Saturday, October 31, 2020

The Vote Is Cast

Farmer H and The Pony picked me up at the entrance of the hospital after my nurse practitioner appointment. My clinic is in a 4-story building attached to the hospital. That's a high-rise around Hillmomba. It might just be the tallest building in the county.

We headed over to the mini-mall-like plaza that used to house doctors' offices, across from Farmer H's old hospital that is now closed. I was a bit discombobulated, after my very own nurse practitioner had said, "Oh, over by the morgue?" when I said we were going to vote.

I didn't see anything morgue-like. No corpses, no bodies on stretchers. No shades were open to show metal lockers like large filing cabinets for people. Farmer H drove under a covered entrance where we saw people coming and going. 

"I don't know where this place is."

"I'd bet it's where all the people are. I mean, all three of those people we see. Yes! Look at that sign. It's the county annex."

"Yeah, Dad. And that sign on the door says, 'VOTE HERE.'"

"Okay. I'll drop you off so you don't get wet. I'll have to park way down there."

"You're letting me out by myself?"

"Unless The Pony wants to get out now, too."

"I'll go with you, Mom."

In we went, through double sliding doors. It was good to get out of the cold. 42 degrees, with a chill wind and rain. I'd left my jacket back home. The minute I stepped through an inner door to the voting room, I realized I'd left something else...

MY GLASSES IN A-CAD!

Oh, well. I'd just have to squint. Though voting is kind of an important activity where you want to know what you're reading.

I handed my driver's license to the old lady at the first station. She plopped it into a reader of sorts, and told me to sign the screen with a tiny stylus.
 
"Pick up one of those, sign, and then put it in the box. We have somebody clean them after each use."
 
On down the table I went. I was handed a ballot.
 
"Sit at any table where there's a pen."
 
"Do I get one of these pens? To write with?" I motioned to a box of them.
 
"No. Use one on the table."
 
Hmm... that seemed odd. But I wasn't going to pitch a fit right there in the voting room. The Pony was trailing after me, giving his own info. It was a rectangular room, one side windows with mini-blinds. About the size of a double classroom. There was an exit door at the back right side, next to a table that held I VOTED stickers.
 
I took my ballot to a table along the back wall. Throughout the room, there were about nine tables. They were a mismatched selection. Some with the laminated wood top we are so familiar with at school. Others hard white plastic, sold at Sam's Club and The Devil's Playground. I have several of those I purchased myself, to use at school. Each had two folding chairs, tastefully distanced. Some were plain brown metal. Some black with a cushy seat that lets out a sigh when you sit down. And two hard plastic molded chairs at my table in the back.
 
The Pony chose a wood-topped table running perpendicular to mine. Farmer had come in, and was walking to the other end of The Pony's table. I picked up the black-ink white Bic pen on my white table, and started squinting. Farmer H sat down, looked at his ballot, and said,

"This says to fill in the squares with black ink. I have a BLUE ink pen!"

Seriously? Like a kid talking out of turn in school! Farmer H was interrupting the voting process of about 6-10 other people.

"It says black OR BLUE," added The Pony, holding up his own. "I have blue."

A man working the ballot-eating machine stepped in from the back door. "Blue is fine. Either black or blue will work."

I resumed squinting. It wasn't too challenging. I could make out most names. There were not a lot on the ballot. Some races were unopposed. There were only two propositions on the ballot. I knew what both of them were about, so I didn't have to read the lengthy paragraphs. When I finished, I laid down my white black pen. The Back Door Man asked if I was done.

"Yes. But I'm waiting on my people. Do I bring the pen?"

"No. We have students that collect and clean them."
 
The Pony was done. We were waiting on Farmer H. Then we all proceeded to the back door and the ballot-eater. Farmer H went first. No problem. The Pony fed his ballot to the slot. It didn't move.

"Give it a push," said Back Door Man.

The Pony tapped the end. Rrr rrr rrr went the ballot-eater.

"Try it again. You'll get it." Back Door Man was a great cheerleader.

The Pony tapped it again. Rrr rrr rrr.

"Don't be afraid of it! Don't be so gentle!" Back Door Man was also a coach.

When The Pony's third tap didn't make the ballot-eater feed, Back Door Man shoved the end of The Pony's ballot, and it went down the hatch. Then I fed mine in like a twenty into a slot machine. Into the ballot-eater's gullet it went.

That's one thing that kept me from voting early a month ago. I was concerened about where my ballot would live until election day. Farmer H called in to the county election commissioner's radio show, and asked. They are locked up. Nobody can look at them before 11:00 a.m. on election day. That's when they start getting the tally out of the ballot-eater, I think. Farmer H says they are stored in lock boxes. That maybe the ballot-eater's stomach is actually a lock box. DUH! How would the ballots get in? They are probably transferred to a lock box when the ballot-eater's stomach is full.

Anyhoo... we all voted, and The Pony got a sticker. And from there, we proceeded to a surprise casino trip. It was a busy, busy day for Mrs. Hillbilly Mom.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Better By Comparison, But Not All That Great

Thursday morning at 8:30, I had my own doctor nurse practitioner appointment. It was better than Farmer H's experience, but not by much.
 
A series of unfortunate events sent the entire Hillbilly family along for the ride. Not that I minded. Farmer H had originally planned to drive me anyway, and drop me at the door. Good thing! It was raining cats and dogs! Soaked, dripping, drowned-rat-adjacent cats and dogs. So I was let out under the covered entrance like a royal princess who might melt if she got wet.
 
Farmer H, and his speedy, always-leave-early ways, got me there at 7:55. Even though I was told by message to get there at 8:20. A few people were walking in. I assumed they might have lab work, because I don't think appointments start until 8:30.
 
I climbed out of A-Cad and strapped on my Kansas City Chiefs mask. It's my favorite. That's like having a favorite bed-of-nails, or a favorite bamboo shoot under your fingernail. Inside, I followed the arrows on the floor, and stood on the waiting circle, until a temperature gun was shot at my head, and I answered the standard VIRUS questions. I was slapped with a sticker that said I'd been scanned. THEN I was asked where I was going, and motioned towards the elevator.
 
A lady and her near-7-year-old boy were getting on. They held it for me. I stepped way to the back corner. The Boy asked what floor. Second. Same as them. On our short ride, The Lady said how crazy this was. I agreed. The doors opened, and The Boy stepped out, turned around, and held his arm across the close-y part so it would stay open for me to get off. Wasn't that sweet? Maybe there's a new generation that will actually care about people.
 
I went to the window and signed a tablet agreeing to treatment and insurance charges. Handed over my newest insurance card. Then asked if they needed my debit card. I almost fainted when the gals said, 
 
"No. We're not taking co-pays right now."
 
I was so shocked that I forgot to ask why not. Later, Farmer H said it's because they don't want to touch money, that money is filthy. I argued that so is a debit card. He said no, that a debit card has only touched MY filthy hands, but that cash may have touched a thousand filthy hands. To which The Pony chimed in, 
 
"Or been up someone's butt."
 
Too much information from The Pony. Anyhoo... I still don't agree with that, since few people pay with cash, but instead use plastic or check, for their records. I think some grander scam is going on, if hospitals are supposedly losing money. Surely they would jump at the chance to collect their rightful share of the fees for an appointment.
 
I went to sit down. It was 8:10. A lady registered after me, and was called right in. Maybe she had an 8:15 appointment, or maybe she was the FIRST 8:30 appointment. They got me within a couple minutes, and stored me in an exam room. I waited and waited, hearing what sounded like a party on the other side of the wall.
 
