The Garbage Can Wars

It’s been three weeks.

Three straight weeks of my next door neighbor moving our trash cans from the side of my driveway adjacent to his property, and putting them at the apron of my driveway, right behind my car.

Everyday I move my trash cans back, slide both of his trash cans over to make room, and leave my trash cans to the left of my driveway next to the sewer.

When I return from work, I find my trash cans blocking the entrance to my driveway, get out of my car, slide both of his trash cans back over and move my trash cans back near the sewer.

The street we live on is narrow, hilly and woodsy which makes it feel more like a Vermont road than a street in Shelton, Connecticut. Parking is limited and I can’t put my trash cans to the right of my driveway because my landlord has had a vehicle parked there for over a year. (Another irritation)

To make matters worse, the Garbage Can Nazi next door thinks he owns the street in front of his house. He has gone as far as placing cement deck anchors on the road in front of his house so that no one can park there. Note: The road is public property, just for the record.

In case you aren’t familiar with what a cement deck anchor looks like, I’ve posted a photo below. Great way to add just the right touch of curb appeal to your home if you’re thinking of purchasing a few.

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The Garbage Can Nazi has also taken the liberty of driving green metal stakes into the ground between our yard and his to mark a property line that he determined without consulting a surveyor. (Yet another beautiful upgrade to his home so feel free to swing by if you’re looking for some trendy new ideas)

I need all this stress like I need a hole in the head… yet, I have continued day after day, and week after week, to move my garbage cans out-of-the-way of my driveway only to find them moved back again.

This week was the final straw.

John had planted a patch of sunflowers in a rock garden on the left side of our drive way. Sunflowers are my favorite flower and I was so happy that they were growing so rapidly, each plant about a foot tall.

Image result for images of sunflowers

I was at work when John text me, “The Garbage Can Nazi weed wacked all of our sunflowers down… well, except for one.”

I was furious but I didn’t confront our neighbor about the sunflowers as the garbage can wars waged on…

I guess because I work nights and the Garbage Can Nazi works days, we have each continued to move the trash cans at off hours from each other’s schedule, leaving us no time to run into each other…

Until last night.

It was dark, maybe about 9:45 PM, as I carried the kitchen recycling bin out to the street, while wondering what it would be like if I had some teenagers who could perform this task for me… oh, wait, well, that’s another post entirely.

As I lifted the lid on the recycling bin, I heard a voice. When I lowered the lid, there he was standing before me in the pitch dark, the Garbage Can Nazi.

“I want to talk to you.” Bellowed the Garbage Can Nazi through a thick accent.

“Well, I don’t want to talk to you.” I said, as I turned and headed up the driveway, fully intending to go directly back in the house.

“This is mine!” he yelled, “Mine, mine, mine! This is MY property!!”

I dropped the recycling bin, spun on my heel and approached him as quickly as my injured knee would allow.

“Please explain to me HOW I am infringing on YOUR property?” I questioned, “You cut down all of our flowers, sunflowers, which are my favorite flower. All except one!”

“You can come talk to me and ask me if you want to plant flowers.” He replied.

“Talk to you? These flowers are on OUR side!” I yelled as I touched the one remaining sunflower, pointing out its position well below the crooked green metal stake that he had driven into the ground.”

“I am a nice man.” he said.

“I am NOT going to ask your permission to plant flowers in my own yard! Furthermore, what kind of nice man moves a trash can behind a neighbor’s car so that they have to move it in order to get in or out of their own driveway?” I replied.

He stood, hands on hips, towering above me on the elevated ground that was his yard.

“This is my property. This is mine.” He reiterated.

“What are you, two years old?” I yelled. “Mine, mine mine! That isn’t how the world works… at least not my world! You act like the garbage can is taking up a space the you actually use! Like your wife and kids are sitting in lawn chairs next to the sewer on a daily basis! The street is public property! I am not wasting another minute on this argument because life is too short! My father died, my mother has cancer and I have a teenage boy that is in distress, not to mention I have an injured knee and you have me dragging heavy garbage cans out of the way so that I can get in and out of my own driveway…”

Suddenly and unexpectedly, I burst into tears. I’m not sure why, I’m generally not a crier but I think that this was about all I could take.

The Garbage Can Nazi raised both hands, open palm, in front of his chest, like I was holding him at gunpoint.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” He said as he slowly backed away and retreated into his house.

I don’t know if last night was the grand finale of the garbage can wars. I hope so, but only time will tell.

