Thursday, November 30, 2006

Power Out

Our power has been out for the last hour. I don't have much hope of getting it back for the next several days. My #1 son was kind enough to loan me his laptop for this post. It will be the last one until we get power again. Just my luck, we get out of school, and I have no power.

Oh, and in case I haven't mentioned it...our Mansion is all-electric. Right now, my Hillbilly Mama has power. She also has a fireplace. We might try to 'visit' her tomorrow.

Enough for now. Buh bye.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Bloody Weathermen

I'm a bit late getting this out tonight. Mabel will be harping at me for
it tomorrow. Because it looks like we will be having school. I can
not trust the weathermen. They promise and promise, but don't deliver.
And I go crawling right back to them, time after time, getting my hopes
dashed again.

I had a really bad kind of day at school, what with every piece of
technology I touched going on the fritz. I had nothing to do with it.
I fed them paper, I pushed their buttons, I pounded one like Fonzie
used to hit the jukebox at Al's. Or Arnold's...depending on which
season you were watching. Here's a little secret. That must have
been special effects...because IT DOESN'T WORK in real life.

After school, we headed to the doctor so I could have some blood
sucked out of my arm. It took 30 minutes, because somebody marked
my name off the sign-in list, even though I hadn't be paperworkized.
Then the bloodsucker didn't press on my gaping veinous puncture
(look away, Mabel) and I got a huge soaking gauze pad on my inner
elbow area for my troubles. That's gonna leave a mark. It was already
bruising. I think she went all the way through the vein or something.
It didn't hurt much, but the blood flowed out more slowly than usual.
Yes, Mabel. I watch. And I don't even feel faint.

Once the boys rode the old-man-volunteer-trolley-golf-cart-thingy
back to the car, we went to Sonic for supper. They chose. I didn't
much care, since I had gone without food or drink since 4:00 a.m.
for that fasting blood test thingy. Then it was off to the movies to
see Santa Claus 3: The Escape Clause. It was pretty good. I like
those movies. It was a bit disconcerting to see a dead ringer for
one of my students as the elf, Curtis. Same voice, same mannerisms.
I can't wait to tell him. I won't have to wait long, since it looks like
we will be having school tomorrow!

I really must go now. Since Mr. B retired, I am afraid no one is
devoted to doing the snow dance. I shall have to do it myself.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

HM Burns The Midnight Oil

I had hoped to bring you a witty slice of my keyword-search stockpile
tonight, but that is not to be. I have HOMEWORK! Try as I might to
get caught ain't happenin' during the school day. Or even staying
after school for an hour. I must burn the midnight oil here at home.

It does not help that I have the basketball game ticket duty on Thursday,
and #2 son's Christmas Program. It does not help that now we have to
code our lesson plans in Basementia, and have them turned in by 8:00
Monday mornings. I am not complaining about turning in the lesson
plans, but that there is that deadline. I am not in Basementia by 8:00.
That means my deadline is Friday by 4:00. Which kind of sucks to be
Hillbilly Mom, because others may procrastinate until Sunday night to
get theirs ready, or come up with some really innovative ideas over
the weekend. But I have to rush during the week to get them done and
turned in. Don't go telling me to plan them a week ahead. What kind of
people are you? Sometimes it doesn't even pay to plan a whole week
at once, because we never stay on schedule. Things come up, too many
are absent, the class doesn't catch on to something, etc. Then I am
moving things into next week that I thought I would be done with.

Oh, and have I mentioned that we have to turn in our Semester Final
Examinations? I'm sure I have. They are due on Monday. That would
be a chore anyway, what with getting them ready now by Wednesday
night, so I can turn them in on Thursday afternoon, what with the
festivities in store for me on Thursday. But now we have that pesky
winter weather headed our way, and who knows what Thursday will
bring, so I must make up three of them tonight. Good luck to me! I
need two Maths and a Language. Excuse me. Communication Arts.
Oh, and I need to make sure I hit all four Depths of Knowledge Levels
with each one of those. So don't be thinkin' I can whip up a little True-
False thingy in five minutes.

Then there's the matter of coding those lesson plans...There is no
specific order concerning what to code them to. I am using my Grade
Level Expectations, since that is all that keeps me sane in knowing
what I have to teach in my 6 different classes this year. Some have
been coding to the Missouri Frameworks. That is more general, but
it doesn't tell me squat when I look at what I still have left to cover
before the MAP-Testing window. I suppose I could be like a certain
person who shall not be named, and just write things like: I 2a, 5, 7b
at random on each lesson. I don't think the lesson plan police would
catch on to me.

Anyhoo...I'm off to do the right thing. I am a professional, you know.
And not a Professional Smart-A$$, like HH says.

Monday, November 27, 2006

HM Has Essues

OK, I thought that title was funny, but you have to know how to
say it. I'm not suing anybody. I mean like in ISSUES, but with an
'E'. Get it? Because it's about Email, silly.

I have Essues today, Essues with Email. It is becoming ridiculous. Oh,
I don't mean my personal email. The account that is not Gmail, with
its precious spam filter. The account that someone has been selling
the h*ll out of since I did my online Christmas shopping last week.
Even it has become overwhelming, now that I think about it..

Here's a little secret. Shh...I am not OH SO POPULAR! I know it's
hard to believe. Normally, I only get 10-12 emails a day. The kind
telling me that my p*nis is too small, or trying to sell me narcotics
from Canada, or telling me my loan has been approved, or just
dropping in to say 'Hi'. Yes, unless my Hillbilly Mama has forwarded
me something that has freaked her out, or Mabel is filling me in on
some scoop, or Bean is updating me on her life every 6 months no
matter if anything noteworthy has happened or not, or I've ordered
something that has just shipped...I don't get much email. And that's
the way I like it. Uh huh.

Let's get back to the Beanie Baby. Bean is one of my oldest friends.
That's not to say that Bean is old, like "Your Social Security number
is 1", or "I told you to act your age...and you died" old. I mean
that I have known The Bean for a very long time. And we can resume
our communication after years and years of my disappearance into
the Blogger Protection Program as if a day never passed. But lately,
I have not heard from The Beaner. I have tried not to Bean-stalk.
I have waited patiently. Then today, in the midst of 76 emails, what
should appear but a cryptic Beanmail. We'll see what develops from
this little sprout.

Anyhoo...back to the emails. Now I am getting about 75 per day.
They are so considerate, these unwanted new friends of mine. They
even send their emails alphabetically. They must know I'm a teacher,
huh? Amber says, then Audrey says, then Bambi says, etc. And
when they get tired of talking, they write. Also alphabetically. Cindy
wrote, and David wrote, and Donald wrote, and Edward wrote,
etc. Can't these spammers be more original? At least the old "Hey,
oven mitt" and "Hey, pond scum" kind of messages gave me a laugh.
Now they are all generic. Just like the youth of today. No imagination.

But what I was really complaining about were my work emails. Sure,
every now and then someone will send out 40 questions, or a Sexpert
Quiz, or some such thingy. That's not every day. In Basementia, we
are expected to check the email for breaking news every hour, if not
more often. Today there were 17 emails. 17 ! Only one was specifically
to me, a reply concerning a duty I volunteered for. The rest were just
too much. They took up more than one page! Usually, 4 or 5 a day
will do it. They came from various people, too. I don't know what
they're putting in the water over there. I never get even one email
from the other building. Not even a reply.

I'm hoping this is not a trend. Perhaps it's a returning-from-a-long-
holiday-weekend-and-must-update-what's-happening thing. I can't
keep checking through that many emails. Just my luck, if I don't check,
I will miss something vitally important that must be done immediately.
Like lock all the doors and windows, or some kid needs to go to the
nurse NOW, or turn in those lesson plans that were due this morning
(heh, heh, that one went out today, but mine were IN already). I have
to use my time to teach, and to stand in the hall between classes. I
can't be refreshing my screen all day long.

It's hard to teach me new tricks.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I'm Too Busy For My Life

I am too busy today to write a proper post. Here now! Stop saying
that is everyday!

I've already been to the Devil's Playground for the weekly shopping
spree. Not much was bought, but the kids saw things they want for
Christmas. Too bad, the shopping is done! Not really. I just thought
how nice it would be to tell them something like that. Just as I had
finished putting away all the stuff I didn't buy, all three male residents
of the Mansion showed up for lunch. They all wanted something
different. I managed to toss some vittles into their troughs, and put
in a load of laundry. Now my own lunch break is over. I must get
cracking, by cracking.

This week will be busy. Monday, we stay after school so #1 son
can attend Lower Basementia's math club practice for the spring
Math Contest. He will be practicing with the 7th and 8th graders,
because the 6th grade doesn't have a math club. I asked the
sponsor if the other kids would resent him for crashing the practice.
"Well it's just too bad if they do. They should be embarrassed that
a 6th grader can do problems they can't!"

Tuesday looks like our only free day after school this week. That
means we will have to go to the Post Office to pick up some
packages that I am expecting after all that online shopping.

Wednesday, I will have to go give some blood to the bloodsuckers
at the lab, in preparation for my doctor's appointment on Friday.

Thursday, I have duty at the basketball game. It's a good thing it's
right after school, because #2 son has his Christmas Program at
7:00 that night. I think I should be done in time to get across town
and find a parking spot.

Friday, I have a doctor's appointment. I already told you that. I hope
you were listening the first time. I also plan to make the Mansion
payment while I am in that town.

Saturday, I have to take the boys bowling, because HH has a previous

Sunday, the Veteran is taking me to the casino.

There. Now I've turned my blog into a planner. On the agenda for
the rest of today is cleaning up the laundry room, sorting through some
papers to file that are piled on the kitchen counter, cleaning the upstairs
bathrooms, cooking some type of supper for my hillbillies, checking
over #1 son's math club problems, planning my lessons until Christmas
break, making up three finals that must be turned in to the Basementia
office by Dec. 11, seeing that #2 son labels his diorama pueblo thingy
correctly so he can turn it in tomorrow, sorting through a stack of coats
and jackets so HH can take a big bag of them to work in case people
want some for their kids before we take them to Goodwill, and kicking
back to watch some bad Sunday night TV.

