Four Days, Three Nights in New York City – Cramming It All In

When I told Bob I wanted to take a girls’ trip to New York City to celebrate our granddaughter, Mia, turning 16, he was a pushover. We included her sister, Ella, and their mom, our daughter Dena. I was excited to introduce them to the Big Apple, and two weeks after our initial conversation, the four of us met at LaGuardia Airport ready to do this thing!

Traveling with my granddaughters was a treat, though New York City hotel life was surprising for them. They couldn’t get over how small the room was. Two queen beds and all necessities, including a street view complete with a dumpster for a construction project, didn’t impress them; but they quickly adjusted.

We stayed close to Times Square and were able to walk to the theater district. Mia has been in a couple of high school productions, so she was totally digging Wicked. Our balcony seats in the Gershwin Theatre afforded great views. She was a sponge soaking it all in.

After Wicked, we grabbed dinner from the local 7-Eleven, which I highly recommend for weary travelers who have had a big lunch. You may think that anticlimactic, but if you haven’t traveled with teenage girls, let me tell you it was the perfect dinner choice.

We rested until a half hour before sunset and then walked into a nearly empty Empire State Building like we owned the place (after we shelled out way too much money to, for all practical purposes, walk around on a rooftop). The views were magnificent, and it’s an iconic New York thing to do, so – worth it!

My granddaughters! So much fun traveling with them!

View from the Empire State Building

 

I wasn’t sure how impacting the 9/11 memorial would be to the girls, but they had learned about it in school and wanted to go. I’m glad we made it part of our trip.

The 9/11 Memorial is a must-see. Spending some time thinking of all those who lost their lives on that awful day, reading their names, and being thankful for our country.

We all had a different M.O. for touring the city. Dena is aggressive like her dad but, unlike her dad, loves museums. Sadly (wink, wink), we got rained out that day. Mia likes a slower pace, taking it all in. I’m somewhere in between them, except for the museum part. I can only do so much of that. Ella had the most unique method of touring. She literally ate her way through the city. She didn’t meet a street vendor she didn’t love. It became our goal to photograph Ella eating as many different things in as many different places as possible.

Ella and Mia – Ella is eating the first of many pretzels from street vendors

A rare healthy snack choice for viewing from the Empire State Building. We have to keep up our strength.

I think she is polishing off a bag of spiced nuts in this shot, i.e. shot like picture not shot like the police came because someone got shot.

Ella snacking again and contemplating why people would stand in line to touch weird places on the Wall Street Bull.

Waiting for Ella to finish her lunch before we tour Trinity Church where Alexander Hamilton is buried.

We took a ferry to view the Statue of Liberty. It rained on us so we had to get a snack inside.

Ice cream cones before it rained.

 

 

 

Mia joins in for a caffeine fix.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York pizza by the slice. Dena wonders if Ella will share.

As for our rained-out museum day, we knew it would rain; it had earlier. That is the reason why we were sitting on our ponchos as we rode atop the double-decker tour bus, to shield us from wet seats. We felt an errant raindrop here and there, but there was a lovely breeze and we were quite comfortable. That is why I took my hair out of its ponytail and let the wind blow through it. This was the closest I would ever come to doing a hair product commercial, so pleasant. And so short-lived.

Out of nowhere, the sky opened up and an insane amount of rain dumped onto us. Dena, who was on the other end of the seats from me and had fallen asleep (we started our days early), was rudely awakened. We were all trying to get up and pull our ponchos out from under us, but they didn’t cooperate. Being the least coordinated of the group, I got the most wet as I had my hair sticking to all inner surfaces of the poncho and my head through an arm hole and my purse not wanting to go under. We looked like drowned rats. It went from hair commercial to before-photo in one instant.

It seemed like a good idea to get off at next bus stop, which was for the museums, so like drowning rats, we jumped off. Reality hit us as we stood there, dripping, staring at each other – we were too wet to do anything but jump in the river, which I’ve heard is a bad idea.

That is why Uber was invented. We went back to the hotel, dried off, took a nap, and found some more food for Ella.

