Saturday, April 30, 2022

Five of One, One-Twelfth Dozen of Another

Hot dog! Val hit the jackpot on the week after she returned from CasionoPalooza!

SATURDAY, April 23, a penny was waiting for me when I walked into Orb K.

I gave up my place in line at the check-out maze to pause for a photo.

It was a heads-up 2018 penny, all shiny and meant just for me!

SUNDAY, April 24, I got in line to buy scratchers at the Backroads Casey's, and spied a special treat over in the pizza-ordering area.

Of course I lost my place in line when I stepped over to take a closeup.

It was a face-down 2015 penny. Worth the extra wait in line. 
Happy with my new treasure, I headed over to Country Mart for bananas, bread, Diet Mountain Dew, and a couple of salads from the deli. When I came out, NOBODY was parked in the handicap spaces on the way to T-Hoe. So I could walk across that expanse with my cart, as a short-cut to T-Hoe's rear.

If cars had been parked there as usual, I never would have found this penny meant just for me.

It was a chiseled, heads-up 2017 penny, showing an angular Abe Lincoln.

MONDAY, April 25, my luck continued. I was headed to Sis-Town for errands, but made my first stop at the Gas Station Chicken Store.

While ruded out of my rightful turn at the counter, I spied a coin on the beer display as I waited. Yes, those pastries on the cardboard Hostess display look good enough to eat!

It was a heads-up 2013 quarter, the South Dakota version, which showed Mount Rushmore on the back. I suppose I was meant to be line-butted, so I could have time to take a picture and harvest my second quarter of 2022.

I continued on my quest to get gas for T-Hoe, and buy some stamps at the main post office. Over in Sis-Town, I went in the Casey's to pre-pay my gas, and spied a penny at the unused register. Of course I took it!

Good thing nobody was paying there, with a fat foot on my coin!

It was a face-down 2020 penny. I'm pretty sure the cashier was annoyed that I was taking a picture, and bending down to pick it up while telling her the numbers of the scratchers that I was buying. She needs to get over it. After all, I spent $40 on gas for T-Hoe that wasn't even half a tank!
WEDNESDAY, April 27, luck happened right in front of me! I was patiently waiting, at a respectable distance, behind a lady getting scratchers out of the left lottery machine at Country Mart. A guy walked by the right machine, and DROPPED A PENNY ON HIS WAY OUT THE DOOR!
He didn't come back, so I figured it was fair game. I certainly wanted to snatch it before some old man walked by and picked it up, like the last time I had my eye on a penny in that location, and didn't claim it immediately.

It was a heads-up 1994 penny. Funny how my phone can take a detailed picture like this, yet such a poor photo of the whole scene as shown above. Other times it will take the long shot, but not the closeup. I'm pretty sure my phone is conspiring against me.
That's 6 COINS, for 30 CENTS this week towards Val's Future Pennyillionaire Fortune.


Penny          # 33, 34, 35, 36, 37.
Dime            still at 4.
Nickel          still at 1.
Quarter       # 2.

Penny        124
Dime           14
Nickel           7
Quarter          6

Friday, April 29, 2022

CasinoPalooza 4: Sis Tries Her Casino Restaurant BBQ Sauce Tactic Again

Do you remember when my sister the ex-ex-mayor's wife tried to con a casino restaurant employee out of some BBQ sauce for her burger? I wouldn't so much term it "conning." She DID buy a burger. You'd think BBQ sauce is a common enough condiment that it can be added to a burger. Seems that some waitstaff are just contrary about a customer asking for anything not specifically listed on the menu...

Last Tuesday, on the first night of CasinoPalooza, we had dinner at the restaurant inside High Winds Casino, in Miami, Oklahoma. That's pronounced MY AM UH. To save you from future embarrassment... Anyhoo, it was Two For Tuesday. Hick and The Pony wanted the 2 for $22 Sirloin Special. I am not a steak person. So I didn't feel at all left out by not being included. Ex-Ex-Mayor also partook of the steak. I had the Chopped Steak with mushroom gravy. And Sis... well... Sis asked for the Frito Chili Pie.

Let the record show that the Frito Chili Pie is listed on the $5 Specials Menu. "House-Made Chili atop a pile of Frito Corn Chips with Shredded Cheese." These specials are served Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. We ordered dinner at 7:30 pm.
Like Oliver Twist imploring Mr. Bumble for more gruel, or a gambler asking a waitress for BBQ sauce on her burger, Sis pushed the envelope.

"I know it's past time for the $5 special, but could I have the Frito Chili Pie?"


