Saturday, September 30, 2006

HM Attracts Another Loony

I had a big ol' gripey 'Wal*Mart, The Devil's Playground' post
running through my head for this evening. It was all outlined and
spell-checked and jacked-up with some cool italics. But then I
pushed my cart (please ignore my boys' opinion that I use it as a
walker, not for carting merchandise) full of Halloween fun, food,
and cool-weather-clothing-that-fits-my-children out into the
parking lot.

I really must be more observant. I clicked open the airplane-hanger
door of my large SUV, and started fitting things in. It didn't help
that I had two coolers in there. We don't exactly live next door to
the Devil's Playground, you know. After stuffing in the last item,
a man appeared next to me and said, "I'll take that." I thought it
was the cart-return guy. But then I really looked at him, and he
was neither 16 nor 65 years of age. He was not wearing a blue
Wal*Mart vest. I was parked right next to a cart return thingy,
and it was full. The man pushed the cart about 3 feet for me. He
had long light-brown hair, about to his armpits. He wore a tan
T-shirt and jean shorts and work boots. He was smoking. I am
telling you all this because I memorized it for a police description.
Just in case.

The man stood for a moment, talking to me. "I'm waiting on my
brother. He went in just to get a bag of salad. We're having
lasagna tonight. Now he's been gone 30 minutes. He already
spent over $100. He's buying clothes!"

I told him there were some bargains in there. I, myself, bought a
couple of $5 shirts.

The man said, "Yeah. I got a pair of painter's shorts for $6. Then
I bought some vitamins. I can't believe I rode along with him to
get lettuce and it cost me $14."

I told him that wasn't too bad, that I sent my husband to the store
one time, and he spent $35 without getting ONE thing on the list
I gave him. With that, the man moved to the other side of the cart
return and leaned against his car. I'm guessing it was his brother's
car. I got in and closed my door, clicked on the seatbelt, and took
off. I am now finding this episode kind of creepy. Oh, it's not as
creepy as when Colleen was approached by that man when she
went birdwatching, but for me it's kind of creepy.

What is it with me doing the marketing that brings out the crazies?
Sure, this guy didn't follow me and touch my arm, declaring that I
was SO PRETTY, like that woman in the Save-A-Lot on New
Year's Day. But why did he approach me? I never carry my purse
in Wal*Mart. I leave it safely in the car (!) because there was a
rash of purse-grabbings in Wal*Mart parking lots a while back.
I know it's not my gorgeous looks. I just got a haircut a Great
Clips on Wednesday. And if that doesn't tell you enough, let me
elaborate. My lovely lady-mullet has now been fashioned into
a Prince Valiant do. Yeah. I'm smokin' hot, I am.

Methinks this man perhaps partook of the crystal meth. He looked
like Sam Elliott in that Mask movie, the one with Eric Stolz as that
big-headed freak and Cher as his druggie mom. What did he want?
To pass the time? To invite me to his gourmet meal of bagged salad
and lasagna? Maybe I should start wearing my wedding ring to
discourage people from coming up to me in stores and parking lots.
Or make sure my loud, annoying children are always with me.
Today was just a bit too creepy. I had even left my cell phone at
home. Not on purpose. Hillbilly Mom is getting senile. I had three
plastic swords in my card, for #2 son to choose for his Ninja
costume. I might have been able to defend myself with one of
them. Or I could have picked up my 12-roll pack of Charmin
Ultra with Aloe, and shouted, "I have the sh*ts! Stay back!"
I must be a Loony magnet. I must plan ahead for the next

Hillbilly Mom. Her pheromones are OH SO POWERFUL.

Friday, September 29, 2006

A One And A Two

Don't go stealing my boy. The little sweet one, the #2 son. He has
been Ident-A-Kidded. He is the one I worry about. He talks to
strangers. They all say, "He's so sweeeeeeet!" He had the Great
Clips girl in stitches the other day. The Save-A-Lot lady called
him a Handsome Helper last weekend. Tonight, he charmed one
of the waitresses at a local wings restaurant (the poor man's
Hooters) into watching him play that grab-stuffed-animals-with-
a-hook-thingy game. She clapped when he won a little bear.
He's a charmer, by cracky.

I don't want anyone to steal the older boy, either, but I don't worry
about him. Like The Ransom of Red Chief, he would be returned.
Quickly. The first thing he would do was tell a kidnapper how to
drive. And insist he wear his seatbelt. Then he would probably
spout out the latest statistics on children being recovered from
kidnappers. For good measure, he would discuss the pros and
cons of the kidnapper's weapon of choice, and ask what kind of
gas mileage the vehicle got, and did the kidnapper ever consider
subscribing to OnStar. I might even make a profit if I hold out for
some cash before saying I'll take him back.

After bowling this weekend, #2 son wants to go to a greenhouse
that has been advertising a haunted house with a Pirates of the
Caribbean theme. He also wants to see the 700-pound pumpkin.
I don't know about the hayride to the pumpkin field, the bobbing
for apples, or the build your own scarecrow. I volunteer HH to
take him. He needs some quality time with the boy.

#1 son got his school pictures and a progress report containing last
year's MAP scores. That's a Missouri test that all students must
take. Everything we teach is geared toward the MAP. Anyhoo,
I must brag about my boy. He had the top score in his grade for
Communication Arts. He scored in the 99th percentile nationally,
which is pretty darn good. Four people beat him in math, which
is good for him, because he won't go thinking he's such a genius
now. A genius who forgot his lunch card and beverage money
yesterday, and had to get a new card made to avoid the 'loser
table' and drink strawberry milk instead of pink lemonade (which
is allowed instead of soda, thanks to the 3% juice content). Yeah.
My boy inspected the label to see if the school is meeting the new
federal healthy lunch requirements. He thinks not, but he is not
going to say anything, lest they take away the magical sugary elixir.

Enough about them. Tomorrow this blog will return to its regularly
scheduled content. Which is ALL ABOUT ME!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Hillbilly Mom Ain't Nobody's Fool

Next week is the beginning of October. That means two faculty
meetings for me. And a payday. That is how my world is measured
out. In three weeks it will be the end of 1st Quarter. I told you the
school year was almost over!

My boy did not get elected to Student Council. He doesn't seem
mind very much. One of his teachers asked about him today.
"How is he taking it?" I told her he didn't seem to care. "He should
have made it," she said. That's my boy. He's an adult-pleaser. The
kids want the clowns, or their friends, elected. My boy is not in
band, and he's not in sports, so there are fewer kids in his circle
of friends. He understands that. And I know kids at this age. I'm
glad I prepared him ahead of time.

The cats left us a special gift on the porch this morning. A baby mole.
At first, we thought it was a mouse, but it was too big to be one of
our variety of field mice. Also, it was lacking the long mousy tail,
and had funny feet. It was very dead. It was still there when we got
home. I suppose I'll have to be the one to go kick it off the porch.
Nobody else can make a decision around here. Hillbilly Mom's
work is never done.

This is HH's bowling night, which to the boys means: FAST FOOD!
They chose McDonald's. The girl tried to hand me a soda, and I told
her, "The lid's not on." To which she snapped, "I know that." Well,
then, Little Miss Smarty-Pants Minimum-Wage Worker, why did
you try to shove it out the window at me? Is that the new procedure
at this fine establishment that made the news two years ago for
serving a hamburger with crystal meth powdered between the
burger and bun to a local law enforcement officer? Because if it
is, then I think I'll drive my business two stores down to Sonic.
You deserve a break today, LMSPMWW. In your left ulna.

I can't get away from the people pissing me off. The students must
smarten up soon. They must learn that they can't fool Mrs. Hillbilly
Mom. This is what happens when I get students new to me. They
don't know the ropes. For example, you don't try to tell Mrs. HM
that she graded your paper wrong after Mrs. HM has just gone
over the correct answers on the board. "Look. I got this one right."
After first asking, "You didn't write that negative sign in there when
I went over it, did you?" Mrs. HM inspected the paper more
closely. She erased the negative sign, which was drawn quite
heavily, and found underneath it a RED negative sign. Which
she writes on the paper to show why the answer is wrong, and
to prevent such a scenario from happening. "Look here. I put
that there to show you that the answer should have been negative.
Don't tell me again that you didn't change an answer, because I
will know."

Oh, and then there's the class who thought it would be funny to
goof around during the reading of the classic Tom Sawyer. At the
end of class, Mrs. HM opened up her gradebook, and said, "I
told you that on reading days you get a participation grade. Three
of you will get a zero today." You would think I'd taken candy
from the babies, what with all the crying about how "That's not
fair! We read! You said as long as we read we would get the
points." Perhaps they were not listening to the fine print, which
stated that if they disturbed other people trying to read, all bets
were off. Gotta read the HM Clause, kiddies.

Great Googley Moogley! I am not as dumb as they want me to be!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Hillbilly Mom is Restless

Hillbilly Mom is restless today, my friends. Restless, like young 'uns
just before a storm moves in. A million little irritations have made
her that way. None in itself was a big deal, but put them all together,
and they spell PEOPLE PISS ME OFF!

Every hour, another little piece of the big piss-off picture fell into
place. Some of it was my own fault. I left my assignment for my
HS class in the MS building. That's because my plan time is spent
in the MS building, and I have to haul things back and forth. Those
people on The Amazing Race don't know how easy they have it.
Some of it was due to DoNot fault. "She's irritating me!" whined
one DoNot. "You're irritating ME!" I replied. She stopped the
whine. Because you do not want to irritate Mrs. Hillbilly Mom
when you have just returned from lunch, and are trying, as you
do every day, to distract people from their work so they won't
settle down and commence to learnin'. Another DoNot was
caught writing her name on the board. Great Googley Moogley!
The DoNots KNOW that you do not write on Mrs. Hillbilly
Mom's chalkboard! What was she THINKING? Right now she's
thinking she won't do it again, by cracky! Does Mrs. Hillbilly Mom
come to your desk, and start writing on your notebook? NO! But
it can be arranged, if necessary, to make a point.

