Sunday, January 31, 2021

Buying A Daily 44 oz Diet Coke And Scratchers Is Almost As Hard As A Full-Time Job

Okay. Maybe not as hard as a TEACHING job. But not a walk in the park.
 
I have a plan when I start to town. I know where I want to buy my scratchers, and what tickets I want. Of course I always get my magical elixir from the Gas Station Chicken Store. But the order of my stops varies.
 
I went to the liquor store first on Friday. It's on the right side of the road. I planned to make a right turn out of their parking lot when I left, and a quick left turn into Casey's. Then to the Gas Station Chicken Store for the 44. I don't like to get tickets off the same roll. I've been buying the $3 tickets lately. So I go to at least two different stores, or more depending on if I had a winner the day before, and don't feel like another winner is likely from the same place.
 
Anyhoo... I pulled into the far left parking spot up by the liquor store. There were cars at the drive-thru window, but that doesn't affect me. They have a separate register. Only one other car was parked in front of the store. As I gathered my phone (always on the penny-watch) and money, more cars arrived. People started rushing in there like they were late for a FREE meat giveaway! Or buying their weekend liquor on a Friday afternoon...
 
I counted 7 people enter before I got T-Hoe's door open! And only 1 came out as I sat and watched. That place was like a roach motel! They check in but they don't check out! No way was I going to walk in that narrow-aisled store and find a place to stand in line. It's not like I can lean on one of the liquored shelves, like I can lean on the unchickened counter of the Gas Station Chicken Store. My wobbley knees would be locked up and Frankensteiny by the time I was able to leave. I waited so long for customers to come out that T-Hoe's radio shut off! That was at least 15 minutes!
 
Well. I gave up. I backed out of my tight space, since now cars filled the lot, and one was pulling in and had to wait on me to maneuver. I made my turn to Casey's, and THEIR parking lot was full! So I took the alley through Farmer H's pharmacy, and went directly to the Gas Station Chicken Store.
 
Man Owner was minding the shop by himself. So the line was slow. Luckily a drunk man motioned me to go ahead of him. I'm not ASSuming. You could have smelled his breath all the way over at the liquor store parking lot. He was a happy drunk, though. And if he'd needed a dollar for a bottle of whiskey, I would have donated to his cause. He seemed more like a beer dude, though.

Since I still needed another source for tickets, I went to Country Mart. What can delay me from getting my own tickets from a machine? You'd be surprised. There was a man standing out front with a small table of merchandise.

"Would you like to support our urban boys' club by buying a candy bar?"

"Not today. I hadn't planned on it."

He was nice enough. I don't begrudge an urban boys' club their funding. But I know how the prices of those candy bars have gone up during my teaching career. More money, less candy. It might cost me a five to get a sliver of chocolate the size of a toothpick these days!

My gambling addiction outweighed my gluttony!

Anyhoo... I completed my mission. Tickets in hand, I strolled by the candy man and hoisted myself into T-Hoe. The Pony won $15 on his $3 bingo ticket that I got out of Country Mart's machine. I won $50 on my $3 crossword ticket that I got from the Gas Station Chicken Store.

My non-job may be hard, but some days it pays pretty well.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Mrs. HM, The Arbiter Of Sustenance

Last Friday, I drove The Pony to Little Caesar's so we could pick up pizza for supper. The Pony and I eat our pizza for three days. Farmer H is usually one and done. He might take it to his Storage Unit Store for lunch Saturday and Sunday. Or he might have a couple slices before the auction on Saturday evening, but he is just as likely to grab a hamburger at the auction. He generally doesn't have the pizza as an actual second or third meal. I guess he's too good for leftovers.

Anyhoo... The Pony and I ate pizza on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. He went to do the Devil's Playground on Monday. I was making room in FRIG II for the new groceries. Not that we need meat. But things like wine and fancy cheeses and olives and lettuce. There were two pizza boxes in the way. Taking up area on two shelves.

I took out three slices of Farmer H pepperoni pizza, and two slices of The Pony's cheese pizza. I set them by the sink, handy for dog treats upon return from town trips, and put the boxes under the counter to be taken out to the dumpster, or burned by Farmer H.

The Pony arrived as I was getting ready to leave. He put away groceries and went to his room. Maybe to avoid Farmer H, who had taken up residence at the kitchen table to write in his little black book. Making sure his sales were up to date for his firearms. He keeps detailed records for that stuff.

Farmer H was gone when I got back home. The Pony carried in my magical elixir and purse. I was at the door, bemoaning the fact that only my Sweet, Sweet Juno was there to enjoy a slice of pizza.

"I guess Dad has the other two dogs with him at the BARn. Oh, well. Juno can feast on pizza!"

"I like how you arbitrarily decided to throw away my pizza."

"It was FOUR DAYS OLD! You went to Steak N Shake before you did the shopping! WHEN did you plan on eating it?"

"Tomorrow. For lunch."

"I seriously doubt you were going to eat FIVE DAY OLD PIZZA!"

"Well, I was."

You know if I'd left it in FRIG II, it would still be there...

Friday, January 29, 2021

The Lyin', The Queen, And The Manufactured Home

We took the alternate route back to the highway when we left the casino on Tuesday. It's two-lane undivided curving road, with stoplights, lined with businesses. There had been a snowstorm while The Pony and I were inside, when Farmer H left the casino to make his pawn shop stops. Farmer H said it had been slick at the height of the storm, and he had slid around in A-Cad.

"You were going too fast for conditions."

"No. I just slid when I hit the brakes."

"Exactly. Good thing you didn't wreck. How would The Pony and I get home?"

"I drive good in the snow."

"No you don't! Just because you say it's so doesn't make it so. I was so scared on the way down here that I had to close my eyes."

"That's YOUR problem."

"Look out! You are SO close to this trailer-truck! So close that if the Queen was in it, I could reach out and high-five her!"

"Hey! Look! It's somebody's house."

"It's somebody's HALF a house!"

"It's a manufactured home."

"Great. We'll never get around it. Look how wide it is."

"We won't have to. We've got the light."

Well. We DID have the light, and got our turn before that Half-House. Unfortunately, up ahead of us was the other half!

"Oh, great. Now we're trapped."

The Pony popped off with his droll humor. "You could LITERALLY say that we're between houses right now."

Well done.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

The Pony Cannot Change His Spots

I see interesting things from my seat on the end of the marred coffee table every morning, while catching up on the innernets on my laptop HIPPIE, parked on a TV tray in front of the living room window. Like Tuesday, when my little Jack came romping across the yard, strutting stiff-legged, chest puffed out (actually that's a characteristic of heelers), with something in his mouth. Trailed by Copper Jack.

"Pony! Come look at this! WHAT has Jack got in his mouth? It's blue. I hope it's not a piece of one of Dad's themed sheds!"

Because, you know, we can't have Jack feasting on structures along Shackytown Boulevard until they're all gone.

"I'll go out and see what it is. Let me put some shoes on."

The Pony stepped out. Jack dropped his treasure, which was about the size of a roofing shingle, and charged at The Pony, dancing on his hind legs in excitement. The Pony patted him, then picked up the unknown chew-toy, held it aloft for me, and brought it up on the porch and SET IT ON THE METAL CHAIR IN FRONT OF THE WINDOW. He came back inside.

