Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Pony House: Master Bedroom, the Bones

Here are the raw materials Hick has to work with while renovating Pony House. Today I share the master bedroom, which is on the left side of the house as you look at the front. The master bedroom is accessed by a door from the living room.

As you look in from the living room, you can see SilverRedO parked out front in the yard. Hick plans to take out that window. I don't agree, but he says one window will be plenty, and to leave it would make the placement of a bed awkward. He does have a point. The Pony says he does not particularly want to look out front at the street from his bedroom.

Don't worry about The Pony's view! He can still see the side street from his bedroom. This wall on the right will be moved back at least three feet, maybe more, to make the master bedroom larger. A door will be here at the right side of the photo, to access the master bathroom. No closet in the master bedroom, since there will be a large closet in the master bathroom. That's how we have it in our house, and it's very handy for getting dressed right after the shower (or 2-hour soak in the big triangle tub).
The master bedroom will have laminate hardwood flooring, and new drywall. And of course a new(er) window. Hick talked to the guy who lives in the house behind Pony House, on the other side of the garage and alley. He does drywall for a living, and said he'd be available to do Pony House. Hick sure has a lot of connections. Somebody in every neighborhood, somebody in every trade!

Tomorrow we will take a look at the master bathroom.

I am putting the floor plan at the bottom of each Pony House post:

Monday, August 30, 2021

A Sketchy Sketch of the NEW Pony House Floor Plan

Hick has been re-thinking the floor plan of Pony House. His brainstorm was a result of what he and HOS (Hick's Oldest Son) found when they tore off the back wall that was sagging, with water damage on some main board at the bottom. The damage was less than Hick anticipated. He won't have to replace the entire wall. Just a few big boards to level out the floor, which will allow him to also fix the wall, and run his plumbing.

I'm sure you will be as relieved as I am to hear that Hick is NOT building a bathroom out of part of the living room. The living room will now stay the full size. Instead, he will be putting a half-bath in the hall from the living room to the back door.

This new plan also includes a full bathroom off the second bedroom. So Hick is making Pony House with 2 bedrooms, and 2.5 bathrooms. The Pony might as well put up a Rest Stop sign in his front yard! I have tried to sketch out a floor plan to give you some idea of what you'll be seeing as I share pictures of the Pony House progress. I know it's hard to imagine, seeing bits and pieces of disjointed rooms. That said... my sketch is pretty sketchy. And I don't mean the "attractive" definition of pretty.
I used a sketch Hick made for me, just to make sure of where the innards are. I haven't walked through with him showing me the half-bath and closet area. At least I made my sketch utilizing the existing bones of Pony House. For contrast, here's Hick's sketch:
Hick forgot that the house shape has a living room that sticks out, and a bedroom that is recessed from the front of the house. In fact, Hick shows you walking through the front door into the Master Bath! Which is what he should have labeled as the Master Bedroom. But it doesn't go all the way to the front like that.
The Pony and I know how Hick thinks, and realize that what's in his nogging doesn't always make it out on paper, or in a verbal explanation. But he can be trusted cutting up and building back the innards of a house!
I told you it wasn't pretty! Yes, we both wrote on white paper. Mine on printer paper, and Hick's on the back of a form The Pony has for claiming his pay while he's off work with a broken ankle. I even took the pictures under a light in the basement, not under a burned-out light. 
That's the tentative floor plan for Pony House. Tomorrow, in-house photos of the Master Bedroom and Master Bath, on the first walk-through.
This is just for general reference, the actual shape of Pony House.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

I'll Have What They're Serving at Hick's Table

Hick may not have much luck with lottery tickets, but he sure wins more than he should at the auctions. Not the 50-50 drawing for cash this time, but another table prize. You may recall that everyone selling at the auction puts an item on the table. People buy chances to win. If your number is drawn as the winner, you can pick one thing off the table, then the other sellers get their items back. The seller who put the chosen item on the table gets half the proceeds from the tickets sold.

Anyhoo... Hick sent me an email on Saturday night:

"Won table prize had 2.00 in tickets"
That's a 16 x 24 inch LED Message Board, new in the box. I asked how much it was worth, and Hick said, "Probably $35-$40." I guess Hick needs to call his LED Message Board Guy, because a quick consult with my estranged BFF Google shows that Walmart has them for $29.99. Still a bargain for the $2 purchase price, though. That's why Hick has experts on speed dial, for the few fields in which he is not well-versed.
Hick could have at least turned it so you could read the box without breaking your neck. I could have rotated it right by 90 degrees, but then you might have been mystified by those chairs defying gravity by handing from a wall.
I asked Hick what he would do with this prize, and he said, "I'll use it up at my store."
If I was a betting woman... I'd say you could probably buy that item for $2.50.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

With One You Get Showcase: A Less Than CENTSational Week

My shirt's penny-pocket was as lonely as that single chime left on Hick's wind chime this week. Lonely lonely lonely lonely lonely as a Led Zeppelin song. Lonely, in fact, until TUESDAY, August 26, when I found a single penny at the Sis-Town Casey's.

