Sunday, June 30, 2019

While We're On The Subject Of Food

Oh, wait. We weren't really on the subject of food. Not since the day before yesterday. But I was just thinking, because Farmer H and I were discussing what I'm dishing out for supper Sunday evening, about Casey's pizza. Oh, we're not getting it. That's what the conversation was about. How, since Farmer H is going to visit The Veteran during late afternoon, and I don't know what time he'll get home, how he could pick up something for supper.

We'd really like Chinese, but our favorite carry-out isn't open on Sundays. The one we tried last time was not very good. When Hunan chicken or pork is flavorless, you know that's not the take-out for you, because Hunan is supposed to be spicy, by cracky!

Anyhoo... I said too bad the last Casey's pizza we had was SO TERRIBLE that I don't even want it any more. That's goin' some! As my grandpa used to say. Here's the deal. Farmer H went to order it. He got a meat lover's, whatever they call it at Casey's. He knows I don't like pepperoni. Usually, it's not a problem. He has connections at Casey's, according to him. And they put all the pepperoni on one half. On the top, where we can see it.

Something went terribly awry! A different guy made the pizza, I found out later. Because it came up when I was ranting about it being the worst pizza I ever ate from Casey's. Which is still at least palatable, because Casey's has really good pizza. Usually.

Anyhoo... I took my pizza downstairs, and Farmer H ate his in the La-Z-Boy. First bite, I knew something was wrong. It was SPICY! And also, my sausage rolled out. Uh huh. It shouldn't do that. So I figured maybe it was just that one piece with loose sausage, and that it was at the pepperoni border, and a piece was on my side when it was sliced. Another bite of spice made me start looking at what was going on under the cheese.


Of course Farmer H was going to hear about this! I went to the bottom of the stairs and hollered.

"Why does my pizza have PEPPERONI on it?"

"It doesn't."

"I'm pretty sure I know what pepperoni looks like. It's all over my pizza!"

"No. It's on MY half. You can come look. I told him, 'Put the pepperoni on top of half of it.'"

"THAT'S the problem! They just put half of it on top. You should have said, 'Put all the pepperoni on one side, on top so we can see it.'"

Of course Farmer H declared that he always explains it that way. Which means the other pizza-maker must think in an addled way, like himself.

I picked all the pepperoni off, but I couldn't rescue the sausage. Every bite, it rolled off the slice. That's because the genius who made the pizza had put down the sauce. A layer of ham. The sausage pellets. A layer of pepperoni. And topped it with cheese. So it looked like a cheese pizza, but had sausage pellets sandwiched between two flat meats! There was nothing to hold that sausage in place! Normally, it's on top, with the cheese melted around it.

I don't know how anybody could have messed up a pizza so badly. It was all I could do to eat every bite. Except for the pepperoni.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Yuccan It Up

We have a plethora of yucca plants around the Mansion. They are Farmer H's handiwork. I had nothing to do with them, and I'd swear so in a court of law! I didn't even know what yuccas were until I met Farmer H. That's back when I rented a two-bedroom townhouse, and he rented a one-bedroom apartment across the parking lot.

As I recall, Farmer H had two yucca plants growing in front of his apartment. There was hardly any room there, and it was mainly gravel. But he'd dug down through the rocks and the plastic, and planted yuccas that he... um... found. That's right. It's not like you go out and buy them. Farmer H has a nose for yuccas like a pig has a nose for truffles. His prime hunting grounds seemed to be cemeteries and highway right-of-ways. Never anybody's yard! No siree, Bob! That would just be wrong!

The picture didn't turn out so well. It was around 6:30 in the evening, after a thunderstorm. Some of the petals were knocked off some of the yuccas. Looks like Farmer H has some weeding to do in his rock garden. Looks like Farmer H knows it. He has his jug of weed killer sitting out. You didn't actually think he'd get down on his knees and pull weeds, did you? Or buy weed killer? Because I think that stuff is some left from when he worked, and mixed up a batch for the plant. Perhaps PLANT isn't such a good word to use here, when I am referring to his factory.

I also regret that the clinging droplets of rain don't show up on these petals. I could even see them without my glasses, but the phone camera didn't zoom in any farther. If you blow up the picture, you can see them. They were different colors, from the light refraction of the sunset.

So much for old Mrs. HM trying to get all artsy-fartsy!

Friday, June 28, 2019

Like Any Addict, I Continue To Crave My Substance Of Abuse

Oh, how I rue the day that I dipped my fork once again into a Hardee's Beef Taco Salad! I wonder what their secret ingredient is. Surely this delicacy must be laced with crack, or fentanyl, or heroin. I plan and plan to forego this meal in favor of something from home. Or even Gas Station Chicken, or Hardee's Chicken Tenders. But no. I find myself at the drive-thru, ordering the worst choice ever for my waistline and attitude.

I looked for those taco salad shells at The Devil's Playground, but found nary a one. Not on the tortilla shelves, not on the taco-related aisle, not in the frozen foods, not in the refrigerator case by the pie shells. In fact, I looked in almost every section, except for the garden center, and the pharmacy. Seems like just the act of shopping for ingredients to make my own taco salad set off my craving!

Which leads me to my next question:

How hard is it, really, to CENTER THE GOSH-DARN SOUR CREAM???

Uh huh. I finally get a Hardee's Beef Taco Salad that is of acceptable size, and appears to have all the requisite ingredients. The gal even asked if I wanted some hot or mild sauce through the speaker! They never do that any more, nor include it. You have to beg at the window. But she asked, and I even turned it down, figuring I'd have to add extra salsa, so didn't need all the additional sodium in those packets of hot sauce.

That's a generous dollop of sour cream, too! Although I'd rather have it in the middle, on top of the beef, rather than on the shell that was once crunchy.

I swear I'm not going to have another Hardee's Beef Taco Salad for a long time.


Wait just a gosh-darn minute! Is that a BITE taken out of my shell on the right side???

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Trapped Like An Old Bat In A Lair

Sweet Gummi Mary! I think I'm having a stroke! My head is about to explode, or at least force my eyes out of their sockets like one of those Bug Out Bob squeezy stress dolls!

Let the record show that Mrs. HM does not enjoy variations in her routine. Furthermore, she is not... how you say... a people person. I'm perfectly happy making my limited human contact to purchase a 44 oz Diet Coke and scratchers every day. That's all I need, so that no moss grows on me, and spiders don't anchor their webs to my face.

Farmer H, however, is a gadabout. He never met a person he didn't want to spend all day telling his life story to. It has been difficult to reach a congenial medium. He goes out into the world every day and does his thing. I stay home and do mine. Jack Sprat and wife, apportioning the fat.

Farmer H's brother lives in a state out west. He worked in security at Circus Circus for many years, and then became an over-the-road truck driver, accompanied by his wife. They have grown children. Last year, a medical problem sidelined the truck driver. Last week, Farmer H said that the wife and family were coming to Missouri for a visit, to see her family in the middle of the state. As part of their vacation, they were traveling to our side and taking in the sights.

We both knew that I was not interested in these touristy excursions. Farmer H was fine with that, just as I was with him spending a week driving around with them. Caves and a flooded mine and the Mississippi and childhood homes. Not a problem.

Farmer H said he was bringing them out to visit. More likely, so he could show off his stuff. They've only visited us once before, back when we had my $17,000 house in town. It's not like we're close. Oh, we're there to loan money when needed, and it gets paid back. But it's not really a social relationship with yearly get-togethers.

I really don't like people, you know. Or people in my house. Farmer H said it would be fine, they'd just stop by for a few minutes to see me, then he'd do his outside tour. Oh, did I mention that there were 7 of them?

"We don't even have places for 7 people to sit! Well, maybe 7, but then you and I would have to stand!"

"It's okay, HM. Three of them are kids. Only four adults. It's not for long."

"Do you want me to clean up the house?"

"No. They know a house is lived in. They won't be here that long."

"Well, I'll at least have to clear my CasinoPalooza unpacked suitcase off the long couch. I'm waiting for you to bring in my black bag from the A-Cad's trunk. The one I keep my shampoo and stuff in."

"Yeah, you can move that."

"And I'll have to move the throw pillows so there's sitting room."

"Yeah. That's fine."