For all of you who may some day have to complete a Study Guide
on Treasure Island, make a note-to-self: If the teacher asks who
Jim found running through the trees on Treasure Island, and
me the clue 'Ben...', do not answer Ben Stiller. Because
methinks he was not a major character in Treasure Island, and you
should know that, especially if the teacher has just read a summary
of Chapters 13-15 to you before handing out the Study Guide.

Let's not dwell on the pencil-grinder. Let's pity him, because he
thinks you have to jam that pencil into the sharpener as hard as
you can, and then complain, "This thing doesn't work," when the
gears won't turn. Silly DoNot! An old woman, perhaps Mrs. Hillbilly
Mom herself, could work that pencil sharpener with ease. Though
she would not get nearly the attention from the class that you did.
Perhaps Mrs. Hillbilly Mom should shout, "This thing doesn't work"
when trying to grade your paper with her red pen. Or when pointing
to the back of your head.

Surely the girl who asked, "Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, would you be mad
at me if I had an operation to become a boy?" was not trying to
draw attention to herself, even though she hollered it across the
room. Surely she was only seeking validation for the masculine side
of her personality. Because Mrs. Hillbilly Mom doesn't give a furry
rat's behind what you do, since she ain't payin', and she ain't bein'
cut on. So the answer of, "I don't care what you are, as long as you
are quiet," surely satisfied her need for attention.

And here's a revelation for you...some people are just not nice. No
matter how many favors you do for them, no matter how hard you
try to be friendly to them, for however many days, weeks, months,
or get the frigid scapula from them. The only satisfaction
comes from watching someone else do the same thing to them.
Which is kind of like two wrongs equaling a right in my book, the
big book of karma, which will eventually bite you in the butt. And
it's a big book, with sharp teeth, so be prepared.

Sometimes, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom would prefer to draw her shades,
lock the door, and shout, "Nobody's home!" when the villagers
come after her with torches blazing. Other times, she would just
as soon load her catapult with mice carcasses off the porch and
let fly.

But mostly, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom types out her frustrations on her
anonymous blog.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Promises, Promises

Nothing much to report. #1 son will be giving a speech tomorrow
for student council elections. It is short and sweet. Something about
he's not going to make promises about things he can't control, but
if elected, he will do his best to discuss students' concerns with the
people who DO have the power to change things. Hmm...I hope
his version is better than mine. I told him not to be disappointed if
he doesn't win, because in the 6th grade, an election becomes a
popularity contest. He is well-liked by his peers, but at this age, the
kids will vote for the candidate who promises soda in the drinking
fountains, and a free day every Friday. That's the nature of the beast.

We left school early today at 3:30, right after my hall duty. The
occasion for the early exit was haircuts. I used to go to a haircutting
lady who looks like Redneck Diva (without the piratey do-rag,
mateys) but I have started going to Great Clips because it is on the
way home, and convenient for those last-minute haircut decisions.
It is really HH's job to see to the haircutting of the young 'uns, but
if we wait that long, they will be 1960s models. He has not taken
the hint for the past 4 weeks, so, like everything else he neglects,
I did it.

That's not to say that HH actually cuts their hair himself. He used to,
but after a more-than-casual spilling of blood, the boys refuse to
submit to his clippers. They are lucky to have both their ears, those
sons of HH-the-Clipper! The last time I made little #2 son present
his noggin for The Butcher, I told him to get a towel to wrap around
his shoulders. It was summertime, and HH waited on the porch for
the shirtless boy to show up for shearing. The little guy (around 6
years old at the time) grabbed a towel and said, on his way to meet
his shaver..."The's to catch the blood, isn't it?" Poor little
fella. It's HIS ear that HH almost took off.

HH is the poster boy for half-a$$edness. There is the stair runner
down the steps of the old house that I told him was crooked when
he was stapling it on the third step. No, it wasn't crooked according
to HH. There are all the light switch plates and electrical outlet plates
in our Mansion, installed by HH, which lean to the right. There is the
caulking that runs from pencil-lead size at one end of the sink to
Tootsie Roll size at the other end. And I ain't talking Midgies, either.
Even HH admits that caulking is his weakness. Then there is the
door to the closet that opened IN. Hello! No closet! It took him
three years to agree that we were wasting the space, and change
the hinges. There are the nails trying to pop out of the drywall
because HH decided to rent the stuff to blow in insulation. He
used enough insulation for half the house in #2 son's room alone.
Thus, the nail-popping of the overstuffed walls. There's the
basement bathroom without running water. Except in the toilet.
Don't be thinkin' we're unsanitary--there's some GermX soap
in there.

I can't even go on. The HH half-a$$ed list overwhelms me.
It's hard work complaining all the time.

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Invisible HM

Nobody knows I exist. At work. Nobody ever checks to see what
I am doing. I could be teaching monkeys to juggle, seeing how many
clowns I can fit into my car, putting the DoNots on a high wire to
see which ones have the aptitude for that kind of act, or sampling
exotic recipes for cotton candy. Nobody would know. Nobody

When I arrive at school, I go straight to my room to get things ready
for the day. Then I get tied up with grading ISS work, or preparing
work for after-school mandatory tutoring, or filling out assignments
for fresh ISS. I run my copies, after filling the empty copier with
paper. Then it is time for class. I am always busy during class. I
have no idea how some people can check email during class. We
are supposed to in one building, because all announcements are
sent that way, but I rarely have time.

During lunch, I deposit my kids at the door to the cafeteria, then
catch up on entering grades in the computer. Actual grades, as
well as those I have to go back and put in, like from absences,
or ISS, or the afterschool thingy. Sometimes, I can actually type
up something for the next day so I don't have to do it at home.
Some days, I can actually plan during my planning period, but
mostly I do that stuff in the hour I stay after school.

I'm not hinting for you all to play the world's smallest violin for me.
It's part of my job, and I try to take advantage of every spare minute
I have. I can't be traipsing through the building, chatting with others.
I'm pointing out that I never see a principal in either building. Maybe
in the hall, while I am standing there between classes, but that's
about it. I suppose that's a good thing. Nobody is checking on me
to see if I'm doing what I'm supposed to. Which surely means I am
assumed to be doing my job correctly. It just seems odd, now that
I'm isolated in Lower Basementia. When I was upstairs, I heard the
principal walk by frequently.

I'll be whining out the other side of my mouth when I get a 'surprise'

For our writing prompt today, I asked the students to design a
Halloween haunted house. The oddest entry concerned 'skeletons
leaning over a fire, tanning their own skins'. The 'glass floor with
water under it, and corpses floating by' was also original. One
student thought of 'Hillbilly Mom in a giant birdcage, suspended
over a lake of boiling oil'. Methinks he did not relish the assignment.
Another designed her haunted house specifically for little kids, with
'SpongeBob SquarePants missing an eye, with blood pouring out
of the hole' and 'Scooby Doo being hung from a tree limb'. Also,
she would 'hand out broccoli-flavored candy at the end, and make
them eat it'. Kids these days!

Whatever happened to a good ol' lunatic escaped from the asylum,
jumping out from behind a bush?

Perhaps it's good that nobody is checking on me.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Hillbilly Mom Joins the Pro Bowlers' Tour

We bowled a few games after the boys' bowling league yesterday.
You don't need to know about HH's or #1 son's scores. Because
here at the Mansion, everything is ALL ABOUT ME! I'm so proud.
My scores were 42, 93, and 91. If you don't know anything about
bowling, that is very good. Olympic level, maybe. If you DO know
something about bowling...keep your big trap shut!

I was especially proud when I knocked down the two pins on the
right in my 7-4, 6-10 split. I'm not sure if that's what you call it, but
you have two pins left on the left side, and two pins on the right side.
It is almost impossible to knock down all 4. When I knocked down
the two on the right, HH said, "That's pretty good." Until I told him,
"I was aiming for the two on the left."

After the first game, #1 son said, "Mom, maybe next game you can
get #2's average. That is 52. The boy is 8, and has just started using
one hand to bowl, instead of rolling it with both arms. Last time we
bowled, I got a 124. That is my highest game ever. It was about a
month ago. #1 son said, "Mom, in your case, you did way better the
first time you bowled after 2 years. Maybe you shouldn't bowl so
often." They all had great fun at my expense. Except #2 son, who
said, "You are doing great, Mom. Can I have another dollar?" That
boy knows how to get along in this world.

HH got a new bowling ball a few weeks ago. It smells like black
cherry. Yeah. It really does. I'm sure he's the only one in the men's
league with a fruity ball.

I don't have much more to report today. My kids are expecting to
be fed, even though I just fed them Friday night. Man! Hillbilly Mom's
work is never done.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Not-So-Amazing Race

Yesterday, I told you about our teacher inservice day. There is one
little part I left out: we were released EARLY. Oh yeah...the reason
for that was a TORNADO WARNING.

Mabel, her cohort, and I had been chatting with an administrator
about the weather. The sky was getting dark, but the forecast called
for afternoon thunderstorms, so that wasn't any great surprise.

As part of the afternoon speaker's agenda, we had to write down a
vocab word from our subject area, define it in our own words, write
a synonym, use it in a sentence, and draw a picture of it. Then we
had to discuss it with 2 partners from other tables. Mabel chose
'triangle' for her word. A 3-sided polygon. The picture and sentence
weren't so hard. The synonym was a bit harder. I didn't care. It
wasn't my word. I chose 'truck', as used in Tom Sawyer, the novel
my 9th grade language class has been reading. Aunt Polly asked
Tom, who was hiding in the pantry eating jam, "What's that truck
all over your face?" It means rubbish, a mess, garbage, stuff. The
drawing went with my sentence, "We must clean the truck out of
the attic this weekend." I drew a trunk, a birdcage, some barbells,
and an old dressmaker's dummy thingy. I might just frame it.

