Wednesday, April 14, 2021

What's Good For The Pony Is Good For The MOMBA

A couple days ago I hollered through the closed door of The Pony's room to remind him to check his credit card balance, and pay it if necessary. He has it set to be due on his birthday date, and I've always told him to check it on my birthday date four days before. He hasn't been late on a payment. 

Anyhoo... the next day, The Pony was fuming with faux outrage.

"I didn't have a balance to pay this month, but listen to THIS! The bank wanted me to set up an IRA! I feel so OLD! I mean, sure I will do that when I get a steady job. I was reading how much it will be worth when I'm old enough to draw it out. But I'm not ready for that yet!"

"Heh, heh! Welcome to the club. The OLD PEOPLE CLUB!"

Monday morning, I was treated to a dose of my own medicine when I turned on HIPPIE for my morning innernetting. I always go to the BING page and peruse the news stories that they want to spoon-feed me. Huh. It's perhaps ironic that I just typed those words: spoon-feed. Because I was outraged at the AD that was amongst the thumbnail pictures of the news stories across the top of HIPPIE's screen:


They never show a complete sentence. It's always cut off. But when The Pony came in to ask me something, I told him,

"I know how you feel about the IRA! You won't believe what BING is trying to sell me! AFFORDABLE PLUS-SIZE clothes! So not only am I FAT, I'm also POOR!"

The Pony got a chuckle out of that. Yes. I'm selfless, spreading joy throughout Hillmomba, even at the cost of my own dignity.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Ungrateful Feeders

Since our last cat seems to have gone to a farm upstate... there is no need to buy cat food any more. Well. There IS, because the dogs dearly love it as a treat. Not so much in the warm weather as in the winter, when they need fuel to keep their bodies running on all cylinders until they can lie in the sun and re-charge. 

We have a horrendous squirrel problem. They used to just steal the chicken feed, but since the chickens all went to live on a farm upstate, courtesy of transportation by the mouths of the neighbor dogs, the squirrels have claimed the cat kibble as their own. After all, they can scamper up the porch supports, run along the rail, and jump over to that bench thing against the garage wall that holds the old black speckled roaster pan Farmer H uses for a feeder.

As I sat at the kitchen table peeling eggs for deviling last Saturday, Farmer H came in from his Storage Unit Store shift.

"I don't think we need to put out cat food now. The dogs can't jump up to get it, and it disappears pretty fast from these darn squirrels. I saw one run along here that was as BIG as a CAT!"

"Yeah. I don't have to buy any. We're almost out."

"But the dogs love it!"

"I can leave it in the garage. You can get some out of the can where I keep it."

"Yeah. It's harder, but I hate feeding these bushy-tailed rats."

So now I have to go into the garage, set my purse on T-Hoe's hood and hope it doesn't slide off, take the lid off a little plastic wastebasket with two side latches (I don't think any animals in there can open the lid, but he latches it), dip a little saucepan into the kibble, and walk out to the side porch and dump some for each dog. I don't LIKE doing extra "work," but I will. For my dogs.

Monday I threw some of the leftover Easter feast off the back porch. Farmer H was draining water off POOLIO's cover, and said the dogs had been sniffing around it, but he didn't know if they ate any. From the looks of it, I think they only had some potatoes that were cooked with bacon draped over the top.

Anyhoo... the dogs still ate the cat kibble I gave them. Less that a handful each. 

When I returned from town, the dogs greeted me, but without the energy they usually have to gambol and frolic with the excitement of an upcoming TREAT when I get the kitchen door unlocked. In fact, they just walked slowly to the side porch, stuck their noses at me, and walked to the top of the steps. Juno did not start "talking" as she usually does, with whimpers and whines and short barks of anticipation when I say the magic sentence, 

"Are you ready for a TREAT?"

The closer I looked, the more I understood. I guess they'd been feasting on the yard feast. Jack's belly looked more like a basset hound than a dachshund, and Juno appeared rather portly under her sleek black fur. Copper Jack didn't even bother to leave the yard and come up on the porch.

Monday, April 12, 2021

The Discombobulation Of The Woman Owner Of The Gas Station Chicken Store

Whoopsie! I did it again. I played with her mind, and she got lost in the blame. Yes, the Woman Owner of the Gas Station Chicken Store was mighty confused when I walked out the door on Sunday. She was pretty hard on herself. You know, what with running this business over 30 years, and being the one to train a whole small-town population of cashiers over that time. But I must take some responsibility.

Man Owner was busy helping a teenage kid who was paying for his mom's gas. He couldn't work the chip card. Then he didn't know the security number it asked for. So he had to run back outside to ask her. Man Owner was telling Woman Owner that he remembered when the kid was THIS HIGH, but couldn't remember his mom's name. Woman Owner told him. She was stepping behind him to scan my winning scratchers, since she'd offered to help me at the left register while Man Owner was busy.

She asked how I was, and I said, "Great, but I hate this wind. I can hardly keep my shirt from blowing up over my head. I wish I knew who ordered this wind!"

Man Owner: "Ha ha. We have a shipment of KITES coming in tomorrow..."

I knew he didn't. But it was pretty funny. Woman Owner showed me my receipt stapled to the winning scratchers. I had $55. I knew that going in. I planned to spend $25. That being $24 of it on scratchers, and $1 on my magical elixir, plus I'd give her the 69 cents for the soda. That would give me $30 in change. I like to make it come out even.

Woman Owner tore off my tickets, and punched them into the register, saying the amount of each, then laying it in front of me as she did so. That's how she trains her staff. I told her I had my 69 cents exact change, and she giggled.

"Oh, GOOD! Because I was really confused when you didn't have it the other day, heh, heh."

"I KNOW! So was I!"

"Okay. That'll be $61.78."

"Um. Are you sure? Because shouldn't it be 69 cents? Not 78? It's always $1.69 for my soda." [I was so fixated on that exact change that the enormity of me owing $61 didn't even register in my brain.]

"Oh. What did I do?"

"Did you ring up a 32 oz? Or smaller?"

"No. It shows here (she pulled out the register tape) I rang up a 44 oz."

"That doesn't seem right..."

"Let me look. OH! Silly me! I forgot to clear the gas purchase I had on here! I'll have to deal with that after you leave. I'm sorry. Here! You get $50 back."

"Uh. I don't think so! I only gave you $55 of winners!"

"Oh my. WHAT have I done? Let's see... you should owe me $25.69. Take off the $55. So I own you $30 back! I'm terrible today!"

"No. I confused you talking about the wind."

"No. It's totally my fault. 

"Oh, no! You might need Man Owner to show you how to do it!" [He's notorious for messing things up, and being really slow.]

"I hope not!"

"I think you need to go lay down for a while!"

"YES! That's just what I need. Thank you for suggesting that? Did you hear her? I need to go lay down for a while."

Man Owner looked perplexed for a minute, until he realized she was kidding.

I really need to keep my mouth shut when I go in there. Before they deny me my magical elixir. Like a certain New York SOUP STAND PROPRIETOR on a show about nothing...

Sunday, April 11, 2021

With A Knick Knack Paddy Whack Give A Dog A Bun, This Old Man Sucks All The Fun

My dogs could have had a delicious treat on Saturday. The potatoes and carrots that had been steeping in the bacon fat since LAST Saturday. The only problem is the bacon fat. According to Farmer H, I am prohibited from putting such a treat on the porch, because it will stain the wood for a week or so.