I would love to fit a 20-minute nap in there somewhere, but I don't think
that's happenin' today.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Too Many Cooks Spoil The Roadkill

I am not having a good day. It all started when I got up this morning. Go figure! I planned to make some potato salad, and another Oreo cake, because the Veteran was coming out to cook his wild turkey in a vat of boiling oil. HH was the mastermind of this plan. That will probably tell you all you need to know. But wait! I would like to elaborate.

First of all, I had to wash a pile of dishes before I could boil the eggs and potatoes for the potato salad. In the midst of the dish-washing, both boys wanted some cereal. #2 son got to the kitchen first, and was contentedly munching away on his fake Cap'n Crunch from Aldi's (a real treat, since most of their cereal comes from Save-A-Lot) when big bully #1 arrived. "Here, get this out of here. You're in my place!" #2 said he was done anyway, but #1 commanded him to dump his sugary milk to the dogs & cats. He picked up the bowl, and let go before #2 had his hands on it. Of course it spilled all over the floor. Sugary milk is a pain to clean up, because even though you think you've got it all, it stays sticky. I made the boys clean it. They took about 10 minutes.

Then I saw that HH, who had bought bananas while at the store for his mass quantities of vegetable oil, had placed the bananas in my graham cracker pie crust. It cracked. Which was not a great tragedy, because I had no plans for a pie today. Apparently, HH could not move the brown bananas off the banana holder. Which is perhaps a good thing, because he has broken two banana holders since July. But it's a bad thing, because he will stop eating the bananas at a certain degree of brownnes, but neglects to mention it, or to throw them away. He must be a collector, like those old ladies who can never get enough cats. Only their cats don't slowly
decompose on the kitchen counter. Much.

I had just gotten into the shower when I heard #1 son bellow that I should see what Dad had brought home. One year, he went to town for soda and a donut, and came back with an air hockey table. So I thought it might be something good. But no. The boy said, "Dad brought home the Save-A-Lot sign." Hmm...upon exiting the shower, I saw that HH had already put the sign to use. He had nailed it to the side of the barn. The side facing the house. #1 son further reported that HH had TWO signs, and that the Save-A-Lot people were glad to get rid of them. I guess so. No trash-hauling fees. Now I can look at the barn and fondly remember my OH SO PRETTY experience from last New Year's Day.

In case you are a new reader here at the Mansion, you may not understand the OH SO PRETTY mystique. That is doubtful, though, because I hardly ever get any new readers. Well, that is not quite true, because I get those people looking for "how to make crystal meth ice using gun blue and charcoal" and "sissified guy in panties", but they generally don't stick around to become regulars. So if you haven't heard the original SO PRETTY tale, here it is.

While gazing at our new barn logo, I discovered #1 son had a big wet dog-snot looking spot on his hoodie. And his shoes were soaking wet with mud and unknown fluids. I forbade him to come in the house, which lasted all of 3 seconds in his faulty short-term memory, because he traipsed in right behind me, yanked open the refrigerator door, and knocked out a mini can of peaches in heavy syrup and a small, squatty bottle of Diet Coke. He proceeded to grab a glass out of the cabinet, because dishes don't stay done long in this house, and pour himself some cold water from the pitcher in the fridge. This was not cold enough for him, so he also wanted ice from the freezer. He left, but my joy was short-lived, because he returned carrying a case of vegetable oil. "What's this doing on the picnic table?" he quizzed.

If I had asked the boy to carry in a case of vegetable oil, I never would have heard the end of it. But here he was, dragging it in unrequested. "That is for your dad and the Veteran to cook the
wild turkey." "Oh." He took it back outside.

Which brings me to the final chapter of the story (I'm sure you are hoping), in which HH actually cooks the turkey. And I'm sure you know it is not that simple. But I must fill you in on some more details first. Stop yawning! Who else posts every day, huh? Get over it!

I had told HH that I needed to pick up some medicine before 2:00. He said that I should go around 12:00, and call as I was starting home, and he would dunk the bird. I finished up the potato salad around 11:45, after using #1 son as a taste-tester, which was a big mistake, as the boy loves pepper, and the stuff is so spicy I can't even eat it now.

I called from town. Little did I know, the Veteran had not brought the turkey-cooker as promised. I returned home at 1:15 to find HH and the Veteran with a big boiling pot and a little propane grill. You know the kind of grill. It was about the size of a hibachi. Which is not the same as a huarache, which is a Mexican sandal, not a Japanese grill, but could be the same size if the Mexican has really big feet. Anyhoo...the new plan was to cut the turkey into 4 pieces, and boil it in oil in the pot over the hibachi. Which did not seem like such a good plan to me, because I thought the whole point of deep-frying a turkey was that the high temp seals the juices inside the skin. The skin which would be cut if the turkey was chopped up. And I don't think the oil can get hot enough in a boiling pan, or else why would people buy those turkey-cookers if they could just boil it up on the stove?

By 2:15, the oil was still not hot enough, and HH and the Veteran were using welding torches to add to the propane heat. Yeah. The boys were starving, so I fed them some chicken nuggets. Around 3:15, HH came in with a piece of something dark brown for me to taste. I should have known better. It tasted like old fish. HH said that must be the oil. Whatever. I knew I did not want any roadkill turkey that had been boiled over a welder's torch. They ate it, though. And HH even ate the potato salad.

You might want to make a Note to Self: Don't eat roadkill turkey cooked by hillbillies over a welder's torch.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Black Friday At The Mansion

Whew! I am exhausted. I have spent all afternoon Christmas shopping.
Online. Don't underestimate the effort I put into it. Do you know how
long it takes to find the item you want, fill in all the order info, and place
the order WITH DIAL-UP? It was at least 10 minutes in the checkout
for each purchase. Yes, I am exhausted.

This morning I arose at 6:45, fed the kids some left-over Oreo cake,
laid out some old clothes for them, and washed up a big pile of dishes.
I told HH I was headed to the bank, and he was on KID duty today.
He was a bit of a grouch about it. He had already planned a day of
arrow-shooting, porch-building fun with them. I don't know what put
his panties in a wad.

I hit the bank to deposit some money and cash in some coin rolls.
Next, I browsed through Office Max looking for a gift for HH that
#1 son and I spied back in August. Of course they were out of it.
They had the display model, which I probably could have bartered
for, but no thanks. #1 said it was $150 when we saw it, but I couldn't
remember. It had a tag that said $89.99 behind the $69.99 tag the little
clerk picked up to call on his headset and check inventory. Upon my
return home, I checked the website and found it in stock for $44.99 !
WooHoo! Am I a bargain hunter, or what? I also picked up some USB
flash drive thingies while in the store. Hey! There was a big sale! A
512 MB for $9.99 (reg.$29.99) and a 1 GB for $14.99 (reg. $39.99).

After that, I had to go to Aldi's, because when you save money like
that, you have to shop for some off-brand groceries. I picked up some
beef jerky, fake Cap'n Crunch cereal, eggs, sausage, and chicken wings.
Just the main food groups.

From there, I proceeded to my Hillbilly Mama's house for some lunch
of leftover turkey. We had a grand time chatting without the kids.

When I got back home, I discovered HH planned to go down into the
woods of our newest land to explore a big hole. Around these parts,
it is called a sinkhole. It's like the ceiling of a cave has sprung a hole.
The LandStealer allegedly lowered his 15-year-old son down there
with a rope. HH planned to do that with the Veteran. I objected. They
had an old black nylon rope about an inch thick, which they were going
to tie onto the Veteran. They could see water about 15 feet down in the
hole. What were they thinking? How secure can you tie a 1-inch rope?
#1 son said the nylon was rotten. I guess the voice of reason spoke to
them in their testosterone frenzy, because #1 returned about 2 hours
later to report that the spelunking expedition had been scrapped in
favor of marking the hole so nobody would fall into it.

The original plan for that, after the scouting expedition, had been to
get a large flat rock to place over it, using Buddy's borrowed tractor.
I don't know why our tractor isn't up to the task, but I've found it's
better not to ask, because it could lead to HH wanting to buy a new
tractor. Tomorrow. Anyhoo...I had also complained about the flat
rock plan, which seemed suspiciously similar to a booby trap. Some
innocent trespasser could walk out onto it, then it would break or slip,
sending him to a watery grave sailing underground along the water table.
The new plan entailed stringing up the black nylon rope like a spiderweb
among the trees around the sinkhole. I asked #1 if HH had tied some
orange marker tape on the black rope. He reported that no, HH had
said, "If they get close enough to run into that rope, it will stop them
before they fall into the hole." Yes. I'm sure. Most people DO stop
when they are decapitated.

After supper, HH took the #2 son down into the woods to sit on the
new porch they built onto the A-frame shed beside the creek. They
also took some old Tide detergent boxes to burn, and a bag of
marshmallows. It was a regular hillbilly night out.

I plan to go put my feet up and watch some bad TV, after my
strenuous day of shopping.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving From The Mansion

We had a plethora of turkeys for Thanksgiving Day. Let's start with
the newest addition, pictured above. That's my #1 son, pleased as
punch with the turkey he shot with his bow. The toy bow in the picture.
That's his story, and he's stickin' to it. But the scoop according to
#2 son is that the Veteran hit it with his truck on the way to the
Mansion this morning to (you guessed it) turkey hunt down in the
woods with his compound bow.

#1 is going to take the picture to school and tell a big long hunting
story. I'm sure it will endear him to his cronies. The guys plucked
that sucker, and he is wrapped up in the freezer in the barn to be
deep-fried later this weekend. Please excuse me for getting the boy
that "Bow-Tie Killer" haircut, like in the movie Problem Child. If
his hair gets too long, it is wavy and unmanageable, and looks like
Jimmy Neutron hair. Which he likes, I might add.

