Redneck Review

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

My Hillbilly Mama's Name
Posted by Hello

Happy Birthday, Hillbilly Grandma

Today the boy young'uns and I took Hillbilly Grandma out to
lunch for her birthday. We went to Wendy's, her choice. Only
the best for my mama! None of us had the chili, though.

HG ordered a burger combo, and asked for everything on it
except ketchup and mustard. You guessed it--they put only
ketchup and mustard on it. HG took it back, and they gave
her another one.

Hubby would have taken a bite out of it before he took it back
to prevent them from serving it to some other customer. He
always squeezes rolls left in the basket too, because he says
they will take them to someone else's table. I tell him he's
nuts (for other reasons than that, too), but he says that's how
restaurants are. I didn't believe him until one time at Sonic I
had just gotten the kids' food sorted out and the waitress
tapped on my car window. I just about jumped out of my
skin. I rolled it down, and she said, "I need your burger back."


"I need your burger. We gave you the wrong one."

I hadn't even opened it yet, but I gave it back, and she handed
me another one. Then I got to did they know it
was wrong? Did the other customer open his burger and
complain? Did someone else have his hands all over this one,
and they were giving it to me now? I couldn't eat it. Why did
they want mine back? Because they were going to give it to
the complainer!
Otherwise, they would have just let me have it
and wait to see if I complained too. I can understand if I had
been the first to complain, they might take the burger so people
don't run a scam and get two burgers out of them for the price
of one. But I didn't complain, and they wanted it back. That's
just wrong!

Getting back to HG's birthday...after lunch we went shopping
at Goodwill. I had never been there before, but Hillbilly Grandma
went a couple weeks ago with her neighbor and got some fine
jewelry. She said we should go sometime, that people line up
at the door and wait for them to open. I have a lot of stuff that
I need to get rid of, so we were going to ask about their drop-off
hours and tax-receipt policy. I usually take stuff to the school
nurse or social worker, but hey, it's summer. I have also given
stuff to the local ministerial alliance, but they never seem to be
open any more, and put up a gate because people were going
through the dropped-off stuff after hours. Now you may wonder,
"How poor do you have to be to steal something that these
workers are going to charge you a nickel or a dime for?" Well,
it was people taking it to sell at flea markets, not the people
who needed it.

Getting back to HG's birthday excursion...she took a cart into
Goodwill to push #2 son while he played his GameBoy. That
sure does cut down on the whining. He wanted a Rugrats Video
($2.95). I found 3 books for myself, and Where the Red Fern
Grows for #1 son (4 x $0.75). Then I found a wooden bill &
letter holder ($2.95). #2 son decided he had to have a wireless
keyboard ($3.95). And I got a 1-inch 3-ring binder ($0.95).
Hillbilly Grandma picked up a roll of burlap ($0.95). She said,
"I don't know what I'll use this for, but I'm afraid that when I
come back, they'll all be gone." Maybe she's planning to make
us all new hillbilly clothes.

My sister wouldn't be caught dead in Goodwill. She won't
even go in the Dollar Store. If there's something she wants,
she sends HG to get it for her. She won't shop at Save-A-Lot
either. She is married to the Mayor of Hicksville, which is the
next town over from Redneckland. Don't be putting on airs
with me, Missy! I remember when you were just a little
scraggly-haired redneck girl yourself!

After we took HG home, she decided she would come out
to our house for a ride from #1 son in his $300 car. The
boy young'uns rode with her. When they got here, she noticed
she didn't have her purse, and thought she must have left it in
her garage. Then she wondered if she had left the garage door
open, so she worried about that. After a few rides around the
field, she decided she had to get going back to town. I asked
if she needed me to pin her name and address on her shirt in
case something happened on the way home, she could be
identified. She said "No," and "Thanks for a wonderful birthday."

Doesn't take much to please us rednecks, unless you are married
to the mayor.

I just called Hillbilly Grandma to see if she made it home OK.
She did, and found her purse in the garage. The door was
closed. But....

HG took her roll of burlap to show her neighbor what a great
buy she got, and Neighbor said, "Oh, you shouldn't have. I don't
know what I'll do with it, but I really like it." HG said after that,
she didn't have the heart to say it was really hers, she was just
showing it off. So she is going back tomorrow to get another
one. I bet she gets two.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Summertime in Redneckland.
Posted by Hello

Summer Vacation...Back in the Day

What did you do on your summer vacation when you were a
kid? Didn't it seem like summer lasted forever? I lived in town
until I was 12, so I had plenty of kids to play with. Oh, I did
live in a trailer. I am a redneck to the bone. But our trailer was
on a lot beside my grandpa's house, so I was a town redneck.

On the last day of school, which was always a half-day, my mom
would take my sister and I out to lunch. We could each bring one
friend. Every summer Dairy Queen was the restaurant of choice.
This was the only time we ate real food at Dairy Queen. Plus we
got dessert too. (It was a much simpler time back then.) I always
chose a cherry Mr. Misty, and drank it too fast and got a
headache. My sister got a Dilly Bar, and I can't even remember
what the friends got, though we both took the same friends every

Our days were spent running around the neighborhood. At night,
we had to be in by 9:00 p.m. Sometimes that was a pain, because
a good game of Kick-the-Can didn't really get going until after
dark. Then we'd have to go home and wash our feet. That was
the main rule. Wash your feet before bed. OK, this makes us
sound dirty, but we really did take a bath, just not at night. And
we never wore shoes in the summer unless we had to.

During the day we always had something to do. Sometimes we
played Army Men. All 3 of us girls (my sister, our neighbor,
and I) played together, and didn't even want to mix in with the
boys unless they invited us across the street to help dig their
dugout in the backyard for a baseball game (yes, it was just a
big hole) or to help build their miniature golf course in the gravel
by the street to play golf with marbles and twigs. My sister and
neighbor and I would each get a pillowcase and a BB gun and
an umbrella, and we would each choose a cherry tree in my
grandpa's yard as our post. The umbrella was to use as a
parachute when jumping off Grandpa's picnic table. The
pillowcase was a sleeping bag. The BB gun was to shoot cats,
but we couldn't do it when the neighbor was with us, because
they were her cats.

When we tired of this game, we played horses with Jane and
Johnny West and all their accessories.

We walked up the creek and dug out some clay and made pots
and painted them with watercolors. (Uh, make a note: the clay
absorbs the watercolors, so the pots all turn gray again. And if
you leave them on your patio to dry while you run to the store
with Mom, the boys will come over and smash them to bits).

We built a tank out of an old wooden phone booth crate and
some 2 x 4's. Then we sat in it and pointed our BB guns at
anything that moved, which was usually an unsuspecting enemy

We played tennis against the back wall of the neighbor's shed.

We rode the wagon down the hill, screaming all the way because
wagons don't steer very well with two people in them, and if we
didn't make a sharp left at the bottom into Lewis's yard, we
would run off the sidewalk and into the creek 5 feet below.

We rode bikes down to the next block to get my dog, Fuzzy,
that a mean boy named Nelson had kidnapped (I thought.
Fuzzy probably just got bored and moved).

We "explored" the culvert that ran under the road.

We took our $.50 bi-weekly allowance to Lupkey's store one
street over and one block down, and bought penny candy:
red licorice whips, Nik-L-Nips, wax lips, jawbreakers,
dots on a strip of paper, gum, Charms suckers with the chance
to win a free one, Sixlets, Chick-O-Sticks, Bit-O-Honey,
Fire Balls, red hots, Boston Baked Beans, caramels, Sugar
Daddies, Sugar Babies, Safety Pops, Pixie Stix, Lemon Heads,
Turkish Taffy, and probably more that I can't remember.

We got to have a "shower bath" when the weather was hot
enough. This means we put on our bathing suits and ran around
in the spray of Grandpa's garden hose and made rainbows.

We put the long lounge chairs outside on the patio and slept
outside. My mom made us popcorn and cherry Kool-Aid, and
we couldn't wait until dark to put on our pajamas and get that
party started. No TV. Sometimes radio. And books. Yes, we
would actually look at books while waiting for dark.

We played gymnasts on a square metal pipe frame that came out
of my grandpa's pickup truck.

We caught June Bugs and tied strings on their legs and let them
fly around us in circles. We picked their shells off tree trunks and
wore them as fine jewelry. I think a June Bug is really a cicada.
We thought it was funny because my Grandma and Grandpa
always called my dad "June." That's because he was a "junior"
and they just shortened it to "June."

We went to Grandpa's cabin on the St. Francis River and walked
barefoot down the road to the dock, catching little frogs and
putting them in Styrofoam cups to race in the water when we got
to the sandbar.