Sweet Gummi Mary! If he had treated the porch wood with sealer like he professed to be doing on his little scooter thingy with his paint-by-numbers brush... I don't think the bacon grease would soak in. Maybe I could try serving it to each of them on a plate the next day, when winds shouldn't be 35 mph. Then I could pick up the plates as soon as they were done. So Jack wouldn't eat them.

Anyhoo... my dogs had to be treated with a hot dog bun apiece, one day from expiration. I could have given them more, but maybe Farmer H would want a hot dog...

Anyhoo... last week in Country Mart, I saw some kiddie pools. Little plastic colorful kiddie pools, maybe 3-4 feet in diameter. I told Farmer H about them.

"Country Mart has little plastic swimming pools! I bet Jack would love one of those in the yard. You know how he likes the water."

"He'd just chew it up."

"Not at first. Remember how he loved that little dish tub when he was a pup?"


"He chews up everything."

Well. Jack DOES have a chewing issue. But if he was splashing in the water, I don't think he'd chew. Farmer H is a fun-sucker.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

A Risque Ride With A 2-Liter-Coke-Swilling Pony

The Pony and I picked up Domino's Pizza on Friday, for our late lunch/early supper. Lupper. As usual, The Pony rode shotgun in T-Hoe. We got his rolling feast first, and he strapped on the old feedbag before I even left the parking lot. 

My next stop was the Liquor Store, where I got a $3 crossword scratcher that later won $12. From there it was off to the Gas Station Chicken Store. A journey that requires nerves of steel and cat-like reflexes, to make a right turn out of the parking lot when the stoplight turns red to hold up oncoming traffic, but before the right-turn-on-red people hit the accelerator. As soon as I'm out of the parking lot, I have to swerve into the left-turn lane immediately, onto the street beside Casey's, to take a short cut across the back of Farmer H's pharmacy, and across the moat to the GSCS.

"Hold onto your pizza!" One of those things you never thought you'd be saying to your future kids.

The GSCS sold me tickets (that won their money back. So it was not a banner scratcher day, but nothing to sneeze at), which I put away for later scratching, and settled my 44 oz Diet Coke into T-Hoe's cup holder. 

"Aah. My precious! My magical elixir!"

"Heh, heh! I won't even say it. It's too obvious. I can't... but you know what it sounds like."

The Pony lets his 13-year-old freak flag fly. His humor relies heavily upon "That's what SHE said" scenarios. 

"Okay. I know what you're getting at with E LIX IR."

As I waited at the light, I sympathized with Man Owner.

"Man Owner is working all by himself. He's not the fastest cashier. You'd think after owning this place, and doing it for 30 years, he'd be a little better at it."

"I take it his temperament is better than Woman Owner?"

"Yes. Man Owner shall inherit the earth. Woman Owner will reign in the Nether Region."

I thought The Pony was going to snort a liter of Coke out of his flaring nostrils as I made the right turn at the light to head home.

"UM! UH!"

"Okay. I know what I said. What I MEANT was NetherWORLD! WORLD! But it's hard when you get old and probably are coming down with a case of Alzheimer's!"

"Well, yeah. Nether REGION has a different meaning entirely!"

"I KNOW that! I use it all the time."

We made it another three miles before my sweet revenge was served up on a silver platter, by Even Steven wearing a tux and white gloves. As we rounded the last curve on the blacktop county road, headed up the hill before the descent to Mailbox Row... a white dump truck pulled out of a long gravel driveway on the right.

"Eew. Yuck."

"What do you mean? It's only a dump truck."

"I thought he was going to stay there. This is no place to drive on the other side of the road to go around him. Hill."

"I bet he just put gravel on their driveway. Yep. Look up there."

"I can see where he just dumped his load up and down it."


"STOP! I just realized what I said, a little too late."

It's pretty early for The Pony to be having Alzheimer's set in...

Friday, April 9, 2021

My WORST Day Now Could Have Been My BEST Day Then

Back when I was working, I would have killed to have a day like Thursday. Maybe not killed, exactly. Unless it was my regular sping-summer killing spree when I take the Black Flag insecticide can that shoots 20 feet, and roam around the Mansion porch bringing liquid death to stinging freeloaders hanging from the soffits.

Now that I'm a lovely-lady-mulleted lady of leisure, Thursday was not such a great day. To begin with, my alarm clock was on the fritz. By alarm clock, I mean The Pony. He has standing orders to wake me every day at 11:00. Then I verbally press the snooze button, and tell him to come back in 30 minutes. 

The Pony is like a cheap timepiece. He loses time. For a month or more, he's been waking me at 11:15, saying it's 11:00. THEN he comes back at 11:45, and says, "It's been a half hour." Technically true. But that makes it almost NOON when I arise.

Thursdays are my errand days. Bank, post office, gas, Burger King. My itinerary is spun gossamer-fine. If I don't get to Burger King before 2:55, I'm in a world of hurt. SCHOOL lets out around 2:50. The traffic is horrendous. Like people trying to get out of town before the meteor in Deep Impact. So I was really planning to get up at 11:00. Or 11:15. But no. On Thursday, The Pony didn't give my first alarm until 11:30. And came back at 12:05.

It didn't help that Farmer H had left my good square glass bowl, now bereft of 7-layer salad, full of water in the sink. So I had to start dishes. My phone lit up with a text from my sister the ex-mayor's wife, inviting us on a CASINOPALOOZA next week. We can't go. Farmer H has a medical appointment, and The Pony is waiting to hear from the USPS. It doesn't pay to be five hours away if they want him to come in for training on short notice.

I had to write a check for Genius, since he miscalculated his scratcher winners. And I also needed to print out my tax return, since I'd been putting it off to make sure the printer had enough ink for Genius's letter.

By the time I left the Mansion, it was 1:50. A quick stop by the Gas Station Chicken Store got me part of Genius's new tickets to put in his letter I was on the way to mail. Then I encountered utility work on the way to Sis-Town. And a car had parked, blocking the entrance road to the cemetery, so my routine short visit was thwarted.

Lucky for me, Farmer H did part of the banking on Wednesday, so I skipped that torture chamber, and got gas without incident. Mailed Genius's letter at the drive-thru mailbox. Made my next-to-last stop at the Sis-Town Casey's for scratchers. When I came out, I looked across the 4-way-stop to see cars lined up as far as the eye could see, from the elementary school. 
I got to Burger King with only one car ahead of me to order. At the stoplight over there, I saw cars all the way past the turn-in to Farmer H's nurse practitioner. Heh, heh. I'd made the mistake of coming back that way last week. That would have been 10 minutes of burning my just-bought gas before getting through the light. So I'm glad I reversed my route this time.

I only had a slight headache when I got home. Which was to grow into a non-physical BIG headache when I plugged in the special exact replacement batteries (that I got out of EmBee) to my lair phone, and got the message INSERT BATTERY. Looks like we'll have to buy four new phones anyway. I can't believe they don't last more than 15 years!

When I went upstairs around 8:00 to chat with Farmer H about THE MOST RECENT THING YOU'VE DONE WRONG, the topic was the opaque plastic quart container that once held Sweet & Sour Soup. It had been holding the bacony vinchtables from our Easter feast. I had two and a half containers. Farmer H had used the last of this one, and SET IT IN THE SINK, FULL OF COLD WATER.

Really? Had he only set it on the counter, I could have wiped the insides with stale bread for the dog treats on Friday. They love bacon greasy bread! But now it was all wet. I dumped out the water and set it aside. Perhaps to dry overnight. The grease was clearly still intact.

