Monday, January 31, 2022

At a Crossroads in a Quandary

I'm not sure my Z-Pack treatment did any good. I got it last Monday. Took as directed. Still had a fever for seven days, which has gradually dropped to 99. Maybe it would have gotten better anyway. The shooting pain in the left temple area finally went away. So there's that. But on Day 4 of the Z-Pack, I developed a pain in my tooth nerves on the right side, and a crackly noise in my right ear when I swallow.

What in the Not-Heaven can go wrong next?  I think the severe cough irritated those tooth nerves. Put pressure on them. I am going back to convenient care on Monday, to beg for some doxycycline. That's what got rid of my double ear infection back in December, and the inflamed tooth nerves. It's cheap, pretty much generic, and one of the antibiotics I'm not allergic to.

I hope I don't get that birdy-faced NP this time. If she had only given me what I asked for last week, maybe I'd be better. Maybe not.

I don't know what's wrong with me. I don't mind if it's just a regular sickness running its course. Like back in 1990 when I had the flu, and took forever to get over it. Felt weak as a kitten for a long long time. Out of breath with the least little exertion. I just don't want to have some exotic disease that goes undiscovered and untreated. 

When I sit in one place, I feel okay. But the minute I move around, I'm panting. Which wants to set off my cough. It's a balance. I remain ever-hopeful. The end of the fever I take as a positive sign.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Please Pardon Hick's Indelicate Medical Advice

I'm on Day 8 of my sickness. I try to stay hydrated, so I can cough up phlegm as need be. It's not like I have a constant cough, but when I breathe too deeply, it sets off that cough reflex. So I harumph until that fluid comes up.

Here's the thing. Hick has some very strange ideas concerning my recovery.

"At least I'm coughing that stuff up. Eventually, it's all gotta come out."

"I know I hear you coughing it up. But then you just swallow it back down. How are you ever going to get better like that?"

"Um. I don't swallow it back down into my LUNGS! What would you suggest I do?"

"Spit it out."

"So everybody who ever coughs spits out what they cough up?"


"I don't think so. You don't."

"I do too! When I'm outside. You just don't get out. Almost everybody spits that out when they cough it up."

"What am I supposed to spit it in?"

"I don't know. A cup?"

"Okay. So I'm supposed to have a cup here in the living room, a cup in the kitchen, a cup in the bathroom, and a cup beside the bed."

"If you need to."

"That's just ridiculous. People don't do that."

Sorry. I can't take this advice from the man who sneezes 20 times in a row, and sucks the snot back into his nose every couple sneezes, rather than use a tissue to blow his nose.

Saturday, January 29, 2022

No Pennies Possible This Week

Since I haven't left home in a week, there is zero chance of a penny harvest. The Pony said he could have picked up a DIME for me Thursday, but that's not really fair. It's the thought that counts, I guess.

Friday, January 28, 2022

The Would-Be Killer Refines His Repertoire

I was sitting at the kitchen table Thursday around 2:00, when Hick came home bringing my daily DQ grilled chicken sandwich. I had just taken my first daily temp, hoping that the fever was going away. Nope. 100.4.

Hick bustled over beside me, and squeezed my shoulder in a half-hug.

"I don't think I'm ever getting better."

"Oh, you'll get better."

Hick put his ICY COLD HAND on my forehead! It was all I could do not to shoot through the ceiling. SO COLD!

"Well. Looks like you don't have no fever..."

"I don't know where you get that idea! I just took it. 100.4."

"Well, your head don't feel warm."

"I'm pretty sure it does, since I can feel the ICY COLDNESS of your hand!"

I don't think Hick is gaslighting me. I guess he expects a forehead to sizzle at the touch when there's a fever. He means well.

"Could you run some water in my cup?"


Then Hick set it back on the table, gripping it around the rim with his questionably-clean fingertips.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

I'm Pretty Sure Hick Can't Stop Trying to Kill Me

Hick has been monitoring my progress since he took me to convenient care on Monday evening. He spent his own $5 on my Z-Pack! He brings me a Dairy Queen grilled chicken sandwich on his way home, because that's one of the few things that doesn't set off waves of nausea when I think about it. He's also very involved in my medical regimen, starting Monday night.

"Did you take your Z-Pack?"

"Yes. At 7:00. Pony had to open the blister pack. I guess old people with arthritic hands are just supposed to die."

"Did you take all four?"

"Um. NO. I took two. Like the directions say."

"I've had a Z-Pack before. You take four the first day, three the next day, then two, then one."

"There are only six pills."

"That cain't be right. I've had them before. It's four the first day..."

"Saying it again won't make it right. You must be thinking of a steroid thing. I've taken that after a medicine allergy. And yes, it's four, three, two, one."

"I don't think so. I've never had an allergy like that."

I let it go. No use arguing with a Hick. Tuesday morning, as he left for town, he said,

"Did you take your medicine?"

"Last night."

"But today's?"