"What about the bathroom you use? Is it even clean?"

"Yes. I cleaned it. In case they have to go."

Good thing I checked it, and wiped up all the dried pee drops he'd left!

Anyhoo... Farmer H was good about keeping me appraised of their whereabouts, so I'd know when to come upstairs and greet them, rather than disrupting my lair routine for several hours of waiting. After all, they were 2.5 hours late to meet Farmer H in town for their activities.

The ETA was 6:30. Which is pretty much supper time around here. Except that they all went to CiCi's Pizza. So I figured I'd make my appearance, chat without sitting, then escape back to my lair. Since I didn't want to be cooking or carrying a tray of supper past them, I dropped down a Devil's Playground bag with some cheese and dill pickles. I already have a box of Roasted Garlic Triscuits in my lair. Oh, and to be comfortable, I also dropped down a bag of lair-wear to change into, after greeting them in my go-to-town clothes. The bags landed on Genius's old computer desk at the bottom of the stairs, next to my bottles of Diet Coke waiting for the mini fridge.

To be clear, the Mansion was in no way in any shape to host company. I would not have held a holiday meal in it with The Pony and Genius and Friend. Wednesday morning, I thought about cleaning up. Then I saw Farmer H's hoard of soda and snacks on the kitchen table, and stuff he has piled on the table next to the La-Z-Boy, and I thought, Why should I clean up if he has no intention of picking up HIS stuff? So I only cleared away his three losing scratchers from the coffee table, and picked up the packing tape from The Pony's last care package, and put a couple jars away from the cutting block into the pantry. No sweeping or dusting or de-cluttering. After all, Farmer H said they'd only be inside a few minutes. Not a big deal.

Did I mention that I'm having a stroke? I was ready when they arrived and milled around on the front porch petting the dogs. Standing behind the short couch, to be congenial and converse a few moments. Silly me! I expected them to walk in and file into the living room corral and sit down. They did not.

Those three kids ran across the living room and into the kitchen. Like it was Grandfather's Mansion at Silver Dollar City! It's just a house, kids. Nothing to see here. They found that out, and were back and turning towards the boys' bathroom before the adults were even all the way inside. Kicked the scale next to FRIG II on the way. The clatter did nothing to slow them down. I'll be gosh-darned if the adults didn't come in, smile and speak to me, bypass the couches, and turn towards the boys' bathroom behind the kids! They were like the marching band in Animal House, going down that alley and piling up at the wall! And not a single one of them had to use the bathroom. I declare, I thought for a moment they were going to throw open the doors of Genius's and The Pony's bedrooms to look inside!

So you'd think they'd come back to the living room and sit down, wouldn't you? Au contraire! Those kids wormed their way through the adult bodies and rounded the railing and started down the basement steps! No way was that part of the visit! Not according to Farmer H. At no time did he say he was doing a grand tour of the Mansion. There's no handrail on the steps, so Farmer H had to rush and grab the youngest boy before he fell and permanently disabled himself. I was in shock. The adults traipsed down right after them!

Within 10 seconds, I heard pounding on the keys of my grandma's out-of-tune piano that used to be in the old elementary school I attended, so old it had wooden stairways, cloakrooms, radiator heat, and transoms above the doors! Oh, the adults cautioned the children to stop. Every time they went back to pounding. They meant well. I shuddered to think about them rushing into my lair. I hollered to Farmer H to stay out and turn off the light. He said he would.

Good thing I had swept the NASCAR bathroom, cleaned the toilet, and taken out the trash. I guess I was psychic. I KNOW Farmer H took them in there. It's his pride and joy. If he had only told me it was going to be on the tour, I would have scrubbed the sink of my red cherry limeade stains and lime pulp around the drain.

I was nearly apoplectic with the thought of all 7 of them running amok near my lair! I had to go into the master bathroom, carefully shutting the bedroom and bathroom doors behind me, actively contemplating LOCKING them, lest I be barged in upon. I was only in there two minutes or less. When I came out, the whole crew was shuffling through the front door, headed outside.

"Oh. I guess you're taking the outside tour. Good to meet you."

One turned around and said she was glad to see me again. Then they were blessedly gone. But not really! I got my bubba cup of ice and went downstairs, where the light in my lair was ON. As I sit here typing this now, feet are pounding around the porch. I think I heard a flush. It sounds like somebody is trying to come in the basement door, which Farmer H has locked with a slide lever thingy.

Here I am, trapped like an old bat in a lair. Having a near-stroke. Good thing it's my regular aspirin time.

It is currently 8:17, and I haven't heard any footsteps for five minutes. The storm may have passed. I don't mean to speak ill of Farmer H's marital relatives. I know they're good people. I'm just not a people person.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Flattery Will Get You Nowhere But The 5PAM Folder

Whew! Excuse me! I was out of breath from laughing. That's like a workout. My ribs are getting sore. I might not develop a six-pack, but I might grow a singe ab. Gotta hand it to The Universe for its sense of humor, having a chuckle at Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's expense. In cahoots with her estranged BFF Google, who twisted GMail's arm to relax that 5PAM filter on Mrs. HM's other blog identity.

Imagine my surprise, to check that email, and see a new wanna-be pal.

My name is Noni and I am the PR contact for REDACTED, a leading diamond jewelry manufacturer in San Diego since 1977. I really like your blog YOU KNOW THE ONE. You have a great sense of style and beautiful photos! I really like your blog. It's interesting to read about and see the Hicks House makeover. Love what you are doing! 

I would like to spark your interest in writing a blog post about REDACTED's latest jewelry designs: Floral Tulip Stud Earrings. These timeless stud earrings are a classic style with modern flair. I believe they suit your personal style and your readers will love them too. We will create a pair of stud earrings of your choice (made of silver and cubic zirconia stones or synthetic gemstones) for review, which is yours to keep. 

Sweet Gummi Mary! Did you see that part?

You have a great sense of style and beautiful photos!

 I don't know which made me laugh harder, that, or this:

I believe they [timeless stud earrings] suit your personal style.

Next thing you know, I'll feel someone peeing on my leg, and get an email that it's raining.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Thank The Gummi Mary, He's A Master Sweaver

Monday night, Farmer H went to an auction with This Guy, the one we bought the $5000 house from. Still no deed! Not This Guy's fault. It's being transferred to a trust for the children of HOS (Farmer H's Oldest Son).

Anyhoo... Farmer H left the Mansion at 4:00. At 8:55, he called me. Sometimes he does this on his way home, because he's bored.

"I need to come home and change my underwear!"

"Oh. Uh. Okay."

Seriously! Who calls to say something like this? It's like publishing a blog post about finding a turd in a rest area handicap stall! Nobody wants to hear that!

"I was almost to the bridge, and a car almost hit me head-on. It was less than 10 feet from me when it finally got over."

"On the lettered highway? Was he passing someone?"

"Yeah, he was passing. I come around the curve there by the big metal building. By the road to the big houses, with the horse pasture. And there he was, coming right at me. He barely got over. I was already starting off the road, by the gravel one that turns in to those other houses."

"I'm glad you're all right."

"I'm glad I'm all right, too! I'd rather stay alive."

"Yeah. They do that all the time there. Try to pass."

"Well, he was about to never do it again!"

"Did he hit the car?" [A-CAD!]

"Nah. I got over."

Thank the Gummi Mary, Farmer H is such a Master Sweaver. I'm sure he felt right at home with two wheels off the road...

Monday, June 24, 2019

Much Better Than Going Directly To Jail

I should have known things were looking up this past week, when I found a nickel, four dimes, and five pennies. At least one coin a day, for eight consecutive days. And NINE of them were found heads-up! Surely that was a sign of impending good luck...

Well. It WAS!

Saturday, I bought an old favorite at The Gas Station Chicken Store. It's the only place that has these tickets, off and on. They're probably going to be declared expired any day now by the Missouri Lottery.

Yep! I passed GO, and collected $200!

Thanks, Even Steven. I will now prepare myself for a spate of losing. It's only fair.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Now It's Come To This

I'm pretty sure the minimum-wage fast-food worker at Hardee's slipped me a mickey last week. As you may recall, I was a bit harsh reviewing their Taco Salad. Well! Ever since then, I've been craving a Taco Salad! Like some potion was poured over it to make me addicted to terrible Taco Salads. If only someone can stage an intervention to get this Taco Salad monkey off my back!