What I do know is this, life is too short to waste your time and energy on things that aren’t at all important in this world and I hope that starting today I’ll be able to smile at my neighbor and say hello.

Kindness, consideration, love and compassion are free to all who seek it, as is forgiveness.

And as far as I’m concerned, those are the only things that I want to call mine.









Here’s What’s In Store…The Ultimate Social Media Calendar June 2017

Welcome June! The month that is not only the official start of summer, but also the most popular month for weddings.

I was anxious to find out what’s happening in June 2017. I even looked it up for you so that you wouldn’t have to.

You’re Welcome!

According to the “Ultimate Social Media Calendar 2017” here is what we have to look forward to this month:

June 1st – 

Global Day of Parents

International Children’s Day

June 2nd – 

Leave The Office Early Day

National Donut Day

June 4th – 

Civic Day of Hacking

National Cancer Survivor’s Day

June 5th –  

World Environment Day

June 6th – 

Higher Education Day

June 8th – 

World’s Ocean Day

Best Friends Day

June 14th – 

World Blood Donor Day

National Flag Day

June 18th – 

Father’s Day

June 20th – 

World Refugee Day

June 21st – 

National Selfie Day

World Music Day

International Yoga Day

First Day of Summer

June 23rd – 

Take Your Dog to Work Day

June 27th – 

National Sunglasses Day

June 29th – 

National Handshake Day

June 30th – 

Social Media Day

Now, I don’t know about you, but personally, I was hoping for some downtime this summer…and now I’m feeling totally overwhelmed.

The only way that I can figure I’m going to be able to survive all of these festivities if I combine all of the above “Holidays” and get them out-of-the-way in one day, ya know, for efficiency’s sake.

So I’ve decide that tomorrow, I’m going to wake up early, grab a donutthrow on some music and do a little yoga before selecting the perfect pair of sunglasses for my dog Max to wear when he goes with me to work.

I plan on using my time at work to make a donation to the refugees (In Donald Trump’s name, of course) and to purchase some Malware to ensure that our companies computer doesn’t get hacked. Once I know that our computer system is secure, I’ll give my boss a firm handshake before informing him that I’ll be leaving the office early to go donate blood.

On my way home from giving blood I’ll make it a point to see both of my parentsI’ll give my mom a hug and congratulate her on being a cancer survivor before having to leave to purchase a small flag to put at my dad’s grave site. I’ll wish my dad a Happy Father’s Day and tell him how much I miss him, then I’ll return home to see my children.

I’ll drop Max off at my house, throw on a bikini to celebrate the first day of summer and call my best friend to see if she would like to go to the beach with me to help me remove some of the liter and cans from the ocean to protect the environment.

I’ll spend the last few moment’s before heading off to the beach, begging my kids to complete their summer homework packets so that they can pass to the next grade and eventually get a higher education.

I’ll forget my sunglasses because Max is still wearing them (What can I say?) and I’ll end up with a weird tan line on my forearm from where I gave blood.

But don’t worry, you won’t miss a thing.

I’ll be sure to document it all in selfies and post it on social media!


Image result for images welcome june


Have a great June and a memorable summer my friends!

Much love,

Erin Cooper Reed









Ode to Taylor Swift

It started out as a joke.

“Mom could I just stay home from school today?” Rocky asked.

“No.” I replied.

“Why not? Just this once?” Rocky begged.

And this is what came out of my mouth, “In the words of Taylor Swift, cuz you don’t know what you don’t know!”

“What?” Rocky bellowed, “Don’t quote Taylor Swift.”

I laughed.

I have also found that there are plenty of situations that I could bestow some of Taylor Swift’s powerful insights into life onto my growing boys…ya know, seeing that it was so well received.

Like the time that Kevin was teasing Marc…

“Mom tell Kevin to cut it out!” Marc demanded.

I quickly replied

Lyric Quotes From Songs | Ours | Quotes and Song lyrics:

Kevin stopped harassing Marc and said, “Mom, stop quoting Taylor Swift.”

“Yeah mom, it’s so annoying.” Marc chimed in.

Through the years it has become a joke in our house. The boys say something. I reply with a quote from Taylor Swift, met with an eye roll, a sigh, some laughter and an in unison demand…


I mean, I would but there are so many song lyrics that seem to fit any occasion.

I would boys, I really would, but…

Image result for images taylor swift song lyrics quotes darling I'm a nightmare

Love you,