If it rained, we went to the neighbor's shed to play pool, read
5-year-old TV Guides, and look at the deer heads on the wall.
Or we cooked marbles in Grandpa's basement. The recipe?
Take an old coffee can and fill it 3/4 with water. Put it on the
burner and turn on the stove. Add marbles. Let boil about 5
minutes. Turn off and let cool. The purpose? Pretty cracked
marbles that are better to trade with the boys, because they
don't know how to cook marbles.

Evenings we would go up in my grandpa's yard and watch
him water his trees. He would let us drink from the garden
hose. Then we would roll down the hill of his front yard to
the sidewalk--over and over, until the Tastee Freeze man
came. Then we bought ice cream cones, and got a little plastic
ring with Mr. Tastee Freeze on it.

Mom took us to the city library to check out books every
two weeks. I loved the Black Stallion books, as well as
Misty of Chincoteague, Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, Hardy
Boys, Henry Huggins, Ramona. Anything and everything.
I loved to read. When we went to the A & W for root beer
floats with Grandma and Grandpa, I took a book and laid
up in the back windshield (as I called it) of the car, reading
as we passed under streetlights.

Sometimes Mom took us to Columbia Park to the big
swimming pool. She didn't just leave us, she took a lawn
chair and sat outside the fence.

We were pretty much spoiled. We didn't have to worry
about being kidnapped, or being on time for ball games,
or taking lessons, or going to summer school. Summer
really was summer vacation.

Are any of you so old that this brings back some memories
for you?

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Hillbilly fishpond, Version 2.0. it just me, or is the water still green?
Posted by Hello

CatFishing No More

The saga of the Hillbilly Fish Pond continues. In my May 24 post,
I showed our cat fishing in the fake pond. Hubby had decided to
upgrade this pond with a little waterfall (as he told it.) #1 son
said it wouldn't go with the fishpond we had (some kind of
smooth black plastic vs gray fake rock plastic thing). After my
nagging, Hubby decided he would re-do the whole pond, just to
get this little waterfall. My chief complaint with the original fish
pond was the green water. The rest of it didn't look too bad,
except for the wood chips.

Well, here it is now. It's still a work in progress, but the main
thing I notice is that there is still green water in it! After one day
of pouring the green water in, there is algae already clinging to
the sides and the rock. Hubby said that we had to keep the fish
in the green water or they would die from the shock of clean
water. Hubby says it will clean right up, because the rocks will
filter and the plants will eat up the algae. I complained that plants
do not eat. They make their own food through photosynthesis
(I ain't got that biology minor for nothin', folks) and that algae
are just tiny green plants themselves. And anyway, what plants?
Oh, he is going to buy some.

So now Hubby and #1 son are off to Wal-mart to get some
more rock and some plants.

And the big goldfish that were in the pond? Two of them died
from living in the tall garbage can of green water for 3 days.
The yellow cat got swatted with the garden hose ("Right on his
spine, Mom!") for trying to fish them out through the lattice on
top of the can. Then he ate the two dead ones Hubby threw
down in the woods. (At least the sinkhole was spared these
corpses). "We'll have to watch him now that he's had a taste of
those fish," warned Hubby.

Hello....he was fishing long before that! I have the evidence in
my pictures from the last post! And now the new fish pond is
so unappealing that he won't even fish.

I will post a new picture of the final version when it is done.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Too Much Time On My Hands

I haven't done anything interesting today. What do I do when
there's nothing to do? Watch movies, of course. Oh, they're not
good movies, most of them. But they are the ones that I enjoy
and watch over and over. So as a special treat to you, we are
going to have a Hillbilly Mom Movie Challenge.

The object of this little contest is to see how many movies you
can name correctly from a quote in the movie. I don't think anyone
will get them all, but I may be underestimating you. Actually, I don't
think anybody will even play, but give it a shot. You might be the
only one, and in that case, you win!

I will post the correct answers and the winner(s) names on
Wednesday, June 1. That's all you win--your name in my blog.
Hoo hoo! (Homer Simpson laugh) How can you pass up such
an opportunity? You only have to name the movie, not any
characters or actors. To play, post your answers in the comments.

Now let's begin the contest. "Anybody? Anybody?" (OK, you
are already playing. That is Ben Stien as a history teacher in
Ferris Bueller's Day Off.)

1. "Let's face it girls...I'm older and I have more insurance."

2. "It rubs the lotion on its skin, or else it gets the hose again."

3. "I'm gonna change you from a rooster to a hen with one shot!"

4. "Zip it, Old Man River, or I'll break your hip."

5. "Well, if that's what a beautician does, then I'll take mine rare."

6. "What are you doing with that blade?"
"I'm gonna kill you with it. Mmm..hmm."

7. "Is there anything I can do?"
"Is there anything you can do?"
"I can drive that loader over there."

8. "I can see your dirty-pillows."

9. "I shot off his upper lip."
"What were you aimin' at?"
"His lower lip."

10. "I thought you were dead."
"I get that a lot."

Friday, May 27, 2005

Interior decorate much? See #3 below.
Posted by Hello

Spreading the Redneck Heritage

Big Blogger Challenge #7

Big Blogger Rebecca has given us a new assignment. Since I
have been nominated AGAIN this week, I must go all out on
this challenge, which is to complete the following sentence:

"If I were Big Blogger, I would... first of all, put on cowboy
boots and a cowboy hat (and nothing else) and dance under
the light of the full moon, shooting a shotgun into the air and
hooting "I'm Big Blogger and you're not!" Then I would swear
to give preference to the women housemates, because we all
know it's a man's world outside the house. I would use my
Big Blogger power to spread my Redneck Culture to all parts
of the world.

I would issue weekly challenges to the housemates, requiring
them to:

1. Whistle "Dixie" while cookin' me up some vittles, including
but not limited to, a gourmet possum dish, moonshine, and a
Mississippi Mud Cake.

2. Smooth the wrinkles out of a bloodhound so he will look
more purtier.

3. Decorate the interior of my outhouse so I will feel at home,
and tell me what to use for toilet paper that ain't store-boughten.

4. Carve their own corncob pipe and grow their own tobaccy
(none of the wacky stuff allowed.) The first one to take a puff
wins this challenge.

5. Draw their family tree so I can shake it to find out if a
Grandpa-Dad or Uncle-Brother falls out.

6. Chase a rabbit in the middle of the night over at their (choose
one) boyfriend's/girlfriend's house (as seen on TLC TV.) The
one who does not fall down the sewer hole wins this one.

7. Listen to The Bellamy Brothers Greatest Hits for 24 hours
nonstop. The playlist consists of:

Let Your Love Flow
If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me
You Ain't Just Whistlin' Dixie
Sugar Daddy
Dancin' Cowboys
Lovers Live Longer
Do You Love As Good As You Look
For All The Wrong Reasons
Get Into Reggae, Cowboy
Redneck Girl (and not the Gretchen Wilson version!)

What the housemates won't know is that they are all on
Double-Secret Probation for the entire contest. Anyone
who uses the phrases toga party, or mind if we dance wif yo'
dates, or fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life
will immediately be asked to leave the cyberhouse.

I will also ask each one what they will give me as a bribe
in order to win absolutely nothing. Because I can.

That concludes my Big Blogger fantasy.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

What's this? Some empty space? Hubby needs to do some more decorating on this final wall of the Redneck bathroom!
Posted by Hello

More of the Redneck bathroom.
Posted by Hello

Another view of the Redneck bathroom, showing more of the toy--I mean Nascar collector cars.
Posted by Hello

My Redneck bathroom. Rednecks and Nascar go together like....

Well, this picture has stayed here a little while. It was up last night,
then had disappeared by morning. My Hello wouldn't work last
night, so I had to copy and paste. That's how I posted it, but then
it disappeared. Don't know what's going on.

At my computer genius's suggestion (10-year-old son), I
deleted Hello that he had installed from a CD, and downloaded
the newest version. Nope, that didn't work.

I tried to copy and paste again, and it worked one time, then
disappeared when I logged off and went off line. (Someone let
me know if it shows about 10 pictures on their computer, because
I tried many times to post a picture.)

I then tried a system restore, and locked up in the middle of it.
Tried again with a different restore point, which completed the
system restore, but did nothing to help my problem.

I am using Mozilla, but couldn't bring myself to use IE. a last resort, after my little genius gave up, I disabled
McAfee. HALELUJAH! Hello worked like a charm. I guess
something went haywire yesterday when McAfee loaded the
latest update.

I had also been having trouble with getting into Blogger
comments and Haloscan on some sites, but not all of them.
My computer acted like it was blocking pop-ups.

I know this is kind of boring, but maybe it can help someone else
if they've been having trouble posting pictures.

My computer is on its last legs, so it might just be my system with
a problem. I am running Windows ME on an HP Pavilion that is
about 5 years old. I have something wrong with a rundll file that
makes me crash daily. I can't even listen to Media Player and be
on internet at the same time, or I lock up and crash. Something
with wuaboot shuts me down.

