Tuesday, July 31, 2007

BrokeToe Hitch-Hiking

My new Dell Inspiron 531 arrived today, with its 19 inch LCD monitor. The Dell Photo AIO 926 printer arrived yesterday. My personal technology assistant has it set up and running. He gave me Powerpoint, Word, Excel, and Outlook. I don't know where he scavenged all of them. Shh...he says it is a $231 value. Methinks he helped himself to some 'shareware'. As in, if you loan me something I'm going to see what you got, and help myself. Anyhoo... I am not on my new Dell right now, as I need to clean up my office area before he moves in. He sits, the desky with no name, unceremoniously upon an old kitchen table of HH's that we have in the basement. But I can use him if I want. All systems are go. So far, so good.

The #1 son claims that HH broke his left baby toe in Poolio a couple hours ago. The boy's toe, not HH's toe. It IS red and swollen. Now I have to listen to "Weeeee weeeee weeeee all around the Mansion. I told him to quit bellyachin' or we were going to the hospital for a shot of painkiller. He suddenly felt much better. I told him all they could do for it was tape it to the little piggy who had none. It's not like that baby toe is going to get a cast, because, well, not many people would be able to sign it, unless maybe they were all named Bob or Jim or Sue. I offered to make a sling out of a towel to elevate the painful baby toe, but he rejected that plan as well.

I am not sure how the 'accident' occurred. According to the boy: "We were going around the pool and #2 was looking for us. Dad swung me into the ladder because I was hitching a ride on him and his inner tube, and I hit my toe on a step." OK. Poolio is not that big. How could My Little Pony not find something as big as HH and as loud as #1? They must have been playing some kind of freakish hillbilly pool game. No Marco Polo for my family.

Mmmm....hmmmm. Hitch-hiking is all fun and games until somebody breaks a baby toe.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Disappointing Dell Dental Drugs

EEEP! My Dell box arrived around 5:00 p.m. Only one box. Not the good box. It was just the printer. The guy said the other one will probably come tomorrow. Interesting. The FedEx site says it arrived in Lenexa, Kansas at 2:20 this afternoon. We'll see what develops. I hate sitting home waiting on a new computer.

My mom came out to play with sweet #2 son, who is not her favorite. She hates it when I say that. I went to town to pick up HH's new toy. The Post Office smelled like a dead mouse. Note To Selves, Posties: Glade Plug-Ins. The clerk who finally came out front after I repaired the bell dinger thingy and rung it asked me if I was HH's mother. Excuuuuse me? I'm hoping she meant The Veteran, who shares HH's name and neglects to put the 'Jr.' on it quite often, and has his mail sent to our address. After all that trouble, HH threw a knife at me tonight. "Here. Look at this!" Yeah. That's why he orders them, so he can throw them at me and say he was 'just showing' them to me. I've half a mind not to inhale dead mouse essence for him next time.

I spent an hour on the phone getting dental appointments for myself and the boys. #1 son needs braces. He can't get in until Sept. 19 after school. #2 son needs a check-up and maybe a filling. He is having none of it. He goes on Wednesday, so I'm getting him used to the idea. I'm hoping it's a baby tooth with the cavity, and it can wait to fall out. HH is having a hissy fit about it. This from a man who has fake teeth. It's one freakin' cavity. The first one either of the boys has had. Excuse me while I go knock on some wood.

My appointment is Thursday. I hate going to the dentist. I believe I've mentioned that before. I have to go to another town, where the children's dentist of the practice sees me, and have the nitrous, and take a pill 30 minutes before, and have the mepivacaine deadening agent instead of lidocaine like most other suckers. I hate it. But I broke off one of the 'temporary' fillings that he put on about...oh...maybe 3 years ago. Hey! I was going to get a crown, but the insurance refused to pay anything on it, saying it was not essential, even though the dentist said it was. Anyhoo...that was $800 bucks I didn't want to part with at the time. The insurance should pay half of everything, up to a limit. We'll see what they say now that they have to pay half of another temporary.

Sooo...all three of us go to a different dentist. And HH goes to an even different one. Go figure! I tried to get one closer, but the one I chose for #2 son does not use nitrous or mepivacaine, but will give me a valium for the night before and the morning of. I'm not so sure about that. Whoever thought Mrs. Hillbilly Mom would turn down the valium? I'll stick with my kiddie dentist who hasn't killed me yet.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Brief Flurry Of Activity

Decisions, decisions. Monday, my new computer is supposed to arrive. Saturday, we got a note in the mailbox that we have a package to pick up at the Post Office. It is HH's new Case Knife Collector Truck. Hmm...should I hang around the Mansion and wait to sign for my new computer...OR...drive to town to pick up HH's truck? Such a dilemma!

I almost got carried away and started cleaning the house today. I peeled some potatoes and put them on to boil with a little garlic added to the water. I mushed up a meat loaf with my bare hands. I washed some dishes with the same bare hands (after a thorough scrubbing, of course). I reorganized the assorted batteries in a kitchen drawer and threw away a bunch of plastic battery packages. I cleaned out one shelf of the refrigerator. The dogs were ecstatic. #2 son said, "I bet this was the best day ever for our dogs!" Yeah. They thought it was raining meat. We toss that stuff off the back porch, and something always eats it by nightfall.

Tank the Beagle, mourning his loss of The Devil, ate his feelings in a display of gluttony. That hound will eat anything and everything. He probably ate The Devil, who has not been seen for several days now, and was last observed face down under a cedar tree beside HH's truck. I tossed out several packages of outdated, opened, ham and turkey sandwich meat, a leftover BBQ hot dog and hamburger, some 3-week-old bologna, three hardboiled eggs of undetermined origin, and tortillas with a May expiration date. The boy threw the tortillas first, sailing them like flying disks, (which are really no more than generic Frisbees). Tank ran around back and started to nibble on a tortilla. Then the meat deluge began. I tossed things in all directions, thinking the other stupid mutts would run around, and there might be a fight. Nope. They laid on the porch. I tried to drop some straight down for Snuggles, the long-haired calico cat who hates everybody but me. Tank was havin' none of that. He ran straight at her and took her meager strip of bologna. Never mind that he had already consumed a hamburger, hot dog, two packs of sandwich meat, and half a pack of bologna. And a few bites of tortilla. Grizzly and Ann came sidewinding up behind me, so I gave them equal portions of what I had left. Lazybones. They could have had a feast. Like Tank. After about 5 minutes, he dragged his last slice of ham away from the porch, and laid down to chew it like gum. His belly was nearly dragging the ground anyway.

After serving supper and rinsing even more dishes, I am exhausted. I may have to increase my activity level slightly before school starts.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Mabel Leads A Secret Life

I am a bit concerned about my non-blogging bestest friend, Mabel. She is up to something, methinks. I don't want to read about her in the local paper. Or in the USA Today, either. But I'm getting ahead of myself. I don't actually know if she's been caught yet, or even committed a crime. But things are looking a bit suspicious.

Let's start at the beginning. Mabel sent me an email last night. I read it a few minutes ago. I hit the 'reply' button, because I'm of the lazy persuasion, and typed up some info that I feel is vital for her to read. Something along the lines of: you'd better call the office, Mabel, because that paper you didn't get in the mail was supposed to be signed and one copy turned in by a specific date, perhaps August 1.

I hit the 'send' button, and went back to looking through my stable of 53 emails to see what I might be able to delete. And there was that blasted 'returned mail' thingy. Apparently, Mabel has a fatal error. Who knew? There was a bunch of numbers (Mabel likes numbers) that seemed to be a code. And a message that read: connection refused due to abuse.

What's going on, Mabel? Or perhaps I should speak your lingo now, you hardened criminal, and re-phrase that as "What's goin' down?" Is there something you are not telling me? Are you Santa Claus, and you've been exceeding your bandwidth or something? Are you sending out those Kenyan email scams? Are YOU the one responsible for those emails with the compelling subject line, that when opened read like a spy message? You know the ones I'm talking about:

The carpenter leaves the door open.
Steve finds the box empty.
The yodeler sleeps until midnight.
Sally baked a pineapple upside down cake.
The lazy fox threw his typewriter at the brown dog.

I don't know what Mabel is up to. But you can bet it has something to do with using propositions to end her sentences with. I tried to send her another email by typing her last known email address into the proper space. "No can do," replied the mail subsytem thingy. Only not in so few words. Just those 'connection refused due to abuse' words. No good can come of this. If Mabel is thrown in the slammer, I can't even bake her an Oreo Cake with a file in it. Oh, I could bake it and deliver it. But the guards would have to try a bit, because it is OH SO TASTY, and one bite would lead to another, and before you know it, there is only the file left. Then I would be placed on the 'No Giving Things To Mabel Because Last Time You Sent Her A File' list, and she would have to tunnel out with just a plastic spoon and then build a raft out of raincoats and float across the bay and never be seen again.

Mabel. Stop the insanity. Stop the abuse. How am I supposed to send you cryptic messages? Straighten up and fly right. I do not like being refused. OR abused. By cracky!

You got some explainin' to do.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Crashy Doodle Dandy

My Crashy replacement has shipped. I'm looking for him on Monday or Tuesday. I won't know how to act, what with being able to listen to music and traipse about the internet at the same time! I need to put #1 son on the case to get all my stuff transferred off of Crashy. Oh, and I have to choose a name for my newbie.

Today we went to see that Simpsons movie. There was a good crowd for a 12:45 showing. My only complaint was with the usher who stood behind us for half the movie, making it hard to get the illicit snacks out of my giant floppy purse. The #2 son begged for his Cookie Dough Bites, and couldn't understand why we had to wait to get them out. The #1 son watched that usher like a hawk, and pounced on the purse the minute she left. I thought the usher's job was to walk around the theater to check on stuff, not stand and watch the movie.