"I don't take it until 7:00. That's 24 hours from the last one. You're supposed to take them on a routine."

"I don't think so. You can take it around noon. It IS the next day."

"That's not how it works."

"Any time the doctor gives me something like an antibiotic, I just take them whenever."

Yes. I'm sure he does. He's the one who sets his alarm for the middle of the night, to arouse from a dead sleep, to take cough medicine that says 'every four to six hours as needed.'

I will not be following Hick's dosing suggestions.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Nothing Much

Sorry I haven't been my scintillating self. I've been fighting a fever for four days. Plus nausea and dizziness. Got a Z-Pack from convenient care. Don't know if that is helping. Here's the deal.

Last Monday, I came down with some crud that Hick brought home. He breathed in my face and denied it. I was over this mild cold in four days. Fit as a fiddle by Thursday. However... The Pony was fighting some bug going around work. Felt bad Wednesday, Thursday, missed work Friday. Said he was blowing out bloody snot. Had all the signs of a head cold. Got over it by Sunday.

Saturday, I developed a stuffy nose, and blood-flecked green snot. Plus a fever of 100. Which went to 101 the next two days. So Monday evening I went to convenient care. They're not sure what's wrong with me. The worst part is the fever, which gives me chills. The constant nausea makes taking my regular meds complicated. Sometimes I have to sip water from a SPOON! The dizziness is a challenge, especially at night in the dark.

I don't have anything specifically wrong. Hardly any snot at all now. I can't get comfortable sitting, standing, lying, walking. Don't want to watch TV, don't want to blog, don't want to play Candy Crush, don't care to keep up to date on my conspiracy theories. It's just a general malaise, like my life is on hold. I don't even want to get scratchers! I haven't been down to my lair since Saturday. Genius is probably not getting a letter this week.

No updates on Pony House until I can get down to New Delly in my lair. I may or may not try to put something out here every day. I'm just not myself.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

When the Boss Thinks He Can Bypass the Secretary

Monday, I was waiting for Hick to further clarify the NEW address he sent me to pay the gravel man. I have not been feeling well, running a fever of 101 for three days. So I went to lie down and await Hick's return.

Imagine my surprise when I got up 30 minutes later, and saw that HICK HAD ADDRESSED HIS OWN ENVELOPE! It was on the bathroom sink so he'd remember to mail it the next day. I looked at the address, and went seeking The Pony.

Buddy Budski
1234 Street Name
s ct City, State Zip

What in the Not-Heaven? That's not an address! All that belongs on the bottom line is the CITY STATE ZIP.

"Pony. Look at what Dad did. I don't think that's going to be delivered."

"Nope. The sorting machine will kick it out. Those letters belong with the street address."

"That's what Buddy sent me! That has to be right."

"Give me your phone, Dad. No. That's how the spacing went in the text. It's all part of the street address. Like SOUTH and COURT. Although I'm pretty sure the Ct should come before the S."

"Cain't you take it to work and fix it?"

"I guess I COULD take it in, and see if someone would hand-sort it. But it's easier just to fill it out right on a new envelope."

Yes. I did it. Third envelope. Hick also wasted a stamp. He's so difficult.

Monday, January 24, 2022

The Secretary is Only as Good as Her Boss

Ten days ago, Hick had a load of gravel delivered for the road down by the mailboxes. The guy is one of his not-real-close cronies. He brought the gravel the same day ordered. Told Hick just to mail him a check. That's what cronies do. Provide the service, trust that they'll be paid later.

Of course Hick is not a check-writer. Nor an envelope-addresser. That's the job of his secretary, Val. 

Imagine the secretary's surprise when Hick picked up the mail Saturday, and her meticulously-addressed envelope was in it, RETURN TO SENDER, NO SUCH NUMBER.

"I guess you better call your buddy and tell him why he hasn't been paid for the gravel yet!"

"What do you mean?"

"Didn't you see that envelope? The one you told me to mail to the gravel guy?"

"WHAT? That's what that is? Well. No wonder. You didn't put no number on the address."

"I put EXACTLY what you told me to put!"

"I told you to put 1234 STREET NAME. Not just STREET NAME. No wonder they couldn't deliver it."

"I put EXACTLY what you sent me in that text. In fact, I asked you before mailing it if you were sure of the address. And you said yes."

"I gave you the number."

"Here it is on my phone. Buddy Budski. STREET NAME. Town, State, Zip Code."

"No, I gave you the 1234."

"Phone don't lie! Right here it is."

Hick spent ten minutes scrolling through his phone, to prove me wrong. Unfortunately, he couldn't fabricate an old text with the 1234 in it.

"Huh. Well. I'm sure I sent it to you. But they should have been able to deliver it like that. It's a rural route."

"So you think every mailman knows every resident just by the street name? And can tell which order to put their mail in to deliver to all those people on that street! No way.
"I'll call him."

Buddy Budski finally sent Hick a text. "Just re-mail it."

Hick brought the envelope back to me. "Just send it again."

