Sunday, June 30, 2019

If You Build It, He Will Covet

Hick sent me a picture on Wednesday. The title was: Hillbilly Camper.

I think Hick is sorry that he didn't think of it first. I'm pretty sure he has the materials on hand. If only he hadn't sold his old Ford F250.

"I was parked by Save A Lot waiting on my people to show up, and this pulled out of Orb K."

Heh, heh. I see a chair on the back. Maybe old Granny Clampett didn't want to ride on top of the gabled roof in a rocking chair.

This is not a sight I've seen before, nor has Hick. Maybe it was somebody just passing through, on the way to a hillbilly-er area. I don't know where that could possibly be, except maybe 30 miles west, on the way to one of my old school districts.

I'm pretty sure Hick was envious. I don't think he was poking fun at this vehicle.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Val Is Absolutely CENTSless With Joy

The bad news is... I didn't find a single coin this week. After last week showed so much promise, too! But don't you worry about centsless ol' Val. Even Steven took good care of her. Exemplary care, some might say.

FRIDAY, June 28, I bought this scratcher at the Casey's over in Sis-Town. The place I fill up T-Hoe with gas every Friday.

That's a $100 winner on a $10 ticket. I had the 20X symbol on a $5 prize. As you might imagine, I was excited by this win. Maybe not as excited as I should have been, because...

Wednesday, June 26, I bought a good winner at The Gas Station Chicken Store.

I had the little STAR symbol there on the bottom row, which means I won all prizes. Which added up to $100 on this $5 ticket. Of course I was excited to have such a big winner. Maybe not as excited as I should have been, because...

Saturday, June 22, The Gas Station Chicken Store rewarded me for loyally buying the couple-years-old Monopoly tickets. I can't resist them when the Man Owner puts them out. This is the only store that has them any more.

I uncovered the GO symbol. Of course everybody knows that when you pass GO in Monopoly, you get $200.

Yeah. I'm not crying over my lack of coins this week. Obviously, they were meant for someone else, not me. So my coin totals stay the same as last week.

2019 Running Total
Penny   still at 73.
Dime    still at 12.
Nickel  still at 8.
Quarter  still at 1.

Penny  131
Dime  17
Nickel  6
Quarter  1

2017 TOTALS (Started in March, 2017)
Penny  78
Dime   6
Nickel  0
Quarter  0

Friday, June 28, 2019

The Pony's Brush With the Supernatural

You may recall that The Pony has been having issues with unexplained happenings around his college apartment, much as I have here at home. Like his recent window-shade-flipping, and the weird goings-on with his cell phone. I am not one to twirl my crazy temple finger at him. You're not a true believer until it happens to you.

Let the record show, for the purposes of what you're about to read, that The Pony has been letting his hair grow since he left for college in 2016. It's past his shoulders, and very curly. He got Hick's hair. Hick probably wants it back right about now.

Anyhoo... a couple Saturdays ago, we returned from CasinoPalooza 5. The following Friday night, I got a text from The Pony at 9:02 p.m.

"Wanna hear a creepy occurence?"

"Sure! I'm here in the basement by myself..."

"So, I have three hairbrushes. A small purple one I keep by the sink, a big purple one I keep in the shower, and a red one that I hadn't seen in months. The red one has a totally different grip compared to the purple ones. They even feel different on hair. I brushed my hair this morning, using the purple one. I went into the bathroom to grab my towel just now, and the red one was there. I literally haven't seen it in months. I thought I left it at home or lost it in one of the hotels last trip. But suddenly it's there where I always set them, and the big purple one is missing."

"Did you take it to CasinoPalooza 5? I remember hoping on the drive home that you didn't forget the brush I saw in the shower. I don't remember the color."

"The purple one was on the trip, but I repacked it. It was the first thing I got out when I came home. They're different shapes, too. Purple is oval, red is rectangle. That's why I stopped using it before I lost it."