The last time we went, a family came in just as the movie was starting (you know, after 20 minutes of commercials like that underwear "Apple of My Eye" thingy, plus 10 previews that show every good scene from the movie), towing Grandma With A Walker, and sat down about 7 rows from the back of the theater. The woman put Granny on the end, and said, "Your walker will be right here." Right here was in the aisle next to Granny's chair. I told my son I was amazed that they would let her block the aisle like that. Ahem. A teenage usherboy came in and whispered something to the woman. Next thing you know, she had to pack up Granny and the family and move them to the back row of 4 seats, where there was room for the walker without putting it in the aisle. It was in the space where you could park a Wheelchair Granny. Which is fine and good, except that the usherboy moved a family that had been there even before us, which had to be at least 30 minutes before show time, which was when the commercials started. That seems a bit unfair. They used to have wheelchair signs on those two short rows, designating them for the differently-abled. Now they are just regular seats. The bone I am picking is actually with Granny's family. They could have called ahead, or sent in part of the family early to get those seats. They didn't have to disrupt everybody's movie-watching to accommodate themselves.

Anyhoo...the Simpsons is rated PG13. I debated on taking my 9-year-old, but since he has been exposed to HH's naughty mouth, I figured I'd chance it. There were people there with little kids. Like 5 or 6. And let me tell you, this movie should have a warning of 'L' for language, and 'D' for doodle, because Bart shows his.

We stopped by The Devil's Playground on the way to the movie. Just to pick up a few necessities: movie candy, paper plates, toilet paper. No, we didn't take them all into the theater. In the parking lot of The Devil's Playground, I heard a voice calling, "Mrs. Hillbilly Mom!" No, it wasn't one of the regular voices in my head. It was a past student. One who had dropped out, but has since gotten his GED, a steady job, married, and had a baby. Actually, I'll give his wife credit for the last one. He was in the first class of DoNots that I had years ago, after switching from science teacher to at-risk teacher. It's nice to see them when they have become functioning members of society, rather than reading about them in the court cases in the local paper. He had his daughter on his hip, 4 months old, blond, blue-eyed, happy as a clam. She must take after her mother. He looked totally in love with that baby. Not in that way. It warmed my cold, cold heart a few degrees.

While in the movie, my cell phone vibrated, and #1 son dashed out to check on the call. He's the keeper of the phone. I don't know how to make it vibrate and ring. Dad-burned newfangled contraptions! Technology is not my friend. He just missed the call. It was my work neighbor. I couldn't stop watching the Simpsons to call her back, but I did after the movie. She'd had a mysterious call from an estranged colleague, but could never get an answer back during their phone tag tournament. Note To Mabel: the outrageous gossip item that has been floating around raised its head above water in a code-word puzzley kind of manner. She brought it up. Neither of us dared voice the rumor, nor mentioned our sources. Work Neighbor did profess to hearing it at the end of May. WTF? She's been holding out on us, Mabel. Ain't she a dandy? And us thinking we were so secretive about the issue. It's high time I get back into that building and put things in order again.

It's almost time for school to start, you know.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Now You See Me...

I am rethinking my Mansion commitment once again. Meanie says they all got a talkin'-to about teacher blogs. You know, because THE MAN wouldn't want teachers to be able to vent and post anonymous happenings, what with students naming names and ripping teachers apart on MySpace and YouTube. Wouldn't be prudent.

So IF even one breath is breathed about blogging at our general assembly that is planned in a couple of weeks, I won't be havin' an outlet for the crazy. Ohh...but I WILL still be commenting, don't ya know! With an unshared profile, methinks. You can take the blogging out of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, but you can't take Mrs. Hillbilly Mom out of blogging. Laws, NO! M-O-O-N. That spells "Sweet Gummi Mary, people! This is the Land of the Free. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom should at least have as many technological rights as a student, by cracky!"

Over the next week, time permitting (translation: if HM gets off her lazy butt), the previous Mansions will be loaded up and moved to a different dimension, then demolished. Read 'em while they're hot, before they start to smolder.

Sometimes I long for my days with unemployment. Not drawing it...working for it. Nobody really gave a crap what you did, as long as you showed up before 8:01, and didn't leave until the stroke of 4:30. You know, because state employees can't be sued. And they work like it.

Decisions, decisions. I really must submerge and create a new identity.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Number One Stroking Machine

I am rethinking the demise of the Mansion. Perhaps I can use the advice of StewedHamm and Mrs. Coach, and continue at a new location, sporadically. Like at least once per week. I'm still mulling it over. Whatever mull means.

HH and both #1 sons have gone to a Cardinal's game on four free tickets. That means my #1 son and HH's #1 son, who is 14 years older than his little half-brother. Oh, and he's taking one of his step-kids, if you can call her that, seeing as how he's not married to her mother. It's a tangled familial web we weave here at the Mansion. I asked why the original #1 son didn't take one of his boy step-kids, and my #1 son replied, "Mom. There are two boys. You can't just pick one and not the other, so he's taking the girl." Oh. I suppose that is good logic. And goes a bit towards explaining why HH and I have 8 grandkids to shop for this Christmas.

The charge card bill arrived today, with one of HH's Case Knife Collector Trucks on it. Not the one he just ordered today. The one he ordered June 27. We're talking over $250 in truck knives here, people. I still think my Crashy replacement is more important than HH's adult toys. Not those kind of adult toys. The truck knife thingies.

On Sunday night, when HH was lobbying for the $850 lawnmower, he mentioned that the neighbor across from us, where the LandStealer used to live, asked if he would mow her field. Seems their mower is broken. And HH told her "Sure." She asked what he wanted for it, and he told her he would do it for the gas money. WTF? We can certainly use some extra money for HH to buy a new lawnmower, but he tells her he will basically do it for free? And what was he planning to use to mow it, I ask you? The old mower? If so, then why does he need a new one? The new mower? That would mean he counted on getting it before he even asked for the money. The tractor? It is blocking the road to the barn, in need of repair. When questioned under a bright light for several hours, HH declared he was going to fix the tractor and brushhog the neighbor lady's field. Ahem. Then why couldn't he use the tractor to mow our six-acre yard? He used to. HH says it's because the tractor won't mow very short. I gave up this line of questioning, remembering that last summer HH wanted to set the front yard on fire so the grass would grow back greener. Umm...the front yard of the Mansion. The Mansion which is a cedar home with a wrap-around cedar porch.

I am throwing up my hands in defeat. The mower is a done deal. It's here. My grandma has already squandered her money on prescription medicines. If HH wasn't gone to the game right now, he would be over in the barn, stroking his new equipment.

Which is a mental image that none of us want in our head.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Crossing Over

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is at a crossroads, my friends. She has slowed down to almost a stop, what with her screeching brakes installed by HH, and is looking carefully to the left, right, then left again before deciding if she is going to cross this bridge that she has come to. Should she continue blogging, or board up the Mansion and move to the real world? Here now! Don't all of you shout out at once! This is not a ploy to garner compliments from my multitude of readers. Laws, NO! M-O-O-N. That spells, "I do not have self-esteem issues that require validation of my talents." I have been quite entertained by my little Mansion for the past 3 years. It's a place where I can let my warped sense of humor ooze out of my brittle funny bone. But there comes a time when all good things must end.

The new school year is approaching at the speed of a newly-licensed driver with a car full of cronies. I will be teaching two new classes this year, after just pulling together five new classes last year. My student load will increase three-fold. I foresee another year of staying after school for an extra hour every day. I will have a different kind of student, a random sampling, a cross-section, if you will. That means some of them will have parents who care about what is going on at school.

Even though I have never used my Mansion as a town meeting to discuss my employment agenda, I am afraid that any random person may decide that I am indeed a witch in need of burning. My paranoia may lessen if I abandon my Mansion, perhaps even commit an act of arson. Time permitting, I could build a new Mansion, in a new neighborhood, and start afresh, with a brand spankin' new identity issued by the Bureau of Blogger Protection. A Mansion where, umm...nothing much ever happens.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I have a couple weeks to figure it out. I'll post a 'condemned' sign on the Mansion before I make a move. You know how it goes. No forwarding address. But I can be tracked by the return address on my letters. If you know what I mean.

Just sayin'...if I disappear, don't call out that woman with the dog who used to find dead people's bones every time she was called out on a case. Because she was throwing down bones left and right, and I wouldn't want anyone to think I had 11 toes or anything.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Kill Joy

I am grooming my firstborn son to be a serial killer. In fact, he's going to be a serial killer for hire. I offered him 50 cents per fly that he kills inside the Mansion. And believe me, there was getting to be quite a fly population, what with two boys who are in and out about seventy-leven times per day. Right now, the tab stands at $2.50. OK, one was a spider, but I still paid for his execution.

I've never seen the boy move so fast. At the mention of 'fly', he dashes into the laundry room, grabs his trusty weapon where it hangs at the end of a clothes-hanging rod, and shoots back out the door like a superhero on a mission. After the kill, he gloats. It's like that Lysol commercial. He might as well stand brandishing his blue, wire-handled flyswatter, reciting: "I killed them on the cabinet...on the wall...on the soap dispenser...and on the wooden stool, twice." He's a regular killin' machine, that boy. At first, #2 son wanted a cut of the action. He wanted a finder's fee for directing the assassin to the target. He tried his hand at killing, but was too hesitant.

And while we're talking about death...Crashy is on his last legs. He IS 8 years old now. I have been planning to get a new desktop before school starts. I even had #1 son customize one for me on the Dell website--when he wasn't busy with his murderer-for-hire business. I was all ready to order it today. That had been the plan all weekend. I had informed HH several weeks ago. Not that he ever consults me about his major purchases Scout/swimming pool/generators/electric fireplaces/Case collector truck knives/pimpmobile parts. HH agreed that I needed a new one. It's been a long time. I'm still running Windows ME, people. Which I DO like. Perhaps it's the ME part. So the plan was in place, the order thingy was all set up. All I needed to do was submit my credit info and order. Until last night, when HH appeared with his monkey wrench.

