Saturday, June 30, 2018

The Hours I Cursed, So Peeved

You might think that Mrs. HM has the world by the tail, now that Farmer H is retired, spending his days prepping his Storage Unit Store, and his nights with a new drug delivery job. But you'd be wrong!

I don't expect much. Just time to myself each day, when I don't have to do anything other than what I want to do. TWO HOURS! That's all I need to be happy. Two hours, to sit down with my 44 oz Diet Coke, a lunch of Chicken Bacon Ranch Pinwheels from The Devil's Playground. A side of green olives. Some BBQ chips. Lottery tickets to scratch. Music and internet on my New Delly. No, not much to ask for at all.

I don't begrudge making Farmer H's supper. Not even making his dining decisions for him, and cleaning up his mess. I sit down to chat with him so he has companionship, even though he prefers to feed with his legs kicked up in his La-Z-Boy. And barely even grunts in response.

Farmer H never has time to chat. Whether it be about our new supplemental optical and dental insurance, or The Pony's random communiques, or which household fixtures need some fine-tuning. He'll pace through the kitchen, or stand with his hand on the doorknob, not really listening, but waiting for me to stop. Or he walks off to the bedroom or bathroom mid-sentence. And just two nights ago, I turned to gauge his response to a statement in my dark basement lair, and he was already halfway up the steps. He was the opposite of The Sidler. He didn't need Tic-Tacs in his pocket to warm me of his arrival, but so I'd know he abandoned me once again.

Yes, it's funny how Farmer H has absolutely nothing to say to me, nor nothing he wants to hear from me, for 22 hours a day.



How does that even work? The only time Farmer H has for me is during the very two hours that I set aside for my lunch and relaxation. No matter how much I try to preserve my alone-time, there he is. I can call him beforehand, to see what he's doing. Where he is. When he expects to come in the house. What time he wants supper. Tell him everything pertinent to the immediate situation. And STILL, he turns up at the portal of my dark basement lair when I'm in the middle of sucking a pimento out of an olive, with Spotify on New Delly's screen, awaiting the day's choice of tunes, my tickets at my elbow, ready for a scratchin'.

Uh huh. He did that to me Thursday. And Wednesday. And Tuesday. And Monday, I even called him down to watch a DVR of Yellowstone that he'd asked for, on the big screen, with permission to sit in my OPC (Old People Chair) as long as he didn't have a snack in it. Yellowstone, the first episode of the new Kevin Costner series, which was two hours long. STILL, he showed up at my office door.

Seriously! On Thursday, I had come up the driveway, and due to the running of the dogs, noticed Farmer H over on Shackytown Boulevard, standing behind his Gator, with his cell phone to his ear. I waited for a moment, switching radio stations in T-Hoe in the garage. Getting the mail settled in my purse. Putting my 44 oz Diet Coke on the console for easy reach. Waited. Just in case, you know, Farmer H might be coming over to help me carry in groceries, having seen the dogs run to the garage, and T-Hoe in the driveway.

Can you believe that I did NOT hear the Gator approach? By the time I had carried six bags, and two 4-packs of Strawberry Water, and a 6-pack of Diet Mountain Dew, and a 6-pack of Diet Coke to the side porch...I heard a chainsaw start. I wasn't sure where it was coming from. At first, I thought it might be from behind me, from Copper Jack's human daddy next door. Even though I pass him going back to work in town after lunch every day.

I was dripping with sweat. This heat has been miserable. I took in my purse and magical elixir and the mail, got the door unlocked, and came back out to carry everything the rest of the way into the Mansion, and put it away. I was tired and sweaty, and sat down for a rest to cool off, before getting my lunch together. I called Farmer H.

"What are you doing?"

"Leveling the sheds."

"I thought you might help me carry in the stuff, but it's done now."

"Oh. Well. I didn't know. I was running the chainsaw. I'm coming in at 2:30 to take a shower before going to the auction. I'm meeting my buddy at 3:15."

"It's already 2:10. You won't have much time. I'm not waiting another 20 minutes to talk to you. I'm getting my lunch ready."

Really? Leveling the sheds? I kind of think that ship has sailed. I don't think there has been an issue with them sitting unleveled all this time. And Farmer H is notorious for showing up right after the groceries are put away.

Can you believe that with only 30 minutes to shower and leave for town...Farmer H found time to come down to my dark basement lair and chat with me?

"Huh. What did you win today?"

"I haven't even had time to scratch them yet! You're always down here during my ONLY TWO HOURS that I want for myself!"

"Okay then."

I'm pretty sure this life lesson for Farmer H will not be retained.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Salty And Steamed, But The Taste Is Poor

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is salty today, my blogfriends. Salty, and steamed. Part of our well-seasoned Hillmomba-dweller's saltiness and steaminess is due to the temperature as she writes this (Thursday). The other part is due to her general, all-around surliness.

Whew! When the Devil's playground feels chilly compared to outside temps, nothing good is going to happen for Mrs. HM. I took the dumpster up the driveway before leaving for town. That's because I was putting a bag of trash in it anyway. It's not like Farmer H is going to do something like that, even though I bag up the full garbage, tie a tight knot in the top, and put it in his path. I think I nearly lost consciousness at the end of the driveway. And that was when it was only 86 degrees. Right now, at 5:27 p.m., it's 93, and feels like 107.

The humidity must have been near 99% when I left home around 11:30. The front window was fogged over. The outside doorknob was covered with a layer of condensation. Indeed, my mini bubba cup of ice water immediately broke out in a sweat. My own sweat did not evaporate until I got down the road a bit in T-Hoe, with the air conditioning feeling cool for once. My face was crusted with salt like a Texas Roadhouse baked potato.

But I'm not here to give you yesterday's weather report! I'm here to cast aspersions on humanity! I think I've figured out one reason why we're all hurtling towards Not-Heaven in my proposed handbaskets. People need to be more butt-holey. There. I've said it.

I'm not talking about the people who are butt-wipes. No, there's no help for them. Once a butt-wipe, always a butt-wipe. I'm talking about people who go out of their way to be nice. NICE TO THE BUTT-WIPES! That has got to stop, people.

On my way to town, a truck appeared out of nowhere. I know my blacktop road. I know where there are driveways. I'm familiar with people's vehicles. I check T-Hoe's rearview mirror. There was nothing behind me almost the whole two miles to the county lettered highway. The first sight I got was in front of the house where my mom ran over a dog. Didn't hurt him, but the boys chided her for it forever. Anyhoo...I have no idea where this truck came from so fast.

It was white. A commercial truck of some kind. A pickup with a rack in the bed. It must have been going about 70 to come up on me like that. I, myself, go 50-55 on this road, even though (ha ha ha) the county put up a 35 mph sign years ago. It didn't last long.

Anyhoo...after I passed the prison, I slowed down from 55 (legal limit on the county lettered highway) to 45, the in-town speed limit. When I crested the hill by Farmer H's Storage Unit Store, I slowed to 30 as the posted limit decreased. I'm pretty sure the driver of that white truck was cursing my law-abidingness.

At the first stoplight, White Truck pulled up on my right, in the other lane. The one that runs out at the third light. It's pretty much a right-turn only, because that lane peters out a few yards past the intersection. If you're not turning into the corner liquor store, you're screwed. When the light went green, I figured White Truck would try to get ahead of me to set himself up for that third stoplight. Of course I wasn't asleep at the wheel. White Truck gunned it, but didn't try to cut over. He stayed in the right lane through the second light, then cruised past a line of 7 cars waiting at the third.

OF COURSE some do-goody in a little red sports car let White Truck veer in when that light turned green! WHYYYY! Nancy Kerrigan's whine cannot begin to do justice to the wails of Mrs. HM when White Truck got his way, having pretty much cut line ahead of us at the light.

Seriously. Just dessets need to be served on a heaping platter! So these butt-wipe people get a taste of vigilante justice.

Oh, yeah. When White Truck passed me on the right, I could see that it was an AUTO GLASS truck! Full of a rack of windshields in the back. Even if I could remember the company name, and look up the number, I wouldn't call to report that driver. Times are tough. I don't want to cost anyone a job, just for being a butt-wipe. But you can bet I had no qualms about putting the kibosh on an intended traffic merge.

I have a feeling that Karma and Even Steven might be in the market for glassware one of these days.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Hillmomba Smackdown: Mrs. HM vs FRIG II

Sorry, it's too late to get your tickets. The event has already concluded. In fact, it was not even on the calendar. Just a random battle for supremacy of the Mansion kitchen. Let the record show that FRIG II kicked Mrs. HM's butt.