OK, now I think I am so smart because I got a picture on my
blog again. Watch it disappear later, and make a big ol' redneck
fool of me. I am going to try and post another picture, just to
show this thing who's boss! Wish me luck.
Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Unfinished Business

Well, after the last post on Hillbilly Landscaping, I had a couple
of comments pointing out that Rednecks don't finish anything.
That is very true. I don't know what got into Hubby while he
was working on our fish pond.

He has many unfinished projects that more than balance out this
finished one. Our Nascar Bathroom, for example. Oh, it looks
pretty good until you try to wash your hands. I guess Hubby
figured that a true Redneck never washes his hands after using
the Dale Earnhardt Memorial Toilet. Hubby went to great
lengths to decorate this basement bathroom. And it is kind of
appealing, in a Redneck sort of way. My cousin's wife made
the countertop with her airbrushing artist equipment. I don't
know how Hubby made the racecar handles on the cabinet
doors. He brought in all his Nascar paraphernalia and nailed
it to the walls. #1 son contributed a picture of surrealistic racing
cars that he did in Paint on his computer when he was 5 years
old. We had some tiles left from fixing up our old house that
Hubby used for a finish flag effect on the floor.

Even though the Nascar Bathroom appears to be completed,
it has no water to the sink. The toilet has water and actually
works, but not the sink. It has been this way for 3 years now.
If you want to wash your hands, you have to use Germ-X.
I do not know much about plumbing, but I don't think it is any
harder to connect a sink than a toilet, unless it has something
to do with the hot water.

Now, I will give Hubby credit, because he built most of this
house himself. We live in the middle of nowhere, and there
are no building codes. He did the wiring, the plumbing, the
ceramic and vinyl tile floors, the porch steps and railing, the
soffit on the front porch roof, the siding, the insulation, the
cabinets, and the garage. About the only things we hired out
were the basement, carpet, and drywall. One of his buddies
got a crew together and framed it in two days. And we didn't
even have to wait for him to get bailed out of jail like we did
when he worked on our old house.

The list of unfinished projects include: staining the doors and
baseboards, putting in a basement ceiling, making a hand rail
for the basement steps, building basement shelves for toys,
fixing the faucets in the kitchen, shower, and boys' bathtub
(because cold is hot and hot is cold), putting the bed and
front end back on his collector truck, and finishing the kitchen
in his barn apartment. That should keep him busy for the next
10 years.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Genius, our #1 cat, fishing in our hillbilly fish pond.
Posted by Hello

Hillbilly Landscaping 101: The Fish Pond

My husband likes to decorate our yard. Most of the time it
turns out all right. The redneck fish pond is not one of his best
efforts. Oh, the area around the fishpond is OK. I'll even forgive
him for the little wrought-iron statue of Mr. and Mrs. Froggy
sitting on a park bench reading a book. I am not so fond of the
metal sunflower. But the real issue is the water in the fake pond.

We bought this molded plastic fake rock fish pond at Sam's Club,
the Wal*mart for city people. The drawing on the box made it
look attractive. The display in the store was cute. So Hubby
thought he could replicate it at home. Only we are rednecks, so
he didn't use the word replicate. I think he said, "That'll look
good by my deck." Because everything he talks about is his:
my house, my barn, my tractor, my sinkhole, my land, my creek.
I'm over that already.

The little area around the fish pond is kind of attractive. I would
rather have had all gravel instead of the wood chips, though.
Because we have 5 cats, and cats think the wood chips are some
exotic form of cat litter. And I heard from that Alan Smith on
KSDK Channel 5 news that wood chips attrack b-u-g-s, so
you should never put them around tree trunks. Huh! Then I
really didn't want them around my wooden support posts that
hold up my wooden deck that is part of my wooden wrap-around
porch to my cedar house. But Hubby didn't listen to my concerns
(how uncharacteristic of him!) and poured in the chips, not gravel.

For about a week the fish pond was fine. Then he started checking
the pH or something. I don't know why. He added chemicals like
chlorine and then something else because he put in too much
chlorine. And it went downhill from there. Our little pond grew
green scum. Then he dumped it and started over. He added some
Wal*mart goldfish. Because of an unfortunate chlorine accident,
they floated to the top and he had to buy more Wal*mart goldfish.
Then he had to buy a bunch of fish food, because the cats and dog
like to eat it, and knock it off the shelf and help themselves.

So the point (and I do have one) is that I do not like to look at
this nasty green water right off the deck from my kitchen door.
Hubby says it is just a little problem with the pump. He bought
another waterfall thingy for the pond, (against my advice), from
Lowes. So now we might get clear water, but the pond is gray
fake rock, and the waterfall is smooth black plastic.

As of tonight, the fish pond has been drained, and the fish are
in a plastic garbage can with the green water. I will post a new
picture when this project is completed.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Create a Jaffle: Big Blogger Challenge #6

First of all, you must be asking (the two of you who read me
regularly), what happened to Big Blogger Challenge #5? Oh,
I got a homework pass for that one, since I have been responding
to the other challenges.

Secondly, you say, "What is a Jaffle?" Well, I have never heard
of it either, coming from Redneckland where pickled pigs feet
are a delicacy. According to Big Blogger Rebecca, a Jaffle is
what we call a grilled-cheese sandwich. Now I don't know if
that is really what it is, or if she is just making a fool of my poor
redneck behind. For all I know, a Jaffle could be a snippy,
annoying little lapdog. But I hope not, because BB Rebecca
says she is going to cook the one with the most creative recipe.

Here are my recipes, though I don't know how creative they
are. At least they are something that can be eaten, and won't
leave an embarrassing puddle on your carpet.

Bread and Butter, of course, for the toasting part on all recipes,

#1 "The Spice Grills"
PepperJack Cheese
Jalapeno Peppers

#2 "The Yankee Griddle"
Crispy Fried Bacon
Scrambled Eggs
American (HooRah) Cheese

#3 "The Poor White Trash"
Velveeta Cheese
Ripened-on-the-vine Tomato Slices
(FYI, Rebecca, Velveeta is a pasteurized, processed, cheese
food. That is close enough to being cheese, isn't it?)

#4 "The Brilliant Invention of Hillbilly Mom"
Rye Bread (I love the international flavor of this one!)
Corned Beef
Swiss Cheese
French Dressing
(OK, so this is a Reuben Sandwich. Shhh...everybody....
Rebecca may not have heard of this before and will think
I am really creative.)

"Jaffle's the name. Stalking's my game. I'll be waaatchiiing you, Rebecca!"
Posted by Hello

Let's roll that beautiful blackberry blossom footage. These berries run down both sides of the property line. So... these pictures were supposed to go with the Redneck Blackberry-field War, but I am too hillbilly to move them.
Posted by Hello

Problem With My Blog

Testing, testing, testing, you old Redneck Blog!

OK, I think we fixed it. Last night about 12:30 a.m. I tried to
go back to my site and I got a bunch of html codes and no
blog. I was in desperate need of #1 son, who was spending
the night with Hillbilly Granny. I called him first thing this morning,
and he said, "Don't worry, we will get it fixed." Wish I was 10

His idea was to try a new template, but that didn't work. Then
he saw the site feed thingamajig with the Atom.xml doohickey
at the end of it, and said, "Go there." After a look at that, he
told me, "It's something about your pictures. Delete those picture
posts." The first one did nothing, but deleting my second picture
of the blackberry field fixed it. Of course, I lost all my links, like
he had told me I would when I switched templates.

Sooo...we'll see if this works, or if he's just a 10-year-old kid
on a power trip. I have a few bugs to work out with the link
spacing, and I might switch templates again, but I'll be back

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Redneck Blackberry-field Wars

This time of year I get annoyed with our neighbors. We have
some blackberries on our land that they feel are theirs. And
I don't want to share, even though I have no immediate plans
for the berries. It's the principal of the matter.

When we bought our 10 acres 16 years ago, we did not have
blackberries. The land next to ours did. The people who own
it live in Illinois, and never come down here. Oh, the first couple
of years they camped in a tent down by the creek once a year.
We have not seen them in at least 8 years. Since they were
never here during blackberry season, everyone who lived out
here stopped for a few berries if they wanted them. That was
fine, people stood on the gravel road and picked them.

Then the years passed, and the blackberries spread down the
fence row (or where the fence row would have been if there was
a fence. But there's not a fence, just orange paint on metal spikes
marking the property line). And since people do not like to get
all chewed up by the thorns, they don't wade into the blackberry
patch to pick, they walk down our nicely-mowed field. And even
that would not have bothered me (much) if they had just asked,
"Mind if we walk down your field and pick blackberries?"

The real issue now is that after 16 years, these blackberries
have grown over onto our side of the property line by about
4-5 feet. These really are our blackberries now. Neighbors,
you are welcome to wade into the weedy, thorny, snakey,
adjoining property and pick to your heart's content, but do
not traipse onto our property and pick the easy blackberries
that are rightfully ours.

