Random bits of my so-called life.

Followups and a cautionary tale

February 21st, 2017 by kayak woman

This is an “old” pic (8 days ago) that I just needed to post (plus I didn’t have any good pics from today). We were in the Yooperland on M123 between M28 (Eckerman) and Trout Lake heading back down south after a weekend at Tahquamenon.

So followups? Yes, that is an “I’m with her” thingy on my fridge the other day. I *was* with her, meaning Hillary. Was she the best choice for democratic candidate? Maybe not. Did I vote for her because she was a woman? No I did not! I am *not* wallowing in the loss of my preferred candidate although I continue to be horrified by our elected president (again, if you voted for him, I love you anyway, I just don’t understand). Instead, I have broadened the meaning of “her” to include entities like Lady Liberty and Mother Nature and The Commander and Radical Betty and every other badass woman I have ever known, in person or from afar, real or symbolic.

A cautionary tale? First, a disclaimer. I *love* to communicate with people via text or facebook direct message. That means people that I know, like friends and family members asking if I’m on for Thursday coffee or giving me news about what’s going on in the Great White North or wherever. Occasionally, when I make a new facebook friend, we may have a short convo about how/what we’re doing now. That’s okay too.

I had a weird experience last fall when a facebook friend I knew billions of years ago direct messaged me via facebook with a message that disturbed me a bit. I won’t say who it was or what the message said (you wouldn’t know the person anyway). Just that I was sitting in the Grizzly Peak on a beautiful Saturday afternoon having lunch and beer/whine with my husband of more years than I am strong enough to count and then… I got a facebook message from this person. It was benign so I replied to it with something benign. And then I got another one. It wasn’t quite NSFW but it wasn’t appropriate. I. Did. Not. Reply. To. It.

I have not unfriended or even “blocked” this person in any way. I don’t do that kind of thing. It reminds me of junior high behavior. I just don’t engage with the person any more. In the last couple weeks, I have received two *more* direct messages from this person. Both of them are links to the same cute aminal video. I do not watch cute aminal videos. I did not watch this one. I did not respond to those messages. I can’t figure out if the person even knows that they have sent me the video. Did the person unknowingly send the cute aminal video to every single facebook contact or was it just to me? And why did I receive it twice? I do not know.

The thing is that I suddenly realized that I have absolutely no obligation to answer a random facebook message from someone I haven’t seen in 40 years and don’t know very well. Friends and family? Message me any time you want!

P.S. For reasons that won’t disclose, I am NOT afraid of this person. The person poses no threat to me in any way shape or form. It is someone who seems lonely (and maybe ill) and does not know how to appropriately reach out to people. Better to reach out to family or friends than a person from 40 years ago that you never had a relationship with in the first place me.

Watching garlic toasts like a HAWK so I don’t CHAR the HECK out of them like I did last night. Sheesh.

February 20th, 2017 by kayak woman

So we had a couple of very warm sunny days over the weekend and here is a fort in the woods. I would like to think that children made this little fort but not sure if was kids or parents or kids and parents or what. It doesn’t matter. I just love to see it.

When I was a young hooligan spending my summers on the moominbeach, one of the things us kids did was make forts in the woods. Also on the beach. The forts we built on the beach were made in a kind of log cabin style out of pulp logs that got loose from the big paper mill log booms upstream from us and washed up on our beach. Forts weren’t the only thing that got built on the beach. Throughout my childhood, The Comm and Radical Betty and Bubs and whoever built tables and things out of pulp logs and driftwood. Places to eat lunch or serve cocktails or where my dog Tigger could get a wee bit of shade on a hot day when she was older.

And then there were the little nooks and crannies we made forts out of in the woods surrounding our cabins. The old stack of logs outside the Old Cabin that we would play “train” on and once sat there for most of an afternoon waiting for my new puppy Tigger to arrive. The puppy I was terrified of until I saw her asleep. She cured my fear of dogs forever.

And there was the cluster of cedar trees down by the pond, and the triangle of old dead trees in front of my parents’ cabin and the old dog run behind the Mullin cabin, where Doc Read used to let his dogs run back when my old coot was young. And more but I can’t remember them all. I’m sure there are still good fort building spots in the woods but they aren’t the same ones we once had.

Lazy Sunday

February 19th, 2017 by kayak woman

After my walk and a simple moomincabin-style KW & GG brek, I was sitting in my usual spot on the green couch and I looked at the sky and WOW!

A little while later, npJane texted me to say that the cloud patterns reminded her of the sand ridges under the water at the moominbeach. Yes.

