Monday, April 30, 2018

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's Recently Checkered Past

Those checkers are out to get me!

Saturday, I ran in Save A Lot for just a few items. Bananas, bacon, long flat sliced dill pickles for sandwiches, bologna, dill pickle spears, chips, and a half-loaf of Nutty Oat bread. Mmm...that bread was SOOO fresh! For a mass-produced half-loaf, of course.

That may not sound like just a few items, but it all fit in the child seat of my cart. I was behind two people with much fuller carts, and another hoarder/end-of-the-world prepper pulled up behind me with an overflowing cart. The checker called for backup. When Checker2 opened another lane and said she could help someone, the Prepper gave me the nod. I shook my head. Prepper was closer, and I was not in a hurry. So Prepper went to the new line.

I was prepared to stay in mine. I was now second. The Old Dude in front of me had all of his items out on the conveyor already. He had stood on the far side of the cart, tossing them. Maybe it's just me...but I would have stood between cart and conveyor, and laid them down with a gentleness. Perhaps Old Dude had a military background, and was used to lobbing grenades. Anyhoo...I was sure it would only take a minute for him to pay.

Until he mumbled to himself and to Checker1 that he was one 5-For-$20 item short, and would be going back to get one.

Yeah. No. I turned and went to Checker2, where Prepper was having an issue with her chip card. I wonder if she forgot her glasses. She got it straightened out, and as Even Steven would have it, I was paying at the same time as Old Dude in the first line. I made sure to pay attention, and got my card read on the first try. I wheeled my items over to the counter to bag them. I didn't want to deal with a box today. It's easier to loop bags over my arms, when I know that Farmer H is not going to be home to carry a box for me.

I put the two bags of chips in one bag. The two jars of pickles in a double-bag. Bologna and bacon in one, because they could be cold together. And the bananas--


Are you effing kidding me? Sweet Gummi Mary! A heavy bunch of five bananas, perched upon my soft, soft Nutty Oat half-loaf. Not so much perched, as sagging about the middle of that half-loaf. Right up there in the child seat, my bread acting as a cushion for the bananas.


I held up my Nutty Oat half-loaf. Nope. No saving that fallen soldier. It had the shape of a cast made from a mold of a large keyhole. A little curvy part on top, then a narrow wasp-waist indentation, then a flaring at the bottom like jeans from the 1970s.

NO! I wasn't having it! No siree, Bob! I went to Checker1, since Checker2 had disappeared.

"Excuse me...can I trade this for another loaf? She put my bananas on top of it!"

Checker1 took my loaf and groped it. "Yeah. Well..." She squeezed my Nutty Oat like Mr. Whipple with the Charmin. "Here. You can put it back. Maybe someone else will want it."

"Maybe. It has a good date."

I didn't care what happened to that loaf, as long as I got another one. If someone didn't have a too-particular husband, and wanted to make toast, not sandwiches, and if every other loaf of bread was gone from the shelves...sure, they might want this keyhole loaf. I put it back, and got another one.

I'm not very tolerant in my old age.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Incredulous Smirk

I've been a little rough on Farmer H lately. Not that I feel guilty. I'd go crazy if I didn't have this little outlet to complain about him. Say something to him that I might really feel guilty for. He has his good qualities, but they don't make good blog tales.

Farmer H seems to think that I'm his personal servant. Sweet Gummi Mary! I don't know how he ever got that idea! I've never catered to him. He just feels entitled. I know he can take care of himself. He used to have his own apartment when he was between wives.

Perhaps you remember the time I found a banana peel stuffed into the cushions of the La-Z-Boy. And the toenail clippings in the candle on the mantel of the fake fireplace. Surely you remember the couch paper plate that sat there for three days. It was a fairly recent infraction.

Last Saturday, when we got back from the casino, I called Farmer H out on the Diet Mountain Dew bottle that he apparently intended to leave in T-Hoe. I was dropping him off at his Trailblazer at the Storage Unit Store, and he got out, leaving that bottle in the cup holder.

"Hey! Aren't you forgetting something?"

"No. I don't think so. I've got my keys."

"That bottle! Don't go leaving your trash in here for me!"

"HM! It still has some soda in it!" Farmer H held up the bottle, to show about an inch of liquid in the bottom.

"Take it! I'm not dealing with it."

And that's when Farmer H gave me an incredulous smirk. Shook his head slowly. Made an exaggerated motion of removing the bottle. AS IF I was the one making an unreasonable demand.

Flash forward to one night last week. I'd fixed Farmer H his supper (a large baked potato with BBQ pulled pork on top), and was sitting on the short couch to converse with him until he took off for one of his five auctions. I handed him a stack of 8 sets of insurance updates, three pages each. He's been calling our insurance agent to change the coverage on some of the vehicles, since he no longer drives them a long distance to work. And also changing coverage on the Gator, Scout, and 4-wheelers, since they're older now, and the value is less.

As Farmer H was getting ready to leave, I stood up to go back to the kitchen. I knew he would leave all those insurance papers laying on the table until I got sick of them and picked them up. I figured I might as well get it over with now. They weren't papers we needed. Just notifications to make sure we had the coverage we want now.

"Give me your trash," I said, holding out my hand for the insurance papers.

Farmer H reached out those papers, stacked on top of his paper plate and paper towel and knife and fork and soda bottle!

"Are you KIDDING ME? I'm NOT taking all your trash! You're not an invalid! Take your own trash. I just meant the insurance papers."

Farmer H tried to reason that I was taking the insurance papers to the trash. So what could the other stuff matter.

"I am sick of being the one to pick up after you! You're an adult! I've been stepping over these popcorn kernels that you don't seem to see. There was even one in your chair! You FINALLY picked up the paper plate on the couch. I'M NOT YOUR MAID!"

Yeah. I got the incredulous smirk again. But Farmer H threw away his supper plate and put his silverware by the sink.

Guess I showed HIM!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

The Fault-Finder Stops At The End Of Her Nose

A couple times a week, I run to the store for odds and ends that don't require a full expedition to The Devil's Playground. Some items are better at Save A Lot, like salsa, pickles, hot dogs, buns, onions, and sour cream. Some things are better at Country Mart. Like Bugles for Chex Mix, Farmer H's ice cream cups with the chocolate and strawberry swirl, and Hoisen Sauce.

Of course the checkers simply cannot do anything to my satisfaction! They are better at Save A Lot, where I know one of them as a mom from one of Genius's classmates. On my various trips, I sometimes get cash back from the debit card. Depends on what we have going on that might better be purchased with cash (like the remainder of the bill for our Burger Brothers lunch when my food credit comp runs out), and how far we are into the week on the household cash allowance.

Save A Lot has a $20 cash back policy, and Country Mart allows $25. Save A Lot has a chip reader, and Country Mart does not. So Mrs. Hillbilly Mom must mind her Ps and Qs when she checks out. Glasses are pretty much a must.

As you might ascertain from this lengthy set-up...I ran in Country Mart without my glasses the other day. I only had a few items. Milk, ice cream, and romaine lettuce, I think. The bill was around $10, but I don't normally pay attention to that, what with being independently wealthy now that I'm retired, and having a considerable cushion of finances in checking for when monthly checks to the school for our health insurance policy are cashed. I write down the amount of grocery purchases in the checkbook when I get back to T-Hoe, but I don't worry about it in line.

On this particular day, I had to scan my debit card a second time.

"Ma'am? You'll need to scan your card again."

"Oh. Did it not read my card? Maybe I had it the wrong way. I'm used to the chip reader."

"No, when the screen came up asking if the amount was okay, you hit NO."

"Oh. I thought it was asking if I wanted cash back."

"Ours does it in a different order than most of them. I don't know why."

"Okay. I'll do it again."

I was putting my bag of groceries in the cart, and my debit card back in my pocket, when I was jolted out of my scratcher-purchase selections that were dancing in my head.

"What's that? I'm sorry, I wasn't listening."

"You'll have to slide your card again."

"Oh. Why?"

"Did you want $250 back?"

"NOOO! I didn't want ANY cash back!"

"Well, I guess you somehow hit 'yes' to cash back, and then a zero instead of 'enter.' I had to clear it out because we can only give $25 back."

"Sorry. I really should have worn my glasses in today!"

Yes. Mrs. HM was THAT PERSON who holds up the line, because she's too feeble to understand the technology.

My apologies to all involved.