It all started with my evening cup of ice. I needed my yellow bubba cup full. That's because I put half in my ever-weakening 44 oz Diet Coke, along with part of a 20 oz bottle...and use the rest for my water when I leave the lair for my OPC (Old People Chair). I fill Yellow Bubba every night before going back downstairs with supper.

Farmer H was in his La-Z-Boy, chowing down on some bratwursts I'd baked in the oven. He had chosen Ruffles and French Onion Dip as his side, while I had constructed myself a not-big salad. Now all I needed was that ice, and I could go eat my own supper solitarily like Farmer H.

FRIG II had other ideas.

There was a clog in the ice dispenser. You know. When that round thingy grinds the blockage, and you get shaved ice. I didn't WANT shaved ice. I needed my ice in solid, crescent-shaped cubes, to hold up against hot soda and lukewarm water. So I moved Yellow Bubba way from the lever. Set him down on the cutting block. I opened FRIG II's freezer door, and smacked the ice receptacle on the bottom. That saucy little imp WOULD give me some cubes, by cracky!

But no. He wouldn't. He spewed out a couple of cubes onto the floor, and continued grinding. I tried to pull out the whole ice tray, but it was stuck on the metal thingy in the back, the part that turns the spiral thingy to move the ice forward. I yanked and yanked, with more and more cubes hitting the floor. Funny how they couldn't come out into my cup, but could fling themselves willy-nilly to the linoleum.

I set the whole ice tray on the cutting block, and set to chipping away at ice buildup along the inside. I'd just done that less than a week ago. Shouldn't have needed to do it now. Oh, and while doing so, that ice tray started emitting cubes from the front, and also from the back. Nothing was moving in there, save my butter-knife chopper. It was like FRIG II's ice tray had a case of Montezuma's revenge, and was losing his insides from both ends.

By the time I was done, and wrestling with FRIG II's freezer door to fit that ice tray back in on its metal runners while the door was slamming on my shoulder...there were 15 pieces of ice on the floor. Which I had to BEND OVER and pick up! The problem with bending over is that both knees make grindy noises. And hurt.

As soon as I'd tossed the last of the floor ice cubes into the sink, Farmer H walked into the kitchen. I KNOW he'd heard me rassen-frassen during the debacle. Yet he hadn't come to help. Hard to believe, I know...

It was as if he was the referee, coming it to hold FRIG II's lever high, pronouncing him the winner.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

I Can't Even Believe This

Oh, dear. I'm pretty sure you all know that Mrs. HM has a problem with FEET. They repulse her. She doesn't want to see feet, she doesn't want to think about feet. Feet turn her stomach inside out.

You might also have ascertained that Mrs. HM is a conspiracy theory aficionado. Which doesn't mean she believes in (all) of them, only that she has a penchant for reading about them, and using her valedictorian mind to pick them apart, or find plausible evidence to provide shaky support.

Even the denizens of Hillmomba have voiced concerns that their phone is picking up their conversations. Putting in ads that sponsor products they've just been discussing. At least they don't have Alexa spying on them 24/7/365. I figure any time I do a Google search, my innernets dossier is being fattened. That's the price you pay for using free services like Google and GMail. It's not like I have anything to hide, though it's a bit embarrassing when you're showing your teenage son something online while he peeks over your shoulder, and an ad for granny panties pops up.

Anyhoo...I'm starting to believe that all of these spies are in cahoots. What one hears, he tells another, like an unending game of telephone. Or else he sells that eavesdropped evidence to line his virtual pockets. But now...I'm starting to believe that The Cloud has a dark sense of humor. Or is using this clandestine information for torture.

Monday morning, I was watching POP TV, some old episodes of ER. All at once, I gasped! Nearly turned over backwards in the La-Z-Boy, trying to get away.

THIS commercial came on!

SWEET GUMMI MARY!!! OM[effin]G!!! I can't even!

Let the record show that blog buddy Sioux has mentioned feet and toenails in my comments recently. I hold her responsible! As if this commercial isn't bad enough...when looking for a link so you all could share my experience...I found ANOTHER ONE!

I'm still shaking. Watch those links at your own risk.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The Absent-Minded Professor's-Helper

The Pony has been in talks with one of the professors about becoming a lab assistant. He helped clean out the lab that is being remodeled, and has been looking into some research topics. It's chemical stuff with nano particles that I don't know much about. The Pony seems to have a better handle on that information than on the tasks of daily living. Surprise.

"I made ramen earlier and had a bottle of glass root beer blow up because I thought it was fine to have them in the freezer, since Grandma D always did it."

"How long did you leave it in there? Are you okay? Wear goggles next time you drink a root beer!"

"I'm fine. I heard a bang in the fridge, thought it was biscuits since that happens, turned out it was root beer. I thought she just kept them in there! I had mine in for about an hour."

"No way can you keep glass bottles of soda in a freezer! You must have had an incompetent physics teacher..."

"I thought glass could handle it. I knew plastic couldn't! I didn't think Grandma D only put them in there when we came over!"

"I'm pretty sure they were in a fridge, not a freezer. Or else she DID put them in when you came over."

"They were in a freezer because it had that ice bulge on the sides! (The freezer, I mean) But they were usually deep in it, and cold enough to hurt your hands. So I thought they were always in there."

"Well, then, she did it just for you. Good thing she didn't have swampland to sell you. Or the London Bridge."


"Genius learned that an oven's heating element is hot..." [He sizzled a brand on his forearm while getting a tray of potato skins out of the oven.]

"Yes, yes, laugh it up."

"Like the great joy both of you took in my dead-bird-stepping-on faux pas?" [It was under the fallen leaves on the teacher parking lot. I don't have x-ray vision. Or a steel-trap memory for buried carcass location.]


"Is there something in your throat? Do the Heimlich over the back of a kitchen chair! Oh, wait. You don't have a kitchen chair. But at least you have dishes and silverware since January! Better late than never."

Here's the thing. You would expect a kid who got a perfect score on his ACT, and is majoring in chemical engineering at a major university on a National Merit scholarship, would know that you can't put glass bottles of liquid in a freezer and expect the liquid not to freeze and expand.

We used to visit my grandma every Sunday evening. She would tell the boys to go get a root beer out of the fridge on her back porch. I suppose The Pony is confused, because it was an old refrigerator, with the freezer compartment up top. Grandma didn't use that freezer. Only the fridge part, for sodas. So the freezer was frozen full of ice. I suppose The Pony imagined that the whole contraption was a freezer. Still, it's disturbing that he felt the PLASTIC bottles of soda would not survive, but a glass bottle of soda would.

I guess something stored in his brain had to go, to make room for that nano particle stuff.

Monday, June 25, 2018

This Is NOT Delta, Delta, Delta

Remember back in the olden days, on SNL, when Melanie Hutsell would say, "Delta, Delta, Delta, can we help ya, help ya, help ya?"

Let the record show that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is NOT a sister at the Tri-Delt house.

I do not go around asking if I can help anyone. Most notably Farmer H, who is not shy about ASKING ME TO HELP HIM!

Fresh off the 45-minute search for an obscure western belt buckle made of German Silver, which contains no silver...Farmer H requested the very next night that I look up a very special shotgun for him. Of course he did not provide the actual shotgun, as he had the buckle. Nor did he provide a picture. He only provided the terms Ideal, single-shot, 12-gauge. Farmer H is not a very good provider.

As you might surmise, I did not have a lot of luck. I found ONE guy selling such a gun, for $150 or best offer. I printed it out, but Farmer H was quick to inform me the next day that the photo showed a gun NOTHING LIKE his. Imagine that.

I also found out the name of the gun company, which escapes me now, since it went through three ownerships with three different names. And the year they started classifying their guns in seven categories, the second one being IDEAL. Farmer H did not seem as impressed as I would have liked with this information.

So...after all that, which took ONE HOUR of my time and New Delly...Farmer H said, "I'll just take it down to the gun shop and see what they can tell me about it."


Oh, and now I'm probably on a watch list. But not as bad as The Pony.

"I'm probably on a new watch list now." [the old one being because when he was in elementary school, he asked for a computer CD on learning to speak Arabic] "My class had me doing research about something related to the Manhattan Project, and I chose to do the trigger mechanism. Apparently, most information about it is classified."

"Well, I will also be on a watch list, after researching shotguns for an hour last night for Junker Dad."