"He'll get that, you know. He can reach it. He'll just eat it some more."

"It looks like a piece of a plastic tub. It's blue."

"Oh, Dad DID mention something about Jack eating a whole storage tub, piece by piece."

"Yeah. It's not part of a shed."

"You can give him and Copper Jack a piece of that leftover pizza."

"No. I'm fine."

"I can't believe you! Jack was SO HAPPY for you to come out. And you can't even be bothered to toss him a treat."

Apparently, The Pony doesn't really care about helping people OR pets.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Water, Mother Nature's Scrub Brush

Remember that giant tree trunk that the county spent a lot of man-hours on, moving it from one side of the low water bridge to the other? Leaving those claw marks from the machinery that grabbed it? Here it was on December 5. 
 
 
It's been a constant on my drives to town. Always there. Until it wasn't.

We had a big rain Sunday night. The low water bridge was impossibly impassable for the whole day on Monday. The water level was 10-15 feet over the bridge. The county even came out with the yellow tape to block off the road. Not that we went that way. We can tell by the level of our own creek down by Mailbox Row when it would not be advantageous to attempt the regular route to town.

Tuesday, the flood had receded. I went the normal way, and found that tree gone!

 
Pardon my ratty masks. They're not blocking anything but a hard time from hard-core maskies. Anyhoo... you can see that there's no giant tree trunk in the creek. I even looked all the way down, as far as my eye and phone camera can see.
 
 
Nothing! That thing down there in the middle is not big enough. The water was up over those banks. Mother Nature sure can do some heavy lifting!

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

A Case Of 30-DAYja Vu

Perhaps you recall the concept of MO Money Monday. The day that Missouri Lottery releases new scratcher tickets. They don't list them online until after midnight on the Sunday night before Monday. Stores can put them out then. You can see a list of prizes that have been paid. So there are either people standing in convenience stores waiting to get the new tickets after midnight (I'm not THAT addicted), or else some naughty proprietors are selling them early, and the results get reported as the new tickets go online. Though how stores could get their new tickets early is BEYOOOOND me!

Anyhoo... I had looked up the new tickets (I AM up after midnight, you know). I told The Pony the next morning, and had plans to buy a couple while in town around 2:30.

REEEEEEEE!!!

There goes my vintage phonograph record again! Mrs. Hillbilly Mom plans, The Universe laughs. 

As I walked to the counter of the Gas Station Chicken Store, magical elixir in hand, I saw that the Man Owner was puttering around back there. A young guy walked in the door and stood back.
 
"You can go ahead."
 
"No. You go." He turned to use the bathrooms that are now open again.
 
The new guy waited on me. The ticket-holding counter was slid out from the glass case.

"Oh, do you have your new tickets?"

"Well. We DO. But Man Owner [he had since headed to the office in the back] brought out the wrong tickets."

"Oh. Well. I'll get some tomorrow. I don't want to make anybody wait."

The polite bathroom guy was out, waiting behind me. If he had only gone ahead, the new tickets might have been brought up front, and nobody would be waiting for me to complete my transaction.

This is the second month in a row that the tickets have been delayed. The Gas Station Chicken Store used to have them out before 10:30 a.m. So obviously their delivery person, a state employee, is getting them there late.

Sweet Gummi Mary! Is it too much to ask that we get the MO Money Monday tickets on MONDAY? I feel like Hillmomba is becoming a 4th world country!

Monday, January 25, 2021

Muffy And Mandy And Bitsy And Babs Probably Slip Him Double-Stuffed Watercress Sandwiches

Today I want to air a small complaint about Farmer H. I KNOW! Such a behavior is totally uncharacteristic for Mrs. HM. But just for this one day, I have a minor axe to grind. A mini axe. More of a tiny plastic sword used to skewer fruit in mixed drinks. 

I'm sure this peevishness is simply a result of 31 years 2 months of marriage cabin virus fever. But here goes:

FARMER H EATS FINGER FOODS LIKE A DAINTY DEBUTANTE!

What in the NOT-HEAVEN? He's a grown man. Overgrown. Rough around the edges. He's even been known to put his overalls on backwards, only noticing a problem when he couldn't buckle the straps. He puts his clipped toenails in my mixed-berry candle on the mantel! Pees off the front porch. Takes a dip in POOLIO in his tighty-whities, or even worse, NOTHING AT ALL! 

Yet when he is served a food suitable for finger-eating, Farmer H grasps it with his thumb and forefinger, and holds up his remaining three fingers. The sight HORRIFIES me! The optics are so very wrong. Like a hippopotamus in a tutu. A sumo wrestler in a bonnet. A maximum security prison with windows made out of that candy glass used in movies.

I was triggered on Sunday afternoon when I gave Farmer H one of my Dairy Queen soft pretzel sticks. Oh, how I wish I hadn't turned to see him debutanting it!

This is not a new behavior. Right after we were married, and used to go to a Chinese restaurant over in Bill-Paying Town, Farmer H would eat his chicken wings like that. THE HORROR! I have mentioned to him that it is not a good look. Farmer H is not pickin' up what I'm layin' down. He also eats his Casey's donuts like that, but at least he's usually enclosed in a vehicle when that happens.

I am facing Super Bowl Sunday with trepidation. Farmer H prefers an array of finger foods.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

My New Source Of Entertainment

Heh, heh! The mail these days is better than a sitcom. A NEW sitcom, anyway. Not better than the classics. 

Today (Saturday, Jan 23), Farmer H got his letter of permission from his insurance / medicare saying his shot in the neck was approved! The shot in the neck that he had on Tuesday, Jan 19. I guess it wasn't VITAL to his treatment. The date on the letter was Jan 7. So it only took two weeks to get here! I asked Farmer H if he thought I should save the letter.

"Nah. I'm pretty sure they'll send me another one for the second treatment."

Well. Good luck on getting THAT one before you get shot! I guess the office had an efficient gal who picked up the phone and verified Farmer H's eligibility. 

That's just the "B" story in our little real-life post office sitcom. The "A" story is even better!

When I got the mail out of EmBee's gaping metal mouth, I glanced through it. The AT&T bill. I think it's timely. I paid it around this time last month. What I'm really waiting on are the two electric bills. There was some junk mail wanting to sell Farmer H life insurance. Heh, heh! Don't tempt me! Something from our investment company. An official tax document. And an oversized dark-blue postcard that I assumed was an offer from a casino.

Nope. Not from a casino. It was a generic postcard with no special addressee, proclaiming that THE POST OFFICE IS HIRING! Heh, heh! My ribs grow sore from enjoying this sitcom. Farmer H has been spouting off quite frequently that The Pony should apply for state jobs and also a post office job! I couldn't wait to get home and show that to The Pony. I had to lead up to it though. You can lead The Pony to a post office flyer, but you can't make him apply.

"Oh. Pony. I have a scratcher for you. And I also have something else from the mail. I don't want you to take it the wrong way. It will probably make you mad..."

I took both to him, while he was sitting in Farmer H's chair, due to Cagney & Lacey recording on his TV between 3:00 and 4:00. I gave him the flyer first. The Pony snorted. Turned it over. Looking to see if it was addressed to him, I think. It was not.