"I'm willing to pay extra. For the price of a dinner. I just really want the Frito Chili Pie."
"We have the chili. But we don't have any Fritos."
"No. I don't want chili. I'd like to have the Frito Chili Pie."

"We can't do it."
"You don't really have anything else I want. I guess I'll take the Meat Lover's Omelet."
As soon as the waitress disappeared into the kitchen, we started ribbing Sis.
"You KNOW they have Fritos! She just didn't want to serve you a Frito Chili Pie. She would have needed to go ask someone about the price. And the restaurant closes at 9:00. So she didn't want to bother."
"Yeah. They sell Frito Chili Pie until 4:00. THEN what happens? Do the Fritos turn into PUMPKINS? She didn't say they RAN OUT of Fritos! She just said they didn't have them. That's suspicious."
"She's probably back in the kitchen, stuffing Fritos in her mouth! What if she comes back with crumbs around her lips?"
We definitely did not believe that waitress's story. Then again, Sis has a tendency to bring out the worst in her servers...

So Sis settled on the Meat Lover's Omelet, with hash browns and toast. Of course she was not happy with it. That omelet was HUGE! XXM estimated that it had about 6 eggs in it. Sis ate some off the top, and gave XXM and Hick each a large slice of eggs. They were happy to have steak n eggs for dinner.
"I wish they had mixed the meat in with the eggs, like a normal omelet. Rather than plopping the meat on the egg, and folding it over. It's like a big sandwich with egg on the outside and meat on the inside."

In fact, Sis could not finish her omelet, but she definitely did not go hungry. It was a large portion.

Here is Hick's sirloin:

He ordered it cooked medium. You can see some of the eggs Sis had given him. The special came with a large salad, and a baked potato. I wish I had gotten a picture of the salad. In fact, I wished I had gotten a salad! I looked delicious, and was in a bowl the size of that steak plate. Hick had the Ranch dressing. XXM had Thousand Island. And The Pony asked for a Caesar Salad. 

I didn't get pictures of XXM's food, but he's the one responsible for getting us rolls. I think they were supposed to come with the dinners. Only The Pony had a roll on his plate! Hick noticed, and mentioned it. So when the waitress came back with the A-1 Sauce that XXM asked for, XXM asked why only The Pony had a roll with his dinner. So the waitress brought us a plate of 4 rolls.

Sunday, you'll see my plate. And The Pony's.

Emergency At a Non-Gas-Station Chicken Store
The Hotel Refuses to Give Val the Boot
Did Hick Make a Payoff to Try to Kill Val?
Sis Tries Her Casino Restaurant BBQ Sauce Tactic Again [with food photos]
An Emo Guy Almost Lames The Pony [with food photos]
Sis Should Be Careful What She Asks For [with food photos]
Val's Pulsating Weirdo Magnet
Hick, the Law-Abiding Stickler

Thursday, April 28, 2022

CasinoPalooza 3: Did Hick Make a Payoff to Try to Kill Val?

We met up with my sister the ex-ex-mayor's wife, and the ex-ex-mayor, to drive together separately to some other casinos. Sometimes we all go in one car, but with The Pony along, it would have meant he was relegated to the third seat of A-Cad. So we just followed one another.
Our first stop is always Outpost Casino, in Wyandotte, Oklahoma. That's pronounced WINE DOT, to save you from future embarrassment. Heh, heh. That's what a 9th-grader once told me after I said LOON AR in reference to an eclipse, when contrasting it with SO LAR. She was a stickler for pronunciation, emphasis be darned, and was upset that I didn't say LOON er. Of course I know how to pronounce them correctly in passing, but not when choosing to emphasize their differences. At least I knew ONE student was paying attention!

Anyhoo... Outpost Casino is small. I told Hick and The Pony that I thought I could go without my cane inside. We don't stay long, there's not much walking, and I could grab onto a seat-back if needed, to steady myself.

"NO! You NEED your cane! Your leg is hurt!" So I took it. 

We went our separate ways, The Pony promising to find me after playing his first slot, and go to the soda fountain and bring me a Diet Pepsi/Cherry Pepsi beverage. Of course I'd prefer Diet Coke, but they don't have it. I can tolerate Diet Pepsi with a dash of Cherry Pepsi added at the end. We'd been driving all that way, so I try not to consume liquids on the 5-hour trip.

Before we left Outpost (me with a $140 profit), I told them I wanted to stop by the bathroom. While the rest of my entourage waited up by the door, I caned my way into the tiled open hallway that led to the women's side of the restrooms.


A maintenance lady was standing at the entrance! Leaning on a Swiffer-thing.

