Friday, August 31, 2007

Something's Happenin' Here

I don't know what's been going on around here. Perhaps that total solar eclipse Tuesday morning has something to do with it. Speaking of that...I got up at 4:30 to look at it. There was mostly gray where that big ol' full moon belonged. M-O-O-N! That spells moon! But there was still a white crescent at the bottom. I could see the shadow taking over the moon. I went to get in the shower, thinking how I'd check out the total eclipse when I got out. At 5:10, I went looking for it. The total eclipse was supposed to start here at 4:52 a.m. Imagine my surprise when I could not find the moon. I guess they really meant it about the total eclipse.

My classes were a bit chatty Tuesday and Wednesday. That's the full moon a-talkin'. Thursday, they had settled down. But something was not quite right. I suppose it started with the girl who asked me, dead serious, "You know that little sign you have by your door with the room number on it, and those Braille dots? Well, it's kind of high up. If a blind person really wanted to find this room, how could they reach it in a wheelchair?" The other students looked at each other. They looked at me. They looked back at her. I tried to be gentle. "Umm...just because a person is blind does not mean he's in a wheelchair." She frowned. "Really? I thought all blind people were in wheelchairs."

OK. Now she was fair game. "Do you think that baby birds fall from the sky after the mother gives birth to them while flying? Because another ninth-grader told me that a couple years ago. Apparently she had not heard about that newfangled 'egg theory'." She smirked. "I know that birds come from eggs." The class looked at me expectantly. "All right. You passed that one. Do you know where pickles come from?" She huffed. "Duh! From the garden!" Not so fast, Einstein. "So you know that pickles come from cucumbers?" She snorted. She thought we were all playing a joke on her. The students tried to explain. So she said, "Then what are cucumbers?" Sweet Gummi Mary! It was almost time for lunch. I didn't have time to explain that I Don't Know's on third base.

Little did I know that I was heading out of the frying pan into the fire. I have a different lunch crew than the Salad Days of Mr K. But three of us remain. Sometimes four. Two new ones have appeared. It's a regular think tank these days. Here is what I heard. From five people who shall remain nameless. Mabel may be able to decipher some of it, but I doubt it.

It wasn't that dirty, but it stank really bad, like old people.
Hi. What are you talking about?
Ha, ha.
Hey, when we were in New Orleans, did you go in that voodoo shop?
Of course.
I couldn't believe the stuff they advertised in the shop windows.
Yeah. They left nothing to the imagination.
They made it very clear what they were selling.
Uh huh. They had simulated sex shows.
Did you notice how all the carriages were drawn by mules? I guess the horses couldn't take it.
I love that Budweiser commercial where the guy in the carriage lights a candle, the horse farts, and a big trail of flame shoots past the guy's head.
We followed along behind the Vampire Tour, at quite a distance.
I can't believe how many people had their kids with them on Bourbon Street at 10:00 and 11:00 at night.
Memphis has a lot more bums than New Orleans.

OK. Is it just me, or do these people not respond in a normal conversational manner? It's like popcorn popping. You never know when one will go off, and they're totally unrelated.

After the next lunch shift, one of the teachers walked down the hall proclaiming, "I've got my knife!" A gave her a wide berth. Then a few moments later, a different teacher threw open the teachers' workroom door and exclaimed, "There's no paper! I'm in a hurry, and there's no paper!" I'm not sure if she was referring to copy paper or toilet paper. Methinks me don't want to know.

Oh, yeah. And then a custodian announced that just that very morning, up at the store, he bought a Cub Cadet for $50 from some guy who drove in on it. Seems that the guy used it to drive around town, but he moved and didn't really need it anymore. It didn't have a mower deck, and you have to hot-wire it to get it going, but other than that, it's a perfectly good Cub Cadet. And he's not the one who told me about the deer BBQ at the Chrysler plant.

There's something happenin' here. And what it is ain't exactly clear.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Random Thought Thursday

It's time for the second edition of Random Thought Thursday. I like it. I really like it. I have to keep from doing it every day. Because that's how my mind works: randomly. Not as randomly as my new lunch crew, who seem to be a support group for ADD sufferers. But that tale will have to wait until tomorrow. I've been storing these randomocities all week, but today I hit the jackpot. So tomorrow I will put that mess in order. Here, now, the random week of HM.

While you're waiting in line at McDonalds, having had to toss the phone to your co-pilot because you needed both hands to turn, and your mama is a phonelingerer, and your HH calls to chat about how he told off the people who bill us for his breather, nevermind that his little pronouncement cost us about $111, and you are taking the change from the window-dweller, a fly will zoom right into your nose, hard enough to give you whiplash, but thank the Gummi Mary it didn't go IN your nose, like the one that flew up your next-door neighbor's mom's nose when you were 8, and she pushed one nostril closed with her finger, and snorted like a woman possessed, causing you to stare at her, even though your own mama told you that it's not nice to stare.

When you have not one minute to spare, what with grading papers, recording scores, getting your sub folder ready, gathering all of last week's assignments for a homebound student, finding two tests to copy, printing new seating charts, and eating a single pack of sixlets--the custodian will pick that time to sit on a desk and chat, and an administrator will drop in after school just to say hi.

When you have two insurances, they will both decide that you need the generic medication even though you have been on the other for four years now, and the pharmacy will simply fill your refill with the generic, and tell you that it's exactly the same, even though when you take it for two days, your body knows that it is NOT the same, and when you ask to get the old prescription again, the pharmacy will tell that it will cost you more, like DUH, of course it will be $25 instead of $4, but you will be alive, but then the tech says, "No, I mean they will charge you MORE than that", which doesn't really seem fair, what with two insurances, and that being the price you had paid for four years, but if you call your doctor and have him write a NEW prescription that says 'Dispense as written' everything will go back to normal, though how the pharmacy and insurance could change you to the generic without consulting the doctor is kind of a mystery to me, since it was NOT a new prescription, but merely the 3rd refill on a six-month prescription.

You can never tell the blue socks from the black until you get to school and see that you have made a horrible sock-coordinating faux pas.

If you run copies of your tests the day before, so you can have them all ready to go when you rush in from parking lot duty at the tardy bell the next morning, you will mistakenly hand out the 'Biology' test to your 'Physics' class, and though you pass it out to seven of them, not a one of them says "BOO" or anything else to let you know your unfortunate test-giving faux pas, and you have to make up some lame excuse about not having time to lay them out this morning because you had parking lot duty.

If you ONE TIME ONLY leave your phone turned on in case one of your kids gets lost at the wrong building when you are called to a faculty meeting right after school, your HH will choose this time to call and shoot the poo with you, even though he never, ever calls before 4:20 (and what's up with that, I ask). When that little outdated phone starts singing "I Can't Help Falling In Love With You" in Winona Judd's voice, people will stare.

Some person formerly known as dull and boring the last time you socialized with him (H) can be quite entertaining if he is supposed to be quiet. Like telling our adopted whipping girl, after H did something odd, "I'm doing crack with you", thus setting me up for the line, "Don't let that bother you. He's doing crack with you, not at you."

When you go back to the pharmacy after jumping through the hoops, the clerk will not be able to find Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's prescription, even though she looks in the 'H' drawer for 'Hillbilly', and she will look twice while the others tell her, "I just saw it in there" and then the older clerk will flounce over and pick it out for her, and when she rings it up and you tell her, "It's a debit" as you scan your card, just as you've done 200 times before, she will ring it as a credit card, and get a bit put out when you tell her you want it on the debit so as not to get a credit card bill that you will probably toss in the trash because HELLO you never, ever use that card for credit, and another clerk will tell you, "I always use MY debit for credit, and I don't get a separate bill", making you want to say, "Thanks for sharing, chick, but nobody was talkin' to you" and while you're debating on whether to let this voice out of your head, the actual pharmacist will tell you, "I said that you were on vacation to get this prescription from your insurance, because the only choices they gave me were: lost, stolen, vacation" and you reply to her, "I need a vacation" and she says, "You and me BOTH!"

Sometimes the best choice of words is left at the starting gate. I will now set the stage for yet another episode of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom Embarrasses Herself Once Again. I had written some questions on the board. I told the class that we had that info last week, and they may keep seeing it throughout the year. It is important. It may be on other tests here and there. "In fact," I told them pompously, "I may keep throwing it up all year long."

Thank you. I'll be here all week.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Old Red Gradebook Ain't What She Used To Be

Let's talk progress. I am one of those back-to-basics kind of gals. Newfangled cell phones that can take pictures, access internet, show you the picture of who's calling, and whip up a cherry pie? Don't need one. Give me two tin cans and some string.

Computer games, DS Lites, PlayStations, Wiis? Whatsamatter with Pong?

PowerPoint? I believe you can do the same thing with an overhead projector.

Dishwasher? At the Mansion, that is MOI.

Calculator? A slide rule and an abacus do not need batteries.

GPS, Garmin? Hows about we stop at that filling station and ask us some directions?

MiniMart Convenience Stores? Whatever happened to those filling stations where a gal could get directions?

So imagine my fit of snit when I learned about our new, updated computer grading program. Please don't construe this rant as Mrs. Hillbilly Mom trying to stick it to The Man. I am not faulting anybody at my place of employment. All schools are dipping into the newfangled waters of student records. I am just pondering the new tricks that we old dogs are being trained in. Oh, and whatever happened to teaching people not to end sentences with prepositions?

In olden times, we kept track of attendance, tardies, grades, rosters, and book numbers in our gradebooks. Perhaps you've seen one. They are most often red, with nice little boxes for entering all of your recordkeeping needs. But no. The lowly red gradebook is no more. Now we are using pretty two-inch three-ring binders. Mine is robin's egg blue, and though Mabel refers to it as Olympic blue, I know that 'Olympic' is a trademarky kind of word, and don't want the international Olympic Committee coming down on me.