"I know the one I saw in the shower was oval. FYI, your baby pacifier, the big brown one from the hospital, disappeared for several days right after we brought you home. We tore the house apart looking for it! Then one morning I opened the laundry room door to start a load, and your pacifier was laying in the middle of the floor. So mystery has followed you from birth..."

"Well then."

"And when you were a toddler in that little car bed, your covers would be pulled up and unwrinkled when I checked on you in the night. Like somebody made the bed with you in it. You used to say Grandpa came in your room at night to make sure everything was all right. You were only 6 weeks old when he died, but Genius had that picture of him in his room, and we had one in the hall outside your door."

"Found the brush! It was sitting in my bed. It was not there last night, and I didn't brush my hair in the bedroom."

"Your entity likes to be well-groomed! I was just in the NASCAR bathroom, and a box with a collector truck flew off the back of the toilet. It happens every few months or so, as they gradually slide over. But why NOW?"


Huh. I don't know what's going on around here or there. I've had a light over the pool table flickering for three nights. Hick said it was going out and he'd replace it, so tell him. Then it started working like normal again.

The Pony had his phone problem again Tuesday night. He sent me a text at 11:12.

"Phone did the creepy glitched audio of overlapping voices again. I shut it off, but it started with 'Warning. Warning. Warning.' Weird that before anything else started, it played that warning three times. It was from one of the ads it was trying to play."

"Well, your phone sent me that exact same text twice. Must be some kind of phone bug. I am not an expert."

Get your crazy temple twirly fingers ready! Maybe The Pony and I could make some and market them. Like the big foam #1 fingers...

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Nobody Knows the Trouble He's Seen, Nobody Knows My Horror

Tuesday evening, Hick came in from mowing grass, and said he was getting in Poolio before supper. He declared that he would cook for himself (a fresh 20-pack of hot dogs awaited on FRIG II's bottom shelf) when he came in. I puttered around the kitchen, slicing him some strawberries, before warming up not-hot-dogs for myself. I sat down for a few minutes in the La-Z-Boy, thinking Hick's return was imminent. When he didn't arrive in the next 10 minutes, I went out on the back porch looking for him.

Poolio was EMPTY! Not empty of water, mind you. Empty of Hick. Not a ripple. No Hick in the water, no Hick sitting on the deck, no Hick walking through the yard, no sound of Hick riding on the Gator to dry off. Huh. That was a curious turn of events. Was this just a ruse to throw me off his trail? Was Hick dipping his appendages in some other woman's Poolio?

I went back inside to get my own supper ready. I was mid-dip in the quart of slaw when something caught my eye through the open mini blinds of the three kitchen windows.

HICK, in only tighty-whities and camouflage Crocs, was shuffling around the porch, headed for the steps down to Poolio! AND, he had the nerve to peer in the window as if to inquire what in the Not-Heaven I was doing!

As you might imagine, the horror of this vision stopped my supper preparations. More horrifying yet, Hick came in through the laundry room door, and stood at the edge of the kitchen in all his glory.

"I thought you were swimming. I went out to talk to you, and you were gone."

"There was a SNAKE in the pool!"

"You ran pretty far away."

"I didn't run away! I threw it out! It must have been this long! [Arms outstretched, about two feet.] I think it was a copperhead. I guess it was in the big blue hose I pulled in to plug in the skimmer. I seen it, and it seen me, and it got up under the rim of the pool. I trapped it in the net, and threw it out."

"Did you kill it?"

"No. I was in the pool!"

"You were walking around the porch!"

"Oh. I needed that other part of the skimmer. The part that hangs down on the bottom. Its hose was hanging over by my lawnmower under the porch, so I had to walk around and get it."

"Where's the snake?"

"I don't know. In the yard somewhere."

"Did it have a rattle?"

"I don't think so. I wasn't looking that close. There's copperheads around, though."

"Yeah. You usually find them in pairs..."

Prospective camera crews, you're missing a lot of footage by not following Hick around.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Hick House Makeover: Kitchen 06-11-19

This will conclude the Hick House adventure. The kitchen is the room Hick and HOS concentrated on first. I think their transformation was remarkable. Since most of you were privy (heh, heh, I said PRIVY) to the step-by-step renovations, I'll try to limit the pictures to before and after. Mostly...

