Friday, November 30, 2018

What I Need Is A Lie-Detector. And Maybe A Cone Of Silence.

You never know which thread in life's rich tapestry is going to unravel for Mrs. HM on any given day. If you were a betting person, though, you'd pick a Farmer H thread.

Thursday evening, I was minding my own business, responding to a text from The Pony about his very healthy grades this semester, when I was jolted out of my bliss by sounds from above. My dark basement lair sits right under the master bathroom, you know. I'd subconsciously noticed that Farmer H stumped his seemingly footless ankles across the tile. Didn't think much about it.

I heard the toilet flush. Then a THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP! Like when the toilet brush is knocked against the rim of the toilet, after scrubbing, to get the water droplets out. I'd just cleaned that toilet yesterday, so I couldn't imagine Farmer H, who never cleans the toilet, doing it today.

Oh. Maybe it was the sound of the plunger being knocked against the rim of the toilet. Shaking (hopefully just) water off the plunger. Then the toilet flushed again.

I had just commenced a text to Farmer H to investigate when I became aware that my dark lair was brighter than usual. I turned and saw that the fluorescent light in my office, the one in the corner directly under the toilet, which has been (supposedly) burnt out for many months, was glowing like it had two new bulbs! Let the record show that my dark basement lair has four such light panels, three of which have been burnt out for months.

If you are the squeamish type, you may not want to read on...

"What's going on up there? Did you clog the toilet? You thumped so hard that one of my lights came back on!"

"No I hah to pup twice" [That's unedited]

"Well, the light under the toilet is on now, and I definitely heard thumping."

"Just me walking had to hurry back for second pup" [Also unedited]

"Huh. Sounded like you tapping something on the side of the toilet."

"Turds plopping in I guess"

"Dang! They must have shot out like cannon balls!"

No way was that tapping the sound! It was a definite rhythmic tapping. I'm pretty sure Farmer H is just shining me on. Gaslighting me about the tapping.

I kind of got even, though. That story tomorrow.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Sadly, The Saga Continues

Seems like only yesterday ('cause it WAS) that I was ranting about Farmer H ordering me to hand him a paper plate, because he was too lazy to unstick the two that were stuck together. I've had enough of that crap. This time, I set a trap!

Farmer H made himself a ham sandwich for lunch. He used the GOOD paper plates, the sturdy ones, not the white plain version. So I couldn't quibble with him over his plate selection. However, as he was sitting in his La-Z-Boy with his sandwich, I began preparing my own lunch. Not much preparation needed, since The Devil's Playground was out of pinwheels of any kind, the last two trips I made there.

My new lunch this week has been a can of Sardines in Mustard Sauce, and a slice of Ozark Hearth 22 Grains and Seeds Bread. All I have to do is toss a can of sardines on my tray, add a slice of bread, and make sure I have a fork. I do use a plate, though. I'm not a savage!

I was sure there'd be a single plate in the Everyday China rack. The one left after I peeled them apart for Farmer H when he commanded me at the previous night's supper. Sadly, there was not! He must have used another one for something else. So...I peeled two plates apart, and put one on my tray for lunch, and put the other one back.

"Wait just a minute!" I told myself. "Why leave a single plate there for HIM? I'm taking both of them, and that single one that's next! He'll have to tear off his own plate if he wants one for his rolls when he warms up supper!"

See what I did there? I put three plates on my tray, stacked on top of each other. That way, I could bring my tray up later, discard the top plate that was used, and still have one ready to go for my next meal. While Farmer H would have to pry his own plates apart if he wanted one out of the rack.

Sweet Gummy Mary! He's a sly one, Farmer H!

I came upstairs before my supper to find a paper plate laying on the counter. Farmer H had used it to write on. I'd been asking him for days to sell me some one-dollar bills and some dimes and quarters from his Storage Unit Store cash. That way, he has fewer small bills and change to carry, and I have soda money for a couple weeks. Written on the plate was: $10 ones, $3 quarters, $7 dimes.

I picked up the note-written plate, and it was a SINGLE! Good! I reached to the rack, expecting to find a single in front, since Farmer H had obviously torn two apart.

NOPE! Double. And the one after it a double! Farmer H had bypassed the front of the plates, and foraged for a single! That's dirty pool! Of course I went straight to the boys' bathtub to confront him about it. I saw him in there this time, leaning forward when I came up, so I wasn't a creepy hideaway thing.

Of course I chastised Farmer H for rifling through the stuck-together plates until he came to a single plate. He denied it. Over and over. I wish he would just admit it! I even told him how I'd set the trap, so I KNEW there was no single plate in front, as he kept insisting.

Oh, yeah. He ALSO insisted that the bigger Styrofoam bowl that I'd set out for my salad, and he'd filled with 12 dirty junk quarters (!) was actually meant to have coins in it, because he got it from the bottom of the stack of bowls I have coins in. Um. NO. Because all those bowls are the small ones, and the small bowl with four quarters left in it was still there on the bottom of the stack. I'd left that big bowl on top, knowing I'd be putting my salad together in that spot on the counter.

I swear. These big ol' bears are SO easy to trap. Even if they fancy themselves good liars.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

One Trip Forward And Three Plates Back

Sweet Gummi Mary! Just a few days ago, I was thinking that Farmer H and I had this retirement thingy figured out. He was not driving me nearly as crazy as when he first chucked the whole "employment" thing. Well. Let's just say THE CRAZY IS BACK!

It was bad enough that I had to pick up his discarded candy wrappers in the hotel room on our Thanksgiving trip to see The Pony. It's not like HIS Popeye arm is in a cast. He needs to throw away his own dang trash!

It was even worse that on the same trip, I had to flush the toilet for him! Yeah. Only once. But isn't once more than enough???

"I don't want to look at your bubbly pee! Flush the dang toilet!"

"Oh. I thought I did."

It was ultimately worser that I sat in his pee! YIKES! That shouldn't happen to a professional pee-sitter!

"I can't believe I just sat in your pee! My whole right butt cheek and thigh are coated with it! I need to get home as fast as we can, to take a shower! I will be sitting on your pee for 10 hours!"

"Oh, quit being so dramatic. I usually wipe off the seat with a piece of toilet paper. I guess I forgot, since we were on the way out the door."

Yeah, right. That's horrific, but it was Tuesday, back at home, that put my teeth on edge like when Farmer H had told me that my stress at making a holiday meal RUINS HIS ENJOYMENT OF IT!

There I was, sitting in the La-Z-Boy, when Farmer H popped in before going over to his Freight Container Garage to play with his toys get Santa toys ready for his upcoming Breakfast With Santa on December 8th.

A short discussion ensued concerning our upcoming CasinoPalooza 3 with Genius and The Pony.

"We'll get there around 12:00, and meet them at Downstream. We can't check in until 3:00. So we can go to a few other casinos, like that one where we like their deli, and have lunch at it."

Let the record show that I've already mentioned this plan to Farmer H twice. Asking how he felt about it, and if he thought that would be a good use of time until we were able to check in. The other option had been playing right there at Downstream, eating lunch in their little grill, and then checking in when they allowed.

"So...where do you think we'll eat supper Saturday night? I just want to know, because I can't be having TWO buffets in one day again!"

"I don't know. I'll eat anywhere. It's you that's picky."

"As long as it's not two buffets, I can find something to eat. It's Genius on that keto kick, and The Pony who's picky about his food."

"I don't know. I just do whatever. You're the one who plans everything, and stuff comes up that doesn't always go along with the plan."

"It depends on when we try to check in. One time they let us check in at two."

"You need to figure out what you're doing. I haven't heard the plan."

"I just told you the plan! We'll go out to those farther away casinos, and have lunch, and then come back to the closer ones, and check in."

Sheesh! First he says I plan too much. Then he says I don't have a plan! I've told him that since the day we met, he's always been Mr. Opposite. He always says the opposite of what I say or do. Funny how he says, "No. YOU'RE the one who's opposite."

But that's just small potatoes compared to what Farmer H did next! I'd come up to make his supper at 3:00. He entered the Mansion around 3:30. The potatoes and carrots were already roasting in the oven. I was peeling onions to add to the roasting pan, getting ready to drape them with bacon and coat them with Hidden Valley Ranch powder. Farmer H came to the kitchen, and said he was getting his medicine.

"It's going to be an hour until it's ready. I already said we'd eat between 4:30 and 5:00, so you can go to that Christmas program. I thought you took the medicine right before you eat."

"I do. I can wait."

Well. I went back to put the ham in at 4:15. It was already pre-cooked, and sliced. Just needed warming. I draped some bacon over it so it wouldn't dry out. I put the rolls in the oven. Here came Farmer H, like a cat hearing a can-opener, or my dogs hearing the kitchen door. I told him another 15 minutes, so he went to take his medicine, and came right back.

"Well. Since you're in here. You can put the bacon in a container while I rub some butter on top of the rolls."

Of course he used a plastic fork that won't stab. Instead of the tongs I recommended for grabbing bacon. Then he got out a slotted spoon for dishing potatoes and carrots, and couldn't close the drawer because he'd dislodged a wide spatula. Then he hit the foil I'd removed from the top of the rolls with a bacon slice each time he lifted it from the pan to the container, because he'd not had the sense to put that foil out of his way. Then he dipped himself some potatoes and carrots, and laid the slotted spoon so it flipped out of the roaster pan, spattering bacon drippings on the stovetop. THEN the foil from the rolls slid off the canisters where he'd laid it, down over other stuff that didn't need bacon-greasing.

