Friday, March 31, 2006

How Do You Get To Carnegie Hall ?

OK, my boy is not going to Carnegie Hall. But he IS going to the
Math Contest on Saturday. Hey! That's tomorrow! We have been
busy practicing. That's how you get to Carnegie Hall, you know:
practice, practice, practice!

The boy is pretty sharp. Last year, in 4th grade, he earned an
Honorable Mention ribbon. He says there were 150 students
from grades 4, 5, 6 last year. I don't know how many schools,
but I'm thinking around 15 or 20. Now he's thirsty for more. I hope
he at least gets a ribbon so he won't be disappointed. The 7th/8th
grade math teacher said the scores at their contest this year were
exceptionally high. The score that won last year would not have
placed this year. We'll see how things go.

While I wish my #1 son success, I don't wish him TOO much
success, because if he gets a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place in one of the
categories, he qualifies for the State Math Contest. Last year
it was in Springfield. I don't know about this year. He's already
going to the Missouri State Youth Bowling Tournament next
weekend in Lee's Summit. His league goes every year.

Hmm...can you say 'nerd'? That's my boy! I think I'll keep him.
And now, we have to get back to practice. The break is over.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Don't Make Me Strike You!

I can't take it anymore. I must speak out about "Hubby on Strike."
In case you haven't been watching the news, he's a guy in Michigan
who is on strike because he doesn't want his children (3-month-old
daughter and 2-year-old son) in his bedroom. By going on strike,
he means climbing up onto the roof of his house for up to two
a day. While up there, he listens to music or reads.


To me, a real strike would be sleeping up on the roof (after all, the
strike is about kids in his bedroom). Or maybe staying up on the
roof 24 hours a day until a compromise is agreed to. But two
freakin' hours a day? Great Googley Moogley! For two hours a
day away from my kids, I'd go on up on the roof, too!

He comes down to check his website,
Yeah. He's really got it rough. Hmm...does his wife even know
he's on strike? Or is it like a mini-vacation for her when he goes
up to the roof? One less person to cater to.

Why doesn't he just say he wants sex every night? Isn't that the
real issue? If he got that, would he still be having a tantrum and
going up on the roof? What time does he spend with his kids?
Does he work? Let's, reading 2000 comments on his
blog, sitting on the roof for two hours...How much time does
that leave? I am definitely taking sides on this one, and I'm not
on his.

My Hillbilly Husband can go up on the roof any time he likes.
I won't be beggin' him to come down. But he'd better keep in
mind that I can't be climbin' the ladder to tell him: breathe in...
breathe out...He might suffocate!

Now don't go commenting on how I don't love my husband,
or how I'm a man-hater, or how I don't know how to be a
wife. HH used to get the royal treatment. Every night, if you
know what I mean. Stop saying 'Eewww'! I bought him little
surprises every time I went to Wal*Mart. Again, stop saying
'Eewww'! I packed his lunch, washed his clothes, took care
of his previous kids, and worked my a$$ off so he could pay
child support. Did I get any appreciation for it? What do you
think? So after he had a fit when I asked him to throw his dirty
clothes in the hamper instead of leaving them on the bedroom
floor, he started doing his own laundry. Yeah. He really showed
ME! I feel soooo bad that he does his own laundry! Did he ever
bring ME anything from Wal*Mart? No. Not even things I wrote
on a list for him if he was going to Wal*Mart for manly automotive
or tool stuff. Did he ever thank me for anything? NO!

Don't be feeling sorry for poor pitiful HH. I will stalk you and
give your personal information to FITTY, the 55-gallon barrel
killer that Redneck Diva's mom thinks it going to get her.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Phakers

The DoNots were tricky today. They did their DoNot best to get
information out of me. They think they are smart. I think I am
smarter. They are like those "phishing" internet scams. Only I will
refer to my DoNots as "phakers". They fake that they have the
info they are actually seeking. It happened twice today.

One group decided to discuss staff turnover.

Hey, why is Mr. K going back to his old school?
What makes you think that?
He said he's going back.
He said that to your class? Why would he discuss something like
that with students?
Well, he must have got pretty mad yesterday. He yelled it at one
of his classes that he was going back.
So you didn't actually hear him say it?
I heard the same thing. He got mad and told a class.
So why is he leaving?
He doesn't like us.
I thought our school pays more than his old school.
I guess you need to ask Mr. K.
We already know. Didn't you know?
I don't have any comment on it until I talk to Mr. K.

The thing is, I know all about it. But I do not feel comfortable
discussing it with these phakers. Chances are, they do not know
anything, and are trying to get me to verify what they are thinking.
Then they can boast: "Of course we know. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom
told us all about it." I'm not taking the fall.

The next group accosted me right after the tardy bell.

Mrs. C is pregnant.
Why do you think that?
She said so.
Why would she tell you? You don't even have her for a teacher.
Well, she went to the doctor yesterday and said everything is fine,
and that it's due sometime around November.
Why would she discuss that with you? When do you see her?
Downstairs a while ago. She just did.
She told you?
Well, she told her classes.
She told her classes that she's pregnant and went to the doctor?
Well, it was written on her board.
She wrote on the board that she's pregnant?
Well, I didn't see it myself.
I can't believe Mrs. C is pregnant.
Did you know?
I do not want to discuss this subject until I talk to Mrs. C. I don't
think it is something she would be telling students.
Well, she told us.

Of course I know the whole story here, too. But the more you
prod these phakers, the more holes you can rip in their story. In
years past, it has been about teachers being fired, or what students
are pregnant, or whose locker the drug dog scratched. It's a game
they play, giving false information in hopes of getting some true
information. Once you've been around these phakers, it's not hard
to sniff out a scam. These are kids who say things like, "Susie,
what if you were a vampire? Would you bite me?" Yeah. Just the
crowd I would like to share MY personal information with.

There's another kind of phaker. The kind who bluffs like a poker
player. The kind who acts like YOU are the one in the wrong.
The kind who acts so outraged at a simple request that you dared
ask of him that you think YOU are surely the one in the wrong.
Only the teachers know better. We have seen these phakers before.

Some phakers are mild-mannered, going for the poor, mistreated
innocent act. Like my little bus phaker Monday. He ran out before
his bus was called so he could stand outside and be first on his bus.
I asked why he came out early and he gave me some lip about 'why
don't you ask all the others?' Except he was the only one there
besides the alternative school girl, who is supposed to be there.
Today, the principal called him over to discuss the matter.

Quit hiding and get over here. What was the problem Monday?
Uh, I was wanting to get on my bus in a hurry because I didn't
feel good.
What's your excuse for not doing what Mrs. Hillbilly Mom said?
Um...she told me to wait, but I felt like I might pass out, so I got
on the bus instead of waiting until last.
That's not good enough! You have to do as you're told. I'll talk
to you tomorrow morning. I have a slip on my desk.
If you didn't feel good, you should have stayed in the gym where
there's a teacher to watch you! What if you'd passed out here by
the road? You could have fallen into the street and been run over!
Is that your bus? Get on it. I'll talk to you tomorrow.

Heh heh. It's not nice to disobey Mrs. Hillbilly Mom.
Another couple of phakers tried it today. Mrs. L nailed them.

What are you doing down here?
WAITING! Like everybody else!
Do you ride a bus?
Then go inside and wait with everybody else.
C'mon! Let's go back down there. We're NOT WANTED here!
No. Stand right there. If you ride a bus, you belong in the gym.
NO. We're going back down THERE.
Apparently she does, since you won't listen.
HEY! I DON'T KNOW WHERE TO GO! I've been kicked out
a lot lately.
Do you wonder why?

Then the principal came out and followed them on the bus to make
it clear exactly what they needed to do. How do kids think they can
get away with this stuff? Oh, I know! They've never been spanked
or disciplined in any other way at home. Go ahead and bash ol'
Hillbilly Mom for her spanking views, but I've seen just about
enough of this touchy-feely-I'm-your-buddy-everyone-else-is-in-
the-wrong-and-we'll-sue-their-a$$-off parenting. Somebody must
take charge of the young folks, or I will be hurtin' for certain when
they are changing my Depends in the nursing home.

