Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Scooter Blocker

Today The Pony and I dropped in to visit my aunt. The good aunt, the gambling aunt. The #1 son mowed her yard yesterday, and I wanted to let her know that he's got that nerd camp coming up and won't be on his regular mowing schedule.

We chatted for quite a while. Then #1 showed up from his mowing job down the road. We left the aunt's house at the same time, both en route the mile or so to my mom's house, where #1 was going to mow. I had parked on the wrong side of the road, because you can do that here in Hillmomba. #1 backed out of the driveway and headed the opposite direction. I took my time on my detour, to allow him to get parked ahead of me in my mom's driveway.

As we rolled down the residential street, I saw #1 bisect our path and make his turn onto the same street. Right behind him was a white moped driven by a little brunette, with an even smaller blond on the back. They turned to follow #1. "That's funny," I told The Pony. "I didn't see a moped when we left. They must be following your brother."

I stayed back about a hundred yards, because two-wheelers on the road make me nervous. The girls left about the same distance between their scooter and #1's little red truck. #1 pulled down into my mom's driveway. The moped girls veered to the left, like they were going to follow him in. The blond one turned around and saw me. They darted back onto the right side of the road and kept going.

There are only eight houses on that road. And at the most, two of them have kids. Not the age of these girls, but younger. I drove down the driveway. #1 came over to my passenger window and leaned on it.

"Did you know those girls?"


"I think they were following you."

"Yeah. Thanks a lot."

"It looked like they were going to turn in here."

"I know! You scared them."

Just then, the girls came back. They gave #1 a long look, but kept going. He'll get over it. There's plenty more moped girls in Hillmomba.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

If You Give A Mom A Pizza

Our local Subway serves mini pizzas. Did you know that? Because according to The Pony, Subways in Colorado and Kansas do not serve mini pizzas, forcing him to eat a cheese sandwich, toasted, which irritated the #1 son to no end, because according to him, "What kind of freak goes to Subway for a grilled cheese sandwich?" Which is different from his usual complaint when The Pony actually gets a mini pizza from Subway, which is, "What kind of freak goes to Subway for a pizza?"

The #1 son was off mowing yards today, so I picked up a Subway mini pizza for The Pony for lunch. I also got one for myself. But The Pony's pizza was long gone by the time I sat down to lunch. I thought it would just take a couple of minutes to get things ready, but you know how things go when you are on mom duty.

I set my mini pizza on the cutting block, and went to change from my town clothes into my mismatched, comfortable, Mansion clothes.

Then I saw that we needed another roll of toilet paper in that bathroom, so I went to the towel closet to get one.

Upon returning with the toilet paper, I remembered that I had put some clothes in the wash before leaving for town, so I had to go put them in the dryer.

Some of the clothes were nylon shorts, which I hang to dry, so I had to make room on some laundry room hangers by folding shorts already on the hangers, plus some Under Armor long boxers that can't be dried.

When I opened the dryer, I saw that a load of towels had not been folded, so I had to fold them to make room for the wet clothes.

That meant I had to put away the dry shorts, boxers, and towels.

Then I went back to the kitchen to put lime in my Sonic Diet Coke. I have been adding my own lime, because their lime takes up too much room, what with all the ice they add to my $2.05 beverage.

When I squeezed in the lime juice and pulp, I saw that they had not put in the excess ice today, and went to the freezer to get some cubes to keep my drink cold for the 7-8 hours I would be sipping it.

On my way from the counter to Frig, the phone rang. It was my mom saying that she had located the #1 son at his mowing yard and given him the $40 I had asked her to spot him until I see her tomorrow. He had been sent to pick up pool supplies that Miscalculator H led me to believe cost $48. I had given him $100 with permission to get lunch and breakfast on my dime, but he had to spend $30 of his own money for the $130 pool tab. Sooo...I didn't want him without money, and I didn't want to drive all the way to that town to find him.

The ice maker made that growling sound that means, "Hit me really hard on the bottom." So I complied. Then I took 7 crescent-shaped ice cubes and added them to my soda, since I had room now that I had sipped a bit during the lime addition.

And then it was time to eat a Subway mini pizza.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Informal Lessons On Skirting The Law

Last week, I let the #1 son take a short trip on the highway. It was my second attempt at riding shotgun with him on the interstate. He is 16. He knows it all. And he learned it from the teachers at school.

I voiced a slight concern that he was driving 65 in a 60 mph zone. And wouldn't you know it, karma smiled on me, and provided a state highway patrol car just over the next hill.

See? Now will you slow down?

Oh, I don't need to slow down. I'm only going five miles over the limit.

That's my point. You're going OVER the speed limit.

I can go up to nine miles over and still be all right.


That's what Mrs. Lunchbuddy told us, when we went to the robot competition. 'Nine is fine. Ten, you're mine.' That's what the police say.

Oh, really.

Uh huh. And did you know that you can't be convicted if the radar wasn't calibrated in the past twenty-four hours?

No, I did not. Where did you hear that?

Mr. Lunch Guy told us. On that trip to the industrial arts competition. You can get a ticket, but if you fight it, and they don't have documentation about the calibration, you don't have to pay.

I think I need to have a word with my cronies at lunch next year. And while I'm at it, I'm going to thank Arch Nemesis SO MUCH for teaching you the Yellow Car game on the way to those academic meets.

Here's the deal. We don't have a driver's ed course. I don't need various and assorted teachers giving my novice driver tips on how to skirt the law. And I would live happily ever after if I didn't hear the words yellow and car used together ever again. Have you ever played that game? While driving around, you shout YELLOW CAR every time you see one. The person with the most at the end of the trip wins. It grates on your nerves if you're the driver.

