Saturday, June 30, 2018

ExtraCENTSory Reception

Oh, what a cent-filled week we weave, when first we post so we can leave.

Yeah. How's this pre-scheduled posting working out for Val? Seems that no sooner do I have my Saturday Pennyillionaire data all done and ready to publish...that I head to town and find some cents. Uh huh. The Universe, Karma, and Even Steven do their best to slap some cents into me. So this week, you're getting a leftover. Given to you to read about THIS week, but found LAST week, on SATURDAY, June 23rd.

That's a nickel, by cracky, that I almost stepped on coming out of The Gas Station Chicken Store, clutching my 44 oz Diet Coke and two scratchers. It wasn't there when I went in, so I had to juggle my purchases and take that picture one-handed as I left.

The closeup didn't show much. It looked like that bedazzler thingy that fooled me over at Orb K one time.

So I took a better closeup of this 2015 on the kitchen counter when I got out my magnifying glass to check the date. What an unfortunate likeness of Thomas Jefferson! It's almost as bad as my driver's license photo! I swear, ol' Thomas looked better sitting on a boot taking a crap. This nickel makes him look like...if that bad Lucy statue, and Cornelius of Planet of the Apes, had a metal baby that cut its own hair. Without a mirror.

But wait! Val is not serving you a diet of ONLY leftovers! There were fresh coins this week too!

SUNDAY, June 24th, I stopped by Orb K on my way to Walmart. Normally, I would stop on the way back, but there were no cars parked out front. While the old gal clerk was getting my tickets, I saw a DIME on the floor.

Looks like cleanliness is not next to ORBliness. I swear I didn't spill! I don't even get my magical elixir there.

This was a 2016, just begging for me to pick it up. So I did. After a photo to commemorate the occasion.

Would wonders never cease? On to Walmart I went, where I had to park on a different row than usual. But there was a reason for that, I guess, because when I came out, the rain just starting,

I rolled over a 2002 penny halfway to T-Hoe. No, that's not a coin under the cart itself. Only blue gum. I felt a little deja vu from my too-close encounter with that at Casey's the other day.

I now provide the closeup, to prove that this penny, along with his silver brethren above, was FACE DOWN. It seems to be a trend. And while you're dwelling on that, you're not dwelling on my BUNS, which you can see in the child seat of my cart in the previous picture.

MONDAY, June 25th, I made a detour to Country Mart to get some scratchers. They turned out to be losers, but I DID score a penny.

This 1999 was face up, finally!

Poor Old Abe had a dirty face, but I guess that's what happens when you party like it's 1999, and wake up on the floor of a grocery store at 11:51 a.m. Monday morning.

There you go, a pre-packaged Pennyillionaire post, so I can spend the afternoon and evening at a casino. What are the odds that I might even find a penny there...

For 2018: Pennies  # 51, 52.
For 2018: Dimes  # 10.
For 2018: Nickels  # 3.

Since 2017 (the beginning), this was Penny # 129, 130.
Since 2017 (the beginning), this was Dime # 16.
Since 2017 (the beginning), this was Nickel # 3.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Back-of-the-Book-Blurb Friday #106 "The Tallest Diving Board in the World"

Blog buddy Sioux is hosting Back-of-the-Book-Blurb Friday again. I have 150 words to convince you to fake-buy my fake book. This week's fake book is a true story of perseverance. A tale of a youngster who overcame the odds, just by being born, and is fighting to overcome even more. Pool your fake money, and start a fake-book club. Order Val's latest fake book now, and use it as a springboard for discussion.

The Tallest Diving Board in the World

Girlypoo is the last of 15 children, the only girl. Though her brothers have always been protective, Girlypoo (as they call her) is having none of it! She is determined to make a name for herself, and not just be know as finally, a girl.

For her birthday, Girlypoo asked for a trip to The Tallest Diving Board in the World. She's always had a bit of a fear of heights, maybe from all those brothers tossing her in the air in infancy. She'll show THEM!

Will Girlypoo earn new respect from her brothers, and with it, a new nickname? (100 words)


Fake Reviews for Val’s Fake Book

A Kite..."Thevictorian must have been higher than me when she fake-wrote this fake book. She needs a knot jerked in her tail forthwith, to slow down her fake career."

Other Noses, on Other People..."Oh, how we wish people would pinch us closed. Not to prevent water from entering us upon completion of a dive, but because we cannot bear the stench of Thevictorian's fake writing. Limburger could throw a party and host a skunk, a teenage boy's sweat socks, an over-the-road truck driver's crack, a chicken coop, a hog farm, and have a blooming corpse flower as the guest of honor...and STILL the atmosphere would be more pleasant."

Diving Board..."Let's hope that Thevictorian does not use this fake book as a springboard for further fake efforts in the fake publishing world. Her writing is stiff at best, and deserves no platform. Let's make this fake book her swan song, as it reveals itself to be a flop."

Lifeguard..."I fear that I may lose my certification, since I am unable to save the public from from going down for the 106th time, struggling and gasping, at the horror that is one of Thevictorian's fake books."

Treetops..."While this young girl has ascended to such heights with her determination and bravery, to soar like an eagle...Thevictorian remains on the ground, a bloated, soon-to-be extinct dodo, unwilling to rise to the literary occasion."

Depths of Despair..."Don't I know it, Treetops! I've had to undergo a complete renovation, to make room for all the folks who are trying to fake-read this latest fake effort from Thevictorian, and are falling into me all willy-nilly, 24/7/365."

Underbelly of a Snake..."I daresay that my expectations for Thevictorian's next fake book are lower ME!"

High Jump Apparatus..."Yes, Thevictorian sets the bar so low that a common slug, drunk from the plate of beer set out to do it in, could out-fake-write her if he took the proper approach."

Bottom of THE Barrel..."I was scraped by people looking for Thevictorian's previous fake works, but had to tell folks to search a little lower. Her fake writing does not get better with age, and it's best to stave off the fake-readers' hopes as early as possible. Thevictorian fails to rivet the fake-readers' attention. The bunghole holding back her fake talent should remain forever stoppered."

A Diamond Mine in South Africa..."I am deep enough to house Thevictorian's fake library, but we don't have anything like her fake books here. They're not exactly gems, you know."

Lover's Leap..."I just LOVE the bravery of this little gal in the fake story. I do not, however, love the fake writing of Thevictorian. Can't even say that I like it. Cannot fake a middling toleration. She sucks. If a natural landmark was named for Thevictorian, it would be called Sucker's Leap."

Thursday, June 28, 2018

I Wishes Were Horses, Bettors Should Not Wager on Hick

"The time has come," the Valrus said
To talk of many things
Of Hick and drugs and job prospects
And lack of cell phone rings
Also, if Hick can be hired
And how unemployment stings."

Perhaps you recall how Hick has been professing for a over a year now that he's going to get a job at an unnamed pharmacy that operates out of an unmarked storefront on the abandoned plaza in Backroads. How Hick heard from a clerk at Casey's (who no longer works there) that this No-Name Pharmaceutical Den was hiring, and he picked up an application, and was certain that he'd be working the next day. Because the guy he talked to said Hick lived so close that he couldn't wait to start sending him on deliveries.


That's the scratch of the needle of misfortune upon the LP record of life. Hick turned in his paperwork, including a letter from the Social Security office regarding his lost card, before we went to visit The Pony. That was June 6, 7, 8. He heard nothing from his sure-thing employer.

