Monday, November 30, 2020

B-I-N-G-O and Giraffe Was His Name-O

 Hick's latest Goodwill purchases are typical of his Storage Unit Store's eclectic inventory.

The Pony grabbed a picture of them, riding on the back seat of A-Cad on our last casino trip. 
There's a BINGO metal sign that Hick paid $3 for. He says he will sell it for $6. 
The other item is a wooden giraffe. Paid $2, wants $4. Hick says he has a buyer who looks for stuff like this giraffe.

Funny how he didn't find a penny goblet for me...

Sunday, November 29, 2020

The Journey of a Thousand Lights Begins With a Single Bulb

Hick was working in his Freight Container Garage the other day, when it was raining, and not good weather for hanging around up at the storage units. Funny I should mention storage units. Because that's what Hick was going through in his garage. Items left over from three years ago when he bought the original 18 storage units that started his Storage Unit Store. It reminds me of a coffee table book about coffee tables.

Anyhoo... Hick found a bunch of Christmas stuff. Some of it being lights. For a long time, he has been meaning to switch out our string of Christmas lights that stay up all year, clipped to the soffits. It's not like anyone can see them from the road. And it's not like anyone around here would see anything wrong with it if they could. It's what our people do.

As I mentioned on my super-secret blog last week, Hick took my sous chef, The Pony, away from me during the hour before Thanksgiving dinner was to be served. To help him put in new bulbs. Oh, Hick didn't bother to call The Pony out to carry the metal ladder that he'd loaded and unloaded from SilverRedO on his 8th day post-op from gallbladder surgery. Only to stand on the porch and hand him bulbs, while Hick himself climbed up and down the ladder, reached to and fro, and carried that ladder along, setting it at 5-foot intervals.

Anyhoo... Hick got the bulbs replaced. The few that didn't light up. And the many that were faded out, with flaking paint, to look all white when turned on. The replacement bulbs are more colorful. There's no rhyme nor reason to Hick's color scheme. They blink on and off, almost in a cascade pattern. I managed to capture a shot while they were ON.

I'm pretty sure Juno is admiring Hick's handiwork. Not just sitting there, wishing I'd quit pointing my phone, and get her something to eat.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Val's CENTSible Deduction: Even Steven Took a Holiday

NO PENNIES! Thanksgiving week gave Val NOTHING towards her Future Pennyillionaire Fortune! Surely somebody must have dropped some change somewhere, what with all the coming and going for groceries to make a holiday feast. I would imagine the crop was out there, waiting for harvest. But Even Steven did not put me in the right place at the right time.

Or perhaps Even Steven was preoccupied. Like Hick at Thevictorian family Thanksgiving table. I complain (so uncharacteristic of me, I know!) to Hick about ignoring me almost every night. The minute I come upstairs to make supper, and sit down on the short couch to converse with him... he picks up his phone. Not even the reruns of Little House on the Prairie are enough stimulation for him to ignore me. 

Hick is a poster-worthy example for the chronic condition I call Inattentive Distractedness. 

We were feasting on our mass quantities of turkey breast and carbohydrate-loaded side dishes, conversing amiably about The Pony's beverage of spiced rum and warm Coke with lime, when Hick's eyes bulged. He pointed and shouted, 


I swear. Hick could write dialogue for those Dick and Jane reading books.

"I can't turn my head around like an owl!"

The Pony could! Must have been the spiced rum. The Pony also had his phone handy.

He took a picture of what caused Hick's excitement. It was literally a case of SQUIRREL!

It's not like we live in a Japanese capsule hotel! We live in the country. In the WOODS! There are hundreds of squirrels swarming our property. We are virtually a feeding station for them, what with the dogs' automatic feeder of dry dog food on the back porch. It's not like Hick was in a spiced-rum altered state where a darting squirrel might trigger him. He was drinking water. Not even under the influence of an opioid painkiller from his surgery. 

I can't explain Hick's fascination with a critter that he sees more than 10 times a day, any more than I can explain why Even Steven forsook me for the week.

ZERO coins found this week, for ZERO cents added to my Future Pennyillionaire Fortune.

Penny       still at 123.
Dime         still at  24.
Nickel       still at 10.
Quarter    still at 1.

Penny     134
Dime        20
Nickel        8
Quarter      5

Friday, November 27, 2020

Just a Taste

Thevaledictorian family enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast yesterday, and plan to enjoy it for the next several days. With Genius absent this year, we left out the time-intensive Green Bean Bundles. The rest of the menu was pretty much the same, save Hick's annual sugar-free chocolate pie. I figured since he eats casino pie with abandon, sugar and all, there was no need to force better health upon him for one day.

Let the record show that we are not fancy folks. Not hoity-toity. If you dropped by, we might just slop some vittles into a trough for you. We're not linen-tablecloth/good-silver people. If we clear the hoarded pile of assorted unneeded items off the kitchen table, it's the mark of a special occasion.

The Pony was in the midst of setting the table. There's our dying jade plant, that we've been unable to kill for 20 years. And a random fake flower. A tall mug that Hick is saving for something. No one here drinks coffee. The Pony obviously needs instruction on place-setting. Even I know that's not proper silverware placement. He's put the desserts handily on the table. A storebought cherry pie for Hick, and brownies still in the pan, that The Pony made from a box mix.
There's the 9-pound turkey breast. The carrots are not for consumption. I don't have a rack, and used the carrots to keep the turkey off the bottom of the roaster pan.

Hick did the carving, using a knife made by the company he worked for oh so many years. There's the pan of hash brown potatoes awaiting my face planted in them the dig of the spoon. I think that's my plate awaiting some turkey. The Pony stood ready to receive his, and Hick took the first slab to get the skin. Carver gets first choice!

