Friday, July 1, 2022

I Would Already Have a FOR SALE Sign In the Front Yard

Good thing I'm not the technical owner of Pony House! Good thing I don't live there! Because I would already have a FOR SALE sign in the front yard! 

Oh, the HORROR! 

I was awakened from my beauty sleep at 8:40 a.m. by a text from The Pony:

"The horrors of city water! I just had to relocate a slug that crawled up my shower drain!"

"YIKES! I could have done without the visual!"

"I thought you might want to blog about it!

"We used to have them on the sidewalk at my $17,000 house. Some gray, some with black spots."

"It's probably going to die in the heat, but I didn't want to just kill it!"

"I used to murder them with salt."

"How cruel."

"I stepped on one in bare feet."

"You and stepping on things seems to be a running problem."

Said The Pony unfairly, referring to the dead bird under fallen leaves that I stepped on nearly every day for a month, walking out of school to the car in the parking lot. I didn't kill that bird! And it wasn't my job to dispose of it. Besides, either Genius or The Pony could have WARNED me every day as I neared that area of leaves!

Anyhoo... The Pony was either soft-hearted, or had no idea how to kill a slug inside the house. Hick says it has nothing to do with city water.

"That came in through the main sewer! Not the water pipes! I can't do anything about that. Pony should get a can of salt. You know, the cardboard can. And pour a quarter of it down each toilet, and the rest down the shower drain."

I will relay that info to The Pony next slug-pic, or when he has a day off.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Will Genius Pick a Peck?

Genius is still toiling out on the North .40 with his pepper crop. He sent more pictures on Wednesday, from his balcony field.

"Got your letter. My plan is indeed to pickle some and freeze some of my extra peppers. Plus hot sauce."

"My two other varieties are also starting to fruit! This one is a Tabasco."

"They look healthy. City air must agree with them."

"These are all Cayennes."
"Hope you can pick a peck for pickling peppers! Though not the Cayennes."
"The Tabascos will be the best pickled, I think. I plan to make a sweet chili sauce with the Cayennes. The Habaneros will probably be my hot sauce base."
"You are spicier than me!" 

"I'm just hoping they have time to ripen and stay healthy. Had a pest scare with aphids a couple weeks ago that I got under control quickly. But the two Habenero plants have been wilty for the last week or so and I can't figure out why."

"All I can think of is water. Too much or too little. Are they desert plants?"

"They don't like to be too wet, but they aren't quite desert plants. Watering helped at first and they perked back up for a day or so, but now they are sad again and they're too wet to water again so soon."

"They will make you worry over their health like a toddler!"

"They also perk up in the shade in the later half of the day, but if anything they already get not quite enough sun on the balcony, so I don't think that's it."

"Fertilizer? Like a plant spike?"

"That last watering also included fertilizer. I didn't expect a solution from you, haha, just complaining."

"I hope they pull through."

Well. I am a bit insulted that Genius doesn't think I can diagnose why his peppers are under-the-weather! It will be interesting to see what he makes of his harvest.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Has The Pony's Luck Run Out?

The Pony sent me a picture on Saturday afternoon, the day he returned to work after two days off, and his big jackpot at the casino.

"I'd get a lottery ticket if my plans weren't to go home, take a very cold shower, and crash because of this heat."

"Oh my gosh! That's retroactive casino luck! Want me to get you a ticket when I go to town?"

"Yeah. Are those $10 tickets with the 7 still a thing? One of those would probably be the best bet."

"Yes. With the flames? I'll get you a $10 sevens ticket. Symbolic for the flaming heat?"

"And, yknow, 7s."

DUH. Sometimes Val can be so dense! FYI, many casinos list their address as '777' something boulevard. Lucky sevens. Like the lyric in the Alabama song Dixieland Delight: "Lucky as a seven..."
This picture was from a Metris van, not an LLV (Long Life Vehicle). The Pony said they got in a bunch of the Metris vans recently. Hopefully to replace some LLVs! Anyhoo... that was 777 actual miles on it when he took that picture around 3:00 on Saturday. Here's a YouTube video of the USPS Metris from 2020, if you're interested in a tour inside and out. It's 6 minutes long.

Anyhoo... I got that ticket for The Pony. He just scratched it when he came out yesterday. LOSER! Oh, and he showed me another picture from a work vehicle:

"That's what the previous driver left for me! An apple core! It's so desiccated that it has almost disappeared. I'm not touching that thing!"
"Is that on the floor?"
"NO! It's in the little cubby thing on the dash!"
Again, this was in a Metris, not an LLV (Long Life Vehicle). Heh, heh. That apple core would probably be the nicest and newest thing found inside an LLV. Almost like a decoration.