"Be careful, honey. I just mopped. It might be slick."

I swear I never realized so much moisture could come out of a Swiffer-thing. It looked like Maintenance Lady had overturned a mop bucket. Not just a Carol Burnett Scrubwoman bucket, but the giant industrial yellow version on wheels. That entire floor looked like it had at least 1/4 inch of standing water on it!

And here I was with my cane! Not sure-footed. Yet I wanted to use the facilities before we left. The handicap stall was right in front of me. OF COURSE I planned to use the handicap stall! I had an oozing hole in my left leg!

Such a dilemma. Yet I needed to go before I went. With Hick and the gang, of course. I wasn't about to pee my already-wet pants. But it was a 20-minute drive to our next casino. Not prudent to wait, because like Uncle Joe at the Shady Rest Hotel, I was movin' kind of slow.

I gingerly caned myself across a five-foot expanse of wet tile to the handicap stall. Which was ALSO covered with the same depth of (hopefully) mop-water. I did not slip. Which was a good thing, because I briefly envisioned myself falling, writhing in a stew of disinfectant, pee, and poop-water! Perhaps getting stuck on my back like a turtle, while my open wound slurped up harmful bacteria all willy-nilly.

Just when I was congratulating myself on not-falling, and keeping my leg-hole as pristine as possible in leaky bandage and gauze... I realized that when I sat on the throne, MY PANTS WOULD BE AROUND MY ANKLES! Wicking up that wicked moisture!

Oh, well. Watcha gonna do? I had to take my chances.

Here's the thing. I've NEVER seen so much water on a bathroom floor after a routine mopping. WHERE did all that liquid come from? Not a little Swiffer-thing, surely. Maybe Maintenance Lady was doing touch-up. Perhaps trying to reverse-mop that floor and soak up some of the water.

I'd like to see the surveillance camera of the time we were in Outpost Casino. Just in case Hick was observed chatting with Maintenance Lady. Perhaps something changed hands. It could certainly explain where Hick's money disappeared at Outpost Casino...

Emergency At a Non-Gas-Station Chicken Store
The Hotel Refuses to Give Val the Boot
Did Hick Make a Payoff to Try to Kill Val?
Sis Tries Her Casino Restaurant BBQ Sauce Tactic Again [with food photos]
An Emo Guy Almost Lames The Pony [with food photos]
Sis Should Be Careful What She Asks For [with food photos]
Val's Pulsating Weirdo Magnet
Hick, the Law-Abiding Stickler

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

CasinoPalooza 2: The Hotel Refuses to Give Val the Boot

My oozing open wound having been doctored by The Pony at the rest area, we continued the 90 minutes to our destination.

About 20 minutes from Downstream Casino, I said, "It feels like something is trickling down leg." I reached down to touch the gouged-out area, and my left pants leg was soaking wet. "Now what am I supposed to do? I only brought two pair of pants! Wait. At least my hand isn't bloody. It's just wet. Maybe plasma. Or lymph. Rushing to the injury. But the pants are soaked all the way down to the ankle."
"Maybe the black pants won't be as noticeable as the blue ones were, Mom. And it's not blood. Just clear fluid."

When we arrived at Downstream Casino, Sis and XXM had been there about 30 minutes. Hick dropped off The Pony and me with the luggage, to check in while he parked. They have a valet, but it takes way too long to get your car when you want to leave.

Anyhoo... I had taken a cane with me, just in case my knees hurt too bad during the casino-hopping. "Pony. Hand me that cane. My legs are stiff, and I have that hole in the left one. So I'm not taking a chance on falling!"

Pony pulled two suitcases, and I had my own. I went to the counter first, and got my room. 2423. WAIT! No way did they have 24 floors! But then the gal said to go to the 4th floor, and I figured it was because we were in Tower 2, the newer one, and the 2 was for Room 423 in Tower 2. The Pony got room 2422. I sent a text to Sis, who said they were in Room 2415. When we got upstairs, it turned out that Sis had the room right by the elevator, and ours was at the end of the hall! Just more walking for me! Which I mentioned to Sis when we met up.

"I guess I should have waited until later to get our reservations. I bet they fill up the rooms from the end of the hall first. I know you waited a day or two after me to get yours."

"They don't assign them when you reserve them. When we came in, they asked us which floor we wanted. She said they didn't have anything on 2 or 3. Then she gave us 2415."

"Why did YOU get a room right off the elevator?"

"I don't know. We didn't ask for it. Maybe she saw that XXM was wearing that walking boot for his Achilles, and thought he needed one without much walking."