The Veteran and I told the boy he should make a necklace of the
turkey feet and wear it to school. He could absentmindedly scratch
his face with a toe, or pick his teeth with a toenail, and say, "What?
This old thing? It's just the foot off the turkey I shot Thanksgiving

The Veteran is not so pleased with his kill, as it destroyed
the grille of his truck, the truck he just bought upon his return from
Iraq. He called the local police to report the murder, who told him
to call the Conservation Dept. They were supposed to call him back,
but had not by 3:00. At least there is a record that he tried to report
it, just in case the people behind him when all the turkey feathers
blew out of his pick-up bed reported him as a poacher.

The second turkey was won by HH in a radio contest last week.
He was on the way to work around 6:15, and called in to be caller
number 11 and win a chance at a turkey. He called, and was number
5. Being HH, he tried, tried again, and was number 11. Not many
people listen to that local country station, it appears. HH had to guess
how many shots it would take to kill the turkey. He guessed '3', and
that was it. On Tuesday, he drove to the radio station to claim his
turkey certificate, and then had to drive back to our town to claim
his bird. He walked up to what looked like a house, with men gutting
a pile of about 15 deer stacked in the yard. "Is this where I come to
get my free turkey?" "Yep," they said, and one walked around back
and returned with a turkey. It was frozen and wrapped, so I suppose
it's OK. It was a commercial store-bought-looking bird. It's also in
the freezer.

The third turkey was eaten at my Hillbilly Mama's house today. There
are still leftovers for tomorrow. Along with the other goodies, we
enjoyed a baby-food jar of butter, homemade by #2 son at school
on Tuesday. It was delicious, though the boy was a bit peeved that
we ate all of it. According to him, they made it by putting cream and
salt into the baby-food jar, and shaking it for a good long time until
butter formed. He said a couple of kids broke their jars. His teacher
is way braver than I am to attempt to teach 20 third graders to make

I believe this will go down as one of our more memorable Thanksgiving
celebrations. We are most thankful to have the Veteran home, safe and
sound. He has signed on for another 5 years, and plans to make a
career of the military.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Smarty-Pants Family

I really should be upstairs baking the traditional Thanksgiving Oreo Cake. I can put it off until tomorrow morning, methinks. I overheard the Veteran earlier saying he would be here by 8:00 a.m. I don't know what plan the boys have cooked up for tomorrow, which is probably just as well. This afternoon they were shooting bows and arrows over by the barn. As long as we leave the Mansion by 11:30, we will be in time for Thanksgiving dinner at my Hillbilly Mama's house.

This afternoon, #1 son and I went to get our hair cut. The parking lot is undergoing some renovation, and we pulled in to find that there were NO parking spots available. We also discovered HH getting out of his truck, having taken the LAST parking spot. He was supposed to be taking #2 son to a flea market. #1 and I had to park at the Dollar Store and walk through the construction zone, up a muddy path, to get our haircuts. To add insult to injury, upon the completion of #2 son's haircut, HH walked over to me and asked for money to pay for the boy's haircut. Good thing I was there, huh? That man never ceases to amaze me. And not in a good way.

Next stop for us was The Devil's Playground, to pick up some milk and Cool Whip. Hey! The store was full of people buying food! And a lady who had personal space issues who got behind us in the check-out line. She first ran into #1, making him apologize, since he treats the unrelated elderly people way nicer than he treats me. Then she ran right up into the back of me. Not with a cart--with her body. What's up with that? #1 could take no more, and begged a dollar to "Go win a prize for #2." Yeah, right. Such brotherly love I've never encountered. I gave him a dollar to get rid of him, watched him walk into the gameroom, put the dollar in the hook-grabber-thingy, and win a pink stuffed bear about two feet long. He wouldn't carry it out of the store, though. He tossed it into the cart, and volunteered to carry the bags if I would carry the bear. #2 was quite pleased with it when we got home.

The #1 son made me take an IQ test last night. He didn't have to twist my arm, as I enjoy proving that I am smarter than him. The test had 50 questions. I missed 3. And I'm going to argue about one of them, because it's just not right. I think there were two answers that could be right. Here it is: Which letter does not belong? QRNOPXM. I said "O", because it is a vowel, and all the others are consonants. Au contraire, Mensa wanna-bees! The 'correct' answer was "X". I suppose that's because the others come sequentially in the alphabet: MNOPQR. Don't you think my answer was plausible? The other two I missed fair and square, because I couldn't see the forest for the trees.

The easiest one I missed was: Brine is to salt as punch is to (I can't remember all four choices, but I said 'hit', because in my mind, brine and salt are the same thing, and a punch and a hit are the same thing. But no. The answer was 'sugar', which I'm sure is because brine is a solution containing dissolved salt, and punch is a solution containing dissolved sugar.)

The other one I missed was: How many numbers ending or beginning with '2' are found between 100 and 300? I said 120. Silly hillbilly! I was counting 10 ending in 2 from 100-200, and another 10 ending in 2 between 200-300, and all the 200s. But NO! The answer was 110, because the 200s already START with 2, so you don't have to count the ones that also end in 2. Duh!

I don't suppose I'll be sending off for that Mensa card any time soon, even though this little test said my IQ was 144. That is genius level, my son pointed out. He was OH SO ENVIOUS, because after adjusting for his tender age, his IQ was 136. He made HH take it, and he scored
113. HH didn't know the boy told me his score. This morning, I said, "I hear you took an IQ test last night." HH replied, "Yes, I got 132." He's such a liar! I told him the boy told me it was only 113. "Oh...yeah. It was 113!" Anyhoo, that was fun. We are the nerd family. We sit around taking IQ tests for recreational purposes. I don't think a 50 question test is very accurate. And the boy took a real IQ test years ago. It was scored by one of the school staff. He beat my score. I will never tell him what it was. He's already such a know-it-all.

I don't know where he gets it.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Holiday Straw Vet Spaceship

I am behaving as if it is the weekend already. Au contraire. I still have
to work tomorrow. Oh, they may say it is a half-day, but it is actually
five-sevenths of a day. I know my math! They can't trick me! We only
get out 2 hours and ten minutes early. And the glass is half empty, too.

HH met us at the local chicken wing restaurant tonight. The boys had
a heyday playing games. HH got a two-for-one deal on a bottle of
beer. The waitress got a $5 tip. Everybody was happy. Not one wing
was consumed, but we had our fill of mini corn dogs, Buffalo chicken
tenders, Caesar salad, and fried mushrooms. Two guys sitting behind
HH had draft beer. In mugs. With straws. I have never seen anybody
drink a mug of beer with a straw. Is this some new custom to which I
am terribly unhip? Is that what kids do these days, swill draft beer
through straws? Help me, Stewie Wan Hammobi. You're my only hope.

Tomorrow, the Veteran goes to #2 son's school to speak to his 3rd
grade class. I hope they don't ask him if he killed anybody. That seems
to be what all the kids want to ask the veterans. HH is driving him over
there, so he knows where to go. Imagine that...he navigated his way
through Iraq, finding and diffusing bombs, but HH is going to help him
find his way to an elementary classroom. After the speech, HH is going
to take #2 with him, and go to a flea market. The boy is crazy about
gems and jewelry, and wants to get his Grandma a Christmas gift. He's
a sweetie, that one.

The Veteran has his moments, too. He has offered to drive me to the
casino next weekend, before he returns to his job at Fort Leonard
Wood later in the week. What a kind thing to do for an old lady, who
has a social security number of "1".

Mabel is back from a trip to Chicago to see King Tut memorabilia.
I think it was his. Perhaps it was merely "Egyptian", and I substituted
King Tut, because I don't know any other ancient Egyptians. I am
archaelogically challenged. Mabel was quite impressed with the artifacts.
She sat her butt on a bench that was made over 1000 years B.C. I did
not ask to touch it. Sorry, Mabel, but ancient history and your butt are
not my cup of tea. I'm glad you got to see something so important,
though. Mabel said there was a huge block from a pyramid, and it took
something like 1500 men to pull it. I'm sorry if I'm getting your facts
wrong, Mabel, but it's been quite a wild ride since you've been away.
I could tell you stories that would curl your hair. I mean curl it more
that it is curled already. And I'm sorry if I insulted you when I told
you that no men pulled that block--they just hitched it to a flying saucer.
I used to read stuff like that Erich von Daniken's Chariots of the Gods.
Yeah. There were aliens that visited us back then in spaceships from
other galaxies, but don't go thinkin' we landed on the moon...because
that was faked from a sound stage at Area 51.

Hillbilly Mom. Always controversial. Always pushing the buttons.

Monday, November 20, 2006

HH Has A Bee In His Bonnet

HH has a bee in his bonnet. OK. He doesn't really wear a bonnet.
That would just be creepy. Like a little baby with a giant adult man's
head in its frilly little bonnet. And that bonnet would get the worst
end of that deal, what with HH's head sweating all the time, especially
when he eats hot wings or jalapenos, or mows the yard wearing one
of his collection of 1500 hats, which seem to multiply if they are not
carefully supervised, and if that were the case, he would not need a
bonnet because DUH, he is already wearing a hat! Try to follow along,
will you? HH is not exactly Sarah, Plain & Tall, either, another great
bonnet-wearer in fictionalized history. He is more like Scary, A Pain
to All. And while I'm at it, let me also confess that there is no actual bee.
The last time HH met up with the stinging vermin was when he mowed
the dirt over in the barn field, and disturbed a nest of yellow-jackets.
They let him know they were displeased. HH came to the house and
took a benadryl, just in case his throat was wont to close up. It didn't.

No, HH has a virtual bee in his virtual bonnet. He has taken the whole
week off, and is working on various projects about the Mansion. Job
One was hooking up water to the basement bathroom. Oh, we've
had a flush toilet for the past 8 years. It's the sink that was dry. Hey!
We still washed our hands--with GermX. But NOW we have running
water. WooHoo! We are living in modern times! I'm going to set
free the pterodactyl phonograph needle and get me one of those
newfangled CD players!

Job Two was putting in a ceiling in the basement. It used to be just
the floor joists and the plumbing and the Romex wire weaving a
wicked web over our heads. Now HH has put up some particle
board. Not all over the whole basement, mind you. That might
take another 8 years. But he has started with 4 pieces right over
the boys' GameCube. Which of course is covered in splinters of
wood and sawdust.

