Redneck Review

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Moving Day

I've moved! Come visit me at the Hillbilly Mansion.

The link is

See you there!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Middle of Nowhere

I can see how you might have trouble finding my new place. Here
are a few sights you might see along the way. Out on the county
road, they have markers for how deep the water gets. A white
one and a rust one. They are marked up to 3 feet. The problem is,
the water goes higher than the markers sometimes. So if you don't
know the road, you might not know how that bridge dips down
in the middle. One time I got almost 3/4 the way across, and I
could feel my large SUV start to creep. I gassed that sucker and
got up out of there. That was mighty scary. There are three other
ways to get to where I'm going, but when it's that high, I have to
go about 20 minutes out of my way. The biggest problem we
usually have with this bridge is the debris left when the water goes
down. Like giant tree trunks lying across the bridge. That, and
backing up in a large SUV when you get close enough to see that
the water is too deep to cross.

This is on our private gravel
road, past the sign that says
"No trespassing." It works
most of the time. We have
to buy rock and maintain this
road ourselves. Not me, but
all of us who live out here.
As you can see, it's fall now.

In the winter, we sometimes
have trouble getting up and
down this hill. Part of the trouble
is the abandoned cars left by
the people who don't drive
large SUVs. They can't make
it, and end up stuck in the road.
That makes it hard to get our
large SUVs past them. People!
If you're going to live in the middle of nowhere, get a car that can
get you in and out! Like a large SUV.

That barn at the top of the hill is not our BARn. We are not there
yet. Because we are only on the edge of nowhere, not yet in the
middle. And I think I'll stop here, in case "Fitty" thinks he can find
me and stuff my dismembered parts into a 55-gallon barrel. Or
several 55-gallon barrels.

On Wednesday, I'll be moved into my new blog home. Come
visit me at the Hillbilly Mansion. You can click the link, or go to I will leave this site here, but
will be posting on the new one. So if you're a regular guest, you
might want to update the link. Or not.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Let's Have a Housewarming Party!

Oh, did I mention I'm moving? Not far. I'm still on Blogger. I just
wanted a fresh start. I don't know why. I've changed templates
a couple times, but it's not the same as A NEW BLOG. I'll leave
my address at the bottom of this post.

Housewarming parties always annoy me. That's why I'm throwing
myself one. Nothing is more redneck than saying, "Hey, y'all, I've
got a new house. Buy me some gifts and I'll let you gave a party
there!" I appreciate the comments from my blogfriends. I will
answer those here now. Why respond in the comments when you
can make a whole post out of it, I always say. Maybe that's why
people look at me funny.

Babs, you are correct. People do come and go here quickly. Like
within 5 seconds. Oh. that's not what you meant? Yes, it does seem
that blogs have a short shelf life. I have worked in schools where
people came and went quickly, too. It usually means there's an
administrative problem. BLOGGER, do you hear me?

Misha, you were indeed one of my firsts. I think I found you on
that "recently updated" blogs thingy, and left you a comment. See,
people, what happens when you are polite? You make a mean
spinach dip, you say? Now you've gone and reminded me of a
dip story. And it was at a housewarming party, no less, with a
new friend who had included me in her social circle.

Long story medium (it's the best I can do), my new friend Karen
took me to a housewarming party at Indian Hills Lake in Cuba,
Missouri. Also along were her friends Wanda and Jim (definitely
not a couple). As the night wore on, maybe some alcohol was
consumed, and maybe someone called the science teacher
into the bathroom to show him her boobs, and maybe someone
ditched our group to pursue a math teacher whom she later married.
Anyhoo, around about midnight, Karen and I ended up at the
kitchen table eating a bowl of dip that Jim had brought. This dip
doesn't sound so good on screen, but it was something like
Braunschweiger mixed with mayonnaise. I know there had
to be more to it, but at the time, it seemed quite delicious. We
dipped crackers into the bowl to scoop it out. Karen and I might
have been double-dipping, because Seinfeld had not yet created
his show, and us rednecks didn't know no better. In comes
Jim, who sits down to gossip with us. Next thing I know, Jim
grabs the bowl of dip, snaps the Tupperware lid in place, burps
it, and says, "That's enough, B****es! This is going to be my
lunch tomorrow." We were incensed! The nerve of that...that...
JIM! Karen and I were best buddies after that bonding experience.
We lived to torment Jim.

Alas, Misha, I doubt there will be pictures of hot country boys
at my new home. Unless you count my Sonic guy. And you know
the saying, "Hotness is in the tastebuds of the free Sonic Cherry
Diet Coke drinker."

Rebecca, yes, I do plan to load everything on a truck and haul
the whole thing across town. My Hillbilly Husband did that with
a shed he built. He had a flatbed car-towing truck to load it with
a winch and drive it to town. Then when we built our house here,
he loaded it up again to bring it back. Excuse me a minute...sluurrp.
Ahhhhhh....Sonic Cherry Diet Coke...sweet, sweet nectar. Now
what was I saying? Oh, yes. We will look like the Beverly Hillbillies
bringing Granny's shack to Beverly Hills.

Mrs. Coach, you certainly may rummage through my stuff. I am
hoping to leave behind one ceramic rooster that my HH picked
up somewhere. I think he had it before we were married. He
would set it on the kitchen windowsill, and I would put it under
the kitchen sink. This went on for a long time, until I let it stay
out for two days in a row. He thought he'd won, and forgot to
check. Forgot until we moved to the new house, 7 years later,
and he said, "Have you seen my chicken?" We had a kid by this
time, and he knew the proper place for a ceramic rooster was
under the kitchen sink. Unfortunately, he didn't know that there
are some secrets we'd like to keep from Daddy. Now it's on
top of my kitchen cabinets with the world's largest Coke bottle
collection. May I offer anyone a beverage?

MamaKBear, I've dropped in on you several times. I'm just
not very talkative when I meet new people. After I get to know
them well, they can't shut me up. I won't go strainin' myself in
the move. That's what you have young'uns for--to do the heavy
liftin' and bring you the remote and the phone.

Mabel, my teaching-buddy-without-a-blog, I'm sorry I slighted
you. Yes, you do exist. I know you're the rightful owner of the
winner's title of the "What do you think it is?" post. But while
you were snoozin', you were losin', and Dave was winning.
You can still comment, you know, even without a blog. It won't
matter anyway, though, because Rebecca's back, and she wins
every contest. Just ask her. Oh, I forgot. You don't have a blog!
OK, now who have I made madder, Mabel or Rebecca?

If you want to start a feud with me, you can find me at my new
home, the Hillbilly Mansion. Y'all come visit, y'hear? If you need
specific directions, it is

Sunday, October 23, 2005

I'll Be Moving Soon

I am going to start a new blog. Just because I can. It's getting hard to
find things around this here blog. Too much junk that I just don't want
to throw away, you know. So I'll do what any self-respecting redneck
would do when the house gets dirty--move.

I'm not skipping out on the rent. I pay my free rent every month. I am
not hiding from anyone. I just wanted a new place to clutter up like
this one.

It seems like only April when I moved in here. Oh. It was April. One
of the first people to welcome me was Misha. Which was kind of
funny to me, because she welcomed me from way down under in
Australia. So did Rebecca, who entered me in her Big Blogger
contest without my knowledge. I soon came to expect such things from
Rebecca. Somehow I stumbled onto Redneck Diva (sorry if that left
a mark), and I have been looking over my shoulder for "Fitty" ever
since. I can't remember how I found DeadpanAnn, but I claim to know
her from back in the day when she was still unemployed and living in
her mother's basement. You've come a long way, Baby. Oh, I forgot
that you gave up the smoking thing. Rachel found me in the early days,
and look what she's made of herself. I think she's on her third blog that
I know of. She's much more political than I am, and also politically
incorrect sometimes. That makes me start hee-hawing. Sometimes
she uses a little alias. I won't blow her cover. I think I did that a while
back. These are the people on my blogroll that I can count on to visit
me every week or so. Regular company that I don't have to pick up
the house for. I know others visit me daily, but they are not as vocal.
You don't think they are scared of me, do you?

There are some who drop in every now and then. I visited them daily
in the summer, when I was a slacker. Now that school has started
again, I don't make it quite every day, but I try. I glommed onto them
by kidnapping them from other people's blogrolls. I have others that
I've bookmarked but haven't rolled yet. I'll fit them in sometime,
after I'm finished unpacking.