My first partner didn't have a word. Actually, she had one, but I
forget, because it was not very interesting and she did not have the
drawing and stuff on her paper. She said her table did it as a group.
I'm ashamed of you, Mrs. C, for not only not doing your assigment,
but also for breaking the rules. This was not group work! You
could have at least chosen the word 'tissues', and drawn those
150 boxes you've got stacked on your classroom shelves. Don't
go thinkin' I don't like Mrs. C. I like her. I really like her. But she
didn't have her word.

Mr. S had his word. Monotheism. He's quite the wordsmith, that
Mr. S. I knew it meant the belief in one god. I've helped his students
for the last 8 years. I ain't no slow learner! He was still working on
his drawing, which was a collage of different religious symbols, such
as a cross, a Star of David, and some thingies I can't think of names
for. Just as we were getting into our discussion, one administrator
called another out into the hall. I knew something was up.

Next cat out of the bag (There were no real cats, and no real
But we might have had more fun if that were the activity:
letting cats
out of bags. And another group could have had the
task of putting
cats into bags. Then, when we were through,
everyone could go
home with a brand new cat. And a bag to
let it in and out of.)
we were being told that we must cut the
inservice short (by 15 minutes) because a tornado was headed
our way.

What did we do? We all rushed out of there like rats off a sinking
ship. Or cats out of bags. I had a 30-minute drive home, and some
had a bit longer drive. Some were headed right toward the tornado.
I was headed away. The sky was black, but without much wind.
The rain had just started to sprinkle down. The tornado sirens were
going off in a neighboring town. I tried to call home and tell the boys
and their grandma to stay in the basement. Nope. #1 son was on the
internet. My Hillbilly Mama didn't answer her cell.

I passed the high school in the district where I live. There were no
cars lined up. No buses. But there were still some cars left in the
parking lot. I figure they let out the pick-ups and the kids who drove
who wanted to leave, and kept the others. That's what we did with
a snowstorm last year.

The traffic was backed up at the light where I cross the highway.
I waited. For about 10 minutes I waited. Time was ticking. My
family still was not answering the phone. The line moved slowly
as the light changed. Twice. Then the little white pick-up truck in
front of me started to roll backwards. It came closer. And closer.
And CLOSER! I hit the horn when it was about a foot from my
front bumper. That startled the driver, who gassed it and moved
back to the half-car-length I'd left between us. Darn kid, not paying
attention, or not knowing how to drive a stick. That's all I needed
with that tornado coming...a little white truck stuck under my large
SUV. It might have slowed me down.

By now, the rain was pelting down. I got behind a flatbed truck
with bags of concrete or something on the bed. It went 30 mph.
The speed limit was 40!!! What's wrong with these people! It
turned into the elementary school road. I kept going. At 40 mph.

The sky was blacker. The rain was heavier. I didn't notice the
wind, but there were clumps of leaves in the road. I know the
squirrels hadn't been as busy as beavers all day, cutting those
leaves. I was ready to turn onto my blacktop county road, and
a dump truck pulling a trailer loaded with a backhoe turned in
front of me. Hey! Those things don't go very fast! I had to follow
it about 2 miles. Then it was open road, baby, until I got to my
gravel turn-off. The potholes slowed me down a little, but I got
home just as the rain started to pour down in buckets. I found
Grizzly in the garage. He ran out when I did, but I showed him
no mercy, and no shelter from the storm.

My Hillbilly Mama said she had let him in when she moved her
car out, since it was about time for me to come home. She had
no idea there was a tornado warning, because the kids always
have the TV on one of the cartoon channels.

The storm blew over in about 15 minutes. We could hear the
wind, but I didn't see chairs blown off the porch this time. On
the news that night, I saw that a tornado had hit St. James. That's
not far from Steelville and Cuba, where I used to work. The news
showed roofs blown off, and the school gym dented, with water
on the gym floor. The kids said they had just practiced a tornado
drill. It wouldn't surprise me if we have one next week.

Mabel, I hope your not-imaginary house is still standing.

Friday, September 22, 2006

This Tool Needs A-Sharpenin'

I thoroughly enjoyed our first guest speaker today. She brought
her guitar, and sang teacher songs for over an hour. With some
stand-up comedy in between. Judy Domeny Bowen. Check her
out. You can hear some clips from some songs if you click on
the CD link. Like the one about December being the best month,
because the teacher workroom is full of snacks, and the teachers
stampede to get there. There's a part in 'Teacher of the Year' that
goes, "I am often seen grading in my car, and teaching in my dreams.
I plan award-winning lessons in the parking lot just before the day
begins." We've had a comedian before, but he didn't make me laugh
nearly this much. Ms. Bowen teaches elementary art. She has been
there. Done that. The same as us. If you're a teacher, or in a
teacher's family, you will totally get this. Why do I sound like I
am doing an infomercial for her?

During a break, I told Mabel's cohort that I wanted to officially
announce the anniversary of her 'panties-in-a-pantleg' faux pas.
She took it good-naturedly. I asked Mabel to give up her panties
so the event could be re-enacted, but Mabel was having none of

Some people thought the room was too cold. I spotted a middle
school teacher wearing a shawl. I thought it was a shawl. She's
not that old. She doesn't look like Granny on the Tweetie cartoons.
We had switched tables for an activity. I asked the teacher next
to me if it was a shawl. "Well..." he said. "It looks like a shawl."
I caught up to her later. It was not a shawl. She had draped a
yellow towel around her shoulders for warmth. "It's from under
my kid's booster seat in the car. It smells funny."

Mabel also thought the room was too cold. She put her hands on
my arm to prove it. They were like ice. She scootched around in her
seat. "My butt's cold, too." I took her word for it. I didn't want it on
my arm. No offense, Mabel. I have to draw the line somewhere.

When we returned from lunch, I unlocked my room while Mabel
made a trip to the bathroom that is located just inside our teachers'
workroom. I grabbed a cold bottle of water, and headed toward
the cafeteria meeting place. On the way, I saw Mabel. I asked her
to put my water bottle on our table, and handed it over. I went into
the teacher workroom, where another staff member announced,
"I'm in line." It went without saying that she was in line for the
bathroom, even though she was standing by the copier, which was
also in use.

We waited about 5 minutes. It was getting close to time to start
the afternoon session. The other staff member said, "I'm just going
next door." No, she isn't a freak. She meant the regular girls'
bathroom next door to the teacher workroom. I waited, my back
against the wall opposite the bathrooms, talking to the person
running copies. A couple of men came and went, offering me the
use of the men's bathroom. I declined, telling them, "I opened the
door once, and that was enough for me." Yeah. I didn't even have
to step both feet in there to see that I wanted no part of that.

The other staff member came back. "Are you STILL waiting?"
"Yes!" I told her. "Who's in there?" And she answered, "Mabel." "Mabel is back at the meeting. I just gave her my water
to put on the table." The other said, "I tried the door. How did she
get out without me seeing her?" I pushed down on the door handle.
It opened. Nobody was in there.

Let me just say that this episode DOES NOT prove that Mabel
is imaginary. I thought someone else was in there. A black teacher's
bag was against the door. (The bag was black. Don't think I am
being racist or some such thing.) I thought somebody else was in
there. The other staff member had seen Mabel enter, but not leave.
That's why we waited 10 needless minutes for nobody to come out
of the bathroom.

We're not the sharpest tools in the shed.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Crony Goes To Luncheon

I thought this week would never end. OK, so it's only Thursday,
but we have an inservice day tomorrow, which means NO KIDS!

I am looking forward to a free breakfast (though we've been told it
will be light, like fruit and stuff, because SOME people don't like to
have a big breakfast, then be allowed an hour-and-a-half lunch at
some restaurant). Moderation, people! Go easy on the breakfast,
or easy on the lunch. Great Googley Moogley! Must our superiors
save us from ourselves? I will miss the big breakfast. I never cook
breakfast at home. Even when HH cooks it, I am not invited. I am
hoping this 'light' breakfast is not donuts. That is OH SO NOT my
idea of the way to start the day. I need some greasy meat.
Like sausage.

Yes, I am looking forward to sitting on my big fat butt and listening
to a variety of speakers, trying not to yawn or laugh uncontrollably
at inopportune times.

Lunch will be fun, because Mabel, her mathie cohort, and I will be
meeting one of our old cronies whom we haven't seen since last
May. It will be a hoot. I am ready to dish the dirt, as long as we can
keep our crony away from those who would horn in and small-talk
us to death. I will never be voted Miss Congeniality, will I?

We have to stay until the regular time. After lunch, we have another
speaker. That one is harder to take, because the big fat butt has
caught on to the routine, and does not like being plastered to the
chair yet again.

If only something exciting could happen, like the time Mabel's
cohort stood up and somebody hollered, "Hey, Mabel's cohort!
It looks like you've got a Bounce hanging out of your pantsleg!"
And Mabel's cohort pulled it out, help it up for a moment as if
admiring it, though actually gazing in horror at the pair of flowered
cotton panties that dangled from her hand. She quickly stuffed them
into the pocket of her jeans, redfaced, muttering, "I don't know
HOW those got in there!" Every year when it's time for this
professional development day, we remind her of the incident.
We're not laughing AT her, we're laughing WITH her. Except
she doesn't really do much laughing.

Ahh...good times!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


My children are driving me crazy. Crazier. #1 son had his nose out
of joint today because he did not pass the spelling pre-test, and must
take the spelling test tomorrow. Which means he missed ONE word.
According to him, he DIDN'T miss it, but the boy grading it thought
his 'r' was an 'l', and marked it wrong. To which I replied, "Then you
need to practice writing your 'r's. Maybe I can find you a Big Chief
tablet." Anybody remember those? They had a red cover with an
Indian Chief, which I suspect is now politically incorrect, so they
have been discontinued. Anyhoo, the paper had a dotted line so
that you could practice your proper penmanship, like only writing
the lower case letters up to the dotted line, or the loops of the 'b'
and the 'd'. They were mainly used in 1st grade.