Job Three was eating tonight's supper for lunch. I told him last
night, as he was sawing up the meat loaf, "Put the rest of it in the
small dish, and we'll have it for supper tomorrow." I think what
he heard was "When I'm out of the house tomorrow, use this for
your feeding frenzy." Imagine my surprise when I rushed home
an hour and a half after work was over, having deposited my
hard-earned money in the bank, ready to start my second job
here at the Mansion, took the foil off the Pyrex, and saw that
my meat loaf was half the meal it used to be. It was sitting all
cattywompus in the dish, too, like it had tried to run away from
the knife. I quizzed the air in general. "What happened to the
meat loaf we were going to have for supper?" HH came in and
looked at it. He sure seemed surprised. "Well, I had one thin
slice for a sandwich." This is the man who fit an entire pot roast
into his bowl when we had vegetable beef soup. It was piled up
like Marge Simpson's hair. Only it wasn't blue. I'm not that great
a cook, but my beef doesn't turn blue when I cook it. I knew
that 'one thin slice' for HH was a giant slab for mankind. Then
more truth spilled out, upon the cross-examination.

"You had a half-sandwich, with just one piece of bread?"
"No. I had two pieces of bread."
"So you had two slices of meat loaf?"
"Okaayyy. I had two thin slices of meat loaf."
"Then why is half of it gone?"
"The Veteran was helping me work. He had a sandwich, too."
"Didn't I just ask you Sunday if you wanted anything from the store?"
"I didn't."
"Didn't you know you'd be home all week, and need lunch?"
"I didn't think of it."

EEEEEEEEE! It doesn't pay to cook ahead at the Mansion. You'll
still have your other full-time job to do when you get home. But you
get good practice for that new career as a trial lawyer that you
daydream about.

Job Four must have been penciled in late in the day, because tonight
was the first I got wind of it. Job Four seems to be arguing with me
over placement of the big-screen TV. I see no reason to move it.
HH wants to block a walkway under the stairs, between his gun case
and the mini-fridge. To which I say, "Hold on thar, pardner! What
happens if you want a cold beverage whilst you're a-loadin' up your
weapon?" I don't want to block the walkway. HH believes that "we
will never get rid of the mess until the TV is moved." Hmm...I don't
know...perhaps it is some weird type of Hillbilly Feng Shui, this
moving of the furniture that cleans the house. Perhaps the TV should
start with that sawdust on the other side of the room.

I suppose I should tie HH's virtual bonnet tightly under his chin
tomorrow...right after depositing that virtual bee under it. I don't
want him to come up with any more new ideas.

In other news, it looks like the Mayor will be bawling his eyes out
on Christmas morning, but my offspring shall not. I have procured
the item I was seeking at a reasonable rate. I'm not saying I got a
bargain, but that by the time I cash in my scratch-off lottery ticket
winnings, I can take care of the seller's profit. Nothing like a gambling
addiction to provide Christmas for your young 'uns. Who knew?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

HH, Land Baron

I'm a bit busy tonight. I ventured out for my first bit of Christmas
shopping today, and I am missing some vital items. I will try online
later tonight, after The Amazing Race and The Girls Next Door.
I may have to miss Celebrity Paranormal Project, but since it is
fake, and VH1 will run it several more times this week, I don't
really think I'll be 'missing' anything.

My sister, the Mayor's wife, wants to surprise His Honor with a
certain gift. Hey! It's not like that! Poor thing doesn't have a credit
card. Can you imagine--the Mayor's wife without a credit card?
She has her own career, you know. You'd think she would be able
to have her own credit card. Go figure! The Man is keeping her
down! All that hard work as a kindergarten teacher, and the poor
thing has nothing to show for it. Oh, she could use HIS credit card,
but then he would see what she bought. HH and I each have a credit
card. We both use them, but one was in his name to start with,
and one was in mine. That's after we got rid of various other cards
that were a bit superfluous. I don't really think we needed the
Central Hardware card, especially since they went out of business
some time ago. It was handy when we were remodeling my old
$17,000 house, though. We don't really need the Discover card.
We got it because Sam's Club took it. We used to have some
such card when we had our rental property. I got sick of the
assorted bills coming hither and thither, and told HH we could
get by with two. We really only use one, with the other being
what I put my work-related expenses on. Most of the time it's
just HH's airline tickets for work, and assorted online stuff that
we just can't do without.

Now that I'm all about sharing my credit history with you...let me
tell you what I've been doing all afternoon. It's TAX TIME here
at the Mansion. We do not like this time of year. We own a lake
lot that we share with two other couples, and the bill comes to us.
That means we have to pay, and they pay when they're good and
ready. So I have to send them copies of everything, with an itemized
bill. This year we had the property assessment, trash fee, fire tag,
and county real estate tax. Oh, don't go thinking it's some ginormous
amount of money. We got the lot as tax sale property on the steps
of the county courthouse. HH took his lawn chair and made a day
of it. Problem is, he went overboard, and bought himself several
pieces of property. Now we get tax bills on them. I am ready to
let someone else have a shot at them on the courthouse steps. But
I do enjoy me some fishin' at the big lake, and having that lot entitles
us to all sorts of activities. I'm sure the people who make it their home
hate people like us.

Here's the deal with HH's properties. They are worthless. We have
one lot that somebody might buy, to build a house on. The others
are junk. There are 3 lots together in another lake development
where nobody wants to go. Some man was cutting the wood off
it the last time HH checked on it. One lot is a strip of property
about 3 feet by 50 feet. It ran alongside a main road, and then
the road was widened, so I don't think this one even exists any
more. But we pay $9 and change for it every year (that should kind
of give you an idea how valuable tax sale property is). HH thought
he would get rich when the road went through it. He was never
even contacted. He used to say, "Well, I can set up my lawn chair
and my grill, and have me a BBQ on it!" Now he doesn't say much
when I tease him about it. Let's see...there was one lot in another
town that somebody planted a garden on. HH knocked on the
door of their trailer and told them he'd be picking his tomatoes
as soon as they were ripe. The people must have been scared,
because within a week or two, they called and offered to buy
the lot. HH sold it to them for about 10x what it cost him to buy
it on the courthouse steps. I'm hoping he'll sell the other lots, just
to get rid of them. Oh, and our Mansion 10 acres, plus the new
10 acres that adjoin it that we bought from the LandStealer, plus
the boys' 10 acres up on the hill, come with separate tax bills. It
is a royal headache. Good thing I'm royalty. I'm about to get it
all straightened out.

Please excuse me. I really must get to shopping online. We don't
want the kiddies and the Mayor crying their eyes out on Christmas
morning, now do we?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

10 Tunes From HM

There is absolutely nothing to report from the Mansion today. The
most exciting thing that happened was that HH finally replaced the
4 AA batteries in the automatic shower-cleaning thingy. WooHoo!
I'm a woman of leisure again.

Since nothing is happening, I've decided to reward you with some
of my favorite song lyrics. Bet you won't know many of them.
NO FAIR googling, either!

1. Don't miss the diamonds along the way. Every road has led us
here today. Life is what happens while you're making plans. All
that you need is right here in your hand.

2. I keep waiting for you to forgive me. You keep saying you
can't even start. And I feel like a stone you have picked up and
thrown to the hard, rock bottom of your heart.

3. Changing horses in the middle of the stream gets you wet and
sometimes cold. Changing faces in the middle of a dream gets you old.

4. Don't go lookin' for anything new. Find you a used one that will
do. Things get better after several years of age. Don'tcha never buy
a new one and pay on time, if you can get a used one for a dime.
A book's no good till someone's turned the page.

5. If you live in a glass house don't throw stones. Don't shatter my
image till you look at your own. Look at your reflection in your house
of glass. Don't open my closet if you own's full of trash.

6. If you could read my mind, you might blush blood red. But then
again you might come over here instead...Judgin' from the cover,
I'd love to read the book. Honey do you love as good as you look?

7. Skippin' rocks...skippin' rope...laughin' at all my best friend's
jokes. Things I loved when I was a kid. Muddy roads...muddy feet
...I didn't live on no blacktop street. Things have changed a lot, but
I never did.

8. From the corners of the country, from the cities and the farms,
with years and years of livin' tucked up underneath their arms. They
walk away from everything just to see a dream come true, so God
bless the boys who make the noise on 16th Avenue.

9. No rings on her fingers, no bells on her toes. With bugs on
her headlights and runs in her hose. Through the valley of the shadow
of Roosevelt's nose...adios South Dakota, adios Sally Rose!

10. All alone I came into this world. All alone I will someday die.
Solid stone is just sand and water, baby. Sand and water, and a
million years gone by. I will see you in the light of a thousand suns,
I will hear you in the sound of the waves. I will know you when I
come, as we all will come, through the doors beyond the grave.

OK, that last one is not quite as morbid as it looks with no tune to
accompany it. It's really quite soothing. Take my word for it.

Here come the answers. It's OK. Most of them are country tunes.
And OLD ones, too. You weren't expected to know them. It's not
a quiz.

1. Sheryl Crow--Diamond Road. I know. It's not country.
2. Randy Travis--Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart
3. Dan Fogelberg--Changing Horses. Technically, folk--not country.
4. Ozark Mountain Daredevils--Horse Trader. C'mon. You knew
they would be included!
5. Dolly Parton--Shattered Image. Duh! How could Hillbilly Mom
write about her favorite lyrics and leave out The Divine Miss P?
6. Bellamy Brothers--Do You Love As Good As You Look.
7. Clay Walker--Live Until I Die
8. Lacey J. Dalton--16th Avenue
9. Emmylou Harris--Ballad of Sally Rose
10. Beth Nielson Chapman--Sand and Water

That now concludes HM's playlist listening for tonight.

Friday, November 17, 2006

An Award Winner

The boys and I went to see Flushed Away after school today. They
had already seen it, but wanted to see it again. I can see why. It was
much better than Open Season, their last favorite movie. A kid in my
class asked me the other day, "Why do you always go see kids'
movies?" Duh. Because I have kids. He did not go for this. "My mom
never takes my little brothers." Precisely. Perhaps my children won't
turn out like you.

