Hello November!

The month of October is one of my most favorite months but this one was a blur.

I spent the past few weeks thinking maybe I should hang up my blogging hat.

My fun little blog was causing me stress. I couldn’t get into a routine.

I wasn’t laughing at our daily life and we had too many sad days waiting for updates from Texas.

I was tired. I was stuck.

I heard my own voice in my head saying “My blog, my rules” which is what I have shared with people whom I have helped start their own blogs. I gave myself permission to not blog knowing that I was tired.

I was stuck. I couldn’t write a post.

Besides, my 4 cousins, 12 friends and Junebug would probably be just fine if I went silent.

Then I realized my blog has become our online family scrapbook. I can actually “slurp” my blog into a bound book to add to our very full photo album shelf. (It’s on my list – great, more pressure.)

Our family scrapbooks are filled with photos and words. It’s how I tell our story. That’s always been the most important thing to me. So today, I’m catching up by telling our October story in one post. Just the fun stuff and the mini-crisis of the month for now.

It’s a bonus that friends and family peek into our life and feel caught up and laugh a little. Just remember you are still getting the sanitized, non-Jerry Springer version of life.

Buckle up – it’s a long one with the most pictures ever in one single post!

October Backwards

Scary Baby did her job of trick or treating and gathering 15 pounds of candy to bring home for her loving parents and big brother.

In fact, she kindly sorted it all out and gave us a shoebox full.

You gotta love the note she included in the box she left in her brother’s room.

If you can read it, you have good eyes and yes, they sometimes call him Fabio.

Does that really look like bad candy? She has an aversion to peanuts and does not like M&Ms plain or peanut. How did this child get born into this family? We love her discards!

Thankfully, I rescued the box before The Grunter got home. He actually went out on Halloween with a group of friends and came home with his own sack of candy. I’m surprised anyone even gave a group of giant boys/adults candy.

PhilBillPaul took her to The Dollar Store to get some lovely decorations for the porch the night before he left for Texas.

Scary Baby was some sort of spider witch thanks to the spider witch dress costume that her darling sister Wizzy bought her. This replaced the “Just in case my zentai suit that Roger Leroy ordered for me doesn’t come in time, I don’t need a costume, I’m going to be a hobo.”

The darling twins seem to like to spoil her.

Wizzy stayed on Friday long enough to paint Scary Baby’s face so she could go down to a neighborhood party with friends.

I sent them off with 2 plates of mummy dogs and a plate of cheese fingers.

On Saturday we had a lovely lunch at Cracker Barrel and she found the PERFECT witch hat to go with her spider witch dress.

Half off witch hat I gladly put my $7.50 down for. Feeling extra nice, she scored the half off matching gloves.

Gourd Man

PhiBillPaul has been busy cultivating another crop of gourds this season. (Thanks Uncle Jack!)

He somehow managed to squeeze in a gourd painting session with her before he started packing for Texas because that’s the kind of dad he is. Seems she’s looked at old photo albums and said no one ever painted gourds with her. The last child syndrome once again.

She drew the faces and is looking forward to turning them into Jingle Gourds after Thanksgiving. Because of the time constraints, they only painted a few. There are at least triple that amount in the garage and backyard.


That sport we aren’t fond of because we still don’t understand it is alive and well and the darling twins re-joined the team this semester with enthusiasm.

We headed up to their college to watch them play in a pre-Halloween rugby game where we were told that the team was dressing up in costume and playing.

Roger Leroy looks a little disheveled here as a cheetah. Mostly because she played the first half of the game and was a beast. They played Emory and won 4-0. Roger Leroy scored all 4 goals? points? touchdowns? field goals?

Wizzy didn’t dress up and didn’t play because she has injured her back and neck. I praised her very mature decision to sit out. This is one thing the darling twins are not good at – they are tough nuts and play through the pain and bronchitis and pneumonia and any other ailments that they may have.

Side note: Wizzy has now gone to the doctor and had x-rays which revealed the most knotted up back with muscle spasms that the doctor had ever seen. Physical therapy twice a week. Praying that she rehabs and heals and will be pain-free soon.

While she heals, I suggest she audition for a Suave shampoo commercial.

After rugby, we headed to lunch and our favorite apple orchard but I’ll save the food pictures for another day.

