Monday, October 31, 2005

Virtual Christmas Shopping

Yesterday, I talked about receiving gifts. Today it's about
It's almost NOVEMBER! So I have been doing a little
online Christmas shopping for my blogfriends. I have tried to
find just the right gift for each person.

Let's start with Rebecca, so she will feel important. Rebecca is
one of the few people who can insult me while making me
laugh. Rebecca has a problem finding shoes that fit, so I thought
this would make a good gift.

And you won't even have to
paint your toenails now, Bec!

Next, let's see what Hillbilly Santa has for DeadpanAnn. Miss
Ann is a fellow teacher. She knows all about nonsensical
bureaucracy, and kids who are doing the very best they can in
spite of how they've been raised, and about the kids we will
never be able to reach, even though we knock ourselves out
trying day after day. So for you, Sistah, I have two gifts. Don't
y'all go getting jealous of Miss Ann. Sometimes you just find
gifts that fit the person, and I found two for her and can't decide.

How about these little critters
to remind her of her ferrets-on-

And what's not to like
about this apple-for-the
teacher butt-pillow so she
can rest her tired feet?

Redneck Diva gets something to help ward off her spooky
spirits that fling things around her kitchen.

They will see these
ghoulies, and think:
"Gosh darn it! This house
is ALREADY haunted!"

Sorry, Diva, I didn't find
any yellow-jacket spray.

For Rachel, I have some nice reading material.

I believe she has a thirst for
knowledge. In fact, she yearns
for it. OK, I stole that from
Charlene on Designing Women.
But, hey...that show has been
off the air for over 10 years,
so maybe nobody will notice.

Misha, with all that wine your dad gives you as a gift, you
need something to keep it fresh.

That is, assuming you don't drink the
whole bottle at one sitting. I don't know
if that's a lot of wine or not. I've never
been a wine drinker. I think of it as grape
juice gone bad. Kind of like my blog is
writing gone bad. Sorry I didn't get you
SIX of them, girl. You'll just have to open
one bottle at a time.

My teacher friend, come last because you don't
have a blog, and can't complain about being last where everyone
can hear. Since you are clean, and like cows, I thought this
would be appropriate.

And you're not really last,
because I am buying myself
a gift.

Here's what I'm getting myself:

The reason why is self-explanatory,
no? And why am I speaking with a
foreign syntax now?

I don't know some of my blogfriends' tastes well enough yet
to give them personalized gifts. You will all get a large tub of

home-made Chex mix. It is Hillbilly Mom's special recipe,
and it is spectacular. Just ask Mabel. She gets it every year.

For all of you who drop in but are too afraid of me to leave a
comment, help yourselves to a candy cane off the Christmas tree.
Well, once we put it up. Right now it is in a box beside the pool
table. The artificial one, not the real Scotch Pine one. We have
peppermint, cherry, Hawaiian Punch, and pina colada. And if any
of you have sugar issues, there is a bowl of Russell Stover Pecan
Delight sugar-free Turtles under the tree. OK, so they're from
eight years ago when I was pregnant with #2 son. These things
don't go bad, do they? Hey! They're FREE, people!

Do you think I'm rushing the season? One year I had all my
Christmas shopping done by October. If you don't celebrate
Christmas, and I've given you a gift, don't be offended. I meant
well. It's the thought that counts, right?

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Three Giftings and a Boo-Fellow

My husband went to Amsterdam and all I got was this lousy candy
bar. Maybe I'm lucky that's all he brought back from Amsterdam.
I am going to tell my students he's been there, and he will be their
hero. And I will bask in the glow that is due someone who lives
with someone who has been to Amsterdam.

That's where all my poor pitiful students say they're going to live
when they graduate. Let's work on the "graduate" part first, huh
kids? This is from 9th graders, even. What do they want me to
ask, "Oh, will you be moving to Amsterdam for the legal drugs,
or the legal prostitution? Or something kinkier than I want to
know about?" Where do they get this desire to go to Amsterdam?
Do their parents discuss it? What's up with that? I know I am
naive. It took me 4 years of hearing about it until I found out
that April 20 (4-20) is Stoner's Holiday. I've got to get more
hip with these cats' lingo.

