Sunday, May 31, 2020

My Trusty Assistant Makes Yet Another Oblivious Attempt To Increase My Workload

FRIG II's ice maker has been making more than ice. It's been making groaning noises that could foreshadow death. Except mostly, the noises only come when the coil thingy is turning to push out ice when we depress the lever. For a week now, I've been mentioning to The Pony that I really need to slide out the bin, and chop out the ice slabs that form and restrict the coil thingy.

Friday night, the time had come. I caught The Pony by surprise when he was returning to the kitchen for something he'd forgotten with his Chinese food.

"Here, let's get this ice chipped out now. It sounds bad."

"Oh. Okay."

"Get me a butter knife, and a bowl to put what's left of the good ice cubes. We don't want to waste it, I'll want some later tonight."

"Here's the knife. Do you want a Styrofoam bowl? Or one of the big ones?"

"That's not big enough. Get the plastic brown bowl from the corner cabinet."

"This one?"

"Yeah. Now you put the bad ice in the sink as I chop it out. Because when I toss it from the cutting block, it sticks to my fingers, and falls on the floor and shatters."


"Pony. If you're going to put it in the sink, you need to be between me and the sink. Not all the way over here on my other side."

"Well, you didn't SAY where to go..."

"Okay. Here. Take it. Watch out. I'm chopping. You'll need to take the whole bin, and shake it out over the sink for those crumbs. Then we'll put the good ice in the bowl back in."

"Oh, Mom. You'll need to chop some in the freezer, too. On those metal parts."

"I forgot about that. Put the cubes back in the bin while I do that."

"Got 'em. Now what about the bowl?"

"It's still clean! It just had ice in it. All it needs to do is dry out. Put it upside down in the clean sink."

We got FRIG II's ice bin put back in place. I went to sit down a few minutes to discuss Farmer H's wrongest thing of the day. The Pony went to have a soak in the big triangle bathtub. When I returned to the kitchen, I saw where The Pony had put my clean brown plastic bowl to drip dry.


It's not like that bowl could have gotten dirty, just having its rim on the sink bottom. Or rather, the pile of ice slabs from FRIG II's ice bin. The ramekins are small. I think they'd held salsa and honey mustard. They wash easier if they're soaked first.

It's the IDEA of The Pony totally ignoring my instructions. He knows that we call the side with the dish drainer the CLEAN SINK, because everything in it is clean, in various stages of drying.

Sometimes Farmer H says, "That boy don't have a lick of common sense."

Sometimes, I agree.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Thinking Inside The Envelope

Hope I don't dislocate my elbows patting myself on the back, but I have successfully withdrawn money from my checking account without showing my driver's license(!) for two weeks in a row! AND, I sent in a dollar for two rolls of pennies, and the teller sent them out without a reminder!

There was just one little catch. Take a look at my money envelope that was returned in the canister.

It's hard to tell from this angle, but that envelope was more bloated than the Florida python who had just swallowed a deer.


Who does that? A cash envelope is for bills, or a few loose coins! Not ROLLS of coins! Last time, even though she needed a threat reminder to send out either my pennies, or my dollar back... at least the teller knew to set the coin rolls in the canister.

Oh, well. As Miranda Lambert sings, "It takes All Kinds of Kinds."

For inquiring minds... behind the envelope are scratcher winners I was taking to cash in. The yellow PacMan won $15, and the 100,000 Jackpot ticket behind it won $20.

Friday, May 29, 2020

You Can't Trot Home Again

Sometimes a glimmer of warmth escapes from my cold, cold heart. Like a thin line of light under a door. Not often! But sometimes. When Farmer H and I are berating criticizing illuminating The Pony on some of his less-endearing behaviors.

"Looks like I'll need to buy butter when I go to the store this week."

"That's a LOT of butter!"

"I hope you're not digging a hole to China in that butter again."

"Actually, it's not butter. It's not very good."

"I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! We are elderly people, on a fixed income! Get used to it!"

"I always buy REAL butter."

"You're living a millionaire lifestyle on pauper wages! Don't forget that your salary for job-searching is $20 per week! AND I might have to dock your pay if you continue to 'help' me in the kitchen. My plastic measuring cup is still sitting there, since I can't wash dishes in the morning because of no hot water, and I can't wash dishes after supper because of no hot water."

"That's another thing. I'm going to see how much our electric bill has gone up in the month you've been home."

"Face it, Pony. You're stuck in a real-life commercial where those people are turning into their elderly parents. You just don't know you're turning into us yet."

A fleeting mask of sadness crossed The Pony's face. Then he dipped my short Pioneer Woman ceramic knife into the tub of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter that he had carried to set beside his plate on the living room coffee table. As he brought his knife-scoop of ICBINB from tub to plate, the blob FELL OFF ON THE KEYBOARD OF HIS LAPTOP.

Let the record show that The Pony does not have a cheap HIPPIE like mine. He has a quality laptop with a large screen for gaming, and the guts to perform any graphy formula desires of a chemical engineering student.

I slapped my hands over my face. OH, THE TECHMANITY! I snuck little peeks by flapping open my hand-shutters, as The Pony scrapped the not-quite-believeable butter off his laptop. THEN I saw that it had NOT landed on the flat part that acts as a mouse, but ON THE KEYS THEMSELVES!

"TRIGGERED! TRIGGERED! TRIGGERED! I need my safe space!"

"You have me laughing so hard I can't pick it up!"

"Now you are getting a job target in your file!"

Sweet Gummi Mary! The Pony has grown wild after 4 years out of the home paddock. He'll have to be broken all over again.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

The Return Of My Little Helper

Now that The Pony is home from college, I have an extra pair of arms. An arm. Half an arm, in a sling. Truth be told, sometimes The Pony is not all that helpful. He's like the George Costanza spastic arm that twitched at random.

Anyhoo... I'm not knocking The Pony's help. He's pretty good at bringing in the groceries, and carrying something downstairs for me. In the kitchen, however... he's a bit of an albatross around my mostly-devoid-of-thyroid neck.

Wednesday night, Farmer H was grilling some chicken breasts and sausages. I was making salad. The Pony wanted some Stove Top Stuffing. He had brought some back in his apartment belongings. I know it only takes butter (I Can't Believe It's Not) and water. I asked him to check the box for the amounts, and put them in a saucepan.

"Oh, Mom. It takes one-and-a-half cups of water, and a quarter-cup of butter. How do you measure the butter out of the tub?"

"I just look at it, and dig out what looks like a quarter-cup. It's not like it matters to be exact on the butter. Oh, and there's a measuring cup there in the clean sink."

"Okay. Uh. This doesn't look too good..."

"It's CLEAN! I keep it in there. All I ever use it for is water, like for instant oatmeal. I turn it upside down to dry. That's just water spots."

The next thing I knew, The Pony was at the stove, digging BUTTER OUT OF MY PLASTIC MEASURING CUP!

"Pony! WHAT are you doing? Why in the world would you put butter in the measuring cup and pack it down?"

"To get a quarter-cup. I'm measuring it."

"You asked, and I specifically said that I just dip out an amount that looks like a quarter-cup! Now I have to scrub my plastic measuring cup! And I never have hot water because you use it up in the mornings with your shower, and in the evenings with your bath in the giant tub!"

"Um, you TOLD me to get the measuring cup! To measure the butter!"

"No. I told you how to measure the butter, then I told you where the measuring cup was for the water. Which is more important to get accurate."

"Nooo... you told me to get the measuring cup for the butter!"

"Why would I do that? Do you think I WANT to scrub butter out of a plastic measuring cup, when I could have just turned it upside down to drain out water?"

"Do you want me to wash it out for you?"

"NO! Please, no! I'd rather it only have to be done once, the right way, the first time."

