Monday, July 26, 2021

The Pony Takes A Picture Of His Balls On The Footrest Of Farmer H's Recliner

Made you look! Okay, okay! Maybe that IS a little bit clickbaity. But it is LITERALLY the truth. Give me a break, I didn't even include the fact that The Pony took a picture of his BLUE balls!

Sweet Gummi Mary! I found the most interesting treat EVER! Well. Except for maybe those insects on a stick in some of the countries I've seen on The Amazing Race. But for around Hillmomba, these are quite a unique treat! I found them on a back aisle end cap in Save A Lot. I didn't even break stride. Just grabbed one as I wheeled by with my cart/walker.

 
Don't worry! That's The Pony's FINGER holding the lid of the plastic jar containing his balls. Don't they make your mouth water? I really thought The Pony would like this treat. After all, he loves the cheese balls version. But no. He ate ONE SINGLE BALL and almost spit it out! Not a fan. I'd like to be sad about it, but all I can think is MORE FOR ME!!!

The cashier saw them and said,

"Oh, you're getting the cotton candy balls! I got some for home, and they're over half gone already! We love them! They're really sweet in the beginning, but then they get better."

I don't know how she kept that plastic jar half-FULL in her house! I tried a few. Put the lid back on. Went to do other things, Came back after I made supper. Took the lid off again. Had 3 or 4. Gave the jar to Farmer H so he could try them. He poured out a handful and gave them back. I had another 3 or 4. Put the lid on. Farmer H wanted them back. I swear he was elbow-deep in that container!

"Pony. Look. Your dad probably has a ring of blue around his mouth. He's shoveling them in like movie theater popcorn! Just smashing a handful against his lips!"

We didn't have the living room light on, but I swear I could see a bit of a blue glow on Farmer H, from the kitchen light. 

I am definitely leaving these Cotton Candy Balls upstairs. They're addictive! If I go back to Save A Lot this week, I'm getting another jar of them. The Pony doesn't know what he's missing...

Sunday, July 25, 2021

The Off-Putting, Self-Important Entitlement Of 40-Something Men

Excuse me. Could somebody give my ample rumpus a boost as I climb upon my soapbox? Hey, now! Don't go getting handsy! There's plenty o' rumpus to go around.

My speech is not about a quantity of 40-something men. It's only about TWO of them. Men in their 40s. I encountered them while out and about in Hillmomba on Saturday.
Even Steven is such a prankster.

The first 40-S walked into the Gas Station Chicken Store while I was fourth in line. A man was getting cigarettes and paying with a card at the counter. That takes so long! (Says the gal who cashes in scratchers ever day!)

The next customer was a woman whose husband was pumping gas. They had already paid, but had somehow locked themselves out of their fancy ride, which has keyless entry. I don't understand how those things work. The Pony has it for his Rogue. But the lady said they live 90 minutes away, and would have to borrow a car to drive home for the actual key to get it started. Man Owner suggested Triple A to unlock the car, but she didn't know if they could start it for her. She was just apologizing for blocking the pump for so long.

The next customer was the guy ahead of me, paying for gas and a 32 oz beverage (lightweight!) with cash. I knew I was next. I'd been standing behind him for quite a while, and had seen the 40-S in the red T-shirt come through the door as it made the DING sound. He had been standing on the other side of the aisle, behind where the stalled car woman waited.

As the cigarette buyer left, I stepped up to pay for my magical elixir, and of course trade in my scratchers. As I set my 44 oz Diet Coke on the counter, 40-S pierced my brain with his dagger-eyes. So blatant was he that I back-talked him. You know I rarely do such a thing in public. I don't like to cause a scene.

"I've been waiting for a while. I saw you come in while I was in line. So don't think I'm butting ahead of you."

40-S remained silent, which was the smartest thing he could do. Nobody ever needed a tourniquet for a dagger-eye incident. Surely 40-S knew that he hadn't seen me enter the store since he'd parked himself behind the car locker-outer. Obviously I was there before him.

My next stop was Country Mart. I was third in line there. Ahead of me were two guys who'd been sent to pick up some canning supplies. Some special kind of salt or something. I was shopping near them on the olive aisle. They were waiting on a customer who'd already paid, but had some malfunction. Something had not been charged right, and it involved cigarettes. A manager had to come over with a special card, and it didn't work. So back she went to the service desk.

A 40-Something guy in a faded blue T-shirt was in line behind me. I was leaning on my cart/walker, waving my ample rumpus around, because me right knee was stiffening up from the standing. The cigarette buyer looked at all of us, and said, "Sorry, guys." I'm pretty sure he included me as a guy. I don't blame him for the wait. Cigarette buyers are people, too. We all have our vices.

Anyhoo... a tall blond clerk came out of the service area, and said, "I can help somebody over on 4."

40-S2 shot in that direction as if out of Olympic starting blocks in the 100-meter dash! He was taking no chance on those of us ahead of him getting to that check-out lane before him! Heh, heh! Those Canning Dudes went around the FRONT of the check-out lanes, and came up the wrong way to the register, and BEAT 40-S2! I think I chortled.

As this scenario was playing out, as soon as 40-S2 took off, I muttered, "Sure! Hurry up and get there before the people ahead of you IN LINE get a chance!" I'm pretty sure he heard me. Because as the two Canning Dudes were paying, 40-S2 came slinking back down the main aisle. He went past me. As if he'd forgotten something. Which maybe he had. Serves him right! As I was loading my groceries in the cart, he pulled into line behind me.

Thanks, Even Steven, for helping me be more assertive...

Saturday, July 24, 2021

We Ain't Havin' A Ball

 Here's a picture of The Ball That Held The Wings, for all you inquiring minds.

 
The pointy end is on the top. It got squooshed in the trash, because who would NOT try to compact that ball to take up less room? I tried to pop it back into shape, even opening the lid, but there was still a bunch of clingy garlic ranch sauce in there. I might pick through the trash for my loyal readers, to unearth this relic, but I draw the line at actually touching leftover sauce.

In other news, we're not having a ball this weekend.

THE PONY HAS STILL NOT SEEN AN ORTHOPEDIC DOC FOR HIS BROKEN ANKLE!

He called the Kansas City regional office himself, where a lady named for a part of the female anatomy told him that oh, yes, she remembered his claim, it was held up because of a missing form.

"That form was emailed to you on Wednesday afternoon!"

After a short time on muzak hold, The Pony was told that if they found it, they would put it in. He asked for a phone call or email for confirmation when it was, and she said, "If we remember."

As you might guess, nobody called. The Pony notified his supervisor and union rep, who said to keep them updated. The Pony decided to file that form himself, online (which the union rep had told him about) around 1:30. By 2:00, The Lady Named For a Part of the Female Anatomy called and told him it was kicked out, because she found his form, but it was not signed by the supervisor who took the info the night of the ankle-breaking, then went on vacation the next day.

SIGH... so the acting supervisor was out of the office, but said she'd look it over when she got back. Somehow this albatross took flight at 3:30 p.m. The Pony got a voice mail from The Lady Named For a Part of the Female Anatomy, and a case number. 

He called Urgent Care with that info, knowing that it would be impossible for them to schedule an appointment that late on a Friday. The gal there told him that "The Lady Named For a Part of the Female Anatomy said to send her all your info, and she would schedule an appointment with an orthopedic specialist."

So now it's hurry up and wait some more, until Monday morning. At which time Farmer H will be home, and there might be an avalanche of rolling heads if he takes it upon himself to get The Pony to a bone doctor. 