Especially if you're trying to hold your speed at nine miles over the speed limit.

Monday, June 27, 2011

What Nerds Do In The Summer

The #1 son is all psyched to go to his engineering camp in a couple of weeks. Seems we neglected to fill out some of the paperwork, even though we paid the hefty fee a month ago. Sooo...the paperwork is done, man! And in an envelope ready to be mailed tomorrow, since the mail goes out at 4:00 and the error of omission was discovered at 3:51 today.

#1 says he hopes he does not get a roommate who is a loser. I don't know what kind of loser he might be considering. If he means a nerd like Lewis and Gilbert in Revenge of the Nerds, or like Spaz in Meatballs, well...those are exactly the kind of people you would expect to attend an engineering camp.

I told him he would probably get a guy just like himself. I do not know if his sigh signified relief, or horror.

The longest piece of paperwork was the health form. We knew exactly when his last tetanus shot was, because it was just the icing on the cake when he got that shaky-handed retired surgeon at the ER to sew his eyebrow back together after slamming his head into the concrete-block gym wall at basketball practice back in '09. And the lucky dog has no food or drug allergies. I told him I hope he doesn't get a peanut boy for a roommate, and accidentally kill him by eating some peanut butter crackers and daring to exhale.

He does, however, take medicine for seasonal allergies. And was quite willing to go without them for the four days he will be at camp, so as not to be special and have to take meds. What does he think it's going to be like, anyway, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest? I doubt it. He's never seen that movie. But I guarantee that Nurse Ratched won't be forcing meds on the future engineers.

#1 will be dropped off on a Sunday afternoon. He has already told Parental Unit H that it will not be necessary for him to stay for supper, which was an option in the registration. He is chomping at the bit. I have no doubt that he will love every minute of it. He'll soak up the collegiate atmosphere. He makes friends easily. He is one smart dude, and he'll be in his element.

I, on the other hand, will miss him terribly.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Shelter And A Show

I took The Pony to see Super 8 today. It was better than I expected. If you like special effects, they were impressive. If you like kid actors, they were good. Especially that little gal who may or may not be a Fanning, and that big kid who was the movie moviemaker. I don't know their names because takes too long to load on my Molasses in January, Inc. internet speed.

Last night, we had some severe storms in our area. You know, funnel clouds passing over the interstate scattering two billboards as reported by a law enforcement official kind of storms. At 11:30 p.m. we were holed up in Gunrunner H's concrete room in the basement. He sat on the only chair like it was his throne. I stood. The #1 son dashed out into the basement proper and grabbed a tiny rolly chair at his old desktop. The Pony sighed and knelt and laid his head on a metal footrest on a shoeshine chair which is not sittable because of all the junk on it. You'd think His Royal H-ness would have given me the chair, especially after I hinted at it several times, then pointedly asked him for it. Nope.

Do you think it has anything to do with him only getting a card and a Backyard Chicken magazine for Father's Day?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

It's All About The Image

Tech Savvy H had a minor meltdown this morning. It all started because I asked him if he was wearing his special white straw hat to the family reunion. The #1 son used to have that picture of Tech Savvy H on his phone for all to see when Tech Savvy H rang his number. Sadly, the photo, originally taken at the Hillbilly family reunion a few years ago, has been lost.

Tech Savvy H's prime complaint was the Christmas photo that #1 put on Tech Savvy H's Facebook page. The problem, according to Tech Savvy H, "It looks just like me." I see. He was wanting a photo that did not look like himself.

Events took a more disturbing tone when Tech Savvy H volunteered that he had been trying to look up his office manager on Facebook, and had instead found someone with her name and an added initial in Illinois. Nude. In the shower. AND, according to Tech Savvy H, Facebook does not allow nude photos, but this one had remained on there for over a week! Which is something he really should not have brought up, since it pointed to the obvious fact that Tech Savvy H had been looking at Facebook pr0n for over a week.

Tech Savvy H would not make a good criminal.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Dodging The Black Flag Bullet

Can you keep a secret? I don't want PETA to get wind of this.

Yesterday I sprayed a gaggle of wasp nests that were hanging around the porch. I bagged 16 big bad paper wasps, and about 8 nests. In the well-planned assault, I avoided spraying into the wind. I cautioned The Pony to stand back so the nests wouldn't fall on his head. Because I'm a loving mother like that.

A slight problem arose on the third nest. Our beagle, Tank, was enjoying a nap beside the Weber grills, directly under the nest. I told The Pony to call him. The dogs and cats don't really respond to The Pony, though the goats and chickens love him. Except for that one black-and-white checked banty rooster who attacks his leg every time he gets a chance. Giving his best effort, The Pony grabbed Tank's front feet and pulled him several feet. Tank did not even bother to arise. He didn't seem to mind losing a bit of fur and skin off his doggy elbows. But that's not the secret part.

I sprayed that nest with my Black Flag Wasp and Hornet Killer that sprays 29 feet. Some of the spray dripped sideways, due to the wind. It dripped on Tank's back. Not much. Not even enough to make him get up. That dog is good at conserving energy.

The Pony and I concluded our murderous rampage around the porch. We hopped in T-Hoe to run some errands. When we returned, we say Tank laying in the yard between our driveway and they neighbor's barbed-wire fence. He didn't move. Normally, the dogs at least lift their heads and thump their tails as a show of good faith that they appreciate us and would really like us to continue feeding them. Tank did not move. Not his head, not his tail.

My mind conjured up the wasps, getting drenched with Black Flag, flying off the nest...and dropping dead within five seconds. Tank wasn't drenched. He didn't incur much more liquid chemical on his body than a middle school girl primping for the Sweetheart Dance. Could it have affected his nervous system? Had he staggered off the porch, past the garage, to rest in peace at the edge of the property?