I'm going to miss a few things around the old homestead. Walk with
me. We'll take a reminiscing little stroll around the grounds. I will get
you my new address tomorrow, unless you are the stalker type and
can find it on your own. It's not that hard, really. Even I could do it.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

What Do YOU Think?

Here are a couple of photos, courtesy of my 10-year-old son.
We were out and about today, with Hillbilly Husband gone to
Germany for 6 days.

Do you know what this is? I'm not going to tell you. Now, anyway.
I'll bet Dave in Ardmore has a clue. This picture was taken in the
middle of the town where I grew up. It's a part of our history.

Need another look? Try this.

It's quite large, as you can see. Don't go guessing things like:

It's a tree.
It's a flagpole.
It's a truck.

You know that's not what I'm talking about. It's not nice to try to
fool Hillbilly Mom. I teach middle school, remember? You can't
get away with guesses like this, no more than I will believe that
Canada is a state, Illinois is a city in Missouri, or Alaska is located
down by Hawaii in the Specific Ocean.

If you were hoping I'd say "Let me answer for you," hope some more.
I'll tell you tomorrow, if Dave doesn't tell you in the comments. Dave,
if you're reading, give a few others a chance to take a guess. But don't
give them long, because here at Hillbilly Mom's place, if you snooze,
you lose. Kind of like seeing some rolls of burlap at the Goodwill Store
and buying one, then deciding that you have to go back for more because
even though you don't know what to do with that burlap, you can't pass
up such a good price. But wouldn't you know it--when you go back
later in the afternoon, all the burlap has been bought. No burlap for you!

If you don't know what it is, there is no penalty for guessing. Within
reason, that is. Don't guess that it's a giant Bigfoot turd or something
frivolous. So...any guesses? Anybody...anybody? Bueller...?

OK, I can see from the response that all of you are dying to know. I'll
put the answer in the comments. The statue of limitations has run out.
(Don't you hate it when people say "statue"?)

Friday, October 21, 2005

I See Slow People

I have issues with slow people. Not mentally slow. They can't help it.
I mean people who waste time. MY time.

I went to a different Walmart today, to pick up a prison suit for my
#1 son's Halloween costume. I wasn't embarrassed or hiding his
identity or anything--it was the Walmart in the town where I had
my doctor's appointment. #1 son wasn't going to dress up this year,
but his school is having a sock hop party, and he has to go in costume.
Yeah, that'll make the girls come a-runnin'. A zebra-striped convict
uniform. O Boyfriend, Where Art Thou? We had a discussion at
the school lunch table a couple years ago about how any man can get
a woman. In prison awaiting the death sentence for killing your
three wives? There's a woman out there just dying to marry you.

I went to a regular checkout line, because I refuse to scan my own
Walmart merchandise. That self-checkout took away a person's
job! I might have gone through the 20-items-or-less line, but I had
about 19-21 items, and was too lazy to count. Big mistake. I picked
the lane presided over by Methuselah's anemic great-grandma.

I had time to peruse the last-minute-junk-food shelves. I resisted
for a while, but my innards started to rumble. Yep. One innard flicks
the other innard on the ear, and he responds by giving the first
innard a titty-twister. Next thing I know, they're flailing around on
the floor. Innard One has a stapler that is opened, leaving a zipper
track down Innard Two's spine. Innard Two retaliates by biting
Innard One in the "private area." Oh, wait a minute...that was a fight
that we had at school a few years back. My gut was just growling.

What did I choose from the junk food shelf? Is chocolate my dark
master? No, that would be the portly fellow, George, on Seinfeld.
A Slim Jim, perhaps? Nope. I don't like the way that guy said,
"Eat me!" in their commercials. I succumbed to the temptation of
the pork rinds. What's that you say? Yes, I am aware that they are
deep-fried pig skins. And the problem with that would be...? Did
you forget, I am Hillbilly Mom? I am no stranger to the pork rind.

Several years ago, we had a whole lunch shift consumed with the
low-carb trend. You never saw so many people eating pork rinds
and cheese and ranch dressing and sugar-free Jello. It was bad
enough when one would snatch a soda out of another's hand and
scream, "What are you doing? That's a real soda! I just save you
from drinking one million billion carbs!" I knew the end of the world
was coming when one told the others how to make pork rind pancakes.
Yes, there is the edge of insanity, and then there is the abyss. That is
just wrong, people. Do not make pork rind pancakes. Get off the
Atkins, and eat some fruits and vegetables. Snap out of it!

I consumed my porcine epidermis snack as I continued on my errands.
Next, I stopped to fill the belly of my SUV beast. $2.48 per gallon
for super unleaded, people. Read it and weep. Of course, the pump
I pulled in to had a plastic bag over the handle. The regular unleaded
was $2.52 per gallon. Go figure. I refused to buy it, and waited for
the guy ahead of me to finish and pay so I could use his pump.
Another error in judgement.

Goober went in to pay, and I would say it took him 10 minutes. Did
he buy Milwaukee's Best, or Powerball tickets, or Skoal...something
worthwhile? Let me answer for you: "NO!" He stood around talking to
the cashier. They must have been reminiscing about the Molasses-
Chugging Festival last January. I think Goober's beard grew two
inches while I waited. Bad enough to not wait and pay $50.60 for
half a tank of gas.

I was in a hurry to get to Sonic before 5:00. You know what happens
at 5:00, don't you? Happy Hour ends, and drinks are full price again.
I made it with 4 minutes to spare. I had to have my fix of Cherry Diet
Coke. Cheap. And though I was 5-deep in the drive-thru lane, the
little Sonic girl came running out to me with my beverages. Ya
gotta love the Sonic. It's not for slow people.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

On the Home Front

Let's see where the blog takes us today, shall we? Let me answer for
you: "Yes, Hillbilly Mom, I've always wanted to know what it's like to
be a lower-middle-class redneck teacher in the midwest with two kids
and a Hillbilly Husband and no talent. Tell us more about your life.
Oh, please!" Be careful what you wish for, people.

HH is on his way to Germany as I write this. At least on his way from
Detroit to the Netherlands, and from there to Germany. It's a work
thing. We are not world travelers. He had some odd-looking stuff in
his luggage, including a couple coils of plastic air hose. He said he
couldn't put them in his carry-on luggage, because they might think
he was planning to strangle someone. No, that would be me. And
why would he want to put that in his carry-on? Maybe he has some
secret life that I don't know about. A glamorous drug smuggler, a
paid assassin? Nawwww. He can barely remember to breathe in
and breathe out.

#1 son is excited to have a part in the school Christmas play.
Every year he has tried out, and has been rejected while the same
kids get parts year after year. In K, 1, and 2 he was in tears on the
day they were announced. Of course, that made me cry. One year
his friend, who had had a part every year, took #1 to the teacher
and said, "Mrs. Teacher, I want #1 to have my part, because I've
been in it every year." And she replied, "Just because you give up
your part doesn't mean #1 will get it." Are you crying yet, because
I'm about to. He's a good kid, a model student (OK, a teacher's
pet). Just ask my friend Mabel, she knows him. So I don't know
what the deal is. He's never been in trouble. He is an A student.
So I was very proud that he got a part, and then he said, "I think
I only got it because I was the only one to try out for that part."
Hey, take what you can get, kid. A reindeer with 2 lines is better
than no part at all.

#2 son has been in trouble on the bus for switching seats. Some
of my high school kids have been talking to him, and he's been
giving them the "fish-eye." I can't explain it. He rolls his eyes and
kind of crosses them, and he looks like a fish. Yep, my spawn
are mighty attractive. I told him not to talk to the big kids, they
are up to no good. The only reason a big kid talks to little kids
on the bus is to tease them. I don't think he buys into it--he gave
me the fish-eye.

On the work front, I have a substitute tomorrow afternoon due
to a doctor's appointment. It seems kind of unremarkable, but
for 3 of the 7 years I have been teaching here, I have had perfect
attendance. "Oooh, Hillbilly Mom, did you get a certificate and
your name in the paper?" Well, since you've asked...NO. But
I got an extra $150 check in the summer. WooHoo!

Now don't think I'm unappreciative of that stipend. They don't
have to give me nuthin'. My friend Mabel tells me not to worry
about it, that when I retire, nobody is going to say, "Remember
when Hillbilly Mom came to school with a 104 degree fever?
Remember when Hillbilly Mom didn't miss a day for 5 years in
a row?" No, she says, they will say: "Who's Hillbilly Mom?"
She's quite an ego-booster, that Mabel.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I Rock!!!