Glorious Golf Weather

We were able to take full advantage of some absolutely beautiful days and somehow we coerced The Grunter to get up before 11:00 am and join us for some golf.

Wizzy doesn’t have class on Friday so she came home twice and we got to play.

There is something about golf that lifts my spirits like nothing else does. Golfing in Fall weather with the leaves changing is my most favorite time to play. It’s a real bonus to play with my adult big kids.

Only Wizzy – the kid with the worst luck could get hit by a golf ball TWICE. I’m all worried about the brutal sport of rugby and she gets whacked just below her knee cap by a range ball while riding in the cart!

On our next round, she was a bit skittish every time someone hit. I promised her I had never hit anyone and then promptly hit a shot sideways that skimmed by The Grunter.

It was no surprise that I looked up to see them both like this after I took another shot.

County Fair Fun

Some of my first country music concerts were at fairs up in the Midwest. We’ve been going to the Cumming Fair for many years now and this year we actually got to go twice.

We took Scary Baby to hear Little Texas and the next week we went back to hear Craig Morgan.

It’s a great evening if you are rich and can spend upwards of $100 on the price of admission, fair food, and carnival games. We boycott the rides because neither of us like to spin around and get sick. Lucky for us, Scary Baby doesn’t like them either.

I know I’m still in the 80’s but when did everything get so dang expensive? We could never afford to have all four children there at the same time. There are some advantages to being the last child.

Oh but those carnival games SCREAM her name. We gave her $10 to spend on games. That means she can play two games or if she chooses wisely, she can play three.

The fair is like Toys R Us on crack. We try to set realistic expectations with her and knew she would be overstimulated by everything.

We admit we were not prepared at all for this exhibit about 15 steps from the entrance.

She begged us to let her see the GIANT RAT.

We stayed strong. We said no. I know, I’m no fun at all.

As we headed back to the parking lot, we found the perfect vehicle with a “for sale” sign for Roger Leroy. She’s looking because her Blue Stallion needs a new engine.

Nothing says Georgia like a truck like this one.

Apple Orchard Time

While his brother was in our thoughts and prayers every single day, I knew it was important to make some time to take Phil’s mind off of Texas and taking a scenic drive in the North Georgia Mountains is one of his favorite things to do.

We can’t let October go by without a visit to an apple orchard and we decided to try a new route and headed to Blue Ridge, Georgia.

On our way, we had to come to a screeching stop to snap a picture of Scary Baby and her friend.

I promised she could have a big bag of boogers if we stopped at Booger Hollow.

We had never visited this orchard and it was fun to taste all their varieties of apples and apple cider. We headed to the bakery and had fresh apple fritters and ice cream.

It was 10-10-10 which happened to be our 23rd anniversary and it really was a lovely day.

Our little shopping cart was filled with a mixed bag of apples we had picked out and a half gallon of cider along with caramel and candy apples and some apple maple butter. Yum!

Just as we were about to check out, I remembered we couldn’t bring most of this stuff home…

How Does the Refrigerator Set Off the Smoke Alarm?

A frantic call from PhilBillPaul asking me how close I was to the house because The Grunter was home and was getting dressed to go to work when the smoke alarm went off and he went downstairs to find out why.

He said the kitchen was filled with smoke and it smelled really bad but he couldn’t figure out where the smoke was coming from.

Since he does have a tendency to be a wee bit dramatic, PhilBillPaul was calling me to see if I was close enough to see if his description was accurate or if he should have him call the fire department.

He then added,

“And if it’s really true, I’d really like him to start grabbing some photo albums and I want someone to roll my motorcycle out of the garage.”


Did he really just say that?

Did he really just say he wanted us to save his girlfriend if our house was going to burn down?

Did he totally forget that there were TWO wiener dogs in the basement?

I was minutes from home and I have a real aversion to fire as you may remember.

Scary Baby got off the bus at exactly the same moment as I pulled up to our house. I screamed for her to run in and get the dogs and get away from the house (I didn’t see any flames) and I ran into the laundry room off the kitchen where The Grunter was standing at the breaker box getting instructions from his Dad.

They had determined the smoke was coming from the REFRIGERATOR.

I’m confused because cold things don’t usually burn. But I do understand it is an electrical appliance. With a bit of screaming (on my part) we determined that we could roll it out and unplug it.

