Thursday, December 8, 2016

I Complained Because My Window Was Held Up by Two Doorstops, and Then I Met a Woman Whose Window Was Held Up by Blue Duct Tape

And that woman was ME!!!

Yeah. Seems like only 12 days ago I complained that Hick had shoved two three wooden doorstops in T-Hoe's rear passenger window to hold it closed.

Wednesday I got in T-Hoe to go meet my favorite gambling aunt for lunch, and found that I had to deal with THIS:

Yeah. That's my car door. Riding along as a back-seat passenger! Unbeknownst to ME, until I climbed in and turned around to back out of the garage. Turned around, because my back-up beepers don't work. Oh, I would have noticed, even if I didn't turn around. The rattle would have piqued my curiosity.

Oh, how I longed for those 11 days of driving around with three wooden doorstops holding up my window! Because now I was tooling around three towns in a Hoosiermobile with blue duct tape holding up the rear window. Even cardboard and silver duct tape covering the passenger window on the $1000 Caravan was not as jarring.

But that's not all!!! Enough, yes. But ALL, no.

Hick had taken T-Hoe to work to have the job done at a place he knows up there. He had said they might need to order a part, in which case they would fix the window so it wouldn't fall down in the meantime. I'm pretty sure Hick said he went to school with this lady whose husband runs the shop. I'm starting to think the husband went to school with Hick, too. And learned how to hold up a window from the same trade school teacher.

Anyhoo...Hick had returned T-Hoe to the garage and parked him a bit farther forward that I do. Meaning that the driver's door rested against a framing 2 x 4 in the wall, and did not reach maximum openage. A hardship for Val to bend her cantankerous knee to get in.

THEN, once I got out on the road and tried to look behind me, I noticed that the passenger side mirror gave me a view of the overcast sky. How Hick drives like that is BEYOOOOOND me. Of course, it could explain the sweaving...

When a song came on the radio that I did not care for, Hick's THIRD STRIKE caused a roar from this crowd of one. I clicked T-Hoe's steering-wheel station-changer with my finger, and could only get the same six stations. Over and over. And over. And over. It would go through the six stations and then start again with the same six.

I could not get my channels to come up. It's not like I memorize the numbers on Sirius XM for my stations. They are readily available with the tap of a finger. Without even taking my eyes off the road. Until NOW!

I called Hick, to ask what he did with the radio.

"I didn't do nothin' to the radio. I just listened to my stations."

"Now MY stations are gone! I can't get to them! No matter how I try."

"All you have to do is go to HOME."

"There IS NO HOME!"

"Yes there is. Right there beside the stations. A little house button."

"No. Nothing like that. I've tried everything I can. Now I can't listen to the radio."

"It's there. You're just not seeing it."

"Nope. You messed it up. I'm driving. Bye."

Then I ended the call, which probably Hick would call hanging up on him. Once I parked to wait for Auntie Gambler, I fiddled and faddled and somehow found my stations! All I remember is it involved the MENU button and something that popped up on the radio screen, and poking some flat buttons under there, and then clicking on the steering wheel again. WHEW! I hate to pay for something I can't use.

I sent Hick a text:

"I accidentally figured out my radio, so DON'T TOUCH IT tomorrow! You must have been thinking about how you messed up my ACADIA radio with the HOME button."

Yeah. I found out the day he took T-Hoe for fixin' that he had lost my A-Cad stations. I'll try the HOME button before I get out on the road. I can't do it in the garage, though. Ever since we got the metal roof, Sirius XM won't work in the garage. I'm hoping that Hick will bring home a working-windowed T-Hoe.

I kind of wish I had stopped by my sister the ex-mayor's wife's house and taken her for a ride in my jalopy.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Puppy Jack, You're a Heartbreaker, Salad Maker, Lettuce Taker...Don't You Mess Around With Me

I'm sure you will find it hard to believe that this little guy

has been up to some mischief. I know, right? Such a stellar specimen of manners and good breeding. Who would have thought that I would wake up around 11:00 Saturday and find THIS

in my driveway? At first I thought it must have been the banana peel that Hick has a way of leaving in the oddest places, and never the wastebasket. I didn't have my glasses on, you know, and by the time I noticed it, right there where the gravel meets the concrete slab behind the garage, I was sitting up high in T-Hoe. It wasn't until I got home that I figured out what it was.