"We really need a new lawnmower. Your grandma has that one she just got fixed. It has a snowplow attachment and everything. It was $3200-something new. Even though it's 10 years old now, it's a good mower. She hardly ever used it. I asked her how much she wanted for it, and she said, 'How much do you think it's worth?' I told her I wouldn't have any idea what it's worth. She said, 'The people who just fixed it say it's worth $850.' So I told her that sounded fair to me. I can pick it up one night this week. We can get her the money whenever. She's not going to make me pay before I take it."

Bye, bye, Crashy-replacement.

First of all, I've been saving here and there since the beginning of the year for vacation, which worked out just right and got paid for and we never missed it because of my careful budgeting, and for Christmas, because somehow, HH and I have ended up with 8 grandchildren to buy gifts for. It used to be only 3, which was certainly doable, but now there are some little steps involved, and you can't buy for the reals and not treat the steps equally, because they're kids and don't understand. But that's another gripe for a later day. So while I can come up with $850 and not really feel it, I can not pull $1700 out of the Royal Crown of Hillmomba and pretend we're made of money. It stopped growing on trees with the last ice storm. #1 son even put in a word for me about my computer, because, well, a computer is more fun for him to tinker with than a lawnmower. And would get used daily, year-round, and for my job, besides. Not like that lawnmower that will get used once a week for maybe another month, then sit in the barn for 8 months.

Secondly, I'm not going to take my 90-year-old grandma's lawnmower until that cash is in her arthritic old hand. That ain't right. Besides, she's giving HH a piano absolutely free. So I've laid out $850 on the kitchen counter, because HH says he is going to go get the mower after work today, and I am going to play some bar trivia with my old Lower Basementia buddy this evening and won't be home.

There is no joy in Hillmomba.

This saga will continue

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Eat Me Raw

Let's play Carnac. Anybody remember Carnac the Magnificent? I hated Carnac. Of course, I was just a wee tot at the time Johnny Carson was busy Carnac-ing. I never did like him, but what's a night owl to do when living outside the cable TV limits? Carnac would hold an envelope to his forehead, and give the answer to the question sealed inside.

So here's your Carnac challenge: The answer is..."Eat me raw." Go ahead. Formulate your answer without reading ahead. I will tell you at the end of the post.

We went fishing this afternoon. Which is something we know better than to do. Fish don't bite in the afternoon. They are having a siesta from eating the bait of people with common sense who fish in the morning, and resting until they work up an appetite for the bait of people fishing in the evening. Still, it suited our timetable best to go around 1:00. We went to a pond at a nearby lake. If you knew where I was talking about, that would make sense to you. I caught the first fish. About 2 minutes after HH finished baiting my hook. It was a pretty little orange-bellied bluegill, about 4 inches long from the tip of his spikey tail to the lip of his horrible underbite. Still, it was the first fish. And my only fish. We had a long dry spell. Long enough for HH to drink a whole soda without stopping to remove a catch or bait a hook. I used to bait my own hook, back in the days before I had HH. Shh....he doesn't need to be reminded of that. HH used to know how to cook and clean and shop, too, before he captured me.

#2 son caught the next fish. It was the same kind, but about twice as big as mine. He was excited. #1 son and I walked to the other side of the pond, where we still did not catch fish. We did see some little bass, about 3 inches long, swimming near the shore. We also saw a turtle, the little aquatic kind, not the evil, Devil-powered snapping turtle kind like I caught there one time, in the very same place. The one HH beat with a stick to get my hook out of its mouth. Don't go callin' the animal-loving activists. That old snapper was givin' as good as he got. He never should have opened wide his sharp, beakish mouth and hissed at HH. That tends to set him off. I try not to do it very often. In fact, I turn away during The Quiet Man when the mob of townies follow John Wayne as he chases Maureen O'Hara, proffering him implements to deliver a good old-fashioned beatin', proclaiming, "Here's a stick to beat the lovely lady."

HH caught the third fish on #2's Snoopy fishing pole after the boy grew tired and retired to the truck. Poor #1 son showed the most patience, and was rewared with NO FISH. He is competitive. It was a thorn in his side, a bee in his bonnet. Well, if he had a bonnet, which he doesn't, though there is a rumor that he used to have some nifty high heels and carry a purse. He categorically denies both claims.

So, have you thought of your question to the Carnac answer yet? Here it is: "What did HH hear an ear of corn-on-the-cob whisper to him at the supper table?"

See, HH BBQed after the fishing trip. Enough is more than a feast when the Hillbilly family BBQs. We make enough to last several nights, so Mrs. Hillbilly Mom only has to make different side dishes each evening. Tonight we were having corn-on-the-cob. I asked HH if he wanted to make it tonight. He declared that he could not cook 4 pork steaks, 4 hamburgers, 2 hot dogs, 5 bratwursts, AND 5 ears of corn wrapped in foil. Fine. It could have waited. I could easily have boiled the corn in a pan. Or made something else. But no. HH said he would cook all that and 2 pork steaks. Which is neither here nor there, except that I would have to wrap and freeze them, and I was in a hurry to do something else, which I told him before he started the whole Grinch Chef production. So I went in to wrap those two forlorn outcast pork steaks, and strip the flossy hair from the corn rows, and butter them and salt them and wrap them each in a piece of foil like newborns that needed swaddling, except that I'm pretty sure newborns don't go through the butter and salt treatment, and have a space left open around their little faces for breathing.

After completing these two extra tasks at the cost of 20 minutes of my valuable time, HH stormed into the kitchen and declared that he WAS going to cook them like that, never mind that he'd told me never mind in a fit of grill rage just 20 minutes prior. Yes. HH gave me manitude. He pitched a regular himmy fit. At first he played all passive-aggressive about wanting to get rid of those two pork steaks, then he said forget the corn, then he just freaked out and said he would do it all himself, then stomped off. So when he came in and saw that everything had already been done, he said he was doing it that way. Like he had done it all himself without my 20 minutes of help. And to make this long story finally end...when it was done, the corn really wasn't. It was barely warm in its little foil blanky. But HH ate it anyway and declared it was cooked. So I figured he must have heard that little corny voice whisper,

"Eat me raw."

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Nuclear Reckless Accident Devilment

Ho hum. I spent a lazy afternoon watching nuclear annihilation with my boys. Now that's quality time, by cracky! We watched The Day After, which scared the bejesus out of me the first time I ever saw it. Probably something about living in western Missouri at the time, and seeing those missile silos in the cornfields while driving up and down Hwy 71.

We soon tired of watching people die slowly of radiation sickness, so #1 son and I drove to town to mail some bills and buy Powerball tickets and shop at Save-A-Lot. We might have been safer staying home and taking our chances with radiation sickness. The roads were treacherous. Not so much the roads as the other people driving on my side. Three separate autos tried to kill me. First was a pickup towing a trailer with a four-wheeler, which came over the center line just before we reached the local prison. Sweet Gummi Mary, you would have thought there was a prison break or something. Oh, and next was a city police car that almost nailed me in front of the mushroom factory, what with barreling over the crest of the hill totally in my lane. Note to self, Coppers: People on the other side of the hill can't see me to get out of the way, and can't hear my siren until I crest the hill, especially if they are car-singing instead of listening for my siren because they have never seen a police chase from our police department, only minorities pulled over alongside the road near the prison. The third was on the way home, on our blacktop county road, another roving hillcrester in a black pickup pulling a stock car on a trailer. C'mon, people. Even Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, in her armored LSUV, knows that you must stay on your own side going over a hill. Methinks The Devil has been working in mysterious ways. Overtime. We left him lying face down under a cedar tree with a broken top from the last ice storm, near HH's truck that is too big for the garage.

The boys have both been mysteriously injured by inanimate objects within the confines of the Mansion. Young #2 son came ponying up the basement stairs, and blew out his flip-flop. Without even any margaritas in sight, doggone it. He tripped on the top step, and whacked his left arm and wrist on the wooden stair post, leaving several scratches that welted up like cat scratches. Then, several hours later, #1 son went up the steps successfully, but in rounding the landing by the evil stair post, slipped on the welcome rug and twisted his ankle. This area is right by the front door that leads to the porch, the porch where we found The Devil in repose a few mornings ago. Shame on The Devil.

Oh, and in the Save-A-Lot, some snotty woman made a snotty comment that I think was directed at me. I had parked my cart by the frozen food bin, looking for a Fried Chicken/Corn/Mashed Potato 99-cent frozen dinner that #1 son had requested. I was the only cart on the aisle. I crossed to get a box of mini sausage biscuits from the clear-doored freezer section along the wall, and a chick who had been parked back at the end of the aisle came cruising along like Christine from the Stephen King book of the same name, except she didn't ram me, but let me get back to my cart. She parked across from my cart. I was busily digging through the dinners when a new beast sent by The Devil came wheeling down the frozen bin area towards me. She couldn't get through because of the other chick parked across from me. She kind of stood there staring, but I ignored her, because I was fishing for chicken. And I was there first, you know. So then she left her cart and huffed between us, snarking, "Can't I even walk around?" I don't know WTF she meant by that. I didn't say anything to her. I didn't even sigh and roll my eyes at her. What was her deal? She went prospecting in the frozen bin several yards away from me, in the crispy fish area. I was hoping for a bloody Deadliest Catch accident, but none was forthcoming.

I hate people. People piss me off! But I would never say anything like that. She should have driven her cart with the traffic instead of coming up the aisle the wrong way. Nobody ever goes that way. And I was there first! I didn't know she expected me to back up. She didn't say "Excuse me" or "Ahem" or anything. For all I knew, she was just staring at me because I am OH SO PRETTY.