Apparently, I rock. Or I am a rock. This is what a student gave me.
I must be talented. When I play, the music takes form and floats into
the air. Look! You can see it! I think I also have psychoactive
properties. Note the floating dismembered heads. I don't know
if I ooze it, or if you smoke me/lick me/inject me/snort me, but I
am some powerful stuff!

I have a few issues with this artist's rendering. Oh, he's got my body
type correct, but I do not wear my shades in the classroom, and I
do have hair. He's got me playing a left-handed guitar, which is OK,
because I can write with either hand, so I guess I could master the
left-handed guitar as well.

I promise that I did not steal this from another teacher and insert my
name. Really. I had to cover up my real name, silly, because of "Fitty,"
the 55-gallon barrel killer who stalks people like Redneck Diva, who
give too much information in their blogs. So I covered my real name
of Anastasia Beaverhausen--oops! That is Karen on Will&Grace.
And it's not Buck Naked, either. That is George on Seinfeld. I can
not tell you my name, in case one day it shall live in infamy.

If you don't think I rock, I'LL POKE YOU! Well, not really. She
said this pic wasn't all about me, but we know that it is. I have this
mini-fridge in my room, from when I used to sell soda after school
as a fundraiser. There's good money in them there sodas. I bought
3 computers, 2 TVs, 2 DVD players, a VCR, 2 tables, and a lot
of pizza as rewards, all in about 4 years' time. Now I can't sell it,
but I still have the fridge. I put a frowny face on it that says, "Grrr...
Leave me alone!" so the kids wouldn't peep in it while I was out
in the hall supervising. The kid says that is what inspired this pic.

In any case, I think it's best that you leave me "alown," cause I got
me some sharp pointy sticks to do my talkin' for me. It's good to
see that my hair has grown out and that I have slimmed down. But
I am not greedy! How dare she! And I do have a nose, contrary
to what both little Rembrandts show.

Maybe I should save these, along with my Hillbilly Mutant Turtle
Mom pic, and convert one of my Hillbilly Husband's 4 workshops
into an art gallery. There would still be just as much work being
done in the workshops, which is NONE! I could have a showing,
and serve moonshine, and braised-possum-on-a-toothpick, with
canapes of bacon-cheddar EZ Cheese (from the spray can) on
Ritz Crackers, and Philadelphia brand chive-flavored cream cheese
on Club Crackers with a slice of Buddig ham. Mmmm....don't that
get the saliva flowin'? Sounds like a classic redneck art show to me.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Substitute Subject

This is very sad. I have no life. I have spent about an hour trying to
post 2 pictures, and nothing will work. This stupid blogger photo
thingy does nothing. I tried Hello! Goodbye, Hello, because you
are not working either. I am spittin' mad. I demand to get my money's
worth from Blogger. What's that? It's free? ...never mind.

What can I talk about now? How about substitutes? They are not
as good as the real thing.

If you don't have milk for your cereal, you can substitute
water. I don't recommend it, though.

No milk for the mac & cheese? Put in extra butter...well, actually,
margarine, which is already a substitute for butter.

Did the screw fall out of your glasses? Try one of those little gold
safety pins.

Out of cat food? They'll eat those fish food pellets, and like them.

No syrup for your Bisquick pancakes? Mix the batter with some
fruit salad and the juice, then serve the finished product with sugar
sprinkled on top.

Make-up not permitted? Try some mercurochrome on the lips,
burnt matches for eyeliner, pinch your cheeks for rouge, and use
flour for powder. That's what Dolly Parton did, and her mama
asked her, "What you gonna do if you sweat, break out in biscuits?"

Exhaust pipe falling off your car? Duct tape it, and support it with
a bent coat hanger. It will last about 10 seconds until the duct tape
melts, and the roar of the muffler returns.

Can't find a rest stop on the highway? Substitute a McDonalds cup
---while you're driving, and you're a woman. An acquaintance says
this is hard to explain when the police pull you over.

No sled? Chain an old car hood to a Jeep and ride on it. The chance
of being decapitated is higher than with an actual sled.

No braces? Bend a paperclip and jam it around your teeth. That's
what my students do.

Need a winter scarf? An old lady in Redneckland was spotted wearing
an old pair of pantyhose wrapped around her neck. No, it was not me.

No respect? Wave a pointy stick. Actually, that was going to be today's
subject. Maybe I can try again tomorrow.

Monday, October 17, 2005

I Don't Get No Respect

I am a regular Rodney Dangerfield in Redneckland. Not that I think
I am funny like him. I think I am funny in my own way. Which is good,
because I make myself laugh. Nobody else gets it, but I crack myself
up. I said "crack." Heh, heh, heh. As you can see, it's definitely not
because of my humor. It's because I don't get no respect.

A couple years ago, my Hillbilly Husband and I took the kids to town
trick-or-treating. Because that's what us country folks do--take the
kids to town to beg for candy. I don't take them to the "rich" areas
in hopes of chocolate like some people do. Just to the old daycare
neighborhood, and the Hillbilly Mama and Hillbilly Grandma's houses.
And to the Hillbilly Sister-the-mayor's-wife's house.

So where's the lack of respect, you ask? If you are still reading this
exercise in self-pity. Let me tell you: the trick-or-treaters did not
respect me. I sat in the large SUV (Hey! We need it in the snow
on our mile of gravel road! Respect me, now!
) while HH took the
kids door to door. Two middle-school-size kids came up to the car.
They whipped out some soap, and proceeded to draw an apple
and a pumpkin on the window. With me in the car! I don't get no

Last week our schools were on lockdown because of the bad boy
who shot two people. #2 son tried to go back to my first building
so I could do a little work while waiting for geek #1 to get done
with his math club. I knew the back door would be locked, but
that's where I park. It's closest to my room. Why walk 50 steps
when you can walk 20, I always say. Actually, I have never said
that, but I fantasize about it. So I drive up and pull into the first
parking spot by the door. Another teacher is standing there with
her foot propping it open, talking on her cell phone. I was about
20 feet from her. She looked right at me. I held up my index finger,
the universal signal for, "Hold that door open just a minute, I am
going to get my son out of the car and come in that door before
it locks and I have to go all the way around the building." At least
that's what I think that finger means. It's not the bad finger. My
boys are always tattling on each other, but the ultimate tattle is
that one-time-a-year that one will whisper in my ear that his
brother used the baaaaddd finger! Hmmm...that would be
a good name for a band.

I got #2 son out of the car, turned around, and SLAM! Cruella
de Door had gone back inside, locking us out. I don't get no

At school today, Mr. X was telling Mr. Y a story about how slow
some kids were at taking the states and capitals test. Out of the
blue, he told Mr. Y, "Hillbilly Mom was valedictorian of her class,
you know." And Mr. Y almost choked on his rectangle of school
pizza and said, "What!" Thanks for being impressed, buddy. I could
have done without the shock. I don't get no respect.

Also today, a student told me about an internet survey she got in
her email. At home. They can't use it at school. She said, "You
probably have never heard of this band...the Blackeyed Peas."
Which I have, I just don't know what they look like, or any of
their songs, but anyhooooo....I said to her, "What are you saying?
That I'm old?" " Just that you might not know the same
music as us." I don't get no respect.

I got her back, though. She said somthing creeped her out. Another
kid said, "It what?" "Creeped me out." So I told her, "Hey, I use
that expression all the time. Welcome to oldwomanhood!" Heh,
heh, heh. I will demand respect!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

He MOCKS Us!!!

He MOCKS us! The Land-Stealer has moved his ill-gotten lumber
to his own land, and stored it where we can see it from our front
porch! Well, we can see it if we use the zoom on #1 son's camera.
Otherwise, it just looks like this:

As you can see, we are training the boy young 'un to join our hillbilly
militia. Just in case a feud breaks out and all. Since the Land-Stealer
has said he doesn't want to give up the property until after he has a
Halloween party on it, I think he plans to harvest more cedar. He will
probably trim it bald, and then scoop up the topsoil to sell it, too. People
do that around here, you know. They hire a dozer to scrape up the soil,
load it into dump trucks, and sell it. That's your SOIL, people! It's not
growing back for oh, I don't know, maybe millions of years! So we
might be buying a nice 10-acre rock.

#1 son can't be bothered with that thought. He is shooting his Red Ryder
BB gun, 50th anniversary edition. Yeah, I've told him, "You'll shoot your
eye out, kid."

Funny thing is, he's left-handed, but aims with his right eye and shoots
right-handed. Maybe that's why he's shooting at a target he put on the
other side of the tree. I have given up making any sense of what he does.