Our Basementia building won an award this week! An award from
the technology coordinator. It's not really a good thing. This was
Safe EMailing Week or some such thing. Last week, we had lessons
in security. It seems that Mr. TechCo sent out some bogus emails,
and our building opened more of them than any other building. Here
now! Stop making fun of us! I can tell you the reason. The people
in those other buildings still communicate by tin cans and string. Just
this week, one of them came to me with his school email address
painstakingly printed on a scrap of paper, and asked, "Is this my
school email address?" He consulted me because I am wise beyond
my years in this newfangled information superhighway. We have
only been using the school email for about umm...5 YEARS NOW!
In fact, we are chastised for not using it in Basementia. We take
attendance on it. We must update our Homework Hotline daily.
We are encouraged check the email every hour for updates. The
last administrator chastised us if we even went online during class
time. The times they are a-changin'.

Anyhoo...the point I was getting at was our 'award'. We won the
SPAM award! That means there was free SPAM for all at lunch.
WooHoo! Are we lucky, or what? I did not sample any SPAM of
any kind. Allegedly, many people opened a personal message to
teachers from Bill Gates. Hmpf! I deleted it right away, just like I
did the first time I got it last year. Another one was about a free
two-week vacation to some exotic locale. Also deleted. And I did
not bother to see how to enlarge my p*nis, either. That was not
one of Mr. TechCo's bogus ones, but those crafty spammers can
not fool Hillbilly Mom! I don't mean to brag, but Hillbilly Mom's
p*nis does not need enlarging.

Nothing much is going on this weekend at the Mansion. I have a
stack of taxes to pay. A house to clean. Some fries to eat while
the kids bowl on Saturday. The shopping to do at The Devil's
Playground. About 7 loads of laundry. I'm thinking I may run out
of weekend before I run out of chores.

I'm glad HH is on diorama duty.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Dark Side

I distinctly remember telling one of you to check my biorhythm
chart a couple weeks ago. I can see that you listen about as well
as my students and my own personal children. Apparently, the ol'
in-the-basement biorhythm cycle is repeating itself. Yesterday was

The #1 son started the day by making us depart late for school.
As he climbed out of the large SUV, I asked if he had his homework.
"No. I didn't have any..." He panicked. "Give me the phone! Grandma
will go out and get it!" I grabbed the phone out of his sweaty little
hand. I was parked in the middle of the road, already running late,
and did not have time to hear him wheedling his grandma. I sent him
in, and called her myself on the way to drop off the other boy. She
said she would drive all the way to the Mansion and look for it, and
bring it to him by 11:00.

The copy machine I needed was booked up until 3 minutes before
the bell. I remembered upon reading the announcements that my
info for the December newsletter was due by the end of the day.
I waited an extra hour to eat lunch because it was Turkey Dinner
day at the Basementia building. They had saved two dinners for
me and my aunt, but they had put brown gravy all over the turkey
and mashed potatoes. I am not a gravy fan. I ate it anyway, which
was a big mistake, because that gravy was saltier than a smoked ham
encrusted with sea salt garnished with Spanish olives and floating in a
pool of brine. Within 30 minutes of eating, I felt deathly sick. Like
vomiting sick. I held it in for the final two classes. I made #2 son
have the vomit bowl ready for the drive home. I think I may have
picked up a touch of what hit him after the flu shot.

On the way home, we had to stop by The Devil's Playground for
some modeling clay and supplies for #2 son's Native American
diorama. I also bought a large Wal*Mart cheese pizza so I wouldn't
have to cook. I'm not so sure, but I think the Wal*Mart checker
flirted with me. She was a woman. #1 son whined about the pizza,
but in begging for money for the gameroom, cut a deal to eat pizza
in exchange for a dollar. Extortion. He also wanted a slushie, which
I didn't even want to think about, so I gave him money and walked
out with #2 boy.

#1 arrived at the large SUV and proceeded to climb in, knock the
lid off the slushie, pour it into my purse and onto his new coat all
at once. Upon arriving home, he declared he was not eating pizza,
but the leftover Chinese that he'd had on Tuesday night. He swore
he could warm it himself, but with visions of sweet & sour sauce
coating my microwave, I caved and did it for him. HH called to say
he would be running late, so #2 had a large cheese pizza to himself.
He ate three pieces, the promptly pooped his pants before sitting
down on the toilet. Hey! He WAS sick the day before. Gathering
the soiled clothing did not make my queasy stomach feel any better.
Go figure.

I remembered the newsletter info, and emailed it to the sponsor
around 8:00 p.m. Hey! It was due by the end of the day. The day
was not over until midnight.

We were supposed to get 1-3 inches of snow on grassy areas last
night. I knew we wouldn't, because it was forecast. We only get
snow when the weathermen say we won't. HH whacked me in the
back after two hours of deep sleep. Right between the shoulder
blades, four or five whacks. I don't count whacks so accurately
when I am coming out of a deep sleep. I hate it when that happens.
I was in the middle of a dream, too, about the Lobster-Eating
Stuntman Association, who wanted to rent out the school for their
awards dinner. I told them they couldn't because they planned to
serve alcohol. Next thing I know, a woman stuntman in a dress is
sliding headfirst down a flight of stadium stairs, laughing her head off.
I was about to chow down on a stringy-looking lobster lung-on-a-
stick when a stuntman said, "I wouldn't eat that if I were you." Then
the WHACK ATTACK upon my BACK occurred. I got up to
check on the kids, and when I came back to bed, HH was spouting
cold air out of his CPAP blowhole again. I propped a pillow over his
face--I mean between us--and tried to resume my lobster dream, but
all I got was Mabel's husband renting me a house with a leaky roof.
When I called to complain, he cheerfully agreed to bring over his
shopvac and clean up the mess. He sucked up about 6 inches of
water from the sky-blue area rug over my hardwood living room floor,
and when I asked what he was going to do about the roof, he said,
"I don't see any reason to do anything about it." Mabel, you need
to have a talk with him.

The chewingest dog had spent the night gnawing a deer haunch
on various locations about the porch, thumping her bounty to and fro.
This did not assist me in stalking the elusive ZZZZs. I woke up at
5:00 to find (surprise, surprise) no snow, but a lot of rain. HH
denied the backwhacking affair.

We made it to school without incident, where I related yesterday's
joke about me being soooo old. And a kid said, "Oh. We were told
you're SO OLD that your Social Security number is ONE."

I am trying to see the bright side. I have a family. I have a job. I have
a Mansion. And this afternoon, a student told me she thought my age
was 32.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Butt-Biting Lesson

Well, a certain Mr. Hamm has pointed out that all of you wishing
to say "I told you so" concerning the flu shot must take a number.
Indeed, I hope there are enough numbers in that little red tear-off
dispenser. If not, I will have to behave like the County Health Center
on Shot Clinic Day, and use a stack of cardboard cards with numbers
handwritten on them. And don't be cheering when you get #7, because
that only means we are going through the numbers again, and are
actually serving number 68 at the moment.

Yes, there were a few comments about the Demon Flu Vaccination.
I'm certainly not one of those people who the commenters revere,
speaking in hushed tones as they kiss my royal butt. Nope. None
of that here. People speak their minds. Why, even young Mr. Hamm
was kind enough to point out a couple of posts ago that I am not
a member of his generation. It seems as if he's ready to put me in
the Guiness Book of World Records as the oldest living hillbilly. You
can't hurt my feelings, Mr. Hamm. I am a teacher! Just today, a
young man told me, "You're so old...that I told you to act your age...
and you DIED!" Ha ha! Isn't that funny? I suppose I brought it all on
myself. Another kid had asked me if I had seen the movie Starsky
& Hutch. "No," I told him. "I am so old that I watched the TV show."
They were not impressed. Perhaps I should move to China, and let
a family adopt me. I hear the old are respected in that culture. They
would never take me for a Sunday drive and deposit me at a
nursing home.

Getting back to the original subject of people complaining about
the flu shot...Does it seem that my mind is wandering? Perhaps I'm
in the early stages of that Old Timer's Disease. Anyhoo, I knew
that y'all were already talking about how I should be stewing up
a big pot of crow for supper, what with bragging about how I've
protected my family from a possible influenza pandemic. I know
how you are. You are calling each other and whispering about how
HM doesn't know what she's talking about, and now that old flu
shot has come back to bite her in the butt. And while you're at it,
you're probably all planning to wear jeans tomorrow, with no
intention of telling me, and I will be the only one in slacks. Oh,
and you're probably planning to order out for lunch, and I will
have my roast-beef-on-whole-wheat-with-horseradish-mustard.
Then you'll all be meeting up for drinks after work, but I won't
get wind of it until after the fact, and then the excuse will be, "We
know you don't drink, HM, and you have those two little boys,
so we didn't think you'd want to come. We didn't mean anything
by it. Really."

Owwww! Something just bit me in the butt!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

HM's Pride Has Left The Building

OK, I hope you're all happy now. I took my boys for a flu shot, and
have had nothing but bad luck since then. First of all, my mom called
there yesterday to ask about the flu shots. She was told they had it,
and that I could bring the boys by after school today. This was the
same as I'd heard the one receptionist tell other people who called
while we were in the office last week.

We got there, and the snooty receptionist said, "Don't you have an
WE DIDN'T NEED ONE! She said there would be a wait. Yeah.
There is always a wait. Never mind that they have signs posted all
over the office telling you that if you are more than 15 minutes late
for your appointment, they will cancel it, but still bill you for it. Oh,
and on the same wall is a sign that says "Please bear with us if it you
have to wait awhile before being called, especially if it's 30 minutes
or more. We are giving our patients the best of care." This is my
kids' doctor because their old doctor gave up his family practice
to be an ER on-call doctor. Go figure. This was the only place taking
new patients back then. It's hard to live in the middle of nowhere.