That's Hick's turkey. He's a true carnivore. He asked how much I wanted, and I said, "Maybe half of what you took." But Hick apparently doesn't work in fractions, and gave me even MORE than his, it seemed like. You'll see my plate a bit later.

There are the deviled eggs that are The Pony's favorite. He said I didn't have to go to the trouble to make them, but of course I DID. Also my Diet Coke awaiting a move to the table. No, I didn't drink out of the bottle. We used the good glasses, meaning NOT RED SOLO CUPS.

That's the 7-Layer Salad. Not a good view, since you only see two layers, the cheese and the bacon. I guarantee the others are there: Romaine, peas, boiled eggs, green onions, and mayo.

There's my plate before I chowed down. No, I don't eat like a hummingbird. This ample rumpus isn't going to fatten itself, you know! There's my favorite, the hash brown casserole, and clockwise from there, the roasted vegetables The Pony likes, a deviled egg, two of the Sister Schubert brand rolls, some Stove Top Stuffing (prepared by The Pony), and that slab of turkey that I could not finish, but saved half for later. Oh, and my 7-Layer Salad.

I enjoyed my meal immensely. I wished Genius a happy Thanksgiving by text, and he sent me a picture of his holiday preparations.

Genius is a foody. There's his Pittsburgh apartment kitchen. He brewed up his own cranberry sauce. That's a pan of dressing on the back burner, I think. And the beginnings of stuffed zucchini skins on the cutting board. Genius is also a photographer. His plate put mine to shame.

Genius said he had a keto menu. Mulled Wine. Cauliflower Mac & Cheese. Gravy. Zucchini Skins. Cranberry Sauce. Stuffing. Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin. Pumpkin Pie. Genius WAS a bit jealous of my deviled eggs, and said he wished he'd thought to make some.

I daresay Genius did not enjoy his feast any more than I enjoyed mine!

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving Indeed

It's not all about the turkey, you know! Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what you are thankful for. In my case, it's not proper usage of prepositions. 
I AM thankful that Hick is quickly recovering from his gallbladder surgery last Thursday. And that The Pony is here with us so I can spend two days preparing a meal that will be eaten in 15 minutes. He's actually a big help, trotting to and fro to bring me ingredients. We miss Genius, trapped in Pittsburgh, doing without bar and restaurant alcohol on Thanksgiving Eve. But overall, we've had a good year, in the worst of years.

You know what else I'm thankful for?


My $25 check from the Missouri Lottery, for that ticket that had the smeary barcode.
I sent it off way back on October 17, and it arrived in EmBee last Friday, November 20. Hick said I'd never get my rightful $25. And that now I didn't even have the ticket in hand to pursue the matter further, since I'd mailed it in. DUH! That Hick is such a lottery novice. The only way you can be paid by mail is to MAIL THE ORIGINAL TICKET to the lottery office.

My faith in gambling has been restored!

Hope you all had just as many reasons to be thankful, and maybe even had a bite of turkey.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Happy Anniversary To Me

It's been 31 years since Hick and I were joined in holy-moly matrimony. As I type this, there are only a few minutes left of my anniversary celebration. Don't even mutter/mumble that you were not invited. We had no guests. In fact, we barely had the groom!

I got up around 11:00. Hick was already gone. But he'd left a nice card on the kitchen counter. I went on about my business, making a shopping list for our Thanksgiving feast, planning to hit two stores before the bank, the gas station, the post office, and Burger King.

You might think that Hick had planned a special catered candlelight dinner for me, with a roving violinist (or a fiddler, as our people are wont to call them). But no. He had mentioned in passing that we should use the gift certificate we got for Christmas last year, before it expires, to the local catfish house. He said it on Monday, to go out to dinner Tuesday. I wasn't feelin' it. Besides, Hick had plans up until 6:00 that evening. AND there was the matter of The Pony possibly starving if we didn't take him along.

I set out Hick's anniversary card around 4:00. He hadn't been home all day. He was busy on our anniversary.


What kind of an anniversary is THAT? I knew he was taking her to the hospital. We had rearranged a casino trip so Hick would be available. In fact, I'd told Hick on the way to the casino on Monday,

"I guess you're driving the Acadia to your cancer girlfriend's appointment tomorrow. You need to tell her, 'Cancer Girlfriend, you are NOT allowed to move my wife's seat!' And shake your finger at her while you say it."

Hick said he would take SilverRedO, but I said that was ridiculous, with him not supposed to lift 15 pounds after his surgery, and pulling himself up onto the running board while holding the steering wheel would mean hoisting way more than 15 pounds. So he HAD to take the Acadia.

He did NOT have to take his Cancer Girlfriend to eat Chinese. In my opinion, anyway. Hick said they didn't get out of the 11:30 appointment until 4:30. I believe that. He sent me a text at 3:00 to say he was still at the hospital. Later, he said the ONLY place he could find for them to eat was a Chinese restaurant. I LIKE CHINESE!

Anyhoo... Hick should have known how unpredictable these appointments are. He only takes her there 2 or 3 times a month! Hick shouldn't be going without food that long. He has THE DIABEETUS, you know. He said he got a beef stick out of a machine at the hospital. Probably after 3:00 when he sent the text.

Anyhoo... with the most recent lockdown in St. Louis County, Hick could not find an open restaurant for them to eat. I think he was back down in Jefferson County when he "...tried to go in Captain D's, but they had the doors locked!" Um. There IS such a thing as drive-thru service. I guess Hick's Cancer Girlfriend is too special to eat greasy fish in my car...

