my Fuller life

One word of warning, do not look on unless you are seriously considering a pet.  Here is how Annabelle came to be living with us.  We lost our sweet Mary back in February, we knew we weren’t getting a pet this summer.  So the kids had been saying they wanted a puppy for Christmas.  I started to work on Brian a little and one night he looked at with me.  We saw these precious puppies that were located in Ozark, AL.  I mapquested Ozark, because no one seemed to know where it was.  I looked and it was only 2 hours away.  That might work.  I called and the only one not spoken for was Gail the darkest puppy.  They were mixes of Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, and maybe Shar Pei but more about that later.  So I asked Ruth (who runs the shelter) to email me an application.  Then I had to send pictures of our home and yard.  She said if I was approved Gail would be ours.   She emailed later in the day and said we could come get her on Thursday.  The kids were out of school and I figured we could make the day trip.  I looked at Mapquest again and started mapping our course.  That is when I realized it was 2 hours and 59 minutes.  That is what I get for rounding down, Brian says I do this all the time.  I do it a little after a shopping trip.  These puppies were left in the woods by their Mama dog who is a stray.

So the kids and I loaded up in the car and went to Ozark, AL.  The shelter was only open between 8:00am and 12:00pm.  So we got up at 6:00 and left by 7:15.  We get there about 10:30.  This shelter is little, so many volunteers working hard.  We all hurriedly jump out of the car.  Lewis said he needed to go to the bathroom.  So Ruth showed him the bathroom.  We started talking about Gail and then Lewis hollered out, “I can’t get out!!”  He was locked in the bathroom.  I told him just turn the knob.  Ruth said, ” I don’t have a key.” We were all laughing so hard we could barely try to help him. Ruth then said, “I guess we are going to have to call the fire department to get him out of the there.” So before we resorted to that I passed a note under the door to him showing him how to unlock the door, then she said it was kind of backwards.  Somehow Lewis got the door open and we continued the process of adopting Gail.  The puppy cost $95 which should have included the spaying but she was too young.  So she said we can send her the receipt later.  I told her she could keep the change from the $100 and she said good because she didn’t keep change.  Smart lady.  We were leaving with Gail now Annabelle and Ruth said I love your house, I told her come visit anytime!!


Ruth, Rob, and Gail/Annabelle



When we were leaving we ran into a lady from Saint Petersburg FL who had come to adopt Gail’s sister.  The litter went all over the Southeast.  Ruth posts all the adoptions on their Facebook.  It is amazing how she uses the internet to get the pets adopted.  Before I left I asked Ruth why Gail was the last one left.  She said well, actually she was the first one adopted, but the family who adopted her had a baby and Ruth said Gail was a crybaby who cried all night long.  Oh well I could handle it.  I will have to say there has been many times over the last week that Annabelle has reminded me of Clara as a toddler.  She was sweet and easygoing unless she really wanted something and then be prepared, she would not give it up.

It was a beautiful day to get a beautiful puppy.  She is sweet, not hyper at all.  She has a problem with her eye and we have been putting drops in her eye.  She has a spotted tongue which is a feature of Shar peis, unfortunately this weird eye condition where their eyelashes turn in and scratch their eyes is also a characteristic.  I guess we will see, she might have to have an eye lift.  Seriously.  We tried to figure out a radio fence for all of Sunday afternoon but I gave up.  Everytime I tested the spot by the road it wouldn’t work, and the Mom in me figured that Annabelle is probably like her sister Clara in enspousing the moto, “No Pain No Gain” So I hired Donny to fix our fence.  We have a big backyard that has a run off ditch in it.  It doesn’t fill very often but when it does it carries leaves and sticks with it.  Part of our fence fell down and we didn’t have to fix it for Mary.  So we are finally fixing it for Annabelle.  Donnie is a great guy that works for me doing jobs around the house, when he first looked at it he said he was really busy and couldn’t do it until the 13th of December.  I must have looked disappointed.  So when I called back the next day to say we needed it done sooner and who could he recommend, he said I looked at it again and I can start on Monday or Tuesday.  I was thrilled, then he called back an hour later and said I have a friend that can start tomorrow.  He is a great contractor, he knew that would bother me and worked it out for us.  So hopefully Annabelle will not be a Houdini dog like Mary was.

