Wednesday, June 30, 2021

That Pain In Your Rumpus Just Might Be Mrs. HM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Rare Unicorn Sighting In Hillmomba

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, June 28, 2021

The Pony Sees The Light

I felt quite guilty Friday morning. When I awoke in my OPC (Old People Chair) around 11:00 a.m. and headed up the 13 rail-less stairs from the basement, my phone buzzed to signal an incoming text. What I saw chilled me to the bone. Okay. I was already chilled to the bone, having left the comfort of my heated OPC, and fleece blanket won at one of the Christmas Eve parties at the home of my sister the ex-ex mayor's wife. But still, it was a disconcerting text. From The Pony.

"I'm not sure I'll be able to make it to work. I woke up at 6 with a migraine, medicine hasn't helped in 45 minutes. I'm having trouble focusing my eyes and even moving around in the shower is making me feel sick. I really don't think it's safe for me to drive like this."

Sweet Gummi Mary! In The Pony's hour of need, I was not there for him! I would have been, if the text had come in on time. It was stamped 6:43 a.m. Darn my poor SPRINT reception! Sometimes I can get texts by my OPC. But I can't send them. I get the orange exclamation mark telling me to resend or delete.

Now it was 11:00 a.m. The Pony had left for work at 8:05. I know, because he came down a few steps to tell me goodbye. He didn't mention a migraine. And I fell back asleep in my toasty chair, having turned the heater on again. It's on a 15 minute timer.

Of course I sent a text to The Pony. I don't often do that. He's busy working. I figured he could check his phone on his bathroom break. 

"Is your head okay? That long text just came in."

Let the record show that The Pony is a writer. Each text is the next War and Peace.

"It was better by the time I left. Just nausea. I sent that text at 6:42 a.m."

Of course that didn't help my guilt, but I was glad to hear that The Pony ONLY had nausea. It was a bear of a day, too. So humid after a downpour, and actual tempersture in the 90s. But The Pony survived to tell the tale. On Sunday. THIS TALE:

"You know the other morning when I had my migraine? I had the light off in my bathroom, because it hurt my eyes. So I was taking my shower in the dark. And you know what? The shower drain GLOWED! Light came out of it! I don't even know how that works."

Well. At first I imagined it to be like that shaft of sunlight through the staff-topper of Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Then The Pony clarified that it was just a glow.

"Maybe it was coming through the pipes from another drain? Somewhere else in the house? With the light on. It couldn't be the NASCAR bathroom. Light was off. But the kitchen has the light we leave on."

"That's the only one. The sunlight wasn't coming in the house at that time, to reach any other drain."

The Pony looked around the basement when he carried down my magical elixir and bubba cups of ice.

"Hm. I don't see ANY light that's very bright, or close enough to that drain."

"I don't know. I'll have to ask your dad."

Of course Farmer H had the answer. 

"Well, yeah. Light can show through the pipe. It's not coming down THROUGH the pipe. It's coming in from the side. It's not very thick. It's that white PVC pipe. Light can go though. Like if you hold a flashlight up to your hand. Your hand is solid. But the light goes through, and makes that red glow."

I might even believe Farmer H's explanation this time...

Sunday, June 27, 2021

The Couch Is Left Holding The Bag

Of Holding. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

The Pony has been working an odd schedule ever since he started. Which is pretty much NOT a schedule, but a weekly list put up for all employees to check. A couple days, he was told he wasn't needed, less than an hour before his shift. Other weeks, his scheduled day off was shelved the day before, and he had to go in. He doesn't complain. He takes whatever they give him. Monday, he says he goes in at 3:30, for a half-day, because they think they'll have some LLVs back for him to drive one. Since The Pony and MAW (Middle-Aged Woman) started, three new employees have joined the force.

Anyhoo... The Pony mainly goes in at 9:00, and leaves whenever they run out of work for him. If he finishes his route, they send him to help others. He's fine with that, too. Last week, he had a couple of 11-hour days. But he was off Tuesday and Thursday. He's never had to work a Sunday yet. He says this office doesn't do that, although others do, to deliver Amazon packages.

Anyhoo... The Pony worked until after 8:30 on Friday night. He came home and tossed some frozen fish sticks in the oven, eschewed his nightly 2-hour big triangle tub soak for a rinse-off in his own shower while the fish sticks were baking, and went to bed.

Saturday morning, he walked down half of the 13 rail-less basement steps to tell me bye, as usual. It was 8:05. Nothing different from any other day.

Saturday evening, Farmer H hollered to me in the kitchen as I was putting the cherry and lime flavoring in my magical elixir.

"I'd like to know how your little Pony is delivering mail today, with his mail bag sitting here on the couch!"

"What? I guess they have extra. Like they use for training, before they give them each their own kit. Maybe an old leather one, like they used to carry. I'm sure it didn't keep him from working. And he's not the type to get up early and leave like he's working, if he had some secret mission to accomplish. He'd sleep in."

"If you say so. But there it is. I don't know why he brings it in. He oughta just leave it in his car."
"Maybe there's something he's afraid might get stolen, that he's responsible for. But I'm pretty sure they turn in their scanners at the end of the day. He might be missing stuff he had in it, though. Hand sanitizer or something."

When I went to sit on the short couch to devote 10 minutes to Now Is the Time We Talk About the Most Recent Things You've Done Wrong (unclear credit card charges with no receipt) before Farmer H left for the auction... I saw the bag.

"That's not The Pony's mail bag! That's his personal bag. The one he carries his laptop in. I gave it to him for Christmas a couple years ago. He was just talking about it yesterday. How much he loves that bag, because it was good for carrying all his stuff at college. It's called a Bag of Holding. I ordered it from ThinkGeek, back before they went out of business, or joined up with GameStop. That is NOT The Pony's mail bag."

Yeah. The Pony had his mail bag all along. It was his Bag of Holding that the long couch was holding. It's a gray, padded messenger bag with assorted (some-zippered) pockets, and a cross-body padded shoulder strap. Not a dark blue nylon mail bag with a flap and inside dividers.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

No Cottonmouth Chicken Salad For Mrs. HM

Remember the chicken salad sandwich I last had from Country Mart? The one so dry that using the term "salad" should have been grounds for a lawsuit due to violation of the Truth In Deli Product Nomenclature Law? Not that there is such a law, but I WISH!

Anyhoo... I made my own chicken salad at home. It was moist.

Of course, Country Mart still made a profit off of Mrs. HM. I bought some of their croissants. MY chicken salad was made with canned white meat chicken, because that's what I had on hand. It would be better with the boneless skinless chicken breasts cut up or shredded, but that's a project for another time, when I am ready to invest more effort. Also in my chicken salad is mayo, a dash of sugar ( I suspect Country Mart makes theirs with Miracle Whip), and some diced dill pickle. Country Mart uses celery, of which I am not a fan.

On the side, I had those delicious red grapes. I didn't cut them up into the chicken salad, because I like the pop of the grapes as I bite into them. My chicken salad lasted for four days' lunches, because I planned it that way to use all four croissants.

Yes. I would make mine again.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Can't Reach The Mailbox For The Trees

When Farmer H questioned why I parked over by the creek, on the wrong side of our gravel road, for him to get out and pick up the mail...