But here's the last straw. Farmer H reached for a paper plate to put his rolls on. They're in a wooden holder that says "Everyday China." There's been a problem with the last pack of paper plates I got from Save A Lot. They stick together. More than usual. You need two hands to wrest them apart, and one of them gets kind of maimed in the process. There will be two stuck plates, a single one, two stuck, a single one. You know how it goes. It always seems like whenever I need a plate, they're stuck together. I pry them apart, and put one back.

Now Farmer H reached for a plate, and got the two stuck together. He PUT THEM BACK, and reached behind them for a single. But there wasn't a single. I guess he'd been in the kitchen a few times, and taken all the singles a good ways back.

"YOU'RE the one who keeps taking the single plates! You take what's in front! Peel them apart!"

"Then do it for me."


"Get me a plate! They're stuck together."

"I know that! Why don't you do it yourself? Are you helpless?"

"Well. You're in my way."

"I wasn't in your way when you grabbed the stuck-together plates out of there!"

"Just do it."

"I can't believe you! It's like I'm taking care of a toddler!"

Dang it! At least a toddler is lovable. Sometimes.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

A Simple Request

Let's not forget that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom was still feeling the debilitating effects of the sickovirus on Tuesday. It was not getting better, and perhaps getting worse. It was that acute bronchitis stage, with the fits of coughing and no sleep, and the whistling like a teakettle every time I exhaled.

The Pony and Farmer H were pretty good about ratcheting down their foot speed to walk with me from the hotel room to the casino. It was slightly longer than the length of our driveway, so I'm guessing it was about 1/10 of a mile. That shouldn't be a problem for me, but the sickovirus said otherwise. I was weak as a kitten by the time we got there, and the back of my throat felt like a piece of sandpaper at high noon in the Mojave Desert.

Another unfortunate symptom of the sickovirus was that I SEEMED TO BE ALLERGIC TO CIGARETTE SMOKE! Normally, I can tolerate smoke in a casino. I don't like it. I complain about it by eviscerating those demon smokers here on my blog. But I can tolerate it. Not this trip. In fact, it took me until the second night to figure out that SMOKE was what set off those near-uncontrollable fits of coughing. I could not co-exist with it at all. I had to get up and move if a smoker was in the vicinity.

I estimate that about 90% of the patrons of Riverwind Casino are smokers. But they're the healthy kind of smokers, who rarely inhale. Because every one of them sat with a lit cigarette streaming its byproducts right across my face. Not puffing. Just holding.

Anyhoo...I was worried about a coughing fit when I went to bed. At home, that's the worst time for trying to sleep. In bed. At night. I always keep a bubba cup of ice water on my nightstand. But at the casino hotel, I did not have my bubba cup. I had my purple slim credit union wanna-be-bubba cup. But it doesn't hold much water, nor insulate the ice.

During the evening hours, as we'd stop by the room, I took sips from my 32 oz Diet Coke that I'd brought all the way from Adair, Oklahoma. A distance of about 3.5 hours. Those Styrofoam cups really hold the cold. In fact, I'd filled it full of ice back there at our pizza-slice lunch, and topped it off with Diet Coke. Because I knew I couldn't be sipping Diet Coke on a 3.5 hour drive. Anyhoo...I'm used to sipping my 44 oz Diet Coke at home, well into the nighttime hours. So it was perfectly palatable to me.

The last time we were all together in the room, I told Farmer H,

"Get some ice in the bucket before you go to bed, so I can have some water through the night."

"I'm not even sure where the ice is."

"I'm pretty sure it's by the drink machines on the way to the front desk. Wait. Don't get ice in the bucket. It will just melt. Dump the rest of my soda out of the Casey's cup, and fill it with ice. Put a little water in. That will last all night."


On the long walk to the casino, I pointed out the ice machine. Farmer H and The Pony both nodded.

You know what happened, right? I came back to the room around 11:30. Picked up my Casey's cup for a long swig of ice water. And got a snort of watery Diet Coke with about 2 cubes of ice in it.

Farmer H had not filled my cup with ice and water. I checked the ice bucket, just in case he'd mixed up my directions. Dry as a bone! So all night, during my fits of coughing, I had to sip watery, slightly less than lukewarm Diet Coke.

The next morning, in all my hoarseness, I asked Farmer H why he didn't get my ice.

"I didn't know you wanted any."

Good thing I didn't spontaneously combust. I doubt Farmer H would have peed on me to put me out.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Mrs. HM Is On A Roll

Yes, I'm on a roll. Don't think that means I'm offering myself up for a tasty snack. Or that I'm raking in money hand over fist through scratchers or casinos. (Though half of that is true). No, I'm on a roll, bashing Farmer H left and right over our recent Pony-visiting trip to Oklahoma.

Surprisingly enough, I had a great time. I'm not even mad at Farmer H for much of anything. Even that STRESSFUL comment about my Thanksgiving Dinners wasn't made until we were almost home. So he as actually on pretty good behavior for HIM. Which doesn't mean I have nothing to complain about, however.

Let the record show that I was still sick as a dog with the sickovirus when we left home early Tuesday morning. Maybe I was lapsing in and out of consciousness, because Farmer H's sweaving didn't really bother me. He even had an excuse for it, the one time I asked if it was possible for us to only drive in ONE lane for the next nine hours.

"HM. You know I can't see out of my left eye. So I compensate for it. In fact, Buddy used to tell me, back when we were teenagers, that he was scared to death to ride with me--"

"I KNEW IT! See? I'm not the only one!"

"HM. Because I'm blind in my left eye, I'm afraid I might hit a car on that side. So I cheat over to the edge, to keep me away from oncoming traffic, or other cars passing me--"

"WAIT A MINUTE! That doesn't explain why you SWEAVE! If it was because of your eye, you wouldn't be going from sideline to center line and back continuously. So I call bullcrap on that! Now I can understand if that's the reason you tailgate, and wait to stop at the last minute. But this sweaving part can't be explained by that theory!"

"Okay. Whatever."

"In fact, I'm pretty sure the sweaving is because you don't pay attention to the road ahead, and always have your head turned looking at the scenery."

"Whatever, HM."

See? That wasn't even a fight. It had all started because we (meaning FARMER H) were driving with the left tires completely over the center line. Still, I didn't have side-whiplash this time, and I think only one car honked at us. So it was, as our travels go, a pretty uneventful journey.

Even though we passed three wrecks, two of which had just happened, with other motorists helping the victims out of a car, an ambulance on the way, and an overturned semi being unloaded of its many boxes while law enforcement controlled the scene.

Life is a game of inches, seconds, and attention span.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

I Was Prepped For A Homespun Tracheotomy

You may recall that Mrs. HM has been fighting the sickovirus. For two weeks, it has dragged on. My explosive, sometimes uncontainable cough had me seeking a diagnosis from Dr. Innernets. Acute Bronchitis, said the symptoms. Thanksgiving is a terrible time to get sick, my friends.

Thursday night, actual Thanksgiving night, we had just returned from our 10-hour sweaving tour of eastern Oklahoma and greater Missouri. It was shortly after 8:00 p.m. I'd unpacked and started a load of laundry. Farmer H was kicked back in the La-Z-Boy. I sat on the short couch talking to him. Because 10 hours, 12 inches away from him in A-Cad, wasn't enough togetherness. Actually, I was tired, and waiting for my laundry to spin, so I could put it in the dryer before descending to my dark basement lair.

We discussed plans to meet Genius the next day, for a Thanksgiving lunch before he started back to Kansas City. He'd been in town with Friend, his roommate, enjoying two Thanksgiving dinners with that family, while we were out of state visiting The Pony.

Out of the blue, I had a coughing fit. It's like when a cat decides it needs to IMMEDIATELY dash into another room. I had no inkling it was coming. Didn't choke on anything. Wasn't speaking. Just a random fit of coughing.

Here's the thing with my current sickovirus. I cough cough cough, and can't get a breath back in. It's terrible! I know what the early pioneers must have felt like, with their whooping cough. Actually, I don't know EXACTLY what they felt like, because I didn't die. But I felt like I might!

Seriously. One minute I was sitting there, listening to Farmer H while he talked and clipped his fingernails onto the plastic lid from a Hot & Sour Soup container that we use as a coaster. (Ever since I caught him putting those clippings into the mantel candle and called him on it, he's had to devise new disposal methods.) The next minute, I was doubled over my knees, cough cough coughing, unable to suck air in!

I thought I might actually die! I could not get any air to come back toward my lungs. Only cough cough cough more and more air out. Every time I'd try to inhale, my lungs made me cough out more. I was flapping my hand at Farmer H. I saw him, out of the corner of my left eye, which was now watering with tears from the forceful cough cough coughing, close up the La-Z-Boy and lean over toward the mantel and reach for something.

It was an emery board! I just KNEW that my Sweet Baboo was going to rescue me from certain imminent death by using that implement to perform a tracheotomy. Farmer H may not understand the word tracheotomy, but he saw The Heat. If Sandy Bullock can do one with a drinking straw, I'm pretty sure Farmer H can do one with an emery board!

I would have breathed a sigh of relief, but I was all out of sighs. All out of air. All of my air was outside me, and none was coming back in! Thank the Gummi Mary, Farmer H had it under control with my emergency tracheotomy.

Except he didn't.