Naw. The Pony saw his ribs move. He was just sleeping soundly.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Tiny Little Fire In The Mansion Kitchen

I made a little mistake this evening. No need to mark the calendar. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's mistakes are not as rare as solar eclipses. They're like buses. Another one will be along in about 20 minutes. This one ranks right up there with trying to save the ground squirrel from a cat by putting it in a tree, and stepping into the shower with my socks on, and cooking the pizza with the cardboard still under it.

Yes, it's mostly like that last one. I was boiling a big pan of water on the front burner, getting it ready to drop in some tasty ears of corn, when I spied some crumbs lingering around the stove top. Who knows what they could be from? Perhaps from some garlic toast last night to go with the tower of soup that I served for supper.

Anyway, I grabbed a paper towel to wipe up the mess, and wouldn't you know it, a corner of that select-a-size scooted under the pan, onto the red-hot burner, and exploded into flame. Good thing Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is cool in a crisis. Aside from the bloodcurdling scream that brought The Pony running to assist, the conflagration was handled in a most appropriate manner. I whisked that paper towel up over the stove, specifically the pan of water, so as not to fling flames onto the oven mitt laying on the counter, or the box of Puffs with Aloe, or the bill and letter holder overflowing with paper products. I dangled it over the boiling water, ready to plunge it into the roiling liquid. Thank the Gummi Mary, that flame flickered out in the steam, leaving a charred little section smirking at me from my own hand.

I might want to reconsider the objects on my countertop.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

No Crazier Than Spray-Can Cheese

We had Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's renowned vegetable beef soup for supper last night and tonight. No complaints about too much juice being in the soup were heard from Tower O'Soup H.

The #1 son ate his soup on a cracker. Like giant, non-fishy, non-eggy clumps of caviar.

I should package that stuff in a plastic roll for carving and cracker-garnishing. Like cookies. Except not for baking, and not sweet, but to eat as a sliced savory snack on a cracker. Perhaps by people very drunk or high.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Writ For A Rat

Hoarder H thinks somebody has been stealing his stash. He is down nine mousetraps. He put them in the BARn, and now they have gone missing. Some tiny medicine bottles are also AWOL. According to Judge, Jury, and Executioner H, the perpetrator is a pack rat. He stopped short of the John Wayne Rooster Cogburn True Grit rant about a rat writ, writ for a rat.

Some further investigation by Investigator Hillbilly Mom turned up a map of the pack rat habitat. We are not located in the pack rat area. Perhaps a city pack rat came to visit a country mouse without notifying the rat habitat map-makers.

Hoarder H explained, "I cleaned out a bunch of pack rat stuff last night. I was going to take the mousetraps to the cabin tonight, and now they're gone. Along with a bunch of little medicine bottles. And two big sticks are back! I just cleaned them out! Those mousetraps were in a box. It had pictures of mice on it. It has to be the pack rats. Those mousetraps can't just disappear."

Picture Hoarder H presenting his case to the jury. I will play the Devil's Advocate, the Pack Rat public defender. "You Honor, the esteemed Mr. H would have you believe that my client discovered his stash of sticks missing. In a fit of pique, he stole a box of nine mousetraps. He knew they were mousetraps, because he saw the pictures of mice on the box. He then took some tiny medicine bottles for good measure. Not because he has an addiction, but because he wants to improve his personal hygiene with the ancient perfume scent that lingers in these tiny medicine bottles. Then, Your Honor, my client brought in two sticks and put them in the area Mr. H had cleaned the night before. Just to show Mr. H who's the boss. He carefully hid the box of mousetraps and the tiny medicine bottles in a new location, a location so secret that Mr. H, builder of the BARn, and frequenter of said BARn for the past thirteen years, could not find them. That, Your Honor, is one smart pack rat."

How votes the jury?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Goats With No Names

The Pony has been goatherding for an hour every morning. He snapped these pics with his phone. They are the triplets born on May 27. Mother and babies are thriving. The two boys are in the top photo. The other is Nellie with a piece of wood taped to her head to keep her from being stuck in the fence. Her daughter is a chip off the old block. Looks like she's going to be longhaired, white and tan.

The triplets are learning to eat grass. They are the cutest when they romp and frolic, playing king of the woodpile.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Nobody Else Knows

At the Mansion, nobody else knows...

*a spaghetti dinner does not cook in five minutes.

*trash piled over the top of the wastebasket means it is time to empty the wastebasket.

*a dumpster dumped by the trash service dumping truck on Tuesday should be back by the garage before Saturday.

*a blue backyard pool should not appear green.

*clothes worn for two hours or less are actually still clean clothes.

*a person sitting in front of the TV looking at the screen is also trying to listen to the sound.

*the person calling your name is expecting to hear a response.

*you should not use the same towel indefinitely until it falls apart.

*The Devil will sell antiperspirant to anybody.

*it is customary to use the already-opened bag of Blazin' Chicken Chunks before ripping open a new one.

*Pringles is not a food group.