THIS is where he WANTED me to park:

That's the spot on the right side of the gravel road, where I park T-Hoe for ME to get out and walk across the blacktop road to get the mail. The perspective doesn't do it justice. Those trees are so close that the door will bang into them before it opens to the first notch. The ground is WOODS ground. Dead leaves and roots and uneven footing, sunken down from the gravel about a foot.

Of course Farmer H wanted me to park over there so he could get out for the mail. Because by parking across by the creek, in a logical spot for him to get the door open and have gravel under his feet... I was not letting him control me!

I should have moved over like he wanted. Except I don't want dents in T-Hoe's door.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Another Day Of Begrudged Servitude

I wish Farmer H would go back to his old ways of hanging out at his Storage Unit Store every waking moment. I don't know if his buddies up there have other things to do these days, or if the novelty has worn off. Farmer H is around the Mansion entirely too much. 

You know what THAT means, right? MORE WORK FOR MRS HM!

Wednesday, we had a tentative non-binding agreement to sit down at the kitchen table at 12:30, to fill out some online "paperwork" for one of Farmer H's ventures. We'd started it before, but he changed his mind a couple pages in. So... I started all over again. 

It's not exactly a collaboration when I work with Farmer H. I do all the work, while he sits across from me and reads me news items that pop up on his phone. I don't mind keeping up with current events, but when I'm on a website for the State of Missouri, reading their dry, dry instructions, and filling in info after looking up codes on assorted other sites... I can remain ignorant of worldly affairs for a couple hours.

Anyhoo... I must have been on about page four or five. They're not numbered. They just say SAVE AND CONTINUE at the bottom. But when I tried to continue, I got the PALE SCREEN OF PERPETUAL LOADING.

"Oh, no! We were only 38% done! Now it's just spinning. And it says, 'Please Do Not Press the Back Button or Refresh.' I don't know what to do!"

"Just let it go, I guess."

"We could be here all day! It's been FIVE MINUTES!"

After another couple of minutes, I got a weird screen talking about some kind of error, and possible IP something, or firewalls. I'd never seen a message quite like that page. It gave suggestions, like TRY AGAIN LATER. Not very helpful.

"I know! I'll check the IS IT DOWN website. AHA! The state website IS down! That's the problem! It's not us. WAIT A MINUTE! This says that website has been down FOR A WEEK! How do they expect people to do anything if their website is down? This is NOT a good thing! I guess we'll have to do everything all over again. Unless it locks you out when I try. There goes an hour of my life that I'll never get back!"
"I wish there was an office I could go to that would just let me do it there. I'd pay someone to do it. I'd drive all the way to Jeff City to do it. This here paper I got says they have an email. You could send them an email and ask about what to do with the website down."
"Seriously? Their website has been down for a WEEK, and you think they're going to answer emails? They don't care about reading emails. What are people gonna do if they don't answer? Send them ANOTHER email?"
Farmer H sometimes forgets that I'm an insider who has worked for a state agency. With that venture thwarted, Farmer H decided to do his laundry.
"Oh. I was going to do mine as I went to town."
"It will take you a while to get ready. I'll have mine out of the washer. Oh, and you need to drive me to Mick's to pick up my truck."
"Well, I'm not going to be ready until about 3:30."
"The time don't matter."
So off we went, Farmer H and me, his personal chauffeur. 
"Can you get the mail for me?"
"Yes. WAIT! Where are you going?"
"I'm parking here by the creek so you can get out and not be in the woods."
"I could get out over there if you park on the right side of the road."
"I don't think so. The Pony never could. The door won't even open against the trees. Unless I park in the MIDDLE of the gravel road, and block traffic BOTH ways. You can get out fine right here."
Sweet Gummi Mary! He'd argue with Helen Keller!
"Gosh, that sun is bright. I'd put on my sunglasses, but they're under my purse now that I had to set it on the console."
"Do you want me to get them for you?"
"NO! I don't want you messing around with my stuff. You already stepped on that spare straw I had laying there. I guess I won't be using it in an emergency if my shake straw collapses."
"Is there anything you don't complain about me doing?"
"No. I like it better when it's just me and my purse. And right now you're in Purse's seat."
I think tomorrow, I'll suggest that the lawn looks like it needs mowing...

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Quest For Phone

The Pony is PHONED-UP again! If you thought my tale of adding him to my Sprint account was exhausting (the PROCESS, people, NOT my tale!), then you might have slipped into a coma after enduring The Pony and Farmer H's Quest for Phone.
They left home at 3:30 a.m. Farmer H was released from his medical procedure at 9:30. By 9:40, The Pony had LOST the carefully handwritten user name, password, and PIN that I had given him on a 3x5 note card. So I had to text it to him. Not something you want floating around out there in the invisible electronical cloud juju record. But whatcha gonna do?
The Pony had done some research on the new phone he wanted. It was out of stock EVERYWHERE that I looked. Meaning the local store, the one Farmer H prefers near the city, and three stores within 2 miles of where Farmer H was having his procedure. The Pony found one slightly on the way home, that said IN STOCK.
The Sprint stores didn't open until 10:00. The Pony said they were going to get something to eat. I imagined a pancake house, or perhaps a McDonald's. Only later did I find out that they went to TED DREWES! So my blog buddy River can understand the magnitude of this revelation... that's a FROZEN CUSTARD stand! I guess it's not any worse for breakfast than what they usually eat...
Anyhoo... The Pony said the people at the Sprint store told him about that discount for trading in a repaired broken phone. AND they directed him to a store that did it RIGHT THEN. So he decided to take that deal, and he and Farmer H went BACK to the city, for phone repair. It took a couple hours. 
Then it was back to buy his new phone. Of course they had to load all his apps and contacts on the new one. Farmer H sent a text that it was taking FOREVER. At 2:00, The Pony estimated that they might be home by 4:00. But at 4:00, it was only 33% done. Farmer H had wanted Chinese buffet on the way home, but he was famished. I guess TED DREWES doesn't stick to the ribs.
They left the phone and went to RED LOBSTER to eat. When they went back, the phone had barely transferred any more. So the  people stopped it, and started it again. My eyes glazed over here, but they got all the contacts. Not the apps or the messages that The Pony had hoped to keep.

He got a screen protector and a case. He said he remembered to set his wake-up alarm. Then he took a two-hour soak in the big triangle tub. I'm sure he's exhausted, yet elated.

Now I will wait for the bill to arrive, to see what scams Sprint is trying to pull this time. I have The Pony's receipts and contract that were emailed to me (MY account, you know!). So I WILL be comparing. That trade-in $500 discount better show up! They said the only way to get it was to pay for the phone monthly, and not buy it outright. I think it's easier to hide their scam charges that way...

I really hate getting a new phone. Even when I'm not paying, and I don't have to learn how to use it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Who Ya Gonna Call? Phone's Busted!

The Pony had a mishap at work on Monday. So sad. He'd been looking forward to Monday, he said, because,  
"The temperature is only going to be in the SEVENTIES! Even if it rains, I won't mind. I don't care about getting wet. It's just the heat."

Before noon, I had a text from The Pony:

"Not a good day. Phone fell onto gravel, several big cracks. Touch screen is a bit unreliable now. Back to work."