At 8:35, a nurse came in to take my vitals, ask why I was there, bring up my prescriptions, and say that the NP would be there shortly. Her concept of shortly is different from mine, that mainly being the SHORT part of shortly.
 
Again, I heard laughter, chatting, muffled words I couldn't make out. Sounded like a reunion. At 8:50, the noise moved to the hall outside my door. 
 
"Yes. I saw him getting in his truck, and I said, 'You look good.' But he didn't think so, and was kind of grouchy, saying he was going to work. But later he said sorry if he hadn't waved at me a couple mornings."
 
"Yeah, he's like that. Anyway, I'll see you."
 
"Take care now."
 
"Love you, NP!"
 
Seriously? I don't talk to NP like that. I guess he was related, or a neighbor. He even switched the diagnosis code from a well visit to something else, he said, due to an issue discovered during their chat. Not sure how that shakes out in the scheme of payment options. Conspiracy alert!

Anyhoo... NP came in and I told him about my prescription snafu last time, and he made a big show of moving my prescriptions from one side of the wall-mounted computer screen to the other. Saying, "I'm doing it now. I'm showing you." Not in a smart@ss way, but making that point. So I hope nothing gets messed up this time.

Oh, and of all the times for him to send me for the blood test, this was the day, when he was running behind, and Farmer H and The Pony were waiting in A-Cad for me to come out so we could go vote. But I agreed, since last time he skipped this part. Don't wanna die of toxic medication buildup!
 
When I mentioned I was on my way to vote, NP said, "Oh, over by the morgue?" Well. I guess so. No telling what that place used to be when the other hospital was open!

Up I went to the third floor, where the lab is located. Four people ahead of me. I swear they took 10 minutes between blood-suckings. It was 9:10 when I got out of there.


She used the RED stretchy gauze this time. I prefer the lime green. Anyhoo... when I took that off, there was no mark at all on my inner elbow. Even though The Pony said he saw a small black dot. From the back seat. Wearing glasses. As I type this, I have a tiny bruise the size of a hat-pin head. Not at all painful, probably due to taking an aspirin every day and taking longer to clot.

The voting part of the adventure is coming up tomorrow...

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Dread Night

There are a couple nights a year that I dread. This year, even more so. This is Doctor's Appointment Eve. Technically, it is Nurse Practitioner Appointment Eve. I really don't want to go, but I HAVE to go, to seek my drugs. One thyroid pill, a heart-slower, and a blood pressure lowerer. Nothing relaxing or recreational. I've been on them for many years. 

Here's the thing. I DON'T want to go into a VIRUS-ridden facility. Supposedly, they separate the normal people and the infecteds. Last time, there was a temperature check and a 3rd-degree inquisition at the door. So I guess that's in my favor. I'll be taking my own fabric mask, rather than strapping on one of their paper masks, probably boughten from CHINA, that gave me a two-day headache, earache, and sore throat after my last appointment in May. I'm pretty sure it was from re-inhaling my own mouth bacteria over and over, but you never know.

Now for the fun part, heh, heh! Not really fun, only fun because it means the END of my appointment.

WE ARE GOING TO VOTE!

Uh huh. While we're over in Bill-Paying Town at my appointment, we'll stop by Election Central, the county's early-voting facility, which happens to be in a strip-mall-looking former doctors' office plaza across from Farmer H's old hospital. Which was closed several years ago, due to mold and losing money. So now our county has only one hospital. Mold-free, though. Probably scamming money now.

Anyhoo... it's open 8:00 to 6:00, processes about 400 voters per day. I sure don't want to stand in line on actual voting day. There's no room to make a line around the block at the old church where we vote! You'd have to stand on the edge of a two-lane blacktop state lettered highway!
 
We're making it a family affair. Everybody rides along for my 8:30 appointment. Then off to vote. The Pony's second time, I think. Not sure he voted in 2016, but he was eligible.

Now I'm off to worry some more. I HATE going to the doctor nurse practitioner. My prescriptions got royally messed up last time. And he didn't order the regular six-month blood test, even though I had fasted. I'm going to have to give him a piece of my mind this time. But I don't really want to go to the lab for a blood test. There might be INFECTEDs in the waiting area!

But by the time you read this, IT WILL ALL BE OVER!

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Ol' Hillmomba

Farmer H is having a devil of a time getting treatment for his unhealthiness. If he knew what was wrong, he could just take something, right? Or do a little cutting on himself. He has plenty of knives. That seems to be the attitude of his health care providers. 
 
For almost six weeks, Farmer H has been feeling poorly. His stomach hurts on the right side. It keeps him awake at night. He says he feels full of gas. Or poop! The pain comes and goes. Nothing seems to help it. Of course, being a VALEDICTORIAN, a fan of ER, and a former gallbladder owner, I diagnosed him with gallstones. Or maybe chronic inflammation of the gallbladder. But I can't prescribe medicine, and I can't cut him open. Can you believe that? With MY qualifications! 

Anyhoo... about the same time, Farmer H also started having pains in his left arm. Up by the shoulder. Then it moved down his arm. To his wrist and hand. Causing him a loss of strength. Then a loss of circulation, resulting in a cold hand. He thinks it might be a nerve issue, since he's had surgery on his vertebrae, and had a titanium plate put in his neck. He says that's what it feels like.

Of course I couldn't rule out a heart issue. But even without my concern, Farmer H made an appointment with his nurse practitioner. She only works ONE DAY A WEEK. So that kind of limited his chances of a timely appointment. On the day he went to the office, she saw him walking in.

"What are YOU doing here?"

"I'm sick."

"Oh, no! You shouldn't be here!"

"Isn't this a doctor's office? Do you only see WELL people? I don't have nothin'. I'm here because I have a problem."

How kind of her to actually keep his appointment, and order tests. A blood test for possible heart attack enzymes and gallbladder issues. An ultrasound. A stress test. And an EEG. All on different days, of course.

Farmer H waited and waited. Nobody called with results. At his regular shot appointment on Fridays (yes, that's plural), he'd ask about his tests. The nurse giving his shot would say she couldn't tell him anything, he'd have to talk to his nurse practitioner. But she'd go and look at the tests. And say his NP hadn't seen them yet. But she'd make eyes when SHE looked at the ultrasound. The second or third Friday, she said she shouldn't say anything, but the left side of Farmer H's heart looked weird in the ultrasound. 

With his pushing, she DID go show it to the DOCTOR, who said it wasn't anything he was concerned with. Anyhoo... somehow they discovered, after FOUR WEEKS, that the blood sample never made it to the lab. Good thing Farmer H wasn't having a heart attack! I was about to, over this shoddy treatment. Anyhoo... the NP called him the next week, and sent him back for another ultrasound. And to give more blood. I'm pretty sure that Farmer H's medicare is paying twice for these double tests. Isn't that a scam? Or are they just waiting for him to die before they find out what of?

Anyhoo... Farmer H finally got an appointment with his NP for today (Tuesday) to go over the blood tests and ultrasound. The EEG did not show a problem. So... Farmer H waited all weekend. He made a list of 11 questions on the back of an envelope (so organized for Farmer H) to ask the NP. 

ONLY TO GET A CALL MONDAY THAT HE COULDN'T COME IN!

Seriously. The office manager said they were not seeing patients. That they were worried about the FLU OUTBREAK. What in the Not-Heaven? Flu in Missouri is sporadic, according to every state health website I've checked. Aren't doctors and nurse practitioners in the BUSINESS OF SEEING SICK PEOPLE? There goes my blood boiling again!