Can I get a H*LL YEAH! from somebody? Redneck Diva?
Should their mamas threaten to beat them until candy comes out?
I hear you've had success with that tactic. Deadpanann? Should
their mamas leave them locked up instead of bailing them out
when they bash a kid's head in with a baseball bat? Perhaps that
would send a message that we ain't puttin' up with their shenanigans
no more!

Y'all make some Notes To Self: Hillbilly Mom should not be
confused with Mother Teresa.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Hillbilly Mom Is TIRED !

This seems to be a week of lists. Deadpanann had her Highly Over-
rated List, Redneck Diva had her Good/Bad List, MamaKBear had
her Weird Things List. If you had a list I didn't mention, that means
I just ain't seen it YET. Because I am a boring, depressed, draggy-
down person this time of the school year, I have a list of things that
irritate me. Oh. Like you didn't see that one comin'!


...being a walking dictionary. OK, to be honest, a sitting dictionary.
Students: teachers assign vocabulary words for a reason. To teach
you dictionary skills. OK, they also want you to learn spelling and
meanings. They expect you to look the words up in a dictionary or
glossary or the reading from the chapter. They do not want to know
how smart Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is. She had already told them. So do
NOT ask Mrs. Hillbilly Mom what iridescent means, or a promontory,
or an inlet, or permeable, or looming. Throw away the crutch that is
Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. Fly the nest, little DoNots.

...people commenting on my appearance.
Didn't your mamas raise y'all right? I KNOW my freaking left eye is
red at the corner by my nose. I saw it in the mirror right after I got
out of the shower at 4:40 a.m. Methinks it is from the soap that I
got in my eye, but not the shampoo, because I used the Suave
Dragon Fruit kids' shampoo that is no more tears. Or it could be
from getting up at 4:20 a.m. after an OH SO NOT REFRESHING
4 1/2 hours of sleep. So there is really no need to tell me, "Oh, your
eye is SO RED! Do you have pinkeye?" Cause you told me that
exact same thing yesterday. Pardon me for throwing up my arms
and shouting, "Will you get off it already with my EYE?" And also,
it is not necessary to say, "Hey! Your eye is really red. How is
your blood pressure?" Because that is really none of your freakin'
business, and now you've just made it shoot up by assuming that
it is. Well, maybe in a way it is, since you are the school nurse,
but I am quite med-compliant, and that is really between my
doctor and myself, seeing as how he is the one who charges me
an arm and a leg and makes me wait two freakin' hours in the
waiting room every 4 months, giving me the sneaking suspicion
that he does it to raise my blood pressure so he can continue to
collect arms and legs. A regular Dr. Frankenstein, he is. Do NOT
call him, lest he begin branching out into the eye market.

...the absentee landowner selling rocks off his land.
You have ruined our gravel road. You do not pay $100-$200
each year for gravel like the rest of us, because WE live here,
and YOU are absent. But you can bring in a giant flatbed truck
to block the road each morning as people are trying to get to
work and to the school bus. By digging out these big rocks for
the past 2 months, you have caused a watershed problem. Each
rain, a giant tributary washes across your land into the road. The
road that used to be gravel, but is now mud, because the gravel
has washed away. Your Bobcat lost a tread Sunday, and blocked
the road until you got it fixed. Stop messing with Mother Nature,
you landraper! Stop getting your rocks off for the almighty dollar.

...being the only person who shows up on time every day for duty.
OK, so there are a few others who obey the rules as well, but we
are the exception, not the rule. Life is not fair. You scofflaws (or
scoffduties) are accelerating the Era of the Handbasket.

...never being able to find a pencil or tape around the mansion.
Darn you, #1 son! For the love of Gummi Mary, stop hoarding
office supplies! What do you do with all those pencils? Are you
building an Eiffel Tower. (Oops! That would be Mabel, at school.
And I don't think hers is made of pencils.) And what's with the
tape? Is something broken that you are trying to hide from me?
Judging by the number of tape rolls missing, I should ask if you've
broken a wing off the mansion. Or have you been building those
superplanes again? Honey, paper planes should weigh less than
real metal planes. Back off on the tape.

...babyish hijinks from my middle schoolers.
I should not have to rush in from my DUTY in the hall between
classes because I hear, "Butt-toucher." Y'all had better NOT
be touching butts. That is a high crime at the middle school. I
should think it is also at the high school, but I have heard Mr. S
speak of students playing "buttsey-wuttsey" as a manner of
male bonding. So I think it means something else over there.
Anyhoo, if you can't behave for 4 minutes unattended, I shall
be required to line you up against the wall in the hall while I do
my duty. Not laughing now, are you, ya little butt-touchers!
When it has been announced that nobody is to leave the class
during MAP testing, that does not mean "nobody but me". Do
NOT ask to go to the bathroom. Amazing how bladders shrink
when they are bored. You haven't asked all year. Yet in two
days, you have asked twice. Give it up. Here's a novel idea:
go before you come to class! I know, I'M the GENIUS, but
I'm trying to share my knowledge with you.

Whew! I'm not feeling so tired now.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Learnin' Your Lessons

After posting pictures of our free hot tub yesterday, a couple of
folks were curious about where we got it. Ahem. Don't make me
come over there, people! I taught this lesson last week. Oh, sure...
maybe it was the day the substitute took you outside for a walk.
Or perhaps the day a visiting substitute told you that you need to
get yourself a joint (saw right through that excuse, deadpanann).

So to get you all up to speed, here is the tale of how we got a
free hot tub. Now you don't have to get the notes from that
pimply-faced nerd who sits behind you. One of the problems
with a free hot tub is where to put it. Say, for instance, your HH
wanted to put it in the garage. Hmm...then what would you do?
And assuming (that is, making an a$$ out of 'u' and 'me') you both
agreed on a location, what if there was a little problem with it?

You will be tested on this information for your final examination.
I hope you keep your notes in your folder. I will not be giving
a study guide. There are only 8 weeks of school left, people!
This is not a time to slack off!

Now that the free hot tub mystery is solved, let's move on to help
Redneck Diva with her age-old problem of skunk disposal. I got
this method from one of my old school lunch buddies who has
since retired. Hopefully, he hasn't formed a Skunkbusters business.
Here is his solution.

Go to a corner of the house, and dig a hole by one wall. It should
be about two feet deep. Put a bowl of dogfood in the bottom of
the hole. Skunks love dogfood. It is like crack for them. (I can
attest to this. Skunks come up on the porch to eat Grizzly's food.
Well, they did...until we got the poopies, and now there is never
a scrap of food anywhere near the mansion. But there's plenty of
poop, which does not seem to be a delicacy that skunks crave.)

Anyhoo...hide around the corner of the house with a gun. When
the skunk goes down into the hole to eat the dogfood, shoot him.
Then jump out quickly and shovel the dirt back into the hole on
top of the skunk to cover up the smell.

He told us this story to help a crony of my teacher friend, Mabel.
Only Mabel's Crony is a softhearted type who traps the skunks.
I don't know if we can forgive her for that. We forgave her for the
flowered panties that slithered out of her pants leg at one of our
inservice days. Actually, we were kind of overjoyed about that,
what with it being the only thing to breathe life into the inservice.

So if you want to get rid of a skunk, all you need is a house, some
dogfood, a shovel, and a gun.

You don't even have to have flowered panties trickling out your
pants leg.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Christening the SS Free Hot Tub

The free hot tub is now open for the season. No word on the
black wad of hair. It has not been mentioned. My Hillbilly
Husband is not hanging his head in shame for trying to put
this beauty in the garage. He knows no shame. I think he's
showing off his watch. Doesn't everybody wear a watch in
their free hot tub?

Drink it all in. Not the free hot tub water, silly. The ambience.
That's a concrete basement wall in the background. The life
preserver was not put there for the hot tub. It has been hanging
there since last summer, for the blue plastic Wal*Mart pool.
We don't know how to let go here at the mansion. Gotta save
that two-dollar floaty for next season. It's hanging on the rack
for the garden hose. I haven't seen the hose in a while. I'm
sure it was used to fill up the free hot tub. That's a giant electric
cord snaking its way down from the porch. It plugs in right
by the dog dish. There's a pool skimmer leaning against the
basement wall. I suppose that's in case the black wad of hair
rears its ugly head.