Ten minutes later, The Pony asked me to consult Genius, our no-longer-resident phone guru, on what model replacement would be best. Genius says he's out of the android loop, so just an updated version of The Pony's Samsung Galaxy should be sufficient.

THEN commenced the quest to procure a phone for The Pony. Nothing is ever easy around the Mansion. The Pony had scheduled Tuesday off, in case Farmer H needed him to drive to a medical procedure at 5:15 a.m. The Veteran had said for weeks that he would do it, but just in case, Farmer H planned ahead. So The Pony figured he'd go get a new phone on Tuesday.

However... the only names on the account are HM and Farmer H. Sprint is a real rumpus about letting people buy phones without being on the account. Even if people plan to buy the phone outright, and not be billed monthly. So I put in a call to see if I could add The Pony, since I didn't know if he would go to the store over in Bill-Paying Town, or the one near the city.

Of course all representatives were busy helping other customers. I could stay on the line for 5 minutes OR MORE to get a rep. Or I could hang up and have my place in line saved, and the first available rep would call me. Nope. I know how THAT goes. They DON'T call, and then I'd have to call back again, with a new place in the queue, and start over. So I stayed on the line, and in 15 minutes I got a rep.

She was very polite, and enunciated clearly, but I had trouble understanding her Asian accent. I'm not good at hearing directions anyway. I'm better at reading them myself. So her slightly different pronunciations, and different emphasis on different syllables, and different cadence of speaking, made me stop and ask her to repeat. It was going okay until she said she needed my password and user name and PIN. 

Every time I deal with the Sprint account, I have to reset the password. It's a pain in the rumpus. Besides, Genius last used it to take himself off our account. We switch between three different passwords, but I didn't know which one he had it under. Didn't really matter, because if I was going online for the account, I'd have to reset anyway.

This Gal said when she picked up that she saw I was calling from my phone. Which I WAS. It worked in the house! I'm sure that's because I held my head to the side for those 15 minutes of wait, not daring to move and lose the connection. So I didn't understand WHY she said she couldn't do anything else until she had those three things.

"Well, then I might as well hang up. Because I DON'T have them here. No. I can't go get them. We are done, because even though I answered the security question on the account, and have given you other information about the three phones and users on it, that's not enough. So I'll just go along with my son to buy his phone."

"I am trying to complete this addition to your account."

"I know that. But I don't have the information you say you have to have. So there's no point in continuing."

"I will try another way. I'm going to send you a security number on the phone you say you are using."

"You already said you could SEE I was using that phone. But okay. Am I going to have to read it to you?"

"Yes. That's the point."

"Well, good luck to me on not cutting you off. I'm not good at switching from a call to doing other stuff, and then finding the call again."

SWEET GUMMI MARY! I only was able to do that because I saw the little phone receiver symbol at the top of my phone screen, and pulled it down to resume the call. Because I tried going back into the phone part, and couldn't do it.

Anyhoo... she had to send me THREE confirmation numbers! For user, password, and PIN. Even though I had given her all but one symbol on my user name, and had provided five of the six correct numbers of my PIN, heh, heh. I guess being CLOSE isn't good enough. I know that's the corporate policy. I'm not mad at THIS GAL. Just tired of the hoop jumping. You might recall that when we tried to buy The Pony a phone down in Norman, Oklahoma, that Sprint locked me out of my own account and said it was attempted fraud!

Anyhoo... she SAYS we got The Pony added to the account. She kept telling me to make note of the items for future reference, and to give them to The Pony to get into the account. Duh. I'm NOT an idiot! I told her I had written them down, which seemed to throw her off. I guess I was supposed to find some magical way to store them in my phone!

Anyhoo... as you might have surmised from further up the page, The Pony is indeed arising at 3:00 a.m. to leave at 3:30 to drive Farmer H to his medical procedure. I'm pretty sure there's a Sprint store between here and there, so he can stop on the way home and get a phone.

We had a protection plan, but you know how that goes. You have to send off the phone, and The Pony cannot be without his phone, because without his own route, he's in constant communication with his manager, being sent to and fro to help with other routes. I figure he can get a phone, and then send off the broken one for fixing or replacement, and have a spare always ready. Or switch back to it if he doesn't like the new one. Anyhoo... this one is on HIS dime.

The Pony showed me his broken phone. It's not just a cracked screen, but three craters in the glass, along the edge.Sometimes the bottom half of the screen goes white. It's not going to be just a replacement of the glass.

I will be glad when this is over. The Pony will probably be glad to go back to a normal day of work.

Monday, June 21, 2021

The Pony Gets A Little Horsey

That's what my dad used to call it when kids were on the verge of being disrespectful to adults. Not me, of course! I must have heard him talking to my sister the little future ex-ex-mayor's wife! Anyhoo... The Pony was feeling his oats and kicking up his heels Sunday night, as we were preparing a deep dish Chef Boyardee pizza for supper.
I was parched, having just returned late from my town trip (more on that in the future and elsewhere), and now at 5:30 I was putting off my lupper and magical elixir until supper and dishes were done. The Pony has a collection of two-liter bottles of soda dregs left from his Little Caesars feasts. I have cut back on my bottled Diet Coke, but wanted a cup of soda. The SUGAR variety favored by The Pony.
"Which do you want? The Pepsi? Or how about the Dr. Pepper. It's the newest."
"Yeah. I'll have some Dr. Pepper."
I took a red Solo cup and handed it across the cutting block for The Pony to add ice.
"Ask your dad if he wants some of his Wild Turkey before supper. Hey! Do we still have all those packages and packages of Solo cups you told me not to buy? I don't know WHY YOU PEOPLE have to leave a whole package on the cutting block, with only three cups left in it!"
"To be fair, Mother, I am not the one using the Solo cups. It's YOU and DAD with your DRINKS! Everyone knows that I drink my wine out of the BOTTLE!"

The Pony went to the pantry to look for the hoard of Solo cups.

"Huh. I don't know where they all went. But here's a pack with... uh... ONLY THREE CUPS in it!"

"So THERE, I was right! That's what you get for being horsey!"

Guess I'll put them on the next Devil's Playground list for The Pony. Then he can chastise HIMSELF for buying extra Solo cups when he finds the rest.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

We're Practically Family, Right?

Friday I stopped to pick up the mail on my way to town. Wouldn't you know it? There was my DISH bill. On the 18th. Due the 25th. I figured that if I mailed it THAT DAY, there was a chance it might arrive on time. 
Of course, it WAS a Friday, and after the time the mail goes out at 11:00 or 11:30, depending which post office. I decided to drive it over to Sis-Town, to the main post office. That would save me a day, or FOREVER, since the AT&T bill I mailed at the dead mouse smelling post office two months ago STILL has not cleared the bank.

I wrote out my check and stuffed it in the enclosed envelope. Sweet Gummi Mary! I did NOT have a stamp! Even more annoying, I'd just bought 4 BOOKS of stamps on Monday! But they were on the kitchen counter. I was not wanting to turn around and drive back up the potholed gravel road, expending another 15-20 minutes by the time I parked and hobbled up the steps and re-petted the fleabags.