We won't discuss the fact that he at first wanted a FORK to dig out the butter, but I switched him to a serving spoon, since it could also be used for stirring, and serving later.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

A Touch Of Crass

Since my in-home spa day was such a success, I just might take the advice of blog buddy Sioux and open a spa here at the Mansion.

I think we might name it "A Touch of Crass." We'd cater to an elite clientele. Our motto would be: "If you're out road-walkin', don't come a-knockin'." No hot springs or mudbaths, but we could take clients down to The Creach for a soak. Surely you remember The Creach, our creek beach that is so popular that people drive in from miles around to hang out there.

The Pony would assist me with running A Touch of Crass. He's highly qualified. His specialty would be foot massage. And by that, I mean he would give full-body massages, using his FEET. The clients wouldn't know it, because they'd have cucumber slices over their eyes. And with The Pony's extra-long toes, they'd think it was fingers anyway.

For an extra fee, clients could enjoy a bubbling water massage in Poolio. No jets to propel the water. That would be Farmer H's job. He's really good at bubbling pool water. There's no need for clients to know that the water in Poolio is the same water that's been in there for 15 years. Though I WILL include the details on this Buttwater Soup in the fine print of their release form.

Make your reservation today! A two-hour session for the low, low price of $200. Plus a 50% gratuity. We also offer support dogs...for a price not yet determined. Also take note: NO MASKS ALLOWED.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Spa Day In Hillmomba

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom treated herself to a spa day on Monday. Well. As much of a spa day as she will ever have. And one that's available in Outer Hillmomba.

Yep. I colored my lovely lady-mullet with L'Oreal. Then I clipped 7 out of my 10 toenails. The other 3 didn't need it.

Slow down! Do you need smelling salts? I know the excitement is palpable. Sit down so you have less distance to fall. Take a breath.

I decreed that Farmer H remain gone from the Mansion between the hours of 10:00 and 12:00. It doesn't take that long. Only 35 minutes. But I wasn't sure when I'd get around to it. The Pony was relegated to his cell room until I gave the all-clear.

It's not like I was traipsing around in my birthday suit, with a wad of gooey black gel on my head. I was comfortable in pajamas, with an old towel held around my shoulders with a chip clip. Yellow towel, red chip clip. Isn't that how they do it at a salon? Still, I didn't want any spectators. And I didn't want to sit on the toilet for 35 minutes while they had the run of the Mansion.

Now all I need is a haircut. I don't feel the urge to go to Terrible Cuts. Especially since their sister salon in Springfield has exposed about 140 customers to the VIRUS, thanks to a Covid Carrie. That's the current version of a Typhoid Mary.

Before long, I'm going to have a long mullet like Joe Dirt. But I'm not going to eat my fries and ketchup off a poop meteor!

Monday, May 25, 2020

Something New To Complain About

What's with Dairy Queen and their sizes? C'mon! I know we have an insider in our midst. Spill it! WHY do they only have two sizes, which they call REGULAR and LARGE? That's different from all the normal fast food menus! Whatever happened to small, medium, and large? Let's not even talk about child-size or mini!

The Pony wanted some food brought home from my trip to town. He said he wanted to try the Dairy Queen Alaskan Fish Sandwich. He saw a picture of it on the menu last week when he got a Chicken Strip Basket. So Sunday, I put T-Hoe in line for the drive-thru. Not sure if they're letting people go inside yet. There have been few to none cars in their parking lot.

Anyhoo... I was the 7th car in line. Lucky for me, the 5th car peeled out of there in disgust after ordering. So my wait was ONLY 14 minutes. That's way faster than my bank, and they're not even frying food!

Anyhoo... I had ordered small fries for myself, and an Alaskan Fish Sandwich Combo for The Pony, medium, with a Sprite. That's how I said it into the speaker. Nobody corrected me. Just said it would be $8.53. It wasn't quite as much as I expected, but I never go there.

When I paid, the gal handed out the Sprite. It looked small to me. Then she gave me the bag, and said, "Two small fries, and a fish sandwich."

"Wait. I actually ordered a medium. But you gave me a small combo."

"We only have two sizes. Regular, and large."

"But you just said the fries are small."

"That's regular."

"So you only have TWO sizes?"

"Well, unless you count the kid's size."

I know the drivers behind me were holding out their thumbs and fingers and squishing my head, for holding up the line. But I didn't want to disappoint The Pony. It's not like I'd have to face his wrath, were it Genius instead.

Dairy Queen needs a picture of all the cup sizes (not in a Frank Costanza kind of explanation) on their menu board, with the names of the sizes. Because if someone wants a small, they have to order a child's drink. Unless they're having a Blizzard, in which case they want a Mini.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Lies, Dang Lies, And Logistics

As Farmer H sat in his La-Z-Boy Saturday evening, there came a BE-BOOP on his cell phone. I swear, he has the most annoying tone set for incoming texts. The name of it is probably something like HM REPELLENT.

Anyhoo... Farmer H took a look and said,
"You won't believe what these crazy people want now."

I knew right away that he was talking about Backcreek Neighbor Bev, and her husband Nick. He has been doing odd jobs for them for a couple years now. They pay him well, and sometimes give him stuff they don't want, which he sells in his Storage Unit Store. But they are a little eccentric. A common theme being that one of them must be home at all times, because they think Crazy Stick-Road Man is going to get into their house if they leave it unattended for even five minutes. They've even paid Farmer H, and HOS's (Farmer H's Oldest Son's) daughter, to house sit.

Anyhoo... the request this time was for Farmer H to pick up Nick at the airport on Monday at 1:45. Let the record show that the airport is about an hour and forty-five-minute drive from the Mansion. So it would be almost a 2-hour trip there, and a 2-hour trip back for Farmer H.

Let's not forget that this is a holiday weekend. Monday is Memorial Day, and traffic on the highways Farmer H would travel to the airport would likely be heavier than usual. Not to mention the chance of drunken barbecue-ites and partiers being behind the wheel.

"I just don't feel like doing that. It would take my whole afternoon. Bev is capable of going to pick him up. It's not like one of them is sick and really needs the help. I do stuff for them all the time. But I don't want to do this."

"You shouldn't feel guilty. They asked. You can't do it. If they get mad, they get mad. You're not their servant."

"I could tell him that I'm taking my friend to the hospital that day. But it's a holiday. I'm going to say that I have plans with my son for family stuff on the holiday."

"Heh, heh. They might change his travel day to get your help."

"I hope not. I'll be busy then, too."

Saturday, May 23, 2020

What's Next, Bus-Shaming?

I was perusing the online local newspaper last night, and clicked on an article about a school board meeting over in Bill-Paying Town. Seems that kids are quite happy with the lunch selections being provided by home delivery now. I'm guessing that they're probably things that can be heated at home. Or prepackaged items. Not sure how that stacks up to an actual hot lunch made in the cafeteria. But supposedly the kids approve.

Those kids better not overindulge on their school lunches! Because changes are coming with the school buses. There must have been some heated discussion over bus length, bus width, heavy duty axles, and 77-passenger vs 78-passenger models. Anyhoo, the vote was 5-2 to accept the bid being considered.


Part of the discussion concerned the aisle width on the buses. The vehicles being voted on have 14-inch aisles! Did you get that?


Mrs. HM has never been a starving supermodel. But she HAS walked down a school bus aisle unimpeded. Suffice it to say, school bus aisles back in her day were NOT 14 inches wide! Do you know how narrow that is???

The keyboard for New Delly is 19 inches wide. That's the aisle width on a different bus model that did not get approved. Get a ruler, people! I might not make it down a 19-inch aisle. Don't even think about greasing my ample-rumpused hips and shoehorning me down a 14-inch aisle! Not gonna happen. Good thing I don't ride a school bus.

