooler.

This is what it looked like when I got it back:

Oh, I don't mind that they ate most of the fruit that I had cram-packed in that container. What I mind is that they damaged my Chinese Tupperware. Look at it! See there? One of those corners is not like the other. It looks like they dropped it.

What I mind most is that neither one of them knows anything about it. Nope. Nobody dropped it. What am I talking about? Corner? What's wrong with it? Oh. That one? Looks like it got chipped. No. I don't know how. Maybe it was like that when you packed it.

Sweet Gummi Mary!

I can't get Chinese Tupperware like that anymore. And the #1 son has kept about five sets of them. Though he, too, denies it. Probably just threw them away!

This is why Mrs. Hillbilly Mom can't have not-even nice things.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

One Beverage, Two Photos

Let the record show that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom did NOT consume TWO of her magical elixirs during The Time of Cutting Back. No. There are two pictures of the same soda.

This picture, taken by The Pony, as was the next one, shows a background of the fake electric fireplace Farmer H rushed out and bought two of after Icepocalypse '06. Uh huh. AFTER the Icepocalypse of '06. When Lowe's had the prices jacked up. Because, you see, you can close off a room and run an electric fireplace off a generator if you cut all your other amps, and still maybe get a computer and a TV to run. Farmer H had me with computer and TV. Not that he asked me before he plopped down the cold, hard debit card for both, of course. Back when shoe inserts from The Good Feet Store were still just a sparkle in his eye.

Also in this top photo, you can see the fake dog Farmer H picked up at some auction or flea market. Saying it was for me. Me. Who has never had a dog like that. It's not like he took poor sweet Sorrow from The Hotel New Hampshire and had him stuffed. It's a resin dog.

This second photo does not distort the cup so much. It also showcases that fireplace, and the bulbous end of one of Farmer H's camouflage Crocs, which sit there waiting for him to slip his (ugh) stubby feet into them, and batten down the heel strap. If you look at the end of the table, you can find a glimpse of a giant roll of bubble wrap that we save to pack items for the #1 son's care packages, or items he needs us to return.

But the idiosyncrasies of Mrs. HM's housekeeping are not the issue here. Her (brief) withdrawal from her magical elixir is the topic.

The week before last, Mrs. HM had a taper-down moment. She was, after all, preparing for a writing conference. No need to be all hopped-up on caffeine for her pitch session. No need to have her kidneys accustomed to a rapid excretion rate. So she cut back. THE HORROR!

Yes, Tuesday of the pre-conference Saturday, Mrs. HM took her last sip of 44 oz Diet Coke. Which is not to say was her final taste of that tasty no-calorie, no-nutrient, artificially-colored water. Nope. She cut back. She didn't go cold turkey. No need to give herself a headache on conference day.

Wednesday, Day One. The first day of the rest of her taper meant a 32 oz cup with two knuckles of ice. Let the record show that her regular imbibtion rate is 44 oz with a few clinks of ice. Maybe six little cubes out of that soda fountain. Just enough to sound like she's getting ice in her drink. So the first day meant about 30 oz instead of 43 oz.

Thursday, Day Two. The second day was a 32 oz cup half full of ice! Half full of ice! So only about 16 oz of Diet Coke that day.

Friday, Day Three. NO FOUNTAIN SODA! But a can of regular Coke. That's only 12 oz. Just enough to prevent a headache.

Saturday, Conference Day. NO COKE OF ANY KIND!!! But I DID have a Diet Pepsi in a can that The Pony found over by the fruit table at the conference. Actually, blog buddy Sioux found it, and tipped off The Pony, and was overheard by Mrs. HM. Sweet Gummi Mary! You didn't think The Pony would find anything anywhere near a fruit table, did you?

Sunday, Day After Conference. Back to the ol' 44 oz Diet Coke! That monkey was welcome to resaddle and ride Mrs. HM to the NASCAR bathroom all afternoon.

I love the kick of 44 oz Diet Coke in the afternoon.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Please Refrain From Inviting Jack To A Sausagefest

Yes! I know what that means!

But I also know that my Puppy Jack should not be invited to a soiree where sausages are being slapped onto plates all willy-nilly. The thing about tiny dogs is that they have tiny mouths. So tiny, in fact, that even those Deliverance hillbillies would have said, "You shore got a tiny mouth!" Not a good thing for Deliverance hillbillies, I would imagine. And not a good thing for Puppy Jack.

Last week, I grabbed a leftover bratwurst from Frig II to give to my sweet, sweet Juno as I went out to feed Puppy Jack his supper. Juno is a grown-tail adult dog, and doesn't need her meals spread out twice a day. But we've always given her a treat when it's time for Jack's supper, so she doesn't harbor resentment.

"What the not-heaven?" I thought. "Might as well give Jacky boy a little taste." So I cut the end off the sausage. Just the tip. (heh, heh)

I gave Juno her lion's share of that bratwurst. Put it in her food pan, as I was getting the scoop for Jack's dry puppy food. I tossed the tip of the sausage (Aha! A new boutique store! Like Top o' the Muffin to You. I could have a boutique sausage store for puppy treats called Just the Tip. What could possibly go wrong there?)

Juno had already swallowed the entire sausage by the time I got Jack's half cup of kibble in the measuring cup. And there was Jacky boy, choking on the tip. He could not get his jaws open wide enough. Had to try and molar the side of that tip. To make it swallowable.

Same thing happened when I tried to treat Jack to the very end of a corn dog. He can't wrap his mouth around such enormous wieners. To him, anyway.

Please refrain from inviting Jack to a sausagefest.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Hillmomba Royalty

The queen rests upon her throne, surveying her subjects and her kingdom...

Oh, how I wish that was me! The queen upon her throne. Not THIS particular throne. And not the bathroom type of throne. You know what I mean. But all I have is this picture of our cat, Dusty, atop a highchair that Farmer H picked up from the end of someone's driveway many months ago.

Yeah. He HAD to have that highchair. And two other regular chairs, too. That are still sitting at the end of the porch. Like this one, on the side porch. Just a cat climber. Being weathered to look far worse than that early spring day he found it along the road. You might see some of his other treasures jammed into the shelves in the background. I've lost track of Farmer H's stuff. And I don't dare dispose of it.