*Moms have feelings, too.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Look What The Stats Dragged In

Looky what the stats dragged in this week!

nother name for a child perv-I assure you, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is not a euphemism for a child perv. Seriously. I have yet to hear someone disparage an individual by saying, "Yeah. He's a real Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. Keep your kids away from him."

hillbilly baby shower-I might write about a hillbilly. I might write about a shower. I might write about a baby. But never in all my blog days have I written about a hillbilly baby shower. What kind of gift would you bring to one of those, anyway? A tiny little wife-beater? A moonshine jug retrofitted with a nipple? A corncob rattle that doubles as a pipe? I'm not going to suggest miniature overalls. My baby had a pair. Do you know how hard it is to make a diaper change on a baby encased in miniature overalls?

egg woman to another woman-what's this, some secret language between egg whisperers? Does one say out the side of her mouth to another, "What's kickin', chicken?" Or, "How's it layin'?" Or, "You crack me up."

oil o'clock-Yes, I suppose it's oil o'clock somewhere. It's that time when Jed goes out shootin' for some food, and up through the ground comes a-bubblin' crude. Oil, that is. At oil o'clock.

"nose in a circle" field trip-Now why didn't I ever think of that? You could take students anywhere! Perhaps an educational trip to a nitroglycerin factory. "Everybody step over to the wall. Now each of you put your nose in one of those circles. There you go. Our guide here is going to tell you about the factory. Don't move." Oh, the places we could go! Coal mines. Skyscraper construction. A razorblade packaging plant. Biological weapons lab. Guillotine trial-run facility. Nuclear weapon testing ground. The possibilities are endless.

Oh, there's more. But I don't want to spoil you. Better save some for you to savor at a later date.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Hillbilly Trivia

Who's up for a rousing round of Hillbilly Trivia? there! You with your head down, trying to avoid my eyes! Gather your most knowledgeable cronies for moral support, and let's play.

Answer the following questions as if you were a hillbilly:

1. What do you do with the possum you find in the driveway, the possum who is clearly not playing possum, as evidenced by his unchanged position 8 hours later?

2. What is the Number One vacation destination for hillbillies?

3. What do you do with your old refrigerator when you buy a new one?

4. How do you hold open the broken back hatch door of your large SUV?

5. What do you do about two "wild" pigs that your dogs are chasing around the yard?

6. If a neighbor threatens to shoot you, what do you do?

7. What is a good Mother's Day gift for your wife?

8. What do you do with a road-kill turkey?

9. The best use for a cedar-shaving-filled pillow that comes with the new dog house is...

10. An artificial Christmas tree should be put away during what month?


1. Chuck that possum down a sinkhole, or toss it over your neighbor's fence.

2. Hillbillies flock to Silver Dollar City and Branson.

3. Put your old fridge on the porch for a week, then cart it over to your BARn.

4. Prop up that hatch with a crutch.

5. Wild pigs should be put in the BARn until you ask your wife if you can take one up the road to the freelance butcher and make it into sausage, and build a pen for the other one until you need more sausage. Or until your wife tells you they are pot-bellied pigs, most likely escaped pets from a neighbor.

6. Call the sheriff and tell his deputies when they come to interview you that the guy threatened to shoot you, and if he comes onto your land, then by cracky YOU are going to shoot HIM.

7. A $3 change purse and a box of Snowcaps always makes a memorable gift for that woman in your life.

8. Cook it in a pan of vegetable oil on a Coleman camp stove with the help of a blowtorch.

9. Use it on your own bed. Why should the dog have a newer pillow than you?

10. That's a good question. The Christmas tree is still up.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I Stayed Too Long At The Fair

No. I didn't really stay too long at the fair. My post is late tonight because I stayed too long at the library for a meeting. And then took the boys to General Custard's ReTreat for a tasty concrete. But the fair would have been much more fun.

If I stayed too long at the fair, I could have eaten cotton candy and smelled corn dogs and maybe shared one of those towering potato chip thingies made of one long ribbon of potato. And I could have watched The Pony win an inflatable sword or head-whacking hammer by picking up a floating plastic duck (EVERYONE'S A WINNER). Or let both boys throw darts at balloons to win mirrored posters of various alcohol or big hair bands that will never hang on a wall in our Mansion. Or let them try to roll that bowling ball down that metal track to win some prize I can't remember because it's impossible to win. Or play that quarter-pushing game and put all my winnings back into it until I'm broke. Or try the grabber game to pick up junk like a tiny beer mug.

I would never ride the Ferris wheel like I did in my youth, when I got stuck on the top for about 15 minutes with my daredevil cousin who rocked our gondola unnecessarily. Perhaps I would do the Tilt-A-Whirl. Or the big merry-go-round. But not the spider. Or the swings. Because you are just one link away from a painful mutilation or possible death. Don't even get me started on the new rides these young whippersnappers seek these days. Not even the giant inflatable magic carpet slide can lure me.

A fair is certainly more fun than a library.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

But He Spent The Night At A Holiday Inn Express

Here's a little story I forgot to share, concerning the last night of the Great H-cation of 2011.

Farmer H and the boys were pushing themselves to get back to the Mansion a day early. I don't know why. Maybe because Spur of the Moment H never does anything on schedule, even a schedule of his own making. He did leave at 9:00 a.m. the first day instead of 2:00 p.m. as he'd informed me.

So that last day, they would have arrived back at the Mansion around 1:00 a.m. I watched the 6:00 news. I saw the radar. I called the Traveling Secretary to Farmer H, aka the #1 son, and told him that they needed to stop for the night. They were going to be driving through severe thunderstorm warnings in the dark. No need for that. #1 relayed the message. Farmer H declared that he was not even tired. But because #1 kept saying, "I told you so," and if Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy, Farmer H stopped somewhere near the Kansas/Missouri border at a Holiday Inn Express. The last I heard, he was getting in the hot tub.