Anyhoo... Farmer H was told that he could have a teleconference with his NP. You know the state of our SPRINT cell phone service here at the Mansion. So Farmer H drove up to his Storage Unit Store parking lot for his appointment. The enzymes from his blood tests show gallbladder involvement, but the ultrasound does not show a diseased gallbladder. Only some stones. So now Farmer H has to wait for a referral to a surgeon to see if he needs surgery for his gallbladder.

Oh, and he might need to see a neurologist for the shoulder pain. I guess it's time to hurry up and wait again. I know it took at least 6 weeks from his original appointment to find this out. All the while in pain. Still in pain. 

They ARE letting him come inside the building on Friday, for his weekly shot, and to take more blood, for his A1C, which was supposed to be on the day of his teleconference appointment in the office.

Even I feel bad for Farmer H. So I've written him a song. Mostly. Kind of. More like copied...

OL' HILLMOMBA
 
I come from Ol' Hillmomba with a pain in my belly
I'm goin' to my doctor's office, nurse practitioner for to see
Ol' Hillmomba, oh don't you cry for me
I know this gal will fix me up, or she ain't no NP
 
She made a face when I arrived, and asked if I was sick
Then said she thought that I should leave, oh what a dirty trick
Ol' Hillmomba, oh don't you cry for me
I'll get some tests, some medicine, and on the mend I'll be

Four weeks went by, with ne'er a word, I was not up to par
They said they found my blood was lost, now isn't that bizarre
Ol' Hillmomba, oh don't you cry for me
I gave some more, which proved me sick, and I sure did agree

Repeat more tests, and charge more fees, I felt like a cash cow
All to require a specialist, but will he see me now
Ol' Hillmomba, start squirtin' tears for me
Nobody seems to care if I am dyin' or healthy

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The NEW Towering Bowl Of Soup

Sweet Gummi Mary! We've entered a new era. Farmer H's feeding habits used to be measured by the Towering Bowl of Soup yardstick. Back when both boys were still home, I'd brewed up a tasty pot of vegetable beef soup. It's self-serve around the Mansion kitchen. I returned to the kitchen to see that Farmer H had filled his soup bowl, and was getting out a serving spoon. That's what he eats with. Which should probably give you another clue about his feeding habits.

There on the cutting block was the bowl of soup, TWICE AS HIGH AS THE RIM! Farmer H prefers HIS soup without "juice," as he calls it. I think he'd taken over half of the arm roast that I'd cooked in this pot. Of course he did not see the error of his ways.

Flash forward to Monday night. Chili dog night in the Mansion kitchen. I called Farmer H to fix his plate. I'd roasted his hot dogs in the oven, and diced an onion, warmed the chili, and portioned out his shredded cheddar. 

There was a brief kerfuffle when I questioned him about the order of his chili-dogging. Farmer H had put diced onions on the dogs, then chili, then more onions, then cheese. I thought the cheese should go first, then the chili, then the onions. That would melt the cheese. But since I wasn't eating chili dogs, it was really none of my business.

My attention was taken by rinsing out the opaque plastic container that once held take-out Hot & Sour Soup, but on this night held our leftover chili. It's hard to rinse out, without HOT WATER, of which there was none, since The Pony was already wallowing in the big triangle tub, and had used it all, deciding to skip supper.

WHAT IN THE NOT-HEAVEN!

I turned to see Farmer H's plate on the cutting block. I declare, he had added MORE chili over the cheese. His plate was piled higher than the Soup Tower! He'd taken almost all of the beans and meat (and onions!) from the pan of chili. I had chili soup. The "juice."

FARMER H HAD A CHILI DOG MATTERHORN!

So efficient had he been in using the big slotted spoon to dip out chili for his hot dogs... he'd left barely enough "juice" on his plate to discolor the hot dog buns!

I had to resort to the backup container, half-full of leftover chili, to get anything of substance. Otherwise, I could have eaten my evening meal through a straw.

Some people are just oblivious to common courtesy. Lou Grant and the Veal Prince Orloff comes to mind. And some people are just HOGS.

Monday, October 26, 2020

It Will Be A Chili Day In Hillmomba When The Pony Is My Sous Chef Again

I warned informed The Pony that I might ask for his assistance in making the pot of chili on Saturday.  Such a dirty trick, huh, to choose a helper who doesn't even like chili! It's not like I was forcing him to TASTE it. I only needed him for mechanical purposes.

I tasked The Pony with opening five cans. We have a can opener that was given to me last Christmas by my sister the ex-mayor's wife. You just put it on top of the can, push a button, and it spins itself around, cutting just below the rim, so you can pull off the top and not have those sharp edges. WHEN it works! I think we must be doing something wrong. The one Sis used to demonstrate for me worked great!

Anyhoo... there were two cans of chili beans, one can (larger) of baked beans, one can of black-eyed peas (I always put them in my chili), and one can of diced tomatoes with oregano and garlic. The Pony opted to us the hand-held can opener from the silverware drawer. That would have had my hands crippled-up for a week. But he's young and spry.

I had to tell him step by step what was planned.

"Get out the big silver pot. Put it on the back burner."
 
"Get out the packet of chili seasoning from the small pantry. I think I have some. Or I might have too many taco seasonings. I'm low on one, and always forget and buy the other."
 
"Um. The date on this one is 2015."
 
"It's POWDER! I'm sure it will be okay. If you don't find any more."
 
Thus The Pony embarked on a quest to read the date on every packet of seasoning. Most were of the 2015 era. I suppose there'd been a major clean-out back then. He DID find a current packet of chili seasoning. 
 
"Oh, Mom. This one is half-full. It's probably recent. The package looks like the good one. Not the kind that looks like it's from the 80s."
 
"Okay. We'll use a pack and a half."
 
The Pony briefly admired his pile of expired seasoning packets. Then threw them away.
 
"Now that you're done with that, maybe we can get this chili show on the road. The hamburger is done, and I don't have anywhere to put it so I can start the onions."
 
"I was HELPING YOU clean out your seasonings!"
 
"I know. Now, dump a can of the chili beans in. WITH the liquid. Then the can of baked beans and also its liquid."
 
"Um. The baked beans won't come out."
 
"Sure they will. Dig in with a spoon. That'll get 'em started. They plop out." [They did.] "See? They'd been stored upside down. But I just bought them yesterday!"
 
"I didn't do it! I just opened them."
 
"I know. Not blaming you. Just explaining why they were stuck. Now, put in the diced tomatoes, liquid too."
 
"Mmm. Those smell good."
 
"I always get the seasoned ones. Okay. We're ready for the black-eyed peas. Give them to me, so I can pour out the liquid in the sink. Wait a minute. I need their lid."
 
"I threw all the lids away."
 
"WHAT? You're supposed to put the lid in the can when it's empty. So nobody cuts themself on loose lids in the trash. What if I'm digging for something? Like the PINWHEELS that I was going to give the dogs?"
 
"Sorry. Do you want me to get them out? The lids. Not the pinwheels. The dogs don't need moldy pinwheels."
 
"They're DOGS! They eat carrion. I don't think a moldy tomato on a pinwheel is going to hurt a dog."
 
"Here's one. Use this lid."
 
"Huh. It's smaller than the can. A couple of black-eyed peas got out. But okay. I'll dig them out of the drain. Pour these in. Then the last can of chili beans, with the liquid."
 
"They're in."
 
"NOW get me all the liquids. I'll need ketchup. Worcestershire sauce. Steak sauce. Heinz 57. Frank's Original Hot Sauce. And a little yellow mustard."
 
