Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Unknown Corpse

Halloween at the Mansion is just like any other night. HH had a fit, the #1 son demanded that I cook him something other than the 4 meals he was offered, and The Pony entertained himself and stayed out of the ruckus. I don't get no respect.

Outside the Mansion, I have no comment. Too many people are pissing me off. Shame on them. Don't ask my opinion if you don't want the answer.

Mabel is still campaigning for Turkey of the Year. Tomorrow is the official contest kick-off. Perhaps she should have a debate with other leading candidates. That would be a hoot. Maybe I should suggest it to the sponsor in case we need a time-filler after an assembly.

I am not a Chatty Patty tonight. My last nerve is frazzled. I have work that I had to bring home tonight because HELLO I had duty before and after school, and that eats up about an hour of my working time at work. I'm a busy little beaver.

My dogs had a dead carcass in the yard when I got home. I could not tell what species. The Pony was betting on a squirrel. The #1 boy had no opinion, due to a lolling head and spit drooling down onto his shirt. Methinks the Halloween Dance should be held on a Friday next year, not a Tuesday. Upon further investigation, the corpse turned out to be that of a yellow-beaked and -footed fowl. I have no idea how the dogs rustled up a bird. They must have taken it way from one of the five cats. Probably the unfriendly one that the rest of them hate, who won't attempt to feed at the food dish, who forages for her meals. Ain't that the unkindest cut of all? Do all that work to catch yourself a birdie, and the bullies take it away. They didn't even want to eat it. They only wanted to fling it into the air and chomp on it again, and fight over it.

Kind of like the cookies a student brought to my class 7th hour. I can't thank Math Crony enough for that good deed.

Now I'm off to watch the GhostHunters live from the Waverly Sanatorium.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Prisoner, The Pony, And The Dentist

OK, so it's not The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I have trouble coming up with clever titles. Which you've all noticed, no doubt.

My #1 son is a prisoner at the school gym. Really. He dressed as a striped-uniform inmate for the Halloween Dance. Oh, that building is allowed to have Halloween. It ain't no Fall Festival Sock-Hop. HH has gone to pick him up. We'll see how things went now that he's unattached. The boy, not HH. I will have to consult my secret operatives who still operate in Basementia.

My Little Pony is in the doghouse. The sweetest of the sweet Hillbilly young'uns is in trouble for dawdling over his homework. It is only one page of math. He was told to do it at 3:30, on the way to the dentist. He didn't. He was told to do it as soon as we got home. He didn't. He was told to have it finished by the time I came in from my 30-minute walk. He didn't. After another twenty minutes, it still was not done. The Pony received a Hillbilly Mom tongue-lashing. He caved. He whimpered. He blubbered. He threw himself a big ol' pity party, complete with tears, pouting lower lip, puppy-dog eyes, sniffles, hitching breath, and head-buried-under-the-pillow. Did it melt the cold, cold heart of Hillbilly Mom? Let me answer for you: NO! The boy has been slacking with his arm in a cast. He has been writing left-handed for 3 weeks now, and it is legible. This paper was not. It could be because he completed it while lying on his belly on the couch, with the paper propped on his planner on a pillow, while watching SpongeBob. D'ya think? So tomorrow night, young Pony has to go back to the kitchen cutting block for homework, with the TV OFF! I hope he doesn't call the DFS hotline, what with all this abuse. Oops! That would be the #1 son, the natural-born lawyer, who would think of that tactic.

And speaking of OOPS! That is what my dentist said, with both hands in my mouth, when he dropped something or other that clattered off my teeth on the opposite side from where he was working. Not that it didn't happen the last visit as well. At least this time, it didn't fall to the back of my throat. Perhaps Mr. Dentist has the palsy. For sure, we know he has the dropsy. He even said, "Well, there's one thing you don't like to hear while you're in that chair. 'Oops!' And, 'Ohh oh!' Huh?" Of course, I had both his hands and that dropped thingy in my oral cavity, so I didn't answer him. I'm sure he just wrote it off to my Nitrous intoxication. But more likely, his mind had already skipped ahead to his next topic of conversation. "My daughter had a hayride this weekend. She had some fine-looking friends show up. All toned. They take care of themselves. They belong to Better Bodies. You know what they say: 'The best bodies money can buy.' " I guess they say that. I've never heard it. And he's way older than the hills, so don't think he's pervin' on those daughter-friends. They were probably in their 30s.

Now I am a dental office graduate, and don't have to go back. Until after the first of the year, when my insurance is good again. I have some crowns with my name on them. OK, they don't really have my name on them, that would be just a waste of money, because no one reads inside my mouth. But I need more crowns. Which are better than bridges. Just ask my mom.

Now I need to go check on My Little Pony, to see if he is bedded down for the night.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Cheatingest Turkey

I'm tired, and it's only Monday. Tomorrow I go to see the senile dentist again. Perhaps he dips into the nitrous when he's unsupervised. I can't say that I blame him.

Mabel is campaigning to win the Turkey Teacher Award. The contest doesn't even start until Thursday, yet Mabel came a-stumpin' for votes in my class 1st Hour. By 'a-stumpin' for votes', I mean 'a-bribing kids with Dum Dums for donations'. Mabel believes the prize is a real live turkey. You know, a frozen bird that you can bake. Something's baked all right...and in my opinion it's Mabel. I don't for one instant believe that the club sponsoring this contest is going to give out a turkey. I think the prize is more likely a pie in the face, or a case of that 'Thanksgiving Meal Soda' stuff that has a bottle of pumpkin pie and all the trimmings. So I am not in the running. I secede. I bow to my worthy opponent, Mabel. She's turkeyer than I. May the best briber win.

At lunch, Ms S said it would be fun to see who is the biggest winner and the biggest loser. Methinks she has something to do with the contest. Perhaps she's sponsoring it. Anyhoo, when she said that, I rubbed the fake tears out of my eyes with my fists, and whimpered, "Oh, my tender self-esteem!" So then she acted sorry, like I really WOULD be the biggest loser, which made me really mock-sad, because the kids like me, darn it, and that hadn't even entered my mind. And Ms S said, "Hey, I should campaign to be the biggest loser!" In any event, the kids will come out the winners, what with all the bribing going on.

I'm sending My Little Pony a Boo-Gram for Halloween. His school is doing it as a fundraiser. For one slim dollar, you can send a little message, and a choice of animal crackers/popcorn/chips along with a 'Fall character hand-puppet'. Sweet Gummi Mary! What is THAT? You know Halloween is the holiday that dare not speak its name around these parts. So I can't imagine what kind of puppet that would be. A falling leaf, perhaps? A cidered apple? Not only is The Pony getting one Boo-Gram...he's getting four. His dad, grandma, and brother are sending him one as well. Brother sent the message: "Happy Halloween, Pony! From Brother." Yeah. He's creative like that. HH said: "Good times on Friday." I'm not sure what else they have planned after Cast-Off day. Perhaps a viewing of the Bee Movie. Grandma wanted to send the first three chapters of her unwritten novel, so I had to caution her that there was only a small box suitable for a few words. She couldn't think of anything except: "I love you SO much. Grandma." I think he'll be OK with that. And mine says: "Only two more days of cast. BOOOOO Hoo! Mom." I am voting myself most clever.

Because I am the vote-counter. And I declare myself the biggest winner.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Original Vegetable Beef Soup Faux Pas

Something strange has happened. I blame the full moon. My boys are playing together without fighting or crying or bleeding!

HH has disappeared several times throughout the day. He thinks he lives at an inn, perhaps. An inn with maid service and an open kitchen. He appeared around 2:30 and asked, "That stew? Can I eat some?" Which was a bit odd, considering that there was no stew. There was a big pot of vegetable beef soup on the stove. Perhaps he was confused because I must make soup without much liquid. The reason for that is HH himself. Let me repeat the story of HH's original vegetable beef soup faux pas.

I had made another pot of soup several years ago. I was planning for it to be the evening meal, but HH decided he wanted some for lunch. I had already fed the boys, who at that tender age did not wish to partake of vegetable beef soup. I was folding laundry in the living room, and turned to say something to HH. There he was, walking to the table with a towering bowl of soup. "Wait, wait, Hillbilly Mom!" you say. "What do you mean, a 'towering' bowl of soup? That is not possible. Perhaps you've had a mini-stroke, and are not in full command of your adjectives!" Oh, but sadly, I am. HH had dredged up all the beef from the large pot o' soup. His bowl was piled high with an entire chuck roast. In fact, he did not need the bowl. For the amount of 'soup' he had, he could have used a Chinet paper plate. And it would have been only half full. Of course I had to chastise him, much in the manner of Mary Richards telling Lou Grant that that there were only 6 servings of Veal Prince Orloff, and he had taken 3. Except that my HH had kidnapped the whole Prince.

So now, when I make soup, it is a bit chunky. I put in half the water that the little packet of dry soup mix calls for, then I toss in cans of carrots, potatoes, green beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, a few tablespoons of sugar to counteract the tomato acid, several dashes of Worcestershire sauce, and a roast. OK, to be fair, that's not the exact recipe. I discard the liquid in the canned veggies, because I want a dry soup. And I hack up that roast and brown it and dice it into cubes of about 1 centimeter. But who's measuring. Some are cubes, some are strips, some are slices. I just want to make them small, because then it's harder for HH to isolate them and hoard them in his bowl. Oh, and I used to dip HH's soup for him, even using a strainer kind of thingy, and every time he said, "My soup is too juicy." So now he can get it himself.

I am planning chili for later in the week.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Gourmet Veteran Pony Drama

I love this weather. Tomorrow, I may brew a pot of vegetable beef soup. Don't picture me dropping in an eye of newt, or any other exotic ingredients. I'm not a gourmet, by cracky.

HH and the boys and The Veteran and his new family are down in the woods roasting their weenies. I prefer to stay in the house after dark. The Veteran has a 15-day leave for family reasons. Not our family. Then he's right back to Iraq to finish out his 18-month, third tour of duty. It doesn't seem right.