The Pony got the name of the doctor that the other ankle-breaker used. He's local, and a podiatrist working out of the hospital clinic. The Pony is going to call The Lady Named For a Part of the Female Anatomy, and tell her he's going to this doctor, unless she's already made an appointment. And maybe anyway, even if she has. Farmer H knows this guy, and says he's pretty sure they'll take The Pony as a WALK IN patient on Monday. 

The Pony objects to being called a WALK IN patient.

Friday, July 23, 2021

I'm About To Lose My Crap Sandwich

I'm a little queasy at the moment, and it's not from feasting on the crap sandwich Even Steven has somehow found necessary to feed me this week. Y'all could have helped me, you know, when I offered to share my treat with you. Then I wouldn't be so stuffed, and about to refund my crap sandwich due to this crazy roller coaster ride of a week. So many ups and downs! My head is spinning. Although that might be from scratching the inside of my ear with the tip of a Bic fine-point pen lid.
 
As I write this on Thursday night, ONE WEEK AFTER THE PONY BROKE HIS ANKLE AT WORK... he still has not been able to get an appointment with an orthopedic specialist. Still no cast, just the soft brace and wrap put on at Urgent Care last Thursday.

Every day, we get our hopes up that something is being done. And every day, we plummet to the depths of despair that it is not. FINALLY, after contact with the regional office that handles the workers' comp issues, The Pony's acting supervisor found out what paperwork was missing from the report they'd compiled. We stopped by and signed it Wednesday. It was submitted that evening to the regional office. 

The Pony has been in contact with his union rep. Everything seemed to be coalescing to lead to a NUMBER that was needed by Urgent Care to refer him to an orthopedic doctor. The union rep said The Pony should ask for a copy of that specific form, which should have been given to him, and to make sure everything on it was correct. If not, to submit one online.

Here's the roller coaster drop for the day. The Pony had put in a call and a text early in the morning. By noon, he still hadn't heard anything back about getting a copy to look at. THEN he got a response from his acting supervisor.

"Mom, she said she'd send me a copy as soon as she gets back to the office. She's at the doctor. She didn't say if it was MY doctor, or her own. Do you think she was over at Urgent Care giving them my stuff?"

"Um. NO. I'm pretty sure any doctor she's at would be for herself. Otherwise, she would have said 'your Urgent Care.' To get you off her back with the texting."

"Oh. Maybe something happened at work. I'll just have to wait."

"Yeah. You've waited THIS long. Obviously it's not getting done again today. One thing's for sure: SHE BETTER NOT SHOW UP FOR WORK WITH A FRESH CAST ON HER ANKLE!"

Sometimes, ya gotta laugh, or you'll cry.
________________________________________________________________________

The Pony got his copy of the form. It was indeed filled out correctly. It HAS been sent to the regional office, whose contact name and phone number he also got. He's calling Friday morning to see if a claim number has been issued. At which point he will call Urgent Care with the info.

Can't say I'm overly optimistic...
________________________________________________________________________

Thursday, July 22, 2021

More Evidence That The Pony's Chromosomes Are Missing The Common Sense Gene

The Pony wanted lunch/supper from Pizza Hut on Wednesday. Since we were out taking his broken (and still uncasted) ankle for a drive, under the guise of seeking treatment. We were once again unsuccessful in that arena. Don't get me started!!!

The Pony wanted a Personal Pan Pizza, and also some boneless chicken wings. Which are basically breaded chicken nuggets at Pizza Hut. They come in a black plastic ball the size of a large cantaloupe. It reminds me of a Pokemon ball, since that's the era in which my boys were of toy age.

Anyhoo... I think this is the dumbest packaging ever. I've only had the wings there a couple times, and I hated that ball more than I hated the wings. So awkward. So much wasted space. The tiny wings lie on the bottom in some sauce. Sometimes you get a lot, sometimes almost none. I don't get the whole BALL concept for this container. Put it in Chinese Tupperware. Then it can be re-used. Not in some thin-plastic BALL, that takes up room in the trash, and is good for nothing.

Anyhoo... The Pony's nugget-wings were swimming in that white parmesan garlic sauce. He ate them with his FINGERS because we had no fork, but that's part of another story, to be told elsewhere, on Friday. When they were gone, and The Pony got the mail out of EmBee for me, he set the BALL on T-Hoe's dashboard. You can imagine how that went, since I turned directly onto our newly-potholed gravel road.

"Pony! It's not going to stay there!"

"Got it!"

The Pony turned it over, and set it right back where it had been. 

"Maybe that will work better," he said, flipping it upside down. Which was actually right-side up. There was a flat portion on the bottom of the BALL, whereas the top had 
A POINTY TIP!

"I can't believe you laid that BALL up there sitting on a POINT, and expected it to stay! When there was a flat side available."

"But all the sauce was in the pointy part. So I wanted it to stay there. Now the sauce is in the top, dripping down."

Like it mattered in a closed BALL. Which shortly slid over the edge anyway, as T-Hoe bounced across the Great Chasm gully left by recent rains. Good thing The Pony has quick reflexes. Which don't require common sense.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

This Leaves A Sour Taste In My Mouth

You may recall that I'm having a bad week. Which started on Thursday, the day after Farmer H left on his vacation out west, when I was SUPPOSED to be having a blissful life of leisure until his return. "NOT-HEAVEN, NO!" bellowed Even Steven, rubbing his hands together, before emitting a sinister, "Bwahaha!"

I'm not sure which end of this crap sandwich to start on. I'm dealing with The Pony's lameness. That's old hat by now. I lay out towels for his bath, which occurs on the side of the big triangle tub in the master bathroom. The Pony just can't quit that tub. I fetch him ice water in a jug, a metal insulated cup, and a plastic insulated mug. I prepare his food and carry it to the living room. I assist in the washing of his Samson-length hair every two to three days. I do his laundry and leave it in a basket for him to fold and shove out of sight. He seems to be off the ibuprofen now. So his care is becoming part of my routine. However...

THE PONY STILL HAS NO APPOINTMENT WITH AN ORTHOPEDIC SPECIALIST!

That's right. It's been 7 days of broken ankle, and he's still in the brace and wrap put on at Urgent Care. He's getting the runaround from both Urgent Care and his boss. Each says they need something from the other, and in the meantime The Pony might be healing incorrectly. He's on the phone with both entities twice a day. When Farmer H returns, heads might roll. He's got an insider in the Department of Labor, or whatever it's called. This work injury is not being dealt with correctly. In fact, it doesn't seem to be being dealt with at all. I can't go into the details. It makes me too sad.

At the other end of my unappetizing plate, we have the $920 bill for anesthesia from Farmer H's medical procedure back in May. The one the clinic assured him was all approved. Every time he asked. Right up to getting on the table for some cutting. And several times since then. Assurance that they were following up with his supplemental insurance to remedy the matter. Well. The only entity that hasn't been getting updates is the one that is owed the money!

Anyhoo... I've been on the phone with a very polite rep from the anesthesia company (if that's what it's called) about our ordeal. My specifics matched up with what they'd been told. However, they've heard nothing since May. So at least there's a note in the file now. We have no problem with paying that bill IF WE ARE ACTUALLY RESPONSIBLE. If we are, it would mean that clinic did not do their job, but we'd deal with them in some way, after settling our debt. We wouldn't be happy about it, but that's how we do things around the Mansion. We pay our bills. Thing is, the clinic is stringing us along with tales of taking care of this matter. NOT telling us that we're stuck paying it because they messed up.

Oh, what a foul crap sandwich I cleave, when employers and clinics attempt to deceive...