No number address written on it. I've got to check my phone for a text. Buddy Budski might wish he'd taken Hick's offer to meet him at the place and time of his choice, and hand-deliver that check.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Crimes Against Mailman-ity

Never a dull moment around here. I went to do my errands over in Sis-Town on Thursday, unawares that a crime was being committed on my route! I found out on Friday, by text, from The Pony.

"Someone threw out mail yesterday on Ancient Backroads Trail."

"NO! That's the route I took to do my errands!"

"Sometime around 3:30, on the way to Sis-Town, is what I heard."

"That's the time I was there! I didn't see anything unusual."
"It was off in the weeds. Every hundred yards or so. A carrier's wife saw it and reported it. This One Guy rode along with the manager after dark, hanging out of the back of the big van. He'd tell her when he spotted some, and she'd stop, and he'd jump out and get it. Some of it was still rubber-banded together."

"I guess someone will get fired."

"Probably. There's two potential suspects."

And hour later...

"Aaaaand I just saw and reported mail on the roadside on Ancient Fruit-Farm Drive. It's been there at least two weeks, but I thought it was just someone's bag of trash. After hearing about the other mail, I went back to look closer. Definitely mail."

"Dang! Is it a rural route? MY TAX DOCUMENTS!"

"No clue. But the first time it snowed, it was there, I think. Since I remember seeing the lumps under the snow. It would either be rural, or from the regular route before me."

The Pony said one of the higher-ups said of this situation: "How stupid can they be? To throw it away on the route back to the office! They could at least BURN IT!"

Hick thought maybe it just fell out of the window!

"Dad. We drive on the right-hand side. The mail was in the weeds. If it fell out the window, it would have been in the middle of the road. AND, with parts of it rubber-banded together, it's not going to just 'fall out' of the window by the shelf that's on our left."

No news in the paper about it...

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Val Is the New Old Mother Hubbard's Dog

And her Pennyillionaire Fortune is the new Old Mother Hubbard's Cupboard. 
Such disappointment. Val wagging her rumpus, excited for an upcoming penny to be dished out by The Universe. But NO! The Universe was bare! ALL WEEK!

NOTHING to contribute to the coffers of Val's Future Pennyillionaire Fortune this week! 


Penny        Still at 9.
Dime             0
Nickel           0
Quarter        0

Penny        124
Dime           14
Nickel           7
Quarter          6

Friday, January 21, 2022

Pony House Kitchen: What a Difference a Day Makes

Just like Hick to get the Pony House kitchen floor done the day after I wrote my pictorial! Had I known this was a one-day job, I would have waited. Hick had two versions of the laminate flooring. Light and dark. He sent me a picture with samples, asking my opinion.

At first I said the light laminate. But once I looked at the picture on HIPPIE's big screen, compared to my phone screen, I saw that it was not quite a match for the cabinets. And also, even if it matched, that would be TOO MUCH of the same color. Good thing Hick and The Pony have a more discerning eye. They both chose the dark laminate right away.

It turned out better than I expected.

The refrigerator will go beside the stove. The counter thingy will have shelves on the front side, and open in the back to put two stools under. Hick already got the stools. It's one of the first auction things he bought for Pony House.

We still owe The Pony his Christmas present of a microwave. Hick is planning to get one that goes over the stove, as Pony requested. It will have the venting for a hood underneath it, like the one we have in our own kitchen. So that white range hood will go away. I asked Hick why he put it up if he was planning on the microwave, and he said, "It's no big deal. Two screws will take it down."

Still painting to do in the kitchen. It's starting to look like a home.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Hick, the Kitchen Magician of Pony House

Hick has been working on the Pony House kitchen this week. He got the cabinets in place.

Hick was not happy that the sink was not centered over the cabinets. He can't do anything about getting the sink under the window. But he fixed the cabinet centering by moving that spacer. Also, he still needed to fill in the top above the cabinets.

The backsplash is in place. It's dirty, because, as Hick said, "I didn't have a rag to wipe if off yet." The line over the sink will have a "joiner" to cover it up. Hick has one cabinet door being worked on by THIS GUY, his former shop teacher who sold us the $5000 house. He's also making a drawer that was missing. Hick has the front panel that goes on the drawer.

The kitchen wood floor was not salvageable under the linoleum, so Hick and his buddy ripped off the linoleum and hammered down a million staples. A dark laminate flooring will be put in the kitchen.

The stove is ready, and IT WORKS! Under that corner is a Lazy Susan cabinet, that just spins open when you push on it.

It's not the Taj Mahal. Just a safe, livable house that will be a bargain starter home for 
The Pony.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

If a Future Resident of Pony House Takes a Lot of Medicine, We've Got Him Covered

Work on Pony House continues. It's really hard to get good help these days. Even mediocre help. Some things Hick can't do by himself. He CAN bring home a bathroom vanity and medicine cabinet. In fact, he went to buy a vanity from a guy, and saw the medicine cabinet, so made a deal on that, too. I can't remember his prices. It was couple weeks ago.