"Shotguns are normal redneck stuff. The detonation methods of atom bombs are not."

"Maybe you can swing a job with the feds, and use your academic powers for evil." [Because we all know he really doesn't care about helping people.]

"They employ chemical engineers to manage and develop chemical weapons."

I hope there isn't something The Pony is not telling me! But something he DID tell me was that he baked a deep dish Chef Boyardee Pizza, and when he took it out of the oven, he realized he had forgotten the cheese.

Let the record show that Chef Boyardee comes in a box, with powder to mix with water to make dough, a can of sauce, and a packet of cheese. THREE INGREDIENTS!

I'm pretty sure we don't have to worry about The Pony developing chemical weapons...

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Is Mrs. Hillbilly Mom An Unwitting Criminal?

Hey, now! I said UNWITTING.
Not anything that goes with -witted. Like half- or slow- or dim-.

There is the slightest possibility that I might be a criminal. I hope not. But signs point to a problem. At the very least, I might be an accomplice! I don't know. That's the thing. Mayhap I am, and mayhap I ain't. Genius likes to use that word. I think because he read or heard it in from old Mother Abigail, in the book or movie The Stand.

I didn't set out to become a criminal on Friday. That was just an unhappy accident. Maybe. I'm still not sure. We'll know by the time I get done writing this. I won't leave you hangin'.

Here's the deal. Friday afternoon, I grabbed my phone to scan my scratchers. I do that to make sure I don't miss a winner. There's an app for Missoui Lottery that will tell you how much your ticket wins, or it will say, "Sorry. Not a winner. Thanks for playing." Not in words, of course. You have to read it off your phone screen.

Anyhoo...I had a ticket like this:

That's a new one. Unscratched. Which turned out to be a loser, but the one I was checking on Friday had a dollar-bill symbol, which means AUTOMATIC WINNER, and under it was $5. So I was expecting the app to show me "Congratulations, you have won $5." Or maybe more, if I'd missed a number. Which never happens, but I'm OCD cautious like that.

However...that is NOT the message I got, but rather one that said, "This ticket can not be scanned. Check with a Missouri Lottery office." Or something pretty close to that. I didn't want to write it down, because it made me feel like a criminal. Okay. That wasn't my FIRST thought. At first, I thought maybe it was a problem with the app. So I restarted it. Nope. Same message. Then I thought maybe the ticket was too old now, and looked up that game, but it is still in play, not even the 6-month warning that it's ending.

Huh. Could it be a big winner? Nope. I scoured those 15 numbers, and none matched. Only my one little symbol that clearly showed a $5 win.

OH NO! What if MOLOTTERY thought I stole that ticket? I didn't! But maybe they have a safeguard in place in case people steal them in a robbery. Or clerks give them away without scanning. Like how those Devil's Playground gift cards are no good if you don't pay and have them activated. Sweet Gummi Mary! Was Mrs. HM headed for the Big House? For the hoosegow? For Crossbars Hilton?

I got to thinking about when I bought it. I put an initial on the back of all my scratchers, so I can remember where they came from. In case I get a good winner, I don't want to buy that same ticket at the same place until a new roll is put out. In this case, I had cashed in a $100 winner, plus a $10 and $5 winner. I knew the kid working the counter at Waterside Mart. He's a former student. Flaming red hair. No mistaking who he is. I'd told him, "I'm going to take $100 back, and give you a five-dollar bill, and get four tickets." So, you see, I was applying the $10 and $5 winners to my purchase of $20, and giving him a five-dollar bill to complete it. He nodded. He was always good at math.

WHAT IF...Red had forgotten to scan in that fourth ticket? He had checked the winners in the winner-scanner, and printed the ticket that they need to give the winnings back. I know he scanned my new tickets into the register. But he might have forgotten that one. He'd taken the five-dollar bill and put it in the register. Oh, no! I didn't want HIM to get in trouble!

I told Farmer H, and we couldn't figure out any reason other than the ticket didn't get rung up at the register. The bar code looked fine. Not ripped or scratched. I had already decided that if a store wouldn't cash it for me, I was just going to forget it. It was $5. Not worth a drive to the city to the lottery office. Not worth a college kid losing his job over. Not worth ME being accused of stealing it!!!

Saturday, I took that ticket to The Gas Station Chicken Store. My favorite clerk was working. The little Asian dude. That made me feel like I was in good hands. He knows his lottery. He's been there the second-longest of all the clerks.

"I have a mystery for you! I don't know if this ticket is good. It clearly shows a $5 winner, but when I scan it on my phone app, it tells me to take it to a lottery office, that it can't be scanned."

"Huh. Let's see..."

He scanned it on their machine. I saw a box with words come up, but I couldn't see that far to read it.

"If it's not good, I'll just take it back and forget it..."

"'s good. But it didn't come from here."

"I know. It came from Waterside Mart." I started explaining my theory about the ticket not being scanned. "I don't want that kid to get in any trouble."

"Well, he wouldn't get in trouble for that. It's not about scanning in the ticket. The ROLL of tickets wasn't activated. So I can pay you the five dollars. Whoever put out the new roll of tickets is the one they'd want to talk to."


Looks like Mrs. HM is NOT a criminal or an accomplice after all. Good thing. I don't believe Farmer H would bake me a cake with a file in it to bring me on visiting day. The closest I might get would be a Twinkie with fingernail clippers.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Big Salad

Let the record show that Farmer H knew he was having a big salad for supper on Friday evening, along with some leftover pizza from Thursday. He knew it, he was fine with it, I asked him a million questions to pin him down...and STILL, there was an issue.

"So, you'll be having the leftover pizza, and a big salad. Do you still want chicken in your salad?"

"No. The pizza and salad are fine."

"Since you're having the pizza, do you want your big salad in the leaf bowl like last time, or in a regular bowl?"

"That leaf bowl is fine."

"I'm putting in lettuce, mushrooms, cheese, boiled eggs, and tomatoes. Do you want some red onion like last time?"

"Yeah. Onion is good."

"Will you be eating both at once? Or one before the other?"

"Both at the same time."

"Okay. I'll put the pizza in the oven to crisp the crust right before the salad is ready."

See? I had all the details I needed for proper preparation of Farmer H's meal. I prepared it accordingly. I called him in to put the dressing and croutons on his salad, then took the pizza out of the oven. Everything just as planned. I set my salad in FRIG II, so I could talk to Farmer H before he left for the auction.

I could hear him crunching the pizza crust, so I knew it was warmed the way he liked it. He ate the salad. We chatted. I noticed his other two pizza pieces languishing on the paper plate on the table by the remote, as Farmer H chowed down on the salad from the La-Z-Boy.

"I thought you were going to eat it all together. Your pizza will be cold. And not crisp."

"It's fine. I ate one of them. I'll eat the other two after my salad."

About 30 seconds later, Farmer H set down his leaf bowl, about 1/3 still full of salad, on the table.

"Whew! You made too much salad!"


You might recall that I had asked him if he wanted THAT MUCH SALAD! In the leaf bowl! I had flat-out asked if he'd rather have it in a regular bowl. Which holds less than the leaf bowl.

"'s no good to keep, once you've put the dressing on it."

"I know."

" want me to throw it out?"

"No. Well. I might eat some more of it later."

"Like when you come back from the auction?"


"So...I should just cover it and put it in the fridge?"

"Nah. Go ahead and throw it out."

This might give you an inkling why Genius calls me The Short-Temper Cook.

Friday, June 22, 2018

It Has Come To Pass

Now that Farmer H and I are living the life, my greatest fears about retirement have come to pass. He's home too dang much, making demands on my time! Passive-aggressive demands!

Since the Fly-by-Night Drug Courier Service has not yet contacted Farmer H to make a run (another story all its own), he's underfoot. It's too hot to hang out at his Storage Unit Store shooting the bull. Too hot to straighten up his Freight Container Garage full of Storage Unit Store stuff. Poolio seems to have lost his luster. And there are only so many days a week Farmer H can spend four hours at the barbershop, getting his sparse hair cut.

Wednesday morning, he came home from who knows where, and sat down on the long couch with a manilla file folder.

"I have my paperwork from that drug place. I'm gonna make a copy before I give it back."

Farmer H thumbed through the folder, remarking on different forms. There must have been 15 pages in that folder.

"What you MEAN is...I'M going to make a copy of all those before you take it back."

"There you go. No. I was planning to make my own copies."