With horror, I side-eyed Farmer H, as the last molecule of carbon dioxide left my lungs, them now sticking together like the spit-moist insides of a deflated he sat back in the La-Z-Boy and started FILING HIS FINGERNAILS WITH THE EMERY BOARD!!!

I think the shock of knowing that he had no intention of rescuing me is what allowed a miniscule gasp to suck a couple of oxygen molecules into my lungs. I coughed them right out, but it was a start. After a few other such one breath inward and three coughs out cycles, I was able to sputter at Farmer H.

My face was red. Tears streamed from my eyes. My hands and arms shook, I suppose with near-death adrenaline.

"I was sure you were going to save me, but then I saw you filing your nails!"

"Huh. I wouldn't know how to help you. I figured you'd tell me to get away."

I guess that was going to be his story for the coroner.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Another Kind Of Would-Be Arm-Breaker

Sweet Gummi Mary! I could hardly believe what my ears were hearing! It was all I could do to keep my hands to myself, and not wrench Farmer H's right arm from the steering wheel of A-Cad, and snap it like a turkey wishbone!

About 8.5 hours into our 10-hour return trip from Oklahoma on Thursday...the subject of Christmas Dinner reared its need-a-thumping head. Farmer H said I should get a meal in a box. He'd seen one in The Devil's Playground in Norman, Oklahoma, when we took The Pony grocery shopping.

"I'm sure they have them for Christmas, too. It has everything you need. Turkey. Ham. Green beans. Mashed potatoes. Stuffing. I don't remember what else."

"Sure. But not the special items you all like. The deviled eggs. The green bean bundles wrapped with bacon. The hash brown casserole. The 7 Layer Salad. The roasted vegetables. The Oreo Cake. The chocolate pie."

"Well, most of it will be in the box. Then you could just add the others."

"And you think that box cooks itself?"

"It said all you have to do is microwave it!"

"Mmm. That would be delicious, I'm sure."

"Well, I'm sure I'd like your food better. But you get all stressed out."

"That's because it's stressful, getting everything ready on time. Preparing for days ahead, so everything has time to get bought, mixed together, and cooked. Then you eat it in 10 minutes, after I've spent days on it, and I have hours of clean-up to do."

"I agree that it doesn't take long for us to eat it. But your stress takes away from my enjoyment of it."


"Uh. MY stress from days of preparation and clean-up takes away from YOUR 10 minutes of enjoyment eating the food? Well, EXCUSE ME!"

"You grandma did it, and she was always all smiley and happy. And SHE got up at 3:00 to put the turkey in. You just put it in at 5:30. I don't know why you have to get all stressed out."

Sheesh! It truly IS a man's world, and they just allow us to live in it. But grudgingly, unless we conform to their standards.

Friday, November 23, 2018

The Would-Be Arm Breaker

Pardon me while I break my arm patting myself on the back. I hope that title didn't throw you off. Many years ago, when I didn't write my blogs a day ahead, but only that night after a full day of teaching and child-rearing...I almost missed a night. I got in a title, though. And it was "Broken Arm." A real broken arm, the first time The Pony broke his elbow. So I don't want to be cited for falsehoods under the Truth in Blogging Law. No actual arm was broken. It's just a saying used to describe a braggart.

Anyhoo...these days I type up posts for both my blogs the day before, and set them to automatically publish. That way, if something comes up, I don't have to rush. The Pony's decision on Sunday, that he wasn't coming home for Thanksgiving after all, threw a giant monkey wrench into my plans. I'd only been working ONE DAY AHEAD.

Normally, when a trip is on the horizon, like the upcoming CasinoPalooza 3 in December... I do an extra post each day, so I have enough of them banked to tide me over. During the original CasinoPalooza, I tried to do it real time, which was stressful, and took time away from being in the casino until all hours with my family having fun. And now, thinking I'd be leaving Tuesday morning to meet The Pony, and returning Tuesday night, I hadn't planned any extra.

Well. You know what a trouper Mrs. HM is. How she gets all efficient-like and takes pride in her little blog thingy. So I've spent the past 24 hours (typing this on Monday night at 9:56) getting blog posts lined up to publish each day. Both here and on my less-secret blog. That means since Sunday, I've compiled a stable of 10 blog posts to accommodate The Pony visit.

Whew! This is the last one. Not very interesting, perhaps. But it might help you understand if the others this week have been lesser blog posts. Like a lesser babka. Not that my two regular readers will get that reference. I know you're not Seinfeld fans! But hopefully, you're Mrs. HM fans.

I did it all for you!

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Wed Man Pushing

As an act of charity on Monday, Farmer H drove me to town to assist with my weekly adventure at The Devil's Playground. I'm pretty sure I mentioned how the last time he tagged along, he commandeered my cart!

Well! This time, Mrs. HM was having none of that nonsense! I strode ahead of Farmer H into the vestibule. I yanked a cart loose from the long stack, and started toward the scanner thingy at the proper entrance/exit. I'd noticed Farmer H with my peripheral vision, while I was prying that cart loose. He hovered near me. Like when a total moron who doesn't have kids asks to hold your newborn infant, and you hover over them, ready to reach out and grab the babe if it slips from the moron's grasp.

I'm not equating myself with a moron, but I am equating Farmer H with a nervous grabber. As I pushed MY cart/walker, Farmer H trotted alongside. Reaching an arm. Having no place to put it on the handle.

"Oh. So YOU'RE going to push the cart?"

"I thought I would, yeah."

"Oh. Okay..."

Poor sad Farmer H. He trailed along in my wake then, like he'd forgotten how to walk. Like he didn't know what to do with his arms! Our first stop was the bakery department, where I selected a little container of OREO BROWNIES as a treat for The Pony. That's why we were there, really, to buy Pony treats.

Farmer H kind of had me blocked in. I needed to turn my cart around, and head back from whence we had come. By the time I stepped out of the way of the cart wheels, and had it spun halfway, Farmer H grabbed it and started pushing!

"'re taking my cart?"

"I'll push for a while. Yes."

Huh. Farmer H didn't even know where we were going! HE didn't have the list. So I had to draft in his wake, being battered by stinkeyes from all the other shoppers he almost collided with by pushing down the middle of the aisle. Then try to make him hear which aisle to turn on. We also picked up some Chex Mix supplies, for a last-minute emergency batch to be made Monday evening and packed and ready to go by 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The only things we needed for home were Diet Mountain Dew and Strawberry Water for Farmer H, candy that he snagged for himself, an extra bag of Bugles that he wanted when he saw me get some for the Chex Mix, and a 3-pack of Puffs With Lotion (I've been sick!), a 2-pack of Select A Size Bounty Paper Towels (one of us is messy), a bottle of toilet bowl cleaner (for Farmer H to have in the boys' bathroom that he alone uses, so there's no excuse for him not to clean it), and some cough drops (the sickovirus lingers!).

We looped back over to the cookie aisle to get The Pony some Soft Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies (with brownie centers!). Only had the cough drops left, which were in the opposite corner of The Devil's Playground.

Let the record show that Farmer H is a week ahead of me in his sickovirus recovery. I am barely able to keep both crusty eyes open. I started to feel all hot. Faint. Weak. Meanwhile, Farmer H blazed ahead of me, not even looking back. I caught up to him at the end of the aisle, and told him how I felt.

"Oh. Do you want the cart back?"

"Yeah. I could lean on it."

"Well, I have to go to the bathroom anyway." He reluctantly gave up the cart.

"You can go while I start for the cough drops. Meet me in the pharmacy area. I go pretty slow."

He DID catch me in the pharmacy area. Cough drops procured, we looked for a good line. There's no such thing, really, in the Devil's Playground three days before Thanksgiving. I found one line with only two customers, and let Farmer H get in front of the cart to put stuff on the conveyor. Of course the line didn't move. The guy trying to pay couldn't get his card to work. I'm pretty sure this scenario sounds familiar.

However, neither Farmer H nor I mentioned trying to help him. He was digging out different cards and trying them. He looked well-to-do enough. After about five minutes, he got one to work. Farmer H pretty much stayed out of the way this time. He pulled our cart on through when it was our turn, and reminded the Handmaiden to scan the soda. While I was paying, Farmer H loaded our bags in the cart.

And turned to push it out of the store when I got the receipt.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Just When You Think You've Encountered Something Creepy

After hearing the bed-turning in Genius's room on Saturday night, I didn't hear anything more. Just the normal dog stuff outside. It wasn't even a blip on my radar any more, until I went upstairs Sunday evening, to get my supper.

I was kind of running behind on my non-schedule, having not had lunch until almost 3:30. I'd picked up some GROCERY STORE CHICKEN (yes, I'm a traitor) at Country Mart, and I knew that Farmer H was home, and had already warmed his, and eaten. I hear a lot from my dark basement lair.

Anyhoo...the last I recalled, I'd heard Farmer H in his La-Z-Boy. I  know he likes to watch that Alaska The Last Frontier show on Sunday nights. I figured that's what he was getting ready to do, when I went up after 7:00. I turned to look at the La-Z-Boy on my way up the steps. I was going to ask Farmer H about how his sickovirus was progressing, to know what was in store for myself, having caught it one week later than him.

Huh. No legs in the La-Z-Boy. Where WAS that guy when I was actually looking for him? Was he in the kitchen, maybe? Had I mis-heard the earlier supper noises? Very curious. I reached the top of the steps, and saw no glow of light from the master bedroom or bathroom. So he wasn't in there. Then again, I didn't hear anything from the kitchen. No microwave, FRIG II door, cabinet, silverware. Nothing.