So... the big celebration is over now. I DID allow myself a slice of anniversary cake. By that, I mean an individually-wrapped Little Debbie Unicorn Cake, a box of which I had bought for The Pony, who tried one, and declared that he doesn't like strawberry, so I could have them. He left the box on the long couch.

Hick might have treated himself to such a slice of anniversary cake as well. IF he wasn't stuffed from his Chinese restaurant dinner...

Let the record show that I don't mind Hick driving his Cancer Girlfriend to her appointments. I don't mind her riding in my car (except when she moves the seat!). I don't mind him getting her lunch/supper when they go. I'll probably even stay married to Hick for another 31 years.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The Neverending Worry

I was concerned about Hick's gallbladder surgery on Thursday, with only The Pony there with him as a buffer between unconscious Hick and the Grim Reaper. So I was relieved to hear that the surgery was a success, and that Hick was being monitored for release. 

Another worry was how Hick would get his pain med prescription. The Pony said it was not sent in. That they gave him a paper scrip. Hick would be in no shape to walk into his pharmacy to pick it up. The Pony might be looked upon with suspicion if he tried to get it, because I'm pretty sure Hick has not listed him as an individual who can pick up his meds.

"Pony, Dad's pharmacy has a drive-thru window. You can go there, and he'll be right beside you in the car. They recognize him. He's a regular there!"

"Um. I'm not good with drive-thrus. I'll go inside."

"Well, if you let me know what time you and Dad start home, I'll meet you in town at the Gas Station Chicken Store. I can get the prescription, and you can bring Dad home to lay down."

We met, right there overlooking the moat that separates the Gas Station Chicken Store from CeilingReds, Hick's pharmacy. There weren't many cars in their lot.

"Pony. Ask Dad if they require a mask in there."

"He says they do."

"Okay. Look. That guy over there isn't going in. Maybe they only have the drive-thru open."

"Good thing you're getting it!"

"Yeah. I'll check it out. You get him home. Is he goofy? Or just sleepy?"

"He's reclined pretty far back. He talks really slow."

"Okay. I'll be home pretty quick. Don't bounce him around on his blacktopped hill! He just had his insides cut up."

"I'll go slow."

Off I went to CeilingReds. I drove up by the door, and saw a sign that said, "DRIVE THROUGH COVID TESTING." Huh. I had not seen one person walk inside. So I drove around to get in the line. Heh, heh! I beat a car coming in the side entrance from Casey's. I was second in line, behind a shabby gray sedan. It looked like an old man and old woman inside.

Dang! That line wasn't moving. A sign advised you to have your documents ready. A state ID, and insurance card. Maybe there was something else, but the print was smaller. I had my ID in my shirt pocket, knowing it would be required to pick up an opioid for somebody NOT ME. CeilingReds should have Hick's Medicare information on file.

A couple other cars were behind me by this time. It had been 15 minutes. I hadn't seen Old Man hold up his ID, or receive anything through the window drawer. I wondered if he was there for a prescription, or for a COVID test. Maybe it was that new kind where people stick a swab up their own nostrils. I hope they were still doing prescriptions through the drive-thru! I had to get Hick's pain meds!

By now it was after 2:00. I'd been in line 20 minutes, not moving. A truck pulled up beside the line. A big man got out, walked over to the gray sedan, and tapped on the passenger window! I put my window down, but I couldn't hear what he was saying. Old Woman had put the window down a bit. Not sure I would have done that with a stranger walking up. Stranger pointed over toward the window. He kind of threw up his hands, and went back to his truck and drove off.

The gray sedan's taillights lit up. It crept forward. Old Man opened his door a bit. Reached out his open window, but didn't pull anything back except his own arm. I heard faint voices. Then louder.

"Not until later tonight. Or maybe tomorrow."

Now what was THAT supposed to mean? Maybe they weren't giving the COVID test. The gray sedan left, and I pulled up. Huh. The shade was pulled down at the window. But I could see a sign up against the glass just past the drawer.

CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. Closest store is at blah blah blah...

What in the Not-Heaven? I had spent 25 minutes sitting in a line at a closed drive-thru! Good thing that stranger tipped off the Old Man and Old Woman!

I sure didn't want to drive to the next town, to the closest CeilingReds. But I HAD to get Hick's pain meds! He was depending on me! Maybe my own pharmacy, NearMin, could fill it for me. I began composing my intended spiel in my head. It was only two blocks away. Off I went, to their drive-thru.

"Hi. I am trying to get this prescription filled for my husband. He just had surgery this morning. I spent 25 minutes in line over at his pharmacy, CeilingReds, only to find out they're CLOSED until further notice! Do you think you could fill this for me? I don't have his Medicare information, but I will pay cash for it if you can fill it."

"Well! He should be using OUR pharmacy!"

She was a real jokester. I hadn't seen her working there before. But I gave her the scrip, and filled out a half-sheet of info on Hick. 

"I'll go check. We might be able to find him in the system. I'll let you know."

"Thank you! I don't want to drive all the way over to Next Town. They might be closed, too!"

"You know, I've been seeing that on Facebook. The one over in Bill-Paying Town has been closing at random, too. I don't know what's going on with them."

Off she went. After 10 minutes, another girl came to the window to see if she could help me. No. I was helped. I was glad nobody got in line behind me! It took 20 minutes, but the original Jokester came back with Hick's prescription!

"We were able to find his information. You said you want to pay cash?"

"Yes. How much is that." I had my debit card ready.

"Forty-eight cents."

"Oh! Okay. Here." I handed her two quarters. "You can even keep the change!"

Man! That was an ordeal. Drug-seeking sure is a time-sucking, stress-inducing activity!