So we have these three-ring binders, and we are to print copies of our rosters, and a weekly grade report every week, which I suppose is the meaning of the term 'weekly'. So that will be 36 pages for each of my six classes, and since I'm also a Mathie, I am proud to tell you that with those rosters, that is a grand total of 222 pages (ha, ha, and I don't even have that many fingers to count it up) that will be in my three-ring binder come the last day of school. Which is approaching faster than you know, my friends. So instead of that outdated red gradebook with perhaps 50 thin pages if you consider that it has room for eight courses, and about six pages per course, we have a plethora of pages. That we need to hole-punch and ring-bind. Never mind that I have not yet learned how to print rosters and grade pages from this new program. I shall be learning it by the end of the week, by cracky. Learning it as if my job depended on it, because, well, does. I know how to print the seating charts, but we are not keeping them. The old red gradebook had a section for those, also.

Instead of collecting all the gradebooks and storing them in an old paper box (by that I mean a box that those 500-sheet packages of paper come in, not a box made of paper, because, well that just would not be very sturdy) under some pipes in the unofficial record room that also contains a MICROFICHE READER, we will be binding all the pages in a giant ring-binder. And how come nobody uses microfiche anymore, anyway?

I am keeping a red gradebook for my own personal use. By that, I mean that I am using it at school as a backup. It is my crutch. There was still a full supply of red gradebooks to go around. I don't care if they are redundant. I want one. I might even compose a song to it, like Adam Sandler's 'Red Hooded Sweatshirt'. Nawww. I'm not a songwriter. But this is my ode. Actually, it's just a poorly-written blog post, but you can humor me. Don't cost nothin'.

I am glad I have my little red crutch. Because some people found that after issuing textbooks, the numbers did not stay in the computer thingy. Or they showed up in everybody's gradebook. Or some such malfunction. Oh, and one teacher is keeping all of the daily announcement printouts so he can look back and see who was absent that day, because it doesn't show on the computer gradebook page. So he will have around 172 pages of announcements, which are really not an attendance tool, because some students may be absent 1st hour and show up late, and others will get sick and go home, so that darned old announcement is not as smart as an elderly red gradebook, who holds all that info without complaining.

The times, they are a-changin'.
Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is trying to adapt.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Just A Quickie

This is just a quickie to tide you over until I can come up with the most scathingly brilliant idea ever. Which may not be so quick, so don't hold your breath.

My trip to the dentist brought both good news and bad news. Good, because all he did was put in my crown. Bad, because now I have to worry about those fillings next time I go. Or another crown. They can't make up their mind. Originally, this was supposed to be three fillings and a cleaning. Or the September one was supposed to be a crown and a filling. They can't make up their minds. Methinks they plan the most expensive stuff first. They have to support that giant clown that sits between the waiting area and the torture chairs. Which is a bit disconcerting.

Have I not mentioned the clown before? I believe I spoke of the big ceramic fellow who sits on top of the cabinetry in the first cubicle. I call it a cubicle, but it is actually no more than a chair and the instruments-of-pain-containing cabinets. This whole office is open, like a New York loft, if you will. A New York loft with 6 dentist chairs and accompanying cupboards. So you walk by the other sheep in their stalls. You can hear them right next to you. Perhaps it is to discourage screaming, the likes of which we heard at my children's dentist. Go figure. I go to a kids' dentist, and take them to a regular dentist.

Anyhoo, getting back to the clown business...I would think that a clown perched atop the cabinetry would have a negative effect on business at a children's dentist. Many small fry are a-scared of clowns. Their parents never should have let them watch Stephen King's IT. But that's beside the point.

There is another clown, the giant one by the waiting area. It is as tall as me. It kind of looks like Ronald McDonald, but not in the delicious greasy food way. It is the holder of the nitrous oxide tank, my son tells me. Though why they would have it right there by the front door for someone to snatch and run is beyooooond me. How sad. I depend on gas from a giant clown to drown my dental sorrows. And I didn't even get me none o' that sweet, sweet nitrous today.

Which brings me to my point. Or would. If I had one. My Genius just interrupted me to help him with the problem: Z/0.7 = 4.2 . He did not like my explanation, or the free answer I gave him of 2.94. Fie on him. He's a time-sucker, that boy. He is going to make me miss some quality time with my new crown and the TV.

That boy needs to straighten up. And I'm NOT clownin' around!
But I will be if the MegaMillion numbers Mabel gave me pan out tonight.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Save Hillbilly Mom

Let me set the stage with a scene from one of my favorite movies: True Grit. The bird-dog/little senator killer Tom Chaney, having joined up as low man on the totem pole with Ned Pepper's thieving band, has been sent to water the horses. Even the simple-minded Farrell Parmley who baas like a sheep instead of talking, has not been given this task. So Tom Chaney is surprised by 14 year old Maddie Ross sliding down the muddy bank like Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas in Romancing the Stone, only not so special-effective, and he points his gun at her. Maddie, not being born yesterday, takes her deceased father's hog-leg of a Colt dragoon pistol out of the pillowcase in which she has toted it ever since Tom Chaney also killed her father (oh, the bad luck, to come upon the orphaned child of the man you killed and find her armed and out for revenge). Maddie orders Chaney to walk back up the hill with her, and he tells her, "I think I will not go." Which is not a good thing to tell Maddie Ross, of Near Dardanelle and Yell County, as she does not have much of a sense of humor. Maddie shoots Tom Chaney, causing him to whine, "Everything happens to me. And now I am shot by a child." Oh, and he also whimpers that he thinks one of his short ribs is broken, but that's beside the point. And I do have one.

I have not been shot by a child, but I have been corrected by one. All teachers and ex-teachers join with me now in declaring: THE HORROR!

It all began innocently enough. It was in my smallest class, the one in which I am really becoming fond of the students, except still remaining a bit pissed off at the one who laid down on the floor Thursday thinking he would take nap, like it is the most common thing in the world to do in a classroom if you're tired, because after all, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom did not have that item listed in her 1,200,101 Never Ever list. And even though he got back into his seat immediately, with no lip, so fast that half the class did not even know he laid down, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom will not forget. But let's get on with this exercise in humiliation.

We were going over the right answers to today's assignment. I read the question and drew an index card out of my deck of volunteers. The kid who was designated answerer mentioned a solar eclipse. But NO. The answer was lunar eclipse. So I emphasized the part that he had wrong by enunciating "LOON ARE eclipse". At which point little miss precocious informed me, "It's 'loon er'. Not 'loon ARE'." Thank you, Emily Post. I told her I was making a point. And that she'd better dummy up, or I would pronounce her name 'Cind EYE'. OK, not exactly, because that's not really her name, but you get my drift. I thought we were cool, dude.

On her way out of the room when the bell rang, as she passed by me in the doorway, she said quietly, "I was just trying to save you from future embarrassment."

Which is just TOO FREAKIN' FUNNY. Because that would be a full-time job.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Wagering Work Week

I will be going to work tomorrow. That is not so remarkable, except for the fact that Mabel and I had already planned on getting subs because we knew one of us was going to win that $314 million PowerBall drawing, and we were going to take our winnings to Harrah's, because what better to do with money that you win on the lottery than to play the slots? Thank the Gummi Mary that we still have a chance to win a couple hundred million in the MegaMillions drawing Tuesday night. See, I just happened to be talking to Mabel when I pulled into the convenience store formerly known as Citgo to buy my PowerBall loser. I offered to buy her a ticket, too. Now she is returning the favor with MegaMillions. Mabel and I are trustworthy. There won't be a big lawsuit on who the REAL owner of the ticket is. HH is the one to watch.

HH buys his own PowerBall tickets. He overheard me tell the #1 son that I was going to email Mabel her numbers before 8:00 p.m. HH was flabbergasted. "You oughta wait till you see if it's a winner." I told him he's the kind of guy who will take your $20 to play in Vegas, and when he returns home, he says, "Sorry. Your money lost. I, on the other hand, hit the jackpot." Yeah. HH. That's how he rolls.

This will be a busy week. The #1 son and I have dental appointments which have been scheduled since the first week of August. Mine is on Tuesday, and his is on Thursday, and I think we are both getting three fillings. Friday I found out that a faculty meeting has been called for Tuesday afternoon, and another one for specific teachers on Thurdsay (though I have known about that one since last Monday). I suppose we will make our appointments on time. What is the point of scheduling in the afternoon if you are just going to have to change them anyway? I could just as well have scheduled them during the day, and used a sick day, and would not even have to attend the meetings. Sometimes it just doesn't pay to be conscientious. Right, Mabel? Mabel advises me to use my sick days. She says that once I'm gone, nobody is going to say, "That Mrs. Hillbilly Mom! She always came to school, no matter whether she was sick, or had important things to tend to such as her husband having surgery on his big toe, or her mom having her FAT RED PINKY FINGER almost amputated." NO. According to Mabel, they will say, "Who's Mrs. Hillbilly Mom?" That Mabel. She is great for my self-esteem.

Yes, this will be a busy week, and then we are off next Monday for Labor Day, and have an early out on Sept. 12 for in-service, and Progress Reports are due on Sept. 17, and I have to sell tickets at the volleyball game on Sept. 18, and...well...THE SCHOOL YEAR IS ALMOST OVER!

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Now it is time to tell the tale of my afterschool outing on Friday. Pull up a pillow. Sit at the knee of the master storyteller. Eavesdrop on the secret shenanigans of teachers after a long week of babysitting other people's kids. Don't hate us because we have summers off...hate us because we are public servants.

All right. Is everbody comfortable? Let's begin. Last spring, four of us began the habit of meeting after school once a week to decompress, eat some wings, and play bar trivia. Let it be know that we did not sit in the bar part of the restaurant, and that the trivia was just a TV screen and those Playmaker electronic game box thingies. Which over the summer, I might add, one of the teachers wanted to take back to school, sit down at a meeting, and tell everyone, "Look. WE got new laptops." Which was not as funny once school started this year, and I found out all traveling teachers did indeed get new laptops. Real ones. Not Playmakers. But on with the story.

I took my 12-year-old genius, and my Lower Basementia buddy brought her 5th grader and a colleague's 2nd grader. Only my self-proclaimed Genius played the trivia with us. Two other colleagues, who shall go by their Playmaker names, joined us shortly. In fact, I shall identify everyone by their Playmaker names. Here is your cast of characters:

Bad Co-ME
Genius-my 12 year old
Roast-LB Mathie
Mystro-male colleague
H-male colleague sorely lacking in imagination
G5-fifth grade boy
G2-second grade boy

We all ordered food, shoved some quarters at the two small fry for game playing, and jumped right into a round about sluts in literature. I proudly lay claim to winning that one, as H admitted that he had only read one book in his life.