This was a mailbox cat. We found her and five others down by the creek, dumped out by Mailbox Row. Young #1 son persuaded Farmer H to let us take in three of them. They are not my favorites. Have never been friendly. This is probably the best of those three, which also include Simba the tan tiger-stripe who almost lost an eye in a fight, and Stockings the black-and-white tuxedo cat who sashays his oversized rump in a come-hither manner for our male canines. Not sure what's goin' on there, but Tank the Beagle and now Puppy Jack have had a more-than-passing interest in him.

Our good cats, Genius and Snuggles, have gone to the big farm in the sky. Or in Snuggles's case, perhaps to the house of the neighbor we think of as that creepy Anthony Perkins dude in Psycho.

I don't actually begrudge Dusty her throne. It would be really uncomfortable for me.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Taquito Bandito

Last week, the #1 son came home to pick up his tent. No, he hasn't decided to chuck the whole computer engineering thing and join the circus. It's not a Big Top tent, but a tiny two-man camping tent. Green. He needs it for the great solar car race that he left for today. Left for. With five vehicles, not counting the semi truck that hauls the solar car when it's not sunning down the highway.

#1 said he'd only be here long enough to grab his tent and sleeping bag. I talked him into getting my new phone ready, but that's a story you'll have to read elsewhere. He came in the house to deal with the phone, and noticed the supper that I had prepared for Farmer H. Uh huh. The seven-course gourmet repast fit for a king. Heh, heh.

Farmer H is known for passing right through the house when he gets home. In the kitchen door, out the front door. He may or may not speak before he heads outside to commune with his critters, and work on his latest shack project. So supper sits on the stove until he's good and ready. The Pony and I do not wait for him. He's on his own.

On this particular night, I had set aside seven taquitos for Farmer H. The beef taquitos. We like both, but I had just rediscovered them at The Devil's Playground, and freezer space is limited. So I did not get the chicken variety as well.

#1 got to sniffing around the kitchen of the Mansion. "Oh! Taquitos!" Let the record show that even back when he lived here, and we had a regular meal of taquitos with actual side dishes, he did not partake. Funny how living on one's own, spending one's own (parentally-saved college fund) money for food, leads one to try different dishes.

"Do you want one? Dad will never know how many were there."

"Yeah. Maybe two..."

"Oh, just take them all. I can put more in the oven for him."

"Okay. If you're sure..."

Yes, I was sure. Sure that #1 would be eating one taquito, then two, then three...and even Farmer H knows that I don't just leave him four or fewer taquitos for his supper. They are small! Thus the name, taquito.

It's not exactly like Lou Grant having his way with Veal Prince Orloff at Mary's dinner party. When Mary pointed out in the kitchen that Mr. Grant had taken three slices. HALF! And told him to put some back. Nope. Not exactly like that, because #1 took 100% of the taquito meal. Not just half.

Don't go hatin' on Mrs. Hillbilly Mom for her title. Back in the day, when Li'l Future Mrs. Hillbilly Mom was coming up, such a title was not frowned upon. Not seen as offensive. Just ask the red-or-green-or-blue rubber pencil-top erasers Li'l Future Mrs. Hillbilly Mom got out of her snack pack carton of Fritos. The erasers in the likeness of The Frito Bandito.

And if you have a problem with that, you can take it up with my drunken slob friend the Hawaiian Punch man.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom Waxes Poetic, Hopes You Agree With Her Esthetic

I think that I shall always cheer
A sight as lovely as these deer.

A sight that conjures heartfelt sighs
And brings near tears to these old eyes.

A sight that only few folks see
And makes me glad that one is ME.

A sight that hunters wish they had
Sweet Gummi Mary, that's so sad!

We built on their land, let them be
I'm glad keen senses make them flee.

I ain't no poet, that I knows
Don't care a bit, that buck and does!

The pictures from The Pony's phone don't do them justice. Shortly after 9:00 a.m., having just arisen and plopped down in the La-Z-Boy to enjoy the first day of the rest of my retirement, I was treated to the sight of three deer strolling across my front yard/field. It was a buck and two does. They were majestic, all sleek and pointy-eared, looking toward the house.

I hollered for The Pony to get up and look at them. That lazy boy! Still abed at that hour! He ran out of the bedroom and said he would get their picture.

"NO! They'll hear you open the door! Just LOOK at them! They're beautiful!"

"Aw! I see them. I'll get a picture."

"Go around back, through the kitchen door, and sneak around the corner. You may get a picture before they notice you."

Off he went. Quietly. But deer are skittish critters. When they saw movement, they high-tailed it on up the gravel road. I'm sure people who have infestations of unwanted deer in some suburbs don't share my awe. Out here, they are wild, and we are only borrowing their land. Of course, a hunting season is needed so they don't overpopulate and slowly starve.

I don't think I could shoot one. Eat it, yeah. But shoot one, no.

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Pony's Latest Conquests

Fresh on the heels of The Pony's chick pickup, I bring you The Pony's latest conquests.

I try to see the beauty in each of them. I really do. But one has that insipid duck-lip thing going on. Why women think that is attractive, I'll never know. And The Pony's conquest even has the pouty look to go along with it. With a little bit of attitude. His other conquest is feeling kind of blue. Perhaps because a nose job seems to be in order. And a good waxing. Of EVERYTHING. But who am I to criticize the looks of any little doll The Pony sees fit to pursue and bring home? He won their affections, and now I must accept them. I fear they may end up in his bed. Both at the same time. Hopefully, nothing more than hugging will ensue.

We actually have a picture of the two conquests, side by side on the couch. No, they weren't passed out. They were staring right into the camera. Don't judge The Pony because he snapped that picture of them with no clothes. I mean the conquests had no clothes! NOT The Pony! Sweet Gummi Mary! It's not like The Pony stepped out of his safari tent and shot at an elephant in his pajamas.

Today we picked up The Pony's new glasses. He must have been looking pretty good in them, because on the way out the door of The Devil's Playground after our shopping trip, he hooked his two latest conquests. Not that I would call them hookers. Hookies, maybe. But just because they would go home with anybody without complaint is no reason to cast aspersions upon their virtue. No need to refer to them as $2 hookers. Because...let the record show...each of them came home with The Pony for only A DOLLAR apiece!