"See? The post office IS hiring! It says rural carrier. That would actually be the perfect job for you. You get up and go sort your mail, then take it out on your route. You work alone. The faster you get done, the faster you're done! The rest of the day is yours. I was on that register. I guess you take the tests online these days. I had to go take it at Bill-Paying Town High School on Saturdays. I got several notices to call for an interview. I had two interviews about it. It's the merit system. The higher you score on the test, the higher you are on their list to interview. Veterans get 5 bonus points added to their ranking, I think. Anyway, it's a good job, with benefits. Something to do while you look for a career job that you want."

"I know, Mother. You don't have to keep telling me."

"I love you more than anything, Pony. But we're coming up on a year in May. Don't forget, I worked at CASEY'S for minimum wage. With a Master's Degree. A job is a job."

Not sure if The Pony was picking up what I was laying down. I told him to leave that flyer on the table by the TV remote. I hope Farmer H saw it! He's gone to the auction now, but I'll find out tomorrow.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

I'm Surprised He Hasn't Showed Up In A Sad Sarah McLachlan Song SPCA Commercial

Sweet Gummi Mary! You'd think we torture The Pony on a daily basis, twice on Saturdays! We rarely ask anything of him. Just to take out the trash, and pull the dumpster to the end of the driveway and back once a week. In return, he gets free rent, free food, free heat, free light, free internet, free DISH TV, free phone, a free scratcher every day, and an undisturbed two-hour-plus nightly soak in a big triangle tub with jets.

It's not like The Pony to complain. But sometimes his attitude evokes a response. Like Friday.

Farmer H called around noon, to ask if The Pony was up yet. Of course. He's up before me. Farmer H further inquired as to The Pony's cleanliness and wardrobe. "Is he dressed? Has he had a shower?" Yes. So Farmer H directed me to inform The Pony that his presence was requested at the Storage Unit Store to bear the burden of FREE food from The Ponytail Guy back to the Mansion. The Pony was less than thrilled with the task.

"Remember back in high school, when I told you, 'Things will never be any easier than they are right now.' Remember? Well, THEY ARE NOW! I don't know why you're sighing like that. Dad says he will load it. You don't even have to get out of the car. Just drive up there and back home, then carry it in. I don't know what you're SIGHING about! This will take 10 minutes there, and 10 minutes back."

"It's just that it's an extra trip. I'm already riding to town with you to get pizza."

"Oh, that's SO HARD! You have to sit in the car playing with your phone, walk in to get pizza from a drawer, then sit in the car and EAT PIZZA! Enjoy it while you can. Eventually you'll have to get a job and live on your own and WORK ALL DAY."
 
Yeah. I guess the day's agenda didn't look so bad then. After one last sigh, The Pony was off to town. He was in a fairly good mood on the pizza run. I don't think there will ever be a time from now on that his life is any easier!

Friday, January 22, 2021

Cookin' With The Pony

Equal time for The Pony! This one involves actual cooking. Okay, not so much cooking, as the final product. Every now and then The Pony will make his own meals. Usually when we're having something he's not crazy about, or when he doesn't want to wait until I start supper around 6:30. The Pony generally eats one meal a day. So I understand how he must be chomping at the bit for me to put food on the marred coffee table.

Anyhoo... The Pony bought some gnocchi at The Devil's Playground a while back. It was in a see-through plastic bag, vacuum-sealed. It has been on the back of FRIG II's middle shelf for months. I told The Pony that he might need to throw it out and get more. The Pony snickered at the thought, and said haughtily,

"Do you even KNOW the expiration date on it? My gnocchi is still good for MONTHS!"

Well. Good to know that it didn't expire in 2001...

Anyhoo... The Pony made his meal round 3:30 or 4:00, after I went down to my lair. He sent me a text afterwards.

"Did most of my dishes from the pasta. The pans might need washed again, but I think they're fine and just need to dry."

That was a good deed. The Pony only used two saucepans, a colander, a glass plate, and a knife, fork, and spoon. From the looks of his plate, I don't want to know the shape the other utensils were in before washing!


As you can see, PLATING is not The Pony's strong point. I thought he might have taken the picture before wiping off that sauce. Then I noticed that this picture is of the plate on the marred coffee table, not on the cutting block where plating occurred.

The Pony doesn't worry about portion control! I shudder to think that the plate was all pretty when he brought it in, but that some gnocchis tumbled off his fork, left a splash of sauce, and then bounced ONTO MY CARPET! I did not dare raise this question. IF it happened, maybe the melted wax on the carpet prevented a stain!

You can see The Pony's PowerBall and MegaMillions tickets. He did not win. Also, there's his living-room cinnamon. He leaves it there for when he wants to shake it on buttered bread or rolls. I think it's actually a container in which he's mixed cinnamon and sugar.

So... no actual cooking here, but a look at what The Pony feasts upon. He's pretty messy when he straps on the feedbag.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Cookin' With Genius

Genius got a late Christmas gift this week. Since I had it shipped there directly, I wasn't consciously tracking this gift until it arrived. I DID get a notice a day or two before that it had shipped. I meant to send Genius a text to tip him off, but I forgot. He was surprised.
 
"I got a package today addressed to Genius C. (Christmas) Hillbilly. At first I thought, 'I didn't order anything!' but then I saw the middle initial. Here's a picture of it."
 
 
Heh, heh! I thought that was appropriate for Genius. He can hang it over his bar. Or he might hide it away under the counter, and throw it in the wastebasket in a few days! Still. It seems like his view on whiskey.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

The Great Laundry-Room-Freezer Archaeological Dig Of '21

Farmer H got a bright idea Tuesday afternoon. The thing with his bright ideas is that they MUST be acted upon IMMEDIATELY, lest they grow dim within five minutes of his announcement. Farmer H roped The Pony into his bright idea, as a little beast of burden. Good thing The Pony has always shown an interest in archaeology. The bright idea was the excavation of the laundry room mini freezer.

Back when the kids were young, and I shopped at Aldi's and Save A Lot, we needed more room to stash our frozen foods. The side-by-side configuration of the Original FRIG did not lend itself to certain shapes, like pizzas, or boxes of french toast sticks or corn dogs or assorted kid-friendly items. The narrow confines were more suited to bagged items, no matter how the shelves were removed or rearranged.

Life was hectic back then. Farmer H decided on a little deep-freeze to keep in the laundry room right off the kitchen. It worked really well for a while, but the more we put in, the less likely we were to dig deep for items at the bottom. So we kept eating off the top, then replacing those foods. Once Genius went off to college in 2013, we didn't go through as much food. I didn't buy as much at a time, or store it in the laundry room. Sometimes clean clothes got put on top of the mini freezer. Lately Farmer H has had a stack of caps, and some of his auction candy on top. I haven't looked in that mini freezer in quite a while.

Farmer H mentioned last week that he was afraid the cold snap had made the BARn freezer section of the Original FRIG not work as well. He thought his five packs of FREE Ponytail Guy hot dogs felt like they were getting soft.

"We need to make sure the FREE food doesn't thaw out and go to waste. I think I'll clean out the laundry room freezer and put it in there."

I had no objections. He didn't say I would be helping him. At least he waited a few days, due to being busy with his Storage Unit Store. But Tuesday afternoon, the project commenced. The Pony was actually excited at the prospect.