Friday, I had another one. To reward myself, you know, for all my errands. Farmer H is gone all day on Fridays, comes home for about an hour, then leaves again for the auction. This time he was planning to use his free tickets to the rodeo. So I didn't have to plan supper for him.

My Friday Taco Salad from Hardee's looked a little bigger! Maybe it was just because I was hungrier, but it tasted better, too! Or maybe the mickey they slip into it, rather than knocking me unconscious so I eat it unknowingly, without complaint, instead makes it taste extraordinarily delicious. Mmm... you know where this is headed, right?

Saturday, Farmer H drove ten hours to have an hour lunch at a family get-together. There I was, alone, not needing to prepare food... so of course I drove through Hardee's for a Taco Salad! The half-life of the most recent mickey must have been shorter. When I looked inside the box, I was saddened and a bit unappetized.

My Taco Salad had the back side of the shell high, and the front side of the shell low. It was not sitting on a waxed-paper square as usual, but on the bare bottom (heh, heh) of the box. A red fluid was leaking out the front. I suppose it might have been salsa, which was not evident anywhere else. The left half of the shell contained shredded lettuce. The middle quarter was meat. The right quarter was sour cream. All up against the shell, rendering it soggy on that side.

Dang it! I'd had such high hopes. I put a piece of non-stick foil on a paper plate, and transferred my shell onto it. I poured Save A Lot salsa into a plastic ramekin, and shredded cheddar into another one. Let the record show that even upon devourment, no cheese was found in my Taco Salad!

That's because I forgot to add my OWN shredded cheddar, which I had set aside on my lair desk while getting situated.

It's a travesty, I tell you! Not even a mickey-ed Mrs. HM can make a bad Taco Salad good.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Mrs. HM Is One Of THOSE People

During CasinoPalooza 5, Farmer H had the sneezes and the sniffles. He said he wasn't sick. Didn't complain of feeling bad. I thought it might be from spending two nights in a smoking room. The hotel was out of non-smoking when I made the reservation. Oh, and let's not forget that we went to 7 casinos every day, where there are no non-smoking sections.

Anyhoo... we only had that one room for free, since Farmer H is such a low-roller, and sometimes doesn't notice when his player's card stops working and needs to be reinserted. The Pony had one free night, but rather than go through the hassle of having him make a reservation for one night, we all stayed in the one room. That meant I had to share a queen bed with Farmer H, while The Pony lived like a king in the other. So Farmer H's breathered air wafted across my face, just like at home.

He still had the sneezes the week after we got home on Saturday. By Sunday, I was having sneezes, and a stuffy head. I didn't feel bad, except for a bit of lightheadedness. Especially when I slept on my back. The room spun. Or when I stood up at night to make my bathroom visit(s). I could hardly walk a straight line across the bedroom. I'd think I was on the way, but would list to the right. Same thing when I laid back in my OPC (Old People Chair). Room spinning.

I figured it was just some virus that had lodged in my ear or sinuses. I wasn't feeling bad, except for the ankle I nearly dislocated, and the opposite knee, which was overused, walking through 7 casinos a day. It was miserable trying to get my 44 oz Diet Coke the first few days, but I adjusted. Or so I thought.

Wednesday, I was on the blacktop county road, about halfway to town, when I crested a little hill by a rental house belonging to the local motel baron who has a richie rich mansion in the field beside it. I saw a grandma-ish lady getting mail out of the mailbox, preparing to walk across the road from the left. She stopped, as a white pickup truck with a yellow light on top came toward me from the opposite direction. I know that truck! It's our neighbor to the right, Copper Jack's human daddy. He works for the Hillmomba city road department.

The white truck swerved over into my lane a bit, just in case, not wanting to run over the grandma-ish lady. She must have known he was local, because she waved at him. I didn't see if he waved back. He never waves at me, even on the gravel road, even though I wave to him, and I've practically boarded and fed his dog (unintentionally) for several years now.

Anyhoo...I swerved a little to the right, not wanting to run into the white truck. The blacktop road has no shoulder. No wake-up bumps. No curb. It's blacktop then grass. At least there's no ditch in this area, at the top of that hill. After we passed, I was back to my lane, heading past the richie rich mansion.

WHOOPSIE! T-Hoe ran off the road! The two right-side tires! How in the Not-Heaven did THAT happen? I yanked the wheel and got right back on the road. My adrenaline was pumping. Was I turning into a SWEAVER? And not even a MASTER sweaver, like Farmer H! Just a common everyday sweaver with old-lady-itis!

I kept meaning to look for my tire track on the way home, and on the way past the next day, but I forgot. Friday, though, I caught a glimpse. I'd been a good 3 FEET off the blacktop! Thank the Gummi Mary, the grass has been growing lush with scattered thunderstorms.

Here's the thing. I can't even blame the truck in my lane, because he was past when I ran off. Maybe it has something to do with my compromised equilibrium. I'm normally not a menace on the road.

I'm pretty sure it was somehow Farmer H's fault...

Friday, June 21, 2019

Jim Down!

When I left for town on Thursday, I popped an acetaminophen. That's because my joints were achy, being deprived of their three-nights-in-a-row ibuprofen. I'm sure we've been through this before. My doctor nurse practitioner says to skip one day out of four, to spare my kidneys. I guess he doesn't have the same love for my liver, allowing me to take acetaminophen at my whim. Not that I would. It does virtually nothing for me.

Anyhoo... I took that acetaminophen while walking out the door. I figured I should probably have some food in my stomach to cushion its fall retroactively into my stomach. So I grabbed a mini Slim Jim off the box on the counter. I keep them around for Farmer H, so he can have some protein to partially counteract any sugar that he sneaks when he's out from under my thumb.

When I stopped at Mailbox Row, I ripped open the Slim Jim and took a bite. I laid it on T-Hoe's console while I got out for the mail. When I climbed back into the driver's seat, I heard a text, which turned out to be from The Pony, concerning the lab work he's doing for free with outrageously expensive nanoparticles. I left for town, forgetting about my Slim Jim until I came to the first curve in the blacktop road.


That Slim Jim slid off T-Hoe's console, all the way across the vacuuming-needing floor mat of the passenger side. So much for that acetaminophen's gastric cushioning. Of course I kept looking at it all the way to town. (Which I shouldn't have, due to an event I will reveal tomorrow.) I figured I'd give soiled Slim Jim to Juno and Jack when I got home. Sorry, dogs. At my first stop, I went to the passenger side and rescued Jim. Ate him in three more bites. It was after noon, by cracky, and I was feeling peckish!

If Jim wasn't so slim, maybe he could hang on better during the ride.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Some Folks (But Never Mrs. HM) Are Delusional

Last week on CasinoPalooza 5, we had the breakfast buffet at Downstream Casino. I'm not doing a commercial for them, but it's pretty good, and pretty reasonable. The first morning, we got there during the 9:10 a.m. rush. We wanted a table, but had to take a hybrid booth. Farmer H, The Pony, and the Ex-Mayor sat in the booth part. Sis and I took the two chairs at the end of the table.

I actually wanted Sis's chair, but it was next to the Ex-Mayor, and she didn't want to switch. Sweet Gummi Mary! You'd think they had enough togetherness the other 23.5 hours a day. I told her I didn't want the chair designated for me, because I'd stick out in the aisle.

"Oh, you're not sticking out! Look at all that room!"

Let the record show that there WAS four or five feet of space for people to walk by, between the back of my chair when I was in it, and the table behind me. Thing was, we were at the first table off the 30-foot walkway to the buffet. So people rounding the dividing wall behind our hybrid booth would encounter me on the way back to their table.

Of course you know what happened. Some guy RAMMED into the back of my chair within five minutes of us sitting down with our plates. It didn't hurt me, because he hit the wooden chair. But it knocked me around enough that I could have claimed whiplash. Which I didn't. Nobody wants a private investigator from an insurance company following them around the rest of their life, with a camera to snap a picture of you bending down to pick up a penny... Besides, I'm pretty sure the guy still has a ginormous bruise on his right hip from the contact. He might even have dislocated his hip. I'm lucky he didn't drop his plate on my head.