I missed it as I walked by the gas pump on the way in. Can YOU see it? Because I have blog space to fill up, with no plethora of pennies to fill it, I shall show you a mid-size view.

Yeah. I must have walked right over it on the way in. Unless the people on Pump 5 dropped it while I was inside, and it made a left turn in mid-air to get around the gas pump. Perhaps like the Keith Hernandez spit that hit Newman and Kramer as they were leaving the stadium on June 14, 1987.

It was a face-down 1975 penny, looking like it might not be suitable for spending at the Gas Station Chicken Store, what with their new policy of only accepting washed/dried/waxed coins... I suppose maybe I found this penny on the way back to T-Hoe because all my senses were heightened, after that near-death experience of walking across WET SOAPY TILE after the Casey's clerk mopped around my feet while I was paying.

That makes 1 COIN this week, for 1 CENT plinked into the coffers of Val's Future Pennyillionaire Fortune.


Penny       # 89.
Dime         still at 11.
Nickel       still at 4.
Quarter    still at 5.

Penny     134
Dime        25
Nickel      10
Quarter      1

Friday, August 27, 2021

I'm Pretty Sure Hick Is Not the Only One Trying to Kill Me

Thursday is errand day. I was over in Sis-Town to mail Genius's letter, and three bills. I stopped for T-Hoe's gas at the Sis-Town Casey's. I don't like to use my card at the pumps, because a while back, the local newspaper had a story about scammers who had put a card-reader thingy on the pumps there. So I pay inside before pumping.

Of course I also buy some scratchers with my gas, and dutifully tap in the access code for Hick's rewards card. Lottery purchases don't count, but gas does. 

All the pumps but the one I got were full! I think there's a dozen of them. I usually take Pump 4, because it's across from the handicap ramp, but this time I was happy to find Pump 6 vacant. When I entered the store, I was shocked that I was the only customer! I'd expected a line of five or six people, but I guess they were all paying at the pump, and headed home for supper, not buying snacks.

As I was telling the cashier what I wanted, another Casey's employee came around the counter, swirling a mop across the tile floor. I figured maybe somebody had spilled a soda. Not a Diet Coke, of course! They're not sticky! But those sugar sodas make a big mess. I didn't actually see anything on the floor. Just the wet shine after the mop swabbed over the tile.

"I'm mopping behind you, so be careful."

Wasn't that nice? The little gal warned me that she was behind me, cleaning up. Or so I thought...

As I stood there receiving my scratchers, and tapping in Hick's rewards code, and forking over the money... 


She didn't actually get my shoes wet, but she had mopped every inch around me! It was like I had painted myself into a corner! You know that Val is NOT surefooted. I can barely hobble in and out of the store. And NOW I was expected to cross that expanse of soapy, just-mopped tile! With nothing to hold onto!

Has the whole world gone daft? Is this a thing, mopping while a customer is needing to exit? It used to anger me when the Chinese restaurant gal would run the Bissell sweeper under our table while we were still eating. But at least that did not endanger my life!

What in the NOT-HEAVEN? Is that the only time she could mop? Every other Casey's puts out that yellow caution sign that says WET FLOOR when they mop. But this Little Gal thought a verbal warning was enough? What I if I was deaf? She could at least have waited for me to leave. Or left me a dry path to the door!

She might as well have said, 

"I'm dropping a murder hornet down your pants, so be careful." OR...

"I'm planting land mines from here to the door, so be careful." OR...

"I'm dangling a live wire from the ceiling over your head, so be careful." OR...

"I've just activated a maze of laser beams that will release an Indiana Jones boulder if broken, so be careful."
Was she oblivious to my appearance? Do I LOOK like the kind of person who can safely walk on wet tile? I guess I'm forgetting that Casey's pays their employees $10.30 per hour...

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Like the Sound of One Hand Clapping, and a Tree Falling in a Deserted Forest...

