Tuesday, December 31, 2019

The Newer Apple Rolls Down The Trunk Of The Tree

Farmer H cannot deny the parentage of Genius and The Pony. Not that he'd want to. They've done plenty to make him proud. Of course, that was through traits they inherited from Mrs. HM! They also exhibit tendencies that could only have come from Farmer H himself. Remember "The Great POT Controversy?" How Genius did not follow through in putting away Mrs. HM's pots he used to brew up a batch of beer?

The Pony also has a controversy.

Friday, I took The Pony to buy some shoes. While we were in Bill-Paying Town, he said he'd like to have Captain D's for lunch. That solved my dinner dilemma. It was already after 2:00, so I decreed that The Pony could indeed have Captain D's, and that it would act as his Lupper. Lunch-supper. Then I wouldn't have to cook when I got home, and we could get something for Farmer H to eat before he left for the auction.

Farmer H chose a Giant Fish Sandwich. The Pony had Fish & Fries, plus 4 breadsticks. I had a Fish & Chicken Dinner, taken home to eat when I had all my upstairsly duties completed.

At the time I descended to my lair, thankfully with the strong legs of The Pony to carry down my tray and magical elixir, Farmer H was not yet home. The Pony had eaten his meal in T-Hoe on the drive home. He had left two hush puppies.

"I'll leave these hush puppies for Dad."

I took them out of the foam container, threw it away, and left the two hush puppies on a stack of napkins, on the cutting block.

Saturday morning, with Farmer H away at his Storage Unit Store, I noticed the stack of napkins (greasy from the hush puppies), still on the cutting block.

"That's just like your dad! Eat the hush puppies, but leave the napkins there for ME to throw away! I can't believe him! As if anybody is going to want those greasy napkins! He can't throw ANYTHING away! He's such a hoarder! It's getting worse and worse! I'm so sick of--"

"Mom. Dad didn't eat the hush puppies."

"Then where are they?"

"Thrown away."

"That's even worse! To throw away the hush puppies, but leave the napkins!"

I went off to town for my 44 oz Diet Coke. When I came back, I rushed around to make a deep dish Chef Boyardee pizza for The Pony and Farmer H. The Pony loves the breadiness of the crust. I make it whenever he comes home. The Pony helped me get things ready, by handing me bowls and vegetable oil and opening the can of sauce that came with the pizza kit. I'm pretty sure he was just helping in order to get to that sauce can sooner. Like some kids lick the bowl after cake batter is poured, The Pony gets a serving spoon to scrap the dregs of pizza sauce from the can.

Anyhoo...after he'd retired to the living room with his can of sauce (don't get me started), I noticed that the napkins were gone from the cutting block.

"Well. I guess Dad finally threw away his napkins."

"I did that while you were gone. When I came in to get water."

"Oh. Thank you for throwing away Dad's napkins."

"Um..."

Farmer H was sitting in the La-Z-Boy, having come home while I was away.

"I can't believe you threw away the hush puppies, and left the napkins!"

"I didn't throw away any hush puppies. I just ate my fish sandwich."

Then it dawned on me. The Pony had either thrown away those hush puppies, or decided to eat them himself. HE was the one who'd left the greasy napkins on the cutting block. And let me blame Farmer H for several hours, until he sensed that his crime was slowly being uncovered.

We'll call this one "The HushED Puppy Conspiracy."

Monday, December 30, 2019

When The STEVENing Comes Before The EVENing, Part 3

Waterlogged medicine, overclogged mail, germ-flogged ATM screen, and hogged parking lot did not deter Even Steven in the end.

Our last stop was Country Mart. I'd cashed in a good day's winnings when I got my 44 oz Diet Coke at the Gas Station Chicken Store, and pocketed the money to play elsewhere. Country Mart's machines had been my plan since before we left the Mansion.

Of course I had to park way down at the end. When I stepped through the door, BOTH lottery machines were occupied. I stepped right, to wait on the left machine. An old lady was putting in her money. I figured she would be done sooner than the couple at the right side machine. As it was, they finished at the same time, and reached an impasse at the door. The old lady surged ahead at the last moment.

I put in a bill and got my tickets. Because I'd been discombobulated by both machines being taken, I absentmindedly put in the next bill, which I'd intended for the right side machine. Sweet Gummi Mary! Now I was stuck spending it. No change from the lottery machine. I made my selections, and then took the small bill, the one I'd been intending to spend to get The Pony a ticket, into the right side machine.

Once outside, I informed The Pony of my ticket faux pas. I fanned out the selections so he could choose. He did not hesitate. Took the Power 5 blue ticket. First scratch, he exclaimed,

"I WON $25!"

Good for him.

It was much later that night when I had time to scratch my tickets. Well. What a fine turn of events. Even Steven knew it was time for EVENing out my day!

Four more winners from that left side machine! A $5, a $10, a $15, a $15. That's $45 more dollars of winning, plus The Pony's $25 winner!

It was worth the inconvenience of the STEVENing to get to the eventual EVENing.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

When The STEVENing Comes Before The EVENing, Part 2

After narrowly avoiding drinking an entire bubba cup of ice water and licking the bottom, to make sure I got all my medication...I headed toward the dead mouse smelling post office, with The Pony riding shotgun. I didn't plan to go inside. Only to mail the payment I'd just written out for A-Cad. The drive-up mailbox was good enough.

"This mail just went out an hour ago, but this one will go out tomorrow, anyway."

I listened for my envelope to hit the bottom. I can't imagine many people had driven up to mail things over the last hour. But I DID NOT hear my envelope hit the bottom! In fact, I didn't even hear it slide down the neck of the mailbox. I reached my hand through the snout section.

I COULD FEEL MY ENVELOPE!

I shoved it more. It's like that mailbox was full to the top! Just when I thought it was safe to mail things there again. It gets picked up at 11:00 a.m. This was December 27. Even if that crew worked a night shift, and had their December 25 holiday a day later...this was December 27! That mail should have gone out at 11:00 a.m.!

Great. Better not lose my A-Cad payment! I would have pulled that letter back out if I could, and driven it over to the main post office in Sis Town.

What else could go wrong? Well. Plenty.

I got to the bank, and had to wait 10 minutes at the drive-up ATM. Only two trucks ahead of me. But they've changed out that ATM in the wall. Maybe it shorted more people than just ME a $20 bill! Anyhoo...I don't like the set-up of this one. Mainly because I don't like things to change. This one is all on-screen touch stuff. The old one had options on the keypad, too.

Here's the thing. Those touch-pad thingies don't like me. Sometimes, my own phone refuses to recognize my touch. I put in my card, and touched the option to withdraw cash. But then it wouldn't recognize my finger. Nor thumb. Nor finger after rubbing it to warm it up. I was stuck. No way to stop the transaction. No way to proceed. I had to get something on that screen to respond to my touch.

I LICKED MY THUMB AND TOUCHED THE SCREEN!

Yes. I fully realize that I was licking a germ from every other person who ever touched that ATM screen! I had no other option. I hope it wasn't Typhoid Larry in the truck ahead of me.

That debacle out of the way, The Pony and I proceeded through the drive-thru canopy. Our exit to the street was blocked by cars backed up from the light. So I went out the back alley, as I usually do. Beside the church, at the little STOP sign, The Pony said,

"You don't have to go all the way to the end of the alley. Cut across the church lot."

"But their signs say NO TRESPASSING. I'm pretty sure they have cameras around. I never go across their lot."

"They won't know. OOPS! I guess they WILL! You'd better not cut across today!"

A man had just come out of the side door of the church, carrying a bag of trash to his truck. He gave us the stink-eye, even though we were stopped at the STOP sign in the alley, and not on the church lot. I continued to the end of the alley. Going about a quarter-mile out of our way to get back out on the road.

At least the shoe-buying portion of our trip passed without incident.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

When The STEVENing Comes Before The EVENing, Part 1

You know things are not off to a good start when the most basic of your routines throws you a curve ball. Or rolls you a curve pill.

Friday morning, I had plans to take The Pony shoe-shopping. He said he didn't really NEED shoes. But with no idea what to get him for Christmas, and him being a state-and-a-half away, I wanted to provide for him.

With Farmer H out of the Mansion on his usual Friday schedule of Storage Unit Store (yes, even on DECEMBER 27), lunch, doctor, and old-man fat-chewing, we didn't have to worry about rising at the crack of dawn. I slept until 10:15, and headed to the kitchen for my morning medicine.

I take three pills. The first, for my missing thyroid, I take standing at the sink. It requires a full glass of water. The other two are a heart-slower and for blood pressure. I generally take them 30 to 60 minutes later. I carry them into the living room in the palm of my hand. I'm very careful. I make sure my hand is not wet. I put my cell phone and some Puffs Plus Lotion in my shirt pocket, so as not to interfere with my pill hand. I pick up the house phone and carry it in my other hand.

Once in the living room, I set down my other stuff, then put my two pills on the top of my yellow bubba cup of ice water. It has been left on the table beside the La-Z-Boy in my trek from bed to bathroom to kitchen. I've done this for three years now. No incidents. I don't forget to take the meds, because they're right there beside me as I peruse the innernets on HIPPIE. And my water is there for the swigging, to wash them down.

Friday morning, I put my two pills on the lid of my yellow bubba cup. The tiny orange blood pressure pill laid there like it was supposed to. The white, aspirin-size, heart-slowing pill decided to land on its edge, and roll around the rim like one of those crazy gumballs in a spiral machine. Or a coin in one of those funnel-shaped contraptions they have at The Science Center. Around it went, right to the opening where the straw fits in. It's a thick straw. Takes up most of that hole. MOST.

MY HEART-SLOWING PILL FELL INTO MY YELLOW BUBBA CUP OF ICE WATER!

Well! That made my heart stop! Momentarily. Then it started pounding. What was I going to do? I would be short one pill!

In reality, nothing much would probably happen, because I get refills a few days before I run out. So that missing pill wouldn't really be missing unless I ran completely out. Still. I was all panicky about it.