Also, #1 son's lunch account was about $5.00 short of what I think
should be in it. He has told me when he got extra cheese fries twice,
and a double tray once. I have calculated it to the penny, and
wanted to know where the money went. The school couldn't give
me a printout, so I sent him to the secretary with pen and paper to
write down the days he had something extra. I hope he didn't have
to write an 'r'. He came back and it seems he WAS telling the truth
about the days he had extra. But the secretary said, "She knows
lunch is $1.50 here, right?" Because it has been $1.25
for about the last 8 years, and I didn't see a notice that it went up.
I must ask Mabel about that. They say the elementary is still $1.25.

#2 son got his progress report today. He had 100% in every class.
100%! #1, who fancies himself a genius, did not even have all 100s
when he was in 3rd grade. He couldn't stand it. "Well, school is
easier these days." Yeah. In the last 3 years, they really watered
down the elementary curriculum, huh? Crybaby. Why don't you
go practice some 'r's?

I gave my Tom Sawyer-reading kids an opinion paragraph to write
today. Who knew that they wished to live during the time of Tom
Sawyer because people could carry guns and shoot somebody if
they wanted?

Perhaps I should not turn my back to write on the board.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Basementia is for Squatters

I suppose that's not a very good tourism slogan.

I am thinking about making Lower Basementia my new Mansion.
I was there until 4:30 today, people. That is uncalled for. But if I
move in, I can save on travel time, plus HH will have to become
a responsible adult. Lower Basementia has everything I need. I
have a mini-fridge, a microwave, two computers, internet access,
a telephone wire for a land line if I want one, a bathroom, a water
fountain, a library just across the hall...The only thing I'm lacking
is a bed. I think the carpeted floor of the library might work for
that. The only thing missing would be TV, but I have a DVD
player and TV in my room. I think the library has cable access.
I'm set. No rent or utilities to pay, either. There are security
cameras in this building now, but I doubt anybody watches them
at night. The boys can stay with me, too. It's not as barbaric as
camping. We shall become squatters in Lower Basementia.

Or not.

Nothing much has been happening here. I saw a lightbulb light up
over a kid's head today, when I taught how to add positive and
negative integers. He had sat down saying that "I just don't get
this stuff!" Within 5 minutes, he said, "That's all there is to it? That's
easy." I was not convinced. I graded his paper. He only missed 3
out of 25. That's 88%. His regular math teacher said he did very
well on that part of the lesson today. Tomorrow we must work
on subtraction of positive and negative integers.

If I get any more boring, I'm going to put myself to sleep. Not like
putting me out of my misery kind of putting to sleep, or like HH
being put to sleep for his apnea. Just a general nodding off kind of
sleep, where your head bobs around on your neck until you jolt
yourself awake. Those elusive ZZZZZs appear all the time around
the Mansion. I don't know what all the hoopla is about that Ambien
and stuff. Actually, I don't even know what hoopla is. I kind of
picture a parade of wacky people like the residents of Who-ville
parading down the street wearing hoola-hoops, and playing those
wacky Who-ville musical instruments. After partaking of a big meal
of roast-beast. But enough about what goes on in my cranium.

Tomorrow is supposed to be COLD. #2 son has picture day, so
I must throw together a presentable outfit. #1 will just have to
wear shorts until I get to Wal*Mart this weekend. He is only
outside for the 10-second walk from the car to the building. And
he has a heated seat in the large SUV. I think he'll survive.

If we move into Lower Basementia tonight, I know he will.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Cooking SUPER With HM

Whew! Let me give you some advice. It's hardly worth it to cook
real food. Yeah! Who knew? I made my world-famous meat loaf
tonight. Famous in the world of Hillbilly Mom's mansion, anyway.
Both boys ate everything on their plates. That is uncommon, except
when it is a plate of fish sticks or buttered noodles. They even ate
the mashed potatoes, with #1 son going back for seconds. This
from the kids who used to cry for boxed instant potato flakes every
time I made real mashed potatoes. #2 son begged for the juice out
of #1's pears, but that was no deal. He didn't want the pears, only
the juice. They have decided that I should invent pear juice, like
orange juice, only I squeeze the pears by hand. Yeah. That's gonna
happen. Two hours of cooking and cleaning up doesn't seem worth
it to me, for a meal that lasted 15 minutes. I suppose it would if
someone else did the cooking and cleaning.

HH has gone to Lowe's for something he doesn't need. I'm not
sure what it was, but I know we don't need it. Something like
labels for shelves, or some such thing. He couldn't make #1 son
go with him. "Noooo. That will waste my whole niiiiiiiiight," he
whined. HH offered a stop by the ice cream shop, and some
lottery tickets. Nope. The boy was havin' none of that. Finally,
HH persuaded #2 son, even though it will be his bedtime when
they get back. The lottery tickets did it. I suppose tomorrow
night, I'll have to tie a pork chop around HH's neck to make
Grizzly play with him.

Today was my writing day at school. Every week, each teacher
has to give a writing assignment to each class. There are no
strict rules on the subject matter. It can go along with the subject
you teach, or not. I try to give writing prompts to get them
interested enough to want to write. I don't grade them on each
little error in spelling and punctuation and tense and subject/verb
agreement. I loosely use a little rubric like "Always uses correct
spelling and punctuation" to "Rarely uses correct spelling or
punctuation", etc. Most of them pass the assignment, as long
as they stick to the topic, and write enough. I give them 20 points
possible for 3/4 page. Most get around 17 points. Mabel dropped
in the other day while I was grading them. "You mean you actually
READ those things?" Um...yes. I thought we were supposed to.
Perhaps I should check the fine print.

Anyhoo...the point I am getting at in such a roundabout and not
very interesting way, is that today my writing prompt was: "If I
was a superhero, my special power would be..." They had to
include how they would use the power to benefit the world.
Otherwise, every boy would have picked 'see-through vision'.
Yeah. I teach 9th graders. They also had to tell their superhero
name, what their costume would look like, and how they turned
into a superhero.

I first told them my superhero fantasy. My special power would
be reading people's minds. I would know what they were planning
to do. Thus my name, "Mrs. Know-It-All". I would show up at
the door of somebody planning a dastardly deed, and waggle my
finger in his face, saying, "Don't even think about it!" My costume
would be something outrageous, like a Mary Poppins kind of get-up,
so the bad guy would think, "Man, that lady is NUTS! I'd better lay
off the dastardly deeds for a while." I wouldn't have to call on my
power. The bad thoughts would be allowed into my consciousness
while the good were filtered out, so as not to clutter up my valuable

It was interesting reading, I must say--MABEL! I had superheroes
such as Mr. Speedywalker, The Flash Jr., Granny, Super Chick,
Dr. Private Dancer, Candy Andy, The Mesmerizer, and JimRod.
There were more, but I can't remember them all right now. Some
had interesting ways of getting into costume. Super Chick would
hide behind a tree or bush to change into her black leather jumpsuit.
She had many accessories as well, all coordinated. The Flash Jr.
had his suit hanging from the side of a building, so all he had to do
was jump off the building into it. I hope he had the power of flight.
And that he at least wore boxers. Granny had a cane tucked into
her belt, and a fold-up walker on her back. Dr. Private Dancer
had a black T-shirt that said, "I'll be you private dancer." Which
he was also wearing today. Streed, whose powers were speed
and stretchability, had a costume like a race-car driver.

The powers were interesting as well. Candy Andy would turn
things into sweet, sweet Pixie Stix sugar and feed the world.
Granny slowed down the evildoers until a fast superhero could
deal with them. One superhero's power was to make sure all
people had enough to eat and a place to live. Another would
teleport to a fight, grab the bad guy, and teleport him to the
middle of nowhere. One had power over cold and hot. He
made sure nobody ever froze or burned up. Perhaps I need
to adjust my room thermostat. Then there was the one with
the power to make all girls love him. I reminded him he had
to justify how that would help the world. "That would make
ME happy, and the world wouldn't have to deal with me."
Fair enough. He said he acquired the power when some acid
spilled on him in the lab. I must have a talk with the science
teacher. One got his power when struck by lightning. He
controlled fire and lightning. If lightning didn't kill the bad
guy, he'd set him on fire. We may have some issues here.

That writing didn't take the whole class period. We did other
work as well. These things usually only take about 20 minutes.
Perhaps next week, we'll see what inventions they can come
up with worthy of a Nobel Prize. I'm choosing a perpetual
motion machine.

The best part of the whole day was at middle school, where
two 8th graders tried to guess my age. I told them I'd never
tell, even if they guessed. One said, "You must be between
29 and 32." I replied, "I know I said I'd never tell...but you
guessed it!"

Stop laughing, Mabel. Or I'll tell people you're imaginary.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

HM Sucks at LIFE

People are trying to piss me off today. And it is only 1:00. Staying
home does not solve the problem, as HH started out in first place
on the pisser list.

Where to start...HH has a bee in his bonnet about what I do with
my time. I wish that bee would sting him like that nest of hornets
he got into mowing the field the other day. He got stung about 18
times, he said. That'll learn him! He should know not to mow the
dirt, anyway. That's when they all came out. He was weedeating
around a telephone pole, and ate down into the dirt. I guess the
grass wasn't challenging enough for HH. He started in this morning
about how I don't do anything with him and the kids. Hello! Maybe
if he didn't holler all the time, the kids and I would want to do things
with him. Probably not, but an attitude adjustment would help.

HH worked Saturday morning, then arrived at bowling at 1:45.
I took the kids bowling after our TV extravaganza, and stayed
until they were done. Then I brought #2 son home with me after
a stop at Save-A-Lot. HH was nowhere to be seen when we got
home. He went to the barn until 10:00 p.m., except for his trip to
Wal*Mart to buy #1 son a bicycle. But this morning he wanted
to gripe at ME for not spending time with the family. All because
I told him I had to go to Wal*Mart.

