Saturday, November 30, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Whatever. I doubt that was a mosquito."

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

Friday, November 29, 2019

That Darn DISH

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 28, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Mrs. HM Will NOT Be Shamed!

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

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

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

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

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

Anyhoo...Farmer H held out a shaker.

"Here's the salt."

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

Sweet Gummi Mary! How has Farmer H lived this long, being!

"That's the only shaker here."

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

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

"Sure. WE don't USE salt!"

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

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

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

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

"Yes. I did."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Well. That part is true..."

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

Monday, November 25, 2019

A Shaming Trilogy, Part 2: Caught In The Act

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 24, 2019

A Shaming Trilogy, Part 1: Every Mansion Has Its Pooper

Farmer H and I had a little talk when he came home early from his Storage Unit Store on Saturday. Oh, he wasn't rushing home to see me. The weather was cold and rainy. No business.

"You need to clean your dried poop off the back of the toilet seat again. I'm not your nanny. Not your home health aide. If you can't take care of your toileting needs, we'll hire one."

The reaction was much along the same vein as last week, when Farmer H said about all the stuff he tracks in on his boots daily, "ONE OF US needs to run the vacuum."

"Maybe YOU pooped on the toilet."

"No. That would be downstairs. IN, not ON. Besides, I heard you at 6:00 a.m. pooping."

"No. I just farted."

"When you get up from your lunch, I expect you to clean your dried poop off the back of the toilet seat."

"Whatever, HM."

"Surely you don't think it's wrong of me to object to sitting on your dried poop. Or to wiping off your dried poop."

He went into the master bathroom. Stayed a while. Came back out. Was ALMOST apologetic.

"Huh. I guess that happened right before I got in the shower."

"Imagine if YOU sat in MY poop several times a week. And then cleaned it off. And I denied it when you confronted me about my habits."

"I don't know how I didn't see that."

"Yeah. That's what I always ask myself. How could you NOT SEE that?"

Let the record show that we went to a casino on Saturday. Once we were back home, I was standing at the end table, putting my gambling purse back in order, when I burped.

"EXCUSE YOU!" said Farmer H.

"Sorry. I am NOT going to listen to etiquette instructions from a toilet-seat pooper."

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Hillbilly Mom, Possible Crime Chaser

You know my imagination runs wild, right? All kinds of wicked scenarios pop into my head when I observe something that seems a little bit off. You'd think I'd harness that untamed imagination, and train it to pull my fingers across New Delly's keyboard to write fiction. Alas. I cannot. I am not an imagination whisperer.

Here's the next best thing, though. I'll share my fears with you!

Friday, I left home to do the weekly errands of letter-mailing (with stamp-buying thrown in), T-Hoe gassing, and weekly-allowance-withdrawing. I was perhaps two miles from the Mansion, on the county blacktop road. It's a straight stretch, but riddled with little hills.

Up ahead, I could see a red pickup truck heading towards town. I noticed it, because Farmer H has SilverRedO. I knew it wasn't him, due to his Storage Unit Store schedule. I also saw a white vehicle closer to me, heading toward me. That's what I was really looking for, to be alert, in case a vehicle crests a little hill in the middle of the road. I'm always in my lane, but ready to jam on the brakes or veer off.

When I crested the last hill between us, I saw that the white vehicle was an actual mail Jeep. It was sitting at a mailbox, putting in mail. Fair enough. No collision today. I continued on my way. When I rounded some curves by the sheep field, and crested the last hill, heading down toward the eventual junction with the lettered highway to town...

I saw that Red Truck, parked on the wrong side of the road, at a stand of 4 mailboxes for some newer homes that have been built in the past several years. The Red Truck was pulling a little trailer. A gray sedan came into view, headed in the opposite direction of Red Truck and T-Hoe. Coming at us. Obeying the rules of the road.

First of all, WHY was that Red Truck going through a mailbox? If he lived there, wouldn't he turn into his own road?

Red Truck veered across the road and continued driving when he saw the gray sedan coming. I figured MAYBE he'd gotten his mail, and wanted to get out of the way.

By the time I got out onto the lettered highway to town, Red Truck was way out ahead of me. He must have been going really fast. I was curious. I sped up to 70 (shh...the speed limit is 55) to see if I could get a glimpse of his license plate. HOS (Farmer H's Oldest Son) has a little trailer like that parked in our field. I hadn't noticed if it was there or not when I left.

Second of all, WHO drives a pickup truck 70 miles an hour with a trailer attached? Was this guy up to no good? Try as I might, I was not gaining on him. He flew by the prison. Aha! Red Truck signaled to turn left on the road by Mick the Mechanic's shop, where I was also turning.

Third of all, WHEN Red Truck saw my turn signal in his mirror, he turned his off! And continued into town at that high rate of speed, right past the 45 mph speed limit sign.

I did what any respectable law-abiding (except for the momentary moving violation) Hillbilly Mom would do, and called Farmer H to tell him my observations.

"Don't you think that's weird? Do you think maybe Red Truck saw the mail Jeep go by him, and decided to look into people's mailboxes before they could get their mail? It just seems odd that he was coming from out by our area, and stopped at those mailboxes near the road to town. Plus taking off when he saw a car coming. Not to mention the speeding and deciding not to turn when he saw that I, his main witness, was turning!"

Farmer H agreed that something was not right with this scenario. I'll keep my eyes and ears out for any reports of trailer thievery or mail stealing. Red Ford pickup. Four door. Short bed.

Friday, November 22, 2019

No Rest For The Wicked Weary

Sweet Gummi Mary! It is 1:54 a.m. as I sit in my LIGHTED basement lair and type this. Oh, don't think that Farmer H fixed my fluorescent lights. One of the four is working, though. Completely, burning both long bulbs, right over New Delly's keyboard.

I now understand what my mom meant, when she used to tell me,
"Oh, there's so much to do!"

Of course I would chide her. "WHAT, Mom? WHAT is there to do? You don't have to go anywhere or do ANYTHING if you don't want to." Heh, heh. So smug was I, working and keeping two boys alive and catering to Farmer H's every need.

Now that I don't really have anything to do all day, I am SO BUSY! Sorry. I don't mean to scare anybody contemplating retirement. You know who you are, Madam...