Yesterday was a pretty huge work day for me even though it was only routine chores. Today I just couldn’t get it going. We took an hour’s drive out along the river and into the county and I did a couple of runs for provisions of various sorts and then I just kind of hung out until Lizard Breath came over. And then we still hung out, soaking up as much sun as we could possibly handle, knowing that Old Man Winter is nowhere near finished with us yet.

We celebrated the sun with a wee ‘hattan and here is yer fav-o-rite blahgger reaching into her fridge for some ice, etc.

I’m wearing my preferred after-work-down-home outfit. Tie-dyed t-shirt, polar-tech vest, and long tiered skirt. You can’t see my smartwool socks and you’ll have to guess whether/what I’m wearing under that stuff

I hope it’s okay if I am lazy sometimes. I sure was today. I think I needed it.

Love, KW

And the skies were not cloudy all day

February 18th, 2017 by kayak woman

I got this photo when I began my walk down to the farmers market this morning. The farmers market doesn’t open until 8 AM in the winter months so I was walking down as the sun was coming up.

After *many* chores this morning, we walked down to the Griz and it was something like 65 degrees when we walked through West Park (in FEBRUARY!!!) so there was still ice on the pond but I bet it won’t be there tomorrow.

At the end of the day, I sat outside on the sunny side of the house and watched the sun go down. The setting sun was so brilliant, I had to dredge out my summer beach hat to be able to sit out there and read.

I finished a book tonight. I’m kind of sporadically getting back into reading. I was reading The Time Traveler’s Wife last weekend and I could not put it down. I loved that book. I can’t exactly say why. I loved the characters and it was just weird enough overall to appeal to my wild sci-fi side. I finished that book earlier this week. The book I finished tonight was Olive Kitteridge. Oh man. I hated just about every single character in the book. I *got* that it was basically a series of short stories with Olive as a major or minor character. I did not like her. I did not like most of the other characters. I still could not put the book down. And then, when I got to page 634 (on my iPhone), I totally changed my mind. At least about Olive. I did not like her all that much better but, well, I dunno. I guess I’m still thinking about it… Which means it was probably a good book (it did win a Pulitzer…)

Yes, that artifact is a diaper

February 17th, 2017 by kayak woman

It belongs to our newest great-niece, who joined us at the Oscar Tango tonight along with her moom and grandparents, aka The Uncly Uncle and The Beautiful Gay. I cannot count (at the moment, anyway) how many great-nieces and nephews we have nowadays throughout all of the branches of the Cfam. There are five in this branch.

Anyway, this newest little gal (a little over 4 months) had a very long day beginning with an airplane ride and then a visit with a small cousin here on the Planet Ann Arbor and she was pretty darn dead taaaaarrred by the time her folks dragged her over to the Oscar Tango to meet up with us and our friends of porterization. And she needed a diaper change, which happened very discretely in grandma’s lap. I stayed back a bit, both because I do not ever try to force myself upon aminals or small children, better to let them come to me, but also because I have been fighting light cold symptoms all day and did not want to pass them on.

Home via our own personal uber of porterization. We had planned to walk but with all the extra fun, it was a wee bit later than usual when we left the OT. Farmer’s market in the morning for lettuce and other winter veggies and a couple bags of badass woman coffee, something like that anyway.

G’night! KW! (Typos be damned!)

Who have you misled anyone lately?

February 16th, 2017 by kayak woman

Lemme see… misle, misled, have/has misled and we’ll throw in the “ing” version just for good measure. Misling. Boy oh boy has it been a long time since I have conjugated a verb. I am channeling Mrs. Loye and Mrs. Pratt big-time right now, including a bra/hanky incident that I was told about by my generation’s version of “my posse don’t do homework” boyz but prob’ly isn’t true.

But wait! What word are we talking about here? Let’s start with the past tense. In this alternative language, the first syllable is “mi”. It is accented and the “i” is the long version of the vowel. The second syllable is “zeld”. The e is actually a schwa (remember those?) and I thought there would be an ASCII version of that character but some quick searching didn’t turn one up. So, clear as mud? In this alternative language, “misled” is the past tense of “misle” (and if you learned phonics like I did with Miss Cox and Mrs. Bishop, you would know that *usually* means a long i sound and a z sound to the s).

Back in the Jurassic Age, The Commander was reading a news article out loud to Grandroobly. Why I do not know because he could certainly read. It was about polly-tishuns though and the word “misled” was used a bunch of times and every time The Comm read “misled” out loud she pronounced it with a long i and a z and a schwa. Like the past tense of “misle” would probably be pronounced if “misle” were a real word.

