Thursday, October 31, 2019

The Pack Is Re-Calibrating

Little fluffy dog Marley has been out of his pen since last THURSDAY! He's been out for a week! And he continues to come back home! Farmer H didn't bother to tell me of this new development until Monday evening when I asked about Marley. As you might imagine, this has thrown a massive monkey wrench into the dynamics of our pack of fleabags.

Juno is taking it the hardest. Now I know why she storms out of her house around midnight or 1:00 a.m., bellowing like her dog house is being repossessed. Marley must come up on the porch, and Juno objects. On Tuesday, I saw her sitting alone in the front yard, looking towards the BARn. Farmer H was over there, sorting through his junk, maybe putting fishing poles together.

I figured that Juno couldn't bring herself to join the others. Not with Marley there. Juno is not good with change. She wants to be recognized and deferred to as top dog, but she won't campaign for the honor. If the other dogs come near her, she makes herself clear. But she's not a roving bully.

My little Jack seems to have called a truce. He will trot around Marley, trying to stay between Marley and me, sometimes stiff-legged and thick-necked, tail up over his back. But he's stopped barking and snarling and provoking with a nose-poke.

Copper Jack looks puzzled, and stays in the background. He'll bark if they're all running around, but doesn't interact directly with Marley.

I wish I had a new picture of Marley to show you, but that is kind of impossible with Marley not on a leash. By the time I snap the picture, Marley is out of frame. I'm pretty sure he's an ADD mutt. An Attention Deficit Dog. He jumps like an NBA rebounder, and darts around like a rabbit evading a predator. It's like somebody crushed up crack rocks and mixed the powder with meth and cocaine, filled a large plastic Pixie Stix kind of straw with it, jammed two of them into Marley's nostrils, and blew the contents into his brain.

I used to think my little Jack was hyper. But compared to Marley, Jack is like an elderly woman on a morphine drip after major surgery, who's just eaten a chicken-fried steak covered with white gravy, after it was dredged in a crushed-opiate batter.

Our biggest kerfuffle happened at TREAT TIME! When I got home from town yesterday, Marley was under my feet as I tried to get out of T-Hoe in the garage. Jack never does that! He waits for me at the garage people-door. I pet him, and let him out, then get my purse and magical elixir, and dole out cat kibble.

I opened the people-door, and Jack and Marley ran through. Jack joined Juno on the side porch, while Copper Jack waited on the brick sidewalk. Imagine my surprise when I turned from T-Hoe's passenger door with my stuff, and felt Marley jumping up and rebounding off my hip!

"No! Marley! You're gonna hafta learn the routine. Once I let you out of the garage, you don't come back in."

I will say that Marley stops when told NO. He lowers himself near the ground, shaking with excitement, hoping to be petted. Not cowering, not laying, not sitting. Just keeping himself as still as he can. Of course I pet him.

This is when the 3-ring circus officially started. I grabbed a handful of cat kibble out of the roaster pan. I dribbled out some for Juno, who jumped a foot in the air as Jack ran under her to eat it before Marley could grab it. That's not like Jack. He waits his turn beside the metal chair. I also scattered some kibble there, thinking Juno might come back from her dog house.

I spread some on the sidewalk for Copper Jack. Marley was down there, and ran over, spooking Copper Jack, who took a step back. Marley only sniffed it, and darted up to the side porch, sniffed the kibble there, and ran back down to Copper Jack. My Jack, afraid he was missing something, jumped off the side porch, and started eating the sidewalk kibble. Marley ran back up the steps, sniffed more kibble, then ran to me while I was climbing the steps, almost falling. Marley, that is. Not me. Marley got his front feet over the step edge, and almost tumbled down.

Whew! I went inside, to give them all a leftover biscuit. Farmer H was in the kitchen, having carried groceries for me. Marley ran inside.

"Marley! NO!" Marley ran back out, and took Jack's rightful place with front feet on the threshold. Jack stood to the side, annoyed. Juno, fearing she'd miss a TREAT, come out of her house and shouldered her way to the threshhold.

I handed Juno her biscuit, and she turned tail and reentered her house. I dropped a biscuit for Jack, beside the door, and MARLEY GRABBED IT! Jack was baffled. Farmer H, who was walking out, yelled, "MARLEY! MARLEY!" I think NO might have worked better, but the tone made Marley drop the biscuit. Jack grabbed it and ran, rather than eating calmly beside the door as usual.

I tossed a biscuit mid-porch, for Marley, who ran over and SNIFFED IT, and came right back. Copper Jack was hiding around the corner, having heard Farmer H be cross with Marley. Farmer H pointed to where he was, so I tossed a biscuit for him. Jack ran over and grabbed it, so Farmer H yelled, "JACK! JACK!" Until Jack dropped it and got his own biscuit back in his mouth.

Farmer H kicked Copper Jack's biscuit to him. Marley ran to grab the mid-porch biscuit and ate it in one bite! Then came at me looking for more. I'm pretty sure Juno got indigestion from the commotion. I'm shocked that there wasn't a four-dog fracas over those biscuits. We got through TREAT TIME without a snarl, without a growl, without a bite.

Marley might need a lesson in manners. If I can catch him before he darts.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Fall Has Fallen In Hillmomba

We have a few colorful trees this year. Better than I expected, since it's been so dry.

This is the library a block from the dead mouse smelling post office. If you zoom in to the window under the yellow tree, you can see a witch and a spider web! I didn't know they were there until I got the picture on New Delly's screen.

Another sign of the season:

JUNK MAIL! There were 13 catalogs stuffed in EmBee's gullet on Tuesday! Okay, the top little booklet is a casino comp mailer. But that's not included in the 13.

I must say, I loved the smell of the fallen leaves on this damp 42-degree day. Seems like just last week, we were in the 80s.

Farmer H had rain at his Trunk or Treat on Saturday evening. Only a few kids showed up, but he was there to hand out candy at his Storage Unit Store. I think he said 6 or 8 of the guys were there to pass out candy. The local radio station had an event scheduled at the same time, but postponed theirs for weather. Farmer H handed out candy to any shoppers with kids on Sunday, too.

Now he's all excited about playing Santa for a preschool on December 7. So he'll be on the lookout for safe toys to give out.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Necessity Is The Farmer H Of Invention

It's been another one of those days. Even Steven is settling a score, perhaps.

Sunday, my hands had a mind of their own. Or the mind of Even Steven. Had I known what was in store for me, I might have gone straight to bed, and demanded that Farmer H wait on me hand and foot and PopArm. Yeah. We know I wouldn't attempt that tactic. I want to LIVE!

When I got back from town, I had a few Country Mart items to put away. Some sweet onions, biscuits, and treats for a Halloween package I was sending The Pony. I'd been eager to get everything home, and had not taken care of my financial business as soon as I got back to T-Hoe. So I had a receipt and debit card in my pocket, which needed to be put in the checkbook.

I reached into my shirt pocket an withdrew the receipt and debit as I returned to the kitchen from the bathroom (and my wonderful new toilet seat). As I laid them on the cutting block, I heard something fall. Huh. What in the world else did I have in my pocket? Just an odd ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Maybe a Pepcid. I like to travel prepared. WAIT! I saw it on the floor. A Lifesavers Wint-O-Green mint.

It had rolled to the edge of FRIG II. Was peeking out from the little vented kickboard thingy at the base. How was I going to get that out? I grabbed the wire-handled flyswatter that hangs on a hook on the cutting block. That should do the trick. But it DIDN'T! I laid it flat, at an angle, and dragged the handle towards me. I'll be ding dang donged it that mint didn't hop up and scoot itself deeper under FRIG II! No matter how many swipes I made, I couldn't get that mint to come out the side. Oh, well. Guess it won't hurt anything. It's not like I was going to eat it.

Speaking of eating...I made a roast and vegetables before I went to town. When I took my supper to my lair, it was totally uncooperative. I like a little mayo on the side. Don't judge! I put a dab in a ramekin, then dip the ends of the fork in before stabbing a bite of roast. Of course the mayo had to drip off the fork, and land not in my bowl of veggies, not on my plate of roast, but on my tray that holds them.

I'd no sooner cleaned up my tray than a tasty bit of roast-juice-soaked onion slipped off my fork. It did not land back in its bowl, nor on the plate of roast, nor on the tray now cleaned of mayo...but on the counter at the left of New Delly! Sweet Gummi Mary! I might as well have Farmer H build me a trough, and do away with utensils altogether.

But that's not all. I'd brought down fresh ice cube crescents in a bubba cup to add to the remaining 22 oz of my magical elixir. As I reached inside for a few cubes, the end of one flipped another cube over the rim. It skittered around on the counter at my right, spinning in a semi-circle, until it went over the edge. I fished it up with my telescoping backscratcher's metal hand, by balancing it against my New Balance, and put it in a bowl left from lunch's chips. It was not a pretty sight, coated with some dust from under the desk, and a couple hairs from my shedding lovely lady mullet.

THAT'S not even the worst incident that befell me! I was sitting on the long couch, talking to Farmer H, while I taped up a box to fill with The Pony's treats. We have some good tape that Farmer H brought home once upon his employment time, with tough strands running through it. I have to use scissors to cut it, since there's no dispenser. I also have to put a finger on the piece left on the roll, because if you don't fold it over for a little flap, it's almost impossible to get loose again.