Off I went to town. I had a dollar in my pocket to pay for a single 55-cent stamp. It would have to be a stamp. None of that pressing the postage on it with a hand stamp. The return envelope had a message in the stamp area about paperless billing. How dare they!!!

There was only one guy ahead of me at the main post office. But he had an oblong box that he was jawing about. He had ordered something that wasn't right, and needed to send it back. Meanwhile, the new one he ordered was on the way. According to him, he had a couple thousand dollars in the mail until the matter was resolved. Not that I was eavesdropping, or even wanted to know. It's not an interesting tale. I think he was trying to impress the new counter girl, who is no spring chicken, but maybe a mid-summer chicken.

Anyhoo... he could have been filling out the label she gave him with the marker she gave him, rather than chatting like he was on a first date. Counter Girl was waiting for him to shut up so she could ask him the address, to type in for another label she was printing out with postage on it. I bear him no ill will. He seemed like a pleasant enough fellow. Although inefficient. He might have been miffed at ME for horning in on his pick-up spiel. 

Anyhoo... Counter Girl motioned me to the counter after telling him he could shift over to the side for room to do his label-writing.

"I can help you while he's doing that."

"Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hold up the line."

"That's okay. I don't have anywhere I have to be." [Even though it was already going on 4:00, and I wanted to get home and eat some ham salad for my lupper. It's not HIS fault that I sleep until 11:30, then play Candy Crush until my lives run out.] "I just need one stamp, to mail my bill."

"That is just as important as anyone else's business!"

"Well, I'm not sure I need the royal treatment for a 55-cent stamp!"

"All transactions and all customers are equally important!"

She was the gal who had the TRAINEE notice posted the other day when I bought the stamps. I described her to The Pony.

"Short blond hair. A bob. Almost shoulder length. Not real young or real old. But more young than old."

"That describes about a dozen of the women who work there, but if she was training, she's probably the one I went to orientation with. I guess SHE really listened to the part about customer service!"

Yeah. I guess she did. She was very polite. Then again, maybe she saw the name on the return address, and realizes we're practically FAMILY.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Fortune Smiles Upon The Pony, While Saving Grimaces For Mrs. HM

While I can't get a reasonably accurate fast food meal served to me, The Pony might as well be seated on a throne above the dining area, with silver service and a white linen tablecloth, perhaps a nine-branch filigree candelabra, and eager waitresses coming in on their day off just to fan him with palm fronds.

The Pony stopped by Wok N Roll, our newest Chinese restaurant, this week when he was released early from work. It's in the same building as the old Chinese restaurant that The Pony sorely missed, since it closed while he was away at college.

There are only four tables for dining in. Most of their business is carry-out. They have a drive-thru, just like the old one, but the wait is sometimes 30 minutes. You can call ahead. The Pony didn't mind waiting. He was taking a load off his hot hooves. He brought home his leftovers for me to try.

"It's garlic chicken. There's a little bit of meat left. I don't like the big chunks of broccoli and green peppers, or the mushrooms. And there's rice." 

Indeed there was!

The Pony must have also ordered a family serving of crab rangoon, because it looks like he hardly ate anything but the chicken. He's not a dainty feeder. This was delicious! A little greasy on the fried rice, but I usually get mine with white rice, so it might have been normal. There were also big hunks of pork in the fried rice.

The restaurant has a website and Facebook page with a menu somewhere. From reading the comments, it seems like they are not a chain, just family-owned. They are closed on Sundays now, to prep for the week ahead. I guess it takes a lot of chopping for those vegetables! Although the carrots looked like standard Chinese meal carrots, so they might buy them in bulk. The broccoli, though, WAS quite large, and I assume hand-cut.

Anyhoo... not only did I enjoy the Pony's leavings with gusto, but I am in love with the container! Now I have new Chinese Tupperware! It came with a clear lid. Not flat, but raised-up. So maybe The Pony DID have a lot of food in that bowl.

We've already told Farmer H he will be picking up food for us there. He says he's an order-and-wait kind of guy. No call ahead and drive-thru for him! He only recently started asking Casey's to make our pizza for later pickup. We know how THAT turned out...

Friday, June 18, 2021

Sometimes, I Like A Little Ice Cream In My Chocolate Shake

I really should be a secret shopper. I have so many experiences worthy of tattling on incompetent employees. And you'd think I'd become a familiar face, so those employees (if still employed) would mind their Ps and Qs when I rolled up.

Thursday errand day, which means Burger King! I made the same order I always make.

"I can take your order when you're ready."

"I'll have a #1...

I paused, because when I tell them the order straight off, they have to interrupt me to ask me the things I've just told them. They don't listen. But THIS time, she (sounded like the dumb girl The Pony and I had problems with before) remained mute.

"...with no cheese, no lettuce. Make it a large. And with a Diet Coke, no ice. And also a chocolate shake."

She was slow putting it on the screen. It looked okay. But she was slow putting up the shake. Then she said dismissively, 

"That will be $14.07 at the first window."

"Uh... that's... did you add the shake?"


"That's not what it usually is... but oh, well..."

I drove around, thinking that maybe prices had gone up. They're exorbitantly high already, but prices of everything are going up. There were four cars ahead of me. Two had already paid, waiting on the food window. Moving slow.

When it was my turn, a red-headed stringbean boy, who looked like The Shermanator in that naughty movie American Pie, repeated the order:

"You had the Whopper with cheese, no lettuce--"

"No. WITHOUT CHEESE! No cheese. I come here every week, and something always gets messed up."

"NO cheese?"

"Yes. NO CHEESE. I know you' didn't TAKE the order, but I'd just like to get it right."

He turned and told somebody, and I heard that girl's voice say, "No cheese?" Then he recalculated my order to the usual $13.53. I pulled forward, and another stringbean with dark hair handed me my soda.

"Diet Coke, no ice."

"Thank you."

Then he handed me THIS SHAKE:

SWEET GUMMI MARY! Did I order a "Dollop of ice cream, fill it with chocolate syrup, shoot some whipped topping on it?" I think not. I ordered a CHOCOLATE SHAKE. Which implies a homogeneous mixture of ice cream and flavoring. Blended.

"Huh. Maybe you could have MIXED IT?"

That was a rhetorical question. Not intended to be, but he had closed the window on me. So I posed it for a picture. When he returned with my food, he said, "Thank you. Have a nice day." Which was a plus, at least.

At first I thought maybe they had mixed the shake like that as retaliation. But it was so melty, I figure it was already made, and waiting, before I paid. Gotta say, my Whopper was the most delicious one in a long time. Just the right amount of mayo, four pickle slices, two tomato slices, and enough rings of onion. 

I'm hoping there wasn't some kind of "special sauce" added after my complaint...

Thursday, June 17, 2021

If The Fine How-Do-You-Do Gets Any Finer, I'll Be In Carolina In The Morning

The fine how-do-you-do ain't what it used to be. It's even WORSE!

When I left for town on Wednesday, Farmer H was gone to get a haircut, and The Pony was in his room. He got off work at noon, because the acting supervisor didn't have anywhere to send him. I guess that's a good thing. They have two new workers since last week, and they're probably getting all the practice now.