When I told Hick about his pharmacy being closed, he got on Facebook to ask his GAL who works there if they were closed. As IF I'd make up that whole story! She said that somebody had tested positive, so they had to do a deep clean, which required them to close for three hours. 
Seems to me that CeilingReds should stay in the drug-doling business, and leave the testing to medical facilities. I'm pretty sure a lot of drug-seeking folks were inconvenienced by one person's curiosity about having the VIRUS. Because if I was having serious symptoms, I sure wouldn't go to a drive-thru pharmacy window to be diagnosed...

Monday, November 23, 2020

Keeping Hick's Health From Going Downhill is an Uphill Battle

Hick is not a stickler for following medical advice. He's more of a HICKler. He makes up the instructions as he goes along.
When The Pony brought Hick home a couple hours after his gallbladder surgery, Hick had a folder of discharge information. The Pony had gone over it with a nurse, and had signed paperwork. He remembered what he'd read a couple hours before. He IS a former valedictorian, you know! He gave me the condensed version, then I read it for myself.
I sat down on the short couch, to talk to Hick, who was reclining in the recliner, a bit drowsy, as to be expected after anesthesia and a 60-minute operation. I had run my hand across Hick's forehead, and asked if he was feeling okay, and whether there was anything I could get for him.
"Your prescription is on the cutting block. I guess if they gave you a pain pill at noon, you probably can't take one until at least 4:00."
"No, Mom. They said every 8 hours! I'll go look at his pill bottle."
"Okay. I didn't open the bag. Mine was always every four. Maybe he has something powerful."
"No. It says every 8 hours. It looks like some kind of opioid with codeine."
"It said hydrocodone. I read it on the tag with the receipt. That's the standard painkiller I had for my thyroid surgery. Maybe it's a stronger dose."
"I don't need nothin' right now anyway. The Pony got me this ice water. I'm supposed to drink a lot of water. It don't hurt much, except in my belly button. And my belly because I need to take a poop."
"Do you want me to get you something for that when I go to the store tomorrow?"
"No. I'll get it tomorrow when I go to the storage locker."
"Um. You don't have any business going up there! You just had surgery. You need to take it easy for a couple days."
"I don't feel bad."
"You have air pumper thingies on your legs!"
"I'm supposed to leave them on for 24 hours. I can wear them up there."
"You shouldn't be sitting with your legs down. And I know you can't lift stuff."
"Somebody will pull my stuff out front for me."
"Take the Acadia, so you don't have to pull yourself up onto the truck running board."
"I can do that. I can sit in the back of the Acadia hatch and put my feet up if I'm tired."
"You don't need to be driving at all, though! Your instructions say not to drive until 24 hours after you've taken a pain pill."
"I'll be fine. I might go down to Casino Town on Saturday, to buy some guns."
"That's not a good idea at all!"
"I'll be fine."
"You need to follow your discharge instructions."
"Here. I might as well read them."
I laid out a snack for Hick to have around 9:00, to go with his hydrocodone. Some Ritz crackers, and cheddar cheese. When I got up Friday morning around 8:00, Hick was gone. So I went back to bed. He showed up again at 11:00, when I was in the kitchen taking my morning meds. He'd picked up some Dulcolax at his pharmacy for his intestinal issues.

"I seen it on TV. It says it works with the water in your system to make you poop. The bottle said you can take no more than 3 a day. You can take them all at once, or spread them out. I took 2."

"I can't believe you drove to town. I would have gotten them for you."

"I'm fine."

"But you had that pain medicine last night at 9:00, and it hadn't even been 12 hours when you left. It said to wait 24 hours before driving."

"I took another one about 7:30, before I left for town."

"WHAT? You're going to kill somebody besides yourself. You can't drive while you're on that!"

"I'm fine. I'm going down to Bill-Paying Town now, to see a guy about a gun."

As you clutch your pearls in horror, you'd better sit down. When Hick showed up back home Friday evening, I discovered that he'd driven 90 miles to Casino Town! And back! Oh, and that's not all. Hick had taken 2 MORE of those Dulcolax pills! Which is 4, in 12 hours, which is certainly more than the maximum of 3 in 24 hours. When asked if he had been drinking water like he was supposed to, Hick said,

"Yeah. I drank a whole bottle of water today."

It's really hard to keep Hick alive.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

There's a Hole in the Stomach, No Lies-Ah, No Lies-Ah

Just providing you with another little tune in your noggin. The Truth in Blogging Law requires me to reveal that there are actually FIVE holes in the stomach. Hick's stomach. He had surgery on Thursday, to remove his gallbladder.

Hick has been sickly for at least two months, getting the runaround from his nurse practitioner's office. Oh, they let him in (grudgingly) for an appointment, while making it clear that if he was sick, he shouldn't be there. Heh, heh. I guess they only want to treat well people right now. Like giving shots on the parking lot. Don't get me started.

Anyhoo... they ordered tests, and lost his blood sample without telling him for two weeks. Then took more blood. They did an ultrasound and didn't read it for a month or so. Then ordered another one. Hick had an EEG and a stress test and a lung x-ray. I'm pretty sure he's the unhealthiest six-million-dollar man ever.

FINALLY, after the second blood test, they notified Hick within a day to say that certain enzyme levels ruled out a heart attack (good thing, so he could quit waiting months to know if he'd had one), but pointed to a gallbladder issue. Which I'd told him all along, me being a VALedictorian, a fan of ER, but without the means to order and interpret tests.

It took another couple weeks to get Hick an appointment with a surgeon. Who agreed on the diagnosis, and asked why the two ultrasounds, since the first one showed the problem as well as the second. He set up a surgery date for Hick at a surgery center halfway to the city. Our local surgery center over in Bill-Paying Town would have been more convenient, but the earliest date was at the other one. They're about equidistant from Backroads, the difference being that I can DRIVE Hick to Bill-Paying Town on my back roads, but the other one requires highway driving, which freaks me out. I guess that's from the years I spent driving to the city to work at the unemployment office.