Friday, April 27, 2018

A Mighty Fall For The High Roller

It's no secret that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom likes her casino. Likes ANY casino. Likes a VARIETY of casinos. But we mainly stick to the one closest to home. We've been going way more than usual, because of those FREE gifts that we are compelled to pick up.

Farmer H and I now have a full set of American Tourister luggage apiece, you know. And the current promotion is DOUBLE free play on two Saturdays in April. They flat out tell you that the first Saturday is doubled. And as we suspected, it looks like the LAST Saturday is going to be the other one. Hey, you don't know until you gather evidence, right? What if those people who only went on 3 Saturdays don't get theirs doubled, huh? Farmer H gets $20, and I get $50, so we're heading there tomorrow after he's ready to close up his Storage Unit Store.

Anyhoo...earlier this week, I stopped for the mail. I could see there was a casino offer (from our regular casino) in the stack. I wanted to get T-Hoe out of the road before rifling through the mail, and then a car was coming down our gravel road, so I was halfway to the Mansion before I got a look at the casino offer.

$60 in FREE PLAY for weekends in May!

Well! That sounded like a good deal. Who can pass up a FREE $60? Not this That's for sure! Then I got to wondering if that offer was good for Friday or Saturday or Sunday. I usually have a separate offer for Sundays. Besides, I only remembered ONE card in that stack of mail. Surely this offer was for ME! What a rip-off it would be if that offer was for Farmer H, and I had none!

As I bumped along the gravel road, Mansion-bound, I pulled that card out and turned it over to see who it was addressed to.


What in the Not-Heaven? That wasn't even an offer for US! It was for our across-the-road neighbor. Whose name is not really James Newman. Well, crap. I turned around and went back to Mailbox Row and put that offer in his mailbox. Darn our substandard mail deliverer!

There I'd been, all excited about the prospect of $240 in FREE PLAY for the month of May...and it was for our neighbor!

I guess he's more of a high roller than I am...

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Here We Go Again

You'd think Farmer H would know me by now. We've been married for 28 years. So I'm more than a passing acquaintance. I THINK he might be able to tell the color of my eyes if asked. Maybe not. I was pretty shocked about 10 years ago when he mentioned something about the cavity between my teeth!

Let the record show that while Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has an aversion to dentists, she most certainly does NOT have a cavity between her front teeth! Upon further interrogation, it was ascertained that Farmer H was referring to the tiny gap between the upper edges of my two front teeth. A gap that is barely noticeable, or so I thought, that has been there since childhood, a tiny space through which I can suck air if I so desire, smaller than the graphite of a mechanical pencil. The 0.5 mm lead.

Anyhoo...Farmer H came home from town a couple days ago, and threw down receipts from CeilingReds, the feed store, and The Devil's Playground on my sacred section of the kitchen counter.

"WHAT? Now you've even been to The Devil's Playground? I can't keep up with your receipts!"

"I needed distilled water for my breather. And I got us some soda!"

He was so proud, our Farmer H, that he'd made a trip to the store and bought something for himself. Indeed, he'd even bought something for me! I swear! For a minute there, I was almost ready to treat him in a civil manner!

On the kitchen table, I could see the gallon of distilled water. Some Diet Mountain Dew that he'd gotten himself. Some new giant bottles of sparkling water that he's been looking for. And a six-pack of bottled soda for ME!

Do you notice anything wrong with this picture? I moved MY soda to a less-clutter spot for the photo. But there is a glaring problem here.

Perhaps this will help you ascertain:

Granted, the new packaging minimizes the word Diet. But that's no excuse! They look totally different. Diet Coke has always had the silver label! And real Coke the red.

"Why did you buy me REAL COKE???"

"Huh? That's not what you drink?"

"NO! I always drink DIET COKE! I go get one every day at The Gas Station Chicken Store. I buy bottles of it every week at The Devil's Playground, and set it on the table until I have a free hand to carry it downstairs."

"Oh. I thought you drank Coke."

"Only if it's left over. I get it for when the boys are here. We have some of it right now, downstairs, left over from Christmas!"

"Oh. Well. I thought that's what you drank."

Sometimes, I think Farmer H doesn't know me at all.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Yeah, I'm Pretty Sure Farmer H Is Trying To Kill Me

I know I've broached this subject before, here and there, time after time. There's not enough evidence to send Farmer H to the Crossbars Hilton. It's circumstantial at best. One incident in itself would not arouse my suspicions. But a series of coincidental events does. I think Farmer H might be trying to kill me.

Saturday, as we walked into the casino, I took the lead as usual. We park way down in the parking lot if the weather is dry. Past the parking garage. We stride along the covered walkway, lined with seasonal flowers or shrubs. This month, it's been tulips. It's good exercise! Yeah! That's why we go to the casino! For a workout.

Anyhoo...once we reach the building, we can either go in regular glass doors that flank each side, or through the revolving door in the center. We always choose the revolving door. It's something different that we don't have in Hillmomba. I go first. No reason why. It's how we've always done it. In keeping with his always-underfootness, Farmer H comes in right behind me. Not in the next cubicle, the slice of door following mine. In the exact same section. I'm pushing the bar to get it started, and Farmer H is on my heels. Sometimes literally. I guess he doesn't want to take a chance on me escaping. Or he doesn't want to assist in pushing that heavy door with his own brass push-bar.

Anyhoo...I got that door revolving, and as my push-bar passed the frame, I stepped out into the vestibule, Farmer H right behind me. Except this time, there was an issue. My left shirt-sleeve caught on a door latch. Normally, I have on my heather sage green baseball-style jacket, because it's cold in the casino. But the last two times, it was stuffy. The smoke was much better (meaning not so noticeable), and the air conditioning wasn't blowing on me. So I went in a short-sleeve oxford-style cotton shirt. The sleeves come down almost to my elbow. As I went out of the revolving door, my shirt sleeve caught on that latch.

Farmer H kept walking! I think he even had his forearm in my back, pushing on me. Never mind that I was hollering, "Whoa! I'm caught!" With my left arm lagging behind my body. Making me rotate around so that I was almost facing Farmer H as he shoved me, trying to get through the door. Sweet Gummi Mary! It's not like he was on an escalator that won't stop. All he had to do was stand firm, and let that door hit him in the a$$. Heh, heh! I guess too many people have told Farmer H NOT to let the door hit him in his a$$.

Anyhoo...Farmer H kept walking and walking, pushing on me, although I was clearly going nowhere. It was like that marching band scene in Animal House.

After stumbling his feet over mine, Farmer H went on through the door into the vestibule, and I spun around. It's not like I had a choice. Momentum and friction did the job. I backed up enough to free my shirt sleeve from the latch. I could have been de-armified, by cracky! In which case, I probably would have bled out from the spurting stump, with Farmer H accidentally mis-placing his belt around my neck as a tourniquet.

Going to the casino may be good exercise, but it can also be deadly.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Times Like This, I Really Miss The Pony

Even though The Pony insisted on riding in the back passenger seat, directly behind me while I was driving T-Hoe...he was still a good companion during all my running around and commuting to work. In his later years, he could be trusted to pump my gas, and put air in my tires. Washing the windows, not so much. He was kind of sloppy with that dripping squeegee. I figure that he has never cleaned his own car windows the whole time he's been away at college.

Anyhoo...on Monday I noticed that T-Hoe's front right tire was low. It needs 35 pounds of air, and had only 27. T-Hoe has sensors that tell me the pressure. Well...they would, if Farmer H would get my car repaired like I wish. I think the guy told him it would cost $5 or $10 per tire to do it. I don't remember his excuse. I would gladly have paid that out of my gambling bankroll if given the choice. But Farmer H just declined that service.

I DID notice that after checking on it, my sensors worked, but showed the front tires as the back tires, and the back tires as the front tires. I figured that out with the help of The Pony, since he could put in air while I looked at the dash gauges, and match up which tire went with which reading. So as long as I remember they're all cattywompus, I can figure out my tire pressure.

Anyhoo...I didn't have the preferred option of getting my tire air at Casey's on Monday, because the Casey's went out of business. I couldn't wait until I got back to The Gas Station Chicken Store, because they have that sign that demands a dollar for air if you don't buy your gas there! I didn't know where the air hose was at Waterside Mart. So I ended up at the Original Waterside Mart, which is now in a new building up on a hill, not beside the river.