Thursday is the only real crunch time I have. It's the day I write the boys' letters. But tonight (last night) I had other things to do. Some of which aren't getting done. So there. Sue me. Lock me up and throw away the key. I wouldn't even be writing this except that I wanted to vent.

I got a late start to town because I was looking at the tax bills. I've had them a week or so, but need to get them in the mail when I'm at the post office tomorrow (today), since one of them will be overweight.

In town, I got some Chex Mix makings, since we're going to visit The Pony, and later my best old ex-teaching buddy Mabel. I didn't get home until around 2:45. Then had to make my own lunch. I KNOW! Life is hard!

Seems like no sooner did I eat lunch than it was time to go make Farmer H's supper. I'd actually made it before going to town, and it was in FRIG II in the pan, ready to warm up. He wanted Li'l Smokies and beans. Like beanie weenies. Of course he came in just before I started down with my lunch, delaying me even more, and said he was going to take apart the ice maker. NO! I wasn't in a mood to deal with no ice on my BUSY day!

Anyhoo...I told Farmer H that I'd be up around 6:00 to warm his supper, but if he wanted it sooner, he could do it himself by putting the pan on the stove and turning on the burner. Can you believe he said no, that he'd wait for me to do it? Yeah. I was pretty sure you could. Oh, and he wanted me to dice an onion for him to put in it.

So...once I made my own supper of Devil's Playground Orange Chicken, I still had to type up two letters and two blog posts and write out two checks for the eight tax bills, and address three envelopes, and get into the safe to take out the money I've been putting away for the tax bills. I was supposed to call for room reservations for our Pony visit, but I'll do that tomorrow (today) after my town trip.

I got a lot more done when I was working, you know. Not that I have any plans to return.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Farmer H Plans, Juno Suffers

I have noticed over the last week that my Sweet, Sweet Juno is ravenous when I greet her on my way to the garage. She's overly excited about getting a handful of cat kibble. Such a good girl, my Juno. Her only transgressions are poking her nose on the lip area of my water cup as I walk down the steps, and that time she jammed her rubbery nose into my mouth.

Juno is looking shiny and sleek these days. Farmer H used to accuse her of being his egg-stealer when we had chickens, but Juno is just naturally shiny when her matted fur falls off at the end of the summer. However, she's been looking THIN! I can see her backbone. Rather than being sturdy, she looks frail for a dog her size.

Oh, she still frolics with Jack if Copper Jack is tied up. Like he was all weekend, due to deer season, and his resemblance to a deer. Or perhaps his penchant for following his human dad down into the woods. Anyhoo...Juno seems to feel fine. She just looks slim to me.

In fact, I've taken to giving her cat kibble every time I walk by her on the side porch, coming and going. Jack is looking more rotund than normal. So I have to watch it with his portions. Juno even tries to get his before he's done.

Now I think I've solved THIS mystery. I had some leftover spaghetti saved for their treat on Wednesday. I'd separated it into two portions, intending to carry the plate around to their food pans, rather than dump spaghetti on Farmer H's stained porch boards.

Both dogs were excited, and followed me gleefully. Copper Jack was back, but he stayed behind Juno's house like a proper uninvited guest. When I reached the food pans, I saw that it was now a food PAN. Only one! Sitting beside the metal self-feeder that Farmer H had brought over from Marley's pen. [We won't be discussing Marley today!]

I scraped half the spaghetti into the metal food pan, and for lack of another dish, I scraped the rest into the bottom of the self-feeder. It had been in the refrigerator, and was pretty much two solid hunks of cold spaghetti.

Stupid, stupid Jack took a sniff, and followed me back around the porch to the kitchen door, where I was planning to throw Copper Jack a roll. That dumb Jack! Of course Juno pulled her wad of spaghetti out of the bottom of that feeder, onto the porch boards in front of it, and then stepped to the pan to eat Jack's portion. Then back to hers.

For his ignoramusosity, Jack got half a roll.

I'm pretty sure Juno is leery of that self-feeder, and has been going without much dog food.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Rejection: All In A Day's Not-Work For Mrs. HM

It's feast or famine at The Gas Station Chicken Store. And I'm not talking about their delicious fried poultry. No, I'm either treated like royalty, or virtually being told to take a hike!

Tuesday, I stepped up to the end of the aisle to pay for my magical elixir. A lady was paying for two 32 oz sodas (amateur!) and other stuff at the glass lottery counter. An older lady was over by the door at the side counter, waiting to pay for gas with a card. A man was directly in front of me. And another lady came in the door and stood off to the side. I really think she got to a waiting-like place before I stepped all the way up. It's so hard to tell in TGSCS, where people don't seem to understand the concept of a line.

Anyhoo, the Nice Guy Clerk was working. He had the Soda Lady and Gas Granny under control, going from one to the other. The Woman Owner opened up the second register, on the left, and said she could help somebody. The man ahead of me stepped over to her.

He didn't take long, and Woman Owner gave me the head sign that she'd wait on me. I jabbed my scratchers at the Came-In Lady. "I think she was ahead of me." Came-In Lady stepped over, and paid $3 for gas, and got a pack of cigarettes. Priorities, you know.

While Came-In Lady was paying, a Young Dude walked in, past me, over by the chicken case. I knew I was next. It didn't matter who waited on me. I always trade my scratchers equally, or take money back from a bigger win. I have my exact change for the 44 oz Diet Coke ready. I'm a pretty easy transaction.

Came-In Lady was done, on her way out. Soda Lady gathered up her lesser elixirs and started out. Gas Granny also turned to leave. I was next.

Woman Owner looked at me, and I started towards her. All at once, she said, "HE has the machine!" What in the NOT-HEAVEN? Was she REJECTING ME? Pawning me off on Nice Guy Clerk? Sweet Gummi Mary! Woman Owner is usually so fake-nice to me!

"Oh. Okay. I can handle rejection." I said with my left eyebrow raised.

"OH! No, no! I didn't mean it like that!" Said Woman Owner. Heh, heh.

I know she didn't. But she was awfully eager to take Young Dude, who was paying cash for $5 in gas. Nice Guy Clerk treated me right, though.

It just dawned on me that Woman Owner might have a camera out by her air hose, and glimpsed me stealing some air for T-Hoe's tire the day before...

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Let's Be Proud Of Farmer H

Just a couple days after the La-Z-Boy Pretzel, our old Farmer is growing up. Learning from his mistakes. Almost able to take care of himself. Let's not go overboard, heaping on the praise, though. There was a misstep along this short journey.