And another thing! HH lost #2 son's birthday party invitation, so
they don't know what time to go. #2 says 3:00, so they're trying
for that. I think HH was just cranky this morning because after
his big deal about family time, he didn't get to run off to Casey's
for a soda and a donut, and disappear for a couple hours. Heh
heh. He made a big deal of cooking bacon and eggs for the kids.
I was not offered any. Welcome to my life. Oh, and I cooked
him supper last night while he was in the barn, called him to tell
him it was ready, and heard, "I didn't tell you I was coming over
right now." And this morning, he said, "Well, all you did was throw
something in the oven." Um. Yeah. Last time I checked, that was
still under the category of 'cooking'.

As I got to the end of the gravel road on my Wal*Mart trip, I saw
a woman in a white Chevy Lumina parked at our row of mailboxes,
facing the wrong way. When she saw me, she peeled out of there.
I followed, hot on her tail. We had a high-speed chase at 30 miles
per hour, during which I wrote down her license number. I am good
at multi-tasking. She kept running a tire off the road, what with
looking in the mirror at me. I only followed her to the stoplight,
where she made a left onto the highway. Hey! I am allowed to play
vigilante in my large SUV. I've had mail stolen before! That's a
federal offense, people...tampering with the U.S. Mail.

When I got back home with the Wal*Mart goods, HH was online
at #1 son's computer, chatting with Iraq. That's what he said. For
all I know, he was looking up car parts He hollered at #1 son to
help me carry stuff in. Then about 30 minutes later, he told me he
had a flat tire and was going to town to get it fixed. That was two
and a half hours ago. I need to call that Intervention show about
his soda-and-donut addiction.

The boys and I played a rousing game of LIFE. Which pissed me
off, because my salary was $20 thousand, while theirs were $100
thousand and $70 thousand. Of course #1 son 'forgot' to tell me
about buying stock, and buying insurance, and how I was supposed
to have all my loans paid off before I reached the end of the game.
I take that back. He told me when I was 10 spaces from the end.
He and #2 both felt so sorry for me that they gave me $100
thousand each. Charity. The American Way. Which I promptly
spent on fancy cars, big screen TVs, and a cruise. Not really. I was
only 10 spaces from the end. And owed $175,000 in loans.

LIFE's a b*tch. Then you lose.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

An Uneventful Day

That title grabbed you and dragged you in, didn't it?

Nothing new to report around the mansion. The kids fought all day,
we went to their bowling league, and HH has taken #1 son to
Wal*Mart to buy a new bicycle. His legs are way to long for his
old one. HH says he will not buy #2 a new bike, because he refuses
to try to ride it. Meaning, he has training wheels, and leans to one
side when he rides. It's not like we have a smooth road to ride on.
The kid won't believe that it's easier to balance the bike and ride,
instead of leaning over trying to pedal on grass and gravel with that
training wheel acting as an anchor.

The dog hasn't eaten anything not meant to be eaten today. No
pets were run over by HH. I didn't do a thing I needed to do,
except two loads of laundry. That's just a drop in the laundry
bucket around here. One load is still in the washer, waiting for
me to hang it up. It's very patient, that laundry, and I am not
exactly rushing to hang it.

This week at school is a 4-day week for the kids. We have a
Teachers' Inservice Day on Friday. We work the same hours,
but no students. We'll have meetings in the morning with all
buildings together, then break up in the afternoon. I don't know
where my presence will be requested. Someone is sure to tell
me where to go by Friday. And for the meeting, too. Heh heh.
My NOT IMAGINARY friend Mabel and I have a lunch date
that day. It's the only time we have to talk now, what with my
new schedule.

I watched TV with #1 son this morning. He has odd tastes. He
likes the History Channel. We watched some show, Mail Call,
with a drill sergeant being gruff and explaining military stuff. The
high point was watching some guys spend 9 hours trying to dig
a foxhole and a fighting hole like were used in WWII. They bent
their shovels, sweated, and only got half as deep as was needed.
I suppose bullets whizzing over your head is a better motivator
than a TV camera and a toy drill instructor doll that swears at you.

We also saw a show about building the suspension bridge from
the lower peninsula of Michigan to the upper peninsula of Michigan.
Whew! I don't know how they do that stuff. I could never drive
across that bridge! I don't like heights. The narrator said that they
have a crew on the bridge to get in and drive for motorists who
become frozen with fear. The center lanes are not even concrete.
They are metal mesh. You can see right down to the water. Not
for me, that engineering marvel. I would have to take the 4-day
drive across dry land to get where I was going. Oh, and did I
mention that the bridge also has extra-low side rails to cut down
on its great weight? The better to crash through into the drink, I say.

It’s very peaceful here now. #2 and I are quite sympatico. We
do not ruffle each others feathers, pull each others chains, rub
each other the wrong way, get each others goats. We peacefully
coexist. It's a little slice of heaven.

I must enjoy it while I can.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Jekyll and Hyde, the Dog Version

I might have mentioned that I have The Chewingest Dog. Do any
of you remember that old children's book, The Diggingest Dog?
Well...that's what I've got, in the chewy variety.

This morning, I backed the large SUV out of the too-small garage.
This was no easy feat, I might add, what with 2 inches of clearance
on each side for the mirrors. It's a good thing HH wasn't already
standing there waiting for us to come home. #1 son hollered, "Hey,
what's that?" Like I would know, because I'm the mom, and moms
know everything, until it comes to telling the children something
they don't want to hear, and then we become blithering idiots, or
pieces of furniture.

It was a brightly-colored neon greeny-yellow thingy. I thought it
was somebody's water shoes that the infernal dog had chewed
up. I swear she has chewed an entire book that I have been
waiting on for two weeks now. There have been some suspicious
remnants of that flat white packing foam in the yard under the
yucca plants. That is Doggie Ann's preferred hiding place. I
figure she accepted the package from UPS, thought to herself,
this is going to be delicious, and devoured it and most of the
evidence before we got home. I can't prove it, though.

#1 son wanted me to stop so he could look at it. He poked it
with his toe. He picked it up. It was a half-eaten dog collar. Now
I fear we have become personas not grata to the new family who
moved into the LandStealer's house. What with Doggie Ann
eating their small dog. Because the collar was for a small yippy
dog. It had a rabies tag, and a worn-out pink tag that did not
have the dog or owner's name on it. HH says it's no good anyway,
that the rabies tag says '2005'. Duh. I said, "Well, if the shot was
in December 2005, I reckon that the tag is still good." Once again,
HH stands corrected. At least he doesn't stand in the garage.

I asked #1 son to take a picture. You'd think I'd asked him to
rub lotion on HH's athlete's feet. That boy will not do anything I
ask until after WWIII has broken out, been fought, prisoners of
war released, and a treaty signed on the dotted line. He is pure
evil, I tell you. He is the Devil's Handmaiden.

I say that because the boy screams like a woman when scared,
or when bored, or generally just to scare the pee out of me. I don't
think he could actually BE The Devil's Handmaiden, because I don't
think The Devil would have a boy for his Handmaiden. Especially
a boy who declares about 1000 times per day: "I farts." No, The
Devil would have to create another title for a boy Handmaiden.
Something cool, like Lord of the Netherworld, Personal Assistant
to the World-Renowned Lucifer, Prince of Darkness. Because
all crappy jobs have to have a cool title, or nobody would apply
for them.

I think The Devil would have trouble filling that Handmaiden position.
Because a girly-girl would not want to traipse around Hell day and
night for all eternity, what with the oppressive heat making her skin
red as a boiled lobster, and causing her to apply massive quantities
of underboob deodorant to stop the rivulets of sweat, but I figure
her hair would be OK, because I get the feeling that it's a dry heat.
I don't think even those Girls Next Door who are shacking up with
Hef at the other mansion would take the Handmaiden position.
Perhaps that's because their souls have already been auctioned on
the courthouse steps.

A boy-girl wouldn't put up with any sh*t from Old Scratch. She
would kick his behind and probably stab him with his own tail as
the piece de resistance. No underboob deodorant for a boy-girl!
She would have a sports bra to achieve that uniboob look that
is OH SO POPULAR in Oklahoma, according to Redneck Diva,
and a fleecy sweatshirt to absorb the boob sweat.

Anyhoo...what was I talking about again? Oh yeah...the chewy
dog. Here is some of the evidence:

Exhibit 1

are you

I would
never do
such a
thing. I
just found
this old

rag laying about the yard. I think Grizzly must have brought it home.
And now that you mention it, I'm sure I saw him burying something
over by the barn. Good luck and all, finding out the guilty party in
this mischief. I'll keep my ears open."

"Heh, heh.
What are
YOU lookin'
at? You can't
catch ME!

I ain't talkin'.
I know you
have to go
to work all
week. I am

Supreme Master of the Mansion then. I even have packages
delivered here. Don't mess with me. I'm half Shepherd, you know.
The left half. So run along now. And if I may be so bold...that man-
fellow could make better use of his time mowing this yard than
standing in the garage waiting for you to come home. It's not like
you make The Incredible Journey every day, now is it?"

At least she didn't eat a door, like DeadpanAnn's Sweet Tea.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Time For Snoozing

HH does indeed have sleep apnea. They recommend that he wear
a machine thingy at night. Ooh! How romantic.

Can he get a machine for his foot, to clear up the Athlete's Foot
fungus? Cause he tries to say that I gave it to him, which is kind of
faulty logic, really, because I don't have it, and he's had it for going
on two months now. He has tried powder, and spray-can stuff,
and a tube of some kind of ointment. I suppose he could get a
prescription to get rid of those mouthy little critters who cram in
under the big toenail and wreak havoc on the nail beds. I hate that
commercial. I have to change the channel when it comes on.
Perhaps that's why HH can't find a cure. As for the logic thingy...
HH would not be very good at those math questions about 'Jane
lives in the house on the corner. Tom has dandruff. Susie's dad
used to be her mom. On what day will Brad see the full moon.'

