Saturday, July 31, 2021

Making Use Of The $7.98 Lettuce

Remember when I got charged double for my package of shredded lettuce at Country Mart? I'm sure you do, hanging onto every precious word I type for you. Even if it was on my not-so-secret blog. Of course I couldn't let that shredded lettuce go to waste! I used it to make Farmer H pulled-pork nachos. He likes them so much at the casino. And the ones I made at home might cost just a tiny bit less. Even with $7.99 lettuce!

I didn't get a picture of Farmer H's meal, but I DID get a picture of mine, which I made a couple days later. We don't like our chips on the bottom of the nachos. Is that wrong? Nobody wants a soggy chip. So I make all the layers, but leave out the chips, which we have on the side, to dig into the topping.

It looks kind of festive on that left-over party plate, don't you think? It's a small plate. Smaller than a regular paper plate, but bigger than a dessert plate. It's a just-right plate. Goldilocks could be their spokeswoman. 

Anyhoo... there's a layer of shredded lettuce on the bottom, with a sprinkle of shredded cheese. I think I used the "Mexican Blend" instead of plain sharp cheddar. Not sure what's in it, but it has yellow cheddar and some lighter color cheese. Maybe colby. On top of that cheese is the pulled pork, heated, of course, to melt the cheese. On top of the pulled pork is another layer of shredded cheese. Then some sour cream, and those black olives that I paid 98 CENTS a can for. So disappointing! They were like black olive crumbs, not slices. Doesn't really matter in these nachos.

This dish will be served again. Only The Pony is not a fan.

Friday, July 30, 2021

City Sidewalks, Killer Sidewalks, Give A CCA Fear... But In The Air There's A Feeling Of CASTmas

Thursday morning dawned early, at 9:25 for Mrs. HM. The Pony needed assistance to wash his thick curly Samson hair in the kitchen sink, where he propelled himself on his rolly chair. He and Farmer H left at 10:20 for the appointment with the orthopedic surgeon. The Pony had filled out the new patient forms that Farmer H brought home, and had two separate forms for his worker's comp claim that needed completion by the doctor. He also had his disk with the ankle x-ray.

The appointment was at 11:00. The Pony had said he would give me an update as soon as they were out. Noon rolled around, and still no news. I grew apprehensive. What if something was wrong with that ankle? Besides just being broken. What if there was an issue with the paperwork, which still listed the RIGHT ankle, instead of the broken LEFT ankle?

At 12:11, I got a text:

"In a walking boot. 6 to 8 weeks of it, and 10-12 total weeks before I can work."

"Good for the boot! Why so long?"

"That's normal, from what they said. It's because the broken part is where ligaments all connect. They don't want me twisting or bending the foot in a way that could pull them around."

"So the delay didn't hurt it?"

"Not according to them, no. But they did put in their report that treatment was delayed."

"Not even light duty?"

"Nope. They didn't put it on the form. They just checked the NO box on return to work."

"Okay. I'm relieved, but sorry it will take so long. Did you take form to the PO?"
"Yes. Copies saved on my phone. And the doctor's office said they were sending it, too."

The Pony DOES miss going to work. He said he told the union rep he finally had seen the specialist, and she asked, "Can you send me the form? LOL." So he did. There should be no shortage of that form making its way to someone who will know what to do with it.

Here's a view of The Pony's ankle, after taking off the splint that had been on it for two weeks:

The doctor said that the bruising often shows up on the leg, because of having the ankle elevated. The Pony said most breaks like this are like a vertical crack at the end of the fibula, but that his is more of a horizontal crack. He can have the walking boot, because the fibula is not weight-bearing.

Here's the walking boot. Picture taken while cranked back in the recliner, sticking the leg up in the air. That gray bubble is for pumping up the boot, for compression to make the ankle feel better and not swell. There's a valve below it to press for releasing the air. It has to be deflated before taking it off. The Pony can take it off to shower, or while he's sitting around with his ankle propped up. Right now he is still using his crutches, not putting full weight on it, because it hurts. He has another appointment in three weeks.