A board member (probably one of the 2 votes in the 5-2 verdict), pointed out that even if the buses were used to transport elementary students, they still wear backpacks, and could have trouble getting down the aisle in an emergency.

What's next, a cruel chant to bus-shame a student with hips wider than 14 inches?

Fatty, fatty, crocodile
Can't get down the school bus aisle!

Friday, May 22, 2020

Key Developments

The Pony absconded from OU with a key to the laboratory. Read that with the inflection:
la BOR a tory. No, he wasn't piecing together a Frankenstein. Just experimenting with nanoparticles, stretching them to change their shape for easier absorption or something. I'm not one to ask details of chemical engineering projects, even though I have a sciency background.

Anyhoo...The Pony really had no choice but to bring that key across state lines. He couldn't drop it in the box with his apartment key. Nobody was allowed on campus in the lab itself. So he couldn't give it to his faculty liaison, for whom he was doing the research. He DID get an email, with an address to send it to the home of a graduate student, who would then distribute keys to the proper faculty.

You'd think it would be a simple process to mail a key. You would think that wrongly. The Pony knew better than to drop the key in an envelope.

"They say it's not good to mail it in a letter. Not even wrapped in paper. The envelope has a tendency to tear."

"The post office machinery has a tendency to destroy it, you mean."

"Some people told me to tape it to a notecard. Between TWO notecards. Then it's fairly flat, even though it's a thick key."

"You probably need a little half-size manila envelope. The padded kind. But I don't have any of those. We can stop by the Dollar Store and see if they have some. Or else get one at the main post office."

The Pony decided to accompany me on my Thursday errands. We both got up EARLY, around 9:30, to leave the Mansion by 11:00. We made it out of there at 11:30.

 "Do you have the address?"

"Yes. I already taped the key in the notecards."

"Huh. That looks pretty flat. It doesn't feel much heavier than Genius's letter with the two scratchers. It's always right at the limit for only needing one stamp. I'm sure the key will need extra postage. I'll have them weigh it."

"Do you want me to get an envelope?"

"Yes. We can try it in an envelope. I'll ask when they weigh it. Then I don't have to go in the Dollar Store."

Of course every parking space in the main post office lot was full. What in the Not-Heaven, people? What is so mail-worthy on a Thursday, the 21st of May? I altered my route and came back about 20 minutes later. Only a couple cars were left. Inside, nobody was in the room with the counter. I asked about the key letter. The nice clerk was working.

"We don't recommend mailing the keys in an envelope. You should probably use a bubble-wrap envelope. The postage will be $3.80, but it will be safer."

"I figured we should. Do you have some here?"

"On the top shelf over there."

"Okay. I'll move over here to fill it out."

I copied the address onto the manila bubble-wrap envelope without the aid of my glasses, which I'd left in the back floor of T-Hoe with The Pony. Out of sight, out of mind. I'd never have forgotten them with my purse on the seat occupied by The Pony. Lucky for me, only one other customer came in. She wanted four stamps and a passport renewal form. So I didn't have to wait in a long, social-distanced line to mail the key.

"That will be $5.87 [approx],  for the cost of the envelope too."

I paid that extortion. Let's hope this envelope gets to Oklahoma sooner (heh, heh, Oklahoma SOONER, get it? The OU mascot!) than the letters I sent The Pony for four years.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Farmer H Almost Pulls It Off

Farmer H has been driving an old friend to her cancer treatments. Sometimes it's local, for chemotherapy. Sometimes it's to the city, for assorted procedures. That was the case on Tuesday, when she had some surgery.

Farmer H didn't have to take a pee can with him like the first outing, since he has been allowed to enter the facility with her, and stay in a waiting area, with restrooms available. I warned him about THE MASKING. This hospital is part of the BJC system, as is my clinic, and started that mask policy on May 6th. Anybody entering their facilities must wear a mask. Farmer H had not been in one since before May 6th. A BJC facility, not a mask. Though he hasn't been in a mask for WAY longer, which was only a few minutes when he had a cold and went for his weekly shot before his doctor nurse practitioner started giving it on the parking lot.

The friend's appointment was changed to an earlier time, so Farmer H left home at 6:00 a.m. He didn't return until around 4:00, though I don't know if he made any side trips later or not. Anyhoo... he went to bed at 9:20 that night.

"I was exhausted! They made me wear a mask. Let me in without one, just taking my temperature. I went all the way upstairs, to the waiting room. I was sittin' with my phone, and a gal came over and said, 'Sir, we're going to have to ask you to wear a mask.' I didn't have no problem with that. They gave me one and I put it on. The policeman was right there when I come in, and he didn't say anything."

No wonder Farmer H was tired. He had been re-breathing his own hot air all day.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Surprise, They Are A-Changin'

Since the end of our Stay-At-Home-Down, the deli at Country Mart has offered more variety. I got The Pony some giant fried shrimp the other day. He loved it! So did I, since it meant a meal I didn't have to cook. I stick with the chicken strips, and the fried chicken. But I got Farmer H a dinner of spaghetti with meatballs, plus green beans, mashed potatoes with brown gravy, and a scrap of garlic bread.

I went back on Tuesday, hoping there was more shrimp for The Pony. Nope. But they DID have little half-chickens! Like a roasted chicken that I got there raw, but sliced in half. It looked done, so I got it. Plus sides for Farmer H. It was actually delicious. Even though The Pony took one of Farmer H's rolls.

Anyhoo... as I entered the store, I noticed a sign on the sliding door. CLOSED on Wednesday, May 20, for inventory. Well. I DO know that the chain has been bought, so that makes sense. I even asked the cashier the other day if they were ever going to have lottery tickets again, and not just a smattering in the only machine that still worked.

"Oh, I'm sure we will at some time. But we're switching owners."

AHA! Lottery mystery solved!

Anyhoo... the deli guy was polite and chatty. I told him I'd been hoping for shrimp.

"Oh, we have some shrimp. We just didn't cook it today."

"I never know if you have specific items on certain days, or if I'm just lucky that I come in on a day that it's out here."

"Well, everything is going to change anyway. New owner. We're closed tomorrow."

Yes, just when I thought I'd found a good food source to shirk my duties, the store has to go and CHANGE OWNERSHIP!

Let's hope it's a change for the better.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

2020 Has Given Mrs. HM Quite A Thwarting

If it's not one thing it's another. And another. And another. Much more than one thing. First, my mini-Palooza with my sister the ex-mayor's wife, to Oklahoma casinos in March, was cut short by the CLOSING of the casinos! Shortly after we returned home to Hillmomba, the Stay-At-Home-Down went into effect. Then it was lifted, but I had to WEAR A MASK and enter the House of Infecteds to get refills for my regular prescriptions. And tree-trimmers set up a blockade between the Mansion and the Gas Station Chicken Store.

Whew! You'd think Mrs. HM was back in business now, being her sunny rainbows and unicorns self. But no! There is another obstacle preventing her from living her lackadaisical lifestyle. It is NOT the return of The Pony.

Coming out of town, at the city limit, by the hilltop road that takes you into the parking lot of Farmer H's Storage Unit Store...there appeared a sign. One of those electronic ones that scrolls a message.


What in the Not-Heaven? How much work can a road need? They barely finished trimming trees along that section last week!

Anyhoo...Monday afternoon, of May 18, Farmer H reported that no roadwork was being done. He DID say that tree-trimmers were "working by the bridge." Then he ran away. Or at least abandoned me for an air-conditioner repairman. Which is another story for sometime, somewhere.

