7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 102)

October 22, 2010 | 53 comments

Welcome, new readers! Every Friday I write a 7 Quick Takes post where I share seven random tidbits. Below my seven things you’ll see links to other bloggers’ 7 Quick Takes posts at their blogs — be sure to check those out as well. Enjoy!

— 1 —

So, wow. Yesterday’s post really blew up. With 100+ comments in a matter of hours, it almost broke the record for most comments in a single day. Notice the “almost.” For while the topic of society’s views about openness to children is a subject that elicits great passion, that stirs people’s deepest emotions, there is still one subject that touches the human soul more; a subject that still holds the Most Comments in a Single Day record here at Conversion Diary. And that would be: Trucknutz.

— 2 —

I want to state upfront that I am not lying about what I am about to say next, nor am I exaggerating. I just had to get that out there. Because if you saw last week’s 7 Quick Takes post, you might read what I’m about to say next and roll your eyes. You might be tempted to say to yourself, “Okay, Jen jumped the shark with this one. She must think that this ‘I AM SURROUNDED BY INFESTATIONS OF FREAKISH CREATURES’ shtick will get traffic to her blog, and has now stooped to just making stuff up. Sad, really.” But no. No. It is 100% true that I went from battling scorpions at my house to sleeping on a rat-infested couch at a friend’s house. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

— 3 —

“I’m just glad to be in a house where I don’t need to worry about freaky critters crawling on me in the night!” I said when I arrived at my friend Hallie‘s house on Friday. If it had been a movie, there would have been a close-up on my face and some ominous music swelling in the background as if to say HUBRIS ALERT! HORRIFIC LESSON COMING UP SOON!

So on Saturday night Hallie and I were chatting before I went to sleep on their couch, and I see the blood drain from her face. She stared in terror at something behind me, tracking it as it moved quickly across the room. Then she started screaming. Based on her reaction, I knew it was either:

  1. A man in a ski mask wielding a chainsaw
  2. A zombie
  3. A portal into hell (umm, moving from the left to the right side of the room)
  4. A rodent

It was D. A rat. A big one. Her husband got up and looked for it, but it had disappeared into the shadows. And that is when I learned: The only thing worse than seeing a rat where you’re about to go to sleep is not seeing one but knowing it’s there, somewhere.

Hallie’s husband kindly offered to trade places with me and let me sleep in their room, but I declined. As I drifted off to sleep, I contented myself with the knowledge that the rat was undoubtedly far, far, FAR away from me at that very moment…

— 4 —

…In the middle of the night I woke up to a gnawing sound. Was it something I was doing? I lay completely still, and listened. Zzzhhh-rrrrr-zzzhhh-rrrrr. No. It wasn’t me. It was coming from inside the couch. What on earth could that be? I thought. Weird. I rolled over and went back to sleep. Now, I’m not sure exactly how that calculation went. I must have been incredibly groggy to think RAT SIGHTING TEN FEET AWAY FROM COUCH + GNAWING SOUND COMING FROM WITHIN COUCH = WEIRD, MUST BE NOTHING.

What happened next is a story so epic that I must simply direct you to Hallie’s post with all the details (not one you want to read while eating, or if you have any plans to eat within the next 12 hours).  Suffice it to say, the rat we’d seen had returned to its nest in the couch where I was sleeping, and that noise I’d heard was the sounds of an active, thriving rat’s nest just a few inches below me.

— 5 —

I don’t know. I don’t get it. Why is it that God’s plan for my life involves exposure to every nasty creature within a 10 mile radius of wherever I am at any given moment? Some things we cannot know this side of heaven. But let me say this: if you live in an area where there have ever been sightings of black widows, brown recluses, rattlesnakes, killer bees, crocodiles, poison dart frogs or king cobras, I am not coming to visit. And — trust me — you do not want me to.

— 6 —

Anyway, other than the vermin it was a lovely weekend. The baptism was beautiful, and it was wonderful to meet my new goddaughter in person. Here’s a picture of us:

— 7 —

I am looking forward to having an easy, relaxing weekend. We have no plans, other than simply to enjoy not killing rats and scorpions. What are you up to this weekend?