"I was hobbling on a FREAKIN' CANE, with a HOLE in my leg, OOZING FLUID down my pants leg!!!"

I don't know the logic for room assignments, but I didn't ask for a room close to the elevators. Then again, neither did Sis and XXM.

To skip ahead a bit, let the record show that housekeeping might start looking for a body! I did my best to NOT mess up the bedspread and sheets and mattress with my oozy leg. I can't exactly stop my life-force from flowing! My leg stayed wrapped up. I took off the bedspread. I folded two towels to place where my leg would lay. I know they bleach their towels and sheets. Every time we stay there, my eyes get all red from sleeping on the pillowcases.

It's not like I had anything else to use. I slept in my sweatpants the first night, and pajama pants the second night. My leg continued to leak fluid. Mostly clear, with a slight pink tinge at the edges. Good thing we put the DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door like we always do. We don't need our beds changed after one night. There were enough towels, even with using two for my gooshy leg. While we were out, I hung them on the back of the chairs to dry, and used them again the next night. Then piled them with the dirty towels on the bathroom floor. Surely they use gloves to pick up other people's soiled towels! My leg juice is probably one of the cleaner things that could be on those towels...

Anyhoo... nobody knew until we had already left. So Val didn't get kicked out for making the room a biohazard!

Emergency At a Non-Gas-Station Chicken Store
The Hotel Refuses to Give Val the Boot
Did Hick Make a Payoff to Try to Kill Val?
Sis Tries Her Casino Restaurant BBQ Sauce Tactic Again [with food photos]
An Emo Guy Almost Lames The Pony [with food photos]
Sis Should Be Careful What She Asks For [with food photos]
Val's Pulsating Weirdo Magnet
Hick, the Law-Abiding Stickler

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

CasinoPalooza 1: Emergency at a Non-Gas-Station Chicken Store

We met up with Sis and Ex-Ex-Mayor to travel separately together to CasinoPalooza. Sis wanted to stop for lunch at a Lee's Chicken about 2 hours into our 5-hour journey. We've stopped there before. It's in Genius's college town. The parking lot was full with the lunch rush, but Hick nosed A-Cad into an almost-parking-space at the very end of the row, next to a fire rescue truck. Sis and XXM were left to circle the building and find their own almost-parking-space in a spot where the parking lines had been painted over black. She told me this later. We had no visual contact with them.

I slid out of A-Cad, trying to hurry my stiffened knees so Hick and The Pony would not run off from me. They do this by walking at a normal pace, thinking I am behind them. I turned toward the building, which was behind us, and gave A-Cad's door a hefty pull to close it against the force of gravity, since we were pointing down a slight hill.


My left leg didn't move fast enough. The pointy metal corner at the bottom of A-Cad's door hit the fleshy part of my calf. It hurt like the dickens.

"I just closed the door on my leg. I think I might be hurt. It feels like something dripping down."

Hick and The Pony had been waiting at A-Cad's rear. The Pony ran around and got behind me to take a look. 

"Um. This is not good. Your pants leg is soaked with blood, and it's pouring out."

Hick moved a little faster to get a look. He hurried to open the hatch. "Here, Pony. Here's some wipes. You can bend down better than me. Wipe it off so we can see how bad it is."

"I think I can get my pants leg up, but you'll have to pull on it."

The Pony shimmied the pants leg up, and again said, "This is not good." He wiped and wiped. "Blood keeps pouring out. I can't stop it. I think you need a doctor."

"We can go to an urgent care."

"I'm not going to an urgent care. I have some of those big bandaids in my suitcase."

"Mom. I think you'll need more than that..."

Hick got out the bandaids. The Pony wiped and slapped two of the 2x4 inch bandaids over the wound. We all gathered at A-Cad's rear to wash the blood off our hands.

"I don't really want to go in like this, with blood all down my pants leg."

"Your sister is waiting for us. We'll go in. Does it hurt?"

"Not as bad as you might think."

"Maybe people won't notice, Mom, if they don't look at your leg."

So we went in and ordered. Pony had some hot spicy chicken strips, Hick had a 3-piece dinner, and I had the chicken livers and slaw. Which I'd planned on, even before I knew I'd need the iron to replace the massive blood loss from my leg wound! Sis was sympathetic, but didn't act like it was a big deal. "We could see you out the door. I said, 'It looks like they're standing in the parking lot washing their hands.'" They were willing to wait for me to find an urgent care, but I was having none of that.

"I have pants in the car, but I couldn't exactly change in the parking lot. I could have Pony go get them, and I can change in the bathroom here. It's by the door."