"On MY copier/printer? You don't even know how. You'll get it all messed up. I'll do it."

"It's not MY fault you have stuff piled all over it!"

See, there's the thing. Farmer H can have 20 buildings (some made especially for such purposes) piled high with junk...but let ME stack some printouts of receipts pertaining to The Pony's college expenses on top of my copier/printer (mainly used as a printer), and he's ready to call Hoarders.

"I'll go down and move it over."

"FORGET IT! I'll go to town and find SOMEBODY that will copy it for me!"

"Okay. Whatever."

See, I'm not going to beg Farmer H to let me make his copies for him. I'm done playing his games. He has tantrums like a toddler when he doesn't get his way RIGHT AT THE MOMENT HE WANTS IT. He waves his arms and raises his voice and sometimes swears at me because I DON'T DO NOTHIN' for him. That's Farmer H's way of dealing with our togetherness. Mine is trashing him on the innernets.

Kind of made me regret those FIVE PAGES of attractions near the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan (that I'd printed out the night before, after searching for them, at Farmer H's request) that I'd left for him overnight, on the bathroom counter by his glasses.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Stockings Takes A Shelfie

When I came home from town yesterday, I saw that Stockings, our tuxedo cat, is movin' on up! To a deeeeluxe compartment on the porch. Yeah. Those are the same shelves that Farmer H says he is going to put in our walk-in closet in the master bathroom. He's been saying that for months now. I'm resigned to live out my years as a hoarder wife.

Stockings is like The Pony of the cat world. He doesn't really care about people. In fact, if he had his druthers, I'm pretty sure people would be replaced by kibble-spouting robots. Stockings has a personal bubble that will not be broached. I knew I couldn't get any closer to him and still get a picture. I DIDN'T know that he could sense my phone camera zooming in on him.

I took my eyes off Stockings for a second, to see if Jack was looking photogenic, and when I looked back, Stockings was stalking away.

It's not like he was running. Stockings is a stocky cat. He doesn't rush anywhere.

There he goes, past those wash tubs that have been sitting there even longer than the shelves. They look suitable for washing a stinky hat, don't you think? Alas, I have no water source over there.

Stockings has his ears back, a bit disgruntled, because not only was I stealing his soul by snapping a photo...but Jack was romping over there to try and hump him.

I did not try to get a picture of that interspecies rendezvous.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Imagine Her Driving

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom never knows what monkey wrenches The Universe is going to throw into the cogs of her well-oiled, 44 oz Diet Coke fetching machine each day. Sometimes, it's high creeks. Sometimes, it's a road blocked by a sideways old-people transport mini-bus. Sometimes, it's a county road tractor with a side-mower chewing up tree branches along the blacktop road. Yesterday, however, it had nothing to do with roads, and everything to do with a parking lot.

Here's a pic. Because sadly, it DID happen!

That's my rightful parking space at the Gas Station Chicken Store yesterday. Uh huh. That's correct. You CAN see my actual parking SPACE! At least half of it. Because that lady who "parked" there did not even pull up to the tire-stopper! WHO DOES THAT? She's a whole half-a-car out of that parking space.

Don't mind the man in the background. He was an innocent by-walker. Probably coming from that silver car at the pumps, going in to pay for his gas. They're old-school at the Gas Station Chicken Store. You can't pay at the pump.

Anyhoo...this gal was still sitting in her car, with it running. I had to detour around the back to go inside for my magical elixir, hoping she wouldn't put it in reverse and crush me (or her bumper ON me) while I was back there. Because if you can't even pull up to park like a civilized human being, how do I know you're not gonna mow me down with your inattentiveness?

Gotta get that proposed handbasket factory back on track...

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Pretty Sure He Would Have Peed On My Leg If It Was More Convenient

Oh, dear. Just when I try to be diplomatic and show Farmer H in a good light HA HA HA LIKE THAT IS EVER GOING TO HAPPEN! Whew! Excuse me, I'm feeling a bit light-headed after all that guffawing.

Monday, I took Farmer H to our new favorite casino for Father's Day. And by "I TOOK," I mean that he swove us there in A-Cad, spent his own money, and we each had $10 food credit for the buffet. C'mon. I bought him candy and cookies and losing scratchers. I'm not going all out. He still got more than I get from him on Mother's Day.

Anyhoo...we were without the company of my sister the ex-mayor's wife and her husband, since they were on a trip elsewhere. That meant we took a different route, two-lane curvy blacktop to the interstate, like when we got visit my best ol' ex-teaching buddy Mabel...rather than a meandering route through towns to pick up Sis and Ex-M.

Once we got to the highway, I pulled out a book to read. It's not like Farmer H is going to make conversation with me. He'd had 20 minutes on that blacktop road, and didn't take advantage of his captive audience.

So...I'm reading along, not really wanting to know what Farmer H is up to behind the wheel, but having an inkling every time I heard wake-up bumps, and my head swayed like that of a charmed cobra. But I can kind of tune things out when I'm reading. I'm an ex-teacher, by cracky! I can remain aware, but not let the outside world distract me.


What in the Not-Heaven???

I glanced up, to see, first of all, that we were in the fast lane, a semi truck beside us, another in front of that one, and a semi truck in front of us. We were running along at 77 mph in the alcove of an inverted, flipped-over 'L' of semi trucks. AND Farmer H had something in his right hand, and was sweaving with his left hand, onto the wake-up bumps near the guard cables meant to keep us out of the median.


Farmer H looked down and at the center of the windshield and pretty much everywhere but at the road in front of him, and the semi truck beside him.

"Do you have to do that now? This is not the time. Wait until you get off."

Let the record show that Farmer H had said we had 106 miles left on that tank of gas (it's 90 minutes to the casino), and that he was going to get off at a town right before casino town for gas. Let the record also show that in Farmer H's right hand was the Garmin, which had thrown itself off the windshield and onto A-Cad's center console, the suction cup having dried out in the heat and lost its suck.

"Why don't you just take it! And stop telling me what to do! It's not like you're going to put it back up. You won't even take it!"

"First of all, stop yelling at ME because your Garmin fell off. You don't need it to get there. It wasn't even on. Of course I'm not going to put it back up. I never use it. I've never used it. And I don't know how it works. AND you KNOW that you were fiddling with it to put it back!"

Farmer H thrust the Garmin at me. Held it way over my lap.

"I was not! I wanted you to take it!"

"What am I, a mind-reader? If you'd wanted me to take it, you would have held it over my lap like THAT, and not been sweaving from the side line to the side of that truck, looking up under the mirror. YOU WOULD HAVE HELD IT OVER HERE LIKE WHEN YOU GIVE ME YOUR CANDY WRAPPERS AND TOLL TICKETS! So don't go yelling at ME because your Garmin fell off!"

Seriously. If Farmer H had been able to TAKE IT OUT with his other hand removed from the steering wheel, while rolling down the interstate at 77 mph on cruise control, I swear he would have peed on my leg and told me it was raining.

Oh, yeah. I took the Garmin. And laid it on the console where it had originally fallen. It rode there just fine.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's Luck Is Non-Transferable

What do you get a guy who has everything? And I DO mean EVERYTHING. Except maybe a kitchen sink, but I'm pretty sure he has one of those somewhere. Farmer H is a hard-to-gift man. I knew his boys wouldn't be getting him anything for Father's Day. That would require some effort on their part. I had casually asked Farmer H if he'd like a $3.00 change purse and two boxes of Sno-Caps, and he said he didn't really want those things. To which I replied, "Neither did I."

"HM. I didn't know what to get you. So that's what I got. I thought you'd like them."

So...for Father's Day, I got Farmer H two packs of cookies (SUGAR FREE chocolate chip, and those long wafer kind with icing in the middle, vanilla flavor). I also got him some SUGAR FREE candies, like turtles, and chocolate covered mint, and strawberry creme. I know he likes those. PLUS...I got him some scratchers.

Farmer H has been buying the occasional scratcher for himself these days, being flush with junk money. He always loses, though.

I'd been having a good couple of days with my own scratchers.

I had a WIN ALL on a $5 ticket, which gave me a $100 winner.

And a $75 winner the next day on a different $5 ticket.

So I was very hopeful for Farmer H to win something good. He never buys $10 tickets for himself, so that's what I got him. Plus a couple of $5s.

Well. The only thing that Farmer H won was this:

Yes, for all that, he only won $10. Which is better than a $3.00 change purse and two boxes of Sno-Caps. But still.