Anyhoo... with The Pony at home, digesting his Garlic Chicken lunch from the newest Chinese restaurant in Hillmomba, I felt comfortable leaving the kitchen door unlocked. I did my town business, and returned within an hour. I hobbled up the steps, purse on my right arm, 44 oz Diet Coke in my right hand, grasping the rail for safety. All the while chatting with the dogs.

"Hey, Juno. Where's my buddy! There he comes! I don't see Copper Jack. Do you guys want PIE? Want some PIE! Don't look at me like that. Pie is a TREAT! You want a TREAT!"

The wagging of their tails said YES.

Farmer H said he was done with his apple pie that I'd baked last week. The one from the Ponytail Guy. Of course I told him to set it on the counter, but he left it taking up a third of the space on FRIG II's top shelf. So I told The Pony to set it out before I left for town. Not because I care about my dogs eating cold apple pie, but to make it easy for me to reach, right by the door.

Anyhoo... Juno slunk into her house to await her TREAT like a moray eel lurking in a rocky alcove to dart out for food. Jack was underfoot, wagging his whole chubby body that really does not need apple pie. 


I almost broke my wrist trying to turn the doorknob. It was LOCKED! Of course I had a few things to say about this as I tried to reach down in my purse to find the key, and manipulate the assorted keys on my key ring to get the house key, which is identical to another key which I don't know the purpose of. Maybe it's the OLD house key. Farmer H switches out doorknobs like he switches lanes on the highway. Too often, and without thought of the inconvenience it causes others.
"WHO LOCKED ME OUT? This is ridiculous! HELLOOOOO! Where is everybody? WHY am I locked out of my own house?"

I finally got inside, and brought out the pie pan, to flick fair shares to all three dogs, Copper Jack having made a fashionably late entrance.
"Don't throw nothin' on my head! I'm down here!"
Oh, come on. It's not like I was pushing pie through the porch cracks. I went to the rail and saw Farmer H in his straw hat, the kind you might see on somebody's old mule, pulling the lawnmower out from under the porch.
"Why am I locked out of my own house?"
"I don't know."
"When I left for town, I left this door unlocked. So I didn't have my keys in hand. I don't know how this door got locked in the time I was gone."
"I don't know how you got locked out."
"The Pony seems to be still in his room. The TV is off. Did you come in here?"
"Yeah. I got back from town. I came in and come down to the basement to come out and get the lawnmower."
"So YOU locked the door?"
"I don't know."
"How can you NOT KNOW? Either you did, or you didn't."
"When I came in, I thought you were already home, and down in your office."
"So you DID lock the door."
"I guess so. I didn't plan to come back out, and I thought you were inside."
"Why didn't you just SAY YOU LOCKED THE DOOR? That's all I wanted to know!"
It's like living in Crazy Town. Or The Village Of Perpetual Liars.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Yesterday's Chicken Salad Sandwich

This is not a code word for something. A euphemism. I am literally talking about yesterday's Chicken Salad Sandwich. Lest you think I might be exaggerating, I have decided to provide you with photographic evidence. Pics or it didn't happen, as Genius is so wont to decree.

Of course I can't show you a picture of yesterday's Chicken Salad Sandwich. It is currently undergoing the process of digestion. But I DO have a picture of its deli-case mate. They have the same packaging date and expiration date. 

Here is the packaging of my new was-favorite lunch. Lupper. Eaten between the normal hours of lunch and supper.

It's all fogged-up, having traveled from FRIG II to my lair. It is 2 croissants with chicken salad, on a bed of romaine lettuce leaves. I started to eat the lettuce one day, but saw DIRT on the leaf! I wiped off the bottom of my croissant thoroughly. What else would you have me do? I'm not a raccoon, ready to scrub it in a creek!

The label says Chicken Salad On Croissant 580 Calories. The label is from the chain that took over Country Mart, but it will always be Country Mart to me.

I've opened up my tasty "sammich," as Farmer H says, to show you what I was talking about.

That is the driest Chicken Salad I've ever seen! It's like random pieces of chicken, on a croissant, with a tiny bit of chopped celery, and an afterthought of mayo. There are two of the purple grapes that came in the container. The red grapes are ones I bought at Save A Lot. They're delicious! So crisp and snappy when you bite into them.

I'm sure you would agree that this "Chicken Salad" is a travesty! Though let the record show that I ate every crumb...

Here is something quite disturbing that I only noticed on yesterday's Chicken Salad Sandwich. Can you see what I saw? It involves the packaging. Take a guess. I will reveal the facts in the paragraph after the paragraph below the picture:

Just your standard deli container. Plastic. Snap open and shut. A clear top to see what's inside. A label with a bar code listing the ingredients and the expiration date. Do you have an idea?

Give up? Or awaiting your VALidation? You may think that the label doesn't show the dates. Oh, it DOES. But you have to flip the package upside down to see that part. As the cashier has to flip it upside down to scan it. I don't particularly like having my sandwich flipped upside down. But THAT'S NOT THE PROBLEM. It's A problem. Nope. The most disturbing thing about the package is:


The side that opens does NOT have a label to keep people from flipping the lid and TAMPERING with the sandwich! The label is on the wrong side. A hundred people could have picked up my sandwich, and fondled it, licked it, sneezed on it, poisoned it, or rubbed their rumpus on it!!!

I did not notice this fact until I was done eating the first sandwich. When I went upstairs, I looked at the second one, and the label was the same. Of course I didn't drive it back to town for a refund. You know me! 

However... if the labels are like this next time, I'm going to bring it to the attention of the deli worker, or the service desk. Not that they'll do anything about it. They might slap on another label after the fact. But maybe they'll pay attention to it next time.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

It's An Epidemic!

An epidemic of POOR SERVICE! The Service Industry might need to change its name to the Take Your Chances Industry. Maybe you'll get what you asked for. Maybe you won't. Mrs. HM is not the only customer affected!

Farmer H went halfway to the city on Monday. Up around where he used to work. He stopped by White Castle on the way home, for lunch. If you've never had a White Castle burger, my take on them is that they're the original slider. Not just for their size. For their GREASINESS! Of course that's what makes them delicious to me! That grease forming a jelly-like layer between the square burger with holes in it, and the little square bun. Then there's the fried diced onions that also soak up grease from the griddle. Mmm! Genius isn't allowed to eat them if he's going to be in the Mansion. His digestive system has a toxic way of processing these "Belly Bombers."

Anyhoo... Farmer H gave away his secret White Castle visit by COMPLAINING! 

"I ordered 4 White Castles with cheese, onion rings, and a Diet Coke with no ice. I got 4 White Castles with cheese, FRIES, and a Diet Coke WITH ICE!"

"Well, did you go in and complain about it?"

"No. I was already down the highway when I noticed."

I'm guessing there was also at least one other dissatisfied customer! Probably got the orders switched. Or else they were just as competent as the workers I encounter. 

Another thing! I have been enjoying the Country Mart deli chicken salad sandwich lately. It's chicken salad on a croissant, served on a leaf of romaine lettuce, with four green grapes on the side. It's delicious! At least the first two that I had.

The next week, I also bought two chicken salad sandwiches, and they were swimming in mayo! I mean actually swimming! The watery mayo had sloshed over the edge of their lettuce raft. Oh, I still ate them! Even though the green grapes had been left out of one container, and substituted by two purple grapes in the other.