I hope she finds The Devil on her front porch tomorrow.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Between the Devil and the Annoyingly Loud Aquarium

The Devil was in the front yard this morning when I looked out. Tank was guarding him. I wish he would go back to where he came from. The Devil, not the dog. What kind of person leaves a perfectly good Devil out in the yard where a baby beagle can kidnap him? OK, right now, I suppose that would be one Hillbilly Mom. But it wasn't my Devil to start with. The Devil is free for the taking. Somebody with idle hands needs to come and pick up The Devil. I hear he is good at finding employment for such people.

Last night, HH found work for #1 son. He made him drive the truck around the grounds...towing HH on his tractor. Men. The things they do for fun. I'm surprised they weren't having lawnmower races. Oh. No, I'm not. The lawnmowers, as well as the tractor, are broken.

Unbeknownst to Mabel, I have been collecting a particular item for her all summer. Don't get excited, Silent Mabel. It's nothing good. No Pringles tubes or stray pencils or cow items or books you won't be allowed to keep. Just something that you like, that you could get for yourself free of charge if you bought something else. Can you guess it, Mabel? Heh, heh. I knew you couldn't. I think I have 12 of them right now. Not that they come in a set or anything. I know you like them, because other people always give them to you. I've witnessed it with my own peepers. I need to shut up before you actually guess what it is.

I am having trouble with the #1 son. He is fiddling with Gamey for no good reason. Gamey seems to have a nautical theme. The boy tells me it is the 'aquarium' theme, but it looks like the bottom of the ocean to me. Every few minutes, he scares me out of my skin with a dolphin bark, or tortures me with a bathroom-sink dripping noise, or gags me with a plopping-into-water sound that one might hear in a toilet, or makes my skin crawl with a painful baby-being-pinched shriek, or stops my heart with a freighter horn blast. I would like to know when these items fit into an aquarium. An aquarium would sound like some little bubbly bubbles. It would be peaceful.

This racket almost makes me long for a good argument with Lappy.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The DEVIL, I Say!

Ahh...another evening spent listening to strange noises from upstairs. Not the usual walking through the kitchen, but a localized stomping around, like popping some microwave corn, or whipping up a pot of beanie weenies on the stove. Then I heard something going on in the bathroom, but no footsteps leading in or out. It's maddening, I tell you. Just when you're engrossed in the Big Brother 8 live feed on Showtime from 11:00 to 2:00, things start going bump in the kitchen and bathroom.

I arose this morning not quite refreshed. To add insult to no injury, my ER was not on TBS, but 6 hours of golf was. I picked up my library book, a 1957 romp in a post-nuclear world entitled On the Beach, and #2 son rolled himself off the couch. "I'm going outside to pet the dogs." #1 came out of the room he thinks he rents for free to stir things up. And then the #2 son returned. He opened the front door, and announced, "Umm...look what I found on the porch." Can anybody guess what it was? I didn't think so. On the Mansion porch this morning, my son found....

THE DEVIL!
















Someone, or something, has been shenaniganing, methinks. This is not the actual position The Devil was found in. He was lying down in that spot, not propped up against my dead rosebush. Maybe that's just how he climbed up on the porch. Maybe there are no steps in the netherworld. #2 son grabbed The Devil by the horns, and dangled him at the gates of my basement lair for us to admire. It did not take My Little Pony long to deduce that our sweet little Tank had brought home the uninvited guest from HELL. How did young Sherlock make that call?



Maybe this had something to do with it.

Tank has a new best friend.







We certainly couldn't blame the doggie Ann.

Ann wanted no part of The Devil with no dress on. She appeared a bit embarrassed by the whole thing. No poser, our Annie. The chewingest dog refused to even nibble on Satan. They do take a good picture, though.






Tank grew nervous.

He did not want to share his newfound friend. In fact, he took off like a hound out of hell. Perhaps Tank and The Devil are going down to Georgia. But one thing is for certain...The Devil does not wear Prada. Or anything, for that matter. He's not even in disguise.





There's no looking back, Tank. Now you've got The Devil to pay.
















Tank now has developed a devil-may-care attitude. It does no good to shout at The Devil. And speaking of The Devil, he did not even whip us up any cake or eggs in thanks for our Hillbilly hospitality. Go figure!

I am a bit perturbed. I don't like to see symbols in things. I'm sure Tank has just been out feeding quarters to the stuffed-animal grabby-thingy at the chicken wing restaurant that is 20 miles from our house. Or perhaps he found The Devil at the stuffed-animal grabby-thingy at The Devil's Playground. Hey, Tank! The Playground called. It wants its Devil back. I, for one, have no sympathy for The Devil. He is an uninvited guest, and Tank will soon chew the stuffing out of him. I told the #1 son to put The Devil in the dumpster, but he refused. "Awww....Tank likes him too much." So he's the one who will pick Satan's entrails out of the yard when he meets his demise.

I am sure it was just a coincidence that we started hearing extra unexplained noises this week, and The Devil appeared on our porch. That's what I'm trying to convince myself. Just like when my internet provider sent me a billing email from "Billing@uranus.accessus.net", I tried to convince myself that they were not being smarta$$es and calling me a butt...hole for using the same company even though it's changed owners about 5 times.

Purely a coincidence. Isn't it?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My Life of Education Hasn't Hurt Me None

Here is a little something I picked up from Redneck Diva. Don't worry, it's not contagious. She called hers, "High School Musical". Unlike the Diva, I don't believe in false advertising, so I have chosen to call mine...

That's SO High School

1. Who was your best friend? OK, start with a hard one, why don't you? My best friends Debbie and Carolyn were a year ahead of me. When they graduated, I defaulted to Jane, who crossed over to the dark side and developed a boyfriend habit in the middle of football season, so I had to make do with Susan, who was a year behind us. But don't worry about Little Hillbilly futureMom. She had a regular crew of Mike, Marvin, Randy, Terri's Mike, Lana, Norma, and Terri to keep her laughin'.

2. What sports did you play? Volleyball: 2nd place in the state tournament senior year, thank you very much, not that I had all that much playing time on such a high-powered team. Track: mile run and discus, the odd couple of track & field events.

3. What kind of car did you drive? Bright yellow Chevy Vega hatchback with a black stripe down the side. You can fit an amazing number of people in a car like that. You can get an even more amazing number of cars to honk at you if (unbeknownst to you) your friend Susan rides in the hatch, mooning traffic on the strip. For 3 miles.

4. It's Friday night, where were you? In the middle of the football field, marching with the band. Or at the basketball game, spectating. Or at the drive-in, watching crappy movies and learning how a one-armed man counts his change.

5. Were you a party animal? Oh, my...NO! Not until college. Then I was part of a trio of THE VERY BEST PARTY-THROWERS.

6. Were you considered a flirt? No. I was considered the brainy girl, so smart that girls outside my crowd would not even talk about their boyfriends around me, to protect my tender ears. As in, while cruising around with a slightly inebriated passenger straddling the console of a Mustang driven by my not-best friend, Other Debbie, the passenger said, "I can't talk about that NOW! Little Hillbilly futureMom is right there!"

7. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir? Orchestra? Hillbillies ain't that refined. Choir? Only to get the required credit freshman year. Band? I am proud to say that not only was I a band member...I was also the Band President. First chair, clarinet. #1 rating at contest for my little clarinet trio with my older best friends, Debbie and Carolyn. Our band made a trip to Springfield, Illinois on three chartered Greyhound buses. We hit the big time, baby. And while farmed out to various homes while there, my senior ring dropped off my finger into a toilet in the home of my host family. I had to dig it out of that cold, cold water and scrub my hands like the dickens to get ready for their Friday night dinner of fish. A dinner which was interrupted by tornado sirens. Oh, and after that, we recorded an album.

8. Were you a nerd? Laws, YES!

9. Did you get suspended/expelled? No. I stayed on the right side of the law.

10. Can you sing the fight song? No. I can play it on a clarinet. While unwinding from a spiral around a goalpost and marching down the middle of a football field.

11. Who was your favorite teacher? Can't say her name, because I teach with her son, and she plays trivia with us. She must remain anonymous, but she was my 11th grade English teacher. I was also partial to Mr. Hadfield, the band teacher.

12. School mascot? Rebel. Don't be hatin'.

13. Did you go to prom? No. Our junior/senior prom was cancelled due to lack of interest. It was a different time back then, in them olden days. There was a head shop on Main Street. You do the math.

14. If you could go back and do it over, would you? Maybe. It wasn't so bad.

15. What do you remember most about graduation? I was valedictorian. I was afraid they were going to make me give a speech, but luckily the class voted to have a guest speaker. He was a St. Louis newscaster.

16. Where were you on senior skip day? We didn't have one. That would have broken the rules, by cracky!

17. Did you have a job your senior year? No. I led a sheltered life.

18. Where did you go most often for lunch? The cafeteria. The food was actually good. Sometimes we went to Sonic, but time was too short to go very often, as that was the only place in town, and everybody went, and tardies do accumulate.

19. Have you gained weight since then? Sweet Gummi Mary! It's not polite to ask a woman about her weight! So you may infer that the answer is 'yes'.

20. What did you do after graduation? Went back to my house for a family get-together. My mom's idea.

21. When did you graduate? I'll never tellllll!

22. Who was your senior prom date? Have you not been paying attention? We had neither a junior nor a senior prom. But I went to the school play with Marvin, who is now a bank president.

23. Are you going/did you go to your 10-year reunion? I have not gone to any reunions, and do not plan to do so. I just really don't like people. People piss me off. For no particular reason.

24. Who was your homeroom teacher? We did not have homeroom. We had a class 2nd hour with a 15 minute break for snacks. That was Mrs. Moore. Also called Bore Moore. We meant her no harm. That hamster was supposed to stay in the top drawer.