Our last day, we took the subway to Chinatown and Little Italy. I told the girls the following true story:

On a prior trip, Bob and I were roaming around Chinatown with three other couples. We were on the look-out for purses. Bob and I were lingering outside of a shop, waiting for our friends when we were approached by an unassuming-looking Chinese woman. She pulled out a folded poster with pictures of more purses than I could have imagined.

I think I let out a little gasp! Yes, we were interested and we had to act fast – no time to wait for our friends. We followed this stranger around the corner where she met a man leaning against a van. He took us off her hands and walked us into an office building. This was what we had heard about and hoped to experience. We’re stupid like that.

Once in the office building, an elevator opened and once again we were passed off to a new stranger. Up we went to who knows what! When the doors opened, we were in presence of the purses! There were thousands of them. We called our friends and told them how they, too, could be escorted through dubious channels of strangers and reunited with us in the purse place.

They thought us crazy, but I say – crazy like a fox!

Some of our friends joined us while, I’m assuming, the others prayed for our safe return.

Return we did, and we had lots of cheap purses as the reward for our risk.

I’m not sure why I wanted to do this. I guess it felt like a New York thing instead of a possible abduction thing. Plus, I rarely ever change my purse, so the whole thing was ridiculous. I could never recommend doing this, but it was strangely fun.

This time while in Chinatown with my girls, we were solicited by purse people. Traveling with my precious grand-daughters caused me to resist. That may mean that I’ve either gotten more street safety savvy, have come to respect brand names, or I didn’t want to have to buy purses for everybody. I’m not sure, but the girls seemed relieved.

We went to Little Italy instead where we shopped from actual stores and finished our day in Chinatown doing a little window smelling. And that’s how we ended our trip.

Ella didn’t ask to eat anything here.

Lots of fresh food

Perfect way to end the day – crackers in bed.

I understand there is some wonderful cuisine in New York City. We didn’t eat much of it, but we sure had fun.

Whatcha doing?

That’s my question of the day: What are you doing?

There are many ways to answer. Sometimes a short answer is easy – cleaning, working, etc. We can also be painfully honest with all the details, which most people really don’t want to hear, or go the other extreme and say – nothing.

Sometimes nothing is exactly what we need to do, but how do you do it? And, how do you do it well?

Maybe nothing could really mean that you’re …

recharging

resting

meditating

praying

thinking

slowing yourself down

All of these things are essential. When was the last time you took the time to do nothing? It can be very beneficial. I don’t want to brag or anything, but I’m getting better and better at doing nothing. I may start teaching classes on it.

What are you doing when you say you’re doing nothing?

 

Beach Jerky

Clearwater Beach on the beautiful Gulf of Mexico is becoming my go-to beach. Our first day there we gazed out the window of our seventh-floor condo and were amazed at all the birds. I felt like I was watching an Alfred Hitchcock movie. They were having feeding frenzies up and down the beach. I had to get down there!

We were a little hesitant to swim. So many birds feeding can only mean one thing. Fish. There were thousands of them. We stood knee-deep in the water and gazed down as they swam past (and sometimes into) us. Of course, large schools of little fish mean bigger fish had to be around, but we only saw a few, and they weren’t the kind that eat you. We were cautious because we are familiar with the food chain. We didn’t want to meet the guys at the top of it.

The feeding frenzy lasted a few mornings. By Day #2, I decided to throw caution to the tropical breezes and fulfill my quest to be in the 86-degree water. Plus, I figured I may never get a bird-watching opportunity like this again. I could be right out there with the gulls, the least terns, and the pelicans.

Majestic brown pelicans flew in formation just a foot or two over my head. I became quite chummy with them – not to be confused with the kind of chum that one uses while fishing. One older guy (you can tell by the white on his head and front of his neck) seemed to enjoy floating near me as much as I enjoyed being close to him. I could have reached out and touched him, but I didn’t. He’s a big boy. Did you know they have a wingspan of 6 ½ feet? Plus, at 50 inches high and having the webbed feet that I lack, he’s nothing to mess around with. We studied each other for half an hour. We chatted, well I chatted. He just listened.