The boys love the free hot tub. #2 son thinks it is a swimming
pool, and gets chastised every two minutes for dogpaddling
from one corner to another. #1 has developed a love affair
with free stuff, and brags about the hot tub incessantly. Like
father, like son.

HH did admit that it's much nicer to look down in the woods
than at the garage walls. HooRah! A victory for me!

I have other issues with HH today. There is the matter of the
toilet paper roll that was down to three squares. I couldn't
have spared a square for anybody. And after I used the three
squares, I did not replace the roll, to see if HH would get the
hint. You might as well not try to play any fancy-shmancy
psychological games around the mansion, because all it gets
you is no toilet paper. I put a roll on the side of the big ol'
bathtub and waited, but that, too, proved fruitless. Of course
I replaced it myself. Handbasket, people. It is the decline of
civilization as we know it.

Other HH issues...I bought a small box of Bounce fabric
softener sheets at Country Mart about a month ago, because
we were out. Oh, how it pains me to buy an item like this at
the grocery store! It's highway robbery, I tell you! AND I
had to buy a brand name! So this morning, just before the
Porter Wagoner Show came on RFDTV, I put in a load of
boys' jeans and noticed a box of the Wal*Mart brand fabric
softener sheets under my Bounce box. I used the last Bounce,
and threw the box in the trash. Or should I say I threw it ON
the trash, since HH does not perform his duty of trash man
in the laundry room. In fact, there are 3 large economy boxes
emptied of Tide stacked on top of the wastebasket. Do you
know how long it takes to empty three boxes of Tide? Let's
just say our Leaning Tower of Tide has been there since last
summer. I refuse to take it out. I give in and take out the
kitchen trash, and the bathroom trash, but I must draw the
line somewhere. Anyhoo, I mentally made a note that I did
not need to buy fabric softener sheets when I went to
Wal*Mart after Porter was over.

When I returned from Wal*Mart, I put my second load in
the dryer and reached for the fabric softener sheet. THE
BOX WAS EMPTY!!! Who in his right mind puts an empty
box under the box we are using? HH denies it. He says he
hasn't done laundry in a while. That's a whole 'nother story.
HH does his own because he got pissed at me right after
we got married, because I had the nerve to ask him to put
his dirty clothes in the hamper instead of stepping out of them
and leaving them on the floor. I know I didn't put an empty
box on the shelf. I give you Exhibit A: the toilet paper roll.
And Exhibit B: the Leaning Tower of Tide. You be the judge.

Oh, and the piece de resistance...I moved some stuff on the
bottom shelf of the fridge to make room for the groceries.
To be specific, I thought I was moving a cardboard carton
of those little 6-pack yogurts. But no! I was only moving the
cardboard carton of one cup of yogurt. I know HH is to
blame. I will spring that on him afterwhile. I guess he has
separation issues. He can not part with anything. Or else
he has some cardboard fetish of which I am happily unaware.

I know these tales only whet your appetite all the more for a
visit to the mansion. Hairwads, piles of refuse, and no toilet
paper! I might start my own theme park.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Mail Protocol

I have just returned from fetching the mail. You'd think my Hillbilly
Husband could have stopped on his two trips to and from town
for boys' bowling, and picking up #1 at a friend's house. But no.
That would have been logical.

It had just gotten dark when I ventured the mile to the mailbox.
As I got out of the large SUV and closed the door with it running,
I had an attack of the creeps. Not actual creeps, those guys with
greased back hair and rotten teeth who leer at you at flea markets.
The feeling of creepiness. It was a frog's hair from being completely
dark down by the creek. I could hear the water squeezing through
the two pipes that were 90 percent blocked by rocks washed into
them in the big rain a while back. I had a fleeting thought of what
if the door locks itself while I am getting the mail? Because
that happens to my large SUV. Every now and then it has a mind
of its own. Or a short in the electrical system. When I went out to
the garage, it was locked. Go figure. That would have given me
a mile-long walk in the dark. What if Fitty is lurking in the
What if I hear stray kittens and puppies? I don't know
which prospect was most frightening. But everything came out OK.

It's getting late. I know my teaching buddy, Mabel, is expecting
this blog to be ready before her bedtime of 8:00. Hey! Mabel!
It's the weekend. Live a little. I squandered my afternoon time
watching a DVD: A History of Violence. It's good. How could
you go wrong with Viggo Mortenson, Maria Bello, Ed Harris,
and William Hurt?

I also spent some time responding to an old friend's email that
I had been meaning to do all week. Life gets in the way of my
free time. Have you ever hit that 'send' button and thought, Hey!
What if I sent that to the wrong person? Because I think that
sometimes. Not that I'm sending government secrets or have
discovered the new uranium or anything...But info meant for
one party could be deadly or just downright embarrassing if
sent to another party. Oh. I'm the only one who ever thinks
that? Never mind.

The other day at work, some pranking people moved a teacher's
vehicle from the parking lot to the street. That teacher sent out
an email about exacting revenge...on the building-wide email
thingy. An administrator sent one about the true purpose of that
thingy. Which brought up a discussion of using the work email.
I never send anything I wouldn't care if an administrator read
over my shoulder on the work email. Because I do not trust
people. I think they can view those things at will. Others play
around with the emails. Not me. What if someone hit 'reply'
and sent it out to the whole school? Then they could all read
my embarrassing faux pas. Nope. Work email is not for me.

Somebody at work who shall remain nameless discovered a
program listed in the 'All Programs' list on our computers. We
did not recognize it as anything any of us used. I had never
noticed it before, and I use that 'All Programs' once or twice
a week to load particular games for my DoNots as rewards.
I don't know how long it's been there. My guess is only a
couple weeks. The somebody thinks it might have been there
longer. The somebody uninstalled it. So did some other some-
bodies. I didn't. They think it is a way of tracking what websites
our computers are on.

It's not that they are secretive, or abuse the internet. Let's face
it. The tech people have all our passwords on a list that is
probably left lying out on a desk several days a week. They
could look up our history any time they wanted. There is a
blocker thingy that won't let us access pr0n sites, if that is what
any of you are thinking. We even get the big yellow school bus
for sites with bad words on them. The somebody's point is that
the outside company who contracts some of our tech work has
no business looking up what sites we've been on, and the some-
body thinks this program might allow this.

I did not uninstall mine. I figure that might be a red flag that I am
secretive and trying to hide something. Which I guess is kind of
the definition of secretive. Anyhoo, since the only things I look
up are my blog and Internet Movie Data Base, and them only
before school or on my lunch/prep time, I don't much care who
knows it. Now watch me get in trouble, and the secretives go
scott free. Stranger things have happened.

But I can't mention them here. In case somebody from school
should access my blog.

Friday, March 24, 2006

If You Try Sometimes...

My Do-Nots have been very trying lately. Trying to get my goat.
No, I don't really have a goat, though my Hillbilly Husband at one
time said he was bringing home two baby goats to eat brush so he
wouldn't have to clear it. Then two years had gone by, and #2 son
said, "Dad, are those baby goats ready to bring home yet?" To
which I snorted, and replied, "Those baby goats are dead from
old age by now." Which was perhaps not the best response, since
my little boy teared up a little and stuck out his bottom lip and
would not talk to me for about an hour.

No, I mean they have been trying to get on my last nerve, to get
under my skin, to drive me to drink, to make me blow my stack,
to rub me the wrong way, to give me an irritation that no salve
will sooth, to upset my applecart, to rain on my parade, to shake
my tree, to rattle my cage, to yank my chain, to piss me off.

They have almost succeeded. I know they are adolescents. It is
their job to question authority. That is how kids grow up and
become autonomous, how they break from their parents and
learn to make their own decisions. But gimme a break! Question
someone else's authority. Hillbilly Mom will never be mistaken
for Ghandi. Or Mother Teresa...though Mabel's mom did refer
to me as MT one time. Mabel still has not recovered from the
indignity. It is that time of year when we have cabin fever, or
at least Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's Classroom Fever. Bickering has
reached its zenith (I hope). Mrs. Hillbilly Mom was seen only
yesterday, reaching for that big ol' large economy can of Whoop-
A$. Don't make her use it, kids.