Farmer H and The Pony celebrated by feasting at Steak N Shake. And then going to Culver's for a chocolate malt and an ice cream cone. The Pony brought home about 1/3 of his malt, and put it in the freezer, later bequeathing it to me. Mmm.

This is the best day I've had in the past two weeks. The Pony, too!

Thursday, July 29, 2021

It's Like CASTmas Eve!

Sweet Gummi Mary! I can hardly sleep! It's the night before CASTmas! The Pony is HOPEFULLY going to get a cast on his two-weeks-broken ankle on Thursday! That's what we hope, anyway! I feel like setting out a plate of cookies and milk for his orthopedic specialist! The crutches are leaned by the recliner with care, in hopes that a hard cast soon will be there... to swing along without fear of bumping that ankle.

Oh, you know it wasn't easy. And it's still not a sure thing. I KNEW there was going to be a problem again, even after Farmer H got that fax number for The Lady Named for a Part of the Female Anatomy to send The Pony's permission-to-treat form to the new doctor.


1) Farmer H went by the new doctor's office around 10:00. They had NOT received anything for Pony.

2) The Pony called The Lady Named for a Part of the Female Anatomy at 11:00 to ask if she'd faxed the form. "No. I have it right here. I'll do that now." CLICK.

3) Farmer H told The Pony to call back at 2:30 to see if she had faxed it yet. He did. Got the machine.

4) Farmer H called the new doctor at 3:30. They said a form had been faxed, but only with permission to treat, and not a declaration that the USPS would be responsible for the bills. However... they were willing to treat The Pony, and use his health insurance as a secondary payment option.

5) The Pony got a notice that his case had been reopened after administrative closure, because it had taken so long without a follow-up diagnosis by a real doctor, not a nurse practitioner. Three pages of instructions, and a form asking for details of his accident. He will need a statement from his doctor declaring whether his injury could have actually been caused by his details of the event.

6) Farmer H put a bug in The Pony's ear about how he should have been trying harder to get these people to complete his forms. So unfair. The Pony was on the phone with them 3-4 times per day, asking what he needed to be doing, and even hobbled back to Urgent Care with forms (they refused to fill out) on the day AFTER he broke his ankle.

7) Farmer H further stated, "I hope they didn't FIRE you for not coming to work!" Even though the day after the break, we took the form from Urgent Care stating "Only light duty work, no walking, until seen by a specialist." Something to that effect. I read it, can't remember exactly. The Pony has a scan of it on his phone. USPS has no light duty work. The other ankle-breaker had the same thing. They offered to case the mail for others' routes, but standing, reaching, and lifting is required.

Anyhoo... I don't know why Farmer H went from a blustering lion, ready to rip off heads, to a tail-tucked puppy, worrying about job security. As that four-page form The Pony got about his re-opened case said, his employer was not contesting the claim, but further information was needed. Which is probably also delaying his continuation of pay.

Oh, and Farmer H further revealed that his brother told him, "I've had four worker's comp cases, and three of them needed a lawyer. Do NOT pay for the doctor yourself." Of course, Farmer H's brother was not working for the federal government. Thus the lawyer, and not union arbitration (or whatever that word is I'm forgetting).

AND, Farmer H ran into his own personal nurse practitioner in the Devil's Playground, and she said that NOBODY wants to deal with the post office worker's comp claims, because they always mess things up. That her office has sometimes called them 6-7 times a day trying to get the information. She also said that The Pony's ankle should probably be okay, since it's been immobilized, and he's not walking on it, and for sure it's started to heal already.