Actually, my Hillbilly Husband went to Germany, but he had
some airport layovers in other cities. He said there are no
legal drugs or prostitution inside the airport. He also mentioned
something about the Red Door in Germany, but he didn't go.
That's his story and he's stickin' to it. And the candy bar? It
is milk chocolate & hazelnuts, made in Austria for Kraft
Foods Switzerland. And it is spectacular.

Oh, and if you think that box is still full of candy, think again.
I will buy some land that you have had your eye on for 15
years and sell it back to you at $4000 more than I paid for
it. So there. Wise up! I have had that box of candy for 6
days. I ain't no Olsen twin.

The cards are from my teaching buddy, Mabel. I am having
some surgery on Monday (that is not up for discussion) and
she is making a great effort to cheer me up. I think it is working.
The card with the cat says "If I had two dead mice, I'd give
you one." The bulldog-in-a-blond-wig-and-cheerleader uniform
says, "Cheer up. I'm rooting for you." What more could I ask
for than a friend who would give me a dead mouse?
Thanks, Mabel.

Last Thursday, I had to pick up #1 son from a sock-hop at
the elementary school. His costume was a striped prison suit.
The teachers loved it, since he is a good kid at school, and
this must have been ironic, though I never really understood
what "ironic" means. He was ready to leave when I got there,
having just vomited in the bathroom.

When we got home, it was dark. Our orange Halloween lights
were lit up by the hay-bale shrine to evil that HH built out front.
We pulled into the garage, and that dim overhead light came
on. I gave #1 the keys to run in the house and vomit some
more, hopefully in the bathroom. As I stepped out and turned
to open #2 son's door, I heard, "Hey!"

My heart almost shot out of my mouth. I say almost, because
I guess it is hooked to things like the aorta and inferior vena
cava and stuff to hold it in, or else somebody would have
been nailed with a hillbilly-heart projectile. I looked behind
the car, just inside the garage door, and there was a bald
creepy man in a painters' hat. I screamed a little bit, and
grabbed at my chest to keep my heart in.

"I didn't mean to scare you. I saw you drive in." It was our
neighbor, the Land-Stealer. He shaves his head, and kind
of has bug-eyes, and I wasn't expecting anybody to have
followed me down my 1/8 mile driveway, so I was scared.
He just wanted me to tell HH that he had all the papers
ready for the land he stole from us that we are buying back
at an outrageous profit for him. That's all.

HH came home from bowling and had a good laugh at me.
He didn't understand why that frightened me. This from a
man who squeals like a little girl just because he put his hand
in a pocketfull of hairless baby mice. Go figure!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Around the Mansion

Do you know what I like, people? No! Not that! This is a PG
blog! My teaching buddy, Mabel, reads it at school (on her
own time!) and if I put not-PG stuff in here, Mabel would 'get
the schoolbus.' That's what the kids call it when the screen with
the big yellow schoolbus and the STOP sign pops up. That is a
clue that someone is trying to take a trip to Inappropriateville.
Shame, shame, everybody sees your schoolbus.

No, what I was going to say, is that I love it when I am returning
from town, and a little red sporty car follows me, attached to my
bumper. If my large SUV had an a$$, and that red sporty car
had a head, then it's head would be up my a$$. That is not very
nice. I almost felt bad when it followed me up the gravel road,
and I stirred up a HUGE cloud of dust! Little red sporty car
backed right off my a$$ then. Go figure!

I arrived home to find the Hillbilly Husband and the #1 son
preparing to shoot a pumpkin with a .22. Because they can.
(#1 had tried all week to shoot it with a Red Ryder 50th
Anniversary Edition BB gun, but the BBs bounced off. And
he didn't even shoot his eye out!) Well, of course they made a
lot of noise, and the .22 bullets went right through the pumpkin
into the mound of dirt over the septic tank. (The layer of .22
slugs is always deeper over the septic tank. Wasn't that a
book that Erma Bombeck wrote?) I hope they stopped in the
mound of dirt. You'd think that with his large collection of guns,
HH could find the appropriate caliber to take chunks out of
Mr. Pumpkin. He kind of chooses his weapons unwisely, like
the banned AK47 assault rifle that he and his buddy shot off
on New Years' Eve several years ago.