I have also given up blogging about anything that is interesting. Bear with
me. I will come up with something brilliant one of these days. It's like that
saying, "The sun even shines on a dog's a$$ some days." Well, I never
did understand that saying anyway. But if you stick with me, some day
the sun is going to shine on my a$$, or else I'm going to have a really
interesting post. One or the other. You'll just have to wait to find out.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Is That a Panther?

 panther. Just our black cat, Stockings, who has
never forgiven us for referring to him as "she" until we took her to
be spayed, and the vet said, " you mind if we neuter this one
stead of spay him?" OK, so I'm not good at sexing cats. Wouldn't
you be more worried if I was? I'm not as bad as my friend Mabel,
who still calls her cat, Lovey, "she", even though she knows he is a
boy. And I didn't name this cat "Stockings," either. #1 son did that.
It's the name of Bill Clinton's cat, isn't it? That's OK. I have no
problem with my man Bill.

The point of this picture is that our Hillbilly Fishpond has some major
design flaws, and I'm all about pointing out the flaws if they're not mine.
Aside from the brackish green/brown water, we have the fake turtle,
fake owl, fake sunflower, fake bunny, and large seashell. I approve of
the river rock, and the big flat rocks that my Hillbilly Husband and #1
son hauled from the creek in numerous trips. I am neutral on the plants.
I just do not agree with HH's mixing of the fake species. There are too
many in such a small space.

But the real point is that I do not always agree with my HH. I have read
several blogs where the husband and wife never fight! Where is this
strange land? I know, maybe they don't want to show their bad sides
on the blog. It just seems unreal.

Don't these men leave their skidmarked underwear on the floor? Don't
they leave a melted drop of ice cream on the counter every night after
the woman has cleaned up? Don't they find her chocolate Easter bunny
in the fridge in June and help themselves? Don't they make a scene about
babysitting their own kids? Not that my HH does any of these, mind you.
It is information I have gathered over the years.

And what about her? Doesn't she nag him to take out the trash? Harp
at him to put in a lightbulb higher than 40 watts? Demand that he stay
out of strip clubs? Snore like a freight train until he wants to put a pillow
over her face?

I find it hard to believe that any marriage can be as perfect as some of
these I read about in Blogland. Why, Mother Teresa herself would've
liked to kick her husband to the curb every once in a while. Maybe that
is not a good example, what with Mother Teresa being a nun and all,
and not having a husband, unless you count God, which we certainly
must count God, and even though I am not a religious person, I think it
would be a serious relationship faux pas to kick God to the curb,
because that is kind of disrespectful, and you never know when that
lightning bolt just might shoot down out of the sky to make you mind
your manners.

Now don't go getting paranoid if you're on my blogroll and think this
is about you. I know some of you have issues every now and then,
because you share it with us. And that is much more refreshing than
sweeping it under the rug (how come the woman has to do the sweeping,
huh?) and more entertaining for me to read. Which is a must, because
this IS all about ME, you know. I think I might have mentioned that just
one time.

I don't get along with HH all the time. But I know how to pick my battles.
So he can decorate that Hillbilly Fishpond any old way he wants, and he
can leave the fake Christmas tree in a box by the pool table all year. But
when I think something is important, you can bet that I'll come out the winner.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Loose Ends

I have a few loose ends to tie up this week. I'd like you to think I'm
gonna wrap 'em up real purty and tie 'em with a big red bow, but let
me warn you now, I've been known to wrap Christmas presents in
wallpaper. Hey, it was cheap. I used to work in an insurance salvage
store, and you can't get much cheaper than "free." Or much cheaper
than "me."

Well, OK, maybe you can, because I just thought of this friend we
used to have when my Future Hillbilly Husband and I lived in separate
apartments together. This friend lived in FHH's building. They were
all a little strange over there, what with FHH shooting his boy's pellet
gun up through the ceiling into his neighbor's apartment, and that 40
year old man and his wife who worked at a children's home 7 days
on and 7 days off who liked to wear a SPEEDO in the pool, which
was I must say a kind of anatomy lesson for the little girl whose parents
also lived in that building with their 1970s model Oldsmobile with a
peeling vinyl top that the carwash peeled all the way off and they were
going to sue the carwash. And I haven't even mentioned the insurance
adjuster who was almost my boyfriend who spent the day not doing
his adjusting and latched onto an 18 year old girlfriend who was still
in high school which is in my opinion just oh, so wrong because she's
a KID, you fool, and why would her parents approve of her dating
a 30-something man, and all he had to say for himself was "Her skin
is so sooooft," to which FHH replied, "Yeah, BABY soft." But I digress.

The cheap friend lived with his wife, who was so sweet you could go
into a diabetic coma just talking to her (and if diabetic coma means
you don't get enough sugar, I am sorry, because I don't have time to
look up my medical facts what with all this digressing and run-on
sentences). They had cute little accents, him hailing from Dolly Partonland,
and her growing up in Bill Clintonland. So one night we planned a night
on the town chock full of supper and bowling, FHH and me and Cheapy
and the Sweet Little Woman. Our first clue that something was amiss was
when, on the way to the restaurant, Cheapy said, "FHH, could you drive
through that ATM? I don't have any money with me." So we did, and
Cheapy told SLW to put the card in and "Take out $20, Baby, because
you have to eat lunch out at school this week." ????? Since when did $20
buy supper and bowling and a week of lunches at the junior college nursing
program? I am not THAT old.

So we had supper and hightailed it to the bowling alley, where FHH
ordered up a pitcher of beer. He asked Cheapy if he was having any,
and he said, "No, I don't think I will tonight." When we visited Cheapy's
apartment, there was no shortage of THE BOOZE, so I though maybe
he had a big day tomorrow, or was a little under the weather. We bowled
and gossiped, and FHH saw some friends on the next lane because he
knows everybody in two counties. The friends got ready to leave, and
they had a half-full pitcher of beer left (or as I would say, half-empty,
because that's the kind of gal I am). The friends said, "Hey, do you want
that beer? We are leaving and don't want it." And before FHH could say
yes or no or thank you very much, Cheapy bellowed, "Baby, go get me a
glass." So he had turned us down because he was afraid FHH would
expect him to buy the next pitcher, I guess. Which is my point. He was
cheaper than me.

Now, getting back to the loose ends (I swear, I just never know where
this blog will take me when I sit down with no idea what I'm going to
write about) I must first mention the Bad Boy who shot two people last
Sunday, but more importantly, caused our school buildings to be on
lockdown all week (because it IS all about ME, you know, and this
was kind of inconvenient for me). He has not been caught, but we will
not be on lockdown next week. Which I guess is bad news and good

Next, I have gotten through to a few of my Do-Nots, because they
came in with work to do and actually did it today. Yeah, 1st quarter
ends next Wednesday, so it's too little too late right now, but maybe
they can salvage their semester grades if they buckle down and stick
with it.

We are not rushing the paperwork to buy back our rightful land from
the Land-Stealer, since he is intent on throwing that Halloween party
on it. He did haul all the cedar logs onto his land 50 feet away. He
also has a big horse trailer parked there. #1 son exclaimed, "Oh, great!
He can't afford to pay for the land, but he can put air conditioning in
his horse trailer!" Uh...Son...I think he borrowed the horse trailer, since
we haven't seen it parked over there. In fact, I think he might be hauling
the cedar logs in it.

And in more important news, the Sonic guy I am having my fling with
gave me a great discount today. I ordered my usual poison, a large
Sonic Cherry Diet Coke, and the voice told me, "That will be one o
eight." It was happy hour, half-price time. I drove to the window, and
there was my man. He looked at me, looked at my money, and said,
"Just a minute." He punched something into the register, and said, "I
didn't know it was you. Forget about it." WooHoo! Nothing's better
than a Sonic Cherry Diet Coke unless it is a FREE Sonic Cherry Diet
Coke from the Sonic Hillbilly Mom Admirer! Seriously, I think he
knows a student from our school who is in my friend Mabel's class.
Anyhoooo...I loves me my FREE Sonic Cherry Diet Coke!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Do-Not Village

I told my teaching buddy, Mabel, that I was going to put a sign over
my classroom door. "Do-Not Village." That is because the students
DO NOT do anything. Well, that's not quite true. They do a lot of
squabbling, farting, talking, excuse-making, forgetting, annoying,
borrowing, whining, wasting, and opinion-spouting. But they DO NOT
do anything like hmmm...let's see...errrr...HOMEWORK!!!