I went to Rob’s first wrestling match last night.  It was wild.  I had tears in my eyes while I watched the first match, and I didn’t even know any of the boys, they weren’t even members of our team.   It was hard-core, don’t know what I expecting.  Rob wrestled once and he lost, but I thought he held his own.  It is really like when you used to see your preschooler getting in a fight on the playground but in this case you stand on the edge of the playground and cheer him on.  I have to admit, it was amazing how strong our boys had become.



I found some unexpected treasures at Ross Dress for Less this week.  I found these pants:

The price listed on Zappos is $108.00. I paid $8.95. Seriously, I got two pairs, one brown and one green. I told a friend who loves these pants and she had paid even more at a local store. I found some for her too, I was really proud of my find. I also found some other jeans from Salt Works ( which I suspect has gone out of business) that were normally $150.00 for between $10.00-$20.00. They were a higher rise (but not mom jeans), with spandex and they run big, so they were perfect!! I love when I find an unexpected treat!!
Rob tried out for the baseball team this week at the Middle School. This was the first cut and the ones who made it will try out again in January. Last night Brian and I were trying to figure out if Rob made it. It was listed by their lunch room number which for most kids is the last five of their social. Someone else has the same last five numbers of Rob’s social in the Oak Mountain School so he has another random number. Of course we couldn’t remember it. Rob was at the Youth Retreat for the weekend. He called late last night and I asked him for his number. He gave it to me but said he didn’t want to know. We saw his number was not on the list. When we picked up the boys today they were completely over it because they had gotten online the night before to see they had not made it. I think the retreat helped them keep it in perspective. Nothing like a cabin full of friends to make you feel better.
I really have a hard time believing I have a child old enough for the youth group. We are so blessed to have the Youth Program at Asbury, I think they had a great weekend.

I watched Rob’s wrestling practice for a few minutes the other night. First of all it was so smelly, but there were so many sweaty boys in there. I went into the next room and watched the actual wrestling. It was intense, I could not even wrap my brain around it. I am glad he is tough enough to do it, but I wouldn’t be.
Clara and Lewis will be starting basketball soon but we enjoyed an activity free weekend. It was nice. I have been sad though, Nick Bell’s family has been on my mind (MSU player who died of cancer) and a dear friend has been diagnosed with lymphoma. Please remember my friend Sheri in your prayers, and Nick Bell’s family and friends.


We had a crazy week and equally crazy weekend. My Mom and Aunt Tina came to visit for a couple of days to get their veins treated by Dr. Kingsley. We had a the Spaghetti Supper for CASA one night they were here and Rob’s football banquet the other night. I prefer to just visit when company comes to town but it just worked out that way. Then I got a sub for Wednesday so I could go on Lewis’s field trip to Baker’s Farm. It got rained out, so after Mom and Aunt Tina left I went back to sleep from 9:00am until 12:00pm. I guess I was tired.

Then on Thursday, I went to Montgomery with Clara’s class for the day. We had fun and it was great to get to know Clara’s class better. It was a sweet group. I also enjoyed visiting with Clara’s teacher. We were late getting back, so we hit the ground running. Clara had a game at 6:00, and our bus pulled in at 5:50. Then I had to go to a wrestling meeting at the middle school. Rob is now wrestling. I learned that he needs to eat a bunch of fruit, and drink chocolate milk after wrestling. He will probably lose weight at first, he is only 90 lbs at 5ft. There are a few kids on the team in the 70’s, so he is not the smallest. He has the short genes but not the skinny genes (not that I ever had the skinny ones). The coach seems very nice, I plan on checking out the book “Wrestling for Dummies” to learn about the sport.

Friday I went to get a facial that I had bought back in August, nice treat. We went to see the OM Eagles play Friday night and they won, the kid I bought my coupon card from at the begining of the year made two touchdowns!! Brian and Lewis went to Starkville Saturday and Rob had a baseball camp at the high school. The camp reminded me of Cooperstown. Several professional baseball players came and helped with the camp. It was a neat experience for him and his friends. A local church helped put it on. Clara and I went to the grocery store with everyone else in the 35242. It was crazy. One great thing that came out of that trip is that I learned my favorite helper at Publix (Larry) is my favorite doctor’s father in law. I knew he was special!!