Not much else going on here. HH is going to fire up the grill
for supper, since the temp is back in the 60s. It's a special
request from #2 son, who asked for a banana and a hot dog
for breakfast. "And I don't mean a hot dog in the microwave
or in a pan of water! I want a barbecued hot dog!" He was
talked into a banana and some cereal, but still insisted on a
hot dog later in the day. What's the matter with that kid? It
was all I could do not to scream, "Shut up and eat your
Little Debbie Cosmic Brownie!" That's what he usually wants
for breakfast. That's a food group, isn't it? Little Debbie?

Friday, October 28, 2005

Hillbilly Mom's Travels

This is Creek Street in Ketchikan, Alaska. I didn't take the photo,
but I've been to Ketchikan. You didn't think all Hillbilly Mom did
was sit on the porch of the Hillbilly Mansion, smokin' her corncob
pipe, swattin' flies, and pickin' ticks off the boy young 'uns, did you?

It was many years ago, but my family went to Ketchikan to visit my
mother's oldest brother, Paul, who lived there and worked for the
U.S. Forest Service. He had a house up on the hill. Well, so did
everybody, because Ketchikan is built on a hillside.

We went in early August, which meant 100 degree temps in Missouri
(that's Fahrenheit, Rebecca, we don't live on the surface of the sun, I
make sure to point this out every time I use Fahrenheit). When we
arrived, it was in the 50s, and men were jogging without shirts. That
was a big temp difference for us, and we thought they were nuts.

The trip was a trip. We flew into Seattle's SeaTac Airport. We were
supposed to fly into Ketchikan on Alaska Airlines (that was before
they were bought by Hughes Airwest and whoever has bought them
since that time). Anyhoo, we had a 16 hour layover
one of the engines wouldn't work. The most disturbing part of this
was that they took apart the whole engine right under the window
where we were sitting to wait on the flight. Some guy said, "Oh, you
don't have to worry about Alaska Airlines. They have the best
mechanics of all the airlines. They have to. They buy everybody
else's junkers and fix them up."

The flight into Ketchikan was OK, or so I thought. Later, when
I told people how interesting it was to see those two planes fly by
us, they kind of looked at each other over my head. Then they
said you should never be close enough to see another plane in
the air. I was nervous. One was on the same level, too,
but the other was below us some.

Well, nobody told ME that the Ketchikan Airport was on an
island. I thought for sure we were going to crashland. But we
made it.

I had to get used to pulling the shades at 10:00 pm to shut out
the setting sun. My uncle took us all around town, to all the touristy
places, including Creek Street. We went to a pulp mill, where they
cut the bark off trees with jets of water. That place stunk worse
than the salmon cannery. We went to Bight Park to see the totems.
We walked along the beach and were eaten by no-see-ums.
Because you can't see them, you know. Uncle Paul told us right
off the bat not to do anything stupid in town, like say, "Oh, there's
an Eskimo." He said they preferred to be called "Natives," and
to use Eskimo would be an insult.

Uncle Paul had rented us a cabin on some island nearby so we
could fish. He said he would make two trips to take us there.
Imagine my surprise when my sister, my dad, and I climbed into
his boat. It was a goshdarn little aluminum fishing boat with an
outboard motor, just like my dad used on the St. Francis river
to take us fishing. And we went out in the OCEAN in it. I couldn't
even see the island for a while. I was scared to death. I knew I
could never make it back to shore when we turned over. We
didn't, but I just knew we were going to. Uncle Paul dropped
us off and went back to pick up Mom, Grandma, and Grandpa.

Dad said we might as well get in some fishing, so he got out the
poles, and we walked to a little bay on the island. After a while,
we saw a red plane that lands on those floaty things. "Look at
the plane," said Dad. Yeah, we didn't see those much in Missouri.
The plane circled around several times, and Dad said, "He's looking
for someone." The plane landed in our little bay, and the pilot drove
it right up by us. "He's looking for US!" said Dad. Yep. Uncle
Paul's boat motor gave out, so he sent the pilot to pick us up.
We stowed our stuff in those floaty things, except the fishing poles,
which stuck up between the front and back seats of the plane.