25. Who will repost this after you? Probably no one. If they were going to, they would have picked it up from Diva their own selves.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Book Learnin'

Today was the weekly trip to the library. They were having a sale! Who knew? We were just there last Wednesday, and there was no sign of a sale. And TODAY was the last day. That's good news and bad news, the good news being that prices were reduced; the bad news being that some of the good books had already been boughten. Anyhoo...I picked up 7 paperbacks for $1. Not bad, huh? It's almost as good as Ye Olde Expired Food Shoppe, where my mom does her grocery shopping. I could have gotten 7 hardbacks for $5, but, well...I have enough hardbacks taking up space at home without bringing in mongrels. I suppose I could donate my books to the library. Nawww! They don't deserve my cast-offs. And I refuse to put anything into their tip jar, either. I figure my $5 out-of-town family fee is all they're get out of me every year. Plus that $1 per card that they charged me for not giving us our cards last year, even though we paid for them.

I was hoping my #1 son would check out some books. I am concerned that his brain has atrophied since 5th grade. He acts like a big ol' puddin' head. And you won't believe some of the things he says he learned last year. I am hoping that he is just horribly confused. Here are some of the 'facts' he has enlightened me with. (Now if I could only get him to end his sentences with prepostions...)

Exibit A: The Viceroy Butterfly mimics the Monarch Butterfly in color, which is a good adaptation, because the Monarch is poisonous. OK. I don't have a beef with his butterfly facts. I have a beef with the boy's pronunciation of 'Viceroy'. He says it like 'viss er oy'. Which is not right, by cracky! That word is 'vice roy'. Everybody knows that. (Everybody who speaks American.) But he swears that his teacher taught him that it is 'viss er oy'.

Exhibit B: Again with the pronunciation thingy, but from a different teacher. The body has a major artery that hooks onto the heart called the vena cava. Which I tell him is pronounced just like it is spelled. But noooo! The teacher told the class it was spelled that way, but pronounced 'vena cavy'. I. Don't. Think so.

Exhibit C: The piece de resistance brings us to systems of measurement. And yes, it is yet a different teacher than the other two. We had a discussion in the Large SUV one day about how when Mrs. Hillbilly Mom herself was but a pup, her 8th grade math teacher bet the entire class a soda that by the time Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's class graduated from high school, the United States would be using the metric system. As in all road signs in kilometers, measuring gasoline in liters, etc. My boy said, "I guess he had to buy a lot of sodas, because even NOW, we're still using the Customary System." WTF? I turned to stare at my little shotgun-riding protege, driving blind momentarily to give him the stink-eye. "You mean the 'English System', right?" The boy frowned. "What's that? I mean the Customary System. The other system of measurement than the metric system. The one with pounds and ounces and feet and inches.That's what our teacher told us. She even read it right out of the book. Only two countries use the Customary System: the United States, and some other country she couldn't pronounce. Why would she make that up, Mom? You are the one who doesn't know what you're talking about."
* See Below


Sweet Gummi Mary! How has education gone so horribly wrong?

I am hoping that my boy just had a confusing year, what with being so busy growing up and all. Surely these incidents did not really happen as he recounts them. Surely.

* OK, I don't know when this happened, but apparently, the Customary System is real!!! Never mind that every teacher I asked (all four of them) only knew about the metric and English systems. I suppose we all need a good spanking, and enrollment in a graduate course called New Tricks. Who knew that while I was having a Rip van Winkle snooze, somebody would change the measurement system right underneath my arthritic old bones? I call shenanigans!

Excuse me. I am off to track down my old math teacher. I need a soda.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Hometown Hillbilly Gazette

After so many weeks of nothing new, this week has been quite eventful. So eventful, in fact, that I must rush out an issue of the Hillbilly Gazette. Yep. I love reading Redneck Diva's news so much, I've got to publish another rag of my own. The only thing holding me back has been the lack of news.

Hear ye, hear ye! Read all about it!

HOMETOWN HILLBILLY GAZETTE
All the News in Hillmomba That's Fit to Print

Local Woman's Tongue Ripped Out in Freak Domestic Accident
A horrifying sight greeted two local youngsters this afternoon, as they witnessed their mother in the act of ripping out her own tongue. In a hurry to rush the oldest boy to his doctor's appointment, the woman tugged too firmly on her tongue, only to find it dangling from her left hand. As the boys gasped, the matriarch declared, "I'll just put it back in for now. There's no time to sew it back on." While stuffing the tongue back into its proper position, she was heard to say, "I should get a refund from New Balance."

Falling IQs Center of Controversy
Mr. Hillbilly Husband has recently started his own think tank. With construction on his MiniMansion complete, and the backyard copper mine not yet begun, Mr. Husband had some time on his hands. Not one to sit idle, he proposed a research topic to his oldest son, #1 Son Hillbilly. The topic of "You and Your Mother Are Not Half as Smart as You Think You Are" has resulted in many a heated discussion around the campfire. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has been heard to state smugly: "I know I'm at least 75 % as smart as I think I am." To date, there has been no reply from Mr. Husband.

Who Knew? Falling Temps Cause Thaw
The temperature is falling this summer, as the Hillbilly Mom Mother turned on her central air conditioning. Some years she has been known to hold out until August, stating, "I really don't feel the heat. I'm quite comfortable down in the family room." as she props up her bare feet in front of the oscillating fan and dabs her brow with half of a Bounty Select-A-Size paper towel. With the thermostat of her childhood homestead set at a chilly 80 degrees, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has vowed to end her boycott of her madre's hacienda. Her children were heard to remark that her cold, cold heart melted two sizes today.

Boy's Murder Attempt Thwarted
A rural Hillbilly boy plotted a coldblooded murder this week, after tiring of his mother's daily beratings. He plotted the act in secret, out of sight of her prying eyes. The only witness was his younger brother, noted for singing like a canary, going by the code name of My Little Pony. The dastardly deed occurred on the stairs, the instrument of death being a metal-handled flyswatter of the same kind Mrs. Hillbilly Mom was spanked with as a child. The would-be whacking was thwarted when the victim used his exemplary eyesight to shoot out from under the whacker. This feud seems to be ongoing, with the little murder suspect receiving strict instructions to let no more of the enemy into the Mansion. More on this story as it develops.

Riot Narrowly Averted At Doctor's Office
An angry mob grew restless today while waiting to be called into a local doctor's exam rooms. Some waited for up to 45 minutes before being called back. A patron who asked to use the restroom was told, "If the door isn't locked." He replied that the ones in the main building were closed, and was informed, "They are clogged up." An older fellow was asked to show his insurance card after signing in and sitting down. He muttered to his wife and grandson, "This is a pain in the a$$." He then told the receptionist, "You just saw it last week, it hasn't changed." She argued that the company who bought the hospital requires the card to be seen each time. The oldster proclaimed, "I don't really care. I hope that hospital goes out of business. I need to get a new doctor." For this statement, he received neither an apology nor a suggestion of 'Don't let the door hit your a$$ on the way out.' A young Hillbilly boy received a personal apology from the doctor in the exam room. He and his family high-tailed it out of harm's way before a full-scale riot developed.

That's all the news for today. We shall see what tomorrow brings. It is library day.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sty Roasting Ghost Wrestling

Nothing much to report. HH refuses to validate my sty. "I don't see anything" was the exact quote. In the other corner, #1 son screams, "EEWWW" and refuses to look at me. Somebody is not telling the truth. Either I have reached the "Look away. I'm hideous!" level, or I am still the shell of my former self. The #2 son is the voice of reason. "I see the red, but not the raised up part." Which makes me think he is the truth-teller, because the raised-up part is on the inside of the eyelid. I don't make a habit of walking around the Mansion with my eyelid turned inside out. That's not how I roll.

#1 son and I roasted some marshmallows for dessert after lunch. On the stove. Doesn't everybody? No mosquitos, no smoke. Of course, there is a danger of setting the Mansion a-blaze. The boy said, "I'll get a pan of water ready, just in case." Duh. You can tell he is not an experienced indoor-marshmallow-roaster. I had to explain that you can't throw water on a fire like that, that we would need to smother it with the big copper-bottomed boiling pan thingy that was sitting on the other back burner. Not in preparation for a flaming marshmallow accident, mind you, but because I am just too lazy to bend over and put it in its proper resting place. Next week, I'm going to teach the boy how to light a candle using a rolled-up paper plate. And how to get rid of the blazing paper plate, which is NOT by dropping it in the trash can. At one of my old schools, a kid's house burned down because her mom emptied the ashtrays, and set the garbage bags out in the garage before going to bed. The girl woke up smelling smoke, and got her whole family out of the house before they could die. See? Smoking is not good for you. Which is neither here nor there. They were smokers. We are not. That's why we can never find a lighter when we want to light a candle.

The upstairs noises continue. Last night, from about 11:30 to 1:30, I heard a great commotion from the area of #1 son's bedroom. Usually, the footsteps walk across the kitchen, or around the bathroom. This sounded like a wrestling match. Or rasslin' match, as we say around these parts. It was not the TV. I switched channels and found what he was watching. It's always the History Channel or Discovery or TLC. I could hear his TV through the floor vent, so I know it was not on TV. I know that the dogs sometimes fling the bones of a stray deer haunch about on the porch, or an empty turtle shell if the neighbor has been too busy to poach, but this was not on the porch. That is merely thumping against the cedar siding. This was a clanging noise, and bumps and thumps. The boy has one of those metal-pipe-like bunk beds. It is red and blue and yellow, with a hollow metal frame. This sounded like there was a dog shaking him like a rag doll, whacking him against the pipes, willy-nilly. At first, I figured he was tossing and turning in his sleep, even though I've never heard this noise up there before. Or maybe that he sat up suddenly, and cracked his head on the top bunk frame. But it happened several times, at no regular interval. Then I heard some thumping on the floor of his room. I supposed maybe he had fallen out of bed. Did I go check on him? Umm...NO! Not until I went to bed around 2:00. He was fine. He was in bed. He was breathing. He still had all his bones under his skin. I turned off his TVs and skedaddled to my own bedroom, where HH was raising the roof with his breather.