Let the record show that the evening before we left for Oklahoma, HOS (Hick's Oldest Son), who had also applied for one of the delivery jobs at the No-Name Pharmaceutical Den, sent a text that he had been hired, and was going out on a run that very night.

Oh, the irony (I think), so sweet!

All along, Hick had declared that he was a shoo-in for this job. But it was given to HOS over Hick. Which was okay with Hick, because he had gone on and on about what a shame it would be when he got the job, because HOS needed it more than him right now. Heh, heh! Hick even has a Class D driver's license, which is supposedly required, and HOS doesn't.

Of course I've spent many a day ribbing Hick about being by-passed for the job. "Well, I guess you scared them, asking all those questions, and refusing to sign some of the paperwork. Maybe you should have just signed it without reading it, like HOS."

"I can't believe he signed that he'd had safety training, and been given equipment, and all that other stuff that they wanted me to sign. Like I had a copy of their rules, which they don't give out."

Last week, after calling the place several times, asking if they still needed someone, Hick decided to let it go. "I don't really NEED that job. It might interfere with my Storage Unit Store. It would be handy for winter, though, when I'm not selling..."

The next day, a guy from the No-Name Pharmaceutical Den called Hick, to tell him there was a problem with his paperwork, and that he could come by and pick it up. Hick brought home a big folder, with pages he hadn't signed. Which he then signed, even though he still didn't have the information it said he did. Hick said he'd asked the guy about it to clarify that he still didn't have them, and got a partial explanation.

When Hick took his paperwork back, the guy told him, "You know that you have to dress like a professional, right? And make sure you wash your hands, and don't have grease under your fingernails. For example, you could go home and take a shower and get cleaned up, and you'd be okay to make a run."

HAR HAR HAR HAR! I'm not even going with heh, heh. This was freakin' hilarious! Because Hick, even though he leaves smudges on the top of the paper towel roll, never has obviously dirty arms and hands. And he was wearing a pair of jeans, a maroon short-sleeved T-shirt with an emblem from his old workplace. No rips, no stains, and tucked into his belt. HOS, on the other hand, has a penchant for wearing ripped jeans, and shirts with the sleeves cut out.

Anyhoo...on Tuesday, Hick got a call! He was supposed to show up at 8:00 p.m. at the No-Name Pharmaceutical Den, to accompany HOS on a run to the city, as training. That irony (I think) gets sweeter and sweeter! At 9:39, I got a text that Hick and HOS still didn't have their pharmaceuticals to start their run. At 11:20 p.m., they made their first stop. By 12:30, they were on their way home, and got back around 2:00 a.m.

Hick, who's used to 9 hours of sleep every night, was up again at 8:00. He should have been more careful what he wished for.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Prizes for the Prize

Surely you've heard of sweets for the sweet. Well, my Sweet (unrelated reference) Baboo has the same policy, only he seems to think the expression is prizes for the prize. Okay. He doesn't really. But I DO consider myself a prize. And Hick DID text me last week that he was bringing me home a prize from the auction. In his case, he really meant a surprise. But he shortens things like that.

For days I heard nothing else about my prize! Nada. If loose lips sink ships, the entire fleet of every navy on earth was bobbing above the water line. I refused to ask about my prize. I figured Hick would get around to gifting me when he was ready. Or when he remembered to unload his car.

Mid-week, I woke up to find my prize sitting on the kitchen counter. Let's just say I certainly WAS surprised! I moved it to the back porch for a photo session, where the rustic setting enhances the beauty of my prize.

It's a LEATHER STEIN, by cracky! That I can use to hoist my beers. Except I don't drink beers any more, being a reformed teetotaler since before Genius was born.

I'm pretty sure you've all gone past the leather stein already, and are curious about what's inside. At first, I thought it might be Billy Beer. Hick collects beer memorabilia, you know. But upon removal from the leather stein (I just can't type that phrase enough), I saw that it was not.

It's a can of CLINTON COLA! Can you read it? ONE TASTE TO COME BACK 4 MORE. Heh, heh. That's My Man Bill's picture on the front. Now don't anybody get all political on me. I'm not making a political statement at all. I've always enjoyed Bill Clinton. I don't care how many women he did not have sex with, or how many people associated with him suffered unfortunate, untimely, questionable deaths. He's MY MAN BILL, by cracky! I even like the John Travolta version of him in Primary Colors.

But there's MORE detail that I can't skim over, even while giddy at the though of MY MAN BILL sitting on my back porch railing.

Did you notice that my leather stein is embossed in gold, with POOR MAN'S STEIN? And has an engraved metal nameplate with RON on it?

I pointed out to Hick that I liked my prize, but that I'm not poor, I'm not a man, and my name is not Ron.

"I know that. I bought it for the soda. I know you like Bill Clinton."

Not sure what I'm going to do with my prize. Maybe Hick will build me a themed shed for it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018


As you know, Val is no stranger to unexplained phenomena. It usually occurs in her own home, in the wee hours of the morning, with Val as the sole witness.

Let's set that scenario on its ear.

Sunday morning (I use that term loosely, because it was going on noon when I left), I headed to Walmart. I made an unplanned stop at Orb K for a scratcher, and found a coin on the floor! That was a good start for the week. And fodder for Saturday's Future Pennyillionaire tally.

In Walmart, I turned up the candy/condiment aisle, seeking a large jar of olives. I love olives, and go through about a jar a week. DON'T JUDGE! Nobody was on that aisle. I had it all to myself. I chose my olives, set them in the bottom of the cart, up against the back, so they wouldn't slide around. Then I started looking at the dill pickle spears. I thought I'd bought some at Save A Lot last week, but couldn't remember. And here was a brand I hadn't seen before. Hick and I like a dill pickle spear on the side, when we have the terrible tater with pulled pork.

Let the record show that I was not actually touching the pickles. I was standing at the front of my cart, my eyes darting from one brand to another, and trying to remember if I'd already bought dill pickle spears. Sometimes I have trouble making a decision. I must have been contemplating those dill spears for over a full minute. No need to hurry and get out of the way. I had the aisle to myself.

Out of the corner of my left eye, I saw movement. I turned my head just in time to see two objects hit the floor. It was as if they'd been shot out of a cannon! Not like they merely toppled off the edge of the shelf.

I stood staring at them, thinking (and quite possibly mumbling out loud), "Are you freakin' kidding me?"

At first, I thought the bottle was hot sauce. I can't read the label, even when zooming in, but I think now that it's probably some kind of Chinese sauce, like duck sauce, or sweet and sour. That section of the shelf is for Asian foods.

Look at the distance that bottle is from the shelf! I'm shocked that it didn't shatter. I got out my phone to provide evidence that it DID happen, and just then, a lady turned in the aisle. I was going to look at it, and see what those foods were, and then put them back. But with a witness right there, I didn't want her thinking that I was the one responsible for those items on the floor.

How in the Not-Heaven did that happen? I saw them land. That bottle did not roll that way. If one item had fallen, from being perched precariously, it would not have swung in towards the shelf to knock down the second item. And they would not have landed so far apart. The odds of two different items toppling off the shelf at the exact same time is pretty astronomical, I would think.

Anyhoo...I don't know what's going on here, but it's a new unexplained incident for the Val files. Broad daylight, 12:21 p.m., in a populated area.

Oh, yeah. Pushing my cart to T-Hoe, I ran over a penny halfway up the parking aisle.

Monday, June 25, 2018

A New Tactic: Kindness Part II

On the same day that I nearly succumbed to heat stroke at the store, after wrestling with T-Hoe's back hatch that wouldn't open due to Hick's one trip driving him...I almost succumbed to heat stroke AGAIN at the hands of Hick.