That necessitated a walk out the car door of the garage, for a better look. My fleabag companions were waiting for me on the side porch, just on the other side of the people door of the garage. This change of routine threw them for a loop. They ran around to find me, and immediately started their play-fight shenanigans like it was time for the evening walk. I tried to get a picture of them, since they kept getting in the way of my true subject, but this it the best one.

My new hand-me-down phone camera seems to have tried to save itself, like if I had pointed it directly at the sun during an eclipse. I had to make Jack pose yesterday to get that first shot. And IT took nine tries. You can't catch lightning in a bottle.

Anyhoo...I had used some hearts of romaine to make a post-Thanksgiving 7-Layer Salad. Because they're delicious. I had Hick throw the heartiest of the hearts off the back porch deck. Wildlife eat that stuff up!

Apparently, Jack also likes salad. Or he doesn't. He likes it enough to carry the heartiest hearts around front, he likes salad enough to chew it, but he doesn't like salad enough to actually eat it. Or else he's watching his weight, and I'll find him hanging around on the front porch with a cigarette, a Tic Tac, and a Diet Coke.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Serenity How?

Let the record show that Hick took the day off Monday due to his sickness. Of course, he announced his plans Sunday morning, a full 24 hours in advance. I suppose he was anticipating a relapse after spending the rainy 38-degree morning tromping around Shackytown with some work cronies, and feasting at the company Christmas dinner that evening.

Hick DID get up at 6:00 and drive 45 minutes to work to get his men started on projects, then drove 45 minutes home. He was back by 8:30, ready to hit the sack. Which meant I might as well get up an hour early (!) for my usual routine. I got ready to do the Walmart shopping. Right after I stepped out of the shower, Hick's phone started ringing. He leaves it plugged in on the bathroom counter.

"Hey! Do you want to answer this? It's [NAME REDACTED]. Whoever that is."

"Yeah. I'll take it."

I carried the phone to Almost-Sleeping Not-Beauty. Seems it was a guy from work asking what he was supposed to do. Hick went back to bed, with his phone on the nightstand. I left him wearing his breather with the quilt pulled over his face. But not for long! Once outside petting the pups, I noticed that I had forgotten my jacket. So I started back in. I could have sworn I heard the house phone ringing. Yet when I opened the door it was not. I checked to be sure, and it showed a missed call. Which happened to be Hick's pharmacy.

"Hey! The phone just rang and you didn't answer. It was your pharmacy. Do you want to call them?"

"No. I don't know why they would call me. They'll call back if it's important."

"Do you want me to put the phone beside you? So you don't have to get up?"

"No. I'm good."

So I left him there. In bed. Breathered. Head covered. I was gone two and a half hours. I unloaded T-Hoe and put things away, and went to wake Hick. Because he had decreed that I was driving to town with him today to take his Ford F250 Long Bed Club Cab to get some work done. Something about a wiring harness or a coil. He really sounds like Charlie Brown's teacher when he tells me too many details. Some part that he would have to crawl under the truck and test six different wires to see which one was bad, and he'd have to buy the wires at $51 apiece, and he'd be out that money if it wasn't the one he thought. Because it probably wasn't all six of them. Anyhoo...I guess the thought of all that money in the bank account slipped his mind. Or else he really doesn't want to crawl up under the truck, because his BARn is full of his "collectibles" and he can't work on the vehicles there as he built it for.

Let the record show that I refused to split up my day for his convenience. I was not going to sit down and have lunch and get started on my internet timewasting and then have to drive back to town while my 44 oz Diet Coke got waterlogged by ice. So Hick had decided that after the shopping, we could go and drop off his truck and then get my magical elixir.

"Okay. I'm back. Are you ready to go to town?"

"Oh. I guess so. The phone rang FOUR TIMES! The pharmacy and work again because they told me they don't have enough material for this project, and I told them I ordered more than TWICE what they needed, and then they decided they measured wrong and really did have enough."

"What did the pharmacy want?"

"I don't know. I didn't answer them."

I swear. Hick is like Genius reaching into the dish drainer to get a short fork, and pulling out a long one, and putting it back, and pulling out a long one again, and putting it back, and then the third time deciding just to use the long one.

We dropped off the truck and headed for my soda. Except first we had to pick up a bacon cheeseburger for Hick at Dairy Queen, because he had a hankerin' for it. Then he decided to go into Orb K with me for a fountain soda. After his burger, he decided that maybe he didn't feel all that bad, and he'd maybe go do something. But I think mainly he watched Gunsmoke reruns and went to pick up the mail.

He complained that he didn't get much rest while he was home. He was preachin' to the choir!