DO NOT get me wrong. I like these kids. They are the kind I prefer
to "teach," not the preppy smart kids. I like them just fine if I am not
responsible for making them pass. But I have issues with some of
their behaviors. Once I've had them a couple of years, they get broken
in quite nicely. It's mostly the new ones who give me fits. They are
not bad, evil kids. They have not adapted to the ways of Hillbilly Mom.

I am particular about my stuff. I like things a certain way. They are
not picking up the cues. So here is a list of my peeves:


DO NOT...tell me your paper is in your locker, at home, already
turned in, in your other purse/pants, on your kitchen table, in another
book, in the dog's stomach, in the trash because your mom threw it
away, being copied by another student, not necessary because you
have a homework pass, too late to do now because the teacher
doesn't take late work, on your computer but your printer broke/
ran out of ink. I have heard it ALL before. I am not as stupid as
you'd like me to be.

DO NOT...come to class without pencil and/or paper. This is freakin'
SCHOOL! You might need those things occasionally. Like for doing
WORK. For which you get credit. Credits which add up so you can
GRADUATE. I have to buy these things that I am giving you so you
don't have an excuse for not doing work. I am Mrs.Hillbilly Mom,

DO NOT...wad up 5 tissues to blow your nose. One will be sufficient.
I also pay for the Puffs With Aloe. And especially do not toss them into
the air and snatch them like you are a world-class juggler. They are tissues.
Not toys. And do not complain if your glasses get smeared. Read the box.
They have l-o-t-i-o-n, people. That will leave a film on your glasses. We
also have paper towels in the closet. Use them. If you continue to abuse
the tissues, I will not buy anymore, and will force you to use a roll of the
school toilet paper, which is nigh to see-through in quality.

DO NOT...use the GermX for hair gel. You will go up in flames when
you light a cigarette later. And while we're at it, do not use the GermX
at all unless you get ink on your hands or you have just blown your nose
or coughed. Not to smell the fragrance, not to say "Ooo, it makes my
my hands so smoooooth," not as an excuse to get out of your seat, and
not because " GermX!" I buy the GermX so I can clean off
your viruses after you come up to my desk hacking and sneezing and
touching my stapler and tape and eraser and calculators.

DO NOT...look at me like I am speaking Swahili after I explain where
to find an answer, give you three examples from real life, give up and
flat-out tell you the answer, and refrain from smacking you when you
ask, "But what do I put?" I am here to help you. Not do-it-for-you. Pay
attention, or don't bother to ask. Other people can make better use of
my time.

DO NOT...ask me how old you have to be to drop out. I am not going
to beg you to stay. It's like the skinny girl saying, "Oh...I'm so fat." She
just does it so others will give her attention by saying, "No, you're thin."
You have flat-out told me you're dropping out. Don't expect me to waste
time helping you if others need me. If you really want the help, then shut
up about your dropping-out fantasy. My time is valuable, believe it or not.
I have a better success rate helping people who want the help instead of
those who are fighting it.

DO NOT...brag about how much school you missed last year, or how
you started a food fight, or how nobody in your family ever graduated,
or how much you drank over the weekend, or how you're going to
kick somebody's a$$, or how you're planning a big party while your
parents are gone, or 'let it slip' that you smoke. What do you think I'm
going to say, "You're so cool?"
No. I'm not. That stuff isn't cool. Tell
somebody who'll be impressed.
Do not bring that attitude into my
classroom. I want to say, "You don't have to be such a loser."
But I won't.

Those are just the major DO NOTS. I'll do some minor ones later in
the year, when they are getting on my last nerve.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A Mining We Will Go

What do you think of this, Redneck Diva? Does it look scary enough
for you? Too bad, because there ain't no spooky tours. You can go
in the museum part, which is located around back, during the daytime.
Still, I think this old lead mine could be a gold mine at Halloween.
Take people on a night-time tour. OOOoooooOOOoo. Scared yet?

Judging by the looks of the place, this may not be a good idea. This
poor mine has been a Missouri State Historic Site for about 20 years
now. Have they fixed it up? Naawww. The museum tours used to be
free. You can see a couple pieces of the old equipment they used
underground. There are, of course, some minerals. Duh! It's called
the Mineral Museum. You can sit on some wooden pews and watch
a movie made in the 1950s of mining the lead and how they separated
it. Oh, the pews sit in the old shower room. Kind of cool.

This mine was operated by the St. Joe Lead Company. This is the county
that lead built. Both of my grandpas worked in the mines, and an uncle.
Much of the land people own was bought from the St. Joe Lead Company.
And most of the deeds read "surface rights only." One of my uncles bought
70 acres at a price of $60 per acre back in the 1960s. He used it to run a
Christmas tree farm, then sold the business to my cousin, and sold off the
land at $1000 per acre. Now, land in that area will bring $7500 per acre
if you sell it in 3-acre tracts. That now concludes our little lesson on land
speculating. And our bit of a history lesson. History is not my friend. I do
not like it and never have. Because all my history teachers were football
coaches. Boo hoo, poor me. This also concludes my pity party.

I really just liked that picture of the mine. I pulled over to the shoulder of
the road so #1 son could take it. Some stupid yahoo honked at us. Hey!
I signaled when I cut across two lanes in front of him. Sheesh! Who does
he think he is, the Redneck Miss Manners of Highway Etiquette? What's
the hurry, Bubba--gotta stop by the Wal-mart for some Sudafed to cook
up a batch of crystal meth? I will be the one to do the honking on the
highway, thank you very much, because, you see, it's all about ME!


I heard a commotion upstairs. Seems that #1 son went to get some water
and drug the pitcher forward without removing my lunch for tomorrow
from the shelf. So... my Redneck Tupperware aka a Country Crock
margarine container of leftover Hunan Chicken took a swan dive from
the top shelf and spilled its guts on the kitchen floor. Oh, the bad luck...
my Hillbilly Husband was the witness, and had to clean it up. I don't
think I will eat it, because I have a sneaking suspicion that he may have
scooped it back into the container out of spite.

I will leave you with your bonus Redneckism for the day. My Hillbilly
Mama told me she had enclosed a scavenged part of a computer for
#1 son in a vanilla envelope.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Lockdown, Shmockdown!

Well, the bad boy referenced in yesterday's post has not been caught.
Today was another lockdown day, but not of the double-secret variety.
The counselor came to tell me at the end of 1st hour. A fat lot of good
that did me, because even though I locked the door and closed it, I
forgot to close it after 2nd hour started. Thank goodness, Orange Coat
Girl asked, "Uh...Mrs.Hillbilly Mom....aren't we supposed to be on
lockdown?" Ooops!!!

And gosh darn the bad luck, a kid at another district in our county
took a gun to school, and shot it into the bathroom ceiling. So there
was some confusion as to why we were locked down, some people
on the outside thinking we had a gun-toter. Nope. Not us.

Today I did a little studying for the U.S.Constitution test, which is a
good thing in itself, but not so good because this kid studying it is a
senior, and customarily you take it your freshman year.
can't graduate until you pass it. We have until May. I think we can
do it. I also did a little states & capitals, some polar molecule
properties, a bit of perimeter and area, some bar graphs and
line graphs, described simple machines in the students' own words,
and changed fractions to decimals the old-fashioned way--by long
division. Ho hum. I am getting kinda sleepy.

I learned that someone's locker got TPed, that someone's neighbor
sleeps with his butt in the window that is right by where she waits for
the bus, that someone's uncle's date took him to an underground skating
rink in the Festus area (where to his surprise, everyone was a devil-
worshipper, so he pretended to be, too), that someone's brother likes
to wear eyeliner and bras, and that when informed of such, two people
in the class will shout in unison: "What is he, a dragon queen?" Oh...
the sheltered existence that is the midwest.

I also checked over a few similes, my two favorites being 'As skinny
as a toothpick on a diet' and 'As ugly as a turtle without a shell.'
HooRah, 6th grade, you rock!

On the home front, we are in the midst of processing our loan to buy
the property usurped by the Land-Stealer. Funny thing, the Land-
Stealer seemed almost disappointed when my Hillbilly Husband told
him we would have things done by Friday. He hemmed and hawed,
and said, "So soon? Uh....we thought we might have a Halloween
Party over there. And, uh, you probably wouldn't want us to have
a party there after you bought it." Uh, that's right, Einstein. Now the
funny thing is, he wanted the money NOW, and then he wants a party
there. They freakin' live right across from us. And the land is right
beside us. Why do they want a party on vacant land when their
7 acres with a house is about, oh, 50 FEET AWAY!!! I do not
even pretend to understand these people. It must be the crystal meth
a-talkin'. So now we'll wait until HH gets back from Germany and
not rush the whole land aquisition thingy.