Well. I was holding the end of the tape that I hadn't smoothed down on the box yet, fingers splayed to keep a little bit of the roll tape loose, and I CUT MY FINGER! Yep. Snipped the tape, snipped the finger. I smoothed down the box edge, and exclaimed to Farmer H,

"Now what am I gonna do? It's bleeding!"

Did Farmer H jump out of the La-Z-Boy to rescue me? Where he was feeding on illicit REAL candy that I'd tossed him during packing, a mini square of Butterfinger, and a mini KitKat. To perhaps apply a tourniquet, or pressure, or get me a bandaid? No. He did not. He did, however, shout his advice.

"Just put a piece of tape over it."

So I snipped again, even more difficult while not-cutting myself, and trying not to spill blood, and fold over the tape left on the roll. I got a small section of tape, suitable for staunching the leak of my life fluid.

The cut was just a snip, a single line, but the tape spread out the blood in its grooves.

It was awkward, but worked surprisingly well. I left it on until bedtime.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Mrs. HM Almost Flipped Her Lid

Remember when Farmer H replaced the toilet seat? With a torturous contraption for which he shelled out $43 on his Lowe's credit card (to save 5%) at an interest rate of 27%? To be fair, he also bought a 20 oz Diet Mountain Dew, as I recall. Anyhoo...the credit card bill came Saturday. Which reminded me that I haven't shared the latest update on the comfort of my ample rumpus.

I kept hinting to Farmer H that I wanted that plastic toilet seat gone. With a replacement, of course. Yet he showed no initiative to seek out the type of toilet seat my ample rumpus prefers! So I took matters into my own...hands...and hobbled to the back corner of The Devil's Playground when I did the weekly shopping.

Sweet Gummi Mary! They were practically throwing toilet seats at customers! It reminded me of the old SNL days when Susan Lucci hosted, fresh off another Emmy loss, which I think was number 20-something. And the whole cast was nonchalantly flaunting their supposed Emmys, like Kevin Nealon wearing one around his neck like a medallion, and David Spade using two of them as holder-grips for corn-on-the-cob. Here's a clip. The Emmy shenanigans starts around 2:26 of the 5:55 video. I entered The Devil's Playground, I had to ask the greeter/receipt-checker which section of the store held the TOILET SEATS. No. I didn't shout. But I might as well have. Because the old guy, who looks like William Lee Golden of The Oak Ridge Boys, but with less hair, seemed quite embarrassed by my question. He called a woman over, and asked her, whisperingly, "Where do we keep the toilet stool lids?" She said, "Hardware," and he pointed me that direction. soon as I hiked across the back of the store after getting the groceries, I was greeted with a giant end-cap display of toilet seats, for FIVE DOLLARS EACH! There was a large assortment, but I did not see the elongated version that fits our toilet. So I walked a couple aisles over, and found out where The Devil was keeping those so-hard-to-find (according to Farmer H) toilet seats.

Allow me to share the panorama that greeted me.

Toilet seats to the left of me.

Toilet seats to the right.

There it is, low in the middle for me! You might notice the price, which is $13.88! That ain't no LOWE'S toilet seat!

Is it just me, or do those toilet seats seem to be laughing?

Sunday, October 27, 2019

More Outrage From The Convenience Store Files

Saturday was fit for neither man nor that beast Mrs. HM. Rain sluiced from the sky, barely kept at bay by my red umbrella. I managed not to get soaked at Save A Lot, and Country Mart. I can push a cart with one hand while holding an umbrella.

The Gas Station Chicken Store was another matter. I've tried using my umbrella there before. It's fine on the walk in. On the walk back to T-Hoe, not so much. The walk is fine. But I can't unlock the door and open it while holding an umbrella in one hand, and a 44 oz Diet Coke in the other. The foam cup does not lend itself to being clutched against my ribs with a forearm. I can't set down the umbrella, because it will blow away, most likely over the edge of the moat between T-Hoe and Farmer H's pharmacy, CeilingReds.

I resigned myself to walking inside in the pouring rain. It's not so much that I mind getting wet, but that I don't like my lovely lady-mullet to get drenched so that I resemble a drowned rat. After passing under the waterfall flowing off the roof over the gas pumps, I made it inside relatively unsoaked.

A young teen was putting red tickets into the cardboard box for the weekly gas drawing. I navigated past her, down the center aisle, my usual route to the soda fountain. Teen's Mom had just turned away from paying for gas, stating that she was getting a soda. Fair enough. She was there ahead of me as I rounded the back end cap and stepped into the soda fountain aisle. I didn't mind to wait.

Teen's Mom was almost done. She was at the Pepsi fountain. As she applied her lid, I pulled my cup. We were not in each other's way. But THEN another daughter, Tween, entered from the front. Carrying a baby in a basket! Teen's Mom was not happy. Nor was Teen herself, who had come to join her mother.

Teen's Mom: "I don't think it's the kind of day to do this. You should not have got her out in the rain!"

Teen: "No. You shouldn't have!"

Tween: "I want a soda."

Teen's Mom: "No."

Tween: "Yes. I want a soda."

Teen's Mom: "I'll share mine."

Tween: "No. I'm getting one." She set the baby basket down on the floor of the aisle!

Teen: "Don't put her there! Pick her up! This lady needs through!"

Mrs. HM: "That's okay. I'll go around."

Teen's Mom: "What is it? Mr. Pibb?"

Yeah. I made a detour to get away from them. I guess the ruder you are these days, the more likely you are to get your way. At least there's slim hope for Teen.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Farmer H Is A Bad Spooner

I made the hot dog corn muffins for Farmer H on Thursday. He ate one with his supper of beans, and declared it good. He said they were a little bit light on the hot dogs! Well. He, himself, is the one who told me a whole hot dog per muffin was too much. He says next time, he'll have a side of mustard to go with them.

I made a big batch, because I was also making regular corn muffins to go with our leftover beans. One box of Jiffy mix was not enough, but two was a bit too much. Not a big deal, the dogs will love their leftover treats. I used 5 hot dogs, and put them into 8 corn muffins. I tried one. It was okay. I don't plan on eating another.

So...2 of the 8 are eaten. Farmer H was supposed to have one alongside his Devil's Playground prepared meatloaf meal Friday, but he forgot. Now he's due to eat just the hot dog muffins for supper on Saturday, before the auction. I'm pretty sure he won't be eating 6 of them!

Let the record show that when Farmer H and I eat our beans, we add crumbled corn muffins, diced onions, and banana pepper rings, along with a couple spoonfuls of the pepper juice. It's delicious, if I do say so myself.

As you might imagine, keeping Farmer H from contaminating the pepper jar is a full-time job. I set out his ingredients on the cutting block. A plate of the cut-up pepper rings, a plate of diced onions, and the jar of peppers for dipping some juice. I specifically told Farmer H,

"This spoon is for the pepper juice. Don't stir your beans with it."

I laid the spoon on the lid from the pepper jar. Surely even Farmer H could understand those basic instructions. Well. I guess I did not provide enough details.

Here you see how it should have been. Spoon on lid. Silly me. I destroyed the crime scene by putting that spoon back on the lid. In the background, you can see some remaining evidence. That drop of pepper juice is where Farmer H had laid the spoon. With a piece of diced onion that had been stuck to it. I wish I'd gotten the actual photo, but I was distracted, lecturing Farmer H, who was already in the La-Z-Boy, eating his supper.

"I can't believe you put the spoon on the cutting block! That's why the lid was there."

"Huh. It's no big deal."

"Not to YOU. I'M the one who has to wipe up the mess. All you had to do was lay it over a few inches. Is that so hard? AND, you weren't supposed to use the spoon to dip your onions."

Seriously. I pick up the diced onions with my hand, and sprinkle them in the bowl. It would take longer to use a spoon, and I'd be chasing those onions across the plate with it anyway.

We had used all the peppers, so it's not like Farmer H would have contaminated the jar with his onion spoon. I'm surprised he didn't drop the spoon all the way down into the tall jar. Then again, wiping up his cutting block juice and onion was more work than dipping my hand down into a jar of pepper juice.

I don't know why Farmer H can't understand that messes don't clean themselves. OH, WAIT! Yes I do! Farmer H's messes DO clean themselves, with 100% help from ME.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Four Paws Forward And Eight Paws Back

Marley, Marley, Marley!

Farmer H let Marley out to run on Tuesday afternoon, while he was mowing the front yard/field. I'd say it was about three or four hours. When done mowing, Farmer H didn't see Marley, so he got on the Gator and started up to HOS's (Farmer H's Oldest Son's) former homestead to fetch him.

"I guess Marley had explored enough, and was satisfied that nobody was there. He was running down the hill towards me before I even got there."

"He probably heard the Gator."

"Yeah. I picked him up and put him in the Gator, but I didn't have my rope. Marley jumped right out, but he ran along with me. The other dogs was down there following me. I found a BLAH BLAH BLAH (piece of a tractor) that fell off the Barn Guy's tractor, so I stopped to give it to him."

[Barn Guy lives at the top of Farmer H and Buddy's Badly Blacktopped Hill. His boys were the same age as our boys, and they bowled in a league together. He just lost his wife this winter, to pancreatic cancer.]

"When I got out of the Gator, Marley ran up to Barn Guy and BIT HIM ON THE BACK OF THE LEG!"

"Did he break the skin?"

"No. Barn Guy was wearing jeans. I don't know what got into Marley."

"Were Barn Guy's dogs around?"

"No. The husky was in the house. Just our dogs was there."

"Did you spank Marley?"

"I lifted him up in the air by the collar!"