"I don't think you should change yet, Mom. Just in case."

"Yeah. We'll stop by a Walmart, and Pony can go in and get some gauze bandages and that sticky tape stuff. We'll get it wrapped up at the rest area, and you can change there."

With that plan, Sis and XXM went on their merry way, to stop for some sight-seeing of a Bonnie and Clyde apartment in Joplin, MO, and then to meet up with us at Downstream Casino. I didn't realize that the rest area was 90 minutes away! I thought it was just south of town. Anyhoo... The Pony bought medical supplies, with the purpose being to re-clean my leg, apply triple antibiotic ointment, slap on two big bandaids, cover them with two 4x6 inch gauze pads, and wrap the whole area with the stretchy stuff they use to hold on your gauze pad after a blood draw.

"How am I going to do this? In the handicap stall? I can't even see it! It's on the back of my leg. Pony can't go in there with me!"

"You two go in the Family Restroom."

"I'll have to take off my pants! They won't fit down over all the bandaging."

"You have on a long shirt. I'm assuming you are wearing underwear! The Pony isn't going to see anything. He'll be working on your leg. You can go to the bathroom before he comes in."

So that's how it went. I leaned on the sink, and rinsed out the leg of my pants while The Pony cleaned up my leg and put on the bandages. Poor Pony. He doesn't do well with blood. But he's more nimble than Hick for working from the floor. He actually did a good job of covering up the wound. 

It took forever to rinse that blood out of my pants leg. I swear I lost half a cup of blood. It took a long time for the water to run clear. Then I had to rinse and wipe out the sink. It looked like a crime scene! While we were inside, somebody knocked on the door! "There's someone in here!" I hollered. My heart was racing like I had committed an actual crime.

We stretched my former pants across the suitcases, so the leg could dry out in the sun. Which promptly went behind the clouds. In hindsight, I would have rolled up that leg in the car window, and let it flap to dry!
And thus ends ACT I of our CasinoPalooza Dramedy...

Emergency At a Non-Gas-Station Chicken Store
The Hotel Refuses to Give Val the Boot
Did Hick Make a Payoff to Try to Kill Val?
Sis Tries Her Casino Restaurant BBQ Sauce Tactic Again [with food photos]
An Emo Guy Almost Lames The Pony [with food photos]
Sis Should Be Careful What She Asks For [with food photos]
Val's Pulsating Weirdo Magnet
Hick, the Law-Abiding Stickler

Monday, April 25, 2022

Have I Got a Story ( Or 8) For You!

Last week, The Pony was off for his mandatory break before starting his second year as a CCA (City Carrier Assistant). He had been wanting a CasinoPalooza trip with my sister the ex-ex-mayor's wife and the ex-ex-mayor. We couldn't go at Christmas because of The Pony's work schedule. I had a free night plus a $59 night, and everyone else had $59 nights at Downstream Casino, which is in Quapaw, Oklahoma. So off we went on Tuesday, with plans to stay two nights.
Such an eventful trip! I have plenty of stories to tell. They will basically be chronological, with tentative titles below. Don't think we got rich! That's not the story. I came back with $413 added to my casino bankroll, but everyone else lost a little or a lot. It's hard to hang onto your money when you're in six casinos over two days! I would have been happy to come home EVEN STEVEN, but had some luck, and some good sense in when to cash out and save small jackpots.
Here's my biggest win of the trip:
That's at the end of my bonus. Good ol' SPARTACUS! I had put in a $20, and after only a short amount of play at $1 a spin, I hit the bonus. WOOHOO! Thanks to the ex-ex-mayor, who stopped me mid-play to have a disagreement on when we were having supper. I told him I had just sat down to play, and would be ready as soon as I finished my cup of free hot chocolate. Without that interaction, my timing would not have garnered me this $600.45 bonus. This was at High Winds Casino near Miami, Oklahoma.

Anyhoo... the tales of our CasinoPalooza will begin tomorrow:

Emergency At a Non-Gas-Station Chicken Store
The Hotel Refuses to Give Val the Boot
Did Hick Make a Payoff to Try to Kill Val?
Sis Tries Her Casino Restaurant BBQ Sauce Tactic Again [with food photos]
An Emo Guy Almost Lames The Pony [with food photos]
Sis Should Be Careful What She Asks For [with food photos]
Val's Pulsating Weirdo Magnet
Hick, the Law-Abiding Stickler

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Kind of an Epilogue to the Last Chapter on Pony House

Pony House still needs some fine-tuning and outside beautification, but it's essentially done. It's being safely lived-in now by The Pony. However... that giant pecan tree still loomed in the side yard. 