Tomorrow we have an early out for a teachers' inservice day. What
rumors will fly about that? Maybe the bad boy will be caught, and
the kids can roam the halls freely again. Tune in tomorrow.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Bad Boys, Bad Boys...

First cat out of the bag this morning, (It's an expression, people. I don't
put cats in bags.), my students tell me there has been a shooting. Not
at school, mind you. Over the weekend. What I am telling you is strictly
heresay from my students.

It seems that a former student had robbed a family twice, taking money
and a 4-wheeler. The family was pressing charges. According to one
of my students, the father of the family told the kid, "Next time you
come to rob us, I'm going to shoot you." So the kid broke into the
house and shot the mom and the dad. Whether for revenge or to do
unto them first is up for debate. Their kid was not home at the time.
Both victims survived, and identified the shooter. The police were
looking for him. Again, this is just heresay.

The point I am making is that one of my students mouthed off, "They
deserved to get shot." Oh, yeah. That went over really well. The word
'riot' comes to mind. The others shouted at him, "WHAT? HOW CAN

To which I joined in to keep the burning-rags-on-ends-of-sticks mob
from tearing him limb-from-limb, "What do you mean by that? How
did they deserve to be shot? What were they doing wrong? Can
you see now why you can't get along with anyone? That is a very
disturbing statement that you made. You need to watch what you
say. Think before you say something. How will it affect the people
you are saying it to?"

I don't think he got the message. He mumbled in his passive-agressive
low-talker way, but did not spout off to the class again. The angry
mob was pacified because I stepped in on their behalf. And speaking
of -halfs, 43% of this class has a relative in jail. And even they didn't
think it is OK to break into a family's house and shoot them, just
because they threatened to shoot you first.

Sooo...We were on lockdown because the perpetrator had not
been apprehended. Apparently, it was a double-secret lockdown,
because I did not hear a word of it. I found out when I could not
get into my second building except through the front door by the
office. At the start of 6th hour, a fellow teacher said, "Wait a
minute, you need to see this." I closed my classroom door with
my students inside and me in the hall. The teacher showed me a
picture of the alleged shooter. I opened the door and went into
my classroom. My students were staring at me open-mouthed.
"How'd you DO that?"

"Well, there's this newfangled invention called a door-handle,
and if you turn it, voila! The door opens and you may enter!"

"Nooo! The door was locked."

"Nooo! It wasn't."

"Well, it's supposed to be. We're on lockdown. Haven't you
heard what happened?"

"If it will make you feel safer, I will lock the door. Yes, I have
heard people talk about what happened. There's no need to
discuss it." So I locked the magical door-handle thingy, and
they were satisfied.

My own kids said they did not get to go outside all day for
recess, and nobody was allowed to enter or leave the building.

Ahh...behold the life that is Hillbilly Mom's. In other news, a middle
school student announced out of the blue, "My mom gave my brother
a thousand dollars because he graduated from high school." And
another little urchin asked, "Do we all get a thousand dollars when
we graduate?" Uh, honey, let's work on the 'graduate' part before
we count our thousand dollars before it is hatched, mmmmkay?

And that concludes our Redneck News for Monday, October 10.
Have a pleasant tomorrow.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Procrastinating 101

I am quite qualified to teach this class. I put things off. I always have.
I think that's a characteristic of Aquarians. I think. I'm going to look
it up one of these days.

Right now I should be laying out the boys' clothes for school tomorrow,
and packing part of the lunches, and doing a load of laundry. Nawww...
here I sit, blogging a post that I could have done earlier today. But I
didn't have a subject in mind. And I asked Hillbilly Husband to bring
me a Sonic Cherry Diet Coke when he went to buy some insulation
for his BARn and a tire for #1 son's car. Oh, he brought me a soda.
It was not my beloved Cherry Diet Coke. It was a Strawberry Diet
Coke, which was just plain nasty. It was all I could do to drink the
whole thing. That threw me off my schedule.

I spent part of the day reading an autobiography of Dolly Parton. Did
you know she is worth $110 million? She made $8 million from one
song alone: "I Will Always Love You," recorded by Whitney Houston.
Here's a little joke from the book that made me laugh out loud. Seems
that once Dolly got rich, she hired a decorator for her home. He put
in some Buddha statues. Dolly's mother came for a visit. Dolly had to
go somewhere, and when she came home, the Buddhas were on the
front lawn. Her mama said, "I won't have no child of mine worshipping
false idols." Dolly's husband, Carl, said, "Your mama's right. I'll just
put them in the barn." (They had every intention of bringing them back
once Mama left).

Dolly told Carl that they would humor her, because she was her mama,
and you have to honor you mother and father, it says so in the Bible.
She also told Carl that the groundhog foot her mama wore around her
neck on a little chain was as offensive to her as the Buddhas were to
Mama. She had mentioned it before, but Mama told her: "Your Daddy
killed this groundhog and I cooked it for supper. Daddy said it was the
best groundhog I ever cooked. We had such a good time later that
evening that I wear this to remember it by."

So Dolly went in to cook supper, and her mama was sitting at the table
watching when Carl came in. He was wearing a heavy chain with 2-inch
links that hung down to his knees. And at the bottom, with the chain
running in and out of the eye sockets, was the skull of a cow. Nobody
said anything about it. They ate supper and Carl wore it all night. It was
their private joke and a way to get to Mama.

But I digress. What was this post about? Ah, yes...procrastination. I
went through the boys' backpacks, and found a survey about school
climate. One for the parent, and one for the child. Like a 2nd grader
knows how to answer one of those. So I asked #2 son the questions
in his own language, and filled in his answers. I said, "Do the kids bring
weapons to school? You know, things that could hurt you, like guns
or knives...?" And #2 replied, "Well, Sydney brought that alligator
head with the teeth still in it!" I guess that was a "yes."

And that's all, folks. All I've got time for tonight. #1 son is hollering
for me to come sit with him while he falls asleep. Big baby. I will get
there in a minute...

Saturday, October 08, 2005

The Land-Stealer and the Bomb Squad

Don't you think that would make a good title for a country song?
Sorry to disappoint you, but I will not be writing a song today, and
the two things are not actually related. I know, I know, you are
accustomed to disappointment here if you are a regular visitor.
Now lift up your head and stop stubbing your toe in the dirt. I
have a story to tell you.

A while back, I mentioned that our neighbor stole some land from
us. Or rather, he bought land that we had been planning to buy.
For 16 years. Hey, we were getting around to it. It's right next to
our BARn. You can't have just anybody build next to your beautifully
landscaped BARn, you know.

So Wednesday night, #1 son checks his computer, and says, "Hey,
I have three messages on this program I just set up." What? He
had hijacked the incoming messages from our answering machine
to his computer. Oh, and he doesn't check his computer every
night. Lucky for us, all three messages were from Wednesday.

It was our neighbor's wife. "Hey, ha ha, uh, it's me, Neighbor's
Wife. Uh, the contract on our house fell through, and, uh, we
wondered if you'd still be interested in that land. Give us a call."

So I called my Hillbilly Husband who was still at work waiting
for the bomb squad, and he said to call back RIGHT NOW
and tell them he'd call them tomorrow. Suddenly land is selling
like crystal meth at a Hell's Angels reunion, in HH's opinion.

We have since negotiated a deal on the land and are set to
start the paperwork on Tuesday. Of course, the Land-Stealer,
as #1 son calls him, is making a fortune off of us. I knew that's
what he was up to. His story is that he bought a semi truck to
go into the trucking business, and what with the price of gas
now, he can hardly make his payment, and they are having
trouble selling their house. As you can see, HH and the Land-
Stealer are not exactly Trumps at the negotiation table.

Now, to the bomb squad....HH called from work Wednesday
evening to say he might not be home until 11:30-midnight. Seems
they had an OHSA walk-through of the plant, and found some
crystalized picric acid.

According to HH, this is like having nitroglycerin sitting around
in your plant. It is highly explosive. They sent home all the workers,
and the boss and HH remained. The bomb disposal squad was
called in from St. Louis. When the main bomb guy (MBG) arrived,
he climbed out of the car and said, "Fellas, I was out to dinner when
I got the call. I have had a couple drinks." Which I guess was his
story and he's stickin' to it, cause HH said he reeked of alcohol.