The next morning, Farmer H called from the road. He was hopping mad. Here's how he related it to me:

#1 told me to watch it in the shower. He said it was slick, and there were no non-slip bars on the tub. I was in the shower, and started to slip, but there was nothing to grab. No grab bar on the wall. I fell over the edge of the tub, hitting my leg, and then I whacked my elbow on the toilet. I was mad. I went down to the front desk and raised h*ll. I showed the guy my arm. He didn't seem to care. He said, "I can give you the room for free." I told him that I didn't come down there to get the room for free. That he needed to do something about that room before somebody got seriously hurt. And I also told him the air conditioning didn't work all night. After I'd calmed down, and as we were leaving, I made him sign a paper saying that I had told him about getting hurt. Because you never know how it could affect me later. there's probably a red flag on my credit card number every time we try to get a room at a Holiday Inn. They're lucky that Farmer H is not a litigious type. I told #1 to keep an eye on him in case he lost consciousness while driving, even though Thick-Noggined H said that he didn't hit his head. When he got home around 2:00 p.m. on Friday, the outside of his elbow had a knot bigger than a double-yolked Grade A Extra Large egg. He said it still hurts today.

On Monday, Farmer H emailed the corporate headquarters, but the email would not go through. So he called them. He said the representative assured him that they would sent somebody to the site for an inspection, because if one room was like that, there are probably more. She said they were also contacting the owner, and that they would let Squeaky Wheel H know the outcome of their investigation.

We'll see what develops.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Too Many Spoil The Broth

Just when I thought it was safe to back in the you hear the Jaws music pumping? Let me string you along for a couple of paragraphs.

Farmer H has finally stopped buying unwanted livestock every month. I would like to take credit for his lack of furry and feathered friend adoptions, but I think the real reason is that the animal auction was shut down. Somehow someone found some law somewhere that said a veterinarian must be on duty at the animal auction. I don't know if this is a statewide statute, or just for the county, or what the legalities are. All I know is thank the Gummi Mary, the influx of critters has stopped.

Or so I thought.

Farmer H used to sneak in the four-legged family members while I wasn't looking. He would make The Pony promise not to tell. Rabbits, turkeys, new goats, guineas, and crates and crates of roosters used to rear their unwanted heads round about Monday or Tuesday, after the Sunday animal auction. At first Farmer H would play dumb. Heh, heh. Like he has an aptitude for acting. I would point out the new offender, and Non-Oscar-Contender H would say, "Oh, that one? He's been here a long time. He's not new." Yeah. Right.

Imagine my surprise this evening, upon stepping out onto the porch to fling some Cookie Crisp cereal and some shriveled apples (because even fowl need a balanced diet) to the chickens, only to find...


I do not like the two guineas that we have now. They are bullies, they are loud, and their call is an annoying eh eh eh eh eh eh eh eh eh eh eh eh noise that grates on my last nerve. They chase the chickens away from the food, don't lay eggs, are not cute, and have freaky faces. I am not a guinea lover.

I hollered to Farmer H, "Hey! When did we get the extra guinea?"

"We don't have an extra guinea."

"Yes, we do."

"No. There's only the two."

"Then where did THAT one come from?"

"What other one? Hey! One must have flown in from somewhere."

"Didn't the neighbors across the road have some?"

"No. They just had an old rooster."

"Well, it came from somewhere."

"They always say you can't keep guineas."

"Well, apparently WE can."

"Huh. I guess we have three now."

He was so surprised, I actually believe him. Somehow, we have been graced with a spare guinea. It looks just as ugly as the other two, but is a tiny bit smaller, with a tiny bit more white on its homely face. I want to put a sign on the mailboxes to see if anybody lost one.

Or three.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Unbearable Lightlessness Of Being

Farmer H prefers to keep me in the dark. Here's my evidence. Pardon the clunky style of this old post. It was written way back when I first started blogging. You know, before I became the polished author that I am today. If you can't tell the difference, then I sentence you to twelve trips to The Devil's Playground, on the first weekend of each month. And a bonus trip on the day after Christmas.

Here I sit, with only my monitor glow for comfort. No ambient light is leaking in from the Mansion basement proper. That's because we have three (THREE) lights that don't light on both sides, to mangle a statement from the Grinch to little Cindy Lou Who. Normally, the man of the house changes light bulbs. But apparently, unwritten gender rules do not apply to the man of the Mansion.

Because I thought Farmer H might not be aware of my lack of lightitude, I told The Pony to explain the situation. Specifically, I said, "Go tell your dad that three lights are burned out." That's because The Pony is not good in gray areas. Only in black and white. The Pony returned forthwith. I asked what his father had to say about the situation.

Dad said, "Then put in three light bulbs."

That is not pertinent. If I had three light bulbs, I would have left out the middle man, in this case Farmer H, and jumped right to the go-to guy, the #1 son, and told him to put in new light bulbs. The problem is that we don't have three light bulbs just laying around the Mansion. And Farmer H was headed to town within fifteen minutes of the unbearable lightlessness of being, and could have picked some up to be installed another day. But no.

Here I sit. I am thinking of turning on the fake electric fireplace. I can pretend I'm Abe Lincoln, blogging by firelight.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My Nurturing Skills Have Been Questioned

My new dehumidifier is adjusting to life in his new home. I've given him a name: D'Hummy.

D'Hummy and I had time to bond while Farmer H and the boys were away on H-cation. At first, D'Hummy was quite needy. He demanded changing three times a day. He let me know by emitting a high-pitched cry, "EEE, EEE, EEE!" Once dry, he hummed along contentedly until time for the next changing. He was on an 8-hour schedule.

I mentioned D'Hummy while talking on the phone to the #1 son. "It's just like taking care of a baby. I have to change him three times a day. I hear him cry for me. If I'm going to be gone during that time, I have to change him before I leave."

There was a moment of silence on the line. Then #1 spoke up. "Well...I would hope that you check on a baby more than three times a day."

"What are you complaining about? You and The Pony are alive and well."