Yes, The Pony got a little grabby and seized them each by the head, dumping them into a bin on top of each other, then dragging them out and into the cart. He made them ride in the back of T-Hoe, then carried them into the Mansion by their feet like a satisfied caveman.

What he's going to do with them now...he has no idea.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Pony Picks Up 5 Hot Chicks

Yes, who would have thought The Pony had it in him? Just the other night, he picked up five hot chicks! He even brought them home to Hillbilly Mom. We met on the porch, me and The Pony's bevy of beauties. Then he took them to bed!

Actually, it was Farmer H who hooked up The Pony with his companions for the evening. Farmer H who found them. He called The Pony to come take them off his hands. He even tipped his hat to those chicks.

Farmer H discovered that a hen had hatched her nest eggs. He called The Pony and told him to come get six chicks. He was putting them up so they wouldn't get eaten, or drown in the water pan. The nest was in a hay bale under the old camper shell that Farmer H made into a Gatorport. He parks the Gator under it, and stacks hay there, since it's right beside the pen for Barry the mini pony and Billy the goat.

Farmer H handed The Pony his hat, and told him to bring the chicks while he got the hutch ready. The old rabbit hutch where Puppy Jack spent his first couple of weeks when he weighed less than three pounds. The Pony carried them over to the porch to show me, then took them back to be with their hen-mom. "Dad said there were six, but really there are only five."

An hour later, Farmer H called The Pony back.

"I heard Jack barking. He wouldn't quit. So I went to look where he was at, and he was under the Gator, barking at chick! You missed one! I put it in the hutch before Jack could eat it."

"I doubt that he could eat it. His mouth is so tiny, he can't even eat a hot dog."

"Well, he could kill it, even if he didn't eat it. But it's put up now."

So much for The Pony taking care of his bevy of chicks.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

This Is Probably Like Giving My Thin Inner-Elbow Blood To A Vampire...

Tuesday morning, I had a couple of hours to kill before my optometrist appointment, so I put a dozen eggs on to boil. I like having a carton of them ready to go. Quick breakfast, or 1/7 of a 7-layer salad, or a component of tuna or chicken salad.

I can't boil the eggs from our very own yard chickens. Well. Nothing physically prevents it. But the peeling of the boiled home-eggs dissuades me. The fresher the egg, the harder to peel. So I bought these at Save A Lot on Monday. I always open the carton to make sure I'm not buying broken eggs. They checked out, so I put them on the bottom shelf of Frig II when I got home.

As I was putting those 12 eggs into the water in my large copper-bottom pot for boiling, the next-to-next-to-last one was stuck. You know what that means. There was a crack in it, and its albumin had leaked out. I pried it loose. It still looked okay, so I put it in the water with its 11 buddies. Almost immediately, the water developed a foam on top. I skimmed a bunch of it off, but it kept coming back. There was one egg floating at the surface, so I took it out. The foaming stopped. But then started again with a vengeance within a minute. Sweet Gummi Mary! Only Mrs. HM can buy a dozen eggs and get 10.

I found the other bad egg after scooping out more foam, because it had a regular ribbon of egg white flowing from it. You could see the shell expanding like the Earth's crust at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. I put it in a bowl with the other bad egg, planning on a treat for Puppy Jack and Juno later in the day.

That's right. I planned to give my dogs a treat of eggs, while expecting them to leave alone the eggs our chickens lay wherever they feel the urge.

"Pony, take these eggs out to the dogs. That one cracked open with the white bulging out is for Jack, and the whole one is for Juno. It's not cooked much, so don't drop it on the porch. Do you think I should peel Jack's egg so he doesn't eat the shell?"

"Nah. Juno always eats the shell when she gets the eggs out of the yard."

 Probably not the best of ideas, giving Puppy Jack a taste.

Friday, July 15, 2016

A Hillbilly Mom And Pony Show

Here's what you're going to miss when The Pony goes off to college. You may be sighing a sigh of relief, but I, myself, am not.

We were waiting to enter the building before an appointment Monday afternoon, and I was sitting behind the wheel of T-Hoe writing out a check. The Pony, more that likely with his nose out of joint about riding UP FRONT with me in the shotgun seat rather than behind me like chauffeured royalty, picked up my plastic change cup and started fiddling with it.


"Pick that up! I have enough trouble finding correct change for my 44 oz Diet Coke every day!"

"Um. I can't pick it up. It's in that crack where the seat hooks in."

"Great! What was it, a quarter?"

"No. Just a nickel."

"Well, when we trade this car, somebody's going to get a free nickel!"

"At least they won't get a pink disposable lighter!"

"Yeah. I STILL want to know why Dad found that in your car."

"I guess it fell out of somebody's pocket when they took a test drive. It's not MINE!"

"Are you SURE there isn't something you want to tell us?"


"Have you been smoking crack all these times I thought you should have been home earlier?"

"I don't even know how to light one of those things."

"That's what's so sad! How are you going to--"


"Well, I'd HOPE!"

"Oh...the crack, too."

"I HOPE you don't know how to light a crack pipe!"

"Your eyes are really tiny. The pupil. It's like a pinpoint."

"The sun is reflecting off that white car there, giving me a glare. Of course my pupils contracted."

"The rest of your eye is really cool. It has a kind of green part with flecks of red--"


"Or brown. Flecks. And then there's a kind of ring that is grayish--"

"You pretty much have my eyes--"

"But not in a jar beside my bed!"

I don't know what's going to become of that boy. He's a master of misdirection. But pretty much incapable of perfecting vices that other kids have been honing for years.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Real Thing That Goes Bump In The Night

Perhaps you recall that some weird, wacky stuff goes on here at the Mansion. Unexplainable stuff. Eerie, almost. We never know what's going to happen, but sometimes we have an inkling that events are ramping up.

Friday night, The Pony and I watched a DVD of the 2004 movie Saved! Just because I think it's hilarious, and we have been having movie nights with young-people movies, enjoying the ever-dwindling nights we have left before The Pony goes off to college. We've been through Revenge of the Nerds, Empire Records, and Dazed and Confused, to name a few.