Here. Let me slice you off a little piece. I'm willing to share my 7-day lunch with you.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

The Pony Gets The Wand

Another busy day for HM's Taxi Service. The Pony has undertaken an endeavor which required a court hearing earlier this month, and a subsequent notice printed in the local newspaper. He thought records were being mailed to him, a form from which he would need at the newspaper. Since almost two weeks had elapsed, with no documents, The Pony decided he should check with the source. A phone call is not his style. So we loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly... WAIT A MINUTE! That was the Beverly Hillbillies. WE loaded up T-Hoe, and headed to the county courthouse. 

I was a bit apprehensive. The courthouse is over in Bill-Paying town. It sits in a square of one-way streets. I know my way around. I spent a year on jury duty, you know! But parking is at a premium around the courthouse. There's an annex across the street, with a parking lot behind it. But in case you are extremely unobservant, you know that THE PONY IS ON CRUTCHES with a broken ankle.

"I hope we can find close parking, Pony. If not, I don't know what we'll do. Neither one of us can walk far. I'm pretty sure the street in front of the main entrance is all handicap parking."

"Yeah. And I DO have these crutches. So it shouldn't be a problem."

"IF we can find a space."

I turned onto the two-lane one-way street in front of the courthouse. All the parking spaces were taken. All six or seven of them. WAIT A MINUTE! At the very end of the block. A space was open! I pulled in. Backed up. Straightened T-Hoe. Tried to get closer to the curb. I'm not used to parallel parking on the left side of the road.

Oh, no. Here came a white-haired woman, motioning for me to put the window down. The Pony waved his crutches. And then the woman said, 

"You still have about 10 feet, dear. To back up and get out of the crosswalk."

"Oh. Thanks! I couldn't tell how close I was. I don't want to block that car in behind me."

Whew! Close one! Then I had the stress of standing street-side watching for traffic while The Pony flung open T-Hoe's large door, to slither down over the running board and onto his crutches. We made it to the sidewalk. Then headed for the handicap ramp, rather than the 10 wide concrete steps.

SWEET GUMMI MARY! We might as well have been hiking up the switchbacks of Pike's Peak! The concrete handicap ramp zig-zagged. I bet it was 100 feet long. 50 up the first ramp. Double-back, and 50 up the second ramp. Getting into the building required walking by pillars with toe-catchers. The round pillars sat on square concrete bases about 1 inch high. I know, because of course I caught my toe on one, and almost went down.

"Pony! Watch out for this concrete base. Don't hit it with your crutch!"

There were two sets of automatic sliding double doors. Then a cordoned off area to funnel you into the metal detector. I'm no stranger to a metal detector. I went through one when I was in prison. FOR AN INTERVIEW, people! The first guard said, "Empty your pockets into a bin." All I had taken in were my keys in my pants pockets, and my folded money and debit card in my shirt pocket. They didn't need THAT! I put my keys in a bin, walked through the detectors and got back my keys.

"Um. Do you want me to go through anyway? With my crutches?" 
[Which are metal]

They did. The Pony set off the alarm. The second guard came over and waved a wand all around The Pony's midsection and butt and private area. The Pony passed. On we went to the window of the Circuit Clerk. Where The Pony discovered that NO paperwork was on its way, because the publishing of the notification had to come first. Then the newspaper would send the Circuit Clerk documentation, the order would be finalized, and THEN a copy would be sent to The Pony.

We had to sit on a bench to rest The Pony's cramping good foot. Then back down Pike's Peak, and into T-Hoe, and off to the newspaper. When we had hiked down their ramp, the door had a sign saying the office was not open to the public. Huh. Good thing a dude came over with a key and unlocked the door and let us in anyway. At least they didn't have a metal detector! I don't know why they were closed to the public. It wasn't a mask thing. Nobody inside was wearing one, and there were no signs demanding it.

We were ushered to a desk, after a short wait, and the guy typed in stuff off the form The Pony had with him. I paid the fee with my debit card, since The Pony had conveniently left his stuff in T-Hoe. Believe me, I have an itemized bill ready, after the medical items and this trip.

After that, we headed to gas up T-Hoe, pick up Chinese food, procure my magical elixir, and stop for scratchers. Not a winning day for that, but the food was good. With leftovers stashed in FRIG II.

Monday, July 19, 2021

The Pony Isn't The Only One Around Here With A Bad Leg

Actually, Mrs. HM had a bad leg before The Pony turned up lame. At least HER bad leg was not a personal appendage. 

Once Farmer H left on Wednesday, and I was footloose and fancy free, I picked up some Country Mart fried chicken. Farmer H is not a fan. I got the 8-piece, with the intention of feasting on it over several days. The Pony, after all, would likely be working those 10-hour days, and picking up something for himself on the way home.

The first supper of fried chicken was fine. I got home with it around 4:30, and set some on a pan to warm in the oven while I changed clothes and cherry-limed my magical elixir. The next supper was not so good. I saw that my 8-piece chicken had been born with one wing and three legs! I bet that really led to some teasing in the chickenyard. 

Anyhoo... whereas my first meal had been delicious, this one was not. That third leg was dry as a bone! I took a bite, and a chunk tore loose in my mouth. A chunk of chicken leg that might as well have been JERKY! So dry and tough. Not at all satisfying. I got a picture of the bone that remained.

 
Seriously. That's after ONE bite. Which I had to pull out of my mouth and see if it was actually edible. I ate a bit of it. Pretending like I was on that ALONE show, and it was the only meat I'd had in 30 days. I did not even want to gnaw the rest of any desiccated meat off that bone. I put it in a baggie so it would kind of steam and stay moist, like decomposition makes a compost pile. So it wouldn't be splintery for Juno the next day. I'm 100 percent certain she enjoyed that chicken leg more than I did. Of course I pulled off the tiny needle-sharp bone first.

That chicken must have belonged to Methuselah's grandpappy. It was no spring chicken, that's for sure. Of course I kind of forgot about my bad chicken leg when The Pony got home with his own bad leg. Juno did not get a taste of THAT one, but Jack was jumping all over the freshly-wrapped ankle when The Pony tried to get out of his car.

Things around the Mansion have gone south at an exceedingly rapid rate. Like "The Summer of George," this vacation from Farmer H does not seem to be panning out as planned...

Sunday, July 18, 2021

The Pony, The Punter

We're not talking about football here. So don't think The Pony's broken ankle has turned him into a gridiron kicker. We're talking about the flat-bottomed boat called a punt, and the driver of such who wields a long pole to push on the bottom of the waterway. He's a punter. Like the gondolier of a gondola, but with a pole not a paddle, and without the singing and striped shirt. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

The Pony may lack common sense, but he's a pretty good problem solver. I'd say he's in the Genius class of problem-solving. They get it from Farmer H, that mechanical mindset. So I was not really surprised when I came upstairs Friday morning, and found that The Pony had discovered a new way to ambulate.

"Oh, Mom. I don't feel comfortable walking on those old crutches, so I went in Genius's room and got his rolly chair. I can go all over the house with it."

"I heard something up here, and I was worried that you might have fallen in the kitchen!"

"No. That was just me trying out the wheels. To see if I could get over that little metal strip that divides the carpet from the vinyl. I CAN! It's so much easier to get around in the kitchen than on the carpet. That's why I use a crutch to propel myself in the living room."

Yes. Like a punter in a punt, The Pony was poling crutching himself around on a student rolly chair.

"I though Genius had a different chair. With arms?"

"With ARM. It was like a mesh office chair, but with only one armrest. Because it came from Goodwill. He took it with him when he got that college house."

"Okay. That's the one I remembered, but I'm glad I found this one. Because IT can get through the bathroom and bedroom doors easy. Not sure the other one could with me in it."

The Pony. The Brother of Invention.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Mrs. HM Can't Catch A Break, But The Pony Is Delivered A Very Unwanted One

Here's a breaking news story for all you insiders! You heard it here first. 