Farmer H had not texted me from above, nor hollered down the stairs that he was going back outside. I hadn't heard the outer doors open or close. So I was pretty sure he was somewhere there in the Mansion. I headed for the kitchen.

As I reached the end of the banister that keeps people from falling into the rectangular hole where the steps go down to the basement, I looked left. The light was on in the boys' bathroom. The door wide open. But no Farmer H. I could plainly see the edge of the toilet. He was not sitting on it. There's no room to be anywhere else out of sight in there. It's a toilet on the right side, with a pedestal sink across from it, and a bathtub/shower enclosure against the far wall.

This was getting curiouser and curiouser. The doors to both of the boys' bedrooms were closed. No light showing underneath. Where WAS this guy?


"I'm in here."

"WHERE? Where is here?"

"In the boys bathroom."

"No you're not!"

"Uh huh. In the tub."

Oh, Sweet Gummi Mary! Horror of horrors! As I approached, I saw Farmer H's stubby feet, legs stretched to the end of the tub. His torso was behind the frosted shower doors, which were both pushed to the left. And there sat Farmer H, soaking in the tub,


Yeah. Tell me about YOUR creepy experiences. Finding a surprise, naked Farmer H has got to top them.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

At Least SOMEBODY Might Be Getting A Good Night's Sleep

Saturday night, Farmer H went to the auction. It's his routine. I know when he leaves, and about when he'll be back. There has been no weirdness to speak of lately around the Mansion. Until Saturday night, about 8:30.

When you live in a place for a while, you get used to the normal noises. Your FRIG II kicking on. Dumping ice. The furnace or air condition. How an expiring smoke detector chirps. The individual voices of your dogs. The thump of a deer haunch on the porch boards. The scrabble of dog toenails digging in to gain speed for a leap off the front porch.

So I am quite familiar with the sound my dogs (and Copper Jack) make when they're on the other side of the wall, up on the side porch while I'm in my OPC (Old People Chair). The get to wrestling around, and thump against the cedar-shingled outer wall. I hear it all the time.

What I heard Saturday night around 8:30 was not the dogs. It was not outside. It was up in Genius's room, turning over in his bed. Uh huh. I know that sound, too. From when Genius lived here from the time he was 3. It's the sound of springs moving as the mattress is rolled on. Quite distinct. That's what I heard. It was a bit startling, since I haven't been hearing my upstairs noises.

When I DO hear them, I always run through dates in my head. Could this noise have something to do with a family event? Right after Genius went away to college, in August 2013, his room was a hotbed of walking and bed-turning. Almost as if something was looking for him. Same when The Pony left for college. Walking in the hall between those two rooms. And the thumping in their bathroom.

It didn't come to me right away, but later in the evening, I noted that my dad's birthday was November 18. The very next day. There's a picture of him in Genius's room. When The Pony was a toddler, he used to say that his grandpa came to check on him at night. Just to make sure everything was okay. The Pony was only 6 weeks old when my dad passed away. So I knew he couldn't possibly remember him. But maybe was going on the picture in Genius's room, and in the hallway right outside.

Farmer H says I'm crazy. That the bed-turning was just the dogs outside on the porch. As if he has ever sat down there and heard the dogs OR the bed-turning. Even The Pony has heard the bed-turning. It's not even a big deal anymore. I much prefer it to the disco-dancing thumps that used to erupt up there.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Mrs. HM Is A Prisoner In Her Own Mansion

With the dreaded sickovirus wearing out its welcome, my body doesn't want to do much of anything extra. This couldn't have come at a worse time. For 10 months I've had nothing pressing to do. A sickovirus would not have interfered with my plans. I could just sit home and not do battle on the uneven playing field of The Devil's Playground. I could make my own daily Diet Coke from bottles and FRIG II ice. Put off the scratchers. Or have Farmer H bring me both, and even do the shopping.

I admit to having Farmer H bring me my magical elixir two days, and a total of 3 scratchers, all of which were losers. So Sunday, emboldened by the ability to gaze without squinting, the red in my peepers faded from crimson to blush, I decided I was well enough to make a trip to Country Mart and the Gas Station Chicken Store. There were so many things to do before Tuesday's trip to pick up The Pony, and the Thanksgiving feast.

First thing, I tossed in a load of laundry, and took my meds. Cracked open HIPPIE to catch up on my blogs. Watched a little TV. I wanted to put a fresh coat of L'Oreal on my lovely lady-mullet. Then I could go to town.

Once the dye job was in progress (I'm still not ready to quit my dye job!), I sat back down in the La-Z-Boy, careful not to lean back, but on the edge. I fielded a couple texts from The Pony. Watched a little more TV. Drank water to stay hydrated. Talked to my Sweet, Sweet Juno through the front window. And saw a truck drive by really slowly down the gravel road in front of the Mansion.

It was a dark colored pickup truck, pulling a trailer like you haul a car on. I'm pretty sure I've seen that truck out here. So at first I just though maybe a dog or horse was in the road. Or that the driver was slowing down for potholes that developed after our recent snows and melting. I saw the side of the brake lights going on. I could see through the trees to the end of our driveway, where the front of the truck was just past. THEN it started backing up!


Surely that dude wasn't going to turn into our driveway! Farmer H was at his Storage Unit Store. I was sitting there in my pajamas, with an old threadbare yellow towel pinned around my shoulders by a chip clip, with a paste of Medium Brown slicking my tresses down like an unkempt flapper girl. I was in no mood to answer the door. I quickly devised a plan to cut the sound on the TV. I didn't want to turn it off, because the DISH receiver has been giving us fits, saying the satellite is blocked when it's not, but only for certain channels. I couldn't rush to close the shades, because that would be seen from the driveway, revealing that someone was home.

Yeah. I'd mute the TV, dash into the master bathroom, and wait it out. WAIT A MINUTE! What about my cough? It was sure to betray me. Maybe I'd take a pillow to cough into...

Just then, I noticed something odd about that backing-up trailer. There were two guys sitting on the side rails. At the back, by the tailgate. I watched as one stood up, dipped a shovel into the bed, and brought it out to sling gravel onto the road.


That was a relief. A lady doesn't like her convalescence and L'Oreal-tressence disturbed by a wandering local.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Eyes, The Drain Pipes To The Soul

Oh, dear. I had NO IDEA what was in store for my eyes! Sure, I figured I had a case of conjunctivitis, caused by my recent cold. Inconveniently showing up on the day I was almost over that cold! The 8th day! Surely a common cold runs its course in 7-10 days, right? My cough had seemed more productive, and was lessening, as if I was finally near clearing out the gunk in my lungs. My nasal membranes shrunk, and I could get a whiff of smells every now and then, and partially taste food. But NOW I HAD RUNNY EYES!

You know what the common name is for conjunctivitis is, right? Pinkeye! It's a big no-no in the school system. The Pony got sent home with it once, on the day of his Valentine's Day party! Poor Pony! I believe he was in 2nd or 3rd grade at the time. I took him straight to the optometrist, who gave him some eye drops. Even though they only work for the bacterial kind of conjunctivitis, and not the viral kind. I'm pretty sure it was just standard procedure for the Doc, with school kids. They can't return to classes until 24 hours after starting the eye drops.

I even had it myself once, that dreaded pinkeye. I don't remember where I was working at the time, if I was teaching, or adjudicating claims at the unemployment office. Anyhow, I DO remember that I went to my mom's house, and laid on her couch, unable even to watch TV for the painful, runny eyes. My mom brought me cool washcloths to lay over them. And waited on me like a devoted servant, covering my right foot every time the blanket slipped off of it. I'm guessing that she took the boys to school for me, and picked them up later, too. But after that one day, I was better. Maybe it happened on a Friday, and I got two extra days of rest. I don't really remember.

I don't remember giving myself eye drops, either. Nor my mom putting any in, and certainly not Farmer H doing it for me. So I was pretty sure I recovered that time without eye drops, and figured that I will this time, too. Even though Farmer H offered me his Artificial Tears eye drops that his ophthalmologist gave him for his dry eye. Of course I turned down his offer! Conjunctivitis is highly contagious, and if I touched that dropper to my eye juice (surely you don't think I'd let Farmer H stand over me with an implement pointed at my eyeball), it would give him pinkeye, too.

Things were about to get exponentially more miserable after my town trip. I sat on the short couch to chat with Farmer H while he ate leftover spaghetti/rigatoni for his supper before the auction. He commented, "Well, your eye looks a little red. WHOA! The right one is even redder!"

Shortly after he left, I had a definite relapse. My sandpapery eyes began to get gunk in them! Stringy gunk that prevented me from seeing clearly! I'd try to roll my eyes, and cut them side-to-side. Sometimes that moved the gunk. The gunk liked to convene at my eye corners. Every hour, I had to dab at it with a fresh Puffs With Lotion. Sometimes it was gooky. Yellow like your snot at the end of a cold. Sometimes it was crusty. A yellow/gray/green scabby looking nugget. I diligently cleared my eye area at routine intervals. It was hard to read the monitor of New Delly. It was hard to watch LIVE PD on the big screen while cranked back in my OPC (Old People Chair).

The worst part was: conjunctivitis is like starting your cold all over again!

I started getting a sore throat. The wet cough came back, like the first day of my sickovirus. My ears hurt when I swallowed. The night of sleep I'd been looking forward to was once again plagued with coughing fits. Now with the back pain I'd incurred the day before. My crusty eyes didn't even want to open to snake-sized slits. And when I persuaded them, they were RED inside. Not pink. RED. Fiery red. Like a fire engine. I had 5-alarm eyes!