Sunday, I said I'd pick up supper for him at Country Mart's deli. He wanted a BBQ pork steak, green beans, and mashed potatoes. He'd at first mentioned macaroni and cheese, but switched that to the potatoes. As I waited my turn at the deli counter, I noticed that the after-church crowd must have been dismissed early. It was only about 12:15, but already the deli cupboard was showing signs of impending bareness. A scant amount of mac and cheese clung to the corner of the metal bin, and only three stubs of green beans floated in the murky water.

So...Farmer H got his pork steak (it was HUGE), and mashed potatoes with brown gravy, plus mac and cheese. He's probably pretty sure I'm trying to kill him with carb overload.

Anyhoo...knowing how he is, I told Farmer H before I went downstairs,

"You're going to put your food on a plate, right? And not try to eat it out of the foam container? Because a knife will cut right through that."

"Oh. Uh. Sure."

I was not exactly convinced. But when I came upstairs later, his dirty plate was sitting beside the sink. Along with MY SPECIAL BOWL that is part of a set my mom gave me! It's really old! So old that the "set" was just three plates and four bowls. In fact, two of the bowls are chipped and cracked. So I rarely use them. The only thing is when making Farmer H his salsa/cheese dip for Super Bowl snacks. Yet he'd taken it upon himself to use my special keepsake bowl!

"WHY did you use THIS bowl???"

"It's just a bowl, HM. I put my mashed potatoes in it."

"We have two kinds of disposable bowls, and the regular glass bowls with the stripe on the edge, which are in the front of the cabinet! WHY did you dig around to get THIS bowl?"

"I just did."

"Well. Don't do it any more. We have regular bowls. These are old, and special, and I'd rather not take a chance on them getting broken. My mom gave them to me."

"Huh. Okay. I'm always doing something wrong."

He ain't a woofin'!

Anyhoo...on Monday, since he was leaving early for an auction around 4:30, Farmer H said he would get his own supper. And he DID!

All I had to do was originally cook the spaghetti with hamburger sauce, freeze it, thaw it, and tell him how to heat frozen garlic toast in the oven (400 degrees, three minutes each side) and leave a pan lined with foil on top of the stove.

Farmer H did remarkably well. Even used the everyday bowl to microwave his spaghetti. AND none of it was found in the La-Z-Boy.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Each New Day Is Full Of Surprises

Okay, maybe not so much FULL of surprises. But living with Farmer H means that my day is never dull. He is really good about leaving me little gifts. Gifts that I don't particularly want. And gifts that he doesn't even realize he's giving me.

From the man who gave us the recliner banana peel, I present...


There it lies, in all its twisty glory, upon the threadbare La-Z-Boy. I discovered it Sunday morning. Of course at first glance, I feared the worst. You know what I'm talkin' about!

I got a picture for evidence, then set that pretzel on the side table for shaming purposes. When confronted with it later, the pretzel-abandoner proclaimed,

"I THOUGHT I dropped a pretzel last night! I felt around between my legs, but I couldn't find anything. [!] So I thought maybe I was wrong."

"Well, here it is, on the table. You can throw it away yourself."

"I'll eat that! Ain't nothin' wrong with it!"

Sorry. I don't mean to flaunt my never-ending supply of blog topics...

Sunday, November 17, 2019

We Have Failed A Generation

Hold up there! By using the word WE, I am not taking responsibility! Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has NOT failed a generation. She has made sure her own boys possess this skill. And even seen them use it, on several occasions.


Normally, I assume that these young people just don't care. They're so wrapped up in themselves that they don't even think about holding a door open for the person behind them, or coming at them. Unless they're like that ne'er-do-well who actually pushed the door shut behind him as I was walking up. Or the one who slipped through the door like he was Indiana Jones about to be crushed in the Temple of Doom. I'm pretty sure those two were just being d*cks.

Anyhoo...I'll give credit to the young man at Orb K on Saturday. He tried. Good for him. He was just sadly inept. He lacked the skills.

Orb K has double glass doors. They both open out. You can see people on the other side. I was starting to go out the glass door on the right. This Young Man was starting to come in. He had not yet declared a door. He saw me, and did the oddest thing...

He grabbed both door handles and opened both doors! Like he was the master of a grand palace, opening the doors to his study. Of course this was not conducive to me making an exit. He stood in the middle, holding a door handle in each hand. Which left no room for me to go through the portal, unless I wanted to play limbo under his arm.

"Thank you," I said, my arm on the push bar, stopping one step out the door.

I guess This Young Man realized his predicament, and finally let go of the door handle, allowing me to make my escape.

His heart was in the right place. His technique needs work.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

A Sneaking Suspicion

I have a sneaking suspicion that Farmer H, failing to kill me by assorted methods, has acquiesced to declaring me mentally unfit! It didn't dawn on me until a few days after Genius called to chat. I was thrilled, I tell you. It's been a long time since Genius and I connected. Sure, he used to call me on his drive home from work. That was more of a time-killer for him, I think.

This recent call lasted over 90 minutes. We had a great time, with him filling me in on his new apartment and new job. We reminisced about some entertaining incidents from his childhood. He DID reveal that he was lying on his new couch, recovering from a hangover. But I'll take a 90-minute conversation any way I can get it.

A few days later, Farmer H let it slip that "You don't remember anything! Maybe you have Old Timer's. I was telling Genius the other day--"

Aha! He stopped abruptly. Farmer H is not a good secret keeper. I put the pieces of that puzzle together, and assumed that Genius had called to test my mental acuity.

Here's the deal. Farmer H was talking about knowing a lady in Pennsylvania, who had gone to school with him. He said she lived not near Genius's new place, but near where Farmer H's brother was buried. He kept blabbing on, and I said something to the effect that I didn't know his brother was buried there.

"You don't remember ANYTHING, HM!"

Well. Pardon me. I remember enough to have worked a full-time job while keeping the bills paid and your kids alive and food on the table and the laundry (of everybody but you) clean! So if some of those vital duties took the place of random minutia in my sorry! was at least a dozen years ago when his brother died. I didn't go to the funeral. WAIT! Don't let him know that. I'll be in trouble if I don't know the exact date, and the time down to the minute. My point is that Farmer H has no room to chastise ME for not remembering things. Only last night, I heard him upstairs rattling pot lids at 4:55. I was on my way up the stairs at the time.