G2 won some big bouncy balls, and commenced to bouncing them off the walls, which were hung with sports memorabilia like jerseys and hockey sticks and whatnot. Roast cautioned him to settle down, and for G5 to watch him closer. The food arrived, which included actual Wings for G5, Chicken Strips for G2, SuperNachos for me, Chicken Fingers for my boy, a Bloomin' Onion for Roast, Chicken Fingers for H The Unimaginative Illiterate, because he probably couldn't read the menu and just copied my son, and a Pizza for Mystro. Oh, and everybody had a different beverage as well. The poor waitress had another waitress help her carry it out. And we told her that it would be separate tickets with 3 here and 2 there and individuals for H and Mystro, and she took it pretty well. Little did she know...

But I'm getting ahead of myself. I held onto my lead for quite a few rounds. Mystro was hot on my tail after trudging past Genius, who was too young to realize the TV profession of Lynn Belvedere, the cop show starring Dennis Weaver, or the ditzy blonde on SNL. Roast, perennially a top contender, had fallen into the basement, below even the lowly H. G5, anihilating a plate of wings across the table from me, wearing a wide clown mouth of saucy goodness, motioned at his mouth and raised his eyebrows in the universal signal for "Do I have any food on my face?" I told him yes, all around, and told Genius to rip him off a paper towel. G5 said, "Thanks" and set it down next to his plate. In case he needed it, I suppose. G2 took a break from kicking my foot under the table to knock over the mustard (at the other end of the table) with a striped bouncy ball, and say to G5, "You look like a PIG. Oink oink." G5 ignored it, so entrenched in ripping flesh from the chicken bones and shouting out answers that an insult could not break his rhythm. G2 begged him to play some more games. Roast dug out some more money and told G5 to go do something and stop yelling out answers, because he was driving her crazy and she couldn't concentrate. He replied, "You're only mad because you're losing."

Some questions pertaining to electric cars (Chrysler was not the company to introduce them) and the Riviera (it's not in Brazil. Who knew?) threw me off stride, and Mystro took the lead. I told him there was a reason we did not tell him the time until 45 minutes before our play date, which was kind of a low blow, because he came in paranoid that we did not really want him, because H was supposed to tell him, but we should know by now not to rely on H.

There was a break in the action, so Genius decided to go to the bathroom. That was good news for us, because there was some hot and heavy gossiping to do out of range of his tender ears. He came back about 10 minutes later, and said, "I'm giving up. The door has been locked ever since I went over there." Then G2 ran up and asked me where G5 went, which was a bit disconcerting because it was not my day to watch either one of them. Then we figured out that G5 was in the bathroom. And here he came now, looking sheepish, and plopped down at the table, and whispered, "The toilet is clogged." Roast said, "Didnt' you tell anybody?" and he shook his head, and she said, "Well what are they supposed to do, Son, just find it?" G5 shrugged his shoulders. "I don't care how they find it." Roast told him, "You need to go up and tell them it's clogged." With that, Mystro declared, "NO! I have to go." He traipsed off to the Men's Room, the door of which was visible from our table. We all turned to watch. He opened the door. "Oh, the humanity!" "I can't believe he's going in there." And the last word from G5, "He is SO brave!"

G5, still snorting and giggling over the clogged toilet faux pas, started playing with his Sprite, which was in a white foam cup from which he'd removed the plastic lid. It tipped over and spilled on the table, pouring through the cracks. Genius jumped up, shouting, "It's pouring down my leg! I'm not sitting with you losers!" He moved his chair out into the middle of the room, not even at a table, Playmaker on his lap. Mystro returned. We eyed him expectantly. "The bathroom report: Urinal, fine. Toilet, clogged." G5 mopped at the spilled soda with some soggy paper towels. Our waitress showed up, helper in tow. "Did someone make a mess?" Nobody else said anything. "I think he made a couple of messes, " I squealed, like the narc that I am. "I'm sure glad he's not MY son." I held my arm up behind Roast's back, pointing at her head. H and the Mystro were giggling like schoolgirls. The poor waitress could tell that something was up. She must have thought the kid stuffed the toilet with paper as a prank or something. She cleared up the soda mess and was back in a jiffy. She pointed to the Men's Room. There was a plunger and a bucket of cleansers. "I got you some supplies," she said. And G5 went and took them into the Men's Room. Roast didn't say anything. I was shocked. I would not let MY boy clean a public toilet, even if he had messed it up. Not that I'm high and mighty, or worried about disease, but I KNOW the kind of cleaning my boy would do. And it would not be pretty. Anyhoo, I suppose Roast and I diverge here in our childrearing practices, as she obviously encourages responsibility in her children. After all, mine wanted me to walk him into the school building holding his hand until the second half of his third grade year. Hers told her the second day of Kindergarten, "Just let me out in the parking lot."

While the boy was scrubbing, I leaned over to Roast. "I hope you're not mad that I outed your clogger. But remember, oh...four years ago, when my boy acted the fool at the Christmas Program, what with kicking his loafer over the music teacher's head, and pulling his pants up like bikini bottoms, and karate chopping the boy behind him, and pulling the belt off that little girl's dress, and leaning over to smell the embroidered flower on that other little girl's dress? Yeah, and when all those people around you asked, "Whose kid is THAT?" you said, "Oh, that's that little Hillbilly boy." Well, I've waited for years to get my revenge, and this is the big payback!" She laughed. She leaned over and rubbed her hands together like Montgomery Burns, mumbling, "I'll get even with her one day." I think she was impersonating me. That's OK. Now we're Even Steven.

G5 returned from his janitorial internship. He picked up his cup. "Hey! Where's my soda?" Genius turned from his conspicuous seat in the middle of the room. "You poured it down my sock. Don't you remember?" G5 tilted his head. "Oh, yeah."

My mom called for the fourth time to tell us about severe storm warnings in our area, with 60 mph winds. We decided to call it a day. Mystro won on the last five questions, just like last time. Roast gathered the young 'uns. The waitress brought our individual bills. I felt sorry for her. I gave her a $5.55 tip on a $17.45 bill.

Because that's how I roll. It was cheap, quality entertainment.

And the title of this post? Bring Your Own Plunger

Friday, August 24, 2007

Mabel, Butter Jesus, and Grandma

Well. My buddy Mabel pointed out to me that I did not post last night. But she was OH SO HAPPY that I posted an extra one Wednesday night. Duh. I suppose she did not notice that the extra post mentioned Random Thought THURSDAY. Oh well. I did not notice that it did not copy and paste correctly into Thursday, and I did not change the 'options' date to Thursday, so it remains to be seen which one of us is vying for the title of Moron of the Year. Methinks it will be ME. I love to win contests.

Also, I just spent 10 minutes of my valuable time trying to email the Divine Miss M, but alas, she again has committed a fatal error of some sort, and my reply will not go through. So Mabel and I are incommunicado until I try to reach her by Iphone tomorrow. I'm not sure she will take my call. I blew off the Butter Jesus after school, which I suppose does not bode well for me. I was in a hurry to meet my Lower Basementia Mathie buddy for some bar trivia. Not that we drink or anything. We even took the children. Anyhoo, the Butter Jesus was quite impressive for a Butter Jesus. I'm sure the Iphone photos did not do him justice. Nevertheless, the #2 son was awed. But let's remember, a Sticky Hand can entertain him for hours.

I will have to tell you of my Trivia experience tomorrow. I told the story to my mother by mouth, and she laughed until tears ran down her face like perspiration pouring off my boy's sweaty feet. Of course, some might doubt her judgment, what with her questionable behavior of poking her pinky finger with a needle and some Bactine until it was scheduled for amputation. Still, she has a better sense of humor than HH, who apparently was born without a funny bone. But two healthy pinky fingers.

We had a big storm roll through during Trivia. There were warnings for 60 mph winds, but we decided we weren't leaving until we finished the round. It is much less formal than real live Trivia, but it does scratch the Trivia itch quite nicely.

I took the #2 son to my mom's house so we could play in peace. Little did I know what lay in store. Anyhoo, he was excited to go to Grandma's house. He had plans to make his potion that he wrote about in school. Funny thing, the kids can't have Halloween parties or dress up, but they can create potions as a writing assignment. Go figure! His contained a gallon of vinegar, a pound of baking soda, some crayons, some wax, and four pounds of sugar. It would allow you to go forward and backward in time, and make you immortal. Today, he switched the ingredients to a gallon of cold water, a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of sugar, two cans of Sprite, and a can of Caffeine Free Coke. It would let you go forward and backward in time, and see through anything. At least it didn't contain rat tails like a classmate's potion. I told my mom separately that under NO circumstances were they to make a potion and drink it. She has a way of spoiling him and sparing the rod. Hmpf! Which she never did raising me.

Oh, and the boy also said on the way, "Hmm. I'm going to Grandma's. We can mess with my toe." By that he meant the toe that has had a little clear bump on it for a few months, but we can't find anything wrong with it. I thought it was just from his toes rubbing together in his shoes. Until I found out that last time he was at Grandma's, they dug at that toe and squeezed it and picked at it with tweezers and pulled out a piece of splinter. A splinter which I never saw in the toe. My mom probably does that psychic surgery on the side, like where you pull out a piece of liver from somebody's stomach with your bare hands, without even making an incision. I was also not thrilled about the picking and poking and dabbing with Bactine, because HELLO! That was the treatment of FAT RED PINKY FINGER just before the amputation recommendation. Grandma. Can't live with her...can't raise my kids without her.

I hope this post will suffice for one cranky Mabel. I know it's late. That's how I roll. I'm an Aquarian procrastinator.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


I'm starting a new tradition tonight: Random Thought Thursday. If this is really some organized networking kind of blog thingy, I apologize. I must have stored it deep in my subconscious to plagiarize at later date. And the way things go at the Mansion, this may be the first and last time it appears. But for now, I have license to skip from topic to topic. Just try and stop me, by cracky!