Let the record show that there are 3 bridges between the Mansion and town. Of course I assumed Farmer H meant the big high bridge out on the lettered county highway. I didn't see any tree-trimmers at our bridge by Mailbox Row. Traffic went by. So I took my regular route, up the hill where Farmer H had that SCHOOL BUS STOP yellow sign put up. On down the other side, and around, approaching the low water bridge that floods...and I saw


Are you freakin' kidding me? That section of road is barely wide enough for T-Hoe and a car to pass. I'm in danger of dropping a tire off the edge of the blacktop. No way could I get around a dump truck. I turned around in the driveway of the guy we bought our old rental duplex from. Took the other route, back past Mailbox Row and the car repair shop, and eventually the house with the corner crushed by the falling tree last week. It still had tarps nailed to cover the damage.

Anyhoo...I don't know where the tree-trimmers will be tomorrow. But I DID look up the road work, and it will consist of WIDENING and RESURFACING the lettered county highway, from Farmer H's Storage Unit Store to way out past our turn-off, past the road I came out today, past the little chapel where we vote, out to the middle of nowhere to an intersecting lettered highway.

Looks like I might be at-homing again until they get past our road...

Monday, May 18, 2020

The Dull Moments Have Forsaken Me

With The Pony home from college, the placid days of Stay-At-Home-Down have been set on their ear. Stirred like a pot. Tumbled rumpus-over-teakettle.

The Pony suggested that we could have Little Caesar's Pizza for supper Sunday night. So I didn't have to cook. He's so thoughtful, that Pony! And also likes Little Caesar's. He said he'd order it on his phone app, and drive to pick it up. It's over by The Devil's Playground, next to Terrible Cuts.

Here's the thing. The Pony loves his Little Caesar's hot. I don't blame him. It's almost inedible once it cools. Believe me, we stopped many a time after practices on the way home from school. The boys ate theirs in the car, and I had to have mine once home and the car unloaded.

"Pony, I can drive you over to pick it up."

"I was trying to help you and Dad."

"It's okay. I know you like to eat your pizza hot."

"I can eat it while I'm driving."

"That's not safe."

"What do you think I did at college?"

"Still, you want to enjoy it. Not wolf down bites like a dog eating out of the gutter!"

"It's okay. Really."

"You order, we'll pay, and I'll drive us."

Off we went. I have a trash bag on the floor of T-Hoe's passenger seat, for the junk mail I don't want to carry into the Mansion, throw away, and carry back out to the dumpster. I told The Pony we could move it, but he said he was fine. He eyed the seat behind me longingly.

"Just like old times, huh? Except you're riding beside me, not behind me."

"Yeah. I figured you wouldn't want me sitting back there. Besides, there's stuff on the seat."

"Uh huh. For a reason..."

Since we all like different kinds of pizza, we were getting three. Which would last us two meals. Even if we didn't eat it all, it would be too stale by the third day. Dogs like stale pizza. Also, The Pony wanted an order of breadsticks, and Farmer H and I were sharing one. So we had a stack of pizza and bread to load in T-Hoe.

"I cleaned off that folded down seat behind you. Just set the boxes separate, so they don't slide off. Try to wedge in the sauces so they don't slide off the seat."

"Oh, I can hold them between my feet." Said The Pony. Seriously.

"I don't want my breadsticks anywhere near your FEET!"

He was wearing flip-flops that exposed his TOES! What in the NOT-HEAVEN was he thinking??? Especially after that episode with the remote control that I just mentioned on my not-so-secret blog. Finally, The Pony picked up what I was layin' down, and wedged the breadsticks on the floor of the back seat.

We enjoyed a pleasant repast of non-toe breadsticks and pizza back at the Mansion. Although The Pony enjoyed his pizza on the way home.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Un-Bitten, A Mite Shy

Nothing like a semi-annual well-patient visit with the doctor nurse practitioner to make you all paranoid about catching something! Since feeling throat-puffy after Tuesday's appointment, I was paranoid on my Friday shopping trip.

Up ahead of me in Save A Lot was a man and woman who did that thing where they just happen to appear on every aisle you go to! Almost like it's been choreographed. Like we're linked with an invisible chain. Started in the produce, and continued to the dairy, meat, and frozen food aisles.

The thing that brought them to my attention was their masks. Nobody wears them around here. So right off, they were on my radar. The man had a full beard, too. Not peeking out from his mask, but enough that it didn't fit tightly. It was cloth, I think. A black mask. Which must be manly.

The thing that KEPT them on my radar was his cough. That's right. I said COUGH! That bearded dude had a cough! He didn't hack continually. Just let out a COUGH, singular, at almost every section where he stopped the cart. I'm glad I wasn't buying meat. He was there long enough to do it several times. Oh, he wasn't leaning over, trying to contaminate it or anything. But even I would stay home if I had a cough.

Here's the part that gave me the heebie-jeebies. When I got back to T-Hoe, and was backing out of my parking space, I saw that the car across from me had yellow NEW YORK license plates! Of course I assumed that car belonged to Bearded Dude! Like the clerk at the Gas Station Chicken Store said about a lady with Illinois plates last week: "STAY IN YOUR OWN STATE!" Not to her face, of course.

I flipped out again over at Country Mart. I was at the short register on the end. I'd been waiting behind the tape marks in line. Not crowding. Keeping over six feet away if you count my cart. A dude in the line to my left looked like he was going to dart over in front of me! He only had one item, but I was not feeling charitable! He had one customer ahead of him in his line, same as I did in mine. But he was crowding in on her. I guess he took that gap in front of me as an invitation.

Anyhoo...that's not even the dude who creeped me out! As I was picking up my last bag, and putting my debit card in the reader, an Old Bald Man came in the front double doors. He made a beeline for my area. Walked so close behind me that I think my lovely lady-mullet waved in his wake.

Old Bald Man stood RIGHT BESIDE ME! I swear, he could have put his hand in my pocket, he was so close. I even gave him the stinkeye, like, "DUDE! What in the Not-Heaven?" He was not pickin' up what I was layin' down! When the cashier gave me my receipt, he blurted, "I need two Marlboro hard packs." They keep them behind the counter at that register.

Some people need to stay At-Home-Downed.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Wronger

If I was a conspiracy theorist (which I AM), I'd say that something was amiss with that mask I was forced to wear to visit my doctor nurse practitioner in order to get prescription refills!

Seriously! Since the day after my appointment, I haven't felt right! Something is wrong. As I told The Pony (much to his horror and my delight) "My neck balls are swollen." Heh, heh. That's what one of my college roommates called those lymph glands in your neck, under your jaw. They hurt when I squeeze them, too. I know you are yelling at your computer monitor, "STOP SQUEEZING YOUR NECK BALLS!" I only do it a couple times a day (okay, maybe 15) to see if I'm getting better.

Also, I sneezed randomly a couple times a day. My throat is trying to get sore, but it's not quite there. The upper back of my throat feels puffy. Like it's harder to swallow, especially in the mornings. I have a little pain through my ears and up into my nose nearing my brain. You know, that really deep part where sometimes you feel like you might have a booger, but nobody's (not even E.T.) finger is long enough to pick there. I'm also having that jaw pain that I get sometimes when my sinuses are swollen.

Yep. I was perfectly healthy when I went to the appointment, but for three days now afterward, I am not up to par. Almost as if I breathed in something from that mask. I am not suggesting that it came with contamination. Even thought it WAS a different color from the masks the staff was wearing! No, I'm thinking that by breathing through that darn mask, stuff collected on the outside of it, and then I kept inhaling it. Because really, a paper mask is not going to stop a virus! It will stop spewed droplets, but not something as small as a virus. Besides, we are told that the mask is to protect OTHER people from OUR spewing.

I am very careful about not touching my face, and about washing my hands. It's not like I licked the exam table while I was waiting for my doctor nurse practitioner to make his appearance. I only rode the elevator with ONE person, for ONE floor, and I stood way in the back, opposite corner from her at the control panel.