Sometimes, you just can't fix loser.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Calling A Scam A Scam

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has been in high demand for the past several weeks. It seems as if she's the new belle of the ball. So many suitors requesting a spot on her dance card! At least that's the reason I imagine so many people are calling me. Calling me at 8:40 a.m. (waking me when I've barely gotten 20 winks). Calling me at 9:15 at night. And a variety of times in between, with 11:00-11:30 a.m. seeming to be a favorite. That's when I'm usually in the shower. I don't hear the phone, because the one on the master bathroom wall has a ringer that doesn't work. You'd think a resourceful fellow like Farmer H could remedy that. If he only cared. Which he most likely doesn't, not wishing me to pencil anybody else onto my dance card.

Sometimes I answer those calls. Just in case. You never know when my knees might feel like dancing. Too often, nobody is on the other line. It's as if they can see through the phone, and reject me as a dance partner without even giving my charming personality a chance.

Sometimes, it's people who want to warn me that if I don't call and provide information, the sheriff will pick me up for some unspecified crime.

Lately, it's been a call from a prison, which may be monitored! I don't want someone snooping on my conversation with a potential dance partner! So I hang up on those.

A couple weeks ago, I got a call on my cell phone from an unknown number. That rarely happens. Maybe because in the rare case it does, I block the number. This one said it was from KANSAS. Now that was interesting. Genius works in Kansas. But it didn't look like an area code from there. And I'm pretty sure anywhere that could be a call from him, or about him, would be more specific than just KANSAS. Really. Was the whole state wanting a conference call with me? Or maybe it was Dorothy and Toto, needing a ride.

That KANSAS call resulted in a text thingy. You know. When you don't pick up the call, and then I guess it leaves a voice message, and then that translates it to a text. I don't know how that dark magic works, but that call was from SPRINT, wanting me to upgrade my phone.

Seriously, SPRINT? You are a business, by cracky! Supposed to be on the up-and-up. Kosher. Above-board. Don't try to pull a fast one. Pull the wool over my eyes. Pee on my leg and tell me that it's raining. You are no better than a common telemarketer with this tactic. What if you'd gotten me off the toilet while I was pooping in a cardboard box???

Friday morning, an even evil-er form of fake call woke me. Of course the caller ID shows (and speaks all garbled-y) some gaggle of letters that I suppose are an acronym for these unscrupulous fly-by-night scammers. I jumped out of bed (not an easy task) to grab the cordless land line on my nightstand.

"Hillbilly Mom?"


"Oh, you sound so YOUNG! You make me feel positively old!"

Silence on my part. I don't talk when someone's peeing on my leg.

"I'm calling for blabbedy-blab. We provide cards for children undergoing a catastrophic illness. With your donation--"

"I'm not interested."

"Oh, can you imagine how sad it is for these kids and their families--"

"I'm not interested."

"I know this is a hard time--"

"I give to other organizations. I'm not interested."

"So can I sent out a pledge envelope--"

"NO! I'm done."

Seriously. You can't be polite to these people. First of all, lady, stop being so smarmy. You might as well be a slimy car salesman calling me "young lady" as to use that opening. And you have no idea whether it's a "hard time." It's not. If I had a wheelbarrow full of Benjamins sitting right there by the phone, I STILL wouldn't give you a single cent.

I'm getting kind of crotchety in my dotage.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

More From The Ponython

Seems like The Pony has been communicating more since our visit last week. Monday (June 11) was his first day of summer semester. He's taking a class on campus, and one online, because it conflicted with the one on campus. Ain't that always how it goes? You want to take TWO classes, and of all the classes offered during summer semester...those two are at the same time.

Anyhoo...on Tuesday, a storm rolled in.

"Not raining yet but there is very very deafening thunder despite nothing being in the forecast."

"Oh, no! If you're going out, take an umbrella."

"Like, some of it's louder than I've ever heard while outside before. I didn't have the umbrella with me. I'm already out of class. I'm just gonna ride the bus home instead of walking. I don't trust the weather, and rain just started."

"Yeah, ride the bus. Can you see the lightning?"

"Yeah. When it's in front of me and not behind. On the bus now."

"I could see both. With my teacher eyes in the back of my head."

"Not bad rain yet. But it's supposed to be sunny today. And it's the loud, crackling and rolling thunder."

"The feds controlling the weather decided you needed a storm."

"As in, I was walking to the bus area and there was a lightning strike and I jumped and looked around and some athletics department guy walking the other way just looked around and went "time to get inside."

"Yeah. Don't get struck."

"Not on my agenda for the day, unless it's lovestruck."

"Any prospects? Anyone you're pursuing?"

"I will not comment on any romantic prospects."

"You brought it up, not me."

"The rain was warm."

Here's the view of The Pony's parking lot (and baseball stadium).

And the other direction, towards the pool and clubhouse.

He really seems to like it there.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Not Gonna Last Long At 90 Degrees

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom isn't the only one who likes a sweet treat. 

On The Pony's first day of classes for summer semester, he took advantage of a free ice cream. I don't know if he built it himself, or if he told somebody what to put in it. From the looks of it, I'm guessing that this treat is Pony-concocted.

"I'm currently picking up a free ice cream. It's only 90 degrees today, so it feels cool enough to walk home."

Let the record show that The Pony usually rides the student shuttle from his apartment complex. In fact, he doesn't even have a campus parking permit for summer.

"There is a banana in here somewhere."

"Nom nom!"

"The banana is overripe. Urgh."

"They're sweeter that way."

"But I don't like that. I like them green."

"Too bad, so sad. You'll take what they give you."

Funny how Farmer H likes his bananas green, too. And tried to walk home from back-creek neighbor Bev's house. At least The Pony didn't get lost in the woods.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Not Nearly As Delectable As One Might ASSUME

Hey! It's been a while since Mrs. Hillbilly Mom gave you a junk-food review! That doesn't mean she hasn't been eating junk food. Only that she hasn't been eating NEW junk food.

Traipsing across the back of The Devil's Playground earlier this week, selflessly hoisting packs of strawberry-flavored water to keep Farmer H hydrated...I spied a new item on the Little Debbie display of tastiness.


No, that doesn't mean the main ingredient is turtle. It means that these Little Debbie brownies are garnished with all the goodness of turtle candies. Chocolate...caramel...and pecans. WAIT A MINUTE! I said PECANS! Little Debbie should be taken to the woodshed for calling her new snack cake a Turtle Brownie! If you zoom in on that blue circle on the label, you'll see that the turtle part of this treat is Caramel, PEANUTS, and Fudge Topping. There is no PEANUT in turtles!

The Little Debbie Turtle Brownie is NOT as big as the drawing on the box. I don't know if you have a good view of it in the wrapper. Judging by the comparison of the box-picture brownies to the caramels and peanuts, the size is correctly proportional. As you will notice below.

Of course I had to try one for this review!

Aside from the size, the product itself looks pretty much like pictures on the box. Not pretty. There it is, next to a bottle cap off a Diet Coke. It's like one of those mini turtles that you put in an aquarium.

This Little Debbie Turtle Brownie tasted NOTHING like a turtle! The peanuts ruin it! Can't taste any caramel. The icing tastes like homemade chocolate icing on a dry chocolate cupcake.

I'll have to force myself to finish the box. Those turtles aren't going to eat themselves.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Feet On. Feet Off. The Cryer!

After our casino trip on the last night of our Pony visit, we stopped by our hotel so he could get his dinner leftovers from the previous night. Oh, Pony! He'd thought his medium-rare chopped steak, and lobster, would be fine if left in the car while we gambled. Let the record show the temperature was 98 degrees that day, and not much less that evening. So we had persuaded him to leave it in our mini fridge.

Anyhoo...before taking The Pony back to his apartment that last night, we all sprawled around on the queen size beds, watching TV. Mysteries at the Museum. Farmer H and The Pony chose the program. Of course The Pony wanted to lie on MY bed with me. Can you imagine that he didn't want to share a bed with Farmer H?

The Pony was up against the headboard, using all three of my pillows. He DID allow me the use of a little throw pillow to rest my head crookedly, while lying on my side across the foot of the bed. He was teasing me and poking me during our view-fest and argumentative conversation concerning conspiracy theories. Spurred on by the show, with a segment on a doctor who faked a Polish village having typhus to save it from the Nazis.

All at once, I felt his BARE FEET [THE HORROR] on my back, up under my shirt.

"NOOO! Get your feet OFF ME NOWWWW!"