Below is a linky list if you’d like to add a link to your own 7 Quick Takes post. (1) Make sure the link you submit is to the URL of your post and not your main blog URL. (2) Include a link back here.



  1. Rose @ Adventures in Savings

    I have a totally irrational and bizarre fear of frogs..all sizes and shapes. So, having said that, once when my husband and I were just dating, we were sitting on the couch at my parents house and a green tree frog came out of NOWHERE and jumped onto my shoulder between us just as we were about to kiss.

    It’s a wonder he can hear – I screamed a glass-shattering scream. And if I were a superstitious person, I might have thought it some sort of bad sign and dumped him. But I didn’t. And having read your story, I totally understand about the rat! If there ever happens to be a frog that near to where I’m sleeping, I might never sleep again!

  2. George @ Convert Journal

    Ewww. Now most of us are going to imagine rats or other rodents in the shadows for the next few days…

  3. Holly

    Maybe you should be practicing the Dead Mommy’s Float with me (see my blog for instructions)…oh, I finally got the whole Mr. Linky thing right this time. 🙂

  4. Leah @ Unequally Yoked

    Yipes! That’s definitely your most horrifying story yet.

    I’ve got a full weekend of sewing to try to be ready for Halloween.

  5. Ciska

    I wonder what you’ll find next … a boa? A crocodile? A T.Rex? Scary!

    Please come over to my blog and help find a family for Kate.

  6. Elizabeth Mahlou

    I suppose a rat is a little much. I never encountered one, but I did have a close-up encounter years ago with an innocuous little field mouse. I opened a Cheerios box and was delighted to find a little toy in it. My kids would be delighted, I thought, as I pulled it out, only to be quite startled to find a very live mouse in my hand. The mouse was also startled. We both looked at each other for a second, then it moved. I screamed; it eeked. I dropped it, and it ran up the curtains and sat shaking on the curtain rod. My husband came out to see what the commotion was about and then berated me for scaring the poor little mouse. (Hey, he did not pluck the “toy” out of the cereal box!) He held up a broom for the mouse, who, surprisingly, was wiling to jump onto it and be ushered back out in the field where it belonged. Not sure that either of us would have been as kind to a rat! (BTW, that is a lovely picture of you with your goddaughter.)

    • Christian H

      Thank your husband for me for not killing it.
      I agree, though, that rats would be a bit different. My mother, dedicated to not killing the many-legged in her house, would not co-exist with rats. If she wouldn’t, I don’t imagine many could.

  7. Barbara

    Heart pounding as I imagine your experience. You must have been exhausted to go back to sleep after hearing the gnawing. Your poor friends, a new baby and a rat nest in close proximity!

  8. Erin P

    well done! I dunno what I would have done if I came in contact with rodents… or scorpions, for that matter. We have some whopper pests here in Florida- banana spiders as big as you palm, palmetto bugs aka HOOGE roaches (yes, so big that you must misspell huge), alligators, brown recluses, every snake known to mankind… but IN a house? In a couch for that matter?! Hats off to you, because I’d be in the hospital for heart failure…

  9. Mary

    Wow! Rats. That is a horrifying experience.

  10. Monica

    Your quick takes always make me laugh!

  11. Michelle

    Oh my goodness. your posts on scorpions, your references to spiders, and now a rat’s nest….gross and makes my skin feel all creepy crawly!

    Beautiful picture of you and your godchild! Love it!

  12. Margaret in Minnesota

    I’m glad I persevered in reading this, as the photo at the end made it ALL worthwhile.

    Well, *almost* all worthwhile.

    (And here we thought the scorpion stories were unsettlilng…)

  13. autumn frymark

    All I can say is….when any of your kids are old enough to be in Scouts and become campers…..you need to stay home. Just sayin.

  14. Janet

    I’ll tell you what is worse than finding a bloody, dirty trail from a dying rat. It’s finding one in your toilet. Alive.