I looked in Mabel's window yesterday and saw a cow. Really. Not so much a cow as the back side of a flat wooden cow thingy propped up in Mabel's classroom window. I suppose Mabel knows it is there. And that it is not a flattering object to have leaning around the window to the outside world. Because you just know when somebody asks where Mabel's room is, they are told, "Look for the room with the cow in it."

I am going to send HH away for training in How To Catch More Flies With Vinegar. It's not that we need any more flies for my boy to murder for pay, or the fact that at times we have a surplus of vinegar that HH plans some day to clean the jets of the big triangle bathtub with. Or the breaking news that all the camps for Ending Sentences With Prepositions are full. No. HH can not change his stripes. He is overly gruff and not at all endearing, and nobody wants to do his bidding, even if it's a reasonable request. He needs to channel his gruffness to win friends and influence people. For example, tonight the white hateful cat so tragically named 'Snuggles' slunk into the kitchen when HH opened the door. He bellowed, "Snuggles! Get over here! Get out of the kitchen, you darn cat!" Umm...yeah. This is the cat who used to snarl at him as a kitten. I'm so sure that's the approach to getting her out of the kitchen. I called for reinforcements. The #2 son came galloping into the room, rounded the counter, accosted the trespassing feline, and shouted, "Snuggles!" That darn cat allowed that boy to pick her up like a limp noodle and deposit her on the porch. All of our animals loathe this boy. I believe it has something to do with putting a kitten in the middle of the water pan. Yet Snuggles detests HH even more. Because he doesn't have the vinegar thingy down pat, I suppose.

One of my co-workers used to be a jockey in Spain. Who knew?

My boys insist on popping two bags of popcorn so they can each eat half a bag and throw the rest away. Because that's how they roll.

When The Brady Bunch Movie is on at the same time as Tender Mercies, I have to switch back and forth so I won't miss one of them.

The cafeteria has a new side dish that appears to be Tater Tot Clusters.

If your husband does not keep you updated on his insurance changes, you will get a notice that none of the $1395 expenses you and your two sons have incurred since Aug. 6 are covered.

And your husband will blame YOU for not having the proper card, even though only one was sent, and he is the only one who has been to the dentist in three years (not that you're proud of that fact), and in your checkbook rolodex of all insurance cards ever issued, there is only the ONE card that was ever given to you for dental needs.

Thank the Gummi Mary that dentists' office clerks know how to dial the phone.

Teeth. They're highly overrated.

Especially the fake one you get to cover that metal post while your crown is being created, that falls out the next day just because you thought, "Hey! New tooth. Now's the time to enjoy some Sugar Babies!"

A dog with a runny eye should not be petted.

A deer that stands in the road, haughtily giving you the stink-eye, should not be run over.

A custodian's tale that a deer ran into the Chrysler plant and was captured and a local employee slit its throat and then grilled it for lunch because the game warden said they could have it may or may not be true.

If you have parking lot duty behind the school, it's probably a good idea to tell your child, because when he can't find you after he gets off the bus, he will think you left him, and go outside to the other parking lot to see if your LSUV is still there, and then he will drown his sorrows by running up and down the OH SO LONG hall with a pack of faculty offspring until you catch him.

If you have a job that does not need detailed lesson plans, you will have your plan books for the past 7 years stacked up in your cabinet. But if you need detailed lesson plans, you will lose your plan book on the night of Open House, and spend 8 days and counting looking for it, all the while scribbling them in a ten-cent 70-page wide-ruled blue spiral notebook procured from The Devil's Playground.

The low-flush toilet requires four flushings to get rid of a few squares of toilet paper.

You can make a delicious honey-mustard sauce with just honey, mustard, and mayonnaise.

Kids these days expect to be entertained. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom doesn't rap. Or cage fight.

Mabel nearly has a cow when an HM blog post meets neither her length nor interest-level requirements.

If Mrs. HM was a cage-fighter, it would be ONNNNN, Mabel!

The random quota has now been attained.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Fine Literature

You are in for a treat tonight. I am going to read to you from the Encyclopedia of Common Knowledge, and also from Teenage Drama in Real Life.

Let's begin with a page ripped from Teenage Drama in Real Life:

I'm not allowed in there. The manager told me.
Well, first of all, they got it on camera when me and Pal kind of stole some stuff.
What kind of stuff?
There's no need to go into that. That was before we changed.
So what else?
Because I pooped in the urinal.
How'd they catch you?
They didn't catch me. I ran out of there, and they figured I did something.
Did they chase you?
Just out the door, yelling, "What did you DO?"
Did you, like, lean over it, or what?
I just did it.
Why would you do THAT?
I never turn down a dare.
What if someone dared you to drink toilet water?

And now we must put this volume back on the shelf, and take down the Encyclopedia of Common Knowledge.

Hey! Did you know you can drink toilet water? Once you flush it, that water that runs in is CLEAN!
You're kidding, right?
No! It's clean water, like out of the sink.
Dude. You know when you take a poop, and it lays there, and slides down the front until it's in the water? When you flush, that 'clean' water runs down over where the poop slid.
Yeah. And do you always pee just in the water, or do you hit the sides?
Depends on the time. In the morning, I'm lucky to hit the toilet.

Which is just TOO MUCH INFORMATION for Mrs. Hillbilly Mom.
Her thirst for knowledge is quenched on this subject.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Three Eats Is As Good As A Feast

I'm tired again, but not so whiny. Although I DO have a complaint. Who knew?

My shoes have eaten my socks. I do not cotton to footcovers having a feast on my hosiery. I figure those darn ol' shoes can go all day without snacking on my apparel, which I donned so gaily this morning, before realizing that it's still quite a while to Christmas time, which took the starch out of my jollyness. Not to worry. I still had wind in my sails and beneath my wings, so I beat feet to school like any other day. It's not like I'm going to wear fancy shoes that require pantyhose, or wear shoes without socks. THEN what would happen when the shoes got hungry? It wouldn't do for the pantyhose to come slithering down Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's sturdy legs throughout the day. And we certainly don't want those darn clodhoppers nibbling on HM's unprotected flesh. That would be OH SO WRONG.

And while we're on the subject of eating inappropriately, I must gloat over the fate of a white pickup truck that follows Mrs. HM's LSUV too closely about twice a week, out the state road, onto the county road, and up the magical gravel road to the Mansion driveway turn-off. Because that dude rides my tail all the way from town, but I get the last laugh. We turn onto a mile of gravel road, people. A gravel road in July and August in Missouri. That cloud of dust my LSUV kicks up obscures Mr. Speedy Demon completely. Heh, heh. That means he is the EATER, and I am the FEEDER. As in "Eat my dust, Speedy!" I love being the feeder instead of the eater! At least I have sense enough to back off when I am the eater. But this guy doesn't. If I slammed on my brakes, he would crash right into my LSUV before he knew what hit me. Well, not really, because my brakes ain't what they used to be, having been replaced by HH, and squealing like banshees at the slightest touch, which makes people stare at me all the live long day. I really should get them checked out, since HH says there is absolutely nothing wrong with them because they are new brakes. Egads! I can't fathom a world where all cars become Screaming Mimis when they are asked to stop.

To finish out our Eating Trilogy, I bring you EATonline. It is a curriculum alignment tool that we have on our school website. It is not nearly so appetizing as it sounds. It is kind of dry, actually, with no sustenance in sight. Yet there it sits, taunting, tempting, mocking the rumbling tummies as we think time and again, "EATonline. I bet we can order takeout or choose a tasty treat to be dispensed out that floppy drive that is OH SO QUICKLY becoming obsolete." But no. It only involves book learnin', and book teachin', and plannin' what teachin' you will be doin' from the book or other resources, to get them kids to learnin', by cracky.

Gotta go. I'm craving a snack.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Pity Party At My House

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is having a snit fit tonight. She is about ready to unpack the world's smallest violin, which happens to be a fiddle in the nation of Hillmomba, and compose a haunting tune of pout music, perhaps suitable for a bout of worm-eating, to play in the background during her pity party. Because that's how she rolls.

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is OH SO TIRED of pleasing everyone else. Her school day ended at 2:56, but then she had to supervise her own young 'uns while keeping up the facade of actually finishing her work before leaving work. The youngsters were having none of that. The #2 son arrived at the stroke of 3:04 and commenced to asking how to log on to his computer games. He then stated he would do his math homework at 3:30 so Mrs. HM could use that computer to look up some very important teaching items.

In the meantime, the #1 son arrived with 2 of his cronies. By arrived, I mean galloped into the room with the cronies hot on his tail, expounding about a contest, a contest, we're having a competition, so you have to buy from me, you're my own mom, don't you dare buy from them, I need a flying hog, you just hold onto its front hooves and pull back its body and let go like a slingshot and if you can launch it the furthest you win an MP4 player that looks a lot like an IPOD but acts like a ZOON which is overall better than an IPOD because it has a bigger screen for the same price, and a hoodie and I am going to win them because I'm going to get all the teachers here and I'm taking it to church on Sunday too. With that, he sprinted out of the room to look for fresh victims. One of his buddies snuck back in and sobbed a tale of woe about how last year the third crony stole his own mother out from under his nose, making her buy from the third crony instead of her own loving son, so could I help him out, because it's only fair. Since my own son had not even shown me the brochure, I agreed to bargain with the devil, and my young son stated that HE was picking the item, which turned out to be HORRENDOUSLY OVERPRICED candy in the manner of school fundraisers everywhere.