THIS week, I again bought two chicken salad sandwiches. I've only eaten one so far, but it was the opposite of the last ones. DRY! Like some random chicken pieces stirred with diced celery and a few dill pickle particles. Not even enough mayo to stick them together! Barely enough to give them a white color. Goldilocks would've had a heyday if she was their secret shopper, or quality control technician.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Someone's In The Kitchen With Pony, Someone's In The Kitchen I Know-O-O-O, Someone's In The Kitchen With Pony, Not-Bringing-Up A Rumpushole!

The Pony was in the kitchen preparing his daily meal when I returned home from town on Saturday. I'd bought some tender little tortillas, the 4.5 inch street taco size. He was stir-frying some frozen fajita chicken.

"Oh, I thought you'd microwave that, so you could cut it into cubes."

"I don't have to. I cut it in the pan."

"That's my non-stick pan!"

"Not with a knife. I just jab it with the side of the metal spatula."

"As if the Teflon knows the difference..."

"I'm mixing up my sauce in one of your ramekins."

"That's what they're for. Am I going to have a respiratory attack again from the chile oil?"


"I can really smell it, but my eyes aren't watering this time."

"Mmm...look at my chicken. Doesn't it look good?"

"I don't want that pan under my face! Put it back! It DOES smell good. Here. I might as well wash up YOUR CEREAL BOWL from yesterday morning, that's been living in the sink. Dad says that HE eats his cereal in a disposable bowl, and why can't you?"

"I don't know. I like a real bowl."

"I know that you're in a hurry to go to work, but it would take 15 seconds to rinse out your bowl. That's all it needs. You JUST ate out of it. Rinsing will clean it."

"Well, there was a ring of cinnamon around the edge."

"Again. Hold it under running water, and wipe your finger around the edge. It's CLEAN!"


"As long as I'm washing your dish, and all the silverware you and Dad go through in a day, I might as well do that pan now, too. Instead of you leaving it in the sink."

"I wash my pan."

"Well. Yes. ONLY  your pan. But I'll do it. I've got the water ready. I'll leave it so you can wash your ramekin after you're done eating the sauce."

"Yeah. I'll wipe out what's left, and put it in the water."

"And wash it."

"I said I'll put it in the water!"

"I know. And WASH it."


"YOU'RE the one using it. I AM leaving you the sudsy water. It will take 15 seconds with the sponge."


Seriously? Am I a maid? I had done everything for The Pony except stand behind him and hold his hands in mine (but not in a Demi Moore/Patrick Swayze inappropriate way like the movie GHOST) and help him wash the ramekin.

He wasn't even being a smart-rumpus about it. He seemed to think he was entitled to my servantdom. The Pony has a little too much of Farmer H in him sometimes.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

If There IS Such A Thing As Bad Pizza

Farmer H picked up Casey's pizza on Friday night. They have a special this month: buy one, get one half off. We really like their pizza, but it's kind of pricey. Of course there's a couple pounds of cheese on it, and they don't skimp on toppings, and the crust is tasty. So it's an investment we're willing to make.
Usually, we just get a one-topping pizza. But with this special, and The Pony declaring he didn't really want any, we went all out. Farmer H got himself the MEAT version. All meats. He got me the SUPREME. I usually can't have it, because Farmer H doesn't like green peppers. And he can't get the MEAT, because I don't like pepperoni. But he will tell them to leave it off my SUPREME.
Anyhoo... Farmer H ordered the pizzas Friday morning, before he went to his Storage Unit Store. He said he'd pick them up at 5:00. But when he got to Casey's, they didn't have our pizzas. The guy who took the order had written them down for pickup at 5:45. Because, you know, it's too much to expect anybody to perform such a task correctly.
Anyhoo... Farmer H came home with the pizzas. He hollered down to my lair. I was finishing up losing all my lives at Candy Crush, and then I went upstairs. Farmer H was in his recliner, done eating.
"That is the worst pizza I ever got from Casey's!"
"Oh, no! What's wrong with it?"
"Yours might be okay. But mine was almost raw on the bottom. It's like they didn't cook it long enough. I couldn't even pick it up to eat it. I had to use a fork!"
We are NOT floppy-pizza people. None of that New York folding for us! We like a sturdy pizza that holds its shape, to eat with one hand. Not have to support the triangle tip with the other hand.
"Well, I hope they left the pepperoni off mine!"
"They didn't. But I picked it off."
"How did you do THAT? Casey's always puts the meat under the cheese. Next to the crust. That's why I have such a hard time with pepperoni. I can't just pick it off, like on other pizzas."
"Well, they put it on top. The rest is under the cheese. I picked it off and ate it."
"Great. I'll still have all the greasy pepperoni juice. I hate that. Pepperoni is too spicy."
Anyhoo... when I looked at MY pizza, it didn't look too bad. But when The Pony came home and was sniffing around, I offered him a piece."
"You can have some of Dad's MEAT pizza. He says it's the worst one he ever got from Casey's. Or you are welcome to have some of mine, but I know you don't like anything but cheese on yours."

"Well. I think I'll just have this piece right here..."

The Pony took the first slice out of my SUPREME. A thin slice. Casey's is not very consistent in their slice sizes. One might be three times the size of another. In picking it up, the bottom crust sagged down, and the toppings (middlings?) slid out. Mostly.

"Ooh. Maybe you should have used two hands."

"No. This is actually better. Here. Give me a spoon."

The Pony flipped the cheese part over, and used the spoon to scrape the sausage, onion, green pepper, and whatever else was there onto the top of the next piece of pizza. The black olives were embedded in the cheese.

"Now I can have my cheese and crust, and you can have double stuff on top!"

Anyhoo... my bottom crust was also kind of undone. The Pony likes a doughy crust, but I prefer mine to be actually baked. Oh, it didn't keep me from eating it! We'll be having pizza for a few days. Here's a picture of Farmer H's MEAT pizza:

Can you even SEE a bottom crust? It doesn't look very appetizing on the cardboard box soaked with MEAT juices. But the taste was fine, according to Farmer H.

Here's my SUPREME:

A little more crustage is evident. And not so much grease.

Anyhoo... my point (and I do have one) is that once again, you can't trust any employee to do a job RIGHT, much less WELL.

Farmer H needs to lay off the shed-building, and get my proposed handbasket factory up and running. Also, I'm a little bit suspicious of why the pepperoni was on TOP of my pizza that was supposed to be without pepperoni. It wasn't on top of Farmer H's MEAT pizza. I have a theory that Farmer H TOLD them to put the pepperoni on top. Not only does he like pepperoni, but he's a miser. When he'd order our Subway sandwiches, when I wanted NO CHEESE, he'd say, "Put the cheese from that one on MY sandwich." And they did!

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Summer Is Coming, The Pony's Losing Fat, Won't You Please Put Some Mittens On Your Danged Old Cat

49 days in. That's how long The Pony has been employed, working out his 90-day probationary period. How time flies when you're working 10-11 hours a day, walking 9-13 miles each and every one. It's not like The Pony had any fat to lose. He wasn't spindly, but he wasn't chunky.