"Oh, okay. Don't you miss those times when I'd put my foot up on T-Hoe's console, and you'd grab it, thinking it was my hand?"

"NOOO! I don't miss when you used it to rub the back of my arm, either, while I was driving!"

"Oh, Mother Dear. I know you miss me. I'll keep my feet off you now. I've had them up under your covers all this time to keep them warm."


We stopped to gas up A-Cad at the 7 Eleven near The Pony's apartment. While Farmer H was pumping the gas, I told The Pony

"I always look forward to coming out to visit you, but then I realize that we'll be LEAVING, and you'll be staying here. I always cry for the whole first hour on our drive back."

Okay. That's what I MEANT TO SAY. What I actually said to The Pony, me in the shotgun seat, him in the diagonal back seat behind the driver, was

"I always look forward to coming out to visit you, but then I realize that we'll be LEAVING, and you'll be staying here. I always cry for the whole first mile on our drive back."

The Pony replied, "Well. You stop before you even get out of the city limits. It's good to know that you get over me so quick."

It was unspoken that we both knew what each other really meant.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

I'm Sure A Toast Will Be Forthcoming

Toot toot! Hey! Beep beep!

That's Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, tooting her own horn again. Being such a naughty bad girl, bragging. But not about herself, for once. This time, Mrs. HM is bragging about her first-born, Genius.

Celebrate good times! Come on!

Genius sent me a text mid-morning, because that's how these young whippersnappers communicate.

"Just got promoted to Software Engineer 2!"

"Wow! That didn't take long! Congrats!"

"Thanks! Usually happens at a year."

"Does it involve a raise?"


"Reminds me of the time I worked in the junk store, and got a 10-cent per hour raise. I was so proud."

"I am proud."

"Of course, your accomplishment is a bit more impressive. Do you have more job responsibilities, or work on different projects now?"

"No really, but only because I was already functioning at this level. I've been the only primary engineer on our team's part of this project since February."

"Good for them, recognizing your efforts, and giving you the title and compensation"

Let the record show that today was Genius's 5th month anniversary of his job at Garmin.

He's kind of a go-getter.

Monday, June 11, 2018

On The Security Force, Farmer H Would Be Known As The GRINCH

The Pony's apartment complex is situated in the deep, deep, paved outfield of the Sooners' baseball stadium. Okay. It's not really outfield if it's past the fence, I guess.

As we waited for The Pony to come down (he'd requested our non-presence in his apartment), I wondered aloud to Farmer H if any home runs might actually reach the parking lot and damage a car. Farmer H thought that was a possibility.

"I also wonder if people sit out here and watch the game."

"Nah! I'm pretty sure security would stop that from happening."

Perhaps, by security, he meant the officials who tool around in one of these at The Pony's university-owned apartment complex. Isn't that just the cutest little thing? I suppose it's a version of a Sooner Gator.

When The Pony got in A-Cad, I asked him. "Does anybody ever watch the baseball games from out here in the grass?"

"Oh, yeah! They carry their couches out of the apartments to sit on."

Heh, heh! Farmer H, proven wrong!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

What's Good For The Gander Is Apparently Not Allowed For The Goose

On the drive back from Oklahoma on Friday evening, nearing the last leg of the journey, Farmer H had a conniption fit. He was sweaving us into Steelville, the last stop before the Mansion. He usually refuels at the Casey's, and we use the bathrooms, and I pick up some scratchers.

When we stopped Wednesday, on the way out to Oklahoma, I had won $5, and Farmer H had won $10. But I still had a $40 winner I was carrying around from the day before. Cut to the last stop on the way home. A couple blocks from Casey's, I asked Farmer H if he was going to cash in his scratcher. You know, so I could lay it out of A-Cad's glove compartment for him, when I got mine.

"I probably will."

SWEET GUMMI MARY! That man cannot make a decision!

"Well...I'll probably lay it out."

What's good for the gander is apparently not allowed for the goose. I thought Farmer H's head was going to explode.

"There you go. You've always gotta say something smart."

At least I wasn't saying something stupid!

"Well, I just said what you said. I don't know how it's okay for you, but not for me. I was trying to help you by laying out your ticket. Since you didn't know if you wanted it, I didn't know whether to lay it out."

With the giant toddler having his tantrum, I left that ticket where it was. I took my two in and traded them for four tickets and $25 in cash (which won me an Even Steven $20 back). When I came out, Farmer H was sitting in the car. Upon putting my winners in the glove compartment after scratching them, I saw that Farmer H's ticket was still there. Where I left it. Even when we got home. He can go look for it any time he wants to redeem it.

And maybe he'll take out his empty soda bottle trash, too.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Farmer H, The Helpful Helpmate: Noctural Edition

We went to visit The Pony from Wednesday to Friday. That meant staying two nights in a hotel. Farmer H calls them motels, but unless it's a single-story arrangement of rooms in a long row facing the outer road along the highway...I call it a hotel. Multiple floors, inside access to the rooms, elevators, indoor pool, hot breakfast buffet? That's more than a motel to me.

Anyhoo...our regular hotel was booked up. The Holiday Inn Express and Suites, in Norman Oklahoma. I don't know what was going on there this week. Traffic didn't seem out of the ordinary to me. But I had to book us into the Fairfield Inn. It was okay. The location and the breakfast and the quiet and the personnel were great. The rest...not so much. But this isn't a hotel review.

Thursday night, Farmer H was up later than usual. I think it was around 10:50 when he crawled into his queen size bed and strapped on his breather. I was watching a preview of that show ALONE, on the History Channel. Farmer H likes it, too. He watched almost until the end, at 11:05. But you know...that 15 minutes would take too much of his beauty sleep.

By 11:30, I had finished answering my blog comments, and shut down Shiba. I propped up the three pillows I had all to myself, and was lying on my back, covered up against the chill of the air conditioner that was blowing on my side of the room. Did you know you get a bigger room if you take two queens instead of a king bed? Anyhoo...I had the remote in my left hand, watching Jersey Shore (DON'T JUDGE!), and channel surfing during commercials. That last I remember, it was 11:45.

I woke up in a dark room at 1:38. The TV was off. I figured it has a setting that makes it go off after so much time of inactivity. Our DISH does that. And a hotel wouldn't want to run up needless electricity bills from all of their TVs being left on indefinitely.

I didn't feel the remote in my hand. I felt around the area. Still no remote. I got up, reached both arms under the covers, felt all over the entire bed, and under the pillows. No remote. Huh. Maybe it fell on the floor. I scooted my feet along the carpet between my bed and Farmer H's bed. Even along the little space under the beds. Nope. I felt the nightstand. No remote. CRAP! That's impossible. I even turned on the light on the nightstand. Didn't see that remote anywhere! So I went back to bed.

Friday morning, Farmer H said, "I took the remote out of your hand last night and put it on the dresser."


Friday, June 8, 2018

Carpal Diem

I tell ya, some days my hands just seize up, and I can hardly do a thing with them. I'd think it was just arthritis, except the pain isn't only in the joints.

Is it possible to get carpal tunnel syndrome from scratching lottery tickets? Or playing slot machines? Those slots are mainly push-button now. You have very few cranks to pull. But pushing buttons is a repetitive action. And scratching scratchers involves squeezing a coin.

When I coached volleyball in Cuba (Missouri), one of my best players had carpal tunnel surgery. It wasn't due to volleyball. I'm not sure WHAT it was due to. She played clarinet in the band, but I don't think carpal tunnel syndrome is an occupational hazard for clarinetists. She also came in late on more than one occasion, the pockets of her jean jacket filled with syringes. COW MEDICINE, people! She had to help her dad give the cattle shots before school. And in the summer, she hauled hay, because it was easy money and a good workout. That might have done it, right there. Lifting the square bales by the twine.

Anyhoo...when I worked at a junk store an insurance salvage store for a year, I think I developed carpal tunnel syndrome. Undiagnosed officially, of course. Nobody who works in a junk store an insurance salvage store is going to spend money on carpal tunnel surgery. My job was cashier when needed on the weekends, and pricing during the week. Pricing was just what it sounds like. I wrote prices on the new merchandise. By hand. With a Sharpie.

Here's the thing about writing prices by hand. You have to grip the merchandise with one hand, while writing on it with the other. Your wrists are controlling your hands in a limited range of motion. Those tendons are tightened, holding your hands in position.