The old kitchen sink, as seen on March 1, was ripped out.

And the corner was readied for the future location of HOS's stove and refrigerator.

Let the record show that Hick wanted to run the electric "the right way" in the walls, but HOS wanted the industrial look, in conduit. So that's what Hick did. Still "right." Just different than what he'd envisioned.

The junk was cleaned up, but the old built-in pantry was left in place.

HOS did a lot of scrubbing and painting.

HOS also installed the tin on the wall, and intentionally put the weathered pieces here, instead of where they'd be hidden by the stove and refrigerator, because that's the look he was going for.

 Good thing HOS was not afraid to get his hands dirty!

Hick replaced the window, and installed the cabinets.

I thought I had a better picture of the cabinetry all done, but I can't find it. Anyhoo... Hick heard about cabinets for sale on Tradio or Swap N Shop on a local radio station, and he and HOS hopped in SilverRedO and hurried about a half hour north to get them. Cabinets, counter, and sink with fixtures for the low, low price of $250. Can't beat that with a stick!

Also missing is a picture of the flue in the corner of the kitchen. Rather than tear it out, Hick opted to cover it with drywall, which HOS did.

He wasn't done all the way to the top there, but everything worked out fine. Seating was set in place.

Then Hick added the table. I think he got this set out of his Storage Unit collection. The light was FREE, from back-creek neighbor Bev.

The colors are washed-out here, due to the bright not-chandelier, but it shows how the floor cleaned up pretty nicely.

This concludes the renovation of Hick House. I'm kind of sad to see the journey end.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Hick House Makeover: Bathroom 06-11-19

I know you've seen the old bathroom and the beginnings of the new Hick House bathroom, but you haven't seen it 95% complete. So bear with me as I document its progress. I'll spare you the old bathroom with the full toilet that was scrapped and scrubbed into a back porch storage room. We'll start with the room across from the kitchen that Hick chose to become the bathroom.

Here's the bathroom-to-be, back on March 1. It shares the wall on the right with the master bedroom.

By March 14, the free shower Hick picked up along the road had been set in place, as well as the toilet he had over in the BARn.

He had also framed in a wall to make a hallway to the back porch, so you didn't walk directly from the kitchen into the bathroom.

By April 2, HOS had scraped and stained the bathroom floor, and put in the toilet drain pipe, and framed in the tub (which was also picked up on the road free, with the shower). Hick has the door on, and is revealing himself in the medicine cabinet he got for a song at the auction. Not a literal song. They would have made him pay to sing. Hick has a good voice, but his repertoire is limited to "Elvira" and "Daddy Sang Bass."

The free sink was in on April 8, as well as a second medicine cabinet. Yes, that's a sink faucet on the tub, but it was FREE, by cracky!

Other rooms took precedence for a while, but as of June 11, the bathroom was operational, with just a few minor tweaks left, and some fancy free lights, and possibly a different medicine cabinet. And actually a different sink (also free), which was switched out due to the (free) plumbing hardware available.

HOS was finishing some tile on the side of the tub.

He had run the plumbing for the shower and washer/dryer hookup, and trimmed out the wall.

That's the last you'll see of the bathroom, since it wouldn't be polite for Hick to go take pictures now that HOS and family have moved in!

Tomorrow: the kitchen, which most of you have seen already, in fits and starts. It seems more dramatic when before and after are in the same post.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Hick House Makeover: Living Room 06-11-19

The next three days will conclude our Hick House journey. Seems like the longer Hick worked, the fewer pictures he took. I'll go back and piece together the transformation of the living room today. Tuesday we'll do the bathroom, and Wednesday a review of the kitchen, which I think I pretty much showed as it was updated.

The living room was in rough shape. Of course it needed a good scrubbing, and some paint.

There was originally a large opening from the living room to the master bedroom. Hick was going to make it a two-sided bookshelf, but instead opted for a plain door, which he already had.