Poor Pony. He's not lucky as a seven anymore.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Hick Daddy To the Rescue

The Pony can't outrun Even Steven. His Rogue's air conditioner has been broken for a week. But then he hit that casino jackpot for $2,392.51. He got two days off in a row. Then Even Steven came calling again. Saturday, The Pony didn't get off work until 8:30.

"Just clocked out. Not feeling great."

I missed the text, until 45 minutes later. My darn cracked phone didn't make a noise. I really need to see if the phone I want is in stock now. Anyhoo... I sent a return text at 9:17.

"Feeling better now?"

"Ehh. Headache and I don't have anything for it."

"Do you want me to get you some ibuprofen? We have that giant bottle that you put over the microwave when you and Dad installed the new one. I can send Dad over with them in the morning, before he opens his Storage Unit Store."

"If he was coming by, that would be good. I'll be at work by 8:00 though."

"He can bring some now! He just volunteered when I asked about tomorrow. I'll put some of the acetaminophen from the other giant bottle in with them."
"Nah. I'll be fine until morning I think. Making some pasta, then I'm gonna sleep."
"He will bring it now."
"No! He doesn't have to! I don't want to make him drive out this late!"
"He wants to!"
"He doesn't need to!"
"He's getting ready."
"OK. Tell him I'll have the front porch light on and door unlocked for him."
"Write the date on the bottle. It's an old one. And Dad is not wearing a shirt. Don't be afraid!" 

"OK. I just feel bad for making him come out."

"I wish I'd seen your text earlier. My phone was sitting right by me. No notification."

So off Hick went, wearing only cargo shorts and his camouflage Crocs. To deliver over-the-counter meds to The Pony, who gets migraines if he doesn't jump on a headache right away. At 9:57, The Pony said:

"He got it to me."

"Hope it makes you feel better. He's a good dad."

"He is. I still feel bad that he drove out here this late though."

"As long as you thanked him, he'll be fine."

"I did. I'm pretty sure, and I gave him a hug."

When Hick returned, he went straight to bed, to get his beauty sleep before opening his Storage Unit Store the next morning. He's usually in bed by 9:00. But not when The Pony needs him.

Monday, June 27, 2022

The Pony Crosses the Finish Line in the Lead

It was 12:30 when Hick stopped by to tell me he was ready to leave the casino. The Pony was somewhere in the maze of slots behind me. I bargained with Hick for a little more time, since The Pony and I were having fun, and had money left to gamble. Hick grumpily agreed to 1:15 as our departure time. I said I'd tell The Pony, since he checks in with me more often than with Hick. AND The Pony checks his texts.

The Pony passed by around 12:45, and said he was going back to play his favorite Brazil game on the Wonder 4 Spinning Fortunes over by the opposite wall. I told him I'd work my way over there, but that we had to leave at 1:15 to meet Hick by the door. 

Since I move slower than Uncle Joe at Petticoat Junction, it took me a while to meet up with The Pony. In fact, it was 1:00 when I got there.

"I can't believe we have to go so soon! I still have slots I want to play."

"I know!"

"And I have money left to gamble! I could play this game for a while, but NO, we have to leave too soon."

I was playing Buffalo Gold at the slot on the left end, the #1 slot of those four. The Pony had saved it for me, since he was playing #2. As I had caned over there, I saw The Pony glancing over his shoulder looking for me. Hick was grousing around in parts unknown.

"What time is it NOW, Pony?"


"Crap! I'm going to play faster! Gotta get as much gambling in as I can!"

"I'm going to raise my bet to MAX."

"Whatever works for you. I'm keeping mine the same. Just faster."

At 1:10, The Pony hit a bonus. It was the SUPER FREE games, meaning he got to play all four screens. And he was on a $10 bet!

"Um. Mom? I just hit a hand pay! This one screen alone is over $1,400!"

"OH CRAP! You don't have your ID! I hope they don't deny you the jackpot! You know how it always says any malfunction voids all pays. What if they use NO ID as an excuse not to pay you?"

"I don't know. There's nothing I can do."

"When they come over, just act normal! When they get to the part about seeing your ID, search all around, like you have it, but then can't find it."

"I have my WORK ID. And my old license before I renewed it..."

"Nope. I could jump over there and act like I was playing it, but there are cameras all over. You can bet they'll review the camera before they pay. To see who was sitting there when the bonus hit. So that would put us in even more hot water."