Rain was coming down, more than a drizzle, less than a deluge. If only I'd had The Pony to hop out and trot around with that air hose! But no. I had to do it for myself. And I couldn't check on the progress of the pressure. Even though Mrs. HM is a multi-tasker, even SHE cannot be in the driver's seat at the same time she's bent over a tire, showing her ample rumpus to passing traffic.

This Original Waterside Mart had the most original air hose nozzle that I'd ever seen. Not just a rounded metal part on the end of the hose. It was a long metal stalk, with a branching-off short metal stalk on the side. Like it had a broken-off slingshot arm grafted to the side. I used the part at the end of the nozzle, since it was easier to maneuver. My air went in without incident. I put the cap back onT-Hoe's valve stem, and draped the hose back on its pole. I figured that I'd check the pressure when I left there, while I was on the way to the bank.

The tires felt all bouncy and invigorated when I pulled out, even though I'd only put air in one. Imagine my surprise when I pushed the button to read the tire pressure, and saw that this tire now had 49 POUNDS OF AIR in it! Even The Pony would realize that 49 is TOO MUCH! Sweet Gummi Mary! I was worried that I'd hit a bump, and that tire would blow me sky-high!

I couldn't find a place to stop and let some out. I ended up at the park where I used to meet my Mom and drop things off when I was on the way to the bank. Things like leftover fried rice, black bananas, used tabloids, and occasionally, The Pony for a sleepover. I climbed down and used the valve stem cap to let some air out. Got back in and started up T-Hoe to check. Still had 42 pounds! I let out some more. And STILL had 39 pounds of air in that tire.

I went on to the bank, where I was 4th in line at the ATM. I thought about getting out to release some air (heh, heh) but figured that as soon as I bent over, the line would pull up, and the car behind me would honk. So I did my business and went to the lesser Casey's for some scratchers, and let the air out there. That left me with 37 pounds, which I figure will slowly leak out until it matches the left front tire, with 33.

It's days like this that I really, really miss The Pony. I only remember the ways he made my life easier. Which is kind of the opposite of how I remember Genius...

Monday, April 23, 2018

It Would NOT Make A Good Swizzle Stick

Saturday night, my phone buzzed signaling an incoming text. It was from Farmer H, who had gone to the auction.

"Bought you some liquor//red"

"You bought ME some liquor?"

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is not a drinker, you know. She doesn't give a rip if anybody else drinks. She's no Carrie Nation. Brew up your bathtub gin, fire up your still, make a little craft beer for home consumption. Makes her no nevermind. But why would Farmer H be buying her liquor? Surely he realizes that she does not drink. Is he trying to push her off the wagon? And is red an especially tasty or potent form of liquor?

There was no response. I assumed that perhaps the text had been meant for Genius. He's a drinker, you know. Has a home bar and everything. He still thinks he's on his college liver, one presumes, having just graduated in December. But the working life will catch up to him soon enough.

When I heard that Farmer H was home, signaled by the crank of the La-Z-Boy, I went out to the steps and hollered up at him.

"Why did you buy me some liquor? Was that meant for me? Or Genius?"

"Licorice. I bought you some licorice. Red."

"Oh. Well..."

"I couldn't spell licorice."

"What kind?"


"I KNOW that! Strawberry? Cherry? Nibs? Twists? Peel-apart? Ropes?"


"Bites? What flavor?"

"Cherry. Five boxes."

"Oh, like movie boxes?"

"Yeah. I got five boxes for four dollars."

"Where are they?"

"Up on the counter."


"Up here. In the kitchen. Where you put your stuff."


"Want one?"

"Yeah...but my knees hurt from walking around the casino."

"I'll get one for you."

How nice! I thought.

"Just drop it down."

No need for Farmer H to walk down the stairs. I figured he'd drop it on the steps, about midway down, and then I'd reach over and get it. Neither one of us would have to go up or down. Here he came. Stopped by the railing. I could see his legs up to about his waist. He was going to drop it. I waited. And then


It came out of nowhere, like a Hillbilly-Mom-seeking missile. YIKES! My instinct was to turn my hands over, hoping that box would land in them, and they'd absorb the force. They did not. A corner of the box hit my palm heel, and then ricocheted off to the tile floor. That's how the corner got crunched, absorbing that fastball force.

Unless that came from hitting my palm heel. Looks like Farmer H bought me 17.5 servings, which would be 297.5 pieces of red licorice. I know it's not ACTUAL licorice. But that's what we call it around here.

I hope he was just being nice. Not trying to make my jaws too tired to talk to him!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Get Me A Crystal Ball

Farmer H sometimes ASSUMES people know what he's talking about. Usually they don't, but just nod their head and pretend. Or else they might ask a question, and then rue the day that such an impulse came upon them. Because Farmer H will simply repeat himself umpteen times, getting louder each time, before declaring, "There's no talking to you!"

Pretending you can read Farmer H's mind can lead to real life conversations like the famous Abbot and Costello "Who's On First" routine. Only not very funny.

Sunday morning, as I was still trying to catch a few ZZZZZZs, I heard Farmer H come back in the house at 9:00. He generally sees himself as the arbiter of proper wake-up time. Now that he's retired, he doesn't get up at 5:30 any more, but he's generally up at 7:00 and out of the house at 8:00. Of course, he goes to bed around 10:30, so he gets a full night's sleep. Even though I go to bed around 3:00 or 4:00 a.m., Farmer H seems to think I should be up by 9:00. He doesn't outright wake me, but he calls or sends a text or slams doors.

I ignored him, and he left again.

At 10:30, Farmer H once again came into the Mansion. I heard the kitchen door squeak and slam. He did not come to the bedroom, though. He left. I got up and called him.

"Why are you in and out of the house, and not selling at your Storage Unit Store like you do every Sunday?"

"It's raining."

"Why did you come in the house?"

"That was two hours ago. I had to go to the bathroom."

"It was at 9:00, and just ten minutes ago. At 10:30."

"I just wanted to tell you I'd be over here working."

"So you never bother to tell where you're going, but you'll wake me up to tell me that you're here."

"I didn't wake you up."

"Well. You DID."

"Okay, forget it. I was just being nice, telling you where I was going to be."

Funny how Farmer H has not seen the need since last August to tell me where he is, but when I'm sleeping in, he's all information-desk-at-the-libraryish. I let it go. When I got ready for town, I sent him a text.

"Going to town for my soda. Do you want anything?" See. I'm nice to HIM.

"No I'm good I love you"

Oh. Looks like HE was trying to be nice, too. Since Farmer H was right there working in the new Freight Container Garage, I left the Mansion door unlocked. He pops over for lunch early. Or comes back for the bathroom. Besides, I don't have to juggle keys when I'm holding my 44 oz Diet Coke. Off I went, visions of scratchers dancing in my head.

At the bottom of the first gravel hill, I saw Farmer H's Trailblazer coming down the hill from HOS's house. He stopped before he got to the little low water bridge on that side. I pulled on out, my own little low water bridge right there at a right angle to the part of the gravel road Farmer H was on. I continued towards the mailboxes and county blacktop road. Funny how Farmer H had not told me he was going somewhere. I could see him way back, following along behind me. I called him on the cell phone.

"I thought you were working."

"I was."

"Where are you going?"

"I found some stuff to give The Veteran's little girls. And I need an electric box."

"Funny how you can wake me up to tell me you're going to be here working, but don't bother to tell me that you're going somewhere else after I'm already up."

"Why are you always on me? I don't know what the big deal is. I'm just going to town. I tried to stop you and talk to you."

"No you didn't! You just stopped, like you were hoping I didn't see you! You didn't get closer, you didn't put your window down, you didn't flash your lights, you didn't call. How was I supposed to know you wanted to talk to me??? Well, anyway, I left the house unlocked, because I thought you were there."

"I wasn't there. I'll turn around and go back and lock it!"

"No. I'll be home in 30 minutes. It's just that you have a fit about the door being locked. AND you never tell me where you are. Unless I'm sleeping, and you want to tell me you're home working. Like you can't leave a paper plate note or send a text."


So...I got back home. Everything was fine. I still had no idea where Farmer H was all afternoon. No reason for him to tell me since I was awake, I guess. I came upstairs at supper time to find him sitting in the La-Z-Boy. Which I already knew, because I'd heard him come in and settle down.

"Why did you need an electric box?"

"I TOLD you, I was working on Bev's burglar alarm."

"No, you said, 'I'll be here working' when I called you."