We waited about half an episode of Leave It To Beaver, and then
went back to the exam room. #1 son had a little fit about not wanting
to go first. He was quite an embarrassment. The nurse told him,
"Don't jerk away!" She could see it in his eyes. He whimpered like
a schoolgirl having a lollipop ripped from her sticky fingers. The next
victim, #2 son, was a bit wary, but I told him he could squeeze my
hand. He was good, in spite of the evil #1 telling him just as the
needle was poised, "It REALLY hurts!"

Walking out to the car, #1 said his arm hurt. I told him that wouldn't
happen until the next morning. #2 windmilled his arm, showing off.
After the 10-minute drive home, #1 said his leg wouldn't work. It
was the leg on the opposite side of the shot. Then he said both his
legs felt weak. Then his chest hurt. Then he had a sudden headache.
I can't wait until I have to take him to get braces on his teeth.

Poor little #2 did not say a word. Then he ran into the bathroom and
vomited. It has happened 4 times now. When he got off the bus today,
he asked me to feel his head. It did not seem feverish to me. During
the 3rd round of vomiting, he broke out in a little sweat. I'm thinking
he was just worked up thinking about the shot all day. Oh, then there's
the matter of him falling down at school and banging his head on a ramp.
Yeah. Could he mention this when we were in the doctor's office without
an appointment? No! So now I don't know if he had a virus and should
never have gotten the flu shot today, or if he's reacting to the flu shot,
or if he has a concussion, or if he has bleeding in his brain from the fall.
He nodded off once after the first bout of vomiting. He doesn't have
ringing in his ears, and says he didn't get knocked out by the fall, and
says his eyes are working fine. I suppose he'll survive the night.

So there, all you flu vaccine naysayers! ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?
Have I been punished enough?

Call me when y'all get the flu.
It will be my turn to say I TOLD YOU SO.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Flu Sandwich Sweatshirt Christian

I am taking the boys to get flu shots after school tomorrow. Shh...
they don't know yet. I will tell them we are going on a little ride.
Which always makes me think of a story my Hillbilly Mama told
me. A friend of hers had a friend who was quite elderly. The little
old lady was excited because her son and his family were coming
by to take her for a ride on Sunday. She talked about it all week.
Sunday came, and they showed up. They loaded her into the car
and took off. They drove her to a nursing home and left her. So
much for the 'ride'. Doesn't that make you want to cry? If not, the
thought of a flu shot should make you cry. I got several comments
about Demon Flu Shot last time I wrote about it.

Last Friday, HH stayed home from work to pick up the returning
veteran son at Reavis Barracks. He always throws things off when
he's home. He has taken to staying in bed until we leave for school,
because he creates such a disruption. Well, he can even disrupt the
morning routine from bed. I forgot my lunch, for the first time all
year. I called HH on the way to school and asked if he could bring
it to me. It was just a roast beef sandwich, not a leg of lamb or
anything. HH agreed. Good ol' HH. Sometimes he does do something
right. He arrived with the sandwich, and came in the back door and
then to my room. Good thing he wasn't an intruder. He asked if he
could use the bathroom before he left, but I told him no, to wait until
he got to Wal*Mart. No need to tempt fate. The kids get scared
when there is a strange man in their bathroom.

As soon as HH left, I remembered that I wanted him to get orange
sweatshirts for the boys. It is deer hunting season, you know. If they
wanted to play outside over the weekend, I wanted people to know
they were not deer cavorting on the grounds of the Mansion. HH
said he would get them. I gave him the sizes. That was the last I
thought of it until Saturday. HH said they were going down in the
woods with the vet and his other son. I told him to get the orange
sweatshirts. "I didn't get them sweatshirts. They were $17!" Umm...
yes, that's about the price of any sweatshirt right now. "I wasn't
spending that much money for something they wouldn't wear again.
I got them sock caps and velcro vests." Which of course they are
going to wear again. I can hear it now...."Moooooommmmm!
Where did you put my orange velcro vest? I was planning to wear
it to school today!"

It is the time of year again when I will be busy as a beaver. I suppose
beavers are busy, because you never see them running through the
fields like deer and turkey, or smashed on the road like possums.
I have 6 semester finals to create in the next month. I have to clean
out my Writing-Across-the-Curriculum notebook and put in 9 new
entries. Oh, but first I have to decide on the writing prompts. We
have an early out day again next week for Thanksgiving. We don't
flip the schedule on that day, but I hear the lunch times will be moved
up. Which makes me curious, because my class goes to lunch 20
minutes after I arrive at that building. Then there's the business of
my 25 lesson plans per week. Thank the Gummi Mary that I have
one class who brings their work to me. Or else it would be 30 of
those pesky thingamajigs per week. I must remember to show up
for my ticket-selling duty that is the same night as #2 son's Christmas
Program. Only I thought they weren't supposed to call it 'Christmas'
anymore, just like Halloween is now 'Fall Festival'. They can't sing
any recognizable Christmas carols, which kind of takes the Christmas
spirit right out of me. Funny thing is...the program he brought home
proclaims "Kookaburra's Christmas Down Under". So there is still
the mention of Christmas. That seems like the pot calling the kettle
'Christian' to me, but they don't ever consult me on these things.
Go figure!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Deers and Fears

The boys have been out in the woods deer hunting all day. By 'woods',
I mean our backyard. And our sideyard. We have 20 acres here at the
Mansion. That is really not big enough for 5 people to deer hunt. "We
all stayed together," explained HH. Yes. I'm sure it was quiet enough
to hear a deer fart with HH, his two older sons, and our #1 and #2
boys all sitting together.

Last night, HH, the returning veteran, and our two little boys had a
cookout down by the A-frame cabin HH built many years ago. I have
yet to figure out how the 4 of them ate 14 hot dogs.

This morning, #1 son and the vet went up to our other 10 acre lot.
They didn't stay long. Needless to say, no deer were harmed in the
writing of this post.

In the continuing saga of my 'haunted' Mansion...Last Sunday, after
I returned from the casino weekend, I was in the basement watching
TV while #1 son tried to hit me with a paper airplane. I don't get no

The boy chased his plane over by the door to HH's workshop.
"Eeeeeeee! Did you hear that, Mom?" he squealed in his high girlish
voice. We never know if it will be that voice, or the kind of possessed
sounding deep voice. He's that age, you know. "Hear what?" I said.
"In Dad's workshop! It was like somebody crinkling up a piece of
foil." I had heard nothing. "You're just imagining things. Go in there
and see if the back door is closed and locked." He did not want to.
"No. There's something in there." I persuaded him to open the door,
turn on the light, and walk across the room to check the outside door.
It was locked.

The boy went upstairs to take his medicine and get ready for bed. He
came back down to torment me some more. By now, it was almost
9:30. HH was gone to Fort Leonard Wood to see the arrival of the
returning veteran son. We heard walking upstairs in the kitchen, right
over our heads. "What was your brother doing, getting a snack?" I
asked. "Noooo...he's asleep on the couch." We looked at each other.
"Do you hear that?" I asked. "Yes." I told him his dad must have come
back early, instead of staying the night. "Go up and see." He was
having none of that. "NO! I'm not going up there." We heard more
walking for about 5 minutes. Then is stopped. "He must have gone
to bed. Go see if that was him." Since there was no more walking,
the boy ran upstairs and looked out the door. He came back. "No,
it wasn't Dad. His truck is still gone."

It didn't help that I was watching that Celebrity Paranormal Projec
on VH1, the old people's channel. The were going into an old prison
to try to contact the old warden who had put a lot of people to death.
One guy was supposed to sit in the electric chair and try to talk to
the warden's spirit.

The boy went up to bed. He has quit sleeping on the basement couch.
I changed the channel to the Food Network. A couple days later, I
told him I knew what time he went to bed, because I heard him
walking. "It was 9:40. I heard you walking in the bathroom and your
room." He said, "Yeah. That's about right. I thought you might have
heard those footsteps again. Just as I was walking into my room, I
heard a noise in the hall by the bathroom. It was like a 'whoosh' sound."
Okaaay. I don't know what to think of that. I asked him if it might have
sounded like the water faucet turned on, and water running in the sink.
He said maybe. I have heard footsteps, the toilet lid, peeing, and a
failed flush attempt in that bathroom, while I was upstairs about 20 feet
away. Both boys were asleep in their beds at the time, and HH was
at work. I don't know what to make of this noise situation again.

In my mom's house, when we were kids, we heard walking upstairs
all the time, in my mom and dad's bedroom. It started at the hall, and
walked across to the bathroom in the corner. My dad used to come
home for lunch, and said he would even run upstairs, thinking someone
had broken into the house while we were gone to school. My mom
says she has not heard those footsteps since my dad died. Perhaps the
phantom walker has relocated.

I suppose there are no bathrooms in the afterlife.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

When she saw what she had done, she gave herself forty-one.

Let's try some more Q & A. Nobody reads on the weekends, anyway.
Except my loyal, non-imaginary friend, Mabel.

When she saw what she had done, she gave herself forty-one...
more questions.

40 More...Plus One For The Rhyme

1. Christmas tree: pine or cedar?
Pine. My grandma used to run a Scotch Pine tree farm.

2. Name two dumb things you did as a kid.
Used an umbrella as a parachute to jump off a picnic table, and
used a pillowcase as a sleeping bag. Hey! I was playing paratrooper.

3. What foods did your mom used to make that you will never, ever cook.
Salmon cakes and creamed-tuna-on-toast.

4. Describe the place you go to in your head when you need to calm down.
An air mattress in the baking sun at Monsanto lake.

5. Have you ever seen a ghost, or something you can't explain?
Yep. A headless man in my basement.

6. If money and image didn't matter, what would you do for a living?
Write stories and draw pictures. Pencil only...I don't do color.

7. Did you ever fall off a horse and get right back on?
Yes, my cousin's pony, Sugarfoot. Hey! I was riding bareback,
and he ran up a hill!

8. What name did you call a sibling that was sure to start a fight?

9. Describe the events surrounding your first alcoholic drink.
Cruising Main Street, three of us stopped at Sonic and got a cup
of ice for a beer given to us by some older guys. One beer, poured
on ice. Three girls. You figure the BAC.