I rushed to the kitchen counter. I pried the lid off Yellow Bubba, but didn't see my pill. How long can a pill last in a cup of water, anyway? I ripped the lid off Purple Bubba, empty all night, and poured my water and ice into him. There, at the bottom of Yellow Bubba, kind of stuck at the edge, was my pill!

I pried it loose, and put it in a foam bowl. Blew on it to stop it from dissolving. It still had pretty much of its shape. I put the straw and lid on Purple Bubba, and went back to the La-Z-Boy. About a half hour had gone by since taking that thyroid med. I'd been writing out a check, and getting stuff ready for my shoe-shopping trip.

I took my waterlogged pill. It was still in one piece. It's an extended-release pill. The Pony, once out of bed, assured me that it was probably all right. Almost the same as if I was swallowing it, and it got stuck to my throat, waiting for another slurp of water.

Good thing it wasn't a capsule!

Friday, December 27, 2019

The Tree Bends Over Backwards To Protect The Apple That Doesn't Fall Far From It

With Genius and The Pony home for a few days, I remembered what I DON'T miss about having them around.

Cold showers.
Feeding them.
Sticky floor.
Picking up.

Let's dwell on the PICKING UP theme today. You'd think that someone old enough to drink homemade wine (given to Farmer H by a casual friend who quit drinking) would be able to throw away his used red Solo cup when finished. But no! That is MY JOB!

You'd think that if you use a paper towel (for what, I don't know, since it obviously wasn't to wipe up a mess), you'd understand that it should be put in the wastebasket, not on the cutting block two feet away.

But here's the biggest violation. Get ready to be outraged, fellow picker-uppers!

Genius gave Farmer H a beer-making kit for Christmas. It's a clever gift, and something they could do together, although it would have been nicer if they had more time. Anyhoo...Genius decreed that Farmer H should unwrap his gift on Christmas Eve afternoon. They set about their brewing around 1:30. In fact, they squeezed me out of my own kitchen as I was trying to prepare a plate of leftovers for my lunch. We were due at Sis's house by 6:00 for her Christmas Eve dinner.

Genius rifled through my lower cabinets, looking for three large pots. He'd bought a large strainer and other accoutrements at The Devil's Playground. I told him he'd need to make sure those pots got put back, because I cannot get down on my knees and sort through the pans in the lower cabinets. He assured me that he would wash those pots, and return them as they were.

You know what happened, right? After boiling hops and wheat and assorted beery things, Genius DID wash the pots. Meaning, he gave that task to Friend, who did a good job of it. They set them on top of the stove (not like we'd be using that area to warm leftovers or make breakfast or anything) to finish air-drying.

Christmas Day, Genius and Friend were packing up all their stuff to go spend a few days with Friend's parents, then fly off west for a ski trip. My pots were still sitting on the stove.

"Genius, when you have time, I'd like you to put these pots back in the cabinet before you head out." Just a reminder, you know. In case he forgot.

WELL! You'd think I'd asked the cardiologist to clip my toenails! (That actually happened with my grandpa and his wife.) Farmer H got all snotty with me. Not so much in words, but with THAT LOOK of his. Obviously, nobody at Kellerman's puts Baby in a corner, and nobody in Hillmomba asks Genius to put away pots!

Farmer H got up off the short couch, stormed into the kitchen, and put those pots away himself. I don't really think he got them all three in the right place, but the two I use most were correct.

Sorry, but I can't believe a 25-year-old, whose career is programming a driverless car, is incapable of returning three pots to their proper location.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Disgruntled Chef, Or Farmer H Plot?

When we got back to the Mansion with The Pony on Thursday, I was in the throes of cooking our Christmas dinner, which was scheduled for Saturday evening. Friday was a whirlwind of roasting and deviling and salading and casseroling and baking. As you might imagine, slothful Mrs. HM did not want to whip up supper for Farmer H and The Pony.

The Pony said he'd like to have Chinese food for supper, so Farmer H swung by there on his way home from carousing all day and pointedly not-helping get the feast ready. According to Farmer H, there were several phoned-in orders ahead of him. That's understandable for a Friday night. Farmer H said food kept going out the door, yet he saw no sign of our order being prepared. He went to the counter several times to inquire. You might imagine how well that went over.

Anyhoo...The Pony had Sweet & Sour Chicken, Farmer H had Hunan Chicken, and I had Hunan Pork. The Pony was nearly done with his supper when I came out to the living room after a much-delayed shower. Farmer H was at the kitchen counter, mumbling that his food didn't look like chicken. He opened mine, I presumed from glancing at his back shielding the containers, and declared that no, this one wasn't chicken more than the previous container.

Farmer put his dinner ON A PLATE, after I'd spent all day cooking and washing up two sinks of dishes as I went along. Seriously. My kitchen was pristine, yet now I'd have a greasy plate to wash later that night, or first thing on the day of our Christmas dinner. The point being that within arm's reach was a stack of sturdy cardboard-paper-plates. Sweet Gummi Mary! Is Farmer H so hoity-toity that he can't eat his carry-out Chinese food on a sturdy paper plate?

I left mine in the foam container. Not because I was making a snide point about dirty dishes, but because I did not feel like standing for one extra second to scrape out the contents onto a sturdy paper plate. When I got to my dark basement lair, and dug into my meal, I was surprised by the spiciness.

I know that HUNAN is spicy. It's usually just right. I often separate out some of the black pepper beans to tame it. This time, I was weak with hunger, having subsisted all day on two slices of bacon stolen from the 7 Layer Salad, and a torn egg white used to scoop the clinging deviled egg filling from the side of the bowl before washing. I didn't have the time nor the energy to sort through my Hunan Pork.

But I DID. While sitting in front of New Delly. It was that, or have my head explode in a fireball. Look at how many black pepper beans I found in my Hunan Pork!

That, my friends, is excessive pepperage! That's about 1/4 of the meal! Made of black pepper beans! When I went back upstairs, I asked Farmer H if his Hunan Chicken was extra spicy this time.

"No. Not really. About the same."

"Did it have a lot of black pepper beans?"

"Not that I noticed."

"Well, mine was FULL of them! They must have put all the peppers in the pork, and not many in the chicken."

Here's the thing. Did that Chinese chef put all the black pepper beans in one dinner, to get even with Farmer H for daring to inquire as to the readiness of his order (several times)? Or did Farmer H take some peppers out of his meal and put them into mine while I was still in the shower?

I tend to think the former. Because even though Farmer H would probably not pass up an attempt to kill me, he's pretty lazy about picking things out of food, unless it's GREEN peppers, which he despises.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

A PsychoSoda Christmas At The Mansion

With The Pony and Genius and Friend here at the Mansion for the Christmas holidays, Farmer H and I laid in a supply of beverages. Our guests are not ones to drink Diet Mountain Dew and Diet Coke. We had some Sprite for The Pony, and some real Coke for mixing with Jack Daniels. Genius and Friend mainly drink water, unless they're imbibing their alcohol.

Anyhoo...I'd been hinting for a couple days that this soda needed to be taken down to the mini fridge in the basement. There was barely enough room for all the food in FRIG II. Of course my hints fell on deaf ears. Finally, Farmer H took it upon himself to chill the soft drinks.

Imagine my surprise when I opened the door of the mini fridge for my knee ice, and saw

SODA BUTTS!

Sweet Gummi Mary! What in the NOT-HEAVEN? Who stocks a mini fridge this way? Let me answer for you: A DANG PSYCHO! That's who!

Why would you shove the soda in head first? Nobody wants to grapple with a soda butt when going to fetch a beverage. If the lids face out, you can grab a couple, by fitting your fingers around the narrow tops. Not so with the wide butts. Unless you've got the ginormous hands of a professional football quarterback, you can only get ONE. If you have several brands of cola, or other dark soda like root beer, or Dr. Pepper, you can't tell what you're getting unless you've memorized the shapes of the butts of each brand.

As you can clearly see, the Diet Coke that I put in for myself is an example that Farmer H could have followed. But no. Farmer H has to re-invent the wheel every time he does a job that many people would assign a toddler.

Once again, Farmer H proves that if you want a job done right, do it yourself. Or ask anyone other than Farmer H. Who swore this method was perfectly normal, little chuckle, the way MOST people stock their soda.

I'd think he was doing it on purpose so as not to be tasked with such a difficult chore ever again. But I'm not sure Farmer H's mind thinks that far ahead.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

A Treat For The Sweet

Mrs. HM has been trying to stay on Santa's nice list. Results of her efforts are still inconclusive. So she treated herself the other evening, just in case.

Yes, she bestowed three kisses upon herself. Don't cut eyes at each other, wondering why that bag looks EMPTY! This new kiss was divvied out into stockings. But I saved three for myself. Mmmm. Quite delicious. Hot cocoa with marshmallow. Except it's not exactly like the real thing.

My kisses weren't hot.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Their Timing Is Incredible

While I was in Oklahoma for less than 24 hours, I got an email from FedEx saying they couldn't deliver my package. Surprise, surprise. It's not like I could do anything about it from 280 miles away. I figured they saw the icy stretch of gravel road down by the creek, and didn't make an effort. Even though I knew the road had been bladed down to the dirt a little farther on, where it got hilly.

Thursday, I got another email that my package could not be delivered. Further investigation into the shipping details revealed a recommendation from FedEx that I pick up my package at my LOCAL POST OFFICE.

That would be the dead mouse smelling post office. But I've gone there before, only to have them refer me to the main post office over in Sis-Town. So I told The Pony, my chauffeur, that we would take the route through Sis-Town, to check on my package.

As we pulled into their parking lot, we had to avoid a FedEx truck that had just parked on the street. A FedEx dude was carrying in a see-through plastic bag full of packages.

"Huh. I wonder if MY package is in there!"

I went inside, and found a man doing his business with one clerk, while another clerk talked to another man off to the side. When it was my turn, I explained that I'd gotten an email from FedEx saying my package would be at my local post office. I was trying to find out which one.

The talking clerk said, "I've got this one!" and called me off to the side to a computer. "FedEx has been killing us with this for the last two days! Do you have your shipping number?"