"That's not really the way to go about it."

"I didn't have a leash or a rope. I yanked him back the best way I could. He knew he done wrong."

"Did you yell NO, and act all harsh with him?"

"Yeah. Jack came running over there to get after Marley, snarling at him!"

"Jack's really protective. He did that with me when I yelled at Copper Jack for sniffing around my chicken when I was carrying groceries."

"Yeah. The dogs were fine with Marley, until he bit Barn Guy. I guess maybe Marley's learning where he lives. But now we've gotta watch the biting. Come to think of it, Marley bit Buddy a couple summers ago, when he was down here with HOS."

"Marley might not like men. I imagine HOS was pretty harsh with him. Like he was with his big Marmaduke-looking dog, letting him know who was boss."

"Maybe. Me and Jack let Marley know this time!"

Marley is a work in progress. We're not giving up on him.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Hot Biggedy Dog

We took T-Hoe back to Mick the Mechanic's shop on Tuesday, to get his side mirror replaced. Farmer H picked me up in SilverRedO. On the way home, I said,

"I saw that there's supposedly a recipe on the internet for corn muffins with HOT DOGS in them. Like a corn dog, I guess."

"That sounds good."

"When I make more corn muffins for our leftover beans, I'll make some hot dog corn muffins, too. I wonder if I should put in one hot dog per muffin..."

"HM. A whole hot dog will be longer than a corn muffin. It won't fit."

"Uhhh...I was planning to cut the hot dogs into pieces."

"Oh. I guess that would work."

SWEET GUMMI MARY! Why would I put a long hot dog in a round corn muffin and expect it to fit? And Sweeter Gummily Maryly, who would think that's the way to make a hot dog corn muffin?

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Skippage

The Universe continued its conspiratorial ways on Monday. As with on-again/off-again scratcher profits, some days Mrs. HM just can't catch a break.

Every day at lunch, I have chips and salsa. Not tortilla chips. Potato chips. I have individual bags of plain potato chips, which I enjoy with whatever lunch I make. The chips are easy to pick up and transport to my lair. I put the salsa in a plastic ramekin. As you might imagine, regular potato chips are not good for dipping in salsa. They break. For that reason, I take a spoon to eat my salsa. Don't judge!

Because I know that gravity, like technology, is not my friend...I pick up the ramekin and hold it near my chin area when I shovel in take a bite of salsa. It's efficient.

Monday, I must have had a hole in my chin. That's what my grandpa used to say if one of us dropped something while eating. A single chunk of tomato, about the size of a pea, fell off my spoon.

Of course that diced tomato couldn't just land on my shirt. It skipped along like a record-breaking flat stone across a glass-smooth lake surface. Leaving a trail.

Sweet Gummi Mary! It looks like I got too close to Farmer H's threshold-tripping, skinned-up, near-tourniquet-requiring, side-porch arm.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The Universe Continues To Conspire Against Me, Though Not As Understatedly As Farmer H Pretty-Suredly Trying To Kill Me

Sweet Gummi Mary! I don't ask for much. I've resolved myself to dipping 13 fistfuls of ice out of FRIG II's bin, just to fill one bubba cup. All while listening to Farmer H's silence, or having him chuckle and smirk that the problem can only be in the chopper part of the dispenser. While having made absolutely no effort to fix it, or call a repairman. Calling one myself would cause way more trouble than dipping 13 fistfuls of ice at suppertime.

At lunch time, I fill TWO bubba cups with ice. This requires a more efficient operation. I set my two bubba cups on the cutting block, and pull out the whole ice bin. From there, I dip double fistfuls of ice, right out of the top of the bin, unhindered by the little trap door. Here's the thing:

No matter how careful I am when transferring my ice, some ends up on floor. Mrs. HM is loathe to bend over multiple times per day, as if touching her toes. So you can imagine how I concentrate on moving the ice without dropping any. No method seems to work.

While taking out the crescent-shaped cubes, some fall out the back hole of the bin. Of course the don't lay on the cutting block, but slide off the edge. Others fall out the hole in the bottom of the front side, where a proper dispensing would occur, and off that side of the cutting block. Sometimes out of front and back at the same time!

Some cubes stick to my fingers momentarily while I'm dropping them into the bubbas, then fall and bounce off the cutting block to the floor. Even if I make a successful transfer to both cups, a cube or two fall out of the bin as I'm sliding it back into FRIG II's freezer.

Of course the 13 fistfuls are not without droppage. Cubes slip from my fist, or cling to my fingers and then drop, or bounce off the rim of the bubba and onto the floor. They generally shatter into three or four chunks when they land, and skitter across the room, under the cutting block, under FRIG II, under the stove, under the cabinet edge, or behind the scale next to FRIG II.

Here's the newest method of ice torture.

Yesterday, I was SO careful. I made sure my hands were dry. Calculated how many cubes I could scoop up safely. Dropped them slowly, making sure they were directly over the bubba's opening. I'd scooted all cubes toward the middle of the bin, away from the front and back openings. So intense was my concentration that I held my breath, tongue poking out the corner of my lips. I lifted the bin back into the freezer without any jarring motions. Closed FRIG II's door. SUCCESS!

I snapped down the lid on the purple bubba cup, the one that stores my extra ice for cooling my 44 oz Diet Coke throughout the afternoon. I took the second lid, with the blue plastic straw skewered through the hole. As I do every day, I poked the straw down into the side of the cup before snapping down the lid. Somehow, that blue plastic straw hit the corner of just the right (WRONG) ice cube, levering it up, and ejecting an entire cube out the top and onto the cutting block, from whence it bounced over the side, and shattered on the floor.

It was quite demoralizing.

Monday, October 21, 2019

The Neck Bone's Connected To The Treat Zone

Sunday, I brewed a big cauldron of beans, with some leftover ham. I also bought neck bones for added flavor. Lest you ASSUME, like my sister the ex-mayor's wife did last time...these were PORK neck bones, smoked. Not CHICKEN neck bones.

Anyhoo...I wish I'd taken a picture. After two hours of simmering, the Mansion smelled delicious, and the meat was ready to be pulled off the neck bones. A lot still remained on the bones. I let them cool while I went to town.

When I returned, I had those dogs all hyped up. "Do you want a TREAT from the house?" They know what THAT means! Something good, not just the dry cat kibble, which is a SNACK. My Sweet, Sweet Juno gets all excited, dropping down on her front legs, and springing back up, prancing, hopping over Jack, who has the nerve to get in her way. Jack starts wagging his whole long body, smiling. Yes. I might be a little obsessed with my fleabag friends.

By the time I got the kitchen door unlocked and set down my magical elixir, Copper Jack had joined the treatees.

Juno got the best neck bone. It was a long flat piece, about 6-8 inches, with cut-off rib-looking attachments. It reminded me of that giant rib rack that gets put on Fred Flintstones's car window in the opening credits. Of course Juno turned tail and dived into her house. Jack got the next-best neck bone, which was oblong, maybe four inches, with lots of meaty gelatiny gristly goodness in the cracks between the little bones. I tossed Copper Jack three smaller bones, not as meaty. Because he doesn't live here, you know. He's a guest, and should appreciate any hospitality shown to him.

I don't know if Copper Jack walked around the porch for a drink, or if Juno was just paranoid. Within five minutes, I heard her menacing snarl. Copper Jack would never try to go into Juno's house and raid her brontosaurus bone. He defers to her bluster. Little Jack had smartly run off the minute he picked up his meaty bone. I imagine he got under the Gator, better to defend his treat. Juno is the only one who would challenge him.

Oh, and the beans were delicious, too. We'll be having them for three or four days.

Got a picture of the beans! Mmm...with onions and sweet banana peppers and corn muffins. Not for the dogs. They already had their treat.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Once Again, HM Is Punished For Her Good Deed

My magical elixir was delayed a bit on Saturday, because a family of five was at the trough soda fountain ahead of me. It was a big farmer in overalls, his chubby wife, and their three chubby daughters. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Chubby people are entitled to enjoy a refreshing beverage, too. I just had my nose out of joint because I had to wait to quench my addiction.

One of those little gals had a staring problem. I swear, one of these days I'm going to cease to ignore such children, and STARE RIGHT BACK. To make matters worse, one of those five left a paper wrapper from their straw on the counter in front of the Pepsi fountain.

I had no reason to be concerned with their trash. After all, I don't dare dally in front of the PEPSI fountain. But the ex-teacher in me likes to tidy up. It's a habit that doesn't really carry over at home, because I balk at picking up after Farmer H. But in public, I have those 28 years of good-deeding, picking up stray trash and disposing of it.

My 44 oz Diet Coke was cupped and ready for payment, but the family of five was milling around the register. That one STARER still eyeballing me. I set down my magical elixir in front of the Pepsi fountain, picked up that straw wrapper, and took the three steps back to the wastebasket to dispose of it. Of course it stuck to my hand with static, and fell BESIDE the wastebasket.

I was bending down to pick it up when another customer rounded the back aisle to get in line for payment. Well. That meant he took my rightful place in line. I can't really fault that dreadlocked fellow. As far as he knew, I wasn't in line, since his first view of me was my ample rumpus at the wastebasket. My soda was sitting unattended in front of the Pepsi fountain. Actually, I was afraid it would be in his way, but he got straight in line. So I got behind him.