Anyhoo... Hick's pre-op information said he was required to bring a RESPONSIBLE ADULT to his 3-hour surgery. I asked The Pony if he thought he could be a RESPONSIBLE ADULT, and he replied,

"Well... technically, I AM an ADULT."

Close enough! The Pony drove Hick to his surgery. He had to be there at 9:30. Surgery was scheduled for 10:30. They planned to release him at 11:30 if everything went okay. In the meantime, the RESPONSIBLE ADULT was to remain IN THE CAR, ON THE PARKING LOT. So they could bring out paperwork for signing. And then bring out the recovering patient. Not a good fit for me, without bathroom facilities or air conditioning or heating or a comfy chair. 

Luckily, The Pony has a bladder like a reverse camel's hump, storing fluids rather than distributing them. AND he's pretty much impervious to heat or cold, and can entertain himself for hours on end with his new laptop. So off they went to surgery on Thursday morning.

The Pony updated me at 11:40 that Hick was out of surgery and in recovery, but they wanted him to drink some water before releasing him (perhaps to see if it squirted out any of the holes they put in him), and he was being stubborn, saying he didn't want any water. They went over all the discharge instructions with The Pony, who signed a RESPONSIBLE ADULT signature, agreeing that he was in charge of keeping Hick alive for the next 24 hours.

At 12:14, The Pony called to say that Hick had decided that he was in pain, so they were feeding him something so they could give him a pain pill for the ride home. It was probably the most expensive pain pill in the history of three-hour outpatient surgery, but allowed Hick to leave, and not live there the rest of his golden years, refusing to drink water.

Anyhoo... I had my gallbladder removed when The Pony was only a year old. I had three holes in my stomach for the surgery. Hick has FIVE! I cry shenanigans! Why did Hick get more holes than I did? How unfair is THAT?

Hick is recovering well. But of course you know there's more to this story...

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Steven Must Have CENT You, PENNY, Into My Life

Don't worry. I'm not going to burst into song. I'm only going to plant a tune in your head. Even Steven has been on the ball this week, sending me where the coins were, to fatten my Future Pennyillionaire Fortune.
TUESDAY, November 17, I was greeted by a cigarette butt penny at the Liquor Store! 

Funny how no smoking is allowed inside, yet there's a spent cigarette butt on the carpet. Did somebody bring it in and surreptitiously drop it? Because it's so hard to drop a cigarette butt out on the parking lot? I'm pretty sure if an employee (it's a family-run business) told a person they couldn't smoke in there, that family employee would have NOT allowed the smoker to just drop the cig on the carpet and stub it out! But what do I know? I am neither a smoker nor a liquor store employee.

It was a 2013 penny, face-down. Now in my possession, balanced precariously on the overflowing rim of my 2020 plastic Little Caesar's marinara sauce "goblet."
THURSDAY, November 19, I was once again in the Liquor Store, seeking a PacMan scratcher that can't be found anywhere else. The Liquor Store was expecting me.

That strip of carpet by the counter is like a black hole for coins! They are always in the same place.

It was a face-down 2016 dime. I tried to get a closeup, but when I looked later, I had taken a picture of a couple of pebbles on the carpet! So I cropped and enlarged this one from the original. 

That's 2 COINS this week, for a total of 11 CENTS. Not too shabby. The Liquor Store came through for me!

Penny       # 123.
Dime         # 24.
Nickel       still at 10.
Quarter    still at 1.

Penny     134
Dime        20
Nickel        8
Quarter      5

Friday, November 20, 2020

Sleep Befalls Him

Remember that old movie, Death Becomes Her? I never watched it myself, but I remember it was right after my dad got a giant satellite dish installed in the yard, and my mom liked to watch this movie. My dad could never remember the title, and when he'd mention it, he said, "You know. That movie your mom likes. She Looks Good Dead."

Actually, today's story has nothing to do with that movie, other than my theft of the title.

Wednesday night, I had a vice-like headache. It started when I left for town, and got worse through the day. I'm sure it's a sinus issue. The area over my eyes hurt to touch, and I was stuffy and phlegmy and could feel the shift of the stuffiness to other areas when I laid down.

Anyhoo... around 10:00, as I was sitting in my dark basement lair, holding my vibrator (ON MY SINUSES), seeking relief from the headache... I heard a tremendous crash from above my head. I even shouted, "Everything okay?" No response. I heard the squeak of The Pony's bedroom door at the other end of the upstairs, and figured he was on the case. I heard Hick stomping around on his footless ankles, so I knew he hadn't turned over his recliner and knocked himself unconscious. I went back to aching and vibrating.

Around 2:00, I went out to my OPC (Old People Chair) to watch a recorded Cagney & Lacey. It comes on at 4:00 in the afternoon, on DISH 291, whatever channel that is. I didn't make it through the whole episode, because I fell asleep at 2:30, and didn't wake up until 5:45. That seat heater is magical. 

I was hoping my headache was gone, but it returned as soon as I sat up from recline. I went upstairs to bed. Lots was going on the next day, but by evening, my headache was gone. As I sat on the short couch, listening to Hick while he ate soup for supper (the liquid, too!), I was shocked at what he revealed.

"I fell out of bed last night!"

"WHAT? At least The Pony came to check on you."

"No he didn't."

"Isn't that the noise I heard around 10:00? It was horrible! I thought you'd fallen, and was afraid you couldn't get up."

"Oh. I dropped my phone."

"Your phone made all that noise?"

