School’s OUT!

“School’s…out..for..SUMMER!  School’s…out..for..EVER!!!”

Ok, not forever.  Just for summer.  And none too soon.  [and here we are, right back to “an 80’s song for every moment in life.”  And also?  SCREW YOU if you looked it up and found out it was released in 1972.  Screw you AND the horse you rode in on.  Don’t read any more of this blog.  You’ve been disinvited from reading any more of this blog.  Stop reading, ya researching jerk.  I said…STOP!]

My sister, the doctor, played this Alice Cooper song on an endless loop at her graduation-from-post-graduate school party.  I’m pretty sure she didn’t actually want to get a doctorate, she just wanted to play the song at a party and really MEAN it.  Either that or she just wanted to make us all call her “doctor.”

Whatevs.  We all have different drivers.

I can’t really mean “school’s out for EVER” on this end because we’re only in 3rd and 5th grades (well – officially 4th and 6th grades now).  So – we’ve got a ways to go – but still, baby steps are worth celebrating.  And to do that…we’re getting the kids A TRIP TO PARIS!!!!

Ha ha.  Kidding.

We’re getting them a TRIP TO LONDON!!!

Ha ha.  Still kidding.


Not kidding.  Hi, Mom and Dad!  We’ll call you shortly to firm up plans.  You are expecting them, right?  Right?!?

Catholic Boys

Come out, Virginia.  Don’t let me wait.  You Cath-o-lic girls start much too late.

(I’ll award bonus points if you can name the artist and song title that go with these lyrics…as long as you don’t breathe a word to anyone about the song being from the late 70’s instead of the early 80’s; ’cause that would ruin it for EVERYONE if you did that.  So don’t.)

Anywhoooo…how come no one ever writes songs about Catholic BOYS?!?  Puzzling, no?

Well, songs or not, I’m here to put in a good word for the Catholic boys.  My son being one.  [And I realize that this particular blog post has quite possibly devolved into only stuff I find funny, but I’m gonna go there anyway.]

Here is what a Catholic school boy does with his left-over, end-of-year school supplies.  (see pic)










Please note how the bottom of the ruler has been sharpened on the curb.  But at least it’s being put to good use as a cross rather than a prison yard shiv.  Hopefully we’ll never go “there”…but we’re ready with our mad skilllzz in case we do.

Also, if it hasn’t been mentioned before, I just wanted to mention now that this is the last week of school.  And as a special treat, for the last week of school, my son’s class gets to rearrange their desks to sit with a friend or two.  They also get to name this new group they’ve created.  My son and his friends named their group “The Gay Nerds.”

ME:  (out loud) “Oh. My. Gawd!  What??  WHAT?!??!  WHERE DID YOU GET THAT NAME??  Did the teacher APPROVE this??  She couldn’t POSSIBLY have APPROVED THIS!!!”

(and in my head) Is this how I find out?  IS THIS HOW I FIND OUT??  Is this THE TALK???  ARE WE HAVING TALK RIGHT NOW??!?!  Wait.  WHAT talk are we having??  What talk is this that we’re having??  I think we’re having a talk about something but I’m not sure what talk we’re having.  No.  He’s in THIRD GRADE!  We’re not having a talk about ANYTHING!

SONNY:  “Mom, you’re over-reacting.  We named ourselves that.  So it’s ok.  No one called us that.  We chose that.”


SONNY:  “We like games.”

ME:  “Wait.  What?!  What’s the name of your group again??”

SONNY:  “I told you already.  The GAME Nerds.”

Oh.  Ok.  Phew!  Carry on.

But now they’ve added more boys to their group and this bigger group voted to change their name.  They’re now calling themselves the “Knights of Christ.”  And they carry around homemade-shiv-ruler-crosses in the belt buckle loops of their shorts.  Not sure what they’re doing with those.  Patrolling the prison yard…er…playground for ne’er-do-wells in a Colorado Catholic school boy version of the New York City Subway’s Guardian Angels?!?

Wait!  I just got clarification from the other room.  Turns out it’s NOT a cross.  It’s a SWORD.  Ugh.  I don’t think SWORDS are allowed at school!!!

Now, to understand my son a bit better and not think he’s some super-violent kid (SWORDS?!?  Oh, Lord.) you need to know that this is the same boy who lets the swim coach call him Cameron (sooooo not his name) because he doesn’t want to hurt the coach’s feelings by correcting him.  Instead, he’s just started answering to the name Cameron and taking all swim instruction directed thereto.