The Pony let his bonus play out. Then the screen went gray, and the loud JACKPOT kind of music started playing.
"Yeah. I'll just act like I'm looking for my license. It says CALL ATTENDANT. Do I need to push that button for SERVICE?"

"No. They'll know! Believe me, everything is monitored. They'll be here. Looks like we're not going to be meeting Dad at 1:15. I better call him. He never looks at his texts."

I called Hick, who was less than thrilled to hear that The Pony was getting a hand pay. 

In case you can't see the amount there in the line where it says "You have won a JACKPOT," it was $2,392.51.
"I'm sorry that's so loud, Mom. I had the volume down to MINIMUM, but it just did this on its own."

"Yeah. They do that on purpose. They want everybody to hear when there's a hand pay, because it makes people think THEY can win one, and maybe they'll gamble more!"

The attendants showed up, two gals who congratulated The Pony, then fiddled with the machine to stop the music. Attendant 1 started getting The Pony's information.

"What do you want to do about taxes?"

"I don't know. I don't know anything about taxes!"

"You probably want to have them all held out right now. Then you won't have to worry about it at tax time."

"Yeah. I should do that."

"Okay, so you want both federal and state held out of your jackpot?"


"I'll need to see your ID."

"Sure." The Pony dug around. Pulled out stuff. A $5 bill fell to the floor.

"Oh! Don't lose your money!"

"It's just a five. I'll get it in a minute. Huh. I don't think I have my driver's license with me. I have my work ID. I work for the post office. And I have my old license. And I have a picture of my current driver's license on my phone. Is that good enough?"

"No. We need the actual license. Are you sure you don't have it?"

"Yeah. I'm sure..."

"Okay. Let's get all the other information. We'll do the paperwork. Get your picture. Then we'll issue you a voucher for the money, and you can come back to get it when you have your ID."

"Oh! Is there a time limit on that? Like, can he come back tomorrow?"

"He can come back TODAY if he wants. Do you live far away?"

"An hour. I'll probably come back tomorrow."

Anyhoo... it took a long time to get all that info together. Hick was sitting to my left, at another bank of slots. You'll never find a bigger fun-sucker than Hick in a casino after he's spent his money.

"I think I'll just go out to the car and wait."

"It's 97 degrees! Why would you do that?"

"I can sit out there as well as I can sit in here. I'll run the air conditioner."

"GAS? That's just stupid. It won't hurt you to sit here with us."

Seriously. How could Hick not be THRILLED for The Pony's hand pay? Then we all discussed The Pony's return. Which meant in his no-AC Rogue. I had volunteered to ride up there with him the next day, because it's Hick's Storage Unit Store day. But I wouldn't do it with no AC. So we agreed that The Pony could drive A-Cad. But then Hick said:

"I'll bring him back up this afternoon. To get it over with."

Which is what eventually happened, after a stop for lunch on the way home, and The Pony driving his no-AC Rogue back to Pony House for his license.

"I'm going to leave my voucher here in the Acadia while I go get my license. Because I wouldn't want to get back up there and not have my voucher..."
The Pony gladly paid for our lunch and gas.

The amount The Pony cleared from his $2,392.51 jackpot was $1,722.51. They told him the voucher was good for five years! I can't imagine anybody waiting that long to claim a jackpot.

A hand pay is any jackpot $1,200.00 or higher. You can get $1,199.99, with nobody being the wiser. But for $1,200.00 or higher, the amount must be reported by the casino, for tax purposes. Anything less, and you're on your own to report it as income.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

The Pony Makes a False Start

The Pony has been wanting to go to the casino where we took Genius back in May. He's never been there before, and has been waiting for two days off in a row, so he could still have a day of rest. Thursday was the day chosen for this adventure, with Friday the recovery day.

We decided to leave at 9:00. The Pony drove his broken-AC Rogue out to our house around 8:30. I had sent him a text at 7:45, just to see if he was up. Sometimes he sleeps in on a day off. Yes. He said he was up and getting ready to start out here at 8:15.

Hick spent an hour rider-mowing the yard while waiting. Because of course you want to head to the casino in brown plaid shorts, a gray shirt, and some grass clippings on your shoes. We left right at 9:00, and got there at 10:00. Hick dropped off me (and my cane), and The Pony, near the door and then drove to park. We were on a brick walkway, off to the side of the north entrance.

"Okay Pony. I'm going to carry my cane until I need it. We'll go on in and play, since Dad said we don't have to wait for him. Do you have your ID ready?"

The Pony got a deer-in-the-headlights expression.

