Life or Something Like It

The Ability to Laugh Again

The Ability to Laugh Again

The Ability to Laugh Again

The ability to laugh again brings me joy. I tell you all what. I was having a moment tonight because of sheer confusion over the difference between an abstract and an introduction paragraph. So, I had Bart come upstairs to share my confusion and angst. He sweetly sat and rubbed my feet, repeating, “No, we are not getting another cat. We aren’t going to name it Suzanne or Kathy. No, I won’t write this for you because I don’t know how. Honestly, I do not see a flea in your hand.” 

At least he rubbed my feet. 

As we talked, we giggled about some of our parenting moments. When I say giggling, we were laughing so hard he had to take an Excedrin, and I might have peed a little. One of our children, to say they were guilt free of oversight, shared that they know the “brand” of poop everyone has in the house. This child went further to pick up and sniff a turd in the floor to determine that it was not animal feces but another human in our home. Let me be obvious, it was Lola’s poop (she was our dog). There was no human pooping on my floor. 

Another child convinced a sibling to “stand real still” in the yard. As I was coming downstairs, I questioned why said child was standing in the yard. This child never stands still and is never quiet. My other child informed me that this child had been convinced that a bird would eat off their head if it stood real still. 

The Pee Saga

One time, we had two boxwood bushes in front of our house. They were located right at the front door and were huge. Over a few months, I noticed they were dying from the top down. It was the weirdest thing. Then, I saw an odor that I couldn’t place. Around that time, we visited a local church. This church, at the time, was one that the pastor would come by to say hi to those that visited. He did…surprising us all. When he came up to the door, and I opened it, shocked to see him, he said, “it smells like pee out here.” We explained it was a tomcat that had sprayed, and we apologized. In the back of my mind, I reasoned that that was what it was because there was no other explanation, yet it didn’t smell like cat pee.

After the pastor left, two children said it was not cat pee. It was their pee. When they let the dogs out, they stood on the porch and peed on top of the bushes. I asked what happened when the cars went by. They said, “we smile and wave as you taught us.” Yes, they did that while peeing on my bushes. I tried to be strong and told them they could not pee in the front yard, and my husband was not happy with them because we had smelled that for months, and those bushes were huge. It was going to take an act of congress to cut them down. Bart made me leave the room because I was doubled over laughing so hard that I cried. 

Mystery Voice from the Woods

One child was outside singing by the tree one night. The rest of us (all of us) were in the house playing cards around the table. This child comes flying in, asking who was outside hiding. We stated that we were all inside and didn’t know what was happening and why this child was so disturbed. This child was singing, and someone in the dark screamed, “Shut up! Shut up! Shut up now!” This child thought if it wasn’t one of us or that, it could have been God telling this child to stop singing. We still have no idea who was screaming in the dark for this child to stop. 

Pool Noodle Mystery

We discovered that poop peels off the wallpaper. Boogers will dry and, when scraped, goes down to the drywall. A child ate all our pool noodles in one year. Ate them. The same child ate the wallpaper off the walls. One child swung on the bar because they wanted to be Tarzan…only to realize that their butt would go through the wall into another child’s room. 

Large Family Life

I mean, I could go on and on and on. We laughed and laughed. It has not been easy raising a large family with the needs some family members have and currently have. There has been tremendous trauma throughout the years, but it peaked around the time co-vid hit. We miss them all here. I miss having all my children under one roof for family meals, birthdays, and holidays. Yet, I have not allowed myself to dwell on it. We have forgotten how to laugh, and we let the bad moments overshadow the funny things that have happened over the years. 

Yet, We are healing. We are safe. I know we are good parents who are human and make mistakes. We have learned that not all “friends” are friends. Also, we have leaned on each other and gotten stronger. We were not (are not) perfect parents. However, we completely love Jesus, each other, our children, and our grandchildren. We love all of them. Each one of my children is entirely different. There is no one way to parent. Parenting must be tailored to each child. They had a roof over their heads, food in their bellies, and Jesus. 

Thankful to Laugh

I am thankful for those years of having everyone here. I am grateful for where I am today. No longer will I dwell in the shadow of the pain that happened. My joy will not be stolen. Friends…eventually, the rain stops, and the rainbow emerges. As Jesus says…there may be a pain in the night, but JOY comes in the morning. 

Joy is coming back to this household. I can pray for reunification all day long; that is what I want for my family. However, I will not let it steal my joy of living. Today, I challenge you to find your happiness! For now, I will find out how to write this abstract, so I can turn this stupid paper into my professor! 

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Life or Something Like It

One Little Two Little Three Little Vacuum Cleaners

One Little Two Little Three Little Vacuum CleanersOne Little Two Little Three Little Vacuum Cleaners

In One Little Two Little Three Little Vacuum Cleaners, this is something no one can make up. Okay, there were Four Little Vacuum Cleaners. There are some things that you should never say outside of the four walls of your home, yet, I am.