I know, you all are thinking, "You are so petty, Hillbilly Mom!
Let the people have their blackberries!" But I can't help being
bitter when I see down-the-road neighbor's grandpa with a
big bucket walking in my field. He doesn't even live in this
town. He lives about 20 miles away. And then another day
I see across-the-road's daughter with a bucket, her 4-wheeler
parked in our field. And during turkey season, there went
across-the-road's son down the middle of our field with a

I haven't said anything, because I don't want to start a Hatfield
and McCoy hillbilly feud. I guess we could put up a fence, or
hop their fences to ride their horses when the mood strikes us.
Maybe that would get their attention. But I won't do anything
except stew silently and become Bitter Hillbilly Mom for a few
weeks. I jokingly told #1 son that he could patrol the area in
his $300 car like the guards patrol the boundaries of the state
prison a few miles from our house. He can rig up a speaker
for his walkie-talkie and announce: "Step away from the
blackberries! You are now on private property!" He is willing,
but I don't really want to bring him into my private battle.

So what would you do? I figure I'll just let them pick as usual.
They probably don't even know this is an issue for me. They
just assume, "Hey, free blackberries on somebody's abandoned
land. I'm gettin' me some."

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Redneck Thang, or just Gender Roles?

Before I married the Hubby, he invited me to a BBQ at his
buddy's house. Buddy was married, with a nice house in the
country just up the road from where Hubby and I live now.

When we arrived, Buddy's wife was inside with some other
womenfolk getting food ready. Buddy was outside by the
grill. Future-Hubby sat down by him, and I did the same.
I didn't know Buddy's wife or the other women, so I stayed
with FH. The minute I sat down at the picnic table, Buddy
tossed a 10 lb. pack of ground beef in my direction, and said,
"Here, pat us out some hamburgers." I was flabbergasted.
Me? Pat out hamburgers? I'm a guest here. Whatchoo talkin'
bout, Buddy? I said, "No thanks." FH looked at me kind of
funny. But he made no move to pat out any hamburgers,
either. So Buddy did it himself.

I had been raised around these parts, so I knew that after
Thanksgiving dinner, all the men went to watch football while
the women cleaned up the mess. I knew that if a man had
something in his hand that he didn't want, like a candy wrapper,
used gum, tissue, receipt for something he just bought, etc.
that he said, "Here." and handed it to his woman. But I had
no idea that a man would ask a guest to do his food prep
for him.

True, I had been away from the area for awhile. I had got
me a college education. OK, so it was from Springfield, MO,
but that is still the city compared to where I'm from. And
I had lived on my own for several years. I didn't have to
depend on a man for my survival. I considered myself to
be independent. FH called it "set in my ways."

So was I wrong to feel "put-upon" when Buddy asked me to
pat out the hamburgers? He didn't ask FH, his friend since
childhood. He asked me, the guest that he had only met a
few times. Would men outside of Redneckland do something
like that? Is it a universal gender thing? I hope not. By golly,
we womenfolk even have us them there votin' rights now!

Friday, May 20, 2005

The first casualty of summer, Mr. Kickball.
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R.I.P., Mr. Kickball

Poor Mr. Kickball. It was not his time to go. He was only in
our loving home for about 4 months. He was just entering his
prime. #1 son picked him up at Wal-mart in January, an off
time for kickball adoptions. He was much-loved. He spent his
days bouncing around the tile floor of the basement, near the
pool table. When the weather warmed up, he could be found
in the yard or on the carport. Most recently, Mr. Kickball
was seen impersonating a basketball for #2 son. Sadly, those
days are done, may he rest in peace.

The story of Mr. Kickball's tragic demise is not a pretty one.
We returned from town, and I opened the garage door with my
opener that works after I push it 4 or 5 times. Hubby has the
good one for his door, but he never uses it because his truck
is too big for the garage. Instead, he parks his 1980 Olds
Toronado in there, draped in a car cover. So...I opened the
door and saw nothing. I always look, because the cats think this
is their lair, and with 5 cats, you have to be alert. Again, nothing.
I pulled into the garage, and when I was almost to the front wall,
I heard a "pop" sound.

#1 son, who is allowed to ride up front, looked at me accusingly.

"What was that?" he demanded.

I looked out, and 2 cats, who had been lounging on the trunk
of the Olds, were standing and looking at my rear tire.

"I don't know. Don't look. I hope it wasn't a cat."

Of course #1 son jumped out and immediately looked back.

"Oh, it was only my kickball."

I guess that wasn't so bad, when he'd thought it might be
a cat. Mr. Kickball had been resting on top of the Olds,
where Hubby had moved him from the top of the dumpster,
where #2 son had left him overnight. The cats must have
shoved him off in a battle for supremacy of the Oldsmobile.
Mr. Kickball still rests under the tire. Hubby will have to
clean up the remains.

We had another casualty of summer last year--the
Sidewalk-Chalk family. They lived in their clear plastic
house on a shelf under the breezeway from our garage
to the porch. Such a lovely family...they were great lovers
of art. They enjoyed spending those lazy, hazy days of
summer basking in the sunlight on the carport.

They also came to a sad end. Again, we returned home
from town. I noticed the carnage before we even reached
the end of the driveway. Their broken bodies were strewn
across the front yard, their house torn beyond repair. We
knew the murderer immediately--the neighbor's black Lab.
He had already been threatened at BB-gunpoint for kidnapping
ceramic yard bunny and his cousins, ceramic turtle and ceramic
squirrel. (I was not too upset about these redneck relatives--
they were on Hubby's side of the family). Hubby paid a visit
to said neighbor, who relinquished bunny, turtle, and squirrel,
though bunny had part of his head chewed off. The murderer
himself was never apprehended, but for a short time he was
kept tethered beside the neighbors' trailer unless one of them
was home.

What will the rest of this summer bring? We will keep our
precious ones near, and keep a closer watch to prevent
accidents and mayhem.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Did You See That?

Last month, as we turned into our driveway after school, I saw
that we had a visitor of the critter persuasion. "Look, someone's
rooster!" I told the kids. It was big and black, with a red head.
"Uh...Mom...I don't think that's a rooster," said my #1 son.
The kid definitely has better eyesight than me.

It was kind of big to be a rooster. And nobody out here has
chickens anyway, because if the coyotes don't eat them, the
free-running dogs will. The thing took off, and it was creepy.
It had a big red rubbery-looking neck and head. It had been
sitting on the late Mr. O. Possum, who had been in the yard for
a couple of days. And he was most definitely deceased and not
simply "playing possum," which I knew for certain because of
the simple fact that he had no head. OK, at this point I didn't
know Mr. P. had been there that long, or I would have had
Hubby fling him somewhere (but not down the sinkhole like he
did the last one.)

I told Hubby about the thing, and he said, "Oh, that's a vulture."
After checking into this subject by asking my middle school
students (who I find to be a great source of useless information),
I found out that they are sometimes called buzzards, or turkey
buzzards, or turkey vultures. Google lists some as red-headed
buzzards, red-headed vultures, and my personal favorite, the
Red-necked Vulture. How appropriate!

I also asked Hubby to get Mr. P. out of the yard, and he was
of the opinion that something would come along and eat him, so
there was no need to move him at this point.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

My Redneck Yard Ornaments
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Redneck Yard Ornaments

Here are a couple of yard ornaments from my side yard. They
are situated behind the outhouse, which can not be seen in this

This is my husband's collector truck. He has plans to fix it up
and take it to car shows. He has had this plan for 7 years now.
I know, because #2 son is 7 years old, and right after he was
born, my step-grandpa died, and my grandma gave my husband
this truck.

It is some kind of 1970s-model Chevy. It was in pretty good
condition when he drove it home. Yes, it was running before
he started fixing it up. The biggest problem was a lot of black
smoke from the exhaust, and a bedfull of leaves that blew out
on the highway. It had all its parts on it, too. Now the bed and
the front end are in the barn, I think. Or under the side sections
of the barn. I believe the plan was to sandblast and repaint
them. We rednecks don't really get in a hurry about things.

The other item is our picnic table. We have had this for about
7 years, too. We have never painted it or treated the wood,
but it still holds together. It was missing for 1 year, because
we took it up the road to our friends' house for a Halloween
party. Then they kind of forgot to give it back, and got
divorced, so we didn't think it was so important that we
had to bother them about our picnic table. When the kids
got older and wanted to have a picnic, my husband called
his buddy and asked if he could come up and get it. "Oh, no,"
said Buddy. "I'll bring it down this afternoon."

We wondered how Buddy was going to load that thing by
himself. The answer came about an hour later. Here he came
down the road with our picnic table swinging from the boom
pole on his tractor. For some reason, we did not find this
strange. Kind of like the time we woke up to find Buddy's
truck parked in our front yard, with no one in it. His pickup
truck, not his dump truck. We figured there must be some
kind of explanation, but he never gave one, and we never
asked. That's just the way of the redneck.

