Saturday, June 10, 2023

The Blind Leading the COIN-Chaser

This week was a repeat of last week's Future Pennyillionaire quest. Only better. Still just one coin, but it was a doozy!

WEDNESDAY, June 7, I stepped into the Backroads Casey's and felt my eyes pop out like one of those Bug-Out Bob dolls.

No, not from the sight of those poorly-stocked snack racks, but from that QUARTER on the mat in front of me!!! My second quarter of 2023.

It was a face-down 2003 quarter, the Alabama version with Helen Keller on the back. Supposely Helen is one of the rarer state quarters, though I doubt that she's even worth a dollar. She will be chillin' in my penny goblet, not on the market for resale.

That's 1 COIN this week, for 25 CENTS towards Val's Future Pennyillionaire Fortune!


Penny           still at 55
Dime             still at 9
Nickel           still at 1
Quarter        # 2


Penny           124
Dime              21
Nickel              7
Quarter             9


Penny        124
Dime           14
Nickel           7
Quarter         6

Friday, June 9, 2023

Hick Brushes Off Val's Help

When I got home from town on Wednesday afternoon, a surprise awaited me on the porch. It was a paintbrush lying on the side porch, with damp spots around it. Huh. Hick has not been painting anything, nor staining. I recalled that he uses a paintbrush to apply BBQ sauce when he grills. I wash that paintbrush, and it's not as big as the one I saw on the porch. Still, perhaps Hick has been holding out on me. Or maybe he uses a different brush to clean off the grill before putting on the meat.

As I was pondering this find, my little Jack went over and started licking the paintbrush. I know Jack is not big enough to get up on Gassy G Jr and steal a brush. So maybe Copper Jack snatched it, and my Jack bullied it from him.

Anyhoo... I picked up the paintbrush and put it on top of Gassy G Jr, planning to tell Hick, and make sure he didn't use it without me washing it first. Jack looked forlorn when I took away his lick-toy.

Of course Hick walked by this brush twice. Once coming into the house, and again after going out to fetch some of his Diet Mountain Dew from T-Hoe's rear. You'd think something out of place would catch his eye. Then again, Hick's eye on that side is blind. So maybe he has an excuse.

Anyhoo... when I told him about the brush, Hick said,

"That can't be mine. I always bring it in for you to wash. Might belong to Neighbor. Them dogs is always going over there."

"Well, if that's where it came from, I'm sure OUR Jack is the one who took it. Copper Jack hasn't bothered anything here that I know of. And I doubt he brought his own BBQ brush over here to put on our porch. He stays off the porch, because Jack and Juno would chase him when they caught him up here."

I'm pretty sure nobody wants that brush back. I'd just give it to Jack, but I'm also pretty sure he'd eat the whole thing. He's a chewer.

Thursday, June 8, 2023

The Mortification Is Real

I picked a good time to go throught the Dairy Queen drive-thru on Wednesday. Only four cars ahead of me. The line moved quickly. I was sitting behind a lone car before I knew it. Behind me, a single car pulled up.

The lady in the car ahead of me got a chocolate dip cone. It looked delicious, but I'm not a fan of DQ ice cream, preferring the soft pretzel sticks for a savory treat. I watched the worker hand out the cone, and take the lady's cash. Change came back out the window quickly.

Inside that car, I could see the lady holding her cone, and putting her change in something on the console. 


What in the Not-Heaven? Where did THAT come from? It was not me. But I was afraid that lady would think I was honking at her to get out of my way, since she already had her treat. 

NO! It wasn't me! I was not in a hurry. You can't just take off driving a 2-ton vehicle while holding a chocolate dip cone in one hand, and change in the other hand! Better safe than sorry. Sorry for a wreck, or sorry for dropping your treat.

I suppose the HONK came from the car behind me. It looked like a couple teenage passengers. Maybe one of them reached over and hit the horn. Maybe it was a joke. Maybe they could only see the hands reaching out the window, and not the lady getting her change stowed away.

Anyhoo... let the record show that Val has a horn, and is not afraid to use it. Like the day before, when a Speedy McSpeederson came round the curve on our blacktop county road by the sheep field, more then half on my side of the road. I slammed on T-Hoe's brakes, and pounded the horn. Tragedy narrowly averted. T-Hoe almost lost his front bumper!