"Yeah. And The Pony came out and went in the kitchen for ice."

"Well, when did you fall out of bed?"

"I don't know. It was sometime early in the morning."

"I didn't hear a thing. I was out in my OPC, sleeping. Good thing you didn't need any help."

"Yeah. I don't know how that happened. I think we need a new mattress. The edge slopes down."

I agree we could use a new mattress. But I doubt that's what made Hick fall out of bed. Sometimes, he seems to levitate! To jump straight up and fall back down. I don't know how he does that. It's like somebody with restless legs, only with a restless body.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Buffalo Games, Won't You Put Out Today

After showing you our casino lunch items yesterday, I will now get to the real meat-and-potatoes of that casino trip! I know I have one fellow slot aficionado, who enjoys the same game I do: BUFFALO!!! I played three different versions of this slot, with varying results.

First is the Wonder 4 Spinning Fortunes, the same machine where I won my giant jackpot of $8600 in July. I always give it a whirl, though I don't expect lightning to strike me twice. This first picture is not great, but it's a closeup of one screen, as the bonus was playing out.

I'm just showing you because in the fine print, you can see that this screen by itself paid 18.00 x 8, which is $144.00. Not bad considering the bet for this one game was $.60. Anyhoo... that got added into the whole bonus, which was:

Sheesh! Can't ya just kick in the change and make it $300? Does my bonus have to look like a Walmart price? Not that I'm complaining. You can see here, I was playing the minimum bet of $2.40, which is .60 on each of the four screens. When that one hit for a bonus, I got a few cents for the bonus-activating three gold coins (that you can't see here). So my win shows as $300.12 on the screen. 

From there, I went to Wonder 4 Boost. As luck would have it, I got the BOOST feature. I kept re-triggering the bonus, which gives 5 more games. For comparison, a normal bonus gives you 8 games. You can see below that I got 73 GAMES in this bonus:

I don't know why I got so excited. After all those games, my bonus had paid me $35.28! That is not good. Even considering that I was playing the minimum bet of $1.60 a spin, with this game that triggered the bonus (and subsequent BOOST to the four screens), being .40 a spin by itself. Heh, heh. This is just to show that you may think you've hit a jackpot with the BOOST and the extra games, but ol' Even Steven has you buffaloed into winning only $35.28.

From there we went to lunch, and afterwards, I headed to my second-best slot, which is Wonder 4 Tall Fortunes. I suppose you may sense a theme here. I like to play the Buffalo slots, and I like to play the four games at once.

It was a decent bonus of $198.00, on the minimum bet of $2.40. I was a bit disappointed to get to 12 buffaloes, only needing 1 more to have ALL of them,and a chance at a really good bonus! Not that I'm complaining...

Anyhoo... those were my only picture-worthy slots. When we compared notes in the car on the way home, The Pony was the loser for the day. He left a major chunk of his bankroll at the casino. Don't you worry about The Pony. He has been the winner on our last three visits, and even had winnings enough accumulated that he bought himself a fancy-schmancy new laptop.

Hick and I were winners, but I was the BIGGER WINNER, because after accounting for money in and money out, I finished 16 CENTS ahead of Hick in the profit column! Yay, me!

All this was LAST Thursday. We might be going next week, but we'll wait and see. Tuesday is our anniversary. We won't be going on Thanksgiving Thursday. I don't want to drive on Wednesday. Besides, we'll see how Hick is feeling. He is having surgery TODAY (gallbladder), and might not feel like going anywhere by then.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Who Knows? The Mold Nose.

When I called Hick to the kitchen Sunday night, to make his bad chicken sausage patty sandwiches... he had a choice of using hamburger buns, like I did, or steak rolls, as The Pony preferred.
"Mom. These expire today. So I'm going to use them for my chicken sandwiches."
The Pony likes bread. A lot. So he'd rather have his four thin chicken sausage patties on two long steak rolls, rather than stacked on two hamburger buns. Hick is also a bread aficionado. I was not surprised by his selection.
While Hick often has SELECTIVE hearing, he'd heard every word of our conversation about the USE-BY date on the steak rolls. Even with his TV cranked up to twice the level I use, and sitting around the corner in the living room.
I turned from the counter to see Hick with his nose millimeters from the two open steak rolls on his plate.
"What are you doing?"
"I can smell the mold."
"No you can't. There's not any mold. The date is TODAY. Those rolls are fine."
"Yes. I've always been able to smell the mold."
"You'd never know if you hadn't heard us talking about the date on the bag." 

"Well. Now that I know, I can smell it. I can't eat these. I'll have hamburger buns."

"Let's not forget you're the guy who ate hot dogs that had been in an open pack in the back of the refrigerator for six weeks. And that I've caught you more than a dozen times, eating the expired bread I've set out for the dogs."

No comment on that. I bet I could put fresh buns in an expired bag, and Hick would be able to smell the mold. Hick fancies himself as a nasal version of the princess, with bread for peas.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

No Chicken Patty On the Casino Menu

Last week Thevictorians took a jaunt to Casino Town. For lunch, Hick stepped out of his burger rut and tried the newest offering: Pork Loin Plate.

It wasn't so much a PLATE as a hard plastic tray, with a plastic liner, covered with waxed paper. The pork loin came with green beans, mashed potatoes, and jalapeno cornbread. Hick cleaned his plate, and said it was good. You can see him in the background, poised with his fork in his fist. He did say he would have preferred metal cutlery, rather than a plastic knife and fork. Of course he had dessert before diving into his meal.

Hick's Cherry Cheesecake was a two-fer. Two slices in the container. I guess maybe the casino had some other special event a few days before, and needed to move the cheesecake, heh, heh. You might think Hick would have offered me one of them. NOT-HEAVEN, NO! I'm sure the thought didn't even occur to him.