Hick should have heeded his initial assessment of that Tree-Trimmer Guy. Even though he pushed that dude to get insurance and show proof, and sign a "contract" agreeing to the terms of the pecan tree removal... his worst fears were realized.


The last time he was there, Hick gave him the rest ($1000, of the original $3250) of the money so he could rent a man-lift to reach some of the upper limbs more safely than climbing up a ladder and shinnying out too far. Tree-Trimmer Guy didn't get all the work done that day. He had to return the man-lift to get his deposit back.

Hick never saw him again. Tree-Trimmer Guy at first said he was coming back to finish, but according to the neighbor, he showed up one day for about a half-hour and left. Hick has not heard from him since, despite numerous texts inquiring as to the completion of the labor, or the refund of $600 for the uncompleted work.

You're shocked, I'm sure.

Finally Hick talked to a buddy of his, who said he could get the trunk down on the ground for $$300-$400. Hick jumped on that deal.

There's that behemoth, on the side of the house next to the neighbor. As Hick said, "I'm really glad it's down." Yeah. Imagine that falling on Pony House!

This is kind of the same view, but showing more of the distal end of that pecan tree. 

Here's more, showing the side of the garage that needs extreme TLC. Hick will cut up the trunk, with a little help from his friends, who want some of the pecan wood for smoking meat and making furniture stuff like cabinet panels.

The best part of this deal is: the buddy of Hick did the job BEFORE being paid for it. Saw a picture Hick sent him by text, got the address, went by to look at it, and did the job the next day. Said he will stop by Hick's Storage Unit Store to pick up his cash.

That's because unlike SOME PEOPLE, Hick is a man of his word.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Three COINS if You're Doubtin'

Let's just say "It was an eventful week."

SATURDAY, April 16, I found my favorite parking space available at Country Mart, and on the way in, a little friend was waiting in my path.

There it is, beside the middle of the three penny-sized spots on the sidewalk.

It was a heads-up 1996 penny, which was rewarded with a ride home in my shirt pocket.
TUESDAY, April 19, we took off for Oklahoma on a CasinoPalooza. After The Pony and I checked in and got our room keycards, Hick joined us after parking A-Cad. As we wheeled our suitcases toward the elevator, I had to call a halt.
"WAIT! Look what I found!"
Don't be distracted by Hick's lower half in his dad-jeans, nor the tip of The Pony's new mail-delivering shoe he was breaking in. That's a QUARTER, baby! In the light blue section of tile.

It was a face-down 1974 quarter, out of focus on the mosaic tile of Downstream Casino.

WEDNESDAY, April 20, we took a jaunt to a new casino 30 miles away, in Kansas. As I stood up from the second slot I played, I looked down to see:

A DIME on the carpet at my feet! So strange, because this casino, Kansas Crossing, had signs posted that due to a coin shortage, they would pay OVER the face value if you brought in your coins to trade in. Too bad Hick didn't haul his chamber pot full of silver out to Kansas!

So very special, this face-down 1999 dime, waiting for me in a casino with a coin shortage that does not give back coins from the ticket-cashing machines, but only if you wait in line for a cashier to redeem your ticket.

That's 3 COINS this week, for 36 CENTS towards Val's Future Pennyillionaire Fortune.


Penny          # 32.
Dime            # 4.
Nickel          still at 1.
Quarter       # 1.

Penny        124
Dime           14
Nickel           7
Quarter          6

Friday, April 22, 2022

No HazMat Suit Was Issued

When The Pony started working at the post office, he was given a little kit of accoutrements to facilitate his delivery efficiency.

- nylon mail pouch for carrying the mail
- mail cap
- strap-on headlamp
- medium pump bottle of Purell hand sanitizer 
- bright orange reflective vest for wear after dark
- bottle of pepper spray in case of dog attack
- gallon water jug (blue) with handle (not insulated, about the thickness of a Solo cup)

He was NOT issued a HazMat suit! Sure, you might not think he'd need such protective gear. Until maybe you've noticed the condition of those LLVs (Long Life Vehicles). No, The Pony was surviving just fine without a HazMat suit until last week.

"Oh, Mom. I've got another picture to show you. See what you think."

"I don't get it. Was it too big? Was it awkward?"

"Nooo... look at it!"

"I am. I even have my glasses on. But I don't know what's so special about it."

"It's LEAKING! That's what we do to packages that are leaking. Put them in a bag. I told my supervisor that I couldn't deliver it."

"What's in it?"