"Oh, Mom. Do you want me to look for the oldest item in the mini freezer?"

"Sure. I know you'll break our current record. I haven't been in there in a LONG time!"

So while I was getting my lunch tray ready, The Pony would pop his head through the door into the kitchen, and hold up an item, or question its origins.

"I have NEVER seen anything like this before!" He said, showing me a box of white meat chicken on skewers. "It looks like something I might have liked."

"Yeah. Me too. That has to be since before Genius went off to college!"

"I couldn't find a date on it."

The BEST thing they found was a FRUITCAKE! It was a special fruticake, too, from my best old ex-teaching buddy Mabel. She used to give them to me for Christmas. It was in a round tin, from the monks at Assumption Abbey in the Missouri Ozarks. They are DELICIOUS! I was leery of this fruitcake. But it WAS near the top of the freezer. And Farmer H said that fruitcake never spoils!

"I don't know... the monks probably don't use preservatives. But it HAS been frozen all this time. And the plastic wrapper inside hasn't been opened. I might thaw it out and try a little... Maybe it's preserved with alcohol!"

I'll let you know how THAT adventure turns out.

Anyhoo... at the end of the excavation, with two trash bags full of frozen foods, The Pony said the OLDEST item was on the very bottom. As expected.

"Mom. It's Pizza Snacks."

"Oh, I remember those! We used to get them from the school fundraisers, when you guys were in elementary school. You both LOVED them! It's like a pizza crust with sauce and cheese, in strips you break apart, and a dipping sauce."

"Well. I don't think I would have been eating any of THIS one. The date on it is 2001."

"That's when we first moved into this house!" Said Farmer H, once again painfully oblivious to the space-time continuum.

"No. We moved in at the end of 1997. November. We lived here when The Pony was born, in February 1998."

"Oh. Close enough."

The Pony carried out all the food to the dumpster, to be picked up Wednesday morning. Farmer H drove the Gator over to the BARn to bring back the FREE Ponytail Guy food. He had it in three cardboard boxes, two of which he left on the front porch while he carried one in. Jack was sniffing around, but calls through the cracked-open door of "JACK!" kept him from nibbling.

The guys carried in the food to the cutting block, then chipped the giant icebergs off the side of the mini freezer, which they had left propped open for thawing. Those were tossed off the back porch, and the FREE foods installed in the mini freezer.

We're good to go. Now the FREE food is just a step away from the kitchen, and I can "shop" there with ease. Our next meal is going to be sausage patties, eggs, biscuits, and sausage gravy. After that it will be crumble sausage in sauce for spaghetti, of which we still have many boxes. Then I'm thinking some BBQ chicken with the boneless dark meat chicken.

I'm looking for a recipe for five packs of hot dogs.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Stop Me If You've Heard This One

Well, good luck stopping me! At least you can stop reading if I already told this one. I can't remember.
 
Back when we were having our packages mis-delivered, the one lady who actually drove to the Mansion and got out to hand over our package was taking a little time to get out of her JEEP. The Pony and I stood on the porch, calling to the dogs, thinking she was afraid. She wasn't. She just thought she had another package of ours, but it turned out to be with another driver.

Juno had come up on the porch with me like a good girl. Copper Jack stood in the front yard, barking his fool head off. The Pony had stepped down on Farmer H's rebuilt brick sidewalk, and was calling to Copper Jack to distract him. He's all bark.

Little Jack, such a friendly fellow, stayed over by the JEEP, prancing along beside that lady as she brought our package to the porch. As she walked, I heard her say to him,

"Look at you! You're SO FAT! Look at you!"

That kind of hurt my feelings! Little Jack is not portly! He's a half-wiener dog! Not a bratwurst! Of course he's not as streamlined as an actual dachshund. His heeler half is a stocky breed! Anyhoo... it's true that even I had mentioned to Farmer H that Jack looked like someone else had been feeding him.

"Jack looks like he just ate a full meal! Have you been giving him frozen cherry pies over at the BARn?"

Farmer H said he had not. But that the dogs had been feasting on leftover, discarded deer carcasses, since it was near the end of deer season, and some hunters only harvested the best parts and left the skin and bones on the ground.

Anyhoo... my point is that Jack was a little chubbier than he usually is. He's half HOUND, you know, and they will eat anything they can get in their mouth. I'm sure that delivery lady didn't mean anything by it, but I was sad for Jack. Who I'm sure did not mind at all!

Wait a minute! I hope that lady wasn't talking about ME!

Monday, January 18, 2021

Mrs. HM Always Wins

Farmer H is no match for Mrs. HM. He might THINK he's going to best her in a strong discussion, but he won't. He lets his guard down. He forgets what he was strongly discussing. Mrs. HM can talk him in circles, and prove her point.

Farmer H was going to have homemade beanie weenies for supper on Saturday. Something to be made before I left for town, and put in FRIG II for him to warm up before leaving for the auction. His instructions were simple. And repeated three times on Friday.

"Before you go up to your Storage Unit Store, bring over some of the Ponytail Guy's FREE food. Bring several packages of hot dogs, since you have so many. And a container of those chicken patties. I'll use them in my leftover Chinese, and The Pony can have a sandwich."

When I looked in FRIG II Saturday morning around 11:30, there was no Ponytail Guy food! Well. I guess Farmer H would not have beanie weenies after all.

When I got home from town, Farmer H was sitting at the kitchen table, drooling over his ledger, figuring his profits. I opened FRIG II to get olives for my lunch, and saw that Farmer H had put in ONE PACK of hot dogs, and a GIANT BAG of frozen patties. About 40 patties! Of indeterminate meat.

"Uh. I don't know what I'm supposed to do with all this meat! There's not room in the freezer over here. And last time you brought even HALF this amount, it MOLDED in the bag! When are we going to eat 40 patties? That aren't even chicken!"

"Them's chicken patties. The kind you like."

"No. They don't even look the same. They look like those sausage patties that we hated."

"That ain't sausage. It's got a coating."

"It doesn't have the cross-marks like the kind we hated. But it's sausage."

"HM. It's the chicken patties you wanted. I don't know why you're complaining."

Farmer H made a quick getaway to his recliner. I proceeded to move things around in FRIG II's freezer, find some gallon ziploc bags in the pantry, and commenced to sort out those patties for freezure. Muttering all the while.

"I don't know why you have to complain all the time!"

"Is it hurting you while you sit in there? I'm the one dealing with it, while I'd rather be getting my lunch ready. I thought you were bringing this before I left for town. I'm not making your beanie weenies now. You can have a TV dinner, or eat a hamburger at the auction."

"I'll be fine eating a hamburger at the auction!"

"Good! But I STILL have to deal with all these patties that nobody wants."

"It's the ONLY THING YOU HAVE TO DO ALL DAY, and you're complaining!"

"I don't see YOU taking it back or finding a way to save it! You were supposed to bring a lot of HOT DOGS, and a FEW chicken patties! You SAID they were chicken patties! The good ones!"

"That IS chicken patties! It says so on the bag!"

"It might SAY it's chicken, but it's sausage! Come in here and smell it! Sausage! I even see the red peppers in it! It doesn't look a thing like the chicken patties with the breading!"

Since Farmer H didn't come into the kitchen, I took a Chinese Tupperware container of the patties to his recliner.