The catalyst? LIES told about Mrs. Hillbilly Mom! Shocking,
isn't it? I must enlighten you. It isn't always fun and games in Mrs.
Hillbilly Mom's classroom. We can't be discussing Franklin's
large bra
every day, you know.

Two girls worked on a math worksheet all hour. They were
adding and subtracting unlike fractions, which meant they had
to first choose a common denominator. They asked questions
like, "What do 12 and 15 both go into?" I hooked them up.
Five minutes before the bell, one asked a question that didn't
make sense.

Bring that up here. No can't do that. You have
to change the top numbers before you add or subtract.
You mean I did them all wrong?
Well, you have the correct denominators. You need to go back,
and change those top numbers. Whatever you multiplied with to
get your denominator, you have to also multiply by the top number.
But Mrs. B said not to change the top numbers.
I don't think so.
She did! She said 'Leave the top numbers the same.'
I don't think she would have said that. Because then all the answers
would be wrong. Just go back and multiply your top numbers.

Both girls closed their books and sat for five minutes. After school,
I told Mrs. B what they'd said. She laughed. "They told me YOU
told them to work the problems that way. I said, 'Girls, I'm sure
Mrs. Hillbilly Mom knows how to add and subtract fractions.'"
Because we've worked together for 6 years now. We know the
tricks these kids try with 'she said/she said' to cover their mistakes.

The next day, I asked if there was anything anybody wanted to
tell me. Nope. Silence. Then another girl cracked, and said how
she'd thrown away some notes in Mr. L's wastebasket, and
another girl picked them out of the trash and gave them to some
boys, and how the principal had gotten involved. "Thanks for
sharing, but that wasn't what I was getting at."

So I flat out told the fibbers what was said, and that I didn't
appreciate them lying about me to cover their errors. They made
up a couple more stories, to the effect that they never said that.
Meanwhile, Note Girl sat behind them nodding her head, as in
'Uh huh, that really did happen and now they're trying to get out
of it.'

I didn't say you told us to do it that way. And I didn't tell you
that Mrs. B told us to do it that way.
I know what you told me. And I know what Mrs. B told me.
Well, I didn't say it. You can not believe me if you want to. I
know what I said.
It's good that I can not believe you, because I don't. I know
what you told me. Are you saying that Mrs. B. is lying to me?
No. It was a misunderstanding.
But I heard what you told me. And now you say you didn't
I don't care. Believe Mrs. B.
I do.
Because she's and adult.
No. Because she has never lied to me, and you have all year.

Normally, I don't badger the kids in class. But these two have
to realize that they can not make up stories about me or any
other teacher and get away with it. I did not expect them to
see the error of their ways, and promise that they would never
lie again. All I wanted was for them to admit that they said it,
and wouldn't do it again because they knew I'd find out. But
noooo. I couldn't even get that. Today they were angels, so
something got through to them.

And then there's Mum. He will not raise his hand for lunch
count like the others. He must be asked individually after all
items have been recorded. Today I asked him again.

Mum, you didn't raise your hand. What are you having?
Duh! I'm CATHOLIC! I can't eat meat on Fridays!
Yes. You've told us that for the last couple of weeks. What
are you having? (Because last Friday, he had sausage pizza,
but maybe he didn't know sausage was meat.)
All you had to do was raise your hand when I said 'Salad?'.
Why are you so special that you make me ask you individually?
I don't.
Well, you never raise your hand. I always have to take the time
to ask you after everyone else has been counted.
I'm worried about all the Blacks moving into town.
You better watch what you say, little boy.
You can't talk like that. It's not politically correct.
That's gay.
What do you have against gays?
Oh, do you like them?
My boss is gay. I don't have a problem with it.
Huh. Just ask anyone.
And you can't say that, either. Who do you think you are to
say things like that? What other minorities are you going to
insult? What if everybody said, "Man, I'm worried about all
the Catholics moving into town?" That would be different,
wouldn't it?
Hey! You can't say that!
Then you'd better watch your mouth. I'm not going to put up
with it.

But wait! There's more Do-Not action! There was a Health
Fair today. Students could get checked for blood pressure,
blood sugar, weight, and body fat percentage. Many of them
came to class with band-aids on their fingers. One particular
Do-Not asked to go get his work from his locker.

Yes, Mime. That would be a good idea. Since I gave you a
tardy yesterday for coming to class without it, making me send
you to your locker. Get back before the bell.

Mime took off for Mabel's end of the hall. It's a long trek. The
whole way, he slung his band-aided finger. You know, like if you
have water on it, and are trying to fling it dry? He came back to

Can I have another band-aid?" (Because I have Scooby
Doo band-aids, you know, not just the beige ones.)
No. You're trying to make it bleed.
Look at this one. It's got a big spot of blood!
It's dry now.
Mime leaned over, elbows on knees. He milked his band-
aided finger, squeezing it until the fingertip was purple.
Man. I hope it stops bleeding.
Then stop trying to make it bleed!!! The whole class shouted
it at once.

I did not give him a new band-aid. Because he was trying me.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Reading is FUNDamental

Book Fair time in Hillbillyville! Read all about it! Book Fair time in
Hillbillyville! Which means my children have been nickel-and-diming
me. Actually, they have been ten-and-twentying me. Book Fair isn't
cheap. This morning my 8-year-old asked me for $20. For two
books. He knew the titles he wanted, and how much they cost.

Back in the day, we didn't have Book Fair. We had Scholastic
Book Orders. The books didn't cost much...50 or 75 cents. Yeah.
That's how old I am. The day the book orders arrived was the best
day ever, with the day the new order forms were given out a close
second. I was always allowed to get 2 or 3 books. We weren't
rich. We lived in a trailer. My allowance was 50 cents every two
weeks, which was how my Hillbilly Daddy got paid. Not the 50
cents part--the two weeks part. He was a lineman for SW Bell
Telephone. One time, he came to the park in the middle of the
day, his shirt shredded and bloody. His climbers had slipped out
of the wood of an often-climbed telephone pole, and he slid down
it like a fire pole. Not recommended. I had to get off my springy
red chicken riding toy so we could take him to the hospital. I'm not
sure what kind of witch-doctory-medicine-man he saw, but the
cure for what ailed him seemed to be lying in MY bed in the back
of the trailer for a week with no shirt, and bacon strips on his chest
and belly to draw out the splinters. I'm kinda thinkin' we might
have tried to save money by going to some quack. point is that we didn't have a lot of money, but I
always had money for books. I LOVE BOOKS. My Hillbilly
Mama has said we were so poor that if my sister or I begged
for a Suzy Q in the grocery store, she had to say no. There was
no money to spare, and it made her cry that she couldn't even
buy her child a snack cake. I don't remember going cakeless,
but I do remember getting commodity cheese and peanut butter.
Hey! Redneck Diva, Mrs. Coach! FREE CHEESE! Not exactly
a Suzy Q, but the Piggly Wiggly store had a lady giving out free
potato chip samples. We must have really looked poor, because
that lady called me back and gave me another chip, and it was
the good kind, the folded-over kind with about 3 others folded
inside it. Either that, or I was just so hungry that I remember
that chip. I was 5 years old.

I read all the time. Night time, going out for an A & W Root Beer
Float with the grandparents? Didn't stop me! I took my Scholastic
book and crawled up into the flat spot under the back windshield
of the car, reading as we passed under streetlights. Seatbelts?
Nobody wore those sissy things back then. Carseats? WTF?
Kids rode standing on that hump on the back floor, looking
over the seat. Or they just stood up in the front seat. Who needs
a seatbelt when your mom can fling out her arm to stop you every
time she hits the brake?

My grandma next door had a whole room in her basement filled
with shelves of books. I'd go in there and leaf through random
titles. I thought that was the coolest thing in the world. Visits
to my other grandma's house were not so intellectually stimulating.
Sure, it was fun to feed the hogs, fish in the pond, dig potatoes,
throw hedgeapples down the sinkhole, ride the pony, pick corn,
shake persimmons out of the tree, crank homemade ice cream,
and sleep outside. But in the winter, or if it rained, I was bored
to tears. This was the time of no cable or satellite TV. Four
channels, people! Nothing to read. I take that back. Sometimes
there was the First Baptist Church Newsletter, or an agriculture
magazine. But they were few and far between.