The five soda-swillers finally left, and Dreads nodded to a guy I didn't even see, over on the other aisle, who had apparently come in before him, and while my ample rumpus was waving in the air. So it's not like he was trying to jump line. Turns out he only wanted to pay $2 for gas. Thank the Gummi Mary, he used actual cash, and didn't have to wait five minutes for the card-reader to work.

It's not that I'm ever in a hurry when I'm in town. I just don't like to wait. If I hadn't taken on that good deed of straw-paper-disposal, I'd have beaten Dreads and that other guy to the register. Oh, well. I do my part to beautify The Gas Station Chicken Store. Maybe one of these days, I'll get my just rewards.

It didn't happen when I got home, though. I only won $5, after cashing in $20 of winning scratchers. AND, at supper time, I cut my finger!

Sure. It's not like I needed a digit re-attached. Or a tourniquet. But it hurt, by cracky! I wasn't even using a knife! I'd have known to be careful, then. All I was doing was reaching for a packet of INSTANT OATMEAL! Apple cinnamon. And this paper cut befell me. On my bad finger, as my boys used to call it.

Some days, life just isn't fair!

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Mrs. HM Has Fallen Into A Theme Rut From Whence She Cannot Ascend

Oh, how I long for the days of stimulating conversation at the Semi Weekly Meetings of the Newmentia Lunch Time Think Tank!

Okay. No. I don't. No matter how much you love your job, teaching is a high-stress profession. You may not even realize the extent, until you make your escape. As much as I fondly reminisce about the fun times of sharing 23 minutes of commiseration with my cronies at the lunch table, there was still always an edge of danger in the air.

These days, all I have to talk about are my convenience store peccadilloes. Like Friday, when my plan was turned on its ear by other customers daring to frequent my stores of choice at the same time I wanted to pick up my magical elixir and scratchers.

The parking lot of The Gas Station Chicken Store was full! For some crazy reason, a semi truck emblazoned with the name and logo of The Devil's Playground was taking up one whole side of the lot, along the moat. The upper spaces were taken by assorted passenger vehicles, and a dump truck! I went on by, thinking I'd go directly to Casey's for scratchers. Nope. Nary a parking space available there, either.

It's not like the factories had just let out for lunch. The time was around 12:50. I decided to go directly to Orb K, a stop I'd not planned to make, and get a Polar Pop and scratchers there. You might recall that they've been putting in a new soda fountain. The construction equipment and dumpster were gone from the parking lot. Once inside, I saw that the new soda fountain was operational.

Here's the thing. That new soda fountain is built into the back wall. It's about 15 FEET LONG! I don't know how many spigots, but I think there are at least 4 ice dispensers. The Diet Coke is the second spigot from the right end. The cups are now under the soda fountain, in little holes, where you can just pull one out. There are a variety of sizes, repeating, along the whole 15-foot section.

I had no trouble finding a 44 oz foam cup. Once my elixir was run, I only needed a lid. Of course there was no lid for a 44 oz on that end of the soda fountain. Lids are still in a vertical metal shelf built into the wall, one at each end. The LARGE lids are only on the far left end of the 15-foot soda fountain now. I had to traverse 14 feet of fountain to get to them, carrying a full cup. I leave a little splashing space in my cup, due to the bone-shaking ride up Farmer H and Buddy's Badly Blacktopped Hill.

Here's my point, after that lengthy set-up...


Along the counter in front of the spigots, puddles of assorted soft drinks dotted the surface, as colorful as a stained-glass window. I daresay there was not a space bereft of sticky soda that was large enough to set down the small bottom of my 44 oz foam cup. The ONLY suitable space I found was by the cup-dispensing shelves on the left side.

You may recall that Orb K used to have an old hand towel laying on the counter of their soda fountain. Always soggy and limp. When a customer asked about it, the clerk at the time said, "That's so you guys can wipe up your mess." Indeed. Even though I'm pretty sure that is against the health department codes, people used it. Not everyone, mind you. People are P-I-G pigs! But about 1 in 10 (like Mrs. HM) would swipe up the spills of others. Just like I pick up straw wrappers off the floor and put them in the trash. It's common courtesy.

Anyhoo... maybe the health department did an inspection of the new soda fountain, and banned the towel rag. I just know that the area was disgraceful! Of course, that probably comes as no surprise to you, having seen the unswept floor of Orb K.

I can't even fault the clerks with this soda fountain mess. They can't see it from the check-out counter or the drive-thru bay. There is no floating clerk for straightening things. So unless they have to go put in ice or stock cups, they'll never know the slop that awaits.

MAYBE, if they'd put a napkin dispenser somewhere along that 15-foot soda fountain, people could use them to wipe up a mess. That's what I do at The Gas Station Chicken Store.

Of course, Orb K may not be able to afford napkins, after paying for a 15-foot soda fountain.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Crises, Crises, Everywhere, And Not A Drop To Drink

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom will need to restrict her fluid intake while out on the town. As in every Friday, when she mails the boys' letters, fills up T-Hoe with gas, and withdraws the weekly cash allowance from the bank. Especially on those Fridays when she also stops by the credit union to deal with The Pony's college finances, or tacks on other errands.

I used to stop by two Casey's on my outing, to mix up the scratcher selection. One is currently being remodeled. I knew that. I'd been somewhat avoiding it, but gave it a test run on Thursday, when I had to run over to Newmentia for insurance purposes. It's right at the turn-off on my old route.

WELL! Good thing I didn't need to use the facilities!

Here's an old picture, that I took to show that penny. In the background, you can see the bathroom doors. Women on the left, Men on the right. When I stopped by there Thursday,


Seriously! That has to be a mistake. Women need a bathroom way more than men! Those men can just stand outside between the cars! I'm sure a few of them have done it.

Anyhoo...the former Women's bathroom now has a sign that says MEN'S. And the former door of the MEN's bathroom now has a WINDOW in it! It's a little square window, about face-high. Like on the old doors to the kitchen area. To see if someone is coming from the other side.

No matter where I looked, I did NOT see a WOMEN'S bathroom! How is that possible? No sign. No arrows. Nothing to indicate that such a rare unicorn exists. I didn't have to go at the time, so I didn't ask about it. I just made a note-to-self not to stop there for a couple weeks. I used the bathroom at the Sis-Town Casey's instead, after making a stop at Newmentia, the post office (gotta mail that DISH bill as soon as I get it), and the credit union.

I am still curious about the missing bathroom.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Another Crisis At The Gas Station Chicken Store

Wednesday, I was in line at The Gas Station Chicken Store behind two women buying scratchers. That hardly ever happens. They were buying tickets I don't buy, so it didn't affect my purchase. What DID affect my customer experience was a malfunction of the stapler.

TGSCS has an automatic stapler. I've never used one, but it looks like a little cylinder. They stick the winning scratchers, with a receipt of the amount of the win on top, into the bottom edge of the cylinder. VOILA! It staples them together. Wednesday, it did nothing.

The Smiley gal clerk was working. She left the previous customer's ticket and receipt laying in place at the stapler, and hollered back to the Man Owner, "The stapler isn't working." He came up front and lifted the drawbridge to get behind the counter, while Smiley continued my transaction.

VAL: "I would have just pounded on the top of it, to see if that made it work."

SMILEY: "I thought about that, but I remembered they [both owners] were in the store! I didn't want to get in trouble."

MAN OWNER: "We have a new one ordered. It should be in tomorrow."

SMILEY: "I actually prefer the manual one."

She put my winners and receipt into the end of a regular stapler on the other side of the counter, near the drawbridge part. A Swingline, perhaps. Like I'd used at school. Pounded it down. Worked like a charm.

SMILEY: "You have fifteen dollars, babe."

VAL: "I'll take the new Christmas ticket, and a Blues."

MAN OWNER: "Oh. Did I tell you the Blues ticket is now $5.25?"

VAL: "Only when I'M here, I guess!"

SMILEY: "Oh, I thought it was $5.50..."

VAL: "Of course. So you each get a cut!"

They're always pulling my leg at The Gas Station Chicken Store.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom Is Her Own Butcher

While adding sugar free cherry limeade to my 44 oz Diet Coke, and using my squeezy thing to squash two lime halves, I made a startling discovery on Tuesday afternoon.


Okay, maybe covered is a bit of an exaggeration. But the bottom third of the pocket had several large blotches. As well as the underboob section of my pastel heather-green cotton button-up shirt. I was embarrassed that I might have been traipsing around The Gas Station Chicken Store, and Country Mart, looking as if I'd just butchered a roadside deer!

I had no idea where that blood was coming from. Surely not from my left boob! Nor the right. The blood looked like it was on the surface, not seeping through from underneath. It was still mostly red, too. Not dried brown. I set about inspecting my fingertips and hands. Just in case I had sugar free cherry limeade on them. It's a powder, but when it hits the least bit of moisture, it's bright red, and hard to scrub off skin.

Nope. Nothing on my hands. Nothing on the counter, as evidenced by a swipe with a damp paper towel. Huh. I hadn't felt any pain, as if cutting myself, when I sliced the lime. The paper plate was unbloody, and also the knife. I continued inspecting my appendages. THERE!


It was midway between wrist and elbow-bend. I held my arm under the faucet, and wiped away the blood. Which returned. I wiped again. Blotted with a paper towel. Aha! There was a pinpoint hole in my skin.

What in the Not-Heaven! I didn't remember catching my arm on anything. Not the shopping cart. I'd put a couple grocery bags in the seat behind the driver's seat. Not even in T-Hoe's rear. Nothing sharp there. I'd bought a bag of onions. Speed Stick Irish Spring for Farmer H. A mini jar of minced garlic. Some deli chicken in a plastic container. Nothing to prick or poke.