Here's the doorway to the kitchen, which they hadn't really worked on yet.

There's the proud owner (at the time, having forked over $5000 cash, but having no deed) Hick standing in the kitchen doorway.

A window needed replacing. HOS had started painting the ceiling.

Hick replaced and trimmed around the window that looks out on the concrete shed/garage, down toward the creek.

He framed in a door for the bedroom. It didn't cost anything. He already had a spare door. Just the trim board, which was in his budget.

HOS and the Mrs. added a little trim in the style of the bedroom accent wall.

HOS had already painted the wall leading to the kitchen, which was then unfinished.

This is the final view of the living room, taken from the kitchen doorway. Three area rugs will do for the floor right now. Curtains were either found in the house by HOS, or given to them by the neighbor lady up the hill next door.

Again, this renovation was not intended to create a mansion. Just a safe, livable house, which PASSED INSPECTION!

Tomorrow: the bathroom.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Val Went All the Way to CasinoPalooza 5, and All We Got Were These Crappy Bathroom Stories

WARNING: The following story is offensive and tasteless. But true. Don't be complaining if you read it and are offended. Don't be reading it if you are eating, about to eat, have just eaten, or are thinking about eating.

On the drive home from any CasinoPalooza, Hick and I stop twice. The first is at a rest area on I-44 between Springfield and Lebanon. It's about 90 minutes after we leave the casino. The next stop is in Steelville, about two hours later. Times depending upon Hick's sweaving speed, of course. Gone are the days when we could drive straight through without stopping. If we chucked our blood pressure meds for the day, we might make it, but I don't think that's advisable.

Anyhoo... with my peg-leg left ankle and my overused right knee, I was moving mighty slow on Saturday morning when we started home. So slow that when we reached the rest area, Hick took off like a future derby winner out of the starting gate, and was across the parking lot, at the automatic glass doors, before I closed A-Cad's door for him to lock it with the clicker. I don't know why he wouldn't give ME the clicker when he got out. But he didn't.

I hobbled in like a sprouting sweet potato with toothpick legs. I was surprised that Hick wasn't already out, perusing the soda and snack machines. Maybe there was a line in the men's room. Women were pouring in and out of the other side.

As usual, one side of the women's restroom was blocked by orange cones and yellow caution tape for cleaning. So I had to turn right. Each side has four regular stalls and a handicap stall. I was in luck, because the handicap stall was available, the door hanging open. The regular stalls were all full. Like I said, the rest stop was busy on the Saturday before Father's Day. What unfolded next will be related by quoting the texts I sent The Pony after the fact. I actually called Sis to tell her in person. She kindly put me on speaker phone without my knowledge. So I owe her one...

Anyhoo... here's how I broke the story to The Pony. He started it by daring to text me.

"About a half hour from home. Decided to stop and get Steak N Shake in Midwest City."

"Okay. Just left the rest stop. You'll never believe what was on the floor of the handicap stall..."


"I WISH! The Ex-Mayor guessed a pill. Like my experience last night. But no. It was a TURD! On the floor in front of the toilet."

"I'm not surprised."

"That's not the worst part. It was also smeared on the front of the toilet!"


"But that's not the worst part! I had to use it! The other side of the women's room was closed! I can't get up from a regular toilet without a handrail. I tried to clean it off with toilet paper, but it was dried!"

"...but not surprised."

"And THAT'S not EVEN the worst part! Every woman I passed going in as I was coming out WOULD THINK IT WAS ME, because of how I'm walking!"


Yeah. Sis and Ex-Mayor had entirely too much fun laughing at my misfortune. At least The Pony seemed to convey a modicum of sympathy.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

The Eight Days of CENTSes

Wheee doggies! Val hit the jackpot after her CasinoPalooza. It was like Christmas, without the snow. Jolly old Even Steven made sure Val was on the un-naughty list. Checked it twice. Actually, checked it eight times! You're not gonna believe this haul.