In the summer, my Hillbilly Mama took my sister and me to the
town library. It was over the fire station, which did not impress
me at all. What did was a whole room full of books, with a
section just for kids! I could check out two books, and keep
them two weeks. Of course I read them before the two weeks
were over. I loved the Trixie Belden, Annette, and Nancy Drew
series. Library day was even better than the skating rink!

So I am a sucker for a kid wanting a book, and I gave my boy
the $20 for Secret Codes for Handhelds, and Revenge of the
Shadow King. He was pleased as punch, and proud to tell me
"And I even got a dollar back!" The 11-year-old bought three
books for $15. He demanded that the volunteer workers grant
him immunity from sales tax, because "My mom is a teacher,
and they don't have to pay tax." My goodness! How times have
changed! Even the Scholastic books are $3 or $4 now. But
I will not deny my boys books.

When I am old and in a nursing home, I want people taking
care of me who know how to read the directions on my drugs.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

My Day Equals Math

Today was one of those days when my students needed help with
math. All day. Every class except 2nd hour, in which the two who
need math help were busy last-minuting their 4 source cards that
were due today for their Language II paper.

Have you ever done math for 5 hours? Sorry, Mabel. I see your
hand up, but you don't count. Math is your life. I, on the other
hand, am accustomed to a balance of brain food. Hillbilly Mom
does not live by math alone. She needs a variety to stay healthy.

I feel like Forrest Gump's friend Bubba. I did two-step equations
to solve for a variable math, I did expanding expressions math, I
did simplifying expressions involving exponents math, I did
multiplying binomials math, I did graphing inequalities math, I did
percentages using equivalent fractions math, I did multiplying by
two numbers math, I did long division math, I did adding and
subtracting fractions after finding the lowest common denominator
math, and I did word problems to find percents math.

Whew! Any way you slice it, that's a lot of math. I've had my fill
of math today, my friends. I know this has been my karmatic just
desserts for telling my buddy Mabel: "It's not like it's HARD to
teach math." That was after I found out I will be teaching 3 math
classes next year. Remedial math classes.

Anyhoo, every time I close my eyes, I see numbers. I am like
John Nash portrayed by Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind,
with numbers swirling all around, written on the windows and
walls. Except that I am not a genius, and I am not mentally ill,
and I don't see Ed Harris when he's not really there, and I do
not have an imaginary roommate, Paul Bettany, and I do not
throw cell phones at hotel employees. But otherwise just like

I am NOT going to watch Numb3rs Friday night.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I See You

Don't get all paranoid. No need to get your panties in a wad, your
knickers in a twist, a bug up you butt, sand in your craw, your nose
out of joint, or bent out of shape. I can't really see YOU.

This week I saw people doing things they probably didn't WANT
me to see.

A girl peeking at the answers in the back of her textbook.
C'mon, girlie. Do you think the teacher won't notice that you get
all the odd problems right and all the even problems wrong?

A girl looking guilty when I shouted, "Hey! Has anyone seen my
green calculator?"
The eyes have it. The eyes are the window to the calculator
thief's admission of guilt. A raised eyebrow, and she spilled her
guts. "It's at home. I was meaning to bring it back, but then we
had that backwards day, and then I forgot, and then I laid it out,
but our power was off last night and I didn't think of it this morning."
A simple 'I'll bring it back tomorrow' would have been sufficient.

About 20 boys adjusting their private parts while walking down
the hall, sitting in my class, eating lunch, etc.
Oh. They don't care at all who sees. That's why they do it every
freakin' day!

A boy typing 'fag' into the answer for a Jeopardy computer game
question that he did not know.
Methinks that if you are so obsessed, you might be one. Not that
there's anything wrong with that...

A woman abandoning her shopping cart on the Wal*Mart parking
lot, and speeding off while it rolled into the path of a car searching
for a space.
Karma, babe. I'd watch where you park that large SUV of yours
next time. Better make it at the top of a hill.

A toddler squeezing the h*ll out of a loaf of bread, hugging it like a
long-lost teddy bear, while his momma put her cartload of groceries
on the black rubber magic carpet at the Wal*Mart checkout.
How sweet! But momma ain't happy.

My #1 son picking a scab off his arm.
A scab formed after he picked off the scab yesterday from the one
formed the day before yesterday from the get the drift.
What are you, kid, a chicken pecking yourself to death? Get over
the nervous habit already!

Hmm...what if I really DID see you? Did you do anything naughty?
(That can be discussed here?)

Monday, March 20, 2006

Template Schmemplate

Could I possibly be more boring? I have nothing to say lately.
Nobody has told me I'm OH SO PRETTY at Save-A-Lot. My
Sonic lovahhhh, my man-boy, has not been working the drive-thru.
My Hillbilly Husband has not committed a major faux pas since
the free hot tub incident. My #1 son has not been quizzing me on
the space-time continuum when I'd rather be car-singing. My #2
son has not exposed himself or slapped a librarian on the behind.
Mabel has not given me any lip. Rebecca has not stolen anything.
What's a gal to do?

I popped in to visit MamaKBear the other day, when she was
bemoaning her lack of smacking. Seems she submitted her blog
to I Talk Too Much, and they didn't like her style. Don't your
worry your OH SO PRETTY head over that, MamaKB. I like
your style.'ve given me an idea for today's post!

Does it really matter to any of you what template a blog has? I
don't give a rat's behind what it looks like. I am there to read, not
gaze at the template. In fact, if it takes to long to load, I am outta
there like a cat being chased to insert 5 antibiotic drops in each
ear twice a day. Yes, well...I'm having some pet issues at the
moment. Anyhoo, the template means nothing to me. Grab a free
one, folks. No need to waste your money pleasing me. No need
to put on airs. If you're funny or interesting, I'll read you. I don't
care about the doodads in your sidebar. I don't care if you use
Blogger templates. I am all about the CONTENT, baby! And
about talking like George Costanza.

I've used several Blogger templates between this blog and my
old Redneck Review blog. I've been green, gray, and blue.
I think this is the longest I've kept one. I do not think the ol'
mansion has ever gotten a new coat of paint. I thought about it
the other day, with spring coming and all. Maybe lighten up a little,
since the winter has passed, and I'm not blue anymore. Then
I remembered that I have to beg help from #1 son to add my
statcounter again, which is sometimes a pain. So I've decided
to procrastinate a bit more.

Does the look of the blog really matter to you? What are your
opinions? Would you stop reading one because of the template?
Would you read a less interesting blog because it has a nice
template? Do you think a good template means a better blogger?
Would you not read one because of spelling/grammar errors?
Do you think only the educated bloggers are worthy of reading?
Are the big-name bloggers more interesting than the common,
everyday bloggers?

Here now! Don't be overwhelmed with your assignment! Just
pick one question to answer. No need to be afraid of failure...
I am grading on content, not spelling and grammar. Please
line up single file to deposit your comments in Mrs. Hillbilly
Mom's comment-saver-thingy.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Popularity is for Poo-Poo Heads

Let's talk about popularity. Because I can't think of anything else
today. Are you popular? Are you a nerd? Are you so nerdy you
became popular? How about those nerds on The Amazing Race?
From what I've been reading, they are one of the viewers' favorite
teams. Nerds are popular! Who knew?

Popular people annoy me. They are so freakin' self-centered. Now
you must understand that is different from ME saying everything is
all about ME. Because I can do that. I am not popular. And I know
things about other people. Like their names, for instance. And things
that interest them. Here's an example. Once upon a time, years ago,
at one of my many schools, a smart-but-not-popular senior walked
down the hall and stopped to talk to the school counselor, who was
chatting with me. Which was unusual in itself, because the counselor
was popular and I was not. She asked the counselor if she'd written
that recommendation yet. The counselor replied, "It's on my desk
right now. I'm going to do it when I go back." The senior smiled.
"Thanks a lot!" As the senior walked down the hall, the counselor
turned to me. "What was her name again?" Give me a break! The
counselor, of all people, should know who the kid is if she's agreed
to give a recommendation! This was not a large school. It had less
than 100 students per grade level. The counselor only had four years
to learn the names of the students. I guess my point is...ain't it just
like a popular person to only be concerned with themselves, or with
other popular people?