The pelicans have much more self-control than the gulls and terns. Those two breeds seem to live to eat while the opposite could be said of the pelican. The pelicans were also non-imposing with a kind of live-and-let-live mentality. The gulls would land on top of the pelicans during feeding frenzy and try to take food from their mouth. They were real jerks.

The least terns were cute. In my mind they made eating a game and didn’t take life too seriously, unlike those jerk gulls. They would dive right next to us to snatch up some bait fish. It was quite a show.

While watching all of this, I kept an eye out for dorsal fins. I thought the water was too warm for sharks, but you never know. My big hope was to see a dolphin up close. We saw them from our condo, but I wanted more.

And I got it. I was floating around and a beautiful Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin swam right past me, not 10 feet away. I almost wet my pants! I was in the water so you’ll never know! By the end of the day, that dolphin or one of her buddies swam past me three times. None quite as close as that first time though.

On occasion, I had to leave the water to hydrate and reapply sunscreen. Once, I fell asleep in my chair, clearly exhausted from keeping up with all that nature. After a few minutes, I jerked awake, looked out in the water, and saw the dolphin and her calf swim past again. Bob’s convinced I have a dolphin-sense. Maybe he’s right! I saw them daily – from the room, from the beach, while in the water, and in the causeway as we drove over the bridge. I saw them when nobody else did, which called my dolphin-sighting integrity into question, but I would never feign finding a dolphin. I wouldn’t have been surprised if one was waiting for me in our pool when we got home. Okay, I would have been a little surprised.

We also came upon beds of sand dollars when we swam out to the sandbar. I kept wondering what was so rough below my feet. I used my toes like tongs and came up with one after another. They were everywhere. Most of them were the size of a quarter, and we put them back. Picking them up was like eating M&Ms – it’s hard to stop once you start. When my toes cramped and our hands turned yellow from what looks like sand dollar pee and we began to feel like those jerk gulls bothering other sea life, we took that as our cue. By the way, did you know it’s illegal to collect live specimens from the beach? We should have known that, but we did not. We didn’t get into trouble, but we could possibly have contributed to the delinquency of a minor in our sand dollar excitement. I’m not saying we did, but kids like to look at sand dollars. It was an educational trip. I’ll leave it at that.

A Couple of Things Jumped Out at Me this Week

A couple of things jumped out at me this week, they were both frogs. You may remember that I hate them. They seem to know it, too.

Frog #1 – It happened while taking the garbage out in the middle of the day. This is a time that should be frog-free. I am not on the lookout for these slimy green menaces when the sun is high in the sky. That’s my time to look for snakes sunbathing or passing through the grass with only their heads in view. You have to be vigilant down here in the Sunshine State.

Then it happened. I was almost back in the safe, frog-free zone that is my home. As I opened the door, my right foot ready to cross the threshold, something jumped on my left foot. I, in return, jumped, and was grateful that I didn’t fall; but something didn’t feel right afterward. The realization that I must have pulled a muscle made me hate frogs even more. Those aggravating amphibians! On the other hand, I was encouraged because a pulled muscle meant that I do indeed still have muscles. Of course, being the non-athlete that I am, I didn’t know for sure what I did. All I knew was my leg hurt and I thought a frog was attacking me. (Later Bob would give the diagnosis of a pulled hamstring. I felt like an athlete!)

I gained my composure enough to look for the culprit to make sure he didn’t come in with me. He was nowhere to be seen. I did see a flower which had fallen off of my hibiscus on the pavement next to me. I have to assume that the frog disguised himself. No flower would cause me such pain.

Flower or frog?

Frog #2 – A few days later this guy was lying in wait while I was clearing the pool deck as we prepared for Hurricane Dorian. Bob was out-of-town. Frogs seem to sense when he’s not around. When you’re preparing for a hurricane, you have to clear anything around your house that could become a projectile. This includes a lot of stuff when you have an outdoor room. The things that hang on your outside walls do not look as attractive when they fly through the air and break windows. Everything is potentially hazardous. Anyway, I was doing my due diligence just in case the storm arrived.