The next time I can't think of anything to write about, I'll
take you on a tour of the barn. That's meant to be a promise,
not a threat.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Caution: Redneck Driver!

Redneck Road Rules for 10-year-old Drivers:
1. Don't run into the camping trailer that is parked in the front yard.
2. Stay away from the sinkhole.
3. Take a different path each time so you don't kill the grass.
4. Little brother must wear his seatbelt when you give him a ride.
5. When you peel out, kick the gravel back in the hole.
Posted by Hello

Driving the $300 Car : #1 Redneck thing to do on summer vacation.

Friday was the last day of school for my kids. They had to go
with me yesterday for part of my teacher's workday, so today
is their first full day of summer vacation.

#2 son is happy to lie around and play GameBoy all day, with
Cartoon Network playing in the background. #1 son is a bit
more ambitious. He has read a Popular Science magazine,
played GameBoy, downloaded a program to make his computer
look like it is running Longhorn (he already has one that makes
it look like a Mac), and has driven his (yes, his) $300 car. Oh,
and we all played some basketball: sons against Mom. I won.
Woohoo! I can beat a 10-year-old and a 7-year-old in a game
of basketball on a 7-foot goal. I'm quite the athlete!

Now getting back to this car business...if you have read this blog
before, you might be familiar with the $300 car. It was the star
of my April 25 blog, currently in the April Archives. My husband
bought this junky car, and then decided he needed another junky
car. Because that's what rednecks do...we buy numerous junky
cars instead of one new car. So he said he would give the $300
car to #1 son. Who is 10 years old.

I thought he meant that when the boy was 16, he could have the
car. Oh, no, no. He meant now. So he taught the boy how to
drive this 1996 Toyota Tercel 4-speed manual transmission that
is currently running on two cylinders. It's not like he could get
hurt. He always straps on his seatbelt (he's a little bit of a nerd,
not a redneck.) As the boy says, the car won't go out of second
gear. He only gets to drive it around the yard. OK, so it's
a six-acre yard. He ran out of gas yesterday evening. He says
that's because Dad was riding with him.

Yesterday Grandma picked them up from school so they didn't
have to annoy me all day while I was trying to check out of both
my school buildings for the summer. She said she had quite a
time. She sat on the porch with a walkie-talkie. #1 son had one
in the car with him, and #2 had one in the house with him. They
would call if they wanted her. We are technology-friendly
rednecks. #1 would call her as he drove by to see if his signal
lights were working. He is very safety-conscious. He took her
for a ride, and demanded that she put on her seatbelt. Oh, and
she had to ride in the back seat. They took out the passenger
seat because it was too ripped up, and the Porche seats they
were going to put in it didn't bolt down.

My boy loves his car. He told his 4th-grade buddies that he
could drive a stick. "Hey, Mom! A fourth of our class says
can drive a stick too!"

It must be a redneck thing...teaching 10-year-olds to drive.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Big Blogger Challenge #4

Mr. BeanJeans, of Big Blogger challenge #4.
Posted by Hello

This is Challenge #4 for the Big Blogger contest at
Create a character for a children's show called Fun Times and Rhymes.

So here is my entry:

"Hi Kids! It's Mr. BeanJeans here again on Fun Times and Rhymes.
I have a story and a poem for you today, boys and girls. First, the story.

Last week I went to visit my best friend, Garrett Carrot. Garrett wanted
to go to the swimming hole, which is across the highway from his garden.
"No, Garrett," I told him. "We are not supposed to cross the highway.
It is dangerous." But Garrett would not listen. He darted out in front of
a big truck, and was smashed flat! The ambulance came and took him to
the hospital. I waited for a long time. I was worried about Garrett. Finally,
the doctor came out and said, "Mr. BeanJeans, I have some good news
and some bad news. The good news is: Your friend is alive and will get
better. The bad news is: I'm afraid he's going to be a vegetable for the
rest of his life." So remember kids, unless you want to be a vegetable,
don't run into the road.

And kids, until next time, keep telling your mom, "I don't like vegetables,
and I'm NOT going to eat them!" And I will keep dumping your plate
off the table. I'm so lucky to be invisible to moms.

Now here is your poem to get you ready for bedtime:

When you go to sleep at night,
and the lights are dim, not bright...

all your toys get up to play,
like you and your buddies do all day.

The teddy bear gets out of bed.
"Let's play baseball, " Bunny Rabbit said.

The dump truck whines, "You guys are rough.
You'd better stop--you'll break some stuff."

They hear a noise... see a light...
jump back on the shelf...Nighty Night."

(Other Big Blogger Challenges were:
1 Mention a "cat" in your blog
2 A real-life business with a funny name
3 Review a breakfast cereal like a movie)

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Those Things the Rednecks Do

Today I was surfing through the channels and found one of
those emergency room shows on TLC. Right off the bat (or
"first cat out of the bag," as my husband says), I knew I had
found me a redneck.

It was a girl with a long mullet-style haircut, wearing a long
denim skirt. Her wrist was bent in a way that a normal wrist
does not bend. The doctor came in and asked her what had
happened. "Well, I was chasin' a rabbit in the middle of the
night....over at my boyfriend's house? And I fell in a sewer

O...K.... Now I couldn't stop wondering why she was chasing
a rabbit. Was she hunting? Why did she do it in the middle of
the night? Didn't she have a beagle or other rabbit dog to chase
the rabbit? Was she wearing that denim skirt while chasing the
rabbit in the middle of the night, or did she dress up special for
the two-hour drive to the emergency room? What exactly is a
sewer hole? Is it from an old outhouse? Is it a ditch? Is it a septic
tank hole? And why did she say it like it was a question?

So the doctor told her that her wrist was dislocated, and they
would have to operate to put some wires in it. He said, " Do
you have any health problems?" And her mom said, "No, she's
always been healthy. Except she's a passer-outer."

Then they did the surgery, and it was clarified that she was
chasing her pet rabbit. Oh, that makes all the difference.
It must be acceptable to chase a pet rabbit in the middle of
the night over at your boyfriend's house.

The girl asked the nurse if she would be able to go home, and
the nurse told her, "Oh, yeah. But you're going to be a little
sleepy today." The girl's grandma laughed and said, "Heh, heh.
You're going to sleep in the truck on the way home."

So what's funny about that? Were they going to put her in the
back of the truck while she was asleep? I have never been to
Oklahoma, but I believe it's much like its cousin to the north,
Kansas. And that is the most depressing drive I have ever taken,
from Missouri to Salina, Kansas. I wish I had slept through it.
There were not even trees to look at. They built their fences
with little metal poles because there was no wood for fenceposts.
That is just wrong. And the wind will blow the eyebrows right
off your face.

So let this be a redneck lesson for you. Do not chase your pet
rabbit in the middle of the night over at your boyfriend's house,
because there might be a sewer hole you don't know about, and
you could fall in it and dislocate your wrist, and then you could
be on TV and make us rednecks look dumb.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Now Playing at Hillbilly Mom's Breakfast Table
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Pick of the Week: Honey Nut Cheerios.
Posted by Hello

How About Those Honey Nut Cheerios?

I am in the Big Blogger contest at Rants of a Rebecca, and the
challenge this week is to review a breakfast cereal.

My pick is Honey Nut Cheerios. I give it two thumbs up.
This cereal is rated G for general audiences, since it can be
enjoyed by all ages. Babies just starting on solid food will
love the sugary taste. This ain't no zwieback cracker, baby.
Oldsters can reap the benefits of lower cholesterol by eating
this cereal several times a week.

Supporting players milk and banana also deserve credit here.
They add to the overall nutritional value of Honey Nut Cheerios.

Honey Nut Cheerios has a lot of competition at the breakfast
table in my house. The younger crowd prefers sweeter fare.
They would eat cereal for every meal. Don't have milk? Don't
worry. My little redneck hillbillies will eat it dry. As long as
there is enough sugar, they will munch on it any time of day
or night.

Honey Nut Cheerios is not lacking in the action department.
Knock over the box, and watch those Os roll. They provide
much more excitement that the flat or marshmallowy cereals.
Their only weakness is in the soundtrack department. Oh,
they have a nice crunch, but in milk, they are outdone by
those snap-crackle-pop fellows.

So check out the Honey Nut Cheerios. You'll be "O" so glad.

Friday, May 13, 2005

You Can't Teach a New Kid Old Sayings

Today was our last day of school. Just for fun, I gave my students
a page of old sayings to see how many they could complete.
Here are some of the results:

An apple a day...
keeps the teacher away.

Don't count your chickens...
till they come home.
there's 20 missing. Sorry, I got hungry.

You can't judge a...
turkey by the way it flies.

Be careful not to throw the baby...
it has no wings.
cause you'll get locked up.
against the wall.