"No. But it's somewhere in this email. Can you look on my phone?"

"Sure! Whew! I need my glasses for that fine print. Oh. This is the FedEx shipping number. Not the USPS shipping number."

"Go into the shipping details. That's where it said to pick up my package."

"Oh. There it is!" She typed frantically on the keyboard. "This is working really slow today."

"Probably people looking up their FedEx packages! On our way out Highway 8 yesterday, my husband and I passed 15 FedEx trucks in a row!"

The two clerks looked at each other. "YEAH! Because for two days, they didn't send us ANY packages! Here. Let me print this out. Your package is at your post office. I'm giving you these two pages. RIGHT HERE it shows that they have your package. Don't let them send you back here! They like to do that. To say that we have it. But once a package leaves our facility, only Sis-Town packages come back here if they're not delivered."

So I did what she said. Waved my two-page printout around all willy-nilly, self-importantly, and got my package. It contained two gifts for Farmer H, and one for The Pony.

I suppose FedEx would have kept sending me undeliverable messages. There is STILL ice on the gravel road along the creek. A UPS package was delivered, though. On Thursday as Farmer H and The Pony were carrying in stuff from the cars.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

I'll Bet Sis Was Green With Envy

It's no secret that my sister the ex-mayor's wife loves the free hot chocolate at High Winds Casino in Miami, Oklahoma. She got me hooked on it, too. So when we were there last Wednesday, I made sure to get a cup of that delicious beverage, and send a picture to her. Not exactly to make Sis jealous because she couldn't be there. But to show her that I was thinking of her...

"What's that?"

"It's your HOT CHOCOLATE!"

"Why is it purple?"

"WHAT? It's not purple!"

When I looked again, I think it WAS purple.


From the reflection of the Buffalo slot, not actually purple! Still. Sis knew we were at the casinos. Surely she could have recognized a cup of hot chocolate. A double-cup. That doesn't mean I had two. It means I wanted to keep my hand cooler than a single foam cup would allow. But it also made my free hot chocolate stay hotter longer. So my gratification was delayed.

Any normal night, I would have had another. But this was Farmer H's birthday, and we were going to have steak within 10 minutes. So no second cup for me.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Charlie Bucket's Grandparents Had The Right Idea

Friday was one of those days. If' I'd known how it would turn out, I'd have stayed in bed.

It started with some preparations for the Christmas dinner to be held Saturday evening. Or that was my intention, anyway.

First thing, I had to bake an Oreo Cake as one of The Veteran's gifts. Farmer H was going over there around 4:30, and I knew I wouldn't have time this year, what with the change in Christmas dinner four days early.

Turns out all I got done by 2:00 was baking that cake. And boiling the eggs for deviled eggs. The Pony had mentioned that he really likes my potato salad, which I had not planned to make. Since I'd already denied The Pony his own Oreo Cake, for lack of time, I could not refuse him potato salad. So I put some potatoes on to boil.

I got the cake completely ready, labeled plastic tubs of Chex Mix, got the scratchers together, wrapped 3 gifts that had arrived Thursday, and then peeled some eggs, diced potatoes and put together the potato salad. I let The Pony taste-test it. He decided he might want some for lunch, since my trip to town was delayed.

The Pony held out the big styrofoam bowl, rather than the small one I expected. I glopped a serving into his bowl with a long plastic stirring spoon.

"How's that?"

"Good. Another one just like it will be fine."

Well. By the time I stored the remainder in Chinese soup takeout containers, I only had ONE AND A HALF LEFT! Seriously! I usually have THREE AND A HALF CONTAINERS FULL OF POTATO SALAD! Yes, I'd cut back on the amount because I had only bought a 5 lb bag of potatoes. But still! All that work, for ONE AND A HALF CONTAINERS of potato salad!

By then, I'd had my shower, and was contemplating putting together my 7 Layer Salad when my best old ex-teaching buddy Mabel called for our Christmas gift rendezvous that had been postponed due to ice. I also had to stop by the dead mouse smelling post office for a package I had a notice for, and go to the store for green beans, since I remembered that green bean bundles are Genius's favorite. Which I had also not planned on making.

While in town, Farmer H came home with 3 more packages from the mailbox, and UPS dropped another one off while he was loading A-Cad with the gifts for The Veteran's kids. So...more wrapping that I scarcely will have time for.

Whew! It was after 5:00 when I got home. All I wanted was to sit down at New Delly for a break, to eat my lunch (now lupper) of Hardee's chicken tenders. The Pony had already devoured his by the time I got to my lair. Where I discovered that

I HAD NO INTERNET!

I was ready to cry. I quizzed The Pony, who was playing computer games, but not online. He swore he had done nothing. I thought maybe HIPPIE had interfered, since I'd been connected to the casino internet automatically the day before. But then we figured out that we'd both been on the internet Thursday night when we got home.

So...I unplugged the router thingy. Didn't work. I went to Farmer H's basement workroom to unplug the satellite dish thingy. But my way was blocked by two long cardboard boxes, topped with a Rubbermaid tub, topped with a plastic rifle case. In moving some of that out of my way so I could reach the electrical plug, I stepped sideways. My shoe sole caught on the carpet remnant that was on the floor in that location for some unknown reason, and I almost fell sideways. Good thing those boxes were there to grab and steady myself.

I think I DID actually cry at that point. The Pony came running down the stairs to my rescue. Mostly providing moral support, and not tech support. He did make note of the router brand, to look up info on his phone about possible fixes. HOWEVER...that unplugging business of both satellite dish and router did the trick.

I was meaning to go back upstairs and cook the roasted vegetables while wrapping all those gifts, but I fell asleep in front of New Delly after eating lupper.

I might still try to do that after a short rest with my feet up in my OPC (Old People Chair). It's only 10:43 as I type this.

Oh, yeah. Every single one of my scratchers was a loser.

Friday, December 20, 2019

More Than I Get

Wednesday was Farmer H's birthday. As I'm typing this, it's not yet his birthday. We will be gone to meet The Pony halfway from college, to bring him home. We take no chances after his crash coming home that first Thanksgiving, when he fell asleep at the wheel. I'll get in and ride with him, for conversation to keep him alert.

Better yet, we're breaking up that 9.5 hour drive into two days. Farmer H and I both have free nights at a casino, so we'll be staying over. That means The Pony can have his own room, too. He actually gets a free room comp there, but it was easier for me to call and use mine and Farmer H's player's card numbers.

Anyhoo...Farmer H has said he doesn't really need any gifts for Christmas or his birthday. You know how that goes. He'd be disappointed if he didn't get anything. For his birthday, he'll get a card with money! He's not expecting it. And he can use it for gambling if he wants, or stash it away. Maybe he won't be so cranky, since he won't be spending his hard-earned, dollar-profit-at-a-time Storage Unit Store money in the casino. He's really a miser with HIS money.

Since that's the night we'll be staying at the casino, I imagine we'll have a steak dinner. Farmer H loves his steak! So does The Pony. So there's that little treat for him.

Probably the best treat of all will be driving the last half of the way home without ME riding shotgun in A-Cad for his jabby sweaving.

Whatever...it's better than a $3 change purse and two boxes of Sno-Caps...

Thursday, December 19, 2019

When A Body Meets A Body Stumping Through The Kitchen

Just when you think Farmer H has outdone himself with illogic, he resets the bar.

Tuesday afternoon, on a road of solid ice, he drove me to The Devil's Playground for Christmas dinner supplies. I appreciate that. I really do! He even took his own little  Devil's cart, and went to the other side of the store for pharmacy items and wrapping tape. Plus three little cars he bought for himself...

AND, Farmer H unloaded both carts in the parking lot while I climbed into T-Hoe to answer The Pony's texts. THEN carried everything in back at the Mansion, telling me,

"You go on inside. You can put things away as I carry them in."

Well. I guess I wasn't fast enough. I'd told him he could set some bags in the drainer sink, without walking all the way around the peninsula counter. But Farmer H, on his third trip, set two bags in the REGULAR sink, right after he'd seen me running water there on Trip 2. Still. I wasn't upset with him. I was grateful for the help.

Even though he'd carried over items that should have stayed on the kitchen table, for making Chex Mix. So I had to walk around that peninsula to put them there. Thing is, after traipsing through The Devil's Playground for over an hour, my knees swell up and get grindy. As I turned back to go around the peninsula to the cutting block/FRIG II area, here came Farmer H, barreling along with bags in each hand.

I felt a shift in my right knee joint. Like crunchy particles trying to wedge themselves under the kneecap. I grasped the edge of the peninsula to steady myself.

"Just a minute. Sorry. I twisted my knee."

Farmer H did not slow. He kept barreling.

"You could give me a second! I can't rush!"

"I'm walking! What do you expect me to do, STOP?"

"Um. Yeah. THAT'S WHAT A NORMAL PERSON WOULD DO!"

"I can't stop, just because you can't get out of the way!"

"Okay then. I want you to run right over me and knock me down! OF COURSE I expect you to stop walking. How hard is that? To give me a second to limp out of the way?"

Sweet Gummi Mary! Talk about entitled!

Seriously! You've heard of manspreading? I think Farmer H has a terminal case of manspeeding! He slows for no one. I've even seen him clip a guy's shoulder while walking in public. Rationalizing his behavior after my chastisement by declaring, "I wasn't getting out of that guy's way!"

Wars have probably been started over less...

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's Christmas Workout

Sweet Gummi Mary! Surely you didn't come here thinking you'd find a fitness routine! I'm just doing what I do every Christmas. Making Chex Mix, and wrapping gifts.

In the past two weeks, I've made four batches of Chex Mix. Three in the past three days. That's a workout! It takes about 30 minutes to combine the ingredients and get them ready for the oven. Then it has to bake at 250 for TWO HOURS! No more, no less. TWO HOURS. Getting taken out of the oven and stirred every 15 minutes. So you can't leave it to fend for itself. Can't do much of anything in between, but wrap some gifts.