It's now 1:57 a.m. on Friday. Surely this day will be better. The Pony and I are getting Domino's Pizza for lupper. I will take one last look at the phones on the chargers, before commanding Farmer H to pick up a set at The Devil's Playground. It's not the cost, nor the inconvenience. We can afford a cheap set of phones, and Farmer H will plug them in. It's the CHANGE that I dread. Even though The Pony will explain to me how to use them.

SOOO... I'm fairly optimistic about Friday. Stop that! I heard your eyes roll! I AM. This day can only be better. And the very BEST part? I don't have to get up at 4:50 a.m. and drive to school to teach all day!

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Sixlet Of One, No Half A Dozen Of The Other

The Pony usually goes to the Devil's Playground for me on a Tuesday. He wants to go on Monday, but I remind him that the shelves are bare after the weekend, and we may not get the delicacies we are jonesin' for. Like baby dill pickles that are actually the size I prefer, which is more like premature, rather than the starting-pre-school size in the recent jars he has bought by default. 

Last week, The Pony kept putting off his (my) shopping trip. I was starting to think he wouldn't make it, and I needed a couple of items for the holiday meal that I couldn't find at Country Mart. And also some PEEPS and Sixlets for my candy stash. 
He'd finally relented, and said he'd go on Thursday. Which was pushing it, what with Thursday being the first day of the month, when many people get their checks, and with EASTER coming up, and people buying their feast vittles.

Anyhoo... as you may have discerned from my other blog, the Thursday shopping trip did not happen. The Pony was busy waiting on an email from the USPS about his CONDITIONAL job offer as a City Carrier Assistant. Then he heard from them, and had to drive 90 minutes one-way to give his fingerprints on Friday. So the actual shopping trip to the Devil's Playground was on Saturday. The first weekend of the month, and the day before Easter!

I'd like to blame The Pony for his procrastination, but I can't. He comes by it honestly. I am a world-class procrastinator. A national champion and a gold medal winner. I don't mean to brag, but I'd say that I'm in the top 99.99th percentile of procrastinators. My speaking engagements would be booked years in advance. I would be Professor Emeritus of Procrastinatorship. There might even be a scholarship in my name. Or an award to be lauded at the graduation ceremony.

Anyhoo... because The Pony put off that shopping trip so long, 


Oh, how I love those squishy pink bunnies! You can have the chick version. NO! I take that back! I would welcome any shape or color of PEEP right now. They were not available last year, you know. And this year they made a comeback, but now I can only hope for a revival at Christmas time. 

The good news, and what kept The Pony out of the dog house, is that he found SIXLETS! 

They were my second choice. I can only find them at Easter time. The Pony was quite proud of himself.

"Mom! I got you FOUR bags! There are 75 in a bag. So you have enough to eat one pack a day until the END OF THE YEAR!"

"Yeah. Well. THAT'S probably not going to happen. But I'm thrilled to have so many Sixlets!"

I am. But I still want my PEEPS.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

This Snagglenail Blogger Has A Bone And A Cuticle To Pick

Now that I am growing long in the tooth, I am also growing sharp in the fingernail. It's like the slower I become, the more my body adapts to protect me from predators, whether four-legged or two-legged. One fingernail especially has become problematic. The ring finger on my left hand.
Fortunately, I've not had to use my fingernail as a weapon. Unfortunately, my fingernail is practicing, keeping sharp, if you will, by attacking my own body. My own ring finger on my left hand. The corner of the fingernail cuts into the flesh on the outer side of my left ring finger. I try to file it, but the edge re-hones itself overnight as if I rub it on a whetstone while slumbering. 

The only tool I have to fight my killer fingernail is a file on the toenail clippers in the master bathroom. It's a little file that rotates out from the middle of the nail clipper. It's metal, of course. The drawback is in knowing that Farmer H uses this nail clipper on HIS TOES!

I put NAIL FILE on my shopping list. The Pony reads it ahead of time, and didn't ask for clarification. He bought me a pack of six.

I don't know why the label says MINI NAIL FILES! They are 13 cm long, and 2 cm wide. That's about 5 and 1/4 inches long, and just over .75 inches wide. How is that MINI? Is the regular size a foot long?
Anyhoo... The Pony said he didn't get me a metal version because I didn't specify that. Well, I consider these to be EMERY BOARDS, but in The Pony's defense, the label says they are nail files. I don't have an issue with the length, nor the width. It's the THICKNESS that bothers me.

Each nail file is 4 MILLIMETERS THICK! In this picture, you can see that I've taken out one of the three green ones in this stack. They are like DOUBLE emery boards. Like two glued together. So fat that I can't fit them along the corner of my nail to hone it down.

It doesn't help that this fingernail has a cuticle issue. I think that's what you call it. The stringy part that runs up along the side of the nail, and comes loose, and gets dried out and hard and then gets irritated if caught on or rubbed against something. 

I filed my fingernail as good as I could. Then I slopped some triple antibiotic ointment on the corner where that problem cuticle was poking out, and covered it with a bandaid overnight. I'm not risking a red infection with a pus pocket like my mom and my sister the ex-mayor's wife have had. Sis had hers lanced and received antibiotics. Mom let hers go too long during the Great Icepocalypse of '06. Then she had surgery to scrape the infection from the bone. It was her pinky finger. The first doctor wanted to amputate it!

Anyhoo... Mrs. HM would not take kindly to a doctor who wanted to lop off her finger. No siree, Bob! I would NOT say, "Well, it's just my little finger, and I could get along without that." Nope. It's my RING FINGER, and I could NOT get along without it!

Don't you worry about Mrs. HM. The finger is not even red. The overnight treatment softened the cuticle, allowed for its trimming, and also some shoving of the fat nail file into the corner to dull the razor-sharp corner of the fingernail. I used a nail file that is white with green fern fronds on it. It was the easiest to get out of the package. C'mon, man! Surely you didn't think I'd use the one that says: choose happiness. That is SO not simpatico with my personal motto: PEOPLE PISS ME OFF.

I really like the pattern on the top green nail file. I thought it was penguins, until looking at this picture. It's just BLOBS! Black and white blobs on a green background. I feel so cheated...

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

In The Front Car Of The Even Steven Roller Coaster, With My Arms Raised

Mrs. HM is not a fan of real roller coasters. Not even the kiddie one at Silver Dollar City, with mild hills and a single circuit. But she will ride the Even Steven Roller Coaster any day!

Monday I stopped at the mailbox on my way to town. EmBee gave me a sudden roller coaster drop that took my breath away. It was an envelope from Waste Management. They're my old trash service. The one who had been overcharging us, apparently, for years. Which I discovered when I called to cancel my service, and they offered me a lowball price to remain with them.


As in, they have bought the company, and I am now going to be trashed by Waste Management. I do not foresee this ending well. At the time I dropped them, I was paying $197 for three months of trash pickup. I got the new service in 2018, for $66 for three months. It has gone up over three years. I am currently paying $68 for three months of service! That seems like a perfectly reasonable increase.

Anyhoo... I went on to town, grousing about this misfortune. What a bunch of garbage!

At the Gas Station Chicken Store, that weirdo in the van who parks nose-in at the handicapped parallel parking space beside the building was in my spot. As I was giving him the stinkeye, a lady in a red sedan pulled in beside him, also nose-in! I parked over by the moat between the GSCS and CeilingRed's, Farmer H's pharmacy. I was so double-shaken and discombobulated that I left my stack of exact change sitting on T-Hoe's console.

When I got to the counter, Woman Owner was working the register.

"Helllllo! How are you today?"

"Oh, I'm disoriented from parking somewhere else, and I FORGOT MY EXACT CHANGE! At least I have a dollar in my pocket to pay for my soda after the lottery winnings are counted."