Early to bed and early to rise...
there's a big day ahead, don't be surprised.
go to sleep now, wake up to a prize.
you get the breakfast before everyone else digs in.

The early bird...
always wakes me up.

A bird in the hand...
is a dead bird if I get ahold of it.
keeps the worms away.

The love of money...
is my only love.

If you lie down with dogs...
you're going to smell really bad.

Don't cry over...
girls, they're stupid.

One bad apple...
one dead tree.
tastes really bad.

Don't put all your eggs...
in one bag.
in one spot.
in at one time.

The OUT OF-R-MINES Pizza Place
Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Out of-R-Mines Pizza

There is a business in town called Out of-R-Mines Pizza. I have
a problem with that. Several problems, in fact, and I don't mind
sounding like a Jerry Seinfeld stand-up routine as I complain
about them.

Why would someone choose this name for their pizza
shop? I understand that we used to be one of the world's
top lead-mining areas. Is this what they're getting at?
Out of-R-Mines Pizza? Are we supposed to believe that
ingredients for the pizza are really mined? Because you'd
better think again, mister. Lead is highly toxic. When I
worked for the state unemployment agency, we had people
come in that had lost their jobs because their blood lead
levels got too high. Just from not washing their hands between
working and lunch. They had to change clothes for lunch, too,
because of the lead dust. So this is not a very appetizing thought
for someone who wants to eat some pizza. Just try serving me
some lead, buddy, and I'll sue your behind until I own your little
pizza shop. And the first thing I'll do is change the name, then
I'll stop serving lead in my pizzas.

Maybe the owners wanted it to mean Out-of-Our-Minds Pizza.
This idea is not much better. Are they all raving lunatics? Do
the waiters run around like that cuckoo-for-Cocoa-Puffs bird?
Nice ambience. Mental patients cooking and serving pizza. Do
they hire from the local asylum? Or, as we call it around here,
Number 4? Here's a little mental illness joke for you...A new
attendant at the mental hospital takes the patients out to work
in the garden. He tries to make small talk, and asks one of the
inmates, "Do you put manure, or fertilizer, on your strawberries?"
The patient looks at him with a frown. "Well, mister, I put sugar
on mine, but I'm crazy."

Look at their punctuation. I may be a redneck hillbilly, but I
think there should be a hyphen between the first two words,
also. Are they trying to say they are "out" of the kind of pizza
called "of-R-Mines," or is the whole phrase supposed to
describe the pizza?

I will try to get a picture of this establishment tomorrow so I
can put it at the beginning of this post.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Where are the food-givers? They went this way. I know it's time for the food-givers to return. We will sit here until they come back. We can't miss them if we stay here. We don't have anything else to do. WHERE ARE THE FOOD-GIVERS?
Posted by Hello

All Cats.....All the Time

I did not like cats until two years ago. One of my teacher friends
had two litters to get rid of. "Come on, your kids need a kitten."
So we went to her house to look at them. "Oh, you can't just take
one. They each need one of their own."

I picked out the prettiest one, a long-haired mostly-white calico.
My #1 son looked into the box of mewing kittens, and a yellow
striped male climbed out of the box and tried to climb up his leg.
Of course, that's the one he wanted. He petted the kitten and
put him back in the box, because they were still too young to take
home with us. That kitten crawled right back out of the box and
sat on my son's foot. Each time we put him back, he did the same
thing. So my son named him "Genius," because he was smart
enough to pick his new owner.

Last summer some redneckier person than us dumped five cats
at the end of our road. We took them some food, because four
were kittens, and the other was about half-grown, but not the
mother. #1 son begged his dad to bring one home, and Dad said
we could take one. It laid around all depressed, so he said we
could get one more to keep it company, since our other two cats
would have nothing to do with it. When we went back, only
two were left, and we couldn't leave one all alone. So that is
how we came to have five cats.

Oh, last fall we brought home another one, but my husband only
said OK because #1 son cried his eyes out at the thought of
leaving it--again it had been dumped at the end of the road.
The deal was that we could keep it until the weekend and then
we had to take it to the Humane Society. I told my teacher
friend that now I had a cat for her. It looked like a Himalayan,
kind of a long-haired Siamese with a dark face. When we
picked it up, it laid down on the car seat like it had ridden
before. It did not like the other cats, but acted like it was a
human and wanted in the house. My teacher friend took it,
and says "Fred" is a great cat.

We have now spent over $1000 on these five "free" cats,
with the spaying, neutering, shots, antibiotics, ear mite meds,
and food.

When I stop for the mail, my kids are required to keep their
windows rolled up. That is because I caught #1 son with his
head out the window, radio turned down.

"What are you doing?" I asked.


If he can't hear them, we won't have to take any more.

What can we get into next?
Posted by Hello

Genius: male, our best cat. He's on the left.
Posted by Hello

Simba: male, ready to pounce.
Posted by Hello

Snuggles: female, Queen of Mean.
Posted by Hello

Stockings: male, calm & sophisticated.
Posted by Hello

Dusty: female, absolutely insane.
Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Our Christmas lights on a lovely May evening.
Posted by Hello

Spring De-cluttering

Springtime means spring cleaning. Well, for most people. Not
at my house. I am not a good housekeeper. There's that saying:
"Her house is so clean you could eat off the floor." Oh, you
could eat off my floor--there are enough crumbs for a 7-course

I live in this house with a husband and two boys. If (who am I
kidding?) when they drop food, it stays there until Mom picks
it up. They will walk around it, step over it, kick it out of the
way, or step on it. Sometimes, if it is really a mess, they will
even draw attention to it by stating (in mock disbelief), "Hey,
somebody dropped a (choose one: chicken wing / spaghetti
noodle / fried egg / bowl or pudding / popsicle) on the floor."
But they won't pick it up.

They clutter. My husband carried an end table from the basement
to the living room. "I don't want that here," I told him. "It's just
another junk collector." And there it sits, with a Gameboy, games,
a digital camera, battery charger, and two chocolate Easter
bunnies (still in the boxes--we are rednecks, not barbarians).
Forget the top of the bookcase. It holds assorted books that
they can't be bothered to actually put in the bookcase, a watch,
Gameboy games, magazines, Happy Meal toys, printouts, pencils,
and change.

I am not exactly the Queen of Clean myself. Laundry gets away
from me. The clothes are clean, but they don't quite make it back
home to the drawers. They vacation in the clean clothes basket,
or, folded, they bask on top of the dryer until called back to work.
Around Christmas time, I managed to put them all away in time
for #1 son to have his birthday sleepover. #2 son took his dirty
clothes to the laundry room, looked around, and said, "Wow! I
don't think I have ever seen it look like this." He was six.

Occasionally my husband gets fed up and "helps" the boys clean
their rooms. This consists of lining everything up around the
baseboards. He means well. He does not understand why I
can not monitor every single item in the house. When nagged,
he will say, "I'm going to put that up in the attic." The metal
bunny-shaped Easter egg holders, for example. Last week, I
finally had #1 son take them up. Five weeks after Easter.
Oh, that's nothing. We still have the artificial Christmas tree
all boxed up, sitting in the basement beside the pool table, instead
of in the top of the garage where it belongs. One more month,
and we might as well keep it there until next Christmas.

Now don't get me wrong. We are not walking through 8-foot-tall
stacks of newspapers, or climbing over old pizza boxes, or walking
around on dried cat vomit like on those shows Life of Grime and
How Clean is Your House. People watch those shows to say, "At
least I'm not that bad!" We are not dirty, white, trash-hoarders.
We are just organizationally-challenged rednecks.

And we leave our Christmas lights up year-round, too.

Monday, May 09, 2005

High Heels & Make-Up & Purses, Oh My!

My number one son carried a purse when he was 2-3 years old.
I know, that's not very redneck of him. I had gotten a new purse,
and he wanted the old blue one. He carried it around the house
with an old checkbook cover and a little flip notebook and a
couple of toys. My mom thought it was cute, I thought it was
harmless, and my husband thought it was disturbing.

One evening we went to the Family Center, which is like a
country Walmart with horse medicine and saddles and
hardware. We needed some plumbing parts and electrical
boxes. I pulled a cart up to the van to put him in, and he
dragged that confounded purse out with him.

"No, honey, the purse is for home or in the car. You can't take
it in the store." I tried to pry it out of his little fingers.

"My purse!"

My husband came around to give it a try. "You're not taking
that purse! Boys don't carry purses!" He tried to pull it away.

"Miiiiiiiiiiine!" Tears. He wouldn't let go.

I took my checkbook out of my purse and put it in his, leaving
my purse in the van. "Keep this for me." We went on with
our shopping, pretending it was my purse in the cart, not our
2-year-old son's.

My parents kept number one son for two years while I worked.
Some evenings he met me at the door wearing clip-on earrings,
fingernail polish, powder, lipstick, beads, and high heels. I
asked my mom not to let him do this. She said, "Honey, he's
just playing. He sees me do it, and he wants to try it."