There's the vanity for Bathroom 2. It's a cute little thing, despite being perched among the clutter.

There's the medicine cabinet. Good thing Hick was wearing pants when he took the picture!

Medicine cabinet installed in Bathroom 2. Lots of white. I'm glad we're leaving the two walls catty-corner from these two as the wood that was originally on the walls.

Hick's most recent project has been the kitchen. An update on that is coming up.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

The Pony's WorkLife of Wonders

It's not exactly a Halloween episode of the Simpson's Treehouse of Terror... but it's what you get from The Pony in mid-January.

Remember how last week, The Pony had plans on Thursday evening after work, but discovered on the way that he had a flat tire? Good thing he had a little gadget that plugs in to his car, to pump in some air.

"Oh, Mom. You know how I put some air in my tire the other night before starting home? That pump thing you got me has a LIGHT on it! Unfortunately, it cast an inappropriate shadow..."

What's that I hear? The sound of some 13-year-old-selves snickering?

That theme continued when The Pony found this package to deliver a couple days later:

I didn't ask if he squeezed it to determine what was inside. That's because I don't want to know.

Also, you may recall when The Pony slipped on the steps of the loading dock, and bruised his tailbone. Here's a picture of the steps.

"Oh, that's the bent rail you couldn't get grip on when you started falling? What's that stuff on it?"

"Shipping tape. That's what's holding it together."

The Pony leads a charmed life.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Hooterville or Twilight Zone?

No, I am not taking a survey to see if you would rather live in Hooterville or The Twilight Zone. I am trying to figure out if I have been transported to one or the other.

Val does not lead an exciting life, despite her braggings here at the House of Unbagged Cats. A trip to town each day, for scratchers and a 44 oz Diet Coke. Shopping at the two local grocery stores each week. A gas top-off for T-Hoe. A post office visit for Genius's weekly letter and old-fashioned bill-paying. That's it. Nothing interesting until a casino trip every couple of months.

You'd think a grocery store would be a pretty uneventful place. Push a cart/walker around the building. Put items from shelf to cart. Pay and leave.

One of these things is not like the others. One of these things just doesn't belong.


Am I shopping in Sam Drucker's General Store? Will Ike Godsey come out from behind the shelf, and offer me some of the Baldwin Sisters' "recipe?" Maybe Mr. Haney will roll up with his jalopy truck to sell me a bargain I can't find in any store. Or Granny might have some tempting vittles she's been boiling in a kettle out by the ceeeement pond.


I'm pretty sure there's a law against something like this. If not... there oughta be! SURE that's the contents of that jar. It's a little different color than the contents of the other jars. The lid LOOKS like the seal hasn't been broken. But in looking at the lid, I think the expiration date has passed! A tight zoom appears to show that date as 11/13/20. There's a glare, so I can't be sure. AS IF that would be the only reason not to buy it!!!

Is this The Twilight Zone? Maybe there's some superhuman guy named Alfredo, who produces (if you're pickin' up what I'm layin' down) a very potent special SAUCE that's in high demand, and whether a woman can get it or not is just luck of the draw. Perhaps there's a unique responsibility that comes with the sauce of Alfredo, heh, heh.

I didn't have the guts to take that jar up front and try to buy it. I wonder if there's a barcode drawn on the back label. Or IS there a back label? I wonder what the nutritional information would show.

Is this a legitimate attempt of Country Mart to sell "OFF" label merchandise? Was somebody instructed to cut that label with square corners? Did they take handwriting samples to see who should put the name on it? Can a customer barter for a price reduction?

I'm pretty sure I wouldn't buy this jar of Alfredo Sauce if it was the last one on earth. Which it could be, if this was The Twilight Zone.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

SOMEBODY Needs to be Held Prisoner in a Fortune Cookie Factory

The Pony brought home Chinese food for us Friday night. Hick had the Hunan Chicken with fried rice and eggroll, I had the Garlic Chicken with fried rice and crab rangoon, and The Pony had Sweet & Sour Chicken with white rice. Plus we had extra crab rangoon. Mmm.... having my 3rd day of it now, to finish off the leftovers.

I forgot to take a fortune cookie Friday night, but on Saturday evening, I took one down to my dark basement lair on my supper tray. When I remembered it, I saw something unusual. The fortune was sticking out the end of the cookie, and it was GREEN! A dark teal color. How odd! I guess this restaurant switched fortune cookie suppliers. When I removed my fortune, I found THIS:

I had a COMMERCIAL in my fortune cookie! That's not right! Is nothing sacred any more? Must everything be for profit? I am happily retired, and I don't need ZipRecruiter needling me to feel guilty about not having a job.

Anyhoo... I flipped it over to read my fortune, and was again not pleased with what I found:

What in the NOT-HEAVEN kind of fortune is THAT? It's no fortune at all! It's a chastisement concerning procrastination! I'm an Aquarius. I know all about procrastination. I'm a master procrastinator. A mere slip of paper is not going to goad me into completing a chore in a timely manner.