Anyhoo... you may recall that The Pony injured his wrist one Saturday, carrying an awkward heavy package. The wrist seems to be okay now, after a few days of wearing a brace on it. At least The Pony doesn't mention it hurting now. However...


I don't think he reported it to management. But he DID send me a text before starting home:

"Clocked out. I'm gonna go get Steak N Shake. Also, I got scratched by a cat."

Please, everyone. Get out your teeny-tiny violins, and assist me in serenading The Pony at his pity party. He showed me the wound on Friday evening. It was on the fingerprint part of the pinky finger on his right hand. In the middle, about half the length of that finger joint. Starting to scab over.

"You won't believe how much a little cut on the finger can bleed! And how much you use your little finger for! It was dripping a globule of blood for quite a while. I had to be careful. During training, much emphasis was placed on NOT GETTING BLOOD ON THE MAIL!"

As a daily aspirin-taker, and a frequent finger-slicer, I DO believe how much a finger cut can bleed, and I know how much you use a finger. I did NOT know the Blood-Mail Rule.

"How did THAT happen? Did you try to pet a cat?"

"No. It was through a mail slot. I knew there was a white cat in there. But I have to push the mail way in, so it will clear the flap on the slot, to fall down. 
He got me."

I don't want to think about The Pony's first dog encounter...

Friday, June 11, 2021

In His Day, He Was HOT

It's the end of an era. Time to say goodbye to an old friend. His warmth will be sorely missed. Sorely. 


I can't remember life in my lair without my under-desk heater. He's been with me since all four fluorescent lights were working. Since the tile was not crumbling. Since there was room to walk through here, without old teaching accoutrements boxed up. Since my little tiny Pony sat at the gray desk in the corner, listening to the CD of learning Arabic that he'd requested for Christmas. (Tell me I'm not on a watch list!)

HEATIE had some health problems over the past couple years, but he always pulled through after bouts of choking. Now he cannot be revived. I only get a click when I try to turn him on. Do you know what Farmer H said when he heard the news?


That's not very nice. Farmer H has always had a problem with HEATIE. Going so far as to say how much HEATIE must cost us on the electric bill! When Farmer H builds themed sheds, Freight Container Garages, and spends hundreds of dollars trying to purify POOLIO's Squirrel Carcass Gumbo water every summer, only to take maybe 5 swims in him!

I am missing HEATIE every day. My knees miss him more.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

It's A MINE Field Around Here

Perhaps I've mentioned how Farmer H thinks everything belongs to him. And some things belong SOLELY to him. The Pony and I, however, cannot lay claim to personal items. They are community property. Like the milk The Pony bought for his morning cereal, a kind Farmer H doesn't like, but took offense to being "appreciated" in advance for not using it. But Farmer H has the blog off today.

"Pony. Every morning, I find a smudge on my glasses that I've left on the counter. Do you pick them up when you get your lottery ticket?"

"No. I don't have to touch the glasses, although you put my ticket on their case."

"It wouldn't surprise me if Dad is putting on my glasses to look at something! He's always over here using my counter."

"Technically, it's not YOUR counter."

"Yes it is! It's the place I always use, and then I find crumbs and grease spots on it."

"We don't really have ANOTHER counter."

"Yes we do. By the sink. And there's the whole cutting block. I don't know why Dad... AND you, feel the need to use my specific area."

"Meh. It's just convenient."

"And then I let you use my pen, I've told you where to find it, I don't MIND you using it, but you put it back all closed up!"

"Oh. You want me to leave it clicked out? I thought that was only the purple pen in the side of your purse, and not the black pen from your checkbook."

"I want them BOTH left clicked out. I hate grabbing my pen to write something, and it won't right because it's clicked in."

"Okay. I'll leave it clicked out."

"Just leave it the way you find it."

Simple, right? Simple instructions to understand. You may recall that The Pony needed to use New Delly on Tuesday night. He fell asleep, but came down Wednesday morning. I don't mind him using New Delly. I had made the copies he needed (two sets, 9 pages per set), and left them on my desk beside the mouse, with my ink pen in case he wanted to fill them out there while waiting for his typed-in document to print.

It's not a special ink pen. I've had it for at least five years, maybe ten. I used it for addressing Genius's envelope for his weekly letter, and to write on the back of my scratchers how much they won.

Yet when I entered my lair later that afternoon, my pen (I'd call him PENNY, but that seems wrong) did not look like he does in his posed picture.


I don't mean to go all Nancy Kerrigan, but WHYYYYYYY? Why does Not-Penny need the cap on to rest on the edge of a stack of past years' tax folders? When I want a pen, I don't want to use two hands to make it write-ready. I want to pick it up and write with it. What could go wrong by leaving the cap off? Is Not-Penny going to skate around marking up my desk and papers while left alone, uncapped? I don't think so.

Isn't it common courtesy to leave things as you found them? And not foist your peccadilloes on someone else's rightful possessions?

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Farmer H Serves Up A Poop-Poop Platter For Breakfast

I wish I had something good to report. But sadly, I fall into the same category as THE NEWS, and there's nothing pleasant here. This has been one of my worst days since I started retirement! Which, in the grand scheme of things, isn't all that bad. Farmer H, decree-er of all opinions of every person everywhere, said it WASN'T my worst day. Because apparently, he determines what I feel.

The morning started at 12:30 p.m., when Farmer H barged through the kitchen door with a handful of papers for me to deal with. Not only to fill out "because you like to do it in your neat handwriting," but also to use to find links on HIPPIE to print out stuff and file stuff. I think Farmer H does not understand that a link printed on a piece of paper can't be followed. Especially when the link looks like this Certificate of Something, without an URL.

I spent 45 minutes searching, and filling in info online, only to have Farmer H to say, "Hold off on that. I may not want to do it." And furthermore instructed me to print out that certificate for him later, when I found the website. But when I did, at 10:15 p.m., it turns out Farmer H can't get such a certificate until he fills out the stuff he told me to delete this morning at 12:55 p.m.
I tried to call the hospital about a message that only said, "Please call us." No name or reason. I was put on hold with bad music, so hung up after two minutes, because that's a long distance call accruing charges! I tried on my cell phone, and got put on hold twice more, but my cell phone cut the connection, because everybody knows Mrs. HM can't make a call from her own home.

The house phone rang with a message for Farmer H to call HIS doctor to schedule a test. I hit the SPEAKER button to hear what it was about, but apparently that shuts off the recording of a message. Good thing I wrote down the number as she said it. I texted Farmer H about it, and he CAME BACK IN THE MANSION to make his call, even though he did it on his cell phone, which allowed him to keep a connection. Probably just out of spite to ME, sitting there at the kitchen table where he plopped down.

Anyhoo... I wrote out checks for medical bills for The Pony and Farmer H, and went to the main post office to mail them, stopping on the way at Orb K for scratchers. Except Orb K had orange cones and orange caution tape roping off their whole front sidewalk and part of the parking area. Other cars had parked by them, sticking out into the drive, and I could have, too, but I didn't see a way to get in the door! The whole sidewalk was blocked off, with a guy in an orange vest standing by it, I suppose to tackle people who tried, or perhaps just taking a smoke break.