"Um. I think this is too old. Look at it."
 
"Okay. Throw it out, and hand me the new Heinz 57."
 
"The Franks needs to go, too."
 
"Fine. Give me the new one."
 
And so it went, until I had all the liquids squirted in. Then I shook in the powdered chili seasoning, and told The Pony to bring it to a boil, while stirring to keep it from sticking to the bottom. He accomplished this with specific directions to stir every 30 seconds. Once boiling had ended, in went the browned hamburger, and I was on to the onions.
 
I offered The Pony the first taste of the simmered chili. He declined. I tried it, and it was JUST RIGHT. That's the best case scenario. It's when more liquids need to be added that it goes off the rails.
 
 
That's an EXTREME close-up of the chili. With The Pony's help, I had that pot of chili done in 90 minutes. Without him, it takes 60.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Onions Or Nunions, THAT Is The Question

With temperatures down in the 40s Saturday morning, I started a pot of chili. Sorry I didn't get you a picture of it. But I DID grab a pic of the end stage preparation. If you don't like onions, don't come cryin' to me! It's only a picture. Not like it's going to jump out of your device and into your mouth!


Yes, that's a big pan of onions, fried in the few droplets of hamburger flavor grease that I didn't soak up with stale bread for the dogs. Farmer H and I LIKE onions! It's 3 onions, to be exact. That's 1.5 onions for each of us, if we split the pot of chili 50/50. The Pony does not partake of chili. He says it's a texture thing. I'm still waiting for him to GROW UP. Maybe he should just eat baby food with a tiny spoon, since it's all the same texture. I'd even grind up the onions for him, so he could have a new flavor. He eats onions on burgers. But not in chili.

Anyhoo... these onions are from a bag labeled Sweet Onions. I think they're meant to be like Vidalia onions, but only onions actually grown in a certain region of Georgia can bear the name Vidalia. These are not quite as sweet as Vidalias, but they'll do. Not that it matters in chili, anyway, since they're fried. These Sweet Onions are a bit hotter than a Vidalia on a sandwich.

Funny thing about onions. They don't make me cry. Which reminds me of that song by Sammy Kershaw, "Vidalia." Which is neither here nor there. I don't know what it is about my body chemistry that keeps the spraying onion juices from forming sulfuric acid with my eye juices. Even if I'm not wearing my glasses, cutting onions does not make me cry.

In other news, my cell phone doesn't want to respond to my touch. Nor does the ATM at the bank. And some slot machines. I complained to The Pony that my phone won't recognize me as a person.

"Oh, it recognizes you as a person, Mom. It just doesn't recognize you as a LIVING person."

Not sure what he meant by that! Maybe my cold, cold heart lowers the temperature of my fingertips. Sometimes I can get the devices to respond if I rub my fingertips until friction warms them a bit. And sometimes my phone will respond if I lick a fingertip. But that is very unsanitary, if I do it more than once! Phones are filthy, and we never wash them!

Anyhoo... here are those onions again, when they're nice and ready for the chili cauldron.


They're sweated-out, mostly translucent, with a few caramelized. Mmm. Onions for the chili pot. They were a tasty addition. Not that The Pony could verify it. I'm pretty sure most NORMAL people put onions in their chili. Right?

Saturday, October 24, 2020

The One Where The Pony Single-Hoofedly Causes The Destruction Of The Twin Towers

Remember those delicious pinwheels I bought for lunches on Monday? Like I said, there were three packs. I consumed two of them. I let The Pony choose the container that had those two GIANT pinwheels. Here. I'll show them again.


I told The Pony I didn't mind if he took them. I just didn't want them to go to waste. They had the sell-by date on the label. As I recall, that date was Oct 22. I kept harping at The Pony about his pinwheels. He kept choosing something else to eat, saying he was going to have them the next day. On Oct 22, we went to the casino, and had lunch there. The Pony said he might have them that evening. But then he said he didn't want anything, and only snacked.

He was going to have the pinwheels for lunch on Friday the 23. Then started eating cheese and crackers at 11:00 a.m. So he pushed them until supper. Then he said he'd have them after his nightly bath in the big triangle tub.

At 9:22 I got a text from The Pony.

"Pulled a tomato piece out of my thing. Large spot of mold on it."

"Don't eat them, I guess."

"Yeah. I'll make something."

That is upsetting. I would have gladly eaten those pinwheels for another meal. Like the night I had an expired roast beef sandwich from The Devil's Playground, when I served The Pony and Farmer H some ziti with red sauce and sausage pieces from a Ponytail Guy.

Not sure if The Pony was seeing actual mold, or parts of the limp lettuce that is also wrapped with the pinwheels. In any case, the twin tower pinwheels had to be destroyed. I don't know if he set them out for the dogs, or if I'll have to dig through the wastebasket for them if they're still in the container.

Darn That Pony. I won't be so quick to offer him prime pinwheels next time.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Mr. Congeniality Is In Great Demand

We took a road trip on Thursday. As usual, Farmer H was quite popular on the radio. Not the ACTUAL radio in A-Cad. The one that plays a local country station for Farmer H, and SiriusXM for me. It was Farmer H's PHONE programmed into the radio. 
 
Who came up with THIS bit of torture? Probably someone like Genius. It took The Pony to show Farmer H how to use it, and to set it up. So... we'll be driving along, jamming to some hick tunes, when BRRR comes on the radio. Like an old-time phone ringing, muted. The screen goes to black, with two little rectangles you can touch to ANSWER or DECLINE. Texts also come in. They will read themselves if you hit the right rectangle. There's even a list of replies to touch. If you dare.
 
Then you have to figure out how to get back to your radio menu. All while sweaving along at 70 mph on an interstate highway with cables on one side of you, and encroaching semi trucks on your right. I think I lost one of my 9 lives today, when I commanded Farmer H to WATCH OUT and look up from that radio call and HONK as the middle of a semi was attracted to my DEATH MAGNET. It swerved back within its own lane after the honk.

Anyhoo... Farmer H had a text from Back-Creek Neighbor Bev, wanting to know if he'd found something for her. I didn't understand A-Cad's computer voice, but Farmer H did, and he knew what Bev was wanting. I wish Bev had just hiked over from possibly parking in her sleeping van past the BARn field, and left a note under a rock on the front porch.

The next call was from a buddy wanting to know if he had any new guns. Farmer H did. So he answered the call and arranged a time (in his busy schedule) for a viewing.

THEN a business acquaintance sent a text asking Farmer H to loan him $100 for medicine over the weekend. Farmer H did not reply directly, but his out-loud response was "No."

"This guy buys guns from me. He's usually selling something to get money. I'm not loaning him $100."

"I guess you might as well say you don't care if he dies, Dad."

"It's not THAT, Pony. I can't be loaning people money. Maybe it's really for medicine. But he needs to make other arrangements."

"Yeah. Because if you do it once, he might depend on you to do it again. And again. And when you can't, THEN he'll die. So you might as well let him die now..."

"It ain't about the dyin'. But yes, he would think he could depend on me to do it every time. And I can't."

The last call (before we reached our destination), was from Farmer H's Cancer Girlfriend. She asked what he was doing on Friday. I'm always leery when somebody asks that. Are they needing a favor, like helping them move? Or do they have special tickets to an event you'd love to attend? You never know how to answer. You could set yourself up for a lot of work, or derive great pleasure if you're available. Farmer H truthfully said that he had a doctor's appointment, and she said, "Good." Guess we'll never know what she had in mind otherwise.