This is a no-judgment zone.

I made an epic mistake on my last HUGE quest to de-funk my boys’ room. I didn’t trust my God-given senses—the literal and figurative ones. Nor did I heed the warning from not one of my children, not two of my children, but ALL SIX KIDS. Honestly, I shooed them away because A) I was trying to hurry, B) The room smelled so bad, and I didn’t feel like any human being should be subjected to that odor (how do boys/men tolerate that stench), C) I feared for their lives in that room D) and I didn’t want my boys to come in (or my girls) and see what all I was doing (aka throwing away).

So, there you have it.

I had gutted the room, except for the beds. We had a set of bunk beds, but there was a captain’s style bed at this time. The beds had drawers underneath the mattress. I had stuff in piles; legos, clothes, stuffed animals, papers, dress-up clothes, etc.).

The Bumblebee

Once I had them in piles, I prepared to move them to their rightful place (i.e., the trash can or the appropriate container or drawer). I whipped out my giant bumblebee yellow vacuum cleaner. Oh, how I loved this vacuum cleaner. I was vacuuming around the piles, just getting up the significant chunks.

First, I decided that I needed to vacuum out the inside of the t-tiny closet. I got the floor good and clean, and I thought it would be good to use the hose and vacuum up around the cracks because it was nasty. The hose is SUPER long (I did love that vacuum cleaner), so I had the main part of the cleaner in the middle of the floor, and I stretched the hose to where I needed it to be. There was no pulling/tugging, and I was intensely focusing on the dirt that had made its home in the closet.

Smoke Screen

When I am focused on something, there is nothing that can distract me. I mean, nothing. Honestly, I am zoomed in and going to town. I noticed a smell of smoke, but I thought it was nothing. Sadly, I didn’t see any smoke. Therefore there was no smoke.

My kids started trickling down the hall, and I heard statements like, “mom, the hall is filled with smoke. Hey, mom, where is that smoke coming from. Mom, I smell something burning.” I’m thinking, “whatever, it’s all good, and do not come and bother me.”

  1. Am. Stupid.

I continue to vacuum, and I glance over at the base of the vacuum, and in my mind, I think, “huh, I thought that vacuum was yellow.” That day, it looked a bit more orange in color. I disregard my thought and press on with my cleaning.

After a few more minutes, I thought the room looked a bit smoky, and an odd smell was going on. I looked over at the vacuum cleaner, and alas, I was in the process of sucking up Catfish’s army pants that are made out of that nylon stuff. It was spinning around the bottom, much like a tire spinning out.

There was the smell of smoke and stench. The roller was going so fast that it got his pants so hot, and before you know it, it was on fire. My vacuum was not orange because I wasn’t paying attention. It was orange cause it was on fire.

I quickly turned off, unplugged the cleaner, and tried to salvage the pants, but the char and burn marks were too much to repair. That, and my vacuum was dead. Dead. Not just a “let me pull the stuff out, and it will run again,” but dead.

Vacuum #2

I had a little vacuum that I used on my hardwood floors. It is a Bissell, and I enjoy it probably more than I should. It makes me happy seeing all the dirt go away and hearing the “ping ping” of dirt pop inside it.

When we first got it, I was so enthralled that I vacuumed multiple times daily. It was so much, according to Big Daddy. He didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I did. I could use it on the carpet since I was a vacuum cleaner.

And that’s what I get for thinking.

I swept away and thought, “Hey, it looks smoky here.” Yet, the previous day’s problem did not even dawn on me. I was running through the house, getting up the bits and pieces of nasty on my floor, and I realized that a trail of smoke was surrounding me.

I look down, and my sweet little Bissell is on fire. It didn’t like carpet :/

Vacuum #3

I may or may not claim fame to this one.

After I burned up the second vacuum, my friend loaned me hers. I was thrilled to be able to run another big girl vacuum in the house. Stupidly, I thought my last two issues were just a fluke.

I used it.

I liked it.

It made me happy.

I returned it.

I got a call, and Melissa said: “I think my vacuum is on fire.” She went running it to her house, and it was burned up.

Vacuum #4

A friend gave me an excellent large vacuum. It was used but still in good condition. When I was cleaning this week, I once again smelled smoke.

I just don’t get it.

I do not get it.


Life or Something Like It

Fat Girls and Field Mice

Fat Girls and Field Mice

Fat Girls and Field Mice. Let’s pretend you are a fly on the wall. Here I am, heading to bed, when I think to myself. I say, “self, you need to get one of those little love notes from your love notebook. Then, you need to put it in Big Daddy’s lunchbox to give him a thrill.” So, after I had already been upstairs and snuggled in bed at about midnight, I decided that I should do this.