You can bet that there will be a grand celebration here at the Mansion if The Pony comes home in a cast! Too bad the fireworks stands are closed now.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Boulevard Of Broken Ankles

He walks a lonely road
Only on one ankle he strode
Doesn't know where it goes
He sits at home and walks alone
No. That is NOT an uplifting song. No siree, Bob! But it's the tone of The Pony's current journey to obtain medical treatment for his broken ankle. Strap on a neck brace. You're going to get a spinny head.
I think The Pony might have developed Stockholm Syndrome. Sitting, sitting, earnestly waiting for a call, a text, an email scan... something that will propel him into an actual doctor's office for an exam and a cast. So trusting, our little Pony. "She said she would get back to me!"
No. She never does. I'm not implying that people are deliberately ignoring The Pony's pleas, or maliciously not responding. The office is down four carriers right now, after two broken ankles and two letting-goes. The acting supervisor and the union rep are still running mail routes, not just sitting around waiting for The Pony to contact them. It's more a matter of the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. ON AN OCTOPUS!
When we last convened, all The Pony needed was a form saying the new doctor had permission to treat him, and bill his employer. Simple. A single form. That advice came from the new doctor's office, as a condition of them giving him an appointment. He was awaiting a reply (and the form with the new doctor's name and address) from his acting supervisor.
MONDAY night

1) Nothing after my 6:00 update. Pony sent a text to his union rep.
2) Union rep said the ACTUAL supervisor was back! [The one who filled out the disappearing form]
3) Pony sent a text to actual super. Nothing.
TUESDAY: all The Pony needs is that letter/form giving permission to treat and bill. 
1) Text to acting supervisor following up on request for form. No reply.
2) Text to union rep. No reply.
3) Call FROM office of worker's comp, (not the KC office, but a nurse he'd never talked to before) asking his condition, and where he'd sought treatment.
4) Call FROM the Urgent Care (15 minutes later), asking what specialist he was seeing, since they needed to complete paperwork, and send his records to the new doctor. [My belief is that the worker's comp people were pretty inquisitive as to why no paperwork filled out by them, so Urgent Care jumped right on that CYA situation. The Pony thinks it's because they can't get paid without that form.]
5) Call to actual super. Who said acting supervisor was handling it. And sent copy of original form.
6) Call back to actual super, saying that form was incorrect, needed new doctor on it.
7) Actual super advised Pony to call The Lady Named For a Part of the Female Anatomy.
8) The Lady Named For a Part of the Female Anatomy said they don't issue a second form like that, she'd fax the form to the new doctor for Thursday, but she didn't have their fax number. [I wonder if this is the form Urgent Care just completed, showing a referral to new doctor, or the old form.]
9) FARMER H called the new doctor, got the fact number, and called The Lady Named For a Part of the Female Anatomy with it.

10) Lady Named For a Part of the Female Anatomy said she would fax them the form Wednesday morning.

Of course I think The Lady Named For a Part of the Female Anatomy will send the old form that is showing what Urgent Care did not fill out. Seriously. After all this, I don't think The Pony is one inch closer to having the right form to get treatment on Thursday.

Farmer H wanted ME to call the new doctor Wednesday morning, and ask if they had the form faxed to them. All his blustering while he was out west, and now he's still blustering, telling ME what to do. The Pony said it was Farmer H's idea, and he should deal with it. I asked why THE PONY didn't call them himself, and he said people don't understand him on the phone!

Anyhoo... Farmer H says he's dropping by that new doctor's office while he's over in Bill-Paying Town at Lowe's on Wednesday morning. To ask if they have the form, or WHAT EXACTLY THEY NEED to treat The Pony. If they don't have it, The Pony has to call back to The Lady Named For a Part of the Female Anatomy and specify THE FORM NEEDED BY THE NEW DOCTOR. 

Farmer H canceled his own appointment on Thursday, because he wants to take The Pony to this appointment and make sure he gets a cast! He's also planning to go to the post office Wednesday if the new doctor doesn't have what's needed, and not leave until he gets that form for treatment. "I'll be polite. But I won't leave without a form."
I hate to be a pessimist, but I have a feeling The Pony will be paying out-of-pocket for treatment on Thursday. IF the new doctor will treat him. At least The Pony has a pocketful of money. He's getting continuation of pay during his time off, 35 hours per week. That's one thing that has been completed. Supposedly...