    That’s exactly what happened to my husband a few years ago when he lifted the lid on our downstairs bathroom toilet. I heard him go in and immediately flush then come out with eyes as big as saucers. Without a word, he went upstairs and started flushing the upstairs toilet. That’s what really got my attention.

    Needless to say, when he told me what happened I was freaked beyond words – and so was everyone I told. (When my sister told my niece what had happened her comment was, “They’re moving, aren’t they??) We called a city inspector from the Rat Patrol (I am not making that up) who checked for ratholes around our house. No ratholes, but we live in Philadelphia with very old sewer systems. He told us that it is not real common but does happen in old cities like ours.

    I’ll bet all you city dwellers will keep the lid down tonight!

    We keep the lids down and middle-of-the-night trips to the necessary room are not done in the dark.

  15. Pam

    I want to tell you, Trucknutz aren’t limited to the south. A few weeks ago I was behind a truck and saw… er… a pair. Had it not been for your post, I would’ve been completely mystified.

    So thank you for your public service announcement.

  16. Hermit Mama

    Maybe you should bring the rats back to your house and let them battle it out with the scorpions. It could be like Aliens vs. Predators. 🙂

  17. That Married Couple

    I thought both your post yesterday and Hallie’s post were great! So sorry for your rat-nap though!

  18. Katie

    Ha! I used to have pet rats. Wild rats are ick, though.

  19. Chasing Gypsies in Europe

    I was woken up early this morning by a loud noise. I thought we had been broken into. We live in Europe and I was freaking out as my husband crept through the house because I don’t know the number to the police (although… not sure the police would help much… they are corrupt and lazy!). It turned out to be a critter in our laundry room- and we’re thinking a mouse. That’s enough for me. I can’t imagine scorpions and rats! I’d need serious therapy!

  20. Roxane B. Salonen

    Jennifer, last night I went to get some clothes from the garage and apparently I brought a gigantic wasp with me. It was buzzing around my bedroom and my oldest daughter freaked out. We didn’t believe her at first, but then we saw the mammoth beast. It was quite a spectacle to see my husband trying to be brave and killing the maddened insect with a fly swatter and a bottle of Lysol cleaner. Ah, what our men will do for us. When I went back out to the garage there was a bird in there flying around and it almost flew into me. I am totally freaked out with you. But the rat? I think you still have us beat.

  21. Jaimie

    Oh wow. ……. wow. (The rat thing.)

  22. Stephanie

    I never knew they were called Trucknutz, but I sure have seen them around. Gross.

    You are one tough lady. I think the moment my friend saw the rat, I would have hightailed it to the closest hotel.

  23. Mary @ A Simple Twist of Faith

    I bet you won’t be sleeping on a sofa, anytime soon! I feel sorry for you and your friend, especially after I read her post!

  24. Paula in MN

    Consider this an invitation to Minnesota. We don’t have ANY of those. We do have bears, deer and other large animals, but they stay outside.

  25. Megan

    Wow, that is horrible! Absolutely disgusting!!! You tell it very well though and make it actually sound funny! 🙂 One of the many reasons I love your blog! 🙂

  26. the cottage child

    We’re being stalked by an opossum (a possum) at the moment. He creeps around on our deck and hisses at us when we look out the window. He seems to know when my husband won’t be around to relocate him to the great beyond, so he lurks. Ewwww!

    We’re in the city, and our “rodent control policy” consists of the slogan “Try not to pick them up”. Moving, soon.

  27. Nina

    Hysterical. I really needed to laugh this morning. You are a balm to the soul in stressful times….

    AND you are beautiful–!

    This weekend? My husband will be away all weekend and I will be ALONE with all of the kids—-fun fun fun. And my 7 year-old had to be sent back to bed this morning because he had tears flowing uncontrollably down his face as we tried to wake him up. We know that’s not a good sign that he has slept well and is in good shape for his day. 🙂 It’s been a great morning.

    God bless all of the Fulwilers this weekend! Try to stay away from any and all Trucknutz!

  28. Ashley

    I’m still reeling from the horror of the rat infestation story.