Anyhoo...that's not the point of this story.

Our waitress was very attentive, and quite personable. She was probably in her mid-30s. Quick to take plates and offer refills. We all had water (except The (Sprite-full) Pony). Farmer H also had orange juice, and the Ex-Mayor also had coffee.

Waitress came by and stood between me and Sis. "Would you like a refill, Hon?" I knew my water was nearly full, and that Waitress was talking to Sis, who just had ice left in her glass. Before Sis could answer, Ex-Mayor said, "Yes. Thank you."

Everybody looked at him. Sis said, "I'm pretty sure she was asking ME. And yes, I would like a refill." Waitress poured it for her. Then said she would be back with Ex-Mayor's coffee. As you might imagine, Sis had something to say.

"It's not always about you! She was asking ME about a refill. You always think you're special."

"Well, she called me "HON. So I answered."

"She was calling ME Hon, not you!"

"Whatever you say."

Waitress came back with the coffee and poured it in Ex-Mayor's cup. "There ya go, Bud."

Heh, heh!

The next morning when we sat down (at a different table, half on a cushioned couch thingy, and Farmer H and I on chairs across from them, Sis asked about the link sausage.

"Did you have the sausage yesterday? I didn't get it today. It made me so thirsty all afternoon!"

"Yeah, I had the sausage. And I'm having TWO links today, because that's how I got ahold of them with the grabber. I don't think that's what made you so thirsty."

I didn't want to point out to Sis that maybe it was the combination of her sausage link, the sausage patty she put on a biscuit like a sandwich, and the other biscuit that she broke open and covered with white gravy chock full of sausage.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

As A Seasoned Toilet Scrubber, Mrs. HM Knows How It Feels For Her Work To Be For Naught

Let the record show that Mrs. HM stays up late every night. That doesn't change during CasinoPalooza. Depending on the clientele and how safe I feel as an old lady alone in the casino, I may go up to the room any time between 1:30 and 3:30.

I don't generally like to be in a casino on a Friday night, but in order to get a free room on two consecutive nights, we had to go on a Thursday and Friday. We stayed at Downstream, which is a pretty classy place as casinos go. They had a live band playing (mainly country and classic rock), so the younger element who sometimes annoy me there, 18-year-olds running in packs, were not much of a factor. I was enjoying myself after The Pony, Farmer H, Sis, and the Ex-Mayor had all retired for the evening.

Around 1:30, I was still going strong. I stopped to use the bathroom, as I was feeling a bit... um... indisposed. I mainly play slots in the back half of the casino, so that's the bathroom I went into. At the entrance to the women's side, three workers were standing by cones preventing passage to the left half. I suppose they were supposed to be cleaning that section, but instead they were griping about work. I don't fault them for that. It's what people do. They let off steam when they'd rather be doing something else. One of the gals said, "Hey! Let's just walk out right now." Perhaps they wanted to listen to the band, which could already be heard in every nook and cranny of that large casino.

Anyhoo...I went down the right side, which had about 10 stalls on each wall. I went to the back, to one of the four handicap stalls, which have the handrails to assist in getting off the throne. On the walk back there, I passed another worker with a mop cart and bottles of cleaner hanging off the side. She looked like she was SO OVER cleaning the toilets. I don't blame her. She was the one working, while the other three were doing nothing but complaining about working.

Anyhoo... I went into the stall. Wouldn't you know it. A lady went in the one to the left of me. Well. My... um... indisposedness put itself on hold. The toilet I was on had just been cleaned. I had to put the seat down to sit on it. It didn't feel right to mess it up so soon! I know how I feel when Farmer H dirties up my cleaning job before a single night has passed. Not that I would have been as messy as Farmer H, mind you. Besides, how was that worker gal to know if the smell was coming from my stall or the lady next to me? Still, I couldn't take the chance of getting the stinkeye from her on the way out. In the end, I only peed and left.

Sometimes, I think I'm too considerate.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To, But The Boxes Are The Same

Monday afternoon, I decided to treat myself to a take-out lupper. That's the meal too late for lunch, too early for supper. Farmer H was leaving for an auction at 4:00, so I didn't have to make his supper. I got a late start to town, and had to pick up medicine and some Diet Mountain Dew. I knew it would be almost 3:00 by the time I got home. So I drove through Hardee's for a taco salad. I haven't had one since last summer, I think. Every now and then, I'd bring them home for me and the newly-retired Farmer H.

Here's the thing. Several years ago, you could get a really good taco salad at Hardee's. They also have the Red Burrito menu. It's not just burgers like in the olden days. I'm not quite sure when they started downsizing their taco salad. Seems like it happened by degrees. At first, we'd comment that the taco salad seemed smaller than it used to be. But then we'd question ourselves. Were we comparing it to Taco Bell? Were we just gluttons who wanted it to be bigger? I don't think so.

Look at the Hardee's Taco Salad now:

Careful there! Don't hurt your eyes! Don't hurt your eyes looking for the taco salad!

I'm surprised I could find it, hiding there in that cavernous box. That's the thing! Used to be, several years ago, that I'd complain when I got my taco salad home, because the minimum wage worker had crunched my shell closing the box, and my sour cream and cheese was stuck to the lid of the box! As you can see, that's not a problem any more.

You'd think they could at least use a smaller box now.

Monday, June 17, 2019

I'm Pretty Sure He Walked 20 Miles To School, Uphill Both Ways, In A Blizzard, 365 Days A Year

We spent the pre-weekend on the edge of Oklahoma, having CasinoPalooza 5 with The Pony, my sister the ex-mayor's wife, and her husband. We had a pretty good time, but I was reminded of what annoys me about Farmer H.

HA HA HA! As if I could only pick ONE thing that annoys me most!

This time, if was his penchant for always turning an issue into a competition. He's the best at something, or has it the worst. Here's the latest example.

When we met for breakfast Friday morning, the Ex-Mayor, as a conversation starter, asked me, "Did you sleep well?"

"No. Not really."

Of course Farmer H wedged himself into the discussion.

"Huh. You sure were sleeping every time I woke up!"

Let the record show that I went up to the room at 3:30 a.m. When I made the reservation, I was told that they had no non-smoking rooms left. So we got a smoker. I crawled into bed with smooshy pillows and sheets that shot blue sparks of electricity every time I turned over. I was up at 4:30, 5:30, and 6:30 for the bathroom. There was no change in Farmer H's breather breathing as I climbed out of and into the bed. In addition, I was woken twice when Farmer H got up for the bathroom. I could prove it by describing the sounds I heard coming from there, but I won't. Just because I was laying with my back to him does not mean I was asleep. I got up at 7:30 when the alarm went off. So in my opinion, I did not sleep well.

Farmer H, on the other hand, went to bed around 10:30. Got up at 8:00. But of course, in his mind, I had a better night's sleep than he did. He, the poor thing, had a terrible night.

Oh, and the Ex-Mayor? He said he slept like a baby. Their room was in the new tower, non-smoking.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Genius Dodged A Plane Crash

Remember a few months ago, when I mentioned that a headhunter was trying to recruit Genius away from his current employer? Back then, I said: I won't mention its name, but this company manufactures airplanes, and contracts with the government. Well. Now I'm going to mention its name. Boeing.

Genius called Wednesday evening, to pass the time while he was driving. He mentioned that a former colleague from one of his other summer internships had approached him about a new job. Genius isn't in a position to make a move right now. The subject of Boeing came up.

"Good thing you didn't take that Boeing job! They really hit the news right after that!"

"I know! The week after I turned down their offer is when their second plane went down. THAT IS THE DEPARTMENT I WOULD HAVE BEEN WORKING IN!"

"Whew! You dodged that plane crash! Or maybe... if you'd gone to work for them... that plane wouldn't have crashed!"

Genius pointedly ignored the bait, and changed the subject. It's easier to get him wound up when we play our mind games in person, rather than when I'm leaning over the kitchen counter, and he's hurtling along at 70 mph talking through his car's sound system.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

There Is No Limit, Apparently, To Mrs. HM's Popularity

The days of sitting around the Mansion like a wallflower are over for Mrs. Hillbilly Mom! She has, over the past fortnight, developed a popularity only read about on super-secret blogs. Her phone is ringing off the hook. Okay. There's no hook. But Mrs. HM does still have a landline. Unlike the majority of Hillmomba residents, who stopped their service, and no longer contribute tax money to the county 911 services. I guess a more accurate statement (nod to The Truth in Blogging Law) is that Mrs. HM's Panasonic is ringing out of its little charging platform.