I was home again, pulling the big green dumpster up to the end of the driveway. You've seen pictures. It's a substantial dumpster. And a substantial driveway. About a tenth of a mile up, tenth of a mile back. It was pretty hot that day, you know. So Val was movin' mighty slow at 2:00, under the afternoon sun, eyes down against the glare, still wearing her town clothes and shoes. We'd been having thunderstorms in the evenings, so I wanted to get that dumpster out while it was clear.

Here came Hick on the Gator! I was almost to the end, ready to park that dumpster. Maybe 10 steps left to go. He was grinning like a Jack-O-Lantern. So happy to see me. Stopping to visit, while he was sitting in the shade of his homemade Gator roof, and I was treading on gravel, balancing a dumpster. Of course he didn't turn off the Gator. He wanted to chat, but I could hardly hear him, what with the motor running, and the dumpster wheels crunching on the gravel.

"I can't hear you over the Gator. I can't stand here right now."

I went on to park the dumpster. As I was turning it to the most stable position, so it wouldn't tip over and break the lid if another storm sprung up before morning...I heard the Gator pop into gear and start moving.

"Oh. Hick must be coming to give me a ride back down the driveway. That's so nice."

Once I situated the dumpster and turned around, Hick was parking under the carport! Uh huh. He'd driven back to the house, leaving me to walk. When I got there, after fending off a jumping Jack, who was dripping from a dip in the creek, I saw Hick sitting in the chair on the side porch. I guess he'd enjoyed watching me walk back. I felt like the classic description of a heat stroke victim, but my dripping flesh downgraded me to mere heat exhaustion.

"I can't believe you! I thought you were going to give me a ride back, but you just took off and left me. To walk."

"Oh. Well. I didn't know you wanted a ride. You always say you don't want one. So I was just making you happy, letting you walk."

"That's when I'm out walking laps, in my walking clothes, after the sun is down, the purpose being out there to WALK."

"Oh. Well. I'm sorry. I'll give you a ride next time."

There is none so kind as Hick who IS TRYING TO KILL ME, now with kindness!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

A New Tactic: Kindness Part I

Remember how I'm pretty sure Hick is trying to kill me? Well...I'm still pretty sure. But it seems like he's trying a new tactic, eschewing gaslighting for kindness!

It's time to renew T-Hoe's license plates. Of course, that has always been Hick's job, even though on occasion, he has pawned it off on me. But he DID say on Wednesday night that he would get T-Hoe inspected on Thursday. That's the first step, you know. Gotta have an inspection to renew the license. I secretly think Hick likes taking vehicles to get inspected, or get the oil changed, because it gives him time to sit in the waiting room of the Walmart Automotive Department, and stir up crap on Facebook. Like when he saw that electrical outlet with exposed wires.

Anyhoo...when I got out of the shower around noon, I saw that the Inspection Fairy had been here, and left the paperwork on the kitchen counter, in the one space I claim for myself, to prep meals. At least Hick got it done on time, and didn't wait like the last time he sent ME, to pay the late fee. AND he had remembered to move the seat back to my settings, so I didn't break my back getting in where his stubby legs had been driving. Sure, he'd left an empty water bottle where I put my 44 oz Diet Coke. But I set it out along the garage wall, with four other water bottles of the same origin. In doing so, I noticed that T-Hoe was MOSTLY CLEAN! Only a thin coating of fresh dust. Hick had taken him through a car wash! What a sweet thing for my Sweet Baboo to do, without me asking.

Off I went to Save A Lot, for assorted items I don't get at Walmart, and a deli-style pizza to bake at home for Hick's supper. Because he snapped at that, in a choice of pizza, big salad, bratwursts, or terrible tater. The parking at Save A Lot was a pain, because it was truck day for The Dollar Store next door, and the exit end of the parking lot was blocked by a semi. I maneuvered T-Hoe (without a backup beeper, you know) until I got turned around, and pulled through to a facing-out parking spot on the other side of the row.

To keep from pushing the cart back in, I looped four plastic bags over my arm, and carried the pizza, flat, in its box. I already had the clicker out to unlock T-Hoe, and raise the back hatch. And raise the back hatch. And RAISE THE BACK HATCH!

What in the Not-Heaven? That hatch was not raising. That happens every now and then. I've begged for a new battery in my clicker for a couple of years. I don't know how to pry it open. That's a man job, and Hick has been derelict in that duty. I balanced the pizza on my bag arm, and pressed the release button with my fingers. Nope. Not happenin'. T-Hoe sounded like he wanted to lift his hatch, but he didn't. I know I heard the gears grinding. It worked yesterday. Did I get something closed in the crack? Why wouldn't it open? Maybe I didn't push hard enough. I put that pizza on the back seat. The Pony seat. Kept the bags on my right arm, and went back to push that release button with my left hand. With my right hand. Left again.

Well, crap! Then I tried a last resort. I reached to open the glass part of T-Hoe's hatch. Like the upper half of the hatch. SO THAT'S IT! The glass part of the hatch was open! But being held down by gravity. So it looked like it was closed. But it was unlatched. How did THAT happen? Oh, I don't know...HICK was the last one to drive T-Hoe, only a few hours earlier. By now I was sweating like Hick wearing an OU cap. Rivulets running down my scalp. I felt faint. Discombobulated from the heat. But I still had strength to let Hick know that I knew that he was most likely trying to kill me.

"Anything else you want to tell me that you did to my car?"

"No...just got it inspected. With an oil change."

"That's all. You're sure?"

"Well, yeah..."

"Because I just spent five minutes trying to get the back hatch open, while juggling four bags and your pizza! It wouldn't open for anything! THEN I found out the glass hatch was open. Not latched."

"Huh. Them boys working on it must have hit something wrong."

Or in other words, Hick resolved the issue by declaring it was NOT-HICK.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

I Know the SusPENCE Must Have Been Killing You

You can stop holding your collective breaths. VAL HAS FOUND A PENNY! In fact, she has found TWO this week.

TUESDAY, June 19th, I spied a copper beauty on the sidewalk next to Casey's propane cage. Of course I stopped for a photo.

And of course I stooped to pick it up, not even caring that my ample rumpus was almost in the face of the skinny (and short) guy who had backed into my favorite parking space, and was loading items in his trunk. I didn't pay attention to what he was loading, though that's usually something that doesn't happen at Casey's.

This was a face-down 1995 model penny for my Future Pennyillionaire collection.

THURSDAY, June 21st, I spied a lurking penny as I stepped up to the counter at Orb K. I shoved my $20 scratcher winner at the clerk. "I'm trading this winner in for more." Normally, they scan the winner, announce the amount, and ask if you'd like anything else.

I was surreptitiously sneaking (as opposed to bold-faced sneaking) this photo, when I was jolted from my clandestine picture-taking by that old gal asking, "Which tickets do you want?" BEFORE she had even scanned the winner. That's like putting the cart before the Pony. Or getting the beans above the frank! I swear she was just trying to mess with me. Luckily, I had already memorized the numbers of the tickets in her display, and rattled them off, then got my closeup, and snagged the penny.

This was a 2014, also face down. Which seems to happen more than 50% of the time for me.

I also washed Hick's stinky hat on Thursday, before going to town for my 44 oz Diet Coke, and a chance meeting with that penny. I picked up the OU hat with thumb and forefinger, and dropped it into the kitchen sink, where I had already started a foaming bath of Tide detergent and cold water. I swished it around, and left it to soak for an hour. THEN I went back, and actually rubbed around the elastic part of the hat band. I was wrong about it being a plastic notched adjustable cap. It was a LARGE/XL cap with elastic for the fit.