Somehow or other they both understood the article even with the mispronounced word. Eventually they discovered their error but, being my parents, instead of being embarrassed about it, they went on to invent a whole new conjugation for the non-existent word “misle”, and we were all misling each other left and right for a while there, laughing uproariously every time.

So. Almost every article I read about Mike Flynn’s “resignation” and his “misling” of Vice President Pence on Tuesday (was it Tuesday?) contained multiple instances of the word “misled”. You might guess how I heard the pronunciation of that word in my head every time I read it. I guess if we can have alternative facts, we can also have alternative words. Anyway, these moments are the times that I miss my folks and we’ll talk about the “droven ins” some other day 🐸

Tahq is the new Mouse

February 15th, 2017 by kayak woman

When I say Mouse, I mean Disney World of course. I have been to Disney World ONCE! I know what that is like. I doubt that Tahquamenon Falls will ever get to that point but boy oh boy the place has been hopping the last few years. Our lovely DNR friends scheduled a lantern-lit snowshoe hike last Saturday night and the place was so packed that people were parking out on the M123 highway. Our DNR friends outfitted uncountable numbers of people with snowshoes including an extended family from Malaysia (overheard from one DNR gal to another: “I just put child-size snowshoes on the grandma.” I saw mini-gram heading out and yes, she was child-sized. Who knows what her history is…). Everyone seemed to be having a good time but our friends were exhausted when they stopped by our (DNR) rental lodge later on after it was all over. We had fun with them but we could tell that they needed more help to handle the numbers of people that showed up. Of course, the temperatures were in the upper 20s. Two years ago they were 20 below zero.

I am very happy to see people from all over the world head up to Tahq. I hope that the area infrastructure can handle the influx. Lantern light snowshoe trail notwithstanding, there are far more snowmobilers up in the Tahq/Paradise area than snowshoers and they are probably (still) the folks that create the most winter tourism. So here are some snowmobile pics.

We are driving up on M123 here and snowmobiles are on the side of the road.

This is nowhere anywhere near as scary as it looks. Everyone is going slow and being careful.

We stopped to get gas, etc., and almost every other vee-hickle in the lot was a snowmobile. I have to say that the store attached to this gas station has a fantastic inventory where you can get things like little knit glubs in September if you need them.

And here we are at the Upper Falls, where umpteen bazillion people have parked their snowmobiles to get lunch at the brewery.

Up in the land of the ice and snow with the snow cobras

February 14th, 2017 by kayak woman

I won’t go on with the old Led Zep song because we don’t [quiiiiite] have the midnight sun at our latitude and there are definitely no hot springs in the yooperland that I know of. Most winters there is snow, snow, and more snow. This winter was a wee bit slow on the snow for quite a long time but the eastern yooperland has been getting dumped on in recent weeks so here are a handful of lightly-captioned (or not) pics from our trip to Tahquamenon last weekend.

That was the GG underneath an elegant arch and next up is what a fellow NCT friend calls “snow cobras” if I’m remembering accurately.

We were hiking at the Upper Falls in the last two pics. In the next, we are hiking down to the Lower Falls.

And there is the Lower Falls, big as life. What you can see of it with that big snow thing in the way there on the right. We were talking to another couple at that point. They were stopping for a whine break and I asked the GG where our little snort was. Alas, it was back at the car or the lodge or wherever. I interrupted the usual talk about how [some of] my ancestors were Canadian. Please let me divulge information about meeeeee as I see fit.

Here is an accidental pic of one of my snowshoes. That pink blur is *not* a skirt. It is my ski jacket. It wasn’t very cold that day (28?) but my friend Joan talked me into wearing a “shell” in case I got wet via snow (or rain like the mess that was going on south of the Big Mac around that time). I was wearing black leggings over tights with smart wool socks.

A quick shot of the lodge we stayed at with our NCT friends. It was originally built for a DNR person to inhabit with a family but nowadays they rent it out. It is very well equipped and clean. The pic is from my vantage point on the couch, which is my preferred spot to sleep. If you know Froggy, you might see him on the right there. He made a new friend over the weekend!

The last pic is the big snowbank next to the Frog Hopper in Paradise yesterday morning. We cleaned and closed up the lodge and met for breakfast at the Berry Patch before we all headed home, most to various places in the eastern yooperland or northern lower, us to Southeast Trollandia.

P.S. Have you misled anyone lately? This is a joke of sorts and isn’t directed toward anything going on with current 2017 polly-ticks except for a bit of deja vu. Just lemme know if you get the joke 🐸. (Hint: You would have to know my parents at a certain era to get this.)