"WHAT are you doing?"

"I'm getting ready to warm me some chili."

"WHY? I'm on my way to do that! Why do you think I was asking you last night if you were leaving for the auction at the regular time? I said I'd warm up the chili, and put the rest in those plastic containers. And slice more of the Oberle cheese."

"Oh. Uh. I remember you asking when I was leaving for the auction. But not the other part."

"Uh huh. WHO can't remember things?"

"Well. I can remember. But I tune you out."

"You say that like it will make things better."

Anyhoo...I was going to tell you something else I told Farmer H, that he tuned out, but I can't remember what it was...

Oh! Yes I do! I had the big pan of chili on the front burner, and it wasn't warming as fast as on the back burner. So I told Farmer H, who was going to take his medicine,

"You can come get your cheese ready, and by then, the chili should be warm. I just turned it up."

So after he took his medicine, he came to the kitchen, grabbed a bowl, and elbowed me out of the way at the stove.

"No. Look at me. I said you can come get your CHEESE READY, and THEN the chili. I'm stirring it so the bottom doesn't stick. It's getting hotter."

"Oh. I don't remember that cheese part. I must have tuned you out."

Uh huh. Just as I thought. No wonder he can't remember that FRIG II's ice dispenser is broken, even though I tell him every night.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Farmer H Can Make Someone's Day

Farmer H went out to dinner last night. His dining companion is in 4th grade. It was a birthday treat for HOSS (Farmer H's Oldest Son's Son). They went to CiCi's pizza, more for the game room than the pizza. Although I'm pretty sure Farmer H enjoyed the pizza more. Afterwards, Farmer H took HOSS to pick out a present.

On the short drive from CiCi's to The Devil's Playground, HOSS said, "This is the best day ever! I got to have pizza and play games, and now I'm getting a toy!"

Aww. That melts my cold, cold heart.

Farmer H told HOSS he could pick out anything for $20. Meaning it was a general amount. Not thinking the kid would take it literally. The Lego kit came to around $26 after tax. As they left the store, HOSS told Farmer H, "I have some birthday money at home. When you drop me off, I'll give you the money back." Meaning the amount over $20.

That DRIP DRIP you hear is once again my cardiac juice.

Farmer H told him, "You don't have to do that, bud. I'm glad you had a good time."

Thursday, November 14, 2019

I Figure It Will Boost My Immune System

Last night for supper, I made myself a sandwich. The effort was not a success.

Remember the pulled-pork sandwich on ciabatta bread? That's what I set out to make. But we'd run out of the pulled pork in the plastic tub. So at Country Mart the other day, when I bought my ciabatta bread (use by November 18), I looked in the cooler case for more. I saw that brand in the same round red tub, but it said something about TANGY sauce. Which I'd thought was too spicy for my tastes last time. But there was another container, same brand, that said PULLED PORK and didn't say TANGY. So I bought it.

I knew this sandwich wouldn't take long. I set out my ciabatta roll. Sliced my pickle (oh, how we all love pickles, heh, heh, covering every inch of our sandwich). I opened the rectangular container of pulled pork, and almost dislocated my jaw as my mouth dropped open. It was a shrink-wrapped lump of pressed meat particles. I wish I'd taken a picture, but I was so discombobulated, and thinking on my feet, that I did not.

I decided to go ahead with the sandwich. I cut open the plastic pouch, and squeezed out the end of the lump. Sniffed it. Huh. Smelled like SPAM. The food, not the computer junk. That's okay. I like SPAM. I've never had it with BBQ sauce. Which was apparently not part of this PULLED PORK package. Seriously. The puller was asleep at the forks. Or else a chunker filled in for him that day. I sliced my congealed lumps, and put the slices on my ciabatta roll. I added some mayo instead of BBQ sauce. Piled on the pickles.

As I was wrapping it in plastic wrap to stay fresh in my lair until I decided to eat it, I thought I saw something on the corner of the ciabatta roll. Huh. Was that a dot of MOLD? It was smaller than a pinhead. But it sure looked like MOLD!

No way was I going to trash that sammich! I pinched out a dime-sized particle of the ciabatta roll and threw it away. Then I pretended nothing was wrong.

I'd give that meal a 3/10. Probably won't be having it again. I see ciabatta in the dogs' future. Maybe some PULLED PORK as well. I'm NOT making them each a sandwich.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Juno Doesn't Know I'm Two-Timing Her With Marley

I'm a little behind catching you up with our resident terrierist Marley. I don't know for sure that Marley has some terrier in him, but he certainly has the energy and determination of one.

Two Sundays ago, I returned from town as usual. I eased T-Hoe into the garage. It takes me a minute to gather up my stuff. Jack runs in to wait by the people-door for me, where I pet him and open the door to let him through. Marley has not quite gotten the hang of it.

Marley camps out under my driver's door. I have to be careful not to step on him as I slide out over the running board. Ever since I stepped on the boys' daycare lady's Boston Terrier, Bostie, who screamed like a woman...I'm leery of treading on a paw. Bostie was fine. Perhaps a bit overdramatic. Didn't even limp.

Anyhoo...Marley pounces on me before I even have both feet on the concrete. He jumps up like a Superball defying the laws of elasticity. Each bounce or jump should be lower than the one preceding it. Energy is used up with each bounce. But not from Marley's sinewy legs!

When I command "NO! Marley! NO! Down!" he will crouch down, all wiggly, and lean on his haunch, halfway exposing his belly to me. I reward him with petting. Which makes him think everything is fine again, so he resumes the leaping.

On this particular Sunday, Marley faked me out. I chastised him. He crouched down. And as I bent to pat him,


Oh, yuck! A butt-sniffing tool jammed between my lips! It's not like I am a stranger to such intimate interactions. There WAS that time Juno poked her nose in my mouth while I was sweet-talking her.

Let's not tell Juno about this, okay?

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

If It's Not One Thing, It's Two More

Monday, Hillmomba plunged into the deep freeze around 12:18 p.m. I know that, because that's when bits of sleet started hitting T-Hoe as I parked at EmBee to get the mail. Except, DUH, there was no mail, because Veteran's Day is a federal holiday.