So even though WE know your heart’s in the right place, my Gay Nerd Knight of Christ – please, please, please don’t inadvertently get kicked out for bringing a deadly weapon to school.  We only have one more day to go!  Hang in there.

Also?  Mystery solved.  THIS is why there are no songs about Catholic Boys!!!


So the kids got their yearbooks yesterday – and my daughter’s came home FILLED with messages to ‘HAGS’.  (“HAGS, it was fun sitting next to you this year.”…Or…”HAGS, you’re a great friend!” etc. etc.)

OMG!  HAVE THEY BEEN CALLING HER HAGS ALL YEAR?!?,” I wondered to myself.  How could she even POSSIBLY have gotten this nickname?!!!  If we were voting, I’d vote her the LEAST likely to be a hag.  (If we were voting for ME?  That would be a whole ‘nother story.)  But children can be soooo CRUEL!  ‘HAGS’??  That’s a TERRIBLE nickname!  How did they even come up with it?!??

And THEN I thought, “Wait!  Maybe it’s not HER nickname.  OMG!  Did she accidentally pick up Jack HAGAN’S yearbook?!??!”  (And maybe HIS nickname is ‘HAGS’ which would make way more sense.  But he’s her arch-nemesis and it’s gonna be total death to have to trade yearbooks back with him.)

So, I created this whole scenario in my head about what was going on with her yearbook.  And I convinced myself it was totally true.

You know what it reminded me of?  It reminded me of that time I lost my diamond tennis bracelet and, after searching fruitlessly for it everywhere, I convinced myself that I had accidentally EATEN it when I was eating a piece of watermelon (which was the last time I remember wearing it.  The piece of watermelon happened to be in a watermelon margarita.  So that may have had something to do with the super bizarre bracelet-eating scenario I came up with.  But don’t fear.  I eventually found the bracelet in the parking lot of the restaurant where I had been eating the watermelon.  Suddenly the “finding the lost bracelet in the parking lot of the restaurant” version of the story made WAY more sense than the “I accidentally scarfed down seven-and-a-half inches of diamonds and gold along with my booze soaked watermelon” version.)  Oopsie! Tee hee hee. [nervous laughter]

Whatever.  But at the time, I forgot about this tendency I have wherein I create totally fictional scenarios in my head and then CONVINCE myself that they’re absolutely true.

Instead – knowing full well everyone calls Jack ‘HAGS’ and that we have his yearbook in our possession, I approach my daughter to break the bad news, “Sweetie,  I think you accidentally picked up Jack Hagan’s yearbook.”

She responded appropriately with a screeching, “whhhAAAAATTTTTT?!??”

ME: “I know, Sweetie.  I know.  We’ll just have to figure out how to get yours back from him.”

HER: [narrowing her eyes at me] “Wait.  Mom.  Why do you think it’s his?”

ME:  [getting nervous now.  I couldn’t possibly be WRONG here.  This is the absolute correct and true scenario.  I’m SURE it’s the real scenario.  Yet why am I getting nervous tee hee hee…] “Well – all of the messages are addressed to him – HAGS.”

HER:  [infusing the following with all the exasperation a 10-year-old can possibly convey to someone who is hopelessly out-of-the-loop]  “Mom, do you even KNOW what HAGS means?!??!”

ME:  “Teee heeee heeee….mmmm…it’s Jack Hagan’s nickname.  Right???”

HER:  “Uhn.  MOM!  It MEANS ‘Have A Great Summer!'”

ME:  “Oh, yeah.  That makes WAY more sense.”  [Ooopsie!  Tee hee hee.  Well, that’s a relief!  Hee hee hee.  LOL on that one!]


P.S. Mom, do you even KNOW what LOL means?!?  Nope…not “Lots of Love.”  Keep trying. 😉

Happy Birthday…

…to me (cha cha cha)

Happy Birthday to me (cha cha cha)

Happy Birthday dear MEeeee!  (cha cha cha)

Happy Birthday to meeeeeeee! (cha cha cha!  HI-YA!  Funky Chicken, in the kitchen, with the pigeon, eating quail, looking quite pale, in jail, in a fridge, under a bridge…)

Ok.  You get the idea.