Monday was actually a good day for that. I knew I wouldn't be getting out in the sleet and snow. Can't be breaking a hip over the holidays! Farmer H said I shouldn't have any trouble on the roads in T-Hoe, but that standing up on the parking lots would be the challenge. Standing up on my own Mansion floor is enough of a challenge for me. So I settled in on the long couch with tubes of wrapping paper and piles of gifts. Hope my boys aren't reading this, because they're not getting much of anything this year, besides cash and scratchers.


You probably can't see the drooping cedar limbs and the falling sneet (snow/sleet). The ground got a little more covered when that snow started, landing on top of the accumulated sleet particles.

Anyhoo...all I was missing was hot chocolate. I should have turned on the electric fireplace in the living room! I was plenty warm, though, every 15 minutes when I stuck my head in the oven to drag out those three pans of Chex for stirring.

Hoisting my ample rumpus off that couch over and over, and hefting one giant roaster pan and two rectangular cake pans of Chex, was as much of a workout as I got. I'm pretty much exhausted.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

No Helping Allowed

We had a sleet storm roll in Sunday evening. It might put the kibosh on lunch with my best old ex-teaching buddy Mabel on Tuesday. That's today! I'll let you know how it goes. As of Monday afternoon, Farmer H declared that we should be able to make it, though the road is curvy, hilly, two-lane blacktop. He's overconfident with his driving skills, you know.

In fact, Farmer H couldn't wait to get up Monday morning and hit the road in SilverRedO. He went to town for reasons unknown (probably Casey's donuts). I didn't see the necessity of that trip. He had plans to drive down to Bill-Paying Town after noon, to meet up with a buyer for the gun he bought Sunday afternoon. I swear, the population of Hillmomba is on one big firearms merry-go-round.

Anyhoo...I was not at all happy with Farmer H cruising around in inclement weather. Scads of schools were closed. The state patrol spokesman was on TV, recommending that people stay home if they didn't have to get to work. Sadly, three people were killed Sunday evening, a few miles from the Mansion, due to ice on the highway. Farmer H saw it on the local newspaper website. Seems that a car lost control and went off the road. Another car stopped to help. A third car went off the road in the same place. Then a fourth car went into a spin and turned over, hitting the helping people. That driver was injured, but the helpers were killed at the scene.

You know Farmer H. He's a helper. I gave him strict instructions.

"You are not to stop and help anyone. There are first responders trained to do that. You can pull over a safe distance away, and call for help. But you are NOT to get out to help someone in this weather."

"Yeah. It seems like it's always the helpers who end up getting hurt."

Farmer H returned unscathed. I was relieved to have him underfoot again. He said he made a $100 profit on his transaction. In my opinion, not worth risking your life for.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Mrs. HM Is Losing Her Touch. Or IS She?

Ach! The weather! It has driven Farmer H inside the Mansion. He is present during the hours before I retire to my dark basement lair. We do not peacefully co-exist. He's all up in my business, talking about his business. Kicked back in the La-Z-Boy while telling me that I'd probably feel better if I got up and did something. While I'm wrapping gifts and running to the kitchen every 15 minutes for two hours, stirring the precious yet needy Chex Mix!

Yes, the Mansion has been a whirlwind of activity. A two-day trip to fetch The Pony is coming up, and a visit with my best old ex-teaching buddy Mabel. Then Genius flies in from Pittsburgh on Saturday (sheesh, you would think he could just take an OOBER), and would like to have Christmas dinner that evening. Not to mention the icy icing that Hillmomba is receiving right now, Saturday through Monday.

Anyhoo...on Sunday, I finished up the current batch of Chex (#2 of 4) at 1:15, and said I was dashing to town ahead of the ice, to grab some Christmas scratchers, my own scratchers, and a 44 oz Diet Coke. That's when the snit hit the man.

"While you're gone, I'll wrap some presents."

"You already said you didn't want to wrap presents."

"Yeah. I'd much rather you do them, like you have been. But I have a lot more of them downstairs for the kids." [HOS's two and The Veteran's two]

Let the record show that I was aware of this continuing accrual of gifts, having awakened to find the ONLY seat open on the long couch where I could sit for wrapping presents on the coffee table was FILLED WITH A GIANT BOX CONTAINING TWO STUFFED UNICORNS.

"Oh. So...you're going to bring them up? Don't mess with my stuff I have laid out!"

"I knew you'd be like that! I'll just wrap them downstairs."

"So you're going to carry the paper down there?"

"No. There's still paper down there. I'll just take a roll of your tape. And some name tags."

I had six rolls of tape. So that was not an issue, even though you'd think that if there was paper left from last year, there would also be the tape with it. As well as name tags.

"What about a pen?"

"I'm pretty sure there's one down there."

"You can never find a pen! Stay out of my office! And if you take this one, bring it back up. And DON'T USE MY SCISSORS!"

"There'll be scissors down there."

"No. Every year, I lose another pair! Stay out of my office. Don't be looking for my scissors!"

"I'll find some."

No wonder I developed a giant headache before I returned from town. Every time Farmer H helps me, it stresses me out. I reached into the silverware drawer for my kitchen shears, to open the end of a packet of my Cherry Limeade powder to add to my magical elixir.

WHAT IN THE NOT-HEAVEN???

My kitchen shears were turned the wrong way! I never put them back in the drawer like that! Of course Farmer H had used them! I made a mental note to speak with him. "Um...is there anything you want to tell me about my scissors?" Just to see what story he would come up with during his denial, before pouncing on him with the evidence.

I must be losing my touch. Because while sitting on the short couch listening to how he'd bought a gun that morning, and had already gotten a verbal offer on it for tomorrow...I said,

"Did you use my scissors?"

So taken aback was Farmer H, by the direct question, that he answered right away, without fishing for an alibi.

"Just the kitchen ones."

"I told you NOT TO USE MY SCISSORS! I KNEW IT! They were put back the wrong way."

"I didn't hurt anything. I use them all the time."

"For WHAT? The last pair, you and Genius used for cutting aluminum cans and copper wire and dog fur. And for something that left gunk on them that wouldn't even wash off, and they wouldn't cut any more. Leave my scissors alone!"

"Well what am I supposed to use to wrap gifts?"

"EVERY YEAR, I give up a pair of scissors for that, and they're never seen again! In fact, that's what I asked for last year for Christmas. I got those two pair. One is laying on the table with the TV remote."

"Okay. I'll use that pair."

How is that fair? AND, I didn't even get the satisfaction of a story full of holes to catch him in for the scissor theft-and-return.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Ohh I Had A PITA Husband...

Farmer H made a foray to The Devil's Playground this week, to pick up some toys that HOSS (Farmer H's Oldest Son's Son) had pointed out. Farmer H took him there after their pizza date, to get an idea of what he might like for Christmas. HOSS was well-behaved and reasonable, which put the odds for now in his favor.

Since he was going anyway, Farmer H offered to pick up anything I might need. We had a discussion. Meaning that I talked, and he listened. OH, how I wish that were true. I talked, indeed. But the listening part is hard for that one. He acts like he listened. He even put his phone down the second or third time I mentioned it. If young HOSS had given Farmer H that level of attention, the trip to deal with The Devil might not have been considered.

Anyhoo...I was convinced that Farmer H understood what I was talking about. I made him a list. It was on a 3 x 5 note card. There couldn't have been more than 3 or 4 items. All of which I had discussed at length with Farmer H the night before. I laid out his list, and some cash from my year-long-accumulated Christmas stash.

I can't go into details here, lest the finals-finished Pony decides to peruse. At least he's not like Genius, who used to search my blog for his name. But when Farmer H returned home, he had TWO of the type of pan I'd put on the list.

"Why did you get TWO? I clearly told you that I'd already bought one, and needed one more. The difference being that it's easier to use it to make a dozen, than to half the recipe and make six. I know you heard me! Saying how The Pony is not one to divide a recipe. AND I showed you the one I'd already bought when you carried in the groceries!"

"Well. I remember the part about not halfing the recipe. But I don't remember that you already had one. I remember that you said he needs to make a dozen. And they only make six at a time."

"You have selective hearing. You NEVER listen to me! Did the list say (2)? No. Only one was on the list. As for those ingredients, they were clearly marked (2)."

"Oh. I might not have gotten the exact flavor you asked for. I saw the first part of it, and put it in the cart. When I got out, I looked again, and saw that you wanted something else. But I got the other one right! I couldn't find your soft pretzel bites at all. I looked in the freezer cases. And back by the biscuits. I even asked some guy, and he didn't know."

"I TOLD you right where to find them! That's why I had them first on the list. They are near the front. On the bread aisle. I TOLD you they were RIGHT NEXT TO THE HAWAIIAN ROLLS!"

"Oh. I never thought to look on the bread aisle."

Sweet Gummi Mary! I don't know how much simpler I can make it! Show him an example. Give him an itemized list. Emphasize what I want, explaining the reason why. Tell him where it's found. Is there more? Something I'm leaving out?

Here's an idea. Those greeters? There should be a gaggle of them. So a wife can send her husband in with a list pinned to his shirt, and the greeter can walk him through the store. It will help his self esteem, and keep the greeter from getting bored.

For some reason, I have that old kids' song running through my head. About the little chicken that couldn't lay an egg. Only I'm thinking of Farmer H...

Ohh...I had a PITA husband and he wouldn't listen up
I made a list and gave a lecture 'til he answered me with "Yup."
He did a deal with The Devil that made me say, "Whassup?"
And for that I think his noggin needs a me-delivered thump.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Out Of The Lying Plan, Into My Ire

When I left for town Thursday, Farmer H was lurking under the carport, putting in or taking out a folded-up aluminum ladder from SilverRedO's rear. A man was with him! So I had two lurkers lurking while I backed T-Hoe out of the garage. I was just able to squeeze by that poking-out ladder to make my turn onto the driveway. We won't even talk about what those two were up to...

Anyhow, when I arrived home, I had a box to carry in. That is not up for discussion today, either. I didn't have anything else besides my 44 oz Diet Coke, purse, and the mail. But the box was awkward, and heavy for me. I tried to call Farmer H. I saw SilverRedO under the carport. So I figured he might be in the house. I'd not noticed if the Gator was there. What do you think I have, some kind of photographic memory?