I need to ask Hick and The Pony what kind of fortunes they got. Maybe The Pony had one telling him to stay on his feet. And Hick was reminded to stop feeling entitled to eating other people's food just because it's under his roof.

The fortune cookie itself looked perfectly normal. I guess you'd have to spot the logo on the little packages, or see that teal color peeping out at you in order to be forewarned of a crappy, nagging "fortune." 

Do you know the easiest way to open a fortune cookie? You just squeeze the two ends together, and it snaps apart, giving you two halves. I tell you this, not to feel all high-horse-y teacher-y superior, but in case, like that whole ENGLAND IS AN ISLAND issue, you might not have learned this yet. We were so lucky that The Pony showed us that when he was about 10 years old.

You're welcome.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

A PENNY Quintet For Val

A sweet week for Val's Future Pennyillionaire Fortune!

SUNDAY, January 9, I stopped by the Backroads Casey's for scratchers. I haven't been in there much lately, because their parking is tight, they've been busy, and the upper part of their lot was blocked off for some kind of concrete or gas tank work. Looks like I picked the right day to show up.

A little friend was waiting for me under the store-brand chips at the counter.

It was a heads-up 2019 shiny penny. I wasted no time in nabbing that fellow.
Back out in the suspiciously empty parking lot, I noticed a treat I had missed on the way in!
There it is, by the leaf! In the background, on the left, down by the stoplight, you can see the parking lot of the Liquor Store where that red car is. Just so you know the landmarks.

This was a heads-up 2013 corroded penny, believe it or not. It took a little scrubbing to find the date. 

WEDNESDAY, January 12, I was back at that very Liquor Store for more scratchers, and let a man go ahead of me in line. That's because I saw a treat on the rug, and didn't want to ample-rumpus that poor fellow while picking it up. I was betting that he wouldn't want it, and he did not.

I got the picture as an addled gal wandered out of frame. She said she was feeling no pain, and the cashier replied, "Good thing you told your work not to call you in!"

This was a face-down 1981 penny. 
THURSDAY, January 13, I was over in Sis-Town on my errand day. In the Casey's, I found a penny waiting between the two registers.
Woe were the customers who kept their heads up and missed this jewel!

It was a heads-up 1990 well-worn version of Abe Lincoln.

Back outside to pump the gas I pre-paid for, I discovered a penny I had missed on my way in! 
I must have trod right over it, unless the guy pumping on the other side had a hole in his pocket, and donated that penny unknowingly while I was inside.

This was a face-down 1980 cent, placed almost as if I was MEANT to find it!

That's 5 COINS this week, for 5 CENTS towards Val's Future Pennyillionaire Fortune.

Penny        # 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.
Dime             0
Nickel           0
Quarter        0

Penny        124
Dime           14
Nickel           7
Quarter          6

Friday, January 14, 2022

The Irony of the Street

Remember how The Pony had that work vehicle Wednesday, with a damaged tire? The tire with the steel radial showing through the rubber? That Hick said could have caused a blowout at highway speed?

Perhaps The Pony should not have taken such a picture, and put that knowledge out into 
The Universe.
He was assigned the same LLV (Long Life Vehicle) on Thursday. With the same tires.
The Pony had plans with a friend after work. He was thinking he'd get off around the same time he's been finished for the past couple weeks. But he got held up helping others, and was about 90 minutes later than usual when clocking out.
The Pony had driven about a mile from the post office when he heard a strange noise coming from his Nissan Rogue. He shoved around some of the junk he hauls in there, thinking that might have caused the rattling. Still the noise. About a mile later he arrived at his destination, and saw that
I'm pretty sure that's a proper example of irony, served up by Even Steven on a silver platter.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

All In a Day's Pony Work

The Pony had another photo to share when he got home from work on Wednesday. 

"Here, Mom. I'll let you guess first. Can you see what's wrong in this picture? Don't say it out loud. Dad will probably know exactly what it is."

"Um... HERE?" I pointed to the rim, which I believed was bent.

"No comment. Now I'll show Dad."

"The steel belt is showing! It's eat its way through the rubber."

"Yep! That's it!

"Did you DRIVE it like that?"

"Uh huh. All day."

"It probably made your steering wheel jerk and wobble."

"It did."

"Good thing you didn't drive that out on the highway! You could've had a blowout."

No word on whether that LLV will be removed from the rotation for repairs.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Weirdo Magnet Recharged?

The day after I bemoaned the weakening of my Weirdo Magnet, and a lack of tales to share... I found myself in an interesting situation!

I walked up to the counter of the Gas Station Chicken Store, and saw a banana in the little slot of the plexiglass, even though obviously a single banana won't get scanned. They know the prices of stuff at the Gas Station Chicken Store. It's a Mom and Pop Shop, even though the owners don't have kids.

"Oh. Should I wait on the banana?"

"Haha! Wait on the banana! I actually started ringing it up. He should be right back."