So Friday, we were watching Saved! when up in the bedrooms there arose such a clatter, I looked up at the floor to see what was the matter. Okay. Not so much a clatter as thumping footsteps. We haven't heard any for a while. But on Friday night, they were in the #1 son's room, and The Pony's room, and in between. I'd look at him, and he'd look at me, and then we'd go back to watching the movie. Finally, after a particularly lengthy parade, I said, "Don't you hear that?"

And The Pony said, "YEEEESSSS! And I'm trying not to think about it, because I have to sleep up there. That's why I keep my door closed."

It went on even after the movie, after The Pony showered and went to bed. I would have sworn it was The Pony up and walking, so realistic were the footsteps. When I went upstairs after 2:00 a.m., I heard it again. As I was nearing the top step. Over behind my shoulder, around the corner, in the area of The Pony's room. It was a bit disconcerting, but nothing that hasn't happened before.

Saturday night, we were busy with other stuff. I stayed in my office, and The Pony took a bath in the big tub upstairs on the other end of the house. So if there were imaginary feet running around, I don't know. I was only out by the TV for a few minutes.

Sunday night, we were in the middle of a DVR of that night's Big Brother. It was around 9:30. We'd been talking back and forth, making fun of certain houseguests, me in the blue recliner, The Pony laying on the couch with his laptop open. There's a gal on that show that The Pony likes, but I don't. She's not much to look at, but The Pony says she is an Elven Princess. She had a closeup, and I said, "There's your girl!" He was looking down at his laptop. He glanced up. "You didn't even see her! Want me to rewind?"

"I saw her."

"No you didn't. I was looking right at you. I wish you'd just watch with me, not be on that computer. Here. Let me rewind. You like her."

"You don't have to."

"I will. You missed her." I was looking at him peering at the TV over the top of his flipped-open laptop.


I swear. The Pony's hand was nowhere near that can. NOTHING was near it. It had been sitting there, partially obscured by his green metal water cup. I only knew it was there because I've been harping at him about throwing away his collection of Coke cans on that table. Most of them are down on the lower tier of the table, but these two beverage containers were on the upper ledge, where all The Pony has to do is lean over a bit and stretch out his arm to grasp one. Both of his hands were at the laptop keyboard.

"WHAT WAS THAT? Did something just land over by the couch? Down by your knees? What in the--"

"YES!" The Pony sat up and and leaned over. He picked it up. "A Coke can!"

"Did it spill? Check the rug."

"No. It's dry. That can was just sitting there! HOW did it jump off like that?"

"I don't know. But it didn't even just fall straight down. It came sideways by the couch. At least a foot! More like two!"

"I KNOW! That isn't creepy at all..."

Let the record show that about a half hour before that happened, The Pony was sitting up on the couch, in the middle, and rubbed his forearm.

"I swear, it felt like you spit on me. Like you were talking and some spit flew over here. I felt my arm, but it was dry. It's like you thought the shower was dripping the other night."

"I know! I would have SWORN it was dripping. I felt something on my head. At first I thought it might be a fly, so I waved my hand around and then touched it. My hair was wet! I just knew there was a leak. It was right after you started your shower. I even got up and waited, then felt the back of the chair. It was dry. But SOMETHING was on my head, because it was wet. I felt it two or three times, that drip. But not since that night."

"I don't know what's going on, but there was no way that Coke can should have jumped like that. NOTHING TOUCHED IT!"

"I know! I was looking right at you when it happened."

"That's just impossible."

"PONY! When you go off to college, I'm going to be down here BY MYSELF AT NIGHT!"

"You can have Dad come down and watch TV with you."

"No. I think I'll be all right."

Seriously. How could he think that would cheer me up?


Let the record show that I had a tremendous amount of trouble finishing this post. I had it half done this afternoon, then logged off and shut down my browser, and went back to it around 10:30 p.m. after working for a while in my other account. It immediately gave me the pink bar at the top. "An error occurred while trying to save or publish your post. Please try again."

Yeah. The pink bar of despair. If I didn't know better, I'd say that SOMEBODY doesn't want this story to get out on Thursday when I have it scheduled!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Nobody Appreciates Uranus Like Mrs. Hillbilly Mom!

Here's the kind of exchange I will miss when my precious Pony leaves the nest. To set the scene, the record must show that on our trip to Oklahoma several weeks ago, we kept passing billboards between Rolla and Springfield, MO that advertised the Uranus Fudge Factory.

"The Best Fudge comes from Uranus"

"Help Us Put Fudge in Uranus",f_auto,h_200,w_200/v1426141763/pcojxki5oy6m6wtddplv.png

We were in a hurry both ways, and did not manage to stop. This was something new to me, because it was NOT there when I drove that road for four years of college, and for another two years of work in that area. The area of Springfield. Not the area of Uranus. Uranus sprang up while I was away.

Sunday, we took a drive down to Lambert's, the Throwed Roll Restaurant. That's a tale for another time and another place. But on the way back, we saw a billboard for Uranus! On the opposite side of the state.

"Pony, I can't believe that when you and dad were busy secretly spending my money at the knife factory last week on your registration trip, you didn't at least bring me some candy from Uranus!"

"We SAW Uranus, but we didn't go in."

"That's disappointing. You had plenty of time."

"I think Dad was asleep when we went through Uranus. I didn't want to wake him up just for that."

Yep. The story of my life. My men passed through Uranus, and I didn't even get a lousy T-shirt, much less any delicious fudge.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Everybody's Got A Doppelganger

Saturday I pulled up to the gas station chicken store for my 44 oz Diet Coke. I was fiddling with my winning lottery tickets, seeing how much I was cashing in, and then counting out my correct change for my magical elixir, when I heard a buzzing noise. Kind of annoying. I thought at first that perhaps a wasp was outside T-Hoe's window. They have a habit of living in his mirrors, and then flying around while I'm in town, and jumping back in there for the ride home.

I opened the door and stepped out, and realized that the noise was a lawnmower. A guy was cutting the grass over by the stoplight, at the end of the car dealer up on the hill. The one with the big cow, or the elephant wearing sunglasses, or the big chicken. Depends on which animal they are currently using to advertise.

As I rounded T-Hoe's rear, the noise grew louder. WTF, man! Get a muffler on that thing! I turned to scowl at him over my shoulder, like that would be effective, what with him across the parking lot and across the road from me...and saw him RIGHT THERE! That man had driven across the road and onto the parking lot of the gas station chicken store. Oh, crap! Another weirdo! I scurried inside.