After spending a worthless afternoon at work, we finally left at 4:37, after doing the bare minimum for tomorrow, carting work home with me once again. Upon arrival at the Mansion at 5:15, I popped some lemon pepper chicken into the oven, found some Turkey Stove Top Stuffing in the pantry, and looked at the fundraiser thingy some more. I got one child's lunch ready for tomorrow, laid out clothing, sorted through the mail, dished up the food at 6:10, listened to HH complain that he never gets any credit for doing anything (by that he means two weeks ago cleaning ONE bathroom sink but no toilets or showers or towels or anything in any of the THREE Mansion bathrooms and dusting knick-knacks in the bedroom and making the bed that day with the same sheets only putting the colored side of the top sheet face down), then scraped and handwashed all the dishes because DUH the only dishwasher we have in this Mansion is ME, and tried to lie down for 10 FREAKIN' MINUTES because my back hurt so bad that my hands were shaking, which happens every now and then ever since I had that roll-over wreck in a Chevy Chevette and I think there is probably a terrible thing going on with a disc but it won't be terrible enough to paralyze me because THEN I might accidentally get some rest, and hey, people, Note to Self time: Chevy Chevettes are not made to withstand roll-over accidents so don't try this at home, but while lying on my bed I had to bellow at my children 50 times to knock off the shenanigans because their father took off to the BARn while the dishes were in progress with his nose all out of joint because he wasn't validated on his doing of everything around this house, and suddenly there came a "YOU STUPID IDIOT, get something to clean that up!" which I really do not like to hear after such a trying afternoon and evening, and then as the young pillow-swinger mopped up his spilled water in the living room, and perhaps cried over it a bit, the sweaty-footed avoiding-homework boy entered my boudoir and said, "Hey, MOM! Feel this NOW!" and put his dripping sock-foot on my forearm, which was totally like the last straw, or so I thought, until I finally made myself the beginning of my own Cherry Diet Coke, what with a dollar jar of cherries from Save A Lot, some ice from a bag, a leftover Sonic straw, and a large plastic glass, but found there was no Diet Coke to be had in the Mansion, though there was some in the LSUV that the boy had not carried into school as instructed, so he was sent to get one and carry it and the icy cherry glass down to my basement lair, yet he came back upstairs crowing, "I poured it in for you, Mom" which was NOT what I wanted to hear, as I was hoping to stick it in the freezer a few minutes so it was not boiling hot, but he had already done the deed, and when I got down here in 5 minutes, all the fizz was gone, and most of the ice as well, and then 5 minutes after THAT, the boy came with his homework that should have been done after school, and sucked 50 minutes out of my life with math corrections and one of those mind-numbing logic questions like 'Chip, Ann, Peter, and Mike all have different Math teachers: Mr Chips, Mr Moore, Ms Ames, and Mr Poole, and they each have a pet, but the pet can not start with the same letter as their name, and if Chip got an 'A' on his test on Monday, and he has lunch with Peter, and Mr Chips and his student both have a monkey, and Ann's best friend has an anteater, then who has a Cheetah for a pet?" Don't try to answer that. Some of the clues are missing.

Anyhoo...I have had quite a day, and have homework of my own to do, and I am just tired of being pulled every which way like Gumby, d*mmit!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Money Laundering

It looks like I will have to wait until Wednesday now to win the big PowerBall jackpot. I'll wave to you from the front porch. You'll recognize me. I'll be the one next to HH in his tighty whiteys pointing a shotgun at the cameras.

I've spent the day as a laundress, having washed 5 loads and folded about 10. I do not enjoy laundry. That is why my laundry room usually looks like a Goodwill store exploded in there. I still have two loads waiting, but they can wait until tomorrow night. I can't hear them complaining. I sorted through a bunch of outgrown boy clothes, and am in the process of finding homes for them. It doesn't do to save #1 son's clothes for #2, because it takes him over three years to grow into them. The boys are three years and two months apart, but #1 has always been the tallest in his class, and #2 is a tad below average. And he's built like Skeletor as well. I tried saving things back when he was a toddler, but by the time he could fit into them, I'd forgotten where I'd stored them. So now I offer all but the school logo shirts to other teachers before I haul them down to Goodwill. There is a multitude of boy children among the faculty, so they are usually passed on. #1 has always outgrown his clothes faster than he can wear them out. #2 is the kid who skins the knees out of all his pants before they get too short.

Back to the salt mines tomorrow. I feel like I am not really working, what with staying in one building all day, and not starting the day twice, only dealing with one set of rules, and having a textbook for two of my three classes (with resource material as well). I do miss seeing my boy's smiling face pop up every now and then, but he will be in this building in a couple of years, in my own class, by cracky, so I'd better enjoy the time away from him now. The boys like coming to this building after school. #2 gets off the bus within 3 minutes of the bell, and does NOT miss the 20 minutes he used to spend riding that bus to Basementia. He goes right to my computer and starts gaming. I expect that he will start having math homework this week, so it will have to come first, but he is very good about that. All #1 son misses is his time to hang out at Basementia and chat with his teachers. He has about 1 minute to hop on a bus and ride over here in 5 minutes. Funny how that bus takes 5 minutes going one way, and 20 going the other.

One thing that disappoints me about my new schedule is that I never see Mabel. Since I have real classes this year, I have no time to speak to her on her plan time when she is running off 50,000 copies per day. At least that's what the other teachers who have that plan time tell me. I don't know WHY Mabel can't be like that one teacher who already has ALL of his copies made for the entire year. I can not visit Mabel on my plan time because, well, that would require that I walk a quarter mile, and if I did that on a regular basis, I might accidentally lose a pound, and then I would not be so jolly and entertaining. That, and I have work to do on my plan time.

I'm settling into the routine. The school year is almost over, you know.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Something Better To Do

So many things to do, so little desire to do them. I might as well fritter away my time at my trusty Delly, who has gone through 3 power outages without a hitch.

Hmm...I will read updates on Big Brother 8, browse around Amazon, check my statcounter for the first time in weeks, read about how mean Meanie is to her new classes, how studiously Diva is studying this semester, track down Mrs. Coach, aka Hillmomba's Minister of Cheese (and apparently aka someone else now, because teachers and their families are always on the run from people who don't think they have a right to live like normal people, so I won't link her here right now and leave an electronic trail to her virtual door), see what delicacies besides Imo' s Pizza and Cheddar Bay Biscuits JustLinda is justenjoying lately, find out what new tricks Betty has been up to (hopefully ending some sentences with prepositions), turn on the searchlight for Lantern, catch up on some learnin' from Cazzie, hamm it up with Stew, and drop in on more cronies from my blogroll.

I've got places to go and things not to do.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's Never Ever List

I informed my students of school policies. Then I informed them of my rules. My Never Evers. Here they are, in no particular order:

Students in Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's classes should NEVER, EVER:

*Sit in my chair
*Touch things on my desk (except for the tissues I lovingly buy for you instead of making you tear off a hank of the see-through school toilet paper)
*Look through my desk or cabinets
*Talk while I am talking
*Throw things at the wastebasket like it is a basketball goal
*Use the computers without permission
*Shout greetings at any guests who enter the classroom
*Open the windows without permission
*Roam around the room
*Mess with the light switch, call button, or doorstop
*Hide somebody's stuff as a joke
*Make fun of other students for any reason
*Move the desks
*Listen to music through tiny earphone thingies
*Write on the board
*Erase anything on the board
*Backtalk (I will win, no matter how long it takes. Just so you know.)
*Drop a book from shoulder height just to hear the SLAM
*Put trash in the desks
*Write on or put gum on the desks
*Bring food or drink into the classroom
*Let me see or hear a cell phone
*Make or throw paper airplanes or any other projectiles
*Apply cologne, perfume, deodorant, lotion, or make-up in my classroom
*Stand by me in the doorway between classes
*Say anything you don't want your parents or the principal to hear (Because my number one priority is to make sure everyone in this school is safe. I am a well-known tattletale. So if you want to talk about instigating a fight, running away, taking drugs, drinking, sexcapades, stealing, parties, etc., I guarantee that I will tell. Just so you know.)

Let me elaborate on that last one. Several years ago, I had a student who was 16 years of age who loved to talk about his parties. On Friday, he would say, "Hey guys! I'm having a party tomorrow. I'm making hot wings. I make really good hot wings. And we're having beer, too." So off to lunch I went, and told the principal how this kid was bragging about his party. The principal just happened to let the local police know that this party was in the works. This scenario played out 3 or 4 times that quarter. One Monday, the kid looked depressed. He said, "Every time I have a party, the police show up. I don't understand how that happens EVERY time." Duh.

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is a well-known tattletale. And proud of it.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

First Day Titters

This was practically the most pain-free first day I've ever had. Nothing takes the starch out of an 8th grader better than being a 9th grader in a new building. All classes but the after-lunch one were docile and enjoyable. The other...a bit apathetic with one threepeater thrown in. Though not bad at all from some classes I've experienced.

Guess what! I learned some new info from the Book of Common Knowledge today. Let's preface this by saying that after going over the course description, and emphasizing Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's Never Ever List, we played Science Trivia. Only it was NOT trivia, because science is important, doggone it, and we were dealing in important facts that are taught in Middle School. Even so, many people who took the internet quiz did not know their MS science facts. Oh, and one of my classes actually said, before we started, "Umm...just so you know? We're really terrible at science." Perhaps not the best thing to tell their new science teacher. So, I divided the class in half, read a question with 4 answer choices, and the carnage began. Here are some things you might not realize:

The scientist who developed antiseptic surgery techniques was Charles Antiseptic.

Neil Armstrong is that guy who rides a bicycle.

The igneous rock that is light enough to float is limestone.

Buzz Aldrin and John Glenn are golfers.

A honeybee and a flower have a parasitic relationship. Except when they have a 'sharing' relationship.

Hook wrote about Natural Selection. That's when he wasn't busy starring in that movie.

It is a bit awkward to discuss how 'Rubella' is commonly called 'German Measles' when you have a German exchange student in the front row.

And from Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's personal file, you may want to make a Note To Self: Dry erase markers are not dry, and do not erase from a shirt collar. Ever. With any amount of baby wipes and GermX and faculty bathroom soap. So don't get it on you right before 1st Hour on the first day of school.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Better Late Than Never

Great Googley Moogley! It's the night before school starts, and our electricity has been off since 4:40 p.m. Yep. Just after I popped a pizza in the oven (minus the cardboard plate this time, thank you very much) the house went dead. HH was not home yet. The #1 son got everything turned off, ready to go over the checklist and fire up Gennie. Guess what. Gennie doesn't like to cook, either. That was ALL we had on. Except the refrigerator. You'd think Gennie could at least do kitchen work. But no. We left the pizza in for 45 minutes. It was pretty good, for not cooking it 27 minutes at 400 degrees. Perhaps we should have set it out on the front porch. It was probably hotter than the inside of the oven.