At night, I'd wake up in agony. The only way to make the pain bearable was to go to the kitchen and hold my hands up to the wrist in a bowl of ice water. Do you know how much holding your hands and wrists in a bowl of ice water hurts? Less than NOT holding your hands and wrists in a bowl of ice water, after a day of clenching them like claws, holding and writing on merchandise.

I think my self-diagnosis, even before the internet, was spot-on. Once I quit working there to go back to teaching after finishing my master's degree...that pain stopped. Now I feel like it's trying to creep back. Not nearly as bad. Yet. I hope that's not it.

At some points in your life, surgery is no big deal. You're young. You heal fast. You adapt. The pain doesn't even bother you that much. When you're in high school, for instance. When you're old, you avoid surgery with a passion. How can you even wipe your own butt? Carry a 44 oz Diet Coke?

Is the fear of surgery worth stopping lottery scratching and slots? I don't think so.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Inflation Hits Hillmomba

It's bad enough the price of gas has gone up. T-Hoe is a thirsty, thirsty 44 oz Diet Coke fetcher. Still, I fill him with the good stuff. $2.90 a gallon the last time. Even though I could have gotten the regular for $2.65. It comes out pretty much the same. I can go more miles on the good stuff, and don't have to fill up as often. And by fill up, I mean top off the tank when it's half empty. It's not like I'm passing up a bargain.

Gas isn't the topic that's shocking, though. It always goes up over holidays, and in the summer. Don't try to persuade Mrs. HM's conspiracy theory mind that gas prices and production aren't rigged! Is it REALLY a coincidence that the prices always go up at the same times every year? I don't think so!

Anyhoo...the point I'm trying to get to is not gas at all. It's CHICKEN! Gas station chicken! Take a gander at THIS:

The Gas Station Chicken Store raised the price of an 8-piece box to $79.00!!! That's highway on-ramp robbery! I was SHOCKED, I tell you, when I found none of my favorite parking spaces available, and had to park in front of this sign. That's $9.88 per piece! Why, I can remember when it only cost $8.99 for an 8-piece box. And then they dropped it to $7.99 for a while.

Wait a minute...maybe they aren't really charging $79.00 for an 8-piece box of chicken. Do you think? Perhaps that tree-limb-snapping storm that blew through knocked some of the lettering and numbering off the sign. Or maybe those just-graduated high school seniors were up to shenanigans.

We won't even get into the PowerBall Wine.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

There's Something Squirrelly In Hillmomba

Retired life with retired Farmer H is a trip. A long strange one.

I interrogated questioned asked Farmer H who he was texting the other day.

"Oh. That was on our group Facebook. Neighbor Bev wanted me to tell Neighbor Crazy Rotweiler's Mom that her kitten had cats."


"Her kitten had cats. Bev wanted me to put them on my Buy/Sell/Trade, but I said no. But I'd let our people out here know."


"Oh. No. I meant her cat had kittens."

"Do WE need one?"


Later in the day, Farmer H was sitting at the kitchen table. He never does this. Only if I'm in there captively washing dishes. In the sink, of course. Having no dishwasher. He'll sit there like he's keeping me company. Which I don't want. It's bad enough to stand there doing dishes every day for the past 20 years. That's 7300 sinks of dishes, people! Assuming I only washed them once a day. I sure don't need or want company for that tedious task. Let me use it for meditation. Have my thoughts to myself.

Farmer H wasn't really keeping me company. In his mind. He was writing up his expense account for another neighbor, neither Bev nor CRM. Another one he'd just wired up a hot tub for.

"Well, I made a $230 profit for one whole day's work." Even though he worked on it off and on for three days.

"Oh, look! There's a squirrel on the rail, looking in at you."

"Yeah. They're fun to watch, but I don't want them to get in the house."

"They eat the dog food. There's always one on the rail when I open the door."

"Watch this." Farmer H tapped on the window. No reaction from the squirrel. Just the steady gaze.

Farmer H got up and stood at the kitchen door. He rattled the doorknob. The squirrel sat up straighter, more alert. Farmer H opened the door quickly. The squirrel turned, paused to run along the rail toward the fake fish pond corner. Farmer H closed the door, then flung it wide open. The squirrel looked at him, then took off scampering along the rail.


My watchdog. Farmer H.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

No Siree, HM!

Sunday I stopped by Orb K. I noticed they'd moved their lottery ticket board off center. It leans up against the front of the counter, from the floor. Once I memorized the number of the tickets I wanted, I stepped over to the only open register, on the right side.

The clerk was standing behind the middle register. They have a lot of stuff on the counter there. Sometimes you can't see what's going on behind it. And they're on an elevated platform. The better to see us, you'd think. But you'd be wasting your thinking cap.

I figured maybe that gal was finishing up a transaction, or looking at the gas pumps. It's a busy store, with over 20 pumps outside. I hadn't seen this young clerk here before. Apparently, she was just inattentive. She probably had her cell phone out. After a couple minutes of idle waiting (not that I had any other pressing engagements), the little gal said...

"Oh, I'm sorry sir."

What in the NOT-HEAVEN? I was the only freakin' customer in the store!

"I mean ma'am."

Sweet Gummi Mary! That little gal better be double-sorry. First, for ignoring me while I waited for her to finish sexting her boyfriend or whatever she was doing back there. Second, for calling me a SIR!

Seriously. Mrs. HM does NOT look like a sir! Not that there's anything wrong with that. Still. I have not yet seen moobs (the nomenclature used at the Semi Weekly Meeting of the Newmential Lunch Time Think Tank to designate man-boobs) that could approach the boobage of Mrs. HM's rack.

I've got to get Farmer H back on track so he can finish building my proposed handbasket factory.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Good Thing A Vet's Sign Is Not A Snake, Though At Least I Could Have Sought Immediate Antivenom

We had a storm pass through Hillmomba on Wednesday night. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is not very observant sometimes, but Thursday morning, I knew there must have been high winds. I'd been looking at the creek, to see if the water was up, and I might need to take my alternate route to town. But the creek was fine. However...half the gravel road was blocked at the junction with the blacktop county road. Limbs piled. Yellow tape and some cones marking the pile. As if it wasn't noticeable, filling a whole lane.

I didn't get a picture of the pile of limbs, because right as I pulled up, a county truck pulling a trailer holding a backhoe stopped, and two men got out. So I went about my business, and when I returned with my 44 oz Diet Coke, the pile of limbs was gone.

I could see where they came from, though. From a tree behind Mailbox Row.

It was kind of splintery.

A larger limb rested beside the lock boxes. At least I noticed that. Maybe I notice things in nature that might prevent me from procuring my daily 44 oz Diet Coke. Apparently, I do NOT notice more obvious changes that could also affect my life.

While I was in town, I made a trip out to the bank to transfer some money for The Pony's monthly allowance. Passing by Jack's veterinarian's office, at the old Pizza Inn building, I noticed a lack of cars. Almost like that place had closed up...WAIT A MINUTE! There was a piece of paper taped to the front door. Crap! Now I'd have to find somewhere else to take Jack for shots or sickness!

I didn't want to pull in the lot and get out and read the paper. I had my errands, and my magical elixir was waiting. Surely Farmer H would stop by there sometime when he was in the neighborhood. He could check it out for me. See where that vet had moved, or if it was closed.

Flash forward to Friday, on the way home from the casino with my sister the ex-mayor's wife. She usually knows everything going on in her community. So I asked.

"Hey, what happened to the vet's office in the old Pizza Inn building?"

"They moved!"

"I figured that. I went by there yesterday, and saw a sign on the door. Do you know where they moved? There was an article in the paper a while back. Said they wanted to build a bigger office, but the city wouldn't let them close off the alley that runs behind my bank. That's where they were going to build. On the old used-car lot. You know, next to that church where the steeple got struck by lightning."

"Oh. They're at the old Mexican restaurant."

"You mean the one that used to be--"

"The insurance office? Yes!"

"Well, I was going to say the portrait studio."

"Yeah. That's it."

"So they just moved across the parking lot?"



We drove by it on the way home. There was a giant lighted sign with the name on it!
I never noticed it in the daylight.

I probably wouldn't have noticed it at night, except we'd just been talking about it.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

No Good Deed Goes With Unimpeded Driving

Farmer H and Mrs. Hillbilly Mom are taking a trip this week. A 9-hour drive to Oklahoma to visit The Pony. Who of course doesn't want to come home, and who "doesn't feel like driving long distances" to meet up with us halfway at Downstream Casino. Even though he gets a gambling stake when that happens.