Anyhoo... I hope that lady didn't think I was the one honking. But she probably did. Falsely accused! For once Val didn't earn her scorn.

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

To Be a Fly on This Wall, You Must Be Properly Composed, and Suitably Framed

Genius has had an interest in photography since his early teens. He had several different cameras, and advice from the school newspaper's sponsor. He ordered his own chemicals, and used Hick's basement workshop to develop his film. Some people just "get it." I am not one of those people. Seems like whatever picture Genius takes, it turns out just right. 

A couple days ago, Genius said he'd been updating the photo wall in his apartment.

I assume Genius took these assorted landscapes on his many travels. Heh, heh! I forgot to ask if the box of tissues was there for anyone compelled to weep at the beauty of his art!

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Kind of Soon For Another Winner

I should be in the middle of a losing streak right now, after my $1000 win a couple weeks ago. Well. Tell it to The Universe! If I could pick a winner whenever I wanted, I would space them out. Uh huh. Sure I would. But I'm not going to turn down the win I had on Sunday:

That's a $500 WINNER! Kind of unusual this time. Started off with the first six numbers matching. Then one didn't. I had been thinking it was going to be a win all kind of ticket, matching every number. But only twenty out of the twenty-five matched. THEN I figured it was probably going to be $10 prize under each number, for a $200 winner. But no! I was shocked when I revealed the $25 prizes!

I'd been eyeing this $20 ticket for three days at the Gas Station Chicken Store. I'd go in to buy my low-roller tickets, and this would catch my attention. Finally, I decided that I could take a chance on it. I love a multiplier ticket. And with my recent good fortune, it would not break my lottery allowance. So I took it. I was kind of disappointed when I saw my favorite clerk yank it out of the case. Meaning that it was obviously the last ticket on the roll. Nothing to tear it away from.

Imagine my surprise when I got home and scratched it first. I saw that the first number was a match, and knew I would at least get my $20 investment back. That's always a relief on the big tickets. Anything else is gravy. Well. Val was soon swimmin' in gravy!

I got up early didn't go to bed on Monday morning, so I could get to town while the owners were at the Gas Station Chicken Store. They leave before 2:00, and clerks can't cash anything over $300. Casey's stores will only cash tickets up to $100. Only the Gas Station Chicken Store and Country Mart will cash up to $600. Anything $601 and above has to go through a Missouri Lottery office.

Anyhoo... I saw the owners' car parked out front. It was around 11:30. I also cashed in $25 of other winners, and bought more tickets. I held the $500 winner back, and asked the clerk, an old lady I rarely see, due to the hours I keep, if she could ask one of the owners to come up and cash it for me.

Old Lady Clerk kind of hemmed and hawed. She mumbled that one of them was right back there. But she didn't say anything. She scanned my other two winners, and got my tickets. I was waiting for her to pick up the phone and call back to their office. But she didn't. I was due $1 in change, and Old Lady Clerk riffled through the cash drawer. She mumbled something like, "I don't know if I have enough for that." Then she gave me my tickets and my dollar. Like we were done!

"Well? Can you call one of them to come cash my ticket?"

"They will just ask ME if I have enough money to cash it."

Huh. Well. I guess she really didn't want to be bothered. There was only one customer who came in behind me. Yet she acted like this was a done deal. She never actually SAID she didn't have enough cash in her drawer. I got the hint. 

"I guess I'll just take it over to Country Mart. They'll cash it for me."

So I did. The lady at the service desk was very polite and friendly. She took that money out right there and counted it in view.

"I can give it to you in hundreds."

"That's fine. I just want to cash it. I don't care about the bills. I got it yesterday over at the Gas Station Chicken Store. Last ticket on the roll."

"Oh. Yes it is. We usually have more big winners on the FIRST ticket."

"I've heard people say that, but I just don't like a first ticket. Too bad you can't cash a $1000 ticket I got here a couple weeks ago. I still have to make my appointment to take it to the city."

"That is so ridiculous, those appointments."

"I know! They never used to have appointments until the VIRUS, and now they won't go back to letting people walk in. I only ever saw one other person there in all the times I went to cash tickets."

A guy behind me cashed in a $100 winner. The gal said, "That will probably be the last ticket we can cash in today. That uses up my money." Good thing I got up early didn't go to bed!

Anyhoo... I found a place to cash my $500 winner. Such a terrible problem to have.