There was no line at the soda fountain. The friendly gal had taken over chicken duties for the day, but she had no corn dogs, so I went on by. The happy gal rang me up, cashing out my tickets and giving me more. And then he appeared.

That Lawnmower Guy was SO LOUD! Just like his lawnmower! He stepped up to my left side and started talking to a guy behind him. Lawnmower Guy was either deaf from all his lawnmowering, or he thought he was quite important, and everyone in a three-county area needed to hear his speech. The friendly gal came around to the spare register, and asked if she could help him.


Yep. He had driven his lawnmower over for gas. I don't know why he reminded me so much of Farmer H.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom Might Need To Go Back To Work To Get Caught Up

You know how, when you're working, and people who are retired tell you, "Oh, I'm SO much busier now that I'm retired than I was when I was working," you want to route them out some new plumbing?

I'm so much busier now that I'm retired than when I was working.

My plumbing is functioning adequately. No need to assist me in that department. What I do need assistance in is getting my act together before the writers' conference The Pony and I will be attending on Saturday. Perhaps I should not have procrastinated. Now time draws short, and Mrs. HM has other responsibilities.

Sunday, we went to the Throwed Roll Restaurant. It was a business trip, you see. Not a personal outing. We decided to see how long it takes The Pony to drive from here to there, the Mansion to the conference site, and since the Throwed Roll Restaurant was only a roll's throw away, we made that part of our Sunday drive.

Monday, I have an appointment with The Pony in the evening.

Tuesday, I go to the optometrist at 9:00, and he will dilate my eyes, which means the day will be shot because I will be freakin' blind, walking around bumping into things like Toddler Pony, except that I will actually have a reason, what with my eyes as big as saucers and feeling like I'm underwater. Thank the Gummi Mary, I have The Pony to drive me home.

Wednesday, The Pony has an optometrist appointment. He has had his eyes dilated once, and we're not sure this time, because the appointment-maker was pretty vague about whether he would be having that. So I'm driving him that day, to his 3:15 appointment.

Thursday and Friday I should have some time carved out for myself.

Saturday we will be leaving at the crack of 6:00 a.m. to head to the conference.

I hope Farmer H doesn't expect me to be his maid and cook this week. Because I really need to squeeze some time in for a haircut. Maybe I can do that while my eyes are watery.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Lazy Woman's 7- Layer Salad

Today's picture should be a little more appetizing than yesterday's. PROMISE! Unless you are some kind of crazy cannibal who likes your meals served rare.

I love a good 7-layer salad. Thing is, they take a while to make, what with their 7 layers and all. I figured what I needed was a poor man's 7-layer salad. Okay. More specifically, a LAZY WOMAN'S 7-layer salad. So I set about making it happen.

LAYER 1. I didn't want to take time hacking at romaine lettuce leaves, so I figured I could use my shredded iceberg that I have for Super Nachos.

LAYER 2. Frozen peas? Already had some in the mini deep freeze in the laundry room, left over from the real 7-layer salad at Easter.

LAYER 3. Those little green onions? I could use the regular white onions I have for Super Nachos.

LAYER 4.  I drove to Save A Lot for a dozen eggs, because our chickens are quite inconsiderate in laying those FRESH eggs, which are so very hard to peel once boiled.

LAYER 5. Mayo? Still had some in Frig II. The real Kraft kind. Not store brand or that b@stardly Miracle Whip.

LAYER 6. Now you might think I'd take a shortcut on the cheese, and used that part-skim shredded kind in a bag. Nope. The best part of the 7-layer salad is the cheese. I fished around in the back of Frig II's midsection, and found a two-pound block of extra-sharp cheddar.

LAYER 7. Bacon? Too much work. I picked up some REAL bacon bits in a resealable bag at Save A Lot.

Yum. All 7 layers present and accounted for.

Here's how a Lazy Woman's 7-Layer Salad turns out.

Uh huh. An INDIVIDUAL 7-layer salad. Don't be thinking that Farmer H was getting one of these! Actually, he was offered, and declined. The Pony only eats lettuce, cheese, ranch, and croutons in his salad. So he was out of the running as well.

I meant to take a picture before I started feeding, but this was just so darn good that you're lucky I stopped myself while some was still left in the bowl. Let the record show that I did NOT put that single pea right in the middle for artsy-fartsy purposes. It scrambled its way to the top on its own during my feeding frenzy. Actually, I cheated a bit on this one, and on the second trip to Save A Lot in two days, I got some little green onions to mix with the white onions.

I must say, my little big salad was real, and it was spectacular. And I'M taking credit for it.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

We've Got A BLEEDER!

Look away, my best old ex-teaching buddy Mabel! Look away. Block out the picture. Read if you dare. I know you do not enjoy this type of tale. The title alone should be enough warning. Let the record show that my life fluid cannot jump out of the screen and splatter you. You are safe. But if you don't care to delve deeper into my spewing artery exposition, I understand.

Thursday night, as I sat in front of my New Delly in my lit basement lair (there's a reason for that which we won't go into right now), I absentmindedly scratched an itch on my right inner elbow. I went on perusing the innernets. I had stopped to watch the Big Brother live eviction with The Pony, so my schedule was a bit off.

Normally, right after supper, I take my everyday aspirin prescribed for blood-thinning purposes, which is much preferable to that demon Xarelto. But Thursday, I was late getting supper ready, and it was going on 8:00 by the time I finished eating and popped that 325 mg acetylsalicylic acid tablet. After our show, I went back to my lair around 9:30. I itched. And I scratched. People do it all the live-long day.

Those people are most likely not taking an over-the-counter blood thinner for the rest of their lives.

After I scratched, I itched again. I looked down before scratching, to see if, perhaps, there was a critter crawling in the bend of my elbow. And this is what I saw.

Okay. That is what I saw AFTER blotting the area twice with a Puffs With Aloe, and after my shirtsleeve slipped into the crimson pool, and after I tried to put some ice water from my bubba cup on the shirtsleeve to rinse out the aftereffects of my almost-exsanguination. Sweet Gummi Mary! I thought I was going to need a case of those meat tray pads to catch all my juices. You'd have thought I was trapped, and deliberately sawing my arm off to escape.