The phone rang and rang and rang some more. Then it went to voice mail. Huh. Maybe Farmer H was over in the BARn, where he doesn't get reception. Sigh. I carried that box to the side porch, and set it on the metal chair, while Juno and Jack leapt about. I kept my mouth shut! No nose-tasting for me this time! Jack got his paws on my shoulders, but a shirt will wash. He seemed to be dry, anyway.

I tossed them a handful of cat kibble (apiece), got my stuff from the car, and headed for the kitchen door, with promises of a really good treat. Grease bread, and chicken wing bones! The minute I stepped through the portal, I sensed that Farmer H was inside. No, I don't have a special sensor that goes off. I saw that the TV was on GUNSMOKE. I'd left it on cable news.

"You'd better NOT EVEN be in here!"

"Huh? Why? What do you mean?"

"I just tried to call you. I have a heavy box that I was hoping you'd carry."

"I didn't get no call. Here. No missed call."

"Never mind, then. I see you're not getting up. So I'll go back out and finish carrying in that heavy box..."

No sound of movement or apology from Farmer H. But you knew that, didn't you? Having that special sensor that can predict Farmer H's behavior.

He could have at least come up with an outrageous excuse, so I could have had the pleasure of picking it apart.

Friday, December 13, 2019

The Lazy Bird Gets The Bologna

Well. I boiled up that big ol' vat of chili, and after one eating (which he proclaimed was good), Farmer H scheduled a dinner date for the next evening! True, it was with a child (grandson HOSS), for a pizza buffet. But still! That chili isn't going to eat itself.

When I got home from town yesterday, Farmer H had clearly just eaten lunch. I couldn't see him, and I saw nothing that had been used for food preparation. But his voice had that sound of recent consumption.

"What are you eating?"

"I made me a baloney sandwich. I was going to make me some chili, but I figured I'd be in the way."

"I don't know how you thought THAT! I wasn't even home. What are you, psychic? How long does it take you to warm up a bowl of chili? How were you going to warm it?"

"In the microwave."

"Which takes a minute or two."

"No. I would have taken me about 15 minutes."

"How's that? Were you going to use the pan on the stove?"

"No. I told you. The microwave. But I thought I'd have a hot dog with it."

"Oh. So you were too lazy to make it for yourself."

"Well. That is a lot of work. So I just made a sandwich."

"Oh. Because you'll be having the chili dog for supper."

"Nooo...I'm going out for pizza, remember?"

"Yeah. I do now."

Farmer H can darn good and well make his own chili dogs Friday night before the auction. He's not getting off that easy. Seriously. I made the chili. I bought him the hot dogs and buns. It's not like he had to slaughter assorted lips and snouts and intestines and grind them into a casing.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

There's Something To Be Said For Mindless Repetition

Wednesday morning, I started brewing a cauldron of chili as soon as I got up. It WAS already 10:00 a.m. So not an outrageous hour for chili. I'd gathered my ingredients the day before. As soon as I popped my morning thyroid pill with a full glass of water, I set to work.

Let the record show that Mrs. HM does not claim to be a four-star Michelin chef. She barely cooks anything from scratch. Doesn't follow a recipe. I've made chili so many times that I can do it on autopilot.

I put the ground beef in two skillets to brown. We always have a large pot of chili, to last four days minimum, and Farmer H is quite the carnivore. As the beef simmered, I put stale bread along the edge to soak up the grease, for a dog treat. The dogs love chili day!

I also opened my cans of beans on the cutting block, and dumped them in the pot. Two chili beans, a large can of Save A Lot baked beans, black-eyed peas, diced tomatoes with garlic and oregano, and tomato sauce. Then I added a packet and a half of powdered chili seasoning, and a can of water.

I set that on the back burner, and started the wet ingredients. A dash of Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce, Heinz 57 sauce, BBQ sauce, ketchup, Frank's Original Hot Sauce, and some minced garlic from a jar. I brought it to a boil, then simmered for 10 minutes. Thing is, I couldn't taste the chili, because I can't eat until an hour after my thyroid pill.

By now, the ground beef was done. I scraped it into the pot, and set about dicing two onions to brown in the greasy skillet. I scraped them into the pot, turned it off, and went to have a rest in the La-Z-Boy. 45 minutes had elapsed.

After about 30 minutes of computer time on Hippie, I returned to the kitchen, gave my cauldron a stir, and took a taste. Mmm...nothing else needed!

Nailed it! Without even a taste. Farmer H said it had a really good flavor.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Public Enemy Number Zero Is Thwarted Again

Sweet Gummi Mary! I can't catch a break. In the past, I've mentioned, here or there, how the dead mouse smelling post office would cheerfully hand over my packages to my mom, who didn't even have the little orange postcard notice, or the same last name as that on the package. Not that they ever asked her for ID. Yet when I'd run in to pick up my very own package, brandishing the orange postcard notice, they wanted to see my driver's licence! Perhaps word of that epic photo was making the rounds back then.

Anyhoo...I also revealed that my own bank of 25 years questioned a CASHIER'S CHECK from my credit union right up the road, saying that a call to them revealed they had not cut me that check ten minutes previous.

Also...I shared the lengths I went to trying to order The Pony a new phone online when we visited him in Norman, Oklahoma, even though I'd put a travel notice on my credit card. How we had to go into an actual store to do the transaction.

Well. Today I found out that TheDevilsPlaygroundDotCom WOULD NOT ACCEPT MY CREDIT CARD for a $30 purchase of a toddler work station!

Seriously! How is it that people are having their identities stolen all willy-nilly, yet I CANNOT EVEN USE MY VERY OWN CREDIT CARD FROM MY VERY OWN HOME? My credit card that I've had for at least 25 years. Maybe 30. And pay off in full each month.

Sheesh! Yet another reason that I have no faith in a cashless society.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

What's Worse For The Gander Is When It Comes From Another Gander

We had some heavy rain in the wee hours of Monday morning. I heard it pounding down on the Mansion roof, but by the time I got up (9:30, don't judge) it was gone. The creek barely rose, but the ground was mushy, and the dead leaves had washed off the gravel road by the mailboxes.

I entered The Gas Station Chicken Store to see a gory murder scene. Well. IF the victim's veins had contained mud instead of blood. All three aisles were discolored with brown footprints, and each aisle had clumps of solid mud in random arrangements. The Man Owner had abdicated his station behind the counter, and was traipsing around with a broom and one of those dustpan-box things on a stick. You know, how you set it down level, sweep into it, and the dustpan box tilts back as you lift the stick.

"Wow! This is gonna keep you busy!"

"I know. I was thinking, 'Couldn't you knock that off outside?'"

"My husband does this at home, but not on such a grand scale."

"I have to get this cleaned up before somebody steps on it and slips!"

A customer came in, and Man Owner scurried up front. When it was my turn, I told him,

"You know, the worst part about this is that your job is never done. As soon as you get it cleaned up, somebody else will track in more mud."

I'm pretty sure Man Owner realized that, from his heavy sigh. It's terrible when a man has to clean up after another man. Because he knows what's coming.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Mrs. HM's Not So Special Treat

Every day when I leave for town, I stop at the side porch to pet Juno and Jack, and give them a handful of cat kibble. Yes, I know I used to do this only upon my return, but they look at me so expectantly that I cave in and dole it out. Neither of them are getting pudgy, so it's okay for now.

Saturday, I wished I'd brought a jacket. The wind was whipping my lovely lady-mullet and sending a chill through my bones at 45 degrees (minus wind chill). My joints and sinuses told me the air pressure was dropping. No need for a storebought barometer. In fact, when I pushed the end of my nose sideways to relieve some pressure, I heard the contents of my sinuses crackle.

My noggin was working its way up to one of those headaches that makes the back of neck hurt, which makes my shoulders hurt, which makes my back hurt. Trying to put the kibosh on that (didn't work), I popped an acetaminophen when I stopped to pick up the mail, and unwrapped a Halls Mentho-Lyptus Honey Lemon cough drop. I carry a bag in T-Hoe's console, more for shrinking my sinuses than for actual coughing.

I twisted open the wrapper and tossed the lozenge into my mouth. Whoopsie! I'd meant to take another drink of water to wash down that acetaminophen. I took out the cough drop and held it between my thumb and two fingers, while twisting the lid off a bottle of water with the fleshy under-finger area by the heel of my hand. Thank the Gummi Mary, it was not a new bottle, but one left from our Oklahoma trip that had already been partially drunk.

Lid back on the water, I put the cough drop back in my mouth, and licked the sticky off my fingers. I was about a quarter mile up the road when it hit me. I had

LICKED THE STICKY OFF MY FINGERS!

The fingers that had been plunged into the roaster pan of cat kibble five minutes earlier. The cat kibble that sometimes the cat vomits in, and that squirrels sit in to gorge themselves while I'm in the house.

My fingers took a lickin', and I'm still kickin'. So I guess I haven't contracted a fatal disease. Unless it's a slow-acting one...

Sunday, December 8, 2019

The Wanna-Be Neutral HM Dips A Dainty Toe Into The Deep Waters Of PoliCor

Sweet Gummi Mary! The things you learn about yourself when you are not looking for a lesson! Mrs. Hillbilly Mom was schooled today by an incident at The Gas Station Chicken Store. Specifically, on the parking lot, where the virtual Nessie of political correctness surfaced for a grainy snapshot.

I'd parked T-Hoe over by the moat that separates the lot from Farmer H's pharmacy, CeilingRed's. As with every time I get ready to leave with my magical elixir, I check the mirrors. Turn around and look. Then take my foot off the brake, and start backing up toward the gas pump island. I continually monitor the mirrors. Passenger side, rearview, driver's side. Continually! As I back slowly. People are crazy around here, and you might recall that T-Hoe's backup beeper has been inoperational for quite some time. So I monitor my backing the old-fashioned way.