"NO CHANGE? I'm going to mark that on the wall! That NEVER happens!"

"Don't I know it! You don't know how wrong it seems for me to pay with a dollar bill."

"You know what? Let's just call it even today."

"Oh, you don't have to do that! I have it right here."

"I know you do. But you're in here every day. We can forget the 69 cents today."

"Well, THANK YOU!"

"You're welcome! See you tomorrow."

"You may be sorry. What if I use that tactic now? 'Sorrrrry. I forgot my change in the car...' You might have just become my enabler!"

Woman Owner was having a good laugh as I went out the door. She doesn't laugh much.

Monday, April 5, 2021

A Greaser, Line-Waiter, and Parking Spot Faker

I had a late start on my town trip Saturday, after food prep for Sunday's feast. It was actually refreshing to get out in the hustle and bustle, after being chained to my grandma's pedestal table from 11:00 to 4:00. 
You never know what you might encounter on a trip to Hillmomba. Sometimes you get The Pony's People, the kind who dive through a door like doomy-temple Indiana Jones under a falling rock slab, rather than hold it open for an old lady behind them. The kind who won't give you the courtesy wave when you stop and let them cross over the low water bridge before you proceed. Or tuck in their flannel shirts, trim their beards to Kenny Rogers specs, and jump the line ahead of already-waiting customers...
Anyhoo... I was coming out of the Liquor Store when I spotted a PENNY! Sorry to ruin this Saturday's surprise. I almost didn't see it, because I was watching a jalopy park next to T-Hoe, where there IS NO PARKING SPACE! Sweet Gummi Mary! There was a space directly behind T-Hoe, and four on the other side. But this dude had to make his own space.
Anyhoo... I saw the copper glint, and SHINY took precedence over an impudent parker. I had tucked my scratchers in my armpit, and was pointing my camera at the penny when this dude came around the front of his car.
"Hi there! How are you?"
"Found myself a penny!"
On he went. MY PEOPLE. They may park illegally, but they are friendly. 

In the Gas Station Chicken Store, a 20-something kid came in with greasy forearms (like he'd been working on a car engine) and a sweatshirt with the sleeves cut off. He was counting out several dollar bills. He was there ahead of me. I waited a respectful distance as I walked up with my magical elixir.

"Go ahead."

"Oh, no. I saw you come in while I was putting the lid on my soda. You were here first."

"No, go ahead."

"Well, if you're sure. Thank you!"

Uh huh. There are still some of MY PEOPLE around. Polite, just a little dirty, bad parkers, and paying cash.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

An Evening Of Invisible Airwaves With Genius

There might be a couple of interesting tales coming down the pike. PIKE! Not pipe. That's Genius's terminology. This is not a sewage treatment facility. Our news comes down the PIKE. Then again, it might not be any more interesting than the usual slop you get here. In fact, you're not even going to get it here. It will be on my not-so-secret blog, in a few days. Guess you'll have to go there for your news needs. As for here, I'll give you a teaser...

The Pony was fingerprinted! In Casino Town!

But enough of that. It's how rumors get started. Instead of delving into that matter, you will be treated to a Genius communication from Friday night. I hear from him about once every six weeks, when something is needed from me by him.

You may recall that I send Genius (and his roommate Friend) a holiday treat box, which includes snacks and lottery tickets. I also send him two scratchers every week. Lately, I've been sending him three, because he likes the $3 crossword and bingo tickets. He keeps his winners until he has a stockpile, and then he mails them to me for redemption, and I send him a check. Which of course I have to reimburse the house money fund, since I use the winners to cash in as I buy myself new scratchers.
Tuesday, I sent Genius a text:
"Mailed your Easter box. Should arrive Friday. Sadly, it contains jerky, and four sausages, and lottery tickets, since you're on the keto and don't want candy."
"Cool. I'll watch out for it. We will put those tickets in the mail today or tomorrow."
"Okay. The check is in the letter I mailed Thursday."
"I got it yesterday."

Anyhoo... Genius had said that he had $190 in winners. So I'd enclosed that check in his last letter. But Friday, I got a text from him.
"I have a dilemma sending these tickets back. One of them is a $30 ticket, and it's too large for any envelope, AND it's a $100 winner. Do you think the top part above the scratching could be folded over?"
"Yes. As long as the scan part is okay."
"Alright. I just rescanned all the tickets Friend manually counted before, and it's actually $269."
"That's why I always scan. I had a $50 winner that I thought was only $20. I will send the difference next week."
"That's fine. We got the Easter box. Haven't scratched the tickets yet."
"Okay. Good luck. My luck was terrible over the days I bought Easter tickets. I figure one of you got my luck." [Including The Pony]
"We will be scratching them tonight, I think. I'll let you know."
"Okay. Sounds like a great Friday night! Have a drink for me."
"It's been an exciting Friday. I got a Costco membership. It was like going to Sam's as a kid."
"Wow! Movin' on up. Like the Jeffersons. You already have the deeeeluxe apartment in the sky."
"Now the issue is we don't have enough space for all the bulk goods I want to buy at Costco."
"Don't buy the giant can of Beefarino for your borrowed Hansom cab horse Rusty!"
Funny how Genius quit responding. I KNOW he knew what I was talking about. He was always a Seinfeld fan.
I hope that doesn't mean he actually bought a giant can of Beefarino... 

16 seconds - Kramer feeds Rusty the Beefarino

42 seconds - Kramer's Price Club purchases

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Issues With Tissues, Phoney Baloney With The Pony

Farmer H got the re-chargable batteries to fill our four versions of the house phone. I guess around here you'd call it the MANSION PHONE. The phone by my OPC (Old People Chair) took to the batteries like a Labrador Retriever to water. The phone in my office took to it like a transplant patient to a new liver. Tries to reject those new batteries, but is limping along with countermeasures in place. It seems to work to make a call, but kept showing INSERT BATTERY every time I put it on the charger.

The Pony wanted to fold up a Puffs With Lotion strip, and stuff it between those batteries and the cover. I think NOT!

"No. That might start a fire!" I said as I ripped off a corner of an index card to use instead.

"Oh. Like that WON'T? It's still flammable."

"But not as much."

"I'm done with you!"

"Why? Because you don't like MY idea?"

"No. Because it's obvious you don't want to listen to MY solution."

I sent a text to wise old Solomon Farmer H about the issue with the tissue.

"Might be charger try phone from by tv"

"The Pony said it is charging. He wants to stuff a tissue in the back of this one and I said no. The batteries are not loose. They're making a connection, locked in place."

"Well see after it has time to charge don't stuff nothing"

So I left the phone alone and it sat there mocking me on the charger with INSERT BATTERY plastered on its face. I picked it up and went through the menu, in case there might be something that needed resetting. Nope. I turned it off and put it back on the stand-up charging cradle. Since then, it has been showing its normal face of time and date. But at the bottom says CHARGING. Normally, that goes off. I can deal with it, as long as the phone works. 
We'll see how the patient responds after 24 hours.