Monday, June 5, 2023

Proving My Potato Salad Point

Remember a month ago, when Genius asked for my potato salad recipe, to take this tasty dish to a BBQ? And I concluded the tale by saying: "Give a man potato salad and he eats for a day. Teach a man to make potato salad, and he gets invited to BBQs for life." Well. The proof is in the potato salad.

I got a text from Genius on Friday night:

"Made another batch of potato salad for a pool party we're hosting tomorrow! [Okay. So technically, Genius is invited to his own pool party, which is similar to a BBQ...] Forgot to buy eggs, so no eggs this time." 

"Mmm. I've made it without eggs, and didn't notice until the next time that I made it. Maybe you can send me a picture of it."

The picture came on Saturday morning:

"I make it with way more mayo and mustard than you say to. 3lbs of potatoes, roughly half a cup of mayo, slightly less mustard, and still added some celery seeds and apple cider vinegar. Everyone really liked it last time so I'm sure it will be a hit again."

"I'm sure!"

Man does not live by potato salad alone. Genius also sent another picture:

"Look how cute my swim trunks are!"

"They are very cute. Looks like a hamburger over a palm tree logo!"

"LOL. I do see that."

I have a feeling that Genius's potato salad recipe will last many more years than his swim trunks.

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Rush, Rush, Sweet Scarlett!

Hick is working hard to get our new dog Scarlett released from captivity. Even though we are the ones holding her hostage. After Hick had to track her down on two separate occasions, he plans a window for Scarlett's next trial at freedom.

Such a sweet girl! If only she would stay here! Surely she can forgive Hick for her near decapitation when he dragged her under the Gator with her lead wrapped around the axle! She doesn't seem to hold it against him. Scarlett adores Hick.

Wednesday afternoon, Hick let Scarlett off her lead. He petted her a few minutes. Then proceeded to mow the BARn field and the cleared portion of our 10 acres next to it. I saw Scarlett come up on the porch a couple times. Jack was following after her, but they did not seem to be acting like buddies. Hick mowed for three hours.

"I put Scarlett back on her lead for the night. She did real good. Every time I turned to look, she was laying down where I could see her. She made a trip down to the house by my blacktopped hill, then came back. She made another trip across the road to our neighbors where I had to pick her up last time, but she came back. I think she's starting to realize that she lives here."

Hick didn't let Scarlett loose on Thursday, because it was so hot, and he didn't want to chase her if she ran off. Also, he had his SUS2 (Storage Unit Store 2) business on Friday, and didn't want to drive all the way back home if she decided to roam. But Friday afternoon, he let Scarlett go, with plans to tie her back up for the night.

When I came home from town, Scarlett came to the side porch to greet me. I petted her. She jumped up on me, but when I said, "NO!" she got down. She went in the garage, and came out when I called her. I went back in to get my purse, and as I closed T-Hoe's passenger door, it made a THUMP and balked. Huh. I think I might have closed Scarlett's head in the door. I apologized and petted her. That's what she gets for sneaking up behind me! She didn't seem to hold it against me.

When I took some of the groceries in, Scarlett did not bother the bags I had left on the chair on the side porch. Jack was there. He did not seem jealous. No barking or growling. I had pats for both of them. Scarlett did not run in when I opened the kitchen door. I tossed out a hamburger-grease-soaked bun for Jack, and another for Scarlett. She looked at it like it was something foreign. I guess she never got table scraps in her old home. After a sniff, she ate her treat.

While sitting at the kitchen table perusing the innernets, I saw Scarlett go around the porch several times over the course of 90 minutes. Both directions. I spoke to her through the windows. 

Around 6:00, Hick got a phone call. "Yeah. I'm home. Okay. I'll be right up."

I'm sure you know what THAT was about! Scarlett was up the gravel road at another house. The man called. He said his wife thought she had seen something about Scarlett being our new dog. Hick drove SilverRedO up to get her. About a quarter-mile. Scarlett had been in their driveway when they called, and was on the porch when Hick turned in. She came running to SilverRedO, wagging her stub tail, and jumped right in. Her reward was being put back on the lead.

I really wish Scarlett would hurry up and learn to stay home! It's not like she's running off wildly the minute she's let go. I think maybe she's just exploring, and might eventually come back. She seems glad to see Hick when he goes to fetch her. As Hick said, she at least went in a different direction this time. Perhaps she's mapping out the area for future reference.