Of course I don't mind driving 9 hours to see my precious Pony. Nor missing a two-night stay at a casino. There's a big casino where The Pony lives! Not IN the casino, of course. But about 10 minutes away if the traffic is good with no highway construction detours. I figure we'll all have an outing there while in town.

Because he's The Pony, he was quite apologetic about his actions denying me two nights at Downstream. Not a big deal. We can go there any time. It's only five hours from us. Also, when asked if there were any treats he'd like me to bring, The Pony demurred. I offered his special Chex Mix, made with Bugles and extra garlic salt and garlic powder. "You know I like it, but I know how long it takes to make. You don't have to."


Not only that, but whether he wants it or not, he's getting three 6-packs of soda. The REAL Coke that Farmer H bought me in an uncharacteristic moment of thoughtfulness (and usual state of ignorance), the Sprite left over from Christmas dinner, and Mountain Dew Ice that I bought for Farmer H before discovering that it was not diet, but included sugar. Shh...not letting Farmer H know that I had an uncharacteristic moment of ignorance. No siree, Bob!

I might have mentioned (only due to the Truth in Blogging Law) that when Farmer H took The Pony to move into his apartment last summer, he neglected to get him some dishes. Uh huh. Which we found out on our last visit. So The Pony went over six months with no dishes or silverware (and didn't think to mention it), save paper plates and plastic utensils that he bought himself at Target. Anyhoo...we remedied that situation while we were there. I guess I still feel the guilt of Farmer H's oversight. Because when I was in The Devil's Playground last week, I picked up these for The Pony:

I know. It's not much, and they're actually for children...but The Pony is MY CHILD, and I think he might like them. Besides, they were only a dollar-something per pack. Not like it's gonna cut into my scratcher money. Farmer H already put them in the back of A-Cad, so we don't forget to take them.

Soo...I spent the morning (which for me runs until about 1:30 in the afternoon) making The Pony's Chex Mix. It takes 2.5 hours from start to finish. THEN I put it in plastic containers that once held storebought pulled pork, and deli sandwich meats. That's our Hillbilly Tupperware.

You'd think that Even Steven and his buddy Karma could give Mrs. HM a break, wouldn't you? For being so selfless to take time out of her busy retirement schedule to make The Pony's special treat. But no. By the time I left for town, courtesy of Farmer H's arrival home from his Storage Unit Store, it was already going on 2:00. I was hoping to get my 44 oz Diet Coke, some scratchers, and return to have lunch by 3:00. But no. Even Steven and Karma in cahoots put Mrs. HM behind a slow driver before she was a mile from home.

My mom was a slow driver, but even SHE didn't drive 15 mph on our blacktop county road! This was a tiny car, smaller than the KIA hamster cars, in an odd green color like a plate from a 1950s diner. I didn't know if the driver was drunk, on a Sunday drive, looking for a certain address (heh, heh, like houses out here post their address), or just being annoying. I kept my distance, in case of the drunk thing. Three times, that pedal car stopped in the middle of the road!!! Yeah. No signal. No flashers. Just came to a complete stop without warning. Good thing Mrs. HM is not a tailgater. I'd have thought the driver was one of those pranksters who likes to slow down and wait for you to pass and then gun it...except for all the down-the-middle driving. Either drunk or looking at a cell phone, I imagine. if delaying my lunch for another 10 minutes wasn't enough of a karmaic I walked into Country Mart to get myself some scratchers from the machine...I ALMOST FELL FLAT ON MY FACE!

Actually, a fall by Mrs. HM would not be flat. Too much boobage to prevent that. I caught myself, I don't know how, but in that staggery way that you stumble forward, sure you're going down, but recover. I'm so old now that I don't even care about making a fool of myself! I was pleased as punch, happy as a clam, that I did not face-plant on the tile. I stepped right to the ticket machine, because a guy had just walked up to the one on my left, where I'd intended to go. A worker coming in from her break straightened the second of the two rugs from the entry vestibule. Good on her! As she went by, I said, "I almost went down!" Not to to shame her and her employer for having a rug with a flipped up corner. Just to let her know that I knew I'd made a fool of myself with witnesses.

Yes, I was not rewarded by Even Steven and his buddy Karma. But I would still prepare treats for my little Pony. I'm selfless like that.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

The Specifics Are Lost On Farmer H

Let the record show that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is currently paying a fortune for health insurance to cover herself, her Sweet Baboo, and her little 20-year-old-student Pony. The plan we have chosen is not the top-level plan that was provided as part of my contract while employed. The price for such premiums for all of us would be prohibitive. Take my entire retirement check. So we're on the second-level plan, which is still pretty good, but with higher deductible amounts. Dental and vision insurance are not something we included.

Flash forward to last week. I got some junk mail from my teachers' organization about dental and vision insurance. After reading through it, I thought the benefits sounded reasonable. All three of us currently-un-dental-and-vision-ensured Hillbillies wear glasses. And have teeth.

I set aside the envelope to discuss with Farmer H. The total annual premiums for both the dental and vision coverage would be less than one month of our health insurance premium. Sure, it pays a percent, not the full amount of services. But with the three of us using it, we should save over NOT having it.

Yes, I talked it over with Farmer H. He agreed that it was something we could use. I left him with the forms while I prepared his supper. Told him to pick which plan we should have, and write it on the envelope so I would know. I don't remember stuff like that.  Farmer H left the envelope on the table beside the La-Z-Boy. I actually told him to. So I'd know where it was the next day when I got ready to write out a check and mail it when I went to town.

Yes, I was confident that the subject had been broached, discussed, resolved, and was only awaiting the final details of me checking the specific plan before I would sent off our check.

Imagine my surprise when I grabbed the checkbook and picked up the envelope.

I am awaiting another discussion with Farmer H upon his return from the auction.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Caution: Old People Blog

I guess I might just as well re-name my blog The OPB. Like my OPC (Old People Chair). Only this would be The Old People Blog. Where we come together to discuss our rheumatism, which tennis ball brand is best for putting on the feet of our walker, where to mail-order the coziest shawls, and how the world is going to not-heaven in a handbasket.

You may recall that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom had a routine 6-month doctor nurse practitioner appointment last Monday. That was May 21st. I got refills on my prescriptions. Nothing good. Just for blood pressure and my mostly-missing thyroid. While I was there, the doc NP said to go up to the lab and give some blood, that he'd have a mail-order poop test sent to my home in lieu of a colonoscopy, and that the lab would be calling me to schedule a mammogram. Yeah. I felt like a car going in for a tune-up.

I've already given you the longed-for (don't deny it, I know at least ONE of you has an inquiring mind, right Madam?) details on the mammogram and the poop box. I had the mammogram on Saturday the 26th. And sent back the poop box on Tuesday the 29th. In fact, it was when I got home after seeing off my poop box that I got THE LETTER.

THE LETTER was from the hospital. It almost ruined what was left of my day. Here it was, going on 3:00, and I was just getting ready to prepare my usual lunch of Chicken Bacon Ranch pinwheels with a side of barbecue potato chips. Now I had THE LETTER hanging over my head. You know how it is. After you've had a mammogram, and you're waiting for the results. Nothing to worry about, right? But you're on edge until you get it.

Dang it! I figured I might as well open that letter. Because if I didn't, my lunch was going to be ruined with worry in the back of my mind. And if I opened it, there was a 50/50 chance my lunch would be ruined with worry.

Aha! Just as I'd feared. "The radiology department recommends that you call our department for a baseline diagnostic mammogram." Indeed. They wanted me to repeat my mammogram. But that was a funny way to put it. When that happened to me back in '05, the letter clearly said to call for a REPEAT mammogram. Huh.

I got to looking over that letter again. Well. It was dated May 24th. Let's see...that was on a THURSDAY! So I hadn't even been there yet for my recent mammogram! So I had already, in fact, scheduled and endured this mammogram the radiologist was recommending! Because mine was on the 26th, so they couldn't have sent a letter for a REPEAT mammogram if I hadn't even had one yet.

Whew! Lunch was pretty good that day. And even better on Wednesday, when the gal from the doctor's nurse practitioner's office called to tell me the results of my mammogram were normal, and the doctor nurse practitioner wanted to repeat it in one year.

Oh, yeah. The same day I got the mammogram letter, I also got a letter from the poop box people, telling me how to send it back. Too late! I'd just returned from sending it back. It had come with instructions inside, you know.

No wonder health care costs so much!