"Yeah. I was over at Bev's house."

"You said you were doing THAT on Monday. And you also said that the BARn's electric bill was 76% higher because you'd been leaving the lights on in the Freight Container Garage because you weren't done running the wire. So I thought you were over there."

"No. I told you all along that I was at Bev's working. That's what I needed the electric box for. Her husband thought he had one, but he didn't."

There's no talking to Farmer H.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Beaver Tale

I sometimes think it's bad when our creeks are up, and I have to take a detour to get to town. But actually, I'm very lucky, ever since our bridge down by the mailboxes was rebuilt about 10 years ago. Before that, I sometimes had to drive way up north to get on the interstate (!) to have a way to get to work. That was very stressful to me, since I have a phobia about driving on the interstate. So there I'd be, Genius riding shotgun, my mom on the phone to talk me through it, The Pony oblivious to it all... white-knuckling my way down the interstate until I got to the first town where I could get off and get to school.

Apparently, some people had it worse than that last week. I read about it in the Daily Hillmomban. Who wouldn't click on an article with the title: Beavers Cause Havoc.

I'm not sure where the road is, but 15 families rely on this bridge to get to their homes. Which are on a dead-end road. So there's no coming in from another direction. They have to cross that bridge. Seems that they had a problem with a sinkhole. It was going under their bridge from the side of the road, causing part of it to collapse.

The county road department went out to look at it, and filled in a bunch of gravel to get them through the weekend. Then they started looking at what was causing the sinkhole. They determined that something had clogged the big pipe that ran under the bridge. So water had been backing up on that side, and with heavy rain, that water had swirled around, trying to find a way to get under the bridge. That created the sinkhole, which was eroding away the road.

Road crews found out that BEAVERS had built a dam inside the pipe, blocking water from passing under the bridge. The plan was to put in a larger pipe, which would require closing the road. They notified the 15 families that they would not be able to get into or out of their neighborhood from Monday at 9:00 a.m. until whenever the work was done. Which turned out to be 11:30 p.m. on Monday.

Since they knew about it, people parked their cars on the other side of the bridge so they could get to work on Monday. I don't know HOW they got themselves on foot across that bridge. Maybe there was a sliver of road left, maybe they could ford a creek, maybe the county crew drove them across on heavy equipment, maybe they walked a tightrope. Those local reporters need to get all the facts!

Anyhoo...the road department had to dig down 20 feet to put in the new pipe. The next morning, they found out that the beavers had already dammed up the NEW pipe! So one of the workers crawled up in that new pipe to dismantle the beaver workmanship. I think that guy deserves a bonus! What if that guy got trapped in there with some ANGRY BEAVERS? Besides, didn't water start running into the pipe when he took the dam apart? I'm tellin' you, that reporter needs to spend a day in a pipe 20 feet underground, dismantling a beaver dam! Then maybe he'll learn what real work is like, and make a better effort to get all the facts for his own cushy job!

The spokesman for the road department said that the beavers would be "humanely removed" from that area. To me, that means a swift bullet to the head. But maybe they'll go to the time and expense of trapping them and turning them loose in another part of the county where they can destroy someone else's bridge.

It's job security for the road crew, you know.

Friday, April 20, 2018

With A Vengeance!

Okay, so I thought that my luck had returned. Like a Capistrano swallow, it had come back. If Mrs. Hillbilly Mom was a cartwheeling woman, she would have been flipping for joy on Wednesday, winning scratchers clenched between her teeth. What could possibly top such a happy occasion as the welcome-home party for Mrs. HM's long-awaited guest of honor, Good Fortune?

Oh...I don't know...perhaps...THIS?

It's a $100 winner on a $10 ticket I bought Thursday, with some of the proceeds from my previous day's winners. I hit the WIN ALL symbol partway down. Of course I stopped scratching. I set it aside until the very end, hoping all the while that it would have a better prize under each number than the $5. NOT THAT I'M COMPLAINING! I had three other tickets, and two of them were winners as well, for another $25 to add to the day's total.

More money to stash in my casino bankroll. I wonder if my luck will hang around until Saturday's trip to the casino.

One thing's for sure. Just like a losing streak won't last forever...neither will a winning streak.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Back On Even Steven Keel

After a brief respite from scratching, my luck returned with a vengeance on Wednesday. My bi-weekly run to The Devil's Playground complete, I took some of my weekly allowance and hit Waterside Mart, the Hillmomba Casey's, and of course The Gas Station Chicken Store for some scratchers.

Read 'em and weep. Tears of JOY, this time!

According to my unofficial in-my-head running statistics, I am now only 3 winners behind according to the ticket odds, and I'm $20 ahead of what I usually recoup. Which is only 40% of what I spend, not counting the wins over $100 on a single ticket.

So...I'll be cashing these in, using some to play again, and stashing a large portion in my casino bankroll.

Cashin' and stashin'. That's how Mrs. Hillbilly Mom likes to roll.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A Couple Of Fugitives From The Most Unwanted List

Heading out on my 44 oz Diet Coke run Tuesday, I stopped to give my Sweet, Sweet Juno some cat kibble. Jack was nowhere in sight, so Juno got all the attention. Even though what she wanted was the cat kibble.

When I came home, the full crew was there to greet me. So I had to go back into the garage and use the mini non-stick saucepan to scoop out the kibble from the latch-top mini trash can that stores it. My eager admirers didn't mind the wait. Nor did they seem to care that the reason for it was that Farmer H did NOT feed the cats this morning, leaving that chore to me. I'm sure their dry-food buffet is not being depleted by me handing out handfuls to the dogs a couple times a day!

Anyhoo...when I left earlier, I noticed that Farmer H had made an addition to his garage-adjacent rock garden, and vowed to share that artistic expression with you when I got back.

Yeah. Copper Jack couldn't be bothered to get out of the picture, but he gives you an idea of how big those concrete flip-flops are. I'm not likin' the look. I guess they're better in this area than out in front of the house. By the beautiful partly-almost-white picket fence. That's the thing with Farmer H. He can make something that looks good, like the sidewalk made of bricks from a former old street behind my $17,000 house, and that rock garden with treasures that my grandma collected. But then he junks it up with something inane like those concrete flip-flops.

Farmer H. Can't live with him, can't pretend the footsteps upstairs are his without him.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

One Picture Is Worth 394 Words

There seems to be a running theme here at the Mansion.

I'm NOT! No siree, Bob! I'm NOT picking up that plate! Not only because I'm hard-headed and vengeful, but because around here, no good deed goes unpunished, and no good deed garners a Thank You.

That's Farmer H's plate, by cracky! Left there by him when I was in the shower on Saturday, when he came home early from the Storage Unit Store because of rain, rather than me meeting him there to go to the casino. While I was cleansing myself before spending hours in a smoky environment, Farmer H was hot-dog-loading for energy. Can you tell which cushion he sat on? I knew you could.

It's Tuesday, you know. That plate is still there. And here's part of the reason why...

As we were going out the door to get in A-Cad to leave for the casino, Farmer H walked RIGHT BY a bag of trash that needed taking out. Seriously. It was right there. I'd already taken it out of the wastebasket. Already put in a new bag. Already tied up the top of the old one. Yet Farmer H walked right by it.

"I can't believe you're walking out with nothing in your hands! I have my purse and my water cup. You have NOTHING."

"Oh. Well. I didn't know if it was ready to go out. There's not a knot in the top. That one time you said I took it too soon."

"That was when I had it sitting there with the top open, to put last-minute trash from the Easter meal in it as I was preparing it. Before taking it out. You never take out the bathroom trash, either! I bet I've done it the last 30 times!"

"Well, I don't put anything in it."

Yeah. His old razors and pharmacy bags and bandaids just dance themselves to the kitchen like the "Let's all go to the lobby" singing movie treats, I guess.

"I don't track mud into the house, either, but I'm the one who sweeps it up. I don't eat chili dogs, but I cook them and chop up the onions and shred the cheese. Then wash the dishes."

Farmer H had no answer for that, other than a heavy sigh as he picked up the trash bag with his formerly empty hands.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Lest You Assume That I Exaggerate

Seriously. There is a black cloud hanging over me. Saturday, it was an ACTUAL black cloud. Not a figurative black cloud. The closer we got to the casino, the lower and blacker that cloud appeared. Until the very last minute, when the rain slacked off, so we had hope, and bypassed the FREE valet parking.