The pilot started to taxi down the bay. The windshield was all
fogged up. He looked at my dad, and said, "Can you see anything?
Cause I can't see anything." Ha ha very funny. Then he wiped at
the windshield, and I saw a bunch of pine trees approaching. "I
sure hope we're gonna clear them trees," said the pilot. I hope
this was just an act to scare us hillbillies.

A few days later, we went back to that blasted island in that
blasted little boat across that blasted ocean. We saw big black
bear tracks, and a black bear cub across the creek. We hoped
the big bear had crossed the creek to be with the little one. My
sister and I went to fish in that creek. I was climbing down a
little ledge, and started to fall into the rushing water about 10
feet below. My sister grabbed me by the back of my CPO
jacket (that's how old I am!) and saved my life. She said she
only did it because she knew if I died, SHE would be in trouble.

We also saw some men with lines of great big hooks like treble
hooks. They were on the other side of the creek. We told Uncle
Paul, and he said he hoped we didn't say anything, because the
men were poaching salmon, and would as soon kill us as look
at us. I don't know how serious he was, but he did work for the
Forest Service and all.

Our next adventure was a ferry trip to Juneau. I was amazed
that we drove our car right onto the boat and parked it. We
didn't get rooms, we slept in the sleeping chairs on the sleeping
chair deck, I guess you'd call it. Uncle Paul said that this was
how the school teams traveled to play other schools. They
took the ferry for a week or two at a time. We saw a lot of
bald eagles flying around when we were out on deck. They
had a safety talk about how to jump off the boat if it started
to sink. Yeah, right. I don't do heights, and I don't do water.
They could just as well call me "captain," cause I was goin'
down with the ship.

We went through the big museum in Juneau. Hey, it was built
on the side of a hill, too. We stayed at the Juneau Hilton, which
was not as fancy as one might think, as it had only 6 floors.
Besides which the toilet overflowed the first night.

We went to the Mendenhall Glacier, which I found to be mighty
impressive as it was so freakin' OLD. We went on some train
ride, to, but I don't remember much about it.

It was a wonderful vacation. Several years later, Mom and Dad
bought a camper, and drove back up there. Which meant they
had to take the Alaskan Highway, which in case you people didn't
know, was a freakin' GRAVEL ROAD! Later, my uncle moved
to Washington, so the Alaska trips stopped.

Thanks, Rebecca and Lessa, for the comments that gave me this
flashback. I'm sure you are all now very tired from this jouney.
May I suggest a nap?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Hillbilly Mansion Rules

I want to make sure we all get along if you visit my new home.
So y'all have to go by my rules. Here are some I've found
to be invaluable.

1. If you pee off the front porch, don't hit the flat USA-shaped
rock. It will splash, and might get on moi (that is, IF I am out
on the porch watching you, which is unlikely, but still...).

2. Do not pick the Yucca flowers and bring them in the house.
They are crawling with ants.

3. Look before you sit. The porch chairs are usually draped
with cats. The indoor furniture is usually draped with kid's
toys and pajamas, because the living room is for changing.

4. Don't expect everything in its place. Our house is lived in,
it's not a museum.

5. Call before you visit. That way, we can shove things into
the laundry room.

6. Don't go into the laundry room.

7. If you want to drink, bring your own, because all that
can be found here is bootleg moonshine (from my Hillbilly
Husband's North Carolina trip) and Wild Turkey (HH gets
a wild hair every now and then).

8. We will beat you at pool, or we will pout. That is your

9. The slot machine has no volume control. We will smack
you if your kid keeps playing it.

10. The redneck bathroom has a working toilet, but the
sink is for show. That explains the GermX.

11. If #1 son asks you to go for a ride in his car, he means
it. If you don't want to take a chance on a 10-year-old
driver, say NO firmly. Or else he will ask every five minutes.

12. The faucets are not always what they appear. The hot
and cold are reversed in the kitchen and master bath shower.

That should be enough to remember for now. I will enforce
more rules when I make them up.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Hillbilly HO-Down

As I write this, I've just returned from a Halloween dance at our
middle school. My creative juices are flowing. I'll clean up that
mess later, with a Swiffer wet-mop. Anyhoo, a good time was
had by all at the dance. Batman won the costume contest. A
little bitty Batman, the kindergarten son of one of our teachers.
He celebrated his victory by clapping both hands over his ears
to drown out the cheers.