Trying to be Sneaky

So, I grab a note and head downstairs, being very quiet. I think Big Daddy can hear me from across the house, up the stairs, with three fans on and the bedroom door shut. I’m trying to be very, very sneaky. Once in the kitchen, I realized that his lunchbox was in the pantry. I open the pantry door, and what should run over my feet but a mouse. The mouse and I had a conversation, but she had already set up home and had her apron on, and there was no negotiating.

Things I do not do

Now, I’m a woman that can do a lot of things. I do not do three things: 1) get in boats, 2) touch dead, raw chickens, and 3) mice.

So, what does this fat girl do?

She grabs her boobs and jumps up and down, squealing like a 12 yr old school girl. Then, I freeze. I stand there in silence, wondering if the warmth I’m feeling is the fireplace or pee running down my legs? It was the fireplace 🙂 I tiptoe into the dining room, get the big dog bed, and quietly scootch it to the pantry door to prevent the said mouse from escaping.

Next, I run upstairs.

I’m not so quiet as I stand in front of Big Daddy. I am jumping up and down and squealing that there is a mouse. The mouse is the size of Montana. It is living in the pantry, which is very close to my coke. He must; HE MUST go and do something about it. My nerves are getting the best of me, and I sweat in inappropriate places, and the onset of gas could rival any sonic boom.

He finally gets up, fussing the whole time, and ambles (think John Wayne) towards the kitchen. He ever so slowly (Big Daddy doesn’t get in a hurry) goes into the laundry room to get glue traps. He intends to put it down and capture the mouse.

Being the supportive wife that I am.

I stand, on the chair, in the dining room, yelling supportive statements like, “I love you. You are wonderful. Thank you. This mouse is huge. It will eat your feet. Focus! Focus! It’s gonna get out! I’ll get a cat and we can throw it in there” I got several dirty loving looks from him. It was a moment.

Get a Cat

The glue trap method was not working, so he told me to get a cat. I love cats. I do. We’ve had upward of 20 cats in the last year. I stand outside (in my drawers, freezing) and yell for them. Martha comes running up. I grabbed and tossed her from the dining room to the kitchen, where Big Daddy was standing guard. He throws Martha into the pantry and shuts the door.

Funniest Thing Ever

I must say, I snickered a bit when he cracked the door open because he was afraid the cat could not see in the dark to catch the mouse. He was trying to help poor Martha. Every time he cracked the door open, Martha would dodge out. I could feel her screaming “SANCTUARY.” She wanted outside. After failed attempts with Martha, I finally granted her wish and let her out.

Poor Starr

About that time, Starr ran up. She isn’t the nicest of all cats, but I thought her tenacity and hatefulness would do the job. Alas, the same scene continued to play out. Open the door, and toss Starr in. Close the door, crack the door because of pity, and Starr escapes. It was something to behold.

The Last Attempt

On the last attempt (while I’m still standing in the chair being supportive), he throws the cat in one last time. I’m wondering if the cat is going to do her job. Yet, before the thought continued out of my head, here comes the mouse. It is scurrying out of the pantry while Big Daddy is doing a jig. Honestly, I’m surprised the next county didn’t hear the screams coming out of my mouth. I’m ** surprised that I didn’t break my chair because big girls do not need to be jumping on the furniture. Starr goes one way, and the mouse goes the other way.

It Went from Wence It Came

The mouse heads back from where it came under my cabinet. The cat flies out the door, fur flying. Big Daddy yells at me for screaming and “scaring the mouse.” I mean, seriously…I scared the mouse. He fusses at me until he is back in bed.

Didn’t Meet My Goal

I told him, “my goal was to be all seductive and cool and put a love note in your bag. I’m thinking you are just going to have to deal with granny panties. Also, hair long enough to braid on my legs cause I am not doing that again.” As I finally calm down and relax, I hear him say, “you know, mice can climb stairs and squeeze under doors. She may end up in bed with us.” I dreamt of field mice and told my husband that he was rotten.

The mouse is still out there. It is somewhere that is beyond the cabinets. The mouse is just waiting. Big Daddy and I have been outsmarted in a week by a pig and a mouse. Is it just me and my life, or do other people experience this trauma? I mean, seriously.

Where are my nephews and their homemade blowdarts when you need them? *Sigh*


Life or Something Like It

Those STUPID Pigs

Those STUPID Pigs.

I posted yesterday about the dog issue. Well, the dog wasn’t the issue. It was telling me while I was still sleeping that there was a ginormous dog in my laundry room who needed my assistance—praising God for his family coming to get him. I know that he is happy to be home. Sweet dog.