Yes, Farmer H swove us to the casino to see if we had our Rewards Offer doubled. The promo says it will be doubled on two Saturdays in April. Then it gave us a HINT, nudge-nudge, right there in maroon-and-white on the mailer, that the first of these two doubling days would be April 7th. We went last Saturday, and the doubling DID happen. Farmer H got $20 free play, and I got $50 free play.

Of course Farmer H and I are pretty savvy customers, so we figure that the next double-day will be the LAST Saturday of the month. Just so the casino can drag you in there with doubling hopes the other two Saturdays. Still, we went to the casino on Saturday. We got in the habit while harvesting our FREE luggage those four Saturdays in March. Anyhoo... our Rewards offer was not doubled on Saturday. Nor did we win the Mercedes for a year. No big deal. We were still at a casino, with money to play, and nothing but time.

And also with a powerful thirst.

Farmer H had been selling in his Storage Unit Store all morning, and I was dried out from withholding liquids so I wouldn't have to stop on the hour drive there, having taken my blood pressure meds before leaving. We went our separate ways once inside, but each with plans to go by one of the free soda fountains before settling down to play.

First of all, don't got thinking the black cloud is about losing, because we always go in with the expectation of losing some or all of our money that we took. And this day was no exception. No, the black cloud was just from simple everyday interactions that could have gone better. Like at the soda fountain.

The place was teeming with old people, and the soda fountain was a prime watering hole. I think there were four people ahead of me. It's on the wall, with the ends of several slot rows across from it. There's not much room to get by if you're walking down the wall of the casino. People were grabbing a cup, filling it with ice, getting their beverage, and moving along. It was a one-way flow. No room for two-way traffic. While we were waiting, other people shouldered their way past us, going from one area to the other.

The old white-haired man in front of me got his soda, and then turned to SWIM UPSTREAM! I had people behind me in line. People passing by my left shoulder to get by. There was NO ROOM for this guy. He faced me, and glared like I was the one in the wrong! SWEET GUMMI MARY! I had nowhere to go. I guess he was going to stare everyone down until he got out of our line playing chicken one person at a time.

Seriously. I don't cotton to crap like that. I did NOT move for him. Mainly because, as I've stated, I had nowhere to go. White Hair stood at my right shoulder area, in the little alcove afforded by the wastebasket. When I had enough elbow room on my left to move forward, I did, so I could get past White Hair to the soda fountain.

There's always one, isn't there. One person who has to upset the apple cart. Demand special treatment. Refuses to go with the flow. I hope somebody bumped him, and spilled his FREE soda. Not so it got all over his pants in an embarrassing area, though that would have been like icing on a sweet, sweet cake. But only because I wish he had to go back through the line to get another FREE soda.

I've vengeful like that.

Oh, yeah. Farmer H and I ordered our burgers. Both the same way. Medium. With onions and pickles. Farmer H also got pepperjack cheese on his. When the burgers were served, Farmer H's was done just the way he ordered. Medium. Pink and juicy. Mine was well-done. It had the consistency and taste of sawdust. Even though I don't eat sawdust. I'm pretty sure I won't need to now in order to describe the taste. "Oh, you know. It's just like a well-done Burger Brothers hamburger."

I'm like Pigpen, hygienically-challenged friend of Charlie Brown. But with a dark cloud, not a dust cloud.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

I Can't Even

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's life is off course!

While walking down the 13 basement steps to my lair this afternoon, my SHAMING BRACELET ABANDONED ME!

That's right. The Fitbit-style doodad made by Garmin, that Genius gave me for Christmas, threw in the towel, and flung himself from my wrist right down those remaining 5 stairs, thumping on at least three of them.

Yes, Mrs. HM is such a loser that even her SHAMING BRACELET, whom she displeases daily by not meeting her goal five days out of seven...chose to jump from her wrist and hurl himself into oblivion (or at least onto the hard press-down tile of the basement concrete floor) rather than ride down the rest of the way strapped to her wrist.

Let the record show that on the band, there are two hard plastic prongs that fit into stretchy rubber slots, and a turny thing to keep the prongs latched in. I had pronged and latched as usual. Nothing was malfunctioning. Upon closer inspection after the fact, there was no damage to any part of the Shaming Bracelet. Even though it caught for a moment on the plastic bag handles of the Devil's Playground sack that I use to ferry down my drink cups, such an incident happens every single day. There was no reason for this sudden leap of non-faith.

This does not bode well for Mrs. HM.

I'm glad I skipped buying scratcher tickets today.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Storage Unit Fairy

Last week, I woke up and went to the kitchen for my medicine. There on the counter was a GIFT for me! Or so I assumed. It was something that wasn't there the night before, and it was in my food-prep area that I harp about keeping clutter-free. Also, it was not something that I could imagine Farmer H using for himself.

It was a case, by cracky! A hard-cover case. With polka dots! Not at all unappealing.
I quite liked it.

There was a little latch on the front that allowed entrance to the case. It was just like the ones I bought at Christmas, in assorted solid colors like red/blue/purple/green. For the guys to put their casino players' cards in during Casinopalooza 2.

Plenty of room for lots of cards! I think I have 11 of them. I almost had one of these cases for myself, but Farmer H saw me wrapping them, and said that HE'd like to have one, so there went the one I had ordered for myself. You know us gals...always doing without so their guys can have nice things.

Anyhoo...Farmer H said he found this one in his storage unit stuff, and he WASHED IT and brought it over to the house for me. You realize, right, that Farmer H is giving up a possible 50 cents in sales for me, don't you? And also that I'm going to wash this case again!

It's the thought that counts. And I also have this sweet card case!


Now, a follow-up. Here's what those Easter Sweet Tarts looked like. I don't have any of the actual candy to show you's already been EATEN! But here's the box, to give you an idea.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Won't Somebody Please Help Mrs. Hillbilly Mom?

I don't know why no one wants to help pitiful Mrs. Hillbilly Mom.

Earlier this week, I pushed my cart into a line at The Devil's Playground. There was only one lady ahead of me. As soon as her items were conveyored forward, I grabbed that little divider thingy and put mine on the counter. It wasn't a lot. Maybe 12 items total. Not a full grocery order. In fact, everything fit in the top section of the cart. The child-riding seat.

The old Devil's Handmaiden conveyed my own items forward. She took the payment of the customer ahead of me. Then she turned to me and said, "I'm leaving. But Gabe will help you. She's very good."

I'm familiar with Gabe. Short for Gabrielle, I assume, because she's a gal whose line I used to seek out all the time, since she IS very good. Quick and efficient, and sensible in her bagging choices. There she was, standing at the end of the bag carousel, waiting to take over.

But wait! A supervisor came over and spirited Gabe away to a different register!

The old Devil's Handmaiden could barely contain her disgust.

"Don't everybody fight over me!" I said. In an attempt to alleviate the tension. And perhaps lessen my unwantedness.

The old Devil's Handmaiden dutifully went about her business of ringing me up. Asked some extra questions concerning my purchases. But I could tell she was just patronizing me. As if it was my fault that I dared patronize The Devil, providing her with job security.

A couple days later, I stopped by the original Waterside Mart, which is now halfway up the hill, its former building at the edge of the river being occupied by a restaurant with a name sign in letters too small to read from the road. My intent was to buy three scratchers, two of them for Genius's weekly letter.

A shrimpy guy was behind the second register, the first one being unattended. Four people were in line ahead of me. No big deal. I have nothing but time. As I queued up behind them, the manager came over from the deli area, and opened up the first register. I know her as a former student. I would have gone to her line, but Mrs. HM is not a line-jumper. The people ahead of me had been waiting longer. So when Ms. Manager said, "I can help somebody over here," I let the two ladies in front of me go over there.

The next customers were done in no time. I thought about switching over, just to chat with Ms. Manager a moment, but then a straggler came up to the remaining lady there, with an energy drink, complaining that it wasn't really what he wanted, and she told him to take it anyway. I could see their transaction might take longer, so I stayed in my line. Which was moving again, and it was my turn to step up.

"I can help someone over here," called a dude from the drive-thru window register.

Well, since it was my turn at the original register, I did not move over there. Can you believe that the Shrimpy Guy cut eyes at the Drive-Thru Guy? Like how dare I step up to be waited on! Seriously. It was my turn, and Shrimpy Guy didn't want to serve me! I guess he was entitled to do nothing, while I was supposed to go over to the drive-thru area and ask for lottery tickets, which would have sent Drive-Thru Guy traipsing halfway across the store, behind Ms. Manager's register, to get them. IF I remembered the numbers of my selections, unable to glance at them in their case.