Sunrise to sunrise, the five stages of grief, and Zen Lasagna

February 13th, 2017 by kayak woman

Dawn, Friday morning, 7:30 AM or so. M14 north of the Planet Ann Arbor, Barton Drive exit coming up but we hung a louie and went north.

Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning? Two hours after I took this pic we were just north of Bay City and snow started swirling on the freeway in front of us. Right around that time, I was gripped by a feeling of dread and it was not (totally) about the snow driving I knew was only going to get worse. With much trepidation, I asked the driver, “Did you pack the lasagna?” A moment of Dead Silence from the driver’s seat, then, “No.”

Oh dear. We were on the docket to provide dinner for our North Country Trail friends at the Tahquamenon Falls DNR lodge on Sunday night. I had painstakingly put together two supreme lasagnas last weekend, one veggie, one not so much. I assembled them into tin foil pans and the GG eased them into our freezer, which is just a weeeee bit narrower than the pans. As I was puttering around packing that morning, I kept thinking I needed to get those things out of the freezer and put them by the door so we didn’t forget them. Guess what? I didn’t. Guess what? We forgot them.

I don’t know who felt worse. The GG had been thinking of packing them into the Frog Hopper the night before. It was plenty cold enough to let them sit there overnight. We went through the proverbial five (?) stages of grief in about 30 seconds. The GG thought (for a split second) that we could GO BACK AND GET THEM!!!! (NOOOOOOO!). Or maybe “somebody” would be driving north and Mouse could help that person get them out of the Landfill. North to Tahquamenon from the Planet Ann Arbor? Who? Huh? At the end of the 30 seconds of grief stages, we had both reached the final stage (acceptance, right?) and he voiced what I was thinking, “We could, uh, buy some new ingredients and you could, uh, make more when we get up there…” I already had a grocery list going inside my head, so I put it on my phone… 🐸

So that is what we did, more or less. Our buddies laughed the lasagna fiasco off, telling us about all the times they have forgotten important things. There was a lot of food there and we weren’t sure for a while if we would even need a lasagna, let alone two. In the end, I made *one*. I decided to spend Sunday morning at the lodge while the Twinz of Terror led others on a death march. I spent some quality time with a few others who opted to stay home for the morning snowshoe expotition and I greatly enjoyed puttering around in the well-equipped lodge kitchen making lasagna. I figured if we didn’t eat it for dinner, I would freeze it and take it home and hopefully somebody besides the GG and I would check the freezer for forgotten items before we closed the lodge up in the morning so we didn’t FORGET IT! Zen Times. (The GG and I did go out in the afternoon and it was gorgeous and I’ll share the few pics I took later in the week.)

In the end, we did bake my Zen Lasagna and we ate ALL of it except for a wee squidgy bit that I schlepped home in a ziplock bag.

Sunrise, this morning, around 8:00 AM, driving east toward Paradise (and cell service) on M123. Breakfast with our NCT buddies at the Berry Patch, then southward bound.

Lasagna party on The Planet Ann Arbor sometime soon? I have two!

No shirt, no shoes, no service

February 11th, 2017 by kayak woman

The no service part is true. At Tahq, all is well, can’t upload pics from phone for the moment. <3

Living in a material world

February 9th, 2017 by kayak woman

Sorry, I know I am not very good at writing about polly-ticks. I am not a very political person. I am a humble person who would prefer to spend my meek little life working and not having to think about people grabbing power and doing things that I don’t agree with.

I also realize that anyone who runs for any office greater than school board member (or dog-catcher) probably has an ego that my meek little personality could never match. Although there are folks who have been known to run for school board as a first stepping stone toward a higher office.

In my world, which is really not a material world, occasional Green Couch Retail Therapy notwithstanding (hope that word is used somewhere near correctly), I wish for some things from my elected officials. I wish for them to be honest. I do not like people who lie, even if it is for what they think is “the greater good”, whatever that may be. I wish for them to try to represent all of their constituents even when they disagree with them. I wish for them not to be mean to people that are *different* for whatever reason. And I wish for them to use Common Sense… … …

On a more positive note, our fave Clyde’s Drive-in in Sault Ste. Siberia is open for the weekend. I have been going to Clyde’s since I was a little kid and I can remember going there with my grandma (hamburg with everything but). Clyde’s has always closed in October and opened in the “spring”. The last couple of years, Clyde’s has done a pre-season February weekend opening and they are doing that this weekend (there is a wonderful video on Facebook). One of the things I love about the Clyde’s February opening is that they do *not* do it on the weekend of the I-500 Snowmobile race. Why not? Because they do not want to take business away from other restaurants in town who count on income from the race. The people who run Clyde’s are wonderful. They care about their customers as well as other business owners in town. I love them!