That doesn't mean Mrs. HM has been tricked into actually answering her phone. Only once did she take the bait, and that was last week. Sweet Gummi Mary! Was she ever fished in! The phone display said it was the University of Oklahoma. Of course, with The Pony there, such a call will not go unanswered. Even though the university has Farmer H's cell phone number as an emergency contact.

Imagine my surprise when the caller said they were taking a HEALTH SURVEY. They got a piece of my mind, which showed them how healthy my voice was! With a decree NEVER to call back, and a pointed jab at the audacity they had to identify their number as the University of Oklahoma. You see, we'd gotten other calls purporting to be from the University of Missouri. Unanswered, because nobody here is attending the University of Missouri. They left a message to call them back about a health survey. Which we did not.

Anyhoo, lest you think Mrs. HM is stewing over small potatoes... she has had 26 calls today! [Tuesday, June 11] I don't have a picture, but to prove it happened, I am putting out all their numbers. As well as the time of the call(S).

09:02 715-227-8617 DBENEFITSCHOICE
09:08 318-242-8555 LALTERNATIVESER
09:25 254-271-2793 SSENIORMED
09:29 573-242-2081 out of area
10:04 913-294-1417 ACENTERHEALTH
10:15 859 712-9192 CENTERMEDPLAN
10:54 573 227-6637 out of area
11:18 940 302-1053 DBESTOPTION
11:52 859 495-1080 INDEPNDNCEKY
11:55 701 404-5299 THEBENEFITSCOVE
12:08 913 294-1431 ACENTERINS
01:12 254 271-2800 SSENIORBEST
01:24 641 243-5688 VSENIORBEST
02:19 573 242-2050 out of area
02:22 737 201-9876 DPOLICYALTERNAT
02:33 956 338-5510 SENIORCHOICE
02:52 402 999-7679 THEBENEFITSMEDI
03:18 573 240-6379 out of area
03:25 918 219-1924 THESENIORHEALTH
03:51 636 324-6625 CENTERALTERNATI
03:57 573 242-2081 out of area
04:33 402 892-7367 DMEDBENEFITS
04:55 254 271-2795 SSENIORSOLUTION
05:09 641 243-5688 VSENIORBEST
05:11 719 249-2383 out of area
05:27 913 294-1455 ACENTERCHOICE


This was a good day, though, because they stopped by 5:30 p.m. Of course, we didn't know that. So it's like you're always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Especially after hearing the OTHER 26 shoes drop all day long!

It seems to be a concentrated effort to scam the elderly (that's FARMER H ! ), probably by offering "free" knee braces or medical supplies that will come with an invoice, or insurance policies. Just guessing, from what I've read on complaints about other scammer calls. I didn't even bother to search these. The worst part is that some of them stay on until the machine picks up, which only records a couple seconds of dial tone, but necessitates going in to delete the "message" so they don't fill up the answering machine, or keep that annoying light flashing on the phone.

As you can see, only a couple numbers are duplicates. My phone gives me no option for blocking these numbers. I am not going to answer and demand to be on their no-call list, because that will only reveal that my number is a working number, and elicit even MORE scammer calls.

Though I don't quite know how that is possible. It's almost to the point where the next scammer gets a busy signal, due to the previous scammer.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Don't Scream In My Ear And Tell Me The World Is Ending

Last week, T-Hoe and I were happily rolling along, over the moat, from The Gas Station Chicken Store to the parking lot of CeilingReds (Farmer H's pharmacy), to Casey's. I was jamming to something on the radio, perhaps Eric Clapton's "Promises." Something mellow.

As I turned onto the Casey's lot, A LOUD VOICE BLARED OUT OF THE RADIO!

I jumped! Jerked the steering wheel! What in the NOT-HEAVEN was going on??? Was there a nuclear bomb incoming? My childhood air raid drills gave me the urge to find a desk and crawl under it with my hands on the back of my head. Because that'll protect you, dontcha know, from radiation!

My hands were literally shaking as I turned down the volume to a manageable level. I had put T-Hoe in park by now. I listened. Maybe it was just a tornado warning. Though I don't know how SiriusXM would know to send it only to people in Hillmomba.

Sweet Gummi Mary! That voice was telling me that my OnStar service was coming due! I pay by the year, and it expires on June 26. We're not renewing. T-Hoe is getting old, I don't drive young 'uns around every day anymore, and a cell phone will do almost anything OnStar could do for me, except for remotely unlock my door.


I really think that should be frowned upon, a voice popping up on the radio while you're driving! Maybe OnStar had an ulterior motive. Maybe it was trying to scare me into an accident, so I would realize how much I need to keep my OnStar service...

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Something Is Fishy At Casey's

Here’s the newest thing at the Hillmomba Casey’s:
They card people under 40 for buying LOTTERY TICKETS!

But that’s not the weird part! If a scratcher-buyer looks OVER 40, they ask for their birthdate! What in the NOT-HEAVEN??? I was there when the regular clerk explained it to a new guy. She said, “I know. It’s weird. But that’s our new policy.” Every time since then, no matter what clerk I get, they’ve asked my birthdate. No other store does it. Weirdos. I haven’t heard them ask anyone else. Maybe it’s just for ME! The greeter in Walmart has been stopping me, too! Asking to see my receipt. I’m pretty sure neither place is allowed to do that legally, but I’m not a boat-rocker, so I comply.

So here's the deal. In Missouri, you have to be 18 years old to buy a lottery ticket. And 21 to buy alcohol. When I used to work in a Casey's, back in 1992, the policy was to ask for ID if an alcohol-buyer looked under 30. I guess today's Millennial workers aren't good at judging people's ages. Probably from never looking at people, but having their eyes down on their phone 24/7/365. So now they have to card if customers look under 40!

This new kid clerk is always polite, but when it comes time to ask my birthdate, he gets all nervous. Heh, heh! Maybe he's afraid I'm not over 40, and I'll be insulted! Nah. I don't think so. Maybe he has respect for his elders, and sees it as a disrespectful intrusion. Or maybe he's afraid one of us is going to object to giving that info, and thump him.

I seriously do not see the point in asking this question. It is obvious we are old enough to buy a lottery ticket. Casey's does not have our name and address to see if we're telling the truth. Wait a minute! Conspiracy alert! What if they are using us to compile facial recognition data, using their surveillance cameras and our age typed into the register by the clerks?

Yeah, that's far-fetched. But the clerks DO make some kind of entry on the computer right after asking our birthdate. What's up with that? If they're only checking a box that they asked, who's going to know if they really asked. They could avoid confrontation, and check it anyway without asking.

Something is fishy at Casey's.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Mrs. HM Has Found A Millennial Ally!

Yes! I, too, though that was virtually impossible! Yet there I was, in line at Save A Lot on Tuesday, making small talk with a young man in his early 20s. Oh, don't think we sought each other out for witty reparte. He was the checker, and I was the customer. It was purely a business relationship.

I had never seen this young man in there before. I imagine he's new, thus having cashier duty while numerous other employees were stocking assorted shelves. In fact, one of them even warned me not to hurt myself while grabbing two jars of salsa (medium) by leaning through a cart full of chips, and a pallet full of frozen vegetables.

"Don't get hurt, HM!"

"I'm being careful. Of course the one thing I want has to be exactly in the same three feet of space where you're working!"

"Isn't that how it always goes?"

"Seems so!"

She's the mother of one of Genius's old classmates. Usually at the check-out, but she's been there several years. I know that when I worked in a store, it was always a treat to do work away from the register.

Anyhoo... I loaded my salsa, bottle of ketchup, jar of pickles, pack of paper plates, and honey bun onto the conveyor. The young man said,

"How are you today, Ma'am?"

"Oh, pretty good. I only came in for the necessities."

"Well, I hope you got them!"

"Yes." I put my debit card into the chip reader. Waited. Waited. "Seems like this thing worked a lot faster when we used to scan them with the strip."