I know. I, too, gag at the remembrance of touching that stinking part of the cap. I drained that water out of the sink, and ran it full of cold water, leaving the hat again to soak for 30 minutes while I showered and got ready for town. Then I took it outside (after a cautious sniff) and posed it for a picture.

It cleaned up real nice. For drying purposes, I perched that cap on top of a mop handle (seriously, I have no idea where that mop came from, but it was leaning up against the wall of The Pony's room out on the porch) and Juno's dog house.

I left it hanging, out of the wind and possible rain, while I went to town. Hick brought it in later...and put it right back on the arm of the short couch. For now, it remains odorless.


For 2018: Pennies # 49, 50.
For 2018: Dimes still at  # 9.
For 2018: Nickels still at # 2.

Since 2017 (the beginning), this was Penny # 127, 128.
Since 2017 (the beginning), this was still Dime # 15.
Since 2017 (the beginning), this was still Nickel # 2.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Back-of-the-Book-Blurb Friday #105 "Flavor Is On the Tongue of the Taster"

Blog buddy Sioux is hosting Back-of-the-Book-Blurb Friday again. I have 150 words to convince you to fake-buy my fake book. This week, join Val behind the scenes at the casino, where tight-fisted management pinches pennies until they fling themselves face-down on the carpet for some lucky gambler to find. C'mon, ante up, and give Val the Two-Armed Bandit some of your fake cash for her latest fake book. I wager you'll hit the jackpot with this one. 

Flavor Is On the Tongue of the Taster

Mitzi is a taster. She works behind the scenes of the casino buffet, making sure the casino doesn't lose its shirt. The food at the buffet must look delicious. Lure people back time after time. But not so delicious that the folks eat up the profits. Oh, they'll think they're getting a bargain, and load up a plate, intending to go back for more. Unless maybe that Orange Chicken doesn't contain any chicken. And the pulled pork is a bit too fatty. And the cake is so dry that diners always pay $2.50 for a soda they could drink for free on the casino floor.

Will Mitzi manage to keep the budget under control...or will she go rogue and make that buffet the tastiest smorgasbord in town? (127 words)


Fake Reviews for Val’s Fake Book

Mouth..."This fake book left a bad taste in me. I was actually WISHING to be washed out with soap."

Tongue..."The title of this fake book is NOT going to be on the tip of ME! Nobody wants to fake-read this thing. I'd sooner be stuck to a flagpole in winter than than fork myself and speak kindly of it."

Sweet..."Not even Def Leppard, pouring some sugar on it, could make this fake book appeal to anyone."

Salt..."This fake book raises blood pressure more than I do. There should be a warning label on it, doctors should advise their patients not to read it, and an antidote should be developed for those who overdose on Thevictorian's fake books. Heh, heh. Like THAT'S going to happen!"

Sour..."This fake author has hit an unfortunate note with her latest fake release. The taste it leaves in my mouth, and the effect it has on my stomach, reminds me of a certain type of grapes. The only thing I can imagine these grapes to be good for is a bottle of cheap whine."

Bitter..."Thevictorian's fake book is a tough tome to swallow. She's such a pill, and the root of all evil in the fake-publishing world. I fear the fruits of her fake labors will be with us until the end. Somebody mix me a vodka tonic."

Apple..."Granny Smith and Jonathan told me at a Gala in Fuji that Thevictorian's fake writing is Spartan at best."

Onion..."If you hold your nose and bite into me, you cannot distinguish me from my friend the Apple. If you hold your nose and read Thevictorian's fake will still spout real tears, and notice the bad taste."

Lays Potato Chip..."Bet you can't read just one. No. Really. I bet you can't read one whole fake book of Thevictorian's. It's like you open up the book, and all the fake writing has settled. You don't get but about one fourth of what you fake paid for."

Taster..."I have a dangerous job when working for royalty, but even I am not prepared to fake-read this fake book."
Taser..."Oh, wait! I'm missing a letter! But since I'm here, allow me to review this fake book. I found it SHOCKING! Shockingly bad, that is. It's like I lost all control of my body when I read it. The only recommendation I can give for this fake book is that law enforcement officers could use it to knock crooks senseless when trying to subdue them."

Soap..."Hey, Mouth! I got your back, buddy! As far as this fake book is concerned...I ain't gonna lye. It's 99 and 44/100 IMPURE! If you fake-read it in the tub, and this fake book fell in? It would FLOAT! And not like me."

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Because It Happens So Rarely

Hick's Father's Day trip to our new favorite casino on Monday has been termed a success. We both left with more money than we walked in with.

That's the ticket I cashed out right before we left. Of course it's not ALL profit. I did have to put in some money to win some money. I cropped out the bar code so nobody can scam me. Not that they could, since I already cashed out the voucher, but Genius always said not to show that bar code.

Anyhoo...Hick and I had stuffed ourselves at the buffet, and went back to play another 45 minutes, agreeing to meet up front at 6:00. I knew it would take me 10 minutes to cash out and make a bathroom stop. So at 5:40, I was feverishly searching for a game to play that might give me a good return. I really wanted to try a new slot that looked like a Quick Hits with a spinny wheel. I even sat down at it, but the max bet was $4, and I wasn't willing to venture that. The front of the slot didn't SAY you had to bet max to get the wheel, but I was betting that you did.

I went to a carousel of assorted Quick Hits. The max bet is $1.50 on those, and I'd played several earlier in the day, doubling my money each time. So I went to one with some black and red 7s. I don't even know what it was called. I picked it, because there was nobody on either side. The one I really wanted had a man sitting next to it.

Anyhoo...I put in my last $20 (all my other money was in voucher form by now, and I don't spend it back). I was down to about $8 when I heard DING DING DING DING DING DING DING! Not very loud, because this carousel won't let you adjust the volume on these slots. Those DINGS meant that I'd hit 7 Quick Hits symbols. That's a progressive, people! Money up top that changes as people play those games. My jackpot was $175. WooHoo! I didn't yell that when it hit, but the guy two seats over visibly sighed. I'm sure he saw that amount drop back down, and was jealous that I won it.

You can bet (heh, heh, get it, BET) that I cashed out that money. I had won it so fast, I still had five minutes to play something else. I had a $5 bill left. I don't take such small currency to the casino, but I had $25 in comp money here, and had been saving it until the last minute. I moved over two Quick Hits to the left, and put that five in a machine I'd never played. It had some red/white/blue bars on it. I figured I'd get 3 spins for my $5 bill, maybe and extra if any of them paid me back.

The FIRST SPIN gave me a picking bonus. And during the free games, I got MORE free games. By the time it was done, I'd won $45. Not bad for my $5 bill.

Anyhoo...I fed all of my cash-out tickets through that slot, so I had one ticket to put in the money-changer. This casino only pays one ticket at a time. So it behooves you to have it all totaled up. Then you're not standing there with people watching you feed in a stack of tickets, and thinking you won a lot. And also, you get big bills back, and not assorted smaller bills.

Yeah. I did okay. It's not like there was any skill involved. All I did was push the right button at the right time. Hick said he came out $125 ahead.

I was shocked that I did NOT have a weirdo encounter. The closest I came was the lady behind the Player's Card counter. They always tell you to stop there first thing and check for your offers. This is kind of like a casino you might find during Flintstones times. Not with animals being the slot machines, but not very advanced in their electronic gewgaws. You can't check on your offers at the slots by putting in a PIN once your card is inserted. You have to look online beforehand, or trust the counter workers.