Since he returned, I have not mentioned that D'Hummy only needs me twice a day now.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Shrillness Of The Frogs

No silence of the lambs here, Clarice.

No silence of any kind. The too-many roosters crow all the live-long day and night. The guineas that bully the roosters mouth off between snapping bites at the butts of the chickens. The chickens scold me when I open a door without flinging offal at them. The goats maaahhhh and peer hopefully from their prison. When not barking at imaginary foes while allowing strangers to sidle to the Mansion portal uncontested, the dogs thump and whine and gallop around the porch.

The wild critters are also vocal. Most recently, the serenade of the cicadas has ruled the great outdoors. That changed last week. The amphibians, done tuning up, and are in full voice every evening.

Out back, around Poolio, the heavy night air is thick with frog calls. It sounds like one of every species is belting out his anthem. I will not walk around Poolio. The light only shows his surface. It does not penetrate the inky shadows that envelope his rotund framework. I have no aversion to our fine slimy friends. But I have no desire to step on a squishy croaker.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Peas Have Returned To Their Pod

The Mansion is full of the pitter-patter of big, sweaty feet again. The Carnivore, the Ravenousvore, and the Dog-Eating Pony have returned from the H-cation.

The Pony bypassed greeting little ol' me, and went straight down the porch to admire the chickens. His story is that he was looking for the dog to feed it a cheeseburger. I'm not buyin' it. There would never be a spare cheeseburger in a car with H, #1, and The Pony.

The #1 son came right in, plopped down on the couch, and said, "Somebody needs to do some laundry." At least he didn't mention the Short-Temper Cook kitchen.

Farmer H tried to trick me into going to town for a fish pond pump, but I declined the offer. I can't help it that a giant goldfish died on my watch. I fed all the fish as directed. It's not like he can't buy another one from The Devil for less than a dollar. So what if they take twelve years to get that big? There's plenty more fish in the fake plastic fish pond in need of a pump.

The #1 son and I celebrated their return by leaving the Mansion within 45 minutes to go get new flash drives. Hey! We got that 20% Off bag from Office Max. And we've been needing flash drives since April. He drove. I quivered.

The Pony and I bonded when I got home by watching America's Funniest Home Videos. People can be so cruel. Nobody better ever put an iguana on my back, or a spider in my bed. Or poke his head up out of the washing machine when I go to do laundry. Because I might just slam that lid down and sit on it for a couple of hours.

Which reminds me. Tomorrow I must start my work-cation. I will be hiking to the top of Soiled Garb Peak.

Somebody needs to do some laundry.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Chickens Really Like...

Chickens really like the Hardees Caramel Crunch Shake.

In fact, they like it twice as much as Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, who had trouble finding both the caramel and the crunch, and tossed two-thirds of it to the roving gang of chickens that greets her any time she appears outside the Mansion.

See there? You've learned two things today. The restaurant review taught you that unless you really like a vanilla shake, don't try the Caramel Crunch Shake at Hardees. The math lesson taught you that two-thirds is twice as much as one-third.

You're welcome. I'm an educator through and through. I just can't help myself. Consider it a summertime public service announcement. I would hate for anybody's brain to atrophy due to time off from school.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Fixed And Dilated

I went to the eye doctor this morning. He peered through the picture-windows of my soul. That's because I had those dilation drops dripped into my peepers. My mom drove me. It's been a couple years since I had that exam, but I knew that I would need a chauffeur. Everything appeared to be underwater until around 2:00. The drops went in at 8:45, with symptoms to allegedly dissipate within three hours. Yeah. Right.

I knew that I would not be able to drive to town for my Sonic soda, so my mom picked one up for me on our way back to the Mansion. While my vision had improved by afternoon, my pupils were still the size of pencil erasers. I had no desire to venture out of my dark basement lair and into the light of 10,000 suns.

By 5:30, I was eager to go fetch the mail. I thought of just jumping in T-Hoe and truckin' the mile to the mailbox row. Good thing I checked the full-length mirror first. I looked like a freakin' clown! I was wearing a white and yellow pin-striped big shirt with a button-down collar, gray capri-length sweatpants with a wide purple stripe down the side, white crew socks rolled down at the ankle, and red Crocs. Then there was the matter of my bottomless, drowning-pool eyes. All I needed was to accidentally lock my keys in T-Hoe, or get run over by some speeding scofflaw in the middle of the county road. Imagine the fright of the ambulance crew when they saw a hulking, squashed, bloody clown with hypnotizing pupils. Which they would most likely have reported as fixed and dilated.

Uh uh. I can go to great lengths to draw attention to myself. But this is not one of them.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Return Of PPMO

As much as I am enjoying my summer of H, I must bring this series to a premature close. There are more pressing subjects that must be addressed. For instance, PEOPLE PISS ME OFF!

I had to make a trek to The Devil's Playground today. Perhaps you are familiar with The Devil's nether regions. His parking areas have large striped crosswalks at both entrances. Plus six stop signs to allow those well-dressed people of The Playground to move freely about the lot.

There I was, one of the best-dressed people in the place, exiting with my two boxes of Tide, the boxes of which have been redesigned once again and contain no plastic handle on top, pushing my cart in which rested my bags thoughtfully packed by one of The Devil's handmaidens to contain all heavy items in a single sack, when it happened.

I looked left before entering the crossing zone. An older model white Chrysler boat of a car was about 100 feet away, by the garden center, approaching the stop sign about 50 feet from me. I dipped my cart wheels into the crossing. Knowing that car had to stop, I took two steps.