I'd stopped to pet the dogs on the way in. They didn't nip. No rough edges on the shelf that holds the roaster pan of cat kibble. Wait a minute! As I was reaching through T-Hoe's passenger door, for my mini bubba cup of ice water, and my magical elixir, I'd felt a little poke. It was from the plastic toothpick I had in my shirt pocket. You never know when you might need a toothpick. Every now and then, one will work its way through the weave of the fabric, and I have to poke it back in.

SWEET GUMMI MARY! I'd impaled my forearm with a toothpick! I guess I bled like a stuck pig. Good thing I'm off that demon Xarelto, if just a nightly dose of aspirin makes my blood so flow-y! Xarelto messes with the clotting factors, and people can bleed to death, as there's no remedy to reverse the clotting inhibitor. Lucky for me, I didn't even need a bandaid, once I'd wiped off the blood twice, and applied a little pressure. Of course, most of my forearm circulation was already soaked into my shirt...

I put that shirt in the washer to soak with some Tide, and went about my business. I took a little picture, to show just how absolutely unimpressive the injury is, smaller than the head of a pin:

Good thing I didn't need a tourniquet! I imagine they're hard to tie with one hand.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Butcher Of Hillmomba

I hope you're not squeamish. Not averse to viewing a roadside corpse. C'mon. How bad could it be? It's not like I'm going to shock you with a picture of a clown. It's just nature. Nature, aided by man. And animal.

I made the discovery on the way home from town Sunday. At 12:58 p.m. The remains were not there an hour before, when I passed in the other direction. As you might imagine, my first glimpse was a bit of a surprise. Of course the first thing I did was stop and take a picture. A picture to send to Farmer H, who was on the other side of the state, having lunch with The Veteran. That's a story for another time, and possibly place.

Anyhoo... I knew that Farmer H would appreciate a good corpse picture. You, perhaps, not so much. That's why I keep typing, trying to fill space, so that the picture will be below the fold. Or below the bottom of your screen, so you can choose whether to scroll down and see it. C'mon. You know you want to!

Anyhoo... let the record show that of course it's not a human corpse. It's not even a WHOLE corpse. It's mainly ears and vertebrae and ribs. See? Just some parts still hooked together. Not even all that gory.

It's about time now. I could tell right away that it had once been a beautiful A deer. A female deer. Like the two we saw several hours ago (Monday evening), on the back blacktop road, returning from an early supper with Genius. Which is also another story.

Anyhoo... get yourself ready for viewing. IF you so choose. But first, let's finish out our little tale. Farmer H said it IS deer season, for hunters with bows. So this was probably a legal kill. And even if it wasn't, the killer made such good use of harvesting maximum meatage that I can't fault him if he's a gun poacher. There are plenty of deer, and hunting season is to cull the herds so that they won't starve to death over the winter. I think it's more humane, a quick bullet or arrow, than wasting away without enough food.

The purple paint on the telephone pole means NO TRESPASSING. No hunting, no harvesting trees, no berry-picking, no gathering firewood, no mining large rocks to sell as a retirement nest egg. Sure, it's possible the hunter/killer trespassed and threw the carcass down there to make a statement that he's a ne'er-do-well. But more likely, the deer was killed and butchered elsewhere, and a large animal dragged the remains here.The creek is on the other side of T-Hoe. The deer come down to drink. Sometimes hunters toss carcasses into the creek, though usually down at the main low water bridge.

I tried for a closeup, but it's out of focus.

I'm sure the dragger gnawed a bit, but it seems like the deer-harvester did a remarkable job of removing as much flesh as possible. What looks like hooves is actually the soft, swivel-y ears. The hooves are much more dainty. And not on the end of vertebrae.

Monday, October 14, 2019

More Excitement At The Gas Station Chicken Store

I hit The Gas Station Chicken Store at just the right time on Saturday. A few cars were out front, but inside, only one lady was paying, and then it was only me.

The Bearded Guy Clerk greeted me, and we made small talk about my $50 winner. As I was selecting two tickets, and he was counting back my profit, that Lady Customer returned.

"What do you do if you lock your keys in the car?"

Bearded Guy Clerk looked at her. Befuddled. How do you answer a question like that? He said, "I don't know. But Man Owner might. There he is now..."

Heh, heh! Man Owner came up front, totally unaware of what had been suggested.

I said, "I'm not sure he wants to be known as someone who can get into a locked car!"

Lady Customer said, "I locked my keys in my car, and now I don't know what to do."

MO: "Oh, I don't know how to get into a car. Do you have somebody you can call?"

LC: "My phone is locked in my car."

MO: "You can use our phone."

LC: "I have AAA. I can call them."

MO: "Oh, yes ma'am. They'll come unlock it for you."

LC: "My card with the phone number for AAA is locked in the car."

MO: "I have AAA. Here. I'll look up the number for you."

He went under the counter. Not like LIMBO. There's a section that lifts up, like a bridge letting a big ship into the harbor. He laid the landline receiver on the counter, and typed the AAA phone number into the adding machine sitting there (TGSCS is old-school, I tell you!). Just so she could see the number, instead of him reading it off to her.

I didn't stay to see how the issue was resolved.
I had a 44 oz Diet Coke that wasn't going to drink itself!

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Farmer H Is Not A Good Seat-Picker

I whined because I had no toilet seat lid, and then I met a gal who had a new toilet seat. Oh, wait! THAT gal was me, too!

Sweet Gummi Mary! Farmer H got out his drill and installed the new toilet seat when he got home from his Storage Unit Store on Saturday. Oh, how I rue the day of complaining about having just a seat with no lid on my toilet. I would gladly take that lidless seat back.

The new toilet seat is plastic. I guess I could make do with plastic, if it had the same shape as the old toilet seat. But no. This new one reminds me of a FUNNEL! The rim of the seat is not simply an oval smooth shape that supports an ample rumpus evenly. No. It is slanted toward the inside. Are you pickin' up what I'm layin' down? The seat rim slants inward. My butt is not used to that. I find it uncomfortable and annoying.

I think the old toilet seat was made out of pressed wood. It was sturdier. Solid. Smooth. Same with the lid. When it was open, you could lean back comfortably. Like when I'd return from The Devil's Playground on a 98-degree day, and lean my bare back on it for cooling purposes. Ahh. So refreshing. This thin plastic lid also has a little rim around the edge. Who wants to lean on something like THAT? Not this ol' gal. No siree, Bob! Besides, if I'm sweaty, that lid will stick to my back when I lean forward to get up. It's thin and unsubstantial, unlike my sturdy pressed-wood lid.

Dang it! I can't believe such a cheap toilet seat cost so much! I don't care if it costs $100, though, if Farmer H can find a seat like the old one. According to him, this was the only toilet seat he could find in the correct shape and color. I'd send him somewhere besides Lowe's, but I'm afraid he'll take out a new credit card.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

The Possible Ends Justify Mrs. HM Being Mean

So sorry not to lead off with a picture today. I'm sure you'll be thanking me later.

We've had a minor calamity here at the Mansion. A calamity discovered by Mrs. HM herself. Who may or may not be the perpetrator of the calamity.

As you may infer, things have been falling apart here at the Mansion. On Friday morning, at 10:10 a.m., I discovered a new item needing repair. I'd just walked into the master bathroom to take a shower before rushing to the post office to mail the boys' weekly letters. Yes, I was running a bit behind, due to catching up on the credit card charges after Farmer H's 10 9-day trip to Nevada. There's a lot of itemization, you know. Mostly gasoline charges. Meals. Tourist attractions. Parking. So my automated phone call took a while.

Anyhoo... I walked into the bathroom and flipped on the light. The first thing I noticed, across the room, was the lid on the toilet seat. It was leaning! Leaning to the right. Huh. It wasn't like that the night before when I got ready for bed. When Farmer H and I get up in the night, we don't turn on the bathroom light. Same thing in the morning. It had been overcast when I first went in upon arising. So the light was dim through the octagon window over the toilet.

Upon further inspection, I discovered that one of the screw thingies that hold the toilet lid to the seat part was gone. Gone or broken. Nothing was holding it in place, so it sagged on that side. The left side still had its screw, still bolted to the main part of the toilet.

Here's the thing. That seat has served us well. It has only been replaced once in the 21 years that we've lived here. I can't even remember the last time it was replaced. That time, it was because of a crack in the seat, which would pinch your butt when you sat down!

The broken screw part might have been due to the plopping or swiveling or contorting of either Farmer H OR me. Who knows? It must have happened between the hours of 4:00 a.m. and 10:10 a.m. I called Farmer H to report the issue, and he said he'd take a look when he got home. At that time, he declared it unfixable, and TOOK OFF THE LID!

Do you know how odd it looks to have a toilet seat without a lid? It's not like the absence of a lid hurts anything. We don't have to close it to keep out experimenting toddlers or drinking pets. It just seems wrong.

Anyhoo... Farmer H went to Lowe's for a new toilet seat. He PUT IT ON HIS LOWE'S CREDIT CARD! Can you believe that? Oh. I'm sure that you can. Why he couldn't just use the debit card, I don't know. I was also shocked that a new toilet seat cost $38.00!!! Sweet Gummi Mary! That's some inflation right there!

Farmer H said he used his credit card to get the discount. The discount was $1.90.