Before Bob left, he removed the one thing that I didn’t want to tackle, the large space heater. Not only is it heavy, but I knew it was really dirty and gross plus potentially it could have a frog or two hiding under it. I should have had him grab the life jackets that we hang on a column for our youngest grandchildren, because that is where Frog #2 was sleeping. He didn’t appreciate me waking him up either because he scurried (too lazy to even hop) up the column right towards me. I let out one of my embarrassing screams, lurched backward and nearly fell into the pool myself. This action aggravated my aforementioned pulled hammie.

This was a Cuban frog, an invasive species that can be as big as your hand and has eaten most of our native little tree frogs. That makes them even more hated. You now understand just how dangerous frogs can be.

 

Image result for free picture of cuban frog

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Bob has assured me that a pulled hammie takes a while to heal and has advised me to avoid straining it further by staying away from any place where frogs might be hiding. I guess I’m going to Hawaii.

 

Life in Florida = Hurricane Crazed Meteoroligists

It was August 24 when I first heard the storm name Dorian. She went from a wave to a tropical storm to a hurricane in four days. And since August 28, we have been watching and waiting and buying gas and water and wishing the news would cover anything else. After all, we all have the app on our phones. We all know updates come out every three hours. We all have eaten every one of our hurricane snacks.

Photo Credit: Tom Sorrells – Chief Meteorologist, WKMG Channel 6, What is a Spaghetti model?

Yet, my brain will not let it go. My internal clock alarms me at 8, 12, 3, and 5. A new track has just been released! I have a weird craving for spaghetti and at the same time it nauseates me. That is the power of a monster hurricane off the Florida coast. Even if it’s way off the Florida coast. The course could change. We all know that! Stay tuned!

Weathering the storm – My view Tuesday morning at 9:40. Everything is closed today due to the impending storm. That may have been premature, though we did get two bands through around 8 am.

If you’re new to Florida, please know that Dorian has a mind of her own. She doesn’t reflect the speed at which a hurricane can tear through here. You need to keep an eye on her but you also need to do something else. Anything else. This will keep you sane.

Don’t get me wrong. I love weather forecasts. I get made fun of for watching them daily. But even I know when enough is enough. I think the moment for me came when one meteorologist interviewed another meteorologist. Their intent was to simplify things for us, but their conversation was entertaining.

“Will this be like Faye?”

“No, more like Matthew.”

“But it has the potential to be like Michael.”

“And what about Maria?

“How did we solve a problem like Maria? How did we hold a moonbeam in our hand?”

“I think you’re delirious! Those are lyrics from The Sound of Music.”

It was like they were talking about people they know. When you consider how much coverage they give to a storm, it makes sense. As for me, I get a lot of the names mixed up like I do when talking to my children.

But not Irma. I’ll never forget her. We are coming up on two years since she struck and I never want to go through that again. It makes my heart go out to the people in The Bahamas right now.

2004 was the most active year we ever experienced since moving to the Orlando area in 1976. In that year four hurricanes hit Florida. Three of them went through Central Florida beginning with cat 4 Charley on August 13, followed by cat 2 Frances on Sept 4, and ending with cat 3 Jeanne on September 26. They all were not at their worst when they went through, but they were bad enough. Power outages, debris everywhere, so many trees downed! We were all mentally and physically exhausted from prepping and cleaning up over and over again.

I do feel bad for the TV weather folks. When there is a hurricane, they are singularly focused. It’s like they have gotten themselves in deeper than they wanted to and with a storm like Dorian which is moving at a snail’s pace, they have to see it through until the end, of course. I’m thankful for these people and how they serve our communities. I just need to remind myself that there are other things going on in life and I can keep up with more than one thing.

To my point, here’s a picture from this morning’s Weather Channel tropical update. I will need to keep track of more than one thing! Meanwhile, I better bake some brownies just in case we lose power.