Anyway – a while back, my little sister asked me what I would choose to have, if I could have any famous painting or sculpture in the world.  I told her “Winged Victory.”

Technically it’s the Winged Victory of Samothrace.  It’s also called the Nike (Greek Goddess of Victory) of Samothrace.  It sits in a place of prominence (as you come up the Daru staircase) in the Louvre museum in Paris, France.

[See, Mom & Dad? That Bachelor’s Degree in French pays off EVERY time!]

Why would I want her for my very own??  Winged Victory is considered a great masterpiece from the Hellenistic period and is one of the most famous sculptures in the world.  She shows a mastery of form and movement.  Is she taking off?  Is she landing??  She moves forward with grace and strength; she does NOT skitter in on her belly the way the Hawk People do (Hot People – hee hee hee).

To me, she is utterly fantastic and powerful, despite having her block knocked off a millennium ago.  And even though she’s missing her head (well, and her arms, but let’s not quibble), she is incredibly beautiful.

Now, we all know it’s nigh-to-impossible to be a Greek Goddess of Victory by living a life filled with only sweetness and light.  Instead, you can pretty much guarantee she’s had many hard-fought battles in her past.  And her beauty has been forged in that fight.  The fight…uhn, uhn…for her right…hunh, hunh…to paaaaaarrrrrTTYYY!!!  (Boo-yah!  Bonus points for bringing in the “80’s song for every moment of life” theory into my birthday blog about Winged Victory.  Come on, Folks!  You GOTTA give me some props for that one!)  [snap, snap, snap]

The basis of her beauty?  Her AGE and the life experiences that come with it.

Does this mean that my 10-year-old daughter ISN’T beautiful because she’s so young?!  No – that’s not what it means at all.  She literally vibrates with energy and, with her big brown eyes and darling, unlined freckle-face, she is absolutely lovely in her youth.

But it’s only when you’ve gotten your block knocked off a time or two – by an excruciating illness, the miscarriage of a baby, the loss of a really comfortable job, or any number of life’s big and small hurts – yet with courage and fortitude, you raise yourself up to move forward again against the wind.  That.  THAT is beautiful.

And that’s the kind of beauty that only comes if you’ve LIVED a little (or a lot…and partied a little…or a LOT).  So if you’re of a certain age.  Stand proud.  Say it out loud.  Don’t try to hide your age.  Because with age comes TRUE, well-fought, hard-won beauty.

So, All the Beautiful People I Know….I’ll go first.  I’m 45.  Today.  (cha cha cha!  HI-YA!!!)

Happy Ann-i-ver-suh-ree!

Do you remember that Fred Flintstone episode where he inadvertently buys Wilma a stolen piano for their anniversary?  And then the cops (who set up a sting to bust the piano-stealing-ring) end up singing “Happy Anniversary” umpteen times to the tune of “The William Tell Overture” played on the piano in Fred and Wilma’s living room?!  Yeah.  That episode.  Is the song in your head yet??  Good, because it’s in mine and I wanted to share the wealth.

Why’s the song in my head?  It’s my 21st wedding anniversary today.  (I know what you’re thinking because I’m thinking the same thing, “Married 21 YEARS and she looks so YOUNG!!!  How old IS she actually?!?”)

Recently, a conversation about our wedding came up with the kids and here are the top reasons my husband and I married each other (according to Sissy-age 10 and Sonny-age 9)…

Why HUBBY married ME:

  • Because I’m cute (by way of explanation, my son was randomly looking at my highschool yearbook and there was a candid of me in front of some lockers.  I was wearing a HOT 80’s outfit accompanied by a big, cheesy smile.  Underneath the picture was the caption, “I’m cute!”)
  • Because I’m pretty (hmmmm…seems awfully close to “cute” but we’ll let it go this time)
  • Because I have the perfect personality for him
  • Because he loves me

Why I married HUBBY:

  • Because he’s cute
  • Because he has the perfect personality for me
  • Because I love him

‘Nuf said.  Match made in Heaven!

Happy Ann-i-ver-suh-ree! Happy Ann-i-ver-suh-ree! Happy Ann-i-ver-suh-ree! HAAAPPY AnniverSUHree!!!

P.S. Hubby, I love you.  You’re cute and have the perfect personality for me.  Thanks for 21 great years!