"Yeah. But the government has to track you!"

REEEEE!!! Did he really just say that???

"Isn't THAT the truth!"

As I was boxing up my items over on the counter under the front window, the Young Guy came over, straightening the boxes under it. There were a LOT of boxes, what with all the stocking. Their truck day used to be on Thursdays, so I was a bit surprised by their activity.

Anyhoo... Young Guy continued the conversation:

"A lot of people don't agree with me."

"I KNOW! My son always says, 'I can't EVEN with you and your conspiracies!' Then he won't talk to me."

"Yeah. Some people have no idea."

Too bad that Young Guy isn't working a job that garners tips. I think he'd do pretty well. My faith in the younger generation was short-lived, though, when I held the door open for another young man over at The Gas Station Chicken Store. He was coming in as I was going out, so I held the door for him.

Not a thanks, not a nod, not a go-to-Not-Heaven. Just strode in like he was entitled to an old lady holding the door for him. Good thing HE doesn't work a job for tips. IF he even works. Out running around a gas station chicken store at 1:30 on a weekday...

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Reason Behind The Less-Than-Pleasedness

Okay. The REAL reason I was cranky with Farmer H last evening, when he was 50 minutes late for supper, was because he wasn't there for the cooking. That's the time I have to sit down on the short couch and have a conversation with him while he pretty much ignores me and watches 40-year-old reruns of MASH. With the volume turned up to 35, when 18 is about the right level.

I'm sure you're thinking, "Poor Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. She missed her Sweet Baboo, and only wanted some alone time with him to reconnect. How sad that she was denied the small pleasure of intimate conversation [sorry if that phrase made you gag] with her man."

Not quite. The REAL reason is because Farmer H's lateness put the kibosh on my gloating. That's right. GLOATING.

Every evening, I hand Farmer H my day's lottery winners. He doesn't buy a ticket every day, but when he does, he loses. Way more than the odds should allow. Yet I seem to win more than the odds would allow. We're the Sprats. Anyhoo... if I don't hand Farmer H my winners, he sticks out his hand for them. Occasionally, I have to say, "I didn't win anything today! How fair is that?" But not often. The more you buy, the better the chance to win. That's where my weekly allowance goes. That, and 44 oz Diet Cokes. Gas for T-Hoe.

Anyhoo... one evening a couple weeks ago, Farmer H grew impatient. "Well, give me your tickets. I know you want me to see them."

"WHAT? What do you mean, I want you to see them? You always ASK me for them! You act like I'm a cat bringing you a dead bird. You know you want to see my tickets! Don't act like you're doing me a favor to look at them!"

Sometimes Farmer H's attitude grates on my last nerve.

Anyhoo... because he was late for supper, and filled his plate without me having a chance to sit and chat with him (unless I wanted to eat cold fish afterward), I was robbed of the opportunity to make him look at my three scratcher winners. Especially this one:

It was a $100 winner. In fact, I'd walked into the living room with my tickets in hand, once Farmer H sat down with his plate, with the intention of showing him. But he immediately started running his mouth about me being cranky for no reason (!), so I turned around without sharing. You can be sure I informed him:

"I don't want you to look at my winners tonight! So don't you do it! Don't be looking at my tickets! I won $125, but you're not going to see them!"

Then I put them in the side of my purse, knowing full well that he would be snooping around after I went downstairs, and he took his plate to the kitchen.

Gloating is a lot more fun when I'm sitting there on the short couch, handing him the tickets, and he shuffles through them and then exclaims, "A HUNDRED DOLLARS?"

I won $125 yesterday, but I was robbed.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Farmer H Might Want To Shovel A Few More Bones Out Of Juno's House

Unless he likes getting stabbed and poked with errant antlers and assorted long bones, Farmer H might want to do some almost-summer cleaning in Juno's dog house. He'll be residing there for a few nights.

Let the record show that Farmer H called me no fewer than 4 times on Sunday. Once I was updating my blog comments. Once I was on the toilet in the NASCAR bathroom. Once I was eating lunch (I hope the sound of crunching chips annoyed him). Once I was typing a blog post. Yet each time, I dutifully answered the phone. Except for that toilet time. We don't have a phone in the NASCAR bathroom. Only in the master bathroom.

Anyhoo... from the first phone call around 10:30 a.m., it was decided that for supper, Farmer H would have fish and slaw and potato salad and Hawaiian Rolls. Prepared by me, of course. Well. Frozen fish warmed in the oven, and slaw and potato salad courtesy of The Devil's Playground deli, set out of FRIG II by me, and the Hawaiians in the cabinet for him to find. The dinner hour was to be 6:00. Not to eat, but for me to start preparations. It takes 20 minutes.

Farmer H was running around all day. At 3:30, he called to say that he was on his way to pick up This Guy, and driving to This Guy's Son's house, to return scaffolding he'd been using in the $5000 house. I again confirmed that supper would be started at 6:00.

When 6:00 rolled around, I'd heard nothing from Farmer H. No dogs barking, no Gator motor, no lawnmower, no stumping up above my office. Well. Except for that time around 2:00, when I was sure I heard him, but he wasn't home. I figured there was no need to start supper if he wasn't going to be home when the food was warm. I sent him a text at 6:07.

"Should I start supper?"

There was no response. At 6:15, I ascended from my lair, thinking that perhaps Farmer H was counting on waltzing through the door to pick up his plate to feast, foregoing any small talk about our respective days while the food was cooking. At 6:19 I called him.

Can you believe Farmer H acted put-out that I dared to call??? After I had been answering his calls all day? He said he was just then taking This Guy to his house.

"Well, I thought I was making supper at 6:00."

"Oh. I... uh... didn't think about what time it was."

"Now I've come up here for nothing. I have other things I could be doing. It'll be at least a half hour until you're home. I won't get back downstairs until 7:30!"

"You can go ahead and cook. I can warm it up when I get home."

"I think I'll do that. Instead of wasting more time."

You might notice that Farmer H did not say that he could MAKE HIS OWN supper. When he'd done so the previous night! So I turned on the oven, slapped four fish onto a pan already covered with non-stick foil from my lunch, and sat down to wait until time to flip the fish over. Then I got my plate ready, buttering a Hawaiian, while waiting for it to finish.

I had just set the crispy fish on top of the stove when Farmer H strode in the kitchen door. It was 6:50. He went to take his medicine, then stormed the kitchen. Which kind of made me not want to get the rest of the stuff ready, so I only plopped the slaw and potato salad on the cutting block, and said to Not-Heaven with the spoons, he could darn well open a drawer and get those for himself. After all, I'd flipped over the ketchup bottle to let the remains run down to the spout. I was exhausted!

Not even a thank-you from Farmer H! Not even a sorry! All he did was start running his mouth about why was I so cranky.

Sometimes, Farmer H doesn't know how good he's got it. Now my sweet, sweet Juno will be the one punished, by having to share her house with him!

Sunday, June 9, 2019

I Think We've Been Down This Road Before

Last evening, I ascended the basement stairs to talk to Farmer H before he left for the auction. It was pre-planned (heh, heh, as opposed to post-planned) that he would be having spaghetti for his supper. I made it for him on Thursday, and he ate it again on Friday night. It's unusual to have Farmer H agree to THREE nights of a leftover. But he really likes spaghetti. I, myself, do not.

Yes, this was one of the most convenient meals I can make. The most time-consuming part was frying the hamburger for the sauce. Which is canned. Surely you didn't think I made it from scratch! I just added some canned mushrooms and the hamburger and a little dab of butter and a couple packets of artificial sweetener (no sugar for Farmer H, there's enough in the canned sauce), and some minced garlic squeezed from a plastic bottle. I'm thinking of opening my own gourmet restaurant!

Anyhoo... I made the sauce Thursday morning before I went to town, so it could sit in FRIG II all day co-mingling the flavors. Also because I wanted those dishes washed, with only the noodles to boil Thursday evening. I made enough noodles to put in the leftover sauce, and stored them in a quart plastic container that once held take-out Hot & Sour Soup. Voila! THREE meals, one prep!

Anyhoo... as I came up the steps last evening, I saw Farmer H's feet kicked out on the La-Z-Boy footrest. He had a paper plate of spaghetti in his hands. Huh. I would put mine in a glass bowl, but then, I don't like spaghetti.