I think HH needs a machine to cure the chronologically challenged.
Like yesterday...he came home early from work so he could go to
be put to sleep. At 7:30. On a normal day, he gets home around
5:15. I don't know why he had to leave early.

Today, HH again left work early. He said he had an appointment
to check on his balance to see if it's an inner ear thingy. At least
that's what I thought he said. I kind of tune him out, because it
seems like he is going to a specialist once or twice a week. That
new doctor has found his goose, and I want my golden eggs back.
This guy could stay in practice with just ONE patient: HH.

Also today, I told the kids on the way home: "I bet Dad is there
when we get there. He probably told work, 'I had to be put to
sleep last night. Can I go home early?'" They agreed that he would
be there. He was. Standing in the garage. My first thought was,
"Oh, he's going to carry in my stuff." Not really. My first thought
was, "How does that man get out of so much work?" But my
second thought was about the carrying of my stuff. Did he do it?
Nope. I had to whine, "I guess I'll take in the mail and my purse,
and then come back out for my stuff."

HH said, "What stuff? Do you have stuff?" He does that after I
go to town for groceries, too. It's a total mystery to him where
I get all this stuff. Then he added, "I was just standing in the garage
waiting for you to get home." Please, tell me that is just an HH-ism,
not the truth. The boys and I get home anywhere between 4:00
and 5:30. HH left work today at 1:30. I can picture him there in
his khaki shorts and bright orange shirt, looking out hopefully
every time he heard a car on the gravel. For two hours. (because
he needed time for the appointment, and to drive home.) We got
here at 4:50. That's a lot of garage-standing. Like Gordie said
about Vern digging for his lost jar of pennies under the porch in
Stand By Me (and in the Stephen King short story, The Body):
"Man. You don't know whether to laugh or cry."

Maybe I'll get HH a giant Flavor Flav watch on a big gold chain,
and have my third-grader teach him all about time.

Or maybe I should just put a chair in the garage.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Countin' Sheep and Killin' Creeps

There was a slight malfunction with my evening meal. I hear all of
you hollerin' "Hey, Hillbilly Mom! What's for supper?" Well, that
depends on who you are. If you are my children, who will only eat
a narrow selection of foods, you enjoyed a ZooPals plate of fish
sticks, ketchup, and buttered bread, washed down with Capri Sun,
the grape flavor. Ketchup is a vegetable, isn't it? That's what it
counts as on the school menu. If you are my husband, you choked
down a leftover grilled hamburger from Monday night. I doubt he
even remembers what he ate. It was his last supper. He's going to
be put to sleep tonight. More on that later...let's get back to ME!

My supper was a salad with hearts of Romaine lettuce, sweet
banana peppers, part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese, baked
chicken tenders, cherry tomatoes picked off the stem from a net
bag purchased at Wal*Mart, Save-A-Lot ranch dressing,
sunflower seeds, and garlic-and-butter croutons. During the
second bite, I chomped on something HARD. Like when Mr. S
gets the stem in his round section of the school lunch tray filled
with green beans and onions. And STEM. I thought it was a
tomato stem, though I cut up those little thingies, and didn't know
how a stem could jump into my salad.

I pulled it out of my mouth. It was black. And shiny. WTF? I laid
it down and poked at the salad with my fork. My fork with a black
plastic tine missing. Mystery solved. I dug in again. Again with the
hard thingy. Another tine down. Lucky for me, I had a white plastic
fork just lying around. Don't you? It's hillbilly silverware.

Now for the saga of HH. I told the kids this morning that their
father wouldn't be home tonight. He was going to the hospital to
be put to sleep. #2 son wouldn't go for it. #1 just nodded. Perhaps
he was not really listening to me. I get that feeling a lot. Sometimes
I think that I need help with my child-rearing skills. Other times I
just tell the boys that I'm giving them away to a poor family. One
with no computers or GameBoys. Oh. I forgot. The poor families
have more of that kind of stuff than we do.

HH really is going to the hospital for old worn-out husbands, to be
put to sleep. You didn't think I would try something like that here
at home home, did you? I'm pretty sure there are laws about that
type of thing here in Missouri. Which reminds me...I saw the local
prison on the news this morning. It seems there has been a lawsuit
of some type alleging cruel & unusual punishment because the state
doesn't provide a licensed anesthesiologist to attend the convicted
felons who are being put to death by lethal injection. Who knew?
You can't be cruel when you are legally killing someone! I wonder
if the victims could sue because the felon was not a licensed
anesthesiologist at the time he murdered them. Oh! That's right.
And you know, they use an alcohol wipe and take all cleanliness
precautions when they put in that line for the lethal injection,
because HEY, they don't want that felon to get an infection

Anyhoo, back to HH. His doctor thinks he has sleep apnea, so he
is going to a sleep center tonight so they can watch him or hook him
up to electrodes or do whatever it is they do. HH, not the doctor.
I don't think the doctor will accompany him and lie next to him so
HH can poke the doctor's foot with his Athlete's Foot foot every
10 minutes, and breathe his hot breath on the doctor's neck while
snoring all freakin' night--except the one or two minutes every so
often that he stops breathing. Yeah. I could tell the doctor HH has
sleep apnea. But I wouldn't pay that big ol' insurance fee.

That will conclude the State of the Mansion Address for tonight.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Notes To Self, Student Edition

I need to write a book to help kids outsmart us. Us. The enemy.
The MAN. Teachers. But because I am generally a lazy, lie-about,
do-nothing bum, I will just put it in note form.

Notes-To-Self For the Secondary Student

If I don't have a note to excuse my absence, it's probably not the
best idea to say that the office said they can't give me an absentee
slip until my mother calls. Cause the teacher has worked with the
people in this office for oh...I don't know...11 FREAKIN' YEARS,
and might know they don't handle it that way.

If I haven't turned in over half the work assigned in each class, it's
probably not the best idea to announce "My old school was a lot
easier than this one." Cause how much easier can it get than not
doing work?

If I throw a book on the floor to make a loud 'BANG', it's probably
not the best idea to tell the teacher that my book slid off my desk.
Cause she's like a freakin' CSI squad, and by the time her chalk
outlines and measurements and decibel studies and snide comments
each and every day are done, I will spill my guts and confess within
the first week.

If I plan to sneak into the game without paying, it's probably not the
best idea to parade back and for in front of the ticket-taker 5 times,
put my nose in the air, and keep walking when she says, "SOME-
body didn't pay." Oh, and I probably shouldn't wear that white hat
turned around backwards. Cause it makes me pretty easy to find in
the gym, what with a description and my name given to the principal.

If I skip the mandatory after-school tutoring, it's probably not the
best idea to run around the gym and snack bar. Cause the tutor will
turn me in absent, and then I will be noticed.

If I go to the game after tutoring, without paying, since I'm already
in the building, it's probably not the best idea to scuff my shoes on
the floor to make loud squeaky noises as I walk down the hall by
the ticket-taker. Cause that will get her attention, and she will notice
that I have not paid.

If I can't do long division, it's probably not the best idea to write
down the correct answers without showing any work. Cause that
raises the ol' 'I am using a calculator when I know they're not
allowed' flag.

If I really like a girl in my class, it's probably not the best idea to
tell her, "Your teeth are yellow. They look like corn." when she is
discussing braces with a classmate. Cause that makes her kind of
mad at me.

But HM, you say, that's not enough for a book! Au contraire,
people. That is only from ONE day. By the end of the year, I'll
have a million of 'em. Perhaps not a million. But 1106, which is
7 per day times the 158 school days remaining (HEY! School
is almost out!), not counting the book-slamming one, because
it was from earlier in the year. I'm a math teacher now, y'know!
Perhaps that can explain my poor sentence structure. Do as I
say, kids, not as I do.

I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings. I'm hoping for a fresh
new basket of notes-to-self.

Monday, September 11, 2006

To Mabel, In Explanation

This morning we had our annual 9-11 tribute in front of the school.
Veterans came, we recited the Pledge of Allegiance, the choir sang.
It was a nice little ceremony. I saw my buddy Mabel for the first
time in a long time. And school's almost over already, you know!

Mabel asked me to save her a seat at the faculty meeting after
school. Au contraire, Mabel. My presence has been requested
across town at the other faculty meeting. Mabel did not want to
believe it. So I have a little poem for her:

Please excuse me, faithful Mabel,
Sorry that I wasn't able
To procure a library table
For the two of us, to enable
A gossip session worthy of cable.

Yes. We two are quite amusing. We deserve our own comedy
show. Unfortunately, we are the only two people who think so.

I suppose Mabel realized the truth when there was no seat in
the library awaiting her after bus duty. Poor Mabel. This is the
least we have been able to communicate in the last 9 years.
Yes, Mabel, we're getting old. We're not spring chickens any
more. We're just chickens. Or in my case, a big chicken with
a pink flamingo head. Given to me by Mabel.

I don't know about your meeting, Mabel, but ours was over by
4:05. That's a new record. And the person supposed to be selling
tickets to the game sat right next to me. I guess it was self-serve
night at the admission gate. I don't know anybody else who could
have taken over. Tomorrow it is my turn as the gatekeeper. I will
take some papers to grade. I hate down time.

Now I must go make up a quiz for my HS math class. I promised
them one, you see...and Hillbilly Mom is not one to break promises
to her students.

Disclaimer: contrary to popular opinion, Mabel is not now, and
never has been, a figment of my imagination. She is a real live
breathing human being. She is not my alter ego, a la Fight Club,
or Secret Window. Oops! Sorry for the spoiler if you haven't
seen those movies. I can write what I want about Mabel, because
she does not have a blog, and will not leave a comment. She can
only chastise me privately through email, which I can choose not
to open. Oh, sure, she can send her students to sing "Happy Pi
Day" to me on March 14, but that's a long way off, and they can't
bring those delicious Little Debbie Oatmeal Pies this year, because
of that healthy schools act or some such thing that has taken away
our snack bar and all soda from grades K-8.