10. Have you ever had a wild animal as a pet?
Yes, a quail that my dad couldn't quite kill. I think it died of fright
after about three days.

11. Do you have a deep, dark, secret?
Yes. Doesn't everybody?

12. Would you ever shoot a deer?
No. I have no desire to, but I'll eat one if someone else shoots it.

13. Do you return money if you get too much change?
Sometimes, if the people are nice.

14. What puzzles you?
Why women stay with abusive boyfriends/husbands.

15. How do/did you act toward a person you have/had a crush on?
Ignored him. Yeah. I am SO thirteen years old.

16. What makes you cry?
Kids getting hurt physically or emotionally.

17. What's the best bargain you ever bought at a yard sale?
A Wilson really-good-model fielder's glove, worth about $200,
for $5.

18. How much wood can a woodchuck chuck?
A woodchuck can't chuck wood.

19. If nobody is watching, would you run a stop sign?

20. Do you believe in Hell?
No. Why??? Do you think I'm going there?

21. What material possession do you value most?
Pictures of friends and family.

22. Which day is better...Friday or Sunday?

23. Do you read a book more than once?
Yes, if I like it. I read it many times, as the mood strikes me.

24. What is the greatest problem with today's society?
Lack of accountability

25. How old were you when you first touched somebody else's hoohah?
Twelve. A neighbor, in my grandpa's basement. Shh... It was mutual.

26. Would you ever skydive?

27. Name 3 songs significant to your romantic life, and tell why.
Goodbye, Stranger--Supertramp. It woke me up after a romantic
liason. No. It was NOT with a stranger!

Tuesday's Gone--Lynyrd Skynyrd. A good sad song for that
depression after a breakup.

You Never Even Called Me By My Name--David Allan Coe.
This was HH's favorite song when we first met.

28. Would you ever have plastic surgery?
Nope. What you see is what you get.

29. Does bigfoot/sasquatch/yehti exist?
No. We would have found more tangible evidence after all these years.

30. Are you a follower or a leader?

31. What's the worst thing you did when you were a kid?
Threw a rock and hit a kid in the head while he was riding his bicycle.
He bled like a stuck pig.

32. List three jobs you would never want to do.
Clean out city sewer tunnels, coroner, stewardess.

33. Coke or Pepsi?
Coke. Sonic Cherry Diet.

34. Where would you live if you could move your family, friends, and job there?
Springfield, Missouri.

35. Is three really a crowd?
Depends on what you are doing. Maybe yes, maybe no.
Sometimes, three are stooges.

36. What kind of interpersonal interaction repulses you?
Hugs from non-family

37. Who would you rather spend an hour with, a writer or an entertainer?
Writer, to ask where he/she got the ideas for the story

38. Which calendar appeals to you: Nature's Wonders, Amazing
Architectural Feats,
Babies as Vegetables, Hot Hunky Construction
Workers, Humane Society Cuties?
Nature's Wonders

39. What would you do if life gave you lemons?
First of all, I would probably say, "Life, you m*****f****r!
I don't want no stinkin' lemons--I want cash! Then I would buy
some limes to go with my lemons, and make some type of vodka
slushy alcoholic drink for my friends to enjoy poolside.

40. Do you believe in love at first sight?
No. That's just physical attraction.

41. Did you ever wish on a falling star, and have the wish come true?
Yep. I am enchanted, methinks.

Friday, November 10, 2006

HM Plays 40 Questions

Here's a little thingy that's been making the rounds at school. What?
You think we spend all day teaching? Sometimes we find time for
that. Between thingies, and practical joking and snack-eating and
griping. We have our priorities in order.

Forty Questions

1. What is your occupation?
Purveyor of unwanted knowledge
2. What color are your socks right now?
Black. I am partial to 1950s pr0n style fashion.
3. What are you listening to right now?
Silence. Blessed silence.
4. Last thing that you ate?
Terrible Tater.
5. Can you drive a stick shift?
Oh, yeah...if it's big, like a jeep. Not so much if it's an itty bitty
Ford Escort, because I can't find the gears.
6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
7. Last person you spoke to on the phone?
Husband. Mine.
8. Do you like the person who sent this to you?
9. How old are you today?
To quote Brittany Murphy in Don't Say a Word: "I'll never tell."
And I'm singing it in that creepy voice, too.
10. Favorite drink:
Water and Sonic Cherry Diet Coke. Not mixed together.
11. What is your favorite sport to watch?
12. Have you ever dyed your hair?
Of course. Buy stock in L'Oreal. I even dyed it when I was
pregnant. What's the big deal about a little flipper arm, or three
eyes? At least I looked OH SO PRETTY while I was pregnant.
13. Favorite curse word?
M.....f......r !!!
14. Pets?
Dogs, cats
15. Favorite food?
16. What was the last movie you watched?
Thank You For Smoking
17. Favorite day of the year?
Christmas Eve
18. What do you do to vent anger?
Call people and throw things.
19. What was your favorite toy as a child?
My stable of Breyer model horses. I even sewed blankets for
them. Because the world is a cold and lonely place.
20. What is your favorite Fall or Spring?
21. Hugs or kisses?
Kisses. I've even been told I'm very good at them. Stop gagging.
A simple "That's too much information" would suffice.
22. Cherry or Blueberry?
Cherry. Who ever heard of a Blueberry Diet Coke?
23. Do you want your friends to email you back?
Yes, unless they are ragging about something.
24. Living arrangements?
Me, #2 son, #1 son, HH, and HH's CPAP machine, which
insists on blasting me with a cold air stream each night, making
me want to jerk a knot into HH's hose. The CPAP hose, too.
25. When was the last time you cried?
About 30 minutes ago. I told you the world is a cold and lonely
place. Pay attention!
26. What is on the floor of your closet?
Boxes of clothes that I plan to go through and take to Goodwill.
I've had that plan for about 8 years now.
27. Who's the friend you've had the longest that you're sending this to?
Bean. But I might not send this to anybody, so it's N/A.
28. What did you do last night?
A little blogging, a little TV, a little word search with my
befuddled son, fell asleep during the 2nd half of ER.
I love bowling night.
29. Favorite smells?
Christmas trees, rain, a freshly shampooed baby's head
30. What inspires you?
People who appreciate me
31. What are you afraid of?
Heights, deep water, 6 lanes of traffic, seeing headless men
in my basement
32. Country you would most like to visit?
33. Favorite dog breed?
34. Number of keys on your key ring?
5 home, 5 school
35. How many years at your current job?
36. How many states have you lived in?
37. Favorite holidays:
Christmas and Thanksgiving
38. Ever driven a Motorcycle or heavy machinery?
I think not
39. What's your favorite saying?
People piss me off!
40. Where did you get the chair you're sitting on right now?
Christmas gift from HH, who got it at Office Max

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A Little of This

I am a bit perturbed with my free Blogger and my free Gmail. They
are not working nearly as hard as I am. Slackers! Last night, Blogger
comments went haywire, and tonight, Gmail shut me down once, and
then wigged out on me the next time.

Sandwiched between these little slices of Hillbilly Mom's Law is the
big bad dial-up connection showing me who's boss. I had to keep
switching dial-up numbers last night to get on. Tonight, I have hit the
trifecta, as all three services are pissing me off! And it's my only TV
night...Survivor, something, and ER. I never know what the something
will be. I'm leaning toward the Travel Channel or Food Network or
MTV or DiscoveryHealth Channel. I never know what's on, but I
can find something. I sometimes watch half of CSI, but that kind of
defeats the purpose, as I either solve the crime, or find out what we're
investigating, but not both.

OK, I take that back. I enjoy some Sunday night TV, too. I'm entitled.
I lived in poverty for two hours yesterday! I found out that Mabel took
over the single mom head of household duty when I was abducted to
play Mr. S's 19-year-old live-in girlfriend. I told Mabel she must not
have been a good parent, because it looked like somebody called
1-800-BAD-MOM on her. I saw her 'teenage kids' locked up.
Mabel swore that she was framed. She was homeschooling her kids,
and even had a note from the DFS, but that snoopy Chief of Police
(the principal) came and took them away. After that, Mabel didn't
bother to go get them, because she figured that they had 3 meals a
day and a place to sleep. Mabel then proceeded to sell the candy
in her pocket as drugs for $10 a piece. Three of the coaches bought.

In other news, my stepson home from two years in Iraq has a job at
Fort Leonard Wood training recruits in explosives. He says he was
promoted to E6, and has signed a two-year contract, with a house
provided for him. He is excited that he can't be sent anywhere for
two years. He says he thinks he used up most of his 9 lives. He will
be home from Ft LW tomorrow, and has until Dec. 7 to report back.
His plans include hunting, fishing, and doing not much of nothin'.

I don't have much else to report, as HH hasn't done anything
newsworthy except break his cell phone again. This is the second
one in two years. Mine is still plugging away. The #1 son has a new
laptop which keeps him occupied. The #2 son spent heavily at
the Book Fair, and has been reading a giant book about 4 inches
thick since yesterday. He is half-way through it, so I suppose that
report saying he reads on 9th grade, 5th month level was accurate.
Not too shabby for an 8-year-old. My lively DoNots have been
out of commission, either absent, in ISS, or OSS.

We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

My Life of Poverty

Today was the big Poverty Simulation for the faculty. I know my
way around some poverty, what with being a teacher before Missouri
established a minimum salary, and having worked for the state division
of unemployment. We were constantly referring people to other
agencies when they could not draw benefits for three weeks after
signing up. So I had a clue as to how the world operates for the

We began by chosing a group of chairs to sit in. Mabel, her Math
Cohort, and I chose a group that had a single mother and two teenage
children. We weren't supposed to snoop, but Mabel is a bit inquisitive.
Mabel elected me the mom, she took on the persona of a 16 year old
with a drug-dealing boyfriend, and MC was a 14-year-old boy. I was
thanking the Gummi Mary that my offspring would not need daycare.
I also told Mabel that if money was tight, I was planning to wh@re
her out for some cold hard cash.