The Pony chose Oreo Pie. As he handed me the empty container to set on the other side of the table, I said, "Thanks. I didn't want any anyway."
"You didn't SAY you wanted any!"
"I thought you might offer me a bite..."
"I didn't know you wanted any!"
Like father, like son. You have to whack them over the head with a request, rather than rely on them to do the polite thing.  

The Pony feasted on the Pound of Shrimp. More like 3/4 pound. He left some for me and Hick. Must have been full of that pie!

I went back to my old standby, the Pulled Pork Sandwich, since The Pony's looked so good last time. I even ASKED for BBQ sauce when I ordered it, and again when the gal handed us our soda cups. Even though The Pony's sandwich last time came with a side of sauce, and sauce already on the pork.

Mmm... a tasty pile of pulled pork, with burnt ends! But it was as dry as The Pony's sense of humor in a record-setting drought in the Sahara. Who serves pulled pork without sauce??? When the gal brought our plates to the table, along with our condiments, and I noticed no sauce, I asked again. She tried to hold in her sigh, and was polite as she returned with it. Third time's a charm, I guess. 
Let the record show that I offered both Hick AND The Pony that slab of Texas Toast, the top of my sandwich. Hick was a taker, but The Pony was not feelin' it this time.
Now, to cleanse your palate from this rich repast, and to prevent you from yearning for unhealthy food... I shall provide you with evidence of yesterday's Ponytail Guy meat du jour, the "chicken patty" that almost took down Thevictorian household.

Here they are, a day later, as a treat for the dogs. No, that's not a bite I took out of the front patty! It was stuck to another patty. They are quite fragile, so much that even their sliminess doesn't keep them from pulling apart if stuck!

Let the record show that while my Sweet, Sweet Juno ate them with only two sniffs, my little Jack wanted nothing to do with his, and instead ate the stale bread coated with garlic aioli and ketchup that was left from The Pony's abandoned sandwich.

Monday, November 16, 2020

It's a Travesty, the Way Hick Handled the Ponytail Guy's Meat

That is the agonized cry of Val and The Pony when we realized what Hick had done to the Ponytail Guy's meat. We had our mouths all set for it. Had been dreaming about it all day. Only to be repulsed when the Ponytail Guy's meat was revealed by Hick.
As you recall, Hick said he got more chicken patties. I decided we would make use of chicken patties, with a meal of sandwiches and another of chicken patty parm. I already had some hamburger buns for our sandwiches, and some crispy frozen fries for a side dish. Hick and The Pony turned down the offer of a salad, so I didn't bother to make one for myself.
I came upstairs to get those fries in the oven. The Pony came out to help. He had skipped lunch, looking forward to the crispy white-meat chicken patty sandwiches. He was making his special sauce for them. I put him to work opening the bag of fries and putting them on a foil-covered pizza pan for crisping.
"Hand me the chicken patties that Dad said he was bringing over from the BARn."
"Uh. I guess this is a bag of chicken patties. They're not frozen..."
"Dad said when he got them Friday that he put them in the refrigerator, because he figured we'd be eating them. So, yeah. I didn't expect them frozen right now."
"Okay. They don't look like the other chicken patties."
"No. They don't. There's no breading! These are NOT going to be crispy. And they're GRAY!"
"Are you sure they're chicken. Look at the label."
"It SAYS they're chicken. Processed chicken pieces..."
"Yeah. They're definitely different."
"Ooh! They're slimy! And limp! Look how thin they are! That's not even a quarter-inch! No way we can have a sandwich. It will be all bread! I guess I can make 4 for each of us. For two sandwiches. I'm putting BBQ sauce on ours so there's some flavor. Do you want some?" 

"No. I'll have my sauce with ketchup and garlic aioli."

"Ooh! Smell them! Not good!"

"Yeah. They don't smell like chicken."

"And look here. There's something green. It's in all of them. Not on the surface. Little dots of it IN the meat. I think that's peppers? Would that explain the smell?"

"Let me read the ingredients. No. Nothing says peppers. But it says SEASONING. I guess it could be seasoning."

"One side has those hash marks. I think maybe this is actually sausage. Take one to Dad on this plate, to let him see it and smell it."

"Okay... Dad says he thinks it's sausage. Chicken sausage."

"It DOES look like that fake stuff that casino breakfast buffets put out in Oklahoma. Great. I already put BBQ sauce on ours."

Sooo... we ate chicken sausage patties on bun, instead of crispy white-meat chicken patties. I further grilled Hick on his handling of the Ponytail Guy's meat.

"Were these even frozen when you got them? I hope they weren't left over from LAST WEEK, when you didn't get a box from him."

"They were half-frozen. When I got them up at the lockers. I guess they'd been frozen."

"Great. We're all going to get food poisoning, starting with diarrhea, and we'll ALL BE COUNTED AS VIRUS DEATHS!"

"We'll be fine, Val. You're too dramatic. It's FREE meat."

After eating his "chicken" sandwiches, Hick agreed that they weren't very good. I put a lot of shredded lettuce, with mayo, on mine. They were okay. The BBQ sauce did them no favors. The seasoning reminded me of something in boxed Stove Top Stuffing.

No way am I making chicken sausage patty parm. The dogs will be eating chicken sausage patties for a treat until they're gone.Though I feel a little bad about it, for the dogs' sake.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Hot Dog! The Ponytail Guy's Meat Makes a Timely Appearance

 Hick has been reunited with the Ponytail Guy's meat. Friday morning, he sent me a text.