She bought him a pink plastic pair of little kid high heels at
the Dollar Store. It is like Walmart, only cheaper. He loved
those shoes, and wore them all around the house. They were
not allowed outside.

By now he was almost three. We moved to our house in the
country. The 6-year-old girl across the road came to visit,
bringing her 10-year-old brother. My son took them into his
room to show off his stuff. He lifted the lid off a wooden
chest, took out the pink, plastic, jewel-encrusted high heels,
and placed them on his feet. "These are my high heels," he
said proudly. The little girl looked longingly at the shoes. Her
brother backed slowly out of the room. "Uh, I gotta be going."

The kid won't admit to the purse and high heels now. He
doesn't even like me to talk about them.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Tales In School

OK, I know the actual saying is "telling tales out of school," but
I won't be doing that today. Looking back at my Redneck Toilet
post, I was reminded of an embarrassing statement my #1 son
made at school.

It was his first-grade year, so he was 6 or 7 years old. He came
home one day and I asked if anything interesting had happened
at school that day.

"Well, in art, Cassie raised her hand and said, "My little brother
goes pee outside."

"Oh, what did the teacher say?"

"He didn't say anything. Then I raised my hand and said, "My
dad goes pee outside."

"Why did you have to announce that to the whole class?"

"Well, it's true."

"Sometimes it's better to keep some things to yourself."

"Well, then, Dad should stop peeing outside."

Now, #1 son would never be caught peeing outside. He is
not like the rest of us hillbilly rednecks. He would hold it for
a week before he would go outside. My husband says, "We
live in the country. Who cares?"

He has an attitude like one of the characters in that movie
The Big Chill. I don't remember if it was Jeff Goldblum or
Kevin Kline, but they were looking at some property and
peed in a field, and one said, "That's the great thing about
the outdoors. It's one big toilet."

Later that week I was getting into my car after school, and
the superintendent said, "Hey, I hear the police were out in
your neighborhood."

I said, "Really?" I wondered what had happened. It's a private
gravel road. The neighbors called the cops one time for some
type of domestic altercation--because hey, we're rednecks,
remember? But I hadn't seen any police recently.

He went on. "Yeah, I understand there was a case of indecent
exposure on your back porch."

Very funny. Let a teacher's kid tell something embarrassing,
and they might as well announce it over the intercom.

So I made a deal with the kid. If he doesn't go to school
telling embarrassing stuff about the family, I won't go to school
telling my classes embarrassing stuff about him. Like his purse,
and his high heels, and grandma putting earrings on him.

He agreed, but I never promised him I wouldn't blog about it.
Stay tuned.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Hillbilly Kissin' Lessons

My oldest son started daycare when he was two. I did not
worry about his safety there at all. The lady only took ten
children, and all were age five or under. The yard was fenced.
The daycare itself was a little cottage behind the caregiver's

When I came to pick him up each day, my son screamed and
ran away. "I don't want to go!" OK, so it broke my heart, but
he really liked daycare. I was embarrassed that he ran away
from me every day, but the caregiver said that a lot of kids do

One afternoon, my boy ran to me and held out his arms to be
picked up. When I lifted him up, he put his hands on my cheeks
and said, "I kiss you." Oh, how sweet. I hugged him and turned
my cheek for the kiss, and he said, "On the lips." His little hands
turned my face back to his. I puckered up my lips for the kiss.
And then he stuck his tongue in my mouth!

I was shocked! I pulled my face away from his.

"What are you doing?"
"Kissing you."
"You do not put your tongue in someone's mouth!"
"Yes you do."
"No, it's not right."
"That's how you kiss."
"Who told you that?"
"Tori's brother. He showed me how."

OK, so I didn't actually scream, but I wanted to. Kids will
be kids. Tori's brother was four, so it's not like it was a
crime or anything. But it took a lot of persuading to convince
my boy that all people do not kiss by jamming their tongues
into each others mouths.

I guess I'm just glad it wasn't some hillbilly relative that
taught him.

Friday, May 06, 2005

My redneck toilet, aka The Outhouse. Eureka! I fixed this pic myself. I don't know how. I couldn't do it again for a hundred million dollars, but my boy will be proud of me.
Posted by Hello

Here's my redneck toilet, aka The Outhouse. Just turn your head. I need my son to help me fix this picture, as I am not good with these newfangled computer thingamajigs. We don't use this outhouse now, but we did before we built our house. The wind blew it over, which is why the door fell off. That's a piece of black sewer pipe coiled up beside it. We are not hooking it up. It's just that my husband's work buddy was taking a walk on his break and saw this sewer pipe behind a subdivision with a sign that said "free." So he told my husband, who just had to have it. You never know when you might need some sewer pipe, and what better place to store it than right next to your outhouse. Here is a little outhouse humor. A man sees a boy poking a stick down through the seat of an outhouse. "Son, what are you doing?" "I dropped my coat in there, mister." "You don't want that coat now, son. It will be all nasty." "Oh, I don't want the coat, mister. I want that sandwich that I had in the pocket."
Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Redneck Jr.

All right, today is equal time for my 2nd son. He is definitely
one of us rednecks. He is in first grade now, but he really can't
be bothered with this education business.

Kindergarten was not a good year for him. He did not like
going to school. The only thing that could get him there was
reminding him that his little girlfriend would miss him. He told
me they were getting married when they were 19, "because
then we will be very old." He missed a lot of recesses that
year "sitting on the log." That is where they go for misbehaving.
Hmmm...where to start. Of course there was all that talking
with his girlfriend. And the exposing himself part that we try
to keep quiet. Then there were the two kids he punched in the
stomach. The boy cut in front of him in the drinking fountain line.
(And you know, it could just run out of water). The girl wiped
off the table, (Hey, it was his turn to wipe the table). Let's not
forget the pea-stomping incident in the cafeteria. But you know,
it was another kid's idea.

The highlight of the year was probably getting sent to the
principal's office. In kindergarten. It was hard to get the
actual story, but his teacher filled me in. It seems there was
a substitute teacher for PE. My boy ran around and around
the gym, and would not listen or sit down. When his teacher
came to get the class, the sub told on him. His teacher told
him he should apologize, but he wouldn't. She said she would
leave him there until he was ready. An hour went by. Still no
apology. His teacher then told him that if he didn't apologize,
he would have to go to the principal's office. Fine with him.
From this point, I had to question him directly:

"What happened in the principal's office?"
"Assistant principal."
"OK, what happened in the assistant principal's office?"
"What did she say?"
"What did you say?"
"You mean to tell me you both just sat and looked at each other?"
"No. I was standing up."

About 30 minutes later I concluded that the assistant principal
walked him back to the gym, and he apologized.

Oh, and let's not forget the Christmas Program. We dressed
him up in corduroy pants, a sweater, and his "churchy" shoes.
He was on the front row. A big mistake on his music teacher's
part, though she might have done it to keep her eye on him.
He said he had to sit out for acting up during rehearsal. He
was fine as long as he was actually singing. He didn't step out
in front of the group and face the crowd and wave his arms to
mock-direct the singers (like the boy next to him did). It was
the down time during the little play and the solo that did him in.
Yes, my boy had come undone. Oh, he sat on the front row
of risers like he was supposed to. He smiled devilishly and
waved at me every 2 minutes. Still OK. Then he pulled up
his pant legs so it looked like he was wearing a brown corduroy
bikini bottom. He stretched his arms up over his head, leaned
back, and karate-chopped the boy behind him until one of the
teacher/bouncers came over to break it up. They stood up to
sing, so the bikini reverted back to pants. He untied a little
girl's belt, pulled it off, and handed it to her like a gift. The
piece de resistance was when he put his face in her stomach.
He said he was sniffing the flower on her dress.

Tales from his 1st-grade year will have to wait for another post.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

One of These Things is Not Like the Others

If I had not given birth to him without anesthesia, I would think
my first son was adopted. He does not exhibit the same
redneck hillbillyness as the rest of the family.

In kindergarten, he cried the morning of school picture day
until I let him wear dress pants, white shirt, tie, and vest.
(Why not just pin a "beat me up every day for the next 12
years" sign on his back?) At Christmas time, his teacher
asked the kids what they wanted Santa to bring them. My
child said, "A fax machine." It's not like he was operating a
business or anything--he didn't start begging for that until he
was 8. The kindergarten class hatched baby chicks. They
were right by my son's seat. To any other child, this would
have been a treat. Not my boy. "I can hardly get a thing
done, " he complained. "All day long it's cheep! Cheep!

When I dropped him off one morning for 1st grade, he got
out of the car with a rolled-up Gateway Computer catalog in
the back pocket of his jeans.
"Hey, what are you doing?"
"I'm going to tell the duty teacher that you want me to stay in,
and I'm going to sit in the hall and read my magazine."
Uh, no. I think he was reading at 7th grade level at that time.