Friday, April 2, 2021

I Hope The Pony Doesn't Have To Unstrap The Old Feedbag For "Refunding"

A couple times a week, The Pony eschews my FREE freezer-food concoctions, and cooks for himself. It's almost always pasta, though he HAS made a foray into FRIG II's freezer for chicken strips and fish portions that do not lend themselves to a meal for three.
The Pony prefers to eat his daily meal around midday. Usually when I'm gone to town, or he starts preparing it as soon as I descend to my lair. Wednesday, I could tell when I left the garage that The Pony's meal was done.
"I bet you could smell the garlic all the way down at the mailboxes!"
"You know I like garlic. You should be glad I'm doing my part to keep the neighborhood vampire-free!"
Just one more service The Pony offers. Vampire-Be-Gone.
"You actually smell the garlic bread I made to go with my pasta. If I get sick later, it's because the bread might have been moldy. I used the Steak Rolls--"
"Are THEY still in there? I bet it's been a month since I bought them!"
"They were only expired a few days. They looked all right to me. But when I was wrapping up the bag to put it away, I saw mold on one! The one right next to one I ate."
There it is. Top left. I can barely see it, but upon closer inspection in real life, that's MOLD, baby! Pity The Pony didn't use his flaring nostrils to take a whiff of the rolls first. Surely he's inherited Farmer H's gene for sniffing out mold.
Maybe the feedbag being strapped on too tight has caused him to lose such a talent.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Who You Gonna Call? Not Mrs. HM If You Want An Answer.

I don't ask for much. A daily 44 oz Diet Coke. Alone time with my innernets. Help carrying things up and down the 13 rail-less basement stairs. My DISH TV to work so I can watch my reality shows. Scratchers and casino trips in moderation. Not all that much, really.

I do my best to help (to borrow a line from Kevin McCallister's sister in Home Alone) what the French call 'les incompetents.' Meaning Farmer H and The Pony, both of whom I've spent hours of paperwork on this week.

Anyhoo... in order to enjoy the meager activities which give me joy, I need to have access to a phone. The landline. That's in case a call comes in that might actually need answering. I can't be running up 13 rail-less steps to the main phone, even IF it could be heard in my lair. Likewise, if I'm kicked back in my OPC (Old People Chair) enjoying a DVR of Tough As Nails, I shouldn't have to wait on the slow slow inclination of my recliner to jump out and run to grab a phone.

Farmer H and The Pony, and Genius before them, have already dropped the ball on the OPC phone. It sits under the lamp, on the table within reach, but it is DEAD. Deader than a doornail. Not, contrary to Genius's beliefs, deader than a doorknob.

I have told the guys for at least three years that my phone needs batteries. They hem and haw. "What KIND of batteries?" Take the back off of it. Look at the batteries. "Oh. I'll have to see if I can find those." And they NEVER DO!

So I gave up on that phone. We still had three others. My lair. The main one in the living room. And the one on MY side of the bed, that I used to answer every time the security company called Farmer H in to work because alarms went off when a bird got inside the building.

Wednesday afternoon, MY LAIR PHONE DIED! It didn't have X's for eyes, but it had a blank face. I took out the batteries and carried them upstairs. It takes two re-chargable AAA batteries. I told Farmer H, in his recliner, that I must have batteries for the phone on my lair desk.

"That's how I call the bank to see when checks are deposited, how I balance the checkbook, how I see what the credit card balance is, how I answer your calls when you're out."

"You go to the store all the time. Get some batteries."

"Um. I'm pretty sure Save A Lot and Country Mart don't have those batteries."

"It only takes a C battery."

"I don't know what phone you've been looking in, but these do NOT take a C battery. Here."

"Huh. Walmart will have them."

"I haven't been there since MARCH of 2020!"

"Oh. Well I don't go there."

"You go there all the time, looking for guns and ammunition."

"The Pony goes. He can get you some."

I don't know why it's so hard for Farmer H to do things around the house that you might expect a guy to take care of. It's not like I'm asking him to plan and prepare supper every night and put away leftovers and wash the dishes.

Anyhoo... Farmer H got to looking on his phone internet, and saw that they are only available online. Or at Best Buy. Which we don't have around here. But lucky for me, Farmer H is taking his Cancer Girlfriend to the city on Friday. So he can stop by Best Buy and he'd best buy me some batteries!

Meanwhile, I took the two batteries out of the bedroom phone to bring downstairs to my lair. Farmer H declared that we could put regular AAA batteries in the bedroom phone. 

"Pony! Get them triple-A's and put in your mom's bedroom phone."

"I don't think you're supposed to use regular batteries!"

"It won't hurt." Said Farmer H and The Pony in unison. Until The Pony actually installed the batteries.

"Um. Dad? I don't know if we should do this. The phone is blinking a message: DO NOT USE ALKALINE BATTERIES."

"Bring it here. Huh. I thought it would go off. Wait. There. After I listened for a dial tone, it went off. Wait. Now it's back. It'll be okay. Leave 'em in there. Just don't put it on the charger."

So we'll see. Farmer H complained that TWO of the re-chargeable batteries cost $21. We'll need EIGHT. I'm sure the others are ready to expire as well. 

"I hope it doesn't destroy the phone, and then it keeps the other three from working. Then we'd have to get new phones, and figure out how to hook them up."

"All you do is plug them in, HM." Said Farmer H, obviously not caring about the cost of four phones, only about the cost of eight batteries.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Lurking Along, No Sounds And No Song, Sidler My Sidler

Monday I passed Farmer H on the tractor halfway up his badly-blacktopped hill. He'd been filling in holes down on the gravel road by the mailbox. Juno, Jack, and Copper Jack were trailing him, taking their time sniffing along the edges of the road. Jack was all wet. I guess he'd had his first creek-swim of the year.
When I came back home, the dogs were frolicking under the thorn tree over in the BARn field. Hick must have taken a ride down to our creek on the Gator, because Jack was wet again, and Juno's belly fur was damp. I presume Copper Jack has legs long enough to keep him dry when he walks into the water.

There's a problem with Farmer H hanging around the Mansion lately. He's creepy. A creeper. Like a SIDLER, only stationary. [link to a 2-minute clip of The Sidler of Seinfeld]

Monday morning I was walking from the master bathroom back to bed around 9:30 a.m., and THERE HE WAS! In the living room, standing behind the couch. Perfectly still. LOOKING AT ME! So disconcerting. He could have spoken to alert me of his presence. He'd come in while I was on the throne, I suppose. So I hadn't heard the kitchen door or his footsteps. Then he just stood there. Silent. Motionless, Until I glanced into the living room and saw him.

He did it again Tuesday. Again, I was on the throne. It's a common location to find me mid-slumber. Yet again, I had not heard him enter the Masnion. This time, I was up for the day, and walking into the living room carrying an armful of clothes to the laundry room. THERE HE SAT! In his recliner. Unreclined. With the TV off. Just sitting. Staring into space. The shades still closed. What in the NOT HEAVEN? Who does that?

If I didn't know better, I might assume he was trying to scare me to death...

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Here's The Joust Of It

The Pony has plans for one evening this week. He's going out to eat, and then to the local bowling alley. I don't press for details. I'm glad he's getting out of his room. Anyhoo... he hasn't been bowling in a long time, even though he used to bowl in a league during school years. He had his equipment at college with him, but I think he only went once or twice.

"Do you still have your ball and shoes in the car?"

"Yeah, but my shoes are still broken."

"Oh, well. You can rent shoes. I don't know if they have a mask requirement there or not. I guess they'll have a sign on the door."

"Um. I will be wearing my mask anyway, Mother!"

"I was just wanting to make sure you had one with you."

"I will be wearing it because I CARE about protecting others."

"OH COME ON! You know that's a flat-out lie!"

"I DO care about people, just not people who are trying to perpetrate an insurance scam against the Devil's Playground, like that lady who fell down and you wanted me to help her up."

"I don't care if you wear a mask or not, but you know darn well you are just VIRTUE SIGNALING! You have never cared about helping people! So get down off your high horse! In fact, if you were riding a high horse, you would just as soon knock somebody off their own high horse with a... a... JOUSTING STICK... as you would be likely to HELP them! What do you call those jousting sticks, anyway? I'm sure there's a name."