"That's okay. I'm not in any hurry."

A man was roaming around the back aisle by the cooler. He came up the middle aisle, and deposited a bottle of Mountain Dew, a candy bar, and an individual bag of chips beside the banana.

"That'll be five dollars."

"You're kidding! Only five dollars? Cool."

Banana Man also paid for gas that he had yet to pump. I don't recall how much. I wasn't really paying attention. I was looking at some cheap sunglasses that were RayBan knockoffs, for $3.99 a pair. I noticed Cashier fiddling with a bill.

"Oh. Uh. Do you have another bill?"

"Is there something wrong with that fifty?"

"Well, the machine doesn't want to scan it, and I can't see that thread in it."

"Oh. Sure. Here."

Banana Man took back his fifty, and handed Cashier a hundred dollar bill. The scanner liked it. Cashier saw the thread when she held it up to the light. So she gave Banana Man his change. Bagged up his five-dollars-worth of snacks. Off he went to pump his gas.

"Well. I guess you never know about bills like those fifties. I've gotten some bills at the bank that look kind of funny, but I just spend them at the next place I go."

"I'm not supposed to take them if I can't see the thread."

"Yeah. It should be there."

Here's my thought. Banana Man might or might not have know if his fifty was bad. He was not from around here, because he would know that the Gas Station Chicken Store lets you pump before paying. They are the first gas station off the highway. They look like a little hole-in-the-wall place that might not use the latest technology. Like their card-scanner thingy that's on a cable. 
I might or might not have witnessed an attempted counterfeit-bill passing. If I had a questionable bill to get rid off, that's the kind of place I'd choose. Then again, I don't carry around fifties and hundreds. Only twenties for me.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Pony House Master Bathroom Progress 01-06-22

Due to a weakening in the pull of my Weirdo Magnet, the only news I have to report this week is the methodical progress on Pony House. Today we have a look at the Master Bathroom's latest update. This picture was taken from the toilet area, looking towards the door to the Master Bedroom

Hick found a vanity over in Bill-Paying Town. I think it cost him $150 for the whole thing. It has the hardware, but will need some drawer handles to jazz it up. Some lady put it on Facebook. Hick commandeered The Veteran, who lives over in that area, to go with him to help load it and then unload it at Pony House. 
Hick said I wouldn't like the tight fit between it and the big triangle tub. I'm pretty sure I can fit through there! It's not like I'll be driving over to Pony House to use the Master Bathroom.

They've been taping and mudding the drywall. Not sure what color The Pony wants this bathroom painted. Hick has completed the base for the shower, having to build a little platform to get it level. He's got the framing around the tub. The bathroom door is on. The duct work has been installed by the heating/cooling guy when he put in the furnace. The water pipes have been run. I think Hick has some under-house plumbing to do before having the water turned on.

I guess next might be the shower installation, and the toilet hookup, and the floor.

Monday, January 10, 2022

Hick-splains, Trains, and Really Good Deals

The holiday season is not a good time for auctions. Either they get cancelled because people have something better to do, or they just have Christmas stuff for bids, or maybe the good items that might have been offered were used for re-gifting. That doesn't keep Hick from going to auctions, though. He just hasn't been buying much.

Saturday night, he sent me a couple pictures.

"Look what I got for $1"

Oh. So Hick must have paid a dollar for a chance on the prize table, and won, and picked a LEVI'S shirt. It's kind of cool, though it appears to be a woman's shirt, and not in Hick's size. Then again, it could be a man's shirt, with that design supposed to represent the RED TAB Levi's, which is all my dad would ever wear. Still doesn't look like Hick's size, though. But still worth a dollar.

What I DIDN'T know about this item, I found out on Sunday.

"How'd you like the mannequin I got at the auction for a dollar?"

"MANNEQUIN? I thought it was just the shirt!"

"It's a mannequin and a shirt."

Of course. That will be much more useful than just a shirt that doesn't fit...

Also, Hick sent a picture of another purchase:

His description for this one was: "train poster union stayion"

I'm not sure Hick understands what he bought. I don't really think that's a train poster.

Sunday, January 9, 2022


The Pony's tailbone is not even recovered from his rumpus-bouncing slalom down the metal steps of the USPS loading dock, and he has already added two more falls to his workplace accident repertoire.

Friday night, The Pony did not bring his Casey's pizza to the marred coffee table to eat while sitting on the floor and dropping greasy sausage onto my carpet (which is halfway sausage-proof, having a coating of the wax he'd spilled from my scented wax thingy).

"Oh, aren't you coming in to chat with us before your bath?"

"No. I'm eating in the kitchen, standing. I don't want to sit down until I'm in the bath. I fell again today. It was in Dad's pharmacy."

"Did them girls behind the counter see you?"

"EVERYBODY saw me! I had just stepped off the rug as I came in the door. The snow was packed in the gripper things on my shoes, and I went down on the meaty part of my hip. But at least I avoided my tailbone."