Wow. I went to bed at 1:00 a.m., and didn't get up until 10:30. Very weak. The eyes weren't leaking quite so much. They didn't hurt quite so much. But they were still RED. I knew I wasn't going to town. I sent Farmer H a text to bring me home a 44 oz Diet Coke, and two scratchers.

Which of course were losers.

Now it's Saturday night as I write this. 7:19 p.m. The cough is better. The sore throat is better. The eyes don't require gunk-removal, and don't hinder my New Dellying. But they're still RED. I'm hoping for a good night's sleep, and feeling well enough to get the house straightened up on Sunday. I have to make a deal with The Devil's Playground on Monday, to lay in provisions for the Thanksgiving feast. Because we GO PICK UP THE PONY ON TUESDAY!

I really hope I'm up to it.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Mrs. HM's Health, And The Unfortunate Faux Pas Of Speaking Too Soon

Of course I had to go and tempt The Universe by proclaiming that I had cured my own Posterior Tibial Tendonitis, and smugly announce that I'm getting over my sickovirus that I caught from Farmer H. Maybe I should have paid more attention to ways of downplaying successes when I read The Good Earth. Where Olan, to ward off evil spirits, spoke aloud of her healthy first-born son as being a lowly female in poor health.

Well. I am now a lowly female in poor health. Literally.

Thursday night, I woke up several times coughing. The first time, I noticed my eyes were moist. Oh, well, I thought. I guess laying on my side makes the sinuses drain. Waking up on my back, I didn't notice anything different about my eyes. But the next time, after being on my side again, I felt something on my cheek (ON MY FACE, PEOPLE!) when I sat up.


What in the Not-Heaven? My left eye, the one that was down on the pillow, was moist, but didn't produce a tear to run down my face like the right eye. Huh. Was I having a sad dream? Sometimes I can remember every detail. This time, I could not. Maybe I was sad. But now I was just tired from not sleeping well with the cough. Could hardly keep my eyes open, in fact. It didn't matter much, because I never turn on the lights on the way to the bathroom, or once inside. Sweet Gummi Mary! That row of SHOWGIRL makeup lights over the sink is not good for anybody's eyes, especially in the middle of the night, if you want to go back to sleep. eyes were still feeling pretty tired when I got up AT 8:00 A.M. Like I wasn't ready to start the day, even though I'd actually gone to bed early, at midnight-thirty. I squinted into the mirror under that row of SHOWGIRL makeup lights as I was letting the water warm up for my shower. Huh. My eyes were slits. Squinty. I was really dreading my trip to town in the bright sunlight, but I had to mail the boys' letters, and run by the bank, and put gas in T-Hoe.

What a never-ending trip that was! My eyes felt like I had sand in them. I wore sunglasses. I squinted. I put the visor down. I held my hand beside my head to block slanting sun rays. When I got home, I looked up conjunctivitis.

Yeah. Pretty sure I've got it. Not much you can do about it if it's viral. Which I'm sure it is, coming right on the heels of this sickovirus. The worst part is the duration. I could take from ONE to THREE WEEKS to get over it! Poppycock! I have Thanksgiving and a Pony trip to deal with.

If it's not one thing it's another. All stemming from Farmer H's poor hand-washing hygiene.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, Heal Thyself

A part of my recent sickness involves a stuffy and sometimes painful ear when I swallow. It's like something needs to give. Poking my little finger in there, and trying to suction out whatever was stuffing up my ear canal, did nothing to alleviate the problem.

Nor did poking around inside there with the end of a cap from a red ink pen that sits on my dark basement lair desk. You know. Those plastic caps that cover the ball-point end. That stick-like part of it that clips onto your pocket. It didn't even feel particularly satisfying like when you sometimes get an ear-canal itch. No. I might even have made the stuffy-pain issue a tiny bit worse. Plus, it sounded like I was scraping the burnt off a piece of toast.

I probably shouldn't play a doctor or nurse-practitioner over the innernets. But then again, my treatment plan for the Posterior Tibial Tendonitis that I had in my left ankle has been a remarkable success! I can walk normally, without pain. Every now and then, like every night, mainly, I get a sharp shooting pain right there when I'm minding my own business, cooling my heels in my OPC (Old People Chair). It also hurts at night, if I get up without stretching it before standing on it. But I'd say that I've made a remarkable recovery.

I'm pretty sure I'll get over this cold, and the ear stuffy-pain, too. Just don't butter any toast around me for a while.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Drug-Seeking With Mrs. HM

I almost said that to my doctor nurse practitioner on Monday, you know. While waiting in the exam room for him to enter, I knew he would say, "What brings you here today?" So I figured I could say, "Oh, I'm just a drug-seeker." Because, you know, I was only there for a routine 6-month visit, to get refills on my prescriptions for another 6 months.

I decided against it, though. You never know how a medical professional might take that. They might think it was a cry for help, or that I really was a drug-seeker. I'm sure he's heard it before. It's probably like how an airline pilot stewardess might not react favorably to somebody jumping up and yelling, "HI, JACK!"

Anyhoo...I called in my prescription refills this morning around 10:00. Sometimes they'll have them ready by the time I go to town. I get notified by text. But the automated man on the refill line kept repeating that my prescriptions had expired, and it would take an extra day to contact the doctor. Well. It does not. But you can't program an automated line to recognize that the medical office has sent refills over the innernets, I guess. That could be subject to drug-seeking hackers. In the old days, with a paper scrip, I'd drop it off and they'd put that refill notice in my file until mine ran out, then they'd check, and didn't have to contact the office.

Anyhoo...I figured the meds wouldn't be ready today. They're for my missing thyroid and my blood pressure. Nothing to sneeze at, but I always have a few pills left when I start the refill process. Unlike Farmer H, who goes the very day he runs out, or sometimes even a day after, saying, "One day isn't gonna hurt me." With 4-8 inches of snow in the Wednesday evening forecast, I didn't even think I'd be able to pick up those meds until Friday or Saturday. No big deal. I had enough to get me through.

Well. I'd come home from town, and had just consumed a big cup of vegetable beef soup (the canned version), several ounces of Diet Coke, and a bubba cup of ice water, when my phone buzzed to tell me that my prescriptions were ready. Okay. I could run back to town to pick them up. Before the snowstorm. I ascended from my lair, put my town clothes back on, took a potty break for all those fluids, and checked the cabinet for cough drops.

Farmer H had told me, upon my return (the first time Wednesday) from town, that I should have gotten myself some Mucinex, for my cough. I don't really like Mucinex, so I asked him if we still had cough drops. He said we did. THAT'S WHY I CHECKED BEFORE LEAVING HOME! Of course I found two bags of "throat soothers" that look like cough drops, but don't affect the cough, which I had bought for Genius quite some time ago. Oh, and there was a bag of cough drops, cherry flavor, that actually suppress a cough. Uh huh. There was a BAG of cough drops. No cough drops. Just the BAG. Empty.

Anyhoo...while picking up my prescriptions, I also got two bags of actual cough drops. A sugar-free version, dark purple in color, in case Farmer H needs them. And a bag of Honey Lemon, which I prefer. I think I'm set for a blizzard. We'll see what develops.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

You Know Mrs. HM Is Sick When She Doesn't Drive To Town For Her 44 Oz Diet Coke And Scratchers

Yeah. I'm sick. With a stuffy head that makes me (even more) unstable, and watering eyes that wanted no part of driving through the bright sun reflecting off what was left of the snowy landscape... I told Farmer H that I had no intention of getting in T-Hoe. Not even for my magical elixir and lottery.

Do you know what he said?

"Do you want me to go get you a soda?"

YES!!! That was quite a change from a day or two ago, when I was complaining whining just telling him about how bad I felt, and he said, "HM. You just have a cold."

So, while I was frying hamburger to throw in spaghetti sauce with some mushrooms, and boiling rigatoni, and heating some garlic bread in the oven, all for HIS lunch...Farmer H drove off to town for my 44 oz Diet Coke. AND some scratchers, which I gave him the money for, a winner to cash in, and some losers to show what the tickets looked like that I wanted. PLUS a list of those very tickets. You can't hit Farmer H over the head hard enough with instructions.

He was back before his lunch was done. I spent 40 minutes on it. Plus another 20 cleaning up.

Oh, the scratchers he got for me? Every one a loser.

But I knew that before I even scratched them. I don't know what I was thinking, letting Farmer H touch my tickets. He's like a medicine that they prescribe for alcoholics to keep them from drinking. Only he comes without a prescription, and works for gamblers.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Elderly Gentleman

When I left the third-floor lab on Monday, after my blood-drawing, I walked out to the elevator area. An older gentleman was standing there, waiting. I saw that he had already pushed the button.

"Going down. Good!"

He smiled, and it was such a ray of sunshine on that dreary day that I was taken aback. The vibe I got from this guy was SO POSITIVE! I hardly know how to explain it. He seemed to emit good cheer. The elevator arrived, and he stepped back and motioned me ahead. Such a nice guy!

I pressed the bar for MAIN LOBBY, and asked if that where he was going, and he said yes. I said, "That's good. My ride is waiting down there for me." Though it was actually only Farmer H himself, waiting to walk me to my ride.