Good thing I do! I might have been five feet back from my parking space when a gray Yukon careened around my end of the pumps. Not quite on two wheels, but pretty fast. As you might imagine, I was incensed! Any fool could have seen my backup lights. Known that I was in motion. Common sense dictates that one would stop and wait. For my vehicle to either finish backing out, or come to a stop to let them proceed. That Gray Yukon kept going! Good thing I slammed on the brakes. Good thing they are one of T-Hoe's systems that work.

Once backed out, facing the road that runs behind the GSCS, I saw that the Gray Yukon had parked next to the FREE AIR (if you buy gas) hose. Mrs. HM was not a happy camper. So the expression on her face was most likely a stern one that has been semi-retired with her teaching career, and used sparingly in the presence of Farmer H.

As I drove alongside the Gray Yukon to get to the road, I looked over to see what kind of idiot would so carelessly dart behind a backing T-Hoe.

OH NO! OH NO! OH NO!

The couple inside was of a different race than Mrs. HM.

Here's the thing. Instead of still being ticked off about the careless driving, I felt apologetic! Then I felt guilty! What a monster I was! Further consideration brought up further questions. I do not consider myself an R-cist! But surely I am, even for feeling guilty.

Would I cut any other person a break? NO, I would NOT! So by thinking I shouldn't be ticked off, am I supposing that this Careless Driver didn't know any better? How insulting and condescending is THAT?

Why would I assume that the Careless Driver couple would automatically assume I was an R-cist? That's pretty insulting, too, to assume they'd immediately jump to that conclusion about my frowny face.

What if I saw them parked on our gravel road, and suspected them of being up to no good, LIKE I DO EVERY OTHER PERSON PARKED THERE THAT I DON'T RECOGNIZE? Would I feel guilty about that?

Sheesh! I think my reaction is due to a widespread conspiracy to turn us all against each other, dividing races and religions and political parties and geographic regions and classes and generations. Think about it. TV news is only a 30-minute show. 22 by the time you account for commercials. Of all the stories they can choose from, we generally get at least one that makes sure we take sides, for or against, one of these groups. Same with major online news sources, or cable news networks. They all cover the same stories.

If only we could one day live in a nation where people are judged by the skill of their driving...

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Even Noah Only Collected TWO Of Each Kind

Farmer H's habit is growing out of control! This week, I stepped out onto the porch and found more fake dogs. I don't know why we need fake dogs. We already have three real dogs, plus a real almost-dog who thinks he lives here.

Farmer H's dog-collecting started way back when Genius was a young 'un. He found a fake black dog in a lying-down pose, which looked like our half-beagle/half-chocolate-lab dog Grizzly. Farmer H put it in his rock garden by the front porch. To hear Farmer H tell it, he helped potty-train young Genius by taking him out on the porch and telling him to "pee on the fake Grizzly." I beg to differ. Young Genius never liked to pee outside. EVER. He was persnickety like that.

Anyhoo...a couple years ago, Farmer H brought home a beagle-looking fake dog, I think. It's laying outside the front door, by those hideous Indian statues standing sentry. Just last month, Farmer H was complaining that Jack had chewed the nose off that fake dog. Indeed, Jack did! Jack is a chewer.

Anyhoo...here are our newest fake pets, on the side porch.


Looks like an Irish Setter to me. Not a very good replica. Not scaled to size. Kind of worn. I bear it no ill will, but there is no reason to have this fake dog on my side porch.

At least this Scottie dog has expressive fake eyes, and is about the right size for a Scottie dog. It spooks Juno. That's where she stands to get her handful of cat kibble. She shies away from Scottie, then wants her kibble, and hops awkwardly over it, bumping it and getting spooked away again.

I think Farmer H needs to build a themed shed for his fake dogs. He can call it The Hillmomban Kennel Club.

Friday, December 6, 2019

In The Warm Glow Of The Gaslight

Like a steady drip can erode solid rock over the centuries, I'm pretty sure Farmer H is trying to erode my sanity by planting minuscule ideas in my noggin. Slipping them in there, passing through the scraggles of my lovely lady-mullet, vibrating through my hammer-anvil-stirrup apparatus, until my brain stores them for later perusal.

We went to lunch with my best old ex-teaching buddy Mabel on Thursday. When we returned home, Farmer H stopped A-Cad down by Mailbox Row to get our mail out of EmBee. Genius had sent two packages, which were in the lockbox. Just envelope packages, not boxes. Farmer H handed them to me.

"It's not the package you've been looking for, but they have your name on them."

"I don't know. Genius said they'd be arriving today. I can't read the address, because my glasses are in the case, in my purse, and I just jammed the envelope mail in there."

"You can't read THAT? You used to be able to read that without your glasses. Have your eyes gotten that bad? Didn't the doctor say you had cataracts? Maybe you need to get them looked at. That's why you can't see. You have cataracts."

"LOOK at the size of that print. Seriously? You think I can read that? I've worn bifocals for 15 years."

"I have bifocals too. But I can read that without them."

"This size?"

"Well. Not from over here I can't. But from a normal distance I can."

I held both envelopes up close to my face. Careful not to jab myself into a papercut wound (thank the Gummi Mary, I'm no longer on that demon Xarelto) as Farmer H jabbily swove A-Cad up His and Buddy's Badly Blacktopped Hill.

"Huh. That's amazing. Because NEITHER of these have my name on them! They're both addressed to Genius. And besides, IF I had a cataract, wouldn't it affect my total vision, not just my up-close vision?"

"Not necessarily," said Farmer H. Ignoring the fact that his bionic eye had not actually read my name in the fine print of the address label.

I wonder if he has a cataract...

Thursday, December 5, 2019

The Short-Lived FRIG II Joy Of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom

You knew it was going to happen! C'mon. I know you were just being polite, mmm-hmm-ing and nodding, bestowing congratulations upon me with your smiles, while cutting side-eyes at each other over Farmer H's repair of FRIG II's ice maker dispenser. Yup. You knew all along that this wasn't a real repair. It was a Farmer H repair!

In fact, Farmer H himself said he didn't FIX the ice maker, but he MADE IT WORK.

And work it did, for several days! All I had to do was shove the rim of a bubba cup against the lever, and crescent cubes of ice clunked into the plastic. It was wonderful! No more frostbitten fingers! No more sore wrists slammed in the little plastic door of the ice bin! It was almost as if things were back to normal.

Cue the squealing brakes and the scratching phonograph!

Wednesday, I returned from town and set about getting my lunch ready. I shoved my yellow bubba cup against the lever. I heard the cubes jostling for position, eager to leap into my cup. Yet nothing came out. Huh. How was that possible? I could hear them moving. On the verge of dropping into my cup. They'd had plenty of time to be moved forward by the giant corkscrew part that runs along the bottom of the ice bin. WHERE WAS MY ICE?

As any curious iceless person would do, I opened the freezer door of FRIG II to look for my ice. Well! I most certainly found it! As the door opened, crescent after crescent of ice cascaded onto the floor! FIFTEEN crescents, specifically. A few more balanced precariously on the food on the shelf under the ice bin.

What hath Farmer H wrought???

I reached up under the bin, to feel that hole where the ice comes out, to fall into the pocket on the inside of the door that lets it out a flap when the lever in the door is pushed. Whoa! A bunch more crescents fell out. To the floor, of course. What in the Not-Heaven?

As I put my hand on the bin, to pull it out and take a look inside, the BIN SLID BACK AGAINST THE LEDGE WHERE THE TURNY THING TURNS THE CORKSCREW THING!

When Farmer H replaced the bin, after removing the crushing-blades to "make it work," he had not pushed the bin all the way to the back! When the level of ice was low, as it started to fill the bin, and I took it out three times a day, everything worked fine. But when more ice began to fill up the bin, it got pushed over into the gap where the bin was not fully lodged in place.

Thanks, Farmer H.

Maybe my lovely lady-mullet with grow lush with the rush of blood to my head as I picked up the 15+ wayward ice crescents scattered along the kitchen floor and under the cutting block.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Road Hazards

The day after we returned from our Pony visit, Farmer H sent me a text from town.

"The creek might be over, but I think it's on the way down. There's a log on the bridge."

Let the record show that I have corrected his grammar and punctuation. I felt a need to exercise my (former) teacher muscles. They work so much better than my actual muscles.

I meant to take the alternate route, past the auto body shop, but I forgot. So I piloted T-Hoe toward the possibly flooded bridge on our usual route. It's not like I can just turn around. I was relieved to see that the water WAS receding, and that the log was passable. Usually, a resident of the blacktop county road will take his tractor and clear the bridge. Usually, it's the dude who is responsible for the poop trucks traveling that route. I guess he has a vested interest in that bridge's passability.

Anyhoo...I didn't get a picture on my way to town, but I did on my way back.


As long as nothing was coming from the other way, no problem in crossing that bridge when I came to it.


Not even anything to sweat about. Whole trees have beached themselves here before.

It's not something you'd want to run over, even with your trusty T-Hoe. But this was a minor obstruction. It was gone the next day. Farmer H said he would have moved it himself, now that he has his blue tractor running again. But, as he commented, "Jack follows me on the tractor, and I didn't want him to think running all the way down to the bridge was something he should do."

The peril of being swept away. Just on more service we offer here in Backroads.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

The Lurky Lous

Today was mammogram day for Mrs. HM. I put it off in May, then got busy doing absolutely nothing and forgot about it, then had my six-month checkup in November, where my doctor nurse practitioner tried to pull a fast one and send me downstairs to get it RIGHT THEN! I begged off, since it was that icy day, and Farmer H had driven me, and was waiting outside in T-Hoe. Darned if the hospital didn't call me at home and schedule an appointment.

Anyhoo...Farmer H again offered to drive me. He waited outside, while I waited inside. They must have called 10 people back to radiology ahead of me. But I must say, I was sitting at the admit desk doing paperwork computerwork at 10:58 for my 11:00 appointment.

I was seated in an open cubicle. It had two sides, with the back open to the main corridor where it makes an L shape turning to another wing. The lady across the desk from me had a view of that corridor, but my back was to it. She typed in my info, copied my insurance card, had me sigh with an electronic pen, and called the mammography department to come collect me. I go every year. It's not really a big deal.