Thanks, Weather People. We mock you but we appreciate you!

Oh, Alexa!

I have loved our Amazon echo since day one. It makes a great timer, weather forecaster, player of music, list keeper, game player, shopper, and so much more. It even has a random number generator, which I used to choose a winner for my CREATIVITY WEARS BOOTS book give-away; but more about that later.

Image result for free picture of lightbulb idea

Pic credit: freerange stock

When Alexa came out with smart light bulbs, I didn’t see the need. I’ve seen a lot of changes in my life. I used to have to get up off the couch just to change the channel on the television. Can you imagine! There is no way I’d want to go back to that kind of inconvenience. I do not, though, mind getting up to turn off or on a light. A girl has to get her exercise!

Then Christmas came and our son, Joe, gave us smart light bulbs. It was a great idea. He is always trying to smarten us up.

Bob toyed with them and really enjoyed tormenting me by turning them on and off randomly or changing their color. (I am very easily distracted.) Soon, we encountered problems with their compatibility with our upgraded Wi-Fi, so we put them in the drawer.

Joe has found that these bulbs have added simplicity to their lifestyle, so when he visited this summer, he installed ours and they work fine. There is something about being young that makes technology putty in your hands. (Sorry, Bob.)

I really love having Alexa turn on the pool lights which Bob installed over our pool. Before this breakthrough, we had to go all the way outside to turn them on. That involved about 22 steps, which I will have to make up for elsewhere.

Our lights on the bar in the dining room are the problem. There are two of them which are aptly named Light 1 and Light 2. I leave Light 2 (I think) on all the time once the sun goes down. Light 1 is only used if we have company and I want to balance the lighting. That may not sound like a problem to you, but I can never seem to remember which light is which. At the end of the day you will find me standing an arms’ length from the lights asking Alexa to turn off the one that isn’t even on.

Last night I heard Bob cracking up laughing when he heard me telling Alexa to turn off Light 1. He has suggested that we rename them, but I am bound and determined to figure this thing out.

Meanwhile, Alexa is getting a little snarky with me.

Me: Alexa, turn off Light 1.

Alexa: Are you sure you mean Light 1? It isn’t even on.

Me: Just turn off all the lights.

Alexa: A few things share the name lights. Which one did you want?

Me: Light 1 and Light 2.

Alexa: Hum, there is no light named And.

Me: Light 1, Light 2.

Alexa: What would you like me to do with Light 1, Light 2?

Me: Sobbing hysterically.

Alexa: Perhaps I should turn off all lights that are on or you could walk over and turn them off yourself.

Me: Bob, I’ll be a few minutes. I have to vacuum up some broken light bulbs.

*****

The winner of Robert Alexander Swanson’s new book, CREATIVITY WEARS BOOTS, is Doug Bonnette. I will make arrangements to get your book to you right away. Thank you to everyone who shared, commented, and began to follow my blog. You can order your own copy of CREATIVITY WEARS BOOTS by clicking here.

 

 

 

CREATIVITY WEARS BOOTS (a blog post and a give-away)

MobiriseI have a friend named Robert Alexander Swanson. Rob makes me think about things I don’t usually think about. He pushes me to do more in my craft. He is also the publisher of my book, Always Look for the Magic, as well as the leader of my writers’ group. His latest challenge to me is summed up in the following question:

Have you ever thought about what it means to be creative?

Let’s get more personal. Do you think of yourself as creative?

We can either think too highly of ourselves, or worse, not confess to our true talents. I think the latter is more of a problem. The right and proper answer to “do you think of yourself as creative” is revealed in Rob’s new book, CREATIVITY WEARS BOOTS. It’s a brain thing. “This book explains why you’re creative and how art is the birthright of every human being.”[1]

Twenty years ago, if you asked me if I was creative, my answer would have been much different than it is today. Here’s my current answer:

I am creative. I even call myself an artist, though that still feels a little strange coming out of my mouth after decades of denial. I am learning what it really means to be creative and how important it is to view oneself in that way. You can learn all about it in CREATIVITY WEARS BOOTS. Plus, Rob has sprinkled the book with profiles of several interesting artists throughout the book, including me! (I thought you should know!)