My Little Pony is a drama queen. All day, he's been planning on the weenie roast. After bowling, (and by 'bowling', I mean the Halloween party at the bowling alley where the knuckle-to-armpit casted Pony went to play games and eat pizza and get a bag of candy), he decided he didn't want to go down in the woods. Which was fine with me, because it's windy and cold and he's had the sniffles all week. Then, when HH came back to the Mansion in the Scout to pick him up, My Little Pony pranced down the basement steps with his lip stuck out and tears in his eyes, whimpering, "Dad says I can't go unless I put on a jacket!" Jeez Louise! Then put on a jacket already! I had to reason with him for 5 minutes, then take him upstairs to select a bright yellow fleece hoodie from the pile in the rocking chair at the end of the hall, and fit that thing over his humongous blue cast. Then he was happy as a clam, and trotted down the front steps and loaded himself in the passenger seat of the Scout. #1 drove the 4-wheeler. He's been back twice for forgotten paper plates, and for Coke, because Root Beer and Diet Coke disagree with his refined palate. I really think he just likes to ride the 4-wheeler instead of sit around a smoky campfire.

The neighbors have been shooting up a storm today. I don't know what gives. It was a beautiful day, although windy, after a week of rain and gloom. But it's not deer season yet, unless you count bow season, and while I'm not much of an outdoorswoman, I DO know that bows don't go 'bang bang' when you shoot them. And it's not just our next-door poacher. It sounds like every redneck out here has invited the city cousins down for target practice. Or perhaps the nation Hillmomba in under attack and my subjects were afraid to tell me. I don't know why they would give me the silent treatment. Just last week I got a new suit of clothes, and they were full of compliments as I paraded myself about the grounds. Perhaps I should have told HH to outfit everybody in hunter orange.

HH has this cookout thing down to a science, since we first tried it in July with my mom. Hey! It was the boys' idea to have a roaring campfire when it was 98 degrees. Anyhoo, now HH has a standard list of supplies. Quarter-pound hot dogs, regular hot dogs, two packs of buns, fun-pack chips, a 12-pack of Root Beer, one bag of large marshmallows, and mustard and ketchup in individual packs. He got the mustard and ketchup from the bowling alley for free, even though he offered to buy some. That's my HH. He's got connections. We used to have some bratwursts, and potato salad, and different chips with dip. I think HH even tried s'mores one time. But now it's his standard cabin cook-out list. He loads up the Scout and goes down to 'set things up' about an hour or two before the guests are expected. He's an odd duck.

Which is as good a way to end a post as any.

Friday, October 26, 2007

One, Two, Three, Four

Today I have purchased 1 flu shot, 2 sausage biscuits with hash browns, 3 haircuts, 4 pairs of shoes...and I am afraid to leave the house because I can't afford anything else today. The #1 son is tough on shoes. I finally forced him to get two name brand pairs instead of pouring money into The Devil's Playground every couple of weeks. He has refused to wear good shoes for about 6 years now. I think he finally got tired of having to look for shoes so often. Now he's a K-Swiss and Avia man. He almost went for Nikes, but found them uncomfortable. As do I. And the shoe store clerk said Nikes gave her plantar fasciitis, according to her doctor.

Now that I googled plantar fasciitis, I think I have it. Mine is from worn-out shoes. I really need to throw several pairs away. I think I've gotten my money out of them in five years of wear. So I also bought myself 2 pairs of recreational shoes. I have to stick with New Balance, for their WIDE widths.

Did you know that a dog's nose is extremely cold and wet at 7:00 a.m. on a rainy day when it follows you around the porch and pokes that nose into the back of your shorts-clad leg near the hamstring area off and on for 30 minutes? Make a note-to-self. That darn dog doesn't just sniff the leg, she jabs at it like a seal playing with a beach ball. She likes to herd things, and I was Thing One this morning, since her chew-toy of a beagle was nowhere to be found. We could hear him, though, baur-baur-bauring down in the woods.

HH has plans to sit in his woodsy cabin tonight and brew a pot of tea. Funny thing that he has never made tea in the house. I think he has been waiting for cool weather to try out his cast-iron cook stove. I suppose 48 degrees qualifies. I intend to read several books (not the whole things) and possibly watch Blades of Glory again. The Pony will be playing The Settlers: Rise of an Empire on his computer, and the #1 son will probably watch the movie with me and fiddle about with Lappy. In case you have been wondering, Lappy's full name is Lappy Blue-Onyx Toshiba.

I will be multi-tasking by using my new washer on about 10 loads of laundry. I am only on Load One, so it may not be finished tonight. Don't hate me because I lead such an excitement-filled life. Hate me because I describe it in such a boring manner.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Random Thought Thursday #7

This is a random act of blogging.

Today hit the trifecta for student squirreliness. Full moon, 'Superhero' dress-up day for Red Ribbon Week, half-day for students. Yep. We didn't even need the extra added goodness of a morning rainstorm to top it off.

If I went outside at 6:30 p.m. to put stuff in my car, and then found out I was locked out, and went halfway around the building to pound on a glass door at the end of a looooong hall until someone came to let me in, and then found out the door was unlocked...I wouldn't tell anybody. Just sayin'. Because I know they would laugh as hard as I did without a shred of sympathy. Great Googley Moogley! I might as well wear pants under a dress! (I know you'll catch my drift, Mabel.)

You can sit for 4 hours and 30 minutes without ONE parent coming to conference with you, but the minute you sit down to your hot supper, 5 in a row will show up.

Is it wrong to rifle through the stack of grade reports to retrieve one for your son if Basementia is so deserted that even the tumbleweeds blowing down the hall are lonely?

Reading the comments to an article in an online local newspaper can be quite enlightening. After the courts ruled that a school was right in denying a student the right to wear a confederate flag on his t-shirt (after he had been warned the day before for the same flag on his cap), the readers were irate. "What right does the school have to tell the kids what to wear? The school should buy the kids some clothes if they don't like what they wear." And "Why make such a big deal over a shirt. Have you been to a school lately? The kids come to school drunk, and have babies in middle school. That's what the schools need to teach them. How not to have babies and not to drink." Hmm...I thought those were values learned at home. Silly Hillbilly Mom!

More local comments, about a guy arrested after breaking a lock on a gate, breaking into a house, cooking meth, then running into the woods when the property owner locked the gate and called the law. "It's not his fault. He's an addict. It's a disease. What good will it do to lock him up? He needs help for his addiction. That's what they need to do. Give him help. He has fought this addiction for a long time." Oh, I forgot to mention that he was a repeat offender, and had walked out of rehab before." He needs rehab until he is ready to leave. They don't get good rehab in prison. He's a good guy. You need to pray for him. It's a disease." OK. So we are supposed to foot the bill for his rehab because he's a good guy and just cooking meth to sell it to support his addiction which is a disease. He should be able to break as many laws as he needs to, because of his disease. And sell that meth to your kids, because he's really a good guy, except for his disease, and he really wants to stop. Gimme a break!

But there's more. A guy was tailgating an off-duty cop on the highway because the cop wouldn't get out of his way. So the guy finally passed the cop, and flipped him off. But the off-duty cop recognized him, and called the dispatcher to check on outstanding warrants, and the dispatcher sent another cop to arrest Flipper. But who's the bad guy? "That's why I hate cops. He wasn't even on duty, and arrested a guy for flipping him off, just because he wanted to drive slow in the passing lane." Yeah. Let's forget that the guy had a little something called an outstanding warrant. Sure. He had nothing to do with getting himself arrested. It was the cop's vendetta against him.

Randomness ends when ER starts.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Full Moon Shenanigans

I don't much care anymore what I write. Have you noticed? The quality has suffered, but the quantity has remained the same. Not tonight. I don't care. I took the #1 son to the orthodondist, who can do nothing for 6 months, waiting for two molars to come in. Then he can do a limited amount to fix my boy's underbite and too-small mouth and unaligned jaws. To the tune of $4500, which is not the issue. It's what can be done to fix his mouth, and is it worth him having surgery to break his jaws, which I think not. He is of the same opinion, yet he refuses to wear headgear at night, which could also fix the majority of the problem. I might have to chain him down. We'll see in 6 months what develops.

There is a full moon. Have you noticed? I saw it through the trees tonight as I walked around the porch 30 minutes, kicking cats out of the way, willy-nilly. That's why the students have been so squirrelly, and HH has been so grouchy, and the dogs have drug in used deer parts. HH snatched up the head and 4-point rack, leaving them to fight over a leg. Later, the black Ann drug in a haunch. She is using it for a pillow in the front yard, and nipped the little beagle, Tank, to yelping status. They are usually buddies. Maybe Tank needs to find The Devil on the front porch again.

I wrote up a kid for running in the hall today. A high school student. For running in the hall. This morning, a science crony commanded him to stop, and he did so on her second bark. Then I spied him up to those shenanigans at the beginning and end of 5th hour. So I consulted with said crony, and we agreed that it was insubordination, even though he was moving to fast for me to give him stopping orders. Then he did the same thing at the beginning of 7th hour, and I shouted at his back, "I already wrote you up for running in the hall." And THEN he stopped. Go figure.

Full moon shenanigans. In the words of my boy: They will. Shenan. Again.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bowling Hobo Conference Movie

We had parent conferences tonight, so I am not my usual chatty self. I'm OH SO TIRED. I added another 40 minutes to my evening by going to my mom's to pick up the boys. I don't think she would have liked it if I 'forgot' them. HH has bowling twice this week, on both nights I have conferences. Go figure. He certainly couldn't be bothered to help out with his own spawn. Oh, and to rub salt in the thorn in my side, HH has called us every half-hour to tell us how he's bowling. LIKE WE CARE! I suppose a 231 and 199 are such good scores that he will win the Nobel Bowling Prize. So what if his average is 154 after 20 years of bowling in leagues? Did I call him to brag "I just talked to a parent, and they seemed to like me!" ? Did I? NO! So pardon my lack of excitement while I'm getting your offspring ready for bed, checking homework, and trying to find some hobo clothes.

Oh, yeah. Did I mention that the #1 son wants to be a hobo? Just for tomorrow. Part of Red Ribbon Week. Except that he has an orthodontist appointment after school, and we will have to rush to make it in time. I have been trying to get this appointment since the beginning of July, and it has been rescheduled twice by their office. Now, he wants to be a hobo on the consultation day? I can imagine them looking at him, and at me with my teacher's haircut and wardrobe, and saying, ", I don't think this boy needs braces. He might want to eat corn-on-the-cob through a picket fence some day." Maybe I need to roll a barrel of pennies into the office to show that we can pay.