This morning I told #1 son that I'd heard quite a commotion in his room. He said, "Well, I heard a clanging noise that woke me up! And when I looked over toward my clock, my flashlight had been knocked over." I told him I thought he was restless and whacked his arm on the bedpost. He said, "I thought maybe that was it, too. So I reached out my arm, but it doesn't reach all the way over there from where I woke up." I looked up at his top bunk, and a baby picture on the wall was all crookedy. I asked, "What happened to Baby #1 in the night?" He looked puzzled, and climbed up to straighten it. "Oh. I know. See this big dog? It fell over there and knocked the picture sideways." He put the stuffed animal in a different place, and straightened the picture. I didn't ask what commotion shook the bed so that the 18-inch-tall stuffed dalmation fell over.

The plot thickens.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

One-Eyed Yack

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is not in a festive mood today. Shocking, huh? I have a sty on my eye. I hate it when that happens. If you've never had one, it's like a pimple up inside your eyelid. It is uncomfortable. You can not do anything to it. You certainly don't want to pick at it. You can't put antibiotic ointment and a Band-Aid on it. You can't paint on that liquid skin bandage stuff that Mabel is fond of. You can't shame it off your eyelid by shouting preposition-ending sentences at it. And you refuse to go to the doctor for it, what with it being a Saturday, when nobody is supposed to be sick, and the ER is kind of out of the question, because the staff would die laughing if you walked in with an eye sty, which would be a murder charge to deal with, and your two insurance companies would most likely frown upon the claim after setting it aside for 90 days and then deciding that, well, somebody's gonna be askin' about that bill sometime, and maybe we ought to send out a letter that the claim is being processed before we deny it in another 90 days.

About the only thing I've read that you can do for a sty is to put a warm, wet compress on it until it drains. Do you know what that means, people? THE PUS WILL LEAK OUT ONTO YOU EYEBALL!!! Though I DO admit to stooping to that treatment on a previous occasion, because of the excruciating pain every time I blinked. So I am stuck between a sty and a mushy place, with no real treatment until it goes away on its own.

OHHH! I just googled it, and look at all my new treatment options:

Application of prescribed antibiotic drops may also be used to help fight the infection.
Yes, welllll...that would require a doctor's visit. No dice.

Boil a handful of acacia leaves in two cups of water to make a decoction and apply it as compress on the eyelids.
Sweet Gummi Mary! What is a 'decoction'? And why would I want to place a boiling one on my eyelids?

A grated potato used as a poultice reduces swelling in inflamed eyes.
MmmHmmmm. I'll be rockin' the Save-A-Lot with my grated-potato poultice strapped to my eye. Why, I'll bet they want me to hang around awhile. You know, because it's good for the potato-selling business.

Surgical drainage of the sty may also be necessary if the sty is not responding to treatment.
Hold on there just a cotton-pickin' minute, pardner! The words 'surgical', 'drainage', and 'eye' should not be used in the same sentence. Paula Deen in my front yard eating a lobster! These doctors got some funny 'eyedeas'.

Boil 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds with a cupful of water like an herbal tea preparation to wash the eyes 3-4
times a day.

Nor do I wish to wash my eyes with boiling herbal tea. 3-4 times a day.

One or a combination of antibiotic or steroid drops or injections; warm compresses for 5 to 10 minutes, 3 or 4 times a day; gentle massage to express the glandular secretions; or surgical drainage.
Again, I do not wish to hear the word 'injection' pertaining to my eyes. And can we please not discuss my 'glandular secretions' here, especially after I am supposed to secrete them by gently massaging myself?



This kind of limits my recreational activities. Because, umm...I need my eyes for everything. And with the right one closed, I can not see very well. It is difficult to read, what with the left eye being somewhat far-sighted. I can watch TV, but, DUH, it's Saturday afternoon, and the shows are not very stimulating. I can blog, but again with the left-eye thingy, everything is blurry. I am going to drive to town later to buy some cheap soda and ice for a hot dog roasting outing at the MiniMansion, and Powerball tickets so I can win lots of money and hire my own sty-doctor to have on call. I think the left eye should be able to handle the trip. It's not like people can't see that Large SUV coming and get out of my way. I am not very optimistic about a strange woman in Save-A-Lot telling me I am SO PRETTY, what with the bulging red inner-eye pimple thing going on. When I return home, I'm not sure what I'll be doing. But I AM absolutely sure that housework would not be good for an eye sty. Some dust might get up in there, and we wouldn't want THAT to happen. So it looks like I will be doin' a whole lot of nothin' for a few days.

I may create an eyepatch and refuse to say anything but "Arrgghhhh" for the rest of the weekend. Or not.

Friday, July 13, 2007

I Call Shenanigans

Actually, I call: "STOP the shenanigans!" That's because I want my children to be those freakish nerds who talk like they're living in the 1950s. Yes, every evening, when I'm trying to get supper ready, and my #1 son is inventing new ways to torment his little brother, I call: "STOP the shenanigans!" And he replies, "I will NOT stop shenaniganing. In fact, I guarantee you I WILL. Shenan. AGAIN!" So much for my parenting skills.

His method of shenaniganing the night before he made the new career choice of 'ghosthunter' was, again, to torture his 9-year-old brother. My Little Pony is none too fond of the dark. He does not like to be alone in the dark. In fact, he sleeps on the couch, with the TV on, unless HH has turned it off with his iron hand. Early in the evening, #1 son lured #2 out of the house for something. Perhaps to get in Poolio first, or get something out of the LSUV, or give the dogs a treat. The specifics escape me. But #1 came to me with a walkie-talkie and said, "I'm going to put this under the couch cushion. Then at 10:00, I am going to say his name on the other walkie-talkie while I'm in the basement. He will be scared out of his mind."

He planted the instrument of torture under the cushion. All evening, he walked around with the other walkie-talkie, making it beep and crackle. That was just to desensitize My Little Pony from those noises, in case he heard that before his name was called by the Evil Spirit of the Couch. Around 10:10, #1 came down to the basement. He said, "We'll wait a few minutes, so he won't think we've planned something." Then he went over by the NASCAR bathroom, right under the couch area, and said quietly, in his newly deep voice, "Number Two". From upstairs, we heard My Little Pony exclaim, "Number One! You stop that NOW! I know it is you! And there's a walkie-talkie up here somewhere!" Yeah. He didn't sound very convinced, so I made #1 confess right away.

I find it fitting that the very next night, #1 was frightened by a short, white blur that he thought was My Little Pony, when the little prancer was actually asleep on the couch. Touche'.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Things That Go Step In The Night

My #1 son has decided that he wants to be a ghostbuster. I can't see it. I think it is the technology drawing him in, the heat sensors and mini DV recorders, and those EVP thingies. Because that boy is the biggest scaredy cat I've ever seen. I might as well call him My Little Chicken, since I already have a Little Pony. Last night, as we were watching Ghost Hunters in the Mansion basement, just a few paces from where that headless man appeared to me a couple years ago...he said, "That would be the coolest job in the world." I told him he would never make it through the first night. He would run out, screaming like a schoolgirl.

Speaking of school...the boy wants to have his newspaper staff stay in the school at night and report what they find. There are rumors of noises in the gym, people that aren't people walking through the library, voices calling your name, etc. He doesn't want to stay the whole night, just a couple hours after dark, with the lights out. I don't think the schoolrunners would go for it, but if a sponsor asked, and the kids had faculty supervision at all times, they might be able to swing it. Not me. I don't go into a dark school at night unless it is part of my job. My haunted school experience elsewhere has made a believer out of me. And those Ghost Hunter guys who ask for the 'spirits' to give them a sign are asking for it, by cracky. I would be saying, "Just let me finish up and get out of here, and then y'all can go back to foolin' around. I promise not to tell people you are here." I would not make a good Ghost Hunter. And neither would my #1 son.

The boy is afraid of his own shadow. Or his brother's shadow. In fact, just an hour after watching Ghost Hunters, he came downstairs to say goodnight. He said, "When I was in my room, changing into my pajamas, I saw a white blur go by my door. It was about this high (3-4 feet). I thought it was #2, in his white shirt, going to the bathroom. It went in the bathroom door, and I heard peeing. But he didn't come out. I went in there to wash my face, and the bathroom was empty. So then I though he came out and hid in his room, but it was empty. He was on the living room couch, asleep. LISTEN!"

We heard walking upstairs, in the kitchen area. I hear it every night. I always assume it is HH or #1. The boy said, "I never get up at night." Yeah. I heard that noise when they were both gone to the baseball game one night, too. Let's face it. I have always lived in a house where we hear walking upstairs, ever since I was in 7th grade and we moved into our new house across the road from a cemetery. A cemetery called the HillbillyMom'sMaidenName Cemetery. As long as somebody is home, I just pretend that it's them, like I always did, and it doesn't spook me. The boy didn't want to go back upstairs. "Come with me, Mom. Just to the stairs." Nope. Mr. Ghost Hunter was on his own. He did not like the idea, but he liked even less the idea of falling asleep on the couch, and me leaving him there overnight. This from a boy who spent about 2 years sleeping down there. Now he has heard the footsteps, and had a change of heart.

Don't be looking for the Hillbilly boy on TV any time soon.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Greatest Story Mabel Told

The elusive Mabel resurfaced this morning at 11:00. She was calling from her new I-phone. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I was perfectly capable of talking to her on my 4-year-old Motorola V220, which is now the oldest phone in the family, since my mom finally upgraded from her old blue brick-looking Nokia (that was rumored to be 7 years old and didn't even flip, by cracky), because the phone company was going to charge her an extra dollar a month to use it. Mabel is always good for some classified info, and she hit one out of the park this time. Sorry, I can't discuss the details. Get you own Mabel.