Sweet Gummi Mary! I should be HEALTHIER after such an appointment. Not sicker! All this time, I've been semi-quarantining, only getting out twice a week, to grocery and elixir. And for two months, I've been fine. NOW THIS!

I'm sure it has nothing to do with the ink pen lid I used to dig around in my ear when it itched.

Friday, May 15, 2020

The Journey Of A Monthly Pharmacy Trip Ends In A Series Of Steps

Nothing is ever easy for Mrs. HM. The week that Stay-At-Home-Down was ending is the week that my six-month prescriptions ran out. I knew I had to make an appointment for an office visit. Sometimes, though, the doctor nurse practitioner will approve one month's worth, while I'm waiting until the appointment date.

Of course that didn't happen this time. I still had some extra pills. I don't wait until I take the last one to refill, like Farmer H. I was not happy about traipsing off to the clinic during the first week they resumed regular appointments. But I figured I had enough pills to survive until my Tuesday appointment.

Well. Seems like FIGURING is as bad as ASSUMING! The pharmacy sent me a text that I had a prescription ready. I waited a day, thinking that the other two would be ready the next day. But NO. I went to their drive-thru, which is the only part open, and is just a sliding window in the side of the building.

"We have this one, but your doctor says you'll have to have an appointment before he approves the other two."

"Okay. Not sure why I get to have ONE out of THREE. But okay. I'll make an appointment. Can I leave this until I pick them all up together? Or is that a problem?"

"Well, we can only keep them for two weeks..."

"Here. I'll take it. Never mind."

So I paid. It was the expensive one that I can't take generic. $38 for 30 days. I went home and made my appointment for the following Tuesday. During which both the nurse and the NP himself verified my drugs and dosages, and that I need them monthly, not in that 90-day mail method. Easy peasy, such a breezy. Only it wasn't.

On the way home, I had taken over sweaving duties from Farmer H, since we were in T-Hoe. He looked at my phone when I commanded him. Because one of the few things my new used iPhone 8 does right is accept texts. Sometimes in a timely manner.

"It says here you have two prescriptions ready."

"Okay. I'll go by tomorrow. I'm not in a mood to do it today. I'd rather go home and have some lunch."

The next day, I drove up, fully expecting my two remaining prescriptions to be ready.

"That will be $48."

"Um. Why so much? I'm only getting two."

"Yes. It's the [heart-slower] and the [thyroid med]."

"No. I picked up the [heart-slower] last week. I don't need that one. I should have the [thyroid med] and the [blood pressure med]."

"No. Your doctor did not authorize the [blood pressure med]. You have to go in for an appointment."

"I was just there yesterday. He said he was sending it in."

"Well, he didn't. You need to call your doctor."

"I thought you guys did that."

"No. We didn't."

"The entire clinic has that message on their phone message. 'If you are calling about a prescription refill, call your pharmacy.' It's been that way for ten years."

"He didn't call it in. So you should call and check on it."

"I'm sure they'll have stopped answering the phone by the time I get home. But I guess there's nothing else I can do. I don't mean to take it out on you, but you're the only person here I can complain to. It shouldn't take three trips to pick up my monthly prescriptions. I don't want the $38 one. I already have it! Look at my records!"

So she took it off, and I paid $10 for the generic [thyroid med].

Off I rushed. Got home at 3:31. Had to call long distance on the landline, since not even our working cell phones can get reception inside the Mansion. I was on hold, with an annoying loop of classical guitar music, for almost 10 minutes. Then I got transferred to my office. The gal looked it up.

"Oh, for some reason he didn't sent that one in. I'll have him call."

Fifteen minutes later, I got a text that I had TWO prescriptions ready. What in the NOT HEAVEN? Why would I have TWO? Sweet Gummi Mary! They'd better not be trying to sell me that $38 one again! I wasn't rushing back to town. I would go the next day.

When I pulled up, I was relieved that it was a different gal. She asked ME if such and such was my birthdate. Usually they make you say it yourself. She said I had ONE prescription. I handed her my debit card. Then she said,

"That will be a dollar thirty-eight."

"Oh. Well. I already wrote PHARMACY in my checkbook. So go ahead and put it on the debit."

I'm guessing that somehow, I'm going to be cheated out of a refill when I get my prescriptions next month. Because of that one that I turned down.

Because nothing seems to go right for me. Just ask Farmer H!

Thursday, May 14, 2020

I Think I'm Starting To Understand The Reason

My mom used to say that everything happens for a reason. After my last ill-fated trip to The Devil's Playground, I think I've discovered the reason:


I only went to Walmart for those special items that Farmer H forgot or couldn't find or said they didn't have. Like the Pepcid and other stuff that escapes my fading mind right now. Just because I found those special items did not mean my day was going to end up in the plus column. Or break even.

As I climbed out of T-Hoe to start my trek through the maze that is the people-herder these days, I popped a butterscotch candy into my gaping maw. That's because it was already after noon, and I hadn't eaten yet, which is a common occurrence, but I generally don't expend one iota of excess energy. Traipsing through the Playground for an hour might require sustenance, lest I get that light-headed feeling.

Of course I was reminded of a recent quote of Dr. Nowzaradan, the undisputed star of My 600 lb Life, who seems to have a fan club on Reddit who regularly post paintings and drawings and posters of him dispensing his words of wisdom. Anyhoo...a patient who was about to drop out of Dr. Now's program because basically, she wanted to have her cake, and eat it too, and then tell him she never ate cake...was on a teleconference with Dr. Now. She said that she was afraid that she couldn't survive on his 1200 calorie per day diet. And Dr. Now told her, "Your body has enough food stored to last you for the next seven years." Facetiously, of course. But this lady failed to see the humor in his remark.

Anyhoo...that's what I thought of as I popped in my butterscotch candy, heh, heh. By the time I came outside, that candy was almost dissolved. I still had a little sharp thin disk that was just about ready to crunch. But then the wind blew my shaggy lovely lady-mullet so that it whipped around my face, and stuck to my sticky lips, and then A SINGLE LOOSE HAIR got into my mouth!

You know that you can't just go sticking your Devil's Playground fingers all willy-nilly around your piehole during a pandemic, right? You have to get home and disinfect your hands like you're about to do surgery. Perhaps a gastric bypass on a 600 lb starving patient! So I had to sit in T-Hoe, munching on my sharp butterscotch treat, and that single hair. Which I was SO HOPING was my own! It eventually worked its way out and onto my lip, where I wiped it off with the collar of my shirt.

Anyhoo...from there I went to get my magical elixir to calm my nerves. Sweet Gummi Mary! I had the 44 oz foam cup under the Diet Coke spigot, adoringly observing the flow of my fake-sweet, fake-sweet beverage, when the spigot spluttered! And started coughing out FOAMY WHITE LIQUID!

The clerk said she would fix it for me! I told her I didn't want to take up her time, but she insisted. She went to the back room, and returned bent under a box of Diet Coke mix like one of the 7 Dwarfs. Perhaps Grunty. It looked really heavy, but she got me set up. Then she tested it, which left splotches of brown liquid on the counter. I said I would wipe it up. She protested, but I insisted, telling her it was a habit (of course from cleaning up after Farmer H) from 28 years of teaching. And that this was not nearly as bad as a desk full of fingernails, or used bandaids on the floor, or that stringy snot under the edge of a desk.

You may recall that this was the same trip when the bank took my dollar but didn't send out my two rolls of pennies, asked me for ID to withdraw my own money as I've done weekly for 20 years, and the pharmacy would only give me one of my three prescriptions.