I did not flinch. I do not suffer pissers gladly, as evidenced by my response to that drunken frat boy at the casino who pulled my literal crank. The time I might or might not have been heard to say, "F*** you! You f***ing m*****f***er!"

I continued to wheel my bounty across the stripes, giving the driver a taste of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's evil eye. He had the audacity to sneer, "Problem?" over his window elbow, encased in a white button-down shirt with the cuff rolled up to his forearm.

I spat over my shoulder, "Stop sign!" and proceeded on my merry way. He had no response, other than to drive across the people zone, onto the sidewalk-sale concrete area between the doors, and park.

I kid you not. That dude parked his car on the freakin' sidewalk area where the Brinks truck parks, and where the police park when there's a kerfuffle over the greeter checking somebody's receipt.

How stupid of me to assume that such a scofflaw would obey a stop sign. Apparently he is immune to all rules of the road. He was too high-class to be a good ol' boy, and too low-class to be a Walton. The car was not good enough for one of their executives. I'm presuming he was a city dude passing through Hillmomba, or an insurance salesman.

I have a feeling that upon leaving Hillmomba, his plans included driving north to Kathy's Kampground, where he would ask for a site with all the plug-ins, then sleep in his car, smear feces on the walls of the bathroom, unload illegal wood from his trunk, catch a stray dog and take it swimming in the pool, then squeeze some poop out of the dog in Kathy's yard, and drive over her flowers as he left in the middle of the night without paying, making sure not to stop at the stop sign. Because I'm psychic like that.

People piss me off.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Day 4 of H-cation: The Ill Wind

What I won't miss during the current H-cation...

Day 4 of H-cation:

4. The Ill Wind

Nights are a bit more restful during my staycation. And not only because the early-rising sheet thief is away. I can sleep without gale-force winds sucking the air from my lungs.

On a normal night, Farmer H slaps on his breather and glides the jet stream to dreamland. I, on the other hand, fight for breath. I would prefer my own air source, rather than the recycled gases of Farmer H. Is that too much to ask? That I be allowed to inhale and expel the life-sustaining 21% oxygen, 78% nitrogen mixture as nature intended? Without the backwash of extra carbon dioxide from Farmer H's breather? I think not.

I can only lay on my side with my back to him for so long. There comes a time when I must roll over and expose myself to the vapor trail emitted from Farmer H's lungs by way of the breather. I've tried making a barrier of the blanket, since it is already pulled up higher than my head. That does not work. A blanket wall is wont to collapse on my face and smother me more than re-breathed air. The most workable solution that I've found, when the wind comes whistling down the mattress, is a small wall comprised of a folded hand towel. I prop it on the side of my face, and it redirects the breather exhaust stream up and over my face. I don't feel it. I don't have to suck in the straight exhalation of Farmer H. I get a small pocket of room air over my mouth and nose. At least long enough to go to sleep, before the wall comes tumbling down.

And now, for the more indelicate matter of the second ill wind...let's just say that I was introduced to it on my first mini-vacation to Branson with Farmer H, who announced proudly, "Let me show you my Dutch Oven."

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day 3 of H-cation: The Velcro Technique

What I won't miss during the current H-cation...

Day 3 of H-cation:

3. The Velcro Technique

There is a disturbing situation that befalls me whenever Farmer H is in the house. The Mansion is not big enough for the two of us.

Oh, I realize that he's attracted to me. Why wouldn't he be, what with me putting out all that honey to attract his inner fly, my magnetic personality, my gravitational pull, my rainbow and unicorn outlook on life?

No matter where I am, there's Farmer H. Perhaps at one time, I might have likened him to The Sidler, that Seinfeld dude at Elaine's work who appeared out of nowhere, startling everybody, until she gave him a box of Tic Tacs to act as a cat bell.

If I beat him up (by arising early, not by physical abuse), Farmer H will find me, just as I'm about to hear a news story I've been waiting on for 55 minutes, and plop down as close as possible, talking a blue streak like we're long-lost kin, separated at birth.

If I stand at Frig to fill a cup with ice, in comes Farmer H with a bottle of Mountain Dew that must be put into Frig at that very instant, not by walking around the other side of the cutting block unencumbered, but by rooting his shoulder between me and the ice dispenser, reaching over to the refrigerator side.

If I am washing dishes (by hand, HELLO, I still don't have one of those newfangled contraptions called a dishwasher) and running a trickle of hot water for instant rinsing, Farmer H invades my space to crank the faucet to fill his plastic water bottle for tomorrow, changing the hot water to cold, necessitating a 90-second re-heating period.

If I am at the counter, carving some edible items for supper, Farmer H needs matches or silverware from the cabinets in front of me.

If I lay down for ten minutes while supper is cooking, Farmer H finds me to chat.

If I take or make a phone call, Farmer H appears and butts in with vital information that is apparently a matter of national security.

If I have watched an entire show to see who is voted off, eliminated, nominated for eviction, fired, etc...Farmer H chooses that time to make an entrance from, or exit to, Poolio, all the while bellowing various trivial facts he's learned while on the internet at work that day. hooks are flapping freely in the breeze, enjoying a respite from those clingy loops.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Day 2 of H-cation: Early Morning Riser

What I won't miss during the current H-cation...

Day 2 of H-cation:

2. The Early Morning Riser

Don't confuse this with the Pure Prairie League song, Early Morning Riser. I love that song. Even though the lyrics are a bit creepy, what with the lovin' like a sister, lovin' like a brother thing going on.

No, I'm talking about Farmer H on the weekends, when he decides he's going to rise before the seven roosters start crowing. It's kind of like the if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy scenario. If Farmer H is up, everybody's up. That's a fact, Jack. Farmer H employs two main methods of waking me. With the boys, he's not so subtle. He stomps into their rooms, pounds on the wall, and demands that they get up.