We went over to the Reeves Saturday night and watched football. The kids trick or treated too. Todd had set up an extra TV for me to watch the Bulldogs, during the Auburn game. I was so very proud of the Bulldogs!! I know several local radio personalities think we are a sub par team, but they also consider several other top 25 teams that too. So I think we are in good company.

The big kids ran all over Eagle Point and we scooted around in a golf cart during half time.

This is how we roll


Rob was dressed as the Phantom and Clara was an Eighties Girl.  They have been studying The Phantom of the Opera for a few weeks in Reading.  He told me that the Phantom had a sword, never knew that.  Clara’s costume came from Walgreens and Dollar Tree.  The day glo sweatshirt was from Walgreens, and I cut the ends off some Walgreen’s socks to make the leg warmers.  I got a headband at dollar tree and she wore some sunglasses with the lenses popped out.  She said the only people who knew who she was were people my age.

We went to trunk or treat at the church and then came home to trick or treat here.  We had some families over and it was a blast.  They literally ran from house to house.  Lewis was the cutest shark ever!!

The Creatures of the Night

Lewis and the Ladies

Lewis and Ms Jennifer


Clara came home sick from school today and slept for 4 hours.  I don’t know what was wrong, probably just exhausted.  Of course I got lost going to the chiropractor today.  If he wasn’t the nicest man on the planet and the best chiropractor it wouldn’t be worth it.  But he is, so I have just gotten used to exploring the city of Hueytown.

The Gory Guides

The Gory Guides

We had a fun weekend with the Haunted House at the Middle School on Friday night.  Sallie and I  had scary old burned men masks.  I am the one on the right.  We first drove around the neighborhood a bit to freak out some kids.  Parents were the actors, planners, and entertainment in the haunted house.

These pictures were so funny because we are all acting so normal with the crazy outfits on.  Parents were  the actors and the planners.  Wonderful volunteers.

We led groups through the house with all of the kids hanging on to a rope.  I laughed all night long.  One time I had some precious boys who are friends with Rob.  I identified myself because they seemed so scared.  They were relieved when it was me.  They were a quiet group going through.  We had this one point of the House where they had a big wooden box that was like an elevator.  They closed the box up in complete darkness and then they banged on the outside of the box.  3 or 4 of those boys grabbed on to me at my waist.  I loved it and I was laughing so hard but of course you couldn’t tell because of my ugly old man face.

Me and Rob

We loved pretending and playing dress up for the night.

She was sawing her arm off

Creepy thing from some movie

He had a relaxing job

























Some funny pictures of some of the cousins trying to get a group shot.  Lewis looks a little like Edward.

Living on a prayer

I posted the pictures from Clara’s surprise birthday party.  Her 10th birthday was on 10/10/10.  We had family and friends here for the occasion, truly a once in a century event.  My sweet little quirky girl had her perfect birthday.  She got to do crazy, competitive games with some of her best friends.  Also several special grown up friends came and she loved that.  We played “minute to win it games.”

Last Thursday night we were out to dinner after the football game with some friends and they asked us to go see Bon Jovi the next night .  They were going to the beach for the weekend to celebrate my friend’s birthday.  So the next day the Fuller’s did something very spotaneous and went to see Bon Jovi with 35,000 other people.  We met my in laws in Loxley and gave them 2 kids.  Some of our other good friends went too.  It was awesome.  We stood up the whole time, it was literally on the beach and packed.  At one point I had to go the restroom and it took 40 minutes to go there and back.  There was no way in or out except for straight through the throngs of people.  Wild.  We sang, danced and had a blast.  Afterwards we decided to stay right where we were while the other 34,994 people left.  We people watched and decided to wait awhile to get the shuttle back to our condo.  We were waiting around and look over and some girl was sitting in the sand bare butt.  She had some friends around her, feebly trying to cover her up.  She sat on the sand for over 5 minutes.  Tommy and I had our money on #2 but everyone else said no way.  It was bad.  Needless to say the ladies who stayed for Brad Paisley Sunday night wore cowboy boots on the sand.