Why I hate soccer tournaments (and hotel rooms)

Building on my insightful comments in yesterday’s blog (Of Soccer Tournaments and Suckiness), we continue today with the Top 10 Reasons I Hate Soccer Tournaments (in no particular order):

  1. The three-day-old soccer tournament fug that pervades the uniforms, soccer bag and ultimately the car
  2. It takes FOREVER to organize any group meal (literally HOURS – and that’s only after everyone wanders away horror-movie-style looking for each other and no one ever comes back…and then MORE go to find them and THEY never come back….)
  3. A good portion of the parents begin to annoy you when you realize what complete and utter wackjobs they are.  Drinking (yours/theirs) doesn’t help.
  4. The ENDLESS amounts of hall-roaming, hot-tubbing, elevator-breaking, that goes on among the team members….and the subsequent security-guard conversations.
  5. The carpooling craziness that breaks out before you have to leave for every game.
  6. And speaking of “leaving”…someone is always leaving someone “out” or is being left “out” themselves; this is always a fun situation with a bunch of 10 and 11 year-old girls.
  7. Despite a carload of crap, there’s still crap that got left behind at home which then needs to be purchased (again!) at the tournament location.
  8. No one gets decent sleep and so they play soccer like crap and you think to yourself, “If you were gonna play soccer like crap, you could have stayed home and played soccer like crap THERE and we wouldn’t have had to spend all this time and money playing soccer like crap HERE.”  And in addition to the minimal sleep making everyone PLAY like crap…they start feeling like crap…and then they get sick.
  9. The forced conversations with the coach.  It’s almost like having to talk to a priest.
  10. The whole thing seems like it will be fun.  A LOT more fun than it actually is.

And while we’re at it, let’s do a quick countdown on the Top 10 Reasons I Hate Hotel Rooms:

  1. It’s either too hot or too cold and if you ever DO get the temperature right and turn off the blasting fan, you can hear the traffic outside like nobody’s business!
  2. The little pouch they keep the hairdryer in with the word “Hairdryer” on it.  If you just left the hairdryer OUT IN THE OPEN I could see right away that it was a hairdryer and you wouldn’t need a little pouch with the word “Hairdryer” on it that told me so.  AND THEN, when I needed it, I wouldn’t have to fiddle with the greasy little bag that’s probably covered in lice.
  3. All the exposés I’ve seen on 60 Minutes about hotel rooms – including the ones on bedbugs and…uh…stains…to be found there.
  4. The bed is not my own and therefore the pillows/sheets/covers freak me out because of all the exposés I’ve seen on 60 Minutes about hotel room stains.
  5. All the luggage has to be up, up, UP.  In case there ARE bedbugs they won’t come home with me.  Which makes the room resemble some weird, cup-stacking game.  Only with luggage.
  6. The way they slide your bill under the door.  If there’s enough room to take a hand and slide it under the door with a piece of paper, could they be sliding a camera of sorts under the door as well to….uhhhh…”observe” me?
  7. I sleep like crap.  All night.  Every night I’m there.
  8. The unacceptable levels of fresh coffee to be found in the room.  2 cups?!  Come on!  I need at least 5!!  And if I’m refilling the water reservoir with a used cup for another go-round with the used coffee pod, then what do you think EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING?!?  BlaaaaaAAAACH!!!
  9. If you forget your sanitizing spray, you have to touch everything with a tissue between you and it.  Then eventually you run out of tissues and/or forget to use a tissue and then you get sick anyway!  ‘A’ for effort though.
  10. It seems like it will be fun.  But it’s not.

Of Soccer Tournaments and Suckiness

A few words of advice…

If you’re gonna participate in an “away” soccer tournament (four hours through the mountains of Colorado and down the other side where the landscape looks like you traveled to a whole ‘nother PLANET!), please make sure it’s not going to rain THE ENTIRE TIME!

Oh – and also?  Please make sure you don’t…uh…SUCK!!!

To the parents of the other girls on the team: when I say “suck” I’m not referring to your daughter.   Nor am I necessarily referring to mine.

In general, I’m referring to the weird team dynamic that caused the girls to take what was essentially a great, hard-fought season – and a worthy battle in the first game of the tourney – and completely lose their soccer marbles and basically blow chunks every game thereafter.