"There! Smell that, and tell me it's chicken!"

"I don't want to smell it!"

"SMELL IT!"

I held that tray under Farmer H's nose. He had to breathe.

"Well?"

"I don't have any idea what kind of meat that is!"

"EXACTLY! Just like I told you! It's NOT CHICKEN PATTIES! You just admitted it!"

All it takes is time. Mrs. HM will always outlast and outwit Farmer H.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

The Fruits Of My Laborious Excursion

Since I went to so much trouble to get them, I might as well show you the beautiful stamps I endured so much to purchase on Thursday.
 
 
Sorry, the overhead fluorescents in my lair cast a shadow from my phone. There 12 stamps on the front, and 8 on the back. I think my favorite is the red barn. BOTH of them. And the snowy path between the snowy trees. As you can see, there are 10 different scenes, then they repeat. It cost $11 for the book of 20 stamps.
 
These will go on Genius's letters. The bills get the flags. Which cost the same.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Mrs. HM Got A Snootful

Thursday I went to the main post office over in Sis-Town to get stamps. They have taken down the sign on the door that said masks must be worn. They have also taken down the sign on the inside glass doors from lobby to desk area that said only two people at a time were allowed in.

I could see three men inside. One at the counter, one in line behind him, at a distance, and another distanced man, with a cane, whom I had followed from the parking area. I was going to wait on my side of the glass doors, but then I noticed the TWO PEOPLE sign was gone, and I also saw that one man was on his way out.
 
All the customers, as well as the clerk, were wearing masks. So I took my St. Louis Blues version out of my jacket pocket and strapped it on. I could play along for the time it would take to get stamps. Maybe there was a sign I had missed. It IS a federal facility, you know.

I stepped inside, and waited behind Caner, who was waiting for Packager to do his business. I swear. People who come to the post office with their item, ask which package would be best, then ask to get it ready right there at the counter! What is WITH those people???

PO Clerk at least asked Packager to stand aside. She even gave him a big roll of industrial tape (my tax dollars at work) to apply to his package, heh, heh. She motioned Caner forward.

Sweet Gummi Mary! I feel for Caner. I do. He was asking about a missing package. Said someone or something told him it was delivered, but it wasn't. That it said it was IN TRANSIT, at the main post office. Oh, my poor misguided Caner! That's the runaround! 

PO Clerk told him that she had no way of checking on where his package was. He kept insisting that it was blue. They told him the package was blue. That's a new on one me. PO Clerk told him that even if she brought up his tracking number on her very slow computer, it would only show her the parking lot out back. That he would just have to wait for it to arrive.

I can understand Caner's frustration. He was not an angry dude. Just baffled as to where his blue package might be. My gripe with Caner is that he lingered. PO Clerk had clearly told him she was sorry, but she had no way to find his package. Maybe he hasn't been out much. It was like a social event for him, chatting and soaking up her sympathy. If he kept that up much longer, I was going to need his cane!

But here's my REAL GRIPE! Yes. I often have more than one. My REAL GRIPE is with the woman who came in behind me, as soon as that first guy went out the door.

We shall call her SNIFFY.

I'm pretty sure that tells you what you need to know. I was vaguely aware of her entering. I'd caught her out of the corner of my eye as I went into the lobby, getting out of her car. She was maybe my age. No spring chicken. Not a doddering dowager. There was really no room for her inside, not to stay socially distanced. So there she was, creeping up on me, lest she have to stand against the glass doors.

I wasn't happy about her closeness, but I could deal with her for the time it took me to buy stamps. I turned my back, and leaned on a high table where people can fill out change of address forms.

"SNLUUUURRRRRP!"

SNIFFY WAS SNORTING HER SNOT UP INTO HER BRAIN!

Sorry. That is just nasty in these times. It wasn't a little sniffle, like if the cold air makes your nose drip when you go inside. It was snotty congestion being retrieved from thieving gravity. Who goes out while they're SICK these days? It's not like she was WORKING there!

I kind of shuddered. Heave a masked sigh. Halfway turned my head, but didn't look at her. Just showed her that I was aware of her shenanigans. She did that SNLUUUURRRRRP thing about forty-eleven more times while I waited!

When Caner started hobbling toward the glass doors, still while having his ME-TIME with PO Clerk, I turned to face the main counter, so Packager and Sniffy would know I was there waiting my turn, not filling out a change of address form. I saw out of the corner of my right eye that Sniffy was taking a mask out of her purse. Maybe she needed it to catch her unsniffed snot.

MY TURN! I asked for my two books of stamps. I got flags, and a tasteful set of winter scenes. Maybe I'll remember to get a picture of them. Anyhoo... my cost was $22.00. I didn't have a lot of cash on hand, so I planned to use the debit card. NOT because I don't want to handle filthy VIRUS cash. I think that card-reader is much filthier. Anyhoo... the card reader was attached to the counter, on the other side of the hanging plastic that supposedly saves the lives of the PO workers.

"Hey. How does this work? I can't see it through the plastic."

"Oh. You just slide your card in the bottom. It has the slot. That's actually a clear shower curtain, ha, ha. A $4 shower curtain, not Plexiglass."

"I can see it wavering around with the air currents."

"Yeah. It's not very see-through."

"If I was using it for a shower curtain, though, I'd be afraid it was TOO see-through!"

I wish I could have ripped that thing down and wrapped it around the head of Sniffy! As I made my getaway, I heard her say that she was only there to buy stamps! You can get stamps out an ATM, you know, at my bank with only three drive-thru lanes. No need to cram your diseased schnoz into an enclosed space with healthy schnozzes.

Friday, January 15, 2021

What The Mail Brings Me

Got it! Got the package that has been touring the midwest for many days! The package containing Farmer H's Christmas gift. It came the day after I wrote about it the second time. If only I'd known that a sure way to have a package delivered was to complain about its nondelivery! It came the very day that second complaint published.


Farmer H's fake gas pump was stuffed into that cardboard box like a sausage! Maybe because it came from CHINA! Not like Amazon, where they will use a box that size to ship a pack of TicTacs. Anyhoo... it was encased in bubble wrap, and cushioned between two slabs of Styrofoam.
 
 
The back is flat, to hang on a wall. The front opens like a door, to show the inside, with hooks to hang keys on. You can barely see, along the right side, the little fake gas nozzle and hose. Farmer H loves it! He will be hanging it in his Freight Container Garage. Which is better than building a themed shed for it.
 
Also in the mail, the very day after I paid the SilverRedO payment by phone at 1:00 a.m., I got another statement for SilverRedO! NOT a second notice. Just a second statement! It was the oddest thing ever. An exact copy of the original. All numbers and dates the same. There was no postmark. The envelopes had one of those boxes printed in the stamp area, saying something like prepaid mail
 
I wonder if that company was having trouble with their payments not being returned. WHY would they send out a second set of statements? Like I said, the original was 10-12 days later than usual. Farmer H said maybe they sent us another statement because they didn't get our payment. I think not, since the payment wasn't due until the 15th. This second statement is a mystery to me. First I don't get one, then I get TWO! On consecutive days.

The Pony's Strange Science book shows no signs of being shipped yet. And Farmer H has two more gifts out there somewhere. It's a full-time non-paying job to keep up with the USPS. 