Thankfully, Hick is going to work as usual tomorrow. I, for one, could use the rest. I just want to sit on the front porch with the dogs and enjoy the serenity of a Hickless homestead.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Hick in the Money Depository With an Attitude

The car-buying episode of the sitcom of Val's life has not yet rolled the credits. We are waiting for the insurance check, which quite possibly is held up waiting for The Pony's statement. He has been playing phone tag all week with the insurance adjuster.'s a formality that may or may not hold up the check for now. That money is not the big deal, it's the title and tax statement form that we need to transfer license on the car within 30 days.

When Hick went to buy a car that Friday after Thanksgiving, I assumed he would do it the way we always do, and get a cashiers check from our savings institution to pay the dealer. HO HO HO! That's what I get for assuming! Hick called me on the way home from that transaction, (The Pony driving the new used car ahead of him) to say that he gave the dealer the check. Further questioning revealed that Hick did NOT give the dealer a cashier's check, but rather gave him the check I had sent along to put down a good faith deposit to hold the car while going to get the cashier's check.

Hick wrote a personal check for quite a few thousand dollars.

I am well aware of how Hick's brain works, what with him dropping $1000 here on shoe inserts, and $1700 there on a surprise new lawnmower, and many times that on a new used tractor at the MoDOT equipment auction. So I carry a little padding in our checking account that Hick doesn't need to know about. It is not generally enough to buy a car, though. Even a small used 2013 SUV.

"Uh...I thought you were getting a cashier's check! You need to stop by that savings & loan branch on the way home and get me a check to deposit in the checking account tomorrow morning. AND they're going to put a 10-day hold on it! Our bank does that on EVERYTHING except cash."

"They won't on a cashier's check."

"You just try it! That's why I always take cash out of the boys' credit union accounts to put in checking and cover their college expenses. That way it's available right then. A check, even from the credit union across town, takes 10 days."

"I'll take it down there myself on the way home. Anyway, I told the car guy I had to transfer some money. He said they know people have to do that, and they'll hold a check for 20 days. [Yeah, right. It cleared the next business day. Please, please do not offer to sell Hick any swampland in Florida, or the London Bridge.] Then they'll come looking for me. We don't have the title yet, you know. Anyway, I didn't want to get the check and drive back up there. I'll go by the bank today. You won't have to deal with it."

So he did. Hick took a substantial cashier's check to the bank to make a deposit. And was told that the funds would be available after a 10-day hold. Apparently, Hick had a mini meltdown.

"What do you MEAN it's not available? I bought a car, and wrote a check, and now I have the money in a cashier's check to cover it! I paid $4.00 to get it! That's what a CASHIER'S CHECK is FOR! So you know the money is good! You're telling me it's not?"

"Sir, that's our policy on deposits over BLAH BLAH BLAH."

"I want to talk to somebody about this!"

So he did. And they said it would be available the next business day. But snidely made a comment of, "You don't really have to worry about that anyway, because you have $XXXXX in your checking account."

Thanks, bank. For outing me.

Still, that money is spoken for, what with me forking over a year's worth of monthly checks at my former workplace to cover the health insurance premiums, which they deposit once a month. And there was the credit card payment that included Hick's Sweden expenses that hadn't cleared yet, plus Hick's direct deposit check for his monthly wages that went in that even though it seemed to him like we were rich, we were actually just comfortable, like we are every month.

As Even Steven would have it, to further make Hick look like an unreasonable hothead (not that I care) to the bank staff...that very afternoon in the mail I received a check from my financial advisor Eddy D Jones for money that had to be taken before the end of the year, resulting from a retirement account my mom had there.

I took it to the bank Saturday morning for deposit, fully expecting to be told it would be available in 10 days. I went to the drive-thru and sent it inside through the tube. Within a minute, my receipt came back, and a Thank You.

Heh, heh. I'm pretty sure the teller saw the names on that deposit slip, and thought, "OH CRAP!!! That's the guy who was in here just before we closed yesterday, having a fit about the hold!"

Funny how the same thing happened yesterday with Hick's yearly bonus check that has ALWAYS been subject to a 10-day hold, even though it's from the same company that has paid him by direct deposit every month for 20 years. No hold this time!