Pig Drop

At about 4, maybe a little after, my friend called and said: “I’m heading your way with pigs.” Yes, you heard that right. We found a person with 3 – 25 lb. pigs for sale at a great price. This is how we maintain our freezer and our grocery bill. We raise/slaughter a pig every year. Last year, we didn’t raise a pig, BUT we called our local butcher, and they had contacts. We ended up buying a pig from a local farmer. This year, we bought one to raise. My friend had wanted me to go with her, but alas, I was taking a nap, LOL, and I didn’t know that she was ready to go. She was impatient. She ended up meeting the lady at a half waypoint.

This was the conversation between my friend and the lady we bought the pigs from:

Lady: What will you be driving?

Friend: A black Tahoe.

Those STUPID Pigs

Lady:  A Tahoe?

Friend:  Yes.

Lady:  What will you be carrying them in?

Friend:  A pet taxi.

Those STUPID Pigs

Lady:  A pet taxi…for like pets?

Friend:  Yes, it is also what I haul my birds in.

Lady:  Well, alright then.

**insert “you might be a redneck” comment**

So, a short (4’11” on a good day) friend puts the pigs in the pet taxi in the back of the Tahoe, and Pam calls and says, “I have the pigs come help.” We keep the pigs across the road at another friend’s house, so off I go to help. I wasn’t expecting to do much, so I wore a pair of jogging pants, a t-shirt, and fuzzy boots with a sweater.

Little did I know

My friend backs down to the pigsty, where there are currently 3 ENORMOUS pigs waiting for their day of reckoning. We aren’t supposed to open the fence, and the muck is pretty high. As my friend slings this pig into the sty, I yell, “Pigs are cannibals.” About that time, the little pig almost drowned in the mud because he went face first. He slipped. Next, little pig #2 (still in the pet taxi) decides she wants freedom, knocks the pet taxi to the ground, and escapes. She doesn’t go far, but still, have you ever tried to catch a pig? The next thing we do will be a moment for the ages.

We stand there in silence.

Not moving and waiting to see how big piggies handle little piggie. It wasn’t pretty. My friends (J and Pam) had brought their daughter M, and all you heard was a little pig screaming, big pigs trying to eat the little pig, and M crying, “making them stop hurting the baby pig.”

None of us could move fast enough.

Pam wed the gate open enough to get in, but she sank just like a little piggie drowning in the muck. The muck was up to her knees. She couldn’t move. J was on the other side of the pen, with a kid’s little bitty shovel beating the big pigs in the face trying to get them to stop eating the little pig.

Still, in the muck, Pam holds a child’s rake and attempts to rake her way to the none mucky end to help save the pig. I take over the child’s shovel and stand on guard to beat the big pig’s snouts. J makes a daring rescue of the injured piggy. We put piggy #1 in with piggy #3 (who is in another carrier and shaking in the corner). M, the sweet 11 yr old girl, is in the front seat crying. We get her calmed down, spray down the pig, and check the wound (yes, I’m qualified). It is simply a scrape.

Headed Home Covered in Pig Crap

We head home, covered in pig crap from head to toe. Head. To. Toe. People. We smell. My cute fuzzy boots are ruined. Pam and I go to my house to clean up and change clothes. J heads to his house to shower and change. He heads back to my house and watches nine kids while Pam and I head to Walmart and the Co-Op to get meds and betadine. Once home, we realized we left nine kids here, and there were 11 when we came home.

My neighbor, Melissa, had come home (pigs live at her house) and dropped her girls off for my older girls to watch…she, Big Daddy, and J were back over trying to rig up a place for the little pigs. Our goal was to put them in the unused (for now) turkey pen.

Are you lost yet?

Pam and I walked over unwillingly, and at about that time, pig #2 had escaped again. We got the two pigs in the turkey pen, and 4 of us tromped through the fields, woods, dried-up creek, and beyond to catch this pig. Now, my husband is not a tiny man, and J is. It is something, by the light of the moon, to see J fly through the air to capture a pig, and hot on his heels comes Big Daddy, flying right behind him. The scene was comical from afar. There were injuries, and none of the injuries belonged to the pig.

Pam, the country girl, yanked up her too-long pants (I’m 5’6″ and she is 4’11”..the pants were mine), and she scaled the barbed wire fence…much like a female version of Spiderman. Off she goes. In the distance, I hear the drill, where Melissa is constructing a door and a pig squealing.

We ended up giving up.

We all sat in the dark, covered in pig crap and defeated.

Five grown adults were outsmarted by one little piggy.

This morning, I get up. I walk over to Melissa’s. Then, I hear a sound. I look up, and there is that stupid pig. I ran home, called J, and dashed to get him, and we fought a good fight. We ran, leaped, jumped, laughed, and peed. In the end, the pig was captured.

Bacon. Bacon sounds really good right now.

Soon, my little piggy pretty, we will eat you.