Mabel also gave me today's tale for the Strange But True file. Forgive me, Mabel, if I am a bit sketchy on the specifics. Unbeknownst to Mabel, there was a bit of sibling warfare being conducted under the very nose of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom during the conversation. In keeping the sparring factors from spilling blood (a sight which Mabel would NOT want to see, even if her I-phone could sit down, cross its legs, and sketch the spurting bodily fluid with colored chalk on a caricature flip-page tablet resting on an easel, much like a vendor at the Labor Day Picnic), some details were lost. I have taken artistic license, and written my report as I see fit, with much willy-nilly tap tap tapping of keys upon my Crashy, details be darned. I am in the entertainment business, you know...not a stringer for the Hooterville Gazette.

Seems that Mabel had been at her mother's house, doing her chores like a good little Mabel; chores such as replacing batteries and light bulbs and buying a new mattress and box springs ensemble. Mabel mabed herself a helper, and wrestled the combo into the dwelling. She applied bedding. And found out the bed was now too high for the mom. The Mom, taking a tip from the Roloff family, volunteered to use a step-stool to climb into bed each night. Mabel was not too crazy on the idea. She really needs to order her mom one of those $400 Roloff step-stools. Who can put a price on her mother's counting of the elusive ZZZZZZs, after all? Apparently, Mabel. Or perhaps she is not familiar with the Roloff stool. Methinks Mabel needs a Roloff stool sample.

Anyhoo, as Mabel traipsed around the bed, looking for a solution, waiting for inspiration to strike her...she got the most scathingly brilliant idea! She would cut four inches off the bedposts! Not being a union card-holder in the world's oldest profession (CARPENTER, you naughty, non-Designing Women-watching pervs), Mabel sweet-talked a friend into helping. We shall call him 'Wally', which is as good a name as any, considering it's his actual name, though I don't think he ever had a lawnmower burst into flame after loaning it to someblogger who shall remain nameless.

Mabel brought Wally and his circular saw over to the abode, and they plotted the cutting-edge leg surgery that would soon allow The Mom to sleep like a log on her new mattress. Providing, of course, that Mabel did not stoop to some tomfoolery such as stashing a pea under the mattress. The more Team Mabel-Wally thought about the operation, the more wishy-washy their scheme became. The bed could not be moved out of the room. It was bolted too tightly. The circular saw plan was not holding water. Then Wally confessed: "I am really better with my hand saw." So off they went, in the middle of the operation, to fetch the new instrument. I'm tellin' ya, these two surgeons might as well hire on at County General, now that one-armed Romano is pushin' up daisies after that unfortunate second helipcopter accident.

As reported by Mabel, Mabel lifted the bed so that Wally could accurately measure four inches on each bedpost. It wouldn't do to be off a bit, and then have to trim some more off one leg, and then another leg, and, well, it could be the neverending leg-trimming surgery, which would most likely end badly, with The Mom sleeping on a pallet on the floor. Not IN the floor. Laws, NO! M-O-O-N, that spells "Only Missouri and Oklahoma people sleep IN the floor...the rest of y'all sleep ON the floor." Anyhoo...the operation was a success. The bed is now four inches shorter. The Mom can get a good night's rest, without even needing that giant green Lunesta moth to flutter over her bed in a creepy, glowing, hallucinatory cartoon moth kind of way.

And I got a great story for my blog. If anybody wants to option the movie rights, drop me a comment. Mabel never reads them. What Mabel doesn't know won't hurt me.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

We Can Rebuild Him

The Gamey re-animation is in progress. FedEx arrived bright and early at the stroke of 9:30, delivering the second restore disk for Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, the Compaq version. Funny thing...this time, I didn't have to sign for it. And this time, it didn't come in a nice plastic CD holder, but in a Ziploc bag. And methinks it was a generic Ziploc bag, at that. So all the livelong day, Gamey has been cramming his hard drive with bits of info. Gamey has also been hooked up to life-support with a giant black heavy-duty extension cord about the thickness of a kielbasa, and is still attached to two surge suppressors. Now if we can just connect with an afternoon lightning bolt, we can shout: "HE LIVES! GAMEY LIVES!"

I am ready for the Gamey vigil to end. My #2 son has been without Gamey for almost the entire summer. He lives for that thing. He spent all his afterschool time on it. Now, he lies listlessly on the living room couch. He does not even enjoy Poolio anymore. His GameBoy, GameBoy DS, and DS Lite are gathering dust on the end tables. I think he is losing his will to game.

And the nursemaiding of Gamey alone is enough to drive me crazy. #2 son and I peacefully coexist in my basement lair. #1 is an annoying intruder. He's kind of like the John Leguizamo of 12-year-old computer-repairing sons. Anything he says, which is plenty, has a smart-alecky edge to it. And he interrupts constantly, spouting info of which I would happily remain ignorant. The other day, he set up Lappy on the side pull-out thingy of the large metal ex-office desk that is the final resting place of Gamey. I was happily blogging, creative juices flowing from my fingertips into the keys of Crashy, much like foot-sweat flowing out of #1 son dripping onto the floor, when I heard: "I know you hate Lappy."

This was from Lappy himself. In that creepy, monotone 'text to speech' voice. It was neverending. I lost my concentration. Imagine, if you will, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom arguing with Lappy:

I know you secretly hate Lappy.
No I don't.
Yes, you do.
I'm trying to do something here.
Oh no you're not. Don't you like Lappy?
Not right now.
Lappy has not done anything to you.
Lappy is driving me crazy.
No he's not.
Yes, he IS.
Lappy is just a machine.
He's going to be a broken machine if he can't shut his flapping pie-hole.
You should like Lappy.
Why is that?
Because he keeps me quiet.
Not right now.
Talk to Lappy.
LEAVE ME ALONE!
I know you hate Lappy.

Some days, I wish for adult contact. I do not like losing a battle of wits with a machine. A machine operated by a 12-year-old.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Sleeping Surging Foot Sweat

About that list from yesterday...I had good intentions. Really. I even went to bed three hours early. Yep. 11:00 instead of 2:00. Did I awake early, ready to tackly some projects on my list? NO! I still arose at the late, late hour of 8:00 a.m., and I still watched two ERs on TBS. I really meant to do something worthwhile, but the day got away from me.

Oh, and this afternoon, we had another one of those freakish power surges. We were having a bit of a thunderstorm at the time. I went out the basement door just to smell the rain. It was still hot as The Devil's Playground out there, and as I was leaning my arms on a concrete retaining wall, looking up at a wasp nest the size of a McDonald's hamburger, there was a jagged flash of lightning to the northeast, which is really quite freaky, coming from that direction, and a clap of thunder indicating that the lightning was directly overhead, what with the one-thousand-one rule in effect. #1 son came out to annoy me, and we watched the wind pick up. The rain came down at more of a slant then. Funny thing, even when there is no wind, our rain falls at an angle. Not a 90 degree angle, as one might expect, at least one who understands Euclidean geometry. But no. Our rain falls from west to east, at about 85 degrees, if you are gonna run your imaginary protactor along the ground and measure up to the sky. Maybe we are falling off the edge of the Earth.

The power shut down my Crashy, of course. But Crashy always restores himself like a champ, after running that scandisk thingy proclaiming improper shutdown. The other two computers, Desky and Schooly, as well as Lappy, were not affected. Poor, poor Gamey, still in his state of de-animation, did not even know there was a surge. Perhaps that is for the best.

And now here is something freakish which you may not want to know. It's not for the squeamish. Look away, look away, for the love of Gummi Mary, look away if you do not like feet. Last chance now. Skip three paragraphs if you are starting to feel all hot-cold sweaty and nauseous.

The #1 son has always had sweaty palms. I used to think it was just from holding his GameBoy all the time. No. He has sweaty, clammy hands most of the time. I did not know that it applied to his feet as well. Even though I don't like feet, I will sometimes pat his gigantic man-hooves in the morning. He comes to sit in the old recliner while I am viewing ER. By 'sit', I mean lie sideways like a gargantuan overgrown child who does not understand that adult-size people do not hang their head over one arm of the chair, and their knees over the other arm. His feet reach all the way to MY recliner, and he puts them on my arm just to be a pest. Go figure! So I sometimes pat or squeeze his feet, which annoys HIM, and he removes them from my personal space. It is easier than arguing if I tell him to move them. And I don't miss any ER dialogue. We're near the end of season 3 right now: Mark Green has not yet acquired his tumor (and by that, I mean his brain tumor, not his red-headed-surgeon-wife tumor).

I don't know if he (my boy, not Mark Green, because I don't presume to know anything about Mark Green's feet; it was bad enough after he got that tumor--the redheaded-surgeon-wife tumor, not the brain tumor--that I had to see him scratching his private area while lecturing some new med students, seeing as how the new tumor he was sleeping with was not acquainted with Mr. Poison Ivy, having been deprived of it in her native England) has the cool, calm, collected feet early on because he has just awoken, or what. Perhaps the millions of sweat gland workers have not yet clocked in, but are still straggling to the plant, having wrapped their bologna sandwiches on Wonder bread with mustard in some waxed paper, put some nacho cheese Doritos in a baggie, and dropped an apple and banana into their black metal lunchboxes, alongside the thermos full of coffee, black.

But getting back to the story of my boy's sweaty feet...this morning, I waited about an hour after he got up, and went to his room to talk to him. He was laying IN the floor, watching TV on two TVs at once (that's another story) and pecking away at Lappy. I stepped on his foot to get his attention. YEEEWWWW! It was cold, wet, and clammy. I recoiled. He laughed. He said, "Listen to this, Mom. Yesterday, when I was working on Gamey, I was sitting on #2's computer chair like I sit on the stool at the cutting block when I eat lunch." (That means he was sitting on one foot, with the other on the chair, his knee sticking up in the region of his chin. Because he is a squatter with no proper seating etiquette.) "When I got done calling the Compaq people, I lifted up that foot, and there was a footprint there on the chair. Then I pulled my big toe away from that one next to it, and a string of sweat stretched out. Like saliva between your lips. And when it quit stretching, it dripped on the floor, like a raindrop. Isn't that gross?"