I was sitting at the kitchen table, having a win streak on Candy Crush, when I saw Hick through the open mini blinds. He had picked up something, and put it on the corner rail of the back porch. I thought it might be one of Juno's bones from her dog house collection. I didn't think to ask about it when Hick came in. That would have invited conversation, and I really don't want to have to concentrate on Hick's convoluted explanations when I would rather kick Candy Crush's rumpus.

When I left for town, I saw that the object on the corner of the porch rail was NOT a bone from Juno's collection. 

No. It's not a flute, nor a piccolo. Not a crack pipe, just in case some of you were about to suggest that! It's a chime. The next-to-last chime.

Is there anything sadder than that wind chime? Except maybe the parched wood of the porch rails. I know we've had this wind chime for a long time. I think my grandma gave it to Hick for Christmas one year. She was always giving him odd trinkets like that, and he LOVES them! The wind chime was quite annoying at times, as I stood at the sink washing dishes (a humming dishwasher might have disguised the sound), with the cold winds of winter swooping in from the northwest.

At first I thought the wind chime had a hole broken in the side. But that's just the see-through opaque view where you can glimpse the innards of it. I guess after all these years, the strong fibers holding it together are not so strong.

I guess most people would take down a wind chime with only a single chime left. Not Hick. He carefully laid that next-to-last chime on the corner porch rail. I suppose he thinks it might jump back up and attach itself? Or that the main body will regenerate more chimes?
Oh, wait! I might have found something sadder than the parched porch boards! The rusty BBQ utensils hanging there. Don't worry. Those are NOT the ones Hick uses with GassyG Jr. Don't know why he didn't throw them away. At least the next-to-last chime won't be lonely.

Looks like we also have a tree fallen over in our backyard forest. I'm pretty sure it didn't make a sound.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Pony House Kitchen: Here's What's Cookin'

Today you get a glimpse of the bare-bones Pony House kitchen. I don't want to spoil you. It might be next week before I show more of the Pony House project. Yesterday we were in the living room, which adjoins the kitchen. Looking in from the living room, you can see that Hick will basically be starting from scratch.

The previous flipper had gone to the trouble of opening up the kitchen. That's a new header there, supporting the weight of the ceiling, the attic, and the new roof across that span. Hick will be closing in the small doorway area. He's putting a bathroom there, which will take up a small part of the living room. The kitchen itself will stay the size you see it.

Through that little doorway, you can see another doorway, which leads into the second bedroom. That wall will be closed off, and the refrigerator will be in that area. A small 3-foot cabinet and countertop will separate the refrigerator from the stove on that wall. Then there will be the corner cabinet with the lazy Susan. The cabinets and countertop Hick bought from a guy on Facebook will be along that back wall, with the double stainless steel sink under the window.

The window (probably a better version) will stay. It looks out on the front porch. That will be the area for a kitchen table. Not sure about the floor under that linoleum. If it's not hardwood that's usable, the kitchen will likely get the wood laminate flooring that Hick plans to put in the rest of the house.

The Pony House tour will continue next Tuesday and Wednesday. We'll look at the two bedrooms, perhaps. Don't come dressed in your jammies. Pony House is not quite ready for you to spend the night.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Pony House Is Purchased! Welcome to Our Living Room.

Monday was the closing for our purchase of Pony House, which is my official name for the $23,000 house. Of course we couldn't wait to get inside. It looks like you would expect a $23,000 house to look. The previous owner had bought it as a flip house, gutted it, put on a new roof, then found out he was too busy with other projects.

Here's a picture from the outside as a refresher:

Today you only get the living room. No need to overwhelm you! We'll start by standing on the front porch, looking through the door.

The floor is hardwood, probably circa 1920, and in kind of rough shape. Hick might try to use it, but might put in that snap-together fake wood like he used in one of his themed sheds. That doorway leads to what will become the master bedroom.

Stepping inside the front door, you can see the hallway that leads to the back porch area, and where the master bathroom will be. It will adjoin the bedroom through that white wall through the doorway.

Standing inside what will become the master bathroom, looking out into the living room and front door area, you can see there the kitchen will be. Also, a VERY rough patch in the floor!

From the back hallway area beside what will be the master bathroom, you get a view of the living room, and part of the master bedroom. The house is bigger than I thought from seeing the outside.

Hick and The Pony did a walk-through, discussing what the rooms would become. It will take a lot of work, and considerable investment, but I am confident that Hick will make it work. His makeover of Hick House was impressive. Again, we're not building a palace. Just a safe, livable house.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Hick Is Not Lamping WITH You, He's Lamping AT You

Hick is showing off his auction wares again. I guess he likes me to display his merchandise that he displays in front of his Storage Unit Store. Saturday night, Hick saw the light. Or at least the lamp. LAMPS. Eight of them!