Another USPS story tomorrow! About my visit to the main office over in Sis-Town.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Another Casualty Of The Slovenly Work Habits Of The USPS

You would think people who WANT to pay their bills on time should be allowed to do so! Is that too much to ask? To get a bill in a timely manner, slip a check into a return envelope, send it back the next day, and assume it will arrive before the due date two weeks in the future?

Apparently, that IS too much to ask!

We usually get the bill for SilverRedO on the 1st or 2nd day of the month. I understand that this was a holiday weekend for January. But still, I ASSumed it would arrive on the 4th or 5th. Nope. We got that bill on January 12th! And the due date is the 15th! No way is that payment going to make it on time.

So... once again, I'm at the mercy of the innernets! The bill said I could pay by phone, or pay online. I looked up the website, and discovered that I would have to make an account. No thank you! I don't need another internet account with a password to remember or write down next to my computer! 

The phone number said it was available 24/7/365. So I called around 1:00 a.m. I got an automated line. That figures. I expected as much. It gave me options to answer by using my words, or by poking in a number. I figured that eventually, I would have a chance to press a number to speak to a real live person. After all, the very beginning of the call said my conversation might be monitored.

Well! I never got a human! AND I was not offered the option to pay with my credit card, which Farmer H and I agreed upon, not wanting our bank account info out there. But no. My only choice was to use our checking account. Lucky for me, I have all that account information at my elbow, in the printouts of our past tax returns, since we take our refund by direct deposit.

One thing that comforts my frayed nerves is that the automated voice assured me that I was authorizing a ONE-TIME payment of [exact amount of the monthly bill]. So it was not switching me to paperless billing, and it was not charging me a processing fee.

Oh, and the automated voice told me that my payment would be withdrawn from my bank on Jan 13th, and that it might take TWO DAYS to show up as payment on my loan account. Which would be Jan 15th. The due date!

Heh, heh! That darn old USPS is even making it hard for me to pay on time by phone!

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Maybe My Package Will Arrive On Groundhog Day

Sweet Gummi Mary! I caught them in the act! Caught the USPS in the act of falsifying information! Heh, heh! Like they're gonna be worried about that!

They have CHANGED the TRACKING HISTORY ON MY PACKAGE!

You saw on yesterday's blog post the copy-and-pasted tracking history. NOW, at 12:24 a.m. on January 13, they tell a different story. Apparently, my package was not sent out at all on the night of Jan 11. Trying to paint me as a liar, I suppose! You can compare both by scrolling down to yesterday's blog. 

Below is the current FAIRY TALE about my package's travels:
 
***************************************************************
 
January 12, 2021, 8:36 pm
Departed USPS Regional Facility
SAINT LOUIS MO NETWORK DISTRIBUTION CENTER 
Your item departed our USPS facility in SAINT LOUIS MO NETWORK DISTRIBUTION CENTER on January 12, 2021 at 8:36 pm. The item is currently in transit to the destination.

January 12, 2021
In Transit to Next Facility

January 11, 2021, 7:13 pm
Arrived at USPS Regional Destination Facility
SAINT LOUIS MO NETWORK DISTRIBUTION CENTER 

January 8, 2021, 4:34 am
Departed USPS Regional Facility
PALATINE IL DISTRIBUTION CENTER  
 
**************************************************************
 
They still say it ARRIVED in St. Louis on January 11 at 7:13 p.m.. But it didn't really leave on Jan 11 at 7:32 p.m. It was apparently in transit while sitting still in that USPS Regional Facility! And now it has departed AGAIN, this time on Jan 12 at 8:36 p.m.

OR HAS IT? 
 
My package seems to be caught in a Groundhog Day (the Bill Murray movie) scenario.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Between There And Hillmomba Is Limbo

Surely you didn't think Farmer H's wayward Christmas gift would actually arrive yesterday as the original USPS Tracking Number had predicted. No siree, Bob! There was no package and no notice when we got home at 5:00. Sure, the notice had said it would be here by 9:00 p.m. But everybody knows that Hillmomba rolls up the sidewalks at 5:00.  
 
We had a brief glimmer of hope when playing a phone message, and the lady down the gravel road said she had a package for me. But the phone said the message was from "Wednesday," so we realized it was the old message about a different package, since we've never known the USPS to be ahead of schedule on anything.
 
At least I could get on the tracking website again. Here is the most recent history of Farmer H's gift. Remember to read from the bottom up for chronological order.
 
******************************************************************
 
January 11, 2021, 7:32 pm
Departed USPS Regional Destination Facility
SAINT LOUIS MO NETWORK DISTRIBUTION CENTER 
Your item departed our SAINT LOUIS MO NETWORK DISTRIBUTION CENTER destination facility on January 11, 2021 at 7:32 pm. The item is currently in transit to the destination.

January 11, 2021, 7:13 pm
Arrived at USPS Regional Destination Facility
SAINT LOUIS MO NETWORK DISTRIBUTION CENTER 

January 11, 2021
In Transit to Next Facility

January 8, 2021, 4:34 am
Departed USPS Regional Facility
PALATINE IL DISTRIBUTION CENTER   
 
*******************************************************************
 
So... it took three days to get from Illinois to Missouri. To ST. LOUIS, which is, for River's benefit, just across the RIVER from Illinois! Although Palatine is in Cook County, which is in or by Chicago. A drive of 4 hours and 39 minutes, according to my estranged BFF Google. 
 
Sweet Gummi Mary! It's half the distance from Hillmomba to Norman, Oklahoma! We could drive THAT in 9 hours! But Farmer H's gift took THREE DAYS for a 4 hour 39 minute drive. I guess it was strapped to the back of a Big Wheel, pedaled by a three-year-old, who had to stay out of traffic and take the back roads.
 
Who really knows where that package is now? Besides IN TRANSIT. I think it goes down to Casino Town, and then back up to the Sis-Town main post office. I hope keys and gas pumps are still remembered by the time Farmer H's gift arrives in the near or far future...

Monday, January 11, 2021

Tarry Christmas!

Supposedly the Strange Science book that The Pony didn't get for Christmas is on its way. I finally got a return email about it on Thursday. I think that was about 3-4 business days late for their response. But then again, the book itself is WAY later than that.
 
Farmer H also has a missing gift. Two, I think. Wouldn't you know it! One is touted to be delivered TODAY. Except today, we are at the casino. It's been three weeks since we last went. So the very day we chose is when this late gift is supposed to get here.
 
This is coming by USPS. So maybe it will be put in the lockboxes down by Mailbox Row. I think it will fit. It's a metal key-holder thingy that is shaped like an old gas pump. Just the kind of thing Farmer H will enjoy. He might even build a special themed shed for it! As I recall, it's 12-18 inches tall. That size box should fit. Even it somehow it gets delivered to the Mansion, I doubt the dogs could damage it. The box, yeah, it's chewable. But I don't think they'd eat the metal.
 
Well. That's assuming it would be delivered to OUR OWN MANSION!
 
Anyhoo... right now it's 1:15 a.m., and I'm trying to check the latest tracking information. But there's a slight problem. The USPS tracking website has a message in big red letters:
 
SORRY, WE'RE CURRENTLY EXPERIENCING TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES WITH OUR TRACKING APPLICATION. WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE WHILE WE WORK TO RESOLVE THE ISSUE. PLEASE CHECK BACK.
 