"Did they say, 'Ooooh!'"
"They were, but I jumped up and said, 'This isn't even near the worst I have fallen!'"
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah. It's sore. I'll probably have a big bruise."
On Saturday, The Pony revealed that he'd fallen again.
"Was it in the pharmacy?"
"No. But they sure didn't let me forget. One of them said, 'Oh, you're not going to fall again today, are you?' They didn't have any mail to take in today, but they always have a box out. It's for UPS, and we're not supposed to take it. But you never know if it's one for us until you ask."
"So how did you fall today?"
"I was walking down a hill. I always avoid muddy or wet areas. This was on grass, but it just gave way under my foot. I let myself fall. Rather than throw out an arm to catch myself. I didn't want to break a wrist. I landed on my side hip. You can probably see the mark."
"Yeah. That's dirt and grass stain. You should let those pants soak for 30 minutes in Tide With Bleach."
"I don't use bleach."
"It's built in! You'd better LEARN to use it."
Because, you see, The Pony seems to have a bad case of BUTTERFEET. He's one of those people who can't seem to stay upright. He's a NOT-WEEBLE. He doesn't wobble, but he does fall down!

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Baby New Year Puts in His 4 CENTS

2022 is off to a good start in the Future Pennyillionaire department. On TUESDAY, January 4, I was off to the Liquor Store for scratchers. On my way in, I spied a pavement treat awaiting my arrival. I turned around to snap its picture. 

Yes, it's really there. At the bottom edge of the picture, near the middle.

It was a face-down 2001 penny, a little rough around the edges. You would be too, if you'd been run over by drinkers and vapers and scratcher players!

I went into the store with a $40 winner, and let another customer go ahead of me. It takes a while to select scratchers. He thanked me, and bellied up to the counter with his alcohol. That's when I noticed that my good deed had been rewarded.

So much to see here! No, my reward was not the cases of Jack Daniels and Smirnoff, nor the intriguing 40-packs of shooters, or whatever those little airline size bottles of liquor are called. Try to get your attention off that cowboy's bowed legs and rumpus, and look near his boots.

TWO MORE PENNIES! Thank you, Even Steven!

On the left was a face-down 2019.

Between the cowboy's toes was a face-down 1996 penny. Of course I waited for him to leave before snapping the photos and picking them up. Val wasn't raised in a barn. Or even a BARn.

FRIDAY, January 7, I started in the Gas Station Chicken Store. I had parked in the space by the FREE AIR hose, since I was ambulating passably, and not in need of the handicap space behind me. And that's where I saw it! A PENNY waiting just for me! If I'd parked in the handicap space, I would have been on it.
I was about to get a picture, but a white sedan had stopped, pointing its nose at that handicap space. So I nabbed my rightful penny and headed inside. But just then the white sedan revved its engine, and took off out the back of the parking lot! I don't know if I was too slow while harvesting that penny, or if they'd wanted to get FREE AIR (there was still room enough in front of me). They should count their lucky stars that I didn't ample-rumpus them!

There's the fruit of my harvest, a 1973 Abe Lincoln, posed on the lid of my magical elixir. He was face-down when I rescued him from the pavement. All four pennies this week were face down. I hope that's not a GOOCHER, like in Stand By Me, the movie, based on Stephen King's short story, "The Body."

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

Penny        # 1, 2, 3, 4.
Dime             0
Nickel           0
Quarter        0

Penny        124
Dime           14
Nickel           7
Quarter          6

Friday, January 7, 2022

Neither Rain, Nor Sleet, Nor Gloom of Night, Nor One Inch of Snow...

The Pony awoke Thursday to probably the worst day of working conditions he's ever experienced. He knew ahead of time that snow was in the forecast. And bitter cold. The high temperature was 19, with the wind chill (yes, I know we have a wind-chill-denier amongst the readers) at 5 degrees. 
The Pony dressed in layers. Tight tights, fleecy tights, and his thickest khaki pants. He had a tank top (not sure what he was thinking there, with a regular t-shirt available), a long-sleeved thermal shirt, his USPS sweater, and a parka with a hood. He had the gripper gloves I got him for $2 at Country Mart. And his official USPS cap.
While I smugly settled down to nap in my OPC (Old People Chair) with the knowledge that the city would be getting the snow, with just a dusting forecast for here an hour south... the TV weathermen were likely chortling with glee. The city got next to nothing. And we got something. About an inch of powdery squeaky snow.

Neighbor Tommy called Hick to ask for a ride to work, but when Hick got there at 8:30, Tommy said he was scheduled to work at 1:00. Hick told him he'd be at Pony House then, and wasn't making a trip back. But that if the snow stopped, Tommy could probably make it in his $1000 car. I don't know how or IF Tommy got to work. But Hick is nice guy within reason, as long at it doesn't interfere with his own plans.

I had given up on getting to town, from The Pony's text at 7:48 a.m. saying the roads were slippery. But then Hick said the county road wasn't too bad, and I could probably make it. Verified by The Pony around noon.