SWEET GUMMI MARY! Give me an effin' break!

I am a PAYING CUSTOMER, not a plague-ridden, brain-eating zombie!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Mrs. HM's Timing Is Off

Nothing has been going right lately. Oh, my life has been right enough. Not complaining. Well. Any more than usual. No catastrophes. But my luck has disappeared. Trickled out of me like those sands through the hourglass in these, the days of our lives.

So it's no wonder that my inadvertent washing-out of my own mouth with soap came a few days too late. Not in a timely manner, when it would have served a purpose.

Let the record show that three weeks ago, I mailed an Easter box to Genius and The Pony. I crammed as many treats as would fit into those flat rate boxes. A couple of items didn't fit. One of them being a box of Easter Sweet Tarts. Let the record show that there is no truth to the rumor that I bought too much, knowing that some would be left. No siree, Bob! Even the overflow used for HOS's boy's Easter basket did not use it all up.

I don't know if you are familiar with Easter Sweet Tarts. They have the same tangy deliciousness of a regular Sweet Tart, but are in the shape of ducks, bunnies, and chicks. Same regular flavors: pink, yellow, green, blue, purple. You know that leftover Easter candy is a terrible thing to waste. So some nights, I would count out five Easter Sweet Tarts. They only have five calories apiece, you know. I didn't consciously set out to get one of each color. I just shook them out of the box. But last week, I picked out five blue ones. The purple are my favorite, but I didn't want to eat them all at once. Blue is a close second.

Well. When I went upstairs for bed, and stopped to brush my teeth, I saw that my tongue was BLUE! Huh. That might explain the feeling that something was coating my tongue, drying it out. I just figured it was the tangy-ness of the Sweet Tarts. Maybe my taste buds had been burned by the citric acid that makes them so tart.

I brushed my teeth and TONGUE. Gave special consideration to the front part that was so blue. More vivid than my favorite ratty old baby blue sweatshirt! But that blue still didn't come off! No manner of scraping and brushing and sudsing with Sensodyne would remove that blue from my tongue! I figured it would be gone by morning.

It was not.

I was a bit self-conscious during my errands. Even though I'd scrubbed again during morning toothbrushing. That blue didn't go away for TWO DAYS!

I'm wondering now if that Bath and Body Works soap might have done the trick.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

I Washed My Own Mouth Out With Soap

Don't go jumping to conclusions! Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is not a potty-mouth! She even says Not-Heaven instead of that H E Double-Hockeysticks place. Sweet Gummi Mary! It's not like she deserved it, like Ralphie helping his dad change a tire in A Christmas Story.

No, the reason for the tongue-laundering was not a punishment for foul language. The reason was carelessness.

Monday night, Farmer H grilled some hot dogs on Gassy G. If I was my ex-teaching colleague Sir Gabs-A-Lot, a former tablemate from the Semi-Weekly Meeting of the Newmentia Lunch Time Think Tank, I would say that Farmer H grilled some wieners. Heh, heh! The students loved it when Sir Gabs-A-Lot read the lunch menu on hot dog day.

Anyhoo...we had hot dogs and potato salad and SLAW for supper. I put mine in little plastic ramekin thingies that Farmer H got at the auction a while back. A LOT of them. That he got. Not that I filled with potato salad and slaw! What good would that do as a portion control tactic? Precious little, that's what good it would do.

Anyhoo...I had TWO plastic ramekins of slaw, and one of potato salad. That's as it should be, you know. I set them on my tray to take down to my dark basement lair. By that time, Farmer H was already done inhaling his entire meal in the La-Z-Boy. I had a paper plate on there. And an individual stick of sharp cheddar for a snack later. And an individual bag of plain chips. So my tray was pretty full. I found a sliver of space in my side dish assortment, where I could lay a fork without it sliding off the tray.

I have a white plastic fork that I like. It's smooth, without grooves in its molded plastic, and it doesn't taste of metal. I only have one fork like that, and it was laying on the kitchen counter awaiting a washing. I picked it up and slathered on some Bath and Body Works White Citrus Deep-Cleansing Soap from the pump top bottle that my sister the ex-mayor's wife had given me for Christmas. I scrubbed that single fork under a stream of cold water, dried it on my favorite ratty old baby blue sweatshirt (it's utilitarian, like Linus's blanket!) and put it back in that crack between ramekins on the tray.

As I navigated down the 13 steps to my dark basement lair, I noticed that white plastic fork moving. NO! I was hoping it wouldn't go over the side. Because I didn't want to step on it and destroy it. Forget about it being freshly cleaned. A fall to the floor wouldn't keep me from using that fork! I have an infinity-and-3-second rule.

By the time I got to my office, the white plastic fork had its handle laying across one of the slaw ramekins. Which I might have overfilled slightly...

No problem. I picked up that white plastic fork to lick the slaw juice off the handle. Only it wasn't slaw juice.

It was the liquid soap that apparently had escaped the drying capabilities of my favorite ratty old baby blue sweatshirt.


Soap is not tasty. The flavor lingered for about five minutes.

I kind of had the urge to cuss.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

They Might Want To Invest In A White Noise Machine

Monday morning, I got a call from an unknown number ON MY CELL PHONE. Dang it! You never know. What if something happened to one of my boys, and my number was in their phone? I rarely get scammer calls on my cell phone. That's probably because I never put my number on the cell phone Do Not Call List. Seriously. I think that's where scammers get some of their numbers.

Anyhoo...I answered.






"Mrs. Hillbilly Mom?"

"Who are you calling, and for what reason?"

"Is this Mrs. Hillbilly Mom?"

"What are you calling about?"

"Do you live at 1313 Hillmomba Lane?"

"Why do you need to know that?"

"This is the XYZ Roofing Comany--"


"--we are--"


I hung up. Blocked that number and reported it as 5PAM. The sound of about 100 others in the background, making the same call, kind of gives away the scamminess of their venture.

I really hope Farmer H hadn't called somebody about our roof after the hailstorm last week.

Monday, April 9, 2018

This Does Not Make Hillmomba Look Good

Let the record show that every weekend, I watch LIVE PD. It's a show on A&E that follows police departments across the nation. Mainly in Florida (because, seriously, that's where the CRAZY is), and South Carolina, Louisiana, Texas, Utah, Arizona, and Washington. I'm sure I'm leaving some out. Like MISSOURI! Which has just been added over the past few weeks.

Not only am I familiar with MISSOURI, but I am familiar with GREENE COUNTY, where the action takes place. That's where I went to college. It's Springfield and the surrounding area. So I kind of like to compare how we stack up against criminals in other parts of the country.

Sweet Gummi Mary! On the first two nights, we barely saw MO on the program. Oh, they tried. We started two or three car chases, but then aborted them due to traffic and a danger to innocent people. Well. The next week, they stayed in a traffic chase, after a motorcycle, which promptly ran a red light, clipped the back of a car, and sent the driver and his girlfriend sailing about 30 feet through the air before gravity exerted its influence.

Okay. That was exciting, but kind of stomach-churning. Because that was a live chase. No faking. The car that got hit was sitting there with the driver all hysterical, even though she did nothing wrong. The show didn't let us see the bodies until it was determined that both riders were conscious, and there was no pool of blood, and no limbs were dangling. However...the driver's leg was at a wonky angle, and he was whining that he'd broken it. Sorry if I don't appear sympathetic.

Anyhoo...I don't know if that made us look good or bad. You can't abort every chase, and you can't predict that some yahoo on a motorcycle is going to run a red light. Turns out that the chase continued because that driver had already been arrested for evading, (which is running from the police) on a motorcycle. He also had warrants for other crimes.

So...Saturday night, Missouri was once again a hotbed of crime. But Sweet Gummi Mary! Do we have to show our stereotypical rednecks to the world? I'm not sitting up here on my high horse, thinking I'm better than them. There are people in our state who live this way, and do the best they can with their upbringing and education. It just seems that there could be more exciting crimes to show than our denizens from the hinterlands.

This was a road rage incident that didn't even happen in Greene County, but the one next to it. A man with about three teeth and a beard, in overalls, was pulling a trailer piled high with belongings like a couch and washer/dryer and kitchen table. His chubby wife with poor grammar, and his adult daughter with bleached hair, were eager to tell the story of the girls previous co-habitor chasing them and slamming on his brakes when he got in front.