But wait! That was not to be. Imagine the sound of a needle screeching
across a 33rpm record. You know...a vinyl record, on a stereo. What
people used to buy Elvis's music on. OK. I was ripped from my happy
family in the following manner: "It's time to start. One person from each
family stand up." (I did, because I was the adult, and responsible for
my household.) "Now the people standing need to move to another
group." Lucky for me, Mr. S was in the market for a 19-year-old
live-in girlfriend. I joined his happy family. I was lucky to have him,
what with him holding down a full-time job even with his prison record,
and having a car that needed constant repair. I needed him, too, for
his $900 per month (what wasn't withheld to pay for his illegitimate
child), and as a daddy for my 1-year-old (played quite convincingly
by my Trivia partner, Mr. H).

To go to any of the agencies, or work, or the Bank, the Pawn Shop,
the Store, the Daycare, pay bills, etc. we had to have a transportation
pass. So I had to drag my 'child' with me everywhere, and cough up a
pass for him as well. Passes cost $1 apiece. My 'boyfriend' had to
have FIVE so he could work all week. Oh, and he had to go sit 'at
work' while I spent the day stumping about town trying to beg more
benefits and track down the deadbeat dad of my 'child'.

We started with $0. Even my first family had some cash on hand. Not
us. I sent Mr. S off to work, which left me with only 3 passes. I went
first to the Action Agency, and inquired about help with utilities, and
childcare. After waiting in line for 10 minutes, the lady took my info
and gave me a form for childcare. She also tipped me off that my EBT
card was as good as cash at the Bank. Meanwhile, the other mothers
in line screeched that my 'son' had soiled himself, and they could smell
him. I turned around and told one of them to mind her own business,
or I would gladly kick her a$$. She complied.

Next stop was the DFS, because the line at the Bank was too long.
They refused to help me, since I only had one transportation pass. I
was told to go to the Quick Stop to buy more. I pleaded that I didn't
have any money, and could not buy any. They didn't care. Off we
went to the Pawn Shop to sell the TV for $50, and then on to the
Quick Stop. While waiting in line behind our basketball coach, who
was an 85-year-old woman on SSI, my 'son' stole a giant stack of
transportation passes. I mean, like a stack 4 inches high. About 100
of them. He said, "Look, Mommy. I find." We got out of there quick.
He's quite advanced, my 1-year-old!

We proceeded to the bank, where I offered to sell people the passes
for $5 each. "No way!" they barked. "They only cost $1 at the Quick
Stop." And I replied, "Then go stand in line at the Quick Stop." Oh,
my boys' kindergarten teacher was soon singing another tune, as she
could not get service at the bank without a pass. She asked for two
at $1 apiece. "Oh, noooo...the price is $5." A family member told
her, "Take them. We can't wait in this line again." She promised to
pay me after her check was cashed. She did. Then the band teacher,
who had cut in line ahead of me, saw the light, and also bought two
tickets for $10.

The bank people were going to turn me away. They had never heard
of giving cash for the EBT. I told them the Action Agency lady sent
me, so they looked at their rule card. "Why, you can get cash. The
students never get this far when they play the game." I asked for a
sucker for my 'son', and one of the tellers gave him two TicTacs. I
blessed her, saying, "Now I don't have to feed him today." All that
sugar made my boy hyper, so he laid down on the floor and threw a
kicking, screaming fit. The Chief of Police, (our principal) came over
to ask if I needed help in dealing with him. I assured him the boy was
only 1, and had these tantrums all the time. He walked away, with my
boy screaming, "Daddy! Daddy!" Which reminded me...I needed to
go have DFS track down the deadbeat dad. After procuring cash for
my EBT card, I went to buy a month's worth of groceries, and pay
the utilities. I made them give me a receipt, because I don't trust

On the way to DFS, I stopped by a family and offered them some
transportation passes for $.50 apiece. They were glad to get them.
In the DFS line, my 'son' grabbed some passes the people in front
of us had just paid. The worker tried to grab them. "Give them back!"
I told her to step off. "Lady, you'd better not be accusing my child of
stealing passes! We don't need your stinkin' passes!" I pulled the
stack of 100 out of my pocket. Her eyes widened. "I've never seen
anybody do that!" Since she was flustered, I moved on down the line.
"Oh, and you already have our two transportation passes."
She agreed.

While I talked to the DFS worker, my 'son' had stolen $5 from the
MR teacher, who was herself a child. I put it in my pocket. She
screamed that I took her money. I told her I was calling the police,
since she was obviously an unattended child. She snatched the money
out of my shirt pocket and ran! With that, I turned to the DFS worker
and named the Chief of Police as my baby daddy.

Then time was up, but they extended it by 5 minutes, and my new
boyfriend, Mr. S, had time to pay the rest of the rent. We survived
the month, and had a giant stack of transportation passes to boot.

I don't know how Mabel fared, but I believe she became the single
mom after I left, because I saw her two 'kids' locked up for some
such reason.

I do not know that I learned anything. I know from working at the
unemployment office that people get sent here and there, and get
the runaround if they don't have all the information needed on the
forms. But I think some people found out things they didn't know
about living in poverty.

Oh, and the 85-year-old woman passed on at 3:15, just as
basketball practice began.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

HM Demands Her Right To Vote

Somebody check my biorhythm chart, quick! There must be a reason
that my life is not running smooth right now. Perhaps it's because I
neglect the 'ly' on my adverb usage. Pardon me while I whine a bit
more. I didn't have enough time yesterday. Let me elaborate.

After a day that was pretty much a Groundhog Day of yesterday,
I went to vote. Oh, that was after I picked up some medicine, after
turning around to go back for it because I forgot. When I arrived
at the church basement to vote, the blue-hairs told me I was not on
the rolls. AGAIN! That happened in the last election. I had to step
aside like somebody asking for fresh food at a fast-food drive-thru,
and fill out a change of address form even though my address hasn't
changed in the last 9 years. Oh, that was after a blue-hair typed in
my info on a tiny little keyboard hooked up to a PDA, and found
that I WAS listed there, but they didn't know why I was left off the
rolls. In the meantime, somebody swiped my pen that I had laid on
the check-in table. Then I had to wait in line to vote on the machine,
not a regular ballot, because my son is all about the technology, and
I think it's good for him to see a voting situation. Of course the man
using the machine took about 15 minutes, and the lady between us
said, "I'm taking a ballot, it will be quicker." She was right. I finally
got my turn, and patriotically cancelled out my husbands votes. HH
shall rue the day of women's sufferage.

After preparing my children a nutritious meal of frozen school-fund-
raiser pizza dipper, I heated up some chicken wings for HH and
myself. Upon eating them, I bit into my thumb. It DIDN'T taste like
chicken, just in case you were wondering.

Sometime between last night and this afternoon, some critter bit me
in the bendy part of my right elbow. I hope it wasn't a brown recluse,
as those guys really need to get out more, and perhaps then they
wouldn't be so inclined to rot the flesh of unsuspecting humans. I don't
know when it happened, but since I didn't notice it this morning, and
I didn't notice any big-a$$ spiders crawling on my appendages, I
suspect it was something in the coat that I put on for bus duty today.
Yes. The everyday joys of Hillbilly Mom never end.

I am OH SO TIRED of hearing students complain about their cell
phones. They used to be totally banned from the building. Now, they
must remain unseen and unheard. (The cell phones, not the students,
but oh, what a wonderful world it would be if we were talking about
those pesky students!) If not, the teacher is to take the phone away
and turn it in to the office. Then the kid has to ask the principal to get
it back. The next time, the parent must come to reclaim the phone.
These 9th graders are just not playing with a full deck, methinks. If
your cell phone goes off, and the teacher tells you to bring it up to the
desk, it does not behoove you to say, "What cell phone? That's not
mine." And then pull it out of your pocket to peep at it. Because that
teacher is gonna be hoppin' mad, what with your shenanigans, and you
are only making it worse for yourself. That's the story I heard from my
2nd hour class this morning. Then I saw that the phonee in question
had two days of ISS added to the one I'd already been notified about.

What makes these kids think it is their RIGHT to whip out that
phone whenever they desire? Are they thinking, "Those rules apply
to everybody else, but not me. I am special." What would a school
be like if everybody was allowed to whip out their phones willy-nilly
and chat at any time? How would one of these kids feel if a teacher
whacked them for not doing what they were told, and then said,
"I'm not going by that stupid rule of not hitting students! My dad
told me that if any kid ever smarted off to me, I could hit him. And
if anybody complains, my dad will be up here." Yeah. That's the
logic the kids use. I have not had to cross that cell-phone bridge
yet, but I know it's on my journey to the end of the year.

Tomorrow is backwards day. Not backwards as in 'wear your
clothes backwards for spirit week'. Nope. Backwards, as in 'go
to 7th hour during first hour, 6th hour during second hour', etc.
I am not thrilled about it. It throws off my traveling schedule. The
reason for our early out tomorrow is The Poverty Simulation. The
kids do it each year. Now it is our turn.

Mabel has been quizzing her kids about it. The best she can tell,
you need to be really good at poverty to succeed. The kids told
her to be sure to buy a gun, and to sell meth. And to check every
agency, because some can really help you. Yep. That info is a bit
sketchy. Mabel wants to know if we can bring our own guns, in
case they run out of guns to sell. Not real guns, you silly people!
That's pretty much against the law here in Missouri, even with that
right-to-carry issue. We even have signs all around the school
prohibiting firearms. I hope the kids are not pranking Mabel. I
don't think so. We shall see what comes of teachers playing

Perhaps I can draw on my experience of making $8700 per YEAR
during my second year of teaching. I was so poor, I had to walk to
school. That meant I had to walk through the drive-thru lane of the
bank to deposit my paycheck once per month. Did you know that
car exhaust is really unhealthy to inhale from a distance of three feet?
And that Cream of Wheat is not exactly the breakfast of champions,
especially when you have to eat it every morning for 184 school days?

Take my word for it.