For some reason, I keep looking forward to Thursday. It's an early out day, but the catch is...we have conferences from 1:00 to 7:00. At least we're off Friday. But I have an appointment for a flu shot that day at 10:00.

Cottonheaded Ninnymuggins
Millicent Bystander
Do your chickens have large talons?

Guess what my classes did today? If you recognized the phrases above, you would know that we watched movies. PG movies. I know, a day of instructional time is a terrible thing to waste. But I had promised a reward if I got a good report from the substitute the day My Little Pony had to go to the first specialist about his broken fetlock. Normally, it's an idle promise. Three years out of the last 9, I have not missed a single day of school. But this year, I did. So I have to make good on the promise. A movie is cheaper than buying candy for 6 classes. It is cheaper than the pizza party they suggested. And it builds good will and leverage for the rest of the year, because they will think, "Hey, if we cooperate, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom might give us another movie day." So I did it. Shame on me. But we enjoyed Elf, Flushed Away, and Napoleon Dynamite. Who knew they would all select a different movie? I hope they enjoyed it, because now we move on to predicting the weather using station models, and the chemistry of life, which is atomic stucture and cell theory. Not traditional favorites among the science student crowd.

Ho hum. I've got to rest up for my morning duty tomorrow.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Junior GhostHunters

My Junior GhostHunter was quite excited when I picked him up Saturday night. As were the little girls who ran wild-eyed out of the school. Seems they had some success this year with the hunting. Here's my boy's tale. But first, a prelude.

As we turned onto the county highway on the way to school, I asked my #1 son how he was going to see in a dark school at night. He did a Homer 'Doh!' and asked me to go back for his LED or LCD or some such flashlight. No dice. We would be late. I told him I thought I had a flashlight in the bottom of my purse. My mom gave it to me last Christmas, because she says everyone needs to carry a flashlight. The boy dug it out. "It's not as good as MY flashlight. Look. It's all yellow and hardly gives off any light." Duh. I told him it was still daylight, and no wonder the light wasn't bright. Plus, the batteries were a year old. I took him to Casey's when I got PowerBall (Which I won, thank you very much. Just the PowerBall. $3. WooHoo!). He loaded up the light, and even got in trouble by holding it 3 inches from my eye and shining it while I was driving, saying, "Look how much brighter it is now, Mom!" So to get even with him, when he stepped out of the LSUV at school, I picked it up off the seat and said, "Forgetting something?" and shined it in HIS eyes. He declared, "Hey! That's bright!"

The kids and their chaperone, Mr L, entered the building at 6:05. I left the boy and drove to my mom's house until time to pick him up. At 7:00, one of the parents told me they had come out, but had just gone back in for one more try. When they came out, they were abuzz with information. My boy said...

When we first went in, we went to the boiler room. There was supposedly a fire a long time ago that burned the building. I thought I saw a burn mark on the concrete, and said, "Look there." I shined my light on it. My friend wanted to try it. I handed him the flashlight, and it quit working when he put the beam on that mark. (It still does not work. Despite the new batteries, and another set of batteries). A girl's cell phone lost all its charge right then, too. We went into the library and Mr L told us a story. We waited. That's the only place I felt scared. Girlinmyclass asked, "Do you mean us harm?" and there was a thump. I think she watched that Most Haunted show the other night, Mom. I didn't feel scared anywhere else, but I felt tingly in a couple of places. I thought I heard noise like clicking or typing in the library. What did that place used to be? (Cafeteria.)

We went upstairs to your old room, the one that was the ISS room last year. Mr L said that the custodians used to hear furniture moving around in that room, and when they went upstairs, the light would be on. They would turn off the light, and then hear noise again later, and the light would be on. In the hall up there, I knocked twice on a locker. I said, "Can you repeat what I did?" I didn't hear anything. Partintheplayeveryyearboy thought he heard a thump. (Later on the recording, we head two knocks.) (Also, that room used to be a storage room full of Mabel's 8 metal cabinets and various junk before I took it over 8 years ago, and long ago, my husband says it was the office.)

We went in the storeroom under the bleachers, and heard what sounded like footsteps above us climbing the bleachers. One girl's video camera lost its charge, even though it was supposed to have 30 minutes left. We sat on the gym floor, and saw a girl's head by the exit light at the back steps that go down to the lunchroom. It faded in and out and was gone. Two others saw it first, and then I saw it. It was a girl with curly hair. You couldn't tell the color because it was red, but it looked light, but not blond. I thought I saw a pair of legs in that doorway, leaning against the frame. It had a slight build, so I thought it was a girl. It was in some kind of pants, like maybe you call them capri pants. Before we saw that stuff, Mr L asked, "Can you make any noise for us?" and we heard from the stage two knocks. I asked, "Did you play any sports here and is that why you make noises in the gym?" Girlinmyclass added, "Are you here, and if so, is there more than one of you?" We didn't hear anything. (Later on the recording, we heard a voice but couldn't understand it. It was like mmm mmm mmmhmmhmm mmm, like a sentence, then a loud NOISE, then more mumbling. A teacher who listened said the loud noise sounded like a chair moving, but all the investigators were sitting on the gym floor.)

In the cafeteria, nothing really happened. A few of us thought we heard some bumps over by the bathrooms, but not for sure. (There was nothing on the recording later.)

When we went outside to meet you guys, the lights flickered in the old ISS room, and then went off. We had left them off when we left that room.

That's my boy's spooky tale. I listened to that recording myself. It is definitely mumbling, some sort of sentence, after that one question. On Lappy, the sound wave thingies show up for the kids asking questions. Then it is an absolute straight line at that point where the mumbling and loud noise pop up. I also heard the thumps on other parts of the recording, after the questions were asked. It's a mystery to me what he captured. But I would not go in that building at night. Nope. Not me. And I never got a spooky vibe while working there. But I don't go looking for trouble. Or ghosties.

Oh, and I just tried to post this thingy at 8:58 p.m., but no dice. My trust Delly locked up with the message that every website I tried to connect with was unavailable, even though my dial-up thingy showed that I was connected. Oh, and then I did a restart and couldn't connect three times. I called in the boy, and he got it going the first time, even though he did exactly what I did. And then that b*tch New Blogger took 5 minutes to load, which says to me that I might as well have stayed with Old Blogger, because he's the one that brung me to this dance, but I digress. I don't know what shape this thingy will be in when posted, because I had the presence of mind to save it in my documents before the restart. Let's try this spooky tale again.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Four Shame

I am SO stealing this from Redneck Diva. She won't mind. We've had a regular two-person swap meet goin' on for some time now. And my creative well is running dry. This will be good for what ails me. Tomorrow, I'll share the tale of the Junior GhostHunters.


Four Jobs I've Held

Teacher...of Science, Math, Language, Health, P.E., At-Risk (apparently, I'm a jack of all subjects, and master of none)
Unemployment Claim Adjudicator (It was like playing Solomon)
Pricer/Clerk/Cashier at an insurance salvage store (I got first crack at the 'bargains')
Park Board softball umpire/coach (17-year-old girls pitch FAST without much control)

Four Films I Could Watch Over And Over

The Trouble With Angels (a most scathingly brilliant film)
True Grit (for the very bad acting)
The Cutting Edge (toepick?)
Heartbreakers (oh, so wrong...but oh, so funny)

Four TV Shows I Watch

ER (I declare Luka and Abby the king and queen of network TV)
Little People, Big World (because Amy's house is messier than mine)
Amazing Race/Survivor/Big Brother (because essentially, they're all the same)
Ghost Hunters (because I've seen one)

Four Places I've Lived

Springfield, MO
Mountain Grove, MO
Sheldon, MO (I've pretty much covered all corners of the state)

Four Favorite Foods

Hot & Sour Soup (mmm...mmm...good)
Baked Potato
Roast w/potatoes, carrots, and onions
Big Salads

Four Websites I Visit Daily

My work website (because it's kind of required, to know what rules I'm breaking)
Mean Teacher (we gotta stick together)
Internet Movie Data Base (to see who's up to what)
GMail (just because)

Favorite Colors

Kelly Green
Lime Green
Sage Green
Teal (perhaps you detect a pattern)

Four Places I Would Love To Be Right Now

Here (because I love my dark basement lair)
Harrah's St. Louis (a casino is a girl's best friend)
A Trivia Contest (because I'm a know-it-all)
A Movie Theater (if there were any good movies, which there haven't been)

Four Names I Love But Would Not Use For My Children

No Favorites (a name, by any other name, is still a name)

The End. The End. The End. The End.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A-Haunting We Will Go

My #1 son is off to be a GhostHunter tonight. He is on the school newspaper staff, and they are planning an investigation at the school for their Halloween issue. He is all excited about it. We went to The Devil's Playground, as we are wont to do on the weekends, and he purchased a recorder of some kind to pick up EVPs. He was testing it in his room earlier this afternoon, and brought his Lappy to the kitchen to show me his handiwork. He had that graph-voice line thingy like they actually have on GhostHunters. I do not think he will pick up any EVPs tonight. They are making an early evening of it, from 6:00 to 7:00. Still, I would not want to go in there with them. Even with two sponsors. And even though I worked in that building for 8 years and never had any paranormal experiences.

Not the case in one of my other schools. I blogged about it way back when. In case you weren't a regular here at the Mansion then, here it is. It's the same old story. It is Halloween season, after all, so I might as well tell that old chestnut again. It is what it is. It scared the bejebus out of me.

And if you're in the mood for more scarin', here are my other true-life hair-raisers. I shall refer to them by name, and put them in order of my original posting.

1 Haunted Bedroom
2 Haunted Basement
3 Smells, Sounds, and Night-Time Visitors
4 The Haunted Gym linked above
5 Haunted Gym Haunts Others, Too

Here are a few pictures from my hauntings. They don't show anything, just what the places looked like.

A freakishly artistic shot of the "Haunted Gym". Or IS it?
The fateful "trail of fears" area my fellow coach had to cross while being 'followed'.
My Mansion at dusk, looking a bit foreboding.
Mr. Chest O. Drawers, who I suspect of acting up in my boy's bedroom, and then eventually in the basement, to where he was unceremoniously banished.
The bad, bad lightbulb fixture.