"A lance."

"I thought a lance was a spear. With a pointy end like an arrow."

"They're about the same thing, except the end of a lance for jousting is made of blunt wood, not a pointy arrow."

Still. The Pony is not fooling me one bit! Get out of here with that HELP PEOPLE crap! Besides, he knows an awful lot about jousting...

Monday, March 29, 2021

Orange, Solo Cups

We use more Solo cups around here than a college frat house! You know the ones, the red plastic glass with the white insides. Used for playing Beer Pong. (I almost said just PONG, like the very first video game that we had on our TV and thought was SO entertaining.)
Farmer H uses the red Solo cup for ice and whiskey and Diet Mountain Dew or maybe Diet Coke if he can steal one from me. Or for the Sparkling Grape Juice that he bought 12 bottles of, and has 7 remaining. The Pony uses the red Solo cup for wine. Yeah. We're high-class drinkers.
The pack of red Solo cups used to sit on the tile floor right inside the pantry. It was a double pack, two stacks. I guess Farmer H and The Pony got tired of bending to get one every week, so one of them put the pack on the cutting block. I'm betting it was Farmer H. The Pony is lithe, and bendable like Gumby, and doesn't imbibe as often.

The pack of red Solo cups has been diminishing. When I was in Save A Lot on Friday, I saw another pack. The knock-off kind. I forget their name. I put them in the cart. When I got home, The Pony carried in the bags and put away most of the few groceries, like Granny Smith, a bag of oranges, bananas, and Key Lime Pie Granola Bars.

"Oh, Mom. You didn't have to buy Solo cups. We have a lot of packs in the pantry. I saw them when I cleaned it out."

"Well. They didn't cost much. Under two dollars."

I walked past the cutting block, and picked up the almost-empty pack.

"I'm tired of you guys leaving stuff out and never throwing the wrapper away! Look! There are only four Solo cups left. How hard is it to stack those four cups on the cutting block, and throw way the plastic wrap that's holding them in two columns? There! Now it takes up less than half the room."

Um. Less than a minute later, I took my net bag of oranges out of the Save A Lot sack. I surreptitiously set them on the side counter, while taking out the two remaining oranges from the old net bag, and stuffing it into the wastebasket.

Some things are more of a privilege for the goose than for the ganders...

Sunday, March 28, 2021

A Momma Bin Problem

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has a problem. A problem with those clear plastic bins that Burger King uses to foist the food upon their patrons. And the similar bin used to accept payment.

Have you been to Burger King over the past year? Only the drive-thru is open. You order at a speaker, drive around to the first window, and make payment.

I am no stranger to Burger King. I remember the salad days, when you could even EAT INSIDE. And when the drive-thru worker reached out a hand and took your payment, then extended their hand again with your receipt and change. OH MY GOSH! That would seem terribly inappropriate to young 'uns who came of drive-thru age during 2020.

NOW the window worker extends a clear plastic bin out the window. It looks like a bin for produce in the bottom of your refrigerator, only smaller. Maybe 6 inches by 4 inches. You drop in your money or card, and Window Worker pulls it back in, closing the window so your cooties don't get in. THEN, after pawing your card, or digging your change out of the cash register, Window Worker drops your cash, or your card shrouded in the receipt, into the plastic bin, opens the window, and proffers it to you. It's your job to dig your money or card out of the plastic bin as it wavers in the Window Worker's hand.
The Window Worker wears gloves. Not spiffy, form-fitting blue or green latex gloves like a surgeon might wear to remove your appendix, or a nurse might wear to draw your blood. No. These are clear plastic gloves, kind of baggy, like the gloves that come with a hair color kit. The ones that used to be clear, but are sometimes black now. At least in L'Oreal.

Anyhoo... the Window Worker does not change gloves between customers. The same gloves are likely worn all shift. So I get the cooties that were on the hands of the customers ahead of me all shift so far, and the people who come after me get MY cooties.


The bin has cooties smeared all over it from customers' hands and money and cards, and the Window Worker's gloves. How is this helping?

At the food window, the Food Hander has a bigger bin. Maybe 12 inches by 9 inches. Big enough to put in two large sodas, and a couple of food bags. The Food Hander also wears those baggy clear gloves. Which she uses to fold down the top of your bag, slap on the lid of your soda, and put them in the bin while handing you paper-wrapped straws if she forgets to put them in the bag or bin.

MAYBE this Food Hander's gloves are okay. Clean enough, if all they touch is the food and sodas inside, and nothing from the customer. I just don't get the bins. I don't ever recall touching a Food Hander's hands when taking a bag or cup out of them as they were passed through the window. I'd think they'd be just as sanitary handing the food directly out the window, rather than using the bin. If they touch a customer, they can put on new gloves.

Seriously. I feel bad for those little ladies extending the bin, with my two large sodas in the front, and the bag of food behind them. Imagine standing there for 8 hours, holding a bin out in front of you, leaning through the window to far-parkers. That's got to hurt their back. I hope they wear those black support thingies like the Devil's Playground workers pulling pallets laden with foodstuffs around the floor.
I just don't get the bin.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

The King Was In His Counting House, Shrouding Up My Money

Just one more thing to annoy me. Burger King's money-handling policy. I assume it's a policy. It happens every time I go there, but I haven't compared it to other Burger King locations. This is actually a two-part complaint, but today we'll stick to how the King handles my money. My PLASTIC money.

Once a week, I stop by Burger King to pick up lupper for myself and The Pony. We tried getting it for Farmer H one time, but he doesn't like the state of his Whopper when he drags it out of FRIG II three hours later.

Anyhoo... only the drive-thru is open. I order at the tiny-roofed speaker, and drive around. At the first window, I pay. I used to give them cash, but that's not compatible with my cash budget now that The Pony is home. We use plastic so I'm not always on the road to the bank.

Anyhoo... I drop my debit card into the bin they stick out the window. [This will be discussed another day.] When they return my debit card in the bin they stick out the window, it is WRAPPED UP IN THE RECEIPT! 

Not merely folded over. That card is encased in a shroud. It could be inside an origami wallet. THREE layers of paper around my debit card. As you might imagine, this is not conducive to quickly writing down the amount of purchase, and slipping that card into its slot in your checkbook. It's a major undertaking to remove the shroud! Such a tight fit! Like custom-made leather pants on a rock star! Anybody knows that such form-fitting garments can't be removed in the car-length between paying and picking up food at the next window.

Is this hermetic sealing really necessary? The receipt isn't going to blow away. It's down in a plastic bin. One fold would do. Or no fold, with the card laying on top of the receipt. There's nothing else I can do besides drop it in my pocket to deal with later, at home on the kitchen counter.
They might even use a ruler to get the edges precise. That's all this shroud loosened up, sitting on end in my shirt pocket for 8 miles and 15 minutes and a pot-holed gravel road.
Maybe this is why the line moves so slowly up to the pay window.