The instigator of this whole episode was just a tiny skin tag in the bend of my elbow. Not even as big as a mosquito bite. There it is, after several more blottings.

Still, being a bleeder with thin blood is much preferable to being a clotter with multiple bilateral pulmonary embolisms that send you to the hospital for three days after nearly suffocating the life out of you.

I'd say my over-the-counter blood-thinner is working just fine.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom Has Never Heard Of Such A Thing!

So...a few days ago I picked up the mail. I guess I need to get used to doing this for myself, since The Pony is not long for the Mansion. Lucky for me, the mail was actually inside EmBee, not missing in action because the part-time substitute rural driver from the dead-mouse-smelling post office decided to put it in someone else's box, or go home early without delivering to our end of the woods.

Oh! What was that? Something about my retirement. From the Missouri public school retirement system. There it was. Right on the return address. I drove my few pieces of mail home and carried them into the Mansion. Huh. I'll just open this one right here in the kitchen. To see what they say about my retirement. I should be getting my first payment at the end of this month. By direct deposit, of course. So I knew there was not a check in that envelope. But just the other day I got some general official information.

I tore that envelope open, only to find...


What's up with THAT, Missouri Retired Teachers Association & Public School Personnel? How DARE you impersonate the REAL retirement entity, PSRS!

Uh huh. I did NOT receive any confidential information concerning the status of my retirement benefits. Nope.


See it there? On the front of that junky brochure? It's a freakin' EAR TRUMPET! Come on, Missouri! You can do better than this! Don't hitch your mailing list star to an organization with an outdated logo! Sweet Gummi Mary! A freakin' EAR TRUMPET!

Do they think we are so lax in our classroom management skills that we all go deaf the minute we retire? Before we've even drawn our first benefits electronic check? I could see, you know, if maybe we retired from a lifetime of flag-signaling jets on the deck of an aircraft carrier. Or worked as a pit crew for NASCAR drivers. Or toured with a heavy metal band, or jack-hammered out concrete slabs for a construction crew.

AND we, as teachers, tend to retire while fairly young, compared to many other professions. So why are you selling our information to EAR TRUMPET people?

I swear. It's as bad as the Missouri Department of Revenue, specifically the automobile licensing division commonly called the DMV in most states, selling their mailing list to car insurance entities.

Don't be sending me hearing aid offers through the auspices of a retired teachers' association!


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom Shucked Corn, And She Don't Care

Farmer H grilled on Gassy-G for the 4th of July. Hey! I just remembered something Sis said, way back when she was only My Sister the Li'l Future Ex-Mayor's Wife. "Hey, Mom. Do other countries have the Fourth of July?" Yeah. The Hillbilly family has never been all-stars in the history department. part of our vittles, Mrs. HM made some corn on the cob. Okay. I didn't really MAKE it. That credit best goes to Mother Nature and Farmer Brown and Monsanto. We'll get to that in a few more lines.

That sweet corn was delicious! When Farmer H went to visit took some vital machinery/appliance to the #1 son one weekend, #1 and his housemates invited him to stay and eat the fruits of their barbecue labors. The #1 son has grilling utensils, you know, made from actual hockey sticks. He's a hockey fan, so I gave him a set for Christmas. Farmer H raved about their grilled corn when he got home. "They had it wrapped in foil, with just some cayenne pepper. It was great!"

Since Farmer H had Gassy-G full of pork steaks and bratwursts and a ribeye, I put our corn in the oven. Farmer H's with cayenne, mine with nothing, and none for The Pony. He does not partake of corn on the cob. I know that's shocking, what with BUTTER being a big garnish for most people's cobbed corn. But he has never really liked it. Let the record show that neither Farmer H nor Mrs. HM used butter on their foiled corn. It was just THAT good.

Oh, sure. You can boil corn on the cob in 5 minutes or less. But then you have boiled corn. When it steams in the foil, it's the next best thing to eating it right out of the corn field. I guess. I never ate it that way, but when I helped my grandpa pick it for the evening meal, he would rip open an ear and take a bite right there amongst the stalks in the garden. Not Li'l Future Mrs. Hillbilly Mom! No siree, Bob! She had seen the worms wiggle out when her grandma shucked that corn for supper.

Anyhoo...that corn was fantastic, so I picked up some more at Save A Lot yesterday to have last night. Well. It was not quite the same.

That might look like perfectly good sweet corn to you. But to Mrs. HM's trained eye, this corn has issues. Oh, sure. Not ALL corn on the cob has kernels lined up in perfect rows, suitable for typewriter-like chomping from the left end to the right end. But MOST corn does. Like that we had on July 4th.

These kernels are all cattywompus. Imagine the poor guy or gal with crooked teeth, trying to eat these ears through a picket fence! Some kernels are going to be missed. And it was really, really hard to pull those silky little hairy threads out from between those cattywompus kernels. Sure, maybe it would have been better if I'd put on my glasses. Too bad, so sad. We have plenty of toothpicks for after the roastin'-ear eatin'.

But those cattywompus kernels are not the freaky part. The genetically modified Monsanto additives result. Look at that ear next to the bottom. At the left end. There is leafy green stuff growing down in the kernels! That is wrong! So very wrong! Like having a toe sprouting out your cheek beside your nose!

Let the record show that Farmer H was generously given TWO ears of (the crookedest) corn, while Mrs. HM had one. There are two left for a future meal.

What Farmer H doesn't know won't hurt him. In the short run.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's Life Is Fraught With Danger

Shark week does not scare Mrs. Hillbilly Mom.

Nope! She's fairly confident that she's safe from those cartilaginous carnivores, high upon her pedestal hill in Outer Hillmomba, with her freshwater creek down behind the Mansion too shallow for a shark to swim from the Gulf of Mexico, up through the Mississippi Delta, convert to freshwaterism, torpedo himself up Old Man River, past Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, a tiny blob of Kentucky, and Illinois to hang a left at the Meramec River, then detour to Big River, get off at Terre Bleue Creek, then jump out on the bank near Farmer H's creekside cabin and walk up to the Mansion, climb the steps, fight off Puppy Jack, ring the doorbell, and bite off Mrs. HM's head.