THE PONY BROKE HIS ANKLE AT WORK!

It happened Thursday, the day after Farmer H left on his trip out west. Just the basics here. The full story, with gory pictures, will be on my not-so-secret blog in the coming days.

The Pony is not in too much physical pain. Just three ibuprofen a day (taken all at once!) takes the edge off. He is camped out in Farmer H's recliner with two couch pillows under the ankle. He went to urgent care for treatment. X-ray shows a fracture in his fibula. Right now he's in a wrapped brace thingy, awaiting an appointment with an orthopedic specialist. The appointment has to be handled through this specific urgent care facility, because this is a Workers' Compensation injury. 18 pages of paperwork to start with.

The Pony talked to the other CCA who just broke her ankle. She had two fractures in hers, and is now in a hard cast. Out six weeks. This is the likely path The Pony must take. I think his official letter said only light duty for six weeks or until released by the orthopedic physician. The Pony says there is no light duty work at the office for him. I though he might be able to case the mail, but he says that requires standing and lifting.

Anyhoo... enough about The Pony! The real suffering is currently endured by MRS. HM!!!

Here was my Friday...

After a not-so-refreshing three hours of sleep, I arose at the Not-Heavenish hour of 10:30 a.m. to get ready and take The Pony to town for crutches and antibiotic prescription ointment. He has three big scrapes to complement his poofy ankle. First I had to help him wash his long flowing matted curly locks in the kitchen sink. No bath or shower with the ankle wrap. Besides, he couldn't stand on one leg long enough to shower.

We got the prescription, but the pharmacy only had crutches for 5' 10" and taller. We went a few blocks to Farmer H's pharmacy, but they had none. Then our third stop yielded a spiffy lightweight metal set, but the place couldn't take insurance on them. We got a cash discount, though.

From there we proceeded over to Bill-Paying Town to the urgent care. The Pony's supervisor had not been able to fax the forms they needed at 6:30 on Thursday night. So she emailed him the document, which I had to print. On it, they had typed RIGHT ANKLE INJURY, but it was the left ankle. She said it shouldn't matter, so we didn't have to swing by for her to initial the forms first.

Urgent care could not fill out the paperwork. Said the orthopedic specialist would have to do that. So it was an entirely wasted 20-mile trip. Then we had to swing by the post office anyway, to turn in the doctor's excuse. The Pony said he couldn't make it up the loading dock ramp to get inside, since it was too steep for his brand new crutch-walking. Also, all the LLVs were back by this time, and I couldn't park him close enough to hand the paper to somebody else to take inside. So I parked out front, and took it to the counter, where an amiable clerk with a scraggly beard expressed concern.

"Oh, no! I was here yesterday when it happened. That's too bad."

From there we went to Country Mart for limes, because The Pony said he might like to have a rum drink during the course of his incapacitation. He won't have them on work nights, which are were six days a week. Then I picked up Domino's Pizza, which is just next door. And my magical elixir, and a bottle of water for The Pony, along with a new Kit Kat candy bar that is pink, with cereal like Fruity Pebbles in it. We were both famished, it now being 3:30 p.m.

Oh, and I will have to deal with the trash dumpster myself now, and hike around back to deal with POOLIO. I've been carrying water and ice and possible snacks to The Pony. Shadowing him down and up the steps to the garage. Washing his elbow abrasion and putting on the ointment and bandages.

I'm not used to having someone need so much direct care. Not even lazybones ungrateful Farmer H. I was in tears Friday morning, trying to get everything together before we left, having to make two trips to and from the basement down those 13 rail-less steps.

"It's not you, Pony. I'm just feeling sorry for myself. I'd do anything for you, but you have to admit, this is way more of a workout already than what I'm used to. It's like I'm training for the Olympics. But I swear, I WILL win the gold medal in the MOM-lympics!"

Yeah. I'm kind of exhausted.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Mrs. HM Can't Catch A Break

Mrs. HM just can't catch a break. You'd think she'd be on top of the world. Swinging the world by the tail, as the old Porter Wagoner / Dolly Parton song goes. 
 
Farmer H gone on a vacation. The Pony working 11 hours a day. It would be like old times! Mrs. HM would have the Mansion to herself. To do as she pleased. Sleep as long as she liked, with the Sleep Police many states away. Make food only for herself. Wash only her (and occasionally a stray Pony item) dishes.

REEEEEEEE!

That ain't happenin', people! My world stopped revolving at 4:30 p.m. on the day after Farmer H departed for out-west.

I had just come in from my errands, and was warming up day-old fried chicken. As I was putting the cherry limeade flavor in my magical elixir, I heard a text come in.

"Oh. That must be The Pony. He was done around 5:00 yesterday, so I bet he's clocking out."

He's so thoughtful of others, that Pony! Lets me know so I won't worry. He's been going in at 7:30, and getting faster on this route they've had him on all week. I picked up my phone. Sure enough, it was a text from The Pony. What I saw made my heart stop, my blood run cold, and my head spin.

"Had a fall. Bleeding some. Heard a pop in my ankle, but don't think it's broken."

Yes. There's more to the story. But right now, my internet has been down for two hours due to storms, and I'm hoping I can save this in my documents so I don't lose it. Along with my half-finished post for my not-so-secret blog. It doesn't help that the lights have flickered twice. 
 
I just can't catch a break...

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Maybe It's An Office Curse

The Pony has made it two days without an injury! I'm pretty sure somewhere in the post office there's a chalk board with " ____ DAYS WITHOUT AN ACCIDENT." The way things have been going lately, that number in front might be 0.

According to The Pony, he still hasn't heard anything about the dog bite lady. But another gal broke her ankle this week.

"She was over in Between-Town. I've delivered there before. It's not fun. Some houses are on a steep hill, and you have to walk down steps to get to their yard. I don't know how she broke her ankle, but I'm guessing it was one of those houses. So now she's out for a while."

"What did she do, call the supervisor?"

"Duh. Probably an AMBULANCE!"

"I wouldn't call an ambulance for a broken ankle."
 
"Mom. It's not like she could WALK. She had a broken ankle!"
 
"Somebody could drive me to the hospital. Maybe the supervisor."

"The policy is, if you're hurt, first call 9-1-1, THEN call the supervisor."

Anyhoo... The Pony overhears bits and pieces of other conversations. One of the newest CCAs was relieved of duties over a possible tampering scandal. ALLEGEDLY. I say it was just not a good fit, and rather than deal with problems down the road, they cut ties early. Although after two weeks of paid training.

THEN The Pony said somebody close to him might be in trouble if speed didn't increase. Not sure where he heard this one, if it was from the horse's mouth or idle chatter. Anyhoo... the consensus was that nobody wants to lose this person after probation time, because that would mean training somebody else new, which would be coming right at the time holiday deliveries kicked in.

One thing seems certain. As long as The Pony can remain healthy, and pass his probationary period... he will have no shortage of hours through the end of the year.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

The Pony Discovers His Peanuts

The Pony arrived home after his 11-hour work day, all smiles with a personal revelation.

"When I make my next trip to the Devil's Playground, I'm going to get some peanuts. In the little packs. It will be cheaper than buying them at Casey's during my break. The regular salted peanuts. I think there's 240 calories in a pack. About half of what's in donuts."

"Yeah. I used to take them to school. They're a good snack. The protein and fat take longer to digest than carbs. So you don't feel hungry for a while."

"I might also try some other nuts. Like cashews. I'd really like pecans, but I don't think they come in packs like that. Heh, heh. I know it sounds like a 'That's what she said' joke, but I really like to eat hot nuts."

