Monthly Archives: October 2016

Halloween Party 2016

Rahul has been on call the past 2 Halloweens, so this year we decided to do it up right with a big PARTY. Grown ups and kids in costume. Super fun.


I was a  Girl Scout, Samantha was Alice, Aidan was a creepy Panda, and Rahul was a Brooklyn Hipster.

For those not familiar with what a hipster is, here is a guide to identify one.

The funniest part of the party was our bathroom. We obviously do not shut the door when no one else is around because when you do, you become trapped inside the bathroom. One friend after getting trapped, decided to use the other downstairs bathroom, and her husband decided to play a trick on her.


Super fun times for sure.

PS – Aidan wore his Panda costume to school today and tried to convince his Advisor that he would not be distracted by his costume…. sigh.


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chicken coop area 2.0

So now that the chickens are gone, I have been thinking about how to use the chicken coop area. Fast forward to this week…I have worked almost every week night in October until 8 or 9pm, so today I gave myself a true lunch break to clean out the chicken coop area and get it ready to be the home for our vegetable gardens. No more deer netting in the front yard! Still have a lot of small weeds to get up, but it is coming together. Garden therapy is good for the soul! Check out my before and after pics.



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jury duty fail

So, I got a jury duty summons earlier this month. Unlike most people, I was SUPER excited. I got hooked on true crime podcasts with Serial, Undisclosed and Truth and Justice….

I could keep going… really, I could. Learning how the criminal justice system works against people of a certain color, religious affiliation, socioeconomic status is fascinating and terrifying.

These podcasts are a way for me to learn while commuting, cleaning the house, or just any routine activity. My family just groans when they see my 1990’s headphones in my ears when I do not respond to their questions.


Don’t even think about judging me for these headphones. Those fancy iPhone ear buds do NOT stay in my ears. These nice, over the head ones DO. And I pair them with a nice fanny pack if I am not wearing pants with pockets. Y’all it is important to be entertained while working on mundane tasks like sweeping, cleaning out chicken coop, etc.

But I got the bad news when I called after 5:30pm today. I am not needed tomorrow for jury duty. Dang. And I had a new notepad ready to take copious notes. No one was going to get wrongfully convicted on my watch! I even practiced my “objection, your honor!” with a friend….oops, that is not what jurors say, right? They say things like “we the jury find the defendant ___________ (fill in guilty or innocent).”

I knew what this most likely meant, though. The defendant took a plea deal to avoid a trial. This apparently happens a lot with public defenders who often meet their client for the first time when this deal is offered. Not exactly optimal for the client or lawyer.

Now while I was disappointed about not getting a chance to serve, I did have some concerns about serving. What to do about work. This is a busy time in the world of Girl Scouts. I visualized me sitting all day in the jury booth then coming home and working all night to stay caught up. And what about my book edits? I need to get this book published before the end of 2016. Here were my some of my imaginary comments to the judge –

“Hi, I REALLY want to do my civic duty, but super busy with work right now. Things will slow down in July and August, so feel free to reach out again then if you have a super exciting murder trial you need help with.”   or   “Did you know, I am publishing my FIRST book this year and do not have any extra time right now.”

Now my sweet husband, who knows me so well, said that I would NEVER be selected. Using phrases like prosecutorial misconduct, Brady violations, etc would get me dismissed ASAP. But maybe I will get a chance next time. Until then, I will keep fighting the good fight being on the Truth and Justice Army and listening to all things true crime.



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a little forced family fun

So Rahul can be a little like Clark Griswold in his efforts to institute what the other family members affectionately call “forced family fun.” Samantha and Rahul are more natural extroverts, so doing things out of their comfort zone is FUN. Aidan and I would rather hang out at home and not try new things. But Rahul was insistent that we were hanging out as a family this Sunday, and we were going to see the magical transformation of the leaves in our mountains. It is a beautiful thing, but you have to drive almost 3 hrs each way to see this beautifulness.

As always, I am glad we listened to Clark. Aidan I would probably be hermits without him. Check out the pics from our forced family fun 😉


Please note the dog with the cool shades was only photographed for his coolness. Remember… no more animals at our house.

Happy fall y’all. It is here!

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the new stream bridge

I spent my summer eradicating the Japanese grass from our front woods. This is what Japanese grass can look like if left untreated.


Next up, the stream bridge. My treat for getting rid of the Japanese grass in the woods was an upgrade on our stream bridge. Check out the before and after pics. And just in time for our Halloween party next weekend.


Nice upgrade, huh?

Projects are my happy place. And when one starts… the idea for another begins.


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the chicken massacre

One of our chickens has started leaving the fenced off area we designated as their area. We have been trying really hard to police Smooch getting off the deck to go in their area, so it was not a help that this one chicken decided to roam the whole back yard. Tonight I put roaming chicken back in her area and let Smooch out to pee. I thought the gate was secured, but apparently Smooch opened the gate while we were watching TV and found roaming chicken.

After “playing” with her, she brought the chicken to the back door…almost, but not all the way, dead. Sigh. This time I had to do the humane kill. All I will say is thankfully we had a sharp axe.

I went to put the other chickens up and found the other 2 dead in the designated area. So in mere minutes, Smooch killed all of our chickens. Sigh.

Fast forward to this morning. I went out to the chicken coop to find only one dead chicken, walking around clucking like normal was Godzilla. Apparently she was playing dead in corner of the fence. That and the fact that she is black probably faked Smooch out.

I very quickly made the decision that we needed to rehome Godzilla. That chicken has survived Chatham Co coyotes and Smooch, but policing Smooch and her love of chicken toys is just too much.

I posted on Facebook, and Samantha’s preschool teacher offered to take Godzilla. Whew. And wouldn’t you know it that chicken popped out an egg like she has done every single day since Jan of 2o13 despite almost being killed last night.

So, farewell Godzilla. I hope your new home has less excitement and lots of places for you to free range and enjoy life. You were a good chicken.


And, I am DONE with animals and farm life. Having to kill a pet was just too much for me. No more animals in the Shimpi family… and I really mean it this time.


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our weekend getaway

Aidan and I headed out for our mom and son getaway Saturday morning. Our adventure started as soon as we arrived at the Marina at 1pm. It was closed, and the gates were locked. I called the guy we rented from, and he was surprised by the new hours (we learned later that the hours changed Saturday…. lucky us). We were told how to get around the fence and get the key to open the Marina fence. Aidan, my sweet rule abiding child, was reluctant to go around the fence…. that was breaking and entering. We could get arrested or shot! I told him to follow me. We climbed up a hill, through the woods to retrieve the gate key.

By the time we got back to the fence, the neighbors of our renter were back and helped us get in and even helped us get our groceries to the dock and explained how to use the houseboat potty.

By the time we got unpacked and started fishing, it was all worth it. Special time with this guy.


We talked about the most recent dance and funny stories from when he and Samantha were little. It was amazing.

We caught a lot of these (a Spot).


One of these (a Large Mouth Bass).


And one of these (a Catfish).


I caught the little Spot fish. Aidan caught the good ones. His face while bringing in that Catfish was priceless.

Check out our houseboat. It took us a while to get used to the movement of the boat when other boats would go by.

Sunday morning was more fun, starting with an amazing sunrise and kayaking.



Some amazing memories were made. I am so glad Aidan suggested a one on one trip with me. I know I will remember it forever.


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