OK. I think that will do. I'm feeling a bit queasy myself.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Best Laid Plans

I am making a list, and checking it twice. A list of things I would like to accomplish this week. Which doesn't mean I will do even one of them, but still, it's nice to have a list, just in case I get really motivated. In no particular order, my list:

sort through clothes and make a trip to Goodwill
clean bathrooms
get rid of clutter in kitchen
clean out office in basement lair
go see Ratatouille
get haircuts for both boys
make doctor and dentist appointments for boys
finish library books which are due Thursday
put tax deduction info to date in order
block out info I must teach this year
make semester and quarterly lesson plans/tests
meet a teaching buddy for a trivia lunch

Hey! That's more than two items per day. I am working myself too hard. I need to rest already. And then there's that pesky "three meals a day" crap that my children clamor for, and the neverending laundry, and the weekly excursion to The Devil's Playground, and, well, I must have time to watch TV and talk on the phone. I might need to hire an assistant. Only I don't want to get one like Kathy Griffin, because now she has three assistants, and none of them seem to do much of anything besides laugh at her. Oh, don't go feeling sorry for Kathy Griffin. She's a comedian, you know, and likes people to laugh at her. I don't need an assistant for that. People laugh at me all the time, and I'm not even a comedian.

Which reminds me of a story from college, graduate school, in fact, when a lady raised her hand in class and said, "What if you get bruises on your arms and you don't even play volleyball?" She was so earnest in her questioning that I couldn't help but feel a laugh building up deep inside my very core. A supressed laugh that made me shake a bit, and try not to look anywhere but my pen, but as luck would have it, I caught the eye of a newfound crony, and we got the giggles that can't be stopped. So bad was our affliction that the attention turned from the looney toon Bruiser, who, one minute earlier, people had been glancing sideways at each other making the twirling finger-by-the-ear crazy sign behind her back, to us. Only they didn't make the crazy sign at us, they kind of glared, even though we didn't make any mention of mysterious subcutaneous blood-seeping, and were trying our best to maintain composure. The teacher-lady was not amused either, but then, she never emitted a scrap of emotion about anything except the AIDS drug, AZT, which she must have been doing some research about, because she tried to work it into every lecture, even though the class was Physical Education for the Exceptional Student, which meant 'Adapted PE', to teach us about those with certain metabolic disorders, or the differently-abled ones, to teach us how to teach them without hurting them and possibly even helping them.

But getting back to Ms. Crabby Pants, who had been Ms. NoEmotion Pants until that day...she kind of frowned at us, when she really should have been glaring at the Blood-Leaker, who is truly the one who interrupted our lecture prematurely, before we could hear some more about AZT. Which took me about a week to figure out, by the way, because the teacher was from India, and had a thick accent like Apu from the Quickee Mart, and she said 'Azydee', which was really AZT. And she had a little red dot on her forehead, too, which kind of mesmerized me, what with wondering whether it was a birthmark like that guy Mark that I went to school with had on his head, or if she used makeup to draw it there every day. And if she maybe left it on overnight, or how did she know the exact spot to draw it in every morning. Which perhaps makes me sound not-tolerant of other cultures, but as my old driving buddy, Paul, would say right before he ripped someone a new one, 'I mean her no harm'. But that professor looked like she meant us some harm. Jeez, Louise! Can't people laugh uncontrollably during class if they are not disturbing anyone? It's not like I raised my hand, and said, "What if I fell down in the road last summer when I stepped off a curb down by Hammons Center during my five-mile run before my Beginning Swimming class that I had to take for the second time for no credit in order to graduate because the teacher cut me a break, and I got gravel under the skin of my left kneecap, and just last week, a small rock came out of the skin down at the bottom of my knee?" M-O-O-N. That spells, "It must have been some kind of freakish medical miracle, but I didn't take up class time to ask about such an unrelated topic. Earnestly." Which is really neither here nor there. There are no medical miracles or red dots on my list for the week.

Sweet Gummi Mary! How did we get to a classroom in Springfield when just a few moments ago we were discussing my to-do list? It's a wonder I ever graduated from graduate school, methinks.


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In other news, the stores are ready for voting at Diva's writing contest. You have until Wednesday to read all two of them and place a vote. It's your civic duty.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

We've Lost The Patient

Gamey is very sick. He can not hold his data. The attempted hard drive transplant was not a success. Two separate donors were tried, and Gamey rejected both. We found it necessary to pull the plug on our beloved Gamey. He is currently being held in suspended animation in the basement cryogenics laboratory. We refuse to make Gamey a parts donor. We trying to get Gamey placed on the Compaq Hard Drive Registry in hopes of finding a match. CPUspeed, Gamey, on your eventual recovery.

Whew! That kind of stuff is so sad. We don't blame the doctor. He's doing all he can. We are sparing no expense to get Gamey back on his feet. Though he cannot communicate with us, we believe Gamey can sense our caring touch and soothing voices. They say the motherboard is the last to go.

Gamey can not be replaced. We are not ready. The doctor is buffing up a surrogate for #2 son to use while Gamey is out of commission. Thank the Gummi Mary the cryogenics lab is rich in spare parts. Blame The Devil's Playground for Gamey's affliction.

We appreciate all the support you've provided during this trying time.

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The new stories are up at Diva's writing contest. Go take a read and cast a vote. You have a choice of Soap Opera or Science Fiction. And that's all. Only two entries this week. You may not be a writer, but you can be a reader. And a voter. Get crackin', by cracky!

Friday, July 6, 2007

HM Is Sorely Lacking In Time Management Skills

I am in a bit of a hurry tonight, because I sat around all day and didn't do anything except watch two ERs this morning and half of Ellen, the Thanksgiving show from 2006, and watch The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and fix lunch for the young 'uns, and fix lunch for myself, and watch How Clean Is Your House, and look at a catalog from HP in preparation to replace Crashy (shhh...), and listen to #1 son spout off his price comparisons for HP, Dell, and Gateway, and then have the boy tell me I should get a Compaq for $299 (I DON'T THINK SO), and make a shopping list, and return a power supply thingy that gives Lappy juice in the LSUV (because the old one with the two-year warranty smokes when used so we bought a new one last week and now The Devil's Playground is going to eat it, by cracky, because I paid cash and kept the receipt for the new one), and talk to Mr. S's wife in the parking lot for ten minutes (and five more with the lady whose car we were blocking, because she listened in and happens to teach in a neighboring district), and shop 15 minutes but wait in line for 20, and drive home with a newly-adopted Ice Baby, and fix supper for HH and the boys, and type this post while #1 son harped at me that he needs to go to The Devil's Playground because Gamey does need a new hard drive since that short power outage several weeks ago and HH can't take him because he is gone to the funeral home for a work guy's dad.

So I suppose I'm off to The Devil's Playground again, but I'm not going in. I will sit in the LSUV and let Junior Businessman go do the hard-drive shopping while I read one of my library books. And sometime tonight, I have to finish and submit my story to Diva's writing contest, because no matter how much extra time you give me, I will drag it out until the last minute.

That's my nature.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The 4th Report

I did not get hit on the head with melted rocket remnants last night. Not that HH didn't try. The piece of plywood that he was using as a base for his rocket launching was tilted back toward the garage area, where the boys, my mom, my grandma and I sat. And the wind was blowing that way, too. We could tell by the clouds of acrid gunpowdery smoke that hung near the ground, in the 99% humidity. #1 son called to HH to wait until the smoke cleared to set off the next one. HH hollered, "Smoke adds ambience." I don't know where he's been a-learnin' such high-fallutin' words.

We had a brief rain shower while we waited for darkness. Lucky that we had three umbrellas for the five of us. HH doesn't count. He stood under the line of cedar trees where he'd parked the Scout full of fireworks. We tried to warn him that the rain dripping off the trees would ruin them, but he pretended he couldn't hear. Except for a ball of fire hitting him in the shoulder, HH didn't catch any cars or neighbor's fields or anything else on fire this year.

The rain didn't last long. The good thing about having the umbrellas was that after the thingies exploded in the air, we could raise them to shelter ourselves from burning debris. The wind must have wreaked havoc with HH's calculations, because none of us got hit. But that flaming cardboard fell in the driveway about 8 feet from us several times, and on the garage roof, and in Poolio, and on HH's pimpmobile Olds Toronado that he had parked in front of the Mansion.

That was the extent of our July 4 festivites. HH didn't even BBQ this year. He was busy working on the go-kart. I don't really know what's wrong with it. Maybe something minor like THE BRAKES. He fiddled about with his MiniMansion. I'll try to get some new pictures of it now that it looks finished. I don't know what he does down in the woods. I think he sits on the front porch of that Mini and pats himself on the back. He has not mentioned the rental houses or the paintball field for two days. I'm not bringing up either subject.

Right now I'm trying to think of what to serve for supper. Without going to the store. I'm leaning along the lines of some form of taco salad or supernacho dish. Do you think those Frito Scoops I have in the pantry with the date of Sept. 4 are still good? It's not like they're tortilla chips. They are Fritos, by cracky. I dont' think they ever go stale, kind of like Twinkies. Which we never buy, and it's not often that we buy Fritos. As you can tell by that expiration date. I'm going to call them good and smother them with some hamburger, salsa, cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce, jalapeno, sweet banana peppers, and sour cream. Too bad we're out of black olives. Maybe I'll dig a little deeper in the pantry.

Maybe I'd better not.