See what teaching does to you? It makes you act like the kids.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

School Pool Thief Filet

Tomorrow starts a busy week for me. There are faculty meetings in
both buildings, but my presence (and that of the other travelers) has
been requested in the building that will meet until 4:30 minimum. It
doesn't matter anyway, because I stay until 4:00 every day. Thirty
minutes won't make that much difference. The boys can have snacks
and play games on my computers.

Tuesday, I have after-school duty and ticket-selling volleyball game
duty. The times overlap, so I will be doing my hall duty while sitting
in the hall selling tickets. Some of those kids think they are OH SO
CRAFTY and sit in the gym with the late bus riders, then try to stay
without paying. The principal runs them out, though. I guess they
think it's worth a try to save $.50.

HH drained a little water out of the pool today, and put a floatie thing
in the middle. It's good for the winter, I suppose. Yesterday evening
we caught our long-haired, mostly-white calico cat swimming in it.
I don't think it was on purpose. HH said he walked out on the back
porch and heard a commotion, and saw her climbing out onto the
deck. Her head wasn't wet, but the back half of her looked like a
wet rat. Judging from the trail of water, she had been walking around
the edge of the pool, and came to the part where the fence comes
over the edge a bit. She must have fallen in with her back legs, and
clawed her way up onto the deck. She was kind of pitiful, with that
look of "Why are you staring at ME?"

At bowling yesterday, HH donated $12.75 because he couldn't
count the money from 4 parents. That's how many kids are in the
group he coaches, besides #2 son. Of course he blamed it on me,
saying I talked and he couldn't concentrate. All I said was, "They
told me it was $12.75 for registration" when a woman shoved only
the $6.00 weekly bowling fee at HH with her registration card.
Of course he told her that was fine. It's his own fault he didn't
confront her. She probably didn't know. I was only trying to help.

#1 son carried his stuff out after bowling, and asked if I had seen
his GameBoy. That's a GameBoy DS, folks, that cost $125.00
new, and had an Asphalt Urban GT racing game in it, at a cost
of $35.00. Nope. I reminded him that he'd tried to pawn it off
on me, and I told him to take care of it himself. Every weekend,
HH and I tell him not to take it, that he's there to bowl, not play
GameBoy. I saw him put it in his bowling bag, and told him to
watch out, or he'd drop the ball on it and break it when he was
packing up. He searched the bag, and so did HH. They went in
to search the bowling alley. #2 and I went in later to help. No
GameBoy. He looked like he was going to cry, but didn't. Then
he said, "Oh, well. I didn't pay for it. You and Grandma got it
for my birthday last year. You can get me another one this year."
I told him that wasn't happening. He doesn't even get allowance
right now, because of his attitude. He hasn't gotten it since June.

After much questioning, he remembered that he'd taken it out
when he put the ball in the bag, and one of the kids on his team
was playing it. Then he snatched it out of the kid's hands and
set it on the chair beside him while he changed shoes. He thought
he carried it with him and set it down on a video game he was
playing before we left. All I could think of was that one of the
older kids snagged it on the way out, because I teach those kind
of kids, and have heard them talk about doing stuff like that. Like
the time they found a $20 bill on the Citgo parking lot, and saw a
man come out and look all around on the ground and under his
car. They said, "I bet it belonged to that man." Did they give it to
him? Nope. "Finders keepers!" they said.

This afternoon around 4:00, the kid who'd been playing with the
GameBoy called and said he found it in his bowling bag, that
somebody had put it in there. I really don't think that kid took it.
He has his own GameBoy DS, as well as a PSP. Why would he
want another one? AND, he said he called our neighbor boy who
is also on their bowling team, and asked him to come up and tell
#1 last night, since our line was busy (dial-up, you know). The
kid never came to tell us, so I'm thinking he might have put it in
the other kid's bag as a prank. We don't care. #1 is glad it wasn't
stolen. He's none too happy that we're making him wait until next
Saturday to get it back. The kid only lives about 4 miles away, on
the way to town, but #1 needs to learn responsibility.

Save-A-Lot already has the Halloween candy out. It's been there
a couple weeks now. I'm sure Wal*Mart does, too, but I'm trying
to stay out of Wal*Mart after my 'shoplifting' incident last week.
My faithful shopping companion, #2 son, wheedled his way into
a bag of Whoppers. Which #1 son promptly ripped open when
we got home. He didn't get them all, though. He only took 2 when
I told him '1'. I think I'll hide them and only tell #2 where they are.

HH grilled some steaks for supper. He brought them home from
work, after a plant cookout. Some guy won them and didn't want
them, so HH got the spoils. I told him they might spoil, that he
should put them in the freezer yesterday. I'm funny like that.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. 4 days. And he drove them
home in his car, with no cooler. My grandma and HH had quite
a laugh at my expense. Grandma said, "Aww, they'll keep for a
week. What does she think the refrigerator's for?" Hey! It's not
1930 any more, Grandma. A refrigerator is not a Way-Back
machine. I don't think meat lasts that long, unless it is meat that
is packaged by demon Wal*Mart, that has been nuked or some
such thing. Anyhoo, the steaks were great. That is one thing that
HH does exceptionally well: grill meat. He also cleaned the glass
shower door today, but that is giving him too much glory, so we
won't go into that.

Now I must go digest my $11.00 per pound filet mignon. I must
ask HH what his company really does.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Hillbilly Mom Looks Ahead

Wow. At the end of the upcoming week, we will be halfway through
first quarter. An eighth of the school year gone! Time flies during the
first semester. We get used to our new schedules/students, we get
back into the routine. October will fly by, with conference days to
give out grades and meet with parents, and the Halloween dances
in all three buildings. And November is (DUH!) Thanksgiving, with
that blessed four-day weekend. After that, it's just a few short
weeks until we're out for Christmas break. Oh, and the possibility
of snow days becomes reality.

January could drag, or it could fly. Depends on the weather forecast.
Sometimes those demon weathermen string us along like an ugly fat
girl with money, just waiting for an invitation to the prom. One year,
we had snow every Thursday afternoon for a month. I'd drive to my
other building, and by the time I'd get there, WOOHOO, school
was cancelled for the rest of the day. And the roads were not clear
by the next morning, so VOILA, three-day weekend. Oh, we paid
for it at the end of the year, but it was nice while it lasted. Another
year, we got a big ol' ice storm followed by snow. Every morning,
that eagerly-awaited call from the emergency phone tree came
through around 5:30. "No school today." WHEEEEE! I think we
missed 8 or 10 days in a row. My buddy Mabel can correct me
if she dares, as she is more detail-oriented than I. But if she dares
correct Hillbilly Mom, we will have to discuss how Mabel gets to
school on days with snow in the forecast.

February is the same as January. Lots of promise for snow days.
And we get Martin Luther King's holiday IF we haven't missed
any days yet, and President's Day. In March, we are eagerly
stuffing the students with information for the upcoming MAP
Test, hoping they can hold it in until time to regurgitate it for
the April exam. April brings not only showers, but Spring Break,
which is only a four-day weekend, but I ain't complainin'. And
May? Well...we have to do inventory, turn in requisitions, sit
through graduation, prepare final grades, and give an address
where we can be reached for the summer.

Wow! The school year is almost over!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Old, But Without the Old People Smell

I haven't much to say. Actually, I have too much to say, but it is
related to work, and I probably shouldn't say it. Though I will put
this thought out there: DON'T MESS WITH MRS. HILLBILLY
MOM, KIDS. I have been teaching kids your age longer than you
have been a kid your age. I know all the tricks, and I have the
resources to combat them. To the two classes who are planning
a mutiny: I will take you down one buccaneer at a time. I've
been reading Treasure Island to my 7th grade Communication
Arts class. Does it show?

For the perfect end to the perfect day, I had a doctor's appointment
at 4:30. Don't you worry about ol' Hillbilly Mom, people. I ain't sick,
and I didn't have to wait 2 hours in the waiting room. It's a specialty
doctor, you annual tune-up. I was amazed that I was called
in EARLY from the waiting room, and the doctor walked in at the
stroke of my appointment time. He was very glad to see me. Not
in a 'pickle in your pocket' kind of way, but in a 'you're my last
appointment of the day' kind of way. In and out in 30 minutes.
That's how doctorin' should be! Plus, he told me a joke:
Two old ladies sat in church, bored to tears. One leaned over
to the other one and said, "I think my butt's asleep." To which
the other one replied, "I know. I heard it snore a minute ago."

HH picked up the boys from my Hillbilly Mama's house, and we
met at CiCi's Pizza for supper. Because it has been 3 days since
we last ate pizza. One of my former students was working. She
even hooked me up with some cheese and mushrooms for my
predominantly sweet-banana-pepper salad. AND, she saved the
day for HH, who lost a dollar in the ice cream vending machine.
Wahwahwah! That's the sound of HH crying because he really
wanted the ice cream. She opened up the machine and gave
him one. Then she gave #2 son the 50 cents he lost in a game.
She barely had time to work, what with servicing the Hillbilly
family all night. #1 son went up to ask her why she wasn't out
front with a foam pizza on her head, attracting business. I thought
that would be a good joke, since we saw one of the employees
doing just that. My little gal said, "Because I did that Wednesday
night." Heehee. She's funny, too. You ROCK, kid. Keep up the
good work. She's still in school, just not in my class this year.

HH spied my supervisor from my old job at the Unemployment
Office. I haven't seen her in 9 years. She still looked the same!
It was nice seeing her again. She's working locally in customer
service at a manufacturer of kids' play equipment. Small world.