Friday, March 26, 2021

A Crumby Thing Happened On The Way To The Casino

We always stop by McDonald's on our way to the casino. Last Tuesday was no exception. We always order the same thing. The Pony has a sausage biscuit meal, with an extra sausage biscuit. Farmer H and I have the 2-for-$4 breakfast sandwich. We get the Sausage, Egg, and Cheese McMuffin. That's what Farmer H chooses. It doesn't matter much to me. The English muffin is tough, but the biscuit is dry, like cotton. So I will eat either one as my share of the 2-fer.
Farmer H eats his breakfast sandwich right away. As soon as we get on the interstate highway. He reaches out his hand, which is my signal to reach my hand back to The Pony's A-Cad-ian lair, so he can lay the McMuffin on it. I unwrap it, re-wrap it with half sticking out for biting, and pass it to Farmer H. Yes. It IS quite scary doing this at 75 mph, while sweaving, with Farmer H only steering with his weak nerve-shot arm.
I wait until about 20 miles from the casino to have my breakfast. No reason. It just breaks up the boredom best at that time. Of course my McMuffin has cooled off by then, but I rarely get a hot meal anyway, unless we're sitting down to one in the casino. We usually don't have lunch until 1:30 or 2:00. So this breakfast tides us over and gives us strength to sit on our rumpuses and push buttons and feed money into the slots.
Unlike Farmer H and The Pony, I don't finish my breakfast in a mile or two. It might take me 15 miles of eating. I take a bite. Talk. Fiddle with the radio. Recoil in fear at Farmer H's lane-changes. Plan what we'll have for lunch. Decide which slots to play first. Designate the lunch time and departure time. Clue in my companions on any special promotions that might require a visit to the players' desk. Fill them in on any jackpots that have been posted on the casino Facebook page. Eventually I finish my McMuffin.
I was almost done this time when I felt something crunch in my mouth. At my advanced age, and my teeth in their advanced state of dentist-avoidance... I'm always afraid I've chipped a tooth or lost a filling. Chewing that crunchy thing was not pleasant. I spit it out on my finger to see what I was masticating.

No. That's not tooth enamel. That's AN EGGSHELL! It was on my next-to-last bite, too. Who knows how much of the shell I'd already eaten. It was not very appetizing, but I of course choked down the last bite. Extra calcium for me! No. I didn't eat the fragment shown on my finger. There IS a limit to the depths I will lower myself.
We did NOT turn that car around and drive back to McDonald's and demand a refund or coupon or apology. Well. Farmer H didn't offer to do that. Not that I suggested. 
Alternate titles that would have initially revealed too much:
Talking On Eggshells
With Two You Get Eggshell
Have You Tried McDonald's New Sausage, Eggshell, and Cheese McMuffin?

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Payback Is A Sitch

Sweet Gummi Mary! Such a fortuitous situation was dropped into my non-lap that I can scarcely contain my glee! 
The stars aligned, Even Steven opened up his day planner, a TV station took a payoff, and the perfect storm arrived as The Pony was cooking his daily meal on Wednesday. You might recall that only the day before, The Pony had cast aspersions upon the intentions of one Mrs. Hillbilly Mom when she dared to describe a building recently beset by fire as a white church. Even though a drive past it showed a structure covered with white siding.

I guarandarntee you, my cold revenge was a dish much sweeter than the hot battered fish and garlic toast that The Pony served himself for lupper. He was sitting on the long couch, tapping on his laptop, watching American Dad while waiting for his food to heat up. I sat down on the short couch for a minute, before descending to my lair for my own lunch.

I don't watch American Dad unless The Pony has it on. But I looked up the episode [Brains, Brains and Automobiles] after the fact. Just in case you want to after-the-fact-check me.

Anyhoo... this sweet reprisal could not have been more welcome if it had arrived on my doorstep, wrapped up in a dog-proof box, and tied with a big red bow. On the TV screen, a crocodile/alligator walked out of the water towards American Dad. He (the critter not the dad) was wearing a pink floppy hat with a feather, and a vest, and a neck scarf. 


"Mom. Heh, heh. He's a Chocodile..."

"That's even worse! How can you say that about a green alligator/crocodile? Are you implying that he's BLACK? Because he seems to be dressed like a pimp?"

"No! No, Mom. He is literally the mascot for Hostess Chocodiles!"

"I've had a Chocodile. I don't recall them pimping it out with a cartoon character. And WHY? Just because it's dark on the outside?"

"It's just using a crocodile for a chocolate-covered Twinkie. Chocodile/crocodile."

"I sure hope your phone isn't listening to you! You'll NEVER be able to get a job! Did you see the other day when a lady lost her job for something she said when she was 14? They will find it! That's how it is these days! Always about race, always about dividing."

I don't know if The Pony got my point. For a nanosecond, I thought I saw panic dash across his face when I called him out for Chocodiling. No harm intended on his part. But less innocent than my description of the outside of a worship-house.

Sometimes, a delicious chocolate-enrobed snack cake is just a delicious chocolate-enrobed snack cake. Even though Hostess has done away with the mascot.
Here is a Chauncey Chocodile picture from American Dad.

Here is a Chauncey Chocodile commercial that I'd never seen. [30 seconds]

Here is a video of Kramer being mistaken for a pimp. [2 minutes]
Because I loved Seinfeld, and it just goes to show that sometimes, a man with a cane and a flamboyant coat and a floppy hat is just a man with a cane and a flamboyant coat and a floppy hat.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

He's No Snoozer, He's No Loser, He's An Ultra-Woke Cruiser

The Pony has selective hearing. He will put his earbuds in for a 90-minute ride in A-Cad with HM and Farmer H. If asked a specific question, he will ignore. When a stinkeye wafts his way, he will pull out one earbud, and say he was listening to music. OR he might pointedly point out that he put in his earbuds as a signal that he was NOT available for questioning.

However... don't think The Pony might miss something that he finds interesting. Nobody is going the tell The Pony, "You snooze, you lose!" after an opportunity slips away. 

We went to the casino on Tuesday. The first part of our drive has Farmer H cruising through the countryside for 30 miles before we reach the interstate highway. As usual, The Pony was earbudded. I was making conversation with Farmer H, trying to keep my mind off the rain-covered blacktop. LITERALLY keep my brain in my uncracked skull and off the pavement by forcing Farmer H to stay alert and not zone out thinking about his Storage Unit Store business.

"Oh, did you see the article in the paper about the church that burned. I'm pretty sure it was along here somewhere. It was even on the city news channels."

"Yeah. I think it was this one right up here. [Farmer H nodded his head toward a faded brick church on the left.] See it? It doesn't look like anything happened to it, though. No damage."

"No. Not that one. It was a white church that burned."
"Um. Mom? I'm pretty sure you were just referring to the color of the church building, but you really shouldn't be talking about a WHITE church burning. That's very unusual, you know."
"There it is right there! It's got two holes in the roof. Even though they covered them with plywood. See the yellow tape around it? It's actually in pretty good shape for a fire."
"Yes, Pony. SEE the church? It's covered with white siding. That's what I was talking about. Not brick."
"Well, you have to agree, around here, it most likely WAS a white church..."
"Pony. Sometimes, a church is just a church. You can go back to listening to your music." 