Anyhoo...this was in the forecast. I had expected a plethora of schools to call off, but no. They were in session, but sending home the students at various configurations of noon. I know that, because my cell phone still gets the notification from Newmentia like when The Pony was a student. And also I saw the buses leaving the bus shed over by Country Mart for Hillmomba's district. Before I descended to my dark basement lair with lunch, the storm was upon us. At least upon the back porch rails of the Mansion.

Anyhoo...I knew this storm was a-comin', so I'd gotten moving earlier to fetch my 44 oz Diet Coke and pick up some chili-fixin's. Everything was running on schedule. A light rain was falling as I left, at 38 degrees. My first stop was Save A Lot, for the chili stuff. When I left there, it was 35 degrees. A light mist.

From there I got my magical elixir. THAT is where the weather took a turn. As I walked back out to T-Hoe, I could feel that the wind had shifted. It was ICY cold. Gusty. Almost blew a scratcher out of my soda-hand. Temp was down to 34.

On to Country Mart, for the scratcher machine. Heh, heh. A man came up behind me while I was making my picks. I couldn't move away, because those machines don't give change. He wasn't TOO annoying. Just said,

"I'm going to get the winner. I have to wait patiently for my turn."

"Heh, heh. You MIGHT get the winner. At least you can see what I'm getting, so you pick something else! That's what I do! I won't buy a ticket right after somebody else gets that kind."

I didn't stick around to see what he got, but I won $35, so I bear him no ill will.

Back in T-Hoe (32 degrees), I texted Farmer H to see if he wanted me to bring something for lunch. He did not, but I started for Hardee's anyway, for some chicken tenders.


T-Hoe's LOW TIRE light went on. Only 26 pounds of air in the one with the slow leak. It needs 35. Well, crap. If it had warned me over at The Gas Station Chicken Store, I could have gotten my FREE AIR while I was there. With a doctor nurse practitioner appointment the next day, I had to get some air in that tire. So I went back to The Gas Station Chicken Store after disloyally buying chicken from Hardee's.

By the time I got over to TGSCS, it was 31 degrees. The wind was whipping with a vengeance. I had to untangle the air hose to make it reach T-Hoe. I meant to put in 8 pounds of air, but turns out it was only 4. It's hard to judge when the temperature is so cold. Besides, I lost feeling in my hands. I could barely screw the little plastic cap back on the tire valve.

I'm pretty sure it's because my fingers are already damaged with frostbite, and more prone to extra frostbite, due to Farmer H's lack of attention to FRIG II's icemaker. And let's not forget his going-on-six-months apathy about T-Hoe's leaky tire.

Did you know that Farmer H got a NEW TIRE put on SilverRedO last week? Because it had a leak.

Monday, November 11, 2019

SHAMING Is Not A Tactic That Works On Farmer H

But you knew that already, right? You can't guilt a man who feels no guilt.

As I was digging my 13 handfuls of ice out of FRIG II's freezer bin on Sunday night, I made sure Farmer H could hear me running my [SMART as he calls it] mouth. Oh, and let the record show that I have a routine doctor nurse practitioner appointment on Tuesday.

"Ow! OW! Every time I grab a handful of ice, it melts a little as I lift it to my cup. Then my fingers are wet. That means the next cubes I grab stick to my fingertips. I have to pry them off against the rim of the cup. It BURNS! I think I'm pulling the skin off. I think I have frostbite. The ice is melting because all the heat flows out of my fingertips into the ice. [former physics teacher here] They're ICE cold! And turning red. I sure hope the doctor doesn't ask me what's wrong with my fingers! Because I'd have to tell him that my husband hasn't fixed the ice maker in MONTHS, and that I've been bare-handing 13 handfuls of ice every night..."

I heard no response from the La-Z-Boy holding the lazy boy. I went to sit down on the short couch while supper was heating up.

"My hands are SO cold! They burn! LOOK at this hand, compared to the other one. SEE? How red it is? I really think I have frostbite. Can you tell?"


Not even lukewarm interest in my digits that would soon be sloughing off identifying fingerprints.


Farmer H might have some kind of ulterior motive here. I might have underestimated his cunning.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

He's Up To Something. I Just Can't Find The Evidence.

Farmer H was acting quite suspicious Saturday night. He'd gone to the auction as usual, around 6:00. I was upstairs warming my supper shortly after 8:00. Standing at the kitchen counter, I heard the dogs bark, and thumping on the porch. You never know what those crazy mutts are reacting to.

From the corner of my right eye, I saw the kitchen door move. It opened just a crack. It had been locked, and the porch light on. Of course I assumed it was Farmer H coming in, although he sometimes is out until after 10:30 at the auction.

Nobody came in.

Well. I was in a fine mess if I was about to be robbed. My purse was sitting on the other section of the counter. The mini blinds were open. Whoever was on the porch could stand and watch me, then burst in when good and ready.

"HEY! What are you doing?" I yelled. To Farmer H, I was sure.

Nothing. The kitchen door closed again. That was curious. Why was my Sweet Baboo not answering me? Surely it WAS my Sweet Baboo. Not an intruder...

A couple minutes later, the door opened again, and Farmer H walked in.

"WHAT are you doing?"

"Nothing. I just got home."

"Why did you close the door when you knew I was up here?"

"I didn't."

"I SAW you open the door. Then close it. And you didn't answer me when I hollered."

"Oh. The dogs was there."

"What's that got to do with it?"

"Well. Jack. Jack was there. But he didn't come to the door. So I went to check on him."

"That sounds SO fishy! What's wrong with Jack?"

"Nothing. He looks okay. Just like he doesn't feel good."

"I think you got something at the auction you didn't want me to see. So when I was here, you stashed it somewhere. To go back after."

"I didn't have nothin'."

"Huh. Something is not right."

Farmer H went on through the kitchen. On his way to the master bathroom in our bedroom. The boys' bathroom is closer. He often uses that one. While he was gone, I went out on the porch to investigate my theory.

Hmm. The kitchen door was NOT LOCKED for the night! He always locks it. He'd turned off the porch light. I turned it back on, and went out. Nothing on Juno's house except Farmer H's old pair of work boots. Huh. They weren't there earlier in the day, around 3:00. I looked behind Juno's house. Went around the corner. I didn't see any new old junk on the side porch. So curious. What was Farmer H up to?