While HH was sitting on the hot front porch, thankfully not in his underwear this time, the neighbors drove by on their way to borrow a generator smaller than Gennie. They gave HH a Bud Light, and told him the power wouldn't be back on until 11:00. They had talked to a real live person at AmerenUE. Darn! They have connections. That is the same time the recording told me, though. Lappy the Big Fat Liar said it would be restored at 7:00. Lappy's pants are going to burst into flame faster than an unattended Texas playground if he doesn't change his ways. Gennie did allow us to watch TV in the dark. It was getting pretty darn toasty in the westward-facing living room, so I went down to my basement lair. I took a flashlight and turned on the big screen TV. Oh. Guess what. A thunderstorm rolled through and the Dish lost its signal. If it weren't for bad luck, we'd have no luck at all.

HH went to the BARn and drained the lifeblood out of his lawnmowers. Including the $850 one that has been used once since he brought it home. Gennie has a powerful thirst. Around 9:00, HH decided to drive to town for more Gennie Juice. He had been gone 5 minutes when the dusk to dawn light came to life. HH reappeared soon after, having run into a roadblock of AmerenUE trucks before he hit the main road. As he was turning around, he saw other lights coming on in the other Whos' houses. I'm guessing that they all lit on both sides. Now we are cooling down, and I have lost all interest in doing something useful towards work tomorrow. The sky won't fall if I don't start with a lesson the first day. We can play "What Do You Know?" about the science GLEs. And they can hear me discuss the list of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's Never Evers. Maybe I'll post them for you tomorrow, if you're really good.

The temperature when I left work today was 111. That's too hot for Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. Her goiter does not take kindly to the heat. Just last night, Mrs. HM almost expired from the heat, what with lounging around her mother's house for 2 hours before open house, and not being accustomed to the 80 degree temperature INSIDE the house. Don't you worry about Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, though. After a 15 minute drive blasting max air at top speed, and the chugging of a bottle of water, HM was ready to face the Open House crowd. It went well. Even though the temp outside was 106, the temp in DoNotLand was a balmy 70 degrees. Whew! Thank the Gummi Mary we have individual thermostats in our rooms.

Now I'm off to browse some educational websites. I may have visions of pseudopods dancing in my head tonight.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Chicken Tale

This ain't much. But it's better than nothin'. A whole lot better than a regular winding Hillbilly Mom post, some may think. Watch out, thinkers. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is psychic. The Gummi Mary will get you for that.

I am at Open House. Which means I am not typing this right now. I typed it last night around 10:56, to be precise, and pasted it here to look like it's fresh. Kind of like a grocery store around here used to take its outdated chicken and soak it in bleach to hide the smell of decay, and then slap a new wrapper and date on it and try to sell it again. Oh, they've gone out of business now. No need to worry about Mrs. Hillbilly Mom succumbing to salmonella. She's healthy as a horse. So healthy, her dentist calls her 'Babe', hopefully not like the pig. Mrs. HM did not learn of the bespoiled chicken caper from being psychic. Laws, NO! She learned about it by M-O-O-N. That spells, "When she adjudicated an unemployment claim from a butcher's helper who was fired from that store." Oh, you may think he was just another disgruntled chicken-bleacher...but Mrs. HM compiled enough evidence from other witnesses to get that man his unemployment benefits. And in case you were wondering, no, we did not notify the Department of Health. That wasn't OUR job. And you see, in state agencies, you do not do any more than what your job description entails. That's how those folks roll, and it doesn't pay to rock the boat, because then somebody would have to pay the piper for blowing the whistle, and that would be yours truly.

But that's neither here nor there, kind of like Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, who is definitely not here tonight, but there instead, opening the house for the bright shiny new school year.

Which is almost over, you know.

Monday, August 13, 2007

This Ain't My First Rodeo General SUV

YeeHaw! I'm a rodeo queen! This morning I rode a blue plastic cafeteria chair for 90 minutes, and then I sat astride a hard blue plastic library chair for 90 minutes, and this afternoon I stayed atop a cushy pink wheelie chair for 120 minutes. And let's not forget that black Chinese contraption on which I remained mounted for 35 minutes. What's the big deal about 8 seconds, you namby-pamby celebrity bull-riding has-beens? I am a champion, my friends. And I'll keep on blogging till the end. Funny thing, my feet aren't even tired after my first day of work.

I had maybe 30 minutes to work in my room today. Yet I squandered 20 of it selling used toys out of the back of my LSUV. And by 'selling', I mean pleading with people to take them for free. We told #2 son to clean his stuff out of the living room the other day. He claimed there was not room in his room for his toys. Go figure! Then why do they call it a room, son? Anyhoo...he had a carload of stuff he says he has outgrown. He IS going into 4th grade, after all, and is now all about the computer games where people shout with Middle Aged accents, "...a severed head on a wooden pike!"

I accosted the first two colleagues with the line, " two have little boys at home. How would you like some toys for them to play with? Toys with little bitty pieces?" Man! You'd have thought I was offering them a severed head on a wooden pike. One shouted for both of them, "NO. We have plenty of toys at our houses." And probably crumbs much too small for the other Whos' mouses as well. Geez. How did she know how many toys the other lady's kid has? They must hold secret toy-playing parties without inviting me. They refused to make further eye contact, and would have pulled up roots and moved, except that we were bound by breakfast tabledom and for the first time to go through the buffet line first.

I caught the eye of an old friend from Lower Basementia, who agreed to a trial viewing. Not quite definite, and she was parked on the West Forty of Blacktop Acres, but enough to raise my hopes that I might, indeed, not travel back to Hillmomba with the entire clattering load of MegaBlocks, pirate ship, puzzle, giant dump truck, pop-up book, action castle, and marble runs with my OH SO AMPLE tail tucked between my sturdy legs. She promised to drive around to the East Forty before leaving to take a browse at my General SUV. I was wishing I had a visor thingy like Sam Drucker. And one of those big wooden pickle barrels, too, as long as I was wishing and all.

My next victims were Basementia bound. I snagged them right after the general session. To think that my 6 years of building better buddies in Basementia could swirl counterclockwise down the drain so quickly! One of them just looked at me. Another didn't even do that, though the 'hmpf' that she emitted much like a spindly tow-headed orphan whacked in the solar plexus with a leather soccer ball left no doubt as to whether or not she'd heard my offer. A third said hesitantly, " you have them here now?" I could see her mental 'DARN' when I confirmed that yes, as a matter of fact, they were right outside, three cars away from her LredSUV, and would be extraordinarily easy to load. She followed me out, and looked through that jetsam like a seasoned horse trader inspecting one of Mr. Haney's mounts. Then she said the most magical words I was to hear all day: "How much do you want for this stuff?" WHAT? It is free, my dear. Free for the taking. Just TAKE IT ALREADY! She chose a 6-foot wooden pirate ship puzzle, and the bin of piratey goodness with a bazillion accessories. Sweet Gummi Mary! I will avoid her for a week or two in case she has non-buyer remorse.

As soon as the booty was loaded into her LredSUV, here came my other client in her SblackSUV. We're SUV-drivin' fools around these here parts. She pulled up at an angle, not in a regular parking spot, ready for a swift get-a-way if the pressure to not-buy became too great. She came. She looked. She took the rest of my inventory! Double Sweet Gummi Mary! I'm a freakin' fantastic non-salesman. I should get the Non-salesman of the Year plaque, and the parking spot right by the front door. Yeah. I'm that good at not-selling.

Sorry...I got so carried away with being a Rodeo Champion and Non-Salesman of the Year that I didn't have much to tell you about my first day. That's just as well. It pales in comparison to my chair-riding, non-selling exploits. By cracky.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Time For Lollygagging Has Now Ended

I hope to make this short. I'm sure you have the same dream. School starts tomorrow for ME. That means I have to get up around the time I am usually going to bed. Then I have to sit all day. Which is really not so much different from what I've been doing all summer.

I'm looking forward to lunch with Mabel. And to getting the Faculty Handbook so I can see for sure that my duties have mysteriously been scheduled on days in which I have already booked dental appointments. And to see who sits with whom, so I will know where the battle lines are drawn before I go sticking my foot in my mouth.

Last night our cobbled-together team took 3rd Place at Trivia. It was sponsored by The Friends of the Library. The scores were way closer than usual. Go figure! These people must read. The final category was 'Seinfeld'. Booyah! I knew them all. 10 out of 10, baby! If it were socially acceptable, I'd drape myself in velvet. Yep. This kept us in third, where we had only a slim 1-point advantage over fourth. It was quite different from the category 'Children of the Bible', where I only knew ONE answer: Jesus. I ain't braggin'. Thank the Gummi Mary, we had a Methodist minister on our team. We scored the highest of all the teams in that category, with 8/10. Which really moved us up from the eighth place that we had fallen to after only being able to name four countries from their outlines, and not knowing much about the jobs presidents held before taking office, and various trivial facts about states. And to think we were overjoyed to see no Sports category. Who knew our second Achilles heel of history/geography would be addressed in no less than three categories? Still, we finished in 3rd Place, only one point behind 2nd Place, which was taken by the team of neighboring teachers that we always strive to beat. AND, we hit our predicted score of 70 on the head. So if it had been a tie, we would have won. We are becoming a force to be reckoned with, by cracky!

Now I'm off to read Big Brother 8 updates while I pretend to be working on my Course Description and Class Rules handouts that I will need for Open House Tuesday night.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Meet Gennie

Last night, just as I was typing the last sentence about hobos in Hooverville, our power went out. Lucky for me that New Blogger is a miserly curmudgeon, what with saving, saving, saving constantly, and I didn't lose my wordy little ray of sunshine upon which I was laboriously laboring. My new Delly went black. As did four other computers, and Lappy. Oh, THE INHUMANITY! The #1 son was unphased. He dashed to the barn to tell HH, "THE POWER IS OUT!" Because you know, by cracky, that HH bought that generator last December, and has not had a chance to fire it up. He and the boy rushed back to the house so they could start generating before the power came back.