Now, have a good night's sleep.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Idaho Joe

I am Uncle Joe today. You know, Uncle Joe. From that old TV show, Petticoat Junction. As in the theme song: "...there's Uncle Joe, he's a-movin' kinda slow at the Junction. Petticoat! Junction!" OK, so maybe none of you are as old as the hills, or even as old as me. I was but a child, after all. And I'm sure I just saw it on reruns on TVLand or somewhere.

But getting back to ME...I have been dragging all day. It was all I could do to discuss the Bat Hospital in Queensland that rescues Spectacled Flying Foxes after they become paralyzed by tick bites. They take the babies and pop pacifiers in their mouths and swaddle them, by cracky! I saw the pictures with my own eyes. It was in Science World, an educational magazine for kids. They are not very cute. They kind of look like chihuahuas in the face. (The bats, not the kids.) And the rescue workers walk around the Bat Hospital with those needy babies clinging to their shirts, like big awkward adoptive parents spoiling the young 'uns. Oh, we had an article on the world's first prosthesis as well. It was a wooden big toe. And there was a Chinese girl with hair 7 feet long. Those wacky Chinese gals! They'll do anything for attention. Of course, one of my students said that if he was walking down the hall behind her, he would step on it. And that was one of the good kids. Us Americans! Spreading good will throughout the world 24/7.

Yes, I was mighty tired. During SSR, I think I nodded off a couple of times. My bobbing head jerked me awake. Thank the Gummi Mary, my students were busy trying to look like they were reading, and didn't notice. I really must get a more interesting book. I've had this one since September, and haven't finished it. In fact, the only time I read it is for SSR. I've gone through about 5 other books at home in the meantime.

I'm blaming my lethargy on school mashed potatoes. I love them. I haven't had a school lunch since they switched to the card-scanning system of payment. I don't like it, by cracky! I want to pay cash when I want a meal. I have a bad taste in my mouth from the elementary school lunch program. Years ago, I paid two weeks worth of money by check for each of my kids. That's because they usually packed their own lunches (and by that I mean that I stuffed something in a bag for them at 5:30 a.m), and only ate if it was something extraordinarily delicious like Cheeseburger Mac. The littlest Hillbilly never ate all year. A school lunch, that is. But did I get a refund? Oh, NO! But you can bet that if he owed a quarter, his grades would have been held until I ponied up the coinage. So I would rather pay as I go. It's the principle of the matter. Let's get back to ME again. The kitchen staff should be cited for false advertising. We announce the lunch, take a count, and find that different foods are served once we get to the lunch room. It's bait & switch, I tell you. Yesterday was supposed to be chicken and noodles, but in its place was vegetable soup. I LOVE vegetable soup. But I had spent 7 minutes nuking a tasty Banquet BBQ pork riblet dinner, and by the time I got to the lunch table, it was too late. The soup would not have cooled to eating temperature in the time I had left to fill my gullet. And today, what should appear but unannounced mashed potatoes! Math Crony decided to get some. What a scathingly brilliant idea! I, too, lined up for a bowl of powdered, reconstituted goodness. I used to think they were made from real potatoes. That's because I got some lumps one time. I was set straight by Mr S. I can't imagine our ladies peeling and mashing real potatoes. These are the kind of people who years ago demanded a Salad Shooter before they would make salads. Or so I hear.

And that's why I was so exhausted all day. I had an extra carb load at lunch. Go figure. Those carbs are supposed to give you energy. But instead, I crashed to hard rock bottom of my energy reserves. I did not even put on a staged performance worthy of Teacher of the Year honors when Mr. Principal brought the checks around this afternoon. Nope. We had finished the assignment, and I let the kids have 10 minutes to chat while I entered grades in the computer to print out in the future and file in my robin's-egg-blue three-ring binder.

Taters. They do a body no good.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Random Thought Thursday #7

Oh, yes. The school year is almost over, and it's time once again for Random Thought Thursday.

I wonder how long it will be before my power goes off. It's another dark and stormy night. And since it's the ONLY night I regularly watch TV, I'm sure the Dish will go out if the power doesn't. Because that's Hillbilly Mom's Law.

People really piss me off. Really.

The number of pencils found on the floor never exceeds or equals the number of pencils loaned.

The middle of the floaty donut thingy that holds up the winter pool cover is probably not the best place for a black & white cat to have a catnap.

Dolls do not frighten me, but those freakish old-timey ones on GhostHunters last night scared the bejebus out of me. I had to look away. My #1 son said, "I thought you had dolls when you were a kid," as he fidgeted this way and that on the basement couch. Then he caught a glimpse of those giant-eyed, mutant-looking girl-toys and gasped, "Oh, that's so wrong. That one has the google-eyes like it's been strangled." Another one looked like a longish gourd head with a newspaper photo cut-out of a man's face glued to it. Yikes! I was jumpy all night after that disturbing image.

Mabel and her New Best Friend are trying to include me. Probably, they're afraid I'll go all psycho on them and put cat pictures in their mailboxes. Math Crony printed up some send-home letters for my advisory kids so I didn't have to. She's a peach. And Mabel told me I had to send home those letters, because I am out of the loop, what with not being in that building enough last year to have an advisory group. Mabel also hooked me up with reading logs at the beginning of the year for SSR every Friday. They'll make a real teacher out of me yet. I'm surprised Mabel didn't tell me, "If you need any reading logs, they'll be right here...LOCKED UP! Mabel will get that joke. We go waaaay back, Mabel and I. Though we were never locked up together.

My black-shepherd-mix doggy's endearing quality of walking around every lap of the field with me is not so endearing when she walks around every lap of the porch with me when it rains.

What's the difference between a novel and a book? I don't know. You tell me. That's my boy's contribution to Random Thought Thursday.

When the weather is bad, I pack all my valuables from upstairs, like the prescription medicine and the Christmas savings, into a Devil's Playground bag and bring it to the basement. I'm Prepared. That's the Hillbilly Mom motto. That, and People Piss Me Off.

I never have enough time on Thursdays. It must be that TV habit I've developed.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I Hate It When That Happens

It is a dark and stormy night. Somewhere, a dog barks.

No, I'm not practicing bad writing. I don't need the practice. It's really stormy tonight, and my fleabags are yappin'. It's a perfect night for Hot & Sour Soup.'s delicious. Pardon me for not sharing. I'm a bit discombobulated. Today was the end of 1st Quarter, and I had make-up work to grade, and tests, and grades to print and put in my robin's-egg-blue three-ring-binder, and dates and names to write in my Ol' Red Gradebook. I even stayed after school until 5:00 to tie up some odds and ends, and type a Lab Report form for tomorrow. Then a downpour started just as we were leaving, so I had to send the Pony to the front doors so I could drive around to pick him up, because he mustn't get his cast wet. Oh, but we had to delay our departure for 5 minutes because The Absentminded Professor had lost my LSUV keys. He denied it, but they were nowhere to be found in his pockets or my classroom, so I sent him out in the rain to look. Funny thing...they were right in the last place he looked. IN the LSUV. Good thing he hadn't clicked the clicker, because I was in no mood to be stranded there overnight.

I have a something stuck in my craw tonight. It has nothing to do with my delicious soup. It's a big ol' hunk of IHATEITWHENAKIDISRIGHTANDIAMWRONG. One of my problem children started in about how his grade is almost passing, and he wants his missing work. Uh...NO! Same as I tell the kids who suddenly develop a thirst for knowledge at the end of the quarter and want extra credit work. In fact, I even used this request as a springboard for my popular "Why should I do extra work because you don't do what is expected of you?" speech. I declared that I was not about to look up work from the beginning of the quarter, that the farthest back I went was the two-week section that I was required to furnish missing or failed work for at the mandatory after-school tutoring program for flunkies. This kid had been boasting earlier in the year about not going to it. I don't know whether he did, but he boasted, and I never got any work back from him. So the deadline has passed on that previous work. He had a 54 up until today. I had given him a test to re-take for a better grade, and that was all he had. Nothing was missing from the past two weeks. He declared that the after-school teacher did not give him any work for me. I told him I handed her the test myself, and how did he know he had a few missing assignments. He said she had his grade report, which is news to me. Nothing was missing for the last two weeks. That's a fact, Jack. So I asked if I needed to discuss this with that teacher, and ask why he didn't get his work that I gave her an hour before he was there. He said maybe I should. Soooo, long story longer, I followed through, because I love to rub it in when I catch a student in a lie. But wouldn't you know it, she stated that he HAD been there, and worked the entire two hours on HER work, but she had misplaced mine. Great. I went to that work to write up the work and find another test and walk it all the way to the end of the hall...and the teacher didn't give it to him. And worst of all, HE WAS RIGHT. And I WAS WRONG. I hate it when that happens. Life isn't fair. The world is out to get me. Wah, wah. But I doubt he would have scored better on the test, what with no review, and only getting 80% of the new score anyway for the second time around. So I suppose it's no harm, no foul. But still. He should have had the opportunity to re-take that test. That's what that program is for. Of course, it didn't help that he neglected to do and turn in yesterday's 20-point assignment.

But now I have to apologize for round-aboutly calling him a liar in not so many words. It's the least I can do. And Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is all about doing the least that she can do.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

But They Didn't Serve Tea

I went back to the dentist today. And I still owe you a story from my last dental dally, the day My Little Pony fractured his fetlock. I feel like I stumbled down a rabbit hole and was guest of honor at some freakish tea party.

My regular dentist, the kid dentist, was booked up, apparently, because I got the Old Man. Not the Seinfeld Old Man, who asked Jerry, "Don't you wanna change my diaper?" This is the old guy in the practice. The very first time I was there, and he was working on me, he had to leave because they thought he was having a heart attack. I'm not that bad a patient. They don't have to strap me down. Anyhoo, that's how I got the kid dentist. (The dentist for kids, not a Doogie Howser bicuspid prodigy). And I've had him ever since. Until last time.