Just so you don't go out and buy yourself a mourning outfit, or put a deposit on some flowers... the Medicine Guy sent ANOTHER text on our way home.

"I was going to let you hold my .22 until I pay you back the $100. Since I'm thinking about trading it to you anyway to buy another gun."

Farmer H said, "Hit the answer that I'll call him later. I could do it if I have the .22. It's worth more than $100."

Always the businessman, sometimes the pharmaceutical savior, our Farmer H.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

M' Nugs And M' Nug Sack

Remember my FREE coupon for four chicken nuggets? I used it Wednesday at Burger King. After the girl in the drive-thru speaker was done interrupting me, I said,

"And I also have a coupon for four free chicken nuggets."

"Okay. We can do that for you. What is the number code?"

"I don't see any number code. It was stuck to my bag last time I was here."

"Oh! Is it a RED coupon?"

"Yes."

"Okay. Pull around to the first window."

I handed in my card AND the red coupon, through the window in the clear plastic tub she extended. No cars ahead of me. No wait. I pulled right to the pick-up window and got my MEDIUM Diet Coke, my Whopper value meal, and my four FREE chicken nuggets.

 
Don't let them hurt your eyes! Heh, heh! Hurt your eyes, LOOKING FOR THE NUGGETS! They are hiding, all four of them, down in a paper sack used for small fries.

I offered them to The Pony, but he kindly turned them down, seeing as how they were not much of a meal. I saved them for supper. Along with the Ponytail Guy's sausage.


Nothing to write home about, but enough to write a blog post about. They were generic, fried-tasting, some kind of pressed chicken. I was planning to dip them in a little packet (or two) of tartar sauce that The Pony and Farmer H had left over from their carry-out Captain D's feast the other day. 
 
Unfortunately, when I pulled the lid off, it didn't look right. Then I noticed the paper lid on the other little tub said KEEP REFRIGERATED, and was puffed up. The Pony had set them on the counter by the stove, near the heating vent in the floor. So much for refrigeration over the past six days!

Still... they were FREE! The nuggets, I mean. Not the tartar sauces. Which were also free, but were not consumable at this juncture.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The Non-Cooking Show, Starring The Pony, With Special Guest Mrs. HM

Let the record show that The Pony makes a delicious sandwich condiment sauce. Because I have him as a captive resident in the Mansion, I feel entitled to ask for it on a whim. It's The Pony's fault. He had to force me to try it the first couple times he concocted it for his own meal. He was actually excited to make it for me. I'd hand him a ramekin, and he'd get to work with his saucy alchemy. 
 
Apparently, I wore out my condiment welcome. I sensed this by the heavy sigh, and eye-rolling (which I could see with the eyes in the back of my ex-teacher head) last week at lunch.
 
"Pony, could you make me some sauce for my roast-beef-and-cheddar?"
 
"Yeeesssss. I guess so..."
 
"Hey! If you had taught me HOW to fish, you wouldn't be casting your line several times a week!"
 
"I have tried."
 
"That's when I thought you would always do it for me. Show me now."
 
I handed The Pony a ramekin, and leaned over the cutting block, resting on my elbows and forearms. 

"You start with the garlic aioli, then put in some deli mustard. Then the horseradish sauce. And mayo for filler, to get the amount you want."

PHREETTT! All over my forearms went the aioli.
SPRERTRRPT! Went the horseradish sauce, spraying droplets onto my shirt and chin.
PSFEHTTPPE! Went the mayo, dotting my arms like a Jackson Pollock masterpiece.
 
"You could have shaken them down before squeezing them!"
 
"They're running low."

The Pony snapped shut the horseradish sauce, with a glob on the lid by the slot.

"Ooh! Now I won't want to open that up, knowing what a mess it'll be!"

"I  showed you how to make it, Mother. You WILL be doing it for yourself."

"Give me that! I'm going to add some mayo from the jar to this squeeze bottle. Since it seemed LOW, what with spurting all over me. Get a jar out of the pantry to put in the fridge. It will take most of what's left in this jar. I actually think the jar mayo is a different consistency than the squeeze bottle. Look. The at the clumps down the side of the bottle now, where it won't slide off the spoon. Ooh! I have it all over my hand and wrist. I can't use the big spoon to dig down in the jar. It won't fit in the squeeze bottle top..."

"Mother. Look at this jar of mayo from the pantry. I'm pretty sure it's expired. It's sunken in!"

"Ooh! Throw that away!"

"It's even a different color! Kind of gray! Oh, look! It expired in 2016!"

"Well, I'm pretty sure I bought it in 2014, then."

"It's been there since before I went to college!"

"I was commemorating your departure!"

"I know that the jars I buy are at least two years out from the date. So that's probably right. Ugh."

"Come over here and tell me that this texture isn't different!"

"It's all over the side of the bottle!"

"You'd just leave it like that, and screw the lid on."

"Do no project, Mother."

"Come look!"

"No. You might get some on me."

EXACTLY.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Hello Pinwheel, My Old Friend, I've Come To Feast With You Again

I've been holding out on you! Keeping you in the dark! Not-feeding you pinwheels!
 
Remember how I used to love my pinwheels for lunch? Back when I got them at The Devil's Playground? Sweet Gummi Mary! I hadn't feasted on a pinwheel in a coon's age! Not since way before Stay-At-Home-Down. As you may recall, The Devil first switched up the packaging, from six pinwheels to four. THEN started having shortages of my favorite, the chicken/bacon/ranch. And THEN they disappeared from the deli section altogether.

Well. Since Country Mart was bought out by Harp's in July, they've switched a few of their pre-packaged deli products. A couple weeks ago, I found PINWHEELS! The Pony and I enjoyed them immensely. I, more than The Pony, because I'm immenser, with an ampler rumpus. Last week there were none to be found. But Monday, I nabbed three containers. I would have taken the last one as well, but it had a USE BY date of Oct 18, and it was Oct 19 as I was standing there reading it.

Anyhoo... while I was happy to purchase some pinwheels, I was sad to see signs of the imminent decline of THESE pinwheels, too. I even warned The Pony when he trotted out to be my beast of burden:

"I found PINWHEELS! But there's a little quality control issue."


Yes, there's one that's a bit lacking in substance. But that's not the only issue.


The two in the middle row are GIANTS! Or else the four on the ends are MINIATURES.

Oh, one package was completely normal. And the third one had a couple pinwheels that were basically just tortilla wrap and lettuce. Maybe a scrap of turkey. These seem to have turkey, ham, white cheese, yellow cheese, tomato, and lettuce. With a bit of cream cheese spread on the outer layer to hold the tortilla together.

I must say, they are delicious with a side of green olives. I will be feasting on them until their most likely upcoming demise.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Dang The Farmer H, And Full Heed Ahead

Farmer H needs to answer for this! I'll not have it. I'll not have it, I say! His hoarding habits have become dangerous to the very health of his family!

Sunday afternoon, I sent The Pony over to the BARn to bring back some FREE MEAT. The Ponytail Guy's meat. I wanted a bag of chicken on the bone, and some loose sausage. The first for BBQ in the oven, and the second for spaghetti sauce on Monday. The Pony said he'd do that while I was in town.

When I returned, The Pony was a bit slow coming to the garage. I didn't really need or expect him, since all I had to carry were my purse and magical elixir. But here he was, leaning in the passenger door to grab my stuff.

"Oh, Mom." 

The Pony generally broaches a serious topic in that manner. A bit nervous. Not wanting to get me riled up. Then he continues after I look at him and inquire further.