I mean, come on!  You parents were right there with me when I suggested that WE take the field to “show ’em how it’s done!”  Granted, we would have looked a little “off” in what would have been blue, too-tight belly shirts, but we could have shown them the error of their ways.  Pass.  Talk.  Defend.  Run fast.  Go to the ball.  Be aggressive.  B-E aggressive.  B-E A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E!  NO MORE SWIMMING IN THE HOTEL POOL DURING “BREAKS”!!  And don’t get bit by any more mosquitoes WHILE ON THE SOCCER FIELD because now you have weird malarial symptoms and warm, red bumps everywhere.

Gaaaah!!!  Really, when they make those lists of “Life Stressors” – along with “Job Loss” on the top 5 – they need to add “Soccer Tournaments.”  More specifically, “Watching your daughter play goalie the entire time the team is LOSING a Soccer Tournament ON ANOTHER PLANET!”  Seriously, there is nothing more stressful than that.

I’m not really even sure how they lost the tournament.  I did everything right.  I got a hotel room for two nights.  I bought every meal out.  I bought two tanks of gas.  I packed the entire house and all worldly snacks into the car.  I cobbled together a dog-sitting scenario for the puppy we had to leave behind.  I bought the blue hair chalk and applied it to my daughter’s head before every game.  I wore the blue rally nail polish and had her do the same.  I dressed in super cute outfits because somehow they were keeping the rain at bay DURING the games.  I yelled insanely from the sidelines.  I drank with the other parents every night.  What more do you want from me, Soccer Gods?!!?

Oh.  Ok.  Speaking of insane.  I’m kinda sounding that way right now, aren’t I?!

And what’s that you say??  It’s not even about ME?!??!

Well, that’s weird.  But ok.  I’ll stop.

She blinded me…with SCIENCE!

This is my 80’s theme song for the day.  [What?!  You don’t have a daily 80’s theme song?!??]

Who doesn’t remember, “My Very Educated Mother Just Sold Us Nine Pickles.”  (Or ‘Pizzas’ if you’re from New Jersey.)

Now – according to the carpool made up mostly of the 5th-grade-and-under crowd – the mnemonic device for remembering the order of the planets is, “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Noodles.”

Wait!  Whaaaaaa??

If this mother is so educated, why can’t she go out and get a real job?  Instead she’s selling food to her children?!?  Or in this latest version, she’s serving unhealthy meals to them! (noodles?  NOODLES??  Where’s the protein/veg/fruit??)

And also?  More importantly (maybe), what happened to Pizza/Pickles/Pluto??

I’ve heard rumblings about this for some time…but when did they officially remove Pluto from the planet line-up?  And WHY do they even get to do that??  And who are THEY that decided in the first place?!?  Shouldn’t we have put this to a group vote or something?  I had to MEMORIZE stupid stuff about this planet when I was a kid.  Who has the right NOW to say it’s no longer a planet?!?

This is similar to the scam about ‘time’ that happens in the Spring and Fall.  I mean WHO gets to decide we’re losing or gaining an hour of our lives??  Is it the same people who decided about Pluto…and did they give an extra set of votes to the people in Phoenix??  I mean, it seems to me there’s a bit of favoritism going on with the Phoenix folks since those people don’t have to spring forward (or is it fall back?) with the rest of us.  So for at least half the year, anarchy rules in Phoenix.  And where my mother lives in Virginia?  It’s all anarchy, all the time.  I’ve lived in Colorado for 13 years now and my mom STILL can’t get the time difference thing between Virginia and Colorado right.  She calls SUPER EARLY in the morning, acting like she was doing me a favor by waiting until 7 a.m. her time to call me.

Her:  “Yep.  Hi, Hon.”

Me: [all sleepy yet with my heart pounding furiously because surely my mother would only call so early with BAD news.] “Uh, Mom.  What are you doing?  It’s 5 a.m. here.”

Her:  “What?!  I waited until it was 7 my time so it would be 9 your time.”

Me: “Mom.  It would only be 9 my time and 7 your time IF I LIVED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ATLANTIC OCEAN!”

But I digress.  Back to my diatribe on planets.  This all came up because the third graders in the carpool have a planet project due today (nothin’ like leaving the mother $%^&ing planet project until the week BEFORE the last week of school).  My son did “Earth” for his project.  (At least the people in charge of time and space didn’t eliminate Earth while we were in the middle of the Atlantic being distracted by phone calls from our mother.  Can I get an ‘Amen!’ on that, Sista?!?)