"Heh, heh. When we used to go to Sears on Grand, when I was a kid, we always stopped by the candy counter, and sometimes got hot nuts. They smelled wonderful when we entered the store."

"My nuts are hot because I leave them in the LLV!"

"You could get a bigger pack of pecans, and then put them in snack-size baggies to take with you."

"I'd really like it if we could make them like Chex Mix. Like put the stuff on them that you use, and roast them in the oven."

"I'd worry they might burn."

"You could put in just the Chex cereal with them. Not the Bugles or pretzels or Cheerios. Just Chex and nuts, and oil and the garlic powder, garlic salt, and Worcestershire sauce."

"Yeah, that might work. I still have some nuts and Chex left. But you'll need the pecans, I think."

"Maybe we can do that on Sunday?"

"Sure. It helps when you get the pans in and out of the oven for me."
 
I guess we'll call this snack Chex Nuts.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

MOMcopter Or Bubble Wrap

I think I may have to ask Farmer H to rebuild the engine of my MOMcopter! I thought I'd retired from helicopter parenting, but I may need to be reactivated.

THE PONY HAD ANOTHER WORK CATASTROPHE ON MONDAY!

The tale is in the texts:

"Bad day. Will tell you later. Got stung by yellowjackets."

"Hope you're okay."

"Nauseous and shaky like last time. Still working."

"Okay. Call in if it gets bad."

"Told her when it happened, was like an hour before I texted you. She said it was fine if I needed more help, or wanted to stop. Kept working. Will be a late day, probably. Going to Steak N Shake after for comfort food."

"Where did you get stung?"
 
"Left wrist. Right upper arm through shirt. Felt a third sting, but can't find the spot."

"Do you feel okay now?"

"Eh."

"?"

"It felt like my tongue might have swelled for a little bit after. Not awful Just generally bad, which is normal after work. Maybe a bit more of a headache than usual."
 
Sweet Gummi Mary! The Pony might need a custom-made uniform. Out of bubble wrap.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Farmer H And I Don't See Eye To Eye

Farmer H and I don't see eye-to-eye because I won't allow him to speak to me face-to-face. For the past few days, anyway.
 
We went to the casino on Sunday. On Tuesday, Farmer H was sneezing his fool head off. He sounded like that detached fool head was talking from inside a bucket when he spoke. He dabbed at his nose with a tissue or handkerchief. Yes, he's so old-fashioned that he will carry a handkerchief.
 
"Oh, great. Your final attempt to kill me! This might just work."
 
"You don't know what you're talking about! I just have the sneezes."
 
"You have more than that. You're SICK! Now you'll give me the VIRUS and I'll die!"
 
"Malarkey!"
 
On Wednesday, Farmer H was singing a different tune from the confines of his imaginary bucket.
 
"I guess I've caught something. I couldn't sleep at all last night. I put some VICKS inside my nose. But the problem is my breather, feeding my own breath back to me."

Heh, heh! Not ALL of it! Welcome to MY world! In fact, I've abdicated my world, and will not get in the bed with Farmer H during his sickness.

"Yet you're still planning to go to the auction tonight? You're supposed to stay away from people if you're sick. Not go out in public."

"Yeah. It's just a little cold."

"That's what YOU think! Haven't you heard about the newest source of panic, the DELTA VIRUS?"

"No. Is that a thing?"

"Well, to hear the news tell it. So you better panic and then feel bad when you kill me with it."

"You watch too much news. I've been fine. Except I can't sleep. Maybe I should go to Urgent Care."
 
"Are you THAT sick?"
 
"No. But I don't want to get worse. I'm planning my trip for next week."
 
"Oh. If you're sick, go. They won't give you any medicine. They'll jab a thing up your nose. Then tell you to go home. A cold is usually better in 7 to 10 days. If you're leaving on Tuesday, that will be the 8th day."
 
"Well. I'll give it through the weekend, then go on Monday if I'm not better."

The next day (Thursday) around noon, Farmer H came in the kitchen door and sat down across from me at the table. 

"No! Don't even think about it! You're not sitting over there breathing your VIRUS breath on me!"

"You're crazy. I can't even talk to you."

"Not while you're breathing on me you can't!"

Farmer H stormed off to mow the yard. Some good fresh air and sunshine. Mumbling that he actually felt BETTER than the day before.

I heard him cough two, maybe three times that night, safe in my lair. On Friday, the bucketheadedness had gone away. Farmer H felt perfectly fine. Not carrying a handkerchief. An occasional spate of sneezes.

"I actually feel fine now. I'm over whatever it was. I TOLD you I wasn't sick!"

I'll let him sit across the table now. But no sneezing allowed.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Another Case For The IRONY Investigators

The Pony reported another on-the-job injury last week. There was the wrist sprain, the cat-scratch, and the step in the yard-hole... and now THE THUMB SLICE.

"I was over in Bill-Paying Town, delivering on that road by the water park and the hospital and grandma's nursing home. Look! On the ball of my thumb. A tag on the mail had come loose, and I sliced my thumb. You'll never guess where I was delivering at the time. THE HOSPITAL!"

"Heh, heh. I guess that might be irony. I certainly hope you didn't get blood on the mail!"

"NO! I hear that SO MUCH! DON'T GET BLOOD ON THE MAIL! Of course I'm careful about that."

Thank the Gummi Mary there's no guillotine factory in the area...

Saturday, July 10, 2021

No, This Nightly Show Is NOT On Hiatus For The Summer

Welcome to another episode of...
"This Is the Time We Talk About the Most Recent Thing You've Done Wrong."

It's still in pre-production. Farmer H does not know what's coming. That would give him time to mount a still-insufficient defense for his wrongs.

A couple weeks ago, Farmer H left SilverRedO with Mick the Mechanic for work on... oh, I don't know... maybe something trivial like THE BRAKES. Not sure. It's there every month for something, yet T-Hoe languishes on a flat tire for a long weekend.

Anyhoo... I guess Mick or one of Farmer H's buddies met him there and drove him home. It's less than five miles from the Mansion. But he'd asked me to drop him off as I went to town, so he could re-claim SilverRedO. He was content to do it on my time schedule, so not a problem. Except for questioning my parking at the creek to let him out to get the mail.

Anyhoo... Farmer H was a well-enough behaved passenger. He didn't move the seat. He sat on the junk mail magazines as instructed. But then he opened up the air vent on the passenger side.

"Make sure you close that off when you get out. I get way less air over here when it's open, uselessly, on the passenger side."

Farmer H grunted, in what I assumed was compliance. What I'd really wanted to say was: "Seriously? You can't ride five minutes or four miles in the ambient temperature of T-Hoe's cabin?" But I didn't. Of course the king wanted his rolling borrowed castle to conform to his comfort needs.

You know what happened, right? Farmer H did NOT close off that vent. I was not concentrating on that blatant disregard of my request at the time. I was headed to get my magical elixir! And scratchers!

The next day I noticed. I couldn't get quite cool enough in the 93-degree heat. I turned up the fan twice, but I didn't seem to be getting the full blast of cool air. That's when I thought of the vent. I stuck my hand over the passenger seat, and felt the draft. I meant to walk around and close it when I stopped, but each time I was distracted by idiots parking badly. Or at least in my desired space.

Friday, I finally fixed it. In the garage when I got home. So it will be cooler on the next drive, anyway. Of course this needs to be brought to Farmer H's attention. Otherwise, he will run rampant, all willy-nilly, heady with the knowledge that he got away with something.