  29. Christine

    I want my husband to tear into our old kitchen so we can get my mudroom done. I want order. I want cute little lockers with perfect hooks to hang my kids stuff.

    thats it

    have a good one!

  30. Elizaebeth@GoodnessAdded

    I need to give our Terminix man a good Christmas gift. After reading your and Hallie’s stories I think he is my family’s hero for keeping us pest free!

  31. Andrea

    I really enjoyed reading and writing my own 7 Quick Takes. I have to admit I couldn’t have endured one moment in that house. After the first sighting I would have been a gonner. The master bedroom wouldn’t have been far enough away. You are a brave soul.

  32. Nichole@40daysof

    And there goes my back door open all day long to take advantage of the great fall weather. Thanks Jen! No wait, thanks Hallie! No really, thanks Hallie’s slum lord! You’re a peach of a guy. You ruined fall for me.

  33. Charlotte (Matilda)

    I wrote my 7 quick takes about my mom since it’s her birthday today. Since I really love her, I will warn her not to come read yours because she would totally freak out over your experience!

  34. Aimee Kate

    I bet you’re ready for some down-time weekend now. As for me, it’s hanging with friends and finishing a paper for Honors Lit. Fun! Ü

  35. The Mom Chef ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Time

    I can’t think of anything that would drive me out of my house other than an incredibly horrible infestation of spiders (the movie Arachnid level of bad). We get the random bat down the chimney and I have no problem using a thick towel to throw over it and usher it outdoors where it belongs. God created them for SOME reason so they live and we co-exist.

  36. elizabethk

    What a beautiful picture of you and your God daughter — Blessings to both of you and her family. They need to seriously think of moving though!! I knew a man who had a pet rat — it was quite cute and intelligent, but one in the couch – where you were (attempting) to sleep! OH, I would have ran and not looked back! You have such fortitude! We did have to share our place (In Europe) with mosquitoes that we could never capture — VERY high ceilings (so we slept under netting) a bat (for a few days) and mice…and I have experienced those Texas size roaches — but a wild rat would have been a done deal!! 🙂

  37. Philothea @ Domestic Distractions

    My first time participating here. Thanks a bunch. I’m having fun looking through all of the other links.

  38. MrsDarwin

    Whew, that’s some Orwellian madness…

    I once lived in a house that had some gnawing creature in the wall, and at nights I could hear it chewing and scratching behind my bed. Not comforting, good-sleepy-times sound at all.

  39. JoAnna

    what a beautiful godchild 🙂

  40. Salome Ellen

    Can you stand ants? And maybe a couple of pill-bugs? Because we’d love to have you come back and visit Michigan again! (Well, there are squirrels, too, but the worst thing they’ve done so far is rob the bird feeder…)

  41. Missus Wookie

    I’m glad your weekend plans don’t involve either rats or scorpions, I hope mine don’t either!

    One of the nicest thing a rat killer ever told me is that “if you’ve got foxes… you won’t have a rat problem any more!” Right after he lectured me on the difference of our food waste bins being chewed by squirrels rather than rats.

  42. Janet

    Wisconsin is a great place to visit! Of course there’s some bugs here, but in winter even most of that gets laid to rest. Freezing vs. bugs, your choice!

  43. Heather

    First time participating

  44. Monica

    I’m so impressed. We recently had a rodent adventure, and I’m waaaaaaay too freaked out/embarrassed to post about it. Kudos to you for sharing. 🙂

  45. marie

    I have never been so freaked out and disgusted. I just read the whole story about your rat nest bed. I feel like you should go get a tetanus shot or something. Maybe a delousing/hazmat/shave down. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGHHHHHHH!!!!

  46. Gillian

    Oh my, I read the full story, that IS the stuff of nightmares! God bless your friends’ husband!!!!

  47. Chantal

    Stories like these makes me proud to live in Rat-free Alberta, Canada.
    When I went to Europe, I actually looked for rats and wanted to see them. Can they really grow to the size of a cat?

  48. Kelly the Kitchen Kop

    You just literally gave me the hardest laugh I’ve had in a looooooooong stinkin’ time.

    Felt great. 🙂


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