While I was waiting to be collected, I sensed someone behind me. I'd been having this feeling while sitting there. When I'd glance down the corridor to my left, at people sitting in chairs waiting to be called to their assorted departments, I thought I saw someone behind me. I don't like people behind me. At school, I arranged my desk so kids couldn't walk behind me. In the movie theater, I sit in the back row. I'm just like that.

Anyhoo...there I was, sitting in that tiny cubicle. The lady looked past me, and said, "Sir, is there something you're waiting for?" Because, you see, people don't come down that corridor unless they are collected. They wait in the main holding area after check-in at the front reception desk, for somebody to call their name and escort them where they're going. It's not a patient wing. It's radiology.

This Lurky Lou stepped over INTO MY CUBICLE, crowding in, his butt at my sitting face, and leaned over the desk, telling the lady that he needed to schedule an appointment. "Oh. I don't do that here. You need to go up front."

Seriously. That Lurky Lou had been creeping there behind me all through my registration. Hearing my address and name and why I was there. I do not like that! Surely one of those volunteer patient-collectors should have accosted him about where he was supposed to be!

So then a gal from mammography comes out, and says "Let me just check. We have two back there already." She was back in an instant. As I got up to follow her around the corner to the right, I'll be ding dang donged if ANOTHER Lurky Lou was standing against THAT wall! Nobody said anything to him.

What is it with these MEN people? They don't have a lick of common sense. Can't follow instructions. Think they own the world and can go wherever they please! Including right up behind Mrs. Hillbilly Mom while she's giving personal information to a health professional.

When I got picked up by Farmer H after my squishing, I told him about those two Lurky Lous.

"Oh, HM. You have such an imagination. Everything is an ordeal to you."

Hold it right there, Bub! If Farmer H was at that desk, waiting to have his frank and beans squished between plexiglass panels, do you think he'd feel odd about a woman standing behind him? Okay. Bad example. Because I'm sure Farmer H would purely LOVE to have a Skulking Sue behind him listening to his details.

BUT, if a male Lurky Lou walked into Farmer H's cubicle, butt in his face, do you think he'd consider it nothing?

I DON'T THINK SO!

Monday, December 2, 2019

FRIG II Undergoes Surgery On The Back Porch

Oh, come on! You don't really think FRIG II went under the knife on the back porch, do you? He actually had one of his organs ripped out, and went under the screwdriver on the back porch.

Here now! Don't panic! Don't bemoan the fact that you never received your pre-ordered handbasket from Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's proposed handbasket factory. It will be okay. The Apopadopalyspe hasn't yet arrived. Not-Heaven has not frozen over.

I was hacking at the two-inch layer of ice that had built up in the bottom of FRIG II's ice tray. Chopping it loose, tossing it into the kitchen sink. I dumped everything left into the sink. Farmer H walked by. Don't act so surprised! You KNOW he's always wherever I am, when we're both in the Mansion.

"Huh. While you have all the ice out, I'll take a look at it."

"Okay. I'm going downstairs now. When you put it back, put the bar down. And there's a cube stuck in the dispenser. It hasn't dumped ice since last night!"

Farmer H stopped gathering up the trash bag on my left, and came around to my right, poking his giant head into the freezer. First thing he did was reach for the metal bar I'd lifted to keep ice from dumping.

"NO! Don't put that down! If it dumps, there's no tray in there! Once you put the tray back, put the bar down."

"Okay."

As I left the kitchen, Farmer H had his pocket knife out. Of course the minute I got to my lair, I heard Farmer H coming down the steps. Gotta be near me! But turns out he was only fetching a screwdriver.

When I came up for supper, Farmer H informed me that he'd repaired my ice maker by REMOVING THE BLADES.

"I didn't FIX it, but I made it work! It wasn't getting the message to go back to cubes. So I took out the blades to stop it from crushing. It should dispense now."

I opened up FRIG II's freezer door, to check in the ice tray and see how much ice had accumulated. The answer was sorely disappointing: NONE!

"Uh. There's no ice here. You didn't take out the piece of a cube stuck in the dispenser! So it hasn't made any ice! There's four hours of ice-making, wasted!"

"What do you mean? I put the bar down."

"It's not down, because that piece of ice is still stuck! That's the whole reason it hasn't been making ice since last night! I told you to get it loose, because I couldn't. I guess I'll just do it myself!"

Farmer H shot out of the La-Z-Boy like a rocket. No woman was going to fix an ice-maker on his watch! He came in and took his pocket knife out again, and actually chipped away that errant piece of cube. The bar lowered itself all the way against the side of the ice maker. It looked good to go.

I sat down on the short couch while cooking Farmer H his hot dogs in biscuits. I heard ice dump into the bin.

"Now you can have your ice!"

"Um. No. I don't think a dozen cubes are gonna last me all night. I'll keep the ones that are still partially frozen in my cup, and look when I go to bed. Just think, it could have been making ice for four hours now, if you'd done what I told you."

"You didn't tell me that!"

"I'm pretty sure I did. You just don't listen, because everything I say is so wrong and chuckle-worthy. But I DID tell you."

"I guess I didn't hear you..."

Anyhoo...at bedtime, ice cubes were accumulating, and they dispensed like they were meant to, right out the hole in the door! A tiny victory for Mrs. Hillbilly Mom.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

The Only Time Mrs. HM Has Ever Wished For A Dowager's Hump

Let the record show that Mrs. HM is not a good passenger for 9.5-hour rides. I have to stop every couple of hours, and loosen up my knees before I can walk to the rest area. I've grown used to the pain of long-distance trips, and the couple days of disability after we return from visiting The Pony. This trip, I had a new complaint.

When I got into A-Cad to start our journey on Wednesday at 6:00 a.m., I told Farmer H that the seat didn't feel right.

"It feels like my head is poking forward."

"That's because you tilted the seat back, because you said you felt like you were on a slide the last time, when we went to the casino for our anniversary."

"I know I tilted the seat back. But wouldn't that mean my head would also feel like it was leaning back?"

"No. You tilted the whole seat. Bottom and back. Not just the back."

"I KNOW that. But still, if the whole seat it tilted back, that wouldn't affect just my neck area. It would feel tilted back as well."

"I don't know how to explain it to you, HM. You can adjust the headrest up and down."

"That won't help me. I don't know who you've had in this car that got my seat all messed up."

"Nobody since my buddy and I went to Vegas."

"Well. It hurts my neck."

"Something is always hurting you."

So I rode 9.5 hours, more uncomfortable than previous trips, but it didn't kill me. Probably much to Farmer H's dismay, I'm pretty sure.

We had a good time with The Pony, who was coming down with a cold. When we started home on Friday, I had a terrible headache. I thought that perhaps I'd caught something from The Pony. My sinuses were quite stuffy. Maybe it was a result of casino smoke. That's happened before.

Anyhoo...I was nauseated and in pain from the headache. Any time I tried to close my eyes and nap, Farmer H had to interject a comment about a lot of cows in a field, or something else totally unnecessary. Plus he was jabbing the brakes. I don't know why he can't squeeze the brakes like a normal person. He's a jabber. A sweaving jabber! Every time he jabbed the brake pedal, my head snapped forward off the headrest. Which it was barely in contact with anyway, what with being pushed ahead of my shoulders.

By the time we got about 2 hours out of Norman, I could barely stand it. I came out of the gas station restroom before Farmer H, and was struggling to move the headrest when he got to A-Cad. I was almost in tears.

"I've already taken a tylenol, and it hasn't helped a bit. My head hurts SO bad! I've been trying to move this headrest down. It can't get any worse. But now it won't move at all! I've felt all over the place for a button or lever, and can't find one. And THEN I grabbed the headrest, and it

MOVED TWO MORE NOTCHES FORWARD!!!

You told me it only moved up and down!"

"There's a button that moves it, HM."

Sighed Farmer H, settling into the driver's seat, while I stood outside the car, leaning in the back door, trying to wrench the headrest back into its previous position.

"Then you could at least fix it for me! Not just sit there, all smug, telling me something that I've been trying to find."

Farmer H got out and walked around. He reached in and pushed the button on the side of the headrest, the ONE PLACE that I couldn't see, and hadn't touched. The button that was in plain sight from his position in the driver's seat all the way down there and a fourth of the way back!

"There."

"You told me it didn't  move forward and back! This is JUST WHAT I NEEDED! I suffered all that way for nothing."

I did not experience an instant recovery, but when we stopped for lunch two hours later, I gradually lost a bit of the headache over the rest of the way home. My neck felt much better. I'm pretty sure the smug sweaving jabber was disappointed.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Before You Judge Mrs. HM, Ride 19 Hours On Her Rumpus

Having spent two days plus overtime in a car with Farmer H, you can bet that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has heard just about enough from him. Our trip to visit The Pony at college was 9.5 hours each way. Let the record show that there is no such thing as a silent Farmer H.

THE most annoying habit of his (let's narrow that down to SPEAKING habit, so my brain doesn't spark a fire trying to decide on his most annoying habit overall) is his way of chuckling condescendingly at the beginning of a reply to me. Even for statements that need no reply.

I can't pull up a list of all his comments this trip. I'm not some cyborg with a scan feature. The most annoying was the most recent, only 60 miles from home, after having endured SO MANY other such comments over three days.

Farmer H had pulled over near a state park. We'd seen two deer grazing near the road, which he excitedly pointed out. And then ten more deer across the entry drive. But that's not why Farmer H pulled A-Cad off on the shoulder. Nope. He had to wee-wee. I opened up my door to give him privacy from oncoming traffic, but he opened the rear passenger door as well. Oh, he didn't stand in between the doors. So I guess traffic that came up behind us got a glimpse of the goods.

Anyhoo...with my door open, a mosquito flew in. I hate mosquitoes. Especially one trapped in a car with me for 60 miles. I saw it clearly, silhouetted against the front windshield, its pointy proboscis, and crooked legs. I tried to smack it between my hands, but it skittered away, and I THINK I crushed it against the windshield with my knuckle. There was a slight smudge that could have been it, though hard to see in the misty 46 degree weather on the other side of the glass.