Their story was crookeder than a pig's tail.

The other guy showed up, and though a bit more well-spoken, seemed to have holes in his story, and readily admitted to passing them on the two-lane road, declaring, "It's a passing zone there!"

Seriously. Why would he pass them if he was following them to ask for the washer/dryer back for the landlord? Something doesn't add up. He'd already moved out of the house (for not paying rent, but was staying in a motel), so why would he care what SHE did with her belongings?

Yes. We DO have people like that here. And also like the three folks at the end of the show, who led yet another police chase, down a street I knew as soon as the camera was on. They had a little machine-gun looking weapon, and drugs, and a he-said/she-she-said story about not knowing each other or whose gun it was or why they were evading. I know you can't pick and choose your criminals, but maybe they can show more folks like the lady a couple weeks back who was driving 20 mph in a 30 mph zone. That's because she was a farmer, and lived out of town, and didn't know the city, and wanted to be cautious.

I don't think LIVE PD will want to film here. The mailbox thieves are common, but the headless bodies are few and hopefully far away from the Mansion next time.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

A Narrow Miss

As much as I complain about Farmer H, I don't want to think about life without him!

Yesterday, Farmer H told a tale that may or may not have been designed to get sympathy. Probably not. He's not that calculating unless food or money is involved.

"I was on the Gator, heading up to Buddy's house, and that lawyer's wife lady came around the curve in the middle of the road. I bet she was going 50 miles an hour! I got off on the grass as far as I could, because of the fence. She hit the brakes and swerved. Sprayed gravel all over. Barely missed me! If she'd hit a hard patch, she would have flipped that SUV."

"Yeah. She's a maniac. She needs to slow down. Everybody says that, but nobody will tell her."

Let the record show that I don't get out that much and talk to our other residents...but TWO of them have complained to me about this lady. She's also the one who was quite vocal in complaining about Farmer H and Buddy working on the gravel roads. Even though she has not donated one red cent for the gravel, or her time driving a tractor to spread it. She could at least keep her opinions of their work to herself. Without them, and the monetary donations of several others, we'd be mired in mud every spring and half the winter. Maybe the roads wouldn't have so many ruts if she'd lift her lead foot and stop spraying gravel!

Maybe Farmer H should have kept that motorcycle helmet he found in one of those storage units, so he could wear it while driving his gator. I hope he at least raised his Poparm and shook his fist at that lawyer's wife.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Good Thing The Easter Duties Were Done

When I left for town yesterday, Jack did not come running for a pat and some cat kibble. Sure, he was probably full from the potatoes and carrots cooked with bacon that I shoveled out into his food pan an hour earlier. It was time to dispose of the Easter dinner leftovers and wash the containers. So Juno and Jack got some tasty bacon-infused veggies on top of their dry dog food. Juno still came for a hug and some kibble. It was only Jack and his partner in shenanigans, Copper Jack, who were absent from the side porch.

I could hear Jack yipping. It wasn't his territorial bark, or his intruder bark. It was yipping. A kind of excited, insistent bark that he sometimes uses when the cats won't comply with his wishes. I couldn't tell where he was, but it was somewhere out front. That yip is close to the injured yip, so I was a little worried that he might have gotten mixed up with the crazy Rottweiler beast from across the road. I looked all around that area as I left the driveway, but didn't see either Jack.

When I got home a couple hours later, I stopped T-Hoe at the end of the driveway, and walked the big green trash dumpster back to the house. My Sweet, Sweet Juno again greeted me. Alone. And I could still hear Jack yipping. On the way back up the driveway to T-Hoe, I determined that the yipping was coming from the area behind Farmer H's Shackytown. In the stand of trees around some gentle depressions in line with the sinkholes.

Of course I felt terrible. What if Jack had tumbled down into a sinkhole, and I'd left him trapped all this time? There's only one sinkhole there that's bottomless, that you can hear splashing if you drop something in. The others are pretty shallow. Since I could hear Jack, I knew he hadn't fallen into the water table.

I started across the yard when I was about halfway up the driveway. When I got closer to the trees, I could see Copper Jack, all tensed up like dogs get when they're about to pounce on something. A little closer, and I could see down into the depression. There was the back half of Jack! Wriggling and tail-wagging and darting forward and back. He had something trapped under a rock the size of a kitchen table. Copper Jack ran to the other side, waiting for the something to be flushed out.

Whatever it was, I don't think it was leaving any time soon. I mentioned it to Farmer H later, and he said it was probably a rabbit. I agree. When we came home from the casino trip Monday night at 10:00, a big rabbit ran across the gravel road and into the BARn field. Two more darted across the driveway towards that very sinkhole area. AND two weeks ago, there was a headless, chewed-on rabbit carcass behind the Gator.

I thought at first they may have trapped a squirrel. We have dozens of them. They eat the chicken feed that Farmer H throws out for his remaining guinea. But squirrels are quick to run up a tree. In my dreams, it would be a mole that those dogs were intent on killing. The front field is full of mole tunnels. More extensive than I knew, before I walked across it looking for Jack. But again, a mole would have merely ducked into its underground labyrinth to evade the dogs. I often see them digging to get at one, but we haven't found carcasses.

At least a rabbit can keep Jack busy. And I'm pretty sure we're not going to have a shortage of rabbits if he gets one.

Friday, April 6, 2018

STOP, Possible Thief

Wednesday, as T-Hoe chugged down the gravel road alongside the creek, nearing the blacktop county road junction for our trip to The Gas Station Chicken Store for not-chicken...I saw a red pickup truck at the mailbox row.

Let the record show that our mail carrier does NOT drive a mail jeep. It's usually a woman, in some kind of small SUV. White, I think. The car is not marked or modified for mail delivery. No steering wheel on the opposite side. No lights on top. No markings on the car. There IS, however, a magnetic bumper-stickery rectangle, white with black letters, U.S. MAIL, that she slaps onto the rear of her car. Haphazardly.

This red truck did not at first command my attention. It could have been one of the residents of our compound, picking up his mail. I say that, because the truck was on the wrong side of the road. Like, facing into oncoming traffic. No big deal. Farmer H does that when he's picking up our mail. Pulls up alongside Mailbox Row so he can remain seated in his vehicle, and reach out the window to get the mail out of EmBee.

I didn't recognize the truck, but in the past, there's been a red pickup that goes up our gravel road. I was looking at the side of it before pulling out onto the county road. Couldn't see the back. Couldn't see the license plate. Not that it would have mattered. Because taking a picture of it didn't cross my mind. UNTIL...

I pulled out onto the road, and saw that red pickup truck pull forward. The guy was opening ANOTHER mailbox about 5 boxes away from the first one I'd seen him in. What was going on here? I couldn't have seen if there was a U.S. MAIL bumper-stickery rectangle on the back, because of the angle. I just ASSUMED it was a resident picking up mail. But a resident shouldn't be opening up more than his own mailbox!

Now I'm wondering if I'm going to be missing some mail this month! When I came back from town, there was only one item in EmBee. What if this guy had taken some of my mail? The next day, I had more mail, but only one statement from our credit union. There should have been two. Because The Pony has an account there. So now I have to wonder if they were going to arrive on separate days, even though they were mailed at the same time and place...or if one is never going to arrive.

It's not like I'm expecting any money in the mail. But our bills and account statements have our account numbers on them. And Hillmomba is full of ne'er-do-wells!

I'm pretty sure that red pickup driver was not a substitute mailman. I'm still hoping he was just a resident, picking up his mail. He didn't look at me in a panic, like he was doing something shifty. Then again...maybe he's a hardened criminal with no conscience...

I guess I should just start taking a picture when I see suspicious activity. I have been brainwashed well by the government agenda of SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Sweet, Sweet Justice Prevails In Hillmomba

Yesterday, as I pulled out of The Gas Station Chicken Store's parking lot with my 44 oz Diet Coke, I saw justice in action.

The Gas Station Chicken Store is on the corner, by a stoplight. I saw a black, unmarked police car that was headed across the intersection, coming my way, make a U-turn. He put on his blue flashing lights, and pulled over a small silver sedan that must have gone through the red light. Couldn't wait his turn to get to Domino's or Country Mart, I guess. Even though I enjoy a tasty pizza, and scratchers out of Country Mart's machines...I still abide by the traffic signal.