Hick bought these eight lamps for $34. He says he can sell them for $10 each. That's a pretty good profit. Better than 50 cents! He didn't mention the lantern. I don't know if it was part of that deal. You can tell it's used, by the soot on the glass. I don't know if Hick will keep it, or clean it up, or sell it as-is.

The fishing poles behind the table, on the rack Hick built to display them, are not new. They're part of the collection that he continuously sells, repairs more  from his stash, and puts on display.
He also bought those cookies, for $1 a pack, but brought them home rather than trying to sell them. I didn't check for the expiration date, but I sampled one. I think Hick and his cronies ate another pack of cookies. Unless the auction seller opened a pack for all to try. They are BANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP cookies. 

That's a close-up of the one Hick gave me, posed on a paper plate in my lair. It looks like it's just floating there. Be careful not to hurt your eyes... looking for the chocolate chips! It was tasty enough. Nothing I'd begrudge Hick for eating and depriving me of a fair share. They are crunchy, not soft. You can definitely taste the banana.

At the other end of the table is a toolbox:

"I paid $6 for the toolbox, and I had a guy today who bought if for $10."

"ONLY $10? With all the stuff in it? I think it's worth more than that!"

"Oh, there's probably $150 worth of stuff IN the toolbox. The problem is waiting for somebody who needs it. They only buy one or two pieces at a time. There's bolts in there that are $3 apiece. And those [round thingies I can't remember the name of] are probably $4 each. I could have used it over in my workshop, but I have so much of that stuff already. I had a buyer there, so I sold it. I made my $6 back, PLUS another $4. So I'm good with that."

Hick's Storage Unit Store. You can always find a bargain.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Val May Have an Ample Rumpus, But The Pony Has Double Buns

On Friday, The Pony had a nice visit with 2nd Bestie, his friend who is headed back to college next week. They went to lunch at Steak N Shake. On Saturday, The Pony showed me a picture taken of him by 2nd Bestie. Oh, not so she could remember him all through the semester... but because he's apparently a FREAK! A freak with sitting at the table with double buns.

There are The Pony's buns, in all their glory. And a slight glimpse of his curly tangly long flowing Samson hair. The Pony was THRILLED to have an extra bottom bun! He treated it like an bonus side dish, and dipped it in the garlic sauce he gets for his fries.

I have a sneaking suspicion that somewhere in that Steak N Shake, a customer was going bottomless...

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Three COINS For the Toutin'

Almost a Windfall, Never Been Tried. That was my alternate title, but I couldn't fit the word COIN or CENTS into it. You'll have to read to the end (no skipping!) to see what I mean.

I was growing concerned about my lack of opportunistic coinage this week, until WEDNESDAY, August 18, when I discovered one by the door in the Backroads Casey's.

There it was, lolling beside an ice-filled cooler containing I'm pretty sure a beverage other than the advertising on it of Michelob Ultra. It's not like you can grab a cold one and swill it in your vehicle. That's illegal, even here in Missouri.

It was a heads-up 2004 penny, looking mighty rough, and unsuitable for spending at--wait a minute! I'm getting ahead of myself on that alternate title explanation.

THURSDAY, August 19, I was in Sis-Town for my regular errands, and a funeral. Wouldn't you know, at the Casey's, on my first stop after the funeral, two pennies were waiting for me.

I was itching to photograph them and pick them up, but the gal behind that register was flitting around doing nothing. So I had to do my business at the register on the left, all the while worrying that somebody else was going to nab my rightful pennies! They minded their manners, though, as I paid for $30 of gas to fill half of T-Hoe's tank, and scratchers.

Both were heads-up. A 1994, and a 1975. Two very good years. The year of Genius's birth, and the beginning of my VALedictorian year.

Here's the story of the alternate title...

The Gas Station Chicken Store has a plexiglass shield on the counter. Lately, it has begun to look like the screen of a cable news network. So much signage tacked around the barrier that you can barely see through to the cashier. The newest sign is printed in large font, and states that this establishment will no longer accept coins that are dirty, tarnished, crusty, oily, sticky, etc., and also prohibits WET dollar bills or other denominations of currency. There is a bullet list, in large font!

Anyhoo... Friday, I noticed, through a crack in the main plexiglass portion, and the smaller side plexiglass barrier, a glass bowl, about the size of a small goldfish bowl, half full of COINS! Dirty coins! Tarnished coins. Crusty coins.

"Oh! Is this the example for the kind of coins you don't want now?"

"Yes, Ma'am!"