We walked to a restaurant a couple blocks away and stayed there for almost 2 hours.  I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard with a group of couples before.  We loved sitting, visiting and not caring what time it was.  We then caught our charter bus, the last of the night.  It was an interesting crew, the most drunk one on the bus was a Miss State fan, but it was her birthday.  It was really funny being with a bunch of older people acting a fool.  We laughed so hard again.  We came home and watched the moon go down.  I have never seen that before, beautiful!

We had a relaxing day on the beach and watching football.  We went to eat that night a great local place.  We were watching the awesome MSU/FLA game and the fat bartender/oyster shucker had the nerve to change both tvs to the Alabama game.  I stood up and told him no, we were watching it.  I told him he could leave one on Alabama but I was watching that game. He said so you are a Florida fan, and I said no, MSU.   Some 300 pound Alabama fan waddled by and said “If South Carolina can beat Bama, then anything can happen.”  He had some other comment about MSU but I didn’t catch it.  So when the Bulldogs won, I was beaming with pride.

We laughed all the way home, all piled in the gold Quest.  It was the perfect, relaxing trip.  Thanks Amiee and Todd for the invite, we love you!!


My friend, Gina, had started a clothing business and we had a show at my house last night.  I have to say it is very distracting to have a retail store in your home when you are trying to get ready for work.  I had a bunch of friends come by and we got the cutest clothes.  The most expensive piece of clothing was around 40 dollars.  Gina did a great job picking out things that were stylish, flattering and very fun.  I keep adding things I want to buy.

Totally unrelated, I was told by Walgreens that they were no longer making the migraine medicine I take.   I take something pretty mild that I have flexibility with as far as dosing.  So I called my doctor and he suggested something else (a triptan).  I have tried these in the past with no luck but he said this one was milder.  I tried it but it still makes me feel dizzy and weird.  The headache went away but I feel so strange.  My dear friend, Lynda, came to the rescue.  She checked at the pharmacy where she works sometimes and they had the one Walgreens said was discontinued.   In fact, she said their supplier had tons of it.  So she transferred my prescription and I picked it up at her house today.  What a great friend!!

Friends seem to become more precious to me as I get older.  They are such a blessing from God.


Clara's present from Aunt Polly

Waiting for the birthday girl

She had tears of joy

Maggie and Clara

She was so surprised and happy

Mallory giving it her all

Vaseline and cotton ball on noses

Riley’s sheer joy

Kendall and Clara helping Lilly out

Clara's friends

Yellow Jackets stink too

Interesting day, I did get a ton of laundry done.  I went to Wal-mart to get groceries and some things for this weekend.  I picked out a somewhat familiar face because I thought she could handle all my stuff.  I was wrong.  She kept complaining about how much stuff I had.  She turned off her light because she said my purchases were going to make her tired.  It was driving me crazy, and kind of ticked me off.  It was not that much stuff, just an overflowing buggy.

So I went home and unloaded everything.  It takes a little longer now that I transfer everything to air tight containers.  So much packaging!!  After the kids got home I decided I needed to get after that dead creature in the bushes.

So I started whacking away at the bushes out front.  I was smelling some stinkiness and cutting everything back.  All of a sudden I felt something hit me in the butt.  I thought maybe I had a piece of branch flying off my hedge trimmers.  Then I realized it was hurting, bad.   I looked down and I was covered with bugs.  I then realized they were some type of bees.  Then were all over my shirt and down my jeans.  The neighborhood posse were outside playing capture the flag, I knew I needed to get my clothes off but I couldn’t traumatize the neighbors.  So I ran in screaming into the house stripping off my clothes.  I heard little Michael behind me saying “What is wrong, Ms Meg.”  I screamed, “Don’t come in here!!!”  I pulled everything off as quickly as I could.  I looked down and they were yellow jackets.  I must have 5 or 6 bites and they hurt bad.  I have been stung by wasps but these are worse.  These yellow jackets were vicious.  They were not daunted by my swatting they were holding firm to my shirt.