First, the boy turned off the main breaker in the electric box in the master bathroom closet. Then he turned off power to all surge suppressors connecting the computers. #2 son and I turned off all light switches, and gathered the flashlights for re-batterying. Never mind that it was 7:50 p.m., and still daylight. We wanted to be prepared. Some of the choicer flashlights, the kind that look like little plastic lanterns, had corroded batteries. Darn HH for not making sure the dehumidifier thingy works properly.

Anyhoo...HH wheeled Gennie out of the garage and cranked him up. The power lights on the satellite receivers came on. The refrigerator started to hum. HH came in and flipped on a couple of light switches. He babbled something about how we could run ONE TV, and maybe ONE computer, and a lamp or two. And we could flush the toilets willy nilly, because the well was powered. Then the true insanity began. HH mumbled about when the air conditioner was going to kick on. Back when he bought Gennie, HH told me it would not run the AC. He said if we turned off everything else, maybe the AC would run. That was then. We didn't turn anything off. After about 30 minutes, the AC did indeed kick on. Within several seconds, the whole house went black again. The AC had tripped Gennie's breaker.

It didn't matter anyway. The power had come back by then. I told HH he told me so about the AC. He faintly remembered it. We powered up the house again with the regular electron juice from AmerenUE, then sent #1 to check on the electronics. All are safe and sound. It's not the going off, but the starting up that damages them.

Tonight, #2 son and I are off to play Trivia. It is a last-minute deal, with about half of our regular team. I hope we didn't need to register ahead of time.

The #1 son is having a sleepover in the MiniMansion. He was only allowed to invite two cronies. I think they will end up sleeping in the BARn, because it has electricity and air conditioning, and the MM is in the deep, dark woods. Time will tell.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Geeky Scrappers

My son is a one-man geek squad. He just got a phone call from an adult neighbor asking if he could come work on a computer. The deal-sealer was the offer of $5. The boy is saving for some kind of robot, and needs over $200. He is all about the odd jobs. I paid him a nominal fee for setting up my computers at school, and moving books, and carrying trash out to the dumpster. Then I found out that he had pulled nails out of a bunch of boards for his dad, and done some other manual labor, and only charged his dad $3. That's no way to buy a robot.

Of course, once I was done with him at school, the kid ran off to help the Tech Coordinator FOR FREE. He took out some hard drives and copied a new version of our gradebook program on them and then reinstalled the hard drives and set up the 'new' used computers in classrooms. All told, I believe he worked on 35 hard drives, and set up 6 or 8 computers. And that was in 3 1/2 hours, in the time I wasn't using him.

Today we spent about 4 hours at school. Nobody needed his help. We went to have lunch and play trivia, because all work and no play makes Hillbilly Mom a dull blogger. We lingered at lunch, and had to call HH to tell him he would beat us home. HH was not pleased. He always acts like it's fine, but then starts with the eternal question: Who else was there? I don't know what he's getting at. I asked him, "Who else was at work with you today?" He said, "Everybody." Then I asked why he was always pestering me about who else is wherever I go. And HH said, "Well, I wasn't at work with my two girlfriends." I don't know what he means by that. Just because the lunch was with two male colleagues does not make them my boyfriends. He seems to forget that everywhere I go, I must drag two boys with me. He really needs to get over it. I'm surprised that he didn't make me quit my job the year I had first lunch shift with all men.

I saw a female colleague as we were leaving school. She told me she had lost her chair. I pointed to mine in a possessive and defensive manner. "It wasn't that kind, was it?" She said no, that it was a chair for her desk that she had bought and brought in. I told her that I had traded out a chair with one of her student chairs like mine, and she didn't care. In fact, she told me to take as many of them as I wanted, because she had told the custodians she didn't want all those wheelie chairs. But she acted like she would never see her teacher's chair again. By cracky, I told her to get to lookin' in all the classrooms and take it back.

This happens every year in every school where I've taught. Things disappear over the summer. Part of the reason is that the custodians move everything into the hall to strip and wax. The FLOORS, people! Stop making this some kind of lurid fantasy. They usually have some students helping, and stuff doesn't always get back into the correct room. However, I have been employed at some places where the teachers scavenge what they can. Usually, they only have the gumption to raid a departing teacher's room, figuring that the newbie won't miss what he/she didn't know was there. Sometimes, they just want the best stuff. I've even gone to such great lengths as painting my room number on all of my student chairs with Wite-Out. At one place, there was a coveted wastebasket that changed hands numerous times. I just don't understand how this lady could act like her chair was long gone. I would be creepin' and peepin' until I found it, and wait for the right moment to repossess my treasure. I got my wheelie chair back, didn't I? First of all, the other teacher may not even know it's in their room. Secondly, if they took it on purpose, they surely know they can't put up a fight to keep their ill-gotten booty.

Teachers. We are an odd lot. We're like hobos fighting over the last bean in the tin can in front of our cardboard mansion on the outskirts of Hooverville.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

HM's Bad Mouth

Ooh, boys, it's hot!

I can't take the heat. That is one reason I stay out of the kitchen. That, and the kitchen smacks of work. M-O-O-N. That spells, "Hillbilly Mom does not care for W O R K." It has been hovering around 100 degrees here for days. Even Poolio does not look refreshing. The boys say it is like swimming in bath water. HH likes it. They had to fill Poolio about 4 inches the other night. That is done by running the garden hose from the well. The garden hose spouting 50-degree water. The boys love it. HH, not so much. It was supposed to hang over the side and fill Poolio. Then HH said the boys could spray each other. They took that to mean, "Put your thumb over the end of the hose and blast your sibling directly in the face, preferable in his piehole and snout, so he can't breathe, or in one of his eye sockets, so you can displace an eyeball, and every now and then, 'sibling' can mean ME, your loving father, your paternal family unit, who hates to get sprayed with a forceful hose of 50-degree water." Now HH has rescinded hose privileges. The boys went on strike yesterday and refused to get into Poolio. HH was not observed to shed any crocodile tears as he floated alone on his inner tube down his very own lethargic river

I went to the dentist today. I had full-head x-rays, and a 'crown prep'. Don't get excited. It had nothing to do with ruling Hillmomba. I found that out the hard way. At the tune of $360. And, my pediatric dentist of whom I am so very fond let his assistant do a big chunk of the work! I'm still not sure what they did. They worked in tandem to blast the temporary filling off the tooth I took them last week. A perfectly good temporary filling! I could have gotten a couple years' use out of that thing, by cracky! Then they stuck some green goo into my mouth and told me to bite lightly and stay that way. If only I could do that to my kids. Then they fiddled and faddled and the dentist forsook me for some kind of child, and told the assistant to do something about the crown. I couldn't understand him. I think he was saying one thing and using secret dentist hand signals, maybe with flags on sticks, to tell her what to do. You know, so as not to alarm me, like when he tells me something horrific he's about to do, and ends the sentence with 'Babe'. I hope he means it in the endearing way, not the pig way.

Anyhoo, at least this girl was gentle and moved slowly and did not upset me. I think she was new. There were only two issues I had with her. One was that she did all the digging and gluing and pressing and hosing and sucking like an expert, but when it came time to pick the pretty yellow color to match my real teeth, she could not make a decision, and called over a colleague. They debated about 5 minutes, until I closed my mouth and said, "Not that many people are going to see it." Sweet Gummi Mary! It's that last molar. And the colleague said, "Yeah. You might as well have a gold one." Hmpf. A gold one would probably be cheaper. The second issue was that the assistant sat up my chair, took off my pink paper bib, and said, "We're done." And then the dentist came back, put on some gloves, and stated, "We have to do an exam." The assistant giggled and said, "Just kidding. Lie back." She re-attached the same bib, and cranked my chair back for lift-off.

I am in need of 4 crowns, a couple of fillings, and a bridge. Perhaps I should go to the dentist regularly. Nawww. I hate going to the dentist. It's almost a phobia. They can forget the bridge. I ain't havin' a bridge in my mouth. I've had a hole there for over 12 years, since HH told me I was getting that one tooth pulled instead of a root canal. What does he know? He has a partial plate. I'm not taking his advice any more. I've had the root canals. Now I'm getting the crowns. I figure that between my insurance and my raise, that will just about cover it.

Sometimes, it's not so much fun being Even Steven.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Puzzling To The Oldies

I promised to tell you about ladies from The Home at the dentist's office.

At first, I thought they were normal. Only one was in the waiting room. There were other people, so she was not conspicuous. There were two girls of teenage years who came in together, and a woman and her teenage daughter. This older woman sat alone on the couch, while the others and I chose chairs. The only thing unusual about Oldie was that on the floor near her feet sat two plastic bags of the type favored by The Devil's Playground. Inside were clothes. Oh, well. Perhaps she had been shopping, though the Playground was 5 miles away.

The door to the inner sanctum opened, and Moldie came out. Oldie greeted her with a friendly word and a smile, but did not rise. Moldie sat down on the couch next to Oldie. Here was the conversation that tipped me off about something fishy visiting from The Home:

O-Can you get up?
M-Yes. There's nothing wrong with me.
O-Well, if people come in, someone might want to sit there.
M-I can get up.
O-Are you sure?
O-I guess we can leave.
M-I don't know.
O-Are we supposed to wait for Sandy?
M-She didn't say.
O-I'm glad she brought your clothes.
O-I was going to ask her if she wanted to come back to the house.
O-I guess we can go.
M-They want you next.
M-Yes. She said to send you in.
O-She said for me to come in?
O-Why didn't you say so?
M-I moved my head back when I came out.
O-I wonder why they want me?
M-I don't know.
O-I've already had MY teeth cleaned.
O-Well I guess I'd better go.

A couple minutes later she came back.

O-They didn't want me.
M-Well, that's what she said.
O-I'm done.
O-I guess we can go now.

Sandy came out.

S-We're ready to go. I'm just going in the bathroom.
O-Let's go.
M-OK. (Making no move to get up.)
O-(Standing up.) Come on.
O-Can you get up?
M-Yes. (She didn't move.)