The Truth in Blogging Law requires me to inform you that this CENTSational harvest actually started on Friday, June 14, but I didn't have time to update last week's Saturday CENTsus because I was busy losing money in seven casinos.

Make yourself comfortable. Strap on the old feedbag. Hook up a cannula of oxygen. This coin collection was so bountiful that I've even cut down the picture size.

Friday, JUNE 14, I opened up A-Cad's door to find that Hick had parked me perfectly to find a NICKEL on the parking lot of The Stables Casino.

If Hick or another sweaver had parked in the next space, I never would have found my rightful nickel!

It was a heads-up 1991. Sadly, it did not change my casino luck that day. I was happy to find it, though, after 13 days without a coin!


Saturday, JUNE 15, I was weaving through Downstream Casino at 12:14 a.m., on my way to the front restroom, and spied this penny:

Lucky for me it was on the contrasting color of that wild carpet. Two twenty-something dudes gave me the side-eye when I took my pictures. They did not, however, twirl their crazy fingers.

It was a heads-up 2016. I was obviously meant to find it. Why else would a PENNY be in the middle of the casino, where everything these days is paper money and paper tickets?


Sunday, JUNE 16, was Father's Day. I might have mentioned how I feel like the Dimes from Heaven are from my dad, and the pennies from my mom. That's because for six weeks after my dad died, we found dimes all over our house. The pennies started after Mom passed away. Not in the house, but out on the town.

This dime found me in The Gas Station Chicken Store when I went in for my first 44 oz Diet Coke after we returned from CasinoPalooza 5.

It was a heads-up 2015. That's the year my mom died.


Monday, JUNE 17, I was pleased to discover another dime at Orb K.

Gotta look close! It's against the side of the energy supplement rack.

It was a head-up 2006.


Tuesday, JUNE 18, I was back on the penny train, at Save A Lot, of all places. I don't find many coins there.

It's hiding in the middle of those black chewing-gum stains. I'd parked way down by the Dollar Store. I don't normally walk across this section. But I did this day, and found my rightful penny!

After four heads-ups in a row, this was a face-down 2019.


Wednesday, JUNE 19, I was back in Orb K to find another penny.

I almost missed this old feller, only noticing the glint as I turned to leave.

It was a heads-up 1971.


Thursday, JUNE 20, the dimes made a comeback.

Once again at The Gas Station Chicken Store. I really don't find all that many coins there, considering the fact that I'm in that store every single day.

This was a heads-up 2016.


Friday, JUNE 21, I gave Mom and Dad a shout-out at the cemetery as I drove by, no time to make my weekly stop since I was running late for the post office. Don't want to miss the outgoing mail with the boys' letters! My next stop after the post office was the Casey's over in Sis Town, for gas and scratchers. Where I found a penny AND a dime...

The shiny new pennies are easy to spot.

This was a heads-up 2019.

Those rascally dimes are a bit harder to see. This one was a leaner.

Still heads-up, though. A 1977.

But WAIT! I wasn't done yet. The other Casey's, over by the turn-off I used to take for work, had a surprise in store (actually OUT of store) for me! As I turned onto the lot, a pickup truck with a trailer pulled across FIVE SPACES, two of which were my intended destination and my backup.

Good thing I was forced to park just right in front of the store, for finding this penny when I came out.

His close-up ain't pretty, but Ol' Abe was heads-up, from 2017

So... I found 10 coins over 8 consecutive days, and 9 were HEADS-UP, while only 1 was face-down. That is very unusual for my findings, as the majority are generally face-down. I guess ol' Even Steven is working on the odds. This week gave me 5 pennies, 4 dimes, and 1 nickel, for 50 cents towards my Future Pennyillionaire fortune.

2019 Running Total
Penny   # 69, 70, 71, 72, 73.
Dime    # 9, 10, 11, 12.
Nickel  # 8.
Quarter  still at 1.

Penny  131
Dime  17
Nickel  6
Quarter  1

2017 TOTALS (Started in March, 2017)
Penny  78
Dime   6
Nickel  0
Quarter  0