We chatted a bit on the way down, Elderly Gentleman and I. It's a slow elevator. I mentioned that it looked like they'd re-done it since I was there last, six months ago. And he said, "Oh, you must be healthy, if you haven't been here in six months." I replied that SO FAR, it's been going pretty good.

I don't think I've ever encountered a person who exuded such positive energy, without trying, and so calm and soft-spoken. I guess if you can get evil vibes from folks, you can also get good vibes.

I wasn't worthy of his company.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Let's Hope These Are Not Mrs. HM's Last Words

As I type in my dark basement lair, it is Sunday evening, right before feeding time for Farmer H. The weather forecast shows SNOW for Monday. An 82% chance for 1-3 inches, starting around 3:00 p.m. We are under a Winter Weather Advisory, from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Monday.

Why am I bothering to tell you about the Hillmomba weather? Because it means I WILL BE RIDING WITH FARMER H tomorrow morning, to my regularly scheduled doctor nurse practitioner appointment! So if you never see anything to read again here, THAT'S WHY!

I instructed Farmer H to put fresh cedar chips in the dog houses for the cold snap which appears to be the new normal. Good thing he did. It was his THIRD warning to do so. I also told him to check Juno's ear, because something smelled not-so-good when she greeted me on the side porch. Farmer H reported that Juno's ear is not smelly, but that she has a big deer leg inside her house. So there's that.

He also said that Juno spends her days in her Farmer-H-built insulated house with the shingled roof, which is right outside the kitchen door. And her nights in a store-bought house on the end of the porch, the side by the goat and mini-pony pen, with Jack. They sleep in separate houses, both alike, with the doors facing each other.

Farmer H didn't exactly volunteer to sweave me over to bill-paying town for my appointment. I mentioned the weather, and asked if he wanted to sweave me. So he agreed. There's also a chance for freezing rain. I don't like to mess with that, but I AM perfectly capable of driving T-Hoe in such a mess. I managed to transport both boys and myself to Newmentia, Lower Basementia, and Elementia all those years without incident. Even though one time it took us TWO HOURS to make the 30-minute drive home, when we were dismissed early. Huh. Not early enough!

If I was still working, this forecast would have me whipped into a frenzy! I'd understand that the snow wasn't supposed to arrive until the time school let out. But there's always hoping the TV weathermen are wrong in the GOOD kind of way. Besides, the school wouldn't want a repeat of that time when they were stuck with students late into the evening, and had to feed them, and even assigned the athletic director to drive some home in his JEEP, with parent permission, of course, because they couldn't make it to school.

The boys and I barely dodged that bullet, because the counselor of Newmentia, who was acting in place of the principal, told me to get on out of there. The hill between Newmentia and the main road was ice-covered. THREE cars had slid off the embankment. Let me tell you, I put T-Hoe in 4 Wheel LOW, and inched my way down. The main office had decreed that none of our buses would traverse that hill until further notice. That was the problem. Middle School kids from Lower Basementia couldn't get up it, to pick up the Newmentia students to complete the routes. Elementia students could get to Newmentia to pick up their older bus riders, but couldn't go down it to complete their routes. That's how Newmentia ended up with High School students and Elementary students, to hold them for safekeeping until their parents could come get them, or the roads were passable.

Yeah. I wouldn't be surprised if some schools cancel classes around here, just from the forecast. But even if they don't, such a forecast always puts me in a good mood. Even though I will be riding with Farmer H.

Made it back safe and sound! No precip yet, at 11:18 on 11/12. Guess I cried sweaver wolf too soon! Found out I'm still on Newmentia's automated call list. They're dismissing at 12:30. I'm pretty excited. Even though it doesn't affect me.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Hillmomba, Where Molehills Are Touted As Mountains

Just like our winter moved directly into summer, with barely a springlike couple of days...our summer has now turned to winter! We enjoyed maybe a week of 40-degree nights, and 65-degree days. On Friday night, Jack Frost paid a visit.

Okay. So it wasn't Jack Frost. It was his more cantankerous buddy, Old Man Winter. I saw it when I went to bed around 3:00 a.m. The front yard was covered with a dusting of snow. By the time I got around to leaving the Mansion Saturday morning, it had melted.

There were some remnants on the leaf pile behind the garage when I got back home. It actually looks more like sleet than snow. This is the ledge the dogs jump off of when chasing squirrels into the back yard. Still has green grass. The sun doesn't really reach this little section behind the garage until evening. Temps hovered at 35 and under during my noontime town trip.

More flurries on the patch of moss that Copper Jack loves to lay on in the heat. He's a big would-be sweaty dog, if dogs were able to sweat. I don't know about that dark area that looks like poop, though I can assure you that it is NOT poop. I stood right by it while getting groceries out of T-Hoe's back side. Maybe it's where the dead leaves blew away? Where the moss didn't grow on the mud, due to being covered up out of the light? I'm thinking it's just a bunch of accumulated dirt and decaying leaves that got wet in the rain a couple days ago, and didn't dry out, then the leaves blew off.

Anyhoo...I was kind of excited to see a little snow so early in the year. Usually, we don't see anything but occasional flurries until after the Christmas holidays. Believe me, I'd know. Teachers LIVE for snow days! The slightest suggestion sends us to our weather sources, diligently hanging onto every word of hope that those liars the TV meteorologists toss out like so much cheap candy at a high school homecoming parade.

Yes, I was excited, until I clicked on blog buddy Kathy's pictures. Let the record show that she IS located a little farther north, in the middle of the state, while Hillmomba is on the eastern border. We get her weather leftovers! Still, she's not THAT much farther north. It's not like she's at the North Pole.

Yeah. I'm kind of embarrassed, now, about proclaiming our first snow.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

A Relapse, Perhaps?

When I ascended the 13 steps from my lair on Friday evening, to prepare Farmer H his requested meal of fish and fries, I heard him breathing. I suppose that's a good thing. To hear him breathing assured me that he was alive. But normally, you shouldn't hear someone breathing from across a room, and halfway below it. Then I heard him wheezy-cough.

"Ooh! Have you had a relapse?"

"I don't know. Maybe. I forgot to take my medicine at 10:00 this morning. So I'll take it here in a minute when I eat."

"Well, you can't take it at bedtime. It won't be far enough apart."

"I know. I won't."

"You can still use VICKS. That should help."

"Yeah. I will."

Let the record show that Farmer H sounded great the last time I overheard him breathing, around 5:00 a.m. He was up and showered and to his Storage Unit Store by 8:30. Let the record further show that the temperature was 35 degrees. Farmer H reported, during my wakeup call at 9:15, that he was sitting in his TrailBlazer (with a new rear left tail light).

"Is that good for you? Sitting like that? You can't do it all day."

"No. I get out and walk around. Go talk to the owner. Use the port-a-potty. I sold a $3 backpack to my buddy!"

"Hm. That's good. I guess."

"Yeah. I have a lady who wants to buy those dog crates. I put it on Buy/Sell/Trade. She said she's sending her husband to pick them up. I told her I'd be here until noon."

"Well. You probably shouldn't. It's COLD!"

"I know. That's why I'm in my car."

Okay. Farmer H is not taking good care of himself, by forgetting his medicine and sitting in a car at 35 degrees. When I went by at 10:30, the TrailBlazer was not at the Storage Unit Store. Farmer H had mentioned going to the pharmacy for his prescriptions, so I didn't think much of it. Then he sent a text that the dog crate man showed up, and he was leaving to go on a Goodwill tour.

As far as Farmer H is concerned, today was a grand success. "I usually don't sell much on Fridays, anyway. I made $43 today! Three on the backpack, and $20 each for the dog crates."

Let the record show that he got the two giant wire dog crate/kennels from back creek neighbor Bev for nothing. She's always giving him stuff. I saw them in the back of Farmer H's truck, and they took up the whole bed of that pickup. He had another lady offer him $25 apiece, but he had already sold them to the first one to come get them.

I hope he makes a full recovery in the next couple days. I have a sore right ear, and a tickle down inside my right lung. Coincidentally, the side that is exposed to Farmer H and his breather while sleeping. Farmer H might have to take care of me.

Huh. I could swear I just heard laughing.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Feelin' Groove-y

Farmer H, although still professing to feel poorly from his sickness (mentioned yesterday), seems to have made a remarkable recovery. He went to bed around 11:00 Wednesday night, after the auction, and slept until 9:00 Thursday morning. I could tell that his breathing was easier, and that his cough was looser. Also, his voice didn't sound like he was talking with his head in a bucket. All after only two doses each of the over-the-counter Anefrin and Mucinex recommended by his pharmacist.

Farmer H went to his Storage Unit Store to move things around. Then came back home for stuff to take up there. However, he had a sudden change of plans. When I told him I was headed to The Devil's Playground, just as soon as I could get ready...he asked, "Did I have anything free this week from the casino?"

Uh huh. The old play-sick-and-switch strategy! He had declared Wednesday night that he had no plans for Thursday, other than his Storage Unit Store reorganization. "I'm not going anywhere. I don't feel like my Goodwill shopping."

Riiiggghhhht. The minute I said I was getting in the shower, then to town, Farmer H decided that he felt well enough to drive to the city to the casino. What a miraculous recovery! If only I had known about this plan, more than five minutes before its execution, I might have wanted to ride along! Funny how things worked out.

Oh, well. I might as well build up that casino bankroll for an Oklahoma trip when we meet The Pony in two weeks. Farmer H sent a text when he left the casino. "I spent $100.00. Cashed out $98.26. Lost $1.74, and got a $15 gift card for The Devil's Playground."