Seriously. If that credit card bill gets lost in the mail, or comes late, the 26.9 percent interest charge will be way more than the 5 percent discount! It will be $10.22.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Pony In His Sty. Without Glasses.

There is none so blind as a Pony with broken glasses. You do NOT want him driving to an optometrist for a new pair!

Lucky for The Pony, he has psychic Mrs. HM for his mother. Way back when we knew The Pony was going to OU, I planned ahead. We were both due for eye exams that spring. I declared the The Pony was getting TWO pairs of glasses.

"Mom! I don't need TWO pairs. They're so expensive."

"Doesn't matter. I don't want you off in Oklahoma with broken glasses! You know you can't see. You know how hard it is around here, to put on the last pair of glasses, until I can get yours fixed. You won't know anyone there, and you won't be able to see to get more glasses. You're getting two pair now, and you'd better put the spare in a safe place where you can find it!"

I am pleasantly surprised that The Pony DID know where the spare glasses were!

He said he broke the attach-y parts on both earpieces. I didn't ask how. I might not want to know. He said he tried to fix them, and mangled a finger. Again, I don't know what he was using to fix a small screw that could have mangled a finger. His Bestie was going to give it a try. He said she has steadier hands. I've not heard if the attempt was a success.

I told The Pony to go to an optical shop like one inside The Devil's Playground, to see if he can get them repaired. Or get new frames. Money is just a cell-phone picture away for a remote deposit, or he can use his credit card.

The Pony is kind of like me. He hates dealing with such things.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

He Can't Hang Onto His Butt With Both Hands And Those Gripper Gloves Worn By NFL Wide Receivers

Farmer H has a problem. He's a loser.

He can't find anything! We were preparing to leave for the casino Wednesday morning, and he couldn't find his player's card. It's not a big deal. They'll give you another one, it only takes a few minutes. Thing is, the LAST TIME we were there, Farmer H had to get another card, because he couldn't find his. WHAT is he doing with these player's cards???

Here's the thing. This player's card is only good for this one casino. When we leave, Farmer H gets in A-Cad, takes the lanyard off his neck, and puts his player's card in a little trapdoor thingy up on the dashboard. In fact, he has a collection of player's cards in there, from 8 casinos in Oklahoma, and a one from the city.

As we started up the driveway, Farmer H was musing about where that player's card could be. I pulled mine out of my gambling purse. "Are you sure you looked for the right one? I'm pretty sure when you got the last replacement, you'd moved up a level. So, it used to be the bright yellow card. Yours should be blue now. You're at the second level. See? Mine is gold, third level. But yours would have this smiley face on it, and be blue."

"Oh. Well. It might be in there..."

I pulled out a tangle of lanyards and cards, and there it was! Farmer H's blue player's card. He's welcome...

Another thing he lost in the past week was a pet carrier. We've had many different pet carriers. Wire ones for big dogs like Juno. Mid-size for Jack. That's the one he needed, to take Marley for grooming. And a small one that we used for bringing home kittens, and for Puppy Jack's first shots.

I think Farmer H let The Veteran take some chickens home in the wire carrier. And I'm pretty sure when he gave away two small goats, he lent the never-returned big dog carrier. I have no idea about the other two. I DID find the missing leash hanging on a nail between the garage doors, after I'd bought another one for Marley.

I found out about the missing pet carrier when I asked how he got Marley to town. Juno will lay down on the truck floor and stay, if her leash is tied so she doesn't creep over to lay on Farmer H's feet. Jack hasn't been to town without a carrier or a Pony.

"I put Marley in a box."

"Oh. So you set him down in a box, to ride there?" I was wondering what kept hyper Marley from jumping out.

"Yeah. I folded the flaps in."

Seriously. Farmer H put Marley in a box, and folded the four flaps down in that woven pattern like you might use to close up out-of-season clothing to carry it to the attic.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

I Feel Like I'm Blindfolded, With One Arm Tied Behind My Back

Mrs. HM spent yesterday afternoon in a state of discombobulation. You know how it is, when your routine is upset, and you have to consciously consider every little action.

I dropped T-Hoe off at Mick the Mechanic's garage around 1:00. I'd cleaned out the bag of junk mail, and stowed my cup of magical elixir change inside the console. Moved a spare coat off the back seat floor, in case Mick needed to poke around under the seat that is not heating, checking for an electrical problem.

I didn't take my lesser bubba cup to town with me, so my throat was bereft of ice-water hydration. I kept my phone inside my purse, lest I forget it on the top of the console. Farmer H gave Mick the spare key, so I didn't have to worry about manipulating my key ring.

Of course SilverRedO has a rougher ride than T-Hoe. Mainly due to the driver, I presume. I might as well have put my magical elixir in a paint-shaker as in the cup holder. By the time we got to the top of Farmer H and Buddy's Badly Blacktopped Hill, the whole top of the lid was covered with at least 1 of the 44 ounces of Diet Coke that had sloshed through the tiny X. Let the record show that I never put a straw in it until I get home. That lid was as pristine as the day it came off the assembly line in the Lids For HM's 44 oz Diet Coke Foam Cups Factory.

Back home, I got my lunch ready, and then had to call for Farmer H to come down to my lair to electronically sign his application for new health insurance. He will be turning the big 6-5, and getting off my outrageously-priced policy in December! Anyhoo... my insurance rep through school had done the main part, and all we had to do was the signature. Plus fill in a couple vital boxes of info. Didn't take long at all. At 2:10, I hit the button to submit, and


The Not-Heaven, you say! NOW what were we supposed to do? The site suggested trying again later. Okay. I could do that. I had all the info from Farmer H. But I was not happy with this development. Nothing EVER goes right for me! And here I was, all discombobulated from the lack of T-Hoe.

BUT, I think I know what was wrong with the site! While sitting for a minute with Farmer H, before carrying down my lunch, we were watching Gunsmoke on the TV LAND channel. His choice. A commercial came on around 1:50, about signing up for this same insurance service that Farmer H will be using.

THAT'S IT! All the old people who need to get their insurance set up were watching Gunsmoke, and saw the commercial, and when it was over, rushed to their computer to go to that website! By cracky, I'm a regular Columbo!

I waited until after 10:00 p.m. Hillmomba time, when all those east coast old people should be tucked into bed, visions of sugarlessplums dancing in their heads, and tried again. I got a message that said,

Welcome back!
Your application has already been successfully submitted and is under review.
If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact a licensed REDACTED sales agent.
That threw me for a loop. But I suppose all systems are GO now, and I don't need to do anything further. I sent an email to my insurance rep anyway, just in case. She's asked to be notified when Farmer H electronically signed, so she'd know it was done.
I hope I don't get any discombobulating news from her.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Hold Onto Your Hat, Sit Down, Take A Deep Breath, And Have The Smelling Salts Handy

T-Hoe is going into the shop tomorrow!

Actually, it's TODAY, as you read this. Farmer H is meeting me in town after I get my 44 oz Diet Coke, and we're leaving T-Hoe with Mick the Mechanic. I'd like to say that my loving husband is concerned about me driving a vehicle that has some major malfunctions. I'd like to think that the most recent spate of DING DING DING red-light warnings about BRAKES has made him worry about my safety. However, we're talking about the same guy I'm pretty sure is trying to kill me. I think he might be worried that T-Hoe will break down, and I'll have to call him away from his Storage Unit Store to rescue me.

That's where he'll be all morning, you know. At the Storage Units, shooting the bull with his buddy the owner. His excuse is that he'll be right there close after I pick up my magical elixir. It's only about a half mile from there to Mick's shop. Oh, and Farmer H commanded me to make a list of what's wrong with T-Hoe. You know, because he can't be bothered to listen to me, and tell Mick. I'm sure we won't be getting everything fixed. Even though hefty repair costs would still be cheaper than buying a new vehicle.

I figure I should type up all the things that go wrong, because one might be a clue to another, and lessen the number of systems that will be taken apart, looking for the problem. I'll start my list here, and copy and paste for Farmer H and Mick.

Alarm bell and red BRAKE light come on, then the yellow triangle SKID symbol

Alarm bell goes off. Red BRAKE light goes off. Yellow SKID symbol stays on


Alarm bell goes off several times on the 5-mile trip to town. After parking and getting out, the warning lights are off, and the alarm doesn't come on.

Since a couple months before this happened, steering feels like in 4WD when turning sharply

After parking on a side-slanted surface, it's hard to shift from PARK into REVERSE

Passenger side mirror won't fold in and out

Driver's side mirror sometimes won't fold in and out

Driver's side seat heater only works on the seat back, not the sitting part. Sometimes won't turn on.

Radio intermittently goes off, no lights or sound. Comes back on randomly, a few minutes later

Backup beeper doesn't work

Sooo...Mick the Mechanic can probably make a month's income off of T-Hoe, depending on what Farmer H tells him to actually fix. I am not terribly optimistic, but for sure I want the brake situation remedied.

It seems to me that T-Hoe has some kind of electrical problem affecting the radio and the door panel control buttons for the seat heater and side mirrors. Then again, I'm not a mechanic.

T-Hoe will spend two days and a night at Mick's shop. Hopefully not more. Farmer H is taking me to a casino on Wednesday, so I won't even miss my untrusty ride.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Another False Accusation Of (Formerly Known As Puppy) Jack

Sunday afternoon around 3:00, I sat on the short couch, conversing with Farmer H. We had a light drizzle, which had put the kibosh on him earning a fortune one dollar at a time at his Storage Unit Store. I'd just returned from town, and he was wondering about the weather, because he was planning on taking Marley out of his pen for a walk on the leash.