@NewYorker What “comforting myths”? (I’ll understand if you don’t read this rant)

February 8th, 2017 by kayak woman

Naw, it’s not gonna get better. Unless We the People continue to push back against… Against what exactly? Nuttiness is about the only word I can come up with. Scary nuttiness. I’m sorry. I didn’t vote for him. I was “with her”, imperfect person that she is. I am an imperfect person too.

Oh c’mon, I accepted the election results the moment I woke up after that debacle and decided the best thing I could do for our beautiful country was to take my walk and do my chores and roll over to my job. The “her” that I am with now is Lady Liberty. Mr. Trump is not gonna bring coal-mining jobs back and he’s not gonna bring old-skool manufacturing plants back and he will not solve anyone’s opioid drug problem. That’s just to name a few campaign promises tweets.

Coal-mining and old-skool manufacturing have been on the outs since the late 1970s. We have to move on from all of that. This is a paradigm shift. Our country (and world) have made those before. When my grandfather was a very young man, he walked all over Sault Ste. Siberia. I think there might’ve been a streetcar then??? But he did not own an automotive vee-hickle for quite some time, until they were for sale to the general public. As kids, we rode in his Studebakers and the Ford Fairlane that my family ended up with after my grandmother got in the accident that ended her driving career. As karma would have it, my one and only accident was driving that car and it happened in approximately the same location as Grandma’s did. But he did make the paradigm shift and bought an automobile!

I’m losing my train of thought a bit but we are going through some paradigm shifts these days. I think we went through the job shift quite a while back although it seems to be ongoing. I think the press shift began later but we are at somewhat of a crisis point for that.

I dunno. My random thoughts about how to move forward in these times of change are that 1) education is key to finding a well-paying job and an open mind is always helpful. 2) employers *must* step up and *pay* people for a job well done (like enough money that they can buy health insurance) 3) We have got to figure out how to transition low-education people struggling with whatever various problems they have into new jobs that pay well enough that they can be productive tax-paying citizens. I do not know how to do that. I’m sorry but I can’t figure that Trump ever thinks about any person besides himself. Except maybe Ivanka.

Drain the swamp, please!

February 7th, 2017 by kayak woman

I mean my own personal swamp, the one that is currently behind The Landfill, not anyone in the government and not the folks at my job. Because jeebus, another long-time *beloved* colleague is retiring and boy oh boy, does he deserve retirement but I will MISS HIM! I was not at Cubelandia when the scuttlebutt hit my street so when W1.5 came over to tell me that I was being added as a butters representative, I thought something like, “Okay, fine.” Then he started talking about transferring his membership and I was like, “Aren’t you staying on butters?” Well, no. He is leaving. I didn’t scream “NOOOOoooooo!” like I did when the Queen Bee told me she was retiring but the sentiment was the same. And then I yelled over the wall to FZ that he better not be entertaining any similar notions even though I know he is although I don’t think he has any imminent plans.

I’ll save any further thoughts of W1.5 until his retirement actually happens, which will be approximately a few weeks from now. Sometimes I can’t believe I have been at that place for going on 10 years now. I took this job as a student intern and as my internship was ending, I was astounded (or maybe not…) that they offered me a full time job. W1.5 has worked there MANY years longer than I have. I am not ready to retaaaar yet even though I live with The Pensioner and sometimes it *kills* me that he can go traveling around and I can’t because I have to work. I will say that if the Benevolent Despot retires, I will be outta there but I doubt he will, at least before I do, given that he is not really anywhere near close to retaaaaarment age. College kids, etc.

So, drain the swamp? I knew the little trail in the little woods behind my house would be fuuuuugly this afternoon, after a day of warm temps and heavy rain. When I got to this part of the loop, I had to turn around. Ain’t no way I was gonna get through that without getting wet up to my ankles. A good thing? No erderators alligators in there. And it isn’t warm enough for moe-skee-toes.

100 miles?

February 6th, 2017 by kayak woman

Yeah, okay. About yesterday. It was a first world problem albeit laced with Ominous Orange Oligarchical Overtones. You do not want to know the details. The Fin/C-fam folk love each other unconditionally and greatly respect the opinions of members of our younger generations.

But maybe there was also something in the air because see next paragraph. At any rate, I slept like crap as in, woke up at that Batscope Hour and never really did get back to sleep. Was just drifting off when my alarm went off. It’s okay. Insomnia isn’t a big problem for me and I can deal with a restless night here and there.