Just my luck, I get left behind on the day the casino is paying not stealing as much as usual!

In other news, I think I might be coming down with a debilitating skull-eroding illness! I have a GROOVE in my head! Yeah. You read that right. It's a freakin' GROOVE! Starts about my hairline, in the area above the middle of my right eyebrown. I swear, it's about 2 inches long, and as thick as a wooden pencil. Not very deep, though. Maybe a couple of millimeters.


I didn't notice it until about a month ago. Or six weeks. One night, sitting in my OPC (Old People Chair), I ran my hand along my scalp, and felt it! Surely it hasn't been there all my life. I would have noticed it. There's no pain, or any indication that something is amiss. I made Farmer H feel it, and he agreed that I have a hole GROOVE in my head.

I'm not EVEN going to Google it! If you do, and find out that something is eating my brain from the inside, and moving on to my skull, and will erupt through my scalp...don't tell me!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Sleepless In Hillmomba

Farmer H has a cold. I pity the fool who has to take care of him. Wait! That would be me.

I think he picked up a virus at the casino last Thursday. Payback in advance for his little hissy-fit on the way home, after I asked him what he meant about "Pam called Santa." Farmer H thinks he might have caught it from his buddy's wife at the auction on Friday night. To which I wanted to ask, "Just how close ARE you to your buddy's wife?" She's 80, you know.

Anyhoo...I remember that on Friday night, Genius called, and I heard Farmer H telling him, "I think I'm coming down with something." So that was BEFORE the auction. And the right timing to have been infected at the casino. You never know what's on those slot machines from other people's fingers. Nor do I like to think about the ballpoint pens being reused at the voting precinct, or the stylus thingy that we had to use to sign in.

Anyhoo...Farmer H is on his death-La-Z-Boy. Tuesday night, he even sat in it from 10:00 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., after going to bed at 8:00, then re-arising. He does sound pretty bad, with his chest congestion. The cough isn't too bad to my ears, but Farmer H said he got out of breath walking from the BARn to the house. That's why we have a Gator! But he'd had me drop him off over at his truck, which lives by the Freight Container Garage, and the Gator was parked under the carport by the house.

Anyhoo...I told Farmer H on Saturday that he should go by the pharmacy, just down the hill from his Storage Unit Store, and ask about some over-the-counter cold remedies, since he was coming down with something. "It's going to be Sunday, with no doctors or pharmacies open. So you might want to plan ahead." Of course he did not.

Anyhoo...after being Sleepless in Hillmomba most of Tuesday night (he needs at least 10 hours a night or he's like those Snickers-needing people in the commercials), Farmer H went to his pharmacy on Wednesday morning. Where he got some Anefrin to spray up his nose, and some Mucinex to squeeze fluid out of his lungs.

"It was YOUR pharmacy, right? So they know your medicines? And nothing should interact with them?"

"She DID say Anefrin might make my blood pressure go up. But it shouldn't be too bad, since it's controlled by my medicine. And not to take the Anefrin for more than 5 days."

"Okay...I guess that won't kill you."

"I talked to the actual pharmacist. Not just some worker."

Yeah. I guess that's good enough.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The Devil Is Rushing The Season

Imagine my surprise on Tuesday, when I turned onto the approach road to The Devil's Playground, and saw THIS up against the front wall:

Sweet Gummi Mary! The temperature was 62 degrees, with 49 shopping days still left before Christmas! The aisle that held Halloween candy less than a week ago was FILLED WITH CHRISTMAS CANDY!

Anybody remember the good old days, when Christmas decorations didn't come out until after Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

We Grow Complacent With Dependency On Technology

Farmer H would have no idea what that title was about. The truth is, that title is about HIM!

I was sitting at the end of the gravel road around noon on Monday, getting ready to clamber out of T-Hoe to get the mail, when I saw Farmer H's TrailBlazer coming down the hill. He stopped to chat. Not so much chat, as confess.

"I had a wreck."

"What? Are you okay?"

"Yeah. I backed into a truck at the repair shop. See? The tail light is busted. Mick the Mechanic has ordered a bulb for me. I left my insurance card with him. He's going to tell the guy who owns the truck. I'm not even claiming ours on insurance. We have a $500 deductible, anyway."

Here's the thing. There was no reason for Farmer H to even be at the repair shop. We've had work done on our vehicles there, and Farmer H likes to shoot the bull with the proprietor. I guess that's what he was doing there. Imagine being the owner of that truck, who took it to get worked on, and then finds out that it's now been in a wreck!

Farmer H can't see out of his left eye. He's had plenty of time to get used to this fact, and adjust. Let the record show, he could only see out of one eye when he took his driver's test at 16, since that injury happened at 14. He has no restrictions on his driver's license. But he DOES like that back-up camera in A-Cad. I can't use it, myself. Doesn't seem right. I have to turn and watch, but I DO like the beeper when something is behind me. A beeper which has not worked in T-Hoe for several years.

Anyhoo...the TrailBlazer is a 2002. Very old in vehicle years. It doesn't have the bells and whistles. I suppose Farmer H has grown lax in backing, now that he's spoiled with A-Cad. I've also noticed his reliance on the back-up camera when we took The Pony's Rogue to get new tires put on a couple months ago.

I'm glad that nobody was hurt. And that I wasn't there to face the wrath of the truck owner. I imagine Farmer H will get the bulb for the TrailBlazer, and replace it himself, along with the red plastic light cover that was shattered.

He's handy like that.

Monday, November 5, 2018

I Suppose Somebody Else Needed Them More

Sometimes it's hard to determine which side of Even Steven's graces you're currently on. Are you getting back the good karma you've put out, or are you on the downswing, having your fortunes Even-Stevened out, to put you back on even keel? It goes without saying that Mrs. HM does not deserve the downside of the Evening! Right? She's not an evil person. Doesn't even speak her mind (in person) when she's been wronged.

Anyhoo...I usually find several pennies through the week, which I consider to be Pennies From Heaven. Letting me know that I'm on the right track, being thought of, and just generally that I'm an okay person. What goes around comes around, you know. But with my lottery wins, I notice hot streaks, where I win more than the odds would predict, and then frigid streaks, where everything I touch loses like it purchased by Farmer H's big ol' bear paws.

I did not find a single penny this week.

Huh. Have I been a bad gal? No. I don't think so. Although I did NOT stop to visit my mom at the cemetery this week. That's because on my usual visiting day of Friday, the workers had a tractor out, digging a grave. I don't know about you, but when that happens, I go by the motto: If the groundskeepers are excavatin', don't go a-converatin'. It would be impolite, it think. Like going into that area during a funeral.

Anyhoo...on Sunday, my trip to town lasted about 45 minutes. As I left, I had a text from Farmer H telling me his whereabouts for the next four hours (auction, of course). I sent out a text to The Pony, since he had not responded the night before. This one just asked if he was okay. Which he was, one minute later, when he replied that he was on a date. Whoopsie! Excuse me! Must have been a lunch date, but I didn't pry.

Anyhoo...I went in The Gas Station Chicken Store to cash in a $50 winner. Then to Country Mart to pick up a couple tickets. I did not find a penny in either extablishment. So this week was starting off barren in the Future Pennyillionaire department as well.

While driving home, I was thinking about The Pony when I turned onto our gravel road, since that's where I'd received the text from him. I was hoping he had a good time (NOT LIKE THAT!). Coming up our driveway, I was thinking about my mom and her slaw, and clicking through the radio stations for a good song before I put T-Hoe in the garage where the music dies.

THAT SONG WAS ON THE RADIO! The one that reminds me of Mom. "How Can I Help You Say Goodbye." By Patty Loveless.

Heh, heh. I guess Mom has no bones to pick with my behavior last week. Nor Even Steven. I won $65 on the tickets I bought.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

This Is Why We Can't Receive Nice Things

Wouldn't you know it? The very same day that I read about the latest mail truck wreck in Hillmomba, I got home to find somebody else's mail in EmBee's gullet!

It was only a political advertisement postcard. We get so many each day, from both parties, and a buttload from individual candidates, that one more doesn't really matter to our wastebasket. However...some lady didn't get her mail!

Sorry, Some Lady, that I threw it right in the trash, and didn't try to find you. Yes, I am aware that I am violating a federal law by destroying someone else's mail. But by the time I took it back to the dead mouse smelling post office on Saturday, and they sent it over to the main post office on Monday for re-delivery, this would arrive after election time. Even barring a MAIL TRUCK ACCIDENT! Besides, I'm pretty sure you know who you want to vote for by now.

Here's the thing. This address is not even remotely close to being OUR address. Of the street numbers, only one of the four was the same as one of ours. We don't live on a highway. The town is not even the same! This lady lives way over in Bill-Paying Town, at least 20 miles from us. So we are NOT the CURRENT RESIDENT of that address.

Do you think Some Lady got Farmer H's mailer of casino comps for November, from our newest favorite casino? The one that gives coupons for actual MONEY instead of free play? We usually get $20 for each week. I got my comps. Farmer H did not.

They're probably in somebody's wastebasket.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

The Hillmomba Triangle

I might have mentioned once or twice that we've had a spate of mail truck accidents in Hillmomba. They were in mid-September, and I worried about my DISH bill making it to DISH people on time. They never send it out in a timely manner, you know, nor credit it right away. I guess those DISH people are too busy listening to the cat and his fiddle, and contemplating chucking the whole work-for-a-lving thing, and making plans to run away with the spoon. It doesn't help that we have the Hillmomba Triangle, more dangerous to mail trucks than its North Atlantic cousin is to ships and planes.