When The Pony got home after 7:00, he said the day wasn't as bad as he expected. He'd lost one of his gloves or hot packs, but thought it might turn up in the LLV (Long Life Vehicle). Heh, heh. AS IF anybody would notice it.

Anyhoo... I asked The Pony if he'd taken the hot-pack thingies I bought him for $1 at Country Mart. It's actually 2 for $1, since you cut them apart, one for each hand. He said that he forgot, BUT...

"We had a safety meeting this morning, and THEY GAVE US EACH TWO HOT PACKS, AND GRIPPERS FOR OUR SHOES!"

Oh, the swag that boy accumulates at taxpayer expense! Thank you, all who are not deadbeats!

Anyhoo... The Pony got one of his HotHands out of his pocket. It was still hot! He let me have it to take down to my frigid basement lair. I hope he has more tomorrow! They are supposed to last 8 hours. The Pony said he activated his at 10:00, when he had his mail ready for his route. That little HotHand kept my digits warm until midnight:30.

It was like a tiny beanbag in a paper wrapper. There's my lucky scratching quarter, to show the size of the HotHands. Like The Pony said: "I figured I might as well take their free ones, instead of using the ones you bought." Except that he'd already forgotten to take the ones I bought.

I wish I would have taken a picture of the shoe grippers! They're rubber, with the grippy rounded spikes on the bottom. Kind of like a mesh stretchy thing that fits over the shoe sole. AND it has a REFLECTOR on the heel! The Pony took a Large, but if he uses his other shoes, he's going to get an Extra Large. I suppose he'll leave the grippers on for Friday, since the parking lots and I imagine many sidewalks will have the packed-down inch of snow.

We didn't get any mail today. I guess there are no grippy thingies for car tires of the rural carriers.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Hick Porks Out, and The Pony is Buffaloed

Thevictorians had their annual after-Christmas casino trip on December 29. Not exactly a CasinoPalooza, since time was limited. So no Oklahoma red-screen bandits for us this year. We haven't been out there since March 2020. Maybe one day we'll go again.

Genius and Friend were in from Pittsburgh, and my sister the ex-ex-mayor's wife, and her husband the ex-ex-mayor, went along with us. All in separate cars, of course. The Pony was given this requested date as a weekly day off, so no time lost. We only drove 90 minutes to Casino Town, down on the Mississippi River.

Lunch was calmer this time, since Sis did NOT insist on getting BBQ sauce with her burger. Her nose was a bit out of joint because while they were all standing around outside the grill where we met up to have lunch, I said, "I'm getting in line before other people show up. I can't stand for along time." Of course the rest of the crew followed me, and since Hick was paying for everyone but Sis and Ex-Ex-Mayor, the boys had to come up behind me.

"Oh. I guess we'll wait until ALL OF YOU order."

"Yes. That's why I got in line first."

"Oh, go ahead. It doesn't matter."

Huh. It obviously DID matter, but since I WAS in line first, while they were chewing the fat out in the casino, it was only fair that we went ahead. Unless Sis wanted to pay for three boys' food. Besides, it's not like it would have been quick if I let Sis go ahead. She is notorious for asking, "What comes on that? Can I substitute? Are chips the same price as fries? Can I get BBQ sauce with that?"

Anyhoo... there was a new special that I was tempted to get when I saw the sign. But I stuck with my Catfish Nuggets and tater tots. Genius had Catfish Nuggets and fries, Friend had the Grilled Chicken Sandwich with fries, The Pony had a Cheeseburger with fries, and HICK GOT THE SPECIAL. It was a Pork Loin Po' Boy. He was at the end of our line, but The Pony told me later,

"Of course Dad called it a Pork Boy!"

I would have loved to try a bite, but it was COMPLETELY GONE before I could offer to trade a Catfish Nugget. The Pony is lucky he got this picture without losing a couple fingers. 

Most of us lost minimal money at the casino, although Hick was the biggest loser, leaving behind his Christmas bankroll that I provided as this year's gift. I only left 1/10 of my casino bankroll behind. I had a great time playing a Wonder 4 Miss Kitty. No big bonuses, but several of the lower end type.

Here it is adding up. The total bonus was $137.85. I was hoping to hit that GRAND jackpot on the wheel spin, but no such luck. 

The Pony was losing a lot when we had lunch. He had trimmed down his bets. He went back to play Buffalo Chief, I think. I got a text from him that he'd hit a bonus. I found out later what kind!

Here is the screen where The Pony's bonus is adding up. Do you see that green square on the left, that says MAJOR? Yeah, that was behind one of the gold coins that triggered the bonus. Here's another picture showing the actual amount of the MAJOR up top.

See there? The MAJOR was $750!!! And The Pony was betting the minimum on that game, of 80 cents per spin. He was the day's big winner. Genius also won a pretty good jackpot on this Buffalo game. About half that amount. I can't win on it. I was fine with Miss Kitty.