The MBG looked at the jar of picric acid, and said, "That's not
a lot. I can pick up that jar, but I'm not going to open it, because
there might be crystals around the lid." He put on his flack jacket
and put the jar in a 5-gallon bucket. They sent in the robot bomb
handler thing to pick up the bucket and take it outside. There, they
had dug a hole to put it in. They put some dynamite on top, and
blew it up. HH said the flames shot 15 feet into the air, and there
was a big KABOOM like at a commercial fireworks show.

Supposedly, picric acid can last 30-40 years if it stays wet. They
have had it in the plant no longer than 7 years. The MBG said
they get called to schools a lot for it. He said he was glad the news
people hadn't got wind of it, because then they'd have to tell them
what they wanted to them to hear. "Never tell them the truth. They
are on the internet in minutes, looking it up. Then they sensationalize
it. You make up something not as dangerous to tell them." I will wonder when I watch the news.

Friday, October 07, 2005

A Spooky Teacher's Tale

My 7th graders have been in a tizzy over the antics of one of their
teachers. Let's call him Mr. A. Here is their tale of terror:

Did you know that Mr. A went in the gym and tried to talk to
something? He went in about 8:15 one night, and stood on the
bulldog in the center circle. He had a recording thing with him.

Mr. A said, "Is there someone here who wants to communicate
with me?" Then he held out the recording thing. He didn't hear
anything. Next he said, "If you want to communicate, give me
some kind of sign. Anything will do. Show me something." He
didn't see or hear anything.

When Mr. A got home, he loaded the sound on his computer
to listen to it. After he asked if somebody wanted to communicate,
he heard a kind of whispery sound but couldn't tell the words.
When he said "Give me a sign," there was a high screechy sound.
He burned it to a CD, and played it for our class.

Do you think he's serious, or is he like Mr. B? You know, how
he makes up that clown story every year?

Oh, and Mr. A has a picture from when we had that assembly to
sing the National Anthem. There is the head of a woman behind
him. And she is frowning like she looks really mad.


I haven't seen Mr. A, so I don't know what he's up to. We are
in different buildings. I was believing it until the picture. I think
maybe Mr. A got Photoshop and was playing around.

Today the kids said Mr. A told them it was a Halloween prank.
He told them:

Couldn't you tell that picture was a fake?

So the CD was a fake, too?

No, that was real.


Okay, it wasn't. If that's what you want to believe...

They are very confused. The kid who went to the haunted
Blackwell House said Mr. A is looking in the wrong place.
He says he knows some kids who went down to the basement
cafeteria and took pictures, and when they were developed,
they had orbs of light near them in some pictures. This was about
6-7 years ago. He said, "Remember, we had funerals in the gym
for two students and that teacher that got murdered by a former
student." Yeah, that's right. Who knows? I never got those vibes
from that gym, and I used to coach in it.

Nope, but I sure got vibes from this gym. Here's even a picture
of it, but it's just an illusion in this photo. And from my own house.
Booooo! It's that time of year again.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

A Kid's Spooky Tale

My 7th grade students have been all a-buzz with tales of a teacher
looking for ghosts in the gym. I'll tell that one tomorrow. I asked
one of the older kids if this teacher has been telling them the same
thing, but he said no.

However...this kid had his own tale of terror, which I would like
to steal from him (hey, he doesn't know I have a blog) and share
with you now. I will put myself in his place, so I may tell it in
first person. And now...The Blackwell Mansion:


A bunch of us wanted to go to this haunted house in Blackwell.
A murder happened there, and everybody says it's on public
land, and people go there all the time. My mother said I couldn't
go. I told here there was no such thing as ghosts anyway. She
said that wasn't what she was worried about--at one "haunted
hospital," a crazy guy hid out and killed people who came in
looking for ghosts.

We told my mom we were going riding around in town. Then
we went to Blackwell. Some of the guys took their paintball
guns in case some maniac was there to kill us. Cause I figure
that if I'm trying to kill somebody and he shoots me with a
paintball gun, I'll run off and quit trying to kill him, cause it
hurts. About 8 of us went.

It was dark, and we had some trouble finding the house. We
had to park by the road, and walk down a trail. I was at the
back of the group. A rabbit jumped out and they jumped. I
picked up a big rock and chucked it over in the woods. They
screamed and ran past me. I said, "Hey guys! It was me! Stop!
I won't do it again." They came back.

We found the house and went in. We were there about an hour
and a half, taking pictures. Then we went to another little building.
We came out of there, and I was stepping over a fence when I
looked up and saw a man holding a shotgun in my face. I thought
I'm going to die! My buddy was right next to me. The guy saw him
and pointed the shotgun at him. I took off running as fast as I could
to the truck. We had left Youknowwho there because, well, he's
in a wheelchair you know, and we were afraid he'd get stuck. So
he says he'd been trying to text message us "GET OUT. GET OUT
NOW!" but we couldn't get service down there.

There was another guy with a pistol. They marched everyone up
to the truck and said, "What are you doing on our land? We called
the police, and you're waiting until they get here." We sat in the
back of the truck and almost cried. Some of us were praying. We
didn't want those guys to shoot us. We didn't know who to call for
bail. We couldn't call our parents. We saw the police lights, and
those guys threw their guns in their truck.

The police took all our IDs and wrote down the information. Then
he started to question us. "What are you boys doing here? Do y'all
believe in ghosts? Are you robbers? Have you been drinking? Do
you have any girls here?"

We told him no to everything. Then he said, "This looks mighty
suspicious. Eight guys all alone out here in the dark." I turned to
my friend and said, "Hey, I think that cop just called us gay." But
I said it so he couldn't hear me. The cop asked the guys if they
wanted to press charges, but they said no. They were afraid we
would tell about their guns, I guess. The shotgun guy said, "No.
I have all their information if I change my mind."

Now I'm kind of scared, because there's a crazy guy with a shotgun
who knows my name and address and social security number.
And you know the worst part of it? We were at the wrong house.
That was not the haunted house. We walked around in some guy's
house taking pictures for an hour and a half.


I asked him why they didn't just admit that they were looking for ghosts,
and he said they thought they'd get in trouble. They had told the cop
they were on "public land" and he laughed and said, "Don't tell me that!"

He said he would check into the story the kids were telling about the
teacher ghosthunting. Maybe I will have more information to put with
that story tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

No Cheese For You!

Whatever you do, don't ever feed me cheese after 10:00 pm. No,
I don't turn into an evil gremlin like that Stripe character who spat
on precious little Gizmo while he was tooting his Christmas horn.
I have bizarre dreams. You may not be able to handle the dreams.
Read at your own risk.

It happened Monday night. I had some running around to do
after school. We had some unexpected visitors and phone calls.
Supper as we know it did not happen. I had stuffed the kids full
of Sonic while in town, so Hillbilly Husband and I made do with
what we could find. Part of my supper was some Oberle cheese.
Do y'all know what that is? It is a soft, garlicky long stick of cheese,
made in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri. I googled it to see if maybe
it might be found outside of this area, and gosh darn, wouldn't
you know it, the first thing to pop up was something from April
about Listeria in Oberle sausage. So maybe I did have some bad
cheese. You'll have to be the judge if you dare read about this

I made the mistake of not wanting my slices of Oberle cheese
with my hearts of romaine, shredded cheese, tomato, and
sunflower seed salad. It sat on my desk for a couple of hours.
OK, 3 1/2 hours. I thought it was fine. It's cheese, right? That
stuff is cured or already spoiled or something.

So around 10:10, I returned to the computer. Mmm...cheeeese.
I felt like Homer Simpson. I took a bite. It was kind of soft,
but tasted fine. About an hour later, I felt queasy. Maybe I
should have said no to the cheese.

I had the oddest dream. I haven't been remembering them lately.
What good fortune to remember this:

I was in a limo, going to some big awards show. It was like the
Emmys, or the Oscars. My parents were with me. I was the
guest of honor. So we get there, photographers all around, we
go up the steps, dressed to the nines. Up some more steps was
Lily Tomlin. She had her hair done up in an Audrey Hepburn kind
of twist. Or a Jennifer Love Hewitt playing Audrey Hepburn kind
of twist. She was in a long white evening gown. I couldn't see if she
was wearing comfortable shoes. Because that seemed important to
me, right after I saw a big banner proclaiming THE GAY AWARDS.

What? Why was I guest of honor? It seemed like they were
humoring me, like I was part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Hey, people. I'm not sick! Oh, I had to get a thyroid ultrasound,
but I ain't kickin' it yet. And I don't recall this being my wish, either.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.