"I mean...  the kind of coins that WOMAN OWNER doesn't want now, heh, heh!"

"You got that right."

Val is no Jimmy Carter. But I admit that like his in-heart adultery... I coveted those coins with my eyes. I don't think I could have grabbed them without toppling both plexiglass shields. And I'm pretty sure that any employee or do-gooder customer could have caught me before I reached T-Hoe. So I didn't attempt a heist. So close, but yet so far! That was at least three years worth of Fortune for me!

That's 3 COINS this week, for 3 CENTS added to Val's Future Pennyillionaire Fortune.


Penny       # 86, 87, 88.
Dime         still at 11.
Nickel       still at 4.
Quarter    still at 5.

Penny     134
Dime        25
Nickel      10
Quarter      1

Friday, August 20, 2021

A Loser Is Identified

Winning isn't as easy as you might imagine. Wait. It probably IS as easy as YOU might imagine. Not all that easy. But Val seems to have better-than-average luck with the lottery. Dealing in a high volume of tickets helps, compared to Hick, who only buys a couple tickets every few weeks. 

Anyhoo... most days, it's just a matter of cashing in my winners to buy more tickets, which generate a few more winners, and so on. Thursday, I encountered an uncharacteristic roadblock in my scratcher journey. I had three tickets to cash in. Below is a picture of the KIND of tickets, although these are losers.

I had a big blue $25 winner, a little red $3 winner, and a $2 Cash4Life draw ticket that The Pony plays. I stopped at the School-Turn Casey's, and went to the first register available. The girl took my tickets, and shuffled them like they were radioactive. She was young, with red hair that while not little red wagon red, was a color not quite found in nature.

"Oh. Wow. Lottery. I'm not sure what to do about lottery."

She darted her eyes furtively, to the girl cashiering at the next register, and out into the store.

"Do I need to go to the other line?"

"Yeah. That would probably be best."

Yet she held onto my tickets. I was not averse to moving over one register. That customer was finishing up a purchase. Nobody else in line. Just waiting to be handed my winners back.

"Rick. Um. Can you help me with lottery?"

A young man in a Casey's shirt came from the aisles to join her behind the counter. He was about her age, early 20s, and polite and protective.

"Don't get all freaked out. Here. This is how you do it."

Rick took my tickets out of Red's shuffling hands, and waved them under the scanner, and took the printed orange paper receipt it spit out. This is what they put in the register as the payment for winners, or cash back. While he was doing that, RED DISAPPEARED! She walked off, leaving Rick to finish waiting on me. Rick set the receipts aside, and tore off the new scratchers that I requested. He rung them up, scanned the orange paper receipts, and said,

"That will be $2."

"No. It should be even. I turned in $30 of winners, and I'm buying $30 of new tickets. Let's take a look." 
I took the stack of tickets he gave me, and named them one-by-one as I set them aside.

"I have a $10 ticket. A $5 ticket. And these five $3 tickets. That adds up to $30."

Rick looked baffled, looked at his orange paper receipts, and at the winners he'd scanned. I took them and did the same count-out.

"This big blue one was a $25 winner. This little red one was a $3. And the draw ticket was a $2 winner, wherever it is. That's $30. We should be even."

Rick said, "Draw ticket? I don't have a draw ticket. Just these two. $28."

"Did you throw it away? You'll know it's mine, because it has writing on it. On the top. A number 2. It's a $2 winner."

Rick looked all around the register, and the side counter. Then found a draw ticket laying atop their lottery terminal that spits out the draw tickets as people buy them.

"There's this one."

"That's it. See the 2 written on top? It's a $2 winner."

"This one has an L written on top. For LOSER."

WHAT IN THE NOT-HEAVEN? What kind of idiot writes an L for LOSER on top of a ticket, then turns it in? I can't believe Rick was flat-out denying the existence of my $2 winner!

"Well, my son wrote it on there, and he's kind of sloppy. Could you scan that ticket, please?"

Rick scanned the draw ticket. Ta, da-DAAAA! The machine made the winner sound, which it does for draw tickets, I imagine as a safety feature so people cashing them in don't get ripped off by cashiers trying to scam a big winner for themselves. Rick printed an orange paper receipt for my $2, and rang it up, and pushed my newly-bought tickets across the counter to me.

"There. We're even." Rick said, with his mouth set in a not-very-pleased line. "You have a good afternoon." 

"Thank you. You too."

Here's the deal. Rick walked into that predicament by trying to help Red. I'm sure that ticket got set aside in the juggling of my winners during the handover. Rick was probably most upset with Red for abandoning him when he came to show her what to do. 