"Did you warm up my supper, too?"


"Did you warm my supper?"

"YOUR supper? No. I'm just having my leftover spaghetti. You don't even LIKE spaghetti!"

"That's right. I don't. Just thought you might have left me some. Since you were warming it." [In the microwave on a paper plate. I, myself, would have heated it in a pan with a lid, stirring often, possibly adding a bit of pizza sauce from a jar with a resealable lid. But I don't like spaghetti.]

Talk drifted into whether The Pony would be able to traverse the recently flooded Oklahoma highways to meet us for a visit.

"Did you check the roads?"

"It's not easy. Everything I click on keeps taking me back to May 24, when it was flooded so bad. You have to get on the Oklahoma Department of Transportation website, and specifically look for Muskogee and Highway 69. I think I only found it on an interactive map."

So what does Farmer H do? Gets out his phone to prove me wrong. Does a bunch of searches. Says he found it. Triumphantly reads to me a travel report saying how Highway 69 is like driving over a washboard between Chekotah and Muskogee.

"We know it's really rough. I doubt being underwater has helped it. What's the date on that? Is it even current?"

"Oh. Um. That's from 2014."

Farmer H spent 20 minutes looking. Finally taking my advice to get on the interactive map. Which wouldn't load for him.

"Maybe you can look it up on your computer," he said, as I returned from the bathroom.

"Sure. I'm used to doing everything for you."

"Everything FOR ME? You don't do everything for me! I warmed up my own spaghetti!"

"Which I made for you. I do EVERYTHING for you! Like just now, wiping your pee off the toilet. With my butt."

Saturday, June 8, 2019

The Most Cake-Taking Excuse Ever

A short time ago, in a neighborhood near, near Hillmomba... the Supreme Commander and his Right Hand Man set about renovating an economical abode called Help Hut. Much was accomplished in the first two months, as they worked side by side, with a common goal, five days a week, as if employed.

During Month 3, circumstances arose that interfered with the work schedule. Their paths diverged, with the Supreme Commander taking the day shift, and his Right Hand Man toiling nights. The Supreme Commander grew concerned, since much time and energy was sucked from the Right Hand Man when their chore time converged. It was as if the Right Hand Man was an octopus, with a different entity grabbing each and every tentacle to pull him in 8 different directions.

Bit by bit, Help Hut became infested with Tentacle-Grabbers. They were so thick the Supreme Commander couldn't turn around without bumping into one. Attempts to include the Tentacle-Grabbers by requesting simple tasks, such as handing items to the Right Hand Man while he was on a ladder, were met with responses of, "I'm busy," or no response at all. The Supreme Commander assigned the final tasks to the Right Hand Man, and withdrew from Help Hut.

Each day, the Supreme Commander made a walk-through of Help Hut, to ascertain when the Inspector could be called to pronounce Help Hut fit for habitation. Each day, the Supreme Commander was puzzled by the lack of progress. With inspection scheduled for Monday, the Supreme Commander asked his Right Hand Man what was left to be done.

"Just the plumbing connected to the kitchen sink. But every time I start to do it, the baby is sleeping. So I can't."

The Most Inconsiderate Baby Of All Time

Every day in the month of May, and the first week of June, The Most Inconsiderate Baby Of All Time (TMIBOAT) woke up at the crack of 11:00, drove himself 10 miles to town, and laid down for a nap at the exact time a hole needed to be drilled to run a plumbing pipe to the kitchen sink of Help Hut.

The End

Concerned Citizen: "That poor baby. He might have narcolepsy or something."

Anonymous: "HE'S A FREAKIN' BABY! Who belongs at home, not on a job site."

Friday, June 7, 2019

Manners Are A Relative Matter

Farmer H used to get onto his older boys quite regularly about their manners at the dinner table. Little Future Veteran was a bit unnerved by it. Remember in True Grit, when Rooster Cogburn told Mattie Ross of Near Dardanelle in Yell County about his stepson, Horace? "That boy musta broke forty cup!" Well. Little Future Veteran must have SPILLED forty cups of liquid. Milk, juice, soda, water... home, restaurant, friends' houses... didn't matter. Maybe he tried too hard NOT to spill, and it was on his mind.

HOS (Farmer H's Oldest Son) was not a spiller. He was a shoveler. Farmer H was continually reminding him not to hunch over his plate, holding his fork in his fist.

"You act like you're in prison. Like a convict, shoveling your food. That's not how you hold a fork. It's like this. Like holding a pencil."

"At least I'm using a fork."

HOS was always a different-drummer marcher. He held his meat down with his left palm, while sawing at it with the knife in his right.

"Look what you're doing, son! That's not how you cut meat! Here. Use the fork in your left hand to hold it in place, then slice it with the knife. Then you switch hands with the fork when you eat it."

"Or I can eat it with the fork in my left hand," said HOS, gripping it with his fist, shoveling in a piece of meat.

"You have to be civilized, son! And now is the time to learn it."

By the time he was 13, HOS had a girlfriend. She was the daughter of one of Farmer H's bowling buddies. She invited HOS over for supper one evening. Farmer H made sure HOS's hair was combed, back in the chili bowl days, parted down the middle. Made sure he put on a clean shirt. Then dropped him off at the girlfriend's house. When he got home, we sat around talking about his dinner date.

"Did you hold your fork right?"

"Dad. We had pork chops. My girlfriend picked hers up with her hands and started gnawing on it. Ronnie gave his plate to his wife, for her to cut it up for him, after she was done fixing the baby's plate. So I'm pretty sure my manners were good enough."

Thursday, June 6, 2019

The Short-Cutter Chef

When Farmer H and I lived in my $17,000 house, HOS (Farmer H's Oldest Son) and The (little future) Veteran came to stay on weekends and during the summer. Of course I was off all summer, being a teacher, so it was my duty to feed them. They weren't too particular. They especially liked grilled cheese sandwiches, which I made with Velveeta.

I guess Farmer H was lacking in the culinary arts, even though he'd been on his own for a while, post-divorce. I know he used to cook them scrambled eggs for breakfast, and load them with garlic powder. I'm not sure the boys liked eggs that way, but they didn't turn down any food. They even fought over the plate of boiled hot dogs Farmer H set in front of them, when they brought their older brother to Farmer H's apartment some weekends. Just because there were 8 hot dogs for four guys sitting at the table... didn't mean everybody would get 2!

I do remember a Saturday that I had something special to do, which left Farmer H all alone, taking care of his own children. They wanted grilled cheese for lunch. When I got home, both boys ran to hug me. They must have been about 9 and 7 at the time.

"HM! HM! You're back! We missed you SO much!"

My grilled cheese is what they were really missing, I found out a few minutes later, from HOS.

"Dad made us grilled cheese. I took a bite, and said, 'Where's the cheese?' It's like he didn't even put cheese in it!"

"I did too! I put a slice on each sandwich!"

"What cheese did you use?"

"Those singes. In the plastic wrapper."


"Yeah. That's all you  need."

"Did you eat one?"


"You have to put VELVEETA on a grilled cheese! To make it cheesy! The cheese should run out when you bite into it!"

"It's easier to use the singles."

It's a wonder they didn't starve to death! Farmer H should have stuck with his specialties: BBQ on the charcoal grill, and fish (caught from the lake) wrapped in foil with butter and lemon pepper, baked in the oven. Forget about the garlic powder eggs...

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

For Farmer H, Over-Familiarity Breeds Future Neighborliness

I don't mean to violate HIPAA laws, but some background information is needed to provide the full impact of Farmer H's recent behavior.

Monday, we got a recorded message reminding Farmer H of an appointment that he made last year. I think it was necessary, that reminder. I actually would have answered, but since I'd already had 5 scammer phone calls (8 today!), I let it ring. These scammers must be getting paid overtime!

Anyhoo... this was an appointment with a specialist, in another city, near Farmer H's old workplace. Nothing is wrong with him (other than the obvious), it's just a routine appointment with a urologist. When he called to tell me he was on his way, I asked if he had to pee in a cup.

"Yeah. I have to pee. And the doctor sticks a finger up my butt."

"Oh! That's too much information!"