Anyhoo...Hick and I knew that we could each get a $10 food credit if we played 150 points. Sometimes they have to activate your card for the day, sometimes not. So we talked to the oldest lady at the counter, and she verified that, and said that we could just go play, but we'd have to come back to the counter to get that $10 validated on the card before we could use it at a restaurant.

When I went back to the counter a couple hours later, the Oldest Lady was busy with another player, so I got in line at the Second Oldest Lady's station. When it was my turn, I gave her my player's card and ID, and said I was there to get my food credit.

WELL! You'd have thought I was taking money out of her pocketbook! She gave me a beady-eyed stare with a fake smile, and said, "What makes you think you have a food credit?"

"I know I've played 150 points since I've been here, and--"

The Oldest Lady came over from her post. "Oh, don't question her. Look it up. See? She does. You have to put it in so she can use it." The Oldest Lady slid my card and ID back, with a real smile, and said, "You're good to go. Just let them scan your card at the restaurant."

So I must have had a trainee. Even the disinterested young people who work there are polite and businesslike as they rush you away so they can get back to gossiping. I swear, this Second Oldest Lady acted like I was challenging her, when in reality, I was only stating my business up front, not hemming and hawing for five minutes like the player who had been ahead of me, not understanding how to use her $50 free food credit based on her play.

I didn't let that interaction weaken my appetite, though! The buffet was delicious. And now I have added to my casino coffers for future gambling adventures.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Knowing Nose

Last night I sat down on the short couch to talk to Hick while my supper was warming. He'd been out all day, getting a haircut, checking on chemicals for Poolio, opening up his Freight Container Garage for back-creek neighbor Bev to do some shopping, and taking new items to his Storage Unit Store to get ready for Friday's business. Let the record show that temps hit 96 degrees, with a heat index over 100. In case you've never been to Missouri in the summer's not a dry heat.

I heard Hick in and out while I was in my lair all afternoon. I supposed maybe he did some more lawnmowing, or took a dip in Poolio. His buddy didn't want to go to their regular auction, but Hick didn't know until afternoon. He'd said that morning that he would warm up some of the noodle/chicken/mushroom/pea/cheese/Alfredo experiment for his supper.

When I ascended to the living room around 6:30, I woke up shirtless sleeping beauty in the La-Z-Boy. During a discussion of my lottery wins (not much), Hick declared that he had bought himself a couple of tickets, and left them in the Trailblazer. He walked past me to go out and get them.


What was that STENCH? Something was rank. It smelled like a dirty butt. I figured maybe Hick got sweaty. But I thought he was wearing his SpongeBob boxers, and had been in Poolio earlier. So shouldn't stink. Let the record show that those boxers were a gift from the boys a long time ago, to lounge around the house, as we all know Hick prefers tighty-whities for his foundation garment. However, Hick wears them to swim in (when he wears anything at all), reserving his storebought orange swim trunks for hotel pools and hot tubs.

Anyhoo...I was almost gagging at the odor. When Hick returned, clutching his (losing) scratchers...I said pointedly

"SOMETHING smells terrible! It's enough to make me sick!"

I noticed that Hick was NOT wearing his Spongebob boxers, but white-and-brown plaid shorts. However, the stench did not worsen when he walked by me. Huh. I turned my head toward the La-Z-Boy, and it hit me.


Actually, there were two hats. Trucker caps. One camouflage, that had been there for days, balanced on a Puffs with Lotion box on the table, hanging over onto the short-couch arm. Now there was another cap stacked on top of it. Hick's OU hat. The one I'd gotten him when he and HOS (Hick's Oldest Son) went to watch a football game (I got a hat for HOS too) when The Pony was being honored with the National Merit Scholars before the game, having to walk out onto the field.

This hat is special, I think, because of the reason Hick got it. It's just a cap with white mesh for the back half, and a plastic adjustable snap band, with the front being crimson, OU's team colors. As I leaned a few degrees down to inspect that cap...IT WAS OBVIOUS THAT THE SMELL ORIGINATED THERE!

I swear, you can probably smell it over the innernets!

"Whew! It's your HAT! It stinks SO BAD! Smell it."

Hick leaned over and picked up both caps. He deeply inhaled the camouflage one.

"Nope. That doesn't smell."

Then the OU hat.

"Whew! That's it, all right!"

I told him to wash it, and then thought again. That's a special hat. I could imagine Hick putting it in the washer, on the extra-clean cycle, with hot water.

"No. Wait. It probably needs to be hand-washed."

"Yeah. That's what the label says."

"Just put it on the kitchen table. I'll get to it in a couple of days."

Seriously. It's not like we EAT off the kitchen table. And at least that stinky thing will be farther away from my nose. Because we all know how much time I spend in the kitchen...

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Alfredo Experiment

Let the record show that Val is not a big fan of pasta. It is rarely served in her kitchen, and then only upon the request of her house men, with Hick being the sole one of those in residence at this time. It was easy enough to boil up some spaghetti, and mix together a sauce from Ragu and Save A Lot pizza sauce and canned mushrooms and minced garlic and hamburger and fresh-ground black pepper, with two packets of Splenda to cut the acidic properties. That's when all three guys were under the homestead roof. But to make it just for Hick...well...he doesn't get spaghetti very often.


A couple weeks ago, I was trying to think up new foods to make for supper. Hick will never voice his requests. I have to spout out a list, and say I'm making an item, to judge his response. If he's not enthusiastic, I switch to another dish. This one, I didn't run by Hick. It's a pointless exercise, really. He always eats what I prepare.

I got to thinking about when I was working, and it was Teacher Appreciation Week, or maybe Parent Conference Night, when catered food was brought in. Pasta House was pretty common. Even though Val is not a fan of pasta, you can bet she elbowed her way to the trough (actually, the counter of the teacher workroom) to get her fair share. One item I enjoyed was the flat noodle with white sauce and chicken and peas and mushrooms. I'm sure it has a name. But I don't need a name to make it.

Of course Val doesn't make white sauce. She's not a Michelin chef. I don't know what kind of noodles those were, but I got the closest thing I could find at Walmart, which happened to be a flat egg noodle from the bottom shelf of the pasta aisle. I also grabbed two jars of Alfredo Sauce, because it's white, and I didn't know how much I might need. Plus, I got canned white meat chicken, and frozen sweet peas, and canned mushroom pieces and stems. Hick loves his mushrooms. So I got a big can.

I boiled the noodles as noted on the package, adding some butter and minced garlic to the water and a can of chicken broth. Once drained, I stirred in some more butter, the Alfredo, the chicken, the thawed peas, the drained mushrooms, and some shredded parmesan cheese.

That made a lot more than I expected. So we're eating it for several days.

I must say, this is actually a tasty dish, though not the noodle I was looking for. Hick has no complaints, and even declared it "good."

This did not even take a full jar of Alfredo Sauce. So the one that smashed on the garage floor was superfluous.

Pretty sure Hick will be fed this again, after a proper interval has passed from the leftovers.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Val's New Career: Saucebroker

Last Saturday was not a good day for me. We'd just returned from Oklahoma on Friday night, and I had to do some grocery shopping. I got off to a late start. The weather clouded up after I left home. Hick was at his Storage Unit Store, unavailable for grocery carry-in duty. While I was in the middle of Walmart (having forgotten my glasses in T-Hoe), looking for items that were depleted, like my favorite Chicken Bacon Ranch pinwheels for lunches...The Pony started texting me massive blocks a scary dream that he'd been wanting to share with me. He's like Hick. He can see through the phone, and choose the most inopportune time to contact me.