Meanwhile, the man who struck such fear into these bank employees was off playing SANTA for preschoolers.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Impatient Zero

Hick has been sick with a cold. It started on Monday morning, when, at 5:20 a.m., I heard him hacking and spitting and snorting. It’s bad enough that I have to breathe the sickness droplets in my sleep that his breather sprays over me like arcs of water from a NY Harbor tugboat. I also have to resist rubbing my eyes (or picking my nose--not that a lady such as I would do that, of course) after touching the remote. Then there are the faucet handles and door handles and FRIG II's handle. You may (unreasonably) think I am being a germaphobe, but Hick sounds like he’s about to expel fragments of lung. I feel sorry for him...and I, like The Pony, am not really one known for empathy.

Hick says he caught this cold from The Pony. I defended my former little beast of burden, him having had his cough for five days before he drove mostly-home for the holiday, and surely not contagious any more during the time he was here. I figure Hick picked up his illness while at the pharmacy on Saturday, refilling medicine and not using the Germ-X after punching in his PIN on the debit card scanner. Pharmacies are full of sick people, you know. I'd sooner dine at Typhoid Mary's buffet than use a pharmacy keypad and not cleanse my fingertips immediately.

Tuesday night, Hick was underfoot when he got home. The minute I got out of the La-Z-Boy after my evening walk, and went to the kitchen to check on the leftovers I was warming, he grabbed the remote to switch the TV from Seinfeld to Andy Griffith. Well. So much for that. Kind of like I advised a certain blog buddy concerning his kitchen strainer, our remote now needs to be encased in lead and buried deep inside a salt mine.

Hick's distractions wreaked havoc with my supper plans. I went down to my dark basement lair to dine in more healthy air, and forgot my cell phone. Of course I am addicted to it (“YAY!” Says the government, who developed cell phones to track us, “We know her whereabouts, that conspiratorial ne’er-do-well!”), so I hollered up the stairs for Hick to bring it to me. He was puttering around the kitchen, or should I say stumping around, the sound of his footless ankles with their tibia and fibula distal medial and lateral malleoli pounding the floor with, ironically, excessive FOOT-pounds of energy being converted to sound.

“Hey, can you grab an oven mitt and bring me my phone to the steps? It’s on the counter.”


Next thing I know, here he comes, stumping across the carpet, partway down the stairs, holding out my phone that is GRIPPED IN HIS BARE FREAKIN’ HAND! I swear, I wanted to dip it in the toilet to cleanse it! When I asked about the absence of the oven mitt, Hick declared that he never heard me mention an oven mitt. Selective hearing, a side effect of this virus.

And THEN I realized that I had also forgotten a mini bag of Lays Original chips to go with the Hidden Valley Ranch Dip that I had put in a ramekin to accompany my ham slice and green olives and 7-layer salad.

“Hey, can you grab a bag of Lays chips and drop them down? Sorry. I forgot them too. They’re on the third shelf of the pantry. All the way to the left.”

I waited. And waited. And didn’t hear the THUMPTY THUMP of footless ankles.

“Are you getting them?”

“I can’t find no chips in here.”

“YELLOW BAG. It’s a six pack. On the left, by the wall.”

“Wellllll. I don’t see any chips.”

By that time I was upstairs. Hick must have been delirious, because right there glowing like a rising sun on the third shelf of the pantry was the yellow Lays pack of six individual chip bags. I have no idea how he could miss them, unless his sickness has a symptom of special color blindness that blocks bright school-bus yellow from his retinal cones. At least he didn’t touch my chips, so I didn't have to debate over whether to disinfect them in the toilet.

So far, I have not succumbed to the one-man epidemic. But let the record show that I did sneeze twice while typing this.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Is the 27th Anniversary Gift Beverages?

Still waiting on the Hick Sweden stories. He is playing Santa on Saturday morning, and has out-of-town visitors from his factory coming to see his Shackytown on Sunday morning, then his annual company Christmas dinner on Sunday it's gonna be a while. Plus he's been sick, so his empty head is all foggy right now. There's a story about his sickness that will be inflicted on you tomorrow.

In the meantime, let's pretend we are the cast and audience from Hee Haw. But instead of hollering, "Hey! Grandpa! What's for supper?" you can just telepathically send me, "Hey! Val! What's from Goodwill lately?" Uh huh. I heard you.

We have an orange juicer and an ice crusher, purchased early on the day that The Pony crashed himself. I know it looks like there's more stuff on my old kitchen table over in the BARn. That's stuff Hick never told me about. Not sure what's there on the left, in the rear. I first thought they were fancy plunger business-ends, with broken handles. Or maybe some very stable candlestick holders. I also see a moonshine jug in that box. I hope Hick isn't brewing up The Recipe like those elderly sisters on The Waltons. I've never seen that maroon chair before, either. But I assume the firestarter trigger thingy is not new. Or even new to Hick.