He would probably be shocked that my losing crossword scratcher had THIS word in it:

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Lupper And A Show (That Thankfully Didn't Happen)

Perhaps you've heard that I started working on my taxes Sunday morning. I even got up early, at 10:30! The Pony had everything ready to go, so I didn't have to spin my wheels dealing with technology. I worked 3.5 hours, and made a big dent in my preparations. I can follow TurboTax directions like a champ!
Monday, the plan was to finish up, using the info I'd had to harvest from my lair overnight. With corrections made, it wouldn't take but a half hour or so to finish my Fed, State, and The Pony's Fed and State returns.
Except I had a guest. Two, in fact. The first being The Pony. I don't mean to bash him. Obviously, he love, love, LOVES to be in my presence! Because he came to fix his lunch again. More like lupper. Late lunch, early supper.
He had a slice of leftover cheese Domino's, and a slice of leftover spinach Domino's. He orders his pizza half-and-half. So there was the pan-clanging. Oh, and he decided to enjoy an adult beverage with his lupper. It was 5:00 somewhere, but it was 2:00 in our Mansion. The Pony picked up the 2-liter COKE that he got at Domino's, and began perusing the whiskey bottles. Farmer H has two on the kitchen counter. The one he doesn't like, and the one he does. Of course The Pony picked up the newest one.
"Um. No. Dad likes that one. Use the other one."
"THIS one?"
"Yes. There are only two. If you're not using the one you just put down, you use THAT one."
Oh, and The Pony also made himself a salad. Such a healthy meal. Leftover pizza, whiskey and Coke, and a Caesar salad from a bag mix, with CROUTONS! You might wonder how I know about the croutons. Let me tell you. The Pony did not assume his regular dining spot, sitting on the floor in the living room, leaning against the long couch, food on the marred coffee table. Oh, no. He decided to eat sitting on a stool at the cutting block. So he could be nearer to me, I'm sure.
"What IS that noise?"
"Oh, that's just my croutons that came with the salad mix."
Of course.
The only thing more distracting from my taxes might have been if The Pony played some Irish music on his phone, and did some riverdancing around the cutting block.
The intrusion of Farmer H was almost a respite...

Monday, March 22, 2021

The Pony Is Not Very Good At Choosing Which Hill To Die On

In fact, The Pony will die numerous times, on assorted hills, like a mediocre actor rehearsing his craft, never quite achieving his original goal.
The Pony will latch onto an issue like a terrier on a rat (I'm giving the pit bulls a day off). He will shake that issue vigorously, going back and forth to show he means business, and that he will not relinquish control. I am not so much the rat as the big mellow dog lounging nearby, a St. Bernard, perhaps, waiting until the end to step in and take that now-limp rat away from the exhausted terrier.

I was washing dishes last week when The Pony wandered in to grab a small bag of chips off the table.

"Pony. Before you leave, hand me a new box of Puffs. There's one on the chair there. Under the pair of gloves I brought in from T-Hoe."

The Pony went to the 3-pack of Puffs on the table. Only two were left, in that clingy film that holds them together, since I'd already had The Pony bring a box downstairs the previous week. Not that he'd even thought of putting that 3-pack in the hall closet when he carried it in from his shopping trip. Or looked for a single box left from the previous 3-pack.

"Um. There's a box on the chair."

"I'm just getting this one out. The plastic has to come off some time."

"There's no need to do that, when you can reach your hand down on the chair, and set THAT box over here on the counter where I can get it. You don't have to deal with the plastic on that pack now. It can go in the closet."

"It's already been opened. It's right here."

"Look. Look on that chair. Do you see it? Am I wrong? Is it something else, not a box of Puffs?"

"Huh. It's a box of Puffs. JUST LIKE THIS ONE I WAS GETTING OUT. See? Same color and design."

The Pony set the chair box on top of the remaining 2-pack. It was identical to the top box.

"Just hand it too me. I don't know what was so hard about that. It was already loose. All you had to do was pick it up and turn and stretch out your arm to me."

"Meh. Same difference."

My kitchen is just a little waitin' place and they're all difficult Hillmomba hicks...

Sunday, March 21, 2021

This Here's Flubber Duck

When The Pony and I started home from Domino's on Friday, we had to wait at a red light for our left turn.

"I hope these guys ahead of us pay attention. This light isn't very long, compared to the size of the intersection to get through. I don't want to sit through another red light if we miss is. They might have adjusted it for this time, though. It's when all the school buses come down from the bus barn to go pick up the kids. I saw 7 of them yesterday in a row. They had 'em a convoy! Remember that song? You used to like it when you were riding behind me on the way home from school."

"Yeah. I remember it."

"It's from the 70s. My favorite part is the Jesus freaks in the van."

"Long-haired friends of Jesus."

"Yeah. The long-haired Jesus freaks in the Volkswagen van. I love that part."

"Chartreuse microbus."

"YEAH! That's it. Chartreuse! That's a good word. Chartreuse mini van."

"Mom. It's '11 long-haired friends of Jesus in a chartreuse microbus.'"

"Well. It IS my favorite part! Even if I don't remember it quite right..."

Heh, heh! If you're feeling nostalgic, here's a video. Original song, but the video is from the movie they made about it.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

The Recent Discombobulation Of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom

Well, I am reeling with my new knowledge. I'm as off-kilter as that time a few years ago when I learned that ENGLAND IS AN ISLAND! And NOT a country on the coast, between France and Germany! At least I can blame that on my football-coach geography teacher.

My latest discovery is that I seem to be the only person in the world who completely loses taste and smell for five days (give or take a couple) during the common cold! Sweet Gummi Mary! To think of all the times I've been miserable, being one who loves to eat. All the efforts to bring back just a smidgen of taste for a meal. Holding salsa in my mouth in an effort to send fumes to open up my sinus congestion. Eating two or three Halls Mentholyptus cough drops during the class period before my school lunch. Blowing and blowing my nose with food in my mouth, hoping to catch a layer of flavor. Maybe 1 out of 5 tries, I got a little taste, but nothing long enough to last the whole meal.


Now I'm taking back all the sympathy I've had for people "suffering" with a cold. Those malingerers! They could smell and taste all along! Why should I feel sorry for THEM? I bear them no ill will. I wouldn't wish anybody to be sick. But a cold isn't really all that inconvenient if you can still smell and taste. Just wipe your nose, then blow your nose when it gets congested. Stay hydrated. And enjoy your vittles, you smelling, tasting sickos!

Anyhoo... this kind of reminds me of when I was taking care of young Genius. He was my first baby, you know. We had the Parents As Teachers lady come for home visits at my $17,000 house. She said Genius was pretty advanced. Of course I agreed! Then she said it was because I talked to him like he was an adult, and he was picking things up at a rapid pace.

WAIT A MINUTE! Are you not supposed to talk to babies like they're adults??? Is that frowned upon? Should I have been making baby talk with Genius? Too late now!

I got a transfer from my job at the South St. Louis unemployment office right before I had Genius. My buddies up there were disappointed. "He's OUR baby! That's not fair!" Some of them came down to Hillmomba for a visit. To see Baby Genius. Even Della, whose mother had told her never to go south of Lindbergh, because there are no streetlights.

Anyhoo... Baby Genius was 4-6 months old at the time of their visit. I remember that the weather was warming up, and he was barefoot. We sat around the living room, watching him in his little play mat that reminded me of a dry swimming pool. It was padded with a rim of cushy sides a few inches high. I had dressed him in a Mizzou Tigers onesie that my mom gave him. She loved her Mizzou Tigers basketball team!

Anyhoo... Baby Genius was rolling around on his back, doing what he loved to do: playing with an empty cardboard can that had previously held Planter's Cheese Balls, smiling and showing off for his audience. He was a people person.

"Look at him!"

"Oh my gosh! Isn't that cute?"

"Where did he learn to do that?"

I was not getting it. Baby Genius was doing what he always did with his toys. He had grabbed the Planter's Cheese Balls can with his feet, and picked it up to hold while he played bongo drums on the top with his hands.

"Um. What do you mean? Don't all babies do that? He holds everything with his feet. He's like a little monkey. He'll pick stuff up with either hands or feet, and transfer them back and forth as he plays. Sometimes he plays with one toy in his feet, and another one in his hands."

Apparently, such behavior was not all that common! Which I learned later. This everyday foot-grasping play with Genius was not observed in the Baby Pony.

You learn something every day! Or at least every three or four decades.