How times have changed! Some of the "costumes" were prom
dresses and heels. One such outfit was on a boy. We didn't
have as much trouble with the dirty dancing as last year, when
we had a circle of 8th grade boys with a girl in their midst.
They would take turns going up to bump their front part with
her back part. Not this year. There was still dirty dancing
from the girls, but the boys were chickens. So the girls danced

At what point do you break up dirty-dancing girls? I'm sure
they thought nothing of it. Should we be prudes, and tell them
to cut it out? We don't let them hold hands or hug in the hall,
because that's against the boy/girl rules. I don't know how
to proceed here.

The favorite pastime of the boys this evening was to grab a
part of another's costume, and run around the gym with it.
One of my students, the alleged spitwad-shooter of 5th hour,
asked one of the teachers to dance. Any other time, this
would have been highly inappropriate (note to self, Mary
Kay Letourneau). Granted, she looked mighty fetching in
that puffy, shiny Hershey kiss costume. He held out his hand,
placed his other hand firmly on her rounded silver back, and
escorted her through the spooky inflatible archway. She
nipped the bud there, though. No dance.

I caught a couple of hoochies at the door, talking to a 9th
grader who lives near the school. Grow up, boy. Don't be
the creepy 28-year-old who dates 15-year-olds. Haven't
you seen Dazed and Confused, for cryin' out loud? I was
actually going outside to make a phone call, and caught them
by accident. The boy took off for home. He didn't want none
of Hillbilly Mom, since I had just written him up that morning
for flipping off kids as he got off the bus yesterday afternoon.

There were a couple of near-casualties. A Scream mask
malfunctioned, and shot fake blood all over the tile floor
of the hallway. The principal took away Death's scythe and
a maniac's meat cleaver. I was nearly blinded by the fairy
wing of a teacher's costume. A staff member told me not to
worry, I should have seen her nearly collapse the inflatible
spooky archway. I replied that I was worried, because I
had parked next to her car with the collapsed hood from
running her car under the back end of a bus the other day.
We are not allowed to talk about that embarrassing little
faux pas, though.

I have now met my requirement of chaperoning one school
dance. One teacher says he always picks the last one, since
you never know what could happen between now and then.
Uh...pessimist much? Like what, the world might end? Two
other teachers are rumored to have chosen the February
dance because they think it might be snowed out, and then
not rescheduled. As that little voice in my head was saying
"Doh!", another teacher said, "February. Isn't that dance the
Homecoming Coronation?"


Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Well, I stopped by to drop off a few things and check the mail,
and I discovered that some folks had been TRESPASSING!
I need to get a mean dog. I have a dog we adopted from the
Humane Society as a puppy. Our free dog cost us about $150.

I don't want a hyper, snippy little dog. Our daycare lady, Vicki,
had a Boston Terrier. He was so ugly he was cute. But he was
so hyper, he didn't know what was good for him. The daycare
was in a little cottage behind her house. She didn't take the
dog there. His name was Bostie (yeah, well, maybe she had
some issues with originality, but who wouldn't after watching
10 kids under 5 all day?). So, she would let Bostie out every
morning to do his business before she reported for duty at
the cottage.

We were usually the first ones there. I climbed out of the large
SUV one morning to hear a woman scream in agony. No, it
wasn't Vicki. It was Bostie. Did you know that a Boston Terrier
puppy will scream like a woman if you step on it? Yeah, me
neither. He didn't seem to be crippled, because he could still
run around the yard in a frenzy. My kids thought it was funny.
Sometimes now, my #1 son will scream like a woman and say,
"Hey, Mom? Remember Bostie?" And that was 4 years ago.

You're welcome for the free story. I've got to head back to
civilization for a Halloween dance at the middle school. You
haven't lived until you've been a chaperone at a middle school
Halloween dance. Oh, the drama! Don't hate me because I'm
living the life you wish you could live. Hate me because I'm a
hateful b****. Just so we are clear on things.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Hey! What Are YOU Lookin' At?

Can't you see I haven't moved in yet? Give me some time, huh?
I'm practicing for a job where I'm paid by the hour. Or for a job
with a state agency. Oh, been there, done that. That would
explain my slowness.

I'll have things up and running in a few days. Check back then.