Friday, July 9, 2021

Even Steven Has Perfected His Timing

I was on the last leg of my errand trip when a text came in from The Pony. Technically, I was off the leg and almost on my rumpus. I'd completed my stops at the post office, Casey's for scratchers, and had gas sloshing in T-Hoe's gut. I was merely passing back through town on my way to Burger King. I'd normally take a different route on the other side of town, but there's been construction of annoying sidewalks and curbs going on for a month now.

"Clocked out. Thinking about stopping at the new Chinese place. Would you want something if I do?"

SWEET GUMMI MARY! Doesn't The Pony know me better than that? Ever since he had the new Chinese, and brought me leftovers (well, brought them, then went to Steak N Shake the next day, and let me have them)... we've talked about him picking up Chinese for all of us.

Good thing I glanced at my phone while sitting at the 3-way stop. Of course I couldn't text while driving. When I got to the 4-way stop in front of Subway, I made a left, and then a quick right, and was in the municipal parking lot that is just out of frame to the right in that picture from the back of the post office. I called The Pony.

"Where are you?"

"I literally just clocked out. I'm walking to my car."  
[parked in the lot beside the post office]

"I'm in that lot you sometimes park in. By Subway. Good thing you caught me before I got Burger King!"

"Across from Subway?"

"Yeah. Come on up and we'll decide what I want."

The Pony parked his Rogue beside T-Hoe. He put down the passenger window.

"I'm hot. The air conditioner has to stay running."

"That's fine. I guess we'll get something for Dad, too, although he was having leftovers from his pork chops from the Ponytail Guy."

The Pony pulled out a pen from a package of 10, to write down the order.

"It's so hot in here that when I tried to pull that little ball of plastic off the point, it melted in my hand."

Anyhoo... I wanted Garlic Chicken, got Hunan Chicken for Farmer H, and The Pony had Black Pepper Chicken, which he ate there. We had the dinner special this time, which came in THE RECTANGULAR CHINESE TUPPERWARE! That's a reason to eat there, for sure!

Here's mine, which I put in the round Chinese Tupperware from The Pony's last visit. That's about half of what was in my order.

 
Yes, I feasted! Those crab rangoons are DELICIOUS! I don't like the egg roll. It has a filling with something that reminds me of stuffing. Not just cabbage and vegetables. It was crispy, though. My photo is terrible. Almost on Farmer H level of terrible. At least mine is an extreme closeup, cutting off edges, rather than a tiny pinpoint subject swimming in background.

I was downstairs by the time Farmer H got home to eat. He loved his Hunan Chicken. Said it's spicier than the other place we get it. For emphasis, he added:

"My head is sweating."

We will definitely have this again! Starting with tomorrow, when we all have leftovers!

Oh, yeah! One of my scratchers won $100. Even Steven is back in my good graces. 
Or I'm in his...

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Thoughts For The Thoughtful

I don't know what's gotten into The Pony lately. He made a trip to The Devil's Playground after work on Tuesday, and he BROUGHT ME SOMETHING!

Of course, he'd told me that since he was going after his half-day of work, he didn't feel like shopping from my big list. That list only had a couple items left, since I'd been getting them myself at Country Mart. It's been almost as long as the time between casino trips since The Pony did any shopping.

Anyhoo... the only two things I asked for were a bag of tortilla chips, and a big sandwich. When The Pony was about to check out, he sent a text. 

"Chips and what?"

The Pony has a memory like Farmer H. Anyhoo... I reminded him of the big sandwich, so he got the only kind left, a turkey and cheese.

When The Pony got home, I heard him trotting down the 13 rail-less basement stairs. Amazing how only a half-day of work keeps The Pony's legs fresh.

"I got you a little treat."

Hm. I was thinking maybe a candy bar. A bakery dessert. That's a treat, right? But no.

"Look! It's Garlic Aioli Mustard!"

The Pony brandished the plastic squeeze bottle, and unscrewed the lid.

"Here. Smell it? Do you want to try some?"

"No. I'm good. But I'll take a whiff."

Let the record show that The Pony showed me how to make his special sandwich sauce when he moved back home. Garlic aioli, stone-ground mustard, mayo, and horseradish. It's great on a sandwich. This was basically it in a bottle. Less the horseradish. 

"Mmm. I think that will be good on the turkey sandwich."

Wednesday, I asked The Pony what I owed him for my chips and sandwich. When I send him with a shopping list, he takes my debit card for payment. This time he used his own. The Pony was adding it from the two receipts. He'd rung the sandwich separately, but the chips were lost on his receipt.

"Oh, Mom. Do you want to pay for the Garlic Aioli Mustard, too?"

"Sure. I guess so."

Glad to know I bought my own treat. Though I might have made a different selection.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Straight From The Pony's Mouth: "Do You Want To Hear Something Ironic?"

The Pony was scheduled to go in at 3:30 on Tuesday afternoon. Don't you worry that he's being given short hours. With over 50 hours worked last week, his virtual paycheck is going to be just fine. Temps were in the upper 80s as he readied himself to leave.
 
"I'm only taking one water jug today. That should be enough for four hours."
 
He filled it partially with ice from FRIG II's freezer. We had a little tiff about ICE CUBES the other day. I used that term, and The Pony begged to differ.
 
"We don't have ice CUBES in this house!"
 
"Okay. Fine. Ice half-moons. Are you happy now?"
 
I think he was. Just for the reaction it got out of me. Anyhoo... he filled his jug with ice and delicious well water. The Pony says he hates bottled water, and that the thing he missed most from home while he was at college was our well water. Thanks. I missed you too, Pony.
 
Anyhoo... he went to the living room for a minute and talked to Farmer H, who was kicked back in the recliner. Then came back to the kitchen to tell me about his Wednesday plans on his day off. Then off he went to have some lunch at Burger King before proceeding to work. He sent me a text from Burger King.
 
"BK's soda is watered down today."
 
"Sad bird."
 
"Also. Dangit. Went through the effort of getting that waterjug filled, then left it on the couch. I'll just grab a bottle from Casey's. It'll be fine for a couple of hours."
 
"I'd bring it, but I haven't showered and I don't know where you'll be. I can put it in T-Hoe and text when I leave."
 
"I'm going to be working Mom. That timescale doesn't work."
 
"I meant if you're in Sis-Town I might pass by where you are."

"Not worth the effort, I'll be fine."

"Okay. It will take more than one bottle to stay hydrated."

"Not having water for a few hours when I just had a lot isn't going to kill me, Mom."

"Okay."

When I mailed my AAA renewal bill and SilverRedO's payment, I sent a text.

"At post office. Have jug if I can deliver it to you in the area."

I drove on back towards home, making a stop at the School-Turn Casey's. I figured if The Pony wanted the water, he'd respond by then. Not a big deal. It didn't hurt that water jug to ride along to town with me. If I didn't hear anything, The Pony was probably in another town. I just wanted to be the hero, like when my mom would step up to bail me out of a situation like Genius leaving an assignment at home that was due that day. 25 minutes later, I got a text from The Pony.

"I can't check this thing while I'm working."

"No need to answer. I'm at the GSCS now."

When The Pony got home from work, after a stop by The Devil's Playground to look for smaller shorts, he walked his dainty hooves down the13 rail-less basement steps.

"Do you want to hear something ironic? When I was thirsty and thought about the water I forgot, my mouth watered!"

"Heh, heh."

"Don't you think? Are you starting to understand irony by now?"

"Yes. I think so. I think, technically, on paper, that IS irony."
 
I hope there's not going to be a quiz with an essay section...


Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Am I Worth The Olives?

I was disappointed the other night to find that my cupboard was bare of sliced black olives. I was sure I had some, to put on nachos. Then I remembered that I had picked them up in Country Mart, but refused to buy them for their outrageous price. Still. I really wanted them for nachos. Or maybe pizza.