I let him know that I might not be responding right away. "I'm in Walmart without my glasses. Respond later." Still, I could hear those messages chiming into my phone. When I got back to the car, and had loaded the rain-soaked grocery bags into T-Hoe's rear, I sent The Pony another text.

"Can I call when I get out on the road? Or are you busy?"

It would be so much easier just to talk to him, rather than type two-fingered on that tiny phone keyboard. And I could be on my way home at the same time. It was NOT convenient for The Pony.

"I'd rather you not call. Canker sore that makes talking hurt." [DON'T JUDGE!]

What in the Not-Heaven???

"Is it really because you're staggering day-drunk? Heh, heh."


Not that I expected that of The Pony. Genius, yes. But The Pony hasn't developed a taste for alcohol. I went on towards home, making my final stop at The Gas Station Chicken Store for my 44 oz Diet Coke.

"Leaving for home with my soda. Soaked like when we ran in Steak N Shake on our visit out there. It will take forever to get home and get these groceries put away. Later, I'll text you."


"Rain all morning. About half as hard as on the trip to get Dad's TIP. I hope I can get over the creeks."

I did make it over the creeks, the big one just coming up to pavement level, and the little one already gone over and receded. I pulled into the garage. Sighed heavily. And took an armload of grocery bags to the side porch. Of course I had to dole out some cat kibble to the dogs. They're usually good when I set down the groceries, but I never completely trust Copper Jack. He might start foraging in my bags, or just pee on them to show me who's boss. He hasn't. But he might. I always bring the bags to the side porch, then get my purse and soda and mail to carry up the steps to unlock the door. Then I can make several trips out to bring those bags into the kitchen. It saves me some trips up and down the porch steps.

I went back to T-Hoe's rear for more bags. I had four looped over my right arm, and two in my left hand, when it happened.

"This is when I cry." I sent The Pony a text after the fact. And after the cleanup. No, that's not spilt milk.

It's spilt Alfredo Sauce. The checker had put TWO jars of it in one bag, along with a double-can pack of white meat chicken. She did not double-bag. The whole bottom of that bag ripped open while it was on my forearm. I was overwhelmed. After such a taxing morning, soaking wet from the rain, I now had a crisis on my hands.

I needed to get all those groceries inside the house, so the dogs didn't think they were a treat. But every moment I was out of sight of that Alfredo, the dogs might be licking it and ingesting broken glass.

I put the other bags on the porch beside the first set. The dogs had scattered, so I didn't know exactly where they were. Jack goes in the garage to look for the cats who occasionally get in there. He gets under A-Cad and I can't see him. I didn't want to close him in with the Alfredo glass. I got the keys out of my purse, and took a couple of the lighter bags over my arm as I unlocked the kitchen door. I grabbed the broom and dustpan from the laundry room, a Walmart sack and two paper plates for scooping glass, and hurried back out. Jack and Copper Jack were milling around the groceries, looking disinterested.

Did you know that Alfredo Sauce is virtually unsweepable? It's true. I ended up scooping it with the two plates, jar and all, into the Walmart bag. The remaining Alfredo did not go onto the dustpan well at all, making a kind of paste that hindered the sweeping of the glass. So I picked it up by hand, while stepping around T-Hoe to look at those groceries and dogs. I got every piece of glass I could see, under T-Hoe and outside the garage. I tapped the broom bristles in a puddle, to try and clean up the Alfredo so the dogs wouldn't want to lick the concrete. Oh, and in the middle of this whole process...I felt a had to run into the house (grabbing a couple more bags that I could juggle with the broken jar bag) and into the bathroom.

The dogs behaved themselves, and I finally got the mess cleaned up and the groceries inside. Of course I had to be extra careful with the bag containing my big jar of olives and a large can of mushroom pieces and stems and three bags of egg noodles.

Can you imagine the world of hurt I would have been in if my OLIVES fell on the concrete and broke? That would be a lot of bending to pick them up by hand.

It took 40 minutes to get my groceries in and put away. I was dripping with sweat on top of the rain water. I finally got to text The Pony about his dream.

But I DID still have a spare jar of Alfredo Sauce for my planned culinary experiment. It had to wait a week, though. I might share it with you.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Write Shadow

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Let the record show that Val is not a happy camper. Not much of a camper at all, except when she's forced to rough it. Like now, at 8:47 p.m. Thursday night. No power. No computer. No internet. No lights. No water. No working toilets. No TV. No books. Just candles, pen (free from the counter of my credit union), and a mini notebook.

A storm rolled through around 6:30. I was happily typing a letter to The Pony on New Delly in my dark basement lair. The power flickered 3 times. New Delly ran repairs to restart himself. My Word! It recovered my untitled Pony letter document! No sooner had I typed ONE SENTENCE about the power going off 3 times, and put in the period...when the power went off AGAIN! Heh, heh. "Make that 4 times," I was going to say, like the true wag that I am. NO. Make that 7 times.

Yes, the power again did the on/off thing. No sooner would New Delly start running that black screen with the countdown to restart after an improper shutdown...than he would be improperly shut down again. I was powerless (heh, heh, isn't THAT ironic) to shut him down. Because first I had to wait for New Delly to come back on. Which he couldn't, because he kept being improperly shut down. He's on a surge suppressor. But I don't think all that improper shutting down was good for his health.

I grabbed my little flashlight that I keep at my left elbow in a pile of music CDs and Germ-X and paperclips in an upside-down light bulb holder. That got me out of the lair and up the stairs to the main living area. The rain was pouring down outside, but at least I had a bit of natural light.

I passed the time by having a not-tasty supper of a cold cheese sandwich, an individual can of Beanie Weenies, with an individual mini ice cream for dessert. And water that I could still get out of the faucet. The well doesn't work with no electricity, you know. I had one flush each from each of our 3 toilets..

Of course I tried to report my power outage to the electric company. That means I had to use my cell phone, because the house phone doesn't work without electricity. Seems like the old rotary phones used to, but not my cordless Panasonics. I had to use my flashlight to look in the living room closet for a telephone book, a 2009 being the most recent I could find. Since my Sprint doesn't work well in the house, and rain was sluicing down outside on the porch, I had a tenuous connection at best.

It took me 3 tries to punch in all my information and find out that my outage had been reported, 54 households were without electricity, a crew had been assigned, and no time of restoration was available. There was a major delay when I had to end the first call, and take my flashlight to look for an old electric bill showing the account number, since the automated system refused to recognize any of the 4 possible telephone numbers I could have used to link to my account.

I had the bright idea of driving to the end of the driveway to set the trash dumpster upright again, since I didn't want marauding critters or the Crazy Rottweiler or Killer Poodle to rip open the bags before the trash truck came at the crack of dawn Friday morning. Just one problem. T-Hoe was in the garage. Trapped by a door that doesn't open without electricity. Oh, there's a pull rope, but it hangs over T-Hoe. I used to have Genius climb up to get it for us when he was still riding to school with me, on the odd day that power was out when it was time to leave for school. This old Val ain't doin' any climbin' to grab a garage door rope.

The main storm moved on, and the sun began to set. Taking away my ambient light.

At least the sunset was pretty.