"It's a woman doctor, too! She does it every year."

Again, that was too much for me. I found a way to get off the phone, or Farmer H might have talked to me the whole 30-minute drive, revealing far more than I could stomach. Either he didn't get the hint, or he was in a particularly talkative mood, because Farmer H called me after the appointment, as well.

"I'm just now leaving..."

"NOW? It took 45 minutes?"

"Well, it took 15 minutes. But the doctor talked a lot, and then I went by Goodwill."

"Talked a lot? Is your butt okay?"

"Yeah. It's still there, ha ha! The doctor is looking for a house to buy. She's from around home, over in Bill-Paying Town, but she's looking for something closer to work. Her and her husband have been looking at properties. I told her backcreek neighbor Bev is selling her house, and she wanted to know all about it. I think it got listed today. So I think the doctor is going to call the realtor and ask about it. I told her it was on a gravel road. She said she has a gravel driveway right now, that won't bother her. And it's about halfway closer to her work."

Sweet Gummi Mary! Farmer H is trying to get us a new neighbor. One who sticks her finger up his butt every year.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Mrs. HM Finally Met A Pizza She Kinda Didn't Like

Remember last week, when I revealed that Farmer H can't even slice my side of the pizza for me? It wasn't very good pizza! Sometimes these Save A Lot supremes are good, but this one seemed like it was all crust. No wonder it was so hard to slice!

Yes, I admitted that Farmer H and I each take half the pizza. Sometimes, we set some aside for the next night. This time, we did not. Which isn't to say that Mrs. HM was gorging herself with pizza.

Oh, I gamely ate three pieces. Then I said, "Wait a minute! I'm XX years old! Nobody is going to tell me to clean my plate, or stop being wasteful (except maybe blog commenters, and then it will be too late). I'm not eating this crust. It's not very good. The dogs will like it." So I just ate the toppings, which were red, green, and yellow peppers, some black olives, and a few crumbs of sausage, because I moved my pepperoni to Farmer H's half when I took his peppers. The sauce on this one was virtually non-existent, and the cheese was sparse.

Yes, I also gave my food-to-lair transporting tray a good scrubbing.

Monday, June 3, 2019

If I Could Bottle The Feeling Of Horror, I Could Make A Fortune At Spencer's Gifts

People, you don't want to walk a mile in Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's Crocs. You don't even want to sit a spell in her stinky old New Balance. A woman with a weaker constitution would have cracked. Mrs. HM is simply teetering on the ledge that overlooks the precipice jutting above the chasm of insanity.

I generally feel safe in my semi-dark basement lair. Sure, I have clutter all around. Only one of the four fluorescent ceiling lights works. I hear things that can't be explained, and occasionally walk out my lair door to see that cabinet doors have opened completely on their own. I'm used to it.

When I turn off New Delly and my underdesk heater between 11:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m., to got out into the main basement area to watch TV in my OPC (Old People Chair)... I am not fearful. I'm safe in my house. The Queen of my Mansion. I am comfortable with my routine.

Friday night, I had all my electronics shut down. I pushed back my rolly chair to stand up and make a visit to the NASCAR bathroom next door to my lair, before gathering my tray and bubba cups to head for the OPC.

Cue the stabby Psycho music... Throw in the theme from the original Halloween as well!


Seriously! My feet were about 8 inches apart, and IN BETWEEN THEM WAS A MILLIPEDE!

That's a picture of it, on the mottled surface of my 20-year-old clear plastic mat for a rolly chair.

I almost stopped breathing. Then I couldn't catch my breath. I couldn't pick it up right then, because after seeing it, I REALLY needed to visit the NASCAR bathroom! All the while, knowing that I'd have to PICK IT UP when I came back. But what if it wasn't there??? Sweet Gummi Mary! I didn't know if I wanted to see it, or didn't want to see it!

I couldn't even remember the advice to scoop it up with a broom and dustpan! Which were sitting by my office door, a mere 10 feet away! I grabbed some squares of toilet paper (Charmin Extra Strength) and picked up the millipede, gagging and retching, holding it at arm's length, feeling the squirm, all the way to the toilet.

I'm not sure which is worse, thinking I have an infestation of millipedes, or thinking it's just one, that keeps returning from the toilet...

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Ne'er-Do-Wells Never Gonna Do Well

I stopped to pick up the mail Tuesday, on the way to town for my 44 oz Diet Coke. I parked on the gravel road, to walk across the blacktop to EmBee. I always make sure to park as far right as I can get. In fact, T-Hoe's side is up against tree limbs. There's plenty of room for people to come in or out of the gravel road.

Here's a picture, although it shows T-Hoe parked on the other side of the gravel road, when I returned. Just to give you an idea of the amount of space here, and where I park, and where Mailbox Row is located.

Sorry that it's skewed. Didn't mean to make you feel like you're going down on the Titanic. I just stuck the phone out the window, and took it blindly. Not necessarily to show off my shiny new door handle. That's a happy accident.

Anyhoo... on Tuesday, as I was parked on the other side, stepping out and closing T-Hoe's door to start my trek across the blacktop, I heard a vehicle crunching along the gravel behind me. It was a red Dodge Ram pickup, regular cab, which I had once mistaken for Farmer H's SilverRedO. It's the same shade of red, and I can't see the ram head decal on the front from very far away. I see this truck a lot, coming and going.

Anyhoo... I was striding along past T-Hoe, keeping close so that Red Ram could get around me. VROOM! The driver gassed it, and made a wide berth around me. So far that he was driving where I have T-Hoe parked in that picture. I was kind of put-out, thinking, "I'm not THAT wide!" when Red Ram went around me. Come to find out, he was doing that for a proper approach to Mailbox Row.

Red Ram pulled up against Mailbox Row, facing traffic the wrong way, so as not to get out, but only reach through the window for his mail.

Not that I'm the rural Road Police, mind you. I park T-Hoe on the blacktop road to get out and get the mail sometimes when I come home. But I DON'T park in front of the mailboxes, and at least I'm facing the right way for traffic.

At first I wasn't too mad, because I figured it was just like he cut line in front of me. Like he would take his mail and move on. But no. I swear, that guy was either opening and closing every mailbox, looking for something he might want... or he picked up his mail after the Monday holiday, and read every piece of it. There I stood. I couldn't get to EmBee with him parked there. He took so long that I went back to T-Hoe's door, and turned off the ignition. Not wasting MY gas on this Ne'er-Do-Well's passive-aggressive antics.

I swear he was there at least five minutes. I think he did that on purpose. Butthole.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Not Quite Sure Who I Should Be Ranting About

Don't you hate it when you want to get all worked up with a good rant, but you don't know who to be mad at?

Let the record show that The Pony has been out of classes since spring semester ended May 10. He is living in his student housing apartment at OU for the summer, doing research with a professor he's been working with since last fall. Let the record further show that I mail him a letter, faithfully, every Friday morning before the mail goes out from the main post office.

A couple days ago, The Pony mentioned that he hadn't gotten a letter. I assumed that it was just late, due to the Memorial Day holiday, and maybe the storms in Oklahoma. Friday, he sent me a text, and I realized there was more to the story.

"So, I checked my mail on Wednesday, nothing. Checked today, three letters. Someone outlined the building letter and room # on two of them, so I'm thinking the mailperson can't read."

"So they put them in the wrong mailbox. At least that person was honest and didn't open them and take your $20! This seems to happen every summer. I think the OU student sorter changes, and is incompetent and puts them with the wrong batch of mail. For the WEST complex, instead of EAST. Or in with the wrong building. Then the actual mailman just dumps it in the wrong box, rather than take it back for resorting, or backtrack to the right box."

"Yeah. It's the oldest letter, and the most recent, that have highlights on them, but not the middle one."

"Are they up to date? You should have gotten one this week that was written on May 23."

"It's marked the 24th, but yeah. 10th, 17th, 24th."

I guess he was talking about the postmarks on the outside of the envelopes. In any case, my baby went THREE WEEKS without a letter! It's not like I send him vital state secrets. But he reads them, to hear about news from home. He's been sitting there all alone, his Bestie back home for the summer, without even a two-page letter once a week from his loving mother!

That's a travesty! I really expect more from my 55 cent stamp.