In 2nd grade, he hooked up his teacher's new computer.
They had been having trouble for a couple months with the
computer in the gifted classroom. He asked the teacher if
he could take a look at it, and fixed it within 5 minutes.
"Mom, I remembered the problem started when they
connected it to internet, so I just did a system restore to
the day before that date."

By 3rd grade he was asking to start his own business as a
computer consultant. "Of course, Mom, you'll have to drive
me to people's houses." He went through my school buildings
asking if the teachers needed their computers set up at the
start of the school year. He did mine and 4 others. At home,
he hooked up 6 speakers and 3 printers to his computer.
Because he could. When it was time for the Missouri school
assessment test, he couldn't sleep the night before. It was
like Christmas Eve. The next morning he woke up and said,
"I can't believe it. The day I have waited so long for is finally
here: MAP testing!"

Now in 4th grade, he's been having trouble with his home
computer. It crashed, so he wiped the hard drive and
re-installed Windows XP Professional instead of XP Home.
He also installed a new sound card. He wants a second
computer so he can run Linux. He really wants to run Linux
and Windows with a partition and choose which system
to use when he boots. I think that's what he said. It makes
no sense to me. I thought Linux was Lennox. It's like telling
a dog how to fly a plane. He says I am not "computer friendly."

About the only redneck thing this boy young 'un likes to do
is ride the 4-wheeler. He won't go without a shirt in the
summer. He doesn't like fried chicken. "Hey, who put the
bone in my chicken?" he demanded when biting into his first
chicken leg. My husband taught him to drive the $300 car.
Just around the yard, because he is only 10.

We have not been able to fit him into our hillbilly mode yet,
but we love him just the same.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Overheard While Teaching in Redneckland

Here are a few of the things I wish I'd never heard during my
17 years of teaching in rural Missouri:

"Hey, wanna see my stub toe? I cut if off with a lawnmower."

"Please don't tell my dad I stabbed Christina with a pencil.
I'm supposed to get my shotgun this weekend, and he won't
give it to me if he finds out."

"The teacher that was here before you got fired because they
got pictures of her sleeping with Black men."

Superintendent at job interview: "We have 29 churches in
this town, and as a young single woman it would not look
good for you to hang out at the corner bar. And don't give
homework on Wednesday nights, because everyone goes
to church."

"Come with me, we are going to check the kindergartners
for head lice today."

"Yeah, but she has a little baby. Her husband must get really

From 7th grade girls, talking about another 7th grade girl:
"She doesn't know anything. She's probably still a virgin."

"We don't use soap. We wash our hands with deer grease."

9th grade student sitting down at her desk with a soda and
bag of chips: "You mean we can't eat and drink in here?"

"And when the mailbox wouldn't fall over, Shawn s*#! and
wiped his a*# with his underwear and stuffed it in the mailbox."

"DFS took the kids because he left them in the house with the
pit bulls. He was only next door talking to the neighbor. So
now they are going to bury the drugs in the backyard so when
DFS checks the house they can get the kids back."

Principal to the only male teacher on our middle school faculty:
"Well, Mike, it looks like you're going to be in hog heaven this
year." Mike, taking a long look around the room, "You got
that right."

"He grabbed the stapler off the desk and started stapling down
his spine. Then they were wrestling on the floor and, Ma'am, he
bit him in the private area."

"We went down in the woods and built a fire. Then we put a
metal folding chair over it to see who could pull down their
pants and sit on it the longest."

From a 12th grade boy: "Then my sister turned up pregnant.
She don't want it, so I said, "Let me have it. I'll raise it up right."

"There's some kind of fire in the furnace room. I want all of
you with an upstairs classroom to go back in and open your
windows to let the smoke out."

I'm sure city teachers have their own "too much information"
list. I'll make a Part 2 list as I remember more.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Camping With a City Girl

Can rednecks peacefully co-exist with city slickers? Sure, if
we can train them in our redneck ways. Some are more
trainable than others. Remember my friend "Betty," from my
post Watch Your Mouth? She was a city girl who took a job
out in Redneckland.

We had a travelling teachers' party every Saturday. We
played Trivial Pursuit, or poker, or barbecued, or floated,
or played golf. It didn't matter who hosted, we always found
something to do. Two of our married teachers, who shall be
known here as "Frank" and "Fran," had some land outside of
town where they raised cattle. They decided we would have
a campout in tents.

Betty had not been camping, but she had a good time wherever
she was. We all went out on Saturday afternoon and started
a barbecue. Betty climbed up on the John Deere tractor and
pretended to drive. She had on a big straw hat like the Hawaiian
Punch guy, and sang "Green Acres is the place to be, farm livin'
is the life for me. Land spreadin' out so far and wide....." Fran
took her picture, and later it appeared, framed, in Betty's

Betty was amazed by the creek. Actually, the creek was dry
at the area where we camped. It was just bedrock that had
been worn smooth over about a million years.

"Hey, Frank!" Betty hollered. "How much did it cost you to
pour this creek?"

"What do you mean?" asked Frank.

"You know, the concrete for this whole creek."

"Uh...Betty, that's rock. Erosion from water and little rocks
did it. It's not concrete." Frank was one of the high school
science teachers.

"Oh. When are you going to breed these cows?"

"Betty, those are steers, not cows."

"OK, so when are you going to breed them?"

"Betty, you can't breed steers."

"How come?"

"Because they've been castrated."

"Oh. Where are we all going to sleep?"

There were a bunch of different size tents set up already. Betty
and I were supposed to share a little bubble-looking tent. It
was barely big enough for the two of us. Even worse, it was
not on level ground. We put our borrowed sleeping bags in,
and Betty said, "I'll take this side." The high side. I did not like
that idea. At that time, Betty was bigger than I was. Not taller,
but rounder. "Great," I told her. "If you roll over in your sleep,
you won't be able to stop. You'll either smother me, or our
tent will go rolling down the hill to the concrete creek." Betty
laughed and agreed to switch sides with me.

It was not a restfull night. "Zip up the door of that tent," Betty
ordered. "A bear might get in here."

"Betty, if there's a bear brave enough to come up here in all
this noise, I don't think a zippered cloth door is going to stop

"You're so funny," said Betty. "Let's spy on Bob." She crawled
to the door flap and peeped out. "Look, he's poking the fire.
Now he's sitting on that log. I wonder what he's thinking."

"I can hear you, you b#}%*s," said Bob. He was not amused.

Betty started to laugh. Loudly.

"Shut up, Betty!" yelled the male half of the couple in the tent
next door. They were two of Betty's closest friends.

Betty laughed harder, then said, "Shhhh. Listen. I think they're
making out."

"Don't make me come over there!"

Betty shut up and went back to spying on Bob. Now she
tried to whisper. "Look, he's going to pass out in the fire.
His head is bobbing. No...get back! He's coming over here.
No...he's getting in his truck. You've gotta see this. His feet
are hanging way out. He's too tall to sleep in his truck."

"Shut up!!!!!!!"

The next day, Bob declared, "You can lead Betty to a concrete
creek, but you can't shut her up."

Sunday, May 01, 2005

I Won't Tell if You Won't Tell

Before I married my husband, he worked in St. Louis in a
factory. He was in charge of maintenance, which meant
everything from repairing machines to pouring acid down
toilets. He tried to help out a local guy and get him a job
there. Let's call this guy "Ray."

Ray didn't have a car, so he walked about two miles to
our town every morning along the railroad tracks. Then
my future husband drove him to the city, about 70 miles.
This was in his light blue 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass with
the headliner that sagged down on top of his head as
he drove.

On the way home one day, Hubby noticed that Ray
was unusually quiet. He sat kind of bent over with his
jacket in his lap. It was raining during the drive through
rush-hour traffic. The car in front of them hit the brakes,
and so did Hubby--but a little too late. He ran into the
back of a car. Ray was thrown forward. Hubby got
out to exchange information with the other driver, and
they agreed to drive to a police station that the driver
knew was just off the next exit.

As Hubby came back to his car, he noticed Ray bent
over picking at something on the floor. He looked
closer, and it was screws and nuts and bolts. Ray
was putting them back in his jacket pockets. They
looked at each other, but didn't say anything.

Hubby was afraid Ray might say he was hurt in the accident,
to get an insurance settlement. Ray never mentioned the
accident, and Hubby never told on him for stealing from
work. I guess country boys have to stick together in the

Many rednecks long for such an opportunity. My high
school students have told me that their parents advise
them to say they hurt their back if they are in an accident.
That's because it's hard to prove that your back isn't hurt.

Oh, and the blue Olds Cutlass got a new used right fender
--maroon. Because rednecks don't always have cars
with all the parts in matching colors. When you go shopping
at the auto salvage yard, you have to take what they have
in stock.