The Tall Boss was a little late today. We have a cozy little Monday morning meeting with her, just a little catch-up, what the heck are we working on, what are the next steps, who/what is holding us up. Sometimes it gets canceled if there’s nothing to talk about. But she did arrive, bearing the news that the CRD had been in a car accident. She was getting off the I94 18-wheel Slogway and observed that there was an accident up at the end of the exit ramp. A familiar-looking vee-hickle was in the accident and, yes, when she got close, she saw that it was indeed the CRD’s vee-hickle so she stopped to see if she could offer any assistance. Thankfully it was not serious. No one was injured although the CRD was apparently even grumpier than usual, so her main take-away was to tell the Benevolent Despot that he would be late.

Things improved dramatically from there and a scheduled presentation that I had to do this afternoon went so well that the Benevolent Despot actually called for applause. I sincerely hope pride does not goeth before a fall.

So, can I post that the GG has finished his 100 miles of hiking on the North Country Trail for 2017? He was leaving the neighborhood in the Ninja at 0-skunk-30 as I was returning from my walk. He apparently walked from Albion to Marshall and back. If I have it right, he walked close to 30 miles today. Oh, here he is, backing into the driveway. I’ll ask. Today’s total? 28 miles. NCT total for 2017? 106. Okay, I think this guy gets a freezer ‘hattan. After he takes a shower šŸ˜‰

And our Mouse came over here tonight to return a vacuum cleaner and help us eat leftovers. Love.

If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it (EOM)

February 6th, 2017 by kayak woman

Spiky winter

February 4th, 2017 by kayak woman

My iPhone weather app proclaimed minus 1 when I woke up this morning. I didn’t really believe it. I figgered it was an Airport Temperature. The Landfill Chitchen indoor/outdoor thermometer confirmed that actually it was more like 12 above. So I suited up and hiked down to the farmers market, where, despite the cold, a handful of very jolly folks were there selling produce and other stuff. Most of those folks had portable heaters and there was actually a lot of traffic. Planet Ann Arbor folks love their farmers market. Victoria of Protective Fish was not there. I think she has decamped to Crazy Old Fla for the month.

I bought potatoes, onions, and lettuce (yes!) and stuff from the seafood and meat markets and then I got home and remembered that the lettuce lady had spinach. I am making some lasagnes this weekend and one of them will be veggie and why I didn’t remember that while I was down there and buy some I do not know, fer kee-reist. The GG actually drove back down later in the morning and got me a bag of spinach. Thank you!

Anyway, it was very cold this morning but by the time we walked downtown for lunch at the Griz, it was heading up into the upper 20s and over the next few days, it’s supposed to warm up [again] until they are threatening us with rain on Tuesday. That’s how this winter has been. Teens and 30s and single digits and 40s and 20s and 50s (yes) and whatever.

We took the bus home today. I had a lot of things on my agenda and one of them was the Plum Market and so we grabbed the 32A and got off right at the Plum. I think they call it the Dexter/Maple stop. I have never ridden the bus all that much and so I am trying to internalize how to do it. Being a hands-on learner, that meant that I *paid* for my own ride today ($1.50) and pulled the string to signal that we wanted to get off. My kids are probably laughing at me since they both have experience with riding the bus.

The bus now has a run or two to Avis Farms, which is where Cubelandia is. I have worked at Cubelandia for almost 10 years. This is the first year I have ever seen a bus driving around Avis Farms. That is really cool but I will probably not start taking a bus to Cubelandia any time soon. For one thing, apparently I would have to do TWO transfers. I am not sure I can handle even one transfer. For another thing, I like my eight-mile Zen Drive over to Cubelandia and sometimes I do errands on the way there and/or back. And then there’s the bottom line, which is that if I cannot get to Cubelandia under my own power, I can always telecommute from wherever I am.

That sun this morning? Bring it on!

Hanging out in Negaunee with Sgt. Schultz

February 3rd, 2017 by kayak woman

I was confused about the days of the week and the dates etc., so I was surprised when the GG had the movie Groundhog Day on when I went in to crash last night. I thought it was February 3rd already.

I LOVE the Groundhog Day movie. I have watched it a few times in my life, always on the small screen. I think I know what it is about. Heck, while The Commander was in her last days of life, I felt like I was *living* in Groundhog Day. But I guess I always fergit about some of the stuff in the movie, like how he tries to kill himself a few times (but always wakes up when the clock flips over to 6:00 AM). Or when he destroys the alarm clock.