Hick was at an auction. He sent me a text to provide information he got from the local property owners' Facebook page. "There is a power line down at Buddy's old house it was on Facebook." Buddy's old house is two up from us. Just on the other side of Copper Jack's house. Funny that I'd not seen any electric company trucks go by, while I was sitting in the La-Z-Boy doing absolutely nothing.

I got out the matches and lit 3 candles, coughing often from their impurities flooding the air as they burned. I had a Cranberry, a Banana Nut Bread, and an Apple Wreath. They smelled a lot better than my supper. I was hoping they didn't heat up the house. Temps have been in the low 90s, and of course the air conditioner won't work without electricity. Nor the dryer, for my clothes that were sitting in the washer waiting for it.

At 8:15, I heard gunshots. Either The Purge was starting, or a lot of my neighbors threw in the towel and gave up the ghost. Lots of shots. Big booms. Like maybe a gun that could bring down an elephant. I guess people have to find a way to entertain themselves. I had the bright idea to write up a blog post in my little notebook. It was kind of hard with the flickering candle, it being in just the wrong position, and casting a shadow on the portion of the page where I tried to write.

At 8:45, I saw a power truck go by. At 8:55 it went back towards town. Further efforts to find a restore time (which necessitated a return flashlight trip to the kitchen to look up the account number again) did not give me any new information.


Too bad Hick had been at the auction. Too bad for me! Great for him. He didn't even have to experience the outage. If he'd been home, he would have hooked up the generator, to at least give me my New Delly and my TV and a light.

The next morning, I saw that our down-the-hill neighbor had experienced a tree malfunction. At least their limb didn't land on the power line. Or their house, of course.


Friday, June 15, 2018

Let the record further show that our electricity went off AGAIN tonight. At 4:45 p.m. Right when I was going upstairs to make Hick's supper before he left for the auction. The only good thing about a power outage at that time is NO COOKING FOR VAL. Hick said he'd get something at the auction. Hopefully not Auction Meat. But more like a hot dog.

Hick called me on his way out of our compound. Over on the hill by HOS's (Hick's Oldest Son) house, a limb had fallen on a power line. Hick knows the local guy who works for the electric company. He stopped to talk, and found out the guy had reported the outage, and called for a crew. You never know how long that's going to take. And neither did the electric company's automated line that gives estimates for a restoration time, after you look up your account number and call them.

This time, it was back on by 6:07 p.m. And Hick had opened up the garage door, in case I wanted to escape in T-Hoe.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

The Next Best Thing to Having Cents

Sorry, people! I tried! Tried to find pennies this week for the Saturday Centsus. The best I could do was a blue spot I noticed as I went into Casey's on Friday morning. Not a coin. Gum. I figured that out, because when I came back to T-Hoe, I was checking a text from Hick, and I stepped on it. The aftermath was not pretty, though it WAS colorful. Smelled like spearmint.

Maybe I was trying too hard. Sometimes, you just have to let go. The pennies will find you.

I don't know how much more let-go I can get than slumbering like the non-living. As you well know, I go to bed around 3:00 a.m. Sometimes later! I sleep deeply for about two hours, then nature calls. It's still dark when I get up (the first time). I don't turn on a light. There's a faint glow through the frosted french door louvers. Those doors face out toward Poolio's solar light, on the deck down below porch level. There's also a slight illumination from the living room, due to the kitchen undercabinet lights we've left on since the boys were still young 'uns. So it's not like I'm stubbing my toe.

Wednesday night (technically early Thursday morning), I'd been dreaming about a trip with my cousin who bought my mom's house. Dream-Us had gone to a charity function by car and by prop plane. Dream-Cuz was driving us back to the airport in a snowstorm when my mom drove up in a sedan. We put her in our back seat, and she said she'd just driven two hours (?) to make sure we got home safely. Dream-Cars were sliding off the road, and Dream-Cuz carefully went around them. We both commented that somebody had just stopped to help those people. The third Dream-Wreck we passed had people strewn a distance down the snowy road. Our car started to slide backwards, but Dream-Cuz got it under control and slowly crept up an incline. Dream-Mom had a conniption. "Go back! You have to go back!" She was quite adamant that we return to help those people. Dream-Us did not. Dream-Cuz went to the airport, and he and I got onto that little plane to return home. Dream-Mom did not accompany us.

It's just a dream, you see. Who knows what our minds are up to while we're sleeping? There were a couple of details in it that were in news stories I'd read before bed. About all I could gather from that dream was that apparently, even in my dreams, I don't really care about helping people. I was still thinking about that as I dark-walked back across the bedroom to the foot of the bed, on the way to my side by the french doors.

I normally fix my gaze on Poolio's solar light through the frosted french door louvers, and navigate my way back, following it like the North Star. This time, a glint on the floor caught my eye.

I have recreated the incident during evening hours, with the light on, to get this picture. Seems that Hick had done his laundry, and stacked a pile of overalls and jeans on the floor without putting them away.

Let the record show that I picked up my rightful dime, and laid it on the mantel of the fake electric fireplace on the wall by my side of the bed. In full daylight, I saw that it had been face down. I don't associate finding dimes with my mom. More with my dad, seeing as how we found them all over the house in the months right after he died.

I'm sure this one got away from Hick when he put his change on the dresser over by the bathroom door. I don't know why it couldn't have been a penny! He puts those in a giant red plastic Coke bottle bank. He does it with the lights on, though. Several hours before he goes to bed, because he likes to lounge around in his tighty-whities in the La-Z-Boy. So he had several opportunities to spy that dime and re-claim it, between unloading his pockets, trips to the bathroom, and walking from bathroom to bed.

It's mine now, though! A 2006.

For 2018: Still Pennies # 46, 47, 48.
For 2018: Dime  # 9.
For 2018: Nickels still at # 2.

Since 2017 (the beginning), this was still Penny # 124, 125, 126.
Since 2017 (the beginning), this was Dime # 15.
Since 2017 (the beginning), this was still Nickel # 2.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Back-of-the-Book-Blurb Friday #104 "I Saw What You Did Last Tri-Century"

Blog buddy Sioux is hosting Back-of-the-Book-Blurb Friday again. I have 150 words to convince you to fake-buy my fake book. Val takes a page from history this week, and gives you historical fiction revealing the afterlife of America's first President. I cannot tell a lie...okay...I can easily tell a lie. You'll love this one! Stop throwing your dollars across the Potomac, and get this fake book about the father of our country. It would make a great Father's Day gift, don't you think?

I Saw What You Did Last Tri-Century

George Washington is TICKED OFF. He has carried a grudge since childhood. A grudge against a former friend who chopped down the Washington family cherry tree. Oh, he saw everything, with that all-seeing eye. But George took the rap. Got his hatchet taken away for his trouble, too! Now that he doesn't have to be a man of character, George is bent on revenge.

With his ability to look at everybody who handles a dollar bill, George is seeking descendants of his arch nemesis. Once he finds them, his wrath shall be released. George will not stand for a foe to prosper. Not even in a boat crossing the Delaware. He's ready to sink his false teeth into this task.

Will George get his revenge? Or will he wig out and sign off on it? (135 words)


Fake Reviews for Val’s Fake Book

Richard Milhous Nixon..."Just like I am not a crook, this Thevictorian gal is not a writer! She has a sweaty upper lip, too. A sure sign of deceit. I think Thevictorian should resign herself to not fake-writing any more, for the good of the country."

William Jefferson Clinton..."I'm going to say this again: 'I did not fake-read the fake book of Val Thevictorian.' Oh, I would've given her a roll in the hay. She's my type. But I most definitely can't recommend her fake books."

Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr..."I am adopting a new attitude towards this fake author. I think we should pardon her less-than stellar efforts at putting pen to paper. Thevictorian is welcome to come to the golf course and watch me play. Any time."

Betty Ford..."I'll drink to that!"

George Herbert Walker Bush..."Read my lips: no new fake books from Thevictorian! I swear, that gal's fake writing is so soul-sucking, she could dim 999 of the 1000 points of light."

Barbara Bush..."I look more like George Washington that George Washington looks like George Washington! Yet Thevictorian didn't write about ME! From glancing over this fake book, I think she must be illiterate."

Franklin Delano Roosevelt..."Thevictorian is a dame who shall live in infamy! As a fake author, she has no leg to stand on! I propose a new deal, which shall allow me to declare a Fake Book Holiday, and shut down any fake authors I deem appropriate. Of course Thevictorian tops the list."

James Earl Carter Jr..."I have never lusted in my heart for one of Thevictorian's fake books. I wouldn't buy one if the price of it was mere peanuts!"
Ronald Wilson Reagan..."Thevictorian, tear up this book! I believe this fake author has been practicing Thevictorianomics, not charging tax on her fake books. Rather than achieving a trickle-down situation where more people can fake-buy her fake books, she seems to have only given us a watered-down form of fake literature."

Nancy Reagan..."Excuse me as I smooth down my red dress. Don't I look good in red? Now, where was I? Oh, yes. When it comes to Thevictorian's fake books, JUST SAY NO!"

John Fitzgerald Kennedy..."Ask not what Thevictorian's fake books are about...ask what's up with Thevctorian! If only she had been ahead of her time, we could have sent her to the moon, and saved ourselves from over a hundred of her fake books. On the brighter side...she wasn't around to sing Happy Birthday to me."

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis..."I tried to read Thevictorian's fake book. I really did. I was a book editor, you know. But unfortunately, Thevictorian's fake writing was all Greek to me."

George Walker Bush..."This fake book is an article of crass production. The best use for it would be soaking up floodwaters from a massive hurricane. Let me paint a picture for you. Thevictorian may have fooled us 103 times...shame on her. Fool us 104 times...we can't be fooled again."

Abraham Lincoln..."Perhaps Thevictorian could adapt this fake book into a fake play. I'd let her use my Presidential box to watch it from the balcony."

Harry S. Truman..."The fake book stops here! I'm making sure that Thevictorian is stopped from putting out any more fake books. I'll give 'er Not-Heaven if she won't!"

Hillary Rodham Clinton..."I had planned on having my own face on currency some day. And not something so deplorable as a dollar. I imagine Thevictorian will be sorry she didn't make this fake book all about ME. Accidents happen..."

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Salvager VALi

Val doesn't claim to be an artist. In fact, if Hick bought a storage shed with the paintings of Val inside, abandoned by their owner, not even worth paying $50 a month to keep...he would throw them on his burn pile. Not haul them 60 miles to the city, to consult an expert who has appeared on Antiques Roadshow.

However...Val has a knack for making life imitate art. Some items in her kitchen this week were reminiscent of the Salvador Dali work: The Persistence of Memory.

I took pictures of my kitchen items separately. But if I'd been a bit more patient, I would have stuck one into the other, and called MY work The Indulgence of VALedictory.

Val is a connoisseur of plastic forks. She prefers to eat with them, having an aversion to the metallic taste and feel of real forks, and even washes them for re-use. DON'T JUDGE! Spoons and knives don't give her the same vibe. It's just the forks. Besides, they're free with many fast food meals, and Val has a stockpile of them from when she was routinely having the Hardee's Chicken Bowl for lunch, before she switched over to Walmart Chicken Bacon Ranch pinwheels.

Who knew that plastic forks are not as good for flipping items in a nonstick skillet as Val thought they were?

In another gross miscarriage of Even Steven justice...Val was dealing with a garage emergency (an upcoming tale all its own) when her carried-in groceries toppled off the kitchen counter.

Apparently, individual ice cream cups that have been riding around in T-Hoe's rear at 94 degrees (even though ensconced in a Cardinals insulated zip-top bag and covered with Val's purple quilted parking-lot duty-coat) do not hold up well to a three-foot topple.

Let the record show that Val tried to salvage the fork, but those bent tines provided an unpleasant texture on the tongue. It was a sad farewell. The out-of-focus ice cream, however, was still delicious.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Hick Can't See the Cabin for the Trees

When I was leaving for town Tuesday, Hick said that back-creek neighbor Bev was coming over to meet him at his new Freight Container Garage, to look at some lamps that she might want to buy. He was in a hurry to get over there, and I was in a hurry to get to Walmart, so we didn't have long to chat.

Let the record show that Bev's husband was gone to work when she came lamp-shopping. That is unprecedented! They NEVER leave their home unattended, because Bev is sure that the Stick Road Man is creeping onto her property and up to no good. Since Hick put in a surveillance camera system for them, Bev has deemed it safe to venture a half-mile away (as the crow flies, and the Stick Road Man creeps) for ten minutes or so.

Bev ended up buying $20 worth of Hick's junk merchandise. Two lamps, some blankets and old t-shirts that she says she uses for her cats, and assorted crafty stuff. She's Hick's best customer.

Hick had spent the morning working over at Bev's house, taking down a deck made of plastic wood. He said he'd do it for the materials, even though I'm pretty sure they would have paid him to dismantle it, AND haul it away. Hick drove one of his tractors over there, and left it and his trailer, half-loaded with the half-taken-down deck.

Hick called HOS (Hick's Oldest Son) to see if he would be able to give him a ride back to our homestead. HOS said he was down at the creek fishing with his boy, but for Hick to give him a call when he was ready. Being Hick...he decided he wasn't going to bother with waiting for a ride, and when he was ready, Hick started walking home. I didn't find this out until the afternoon, though, when I got back from town.

I sat down to chat with Hick around 3:00, before he left for the auction, and he started rattling on about his morning, getting stung by a hornet while taking apart the plastic-wood deck. Held up the knuckle of his bad-finger, bemoaning the injury. I told him he should have put a paste of baking soda on it, and he said he didn't have any. I pointed out the box on the kitchen counter, and Hick said, "I wasn't home. I was over at Bev's, and I didn't have a ride back."

It's not that far. Our properties adjoin just across the creek. According to Hick, he almost became a statistic. One of those lost-in-the-woods people who have rescuers searching for them, and are never found.

"I started walking on a trail. The people who owned that property before had ridden their 4-wheelers along a path. But it's kind of grown-over now--"

"Wait. Didn't you just follow the land? You know it slopes to the creek, and then our house is up the hill on the other side."

"I know. I started doing that. I was looking for my cabin. But the trees were too thick. A lot of big ones blew over in that storm the other day--"

"Didn't you look for moss on the north side of the trees? Moss grows on the north side or our garage! All you had to do was keep going west."

"No, I didn't think to look for moss. I just kept going, looking for the cabin. I see how people get turned around in the woods! I came out on [Copper Jack's Human Daddy's] property. I saw his NO TRESPASSING signs." [Let the record show that Copper Jack's Human Daddy routinely poaches bow-hunts deer and turkey out of season on our property, WITH our permission, but restricts his own against trespassers.]

"At least you knew where you were."

"Yeah, I worked my way over until I saw my A-frame."

"But you had started out, thinking you would end up at your Creekside Cabin?"

"Yeah. I was a little bit off."

I'd say so. That Creekside Cabin is on our other 10 acres that adjoins the 10 acres where the homestead is located.