"Hey! What's Jack got in his mouth? He just came running across the yard. Man! He's shaking that thing like a dead rat. Is it a squirrel? Oh, no! I see something on it. Bright red. Hope that's not a collar on somebody's pet!"

Farmer H arose from the La-Z-Boy and stumped to the front door.

"Don't scare him! Talk nice, and he'll bring it over."

Farmer H was less gruff than usual. "Whatcha got, Jack?"

Jack perked up. Looked at the porch. Set down his treasure and trotted to the porch.

"It looks like a CAP! He's taken somebody's cap."

Farmer H went out, and I went to the door. Farmer H crossed the yard to get a closer look, while Jack bounded alongside. I could imagine him grabbing that cap and running off with it, teasing Farmer H. But Farmer H got to it first. Held it up.

"It's a GLOVE! It's MY glove! He got it out of the Gator!"

"I don't think so. More like Copper Jack got it, and our Jack took it away from him! Jack came running from up by the driveway, not from the carport Gator area. He can't reach that high, to get it out of the back of the Gator."

Farmer H grunted, and carried his precious glow-orange insulated glove back towards the Gator. You'd think one of these days, he'd learn a lesson about leaving stuff in there, accessible to dog lips.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Off They Went, Into The Wild Doom Yonder

Imagine my surprise on Saturday, when I saw a low-flying helicopter pass over Farmer H's Storage Unit Store. It wasn't a heavy medical helicopter from the nearby hospital. Nor a military chopper or news copter. I was driving by the prison when I first heard it. They lethally injected an overdue ne'er-do-well there earlier this week. So a part of my subconscious thought it might be related to that.

When I parked at The Gas Station Chicken Store, I heard that copter very close. I saw it in T-Hoe's side mirror. VERY LOW, coming over Hardee's, toward T-Hoe (!), then just past, going down! Wow. Looks like the used-car dealer was giving free helicopter rides to lure in prospective buyers.

While I was inside getting my 44 oz Diet Coke, I heard that copter again. When I was settling back inside T-Hoe, there it went. And came back before I left! Over at Orb K, that copter went over twice before I completed my business.

Let the record show that it was definitely drawing attention. People were pulled over, parked on the lots of businesses that were closed, sitting on the hood of their vehicle, necks upturned. I'm pretty sure most mouths were handing open, too.

This whole helicopter deal made me nervous. How safe is a helicopter giving rides at a used-car dealer? Does it need a flight plan? How does it get gas? I'm assuming it takes a special fuel, and can't simply land at a convenience store to fill up. What about power lines? Do they have to weigh the passengers, or take their word for the combined weight? Isn't the most danger in a helicopter ride during takeoff and landing? Yet these rides were about two minutes apiece.

I was really, really nervous. How safe can that be, flying over a populated area? I still haven't recovered from watching Dr. Romano get crushed by that crashing copter on ER.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Hey, Big Spender, Drop A Little Dime For Me

Those of you who follow my other blog know that Mrs. HM's alter ego has a penchant for picking up pennies. Any coins. Collects them for good luck. This week, the floors and parking lots of convenience stores were bereft of coinage. As bare as Old Mother Hubbard's cupboard.


Friday, I had the misfortune of arriving at The Gas Station Chicken Store when school let out. Three young softball-jersey-wearing gals strode in the door on their youthful legs right ahead of me. Well. You know what THAT means! A wait at the soda fountain. High school youth work up a powerful thirst sitting in a classroom, absorbing those dry facts.

They were perfectly polite, and tidy in their fountaining. Of course they all got 44 oz of their own magical elixirs. Up front, one gal paid for her friend's beverage. They moved aside for the last gal to pay. They were in a hurry to go drive around until their parade started. That last gal, paying for her $1.69 soda, handed the clerk two dollars. She turned to leave, and said, "Keep the change."


The clerk waved the dollars at her. "Are you SURE?"

"Yep. Keep the change."

Our eyes met as I bellied up to the counter, and he stashed the bills in the register. We nodded.

"Parents' money! She'll learn."

How am I supposed to harvest my Pennies (and dimes and nickels and quarters) From Heaven if careless youth don't even drop them? These young whippersnappers need to learn how their actions affect others!

Friday, October 4, 2019

O What A Tangled Coat We Weave, When Freedom Makes Us Rush To Leave

Poor Marley! He's the little dog of Farmer H's Oldest Son (HOS), that we took in when HOS moved to town. Marley is not an escape artist until he's released. He doesn't dig out of his pen, but once out, he gives his new surroundings a few moments, then rushes off to his old home.

Farmer H let Marley out on Monday, for the first time since he returned from Nevada. He thought Marley might hang around. Of course, Farmer H thinks this every time he lets Marley out. I knew something was amiss when I found Farmer H down at the mailboxes, working on the bus-waiting shack.

I parked T-Hoe and got out for the mail. My little Jack came running over from the creek. He'd been swimming earlier, judging from his dampness. As I bent to pet him, I saw Juno and Copper Jack running down the gravel road from the direction whence I'd come. I just thought they'd gone roaming farther from Farmer H, although they're not good buddies, and would sooner avoid each other than pal around.

In the back of my mind, I knew Marley was missing from this picture. It didn't dawn on me until suppertime. But subconsciously, I figured that if three dogs started barking with excitement, and running after Farmer H to the mailboxes, the fourth one would, too.

After supper, I asked Farmer H about Marley.

"Oh, he run off again. I had to go up and get him. He rides good in the Gator. He always comes to me now, I don't have to chase him. Before I went down to the creek, them other dogs chased him off. He was running around in the yard, and they got after him."

Anyhoo...this is the time of year that my Sweet, Sweet Juno molts off her matted coat. She's looking sleek and shiny again. Jack and Copper Jack have short hair, so I've never observed them having any coat issues. They always look sleek, although my Jack sheds fine white hairs like crazy. Poor Marley. Running through the brush, being a little dog and low to the ground, does him no favors. Once out of his pen, he becomes quite unkempt. In fact, it hurt me to look at him.

"Marley need a haircut. Doesn't our neighbor do that? See if she can work on him."

Farmer H called her, but she said she was away from her scheduling book. According to Farmer H, she keeps "barber hours," and is closed Mondays. She called back with an appointment for Thursday. I don't think she knew what she was getting herself into.

Here's the usual picture of Marley, from the beginning of summer:

Smiley and fluffy Marley. You'll barely recognize him in the next horror photo, taken outside the groomer.

The irrepressible Marley still has his smile. Yet he looks like he came out the losing end of a fight with Jack, Juno, and Copper Jack. I can't swear that they weren't involved, but I'm pretty sure that raw spot over his eye is from scratching. It looks worse that it is, because his light-colored fur is tinged with the seeping life fluid of poor, poor Marley.

When Farmer H brought Marley home, we convened on the front porch pew. Marley was jumping around like a Poppin' Hoppie. Juno took one look from the other end of the porch, and slunk around the corner to her house. Jack came to show who was boss, and Copper Jack crept closer in the front yard.

I had treats for all! Juno missed out. That's what she gets for being antisocial. The others had some cut-up hot dogs, and trimmings from a ham that I'd sliced yesterday for sandwiches. Hopefully, this party helped them become acquainted, and the other dogs less sour on having Marley around.

Farmer H got a picture of Marley, but the smile is missing!

Who knew Marley was such a little fellow? Not me, that's for sure. He's the same height as Jack, but weighs half as much, I'd say. Here's Jack, contorting himself to get a good sniff of Marley's junk. He kept trying to provoke Marley, who pointedly ignored him, occasionally giving a barely-audible growl. He mainly panted and smiled and looked off into the yard.

Jack sniffed and poked with his snout and yipped and howled. I think Jack was spoiling for a fight, to prove he was top dog. I put the kibosh on that idea with some stern NOs, and a couple taps to the snout. I know that's not nature's way, but it would be an unfair fight with Marley hampered by a leash. Especially when he'd want to run off instead of fight. I will say that Marley did not hunker down or roll over to act submissive. He just seemed OVER the whole yipping thing.

I don't know what kind of dog Marley is. I'd almost venture that there's some poodle in him, judging by the look of his fur after trimming. My old dog Buster the miniature poodle had the same texture after a grooming. Once all Marley's hair was off, I detected some light-caramel-colored spots on his hindquarters. No idea what he is. He's not as long as that picture makes him look.

Farmer H dosed the shorn Marley with flea and tick liquid. He behaved better than Juno during the application. We'll see if this gets rid of his fleas. Our neighbor groomer refused Farmer H's payment. He's going to try to slip it to her husband, saying that she can use it to buy dog treats if nothing else. We didn't want a freebie. Just a haircut for Marley.

We will try bringing Marley to the porch several times a week for supervised butt-sniffing.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Mrs. HM Can Spot A Phony An Arm's Length Away

Last Friday, my sister the ex-mayor's wife took me along on her quest to reap the benefits of free casino swag. She's only used her player's card once or twice at these two casinos, and she's a low-roller. Like 30-cent bets low. Yet she gets the same offers as the high-rolling ex-mayor, who will wager 1-2 dollars per spin, just like me. I don't go to these two casinos, but I got a player's card while I was there.

Anyhoo...this tale isn't about casinos, but about the stop we made on the way home. Sis had informed me the previous Friday, that she'd like me to come along again, but she'd be making a stop at a grocery store on the way home. I said I would bring a book and wait in the car, but since the temps were in the 90s that day, I grabbed a cart/walker and headed inside with them.