"I'm getting kind of upset with what Dad has done to the BARn. You know... how he's junked it up. He can't even open the big door anymore, he's got so much stuff in front of it. So you have to go in through the little door in the lean-to part. You know where the light switch is, right?"

"No. I haven't been over there in a while. But he's sent me pictures, and I see all the stuff piled around."

"Well, you have to go all the way across the main BARn to get to the light switch for that part. It's really dark, you know, because there's no windows. So I'm going over there through the dark, to turn on the light, and I didn't know he had piled CHAINSAWS along there! Look what it did."

The Pony put his foot on T-Hoe's running board, and turned his leg sideways.

"Oh, no!"

"I'm all right, Mom. It's just my pants. Look at that."

The Pony stuck his finger into the hole, on the side of his right leg, just below the knee. His pants had been cut open by the blade of a chainsaw! Thank the Gummi Mary, his tender flesh was not chewed-up. To be fair, they are very thin pants. Almost tight-like. Not quite pajama jeans. They are at least camouflage patterned. Perhaps the hole won't be very noticeable. I don't know how to sew up a chainsaw hole in such fabric. Not that I ever sew anything, anyway. 
 
You can bet this will be the topic for Sunday evening's "This Is the Time of Day When We Discuss the Most Recent Thing You've Done Wrong."

I guess Farmer H owes The Pony a pair of pants. And thankfully not a new leg.

Alternate Titles:
Baby Needs A New Pair Of Pants
Hillmomba Chainsaw Damager

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Nuggets Of Couth

On the day of my bank NON-APPOINTMENT, I treated myself to a fast-food lunch on the way home. You know, a little reward for getting up EARLY for my 1:15 appointment that never was. Farmer H and The Pony had taken a jaunt down to the cemetery where Farmer H's parents are buried. The Pony never met them, nor I, either, since they had passed away before I met Farmer H.
 
Anyhoo... don't ASSume I went to Dairy Queen. I haven't been there in over a week. I still love their soft pretzels, but I don't love the way they've shrunk by at least 1/3 in size, and the tiny nuggety chicken strips that they've been pawning off on the 2-for-$4 menu. Sweet Gummi Mary! What's the world coming to when you can't get a good portion of chicken or soft pretzels for $2 each?
 
Anhoo... I went through Burger King. Yes, yes, I hear you. "Mrs. HM, why would you go THERE, after they served you a lettuce-burger when you ordered a Whopper without lettuce?" I know. Sometimes I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed. I should have taken The Pony's offer for him and Farmer H to bring me Captain D's fish on their way home from their trip.
 
Anyhoo... I pulled up to the speaker and started my standard order.
 
"I'd like a Number One Medium Combo, with no cheese--"
 
"Would you like cheese or bacon on that?"
 
"No. NO cheese, no bacon. And no--"
 
"Okay, so a Whopper Combo. What kind of soda do you want with that?"

"Also, NO LETTUCE. And a Diet Coke."

"Would you like to upgrade that to a medium or large combo?"

"Yes. Like I said, a MEDIUM combo."

"Okay. Pull around for your total."

What in the NOT HEAVEN? They ALWAYS give the total through the speaker! Even when they mess up my lettuce! I pulled around. Nobody else was ahead of me. I handed my debit card through the window in the little clear tub the lady shoved out. She did not read my order back to me. She shoved my card back, mummied in the receipt, in that tub. 

I pulled forward forthwith, not wanting to hold up the behind-me line. The next lady was one that usually gives out the food. She put a soda in HER little-larger clear plastic tub, and held it out, saying, "Small Diet Coke?"

"Um. I ordered a MEDIUM COMBO. But I guess that lady didn't listen. She was too busy talking to hear me."

"Oh. I'll fix that." 

She pulled the tub back in, took out the soda, and POURED IT OUT! She told a young man at her shoulder to pour a medium Diet Coke. Seriously. She could have just poured the small into a bigger cup, and added to it. I didn't mean for her to waste a couple cents worth of Burger King's fountain soda. She handed out the medium soda, and said

"We're just waiting on your fries."

"Okay. How much extra do I owe for the medium combo?"

"Oh, don't worry about that!"

"Well, thank you!"

She handed out my food bag. I set it on the passenger seat, and didn't open it, so as to keep the food warm. When I got home, The Pony trotted out to carry in my bank folder, food bag, and soda.

"You wouldn't believe what the Burger King people did today! But at least they upgraded me to a MEDIUM, and didn't charge me!"

"They did even better than that. You get four free chicken nuggets!"

Indeed, when I got inside, I saw that they'd put a coupon sticker on the bag.


That might pair well with some short Dairy Queen soft pretzels, next time I'm out with The Pony.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

The Drive-Thru Appointment

After the bank broke my appointment they had made for me, and reminded me of three times... I headed to their drive-thru to do business as they commanded me. My original APPOINTMENT was for 1:15. No way was I going to accommodate the bank and their Indian-giving appointment-reneging ways. I'd show up when I was good and ready. Too bad, so sad that they had "double-booked" the 1:15 time slot, but only wanted to cancel MY appointment.

I arrived at 1:25. My bank is small. It has 3 drive-thru lanes. I chose the one on the outer edge, by the grassy strip and the alley, lest I start to feel claustrophobic while trapped between the concrete islands with angry, would-be, drivers-thru behind me. There was not a car in this lane. There was a truck in the one next to it. And the innermost one by the building was empty.

I pushed the SEND button to open the clear drop-down window that protects the canister (from theft?). It opened said-a-me, and I took it out (heh, heh, that's a reference for my Seinfeldian buddy Madam). 
 
This new canister opens all funky. You squeeze a little black flip-lever thingy in the middle as the canister is laying on your lap. The whole side of the cylinder opens. I rolled up my death certificate (actually my MOM'S), so as not to fold it. I laid in my four Series EE Savings Bonds. I laid in my driver's license, two dollars, a withdrawal slip, and a notecard list of the three functions I hoped to accomplish. Buy four rolls of pennies, withdraw cash from my account, redeem the bonds.

The canister was sent through the tube. I readied myself for a wait. The Teller said she would be with me in a minute. While waiting, a truck pulled up behind the already-waiting truck. The new one was a diesel. Rattling loudly as diesel engines do. It STUNK! I could feel the carbon monoxide building in my blood. You'd think I could get fresh air, outside under a roof. But I guess the roof held in the exhaust, and the wind was conspiring against me.

The original truck completed its transaction and left. Putting that stinky loud rattletrap beside me. I was miserable, but passed the time by turning up my radio again and again, and balancing my checkbook. At least no other cars got in line. I will make a note that Thursdays at 1:25 might be a good time to go to the bank.

At 1:45, the Teller announced that she was sending out a paper for me to sign and date, and a couple of my rolls of pennies. The tube made its humming sound. The clear door opened. BUT NO CANISTER DROPPED DOWN.

I waited. And waited. Finally, I had to push the SEND button to talk to the Teller.

"Nothing came out."

"Oh. It's not wanting to go through. You'll need to pull around front. I'll bring it out."

Who saw THAT coming! This ol' gal, that's who! I drove around front and parked. Funny how there were three cars there, besides the regular two that are usually there. A white van and a repo, on opposite ends. As I watched in the mirror for the mysterious Teller (I can't see in their tinted windows), I saw THREE WOMEN come out the door. Two were old, one with a cane. A third was middle-aged. All were wearing masks, a requirement for inside APPOINTMENTS. They hobbled to their cars.

