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January 10, 2014


Elaine Viets

Welcome, Julie, and thanks for a hilarious blog. Most of us city folks don't think about our meat attacking us.


Good, and useful, game . . . my nephew once told me that if I locked him in my trunk, he'd mess up the taillights so someone would know he was there. I'd have worried about his disclosure, but I had seen the Oprah episode from which he'd gotten the idea. When I mentioned that the Prius has an escape lever inside the trunk, they took turns trying it out.

Dana Cameron

Julie, great blog! I once worked on a dig in a rural area and while we were eating lunch one day, a whole flock (?) of piglets came tearing down the road. They stopped to stare at us. It was very sweet, but a few folks hoped the stone wall into the burial ground to escape them. Others offered them parts of sandwiches (including ham), which they gobbled up. Then they turned and ran back to wherever they'd come from.

Really glad it wasn't a flock of 400-lb pigs... :)


Welcome to the Femmes, Julie! What a great way to help your girls to become strong and in-control. Mysteries do infuse our thinking, though. Once when some neighbors landscaped their yard with some odd planted mounds, Joe and I created fun scenarios about the bodies they must have buried there.

Charlaine Harris

We always had a fire-escape plan. If the alarm went off in the night, we were not to try to save each other, but to get out our own windows and rendezvous at our neighbor's house. When my adult daughter moved back with us temporarily in our new home, she finally told me she was uneasy because we hadn't discussed a new fire plan.


What great stories you are all sharing! Kris - I have some interesting theories about what's going on at one of the neighborhood homes, too ::grin:::


Hi, Julie - I love this! I'm trying to think if I've ever had an escape plan that goes further than code-words to escape from parties. You know - "If I say aardvark, it's time to go." It works with girlfriends but not with my husband. Sometimes he forgets the word and one notable time - it really was aardvark - he heard it five times and ignored it. Hours later, driving home, when I asked him what went wrong, his excuse was "but I thought it was a coincidence because we were talking about aarvarks." "Yes,' I said patiently, "I started that conversation so I could say it and get out". Sometimes having a lot of practice with plotting and dialogue is not my friend.


I had the same situation with my husband years ago when I was trying to communicate information over the phone. We had (okay, let's be honest -- *I* had) set up an elaborate system to let him know a couple of important facts, based on the numbers on a clock. When I said, "Our event is at 3:15 you know," to him, he kept asking what event I was talking about. I had to cup my hand over the phone and whisper "The code!!!" Still makes me laugh.


Elaine - I know! I asked the question kind of as a lark. Little did I know! The best part is hearing my kids recount the story, years later!

StorytellerMary - What a great escape to practice! I drive a minivan (ooh, exciting) so there's no trunk to speak of, but I may have to give this a try in one of the other family members' cars.

Ooh, piglets!! How fun, Dana! Yeah, I would imagine that your experience would be vastly different if they'd been full grown!

Charlaine - Fire escape plans are the best idea. I hope you and your family came up with a new plan for the new house!

Toni LP Kelner

When my girls were younger, I always gave them their marching orders before trips and outings like field trips. I'd tuck important phone numbers into their coat pockets and backpacks, tell them where to meet up in case of emergency, and remind them what the number for 911 was. (They always remembered it, too.)

I also have a certain fear of fire, so check out exits at public spaces.

We haven't needed any of the prep--yet--but we'll be ready.


Smart mom, Toni! I hadn't thought about tucking numbers into their coats or backpacks. What a great idea. I'll remember that if we ever have grandchildren.

Beth Kanell

Great tale! Thanks for the terrific descriptions and wry comments. I do remember the pig escaping here ... and having to chase it down, before it destroyed the neighbor's garden. Groan ...


I've always taught our teens, who are several years apart in age so not always together, that it is best to travel in numbers, "No going places alone." This has meant that I have gone on some unusual excursions with each one, since there have not always been friends available to go along. (Yes, this has annoyed them.) In November, when our eldest was invited to a remote location in another state, 5 hours away, for a documentary he's filming, I rode along. The directions we were given were sketchy. We hadn't given the specific details of our whereabouts to anyone. After driving for miles on a gravel road to the middle of nowhere (with cell reception fading in and out), not having seen a living soul in forever, I thought, "If they buried us out here, no one would ever find our bodies." At that exact moment, our teen said, "I hope they aren't luring us out here to kill us."

The trip turned out fine but it was a great example of the importance of taking precautions, traveling in numbers, and giving someone your itinerary and multiple contact info.! lol


Beth - I wish I would've taken a picture of this guy. He was by far the biggest pig I'd ever seen.

Cathy - Oh my gosh, that had to be terrifying. I'd have been thinking the same thing. Glad everything turned out well! We always stress traveling in groups here, too. I can't tell you how many times we've watched a TV show or movie where people split up to cover more ground, and we start yelling "Buddy system you idiots!" at the screen!

Karen in Ohio

Three laugh-out-loud moments here:

Julie's Scout troop thinking she had ESP.

Donna's "flock of pigs".

Elaine's meat attacking.

We had contingency plans, too, for everything. In case of fire: what to do, where to go, where to meet. In case of tornado: what to grab and what part of the basement to head to (the part under the stairs with the water, blankets and other supplies, of course). And in case someone tried to get the girls into their car/pick them up from school: A password that only they knew, and that I only had to use once.

What I didn't plan for was what to do if I came home and someone was in the house, no cell phone in my possession, and no one home at any of the neighbors'. My middle daughter came home while the youngest and I were LOCKED into the backseat of a police cruiser (for our safety, they said), and two cops were IN the house, with guns drawn. The closest I ever came to having a heart attack.


Oh my gosh, Karen! I can't imagine how you must have felt when your middle daughter showed up. Heart attack for sure. What an experience. I gather everything turned out well. Wow. I'm breathless just thinking about it.

Karen in Ohio

It did. But I was panic-stricken. She couldn't hear us yelling at her through the glass, and finally one of the cops came out and stopped her, just in time. He had to hold her back--she was all "My MOM is in there!" As if her 95-pound-soaking-wet self was going to save me, but the cops wouldn't. :-)


What a brave daughter! Wow, Karen. Just wow.


Two comments - first, Karen's story reminded me of a story in our local paper today. A young man home from college who heard a noise in the house, pulled out a gun, and shot the intruder through a door. The "intruder" was his 13 year old sister. Fortunately she survived, though she was injured. Second, I have had to deal with a pig that got out. My cousin and I went to her boyfriend house and found his son's 150 pound 4H pig had escaped from the pen and was rummaging through the garage. She grabbed a stick and a large piece of cardboard and I stood in the door of the garage to direct it the other way. The pig didn't much want to go the other way and ran straight between my legs. It's back was high enough that it scooped me up and I rode it - backward - for several feet before I jumped off.


That young man who shot his sister - that's so sad. I hope she doesn't suffer any long term effects from this. Poor thing. And I'm sure the brother is suffering as well.

But oh my gosh - all these stories about escaping pigs! Who knew that it happened so often?

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