I tried to watch Groundhog Day last night but they kept interrupting it for long boring commercials and the GG would flip over to Hogan’s Heroes (which I also love). And then *that* would get interrupted for a commercial so he would flip back to Groundhog Day and there would *still* be a commercial, so he would try something else and and and… I could not follow any of this stuff and try as I might, I ended up crashing out without seeing the end of either show.

Can I tell a story about The Commander and hats? npJane reminded me of it. Back in late 2011, The Commander was living in Freighter View assisted living (and not very happy about it!) and she was fussing about hats. It was getting to be winter and she thought she needed a hat. I knew there were winter hats up the wazoo at her house up on Dillon but, for whatever reason, I couldn’t roust an appropriate one up so I ordered her a nice Smartwool toque or whatever you want to call it from REI or somewhere.

Alas, after xmas of that year, she ended up in the hoosegow again and this time it didn’t seem like she would make it out. npJane came up and spent a bit of time there with me and it was winter in Sault Ste. Siberia and she needed a HAT! I thought something like what the heck, The Comm is probably not gonna use that smartwool hat and if she *does* need a hat, I’ll just go over to Barish Brothers and get her a new one. So I gave the hat to npJane.

Wouldn’t you know, The Commander surfaced at one point to ask, “Where is my hat?” npJane was with me in her hoosegow room and we both kind of jumped and scrambled when we heard that. Ooooops… I told my mom that her hat was safely over at Freighter View and she didn’t need it at the Hoosegow (yes, I lied (or did I provide an alternative fact?)). I signaled to npJane that she could keep the hat.

The Commander never mentioned the hat again. npJane still has it and I know that The Commander would want that.

Busy weekend ahead. Farmers market tomorrow morning (in c-c-c-cold temps), chores to do, lasagnes to make, work to do “on the clock” in order to take a long weekend next week without using PTO. Love y’all, KW!

Where the heck is your hat?

February 2nd, 2017 by kayak woman

When it is 20 degrees and a bit breezy, I wear a double hat (I’m sure I’ve bored you with that fact more than a few times). There’s my little smartwool balaclava topped with my black sequined bomber hat, the one that The Commander gave me for xmas one of her last years. The Benevolent Despot saw it sitting on my desk the other day and pronounced it “blingy”. Or something like that. And it *is* blingy. The Commander was actually a little nervous about buying it for me (at Barish Brothers in Sault Ste. Siberia). I talked her into it. She tried to raise me to be genteel and elegant. Uhh… Sorry moom. Anyway, with that dynamic duo of hats, I feel totally cozy and well protected from the elements.

So, after I took my 0-skunk-30 walk and did my chores, etc., I was driving down the [icy] street in the Frog Hopper (wearing my hats), heading over to Barry Bagels to meet up with MMCB2, and I saw a young woman with VERY short hair walking dogs WITHOUT A HAT! I cannot for the life of me figger out how people can go out in 20 degree weather without a HAT!I got to Barry Bagels and I was tsk-tsking around about people that don’t wear hats and when I was describing the woman’s short haircut, I kind of peered at MMCB1 and said, “Like yours!” Guess what! MMCB1 does not wear a hat either. She does not walk a dog but she does take walks. I think she has some earmuffs or something that she uses in a pinch. Reason? Hat hair. HAT HAIR? Hat hair… When I take my 0-skunk-30 walk, I have just gotten out of the shower. MY HAIR IS STILL WET! In fact, my hair is usually STILL WET when I get HOME from my 0-skunk-30 walk. At least it isn’t filled with ice, since it is totally covered up inside my HAT(S)! And anyway, I don’t really care what my hair looks like and neither do probably 99% of the people I have to deal with during the average day. (I love MMCB very much, hat or no hat, and they do not read this.)

Booooorrrrrrinnnnngggg? Yes. She’s talking about hats, fer kee-reist. I am sorry. I do not think you want me to talk to you like I talk to the radio these days. I am also gonna guess you do not want to hear a systems analyst’s take on how to begin to approach the multitude of issues that surround the immigration of human beings to our beautiful country. I mean besides handing down bombastic decrees without [apparently] thinking through the unintended(?) consequences that might result from disrupting the lives of a multitude of innocent human beings.


P.S. If it’s cold out, please wear a hat!

Before the sun came up

February 1st, 2017 by kayak woman

Mr. Golden Sun rose brilliantly this morning and continued to shine down on us all day. Until… It was around 4:00 and W1.5 was walking out of the lunch room and I peered out the lunchroom windows from my cube and said, “What happened to the sun?” He said, “It’s snowing!” Yes, it was. Crap almighty. It was a squall and by the time I left, it was gone but then, two miles from my exit, another squall came along. I was off the I94 18-Wheel Clogway before it could wreak any havoc but after I got home, I heard reports of accidents. All done now. Just enough snow to snarl the area evening commute. Thank you Old Man Winter.