I went back inside and locked the door. Turned off the porch light. Huh. There was Farmer H's cell phone, laying on the kitchen counter just inside the door. Weird. And now here came Farmer H himself, in a t-shirt, no pants!

"What in the Not-Heaven are you doing? I know you're up to something! You didn't lock the door!"

"Oh. Sometimes I forget."

"Why is your cell phone way over here on the counter?"

"I lay it there all the time."

"You do not! I never see it there."

"I put it there to remind me that I need to take my weekly shot. I'm getting it now. See? Out of the fridge."

"Something is going on here! I'll find out eventually."

As I carried my supper down the basement steps, Farmer H stood behind the couch.

"Well, now that I'm down here, I guess you'll go back outside to get whatever you're hiding."

"I don't know why you say that."

"Obviously, you're not sitting down. You're waiting. Waiting for me to get out of sight."

"I was standing here talking to you! Because you were talking to me!"

Sure. As I recall, Farmer H can still carry on a conversation with me while he's sitting in his La-Z-Boy.

I don't really care what Farmer H buys at the auction. It's his own money he's spending. He's already got way too many guns, but he makes no secret of buying them. All I can think of that he'd try to hide would be candy or cookies or donuts. He pretends he doesn't eat them.

DOH! I really wish I had felt down inside those boots...

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Farmer H Lets An Opportunity Pass Him By

Technically, Farmer H is the one who passed by the opportunity.

There it was, beside the creek on our gravel road. Waiting for Farmer H to come along. I guess Opportunity was too lazy to drag itself another 7/8 mile to the Mansion, to knock properly. Farmer H stopped for a photo. Which he sent me by email at 7:44 a.m. It's things like that which make me leave my cell phone on the kitchen counter to charge, out of earshot.

I saw it on my way to town at 10:00. I was shocked! Not that somebody threw out trash on our gravel road. But that Farmer H had left a cooler! Surely he would have picked it up to wash and resell. Don't cost nothin'! I, myself, had no desire to touch it or investigate. I feared that the trash bag spilling out might contain a body. Or body parts.

Later, I interrogated Farmer H on his decision to let a spilled cooler lie.

"I thought you might pick it up, to sell at your Storage Unit Store."

"Nah! The wheels was gone off of it!"

"Oh. I didn't know it was a fancy cooler with wheels."

"Besides, there was deer in it. A lot of meat, actually! All spilled out. Some of it not even wrapped."

"Maybe it fell off the back of a hunter's truck, and he didn't mean to dump it."

"Yeah, it fell off all right--after somebody kicked it out."

I suppose the silver lining in this scenario is that the stench might keep people from parking down there for a week or so. And I really, really hope that's DEER.

Friday, November 8, 2019

4.5 Years Late, And A Tuna Short

I made a new lunch for myself the other day. A sandwich of BBQ pulled pork on a ciabatta roll. It was pretty quick, because I had a tub of storebought pulled pork. Pretty much all I had to do was spread the roll with mayo (I love mayo!), then dice an onion that I folded into my portion of pulled pork, and slice a pickle. Yes. I know you understand how to make a sandwich. But I needed filler.

It was eaten before Farmer H came home for supper. But I showed him a picture. Can you believe that guy? He said,

"Looks like an awful lot of pickle."

I love pickle! It worked out just right. I used every slice of my mini dill. This picture is not very flattering. There IS actually meat on the sandwich. Here's a side view:

It squooshed down when I put the top on. I must say, it was delicious.

A few days later, I was making another such sandwich for lunch, and asked Farmer H if he wanted one. "Well, if you're making one for yourself, I guess I'd eat one." Don't get me started! I don't know why he can't just say, "Yes, thanks, I'd like one."

Of course I gave him about 1/4 the onion and pickle that I had on mine. He still had the nerve to say it was too much onion. I guess he can make his own sandwich next time!

Speaking of making sandwiches, I was planning to make a tuna version of this on Wednesday. I had the roll laid out, and the pickles, and was debating the onion as I put the can opener to the tuna can. Which had a date stamped on the lid that said

MARCH 25, 2015

Um. No. I'm sure canned food keeps a long time. After the Apopadopalyspe, as Farmer H calls it, people will be stabbing each other with pointy sticks to get their hands on a 4.5 years expired can of tuna. But right now, I choose to toss that out and make another BBQ pulled pork sandwich.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

The Laws Of Physics Have Been Broken At The Mansion

Odd things come in fours, right? That's not an actual thing. I've always heard about stuff coming in threes. So these events are probably not connected. But it makes me think. Unexplainable things had been calm around here for a while. Until The Pony stirred them up. Let's review.

Friday night (Oct 25) The Pony had his Ouijafest at his college apartment
Wednesday night (Oct 30) The Pony's cable TV got static-y
Saturday/Sunday (Nov 2/3) Mrs. HM's clock went wonky
Monday (Nov 4)...

I was having a good snooze in my toasty warm bed. Farmer H had left around 7:30 a.m. I know that, because I asked him later. I knew he had a dentist appointment that morning, but he always goes to town early. At 9:15, I was awakened by a scammer phone call. I hadn't answered it, only listened to the machine saying the number. The scammers rarely leave a message.

I was just laying there under the quilt my grandma made us for a wedding present, one foot hanging out, refreshingly cool. I wanted to drift back to sleep. I saw no urgency in getting up, with Farmer H not around to sleep-shame me. I mentally planned my errands. It was shopping day, because of other engagements mid-week. I needed to buy a Missouri Wines scratcher to put in Genius's letter...


What in the Not-Heaven? That noise came from the master bathroom. Huh. Nobody in there. What in there could fall? A razor, or Farmer H's toothbrush, or tube of toothpaste, from the top edge of the shower door frame?

It was hard sound. Not a thump. More of a clank. But not metallic. Like if you drop a plastic hairbrush on ceramic tile.

Well. Of course there was no going back to sleep then. I had to investigate. I hobbled to the bathroom. I hate to get my joints going in the morning.

I surveyed possible explanations. Nothing had fallen. The tiles showed nothing out of place. Nor did the counter or sink. Nothing on the closet floor. Nothing in the big triangle tub. Nothing in the shower. AHA!

The toilet brush had fallen over. It had been leaned in the corner made by the wall and the shower frame where it meets the wall. It's not part of the sliding door and trim. The solid frame, and the wall. I'm the one who cleans the toilet. I'm the one who knows that brush had been there for three days, since it had dripped dry over the wastebasket after being rinsed from my last toilet-cleaning episode.