The kids in my neighborhood were all hold up in my living room watching them swarm through the front window.  I had on my robe.   I have officially given up on finding the carcass myself.  I called Mr. George at Neighborhood Lawn Service and he said he would take care of the stink and the yellow jackets.  He can’t come until Saturday but I don’t care, I surrender.  The freaking, stinking mice have won again.

Last weekend we went to the Georgia/MSU and met up with some of  my nieces and nephews. The night we got there they were having “Bulldog Bash.”  Bulldog Bash is a big street party with live bands.  They had the street blocked off,  so we couldn’t get to Bulldog Deli to eat.  We decided to walk from Mom’s hotel to the deli.  We had to go through hoards of college students on our way.  My kids were completely wide-eyed.  We had to walk through a street where some of the students live in rental houses.  Clara asked me it they were sorority  houses, I assured her no.  We got in the restaurant and by the time we got through eating the party was a little more hardy.  Rob even grabbed my hand.  I saw my old narcoleptic, alcoholic, photography teacher in the street.  He looks like Ruperstilkin with a long gray beard.  When we got back to our car we decided to set up our tent for the tailgate.  Once we got it up partially we realized it was slightly broken from All Star season.  I think it might have been the redneck kid who was hanging from one of the poles.  One thing we didn’t think about was all the drunk college students who would be walking by our wounded tent.  Let’s just say they kicked it while it was down.  The picture below tells the full story.  It was so much fun and loved watching the MSU Bulldogs win one!!


The Mitchells and the Fullers



Earplugs for everyone



Kevin, Brian and Mack






Elizabeth (Baa, Baa)



The tent's death


Brian and I had a very relaxing get away this week .  We went to San Destin for Wednesday and Thursday night.  I loved being lazy and doing some shopping.   On Saturday Rob was at a friend’s and Lewis and Brian went to the MSU game.   Clara and I went out on a quest for Halloween decorations.  Clara said that all we had were pumpkins and she wanted scary.  We searched on the internet for some outside ideas.  We decided to make a huge spider from piping insulating foam and shelf liner.  The cut the long foam tubes in half and then attached them to a ball of chicken wire.  Then we covered it with black shelf liner.  We added a little red ribbon for the eyes.  We hung it in the tree in the front yard.  The made three little ghosts from wooden dowels and white fabric.  Then Clara traced out a huge witch on a blue piece of insulation and we painted it black.  Then Brian put it up in our front window.  It was very fun and I got several of the neighborhood boys to help.  They were helping willingly so I rewarded them with fresh-baked cookies.  It was a neighborhood accomplishment.  The boys had to work to get the wooden dowels  in the ground, our ground is so hard!!!  While we were out there working we kept smelling something dead.  I have issued a $10 reward for anyone locating the source of the smell.  I personally think it is a mice haunting me from the dead.  Just my luck, we even got our neighbor’s dog and he couldn’t find it.


Witchy Poo



Our Spider



Three little ghosts




Witchy Poo left her broom


Coco the Cowboy

I went tonight to Buffalo Wild Wings with Rob and some of his football friends.  I misunderstood what they were doing, I thought he said they always went there after practice but I couldn’t imagine that a bunch of dads or moms did that at his age.  I was wrong, it really was just the coach getting everyone together for a social outing.  So we met the Reeves there and sat at a different table while the boys sat together.  Lewis didn’t even make the cut.  Laurel comforted him with some crayons and a coloring sheet.  One of the boys said we could drop them off and go to the Italian place but we said, “Nah.”

Lewis went to the Book Fair this week and guess what book he bought, I Love Sharks. Surprise, Surprise.  He got his hair cut today, it was probably the least traumatic time we have had with his haircut.  Lewis heads to China on Friday.  He told me the other night he had figured out he wasn’t really going, he was disappointed but not devastated.

Loving work, if you ever want to feel good about yourself teach at a preschool.  Probably teaching computers helps, they love computers.  I love them.  I had one class where all of the boys gave me a hug today and another class all hugged Shannon.  They are so precious to me.  I love the women I work with too.  Shannon and I have a new brown mouse puppet that we talk to the kids with.  We had two white ones called Click and Double Click all last year.  They are back this year with a new friend who we named Coco the Cowboy and he has a great cowboy accent.   The white mice traveled all over last year to the National Championship, Vegas, Snow Skiing, and Canton, MS.  They love them and we love being dorks with them.