I'm not so sure they should be thanking me for my patience...

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Robbery Attempt At The Liquor Store: Ample-Rumpused Woman Makes Off With $105

Friday I stopped by the Gas Station Chicken Store for my 44 oz Diet Coke. I cashed in a $60 scratcher winner, and got some $3 scratchers for myself, a Bingo, Crossword, and Gold Mine. The Pony wanted one of the new $30 scratchers that came out on Monday, and five MegaMillions draw tickets. The jackpot was $480 million.
 
Since I'd bought my own new scratcher $60 winner there the day before, I did not get The Pony's ticket. I figure a loser would be ready if I bought again so soon. I had plans to go across the street to the Liquor Store for it, and to get myself more tickets, especially a PacMan that I can't find anywhere else these days. 
 
I stuffed my winning change into my shirt pocket, and headed over there. Let the record show that The Pony had given me $40 to cover the cost of his tickets. I had the two twenties right there in my shirt pocket, having used my winnings to pay for his draw tickets. I knew I would get it back when buying at the Liquor Store. I was going to spend exactly $40 there, after cashing in a couple more winners.

Lest you think this is a math problem, I will plainly list my ticket purchases after I handed the gal (the little FRIENDLY one, not the hateful hag) my two $5 winners.

$30 new ticket
$5 Crossword
$5 PacMan
$9 Bingo, Crossword, Gold Rush
$1 new ticket

See? That adds up to $50, but I was cashing in two winning $5 tickets. I owed $40 as planned.

While standing there, I was momentarily discombobulated by a PENNY under the counter. So I took a picture and fished it out. As the gal was tearing off my tickets, which I'd asked for by their numbers in the ticket case, I remembered that I forgot the $1 ticket. I don't usually buy them, but those $3 tickets make me come out uneven.

"Oh, and add on a number 24, since I have a dollar left. Might as well spend it all!"

The gal scanned the tickets, and pushed them across the counter to me.

"Yes, that's right. It's $40 even now."

"Okay! Thank you!"

I turned to leave. Had hobbled a couple steps, actually, when Little Gal said, not unkindly,

"I mean you OWE me $40."

SWEET GUMMI MARY! I was SO embarrassed! What am I, some kind of lottery novice? Of COURSE  I owed her! Scratchers aren't free!

"Oh! I'm sorry! Here!" I pulled the two folded twenties out of the front of my shirt pocket. I'd intended to do that all along. I had them ready! "I just cashed in a $60 winner over at the Gas Station Chicken Store--"
 
"Congratulations!"
 
"Thanks. I guess I was thinking, since I handed you those two winners, that I had covered it with my winners! Good thing you caught me before I made my getaway! Sorry about that."

"Oh, that's all right. You have a good day. Good luck!"

"Thanks!"

Well. I DID have good luck, despite trying to steal those tickets! The Pony won $50 on his new ticket, and I won $40 on my PacMan, and $15 on the three-dollar Crossword. We raked in $105 after spending $50 ($40 after deducting the winners I cashed in).

Yes. It was a good day for winning, but a black mark on the permanent record of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, who really does not have a long rap sheet, despite being Public Enemy #1.

Heh, heh! I doubt I could have made a clean getaway, since I travel slower than a Galapagos Tortoise riding on a snail's back. Little Gal or the customer behind me could have nabbed my ample rumpus before I got to the door. You'd have to be in a coma inside an iron lung to be outrun by Mrs. HM.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

My Head Is Tied In A Knot

I have a stalker. His name is G. Mail. Every week, he sends me an email, saying that I am bloated. Full to bursting. That for my own good, he is going to stop feeding me messages. Until I regurgitate, he may just starve me. Ain't THAT a fine kettle of fish? How do you like THEM apples? Me? Not very much.

I'm pretty sure that back when G. Mail was just a gleam in grade-school Genius's cornflower-blue eyes, ol' greedy G. Mail professed that he had NO LIMITS. That anybody was welcome to join him to email to their heart's content, without ever having to worry about storage space. That was one of the luring points. Just have somebody invite you to join G. Mail, and you were set for life.

I'm pretty sure G. Mail shares a branch on the family tree with those rental car companies who know how to TAKE a reservation, but don't know how to KEEP a reservation. And on his momma's side, he goes out on a limb with those mail-order companies who know how to TAKE and order, but not how to DELIVER an order. He's an Ind-- um... one of those givers who GIVES an item, but then TAKES IT BACK!

G. Mail says I have used 98 percent of my storage! Can you believe that? Why, all I use it for is sending an email every now and then, and receiving some from my ONE friend, or myself. Like maybe four or six pictures of pennies a week, for the past five years, and pictures of casino foods and slot machines, and let's not forget winning scratchers, and of course my special Jack and Sweet, Sweet Juno. How else could I get them off my phone and onto my blogs? I don't know HOW it's possible that my space is full!!!

Tonight I went through some old emails. Cut out about a thousand, give or take a couple hundred. I went from over 9000 to the low 8000s. And do you know what? That only reduced my hoggage from 98 percent to 96 percent! Of course, I didn't get to the penny years yet...

My brain is kind of fried. The Pony says getting rid of pictures should help. Help G. Mail to leave me alone, not help my fried brain. But that he doesn't think just deleting regular emails is that important, since he has over 20,000 unread emails on his account, and has never gotten such a notice. I think about 15,000 of them are probably from Farmer H, who says The Pony never responds to him...

Friday, January 8, 2021

Sometimes, Farmer H Treats Me Like A Mushroom

He feeds me bull and keeps me in the dark!
 
You know I have an affinity for country music. Mostly the older stuff, like 60s/70s/80s. Of course I had a lyric handy for my title for this topic. Travis Tritt's "Lord Have Mercy On the Working Man." Yeah, I changed a couple words. But it means the same thing.

Anyhoo... when I have to do certain chores for myself, I take shortcuts. Like if I need a box of Puffs With Lotion down in my dark basement lair, or another roll of toilet paper in the NASCAR bathroom, I drop it over the stair railing. The goal is to land it on Genius's old desk, which sits at the side of the stairs. 
 
It doesn't help that my old computer and keyboard are on top of that desk. Sometimes I get lucky, and the Puffs box will hit the keyboard, which absorbs much of the momentum as the keys compress and spring back. Ain't physics wonderful? Then the Puffs sit there and wait for me to come down and move them to my lair. If they miss the keyboard, they'll still wait for me. But with a caved-in corner, and perhaps on the floor.

The toilet paper is a bit trickier. If it doesn't land on its side, flattening out a bit as it absorbs its own momentum (again, ain't physics wonderful?), it will bounce off and ROLL across the dusty press-down tile, and wait for me to find it.

Last week, I dropped a roll of toilet paper. It did not land on its side. It also did not land on the keyboard or desk surface, but hit something else laying on the end of the desk. I was not sure what it was. I have The Pony carry things down for me. I knew I had a ream of paper sitting there, but I could still see it, and that's not where the TP landed. Something had been there, and now was gone. As best as I could remember, there had been a box of Roasted Garlic Triscuits sitting there in a Devil's Playground bag. I kept meaning to take them into my office, but since I still had an open box there, I hadn't.