Yes, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is not really concerned with sharks, or with marine or freshwater dangers. BUT SHE SHOULD BE!

On Sunday, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom nearly drowned in the shower.

It's true! There she was, lathering up her lovely lady mullet with Suave Watermelon 2-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner, not a care in the world, preparing to mount an expedition in T-Hoe to procure her 44 oz Diet Coke...when her lungs filled with water!

Let the record show that the shower head is Farmer H's responsibility. And that Farmer H is way too absorbed in building new themed sheds and spending money secretly than he is on soaking the shower head in vinegar for a half hour to rid its holes of lime scale. So even though one might be showering and assume a gentle rain of warm water upon one's tresses, one might actually have a gentle rain from all shower-head holes but ONE, and accidentally inhale that rogue stream that curves out over the forehead to descend dangerously close to nostrils and mouth.

Oh, the horror! It's that feeling of KNOWING you have to cough. COUGH HARD! To get that water back out of your lungs. But first you have to deeply inhale to have the breath to COUGH HARD. And you can't really take a breath when you have water in your lungs! So you sputter a tiny bit, trying to clear out a few droplets of water to let in a few tiny snorts of air, all the while planning to cough out water, whiff in air, until you can get that great big breath so you can COUGH HARD.

You'd think a person had a higher probability of being attacked by a shark than drowning in the shower. But it's not true in Hillmomba.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Not The Best Way To Go. EmBARRASSing, In Fact.

It is no secret that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom enjoys a tasty plate of super nachos for lunch every day. Super nachos made by her own hand, taking 30 minutes of preparation originally, which she has now cut down to only 20. With the chips on the side, so they don't become soggy.

7 chips
half a bag of shredded lettuce
4 tbsp queso sauce
4 oz shredded chicken breast
6 tbsp medium salsa
1 small diced onion
1/2 small can black olive slices

CAUTION: there's enough sodium in there to attract a herd of cattle away from their salt lick

Anyhoo...the summer (oh, who are we kidding here, the REST OF MRS. HM'S LIFE) lunch routine involves a trip to the gas station chicken store for a 44 oz Diet Coke, the construction of the super nachos, and an afternoon of dining and drinking with lunch companion New Delly. The Pony acts as waiter, transporting beverages from kitchen to dark basement lair.

A curious side effect of this favored repast is an almost daily bout we put it delicately...uh...indisposedness. I know. SHOCKING! But don't you worry about the air quality in the Mansion. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is prepared. On the glass top of her college stereo (I'm sure you're all old enough to know what that is), crowding out a large box of wooden matches, perches a collection of candles. Tall candles, short candles, slim candles, fat candles. All in glass holders. Mrs. HM has no shortage of candles, accumulated over the years from Christmases past. A candle is to Mrs. HM's Christmas as a necktie is to a dad's Father's Day. Honeysuckle, Peaches and Cream, Apples and Berries, Sunwashed Poppy, Garden Rain, Peaceful Waters, Rustic Retreat, Pine, Creamy Tahitian Coconut, Sugar Cookie. It's like George and Jerry listing the pies while anticipating a trip to the Bubble Boy's neck of the woods.

It was The Pony who first came up with the idea to light a candle each day. I don't know WHAT he was getting at. But it got to the point that every afternoon, when I left my dark basement lair to visit the NASCAR bathroom next door (to my dark basement lair, of course, not the neighbor's house, which would be pretty impressive, though, holding it until I walked a half mile to stink up somebody else's house), The Pony would say, "Should I light a candle?" And now he jumps up off his gaming couch and trots over there like Secretariat out of the starting gate as soon as he hears me roll my rolly chair back from New Delly.

Let the record show that The Pony is not the most graceful steed in the stable. If he were a fictional equine, he would be more akin to Mary O'hara's Thunderhead than to Flicka's sweet little filly Touch 'n' Go. Only last evening, he said he would "help me" by putting away a just-opened bottle of BBQ sauce, and knocked it over on the kitchen counter, spraying blobs onto the floor.

On Sunday afternoon, I was feeling sated and hydrated, having consumed my tasty super nachos and 22 oz of Diet Coke. Then my stomach began to rumble like Greasers and Socs in the park in unnamed Tulsa, and Sharks and Jets under a highway on the Upper West Side. I pushed back my rolly chair and rounded the corner to the NASCAR bathroom. The Pony was already at the stereo, about equidistant from my lair and his couch.

"Which one should I light today?"

"I don't really care."

I proceeded to do my business, but no sooner had I plopped my ample cheeks upon the throne than I heard a CLINK!

"WHAT WAS THAT? Sweet Gummi Mary! Do NOT burn this house down around me while I'm on the toilet!"

I wonder if I could get a homeowner's insurance discount when The Pony is farmed off to college...

Monday, July 4, 2016

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom Predicts A Harsh Winter For Hillmomba

No, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has not chucked the whole teaching thing to immerse herself in training for a new career as a TV meteorologist. But she DID stay at a Holiday Inn Express two weeks ago! Oh, and she saw her first Woolly Bear Caterpillar today.

He was not very big. Not exactly a woolly mammoth of a Woolly Bear. Quite small, actually. About an inch long. You might notice that Mr. W. Bear was black at both ends, with only a narrow belt of rusty orange. According to folklore, that means a severe winter. The broader the belt, the milder the winter. If you believe that sort of thing.

It makes Mrs. HM no nevermind if the winter is severe. As long as she doesn't lose her electricity, of course, in her all-electric Mansion. Because Mrs. HM will simply stay home, watch the news for school closings as has been her habit these past 28 years, and sit back in the La-Z-Boy with a cup of hot chocolate and let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. Farmer H will have sure-footed T-Hoe to drive to work. OR he may even be retired himself, if that severe winter comes after January 1.


Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is going to wait a bit before she makes her official long-range winter forecast. The persimmon seeds haven't spoken yet. This year, she will make sure Farmer H gets her a persimmon before they all fall off the tree and get eaten by Billy the Goat and Barry the Mini Pony.