The Old Man appears to be on the edge of senility. So close to the abyss that when he moves, pebbles cascade over the side. Last time, at least I had my sweet, sweet...nitrous. Fooled you! Thought I was going to say 'Histinex', didn't you. That's OK. I'm a merry prankster. Not the Ken Kesey kind. The old man was full of non-sequiturs that first time. His assistant would be talking about pieces of stuff they were going to put in my mouth, and he would spout out, "I love fish."

What do you mean, Dr. Old Man?
Fish. I love a good fish fry. I wonder if those guys caught anything.
What guys?
You know. What's his name and his buddy. They went down south to do some fishing. To that place.

While he was discussing what a great fish fry his wife could throw, the assistant would talk him back into the moment. But it wouldn't last for long.

Are you ready for the quick-set, Doctor?
Julie and them really treat us right when we go over there.
Where's that?
The license office. I've never had a problem since she started there.
I have all kinds of problems where I go.
She used to work here, you know. Did you know her?
Yes, she was a true professional. She left right after I got here.
She was the kind that was always making lists.
She was very organized.
Julie made a list of her lists.
I'm sure you were sorry to see her go.
If she had one fault, it was always making too many lists.
She was good.
Oh, I would hire her again in a minute. That's what employers ask, you know, in references. I can't tell someone that a worker did a bad job. That's illegal. But they always ask that one question. "Would you hire her again?" In a heartbeat. Would you mix me up some quick-set?
I already did, Doctor.
We've had a lot of girls leave here and go to work for the license office. It's a patronage job, you know. It depends on who holds office. Do we have any quick-set?
It's right here, Doctor.
You read my mind.

Whew. I was getting dizzy. And not from the nitrous. He let the assistant do most of the procedure, once he had drilled away the remainder of my tooth to make a fake one. I didn't really mind the old switcheroo.

Today was the same thing, different assistant.

Are you going to Donna's party?
No. Is it tonight?
No. It's this weekend. I was supposed to bring something down to tell you all, but I forgot.
Is it a costume party?
No. Donna said she would throw everyone a party, once she lost 100 pounds.
Oh. Where is it?
At some restaurant. She says she still has 50 more to go. I don't know about that. You know, Sally's fella owns a big bread company, like St. Louis Bread Company, only they don't have as much bread.
Oh. Her boyfriend?
No. It's some other kind of living arrangement. I know Sally. She's not like that.
I love home-made bread with jelly.
They have a honey-wheat bread that's really good.
Are you bringing some?
You bet. Did you know Harrah's is being bought out?
All of them? Like a take-over?
Yes. It's a multi-billion dollar deal.
Do you ever watch Harrah's Lucky Break?
No. What's that?
It's kind of karaoke-ish.
(Patient walks by) Is that on Saturday night, with that Black man, B.J. the DJ?
Yeah. That's it.
He works at our school. He's in charge of entertainment for the district.
Heh, heh. B.J.
They sing, and the judges rate them or blow the horn.
Like the Gong Show? You know, that was Dr. Main Dentist's favorite show.
I didn't know that.

And so on. I finally got my crown, in spite of all the small talk. And without my beloved nitrous. My face is swelled up like it did two weeks ago. It is not quite as painful right now, but last time it didn't start until bedtime.

I hate going to the dentist. Especially the mad-as-a-hatter one.

Monday, October 15, 2007

HM Is On The Case

Inspector Hillbilly Mom has solved another mystery. A couple weeks ago, when I missed my first day of school to take My Little Pony to the orthopedic pediatrician, something disappeared from my desk. Thank the Gummi Mary it was not one of my pen/pencil collection. No. It was in my top right drawer, next to the green and purple calculators. Since I don't let any of you behind my desk, much less allow you to look though it...I'll tell you what was missing. Band-Aids.

These were not regular Band-Aids. Laws, NO! M-O-O-N. That spells they were SpongeBob Band-Aids in a Scooby Doo tin. I do have young children at home, you know. And when I saw those Scooby Doo tins of Band-Aids on sale for one dollar at The Devil's Playground, I bought one. The tin alone is worth that. And when the Scooby Doo Band-Aids ran out, I brought the flavor of the month from the Mansion. Which happened to be SpongeBob. I had a good supply. It lasted for a couple years. Then, this year, the Band-Aid moochers moved in. Every day, somebody in some class needed a Band-Aid. And I would give one, after determining the injury, and weighing the flow of blood against the desire for attention.

When I left that Thursday, I had about 6 Band-Aids left. They were the mid-size. The large ones had gone to blistered heels and big fat fingers. I had made a mental note to bring some more Band-Aids from home to fill my tin. When I returned, and was asked for a Band-Aid, I pulled out my tin. And the cupboard was more empty than I remembered. All that was left in my Scooby Doo tin were about 10 of those flesh-colored little squares and circles. No bigger than a quarter are they.

Being Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, I had to get to the bottom of this cowardly act of pilferage. "Where did my Band-Aids go the day I had the sub? Was he giving them out willy-nilly? Did you all have terrible educational accidents that left you bleeding profusely, and in need of SpongeBob Band-Aids?" At first they kept their eyes down. I kept silent. Kids can't stand that. It's like in Ghostbusters, when Bill Murray twinkled the piano keys, and said how the ghosts hated that. More silence. Then the first canary sang. "Well, Hemophiliac Bleeder needed one because her arm just would not stop bleeding." HB did not look up. So I also pretended she was not there. "What was wrong with her arm?" They looked sidelong at her, then two tweeted, "Her brother stabbed her with a fork." Okaaay. Her brother is not in my class. In fact, he graduated last year. So I had to ask, "HB, did you use the Band-Aids?" She could stand it no longer, and belted out her own sweet song. "He stabbed me at home, when he was getting a fork out of the dishwasher to eat Chinese food, and I said, 'Chinese food? That's gay' and he stabbed me right here. See? It's still got the scab. So it wouldn't quit bleeding, and I used two Band-Aids." Thank the Gummi Mary again, this time that such a suffering young girl survived the domestic violence incident long enough to sleep through the night, ride the bus to school, and drag herself to 3rd hour where there was a life-saving SpongeBob Band-Aid to apply to her gushing artery.

Another girl jumped on the confessional bandwagon, and declared, "I asked for one for a paper cut on my finger." Then a front-row resident cast a glance at her best friend, and said, "I think MyBuddy has something she'd like to tell you. Like maybe how she used several Band-Aids on her toe." And the culprit gave it up right then. Funny thing, she has been nickel and diming me for those Band-Aids all year. Maybe I should put them in a lock box and declare them rewards for making a perfect test score.

I explained that I may not be able to get more SpongeBob Band-Aids, that maybe they would have to see the nurse for some plain ones, because I did not want to be arrested for practicing medicine without a license. You could hear the eyeballs roll. It's a wonder they weren't popping out of sockets and bouncing around the room like a spilled bucket of Superballs.

Thank the Gummi Mary for a third time. Because I'm fresh out of eye patches.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Gala Killing Cranky Shindig

My lame Little Pony has gone down into the woods to build a 'long house' with HH. I'm hoping it's a model, not a life-size Native American lodge. The Pony says his arm does not hurt. He does not want to wear his sling. His appetite has returned. All signs point to a Pony on the mend.

This afternoon, we are going to a big shindig for my grandma's 90th birthday. She mentioned that she had never had a birthday party, so my cousin organized this gala affair at one of the local country clubs. We are not really country club people. It will be interesting to see who shows up. Grandma has many friends who I know by name only. My grandma had four kids, but only one son is living now. The others had rather untimely deaths, what with a daughter dying in infancy (I am named for her), my uncle dying in a motorcycle crash when a truck pulled out in front of him, and my dad dying of cancer the year My Little Pony was born. I don't know if the long-distance cousins are coming or not.

I suspect HH is trying to kill me. Because we are going to the big birthday bash, I got up early this morning for my walk. By 'early', I mean 8:10. The minute I laced up my shoes, HH made a beeline for the door. "Where are YOU going?" I dared to ask. "I'm going to mow the yard," HH stated, implying that he's the only one around here who does anything. But let's not forget yesterday, when HH left at 9:30 a.m. and returned at 6:15 p.m., leaving me to spoon-feed the barfing Pony with Sprite every 5 minutes. Anyhoo, after waking the #1 son for his churchly excursion to town, and seeing that the Pony was settled on the couch with everything he needed, I ventured out for my walk.

HH was mowing by the driveway, which, of course, is a major leg of my walk. I make the trip to the end of the driveway, veer left across the front of the yard into the BARn field, down the side of that field, along the blackberry brambles that separate it from the most recent purchase from the Landstealer, in front of the Barn itself, through the No-Man's-Land of the woods where the broken outhouse, #1's car, HH's collector truck (minus the hood and bed), and HH's first shed are parked, across the front yard of the Mansion, beside the 5th wheel camper, and back to the driveway. It's a big ol' square, and takes 5 minutes to complete one lap. So on the first leg, I had to inhale HH's lawnmower exhaust, because it just so happens that every time I went by, he was at a turning point and rode right up the driveway beside me. Don't tell me I should have stopped and let him go by. HH would have worked it so he could attach to me again. He's like that. On the other leg, the minute I crossed into the BARn field, I had to breathe smoke from HH's latest bonfire, which was cardboard boxes that sat on the porch all night, from Save-A-Lot groceries and the Pony's post-surgery gift of a huge plastic castle thingy. If you are city folk, you may not realize that in the mornings, things are damp from sitting out. They do not flame up and blaze so much as they glow red and smolder. And in the morning, there is no wind yet. The air is still. And humid. And smoke does not just rise in a pretty plume and disappear into the atmosphere, but spreads out and lingers. Kind of like fog along a river bank. So I had to inhale that smoke on three sides of my square, and the exhaust on the other. I did not feel healthier when I finished.

And for some reason, dwelling on my lungs reminded me of another story from the Pony's no-slice surgery yesterday. The Pony had changed into his hospital pajamas, and was laying in the bed watching cartoons, waiting for all the working visitors to visit. The main nurse had explained that when he woke up, the room might be really quiet, or it might be loud. Sometimes the anesthesia makes kids sleepy for a long time, and sometimes it makes them cranky. If he felt like he was going to be sick, or if he had pain, he should tell the nurse so she could make him feel better. The Pony agreed. The myriad of visitors came and went, and the Pony was wheeled away, and HH enjoyed his 1 and a half donuts, and then we heard a big commotion across the hall. By 'commotion', I mean 'screaming at the top of the lungs'. "Oh," I thought. "Somebody is hurting." There was a little blond boy about 2 or 3 that I had seen being carried around the hall earlier. I figured he was done with his surgery, and not feeling well. The nurse came in for a minute. "Sounds like we made somebody mad," she said. And continued, "They were trying to put his pajamas on." Well. There went that theory. The kid was screaming BEFORE the surgery. Go figure.