Here’s how the whole thing rolled out.  He blew up a 99 cent beach ball from the craft store.  Wrapped the $#it out of it with blue duct tape. Then used a green sharpie to draw continents on it (and his hand AND the kitchen table.  Permanently.  In Green.  But I don’t think he’ll get extra points for that).

It’s a crazy, blue, smeared ball of lunacy – but it’s done AND the school year is almost over.  I hope I…er…HE gets an “A” on it to finish off the year in style.  “A” as in AMEN, Sista!

Teddy and Teleporters

Lately the new dog, Teddy, has been buckin’ the system and trying to get OUT of his kennel as we’re trying to put him in it!

So, being the kind and loving mother I am (why are you snickering?  Stop it.  I said STOP.) I developed a work-around.  I went to Target and got a baby gate.  I put the dog’s kennel and water/food dishes in the laundry room and the next time I left, I made him go in his kennel IN the laundry room, but I didn’t shut the kennel door.  Instead I just put up the baby gate at the mouth of the laundry room and let him spread out a bit while I was gone.  See?  Problem solved.  In a thoughtful and creative way. (STOP SNICKERING!  Or I will bean you!  Great.  Now you’re making me lose my loving mojo.)

Except when I got back home…Teddy was on the OTHER side of the baby gate; which was still totally secure and intact.  The dog is too small to jump over the gate (I’m pretty sure he is, at least).  And he couldn’t have climbed over (again, I’m pretty sure, at least).  So how did he get over??

My husband thinks Teddy may not have even BEEN in the laundry room when I secured the gate.  (Thanks, Hon.  That makes me seem totally sane and competent.)

My son thinks Teddy used a teleporter.  Now THIS is a theory I can get behind.

Me: “Uh – if you had the use of a teleporter…wouldn’t you teleport to someplace like PARIS?  Instead of into the kitchen??”

Sonny: “Well, maybe it’s just a house teleporter.  So it only works in the house.”

Me: “Hmmmm.  Maybe.  It just seems like a waste of teleportation capabilities.”

[Don’t you too want to live in his world?  This is the world where the possibility exists that dogs can access teleporters from the laundry room.  I practically LIVE in the laundry myself, and have NEVER noticed a teleporter.  But you know who WOULD notice a teleporter?  The dopey dog.  And hey!  If the boy is living in a world where the DOG uses a teleporter he found in the LAUNDRY ROOM to teleport into the KITCHEN…then I’m totally gonna live in that world too.  And?  I’m gonna find the teleporter, jerry-rig it, and teleport into a kitchen IN PARIS!]

Allons-y!! (that means “Let’s Go!” in French.  And yes, it’s a total mystery why no one has hired me yet.)

Garbage Woman

I’m in deep here folks.

It all started out so innocently.  It was garbage day.  I took the dog for a walk.  And I noticed that there’s some really, REALLY nice garbage in my ‘hood.  It’s SUCH nice garbage that I had to text one neighbor to see if I could…uh…take it.

Yes.  Yes.  Ok.  I took her garbage.  Are you happy now?  Making me say it straight out like that!??

But do you see what I mean when I say, “I’m in deep here??”  Really – what kind of stay at home mom goes for a walk with the dog and ends up picking through the neighbor’s garbage?!?  AND?  I got caught doing it by the neighbor’s across-the-street neighbor.

Of course I was all laugh-y and joke-y about the whole thing.  Mentioning to Neighbor-who-caught-me that Neighbor-whose-garbage-I-was-taking had actually given me permission.  Hardy har har.  [insert overzealous horse laugh here] I also mentioned that I was ONLY going to be using it for craft projects and offered to share the loot with Neighbor-who-caught-me so as to fully demonstrate that I was in my right mind and just having a bit of fun with the whole thing and was IN NO WAY desperate or mentally unbalanced.  She declined by claiming she wasn’t that crafty.

Meanie!  Rebuffing my efforts to raise up to acceptable levels what is essentially my dumpster diving.

What you don’t know but which I’ll mention here is that I never did go back for the post-hole digger on the other street.  It seemed in great shape.  Of course, I was just looking at it, not touching it or picking it up for inspection because there were too many people around.  And I didn’t know that neighbor to text them and ask for it.  Maybe I’m not in so deep after all since I do have my dumpster diving standards, right?!