This is a large intersection. Maybe seven car lengths distance to get from one side of the intersection to the other. It's not like you can dart across and not interfere with cross traffic, due to the delay before their light goes green. No siree, Bob! If you continue through a yellow or a red here, the other cars are chomping at the bit to rush through their now-green light. It's a pain when cars don't obey the lights, because it throws everyone off. A line of traffic has to sit and wait for you to get your sorry bumper across their path, even though the light is green.

The car pulled over right away. The police officer looked fine in his black tailored tight-fitting uniform. Can't have a ne'er-do-well grabbing a swatch of fabric in a scuffle, you know. He walked toward the driver's door to lay the smack down. Unfortunately, my light went green, and I had to go.

I don't care if that driver got a ticket. Times are hard, and people need their hard-earned or government-scammed cash. Even a stern warning, with the police officer shaking his finger, saying, "Shame, shame on you for running through the light," would satisfy me.

People need to be kept in check. What's the use of a stoplight if nobody stops? Before you know it, Hillmomba could be like the Arc de Triomphe!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Records, Or It Didn't Happen

Genius seems to be having trouble proving that he was born!

I can verify that he was. I was there, you know, for 14.5 hours, my wits not compromised with any medication, save half a shot of something from a full syringe that the doctor left with the labor nurse when he went to catch a nap. We were too late for an epidural, because Farmer H said he needed to take a shower and pack a bag before driving me to the hospital.

You might recall that I sent Genius two official copies of his birth certificate, freshly purchased (and not reimbursed by richy rich Genius) for $15 each at the county health center a couple weeks ago. Genius needed one for his passport, but upon closer reading, discovered that he needed TWO, and that if he lived in a state that said not to copy them, he would need two official copies. Of course Missouri is a state that prints DO NOT COPY on their official birth certificates.

It was no big deal, because Genius had two right there. But he wants one to have on hand in his records in case he needs it. Again, he volunteered to pay, since I put in his weekly letter that I am ON A FIXED INCOME now. He's supposed to get back to me if the passport people kept both of his official certificates, so I can fork over another $15 for one to send him. He just took care of all that business on Friday, and I haven't heard back about it.

I DID, however, hear from Genius. On Monday evening, in the casino. People NEVER communicate with me, you know, while I'm sitting hour after hour, day after day, in my dark basement lair. No siree, Bob! They don't want to hear from me unless I'm out doing something, or driving, or on the phone with someone else.

Genius wanted to know if I had his shot record.

"Is it safe to assume you have my vaccination card/record thing?"

"Maybe. But I think the county health center can issue another one?"

"Okay. I want to get a copy of it."

"I'll check when I get home."

Two hours later: "I'm on the road home with Sis and the Ex-Mayor and Dad. We went to the casino. They won. We lost. Probably won't look for your shot record until tomorrow. If I don't find it, I'll go by county health center. It will only show your childhood shots. Not the two you got at CeilingReds before you went to college. When we forgot that you'd already had one."

"Do you remember what I got before college? I'm assuming MMR. What else?"

"Meningitis? The HIB?"


"Look up HIB. I'm in the middle of nowhere, typing with one finger."

"Okay. I'm looking for this because I'm setting up my PCP here and they asked for it."

Huh. I don't know what a PCP is. Last I heard, it was a drug that makes you jump out of a building, like a horse tranquilizer or something. I'm guessing it's some medical file now, though.

I found Genius's original little cardboard folded-up shot record from when he was a baby, with all pertinent vaccinations recorded by hand. Even the meningitis shot (one of them) before college. And also a printout from the county health center, because apparently I was lax in keeping track of that little record before.

So now, I think Genius should be able to prove that he was born, and how many times he was shot.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

I Never Thought I'd See My Fingers Type This

I'm DONE with the lottery!

Okay. Not permanently, of course. That's not gonna happen. But lately I've been on a not-winning streak. Uh huh. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is a loser! Oh, sure, every now and then I win $5 here and there. Or maybe $15. But I haven't had a big win in THREE WEEKS!!! That is unacceptable!

Here's my last good one.

That was on March 15th. Seems like forever ago.

I don't even like that ticket! It's been around since last year. It's a double-sized one that you can't get out of the machines. It costs $20. I'd been buying the fives, but something kept telling me to get this ticket at the Casey's across the moat from the Gas Station Chicken Store. I resisted the urge for about 4 days, and then switched up and bought this on March 15th. Looks like the luck of the Irish was with me two days before St. Pat's.

My lucky hunch seems to be on the fritz lately. I don't feel compelled to go to any certain store, or buy any specific ticket. I just buy whatever. And that hasn't been working out. So I'm not spending my hard-not-lost casino bankroll on tickets until after my next casino trip. Which is on the horizon at the end of the week, anyway.

Maybe a little re-calibrating of my luck is just what Even Steven ordered.

Monday, April 2, 2018

A Tale Of Two Tail-Waggers

My Sweet, Sweet Juno is a girly girl. She usually minds her manners, her only vice being gluttony. And maybe jealousy. But she generally keeps her nose clean, and leaves the scene at the first hint of discord.

Jack is a guy's guy. Rough-and-tumble, the instigator in every game of I'll bite your tail and you try to run away and drag me as I growl. Juno and Copper Jack are not really fond of that game.

This picture captures their personalities. Juno has just sipped in a ladylike manner from the front yard drinking bowl, and Jack has been romping in the rain. Notice that Juno's fur is still dry and silky, her only coming out to see what I was doing when I got home with my 44 oz Diet Coke. Her feet are still dry, with feathery fur between her toes. Yes, she's a dainty thing, except maybe when she belches in my face, or whacks her head on the metal chair or wooden handrail of the side porch when she's cavorting.

Jack, though, is all snakes and snails and...well...puppy dog tails. And poison frogs that make him convulse and foam at the mouth and hide under the Little Barbershop of Horrors in Shackytown for 30 minutes. He always has his nose in Juno's nether regions, even though she's had her very special operation. You can plainly see that Jack is all wet, shaking himself without regard to those who are dry around him. His paws are all rough and Frito-smelling.

You'd never think that animals could have such different personalities. Unless you have an animal companion.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

It's All Over But The Whinin'

I served up our Easter feast at 1:25 this afternoon. Farmer H didn't open his Storage Unit Store, although he DID take some new merchandise up there, and DID travel to some entirely different storage units with HOS, to see about moving some items to a different locker.

Let the record show that I underestimated the work that our Lesser Easter Dinner entailed. It took 3.5 hours to prepare. At least Farmer H dilly-dallied over it so that it was not consumed in 10 minutes, but took 15 instead.

You may recall that I told Farmer H that the kitchen table would need to be cleared for our feast. And that HE, the one I hinted at for clearing duty, most items being his 6-packs of Diet Mountain Dew, 4-packs of flavored water, and assorted treasures from assorted auctions, declared that a table feast was not necessary. That we could eat it wherever. Because he knows that I like taking my meals down to my dark basement lair. Uh huh. Totally selfless, that guy. Not-clearing the table out of regard for my preferences.

Anyhoo...because of that plan by Farmer H, I'd told him that I would be cleaning up the kitchen before I got my plate and descended to Lairville. No way did I want food left out, and dirty dishes congealing, while I tried to enjoy my feast.

I called Farmer H to fill his plate. He elected to use the paper china, rather than my white plates with red/blue/yellow swirl that he calls red plates. I was not pleased to see that he put the 7-Layer Salad on his plate. Seriously! I put a lot of work into that salad, and I feel that it deserves its own bowl. AND Farmer H used his forearm to shove things aside, and sat down at the kitchen table to eat, while I was standing at the sink washing dishes! Which made me look like the bad guy, when in fact I was just going along with the original plan set in motion by HIM!

When I looked later at the serving bowl of 7-Layer Salad, as I scooped out my portion, I knew how Farmer H could have put his salad on a plate with everything else. He'd taken only the top 3 layers, and a bit of the 4th! He had BACON, CHEESE, MAYO, and some PEAS. Yeah. It's pretty easy to get that on a flat plate, I guess. I had mostly LETTUCE, GREEN ONIONS, BOILED EGGS, PEAS, some shreds of CHEESE, and two particles of BACON. Pic, because it happened...

Yes, I know that's a perfectly good meal, quite filling. I had just expected more of the good stuff in my 7-Layer Salad.