I left Orb K in a fit of pique, deciding to stop by the School-Turn Casey's. On the lake road there, I got behind a white pickup truck going 15 mph. The speed limit there is 45. There was something in small print on the tailgate near the bumper. I guess it was telling me why the truck went slow, but it was too small for me to read without tailgating. Too bad the car that flew up behind me wasn't behind that truck, because HE could have read it for me. He must have been going 90 when he came up on me. So close that I couldn't see the whole hood of his car, just the windshield, in my rearview mirror. I don't know where he thought I was going, with a truck in front of me. I know he saw it, because he whipped out twice like he was going to pass, but didn't.
Speedy veered off once we hit School-Turn Town. But the weekly semi truck of supplies was parked across all the parking spaces in front of the Casey's, with their metal rolly-bar conveyor thingy blocking the doors. So I went on to the post office, then to the Sis Town Casey's. Where a construction company truck had backed into my preferred parking spot next to the ramp, and another car beside it, with the two drivers shooting the bull and not customerizing. So I had to park at the end, and actually STEP UP and DOWN to get to the sidewalk. Oh, the horror!
I picked up Burger King and a chocolate shake to drown my sorrows. Aside from a long wait, that interaction was fairly benign.

On the way home, I had to wait at the low-water bridge, because a 4-wheeler was parked on it talking to a car that was parked on it, next to a guy and gal fishing off the side. Since obviously that bridge was built as a recreation area and not a meant of traversing a waterway.
I saw Farmer H on his Gator at the BARn as I passed. But by the time I was on the porch giving the dogs their French bread treat, he was under the porch in the act of getting out the lawnmower. Because he can't spend a freakin' second not being WHERE I AM. 

I finally sat down in my lair with my first food of the day at 4:45 p.m. (not counting the chocolate shake at 4:00). Only to realize that I'd forgotten my ketchup for the fries! Good thing I had three packets laying there from a time they had tossed them in my bag before the great condiment shortage of '21. I also had a little black plastic ramekin (4, actually) from when the Dairy Queen incompetents have two stuck together when handing out the queso cheese sauce with pretzels. So I squeezed the ketchup in there for dipping.

I guess that's the good news. How dare I feel like I had a bad day.

But wait. Right after I ate, The Pony texted that he was leaving work, and he'd be emailing me some forms he needed printed, and also that he'd need to walk me through another site on New Delly, because it required filling in info before printing.

It's 10:41 p.m. as I type this, and he hasn't come down to my lair yet...

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Let's Add A Washboard To That World's Smallest Violin

The pity party rages on! The world's smallest violin will now be accompanied by a concert washboardist. Like every cowboy sings a sad, sad song... Mrs. HM finds another meal gone wrong.

I asked The Pony to pick me up a sandwich at the Devil's Playground on his Sunday shopping trip. He sent a text that they were out of my favorite, Roast Beef and Cheddar, and my second favorite, Ham and Cheese. But he could get the last Chicken Bacon Ranch. I concurred.

It was a realllllly LOOOOOOOONG sandwich! A normal person might have cut it into 4 servings. I had every intention of making it 3. But when I picked up my Pioneer Woman ceramic knife, my hand chopped that sammich in 2 pieces!

I never just eat the sandwich as-is. I take it apart and redistribute the meat and cheese. I don't want one side of my sandwich to have a thick layer of meat, while the other is mostly bread. I am not a bread fan. I'm an anti-breadite. Not some weirdo who would eat a Whopper served between lettuce leaves, rather than on a bun. But I DO peel out most of the bread. I save it for the next day's dog treats. That sandwich is virtually HEALTH FOOD by the time I'm done with it! ;)

Anyhoo... it's a good thing I'm so persnickety about my sandwich composition. When I was pulling the meat apart to put half on each side of the sandwich, I found an unwanted surprise!


I've not seen these dividers in meat before, only in cheeses. Those chicken slices were folded together as if they came right out of a package. I had to peel them apart. 
I'm glad I DID!

I'm pretty sure The Devil is trying to kill me...

Monday, June 7, 2021

Welcome Back My Friends, To The World's-Smallest-Violin-Serenaded Pity Party That Never Ends

I keep hearing my second-best old ex-teaching buddy Karen's mocking sing-song voice in my head. "When will she E-E-E-VER learn?" Right before she'd snatch all my Rold Gold pretzel sticks acting as poker chips off the table and into her haystack-sized pile. Now, the pretzels are again mocking me.

Of course I can't stay away from Dairy Queen's soft pretzels. I wish I knew how to quit them. Okay. I'm not trying very hard. I KNOW they might be burned. Might be of substandard length. But they're SO GOOD! And they only cost $4.33 in combination with two chicken strips. Yeah, yeah. I KNOW the chicken strips might be of substandard length, and superstandard breading. But they're PRETTY GOOD with the honey mustard sauce, which I usually have a bit left in the container, for my own hard pretzel sticks later in the evening. (Nobody is going to win my pretzel sticks in a poker game these days!)

Anyhoo... I went to the DQ drive-thru. And was NOT satisfied with my experience. You didn't see that one coming, DID you?

I pulled to the window with my money ready. A TEEN GUY was leaning on his elbows on the stainless steel counter inside the sliding window. Like he barely had the energy to stay conscious. The minute he slid open the window, a hand darted out holding my bag. It was a tiny bag compared to what I usually get, but I never know exactly what shenanigans to expect from that place. Sometimes I get a giant bag, that I could put over my head like the Unknown Comic.

Anyhoo... the hand was yanked back into the dark recesses of the drive-thru bay by its attached girlish arm. TEEN GUY then put his own arms out the window to hand me my change. I though he was gonna give me the two-hand bereavement handshake. It was like he wanted to cup one hand under mine while depositing my coins. Maybe he's had to drag himself outside one too many times for dropped change, and he was being cautious. Or maybe he is so used to people paying with cards that he was afraid of those metal disks that trickled from his fingers.

Anyhoo... when I got home and ripped open my tiny bag, I was HOT TO TROT! And not in a good way. 


They had given me GRAVY! A styrofoam, lidded container of GRAVY. Seriously, people. HONEY MUSTARD and GRAVY have only TWO LETTERS IN COMMON! They don't even sound alike! 

AND... the gravy container was jammed into my soft pretzels! They were flat! As well as burned, and tiny. But the chicken! It couldn't even peek over the side of the cardboard coffin that it comes in! Two bready nuggets. Without even honey mustard sauce to drench them with.

Yes, I know you're tired of telling me to complain. You don't have to tell me again. It's pretty obvious by now that I'm not going to risk body fluids in my next purchase. But I WILL snidely say, peeking into the bag next time, while holding up the line: "Just checking to make sure I have my HONEY MUSTARD, and not GRAVY, like you gave me last time."

The food itself was not even my major issue this time. It was the  behavior of the workers. TEEN GUY has no idea what it's like to REALLY work for a living! He's standing in an air-conditioned building, with a tiny window he can close, and walk away, if a customer gets "horsey" with him, as my dad used to say. TEEN GUY isn't sweating over the grill, or over-frying chicken strips, or waiting on customers over the counter where they can see him clearly and expect a smile. It's not like he's walking the streets for 11 hours a day, in the heat or rain.

I'm pretty sure it would have killed either TEEN GUY, or THE ARM, to say "Thank You."