So they whisked me behind the scenes while TV cut to a commercial.
There I saw some chick that I don't watch on TV. Someone like
Mariska Hargitay, who last year wore some green dress to an
awards show, and whoever won asked her to come up on stage,
and there she stood like a giant 5th wheel in a green dress during the
thank-you speech. Not a 5th wheel camper. She's not that big. A
5th wheel like someone totally unnecessary. Like an extra actress
on stage while a winning actress gives a thank-you speech. Well,
this Mariska kind of chick was acting up with another chick, like
kissing with a gigantic open mouth. They thought it was hilarious to
do that while TV was on commercial. The other chick looked like
Britney Spears, only pretty, without her eyes too far on the sides
of her head. Some kind of blond in a ponytail.

That embarrassed me, so I went to another backstage area. Oh,
my! Was that ever a mistake! Here was another blond girl in a
fancy shmancy dress, and she saw me and my parents and pulled
up her dress to reveal, er, shall we say, a very manly part. And
very large. It looked like the fake one on Marky Mark in Boogie
Nights, if I had ever watched that movie, which maybe just maybe
I have, because hey, it has Burt Reynolds and Julianne Moore and
Don Cheadle and John C. Reilly. And my mom was cheering at
it! The manly part on the blond chick, not the movie Boogie Nights.

After that 'part,' my 5:00 am alarm woke me. I was still kind of
queasy, though if from the cheese or the dream I am not sure. I took
a shower, packed the boys' lunches, and took a short nap in the
recliner while HH took his shower. Well, it was intended to be
a short nap, but my Hillbilly Mama woke me with a call at 6:05,
which is my emergency plan and I ask her to do it every morning.
I did not ask her how she enjoyed my special award honor the
night before, as I was worried about my other dream from which
she had awakened me.

I was worried about my friend Brian. Except I don't have a friend
Brian. He looked like that guy Jason from the Sci-Fi show
Ghosthunters, but his name was clearly Brian. The only person
I can think of named Brian is from the blog An Audience of One.
They both look kind of similar, I guess. So this Brian was a teacher
AND a bus driver at my middle school, and he had been called in to
a meeting in the Superintendent's building. Because it was the first of
the month, and they had to let fired teachers know. Except that happens
in April, but anyhoo, Brian must have been fired and was ashamed
to tell anyone, because he was standing with me on bus duty while
I wondered, "Who's driving your bus?" I had also been called in,
and had gotten a glowing recommendation. By that I mean the
principal had told me, "Well, for some reason they want to keep you."
Okaaaaaay. I don't have to worry. I have tenure. And I haven't done
anything stupid like pretend I'm dying so I can be the guest of honor

So I am not going to eat warm cheese after 10:00 pm anymore,
because this is just weirding me out. I will have to look it up in my
Dream Dictionary, which I keep at school for entertainment
purposes only. Hey, any book you can get a kid to read is a good

This is about the weirdest dream I've had, after that one where I
stabbed a woman in the back 57 times and got on a schoolbus to
ride to a bar where I planned to sit and drink until they caught me.
But nobody ever caught me, so we had a good ol' party. And I
didn't even eat warm cheese for that one.

So, Alexandrialeigh, don't worry so much about your dream of
dating that hairy Robin Williams. It could have been worse. Or
maybe not, because now that I think of it, I would rather be the
guest of honor at THE GAY AWARDS as long as I wasn't dying
than be on a date with Robin Williams, because I was almost
physically ill when I saw his naked hairiness in the movie Moscow
on the Hudson with Maria Conchita Alonso, who now has some
kind of nervous twitch, most probably from being so near to a
naked hairy Robin Williams.

If you made it through this whole crazy post, congratulations to
you! Not many people have been commenting lately, so there,
take that! See what happens when you let me run wild? There's
nobody to restrain my craziness, and my two loyal readers must
put up with this nonsense. Sorry Mabel. Sorry Bean. If you had
your own blogs, maybe I could be stopped. Or not. Bwahahaha!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Ask Hillbilly Mom

Good gracious! The things my students come up with these days!

Yesterday, I knew I was in for a bumpy ride when one asked me:

Can you get a shot to make you give milk, like for a baby? I don't
want to, but my friend and I are having an argument. She doesn't
want to, either, but she says you can't.

I guess it's possible. You can get a shot to stop it. It's regulated
by a hormone. Prolactin, I think.

Can you drink alcohol at a football game? My friend says you
can, that at another school they were drinking it.

I don't think that sounds right. Drug-free schools and all that.
And if it could be done, you could bet the school would do
it at the concession stand to make money.

Can you smoke at a football game?

Same thing. Nicotine is a drug. They probably have a designated
smoking area.

She said they were sitting in the bleachers smoking. Not her,
but some other people.

Maybe they didn't get caught.

Have you ever been to the bathroom there?

Uh, no. Not since I went to school there many years ago. You
had to go inside then.

Well, they have them outside, and they don't have a main door,
they have plywood doors, and it's like in a shack. I went in, and
you could see my head when I sat on the toilet, so I just pretended
to go. Then I had to go all night, and I kept walking back, but I
couldn't go because of those plywood doors. Then I didn't want
my ex-boyfriend's parents to think I was drinking or something,
because I kept going back to the bathroom.


My friend thought I shouldn't sit by them. She said I was stalking
him. I just thought it would be nice to sit by them. And do you
know, they list the player's weight in the program? That's none
of anybody's business. It's embarrassing.

They do that for football. And wrestling. Same as they list height
for basketball. They don't do it to embarrass them.

Well, my ex-boyfriend's said 275.

That's not that much for a football player. You want them to be
big. So they can knock people down and not get hurt.

Do you remember Blankety Blank?

He can't even take care of himself. If he falls over, he could die.
And his mom isn't even home with him. She's off running around.

I heard she's a lesbian. She's sleeping with some woman.

Unh uh. She's sleeping with Whack Whackety. That's where she's
running around to.

Hey, hey! Tra la la! Mmmmmmmm. Too much information! I
don't want to hear that!

Oh, okay. My friend got mad at me because I wouldn't go in
and pay for her gas. I told her, "No. I will go in and pay for my
own gas when I get my license." She made my little sister go in
and pay. Then she was mad and driving really crazy. But I didn't
tell her that, because then she would have been madder. I just
wanted to get home. It's one thing if she wants to kill me, but
she had my little sister in the car. That's just not right.

Maybe it's time to get another friend.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Intervention Audience

I watched this show last night on A & E called "Intervention." I have
seen parts of it before, but it's not something I plan my schedule
around. Here is my problem with this show. Who exactly is the target
audience? Are they looking for addicts who want to change? Family
who has an addict they want to change? Why would you watch
something that reminds you of your personal heartaches? And I
can't exactly picture addicts sitting around watching the show.

I know I joked about having an addiction to Sonic Cherry Diet Coke.
I don't consume drugs. I don't drink. But when I watch this show, I
watch it to see the people before they get help. To watch them take
drugs. And I don't think, "Oh, that's terrible! How can they do that?"
I think, "Man, I bet that's some good stuff. I bet they feel good right
." Kind of sick, isn't it? Do you think this show makes some
people get high? Do you think it gives them that little push that they
might not have had if they were watching, oh, I don't know, perhaps
Everybody Loves Raymond?

There is nothing glamorous about the way it is depicted. In fact, the
subjects of the show think they are being filmed for a documentary.
This 24-year-old guy went to visit his dad and 4-year-old half-brother,
and after he left he held up a baggie of powdered Demerol. He said
he took the capsules out of the medicine cabinet and one-by-one
poured out 40 mg of Demerol, leaving 10 mg and replacing the rest
with salt. That is just wrong. But when he licked his finger and dipped
it in the baggie, I thought, "Ooh, that's gonna be goooood." I know.
I'm sick. I'm an addict. What's up with that? Think about people who
dabble in this stuff. Couldn't a show like this push them over the
edge? Assuming they watch it, if they're not already out getting high.

Oh, I teared up a little when the families told the addicts how much
they were loved, and how they were hurting everyone. But still, I was
thinking, "I wonder if he's gonna get high one last time before he
at rehab."

It's not like this is a novelty for me. I have been around the getting
high scene. I went to college, for cryin' out loud! What is my
fascination? Do you think I have a problem? Do you think I need
an intervention? Am I the only person who watches that show to
see people get high?

I have had a stressful day. I am off to feed my other addiction:
Little Chocolate Donuts.