Let the record show that the Mansion is not subject to earthquakes. Not the fault kind, nor the fracking kind that plague The Pony in Oklahoma. Farmer H had been out of the house for two hours. I was in bed. Nothing should have vibrated that toilet brush to tip it over. As a former physics teacher, I believe that an object at rest should stay at rest unless acted upon by an outside force.

It's almost like that toilet brush flung itself to the tile...

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The Wages Of Dabbling Are Static

The Wednesday after his Friday night Ouijafest, I got a text from The Pony at 2:12 a.m.

"Cable TV decided to freak out. Short video clip coming by email."

I have to get those video clips by email, because our phone reception can't deal with so much data by text.


"It proceeded to fix itself immediately after I hit send."

"So I'm not getting it? Oh. Just showed up. I can see it. Looks like a commercial for Tostitos salsa. I saw the jars, then a bunch of static across the middle of the screen. No sound."

"Just as I typed out how it was messing up, it stopped."

"Are you having bad weather?"

"Yes. But this is CABLE, not satellite."

"Oh. I remember when we lived in town and had cable. It was either on, or it was a black screen. Nothing like static. I used to get mad and swear that I was going to demand a discount for the hours it was off. Okay, your video. No sound at all for me on this one. Just scrambled Tostito jars."

"My phone apparently doesn't pick up sound well. There should be faint beeps if you have the sound on max. I have to hold my phone to my ear to hear it on my copy."

"I moved it to max, and still silent here. Looks like some kind of electrical interference."

"To soothe your mind, no, it was not the sound of the screaming of the Damned. Nor were there any Latin invectives or pleas from spirits."

"You've had a hand in this, so don't be shocked..."

"They don't have to jump through that many hoops to speak to me!"

"That is not a good thing!"

I don't know what messed up The Pony's cable TV. I'm thinking it had to do with the weather, but Genius himself, a known anti-Pony-ite, verified that cable TV does not act that way with the static. I don't know if that's true, or if Genius has a little bit of Farmer H in him, and pretends he knows about things I won't check.

Not sure what to think about this latest episode of The Pony Tempts Fate. It must have made him jumpy, or he wouldn't have sent me a text at 12:12 a.m. Let's not forget that a few months ago, he saw an old lady sitting on his couch during afternoon hours, and it barely raised his heart rate. The Pony is no stranger to strange goings-on, as you may recall from my other blog.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The Pony Asked For It

As for the clock issue in yesterday's tale (that happened Saturday night/Sunday morning), it was STILL EXACTLY 30 MINUTES OFF when I checked it the next day. I'd left the pictures askew as well, and they were the same. So I DID straighten the two pictures, to see what might develop over the next 24 hours. Also, a new happening happened Monday morning, but that's a couple days down the road, since I have some 'splainin' to do.

The odd happenings here at the Mansion seemed to have settled down a bit. Just an occasional sound of walking upstairs. I hadn't been noticing them as often as I once did. Then I got a text from The Pony on Friday night, October 25. At 10:41 p.m. to be exact.

"Wanna know how me, Bestie, and GalPal just disappointed you?"

"Not sure..."

"Ouija board."

"NOOOOO!!!!!! I'll be terrified all night! Your Dad is still at the auction."

"One of the things was very sarcastic. Well, several were."

"You really shouldn't open that portal."

"One answered 'depends' on a lot of things.
Are you a ghost
On what
Later on...

What do you want opened?
Then what's open?
Is it a physical window in this apartment?

"Now my phone has started roaming, losing its charge fast. I blame your entity. Oh my gosh! I was typing that PORTAL sentence before your transcript about OPEN came through!"

"Then one kept repeating numbers 2 3 1 in that pattern. Answered that it didn't want to tell us what it meant. Then in reply to something (I think another question about the numbers) it said '0 you' as in None of Your Business.

We had two candles blow out during it. One said that it wasn't the reason. Then the Window one just said 'Deal' as in Deal with it."

"I don't know about the numbers. There ARE three of you."

"We thought it was saying how many there were, but it said no when we asked that."

"Now my phone went to black screen as I was reading that last message. Didn't fade out like when it times out. Just went black quickly, no time to read."

"Bestie and GalPal swear they weren't the ones moving it, and I know I wasn't."

"I get enough stuff here without asking for it. I'll be scared witless until Dad gets home."


"Now THAT'S a game you could play: SORRY!"

"This is more fun."

"More dangerous."


One of them just spelled BROKE really weird when we asked its name. Another said 'Dr B' when we asked if it had advice on classes.

Another one, we asked if it knew anything about engineering. It said MATERIALS. 

And that the main building didn't have leaky skylights when they were there."

"I have no advice that will be heeded."

"I mean, you did it once!"

"ONCE. And I was 13. Now I can't get rid of something..."


That ended our little exchange at 11:07 p.m. on Friday. Farmer H came home, and I kind of forgot about it. The next afternoon, The Pony texted me again.

"The ghosts fixed one of my busted lights apparently. Also, Bestie said she tried to move the thing around herself (or hurry it to where she thought it was going) and the thing pushed back sometimes."

"Leave that stuff alone! 
The lights here do weird things. Like my phone just sent that th on its own."

"Mmhmm sure."

Two hours later, The Pony again initiated contact by text.

"Oh yeah! I forget which of the things on the board it was, but one of them said it didn't really want to talk about anything.

When we asked why it was, it just said PASSING THROUGH.

It also said it was from 'Washa' and that no, it wasn't a nice place, and no, here wasn't better."


BUT THERE'S MORE...tomorrow.

I don't mean to make fun, but that is SO The Pony, to ask a perhaps otherworld entity about professors and engineering classes!

Monday, November 4, 2019

The Mystery Of The Time Crook

I descended to my lair Sunday afternoon at 3:00, fully expecting my wall clock to read 4:00. That's because I didn't bother to turn it back one hour Saturday night to end Daylight Savings Time. I reset the clock out in the TV area shortly after 2:00 a.m., but I didn't go back into the lair. Farmer H had reset the upstairs clocks, save for the microwave, which I did Sunday morning. Imagine my surprise when I found THIS in my lair:

Yes. Surprise enough to take a picture of my wall clock. Let the record show that the power had not been off. Which doesn't matter anyway, because this is a battery-operated clock. At the time I took the photo, the actual time was 3:01. It's in the time stamp of the picture, if you know how to do that thing. Mine shows up in the specs when I hover over it in my PICTURES file on New Delly.