"Um. I might not have it?"

"What do you mean, you MIGHT NOT HAVE IT? That's not a question! Do you have it, or not?"

"I don't have it. It's at home."

"Pony! What are you going to do, sit in the car for hours? You have to have an ID to get in! I guess we'll all just go back home. Dad is not going to be happy. Now we have to wait for him to walk up here."

I don't know why I didn't think about calling Hick. I was still so discombobulated over The Pony driving an hour to the casino WITHOUT HIS ID. 

"You know they'll ask. When we were here with Genius and Friend, THEY had to stop and show ID. And they're older than you!"

"I know..."
"How could you forget it? I should have asked you when I texted, but you always say, 'MOTHER, I am not an idiot!' So it wasn't worth it. Where IS your ID?"
"I know. I DO sound kind of like Genius treats you when you ask me stuff like that. I just didn't bring that billfold with my driver's license in it."

[Let the record show that like I have a separate gambling purse and money earmarked for that, The Pony also has a casino bankroll, and doesn't play out of his regular money. Besides, he was getting money at our house from the two $100 scratchers winners he'd left there for a couple months, waiting for me to cash them in for him for a casino trip.]

"Well. We'll go on and walk in, and let them officially deny you. It's air conditioned, anyway. And by that time, Dad will be up here. I'm going to use my cane. You just walk alongside me. I'll go through the turnstile thingies off to the side of the ID checker, and you just keep walking with me until they call you back to show ID. Of course we're here at a time when they're not busy!"

Off we went. As we rounded the little curve and got in sight of the main doors, I was leaning heavily on my cane. Walking slowly. At least the slowly part was not an act. I was headed to the center of the entrance, and then realized it was the big revolving door.
"What am I thinking! I can't go through a revolving door! Here. Let's go to this one over here on the right."
The Pony solicitously opened the first glass door and held it for me. I caned through. Then he opened the second glass door. In my peripheral vision, I could tell that the guy standing at the ID checking podium was watching us. I chatted with The Pony about the direction we'd be heading to find the slot machine he'd been yearning to play. I was between the Podium Guy and The Pony. I went through the the turnstile, with The Pony passing through another on my right. We kept slow-walking and chatting.


"Oh my gosh! I can't believe we just pulled that off. Keep going!"

"I know! That sign said to get in line to show ID if you're under 30. So I can act like I just didn't see it, since I was helping you."

"You won't really need it unless you get a hand pay, since we're not going out the other side to the restaurants. You're in. So nobody will ask. They never do here. I wonder what Dad will say."

"Don't tell Dad!"

"Okay. I guess he doesn't need to know that we almost had to go back home."

We went to The Pony's desired slot, the Wonder 4 Spinning Fortunes. That's the kind of slot I won my $8,600 on, at a different casino, which has since removed their bank of four of these machines. Now were were headed for four of them here. I'd won  my jackpot playing Buffalo Gold. The Pony likes the Brazil game. Each of these slots have four games to choose from, the other two being Whales of Cash, and Wild Leprecoins.

Of course there was a dude playing the #2 slot in the row of four. We don't like sitting by people! The Pony said I could go ahead and play, and he sat down at a Buffalo Chief slot right by them. I played at the #4 slot. Which took my money really fast, and gave me NOTHING in return!

"I'm going somewhere else. It's not hitting. If this guy leaves, text me, and we'll play. Or you can go play that one I was just on."

Off I went. I could see The Pony move to play the #4 slot. Then I meandered on around to a Wonder 4 Tall Fortunes to play Miss Kitty, who gave me a bonus quickly. 
It was the good bonus! Giving me the ability to build up the tower. I got all the way to the top. Not a great win, but enough that I cashed out at $80, to start my "savings" ticket. That's what I do. Put the good wins on a ticket, so I always leave with something, even if I play away the bankroll I brought that I was willing to risk. I never play off the ticket. Only put it in to add on a new bonus.
By the time I wondered back over to check on The Pony, HICK was sitting at slot #3! What a shocker. Hick never bets that much. The minimum on that slot is $1 bet, IF you play Whales of Cash. Hick had a mixture of the games, betting over $1 a spin. The Pony said Hick was having fun, and had played a long time on $20. That Dude was still there, standing behind slots #1 and #2, still playing. So I left again.
The Pony and Hick joined me later, and we all played a Luxury Line slot. The Pony played the Buffalo version, and hit a $170 jackpot. Hick and I were on the Timber Wolf version. I hit one that paid just under $100. I cashed out $80 onto my "savings" ticket. Hick was getting some play, but had only won $15 at the highest. We left him there, and went deeper into the casino. The Pony played some Egyptian theme slot, then found me at a Wonder 4 Jackpots playing Miss Kitty. Yes! I love my Wonder 4 games.