That pharmacy story gets worse. I'm STILL trying to get my prescriptions, even after a doctor nurse practitioner appointment! I haven't told Farmer H yet. I'm really not in a mood to hear him say, "I don't know why everything's so hard for you."

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

We Forgot To Childproof The Mansion!

Sweet Gummi Mary! We've known for five months that The Pony would be coming back home after college, on the second weekend of May. Farmer H and I are passable parents. We know a thing or two about raising children. All four boys have survived to adulthood. I'd like to think we had a hand in that. So imagine my disappointment in us for overlooking this next milestone in The Pony's life.

Yes, we left the house as it was. Didn't put on any new locks. Didn't put away the breakables. Didn't have any qualms about leaving him unattended. Well. SOMEONE has found work for The Pony's idle hooves.

Sunday evening, The Pony wanted to toast his buns. HAMBURGER buns, when Farmer H was grilling. So we turned on the broiler, and he lathered them with garlic butter. He watched them closely. So closely that he opened the non-windowed oven door a couple times, at 30-second intervals. Which let out some burny stuff in the form of smoke, which set off the smoke alarm in the kitchen.

I wouldn't normally worry about this, because sometimes that goes off when I'm only preheating a pizza pan. However... The Pony, in an attempt to remedy the situation, rushed to the laundry room, threw open the louvered door, then flung open the back door to the porch, and started fanning it! At which point we had not only the excruciating BEEEP, BEEEP, BEEEP of the kitchen alarm, but also of a second alarm! They didn't quite coordinate. BE-BEEEP-EEP, BE-BEEEP-EEP, BE-BEEEP-EEP.

The Pony tried to make things right. After I commanded him to shut the gosh-darn back door and quit fanning the smoke to a second smoke detector! He protested that there WAS NO ALARM in the laundry room! He wandered through the house.

"Oh, Mom. It's the one in your bedroom."

On Monday night, The Pony confessed that he had meant to run a bubble bath in the big triangle tub in the master bathroom. Farmer H finally fixed whatever gadget had been malfunctioning, after The Pony went back to college after Christmas. He's always loved his baths. So of course he was pleased that now he can enjoy a soak at night.

Anyhoo... when The Pony mentioned this, I noted that we don't HAVE any bubble bath. What was he talking about? The Pony replied that he had used some "old kid shampoo" that he used to have. Which is actually not OLD, in that sometimes I use it, because it's mild, and I like the smell, and it also de-tangles. Apparently, it's also very sudsy. According to The Pony, it made about three feet of bubbles. Okay. No harm, no foul. It didn't run out of the tub. Bullet dodged.

Tuesday evening, we were waiting on Farmer H to return home with our Chinese take-out. The Pony had been partway down the stairs a couple times, giving me updates on Farmer H's whereabouts. Then Farmer H was tromping overhead, so I knew the food was here. The Pony called down to tell me. And then suddenly there he was, at the door of my lair.

"Oh, Mom. I was closing the shades in the living room, and a string broke, and now they're hanging sideways. All I did was twist that rod to turn them closed. And they broke! Snapped! All at once!"

Farmer H is planning to get a new set of mini blinds on Wednesday. I plan to sit most of the day with my eyes on The Pony.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

The Panic-Promoting Media Has Put A Bee In Mrs. HM's Bonnet

Time for another chat about the birds and the bees. Yesterday was the birds' turn. Their poop, anyway. Today it's the bees. Or the MURDER HORNETS!

A couple days ago, I stopped by the mailbox before heading to town. The day was warm. Low 70s, making my air conditioning a little ineffective, it not knowing whether to cool or suck in outside air. I put down T-Hoe's passenger window, and the one behind me. Just a crack, to get a cross-current, and not mess up my lovely lady-mullet. Which was NOT covered with a bonnet. Good thing!

As I started up the blacktop hill toward town, a BUG zoomed at me! Sweet Gummi Mary! Was that a MURDER HORNET? They've been all over the news! Was I going to be murdered right there behind the wheel? Before I even had one sip of my daily 44 oz Diet Coke?

I didn't hear buzzing. It didn't SEEM that big. Not three inches, like the news says. Maybe I'd live to sip again. But one thing for sure. I did NOT want that beast in T-Hoe with me. I had a bad crash due to a bee in my car, you know. Rolled that car three times down the middle of Highway 8, ten miles outside of Steelville, Missouri. That was a bumble bee. A car-totaler bee, not a MURDER HORNET. I suppose it could have been a Manslaughter Bee, had I perished.

Anyhoo... every time I'd glimpse this intruder out of the corner of my eye, butting against a window, I'd put that window down. I'll be ding-dang-donged it it didn't fly AWAY from an open window! That's totally uncharacteristic car-insect behavior! Maybe that thing was RABID!

Every time I stopped in town, I tried to give it an exit. I must have confused it by putting down all the windows at the Gas Station Chicken Store. Because I didn't see it after that. Hope it's not hiding under the seat...

Good thing it wasn't really a MURDER HORNET! I don't want to be on the news.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Even Steven Thwarts This Party's Pooper

Saturday, I stopped by the Gas Station Chicken Store for my 44 oz Diet Coke. I turned off T-Hoe, gathered my correct change and winning scratchers, and put my hand on the door handle. A movement caught my eye. What in the NOT-HEAVEN? Was someone walking by? Was that a butterfly? Nope and nope.

I turned my head to see a blob of bird poop the diameter of a baseball oozing down T-Hoe's window. Ready to run into the crack where the window goes down into the door. Just above the door lock button.

Had I been a little speedier picking up my stack of change, that door would have been opened, and the POOP would have landed on my SHOULDER!

Whew! Close call. So here's the thing. I figured I was either VERY LUCKY to have missed that poop bomb...or VERY UNLUCKY because a bird pooped on T-Hoe's window.

A couple hours later, I realized that I was VERY LUCKY. The $10 ticket I bought at the GSCS was a $50 winner!

Poop on!

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Jack In The Dog House With A Chapeau

My little Jack is in the dog house. Figurative. Not literal. He eschews the dog house on the end of the porch, out of the wind, lined with cedar chips, for most of the year. He prefers sleeping under the Gator, on hard pointy gravel, to be in the most happening location, in case someone or something comes up the driveway. Not that he barks for an actual intruder...

OR, Jack burrows into the hay bales over by the BARn. Left from the days of the goats and mini-pony. The bales yet unsold to our neighbor for his horses. Jack is a dog's dog. No namby-pamby sissy. More of a dog's dog than Mr. French was a man's man to Uncle Bill on Family Affair.

Anyhoo... Jack is in the figurative dog house because Farmer H took umbrage to the loss of his lawn-mowing hat. Which he says was chewed up by my little Jack overnight. That the straw hat with a green visor area blew off the lawnmower, and was dismembered by Jack. Which is highly possible.

"You know he's a chewer. His Dachshund half is a mouthy breed, and so is his nippy Heeler half. He's always been a chewer. Your hat smells like you, from all the sweat embedded in its brow area. Of course Jack chewed your hat! You can get another one at Tractor Supply. Or the Family Center." (Where Farmer H buys his dog and cat food, and assorted medicines for former livestock).

So quick to point the accusatory finger, yet so slow to take responsibility for leaving his precious straw hat on top of his lawnmower. During a storm which felled a tree on top of a house not two miles away.

Jack is often more scapegoat than canine.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

The Very Nerve Of Them!

From Mrs. HM's GET A LOAD OF THIS file...

DISH had the nerve to send me an email suggesting other ways I might pay my bill to avoid it arriving late. Not that I have EVER, even once, had a DISH payment that was late. Of course they're always trying to scam me into setting up an automatic payment from my credit card. No thank you. It's bad enough they have to have my credit card on file just in case we want a Pay Per View event. Which we don't.