What in the NOT-HEAVEN is going on here? Upon further inspection at 3:20 (real time), I noticed that the picture hanging under the clock was askew again. A while back, I mentioned a freak phenomenon with pictures in my dark basement lair. Looking closer, it appears that the pictures to the left of the clock are normal, but the one on the right is also askew again, after I'd straightened them back in July. You might not notice from the perspective of the photo, but that line demarcating one sheet of fiberboard from the other is most certainly plumbed straight. The picture is not.

How does a clock reset itself exactly 30 minutes back? Or stop running for exactly 30 minutes? Going off Daylight Savings Time means setting your clocks ONE HOUR back. It's not like the batteries are failing, and my lair clock gradually slowing down. I've kept an eye on it all afternoon while innernetting, and it remains 30 minutes off at this current hour of 10:43 p.m. I've resisted resetting the time. I want to see if it loses any more time overnight...

Huh. There's only one thing out of the ordinary that might have a connection. That's a story for tomorrow.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Marley, Denizen Of The Underbrush

This dog! Now that Marley is out of his pen, there are new reasons to worry about him. As I was coming down the hill to the mailboxes Friday, returning from my post office/gas/bank errands, I saw something trotting down the opposite hill, past our low water bridge.

It was Marley! Coming from the direction of the auto body shop about two miles from the Mansion. That crazy mutt. Of course he ran right over to T-Hoe. By the time I'd parked illegally on the side of the road, and opened the door to get out, he was under my feet.

"Marley! You shouldn't be out here! You'd better get home, boy! GIT! Get out of the way!"

I took out my phone, thinking I might get a picture of Farmer H's bus-waiting shed (for another time and place). As I turned to shut T-Hoe's door, holding the phone up so Marley wouldn't grab it, that stupid dog jumped up and SMACKED HIS HEAD ON IT!

"Marley! You idiot! Settle down!"

Marley showed no loss of enthusiasm. Here he is, hunkered down, waiting for a pat.

Not a flattering angle for Marley. That's not dirt on him. It's his apricot color that is unevenly distributed. A closer look would reveal the multitude of burrs clinging to his head and body. Juno gets them, but they generally fall off from her rolling around. This picture was after I'd put the mail in T-Hoe. Maybe Marley had worked off a little energy, after his two-mile excursion, and all that jumping.

I was leery of getting this pic, in case a car came along, and stupid Marley dashed out in front of it. Farmer H said that Marley was jumping around while he was unloading SilverRedo, and hit his head on the rear bumper. He really is an idiot. Marley, not Farmer H. I think he needs a little doggy helmet to protect his skull.

Marley ran all the way home alongside T-Hoe. Much to Juno's dismay. With the other dogs gone, she thought she had me all to herself. Until I let Marley out of the people-door of the garage. Of course he'd arrived back home just in time to dash under the garage door as it was coming down, making it raise again, due to the safety sensors. Juno was so disgusted, she slunk back to her house, no kibble.

I made it up the steps with my purse and mini bubba cup and 44 oz Diet Coke, with Marley jumping at me and rebounding off the whole way. As I was setting my stuff on the kitchen counter, Marley dashed into the kitchen. It was like a performance. Marley in, Marley out.

"Marley! No!
Good dog...
Good dog...
Good dog...
Good dog..."

It seems that Marley KNOWS the rules. He just can't FOLLOW the rules.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Straightened, Not Shirred

Am I the only one who abhors crumpled money? Oh, I'll TAKE it, but I won't be as happy as if those bills were neatly stacked, all facing the same direction. Here are the bills I got back in change from the Hardee's drive-thru on Friday, when picking up lunch after my errands.

Sweet Gummi Mary! Was that gal handing me ones from her personal stash, after a night contorting herself on the pole, receiving bills tucked into her G-string? And I'm NOT talking about a guitar.

I tried to straighten them out at my next stop. Because I couldn't even fit this wad down in the side of my purse. I had to drive off from the drive-thru with that mess lolling on T-Hoe's dusty console.

The straightening didn't take. I laid them down flat, but those bills drew themselves up again like the legs of a newborn infant. I set them on their edge for this picture, but they simply would not lay flat. I had to uncrease some corners, line up the ends, then put a long crease down the middle to make them hold a shape. Then I tried to stash them down the side of my purse in my standard half-fold. They skittered into their own arrangement.

People sure don't know how to take care of their money these days.

Friday, November 1, 2019

A Hillmomba Horrible Story For Halloween

I hesitate to call this a horror story. It's not a horror to many people besides Mrs. HM. It's a horrible story, though. I hope not in the execution (bwah ha ha) of the writing.

With the boys gone off to live their lives, we don't celebrate Halloween here at the Mansion. Nobody brings their kids trick-or-treating up a gravel road where a scant half-mile away, a headless body was found in a septic tank. I figured Halloween night would be just like any other night.

I heard Farmer H up above, stumping about on footless ankles, cranking back in his La-Z-Boy after warming his supper of a Devil's Playground deli prepared meatloaf meal. I was happily texting Genius, who deigned to initiate the textversation, about the lottery tickets I'd sent him for Halloween.

Nature called, and I lurched like a decaying Frankenstein toward the NASCAR bathroom. My arm, ensconced in its gray jacket that is NOT Old Baby Blue, brushed against the counter where I'd laid my winning scratcher. A $25 winner! On a St. Louis Blues ticket. It floated to the floor. Since nature was urgently calling, and I'm not Usain Bolt, I let my ticket lie, figuring I'd pick it up when I returned, after nature was answered.

And I did. I bent over and picked up my ticket, and saw


sitting underneath. Well! That is most certainly horrible for me! I hate crickets! I almost like spiders better, as long as they're not the kind that explode with babies when they drop from my dark basement lair drop-ceiling after midnight.

Sweet Gummi Mary! I stomped on that cricket critter as a matter of reflex. Then I disposed of the body with a Puffs Plus Lotion wrapped around it, plus an extra squeeze, and shoved the carcass down into my big black trash bag that awaits carrying upstairs.

It might not make a good movie, but it was definitely horrifying enough for me!