Clara has been playing fall ball and enjoying it.  Except for Sunday it was hot as snot.  I mean miserable.  I asked her in front of the ump if she needed some water (she was catching) and she said no.  The ump then yelled to Brian, “Coach get your catcher some water!”  He was not listening so the ump said again, “I said…..get your catcher some water, Coach!”  Brian hopped to it.  I have learned how to work it.

Rob’s coach tonight kept calling me “Maam”, I tried hard not to be offended.  He didn’t know my first name and maybe he just didn’t want to call me Mrs. Fuller.  Yeah right.  Oh well at least he has good manners.  He wants the football players who don’t play basketball to wrestle.  I asked him if there were other 82 pounds boys for Rob to wrestle against.  He said they just had to be within 10 pounds.

Looking forward to seeing a bunch of family at the football game in Starkville this weekend.  I hope it cools off some but I won’t bet on it.

Peppermint Pantry

I have been working on operation Mice Stink * this week.   I am bound and determined that we will not have any furry friends visiting Casa Fuller this winter.  So I have been researching the best ways to prevent mice.  One thing they suggest is putting peppermint oil in your pantry and in any areas you have seen mice in the past.  My pantry now smells like a Bob’s Peppermint stick.  It really is quite lovely.  Another thing I did was put EVERYTHING in plastic containers.

Everything that would be tasty to a mouse in air tight containers

Then they suggested putting poison bait in your garage because they often come in through there.  I really don’t know why the mice picked last winter to visit us but I have my suspicions they heard about the large quantity of sunflower seeds I had bought at Costco.  Sunflower seeds are only allowed in Brian’s car now.  I also have gotten three more cans of Great Stuff.  I am being very careful with the gloves this time.  I still have a scar from my last encounter with the Great Stuff.  I really love looking for crevices to fill with the expanding foam.

Tracey and I went to this really cool place in Gardendale today.  It was the Flea Market that is advertised on a billboard on 65.  It had over 300 vendors.  It was like a mix of antique mall and flea market.  When you walk in the door they give you a cart which we wheeled through booths of furniture, tools, baseball cards etc.  It was so odd, there was one booth that had clothing items for $1.50.  There were cute shirts too.

My $1.50 shirt

One was actually priced $1.80.  Why not just go for $2.00?  I also got Rob some baseball cards.  They were packaged in stacks of 25 and meticulously shrink wrapped.  They were only $1.00.  I got 6 stacks.  Can you imagine going to all that trouble to package those cards for a buck?  This store had a great software system and gave me a printout of the items I purchased.  It was a neat place, definitely a fun field trip.

Rob had his first Boy/Girl teenaged birthday party tonight.  It was a tailgate party.  I think he had fun.  Clara and I finally watched Twilight  tonight, we weren’t missing much.  Weird movie, I think some books are way better in your imagination, at least my imagination.

Lewis has started imitating Charlie Brown all the time. “Good Grief” and” UGHHH” are his favorite words.  He is a good reader but only wants to read comic strip books and Charlie Brown is one of his favorite.  I got him a magical expanding washcloth at Dollar Tree with a picture of Lucy screaming “Hurry up and pitch, You Blockhead.”  He played with it for almost an hour today.  He suggested I take a picture of it and use it was my wallpaper on my Iphone.  He cleaned the walls with it and threw it up in the air, who knew a washcloth could be so interesting.

Lewis's washcloth/toy

Lewis has a wonderful teacher this year and one thing they are doing this year is a trip to China.  They will be building a plane and operating an airport with each person having an assigned job.  Lewis thinking he is really going to China, he asked me “Are you really going to let me go to China with Mrs. Thomas?”  I told him I trusted her to take good care of him.  He told me the other night “Clara says we are not REALLY going to China, but I know we are….”  That is Lewis in a nutshell, love that boy!

* to find out more about my mouse adventures see previous Mice Stink post

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