We opened all the windows and doors and waited for The Handyman’s arrival.

Here is what he found when he took the back off the fridge.

Well, that and a whole lot of dirt. Definitely the source of the putrid burning smell and the house full of smoke.

The Grunter a.k.a. Our Pumpkin was definitely OUR HERO on this day. If he had not been home, I may very well have arrived home to a house in flames. I get a little sick just thinking about it.

And I count my blessings about how lucky we are.

We are also thankful we had this little fridge in the basement that PhilBillPaul brought up and we made do with that until we could find a replacement.

Yes, that is the story of why we couldn’t buy apples or cider or anything else since we had very limited space in a compact refrigerator for almost two weeks.

Since refrigerators are a little pricey, I suggested we get a used one or a scratch and dent model. After spending an entire Saturday looking, I gave up.

PhilBillPaul didn’t and a few days later had a hot lead on one from Craigslist. I’m cheap frugal and said I didn’t want to pay more than $300.00.

I trusted his judgment when he said he’d found “the one.” He got a friend to help him and The Grunter was present to supervise – apparently he was resting on his laurels after saving the house from fire.

Look at this baby he found.

Way nicer than our old smoking one. Ice and water actually work. Woo-hoo!

It did take some intense cleaning. This will be the only time you will ever see the inside of my fridge or freezer but I wanted to brag on PhilBillPaul for doing such a great job cleaning it for me.

A smoking refrigerator and a tiny dorm sized fridge is great motivation to clean out and get rid of all the weird, sticky, old jars and bottles.

We are thinking of buying food to fill this new model but we’ve been a little busy.

Maybe I’ll tell you about our recalled Whirlpool dishwasher and the repairman who didn’t show up…next week.

Whew! Congrats if you made it to the end of this October chapter length post. I probably should have awarded a prize at the end for my most dedicated readers!

Here’s to November! May it be quieter and less eventful than October.


One year ago..

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  1. 1
    Melinda says:

    ONLY you, Sherra, only you! LOL Enjoyed the post (much better than the DWTS recaps). Leaving a comment in case you really do decide to give an award (maybe lunch?) for reading it. and I know it’s all MY fault we haven’t already had lunch. I PROMISE I’ll be in touch soon. Hope you’ll stay in touch as well. Glad to hear you’re looking forward to Novemeber. I’m a little jealous cause we always do the Gwinnett County Fair and didn’t go at all this year!
    I did however go on a mtn. trip with some girlfriends. Photo’s posted on Facebook. Oh, that’s right, you’re not on there so probably won’t ever see those, lol. Have a wonderful weekend friend!

  2. 2
    Melinda says:

    Sorry about the typo. I really do know how to spell November!

  3. 3
    Melodi says:

    All I can say is “I can’t believe you didn’t see the 4 ft 100 lb Rat!” Life is a funny thing – I think God gives us all of the small hectic things in a time of real crisis to help divert our attention or keep or minds off of the real yuck. Puts things in perspective doesn’t it? Hope your family is doing well!


  4. 4
    Karen Emerson says:

    What a great update! I love the pictures, and I’m so glad you got to mix a whole lot of fun into a crazy stressful month.

  5. 5
    Peggy says:

    Has it really been 23 years of wedded bliss for you 2? Congrats! One thing I can say for you and your family- never a dull moment!

  6. 6
    Kerri says:

    There is a picture somewhere of me standing in front of the Booger Hollow sign at about the same age as Scary Baby. Between that, the carnival, the apple cider, and the golf, I just had a great trip down memory lane.
    Thanks Sherra and welcome back!

  7. 7
    Jenn Ross says:

    Great post! You made me laugh about grazing grunter with the golf ball ( sorry Grunter). Its good to hear that someone else’s family is a little out of sync. And too bad Scary Baby wasn’t with my hubby…I think he would have succumbed to the 100 lb rat.

    Good job with the frig…scary though..although I doubt my son would notice the smoke or the alarm..he seems to have selective hearing!

    And you aren’t the only one who is “frugal”…I just went to Panera for a bowl of soup ( I am out of town) and just couldn’t spend almost 5 bucks on one bowl of soup. Makes the 100lb rat look cheap!
    Glad to have you back..may Nov be one of happiness for you!
    Jenn Ross recently posted..So which was it Trip to the ER or a great idea


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