This was at 1:45 in the afternoon. Even if Red was brand-new, odds are that she had been working A MINIMUM OF 45 MINUTES, if her shift started at 1:00. Surely somebody would have trained her on how to perform the basic cashier transactions. Or maybe they DID, and she walked away during the lesson, like she did this time.

Is it wrong of me to expect more competency from a $10.30 per hour worker?

Thursday, August 19, 2021

More Like Christmas Morning Than You Might Imagine

Hick has been hitting the auctions heavily for the past two weeks. Sometimes four nights a week. I think he purely loves to buy things! Like a shopaholic. Hick is a bid-a-holic! He's even generous with his purchases. Wednesday morning, I had a surprise waiting for me in the kitchen, perched atop HIPPIE, my laptop on the kitchen table.

Some auction food is safe to eat! I don't want any auction MEAT, (although Hick brought home some sausage and I fed it to him a few months ago), but auction CHOCOLATE and auction COOKIES surely can't hurt you! So far, I've eaten two squares of the candy bar, and the cookies are still unopened. The Pony had eaten TWO of the candy bars since he got up.

"Let me tell you how to open them! It looks like a box, with that little pull tab, but it doesn't pull! I found that out the hard way. It just unfolds, from the seam on the back. It's surprisingly good chocolate. I was only going to eat one, but it's so soft and delicious."

"I checked the date--"

"I know! April 1, 2021."

"That's practically fresh for chocolate! I'm still not done with my Easter bunny Dad gave me last week! I checked the date on these cookies, and you'll be surprised: October, 2021. They're not even expired!"

Anyhoo... I don't know what Hick paid for the cookies. He's brought them home before, too. But I saw his box of candy bars across the table. They come in this green wrapper, and in red. He bought 36 candy bars, for $4.00. He said he would have bought more, if he knew how good they were.

So those candy bars cost Hick 11 cents apiece. I'm pretty sure he's not planning to sell them. Not even for a 50-cent profit.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Emergency on Shackytown Boulevard

We had a bit of unwanted excitement here Monday, over on Shackytown Boulevard. Hick wanted to get his Schoolhouse Shed under roof before the weather changes. He can't climb up and down on the roof like he used to. His familial help is not too dependable, and The Pony, mainly good for holding a ladder and handing things, is not 100% due to his broken ankle. So a couple of Hick's cronies from the Storage Unit Store came to help him put on the roof.
They were only going to be here a few hours, since the whole crew planned on going to the auction later in the day. The two helpers had a 30-minute drive back home, to get the stuff they were going to sell. Hick was just a buyer this time.

Anyhoo... as far as I knew, they were coming out here around 8:00. The weather was sunny, only 79 degrees when I checked around noon. That's almost a cold snap, considering how it's been mid-90s for a week or more. I could hear hammering intermittently, so I knew they must have shown up. Sometime between noon and 1:30, I heard the dogs woofing it up, as they do when Hick drives the Gator. So I thought maybe he was taking them on a tour, or ferrying them from Shackytown Boulevard over to the driveway. I know Helper 1 is at least Hick's age, maybe older. I think Helper 2 might have been 1's son.

At 1:50, I was busy playing Candy Crush on HIPPIE at the kitchen table, and was interrupted by a text from Hick:

"Val im at the hospital with Helper 1 think he is having a heart attack"

Well! That's certainly not something I was expecting, nor wanted to hear.

"Okay. Hope he's all right."

"Me too"

"Was he out here working with you?"


So not only might Helper 1 be seriously ill, but Hick would feel remorse for asking for or accepting his help. At 3:46, I got another text from Hick, saying he wasn't going to the auction.

"Okay. How is Helper 1?"

"Still dont know the nurse said his wife didn't need to come down"

"Okay. I guess that might be a good sign."

At 5:03, Hick's next text said he had decided he WAS going to the auction.

"Okay. Is Helper 1 all right?"

"Yes they said that he got dehydrated and hot and then he had a panic attack Helper 2 says he's kind of that way the panic attack"

Whew! Such a relief. I guess Hick might need to look for some IV stands and bags of D5W at the auction or Goodwill, so he can treat his helpers right next time...

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

As Promised, Some Pictures of Hick's Enlarged Unit

I may or may not have revealed that Hick evicted an old lady. For a couple years, he has coveted the storage unit that she and her husband rent, adjacent to his Storage Unit Store. They have only sold at the flea market once or twice in all that time. So Hick put a bug in the owner's ear, and he agreed that such prime rental space should be utilized by sellers. He tossed the lady out on her ear three weeks ago. Meaning that she was not in agreement, but Hick and some cronies moved all her stuff to a similar unit farther down the row.