"I got chicken patties and hot dogs and some keys today I didn't take the vegetables I gave that stuff to HOS"


About 30 minutes later, the phone rang.

"Keys?" Do you need the keys to the BARn? They're on the dresser."

"No. I don't need any keys. You said you got chicken patties and hot dogs and keys."

"I did? I don't know anything about any keys."

"Then what did you get? I've been trying to figure it out. What might start with a K, that you could have typed wrong. Kiwi? I even asked The Pony. He said maybe you meant PEAS, because you use that talk to text thing. So what did you get besides chicken patties and hot dogs?"

"Oh! I got some CHEESE."

"I guess that makes sense."

"I also had celery, and gave that to HOS. And a container of liquid eggs."

"Since the Ponytail Guy brings a box to whoever wants it, maybe you could get one for HOS every week. I'm sure he could use it."

"I did. He got a box just like ours, and another one that had two gallons of milk, and some cereal stuff. I drove it over and put it on his porch. He came out to get it. I think everyone else was asleep."

"Okay. Good to know. Better to know that you didn't get a box of keys..."

Saturday, November 14, 2020

The Lone CHANGEr

Another sparse harvest from the penny fields this week. 
WEDNESDAY, November 11, I came out of the Sis-Town Casey's and found THIS in my path:

It wasn't there when I went in. That yellow stripe goes along the edge of the sidewalk, toward the gently sloping concrete ramp where I stepped up, head down, looking for pennies. Same thing on the way out, but THERE IT WAS!

It was a heads-up 2004 penny. Appearing out of nowhere, or more likely out of the pocket of a thirsty working man, or more more likely out of the hand of a little lass who had been standing in my way as her mom paid at the next register. 

I noticed that family because I saw a penny at their feet. But that darn Casey's worker had to call me over. "I can help you at THIS register." Sure you can. But that won't get me a penny for my Future Pennyillionaire collection.

I grudgingly moved to pay, keeping a side-eye on that penny. The lady and her two girls left, and I saw that my surveilled penny was in three sections, crumbly, and more of a flattened clod of mud than a sweet, sweet metallic penny. I had no expectations as I went out the door, but a few steps later this penny found me!

As we left the casino on Thursday, Hick took a different route to the highway. We went through downtown casino town, not the mini-mall and Goodwill plaza rush hour stoplights.

"Oh, NO! Look at that guy!"

A man had stepped off the sidewalk curb in front of a small shop. He held a bag in one hand, and was bent over, using the other hand to pick up something from the road, amongst the fallen leaves.

"He's picking up PENNIES that should be MINE!"

"Um. Mom. He's picking up cigarette butts."

That's ONE PENNY this week, for ONE CENT.

Penny       # 122.
Dime         still at 23.
Nickel       still at 10.
Quarter    still at 1.

Penny     134
Dime        20
Nickel        8
Quarter      5

Friday, November 13, 2020

It's Beer:30 Somewhere. Like the BARn.

In case you wonder what Hick is doing over in the BARn on days he's not out buying and selling junk... He's repairing junk to sell. Some of it is high-class junk. And I'm not talking about that portrait of a nude woman he found in his storage unit contents.

That's two clocks that Hick hung up in his workshop. To work on. As you can see, Hick's workshop is a workshop's workshop. Like Mr. French was a man's man for Uncle Bill on Family Affair. It's not a pristine showplace for tours of Hick's Shackytown and Amusement Park. It's a shop where tools are used to work on broken objects.
On the left is a Budweiser clock. That disc part is the "fob" for it. The whole thing is a model of a pocket watch. Hick pointed out that each of the two clocks has a GIRL on the back, serving beer. I think they are intended to spin around. Anyhoo... it's fixed now, and ready to sell. Hick bought the Budweiser clock from a buddy up at the storage units, for $125. He already had the fob. He thinks he paid $10 or $15 for it. Hick says each of these clocks sells for $250-$300 on eBay, or at an auction.
Hick said the Busch clock on the right is one he paid $50 for at the auction. It didn't light up. He discovered it didn't have a power cord. So he put on a power cord, and got a light bulb. Hick also said it has two "sconches" that go on each side of it. I asked what he meant, maybe "sconces," and he said yeah, two little lights shaped like the drum.

Hick stands to make more than a couple dollars profit on his two beer clocks.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Hick Is Under Attack!

Hick won a battle on Tuesday, but the outcome of the war is questionable.

I found out about the skirmish when I plugged in my phone, and saw an email from Hick. He doesn't mess around with emails. So I knew a picture was forthcoming. Yep. There it was.

"Squirrel ate a hole in my shed"

Well. That narrowed it down to about 7 structures. Even the second picture didn't help me recognize the building under invasion.

Turns out it was the Freight Container Garage. Where Hick has stored the entire inventory of the original 18 storage sheds that he bought a couple years ago, just as the Freight Container Garage was completed.

"I would have expected a squirrel to eat through the front, where they can jump over from the tree branches. Not on the back, where they have to climb."

Hick is not one to allow invaders to nibble on his goodies. That's his inventory, by cracky! For his Storage Unit Store. So he summoned The Pony to put a plan into action. The Pony's job was to hold the ladder. Surely you don't think Hick would have trusted The Pony to do the job, while tens of feet above the ground. Seriously. The Pony broke his elbow walking down the hall at school. Twice.

Anyhoo... here's the completed repair.

Hick covered the hole with an old license plate. Because that's what our people do... No idea who that license plate once belonged to. Hick has bought random plates at flea markets and auctions. I'm surprised he hasn't covered the outside of our house with them. Or used them like shingles on the roof. One metal roof is as good as another, right?
If you have a bushy-tailed rodent problem, feel free to call Hick's Squirrel-Proofing Service.