Who says you have to be in Barbados to sunbathe?

Roxy and Manolito

Clearly he had once again exercised selective hearing.

I had said, “I have to send the Sister a package and I need you to buy a roll of parcel paper.”

He had only heard “wrapping paper.”

The proof lay on the table: a roll of Mickey Mouse gift wrapping paper, no less.

As I hobbled to the kitchen to make a pot of coffee, I sighed heavily at my continued inability to do things myself.

“Delegate,” the doctor had said, “and stay off that knee.”

It was obvious she didn’t know about the Significant Other’s selective hearing strategy.

Limping back to the living room, I took solace in the coffee’s delicate aroma.

Making my way into the room, I spotted Roxy standing by the staircase.

Thinking she was looking for Manolo, her stuffed cat, I settled on the couch to read a few pages of a new book.

Ten minutes later, I noticed that Roxy was still standing in the same spot.

As I crept closer to see what she was doing, I discovered that she was sunbathing.

Standing upright, laying her head on one of the stairs, our little Miss had discovered the sunniest and warmest spot in the room.

Roxy sun 1

Roxy sun 2

Smiling, I made my way back to the table and picked up the wrapping paper.

If Roxy had been wise enough to know that you don’t have to be on an exotic beach on Barbados to soak up the sun’s rays, I too could find a way to effectively use Mickey Mouse gift wrapping paper.

And I did.

I turned the paper over and wrapped the box effortlessly.

The outline of Mickey’s dapper figure was slightly visible, but I was certain the European postal office wouldn’t quibble about it.

Whoever said furry friends can’t teach humans a thing or two, never met Roxy.

Roxy's probably thinking, I just made it into your blog post, didn't I?
Roxy’s probably thinking, I just made it into your blog post, didn’t I?
Roxy and Manolo (As in the Manolo Blahnik's I can't afford but still dream about).
Roxy and Manolo (As in the Manolo Blahnik’s I can’t afford but still dream about).
It's not Barbados, but it's still warm!
It’s not Barbados, but it’s still warm!

What has your furry friend taught you?


What do you really want to be?

cc licensed flickr photo shared by jspad

Dear Readers,

Back in October 2010, I wrote a post related to Halloween.

At the time, I didn’t have the pleasure of having many of you as readers.

Thus, I saw it fitting to share it with you today.

I don’t know whether it’s the visual of the Son when he was five, or the fact that just this week he turned 21, but it still makes me chuckle.

I hope it has the same effect on you.

I’ll never forget the day the Son came home from kindergarten, paper in hand and said, “The teacher said you have to read this.”

I still remember what the note said: “Dear Parents, this Friday we will be celebrating “Career Day”. Please assist your child in preparing for a small presentation that will be titled, “When I grow up I want to be…”.

Being the diligent parent that I am, I immediately asked the Son, “Honey, what do you want to be when you grow up?”

Expecting to hear something along the lines of astronaut, scientist, football player or firefighter, I was completely aghast to hear him whisper, “A ninja.”

“A what?” I asked, even though I had clearly heard his response.

“Mom, I said I want to be a ninja, so leave me alone already.”

Ah, the joys of motherhood.

So like any controlling responsible mother, I set out to brainwash create awareness in my child regarding the importance of making a good career choice.

Fast forward four days, and my heart soared as the heir to my debt spoke into the microphone and said, “When I grow up I want to be a cardiothoracic surgeon.”

Forget the fact that he mispronounced “cardiothoracic” and it came out “cardiosaurus”.

I beamed with pride.

It’s now fourteen years later and the Son is coming down the stairs dressed in his Halloween “costume.”

“Mom, do you like my costume?”

I glance up to see him dressed in a pair of black jeans, black sneakers, and a black hoodie.

“Are you supposed to be an Italian widower?”

“Nope. Try again.”

“Johnny Cash come back from the grave?”

“Mom, get serious.”

“Zorro without his mask?”

At this point he ties a black scarf over his mouth, pulls his hood over his head, and whips out a sword.

I hold my breath and hear him say, “Mom, I’m a ninja.”

Lesson learned: You can steer your child in the direction you want him to go but in the end, he’s still going to be…a ninja.

Roxy and I want to wish you a Happy Halloween!

Who said having a wild imagination is a bad thing?

“You have a wild imagination.”

The sharpness of our neighbor’s tone let me in on the fact that she didn’t think this to be a good thing.

Looking down at the mangled mess of what used to be carefully tended begonias, I grabbed my dog Princess and high tailed home.

I was seven years old.

As the years passed, my “wild” imagination developed the ability to get me out of many predicaments.

And the older I got, the wilder my imagination became.

Missed homework was the result of having to fly to Spain with my mother to take care of my aunt Rita, who lay stricken in a hospital bed with only a week to live.

Unreturned phone calls to boyfriends were excused with the unexpected death of my cat Butterball, who had had the misfortune of running in front of oncoming traffic.

Failure to show up for class was justified with acute pain caused by the onset of a severe case of lumbago.

My creativity knew no bounds and I delighted in elaborating embellished scenarios that served to get me out of situations that I deemed a waste of time.

Fast forward I don’t know how many years and now, while I may not use it to get myself out of trouble, my imagination continues to grow.

I believe imagination and creativity are timeless.

It matters not whether you are a child or an octogenarian, we all have the ability to exercise our imagination.

We might accomplish this by writing poignant poetry or inspiring stories.

In some cases, we might use it to get us out of a tedious work dinner.

Yet, whatever our reasons, we all have the ability of being imaginative; of being creative.

This summer, trips to a busy neighboring city meant tiresome hour-long bus rides.

Many times, these resulted in long naps that served to restore energy levels drained by the warm, Spanish sun.

Other times, they gave way to looking out the window and creating stories, situations, and conversations.

This activity also proved to be a speedy way to people watch.

However, given the moving bus only allowed for a few seconds to take in the scene, my imagination had to work faster.

Thankfully, traffic lights always gave me a bit more time.

They provided extended glimpses into the lives of passebyers.

A cyclist had strayed from his team while training for the World Tour.

Beach chairs had been set out on the beach for Lady Gaga and her entourage.

People waited outside of an old movie theater to watch a dubbed version of “ET.”

A couple filled jugs of water from a public fountain because the water company had suspended their service.

The group of people outside of a hotel were extras in a soon to be released Pedro Almodovar film.

When the scene outside didn’t prove to be interesting, I took to snapping photos of fellow bus travelers.

I imagined what they were thinking, dreaming, or worrying about.

Yes, when our neighbor Mrs. Willet told me I had a wild imagination, I don’t think she realized just how true her words were.

And this time, I’m not apologizing for it.

How do you exercise your imagination and creativity?

Note: These shots were taken from a moving bus or while sitting just a couple of feet from fellow travelers.