Sis's mission was to get soft taco shells that can be fried in oil. They're in the refrigerator case. Or freezer, maybe. This store is the only place she knows that has them. She wanted them to take on an upcoming camping trip. I said I'd check out the deli department, for meals I didn't have to prepare for myself, with Farmer H having three two more days left on his trip.

Now let's get the details. Names are being changed because they can. The town we stopped in has the same name as the neighbor pig on Green Acres. The store was part of a chain in the city that we'll call Deerburg's.

I was quite pleased with the deli selection! I got a turkey-and-gouda sandwich on pretzel bread with honey mustard. Also some fried chicken, a beef burrito, and a Caesar chicken salad. They all turned out to be delicious, except for the beef burrito, which was more of a rice/black bean/red pepper/green pepper/corn burrito. Not a fan.

Anyhoo...Sis found her taco shells. She got a single pack of 8 or 10. It cost 99 cents. Seriously. She made the stop just for this! I would have at least stocked up on several packs to freeze for later. When we got to the front of the store, Sis said, "Which checkout do you want?"

I didn't particularly care. So I took the first open one we came to. There was only one lady at mine, and she already had paid, and was picking up her bagged groceries off the end of the counter, talking to the gal bagger and the checker. Sis went on to the next one, where a lady was having her groceries rung up. I was sure I'd be done first, and have to wait for Sis. I only had a few items, and Sis had tossed in some more camping food, like chips and stuff. Plus two individual Caramel Apple Pies that Ex-Mayor had added when she wasn't looking. I took one myself, and it, too, was delicious.

Anyhoo...the customer in my checkout must have been a personal shopper for someone. The Old Gal Checker, and the Young Gal Bagger, were telling her how great and selfless she was. Though I'm pretty sure she was getting paid to do it, from what I overheard. Sweet Gummi Mary! They went ON and ON and ON! Sis and Ex-Mayor were done and waiting for me before Old Gal Checker even acknowledged that I was there.

As you might imagine, that did not put me in a good mood, after spending four hours walking around casinos, then making a circuit of the store, and now having to stand idle on my screaming knees while they fawned over the Personal Shopper. Maybe she was a regular, and I was just an interloper off the interstate. But still, there's a time for a regular reunion, and a time for doing your salaried job.

Old Gal Checker baffled me when she slid one of my deli items across the scanner, and said, "Huh. I don't know why that won't show the weight." Huh. I don't know. Maybe because the PRICE was printed right on the label? Young Gal Bagger tried to be friendly. I'll give her credit on her permanent record for that. But I was having none of it.

"So, do you have big plans for the weekend?"

"No. Staying home."

Sweet Gummi Mary! Was it any of her business HOW I SPENT MY WEEKEND? Not-Heaven NO! As I later told Sis, I should have said, "YES! My husband is out of town and the mailman is coming over!" But we all know that's not true. The mailman would never be able to find my Mansion. Old Gal Checker was shoving my last item down the counter, she gasped! She clutched her throat. Then she stage-whispered to Young Gal Bagger,

"I don't believe it! There's ANDY! I can't believe he's in our store! He's second only to Bob Deerburg!"

She said this like it was a big deal, and that Young Gal Bagger had better mind her Ps and Qs. If I'd known which one was Andy, I might have hobbled over to relate my shopping experience to him.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

I Coulda Been A Statistic!

You're reading this, so everything worked out okay. Don't panic and wonder if I'm going to make it out alive. The telling of the tale is a major clue for you. So don't sweat it.

As you have been sporadically informed, Farmer H went on a little trip to Nevada for 10 nine days. I'm sure you can imagine my glee. I was positively giddy with delight. Especially the first day he was gone. My sister the ex-mayor's wife had invited me to accompany her and the ex-mayor to pick up their comp gifts at two casinos in the city. So the initial daytime hours of Farmer H's absence were lost on me.

That evening, though, the reality hit me. I got home around 4:30, and dutifully called Sis as she had requested, to let her know that I was home and safely inside the Mansion. I prepared myself that 3-days-past chicken enchilada from The Devil's Playground deli. Descended to my lair for computing on New Delly. The only event to mar the kickoff of The Near-Fortnight of HM was my queasiness, perhaps from that meal.

Much later in the night, I left the lair for the comfort of my OPC (Old People Chair). It was shortly after 1:00 a.m., fully reclined, seat heating, that it happened.

I'd just used the remote control for my OPC to turn on the seat heater. It runs for about 10 minutes, then shuts itself off. I was turning it back on again, to continue the warmth. I'd have also put on the massage feature, but it's kind of loud when I'm trying to hear TV. Ahh... so comfy.

I leaned over the right arm of my OPC, to set the wired remote on the lamp table. I do it all the time. It's not like I'm a novice. I'm well-seasoned in remote-setting. This time, however, I suppose I grew lazy. The remote was close to the side of the lamp table, and the weight of its wire


The minute it happened, I yelled "NOOOOOOO!"

Consider my predicament. I was leaned back in my OPC. The controller that could fold up my OPC to sitting position, allowing me to get up out of the chair, was out of reach. My arm was not long enough to touch the floor and remote, no matter how much I leaned over the side. It's not like a regular recliner, with a handle on the side to collapse it. Or an old-style recliner where you can just squeeze with your legs to fold in the footrest.

Sweet Gummi Mary! Farmer H would not be back for 10 nine days. My cell phone can't call out from the subterranean level of the basement. It can text, but who's going to wake up and answer a text at 1:00 a.m.? Certainly not my sister the ex-mayor's wife. The Pony, possibly, but him being nine hours away in Norman, Oklahoma, was not going to help me. Even if he called Farmer H, who was also there. Even if The Pony could have called Sis, she had no way to get into the Mansion.

There's a house phone sitting in a charger on the lamp table. Where I coudn't reach it. No matter. That receiver is dead. Can't make a call, can't take a call.

What in the Not-Heaven was I going to do? Lie there and decompose, to be found by Farmer H 10 nine days later, covered in feasting millipedes?

Lucky for Mrs. HM, she has an itchy back. On that lamp table was my trusty red wooden backscratcher, that one of the boys had given me for Christmas years ago. And I could REACH IT!

I think I held my breath AND darted my tongue out one side of my mouth as I fished with the curved, carved wooden fingers of my red backscratcher to scoop under that remote control's wire, balance it just right, and lift it within reach.


But you knew that already...

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Another Incident Of SFDD

Same Farmer, Different Day

Farmer H took a mini vacation to visit his younger brother, who lives near Las Vegas. He drove A-Cad, took along a Storage Unit buddy who asked to go, and had a grand old time. He left on a Friday, planning to return 10 days later, on a Sunday. Of course he came back early!

Farmer H is always doing stuff like that. Changing the schedule. He took the southern route out there, and the northern route back. Last I heard, he planned to take the train up Pike's Peak. I was happily computing in my dark basement lair on Saturday evening, complacent with one more Farmer-free day on my horizon, when I got a text at 6:11 p.m. [actual Farmer H spelling and punctuation]

"Im in kansas city be home around 11"

What in the NOT-HEAVEN?

I'd been robbed of my 10th day of freedom! I cry shenanigans! How dare he! Seems he decided to keep driving through Colorado. In fact, he later mentioned that when it gets dark in the Rocky Mountains, it gets REALLY dark! Plus, there was rain, and the lines on the road didn't show up. So Farmer H decided it was probably a good thing everything around him was dark, because he gets nervous looking down the side of a mountain.

Anyhoo... Even Steven smote Farmer H with a quickness. At 8:02, I got another text:

"Been caught in traffic three different erecks in Warrensburg eating supper still be home tonight"

That was later deciphered as having encountered the traffic accidents in Kansas City, and was in Warrensburg having supper. Bottom line, Farmer H got home at 1:15 a.m.

Farmer H is not a night owl. He went to bed without even announcing his arrival, though I certainly heard him stumping around on footless ankles above my head. No. I did not run upstairs to greet him. Didn't see him until the next afternoon. If I had better night vision, I would have seen him laying in bed tethered to his breather when I retired at 4:00 a.m.

Farmer H slept in! I'm pretty sure it was 10:00 a.m. when he was jolly-good-fellowing me up and down on the mattress as he yanked on his bootlaces getting dressed. He's usually up at 6:30, out of the house by 7:00.

Of course I couldn't get back to sleep. So I got up shortly after he left. I'm normally awake at 9:30, but I'd stayed up a little later, enjoying my last moments of freedom. Freedom from what?


Sunday afternoon, as Farmer H was trying to sleep in the La-Z-Boy, I sat down on the short couch to be difficult.

"I want to talk to you! You've been gone so long! Are you SLEEPING? I can't believe you! And you didn't get up until 10:00!"

"HM. I didn't get to bed until 1:30!"


"I needed my rest. I was wore out. I left Denver on Sunday morning, and drove all day and night."

"You have a fit if I sleep past 9:30. Even though I go to bed at 3:00 or 4:00. Am I not allowed to get a full night's sleep? You had 8 and a half hours of sleep! I'm only allowed 6 hours! How is THAT fair?"

"Well, you need to get to bed earlier."

"I don't tell YOU to go to bed LATER!"

"HM. That's your choice. To stay up so late."

"Well, it was YOUR choice to keep on driving and come home a day early!"

There's no reasoning with Farmer H.