"I don't know. If I had to guess, I'd say maybe some kind of soap or shampoo or cleaner. So it's not THAT bad. Like the one a guy who's worked there a while told me about. Apparently, some guy used to mail a dead raccoon! With the guts and everything still in it! He did it TWICE! So it wasn't an accident!"

"Heh, heh. Like you could accidentally mail a dead raccoon carcass."

"They think maybe he was sending it to his ex. Because both times, it was going to the same address."

"Well. I was thinking maybe he was sending it to somebody who does taxidermy, or wants the skin or tail."

"No. We're pretty sure it was a REVENGE package!"
"So what do they do with those kind of packages?"
"They call or leave a note for the person it's addressed to, and tell them their package is leaking and can't be delivered, and see if they want to pick it up. That raccoon ruined a whole CART of mail! So they had to try and contact a lot of people. But sometimes they can't find an address, if the leakage makes the ink dissolve."

Good to know. In case my dead raccoon never arrives...

Thursday, April 21, 2022

You Won't Find THIS at the End of the Rainbow

With CasinoPalooza approaching, and Val having a death grip on the household purse strings... Hick was left to his own devices in procuring a casino bankroll. He is loathe to spend his own money. Even his Storage Unit Store money. In the past, I swear Hick tried to gamble for three days in seven casinos on a single twenty dollar bill.
Last Thursday, he decided to cash in his stash of coins. Oh, not his giant red plastic Coke bottle full of pennies, or the overflow that's now being deposited in a large plastic pink pig. No, this was his glass jar with a springy lid container full of quarters, and the glass carafe-looking vessel not-full of dimes. 
I know this, because I heard the most annoying racket while I was trying to get my beauty sleep at 7:00 a.m. If I'm not looking quite as beautiful as you always assumed, HICK IS THE REASON! I first though he was filling a metal washtub with ice from FRIG II's dispenser. Perhaps to take to The Pony, who had said that his own ice maker had made brown ice from the water line that had just been connected with city service after a couple years.

A few hours later, Hick sent me a picture that cleared up the mystery.

"Cashed in my change at the bank. $562.10."

That should keep him going for a while. I imagine it was kind of heavy to carry. I hope they put it through the coin counter, and that nobody had to count and roll it by hand. Especially after Hick further stated:

"I didn't tell the gal that it was in a chamber pot."

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

They're a Resourceful Bunch

The Pony seems unfazed by those LLVs (Long Life Vehicles) that appear to be held together solely by the filth that has accumulated over the decades. And by the bent stair rail that resulted in a spine-jarring spill on the wet steps from the loading dock. Of course, The Pony is not one to get overly-excited. However, he WAS impressed by something he saw in the employee restroom:

"We have that really cheap thin toilet paper on the giant rolls that don't fit on a dispenser. So somebody took an Amazon box, and a pencil, and made their own dispenser."

Looks functional to me.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Pony House Done: Bathroom 2

Bathroom 2 of Pony House was a small room off the back porch.
Hick built Bathroom 2 from the ground up. Literally. It was down to the bare ground after he tore out the existing floor to put in new floor joists.
Hick stole the floor from wall boards he took off Bedroom 2. He used it first, then insulation, then OSB board (plywood), then laminate flooring. So there are four layers to the floor of Bathroom 2. Hick started with the shower corner.

Not an easy feat, perching himself on the floor boards stolen from the walls of Bedroom 2!

Bathroom 2 is essentially done, thought it needs a bit of fine-tuning.

The view from the door of Bedroom 2. Floor is done, toilet has been working since early in the project, so Hick could have an option closer than Casey's if he was feeling a bit indisposed. The jugs are filled with water he brought from home, to put in the toilet tank for flushing, before city water was hooked up. I'm not a fan of Hick's addition of the shelf under the mirror, but The Pony okayed the project.

The vanity and medicine cabinet are also done. All that's needed is a bit of caulking, and the trim along the floor. 
Pony House has been an adventure. It was Hick's second "flip" project. HOS (Hick's Oldest Son) helped with renovations of the $5000 house, and purchased it with such labor, and the trade of a 32-foot 2011 Forest River RV. Hick is at his best when he has a project to work on. He has mentioned the possibility of buying another flip house to sell. I'm not so sure...

The Pony has moved into Pony House, and is living the high life in his safe, livable house. 
His rent-to-purchase payments start May 1st!

This concludes our Pony House odyssey, until there are any updates on the exterior improvements. Don't hold your breath! We have depleted the Pony House budget for now.