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

There Is No Joy In Ankleville... The Farmer Has Struck Out

For those of you logging in to see the cascading waterfall of heads that rolled when Farmer H rode in on his white horse to get The Pony an appointment for his BROKEN ANKLE... the head-rolling has been postponed.

Day 11 of The Broken Ankle! Still no appointment! The Pony waited faithfully for his call from Urgent Care, who said they were following up with The Lady Named for a Part of the Female Anatomy on Monday morning. The Pony called The Lady Named for a Part of the Female Anatomy himself. She was unavailable, but returned his call 30 minutes later. Saying that THE PONY himself should be making that appointment. All he needed was the case number. AND she gave him a phone number for the Dept of Labor, which handles claims such as his. 

The Pony relayed this info to Farmer H, who said HE would deal with it. Well. An hour and multiple phone calls later, the best Farmer H could do was a THURSDAY appointment over in Bill-Paying Town. ONE office said it would be three weeks before they could work in The Pony! A major hospital network said they would return Farmer H's call if they could squeeze The Pony in this afternoon. Oh, they returned the call four hours later. Saying they DID NOT HANDLE any patients with claims from concerning workplace injuries and the Dept of Labor. I'm pretty sure that's a lie. The only hospital we have in this area is affiliated with this major hospital network. So they're saying they deny treatment to injured workers???

ALSO, the appointment that Farmer H WAS able to capture is contingent on The Pony bringing A SPECIFIC FORM before he will be treated. Does this sound familiar?
Farmer H has his own appointment on Thursday, in the opposite direction, with the clinic that is holding him hostage for that $920 anesthesia bill. I will be driving The Pony, and hopefully Farmer H can meet The Pony in Bill-Paying Town after his own appointment. We have instructed The Pony: 
"DO NOT LEAVE THAT OFFICE WITHOUT TREATMENT! If they won't take the (hopefully procured by then) newest form, pay with your insurance. OR we will pay by check or credit card if necessary, and deal with reimbursement later." 

That will be two weeks to the day since The Pony broke his ankle. I don't think it's unreasonable to demand treatment.

Since 11:00 a.m., The Pony has been waiting on his acting supervisor to complete that form and email it to him. As I type this, it's 6:00 p.m.

We only have two more days to get that form in our hot sweaty hands... and 11 days has proved insufficient time to get it so far.

Monday, July 26, 2021

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

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

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

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

The cashier saw them and said,

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, July 25, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, July 24, 2021

We Ain't Havin' A Ball

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Pony objects to being called a WALK IN patient.

Friday, July 23, 2021

I'm About To Lose My Crap Sandwich

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, July 22, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Got it!"

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

This Leaves A Sour Taste In My Mouth

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

The Pony Gets The Wand

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

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

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

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

"IF we can find a space."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, July 19, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, July 18, 2021

The Pony, The Punter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Pony. The Brother of Invention.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

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

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


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

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

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

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

Here was my Friday...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah. I'm kind of exhausted.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Mrs. HM Can't Catch A Break

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Maybe It's An Office Curse

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

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

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

"What did she do, call the supervisor?"

"Duh. Probably an AMBULANCE!"

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

The Pony Discovers His Peanuts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"I'd worry they might burn."

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

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

"Maybe we can do that on Sunday?"

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

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

MOMcopter Or Bubble Wrap

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


The tale is in the texts:

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

"Hope you're okay."

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

"Okay. Call in if it gets bad."

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

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

"Do you feel okay now?"



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

Monday, July 12, 2021

Farmer H And I Don't See Eye To Eye

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

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

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

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

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

"No. Is that a thing?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Another Case For The IRONY Investigators

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, July 10, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, July 9, 2021

Even Steven Has Perfected His Timing

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

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

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

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

"Where are you?"

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

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

"Across from Subway?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"My head is sweating."

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

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

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Thoughts For The Thoughtful

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

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

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

"Chips and what?"

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

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

"I got you a little treat."

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

"Look! It's Garlic Aioli Mustard!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Sure. I guess so."

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

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Heh, heh."

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

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

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Am I Worth The Olives?

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

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

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

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

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