Anyhoo... Hick has been playing around with his unit. He needed some hands-on help from The Veteran, to set up cameras. But now Hick is ready to reveal his enlarged unit. Here are four different views of it. Enjoy!

Here's a view across the front, standing behind the counter. To the left is the big door out into the parking lot. The small shelves in the back hold fishing reels. The metal glass case contains ammunition. I see some assorted oil lamps on that wooden cabinet.

As you look down the main aisle, you can see the counter, and a red case with signs and kids' puzzles. Behind it is a white pegboard with fishing lures. I think Hick has three guitars. I see two. There's a wooden chair under them that has a musical symbol as the backrest. 

Oops! Found the third guitar! Hick says he has this area behind the counter blocked off. That he sets his chair there. And that yes, a couple people have been caught behind the counter, but "They were immediately sorry." Heh, heh. Don't know if that means they were remorseful, or if Hick did something to MAKE them sorry! 
I know it's hard to see details here, unless you can enlarge the pictures. The glass counter case contains the expensive fishing reels and knives. That shelf is full of ammunition. Looks like Hick has an assortment of knockoff Swiss Army Knives, and keyrings, hanging on that wicker thingy. A couple of my favorite things in this photo are the orange and black sign that says, "Smile, Shoplifters, You Are On Camera," and the gold and red welcome mat that says, "Come Back With a Warrant." I can't believe somebody around here hasn't snapped up that welcome mat yet!

This is a view from out front, in the parking lot. Hick says that ocean picture plugs in, and makes wave sounds, and the waves move in the picture. I think he said he's asking $25 for it. He also sets up a table of new stuff out front, I think.

Quite a junk emporium Hick has going here. He likes to think he has something for everyone. All they have to do is wander around, and they'll find it.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Hick's Latest Auction Buys

Saturday night, Hick picked up some new merchandise at the auction. Here's what I remember...
The Harley Davidson mirror might have cost $10, will sell for $20. 
The bottom knife cost $25, will sell for $45. It's a Case XX, whatever that means.
The top knife cost $15, will sell for $25.
The globe cost $3, Hick will ask $10. He says it's an old globe. Didn't look at the countries.
The egg basket cost $5, will ask $10.
The frame the knives are perched atop contains stamps, Hick thinks. Didn't say the cost.
The boat model in a box Hick will ask $20 for. He says it was a replica of a boat given to somebody who won the actual boat in a bass tournament. I think he called it a Bass Power Boat. Or a Power Bass Boat. He knows some guy who has such a real boat, and it costs around $45,000. We could get two houses for that!
Two tackle boxes (empty) bought for $3 each, will sell for $8 each. 
Hick didn't mention the price of that other tackle box, or the two pet carriers, or the homemade Coke rack, or the hatchet.
Tomorrow, I will reveal Hick's upgraded unit, heh, heh!

Sunday, August 15, 2021

You Can't Bank on THIS

While waiting in line at the bank drive-thru on Thursday, growing a long white beard, Guinness Book of World Record fingernails, and my lovely lady-mullet down to my heels... 
I noticed something amiss.

Yes, I was being one of those people who hedge their bets. Waiting to see which car in front of me might get done first. Also like most people, I chose the wrong lane. This dude had his car turned off. Should have been a clue. The one out of sight to the left drove off. One that had come in behind me pulled up. So I was still cooling my ample rumpus on T-Hoe's leather seat at 98 degrees with the windows up and the air conditioner running.

Anyhoo... did you notice what was amiss? The drive-thru lane on the right!

It's gonna be hard to reach the canister in that one! I'm pretty sure it didn't just topple over. Pretty sure they're not doing renovations, leaving that jagged metal laying there with no caution tape draped around it. I guess it was a fresh demolition. Because it has to be, right? Not a careful dismantling.

Tubes and wires hanging all willy-nilly.

Frayed wires! Now look at that first picture again. There are metal poles in front of the canister-dispenser thingies, to KEEP PEOPLE FROM DRIVING INTO THEM! So how did this one get toppled? Did someone drive past it, then reverse? Or did they jump out with a sledgehammer and pound that thing into submission?

To paraphrase Chris Rock on woman-beaters, I would NEVER hit a bank drive-thru unit. But I understand...