The Pony and Farmer H had converged on my Candy Crush gaming room Monday morning (12:30 p.m.). It's not like I invited them. They each had a request for my store trip. Chocolate-covered raisins for each of them. And The Pony said if I could find a bottle of rum, to get it. Farmer H wanted a six pack of fancy bottled beer (not so fancy, just a domestic brand, but NOT The Beast or Natty Light). Yes, now that Country Mart has changed owners (I refuse to use the name of the new chain), they have a liquor department.

Anyhoo... I found the exact rum The Pony had requested, and saw four varieties of the beer Farmer H mentioned. I picked the most basic one, leaving the "with lime and cactus something" in the cooler. Over on the olive aisle, I again looked at the thin holey objects of my desire. They were 98 CENTS A CAN! For a little bitty can! I could have bought three large cans of black olives for $5. They were on special. But I don't need three large cans of black olives. Sure, I've sliced them myself before. But it's easier to have them already sliced. Still. 98 CENTS A CAN! And that was the store brand!

You know what? I decided right there to get three small cans of sliced olives. If The Pony could have rum, and Farmer H could have beer, I'll be darned if I was going to skimp on sliced black olives!

They are stacked in the pantry next to the salsa, awaiting my craving.

Monday, July 5, 2021

Pooh-Pooh-POOLIO

The Pony has not dipped a dainty hoof in POOLIO all summer. He used to love floating around on a raft, listening to his devil-music. Sure, he's working now. But when he comes home all bedraggled from the 90-degree heat and upper-80s humidity on those steamy rainy days, surely POOLIO would be more refreshing than a hot bath in the big triangle tub in the master bathroom. I asked him about it on Sunday.

"Are you never going to get in POOLIO this summer?"

"I don't know..."

"WHY! Dad isn't always in it. You have two days off now. Well, one. Since we've spent today at the casino. Wouldn't it be refreshing when you got home from work?"

"Actually, it's the steps."

"The STEPS! They're right there on the porch outside the laundry room! It's not like when you had to go through the basement, or around the house, or climb over the porch rail and step down on the deck rail and plastic storage couch."

"Yeah. But after a whole day of work, my legs don't like steps. Even coming down to talk to you in the basement. That's why I holler from the top that I'm home."

"You could drive your car around to the back yard... Oh, wait. Thanks to Dad's re-design, you CAN'T. Because there isn't a way to get in POOLIO from the yard now. If somebody was drowning, you'd have to run around front and up on the porch to get back down to the pool to save them!"

"HM. Even if you COULD get to the pool from the yard now... that would still be STEPS."

Everybody has excuses!

POOLIO's chemicals are pretty expensive, to justify only Farmer H taking a dip 4 or 5 times a summer. I'm always telling him to go take an $800 swim. Even though I think he's spent about $200 so far on the chemicals. Summer isn't over yet, though! I ought to keep a tally of his swimming sessions and the cost, and divide it out. Not because I'm a miser. Just to mess with Farmer H.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

What You THINK You're Getting, And What You GET

Saturday was not a good day for Mrs. HM. Only $12 won on scratchers, and a lunch that was not meant to be.

I went past Dairy Queen because I saw 7 cars in line. I figured I'd go on to Country Mart, to get a special ticket that The Pony likes, and then come back. Of course when I did that, a car pulled in ahead of me, and made the current line 8 cars. I was planning to wait. I might have mentioned that I CAN'T QUIT THEM! I crave the two-piece chicken strips and soft breadsticks on the 2-for-$4 menu. It's been about two weeks since I had them.

Then I noticed that of the three cars directly in front of T-Hoe, one was a mini van, and the other two were SUVs. I saw at least three heads in each vehicle. NOT-HEAVEN, NO! The best time I've made getting through the DQ line is two minutes per car. That was NOT going to happen with multiple orders in each vehicle. I could easily spend 40 minutes in that line if everyone ordered the chicken strip dinner. Which most people do, judging from the sideways paper sacks of food handed through the window.

I pulled out of line after it hadn't moved in two minutes. At home, I could have a Banquet! 
A tasty frozen Sweet & Sour Chicken Dinner. It looked really good on the package. 

DECEIVERS! Look at what I THOUGHT I was getting, versus what I actually GOT:
 
 
I'm sorry. That does not seem like the same meal. Technically, they show 5 chicken nuggets, and I had 5 chicken nuggets. Where is all my delicious sauce, and the peppers and pineapple chunks? Okay. There were maybe two of each, under the rice. A smattering of sauce. It was tasty enough, what there was of it. That's not nearly as much rice as it appears.
 
Good thing I supplemented my meal with two of the small FREE Ponytail Guy eggrolls!

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Not Quite The Hero I Assumed Him To Be

I almost gave Farmer H some undeserved praise this week. Thank the Gummi Mary, he revealed the truth before the accolades were showered upon him!

When I left for town, I paused to give the dogs a bite of dog food. Ever since Farmer H quit buying cat kibble due to no more cats, the dogs don't get excited about this small going-away treat. They still run over to receive it, but sometimes only sniff it and walk away. It would be like expecting a scrumptious dessert, and getting a bowl of gruel. Yet this time, they were frisky, and jostling each other to get near the food pan.

 
Not a flattering angle for Jack, but catching them both in frame is like capturing lightning in a bottle. Jack is much more loving towards Juno than she is to him. She tolerates him to make a good impression on ME. She's been on the receiving end of my sharp tongue several times, for going over to eat Jack's food while hers rests in her bowl right there. In fact, Farmer H moved Jack's bowl way over to the other side of the steps to separate them.

Anyhoo... when I dumped a little out of the pan that's used to dip into the lidded plastic trash can where we store their food in the garage... I saw three red nuggets! In fact, Jack nosed them out and gobbled them first! I was heady with excitement. Farmer H had bought cat kibble for the dogs!

When I got home, Farmer H was floating in POOLIO. I leaned on the rail to talk to him, and saw my Sweet, Sweet Juno start up the steps. She NEVER goes down to the deck of POOLIO!

"Did you get cat food for the dogs? They were SO excited when I left! Jack ate the cat food pieces first!"

"There was a few pieces left in the can. Of the old dog food. This is new dog food that I bought them. Not cat food."

"Oh. Well. They must THINK it's cat food. They love it!"

"It IS different."

 
There's the new food, in the nonstick saucepan that we use as a dipper. Not that it sticks. That's what Farmer H had on hand, from the storage units, probably.

"What in the world is Juno doing down there with you? She sure came up the steps slow."

"I don't know. She never comes down here. She's afraid to go UP the steps, after that first time she followed me, and she hasn't come back. She lays up there and watches me."
 
"I don't blame her. You can see through the steps as you're walking up. How did she get back to the porch last time?"
 
"I carried her."
 
"You carried big ol' Juno up the steps?"
 
"Yeah. She was afraid. She wouldn't come up."
 
Okay. Maybe Farmer H deserves a small "Attaboy."

Friday, July 2, 2021

Even Steven Is The New Snag In The Pantyhose

Well. Somebody had big ears. Or at least big eyes. I should have known that I'm always being monitored. Now Even Steven has unraveled a thread in the rich tapestry of my life. How dare I write about serving up a cold dish of revenge to my bank, for making me do bond redemption through the drive-thru tube! 

Dang that Even Steven! If the women of the world still wore those torture contraptions called pantyhose, he would be otherwise occupied, and might leave me alone with my revenge fantasy. But no. He had to report me to the bank, so those drive-thru tellers could beat me to the punch.

