How a MAN From Wyoming Kills A Skunk, or NOT.

Our dog was barking wildly outside the front door.  It was morning, just after breakfast time for the babies and I had shooed two of the cats out with her to keep them from sharking me.

(Sharking is when a cat rubs against your feet wanting something and then bites you on the ankle.  And no matter what you give it, it’s still not happy.)

I opened the door to see what was going on and came face to asshole with a skunk.  My face to it’s giant puckering anus.  Not ten feet from the door.  I will never forget that gigantic round sphincter staring at me like a hungry sucking sea creature.  Now, I’m known for being calm in a crisis.  So I let one cat in the door behind me and picked the other one up to throw him in.  Save the easiest first!

It was too late for the dog, because she ran at the skunk and was nipping at it’s ass with her face in it’s hole.  I couldn’t really see the rest of the skunk beyond that because it was crouch down into the lawn, hiding behind it’s weapon of stench.

I ran inside shouting for Nick.  He came out of the bathroom and looked frantic and lost at the same time.

“Take a minute and think of what you need,” I said and went back out the front door while he went down the basement stairs, I assumed for a gun.

I grabbed the smelly dog by the collar and dragged her away from the cowered skunk ass while he came around the house from the basement door carrying TWO SHOVELS.

Two shovels?  Is this proper skunk procedure in Wyoming?  Do they sneak up on skunks and catch them between two shovels and carry them gingerly away from the house?

Get your gun!” is all I said and he turned around.  He came back with a long range rifle with a scope.  And shot at it 12 times.  He explained to me afterward that you can’t aim close with something long range.  So he shot up the yard around the skunk.  I’m not even sure he hit it from 10 feet away.  BOOM BOOM BOOM.  I was starting to feel sorry for the skunk.

He walked over to it.

“It’s still breathing,” he said.  And gave me another frantic and lost look.

Then get the shovel and cut its head off, quickly.”   At this point I just wanted the poor thing to pass over to the other side as soon as possible because we didn’t know if it was injured and in pain.  So he went back to the basement and brought the curved shovel instead of the straight one with the sharp edge and . . . it’s was just as bad as you are imagining in your head right now.  I took the dog farther away and turned my back.

Vermonters kill things in a quick merciful way.  Apparently, not so in Wyoming.  I am so so sorry little skunk.

Graduation at the Crazy HOUSE and why I celebrate when it is over.

I feel like this needs a list again.

  • Graduation Day was cold and pouring rain so I started a fire.
  • When I picked up the oldest child in town to bring her home so she could get ready, she had no SHOES and was wearing sweatpants and a sweatshirt covered in white cat hair.
  • “Don’t worry,” she said to me.  “I have clean clothes in the trunk of your car.”
  • “The clothes are wet for some reason and smell bad.”  (When I opened the trunk later everything was dry but smelled like dirty laundry because it all WAS.)
  • So she went barefoot, in the pouring rain in her clothes.
  • The daughter who graduated was standing in the reception line after the ceremony and said “Look what I got” and waved her diploma at the oldest child, which pissed her off so badly that she stormed off and only came back to the house to get her things and storm off again, saying we all ruin her self esteem and that she will never come back.
  • She got her GED at 16 and is now in college.
  • The daughter who graduated then got pissy and raged about who was invited to her party because she HATES everyone that anyone else wants to see.
  • The husband pissed off all the children when he was frosting the cake.  I don’t know how.  All I heard was the word ASSHOLE over and over again.

The moral of this story is that my family doesn’t think they should pretend to get along for my sake.  I’m not sure if that’s a good thing–good to be genuine, or a bad thing.  I am hiding in my room.

A REAL MOTHER’S DAY. It’s all about Cat Pee in the Basement. What should I give my wife for Mother’s Day?

People post Mother’s Day wishes all over Facebook to show that they are grateful for all the mothers in their lives.

These posts really just make me feel crappier as Mother’s Day is not normally a good day in my house.

No matter how low my expectations, no matter how much I don’t do holidays, no matter how much I want to NOT CARE:


I have 5 kids and I do everything for them AND I am the primary breadwinner in my house.  I don’t want to whine about everything I do.  I also don’t want to whine about how physically and mentally deteriorated I have become.

I just want to bullet my Mother’s Day so that other mothers who have the same kind of day don’t feel alone in it.  From the looks of Facebook yesterday everyone else had a GREAT FAMILY FILLED DAY OF CELEBRATION.

This blog is for the mothers who didn’t post anything because the most exciting event of the day was poop on the wall and no one wants to see a picture of that.

  •  Gina got up with the boys and let me sleep in until 8, brought me coffee, and made me breakfast.  I am lucky to have Gina.
  •  Emily asked me to buy her a bunch of different stuff  when she is 18 and without a job and whined.
  •  Nick “researched” lawnmowers for another hour and a half while ignoring everything else.  After spending 2 hours a week ago.  And the St. Johnsbury store has 3 mowers and Littleton 4.  That’s 7 mowers to choose from and some are the same mower.
  •  Then he said “I’m ready to go get one.”
  •  I got pissy that he didn’t help get anyone else ready to go.
  •  He said “I’ve been just waiting for you.”
  •  I put two kids down for naps, cleaned up toys and the kitchen, all while he was waiting.
  •  Haley sent me a FUCK YOU text.  This is not unusual.  I was just hoping not to get one on this particular day.
  •  Emily screamed at me repeatedly for saying Get A JOB.
  •  I bought Nick a lawnmower for $360.
  •  and then spent 100 at Walmart on shit for everyone else.
  •  I am pissy that I make the money.
    –and am the MOM
    –and don’t even get flowers or a card.
  •  Then Nick spent another hour on the lawn with his lawnmower, with no gas, just looking at it.
  •  Jude shit on the wall.
  •  And Emily continued to harass me about things. They have Friday off  from school and she wants to go get piercings and play in town. NOT.
  •  She followed me to bed at 10 to whine some more.
  •  I sent Nick a text at work just before 10 saying “I think you should guess why I’m frustrated today.”