Now I must go make sure my children are presentable enough to attend a shindig at a country club. HH is on his own.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

HH, Fried Dough, And Mabelomaniac

When they took the Pony into surgery yesterday, HH suggested that we head for the coffee/donut room. I had no idea it existed, but he had sniffed it out within 5 minutes of arrival. There was a soda machine that only cost a quarter, a fancy-shmancy coffee maker cappuccino thingy, a snack machine, and a big wooden Plexiglas-doored donut box. HH chose a cruller and a clear-icinged round donut, and I chose a chocolate-iced long john. HH also bought a Diet Coke, because nothing goes with two sugar-coated hunks of deep-fried dough like a diet soda.

We took our booty back to the glass-walled OR prep room recently vacated by the Pony to watch Scooby Doo and raise our blood sugar to alarming levels. HH told me to pull the curtain. "I don't need people watching me eat," the shrinking violet commented. After consuming my long john, I peeped out to see that the bathroom way across from the nurse's station was empty, so I opened and closed the curtain and glass door, and left HH chowing on his sugary snack. When I returned, he was swilling the last of his Diet Coke. "I might go get another donut," HH said. I looked closer. It's like when you know something is different about the picture, but can't quite figure out what. "You know, there's half a donut under your chair," I said, just to make conversation. "I didn't think I ate that whole donut," said HH.

How can you not know that you dropped half a donut under your chair??? I told my mom that story, and she said, "What did he do, nod off to sleep while he was eating it?" I can't figure that man out. Oh, and my mom said she asked my #1 son about a computer game he was playing: "Is that on the internet, or did you inject it?" So now I'm in a quandary. I was planning to send her and HH to the Pony's next doctor appointment. I told the #1 son that I'm a bit apprehensive. The Pony might come home with a cast on his leg and a rag wrapped 'round is noggin, limping along playing a fife. I don't know if the two of them are up to the task.

And now, for the story of Traitor Mabel...

I rushed to The Devil's Playground after dropping off the Pony's prescriptions at a REAL pharmacy, and while pawing through the elastic-waisted little-boy track pants, I spied Mabel chatting with the #1 son in electronics. But it wasn't just Mabel. She was with her new best friend, Math Crony! Oh, how it hurts to see my Mabel so brazenly two-timing me! She even came up to me to rub salt in the fresh wound.

I have seen it coming for a while now. Mabel rarely drops in to chat 1st Hour. I tried to tell myself that it's because I have a REAL class now, and she doesn't want to interrupt the instructional process. I have tried to stay in touch with Mabel. Do I not call her every time I want to complain about someone? Do I not drop in to her classroom after school for 5 minutes once a week? But NOOOO! Mabel must rush off to work out, or Mabel is busy talking to Math Crony, or Mabel is busy building a new society with the custodian. I can't help it that Mabel and Math Crony have adjoining rooms. You know what they say: familiarity breeds dumping your old best friend and hooking up with a new best friend.

I have been replaced. Mabel never took ME shopping at The Devil's Playground. Am I not human? Do I not need to shop? So I missed her birthday every year for 6 years in a row. That doesn't mean I don't care. Come back, Mabel! I am worthy. If need be, I will work all day with a pair of flowered panties hanging out the left leg of my jeans. See? I can be like Math Crony. Give me another chance. I'm betting that Math Crony does not write a personal blog for you every night. Is that not worth a best-friendship? Think it over, Mabel. Think about it right before you fall asleep at 9:00 every night. There's more blog where this came from. Don't be so hasty. We can make beautiful music together if you don't sing, and I limit my vocalization to car-singing. Let's give it another shot.

Disclaimer for Mabel: you understand this is just a dramatization for blog purposes. Right? Are you there, Mabel? It's me, Hillbilly Mom. Mabel? ;)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Pony Goes A-Cuttin' Uh Huh

My Little Pony, my #2 son, my sweet-as-Histinex little 9-year-old, is home from his surgery and doing well. And by 'doing well', I mean 'laying on the couch with his DS Lite and vomiting every 30 minutes'. That's the bad news. The good news is that when they put him under general anesthesia and wrestled around with that elbow, they were able to do a closed reduction on his avulsed medial epicondyle, and didn't have to slice him open. So my boy had surgery with no incision. Go figure! That's the greatest thing since sliced bread, by cracky!

We left home at 5:45 a.m. to make sure we were on time if there was a snag in rush hour traffic. Downtown St. Louis is not my favorite drive. Thank the Gummi Mary, HH was at the helm. For some reason, traffic was light this morning, and we got there at 7:35. By the time we parked and got checked in and got our personal pager, we only waited 5 minutes before they called him back into the surgery holding area. Criminy! That place is a city in itself. There were rooms up to #46 that I saw, but I don't know it that's really how many rooms there were. We were in #19, right by the nurses' desk. The Pony played his DS most of the time, with a brief respite to climb into some high-water pajama bottoms and a tie-on pajama shirt. I was not thrilled with the pattern, which reminded me of a cross among Raggedy Andy, the drawings in a Mercer Mayer book, and a child-eating clown. The Pony didn't notice.

Everybody except the cook paid a visit, to explain his/her part in the exquisitely-choreographed ballet of the Pony's no-cut surgery. We saw a female intern, upon whose entrance HH announced, "Here's the nurse." Ladies, we can't get no respect from the Hillbilly crowd. (I am not saying that as an insult to the nurses. They run the place, after all, and know more about what's good for my boy than an intern. But I hate it when people are 'assumed' to be something they're not. Like a man and a woman at school, where HH would automatically assume that the man was the principal and the woman was the teacher). The surgeon announced that the plan was to x-ray the elbow in the OR, and see if they could do the closed reduction. If not, they would try poking a pointy thing in the Pony's arm to coax that broken piece back where it belonged. And if that also failed, they would make an incision and place a wire through the piece and the radius to hold them together. The anesthesiologist and her helper were spared the 'nurse' comment from HH, having been chastised by me the first time. The Pony chose the new Dr. Pepper-flavored gas for his anesthesia

He got a bit nervous at 9:00, so they gave him a shot of Versed laced with Tylenol. By 'shot', I mean 'an ounce and a half of a liquid narcotic cocktail in a plastic shot glass'. He said it was the nastiest thing he ever tasted, and that his wished he had got the needle. Only that wasn't the option, it was liquid or pill.

General anesthesia is not his friend. He has been queasy most of the day. The surgery was scheduled for 9:30, but they took him in around 10:00. At 10:45, the surgeon called our room, and reported that My Little Pony was all done, and would be as good as new. At 11:00, we saw him in the recovery area, and they wheeled him back to the room about 11:05. He was still a bit stoned out of his mind, and in some pain, but they gave him some oxycodone, which "made it hurt not as much", he reported. Hmm...I believe oxycodone is the active ingredient of my sweet, sweet Histinex.

He had set his sites on a Popsicle after the surgery. When the nurse told him, "I have orange, cherry, and grape," he told her, "Then I don't want one." I don't know what he was expecting. Instead he had a few vanilla wafers and some Coke. He asked for more, but they said not to overdo it, and gave him about 4 more. Methinks they knew that when his anti-nausea medicine wore off, there would be trouble. They even gave us a plastic vomit basin thingy for the drive home. By 'gave', I mean 'charged the insurance company $500'. We had to wait until 1:00 when the Pony was unwoozy enough to leave. He had planned to walk out, but after his ordeal, decided to take the wheelchair ride. He said his legs were shaky. We arrived home at 3:45, after a stop for lunch. HH and I did not get a Popsicle or vanilla wafers. We had a donut around 10:00, but that's another story.

I can see why Children's Hospital is ranked #7 in the nation for pediatric hospitals. They really know what they're doing. As opposed to the local witch doctors. The Pony has to return to the surgeon's office in 7-10 days to see if the bone is healing correctly.

This now concludes the Pony Report. Tomorrow, I will spill an HH story and news of Traitor Mabel. Uh huh.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Random Thought Thursday #6

Random acts of thoughtlessness. That would be me. Here's a bit of the stuff rattling around my head tonight.

My Little Pony has surgery tomorrow morning. He has to be there at 8:15, so I'm guessing it will be somewhere between 9:00 and 12:00.

I wish I had a dollar for every time somebody told me, "You tell such great stories about your students. You should write a book." Because then I would have about...oh...$20, and I would use it to buy some lottery tickets and a real book that would make me laugh. Something along the lines of Bleachy-Haired Honky B*tch.

The school fundraiser pick-up was much more organized this year. I was in and out in under 10 minutes. I especially enjoyed their hi-tech manner of calling for the packages. The one taking the money would tell another one which number belonged to the pile of boxes, and she would scream at the top of her lungs, while standing right next to the payer, mind you, "NUMBER SIXTY-FIIIIIVE!"

Sometimes I think my eyes will roll out of my head and onto the floor when I hear some of the comments made by my students. Such as, "Hey! Fauntleroy! Remember that time you came over to my house and we all threw poop and pee at you? That was SO funny. You guys should have seen him trying to dodge it. We put the poop on sticks to fling it at him. He ran off after a while."

I'm going to catch me a lurker next week. A kid who asks his teacher to go to the bathroom, then stands outside my door ogling his 'girlfriend'. Dude. She's really not that into him.

The fundraiser French Silk Pie is actually quite delicious. Until you accidentally get a bite of crust. Ptoooey! Crust is not my cup of tea.

We have to leave home tomorrow before we would leave on a regular work day. Somehow, I feel cheated.

If sighs could kill, I would be a mass murderer. Forgive me for not dressing up in costume and rapping the lesson to command the students' short attention span. I'm ready to start a back-to-basics education movement. I'm going to look for a guy like that pink underwear, baloney-serving tent-prison warden to run it.