Sandy came out of the bathroom, and took Oldie through to the pay counter.
Moldie swayed back and forth on the couch. Then she leaned to and fro. Then she wiggled forward. Finally, she got up and went to join them.

When my boy came out, we went to the pay counter. We had to wait for Sandy and Oldie to settle up. Moldie was nowhere to be seen. Nor were the clothes. I don't know if they left them on the floor, or she took them outside. Sandy seemed to be the brains of the outfit, like maybe she was a caretaker of some sort. She was writing a check. BUT SO WAS OLDIE! I don't know what was going on. Maybe they were just humoring her. Maybe Sandy was the daughter. The bottom line is that I stood in line longer than my kid was in the chair getting his sealant applied to his teeth.

OH, THE HORROR! When we got into the parking lot, the party of three was just leaving. IN TWO SEPARATE CARS! I do not want to think of Oldie and Moldie driving. I waited a good long time after they left before I pulled out.

The life of Hillbilly Mom. Every day is an adventure.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A Lackluster Return

When you return to school, even unofficially, to get things ready for the new year, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom knows to expect the unexpected. And that nothing will go as planned. And that people piss her off.

This much Hillbilly Mom knows for sure:

*If you drive your kids through McDonalds, the window waitress will leave out a hash brown.

*If you offer to let your son out by the front door of the school so he can go to the back door and open it in case it's locked, he will refuse, and have to run a 1/4 mile around the building while you wait on the 100 degree blacktop parking lot.

*Your desks will be arranged not as you left them, but in a way that the custodian would set up his class if he was the teacher.

*One of your two free cushy blue chairs on wheels will be gone.

*The chair that is left will be the crappier of the two that you used to have.

*If you switch out the chair with another teacher who has six of them for student use, and then find your own true chair with the back raised just so in another room, and wait until the coast is clear to switch with that one...the principal and custodian will walk out of a room right next to it when you are in the act.

*Your one true chair will be in the room of the only teacher who has a beef with you.

*Your son will make private arrangements with his grandma and not tell you, necessitating an extra 20 minutes of time off your life on the way to the other son's dentist appointment.

*The dentist's office will be hosting a trio of old ladies from The Home. (More on that one tomorrow.)

*Office Max will have pronged pocket folders advertised for 25 cents, but will only have the prongless ones in the store.

*They will, however, have deluxe pronged pocket folders for 89 cents apiece.

*You will wait in line for 10 minutes, and a girl will waltz right in front of you and ask for a refund, and you can't step up to say you were there first because a store manager is blocking your way while he talks to two old fogies about a hypothetical computer.

*Your son will buy a computer game for $9.99, which will play for 40 minutes before crashing Gamey.

*If you spend $73 at Office Max, the clerk will "forget" to give you your 15% discount off the paper sack thingy.

*If you go back through the line, the clerk will have to call for help, and together the two guys will tell you to scan your debit card again, and swear that they have just credited your debit. Even though when it happened other times (Note To Self: stop shopping at Office Max), the clerk gave a cash refund for the discount.

*After your son falls asleep for three hours with a headache, you will have to console the other son with a broken computer, and you will accidentally catch your HH in his basement workshop rifling through Easter baskets for leftover jelly beans.

*Which most people would see as the end of life as we know it, and figure it's time to line up the handbaskets and call it a day...but you stay up to watch Big Brother After Dark from 11:00 to 2:00, and fall asleep in the recliner around 11:45.

And that's the way the school year starts. It'll be over before you know it.

Monday, August 6, 2007

HM's Tech Support Walks The Plank

If my resident computer genius was not protected by child endangerment laws, I would set him adrift. That boy is getting a black spot fer shure, by cracky!

My Sonny #1 is in the doghouse. Not really. He's in his bed. It's 7:50 p.m. Go figure. He has been staying up waaay to late. Today we went to school, and he had to get up early at 8:00. So now he has a sick headache, and is OH SO PITIFUL. I think he needs water. Hydration can do miracles for a headache. Let's see, how much water did he drink today? NONE! But he had a Sprite and a Pepsi. That boy won't listen to reason, AKA, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom.

The reason I wished him in the doghouse is because he has the computer situation at the Mansion all messed up. He moved my new Delly into place in my basement lair, and promised to set up Crashy on HH's old kitchen table, which is also in the basement. Well. Crashy looks like he will work, but much like the disable-bodied men caught waterskiing by the insurance fraud caseworker, Crashy refuses to earn his keep. He is dead to me. So I am on Schooly, because I have issues with Delly and my secret identity blog at the moment, and preferred to keep on truckin' on good ol' Crashy. The problem with Schooly is that he cohabits with Desky, a can of air, my old laser printer who will not work with Delly, an ancient VCR, a printer, a router, a hub,
5 speakers, an eyeball thingy to let people watch you while you hope they are not those Dateline sting dudes, a joystick, two monitors, sometimes Lappy, and...the partridge has the day off to shop for a less-crowded pear tree. I am cramped, and typing to my left when I prefer to type to my right. In other words, because I like words, you like words, we all scream for more and more words on Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's posts...the monitor is to my right, and I'm not used to looking that way.

When sleeping beauty wakes up, I'm going to give him what-for. He has built himself a control panel to rival the orbiting space station, and I am feeling out of place in the midst of all this technology. Technology is not my friend.

I've had quite a day. Perhaps I will tell you about it tomorrow, after there is more incompetence to add to it.

If people are in charge of holding up the sky, you can bet that it is going to fall on my cold, dead, finger-pointing hand. Before I can jump in the handbasket.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Problems of Hillbilly Mom


The horror that was my morning and noon and just after. You might have read that Redneck Diva did her back-to-school shopping already. And she made a mention of NO SALES TAX WEEKEND. Hmpf! Not around here, girly! Oh, it's that weekend all right...but our county is not participating. Our county, which contains TWO Devil's Playgrounds. We are supposed to get the STATE tax break of 4.225 percent, but the local taxes are still in effect. I refuse to drive 30 miles in two directions to other counties containing other playgrounds. I call foul! How DARE they not participate! I demand my $9.83 in savings, by cracky! I spend a lot on school supplies!

I knew not to go on Saturday. I tried that one time. I also went once at midnight. It was kind of fun. My mom went with me, and we each filled a cart for a specific Hillbilly son. Now #1 son has no list. I figured I could shop in relative peace on a Sunday morning, after those hardworking employees of The Devil's Playground re-stocked. NO. Incorrect. Didn't happen.

First problem was no supplies list for my 4th grade son. Oh, there was the giant cardboard display with the name of our school, but no list. In fact, I went through EVERY school, to see if one had been misplaced. Nope. So I just went to buy the clothing. Second problem. Our county is populated by a multiltude of size 8 boys who wear size 3 shoes. There was not a shoe to be found unless you wanted churchy shoes, or sandals. There was only ONE pair of size 8 shorts. They were camouflage. My boy is not as into camouflage as Redneck Diva's daughter. It is doubtful he will wear them. They are cute, though. Camo camouflage shorts. But listen to this...they were priced at $9.87...and they rang up for $5.00. WooHoo! I got some of my tax savings on that purchase. If I tell him that he wears those shorts or his underwear, I think he'll wear the shorts.

Third problem. There were only 4 cashiers. FOUR cashiers. For the whole Playground. I waited in line 15 minutes. Sweat was dripping from the end of my nose. It was too hot in the Playground. HH's says it's supposed to be really hot today. In fact, he said tonight is going to be the hottest part of the day. Go figure. We're supposed to have a heat index of 105. So I finally checked out, and on the way to the LSUV, I glanced back at that school list thingy, and it looked like there was a list in our school slot. I took the stuff out and came back in. I'd planned to do it anyway, for the food shopping. I went back into the non-food end, and there it was: ONE list for my son's supplies. I snatched it up like a 9th grade boy grabs a dropped Reese's Piece off a classroom floor.

Fourth problem. The Devil does not believe in pink erasers or pronged pocket folders. I got everything on that stinkin' list except those two items. Can of compressed air? No problem. Erasers and folders? Not at the Playgound, by cracky! Later, at home, we found some folders and a blue eraser that smells of blueberries. It will have to do.

Fifth problem. HH was on the front porch when I got home. Ha ha! He had to carry things in. He usually waits until 5 minutes after I get home to appear and ask, "Got everything?" Oh, but he did not carry in 'everything'. He said, "Well, I left those clothes and school things in the car." Duh! Our garage gets up to around 115 degrees, because we HAVE to close the doors, according to HH, because the dogs will go in there an chew things. So you already know that there is more junk than cars in our garage. And I did not want the can of compressed air to languish in that climate for long. I'm funny about that stuff. So I had to nag HH into bringing in all the bags.

Sixth problem. HH tried to burn down the Mansion while I was gone. No, he wasn't doing the yardwork. He was trying to help out, because I broke the news to him that I did not feel like cleaning because I can't do it all alone. I pointed out that all I'd ever expected him to do was clean the basement NASCAR bathroom, which he had volunteered to do way back in the day when he hung 1057 collector Hot Wheel cars on the walls of it. And HH said, "Well, I never use it..." Oh. Very bad response. Men, take note. What if I only cleaned up the things I used? What then, huh? HH knew the minute those words were out his lips that he had fumbled. He spouted and fumed a bit to throw me off the track, but we both knew how ridiculous his statement was. So he went into the kitchen and cleaned up the pile of junk mail he was saving for The Veteran since last year. Oh, he left the Chef Boy-Ar-Dee box pizza on the table, and the lonely roll of paper towels that he had ripped one out of and didn't put away the rest. But his intentions were good.

Now, to get back to the burning of the Mansion...When I returned from my trip to The Devil's Playground, HH had candles burning. A plethora of candles. No two with the same scent. But that's beside the point. It was 95 freakin' degrees. Why do we want candles burning? Anybody? Anybody? The Mansion looked like Carrie White's house, after Carrie and Momma White had that little discussion about 'dirtypillows'. I thought HH was going to need supplementary oxygen after blowing them out.

Seventh problem. I have grown tired of this post. The End.