In high school, I was not popular. Hands up. How many people
knew that already? I see it's unanimous. I was a nerd, which meant
at least I had respect for being smart, even if I was not included by
the populars in all their little stuck-up games. Ooohhh! There were
many rumors about the populars that ran rampant through the
nerds. One was that the blond senior in our freshman PE class
actually missed a week of school because she swam in the pool
and her hair turned green. Either that, or she was off having an
abortion. Back in the day, girls didn't just have babies at the drop
of a thong. There was some stigma to it in Bible Belt small-town
America. Another rumor was that at a party, the seniors turned
off all the lights and had sex with whoever they grabbed. There
were two variations to this story. One was that the hostess of the
party was found screwing her brother on the couch when the lights
came on, saw him, and kept doing it anyway. Another was that
someone went into the master bedroom, and there were three
senior girls in bed going at it. I think we must have had some wild
imaginations. If they'd said So-and-So came back from lunch so
high he couldn't read out loud in class, we'd have believed that,
because we saw that every day. But the goings-on of the populars
at their exclusive popular parties were mysteries to us.

My senior year, I hung out sometimes with one of the populars.
We were on the volleyball team (2nd place in the state tournament,
thank you very much) and would later share an apartment for a
year at college. A year during which I almost died of boredom, a
year in which any time I was home alone with her, I looked like
that deflated pot-smoking girl who melts to the couch in that public
service commercial. Only I wasn't on the pot. Much. Anyhoo...
we did what every other kid did on a Friday or Saturday night--
cruised through town, honked at our friends, and had a Mama-
Burger at the A & W. I was bored to tears. I kept thinking,
When is this going to be fun? She was BORING. One night we
picked up another popular girl, which meant that I had to move to
the back seat so she could ride shotgun. BORING times two.
Great Googley Moogley, the boring crap those two talked about.
"So then I said, 'QUIT, Boyfriend! Don't put your hand on my
knee...Miss Popularity is here. I don't want her to see me do that!'
I was so drunk!" Ho hum. I longed for my nerd friends, who did
things like moon their bare butts out my hatchback window while
cruising Main Street, drink pitchers of beer left on Pizza Hut tables,
show me how a one-armed man counts his change, scream "Ohh...
I LOVE push-ups" in a suggestive manner when the football team
warmed up before the game, and drive by the Drive-In 20 times to
get a glimpse of some skin in R-rated movies. Ahh...good times.

Some of my schools had their little groups of popular teachers.
Hey! Guess what? I wasn't one of them! Well, except at one
school, where everybody was invited to parties except ONE
person, and we even invited her husband, just not her. She went
on to be an elementary principal in another district, and a 2nd
grader brought a gun to the Christmas program to shoot her, but
was caught before he could. Perhaps we were a good judge of
character. Perhaps not.

Now that I've meandered to Handbasketland and back...I'll get
back to my regularly scheduled blog. Don't you hate it when a
person acts like she's (I'll say she, but it has also happened with
guys--bitter little girly men) your best friend until somebody
better comes along? Then you might as well dive into the sour
cream and chives, baby, because you've just been dropped like
a hot potato. One minute you're chatting away about people less
popular than you, and the next thing you know, you're getting the
cold shoulder. Nobody looks at you, they turn their backs to you,
they whisper in hushed tones about something so secret you're
not allowed to hear, because you're not a part of Popular Club.
First rule of Popular Club: Don't talk to people not in Popular
Club. I hate it when that happens.

Nerds, on the other hand, will include a person who walks up
on the conversation. Probably so they don't think they're being
talked about, which would necessitate revenge on the nerds.
Nerds are inclusive. They revel in their nerdiness. First Rule of
Nerd Club: Talk about Nerd Club to anybody who will listen.

And now I've forgetten the point I was out to make on this day
when I could not think of a subject on which to enlighten you.
Unless it is: Popular People Piss Me Off.

And they're boring, too.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Saturday Search Party

Saturday. Not much going on around the ol' manse. So I'm throwing
a Saturday Search Party. Don't get excited. It's not a real party. It's
a virtual party, with this week's keyword searches as the guests of
honor. Of course, I'm obliged to say something about each guest
as he arrives. My Hillbilly Mama always said, "If you can't say
anything good about somebody, don't say anything at all." I never
was one for following my mama's instructions...

Look, it's our first guest, deliverance possum boy. I think I saw you
in a movie one time. You can play us some music on that banjo.
And might I add, you shore got a purty mouth. I see you've brought
a date: bearded woman. Now pardon my French, but that don't look
like no woman I've ever seen. Go on in and have a seat on the
hillbilly theme furniture. Careful, don't step on the boys licking their
mom's feet! If you do, you might see what happens when hillbillies
gone mad.

Toothless skanky hillibillies are at the door. Welcome to my big fat
mansion, fellas. I hope you're not expecting this to be as swank an
affair as your dinner at the lymph mansion in St. Louis. I've heard
their body fluid soup is delicious, almost as good as dinner at the
LEMP mansion in St. Louis. Who knew! On our menu tonight, we
have chum you can carve it, and hillbilly deviled eggs. I'm afraid we
might all be coughing up hard chunks when supper is over.

Later, we are expecting some actual horny moms. They should be
more lively than those fake horny moms we invited last week. They
happen to be running a bit late, due to the j c penney truckload
sale. They may miss supper, but they should get here in time for
the hillbilly meth, and the histinex get you high.

By the way, those of you who came here wearing hillbilly baby
clothes and adult poopie pants, looking forward to a night filled
with hillbilly boobs and trading spouses, licking--we don't allow
that here. What do you think this is, the Budweiser mansion?
And while I'm lecturin' y'all on your manners...deliverance possum
boy, control your beared woman! I swear, if she shouts one more
time: mom has boobs, or kitty head cut off sunroof, or show licking
missouri mom, or asks to watch the woke up during surgery video,
I'll hit her so hard her never talk pretty any day. Or in the very least,
I'll give her big red wrapper forehead. Don't taunt Hillbilly Mom,

Whew! Things were getting tense there for a moment. Let's all
just chill out and drink in the beauty of the hillbilly decor. Hanging
on the wall over the couch is a picture of a hillbilly custodian. We
can't forget our roots. Over there on a pedestal, with a fern growing
out of her head, is the gummi venus de milo. She's on loan from the
Simpson collection. And that there work of art is a replica of our
home. We call it the playdough mansion. This crib just oozes class,
I tell you!

Now, everybody kick back. While we are waiting for those actual
horny moms to show up, I've got a special treat to show you. Yep.
It's the new toothless skanky hillbillies release: movie two hillbillies
rob the store they work at and get caught. It's a little slice of life.
I think it's better than our preview last week: clothes money mansion
honey look grades friends maids party rock concert. That one was
a bit disjointed.

I've gotta de-blog now. I've got guests to entertain. Once those
moms get here, I think we'll all be going to h*ll in a handbasket!

Friday, March 17, 2006

I Think I Lost It...

"I think I lost it. Let me know if you come across it.
Let me know if I let it fall along a back road somewhere.
Money can't replace it, no memory can erase it.
And I know I'm never gonna find another one to compare."

That's from Lucinda Williams, the 8th cut on her 1998 CD
"Car Wheels on a Gravel Road." I highly recommend it. You
can take a listen to some samples from it here. Not a bad
song in the bunch, if you like good ol' country raw vocals
without the pop sound.

Anyhoo...this is not a commercial for Lucinda Williams. It is a
post for an old friend of mine who is having a tough time with a
friendship gone awry. Imagine a time you have had your feelings
hurt when someone you trusted betrayed you. C'mon...I know
it has happened to every one of us at some point. My buddy
sent me an email about friendship. I am passing it along here,
because more people will see it here than if I email it.


A girl asked a guy if he thought she was pretty,
She asked him if he would want to be with her forever...
and he said no.
She then asked him if she were to leave would he cry,
and once again he replied with a no.
She had heard enough. As she walked away, tears streaming down
her face, the boy grabbed her arm and said...
You're not pretty, you're beautiful.
I don't want to be with you forever, I NEED to be with you forever.
And I wouldn't cry if you walked away...I'd die...