HIS REPLY:  Probably because there’s still cat piss in the basement I guess.

How to Impress Your Father With Your Little House On the Prairie Skills


My father said that.  He also said he should have had us fill the oil tank at our house before winter made it IMPOSSIBLE to get a truck close enough.  He said back in September that there was plenty of oil for one winter.

And then my husband built huge fires just because he could and burned a good cord and a half too early.

All of this led to being out of oil more than two months ago and then out of firewood a month ago.  The only available wood was up beside the field, buried in a snow bank and too big to fit in the stove.  My father splits it one sled load at a time and I pile it all in a deep sled and drag it by a rope to the house.  This is how I try to keep the house at 68 degrees if I can.

On this particular day he was laying the electric line to the sugarhouse through the snow and wanted me to take three trips down with wood so that I wouldn’t have to snowshoe over the line and risk cutting it with my snowshoes.

Trip ONE went well.  The sled would start sliding quickly at times and I would jump aside and let it get ahead for a ways.  Got to the house without losing a piece!

Trip TWO was a little more difficult.  It kept sliding onto the backs of my snowshoes but I was able to push it off and keep moving.

Trip THREE was embarrassing.  Dad was done so he was following me.  There was an extra sled up there that needed to be taken back to the house so I grabbed that with one hand.    The sled overtook me again and I did a very ungraceful fall sideways into the snow, landing on top of the other sled and bending it in half.  I didn’t need to turn around to hear him laughing.  Then there is a hard right just before the house into the dog run I had Nick shovel out (another blog post for another time).  I tipped the sled over, lost most of the wood, got my snowshoes stuck turning around, and fell over again.

It’ll be a while before he lets me borrow so much as a shovel.

What a MOM really does when she’s home

My constantly feeling guilty mind likes to tell me over and over that I haven’t done anything useful with my day.  Probably all those conflicting expectations.  Work.  Stay home.  Make money.  Take care of kids.  I have to remind myself every day what I’ve done in order to tell myself that I have not just sat around watching Big Hero 6.

Today I:

  • Dressed and fed children.
  • Walked dog.
  • Shoveled cat shit down a hill so that dog couldn’t get to it.
  • Emptied dishwasher.
  • Cleaned all bedding, mattresses, and stuffed animals in 2 cribs due to cat pee smell.
  • Continued to potty train 3 year old.
  • Fed cats and dog.
  • Mocked teenagers.
  • Spent 3 hours shopping for booster seats and food so I can work tomorrow.
  • Lugged $400 in groceries 150 feet up a snow covered path to the basement from the garage.
  • Put groceries away.
  • Put crib bedding back together.
  • Baked cookies to heat up house.
  • Loaded wood stove 5 times already today.
  • Put dirty dishes in dishwasher, dirty towels, etc. in hamper.
  • Watched a couple of minutes of Big Hero Six from the dining room table where I am typing this.
  • It is not quite 2 p.m.

How to Avoid Getting Gray Hair

Gina has appointed herself the finder of my gray hair.  I do not know the life expectancy of someone who picks through my hair as I sit looking at Facebook and then says WOW MOM.

I had no idea I had gray hair.  I pulled out one on my 40th birthday and thought that was the end of it.  Haven’t seen any more.  Then I realized today that the reason I haven’t seen anymore is that I also NEED BIFOCALS.  I’ve known that for a couple of years now as I take my glasses off to see anything closer than 5 feet away.

Moral of the story is:  No bifocals, no gray hair.  Ignorance truly is BLISS.

Because when I took off my glasses to look at my hair I found a few hundred of the dreaded nasties hiding underneath.  Sneaky little bastards.  I just won’t look again with my glasses off.

How Not to Do a Sunday Family Dinner

I thought having a dinner together every Sunday would be a time to see all my children at the same time and get some last minute bonding done before they all move out and scatter.  It worked well for exactly two weeks.

And then the 18 year old who is superglued to her boyfriend of a couple of months started texting last minute that she would be late.  She missed decorating the Christmas Cookies.  She missed the meal she had asked for, BBQed chicken tenders.  It would seem that her boyfriend’s plans are more important than such things.

So this Sunday when we had already moved the time an hour later for her and then she texted AS I WAS COOKING, I decided to resort to the most passive-aggressive game play I had left.

I texted her “Then I guess you’ll have to miss the ice cream sundaes.”

What?  No!  You have to wait for me.

I felt such joy over her horror that I shared my brilliance with her younger sister who said “We have ice cream?”

Of course not, silly child.  I’m trying to make Emily suffer for being late AGAIN.

As I was describing levels of psychological functioning while eating with the rest of the family they came up with the brilliant plan to make it LOOK like we had already finished the ice cream before she would arrive.  So one decided to microwave strawberry yogurt to look like melted ice cream and the other made a chocolate sauce out of unsweetened cocoa.  Both were laughing maniacally while making a mess of my kitchen and spreading sprinkles on the counters.  Which shows the psychological functioning level of my OTHER children.

SHE ARRIVED with a frown on her face and accusations of us mistreating her on purpose, and demanded money to go buy ice cream to make up for our mistreatment.  After she had refused the dinner I did save for her she continued to frown at me and I just couldn’t help but suggest that she check the downstairs freezer for the ice cream.  Poor gullible child.