The Pony trotted down the steps with my lunch tray.

"Oh, look out. Somewhere you'll find a roll of toilet paper that I dropped down there earlier. I didn't see where it went. And I think it knocked off that box of Triscuits."

The Pony returned.

"Um. I found the toilet paper and put it in the bathroom. That was NOT a box of Triscuits that it knocked off. It was a box of LIGHT BULBS!"

"Did they break?"

"I didn't check. I just set them back up there. I'm guessing maybe their packaging is made so they don't break?"

I remembered several months ago, when there was a light out, and I told Farmer H. He muttered something about fixing it. Then didn't. Then I asked again, and he admitted that he didn't have any light bulbs.

"There are BOXES of them on the shelf in your workshop by the furnace!"

"Them's just boxes. Empty."

Huh. Imagine that. But within a week, Farmer H had replaced my burned out light. So I guess he'd laid the box of light bulbs there on the desk, where he'd gotten one out to put in the light fixture. So I informed him of the toilet paper incident.

"Oh, I knocked your box of light bulbs off the desk when I dropped my toilet paper down the steps. I hope it didn't break them."

"I didn't put no light bulbs on the desk."

"Yes you did, when you finally put in a new one. You said you didn't have any, but then you somehow DID, because you put one it. I figured you must have bought some at Lowe's or Family Center."

"I didn't put no light bulbs on the desk. Maybe The Pony did."

"Um. No, Dad. You know I don't buy light bulbs."

EXACTLY! It's not as if The Pony would be putting in a light, which would first require figuring out what kind, driving to town, finding it in a store, buying it, and bringing it back home to where it was needed. Not without a legal decree, some cajoling, a bribe, and an ultimatum.

Farmer H has progressed from gaslighting to mushroom-farming. I refuse to be his mushroom!

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Scraping The Bottom Of The Big Triangle Tub

I'm running out of things to complain about! So I'll have to gripe about the lack of inspiration for two daily blog posts. I even reached out to The Pony. You KNOW how he purely loves to help people! He was on the way to run his bath in the big triangle tub when I sent him a text.
 
"Can't you do something paranormal or humorous that I can write about? I'm out of stories. The lack of a town trip today hurt me."
 
"K. I'll summon a demon in your bedroom."
 
"NO THANK YOU! I have Genius's Madonnas and childs to protect me."
 
"I saw someone at the Devil's Playground with like twelve bottles of rum in their cart, if that's good enough."
 
"Heh, heh! They must have gotten their stimulus money."
 
Good enough for me.  

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

The Pony Shall Rue The Day He Turned Up His Muzzle At The New Year's Day Black-Eyed Peas

If I was a more nimble women, I'd be doing my TOLD YOU SO dance right now. You know, the one made famous by Grace, on Will&Grace. Not a week has gone by yet, but Even Steven is letting The Pony know that he made a BIG mistake!

Tuesday, I brought home my scratchers and some Hardee's Chicken Tenders for The Pony. I always give him a charity ticket. Because I'm a GIVER like that. And UNLIKE The Pony.

Anyhoo... he took his chicken and honey mustard sauce to the living room before I even sorted out the tickets.

"OOPS! Good thing about honey mustard sauce: it wipes off easily. Off the table, and off my PowerBall ticket that's waiting for Wednesday. I don't know what happened! That packet just EXLPLODED! It's all cleaned up now, though. You can hardly tell."

"Well. At least it's not on the carpet like the CANDLE WAX you spilled. I've got a ticket for you, but you don't have much of a choice today. I got some for me for tomorrow, because I'm not going to town. And I got some for Genius's letter. So all you have is a Crossword. But you have a choice of the Gas Station Chicken Store, or the liquor store, or Country Mart's machine."

"Oh! I want the liquor store."

"Darn it! That's number 18. I had my eye on that one. It's the one I really wanted. But that's okay. There's a number 5 from the Gas Station Chicken Store. I guess that one's good, too."

The Pony scratched his Crossword. Double-checked it with the scanner app. Loser.

"Oh, well. I saved you from getting a loser, Mom."

"That's kind of you."

When I got to my lair, I set the tickets aside. I had some $3 tickets as well. I sorted them. Some for me on Wednesday. Some for me now. And a Crossword and two $3 tickets for Genius. I picked out Genius's first, so his could all come from a different store. By the time I got to the Crossword, I had to give him the one from the Gas Station Chicken Store. Oh, well. I put them in an envelope to await the letter.

I scratched my $3 tickets first. Won $10 on a Bingo ticket. Then I did my Crossword. Wow! I was excited to have four words! THEN I saw that I had FIVE words! In the top puzzle. And one of them had the moneybag symbol in it, which DOUBLES the win!
 
 
I won $50 on my $5 Crossword ticket!

When I looked at the number, it was 18. Maybe it was the 18 I'd had my eye on! Maybe not. All I know is that I really wanted that number 18 Crossword puzzle ticket, and The Pony and I BOTH ended up with a number 18 Crossword. Upon being informed of my win, he said, 

"I hope you didn't give me the WRONG TICKET!"

"Um. You ASKED for the liquor store ticket, and that's exactly what I gave you!"
 
 
Heh, heh. I always put initials on the back of the tickets, so I know where I got them. In case I have a good winner, I don't want to buy that kind of ticket there again for a while. That little action might have just saved me from a lawsuit from The Pony! Though for a win of only $50, I think he'll let it slide without contesting it.

I refrained from mentioning my Black-Eyed Pea Luck...

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

If You Go Down To The Creek Today...

... what you'll see is no surprise
If you go down to the creek today
You'll surely recognize

That ne'er-do-wells will never do well, this much is for certain
After the day the ne'er-do-wells have their picnic
 
 
Maybe it was just one ne'er-do-well, and a gang of teetotalers. But they were also ne'er-do-wells, because Do-Wells don't let their buddy Do-Wells get away with never doing well.


Maybe that's not even a beer bottle. Maybe it's one of those freaky root beer bottles made to look like a beer bottle. Because that's cool, right, to let kids look like they're drinking beer? Like the candy cigarettes from my childhood, with the tips colored red like a burning ember? Ah, good times, before we became such a crybaby wimp society!

Anyhoo... I can't imagine somebody sitting in their car parked beside our creek drinking a root beer and then throwing out the bottle. But I CAN imagine them imbibing an alcoholic beverage, and casting the empty out the window, for less evidence if they were stopped for a DUI.

Monday, January 4, 2021

Gee, Your Cake Tastes Delicious

The Pony made an Oreo Cake on Saturday. He used the mix and the frosting we had left over from the Christmas cakes, and from his apartment kitchen. So the frosting on THIS Oreo Cake was chocolate! I LOVE chocolate frosting. I won't eat an Oreo Cake with that too-sweet vanilla frosting.

Anyhoo... I had a piece on Sunday night, and it was delicious!

Okay. So The Pony was a bit sloppy with the frosting. Didn't change the taste! There were actually two kinds of chocolate frosting. He used one for the middle and top, and the other for the sides. He really made it so he could take a slice to his Second-Bestie, who drove down from the city for lunch. Not that she has a discerning palate. She's the one who ate a year-old cookie she found on the floor of his Nissan Rogue.
 
Not that there's anything wrong with that...