I like you because of who you are to me...A true friend.
And if I don't get this back I'll take the hint.
Tonight at midnight your true love will realize they like you.
Something good will happen to you at 1:00-4:00 PM tomorrow.
It could be anywhere -- AOL, Yahoo, outside of school, anywhere.
Get ready for the biggest shock of your life.
Please send to 15 people in 15 minutes.
"A good friend will come bail you out of jail....
But a true friend will be sitting next to you saying ...
WE screwed up, but we had fun! "
Proud to be your Friend!
Make sure you read all the way down to the last sentence, and
don't skip ahead.
I've learned...that life is like a roll of toilet paper.
The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.
I've learned...that we should be glad God doesn't give us
everything we ask for.
I've learned...that money doesn't buy class.
I've learned....that it's those small daily happenings that make life
so spectacular.
I've learned...that under everyone's hard shell is someone who
wants to be appreciated and loved.
I've learned....that the Lord didn't do it all in one day.
What makes me think I can?
I've learned...that to ignore the facts does not change the facts.
I've learned...that the less time I have to work, the more things I
get done.

To all of you...make sure you read all the way down to the last
It's National Friendship Week.
Show your friends how much you care.
Send this to everyone you consider a FRIEND, even if it means
sending it back to the person who sent it to you.
If it comes back to you, then you'll know you have a circle of

Please send some positive energy the way of my friend Bean in the
Sunflower State. And while you're at it, direct some of it toward
my blogfriend Kim in the Pelican State. Hey! I don't ask y'all for
much, now do I? And see here, I've even given you a geography
lesson, because you can google to find out what states these are.

Hillbilly Mom: always educatin'.

Flotsam and Rugsam

An update on the free hot tub situation: it is IN. Not in the garage,
but under the back porch. That's really a better location than it
sounds like...once we clean up the other treasures that are stored
there. A couple nights ago, #1 son called for me to come out and
look at it. It looked new. It was shiny white inside, with wooden
trim on the outside.

"Why does it smell like chlorine?"
"I put some bleach in it to clean it."
"It looks clean."
"I'm going to drain the water out. I didn't know it had to be level.
It's about an inch off."
"This looks good. Better than I thought."
"You can get in it, Mom."
"Not now! It's freezing!"
"I don't mean NOW. Later, in the summer. You said that you'd
never get in it. But now that you say it looks nice, maybe you'll
get in."


I had no reason to doubt that the free hot tub needed to be leveled.
It is totally like my Hillbilly Husband to install something without
reading directions. Then yesterday morning, I found out his ulterior
motive. As we were getting ready to leave for school, I heard the
free hot tub bubbling.

"Why did Dad leave the hot tub on? I thought he was draining the
water to level it."

"He's cleaning it, Mom."
"He put bleach in it last night. How clean does it have to be?"
"Well, after he filled it up...when he first turned on the jets...a big
wad of black hair shot out of it. So then he poured in the bleach."

"Ewww! I'm going to be sick! Who took it out?"
"You mean the wad of black hair?"
"Stop saying that! My stomach is churning! Yes! What else would
I be talking about?"

"Nobody took out the big wad of hair. It sucked back in. Dad said
he'd let the filter take care of it."

"Ewww! I'm going to vomit! My mouth is getting all watery! The
filter didn't take care of it in those 10 years the OTHER people had
it! I'm NEVER getting in!"
"MOM! It's JUST hair!"

Ahem. I do not want my tender parts exposed to water with other
people's 10-year-old hair dissolved in it. That is just NASTY! I
have a problem with other people's cast-off hair...and skin...and
TOENAILS! What, you ask? TOENAILS? Where did that come
from? No, they were not in the free hot tub. That just reminded me
of another story...

When I bought my old house, my $17,900 house, we had some
work done on it. We needed a new subfloor. While we were
waiting to put in the carpet until a computer nook was added to the
front of the house, my grandma gave me a rug. It was a big ol'
braided rug that used to be in front of her fireplace. She was
getting a new one, and this one had a few burn spots from coals
leaping out of the fire. One night I sat down on the couch, and my
foot snagged on something sharp. I told HH to get down on the
floor and see if there was a staple or paperclip caught in the rug.
HH crawled on his hands and knees, and said, "Here it is!"He
grabbed it and stood up, holding it in the air. Like a nerd winning
a "Technical Lighting" award clutching his Oscar. It was a toenail.
A big, ragged, MAN's toenail! My 5'2" humpbacked little ol'
grandma could never have cultivated a toenail of such proportions!
My uncle from Alaska had been staying with her for a few weeks
during the Christmas tree season, since they operated a tree farm.
It had to be HIS toenail. Ewww! It gagged me.

Now we have that rug in the basement, so the kids don't have to
sit on the tile floor. HH hung it over the clothesline at the old house,
and beat it within an inch of its life. I wanted to throw it away. HH
said it was worth too much to throw away. Scavenger! Every time
I speak of it, I say "The Toenail Rug."

Now you REALLY want to visit the Hillbilly Mansion, don't you?
Sorry, Mabel. Now I can never invite you.
You know my secrets!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

HH's Hot Tub Faux Pas

No, my Hillbilly Husband didn't toot in the hot tub. It's still on the
borrowed trailer. It's what he plans to do with it that is plain ol'
embarrassing. Heh, heh. That reminded me of bare-assing when
I typed it!

The original plan was to put the hot tub behind the house, beside
the Wal-Mart swimming pool. It would set under the back porch,
just outside the basement door, on concrete. There, it would have
a view of the woods and animals. It would be convenient to step
out of the basement and into it in the cool weather. You could go
from the pool to the hot tub if you wanted.

Then #1 son spilled the beans on HH's new plan. "Mom, he is
going to put the hot tub in the garage."


Why put a hot tub in the garage? Won't the car be alienated? The
truck, not so much. He is too long anyway. The five cats who live
in the rafters, knocking down Christmas ornaments, will be glad to
have water in their lair. They have been partial to the chlorinated
Wal*Mart pool water since last summer, but perhaps they are
ready for a new beverage. I'm sure they will gladly donate the hair
off their backs for the privilege of having a hot tub. Let's not forget
that the garage reaches upwards of 120 degrees Fahrenheit in
the summer. Just what you need for hot tub sitting. Perhaps we
will call it the 'boiling the flesh off your bones tub'. And how 'bout
that view? To the left, two metal doors. To the right, 3 shelves
stacked with items we never plan to use again. Straight ahead,
a bevy of fishing poles hanging on nails hammered into the studs.
OR my large SUV. Above, plywood patchwork laid down on
the rafters, a cat tail twitching here and there. Ooh, baby! Let's
throw us a hot tub party!

When enlightened on the above concepts, HH responded to a
select few. Cat hair in the hot tub? Naw! He's going to build a
wall around the hot tub. Umm...a wall that can keep out cat
hairs that fall from the plywood ceiling? I knew a girl who had
an indoor cat, and she even had cat hair in the FREEZER!
The view? Well, HH is going to put in some windows. Where
is he getting the money for THAT, I'd like to know. The temp?
Oh, we won't be using it in the summer, just the winter. And
what is different about using it compared to the big triangle
bathtub with jets, which is already in the house?

We took a poll, the DoNots and I. Only ONE person in
21 voted to put the hot tub in the garage. That o n e was
Mum. I believe we've discussed him here before.
Enough said.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Accelerator Thief Alaska Spit Day

Good gracious! I am concerned about the future. Specifically,
MY future. Because it IS all about ME. Very specifically, my future
when I'm in a nursing home, and my students of today are running
tomorrow's world. The students who said it feels so good to hit

I know I have these students in my class because they are not
famous for academic excellence. I know that I should not poke
fun at them for something that they are not capable of learning.
But by golly, people, they should know this stuff!!!

Case One: The Accelerator
There's this Do-Not who does not know what an accelerator is.
Her boyfriend announced it to the class, along with the fact that
she thought the R on the PRNDL gear shift thingy meant radiator
instead of reverse. She is 15, with a boyfriend who drives. She
should know that.