Anyhoo...I know my DISH payment arrived with a day to spare in October. My other bills don't give me such a short window of time between arrival of the statement, and due date of the payment. So I sometimes will drop them off at the drive-thru mailbox on the street across from the dead mouse smelling post office.

Of course The Universe and Even Steven are having a real chucklefest right now. Me...not so much. I opened up the online Daily Hillmomban newspaper Friday morning, and was shocked to see a headline:

One Injured After Mail Truck Overturns on Old Hillmomba Road

A U.S. Postal Service employee was injured in a rollover crash at 9:30 a.m. Thursday on Old Hillmomba Road.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol report, Mail Lady X, 39, of Bill-Paying Town, was driving a 1994 Grumman LLV mail truck westbound on Old Hillmomba Road just east of Private Industrial Road when the vehicle ran off the left side of the roadway. The vehicle struck a tree and a fence and then overturned.

She was wearing her seat belt and was transported to Hillmomba Health Center North with minor injuries.

It's good to hear that the Mail Lady had only minor injuries. Not so good to hear that THIS HAPPENED BETWEEN THE MAIN POST OFFICE AND THE DEAD MOUSE SMELLING POST OFFICE.

So much for my credit card bill that I mailed at the DMSPS drive-thru mailbox on Wednesday afternoon. Since I drive by this wreck area at least 3 times a week, I know from the pictures and description that this Mail Lady was heading TOWARD the DMSPS, on the way to pick up the mail there, after dropping off mail from the main post office.

I'm thinking my credit card bill should be safe. If, perhaps, a day later than I anticipated. There's still a good window of time for that one to arrive at its destination.

Friday, November 2, 2018

It Was, After All, My Old Personal Motto

Perhaps you've noticed a thread running through this blog. An underlying theme that reveals the true nature of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. She lives her life in a state of perpetual pissed-offed-ness.

I can't help it. I was born that way. Spending 28 years holding my tongue in the teaching profession did nothing to improve my temperament. It's not that I mean anything by it. Not even that I'm truly incensed. But when stuff bothers, me, I have to let it out, and this is the place. I don't throw things, or go on screaming tirades, or plot tit-for-tat revenge on my detractors. I rarely even speak my mind in a modulated voice. I hold it in, until I can let it out here.


That used to be my personal motto, you know. They just do. I'm not a people person. I'll be polite, and expect to get politeness in return. But if I don't...


Thursday, for instance, when I accompanied Farmer H to our old favorite casino on his weekly Goodwill tour.

It seem like every time I go into the women's restroom (where else would I go) of the attendants follows me. Not so much follows me, like into a stall, or with evil intent to rob or assault. But one always appears. Sweet Gummi Mary! You'd think I'd been caught squatting in the vestibule and smearing waste products all over the walls and ceiling. I assure you that I have NOT. Been caught. Nor done the act. On the contrary! I even wipe down the counter if I've spattered water on it while reaching for a paper towel after washing my hands.

Anyhoo...Thursday, I came out of the stall, with two minutes left until time to meet up with Farmer H near the entrance. I went to the sink area to wash my hands. There are 8 sinks, people. Four on each side. A big wide area between them. I went to the right side. Sink #2 of the 4. In the mirror, I saw an attendant rush in, and go to the other bank of sinks.

The soap dispenser was not dispensing at my sink. I tried numerous times. Occasionally, I don't move my hands in the manner to which those sensors are accustomed, and it takes several tries. But this one was obviously out of soap. So I moved over to Sink #3.

That's when the Attendant rushed over to my bank of sinks. She flung open the cabinet door between sinks 2 and 3. Then she darted behind me, and flung open the cabinet between sinks 3 and 4. Seriously? She had to make this move right that instant, when I was the only one in there, and using those sinks?

This left me trapped between two open cabinet doors, about hip-high. Okay. I wasn't trapped, trapped. Not penned in. Not restricted from leaving. But who wants to dry their hands with an Attendant breathing down their thighs? I turned and went to the other bank of sinks, where I fished out some paper towels from the countertop dispenser, and then took a tissue (NOT Puffs With Lotion) from the wall-mounted dispenser, and blew my nose.

Let the record show that once I left the first sink bank, the Attendant rushed over to the big trash bin in the corner, by the entrance. I can't say door, because there isn't one. Just a large opening, across from the opening to the men's restroom, with a drinking fountain along the wall connecting the openings. Meanwhile, the Attendant had left behind, sitting out on the floor, all the full wastebaskets that she'd moved out from under the chrome-lined holes in the counter for dropping your paper towels and tissues in. I have no idea what she was fiddling with.

If I'd been a vengeful person, I might have dropped my tissue and paper towel into one of those openings, to fall into the open cabinet bereft of wastebasket to catch it. But I am not. I balanced my used paper products on top of one of the full wastebaskets.

And rushed out to meet Farmer H, afraid to look over my shoulder to see if I was being followed.

It's not that the Attendant did anything wrong. I would think that perhaps one might dump the wastebaskets from the side of the room where nobody is using the sinks, and then get the wastebaskets from the other side of the room when the only person using them has finished a hand-washing routine which generally takes one minute or less.

People piss me off.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Playing Poke 'Er. Not Nearly As Much Fun As Playing Poker.

Last Thursday, we went to our new favorite casino with my sister the ex-mayor's wife, and of course the ex-mayor. They're a package deal. One won't go anywhere without the other. Perhaps they're afraid they might wake up in a roadside motel bathtub full of ice with a kidney missing.

Anyhoo...they finished the day as winners, thanks to Sis hitting a jackpot. Farmer H lost a couple of twenties, and I lost $5 over half of what I took to gamble away. wasn't a terrible day for me or Farmer H. My money depleted more rapidly than usual, and I was not willing to dip into the portion I'd planned for later. I kind of know how much I want to spend per hour, and stick to it.

With an hour still left before the dinner buffet opened, I headed for the poker machines. I haven't played them in a long time. It takes longer to lose my money on them, because I only bet the minimum, which is 25 cents per spin. Let the record show that I put my last (time period) twenty in that machine, and with Sis looking over my shoulder waiting for me to walk to the buffet...I cashed out $19.75. I could have left at $22 when Sis found me, but I told her, "Just let me play it down to $20. That's what I started with. However...I was talking to her, and accidentally hit the DEAL button. Still. I had played for an hour and only lost 25 cents. That's pretty good for Mrs. HM.

Which brings us to Wednesday's game of Poke 'Er, concerning Juno's big fat ear. When I was throwing out onion skins after dicing onions for a pot of soup, I saw that my Sweet, Sweet Juno's right ear had filled with fluid again. She was romping around on the porch, not convalescing like an invalid. She'd start to shake her head, then stop. At least she didn't list to the side when she walked. The ear had a healthy pink tint on the underside, but was definitely swollen near its limit again.

I sent Farmer H a text as soon as I got home from town. I knew he was back home from his earlier gallivanting, because the TrailBlazer was parked at the BARn, which had the big door open.

"Juno's ear needs draining!"

"Can you hold her"

"Yeah, I'll go put on my dirty clothes."

"Ok I'll be over in a minute"

I changed out of town clothes, into clothes that wouldn't matter if they were squirted with dog blood, or covered with burs, or picked up the smell of wet dog. And old shoes, too.

Farmer H brought the second needle he'd bought, rather than the one he'd rinsed out the day before. We lured the patient to the front porch with half a slice of Nutty Oat bread soaked in hamburger grease from the soup preparations. Jack did his best to disrupt the operation, but a scrap of the bread, and Farmer H's "encouragement" drove him away.

Juno was quite suspicious, even though Farmer H had hidden the syringe on the front porch pew. She followed me there, sniffed the grease bread again, really wanted it, but turned to slink away. As if we wouldn't notice her leaving against medical advice!

I put the bread on my knee, which lured her back. I leaned over as if to hug her, and got a firm grip around her belly, kind of lifting her front legs off the porch boards. Well. Miss Juno no longer wanted the grease bread, and became fidgety. A bit of sweet-talking made her eat the treat, as Farmer H stepped into place with his giant syringe.

Poor Juno whimpered as Farmer H stabbed her. Nothing came into the syringe, so he stabbed her again. Another whimper. Of course I was whispering sweet nothings into Juno's good ear, explaining that we were actually HELPING HER FEEL BETTER. Not sure if she bought it, or if she just heard "Wah wah wah" like a Charlie Brown lesson.

The second time was the charm, and the syringe filled halfway with watery dog blood. The ear collapsed considerable. Farmer H said to let her go, that a lot had come out, and with two holes in the skin, some more would drain slowly. I'm not sure if the needle hurt the most, or if Farmer H's grip on the swollen ear caused the whimpering.

Anyhoo...once we were done, Juno slunk around the porch to her house, leaving a small puddle of watery ear-blood at my feet. Which Jack investigate, and gave a lick or two. For her trouble, I went back through the house, and grabbed another half-slice of grease bread. This I tossed into Juno's house, where I couldn't see her in the dark (rainy day here in Hillmomba), but heard her feathery tail thumping.

"Here, Juno. You were a very brave girl!"

I'm saving some grease bread for bait on Friday. As Hick says, Juno will soon grow suspicious of grease bread. Maybe he should have HOS come back to assist the next operation.