So do my long white beard, world-record fingernails, and Crystal-Gayle-length hair.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

A CENTSible Val is NOT Triskaidekaphobic

A better week than anticipated for Val's Future Pennyillionaire Fortune! 
On SATURDAY, August 7, I stopped by the Backroads Casey's for scratchers. For a moment, I thought I was in Orb K, by the looks of the floor. That's what caught my attention first. THEN I noticed a special treat waiting for me.

Yes, it WAS the trashy floor that caught my eye, and NOT the sculpted gastrocnemius muscles of that dude at the counter! I followed the direction that straw wrapper pointed me, and saw the DIME eager for my rescue. I was SO afraid that dude was going to see it and pick it up. Or step on it, and walk out with it stuck to his shoe. It was all I could do not to pull a Shirley Feeney cracker-pounce on it, like that episode of Laverne and Shirley where they went to a fancy party after leaving their weekend as lab subjects in a starvation study.

It was a face-down 2021 dime, all shiny and new, soaking up filth from that floor.

TUESDAY, August 10, I'd planned to go in the kind-of-shady liquor store for scratchers, but the line at the drive-thru window was so long that it blocked the entrance. So I went across the street to the Backroads Casey's, but they were out of $3 crossword tickets. When I put my 44 oz Diet Coke on the counter of the Gas Station Chicken Store and handed over my winners, the gal said their ticket scanner was down, because there'd been a lightning strike. Which meant they also couldn't print the Cash4Life draw tickets The Pony wanted. So... I had to stop by Orb K. It was a roundabout journey that put me there, with somebody parked in my favorite spot. But it was meant to be!

The minute I opened T-Hoe's door, they were waiting for me! TWO pennies, although the light makes that left one impersonate a dime.

That shiny fellow was a face-down 2020 penny.

The other was a heads-up 2016 version. Easy to tell them apart, with them being on differently-textured surfaces.

WEDNESDAY, August 11, found me once again at the Backroads Casey's. While waiting in line, I spied a PENNY under the rack at the unused register. Sadly, my phone was suffering from entering the cool air-conditioning after the 95-degree heat and almost liquid humidity, and the camera was cantankerous.

That makes me feel like I'm underwater. Which would not be good for those chips. But wouldn't hurt those giant insulated cups for soda. I bet they'd hold 44 ounces!

I am disappointed that you can't see the detail of this face-down 1958 penny. It's a WHEAT PENNY! I could even tell that without my bifocals! My unglassesed eyes could see better than this fancy phone camera. Here, let's see a close-up of it at home:


That's 4 COINS, and 13 CENTS this week towards Val's Future Pennyillionaire Fortune.


Penny       # 83, 84, 85.
Dime         # 11.
Nickel       still at 4.
Quarter    still at 5.

Penny     134
Dime        25
Nickel      10
Quarter      1

Friday, August 13, 2021

Just Plugging Along

Has anyone else's internet service been slow? Like CREEPING along, slower than dial-up. Slower than Christmas Eve when you're 5. Slower than the an ti ci paa tion of the ketchup coming out of the bottle. Since Thursday morning (by which I mean NOON), I've practically grown a long white beard waiting for pages to load. Both on New Delly and HIPPIE. I reset my router. AND the DISH dish. Which is how we get our internet. The skies were sunny. No excuse. My internet is slower than the US Mail being delivered Galapagos-Tortoise-back on a vehicle with a broken ankle, slogging through the just-congealing La Brea Tar Pits!

Anyhoo... I'm glad I downloaded these pictures Wednesday night, or my fingernails might have grown out like some curlicued record-breaker while waiting on them, preventing me from typing on the keyboard.

This is what Hick almost couldn't pay for at the auction. What he spent his $127.50 on. He said there were a couple more items, but didn't elaborate, nor send me a picture. 

Fishing plugs!

Sorry some of these photos look upside down. I'm not taking the TIME to flip them.

Oodles and oodles of fishing plugs! Don't worry, only one more photo. Hick didn't snap pictures of all the containers. Funny how the pictures he sent me were all facing the same way, looking at them like the container was sitting on his lap with the lid up. All facing the same way when I saved them in Pictures. Yet they come out all willy-nilly through Blogger. If I was a conspiracy theorist, I'd say somebody was messing with me!

Anyhoo... Hick said he bought 90 fishing plugs. He sells them for $2.00 to $2.50 each. So that's at least $180 that he'll eventually get out of them. Better than a 50-cent profit for his $127.50. He said he's already sold $20 worth.

Hick might as well be running a sporting goods store, but without the athletic equipment. Heh, heh. He could name his storage locker business "Davey Jones's Locker." Although he might lose a little business to those customers who are superstitious. Which reminds me... this is Friday the 13th.