Anyhoo... are you ready for this?

Due to the VIRUS, there might be delays in paying by mail, because PEOPLE have to handle statements and checks that come and go in the mail!

What in the NOT-HEAVEN? What is their excuse for all the other 20 years that they've dragged their feet on sending my statement by mail???

It's hard to imagine that NOW it will take more than 8 days to get the bill to me, and more than 8 days to get the payment back to them! Sheesh! It's not floating across the sea on the Mayflower. It's not shooting into space to slingshot around the moon. A St. Bernard is not climbing over the Alps with it rolled up in a collar cask.

DISH is stretching the splayed fragments of my last nerve.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Pushing The Boundary Envelope

Five days into freedom after the lifting of Stay-At-Home-Down, Country Mart has upped their deli game. On Tuesday, they had TACO SALAD! That means a pile of fried shells that looked delicious. And some beef with peppers and onions, which I assumed to be a filling. Although the server listed, to the gal in my back pocket, poised upon my ample hippus, "...beans, tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, and cheese" as additional additives.

I took a container of the beef with peppers and onions, and made my own taco at home. It was delicious. Sadly, they did not have it on Thursday. So chicken strips had to suffice. They also had metal tubs of corn, mashed potatoes, brown gravy, green beans, macaroni/cheese, fried fish, General's-looking chicken pieces, BBQ pork steaks, and something I had not seen before: flat discs of fried matter.

"Are those potatoes?"

"I don't know. I don't cook it. I just serve it. Here. I'll let you try one. It might be potatoes. Or okra. Or fried pickles."

With that, the young man with clear plastic gloves grabbed one in his hand, and proffered it over the glass case to me. Seriously! What kind of person would refuse to take a fried treat from a proffering hand???

Of course, that meant stepping over the purple tape line that posted signs commanded me to stay behind. And taking food from a stranger's hand. But I HAD seen him put on the gloves when he came to the counter. Unlike some workers, this guy was really handsy. No tongs for him. Just his manuals, laboring.

I stepped across and took the treat. Didn't even have to speak or sit or pirouette on prancy legs to receive it. Hmm... that morsel was virtually tasteless. Not crispy. Not squishy. Just mediocre texture, with no taste.

"I don't know...does this look like okra, maybe?"

"I can't tell. I can dish you up a bag of it."

"No. Thanks. It would need to have more flavor for that. I think I'll pass."

Who knew that Country Mart gave SAMPLES? Although, from the taste of this one, it might be their only way to get rid of some items. Besides, who buys fried okra by the bag?

Thursday, May 7, 2020

The One Time I Was Appreciated For What I Did

Many years ago, when the boys were young, I worked a full time job teaching at Lower Basementia. Farmer H worked a full time job in the city. This was before his mandatory half-day Saturdays. While I did the household shopping and the laundry for me and the boys and prepared the meals and occasionally did some cleaning...Farmer H thought the weekends were his time to relax and run around the acreage with his buddies.

Even bringing up the idea of him "babysitting" his own two children while I went to the store put him in a foul mood. So I hauled baby Pony and toddler Genius along with me. We had a minivan back then. I'd strap in both kids and hit the road for Aldi's, over in Bill-Paying Town. Back then I was still driving on the highway. It was about a 25-minute trip. But Aldi's had the best bargains. I think this was right before the Devil's Playground was built over there. I know we didn't have the one in Hillmomba back then. Just a regular version, without food.

Anyhoo...if you've ever shopped at Aldi's, you know that you set your stuff out on the counter, and the checkers shove it down to the end after ringing it up. I haven't been in years, but when I stopped going over there, they were at least putting your groceries down in the cart, so you could wheel it over to the bagging counter. Back then, you had to get it off the counter yourself, and put it back in your cart, before going to the bagging counter.

Genius was 3 years old. The Pony was about 8 months old. Not walking. So he was pretty easy to contain in his carseat thingy in the cart. I had to watch Genius, because he was an inquisitive little cootie who never met a stranger. Still, I managed. I had to. I'd tell him to hold onto the cart. Sometimes he wanted to lay on the rack underneath! I'd have him get items for me, and give him things to put in a bag of his own.

I guess one of the boys was sick one weekend, because Farmer H volunteered to do the shopping. Oh, don't think he left me home to do other things. Nope. We ALL went in the minivan. I stayed outside with both boys, while Farmer H went inside. When he came out, he was all flustered. He put the groceries in, took the cart back to get the quarter, and climbed in.

"I'll tell you one thing! You'll NEVER have to come shopping here with those boys again! I couldn't believe it! That gal was shoving my groceries down to the end, and waiting for me to put them in the cart! I've never seen anything like it! That's crazy! She acted like I wasn't going fast enough! I don't know how you do it with two kids!"

True to his word, Farmer H started keeping one or the other of the boys with him on Saturdays, long enough for me to take only one of them with me for shopping.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

The Odds Are Seldom In Our Favor

How can our mail continually be misdirected in the year 2020, in a civilized society, where every person, every vehicle, and every piece of information is tracked 24/7/365?

Yeah. What are the odds?

Just this week, I got a letter returned that I had mailed to The Pony in Oklahoma, the address he's been at for 3 years. The letter was postmarked April 9. So at least 3 weeks, it's been missing in action. Now it's returned as undeliverable. MY AMPLE RUMPUS!

Oh, and Tuesday night, we got a call from a lady who lives down at the bottom of our gravel hill. Just past the barn where Marley bit the neighbor when Farmer H gave him a piece that had fallen off his tractor. As the lady said in the message, "A package was left on our porch. We've gotten your diabetic supplies before." This was not diabetic supplies, but a package for The Pony, return address from his college.

Actually, the address was CCP-OU. So I sent him an email (don't even suggest that my new used iPhone would have sent a text) joking that it must be from the communist party of OU. Heh, heh. Here's the actual reply from The Pony:

"CCP? Weird. The only thing that should've been sent to you guys was a graduation thing that I wasn't sure would come in here in time. The communist thing at OU is a different name, one of my friends was the head of it and I'm not even remotely involved."

The more you know...

Anyhoo... I might as well live on Gilligan's Island in the middle of the Pacific, surrounded by an added moat full of gnashing alligators, with archers in parapets, and a cloaking mechanism that blocks my location.

How hard can it be to follow the EXACT directions that were written on that package? And not leave out a left turn onto a street that is labeled with a sign?

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Let's See How He Did

As a shopper, Farmer H is battin' .500. He came home with half of the four items I had specifically requested. The ones he'd taken a picture of to be sure. In fact, he took other pictures inside the Devil's Playground. Pics or it didn't happen that they didn't have it, I guess.

"I didn't get your acetaminophen. I asked the gal, and she said they was all out."

"Okay. It's first of the month. People are hoarding."

"And I didn't get your powder, either. The drink stuff. I asked a gal there, too, and she said they was out. I took a picture of the shelf. See?"

"I don't have my glasses. But I'll look later. I bet I'll find it! But that's okay. What's THAT?"

"This? It's you acetaminophen."

"You just said they didn't have it!"

"They had it. That was your other stuff."

"You mean the fake Pepcid."

"Yeah. That. And I got your deodorant. It looks like the same stuff."

"Yeah. From here it looks all right."

"Okay. I'm going over to the BARn."

"Wait. Where's my Diet Coke?"

"I didn't get any. You didn't say you wanted it."

"I put SODA on the list! You got Diet Mountain Dew!"

"Yes. Because I needed soda."

"You ALWAYS get both kinds! Last time, you said, 'I didn't know if you needed Diet Coke, but I bought one anyway.' And today, you DIDN'T?"

"It wasn't on the list. I'm going to the BARn."