Learn more about this wonderful book by clicking here. You can also order directly from Amazon.

To celebrate Rob’s new book, I am giving away a copy of it. There will be one winner. Here’s how to enter to win:

  • Share this blog post on social media. One entry per share. Be sure to let me know in the comments that you are sharing.
  • Comment on this post either directly on the post or on Facebook – one entry per comment
  • Are you new to my blog? Follow me and receive a dose of Life on the Lighter Side in your email inbox every week. You get an entry for being a new follower. Please comment that you are doing so. That gets you even closer to winning!

The contest will end at midnight on Tuesday, August 27. I will reveal the winner in my blog next Thursday. Thanks for entering.

*Of course, it should go without saying that my family is not eligible to win, but since Bob let it slip that he was scheming to flood my blog with comments to win, I thought maybe I should say it. My family is not eligible to win. There you go!

 

[1] Quoted from the back cover of CREATIVITY WEARS BOOTS.

A Short Post

When this is published there will be 38 days until the first day of Autumn. Contrary to excessive advertising bombarding us with all things fall, and considering there are 3 months or approximately 90 days in each of the 4 seasons, I do not think that summer is almost over.

Need calendar proof? If you’d like to countdown with me, there’s a website for that. Check out https://yourcountdown.to/autumn-fall

Living in Florida, I know that summer is far from over, and that’s why something has gotten on my nerves lately.

No, it’s not the great sales on summer clothing and swimsuits. It’s not the heat either. I look at hot days as opportunities to go swimming or to the beach.

It’s a little bit of the back to school hype. Even thought it’s been a long time since I’ve sent kids off to school, I don’t like to be reminded that summer is coming to a close – BECAUSE IT’S NOT! Even when we lived up north, summer was allowed to be in charge until after Labor Day. Autumn had to fall (so to speak) in behind it.

But that’s not the thing that has my dander up today. It’s shorts.

I’m right in there with all you people who like to make fun of pairs of shorts and pairs of pants when you’re talking about a single piece of clothing. It’s all clean fun. And it has been explained why those articles of clothing are referred to in the plural when they are singular in function. That’s fine.

I was in my beloved Costco a few days ago checking out the clothes, when I noticed they did not have any shorts. They had short(s). I don’t even know how to write this, because if I say they had shorts you will fail to understand fully this weird occurrence. Here’s a picture, that should explain it to you.

Shocking! Isn’t it?

I immediately searched the women’s and men’s tables for the historically correct and accepted word “shorts.” I came up short.

My next task was to ask Merriam-Webster. There is no shortage of definitions for the word “short.” A long way down in his definitions it is stated that shorts are knee-length or less trousers – usually in plural. Short drawers.

Whew, I felt better. Until…

 

Yep. All the tags come up short. I mean they are selling short, which of course means we are now dealing with the stock market and I’ll have to ask my financial advisor son to give me a short explanation of this.

I’m going to end this now just in case your attention span is short.

 

Walking with Ellen and Shaq

As Bob and I strolled along the beach with our feet in the water, it seemed like every other shirt on the beach was trying to tell us something. I was especially entertained by a nine-year-old who wore a shirt that said: “Take More Risks.”

Seriously, kid, who are you to tell me what to do!

We were just chatting while taking a nice stroll down the beach, but we kept passing t-shirts that begged to be read.

“Save Water. Drink Wine”

“I Pooped Today”

“Whatever”

We talked about what our clothing was like when we were kids back in the 60s. We didn’t think about making literal statements on our clothes. The clothes were the statement (and they didn’t say much).

Pretty much it was like this: You have clothes. Be happy.

At least that’s the sentiment suggested by our parents.

This gave way to a conversation about designers and branding, which is something I haven’t really cared about in my clothing. I simply want clothes that aren’t too expensive and make me look smarter, thinner, tanner, more approachable, slightly aloof, sophisticated, down-to-earth, and can be purchased at Costco. That’s it.