Snow squalls are dangereuse. Just ask The Commander if you can figger out the phone number of the Ghost Ship Edmund Fitzgerald where I know various people are partying on the bridge. You could try 2-2565.

I had a rough start this morning in that I turned off my alarm and immediately fell into a short but disturbing dream. One where I was trying to get gas and do laundry simultaneously and I was having a terrible time with my debit card. It’s orange. That gets important. First, a teenager with a partial arm grabbed it to pay for his dad’s gas. I grabbed it back. Somehow this was all friendly? But then I kept pulling out all of these orange “discount ZZ” cards from some unidentified business. Not debit cards and did NOT work in the musheen. I kept throwing them out (how did I get these anyway?) but more of them kept popping up. I won’t even talk about the blasted laundry except that some was wet and some was dry and some of the wet stuff had fallen into an oil spill and somehow The Commander was involved in all of this but I can’t exactly remember how except that it was the USA gas station in the [now-defunct, alas] Glen’s grocery store plaza up in Sault Ste. Siberia. Anyway, I just wanted to get outta there.

And I did get outta there because I woke up and it was five minutes later than I normally like to get out of bed so I scrambled myself and and and… Now I have to get outta here and off my blahg before I start talking to my five regular readers like I am talking to the radio right now.

Yours truly,

Late Start Tuesdays!

January 31st, 2017 by kayak woman

Our school district has never had “late start” as far as I know. “Late start” means the roads are terrible in the morning but the weather is supposed to warm up so they delay the start of school for a couple hours. I don’t have anything to do with the public schools here any more except that I walk through the schoolyard all the time but I have had three Tuesday Late Starts this month. It’s winter and this is Michigan and it snowed a few inches overnight and there were traffic accidents everywhere this morning. I emailed my group and said I was starting out at home and would slodge over when I started feeling Cabin Feverish. That happened in the late morning and I rolled over to work. By that time the temps were over freezing and the roads were just wet and I had a lovely Zen Drive. The schools were open today. I think Superintendent Jeanice made the right decision. It wasn’t all that bad out this morning and it was gonna get better. I just decided to not add to the early morning traffic. You’re welcome.

Hello neighborhood parents, do you know where your hoodlums are? For months and months now, our normally safe* neighborhood has been experiencing petty crimes. Stealing change from unlocked cars (I knooooowww), scattering belongings from said cars all over the neighborhood, stealing RATS from a beloved Halloween display. Recently things have escalated just a weeeeee bit as young men are knocking on doors late at night asking for money. Reportedly “cute, friendly” young men but still…

I have not been too freaked out by this although I *have* been ultra-vigilant about locking our cars at night and making sure the front door is dead-locked. It got a little closer to home today when Shuggy’s Dad, a neighbor we have known as long as we’ve lived here, told the GG that *he* had found footprints near the cars in his driveway. Pretty stoopid to case out people’s cars after a snowstorm when you think about it because you leave footprints. Duh. If it hadn’t snowed, no one would have a clue that anyone had been in their driveway.

Despite that, I am still not very freaked out. My *hunch* is that this is a teenager who is out of control. Telling mama he’s going to the library (or his girlfriend’s house) to study (so he can go to Harvard hey, this is The Planet Ann Arbor, roight?) and prowling the neighborhood instead. A neighborhood friend of mine once had a teenager a bit like that, except that he was actually breaking in to neighbors’ houses when they weren’t home, stealing stereos and stuff. This vibrant, extremely extroverted, positive-force-of-nature-type woman was at her wits end and tried to get the police to arrest him (yes, really) but they hedged because they couldn’t figure out that he was the person doing any of that stuff.

That kid grew up into a good citizen and now has at least one child of his own, a child who may be a teenager by now (I think dad is in his 40s now). I’m sure that dad is hoping his kid doesn’t take after him in that respect. In our neighborhood, we need to be vigilant about who is scouting out our vee-hickles and [possibly] homes. Webcam on the driveway? Let’s move ours there. If whoever is doing this is truly just a non-violent kid, I want him (I suspect that’s the correct pronoun) to be punished but I also want him to grow up to be a productive member of our society.

*A neighborhood is only safe until somebody/something makes it unsafe. I regard my neighborhood as safe despite the recent troubles but I ALWAYS watch my back, no matter where I am.