I thought the radiator was the engine.
She'll need one of those gas pedals that looks like a bare foot,
so she will know you're supposed to put your foot on it.
That's the first thing they ask you when you take your driver's
test: where the accelerator is.
Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, is that right? Because if it is, that is just
stupid! My brother handles all that.
I don't know if that's true. It's been a long time since I took it.
I just took mine three times. They check the car and tell you to
turn on the blinkers and point to the windshield wipers and then
they say, 'Put your foot on the accelerator'.
Hey, that could be embarrassing. What if she gets out of the car
and opens the hood and puts her foot on the engine?

Yes. Well. My Do-Nots are good for a laugh most days.

Case 2: Thief
Hey, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom! Can you believe someone could be so
dumb to steal a pair of shoes from ISS?
No. Ask Klepto. She did it. And they were BOYS' shoes.
A better question would be, 'How was there a pair of shoes in
ISS with no feet in them?'
She probably took them off someone's feet while he was sleeping.
There's no sleeping in ISS.
That's what you think.
Is the real question about how it's wrong to steal, or how it's
wrong to steal from ISS?
From ISS!

She should know it's not right to steal. From anywhere.
Note to Self: 'Do Not fall asleep in class with DoNots.'

Case 3: Alaska
I thought you said Gettysburg was in Pennsylvania!
I did.
It is not. It's in Pittsburgh.
No. It can't be. Pennsylvania is a state. Pittsburgh is a city.
What's the biggest state?
No. Texas is bigger.
No. Alaska.
Look at that. Alaska would fit into Texas.
No, that is just to fit Alaska on that map. It isn't the actual size.
Look at that world map over there instead of the U.S. map.
(Looks around the South Pacific area, near Hawaii.)
It's so small you can't even see it on this map.
No. Look in the northwest U.S. See, it's green like the rest of
the U.S.
THAT'S Alaska?
See, it would take up most of the west coast. It's bigger
than Texas.
Oh. Yeah.

He is 14. He should know that Alaska is not an island in the
Pacific Ocean near the equator. Great Googley Moogley!
I've had those maps up for 4 years.

Case 4: Spit
This is my first day back after getting my tonsils out last week.
Have you been eating jello and pudding?
No. The pudding was nasty. My throat hurts.
How about a shake? Can't you eat it with a spoon?
No. You're not supposed to have real ice cream. It makes
your throat have mucus. But I ate Burger King on the way
home from the hospital. Not the fries. Just the burger.
That can't be good for you.
I haven't had anything else since that day. I'm down to 78 pounds
from 89.
You've got to eat. Or drink.
It hurts to swallow. Even my salarva is really thick.

She is 12. She should know the difference between saliva and
And salarva.

I'm not expecting them to split the atom. I'm not expecting
them to perform brain surgery. I'm not expecting them to earn
the Nobel Peace Prize for rocket science. But I do think that
by this age, they should know what a car accelerator does, and
that it's not right to steal, and where Alaska is located, and the
correct name for spit. I do my best to teach them as each new
opportunity presents itself.

My life is full of opportunities.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I Was Just Thinking That !

I have made jokes here about being psychic. Do you think there
really is such a thing? TV psychics are phonies to me. Especially
that John Edward. He may have some psychic abilities, but from
what I see on TV, he is fishing for responses from his audience.
I've read his autobiography, and it made me think he could have
some psychic qualities. But his show is a bunch of hooey. I am
more likely to believe Sylvia Browne, the Montel regular. I have
also read her books. At times she seems like an absolute nutcase,
but at other times I find myself believing.

But let's get back to ME ME ME! I don't have premonitions, I
don't read tea leaves, I don't have a crystal ball to forecast the
future. I have never been one of those people who have dreams
that come true, or one dream that occurs again and again.
But I do have inklings, and hunches, and coincidences. I think
maybe I'm just good at picking up nonverbal signals from people,
so I can tell how they're going to react, or what they're about to
say. I'm not like that guy in the Stephen King book who shakes
hands with people and has a flash of their deepest feelings shoot
through his brain.

Here's a tiny taste of my little inklings. Thursday, my best TV
night, I kept getting the urge to check my email. Not my regular
email account, but my school account. I never check that from
home. I check it at school at lunch, for the announcements before
I travel to my afternoon building. It happened through Survivor,
from 7:00 to 8:00. I was busy for the next hour, doing some
laundry and getting the boys' stuff ready for school the next day.
During ER, I kept getting that urge again. It wasn't a voice, it
was just a random thought at commercials, "Check the email."
Since ER was a rerun, I went in about 9:30 and checked. I had
a short message from a teacher I don't see very often--maybe
once every two weeks, because our schedules are opposite.
It was no big deal, nothing important. It had been sent at
6:38 p.m. Around 10:30 I sent a response. End of story, right?

But nooo...this is Hillbilly Mom's life, where nothing is that short
and sweet. Friday morning, I arose as usual at 4:20 (no, I'm not
a stoner--if you're lost, 4-20 is referred to around here as
"Stoner's Holiday") and packed the lunches, took a shower,
and settled down in the recliner for my morning nap. As I leaned
back the chair, I thought, "I spelled the name wrong in that
email." I looked at the clock to see how long I could sleep. It was
4:45 a.m. Again, no big deal. It did not disturb me enough to
disrupt my nap. I thought, "I'll send another one when I get to
school to acknowledge the name thing." I hate it when people
spell MY name wrong. It's like they don't care enough to know
who you are after working there for 7 years.

Anyhoo...I got to school, put up the posters that had fallen off
the wall overnight, turned on my computer that takes 10 minutes
to log on, checked my mailbox for inside teacher information,
and sat down for that quick email. I had another message from
that same teacher, sent at 4:43 a.m. Who knew that another
teacher was awake at the pre-crack of dawn? Now I want to
know why my psychic powers have a two-minute time lag.

Are you thirsty for more? Here's another example. Several years
ago, before a new stoplight was put in on the highway, I used to
make a right turn off the highway onto a little section of county
road. Because there was sometimes other traffic making a left
turn at this same crossover, I had taken to signalling my right
turn and pulling onto the right shoulder of the highway for about
100 yards. This allowed the traffic behind me to continue without
slowing down, just in case they were unable to pull into the fast
lane to get around me when I turned.

One rainy night I was headed home from my Hillbilly Mama's
house about 9:30. There was a car behind me as I approached
my turn-off, but I didn't pull over to the shoulder. I don't know
why. I did it every other time, but this night, as I got to the
section where I always pulled over, I thought "no". That was it.
Just an instant. And then I was to the road where I turn off, and
out of the rainy darkness I could make out an abandoned car
parked on the shoulder about 15 feet from my road. I would
have been cruising down the shoulder at 25 mph and would
have rammed right into the back of it. HooRah, Hillbilly Mom's
creepy psychic sense!

One more example. A couple weeks ago, at the end of my
2nd hour class, the secretary came on the intercom and said,
"Mr. So-and-So's class, report to the cafeteria." The first
thing that popped into my head was "Something has happened
to Mr. So-and-So." There was no reason for this. His class
could have had a guest speaker coming in, or survey to fill
out, or maybe he was tied up with a parent and they needed
to be supervised. I had been thinking about Mr. So-and-So
during first hour anyway. (That is his prep hour, and sometimes
he comes in to tell me about an assignment. Not often, maybe
once a month.) I had been thinking about how sometimes his
shirt is soaking with sweat, even before he has his first class
second hour. Again, I don't know why. It was a fleeting
thought that I had twice.

My third hour came in, two of whom had been in Mr. So-
and-So's class. They said he had collapsed. I looked out
front, and sure enough, there was an ambulance. He is OK
now, but I don't know why I had been thinking about him
that morning. I am usually thinking about Mr. K, wanting
him to come in and harrass my Do-Nots for slacking in his
class, and lying to me about it. I guess when the announcement
came, I picked up on something in the secretary's voice. It
was not like she had told everyone to remain in their second
hour class until further notice, like when there is a lock-down,
or the drug dog pays a visit. That would have been a definite
clue that something was amiss.

So there you have it. Some of my coincidences. Not specifically
psychic, just coincidences.

Not enough for me to be invited on the Montel show.