Not that accuracy is a requirement for a TV meteorologist, you know.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Old Habits Die Hard, And If They Don't, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom Will Kill Them

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is kinda sorta adjusting to being retired. Even though, technically, this is still part of her summer vacation. She's still livin' high on the hog with her last teaching checks. You know how it goes. Your salary is spread out into 24 installments from Sept. 1 to Aug. 30. Or thereabouts, Newmentia happening to have paydays on the 5th and the 20th of each month, with the six from June, July, and August given in a lump direct deposit on June 5th.

It wasn't always so. Way back when Mrs. Hillbilly Mom was just a Hillbilly, before Farmer H entrapped her in his web of intrigue, Newmentia was just a gleam in Basementia's eye, and payday was once a month. And WAY back, when Mrs. Hillbilly Mom was barely promoted from Li'l Hillbilly status, she worked at a district where payday was once a month, during months school was in session. I think that's how everyone did it back then. No pay over the summer, better budget when you got it! wages for work already performed will double up with my retirement handout pretty soon. Not that I'm counting, of course. But I'm getting used to sitting on the porch every morning, watching the dogs wrestle, and thinking, "I can do this for the rest of my life!" Of course it's going to be a bit chilly round about the end of February...

Only yesterday, the cheery clerk at the gas station chicken store said, "Aren't you retired now?" You bet! I can't keep the smile off my face.

So imagine the shock this morning (and by morning, I mean 11:35 a.m.) on the way to The Devil's Playground, when I turned around to back T-Hoe out of the garage, and spied MY RED SCHOOL BAG on the folded-down rear passenger seat!

"Pony! What is my red school bag doing there?"

"Oh. Um. I don't know. I guess it was just a habit."

I suppose he thinks I'll be driving him to Oklahoma every morning, him riding in the seat behind me.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Let's Start A Grassroots Rebellion Using Passive-Aggressive Letters!

Remember two days ago, when I told you how Farmer H became incensed when the secretary at a doctor's office told him his appointment had been canceled because he was 15 minutes late? C'mon! You know you do. Or just scroll down to that post to jog your memory.

WELL! Today Farmer H got a letter in the mail. I haven't showed it to him yet. He just got back after driving 10 hours from Oklahoma. It can wait another day. No need to elevate his blood pressure before bedtime.

Dear Mr. Hillbilly,

You were scheduled for an appointment with us on 6-29-16, but failed to let us know that you could not come in. Our patients are very important to us, but we require that they notify us if unable to keep their appointments. Each appointment slot is valuable, as we see many patients in one day. In the future, if you must reschedule, please remember to contact our office at ZZZ XXX YYYY at least 24 hours prior to your appointment time.

Thank you for your time, and we hope to see you again very soon.


Unpronouceable Manyconsonanted Surname, MD

This is not going to go over well with Farmer H. Imagine if we, as patients, dared to send a letter like this to our doctors every time they kept us waiting in the WAITING room. You know there must be something wrong if they have to give it a name like that. It's not the CALL YOU IN AT YOUR APPOINTMENT TIME room.

Dear Dr. Unpronouceable Manyconsonanted Surname,

I was scheduled for an appointment with you on 6-29-16, and showed up 15 minutes early to sign in. My health is very important to me, but I require that you notify me if unable to keep up with your appointments. My time is valuable, as I must (take time off from work, arrange for child care, drive 45 miles, find someone to sit with my elderly mother, pick up my son from school). In the future, if you are unable to stay on schedule due to overbooking to chase the almighty dollar, please remember to contact me at ZZZ XXX YYYY at least 24 hours prior to my appointment time.

Thank you for your time, and I hope to see you again very soon.


Farmer H Hillbilly.

Yeah. That would make a point, don't you think?

Friday, July 1, 2016

I Suppose A Lady Should Never Leave The House Until Properly Turned Out...

This morning I went out on the porch to pet Puppy Jack and my sweet, sweet Juno. They love to frolic and ignore me, after the initial lovefest. That's okay. I find them entertaining. They have found a way to play-fight, even with their tremendous size difference.

Let the record show that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom was in no hurry to get up this morning. Farmer H and The Pony are off in Oklahoma again. Yes. I know we just returned four days before their most recent departure. But that's how the Universe works sometimes. Last week for The Pony's orientations camp, the one he chose out of five options...and this week for his enrollment appointment. Again, a date which he chose, planned around Farmer H's overseas excursions.

I went out around 9:30, and sat on the front porch pew enjoying canine company. Several vehicles passed by on the gravel road. My mutts were busy ignoring me. The chickens were crowing all ear-splittingly right beside the porch. And then both dogs sat up from wrestling, and perked up their ears. Juno's feathery-tipped black floppy pair, and Jack's barely flipped brown pointy pair that I fear are destined to poke out like his heeler ancestors.

The dogs sat at the top step, and looked down the gravel road left, the direction traffic entering the compound comes from. "WOOF! WOOF! WOOF!" said Juno. "ARF! ARF! ARF!" squeaked Puppy Jack. And barreling up the driveway came the FedEx man in his white truck. Both dogs ran out to investigate.

And there I sat, in all my glory, in medium-blue pajama pants with a large half-moon, small sunburst pattern, and my yellow-and-white striped cotton oxford shirt. With red Crocs on my bare feet. Hair coiffed by Posturepedic.

The delivery guy was kind of nerdy, with off-brand tennis shoes, kind of a millennial-looking dude, who hauled a giant box of The Pony's recently-ordered dorm bedding up the uneven brick sidewalk.

"Just put it here." I had walked past the steps to meet him. No time to run inside and pretend I wasn't home. The dogs ran back up on the porch, Juno's fur as unkempt as my hair, it being time for a brushing to rid her of her winter undercoat. "These dogs are mouthy, but they don't bite."

"Oh, I know. I've been here before. Wait! That's a new one."

"Yes. He's kind of a heeler/dachshund accident. But we took him in."

"You used to have two big ones. One let me pet it, and the other would run away."

"Yes. That one disappeared the day after our new roof got put on. Never even found the body. She was skittish."

"Come here! Let me pet you!" He tried to entice Jack (I HOPE!), who was having none of it. He's a one-woman dog. Except for The Pony. And sometimes Farmer H, depending on whether it looks like there may be some food involved.

I'm hoping the FedEx dude did not notice my lack of proper foundation garments. He seems to have a good memory. I would rather he forget my mammaries.