The boys have the first day of their bowling league tomorrow. I
have to take them, because HH has to attend a class on "How to
close your pool for the winter." That man needs all the learnin' he
can get. I don't want the pool to smell like old people next summer.

Speaking of old people...I am getting tired, and must quit typing
the nothing that I had to say. I may be old, but I don't smell.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Crime Doesn't Pay

Today's happenings included the sight of two school-age boys
walking up Main Street, right in front of the school, around 12:45.
Umm...that is during school hours. They didn't belong in our building,
but calls were made to our other facilities, and we discovered that
they were indeed AWOL. Almost, because somebody had called
in their absences, but at this point the somebodies are still being
determined. Anyhoo, I only noticed that on accident because I
had to use the office copier because a cadet teacher was running
massive amounts of megacopies on BOTH copiers in the teacher
work room. Shortly after the call was made to the other schools,
I heard a police siren up the street. Yep. In this little town, the
coppers will nab any hooky-playin' hooligans for traipsing around
in broad daylight. I mean ALLEGED hooky-playin' hooligans. It's
possible that parents called in their absences. And like HH enjoys
saying, "It's possible a monkey might jump out my a$$, but I don't
look for it to happen anytime soon."

After school, we had to make a stop at Wal*Mart. Guess what?
They managed to piss me off again! I know, who woulda thunk
that? More on that later.

I gave the boys each a dollar while I was in line to check out. I
don't like to do that, because #1 son is too good at a certain race
car game, and I usually end up standing there with melting frozen
food while he finishes a game. Either he's good, or he strong-arms
younger children in the play room for more than a dollar. This time,
both boys promised to play a grabbing game-type thingy that does
not take long to eat their money.

After paying, with that blasted machine thingy messing up my pin
number on my debit card by counting each number twice, I saw
that #1 had a big orange stuffed tiger. He tossed it in the cart. He
asked for another dollar for each of them. "I almost had that dog,
but it got caught on the tiger, and all I won was the tiger. That
dog is just in the right place." Yeah. I'm a sucker for a begging
child. But I only gave them ONE dollar. See there. I can't be
completely manipulated. #1 put in the dollar, #2 moved the hook
thingy, and #1 adjusted it slightly. They grabbed that dog. That
boy is good at beating those money-stealing games. It only cost
me three dollars to get a dog and a tiger.

Oh...but you should have seen #2 son's face light up when #1
said he could have the dog. It was more like a bear with a dog's
head, dressed in overalls, with a little fishing hat. #2 hugged it.
He carried it up in the air, holding it by its stuffed armpits. He
tossed it and caught it like a doting father will do with a laughing
baby while the mother looks on in horror. He was practically
skipping out of the store. Even #1, his mortal enemy, had to
smile at his glee.

Even the greeter/goodbyer said, "It looks like somebody won
a dog!" Just then, that buttpainy shoplifter-catcher dinger thingy
went off. As WE pushed our cart through. So I stopped and
got out my receipt. I had only bought food, and 3 ink cartridges
for #1 son's printer. I told the lady, "We bought some cartridges."
She said, "I guarantee that's what it is." Because the last time I
checked, Wal*Mart didn't put those magnetic shoplifter-stoppers
on food. The greeter/goodbyer took the three cartridges back to
a register. When she returned, she held up the magenta one and
said, "This was it. No matter what we do, some of those won't
scan." Which I took to mean that they wouldn't be cleared of
their magnetic thingy, because we certainly did have it scanned
and paid for it, as she saw on the receipt. She wrote down
something in her little book, and gave me back the cartridges.
At least she was pleasant.

In the car, #1 made #2 cover his ears. He whispered, "I was
going to give that dog to my girlfriend, but he's so happy with
it, I can't take it away." Awww....that made me cry. He's never
that sweet.

And he gave him the tiger, too.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Here It Is

Oops! I almost forgot to post something tonight. Imagine that! I've
done one every day forEVER, and I just got carried away typing
an email to a company that did not send me a book from an order
I made waaaaay back July 31. Shame on them. I have already
called them once, and was told to call back if I didn't get it within
two weeks. That deadline has waaaaay expired. Double shame
on them. I won't say specifically who it is, since they at least have
not charged me for the merchandise I didn't get, but shame shame
shame, it is an academic book service company. If I had known
they were not sending that book, I would have gotten one from
another bookseller. SHAME ON THEM! That's no way to run
a business, to send out the order, with the one thingy crossed out
in red ink, with no comment about it. And then to say that it will
ship when they get it. Don't LIST it, you DOGGONE people,

Have I ever told you that PEOPLE PISS ME OFF? Well, they do.
We have found our litter of 5 puppies from the low-water bridge
that we had planned on kidnapping one of. Ain't that good English?
I teach it now, too, you know. Those puppies are in a fenced yard
about a mile from the bridge, at the house where HH stopped to
ask about buying the portable dog run they have marked for sale
at a price of $75. Who knew? We wanted a dog run for a puppy,
but the dog-run-sellers had scooped up all the puppies. Man!
That reminds me of the time I sold my beautiful long flowing hair
to buy HH a watch fob, and wouldn't you know it, HH had sold
his watch to buy me combs for my hair! Oh. That wasn't us. It
was a short story by O. Henry. Just checking to see if you're
paying attention.

This morning, on the way to school, I saw the puppies while we
were waiting behind a school bus. #2 said, "I TOLD you I saw
our puppies here." He was right. I had not believed him a few
days ago. I only saw their little brown dog running around the
yard. #1 son said, "Dad should come up here to get that dog
pen, and see if they'll sell him a puppy with it." I told him, "You
saw those two little girls get on the bus. You know you can't
take their puppies. That would be like stealing a puppy from a
little girl." OK, so I'm not very original tonight. I've had another
hard day. #1 agreed with me that we couldn't upset the happy
home of lost puppies. At least the mystery has been solved.

Speaking of solving...the Free Hairwad Hot Tub no longer smells
like old people. Which means that HH and #2 son do not smell
like old people after sitting in it for a half-hour every night. Imagine
that! If you drain out the first tub of water that's been put in it in
oh....I don't know...20 FREAKIN' YEARS...and clean it and
refill it, the water doesn't smell like old people. Who knew? ME
ME ME ME ME! But HH had to hear if from the pool & spa
experts. I wonder if I could give them a script to read to him
every few weeks. That could be a new side business for them.

Speaking of side businesses...I think I need to go grade some
papers for that little thing I like to call MY JOB.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Hillbilly Mom Cranks Again

Hillbilly Mom is not in a good mood. Some might say she's down-
right cranky. Others would say she's a b*tch-on-wheels. Large
SUV wheels. Any way you slice her, HM is a bitter pill to swallow

First cat out of the bag (No. I keep explaining to you, it's just a
saying. No cats, no bags.) this morning, the boys and I were all
ready to leave for school, and I had no keys. I looked in the side
of my purse, where I ALWAYS keep them. None. I looked all
around the kitchen counter beside my purse, where the kids
sometimes drop them after unlocking the door, because hey, it
would be too much work to move their hand another three inches
and drop them into the purse itself. None. I was formulating the
alternate I've gotta find some way to get us to school, by cracky!
plan when I decided to look for HH's keys. Sometimes he leaves
his keys to my car lying about on the dresser. Aha! I snagged
his keys. No need to call my poor Hillbilly Mama to drive out
to our house to pick us up, and come to school at 10:53 to rush
me to the other building, and pick us up after school. She was
probably on the internet anyway. And her cell phone won't get
a signal in her house. We might as well be using two tin cans
and some string, for the fine phone service we get around here.

I had tried to call HH before I found his keys, because yesterday
he used my keys driving home from the Labor Day Picnic. So
you would think he would bring them in and at least drop them
near my purse. No. HH was in a fit of peevishness when we
arrived home, due to me questioning him about grabbing #2 son
(the sweet one) by the neck coming out of Casey's after getting
gas, and all the people in the parking lot stared at him, he was
so rough. HH would not answer my call, even though it was
10 minutes before he was due to start work. I left him a message
about needing my keys.

While all this was going on, #2 son decided to go sit in the car.
That boy is an eternal optimist. He ran back in to proclaim that
"Your keys are in the ignition!". He has quite a vocabulary, too.
Hmm...seems that HH, in his fit of anger, stalked out of the
garage, leaving my keys in the ignition. All night. That may fly
in your neck of the woods, Okie pals, but we live near a medium
security prison. Methinks we should not be leaving the keys
in the car in an unlocked garage.

I found out this afternoon that HH had called my Hillbilly Mama
at noon to see if I ever found my keys. Then he called me at
4:40 p.m. to ask the same thing. He said, "The last thing I did
with them was leave them in the car for you." Yeah. Like that's
the most normal thing in the world to do. It's the passenger's
responsibility to check the ignition for the keys when exiting the
car. HH acted like it was my fault the keys were lost.

Thennnnn, I gave a writing assignment at school, with the prompt:
The biggest mistake I ever made was...Great Googley Moogley,
people! You wouldn't believe some of the stuff I got! Not that
it made me any crankier, mind you. It was just bizarre, and made
me not dwell on the HHkeygate scandal any longer.

I started out by telling them my biggest mistake was trying to get
a bee out of my pocket while driving a curvy road at 55 mph.
That little episode ended with a car that was destroyed from
rolling over three times down the middle of the road, and myself
not feeling too spry for a few weeks. "Top that!" I told them.
So they did.

There were kids who jumped off the roof of the house, kids who
took a gun to a friend's house, kids who threw a dart through
Mom's cheek, kids who fed Grandpa's pet squirrel a 'last supper'
and took him out and shot him, kids who tried to stomp out a
fire and melted their boots to their legs, kids who stole their
brother's credit card and took out $400 at an ATM, kids who
burnt the trash too close to the riding mower and caught a tire
on fire. So my life isn't all that bad.

But I still reserve the right to complain about it.