Poor Pony. He was waiting on me to walk back around to near where we came in, so I could play Wonder 4 BOOST. But I said I wouldn't leave until I got to a multiple of $20 on my "savings" ticket I had put in to gather up some of my winnings there. Wouldn't you know it! I hit a bonus while trying to do that.

Yes. I hit the JACKPOT jackpot for Miss Kitty. Which was $240.95, then I got my 10 free games. THEN I had to play that off to a multiple of $20, heh, heh. The Pony was okay with that.

We walked over to my Wonder 4 BOOST, which is where I encountered the MANSPREADER. I gave all the games a try on it except for Rhino, which I don't like. The only one that was giving anything back was Whales of Cash. I played it on $2 a spin, which was 50 cents a game, since those Wonder 4 slots let you play four games at a time. I hit a Super Free Games bonus, which meant I got to play all four screens in it, instead of just one:

The best part about my bonus was one screen within those 15 spins. A screen that paid me $6.00 x 16, which was $96 out of that whole $124.40 bonus!

Those whales act as wilds, and in the bonus are also 4x multipliers. So I had four clams, times 16. Which was $96. Take THAT, you MANSPREADER! The meek shall inherit the clams.

Anyhoo... I was having a great time, and building up my "savings" ticket. It wasn't all profit, since I was still spending my casino bankroll. But I was ahead. The Pony was doing okay, and also having fun. But then Hick appeared at my left elbow, saying he had spent all he wanted to spend. You know what THAT means, right? It means everyone has to leave, because HICK is ready to leave!

TO BE CONTINUED... as The Pony's lack of ID returns to bite him on the rumpus.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Val COINtinues Her Future Pennyillionaire Quest

There was moderate luck in the penny search this week.
SATURDAY, June 18, I parked T-Hoe in the blazing heat on the blacktop parking lot of Country Mart. Upon sliding out, I turned to see that I was meant to have my favorite parking space.
See that unraised tent in the far background? It's fireworks-selling time in Backroads! There's a time limit on sales. I think they couldn't open until 11 days before July 4th. Not sure. Didn't look it up.

It was a face-down 1998 penny, all brilliant in the sun. Lucky I didn't get 3rd-degree burns from picking it up! And that it didn't burn a hole in my shirt pocket and fall out. I think the temp was 99 that day.

SUNDAY, June 19, I was back at the Liquor Store. Good thing I'm not still teaching. There might be rumors of my alcoholism, heh, heh. Even thought I only buy scratchers. One of my colleagues could never live it down after he was seen in the beer tent at the local Labor Day Picnic. That's why I would never even buy Hick's beer in Walmart. He had to get it himself. Tongues gonna wag!

Sorry to make you feel like you're on a listing pirate ship! I don't remember holding my phone at such a weird angle. But this reminds me... when I last bought Hick's Wild Turkey in Country Mart, I noticed a humorous (to me) product nearby. It was like a knock-off of Captain Morgan's Rum, with the name of Sailor Jerry. Heh, heh! I thought that was clever, and even The Pony, a rum-drinker occasionally, had a chuckle when I told him.

This was a heads-up 2019. Take my word for it. Not a pretty penny. I wish my phone could either consistently take terrible pictures like this one, or fantastic pictures like the previous penny. The inconsistency drives me crazy. I don't know whether to remain optimistic, or resigned.

WEDNESDAY, I did my errands a day early, to free up Thursday for a casino trip. I found no pennies over in Sis-Town, but back in Backroads, a stop by the Casey's netted me a copper.

No, I was not trying to get all artsy-fartsy with the framing. That lady kept moving, and I was lucky to capture my distant view of that penny.

It was a heads-up 2006 penny. Mine for the taking.

Almost-next-door at the Gas Station Chicken Store, I found another!

I don't find many coins at the Gas Station Chicken Store. I guess people are more careful of their money there, or use them to add towards their 10:00 a.m. whiskey purchase.

This was a heads-up 2012 penny, though it looked like it had accumulated many more years of filth.

That's 4 COINS this week, for 4 CENTS towards Val's Future Pennyillionaire Fortune!


Penny          # 52, 53, 54, 55.
Dime            still at 8.
Nickel          still at 3.
Quarter       still at 5.

Penny        124
Dime           14
Nickel           7
Quarter         6