Farmer H climbed back into the driver's seat, and I said

"There MIGHT be a mosquito in here. One flew in, and I think I smashed it, but it might have gotten away."

"Ha ha ha. A MOSQUITO? I doubt that. There aren't any this time of year."

"Are you saying I'm too stupid to know what a mosquito is?"

"Well, I sure haven't seen any around lately."

"I didn't think I'd see a ladybug on the kitchen doorknob this time of year, either. But I did."

"Whatever. I doubt that was a mosquito."

I hope Farmer H wakes up with itchy welts all over his face.

Friday, November 29, 2019

That Darn DISH

Poop! They've done it again. They've messed with my remittance. Got lost in the mail...

The struggle continues. I got my DISH bill last Saturday. The mail gets here after noon. I immediately wrote out my check, sitting in T-Hoe near the bus-waiting shack, and took it INSIDE the dead mouse smelling post office while I was in town. I knew it wouldn't go out until Monday. The pick-up time there is 11:00 a.m.

You would think that a bill with a bar code for scanning could make it from Missouri to Illinois in five days. Wouldn't you? I could probably hobble that far in five days. Actually, the post office had longer than that to get it there. I received that bill in EmBee on November 16, and it had a due date of November 25. Yet when I checked the website on November 25, my payment had not been credited.

You know what happened next, right? I did an automatic payment so as not to be delinquent. Oh, I'd like to be A delinquent, and trash the post office and the DISH payment department! I'm pretty sure this is a conspiracy to make people sign up for automatic payments. NO! I REFUSE!

Seriously. How fair is it to send out a bill, and give you no chance to remit payment in a timely manner? By which I mean THE DUE DATE!

Anyhoo...the bill is paid, and I imagine on November 26 my check magically appeared. So I'll be a month ahead, and DISH will have the use of my money for interest-drawing purposes for 30 days. Sure, they're not getting rich off of ME. But multiply that by a million or more subscribers, and they've got quite a racket going.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

I Really Don't Think Farmer H Has Caught On That I Might Be Trying To Kill Him

Farmer H and I had our 30th wedding anniversary on Sunday. We didn't do anything special. He gave me a card, and I gave him a card. I asked if he wanted anything special on my way to Country Mart. He said he did not. That he would have a pulled pork sandwich with sliced pickles for supper.

Of course I wanted to do something special for my Sweet Baboo. Heh, heh! But something special that wouldn't require any effort, and little money. A treat, perhaps. Like I give Jack and Juno and even Copper Jack each day when I return from town. Only not in the form of scraps or past-date food.

My decision was easy. As I pushed my cart/walker down the deli aisle, I saw some prepared desserts.

I got Farmer H a slice of cake. And one for myself, too, of course! I didn't want to buy a whole cake, How many days would we celebrate, really?

That's half of my piece. Not a very flattering photo, but it sure was tasty! The cake, not the photo.

I had originally contemplated buying Farmer H a piece of carrot cake. He likes it. My mom used to make it for him. Country Mart had it in the clear plastic containers, too. Big squares, with a little carrot on the icing. I went with the chocolate, though. Because I like chocolate, and I didn't want Farmer H saying he'd rather have MY piece. So I got them both the same. Farmer H said later that he preferred the chocolate to a carrot cake.

Yes, I know that Farmer H should not be eating sweets. How did I know he would eat THE WHOLE SLICE in one sitting? I DIDN'T know. Just like I didn't know he'd bought himself a Cookies n Cream candy bar at The Devil's Playground the next day, until I saw it on the receipt with the dog food and cat food.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Mrs. HM Will NOT Be Shamed!

Saturday, Farmer H and I went to the casino and ate at the Burger Brothers inside. The restaurant was quite messy. Like nobody had cleaned up after the lunch rush, although it was now 4:00. The trash cans were overflowing, and the napkin dispenser on the wall was empty. They used to have dispensers on each table, but I guess that was too much trouble. Or too convenient for the customers!

Each table has a metal circular holder for mustard, ketchup, salt, pepper. Our ketchup was almost empty. I asked Farmer H, who was facing the rest of the room, while I sat with a view of the playing floor through the glass, to go trade it with the ketchup from another table.

"I can't, HM. There are people sitting at every table."

Fair enough. That would probably be frowned upon. I squeezed out just enough ketchup for my fries. Good thing Farmer H didn't want any.

As I was getting ready to bite my burger, I asked Farmer H to pass the salt. I like it on the burger, it brings out the flavor. I don't salt the fries. Or pepper them, either! I don't know who started that disgusting habit, but it ruins fries in case you want to offer them to someone else if you don't eat them all. Farmer H, Genius, and The Pony all put pepper on their fries! I guess maybe they're sending me a message...

Anyhoo...Farmer H held out a shaker.

"Here's the salt."

"That's not salt! That's PEPPER! You can tell by the brown container."

Sweet Gummi Mary! How has Farmer H lived this long, being so...um...uninformed!

"That's the only shaker here."

Farmer H looked at the table next to us. They'd already been seated when we arrived.

"Excuse me. Ma'am? Could we please borrow your salt? We don't have any."

"Sure. WE don't USE salt!"

Of course they didn't. Even though it was sitting on the table between her and a man, and not in the metal holder. Don't get me started! Oops! Too late! I'm already rolling. She said it in that haughty manner of city people, who know what's best for everyone, what with being superior, never watching TV, not even PBS, probably not even having one in their house. We probably could have gotten their ketchup, too, which they would pronounce CATSUP, which they would also never use, probably having smuggled in their very own GREY POUPON in a hammered-copper container, sheathed in a bamboo shoulder holster, with a special pocket for dry ice to keep it cool.

"Oh, I don't use it either, but SHE does!"

Smugly said the diabetic, who three hours later I would catch eating two pieces of cheesecake with a side of individual ice cream cup.

I refuse to be salt-shamed by the likes of a toilet-seat-pooping sugar-eater!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

A Shaming Trilogy, Part 3: I've Got My Eye On You

We had no sooner left the casino on Saturday than I spied, with my little eye, Farmer H rubbing the side of his face next to A-Cad's window.

"Tell me you didn't just RUB YOUR EYE, after touching those slot machines for two hours!"

"Yes. I did."

"So now you'll get sick, and I'll catch it!"

"You are always blaming ME! I think YOU'RE the one bringing sickness home to ME! You were the one around all those kids. And now you don't even get a flu shot!"

"I don't get a flu shot because I'm NOT around all those germ-harboring kids anymore. I'm not around anyone. When I go out, I know not to touch my face until I wash my hands. I know to get away from people who are coughing. You've ALWAYS tried to turn everything around to the other person. You won't accept responsibility for anything!"

"I bet my friend got the flu from her grandkids."

"I bet so too. Especially if they had the nasal mist instead of the shot. They give kids the actual flu, you know. A mild case, to make antibodies. The kids get the attenuated virus. But when the kids come down with their mild case, they're shedding REAL FLU VIRUS. That's why kids who live in homes with people who are immunocompromised can't have the mist."

"Still, you could have brought it home to ME."

"I don't think so. YOU are the one who had the flu one year, in MAY. They did the blood test, and you had it! And then gave it to ME, even though I'd had the flu shot back in October."

"Well. That part is true..."

Baby steps, people. Admitting that he has a problem is the first step.

Monday, November 25, 2019

A Shaming Trilogy, Part 2: Caught In The Act

Saturday, Farmer H took me to the casino to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. We both lost money, but it was expendable income which we quickly disposed of, so we're not paupers. Yet.

Farmer H's original idea was to have lunch at the burger place inside the casino. He called me around 11:00, as he was closing up his Storage Unit Store due to bad weather and no business. Of course I had JUST put three pans of Chex Mix into the oven. It takes two hours to cook, with stirring mandatory every 15 minutes. So by the time I got ready, and we swove up there, we hit the casino around 2:30.

Farmer H fed himself a lunch of two hot dogs, leftover Chex Mix Bugles, and two cookies from the AUCTION dough. So he said we'd just make the burgers our supper. At 4:00. That was fine with me, since I'd had nothing but some peanut butter crackers on the way there. I even had two left for a future Jack and Juno treat, because I don't like the kind on the bright orange crackers. I prefer the round plain crackers.

Anyhoo...we lost some money, ate a pretty good lunch, and were back home at 6:00. Too late for my 44 oz Diet Coke! I was okay with that. I do keep 20 oz bottles of it in the basement mini fridge for emergencies like this. I put away the Chex Mix, now completely cooled, and treated myself for a bowl to take down to my lair to complement my Diet Coke. I also made up a container for Farmer H.

In the midst of these preparations, I made a visit to my now-unstained master bathroom facilities. This trip requires passing behind the La-Z-Boyed Farmer H. When I came out, I saw that he'd made a trip to the kitchen. He was eating TWO pieces of cheesecake (chocolate, and strawberry-topped), with an individual cup of strawberry and chocolate swirled ice cream on the side!

"Are you kidding me? TWO pieces of cheesecake?"

"I didn't have one last night, so now I'm having two. They were stuck together. So I just had them both."

"Because it's SO hard to pull two pieces of pre-cut different cheesecake slices apart. You say that because you got caught! For all I know, you're having two every night. And not even any protein with them! Are you falling into a coma yet?"

"Oh! I need to go take my medicine. I'll take TWO, ha, ha!"

"If you insist on eating sugar, you HAVE to have some protein with it, at least. Even those pork rinds there will help."

"Huh. 8 grams of protein per serving. 0 carbohydrates."

"SEE? You have to be smarter about this. When you don't answer your phone over in the BARn, I'm pretty sure it's because you're laying on the floor in a coma, from eating auction cherry pies..."

"No, HM. I'm not eating cherry pies. I told you, they was my buddy's wife's. We all buy things, and set them in a pile."

Farmer H opened up the Chex Mix. Obviously not sated by his just-eaten snack and additional pork rinds.

"THAT'S all carbs! Except for the nuts."

"I'm not going to eat it ALL!"

We'll see. Since I would be downstairs in my lair, and he would not be under observation.