ER is about to start. THE END.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tipping The Right Fantastik

I must report on my latest most scathingly brilliant idea, which was to reward some kids in my advisory group who cooperated with the activity last time. I have 13 of them, but several were absent then, and I ended up with only 5 deserving a reward. For the past two weeks, I have been dropping hints that some would be rewarded. I wrote it on the board today. As the rewardees came in the door, I let them choose a brand new shiny mechanical pencil, and three packs of Sixlets. They seemed quite appreciative. A few others came out to the hall and said, "What's this?" And I said, "Oh, I'm sorry. You don't get one this time." They took it pretty well.

When the bell rang, I climbed up on my soapbox. "You might notice that some of you were rewarded for participation in the activity that was scheduled last time. If you weren't, you can do one of three things. You can hate me forever, you can decide to behave better this time, or you can think, 'Who cares?'. That is your choice."

As we began, the boy who last time stated his career goal as 'supermodel' took an attitude much like he has all the time. He dropped his survey on the floor, and told the girl in front of him to come get it. "She threw that booklet at me!" he stated indignantly. Which she had, because there was a desk between them, and she tossed it on his desk. The rest of the group hooted at him, "No reward for YOU!" He tried to justify his actions a bit more, then picked it up when told. Another minor glitch was a student who allegedly poked the girl in front of him with a pencil. I of course took her side, because he is a well-known scoffrule, and the kids sitting around them appeared to favor her argument. I came down hard on him, with the speech about 'Do you think it's funny, because I don't see anyone else laughing, and if you can not control your actions, I will send you out of here.' He seemed to receive the message.

After that, everything was hunky dory. We finished with four minutes to spare. The group did their part as instructed. I will take the subdued, resigned attitude over the smirking I'm-so-cute, and you-can't-give-me-a-grade-on-this insolence any time. In fact, after the first five minutes of crowd control, it was smooth sailing all the way. I may give them ALL a reward next time. Even Pencil-Poker and Surly Boy. Because they shaped up after the reading of the riot act.

In other news from Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's student-torture list...I saw a girl drawing in pencil on the desk behind her. In fact, I was standing right beside her and she continued. But it's not like Mrs. Hillbilly Mom to compliment the emperor on his new clothes. Instead, I cautioned two other classes of students not to mess with the artwork, because I had the artist later in the day, and I was planning to make a cleaning lady out of her. The suspense nearly killed them, because I wouldn't name names.

I met her at the door 5th hour.
" left some drawings on a desk. Now you're going to clean all of my desks for me."
"Oh. I forgot about that. Who told on me?"
"No one. I was standing right beside you when you drew them."
"Oh. Sorry."
"Come in, and we'll get your cleaning supplies."
"All right."

She cleaned every desk with Fantastik. That stuff is fantastic, by the way. And smells OH SO ORANGE-Y. She didn't complain. She didn't act the martyr. She didn't spritz people with the cleaner. She did a good job. I complimented her on taking responsibility and accepting the consequences maturely.

I love the smell of Fantastik in the afternoon.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Can I Get A Goat?

I swear, some of these kids are trying to get my goat. And I don't even have a goat. But they want it. And they want it bad.

For instance, the kid who came to class 10 minutes late. Now, his story was that he was sick, and going home the next class period. Too bad, so sad, hope you didn't eat any tainted hamburger, kiddo, but I counted you absent, so you need to drag your sickly self back up to the office and tell them you are here, because this will count against your attendance hours. Hmm...he didn't much like that idea. So when he came back, and spent half the remaining time turned around, infatuated in some strange manner with the boy at the desk behind him, so much so that the other students commented, "He sure doesn't LOOK sick!", I told him, "We've decided to buzz the office and tell them that you had a miraculous recovery, and don't need to go home any more." To which he replied, "Oh. I'm not really going home. My dad was here to give me some medicine because I'm going through nicotine withdrawal." Funny thing, he passed me in the hallway before class, and didn't say BOO about being late because he would be in the office waiting for medicine. Reason # 532 why 11th graders should not be in class with 9th graders, no matter how many tries they need to pass a freshman level class.

Here's another goat-getter. "Can you give me a good recommendation to get into the XYZ program? Because if you're going to hold a grudge about me laying down in the floor to go to sleep, then I'm not going to ask you, I'll ask Mrs. Favorite, because I know she likes me." I explained, "I could fill it out, but I would have to be honest. It's not that I hold a grudge about the floor nap. When I told you to get up, you did. But it's all the times I have to tell you not to do something, and you have, how you say...a bit of a temper tantrum. So I could honestly mark the part about you complying immediately with my requests, but I would have to mark that 'fits of rage' one about your temperament." He thought a minute, and said, almost apologetically, "It's nothing personal. I'm just trying you." To which I acknowledged, "I know. You're seeing what you can get away with. No hard feelings. But I would have to be honest." And he decided, "OK. I'll ask Mrs. Favorite."

Then there's the goat-wanter who sighs so incredibly loud and often that a special award should be created just for his exorbitant exhalations. I fear that he may pass out from lack of oxygen. So when he laid his head down on his arms during the first half of class, I kept a close watch on him, to see if he was moving air. And lo and behold, at the time we finished the reading/discussion part of the lesson, he reared his head and requested a pass to the library. Surely he jested. "What? You have not done the assignment. And furthermore, you laid your head down the whole time, and did not join in the discussion." He looked shocked. Maybe it was just hypoxia. "But I was listening the whole time." Nice try. NO PASS FOR YOU!

It's a constant battle. I am an experienced warrior. So this goat-seeking behavior is not so much pissing me off as it is providing me with practice for sharpening my keen wit. I have to be careful, though. They are just children. I must not bruise their tender self esteem. Even though they can tell me they would rather pretend they were called to the office than sit and listen to one of my boring stories.

I suppose some people are just born adrenaline junkies. (Said Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, as she adjusted the shawl with her liver-spotted, palsied hands, so it draped her arthritic legs and covered the spokes of her Rascal, hoping against hope that she had remembered to turn off her Jitterbug).

Monday, October 8, 2007

Red Trims Down

I had to put my Old Red Gradebook on a crash diet after school today. She's been stuffing herself pretty regular. You might say she's a full-figured gal, the equivalent of...

a portly fellow

a wide load



If she wore pants, she'd have a muffin top.

The Chinese would turn her away from their buffet.

She has buttered cholesterol.

She's the kind of gal who, if she went sledding down Art Hill and gathered so much speed that she shot into the lake, down jacket and all, a strong, heroic fireman would, upon grasping her wrist to pull her out, shout in agony, "Ohhh, F********CK!"

Yes. The final straw was when I set her beside the computer to record some grades, and the weight of her belly propelled her off the table and onto the floor. Which meant that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom had to (gasp) bend over to pick her up. Something's gotta give. And that's the Old Red Gradebook's innards.

I got to poking about, and discovered that Red was carrying 66 pages of extra weight. You know how it goes...a test here, a memo there, a handful of those pesky IEP meeting notices. The pages pile on before you know it. I willingly, for free, liposuctioned 18 of those pages directly into the trash can. The others were not so simple. You know how it is, always hardest to lose those last 48 pages. So I did the equivalent of 'dressing thin' for my beloved Red. I sorted through her pages and filed them in ring binders by subject and date. She feels so slim now when I hold her in my arms. I've promised her a makeover when the 2nd Quarter rolls around. Names written in ink, not that smeary pencil, and true alphabetization of the current rosters.

I don't want rumors to start that Red is anorexic. She still carries a healthy 6 pages behind her red cardboard cover. She hasn't wasted away yet.

My newly-svelte Old Red Gradebook virtually glows with pride. That, and she knows the school year is almost over. By cracky.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Pony Can't Multiply

This should be a 4-day week for the students. I was supposed to have a teacher's inservice day, but with My Little Pony scheduled for surgery sometime Friday, it looks like I'm going to miss being serviced. Which is too bad, because I have a feeling it will be time to whip the ol' curriculum into shape, and perhaps some subject-area meetings, but I am just guessing, because I'm sure we won't know that until Thursday afternoon.

The Pony and I did his homework. Only one hour this time, for two days work. That little guy needs some serious work on his multiplication tables, methinks.

The #1 son needs to complete some community service work for one of his 7th grade classes. Which is just an elective class, and not involved with Civics or anything, and I am not so sure I agree with such an assignment for this age group. Anyhoo...the boy wants to volunteer at the city library. Surely they can use him. One of the crusty old gals told him they DO have a volunteer program. I'm thinkin' they could use him to carry or shelve books, what with their average age being near 105, and their fragile hips not cut out for hiking up and down the stairs. Of course, they DO have that elevator with the sign that it is only for people who NEED it.

He could have used his church PowerPoint go-to guy status as his community service. The teacher even suggested it. But the boy told me: "Mom. You have to write a half-page about what you learned from this experience, and I didn't learn anything at church. At the library, I would be doing things I don't already know how to do." I'm thinking he's missing the point of this community service thingy. I'm not sure the teacher wants to know technically what they have learned, but probably some touchy-feely it's-better-to-give-than-to-receive kind of lesson in humanity. We'll see how it all turns out in another week, when 1st Quarter ends. The school year is almost over, you know! The library gals must not know. They had the nerve to be closed Saturday and Monday to celebrate Columbus Day. It reminds me of when I worked for a state agency. As one of my interviewers told me, "We have a holiday every time it's cloudy."

That's all the excitement for tonight. I can't carve out enough time to tell you about the dentist, or finish my D. H. Lawrence parody.

I know. The suspense is killing you.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

The Evening of Steven

I am being stalked by Even Steven again. You know how I mentioned that my #2 son broke his arm Tuesday? And the same evening I hit three numbers on the Mega Millions drawing? It did not seem like a fair trade, $7 for My Little Pony's pain and suffering. The next evening, even though I hadn't bought scratch-off tickets for several #1 son asked me to get two and take them to My Little Pony. He's the one who loves them best. I picked up the two five-dollar tickets he named. He scratched one, and won $10. But it still did not seem even enough for a broken arm.