I do like words though. And if these kinds of shirts were around when I was a kid, you can be sure I would have begged my parents for them, been upset that they wouldn’t buy them for me, and then moped about it until either they or I couldn’t stand it anymore and I was forced to get over it.

Since Bob has become a grandfather, he has become particularly good at conveying an I-walked-30-miles-to-school-in-the-snow-uphill-both-ways” posit, so he elaborated about his childhood, which according to him was mostly spent outside fending for himself like an animal until his parents turned on the porch light and he and his sisters were allowed to return home. Clothing was required but nobody cared what it looked like.

I looked at his clothes and mine as we walked along and said, “Our clothes aren’t saying anything.”

But then I looked closer. While t-shirts yell things at you, our clothes were much more subdued. We took inventory. Bob was wearing:

  • Adidas ballcap
  • Adidas beach shirt
  • Nike swimsuit with a small swoosh
  • O’Neill flip-flops

I really teased him about being a walking, whispering advertisement. Then he turned on me.

My flip-flops were Sanuk. That was all the advertising we could find without looking at the inside tag of my swimsuit. We are very competitive, so we looked at this like golf. The person with less name brands would be the winner.

“What about your glasses?” he asked in frustration. (It looked like I was going to win this round in a cruel and unfair way.)

“You got me there,” I said. “They’re Ellen Degeneres.”

I was winning – 4 to 2, but I felt bad. I was not wearing a hat or a swimsuit cover-up, so the playing field wasn’t even. I thought I should declare it a tie, but then I realized something. “Hey. You’re wearing glasses, too.”

Bob looked at me defeated. “They’re Shaquille O’Neal.”

“Shaquille O’Neal! Shaq has a line of eye glasses? That guy’s into everything, and he just gave me the win.”

I’m still not sure why I find it so funny that Shaq has a line of glasses, but it cracked me up. So, we finished our walk – Bob in his Shaq’s and me in my Ellen’s. Two walking, whispering billboards.

 

Taken!

I am sure you remember the riveting account of our new garbage can that I told you about in April (The Great Garbage Can Controversy). I shared from the heart about that can and even revealed some marital differences which Bob and I had over it. Does anyone else share such intimate details of their life with you?

Anyway, with that in mind, you can imagine the dismay that was mine when I went to the curb to add garbage to that cherished receptacle and found it missing last week. Seriously, is nothing sacred?

I called Bob at work to see if he was playing some kind of weird hide-and-seek game with me. I half expected to find clues hidden around the house as to its whereabouts; but he assured me that wasn’t the case. Someone stole our 45-gallon beauty.

We have had family in town for the last 3.5 weeks, so it was literally all cans on deck. We were taking garbage out two or three times a day. The paper products alone would fill a can in a day. Seriously, we had up to 20 people here daily. I had a spread sheet to help me remember who was coming and going and which nights we were cooking. It was intense scheduling.

The guest of honor was our 9-month-old grandson from Michigan, who was here for two weeks with his parents and brother. It was his presence that brought in the masses as nobody except for me had met him yet. He was very popular!

He also produced a lot of wet and otherwise soiled diapers. I don’t know what our deranged thief was thinking, but I have to believe that if they were looking for gold nuggets, those weren’t the kind of nuggets they found.

I drove the neighborhood looking for our can. I had a picture of it to help ID it. Alas, I did find one can at the curb that looked like ours, but the garbage inside didn’t smell like wet diapers so I left it alone. (Yes, I stopped and checked it out.)

Image result for picture of garbage can running

photo credit: dreamstime.com

My theory is that some kid stole it and brought it home as a prank. I theorize that he or she also took several others. I can picture their mom asking where did all these garbage cans come from and saying to return them. Alas, it would be impossible to remember where they all came from. Yep, that’s my theory. So now I’m looking for a house with 10 or 20 cans lined up along the side yard and a frustrated mom who answers the door. That is way more entertaining than someone going through our garbage to get “the dirt” on us.