I CRY SHENANIGANS! Why were THEY allowed inside? Did they perhaps have a suitcase full of money to deposit? A transaction with documents to sign? There were THREE of them! Those cars had been there since I drove into the around-back drive-thru.

Here came my Teller. She locked the door behind her with a key. Can't have anybody breaking in for an APPOINTMENT, you know! Teller walked through the just-started rain sprinkles, and handed the document in T-Hoe's window. It only had a smattering of rain spots on it. I signed and dated (with my own pen, not touching theirs!), and handed it back.
 
"Sorry you had to come out in the rain."
 
"Oh, that's no problem. I was frying in there. It feels good to get outside."

Teller put that document BETWEEN HER KNEES, and gave me the four rolls of pennies, my copy of the document, the death certificate, a receipt for my withdrawal, and TWO envelopes of cash.

"I kept your cash withdrawal separate from your bond money."

"Oh. I wanted the BOND MONEY deposited in my account." 
 
Which I could have told her, had I been present at an inside APPOINTMENT, and not sitting in a Tahoe breathing deadly carbon monoxide and having my eardrums beaten by a knocking diesel engine.

"I'll take it in and deposit it, and bring you the receipt."

Which she did. I thanked her. The whole process took 30 minutes. Teller was cheerful and polite. She must have been the one I berated earlier when she canceled my appointment, while not faulting her personally.

So the NON-APPOINTMENT went pretty much without a hitch, and I was catered to sufficiently to soothe my ego. But I still call favoritism on the bank, for allowing those other three women inside. I guess the bank didn't want to make sure THEY were safe...

Friday, October 16, 2020

Making Appointments, Like Taking A Rent-A-Car Reservation For A Horse-Faced Guy With Flaring Nostrils

Here we go again. Since we still have the same restrictions as when I redeemed my savings bonds last month, I made another appointment with my bank. Surely you remember my previous appointment experience . And my last visit there.

Tuesday evening, I tried to schedule my appointment for Wednesday. Nope. My bank's website would only let me in for Thursday's block of appointments. Not a one on the schedule. All blocks open. I chose Thursday at 1:15. Put in my information, though I refused to give a cell phone number.

I got a confirmation email with the time of my appointment. Wednesday morning I got another confirmation email. Wednesday evening I got ANOTHER confirmation email. Okay. I got it! You know when my appointment is. And so do I.

Thursday morning, I asked Farmer H and The Pony for a 10:00 a.m. wake-up call. They were going on a day trip, and I wanted to do a couple other errands before my 1:15 appointment. At 10:25, the landline rang. The number showed my bank. We get annoying calls from them, wanting up offer us special features on our account. I quit answering them long ago. But since I had the appointment, I picked up.

"Is this Mrs. Hillbilly Mom?"

"Yeesss..."

"You have an appointment with us today at 1:15?"

"Yes. I'll be there."

"Um. Well. There's been a double-booking. What is it that you wanted to do today?"

"Just like I put on the appointment form, I want to redeem four savings bonds."

"You can do that at the drive-thru."

"I don't want to do that. I also want to withdraw some cash, and buy four rolls of pennies. Besides, I don't want to hold up your drive-thru line for 30 minutes."

"You would still be taking up the teller's time, even if you were inside. So the line wouldn't be moving any faster. How many bonds did you say?"

"Four."

"Oh, that shouldn't take 30 minutes."

"It did last time."

"And we can send the coins out a couple rolls at a time."

"I don't want to fold up the death certificate to send through the canister."

"We have new drive-thru equipment installed. I think you'll find it to your liking."

"IF I can hear what you're saying, with the big trucks driving by on the highway."

"We're not really supposed to let people come into the bank, if it's something they can do at the drive-thru."

"I did it last month. Did something change?"

"Oh. Um. Let me go check."

I was on hold for 15 minutes. THAT'S 15 MINUTES! When SHE is the one who called ME.

"Are you still there? Sorry for your wait. But we can't let you come inside for this transaction."

"Huh. Imagine that. When I just did it on September 16th. I don't mean to yell at you, I'm sure it's just policy, but I've banked there for 30 years, and it's really annoying that I can't even take care of my assets there except through a tube."

"It's just to keep everybody safe."

"Uh huh. Sure."

"Believe me, there are things WE don't like to do, either."

"So it doesn't even matter what time I show up, because I can't have an appointment, and I have to do it through the drive-thru tube."

"Yes."

"I guess I don't have any choice."

"All right. Do you want me to cancel your appointment?"

"I don't see why I'd need it, since you GAVE ME the appointment, but now you don't want to KEEP my appointment."

I think it's time to kick-start my proposed handbasket factory again. I won't be asking the bank for a loan.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Chivalry Is Dead, And Common Courtesy Is Taking Its Last Gasp

I think I saw Death down at Mailbox Row last Friday. Hanging out behind a tree, leaning on his scythe. I couldn't tell if he was bleary-eyed from the heavy traffic at his door, eager to get on his bed. I don't even know if Death was warmed-over. That could have been the day temperatures hit 87. But it might also have been the day in the 60s. So unpredictable, Missouri weather. But not Death.
 
I had just stepped out of T-Hoe, and was making my way along the front wheel-well, leaning as I do, using T-Hoe for support on the unsure footing of the gravel. I was almost to the blacktop, to cross that road and retrieve our mail from EmBee, the mailbox.

Crunchity crunch crunch crunch. Here came a small gray SUV past me, kicking up a cloud of dust. That's to be expected. I sometimes rue the decision to hop in T-Hoe right after my shower, since my own cloud of dust settles upon my wet hair the moment I step out to get the mail.

Anyhoo... I paused at T-Hoe's front bumper, so as not to step out in front of the small gray SUV, which I assumed would turn right, and go up the hill towards town. But no. That small gray SUV pulled across the blacktop, and cozied-up alongside Mailbox Row, facing uphill, on the wrong side of the road. Farmer H does that sometimes, if I've tasked him with getting the mail, so he doesn't have to get out and walk.

This was not very polite of the driver of the small gray SUV. He saw me hobbling toward the mailboxes. No question why I was out of T-Hoe. It's not like I was headed across the gravel to the creek, for swimming or fishing. I wasn't bent over checking my tires. I didn't have the hood up looking for an engine problem. I had not waved him down for help, or to ask directions.

Even RUDER was the fact that the small gray SUV sat there at least 5 minutes! What in the NOT-HEAVEN? Nobody takes that long to get their mail. Nobody takes that long to STEAL everyone else's mail! I can only surmise that this rude inconsiderate self-centered scoff-manners was

READING HIS MAIL WHILE I STOOD AGAINST T-HOE WAITING FOR MY RIGHTFUL FIRST TURN!

People Piss Me Off. That's my slogan, and I'm stickin' to it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Milking The Pony For More Than He's Worth

Having The Pony back home from college has its benefits, and its drawbacks. Without a plus-and-minus tally in a spreadsheet that I don't know how to make, I'm hard-pressed to decide if The Pony's contribution to the household is a boon or a bust. At least he inherited his father's penchant for providing me with never-ending blog posts. I guess that's worth his room and board.

If we were going on The Pony's performance alone, his "salary" of $20 a week might be in danger of docking. His reimbursements to the Mansion for property damage alone would soon negate his salary. Or he might have a file full of job targets, and be on double-secret probation.

Friday night, I asked The Pony to carry down a six-pack of my bottled Diet Coke, so I could put it in the mini-fridge under the stairs. As you may recall, I certainly don't want The Pony completing the last part of the task, what with his dropping of those plastic ring thingies where I tread upon them.