The first rude awakening is the Bed Bounce. Farmer H dresses himself funny, then sits on the edge of the bed to put on his work boots. Never mind that there are perfectly good chairs and couches in the next room that could support his rump during this task. He jounces and bounces the mattress, supposedly while he's yanking the laces of the shoes. I don't know why else I would be flung into the air like a rail-thin camper by an obese counselor dropping from an eagle-aerie height onto a rainbow-striped inflatable air pillow tied to the dock at a mountain lake. Or like a toddler launched by tweens in a school carnival moonwalk jump gone bad.

If I play good possum, and bite my tongue to hold back the bitter bile which might spew forth in a predawn tongue-lashing, Farmer H has a backup tactic. He tromps onto the back porch, fills a measuring 2-cup plastic container with dry dog food, and flings it into two separate flat metal dog dishes, with the force a teenage boy would fling those tissue balls of gunpowder sold on the 4th of July as Snap 'n' Pops onto concrete or pavement.

Yes. I will be busy not-missing the Early Morning Riser wake-up calls this week.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Eight Things I Won't Miss While Farmer H Is Away

Not quite the 12 Days of Christmas, but the 8 Day of H-cation will have to do. Don't get greedy and think I'm going to share all eight items at once. Not likely. I'm going to drag them out. In a torturous manner. Over eight days, perhaps.

Day 1 of H-cation: What I Won't Miss.

1. The Sheet Thief

I will not miss trying to turn in, only to discover that I am going to be sleeping on a sliver of sheet and mattress cover. We have fitted sheets. And a fitted mattress cover. How Bedmate H can usurp both every night before I get to bed is beyooooond me. Sometimes, I can tug on my edge, and gain a little ground so that I don't have to lay on a humped-up elasticky border. Other nights, I am not so successful.

Bedmate H prefers to surround himself with sheet. We're talkin' the bottom sheet. He would drape himself in sheet if it was socially acceptable. Bedmate H rolls himself into the center like a giant, overstuffed, living/breathing taquito. A humongous, XXXL, behemoth of a taquito. He spins himself around a longitudinal axis, like a crocodile rolling to drown its prey.

I am going to sleep soundly tonight, on top of the fitted sheet. There will be no deep, red indentation in my flesh when I arise to start the day.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Vacation Of Sorts

Farmer H and the boys are off for a tour of the upper midwest on Friday. They plan to visit the Black Hills of South Dakota, Mount Rushmore, Garden of the Gods, and Pike's Peak. I've been there, done that. So I will be remaining at the Mansion on a staycation. My mom may join me for a regular old-fashioned hen-fest. Plans are still up in the air on the details.

Farmer H says that they will be taking the train to the top of Pike's Peak. He says he can not drive up there while looking over the side. Considering Farmer H's penchant for sweaving, I think the train is a good idea. My dad drove us up and down The Peak. I remember many switchbacks, and cars out of commission due to overheated brakes. It didn't bother me then, but now I would get all lightheaded like during the opening credits of The Shining.

I packed for The Pony, but Gummi Mary only knows what the #1 son will cram in a bag. I anticipate laundry overtime when they return. Farmer H has plugged in his car fridge, which supposedly operates on car battery power. The last time we took it on a trip, it did not cool our beverages. It was like a needy, power-hungry, upright trunk for storing cans of liquid refreshment. Farmer H declared that you must put COLD cans in the car fridge. Which kind of defeats the purpose, if you ask me. Couldn't you just do that with a regular cooler? Put cold cans in it, and expect them to stay cold? For much less expense? I advised Farmer H to take some soda in the motel overnight, and put it in the mini-fridge. His idea was just to buy it cold at convenience stores along the way. For quadruple the price, of course. That man does not have a penny-pinching bone in his body. Except for the time he advised the dentist just to pull my molar instead of doing a root canal. I still point to the gaping gum-hole when I want to make a point.

My plans include doing as I darn well please, eating meals whenever I feel like it, answering to no one, reading, writing, turning the TV up as loud as I want, sleeping without breather exhaust being force-fed to my lungs, missing my boys, and worrying about the safe return of my family from their tour of Tornado Alley.

I might be lacking blog material.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Putting The Cart Before The Pony

Today was officially my last day of school. The kids were done last Friday, but teachers had two days to serve because of excess snow days. Like that's our fault. We could have opted for eight hours of tutoring instead, to be completed by the end of next school year, but who wants that hanging over her head? Not Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, that's for sure. My time after school is to get my own work done. Tutoring can be done by those who choose to participate on career ladder. From the cadre of cohorts I observed up and down the hall, the majority of faculty shared my opinion.

The Pony spent the morning with his grandma, and I had a myriad of chores awaiting his arrival. First, we loaded several bags of trash onto a heavy cart. The Pony then commenced a wild ride to the dumpster. Not one to follow the rampish contours of the blacktop parking lot, The Pony slalomed that ill-steering cart down the grade with all the grace of a pig on ice. On the return trip, he thoroughly rammed both the outer and inner double doors. Note-to-self: Mr. Pony may require a special driving tutor.

Always one to mix business with pleasure, The Pony pulled down the projector screen to watch Ice Age while he worked. He climbed on chairs to stack science project boards on top of my cabinets. He stacked paper trays out of harm's way on top of the cabinets. He removed and rolled up butcher paper window blockers and stowed them on the cabinets. He cleaned out his snack drawer in the file cabinet. He poured out water bottles and trashed the plastic. He packed up DVDs. He carried bags to the car. And he finished watching Ice Age four minutes before release time.

He's an efficient little critter. If not a good driver.