Our anniversary was last Thursday. Yes. On Thanksgiving. We were kind of busy that day. Now, with Hick sick, I don't expect he's planning any celebration. Just think of what MIGHT have been...

Val could have had that red chair pulled out for her, and Hick might have served her a fresh orange juice slushy topped with flaming moonshine, with ambience provided by stubby candles in sturdy bases, (or had tasteful accoutrements for unclogging, should she have needed to use the facilities harshly).

It's been a stomach-churning, sweave-filled, wild, fascinating ride, Hick. Here's to another 27 years, my Sweet Baboo!

Too bad he doesn't read my blog...

Upon further consideration, it's probably a GOOD thing he doesn't read my blog.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Back-of-the-Book-Blurb Friday #37 "Whizzer Warns a Witness"

Blog buddy Sioux is hosting Back-of-the-Book-Blurb Friday. I have 150 words to convince you to fake-buy my fake book. This weak week's plot will have you howling with glee as a four-legged protagonist exacts revenge on a ne'er-do-well who's threatening his human. Jump up on the couch, turn around three times, and bury your face in Val's latest fake book. Of course you'll have to buy it first!

You're in for a treat if you dig up your fake money and order this fake book today! The mailman will have it to your door in no time. Stop chasing your tail and fetch this tome from the mailbox. Balance it on your nose for a minute...wait...WAIT...NOW! Flip it in the air and get to reading!

Whizzer Warns a Witness

Whizzer has PTSD. It stems from that ex-ex-con who wanted him off his trail. "You'll back off if you know what's good for you, doggie! You put me away again, and I'll see that you have your balls handed to you!" Now Whizzer has a little incontinence problem. He's on Doggie Disability.

Whizzer's new foster father, Tim, doesn't care. "Who DOESN'T leak a little pee every now and then, huh Whiz? You've got a home here as long as you need one. Or until..." Tim has been subpoenaed as a federal grand jury witness. Lately he's been hearing things at night. Finding the same car parked down the street with a guy texting as he leaves the house.

Can loyal Whizzer pull off a canine witness protection program? (128 words)


Fake Reviews for Val’s Fake Book

Mr. Wilson..."This author is as dangerous a menace as that little boy next door! I'd sooner have Chicklets for front teeth, and stop a flaming marshmallow with my forehead, than fake-read this fake book again. This fake book needs less time to be admired than the titan arum, and stinks 100 times as much!"

Gretchen Wilson, Redneck Woman…"Does this fake book suck, or what? This author could set literacy back a whole century. Let me hear a big 'Not-Heaven Yeah!' from the redneck gals like me."

Flip Wilson…"What you see is what you get. Not much, huh? This fake book is not worth the fake paper that it's fake-printed on. I don't know what excuse this fake  author can come up with, other than maybe the devil made her do it.”

Wilson the volleyball..."I don'te see a spike in sales for this one. No publishers are going to court this Thevictorian loser. Someone needs to block any future efforts before she is set to lob another fake book our way. Can ya dig me?"

Wilson Phillips…Carnie and Wendy: "HOLD ON, there, Phillips! Nobody's listening to you! Nobody here cares about YOUR opinion. Give it up, Thevictorian! The dream is dead! You'll never be an author. Not even a FAKE one if your own DAD was a famous author about a million years ago.”

Ann Wilson & Nancy Wilson…"Dogs and butterflies both have more writing talent than this hack. This fake book makes us feel like a barracuda that wants to go crazy on you. If looks could kill, we would slay Thevictorian forthwith.”

Rita Wilson..."About all this Thevictorian woman is suited for is being a companion to my husband on a deserted island. No, not even that. A volleyball could fake-write a better fake book than her! Nobody will cry if Thevictorian is ever lost at sea."

Owen Wilson..."You know, once there was this really, really good book about a dog and his dude. So good that people thought it should be made into a movie. The name of it escapes me now, but it wasn't THIS fake book!"

Wilson, Neighbor of Tool Time's Tim Taylor…"This fake author needs to hide her head in shame. There aren't enough fences in the world to protect us from this garbage."


Patrick Warburton, AKA David Puddy..."I wish MY name was Wilson. I fake-read this fake book for nothing. I don't even get an official review. I'm going to paint my face like a devil, put on my 8-ball jacket, shine up the Jesus fish on my bumper, and go tell that Thevictorian woman where she's going. Yeah, that's right. She better not bring her car to my shop to be worked on."