As the kitchen door closed behind Farmer H, I called out,

"WAIT! What's your hurry? It's not even the time of day when we discuss the most recent things you've done wrong..."

Monday, May 4, 2020

A Classic Case Of Manstanding

Manspreading, mansplaining, and now manSTANDING! Hillmomba has not escaped the nuances of man culture. Sure, it was easy back in the caveman days, with only manhandling to deal with. Now there's a a plethora of manhaviors. It's getting very hard to delineate exactly which one is causing my current outrage!

Sunday afternoon, I came in the kitchen door as Farmer H was getting ready to run out the front door. I was returning from town, and he was fresh of his Devil's Playground promenade. Farmer H came back to the kitchen as I was handing my Sweet, Sweet Juno a bone from a BBQ pork steak. He stood in the gap between the end of the kitchen counter, and the wall to the laundry room. One-way traffic there. And NOT because of social distancing. It's about a 4-foot span.

I was in no mood to stand on the far side of the kitchen sink and chat with him. I had 44 oz of Diet Coke that needed double-cupping! And a new used iPhone 8 to restart! Yet there he stood, taking up the entire opening, to tell me what he'd gotten (and not) from the shopping list.

"Okay. Let me through. I don't like getting all up on people."


"That's not what I said! I said I DON'T LIKE GETTING ALL UP ON PEOPLE! Egoist! It's not always about YOU! I tell you all the time, I don't like being that close to people. Give me some space."

Farmer H backed off to the other side of the cutting block, allowing me to multitask while he told his tale. How can someone be so dense as to block the only path into the operational part of the kitchen? He might as well have met me at the door, and stood on the threshold, filling the whole jamb! Who does that?

Oh, wait. Never mind. It's a man's world.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Farmer H Is More Of A Hunter Than A Gatherer

I hope Farmer H doesn't run afoul of the law, and have his phone searched. Not that he'd do anything illegal, mind you. He's not a scofflaw. Even though he told a county deputy one time that if a certain fellow came onto our property, he'd shoot him. That's blown over now. I think that guy is even dead. And not because of Farmer H.

Anyhoo...if Farmer H's phone is searched, he's going to have his face on the wall of the post office as Public Weirdo #1. Just last night, he took a picture of: a bottle of acetaminophen, a stick of antiperspirant, a bottle of Equate Acid Reducer Complete, and a canister of Great Value Sugar Free Chery Limeade Drink Mix.

It's not like he has a physical copy, and is carrying them in his wallet like a proud grandparent. But they ARE on his phone, because he can't follow a grocery list. Farmer H has volunteered to go inside The Devil's Playground on Sunday, after he closes up his Storage Unit Store. Good for him! I haven't stepped foot in the Devil's domain since they started limiting the number of shoppers, and made the aisles one-way. I definitely don't want to be there on the first weekend of the month, on the day that Stay-At-Home-Down sanctions are lifted!

Farmer H wants soda more than he wants to avoid the Devil. His Diet Mountain Dew was four 6-packs for $11 at Country Mart. I did not buy them! They're only $2.50 each at The Devil's Playground. So I made a list of other items we need. Farmer H is not good with lists.

Of course, I imagined that he would take ONE picture, with the four items sitting on the coffee table. But no. He posed each one separately.

Anyhoo...I've made his list in aisle order. It shouldn't take him long. Unless he gets distracted by his phone.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Rollin' Along, Ding Dang Dong! Side-By-Side.

Hillmombans continue to exhibit mixed feelings on the Stay-At-Home-Down. Or perhaps, more realistically, they are exhibiting NO COMMON SENSE AT ALL!

Some people huddle in their homes, quaking with fear, encased in Saran Wrap (not in a Kathy Bates Fried Green Tomatoes kind of way), screaming in all CAPS on the Facebook of the local newspaper, at any suggestion that steps may be taken to reopen nonessential businesses now that none of the 29 cases of the VIRUS have any further quarantine restrictions.

Others blatantly ignore suggested guidelines, and roam the county-side with abandon. They consist of two classes, feeling either feast or famine. One group tailgates T-Hoe as if eager to take a bite of my ample rumpus. The other creeps along at 10 mph under the speed limit, starving for adventure, yet taking sloth-baby steps.

When we look back at this period in history, and write our future classics, the first line may be: "It was the end of times, it was the perk of times..."

Friday, I made an extra trip to town. Because I could. Scoff-scoff-scoffing those laws strong suggestions, a rebel at heart, bent on procuring a 44 oz Diet Coke and some scratchers. As I waited to pull onto the lettered county highway, I was stunned by the sight of a side-by-side. That's a fancy term for a vehicle like a Gator. There has been controversy around here about them driving on the roads. I, myself, was outraged to see one at the Casey's a while back, with an untethered infant in the passenger's arms.


They barely have sides! The roof is flimsy. Compared to a car, it's like driving a Barbie Jeep on the road! No helmets required. No license plate. No airbags or reinforced doors. Because they DON'T HAVE DOORS! Why all the testing with crash dummies before an automobile can be sold, when ANY dummy can drive a side-by-side on the road? This was a two-lane blacktop highway, 55 mph speed limit. I daresay that side-by-side was going at least 55 mph.

Once I was on the road, ANOTHER side-by-side came towards me. At least it was in its lane, not taking its half out of the middle. Unlike half of the cars that approach me lately.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Sis-Town Quackery

Thursday is my bank day/post office day/gas day. These errands take me over to Sis-Town. It's not as fun as Funkytown. So I didn't put on my my my my my boogie shoes. Sorry if you wanted me to boogie with you.

The trip did not start well, what with a 25-minute sojourn in line at the bank. I could have cut that to 20 minutes if I'd chosen the other of the two lines. But no. I tried to be all logical instead of trusting my gut, which said to get in the line behind the mini van with the hatch hanging open. I instead picked the line with less old people. Note to self: old people will be faster at the bank than young people, since they have less time left!

I actually took a picture in the line. But of course my new used iPhone 8 ate it for lunch, supper, and 11:56 p.m. snack. I can't wait for the good Sprint store to open up again. I'm getting a giant heavy LG Stylo 5 like Farmer H. At least it will be dependable.

Anyhoo... from the bank, I headed to the Sis-Town Casey's to half-fill T-Hoe's tank. I never let him go below a half tank. Just in case. I paid inside (as is the rule now, thanks a lot, ne'er-do-wells), and went back to Pump 4 for my $15 worth of gas.


I knew there were no ducks around. I peered through the pumps, and saw, on Pump 3, just the other side of me, an elderly man in a face mask. It might have been a regulation mask of some kind. Or maybe homemade. I had never seen one like it. I didn't want to stare. It was white, as if made out of computer paper, with thin elastic straps, folded with a crease. Like a duck beak. Or a pyramid with the apex pointing out in front.

Well. That was curious. As I pumped my gas, the quacking continued. Not in any pattern. A couple or three. A silence. One quack. Several in succession.

At first, I thought maybe this guy had a passenger with a disability. I could see two sets of adult men feet in men's shoes. Or maybe a set of lady feet in men's shoes. Don't knock it.


Oh my gosh! I can understand entertaining a passenger, but this was getting on my last nerve. Was he making fun of me for squeezing the pump handle? Because Pump 4 doesn't work with that automatic lever thingy. It keeps shutting off. I use Pump 4 because it's closest to the sidewalk handicap ramp. I'll squeeze a handle rather than step up on a curb.

OH! Then I heard a toddler laugh and quack. Okay. So this guy was just cutting up with his grandbaby, maybe. But this joke gets old fast. Then again, I've never been known for my patience. My Parents As Teachers lady said my kids acted like little adults, because I talked to them as such. True. We did no quacking. No baby talk.

I guess there's precious little to entertain people during Stay-At-Home-Down.