I went to the bank on Wednesday. NOT to redeem savings bonds. I have to work up to that idea. No, I was going to deposit money that I set aside each week for our six-month auto insurance payment. It's so much easier now that I do that, and don't have to scramble to decide where we're going to pull that money from. It's right there in the safe, in a marked envelope, ready for deposit to write the check.

Also, I was making a withdrawal from The Pony's account (per his instructions) for the money he is paying us for HIS car insurance for the next six months. I had two transaction slips ready, and was going to make a pointed declaration when they greeted me, to make sure they USED MONEY FOR THE RIGHT ACCOUNTS this time!

I was running a bit late. Darn that Candy Crush! I'm severely addicted. As long as I have lives and free stuff, I keep playing on HIPPIE at the kitchen table. Anyhoo... It was 3:00 when I got in the shower. It's at least 20 minutes to the bank. 25 if I hit the red light by Burger King. Still, I thought I had time. I'm pretty sure the drive-thru is open until 4:30. Maybe later. But I used to have time to get there after school when I was working.

Of course I hit the red light. Even WORSE, the lady in front of me was not paying attention! Once it turned green, she sat there. At least five car lengths opened up ahead of her. SWEET GUMMI MARY! I hit T-Hoe's horn. THAT got 'er goin'! I guess she was playing with her phone. Probably Candy Crush...

Anyhoo... T-Hoe's clock said it was 4:05 when I pulled into the middle lane at my bank. The green light was on. In REAL time, it was 3:58. I reached out and pushed the SEND button, which is what you have to do to open the smoked-safety-glass window thingy to get the canister.

NOTHING.

Well, crap! Did they close at 4:00? Why was the green light still on? I hit the button again. Nothing. Dead as a doornail. Hey! There were two girls inside, partially behind computer screens.

"Oh, are you already closed?"

I asked the smoked-safety-glass door of the tubes, I guess. Since nobody had greeted me, and there was no clicky sound as if a microphone was being activated. I asked twice. Then a blond girl leaned around her computer screen, giggling.

"Sorry. We had to poop."

WELL! That was certainly most inappropriate! But what she said next was even worse!

"Here it comes."

WHAT IN THE NOT-HEAVEN???

Then I realized that she'd said, "We have the tube."

Heh, heh! That was certainly a relief. They were sending me the TUBE! Not poop.

I'm still wondering WHY they had the tube. Trying to make people think they were closed? If so, they really needed to turn off that green light over the middle drive-thru lane. I don't know why else they would have the canister they call a tube, since each customer should be getting a receipt after their transaction.
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Their website says the hours of the drive-thru are 9:00 - 4:30. AND they have lobby hours now, from 9:00 - 2:00 on Tuesday-Friday. Good to know...
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Thursday, July 1, 2021

I Find This Particularly Ironic

The Pony came home last week and announced that MAW (Middle Aged Woman) had put a hold-down on the route they had started working on their first week of employment. They'd shared it for a while, and then one or the other would do it alone, depending on vehicles available. The Pony knew all the stops, and had his routine for bathroom and breaks.
 
From the best I can tell, a hold-down means you get to work a route that is currently unassigned. Meaning that the regular carrier might be on vacation, or has taken a different route. Parts of that route can be taken away, if a regular carrier needs the work to get 8 hours for the day, with no obligation to send you out to make your own 8 hours. The greatest perk appears to be that you can't be loaned out to other offices.
 
"I actually thought we had to wait three more days before we could sign up for a hold-down. The union rep apparently told MAW she ought to sign up for it if she was interested. I found out after my day off."
 
Farmer H had the opinion that The Pony had a fast one pulled on him. I don't think so. It's a merit system job, like when I worked for the state of Missouri. Regulations are pretty clear, if you delve into the rule book. The Pony didn't apply for a hold-down, and MAW did. It's his responsibility to know the regulations and follow them.
 
"Don't you want that route? So now she gets it, because she signed up? What if you both put a hold-down on that route?"
 
"I don't know, since we started the same day. So neither of us has seniority. But I do that route faster. I guess the supervisor would have to decide. I like that route, but I also like doing pivots. That's when I get sent out to help other people finish parts of their route. A lot of it is driving back to the post office to get the stuff, then driving to deliver it. I kind of think I like that better."

HEH, HEH! The Pony actually said he prefers HELPING PEOPLE!!!

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

That Pain In Your Rumpus Just Might Be Mrs. HM

Now that he's making a living, The Pony is making use of his local bank account. He's going to need checks, much to his horror. Not EVERYTHING can be paid online or with plastic. In my opinion, anyway. I was looking at the bank website the other day, and I swear it said THE LOBBY IS NOW OPEN! 

So whenever The Pony has a day off, he can go in and order checks. Or I could show him where I order online. He's probably prefer it that way. But just the thought of the bank lobby being open again has got me conspiring.

Remember how they let me make an appointment to come in and redeem my savings bonds? And THEN they said the next time that I could NOT come in. Like suddenly savings bonds were not worthy of an appointment. Even though their website showed plenty of 15-minute time blocks available for appointments. 

Of course they messed up my deposit and paperwork the first time I did that transaction at the drive-thru, and I had to drive around to the front of the bank, and a teller had to come out with my paperwork for signing. Didn't help themselves much by REJECTING ME!

Anyhoo... I told Farmer H that I'm feeling contrary.

"I have SIX bonds that need redeeming. I've been putting it off, because the bank always makes me mad. Now that the lobby is open again, I guess I can take in three, then do the other three the next week. I don't want to stand there for 30 minutes while they're fiddling around. I can't imagine how long it would take for all six, and how much they could mess it up.

You know what? I feel like going to the drive-thru with my bonds. I can sit and listen to the radio. I bet they tell me, 'You need to come inside to redeem these bonds.' Heh, heh! I WISH they'd try that. So I could say, 'Oh, no. You told me before that it can be done at the drive-thru, and I didn't need to come in. In fact, you canceled my appointment the MORNING OF my appointment. So I'll just stay parked here. The other customers can come inside if they don't want to wait.' Would that be wrong?"

"Well, they told you to do it that way before. So it's their own fault."

I doubt I'll have the nerve to actually go through with it. But it's one of my top revenge fantasies at the moment.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Rare Unicorn Sighting In Hillmomba

Yes. Mrs. HM saw a rare unicorn on Monday! Not to be confused with a common unicorn! Or a special unicorn. Which is another thing entirely.

Anyhoo... the Rare Unicorn made his appearance at the Gas Station Chicken Store. I swear, if you park there and wait long enough, every kind of critter and person in the world would pass by.

I had just paid for my magical elixir and scratchers. Had to spend paper! Not cardboard! I had no winners from the day before to cash in. I was bidding my goodbye to Man Owner on my way out the door, when the Rare Unicorn came after me!

"Ma'am? Ma'am? Did you forget your straw?"

Indeed, the Rare Unicorn was holding a straw in a white paper wrapper. Extending it to me in a gesture of good will and looking-out-for-ness that is virtually nonexistent these days. I'd seen that straw on the glass counter when I bellied up to the lottery section. Not mine. I never take a straw. I have straws at home. It's just one more item to juggle with my 44 oz Diet Coke and scratchers and T-Hoe keys. I can't unwrap it and put the straw down through the lid, because our gravel road is so bumpy that some of my magical elixir magically escapes the cup!

"Oh, no. That's not mine. It was on the counter. I have straws at home. But thank you for asking."

The Rare Unicorn was on the cusp. Teen-twenty. A stringbean with black hair, wearing jeans and a blue t-shirt, managing to look tailored in them. Such a polite young man. 

Between this Rare Unicorn, and the FREE AIR Tire Pumper, I might need to start carrying smelling salts... Politeness these days is such a shock to the system.