Today, I cashed in that ticket when I put $62 of gas in the LSUV. The Casey's clerk rang up the gas and two donuts for the Pony, who has been off his feed until today. I went to the LSUV, and fiddled in my head with the amount. That boy had not given me my $10 winnings. So I marched back in there and reminded him, and he forked it over. I used it to buy a $10 ticket. It was a $10 winner as well. After picking up my paycheck and the $16 check for the fundraiser fudge that I thought I had lost (from my mom's house, since she picked them up at school for me yesterday), we headed to the bank. Of course, there was a 7-11 on the way, so I stopped in to buy the PowerBall tickets for tonight, and cashed in that winning ticket on another $10 ticket. IT WON $100 ! Well, now. It appears that my winning slump is over.

After the bank, I figured that I could afford another $10 ticket like that big winner. So I stopped at another Casey's and bought one. I even told the girl, "I just won $100 on one of these." She told me good luck. I gave it to the #1 son to scratch, as he had scratched the other winners. You're not gonna believe this, but THAT ticket also won $100 ! Being Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, I could not let it rest. After a trip to The Devil's Playground, and putting that stuff away, and driving the two-armed boy back to town for his bowling league...I stopped to buy another one of those tickets. Again, I let the boy scratch it. It won $20. I would have left it at that, but the boy wanted another. Figuring I could afford it, I went up the block for another. But it was a dud. Doggone that MoLottery!

Anyhoo, I figure we had a pretty good run. For my initial outlay of $11 beginning with the Mega Millions on Tuesday, we have won:


I kept putting that original $10 back into more tickets as it won, so I figure that right now, we're $236 ahead of where we were on Monday.

Yep. Even Steven. One of those $100 will pay the insurance deductible on the ER visit for the Pony's broken arm. The rest will pay for the gas to the city for his doctor's appointment and Friday's upcoming surgery, with a little left over to cover the 10% or whatever deductible we have left to meet. Which may not be much, since it IS already October.

Believe me. I AM Even Steven, by cracky!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Repairing The Pony

The saga of My Little Broken Pony continues. We took him to a pediatric orthopedist today. Unfortunately, it was a pediatric orthopedist who does no surgery. Can things get any worse? A long drive for a guy who can't help My Little Pony. Though he did show us the x-ray, and tell us that all his knife-wielding colleagues were out of the office, but he called one for a consult, and that the Pony definitely needs to go under the knife and probably will need a wire inserted into his broken bits to hold them together. So kind was he that we don't have to come for another appointment with the slicer, but will have the surgery scheduled sight unseen. It is tentatively scheduled for Friday.

Let's speak of the x-ray. You know that bone in your forearm, the one on the thumb side called the radius? It's supposed to have a little bulbous end thingy on it at the elbow. But his doesn't. Here's the horror. His is lying beside the radius. So there is not only an empty space at the end of that bone where the bulbous thingy belongs...but the bulbous thingy sits parallel to the radius, like some freakish bean beside the frank. No wonder he hurts.

Now the Pony has a cast, medium blue, from knuckles to armpit. He says it feels much better than the splint. But he still has to wait until next Friday for the fixing to begin. That will be 11 days after his breakage. I call foul. HH says the next time anything like this happens, he will drive the boy straight to Children's Hospital, where they will have to take care of it right then, not drag it out for two weeks.

The Pony is taking it pretty well, except for the part about going to school all next week. I will have to make sure he has enough elastic-waist shorts, because he can't button or unbutton with one hand. Though he has become quite adept at playing his DS Lite with the stylus in his left hand.

I hope he never reads this. He hates being called My Little Pony. We only do it because he refused to play with a Happy Meal toy that was a pink My Little Pony. And today, HH teased him about getting a pink cast, and the caster man and woman thought he seriously wanted pink. "Oh, do you like pink?" asked the large Black man who got out the color sample ring. "We can give you a pink one," said the wiry White woman who went to the supply cabinet. My Little Pony couldn't believe his ears. "NO. I don't want pink! I want blue." Which is his favorite color, though earlier he had talked about getting a green one, because it is my favorite. They had him fixed in no time. Now he has a blue cast for a week. We'll see what he chooses after the surgery.

I think I am more nervous than the Pony.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Random Thought Thursday #5

Is it Thursday already? Great Googley Moogley! School will be out before you know it! Now...let the randomness begin:

People are OH SO KIND when your little pony comes up lame. Thank you all for your best wishes. I mean that. You're in the small group of people not pissing me off.

If the tires of your LSUV say to inflate to 35 pounds, but that means you are driving on the bulging edges, not the tread, methinks the pound-measurer-thingy is out of whack.

Will tires inflated to 40 pounds explode when you drive for an hour and a half on the highway?

Can we possibly terrorize the children any more? My not-imaginary friend Mabel accosted me at the back of my room this morning, demanding to know why I was at school. I assured her the Pony's appointment was not until Friday, and she hollered, "It's not about that. YOU HAD THREE NUMBERS ON THE MEGA MILLIONS TUESDAY NIGHT!" The kids in the back of the room were listening while trying to look like they weren't. Their mouths were hanging open. We played it for all we were worth. That Mabel and I make a good team. I threw up my arms. "Wow! How much did I win? Seven dollars?" Mabel squealed, "Yes! I think that was it! Mr. Mabel is checking on it." Then I told her, "Now that I know, you can bet that I won't be here tomorrow!" I'm waiting to see how long it takes for the kids to pass around the rumor that I'm absent because I won the lottery.

I don't like paying the piper I call Even Steven. My boy breaks his 'belbow', and that night I win on Mega Millions. Come to think of it, my #1 son won $10 on a $5 Deal or No Deal scratch-off last night. And today, I lost a $16 check that a colleague wrote me for the kid's fundraiser fudge. I'm thinking I just left it at school, safe inside my Do Not Open cabinet. Which is different from my DoNot Open cabinet. The first contains my personal items and teacher's editions. The second contains dictionaries and rulers and markers and cleaning supplies.

In the hall today, I heard a girl tell her kind of swishy boy best friend, "I love you. You complete me." Never a dull moment doing that hall duty.

I still owe you a tale of my dentist adventure, and that poem I was going to parody. It's on the back burner, but still bubbling away.

When it is almost time for the new ER, I run out of randomness.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Breaking News

My Little Pony broke his fetlock!

Or to be technically correct: my youngest son fractured his elbow.

My sweet, tender, Little-Bear-lovin' young 'un is hurt. He's only 9. I hate to see him in pain. I especially hate to hear him crying his lungs out with pain. Here's the deal. My kids are not what you call 'athletes'. Mathletes, perhaps...but they're not down with the physical coordination thing.

Tuesday after school, the day I had to rush to my dentist in another town, the day I had no time to spare, the day I had all planned out...tragedy struck. I had told my #2 son that when he got off the bus at my school, we would go out to the LSUV and wait for #1 son's bus to arrive, then go meet Grandma, who was driving us to my dentist. They understood the plan. I was locking my classroom door about the time #2's bus arrived. He always runs down the hall to my room, that sunny little guy who does not remember each and every day that 'Mom always says, You can't run in the hall'.

I had set down my bags of homework, and had just completed the locking of the door. I heard a commotion. I looked up the hall to see my boy in a heap on the floor, just outside the teachers' workroom, crying his eyes out. A high school girl was helping him up. His arm kind of flopped. I should have known from my years of breaking kids' arms as a high school coach that the arm-flop is a sure sign of breakage. But no. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom was in denial. The girl brought me his backpack. "I think he tripped on that strap," she said. "Are you OK, buddy?" My boy whimpered, "I don't think so." I thanked her, and ushered the boy to my doorway. I thought there might be a little bump on one side of his arm. I knocked and tapped on the bone ends, looking for that 'referred pain' sign of a broken bone. My Little Pony did not seem to feel any more pain with the tapping. He said, "I think it will be all right."

I took Pony Boy to the LSUV and helped him in. He carried his arm in his hand. Another sign I denied. I told him we had to get to the dentist (who had already rescheduled this appointment from before, and only works late on Tuesday nights) and if it still hurt after that, I would take him to the ER. He didn't think he needed to go. I put a cold can of Diet Coke on his arm. He continued to cry. I debated on the dentist, and called my mom. "Oh, he'll feel better. If not, you can take him after the dentist." The #1 son arrived, and taunted his brother. "You're not hurt, you big baby! You just want to go to the emergency room and spend all our Christmas money and next year's vacation money! Stop that crying!" Of course the Pony bawled all the more. I took off, and Pony squawked that he wasn't buckled in. I told #1 to belt his brother.

The whole way to the dentist, the boy cried. I called HH, who works in the area of the dentist, and told him to come by and take a look. By this time, My Little Pony had decided that he wanted his dad to take him to the ER. "Anything to make it stop hurting faster." HH took one look, and said, "He needs to go to the emergency room." Off they went. I, on the other hand, had to keep my appointment. Which is a story for another day.

An hour and a half later, I called HH to see what was going on. The Pony had broken a bone near his elbow. The ER staff said it was not near the growth plate, and he needed a cast, but they wouldn't do it, he had to go to his primary care physician. Darn those insurance moneygrubbers! Where's Hilary's universal health care system when you need it? Sooo...they sent the boy home around 7:00 p.m. with a prescription for Tylenol with codeine and a splint. With no doctors or other pharmacies open, I had to go to The Devil's Playground, where it took them 20 minutes to get the insurance card info right in their system, and another 30 minutes to fill the $4 prescription. Bumbling Handmaidens!

This morning HH took the Pony to his doctor, who called an orthopedist, who reviewed the X-Ray On Disk and declared that the fracture IS in the growth plate, and the boy needs to go to Children's Hospital, which did not have and appointment until Friday, or Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, which also did not have an appointment, so he goes Friday at 1:30 to a pediatric orthopedist in Chesterfield to see if this dislocated piece of bone can be 'popped back in' or if he will need a pin put in. All parties assured HH that the wait of 4 days from fracture to diagnosis would not matter (I guess, unless you're the 9-year-old with a dislocated bone piece in tremendous pain), and that the ER should have called the on-call orthopedist Tuesday night. Which sounds like a bit of double-speak to me. While My Little Pony is suffering.

Oh, and the Pony's side of the story is that he was just starting to run, and his toe caught on the floor, and as he fell he tried to stop from slamming his face into the tile, but he couldn't get his arm out fast enough.