Saturday, The Pony (probably mistakenly, thinking I'd already left) popped into the kitchen as I was putting my glasses and phone in my purse before going to town.

"I see you forgot to transport my Diet Coke to the basement. I went to put some in the fridge last night, and it wasn't there!"

The Pony lightly smacked his forehead with his palm, and went over by the table to pick up a six-pack. Sweet Gummi Mary! He walked past the cutting block, swinging that soda along his hip, from shoulder height to shoulder height! I could see it already foaming up in each of the six bottles! 
 
"Hey! Don't shake it up! It will go flat."
 
"Oh, hush. This isn't hurting it." 
 
But he stopped swinging. Even so, five hours later when I opened one, it foamed up like a draft beer served by an inexperienced bartender. Or The Pony. 
 
But wait! That's not all! And I'm not talking about The Pony hooking his TOES through the handle of my yellow bubba cup to mock me, after I told him he could use my left-over lunch ice in his water cup.

Later that evening, when The Pony was dehydrating the earth by running his nightly big-triangle-tub-bath, and I was still sitting on the short couch after Farmer H had gone to the auction...

I SAW THE KETCHUP BOTTLE SITTING UNDER MY MARRED COFFEE TABLE!

About an hour into his bath, I sent him a text. Yes, he takes his phone with him. And his laptop, too. Our master bathroom becomes his office after supper.
 
"Your evil ploy failed... I found the ketchup under the coffee table."
 
"Oh. Oops. Ketchup is fine left out! I almost never put it in the fridge in Norman, since I used it fast enough it didn't matter!"

"I think ketchup sits out at restaurants. But not under the table. AND, my Diet Coke was quite fizzy when I opened it."

"Probably the pack that fell when I carried them all in by myself."

"More likely the one you were swinging like an 8th dwarf's lunch pail, 'Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to the basement I go!'"

"Yes, but it's also the pack that fell by the stairs when I carried it in, since one of the others fell out of the pack thing as I got down there." [As if the swinging had nothing to do with loosening the plastic ring holder thingy.]

"So you were both withholding information, AND not-holding soda!" 

Every day with The Pony is a new adventure. I'm usually left holding the short end of the stick.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Haste Makes Copy And Paste

I'm in a bit of a hurry tonight. I have scheduled a viewing of Big Brother with The Pony. Also an episode of Dodgeball Thunderdome. We're behind on that one. So it's a quick hit for my loyal two fans tonight at this writing.

First, here's a new scratcher that came out Monday. Surprising me! I had no idea. It's not MO Money Monday! That's the last Monday of the month. I guess the Christmas tickets can pop up whenever MoLottery decides to release them.

It was actually the Woman Owner of the Gas Station Chicken Store who tipped me off. She was straightening the scratcher cabinet, and told the clerk, "They're see-through! Did you notice that?" She had not. But I did, when I bought two of them! Can't pass up a novelty like that!


There are two versions. Red and green. I had one of each, since the GSCS always has two rolls of the newest ticket in their cabinet. I think the colors alternate on the roll. This one turned out to be a winner. In the upper right corner, I scratched off the GIFT symbol, which means an automatic winner. Won $15.

Since we're on scratchers, let me share my winner from Friday:

I lost a bit of my casino bankroll on Thursday's gambling trip. Should have known I'd be EVENed out by Steven with the scratchers the next day! This was a $100 winner on my old favorite, the Golden Ticket. The upper right corner seems to be good for winners. It's the 2X symbol, with a prize of $50.

I'll be back to my wordy old self tomorrow...

Monday, October 12, 2020

Mrs. HM Goes Full HAM Scorched Mansion

We'll turn The Pony out into the paddock today, to kick up his heels, roll on his back, and graze in peace. He'll be tied to the snubbing post soon enough. But today Mrs. HM has more stinky fish to fry.

Sit down. Fasten your seatbelt. Make sure the lid is on your beverage. Have a nitroglycerin tablet ready to slip under your tongue. Please sign a generic waiver holding Mrs. HM harmless if you become harmed.

Let the record show that Mrs. HM is a pretty (not in the 'beauty' connotation, but in a 'fairly' kind of way) easy-going blog matron. She does not flip out if somebody has a different point of view. It takes all kinds of kinds to keep the world spinning, you know. What a boring world it would be if we were all the same. Like those creepy, orange-suited Oompa Loompas in the Augustus Gloop scene in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
 
Let the record further show that Mrs. HM's scathing rant to follow does not concern any of her regular readers/commenters. You might call my Back-Creek Neighbor Bev nuts. You might question the character of my neighbor Tommy. You might tell me to kick Farmer H to the curb. But I'm pretty sure you don't mean it in a malicious way.
 
After blogging for nigh on 15 years, I can kind of sense what's in the hearts of my regulars. Uh huh. I'm psychically gifted like that. I may not agree with you, but I respect your right to have different beliefs than I, and I don't pop into you blogs to rattle your cage. I steer away from the controversial topics in comments. And you show me the same respect.
 
I'm not trying to change anybody's opinion when I stand up for my own. That is something best done on one's own blog, not in somebody's comments section. I would never go to a Future Mousetrap Millionaire's blog and tell them how to build a better mousetrap. You don't go into somebody's home and start painting their walls a different color.

My comments have been set so that posting needs my approval. I did that MANY years ago, when a creepy overseas stalker started criticizing one of my regulars daily. I like the approval setting. It notifies me when I have comments. Otherwise, I'd be going back to re-read my own posts, or miss comments on older posts. These days, a spammer comment gets through the filter every now and then. So I can just send it to oblivion. 

All that said... I was not happy to find a comment on my other blog yesterday (about Farmer H's resale item of choice), from a brand new commenter, suggesting I look at the other side of an issue. SERIOUSLY? I am blankety-blank years old, and I've had a whole lifetime to consider both sides of this issue! I don't need a stranger from another country insinuating that my view is LESS-THAN.

I don't take kindly to a complete stranger, never-before-commenter, galloping in on a high-horse, looking down their nose at me, while spreading their own truth across my blog page. Especially when I track back to the profile, and find two blogs, one being from a woman who passed away three years ago, and the other seemingly promoting fancy furniture layouts with umpteen pictures of perfectly-staged rooms. Must be kind of hard to rein in your high-horse if you break an arm patting yourself on the back.

The comment was just specific enough to not be the work of a spammer who has taken over an old account. It came with a casual acknowledgment. "You probably won't post this (and who can blame you!) but I wanted you to try and see it from another angle."
 
You're darn tootin' I won't post it! Write about your opinion on your own blog. Don't cost nothin'! 
 
Here's more: "Where I live, he'd be hard put to find a huge legal market for guns. Why can't he sell something else?" Don't tell my man what to sell! It's legal, and about a third of his customers are law enforcement officers. I don't like him having so much of his money tied up in inventory, but he's making a profit, and will have a tidy sum if he ever liquidates.
 
And more: "I would hate to find out that someone had been killed with a gun I sold them." Well, DUH! It's not like Farmer H would celebrate such a thing. I'm sure a car salesman would be sad if a car he sold someone ran over a pedestrian. And a beekeeper who sells honey at the farmer's market would be sad if someone died of anaphylactic shock after eating his product. It's not like they are directly responsible. You sell a product, and then it's on the buyer what they do with it. It's not like Farmer H is standing on a street corner with a long coat full of contraband, psst-psst-ing to passersby.
 
See, it's not that the comment was in any way rude or outrageous. I just don't need a stranger telling me how to think. You don't know me. You don't know my life. You don't know my community. You don't even know my blog if you have never commented until now.