Monday, April 18, 2022

Pony House Done: Bedroom 2

Bedroom 2 of Pony House used to be entered through the Kitchen. This seemed like an odd arrangement, even to Hick. So he closed off the kitchen/bedroom portal, and put in a new entrance to Bedroom 2 by creating a short hallway past the Laundry Room.

Here is Bedroom 2, looking from the Kitchen. The Pony's new refrigerator would be located in the area on the right of this opening, which is now closed. You can see Bathroom 2 in the back right corner, and the area that is now a covered back porch through those 2x4s.

Still standing in the kitchen, here's the wall where the previous flipper had framed to cover over with drywall. Hick made it the new door to get to Bedroom 2.

This area became the hallway to Bedroom 2. The left side was closed in to make the Laundry Room. The new water heater sits where the furnace was. The new furnace has its own room, off the Kitchen, where a corner of the large Living Room was used.
Sadly, neither Hick nor Pony show much love for Bedroom 2. I had to scramble to find a picture. Or two. One of them shows a brief glimpse of Bedroom 2, in the background of this hallway.
Yeah. Hick loves his paint more than he loves Bedroom 2. You can at least see that the walls and ceiling and window are done. And there's the tiny thin door used for a tiny thin cabinet to cover the main electric box for Pony House.
Here's a picture showing off the floor of Bedroom 2, and the finished closet and door. The closet is on the right, the bedroom door to the hall is on the left. The drywall is hung, but still needed taping and paint. This angle was from the door of Bathroom 2.

Not sure what The Pony was showing me in this picture of Bedroom 2. Maybe that the floors were done. Maybe that Hick had taken over the room as his workshop. There's one of the rugs rolled up under the window.

Such a dearth of show-offy pictures. It seems that Bedroom 2 is the red-headed stepchild of Pony House!

TOMORROW: We conclude our tour of Pony House with Bathroom 2.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Pony House Done: Half Bath and Laundry Room

Considering that the Half Bath and Laundry Room did not even exist as rooms in the initial walk-through of Pony House, I'd say Hick did a fine job.
This little alcove was it, with that doorway (leading into the new Master Bath) blocked off.

There's Hick's buddy, framing the wall that will have the sliding door. The opposite wall of the hallway hasn't been built yet, but there's the back door.

The toilet is set in place, to see how the plumbing needs to go.

Here you can see the Half Bath location (toilet sitting sideways for some reason). 
Extreme closeup of finished toilet in the Half Bath.
And the sink/mirror, which was completed before the toilet install.
And the unfinished sliding door, that now has barnwood-print stick-on paper to dress it up, plus metal hinge-looking hardware, which Hick is dragging his feet about completing.
Across from the Half Bath is the Laundry Room.

There's The Pony's new washer/dryer and water heater in the laundry room. They didn't give me a better picture.

TOMORROW: Bedroom 2

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Cinco CENTavos For Val

It was a very good week! The land was flowing with not-filth and pennies.

SATURDAY, April 9, a tardy penny was waiting for me in Orb K, after I'd already put last week's edition of the Saturday CENTSus to bed.

There he lay, so enticing, under the close watch of the Doritos. It looks like somebody finally swept the floor of Orb K!

It was a blurry 2011 penny, showing his tail.

TUESDAY, April 12, my old stomping ground the Liquor Store did not disappoint.

A penny was waiting for me at the door! You might say IN the door...

It was a face-down 1995 penny.

Even Steven continued to smile on me WEDNESDAY, April 13, at Country Mart.

How convenient, right there by the right-side lottery machine!

It was the week's only heads-up penny, a 2017 version.

Val had no shortage of luck on THURSDAY, April 14. It was errand day, with several stops.

Thank goodness that customer did not see the penny hiding under the corner of that candy bag! I had taken my first photo when she completed her transaction, and the clerk had the NERVE to say she could help me at the next register! I had to give up my position to a man who was waiting behind me. Thankfully, HE was also not a penny-finder!

It was a face-down 1996 penny, which caused an ample-rumpusing for several line-waiters.

The luck continued at my last stop, TERRIBLE CUTS! I haven't been there since February, 2001. My Lovely Lady-Mullet is as shaggy as the mane of Misty of Chincoteague!

If their asphalt was skin, a tanker truck of Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion would be called for! The penny is shining right there in the center of the photo. I guess I was meant to park so far away, since this was directly in my path to the door.

A face-down 1993 penny, which quite conceivably had been there since February, 2021.

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


Penny          # 27, 28, 29, 30, 31.
Dime            still at 3.
Nickel          still at 1.
Quarter        0

Penny        124
Dime           14
Nickel           7
Quarter          6