Random bits of my so-called life.

The pic is a lie 🐸

September 17th, 2021 by kayak woman

A few more photos to explain the craziness of yesterday’s pic. In the first, I am kayaking directly toward the beach pointing at the location of the bench (this was a few years before the bench was installed). The beach is around 3/4 mile long and the bench is a bit west of the midpoint.

Here’s Radical Betty walking back from the east end of the beach with GLOVES in JULY. It was a persistently chilly summer and her comment was a disgusted, “We just get a little BOX of summer!”

Next are the beach urchins hauling a piece of driftwood home.

And finally, an aerial view. This is from the Sherman Archives with Pete taking the pic while my dad drove the plane. The beach is that long straight strip of sand toward the top looking out to the island.

All that said, I have had what I call Shoreline Dreams my entire life. In them, our beach and the surrounding area morphs into all kinds of fantastical geography: islands and canals where there are none and that pic is well within the realm of things my subconscious is capable of making up.

P.S. I called yesterday’s pic a pano but I’m not totally sure that’s what it is🐽

Matriarchical society

September 16th, 2021 by kayak woman

A beach urchin posted this photo on instagram a while back with the caption Matriarchy. It’s my cousins npJane and UKW and meeeee. We are not really matriarchs. When we were kids, our grandma Margaret was the beach matriarch, at least for the FinFam. Our friends the McNott’s had their own matriarch.

The next generation, The Commander, Radical Betty, The White Tornado, and Bubs took over the family matriarchical duties. I would add that The Comm and Radical went beyond beach duties. They were Forces of Nature in various organizations around town, for one thing helping found a program of “elder’s” classes at the local university.

Make no mistake. The males of that generation were highly successful, talented people in their own right. (And are, as MDUH is still alive and thriving.) One of the things our fathers did not do was stand in the way of our mothers’ choices to have careers (if they wanted them) and do pretty much what they wanted to do in general. And why not? They all made positive contributions to society, gainfully employed or not.

So us three in the pic are not matriarchs (I’m not sure I’m ready to be one 🐽). I do know that the beach urchins hold npJane and UKW in particularly high regard. Liz has had a special relationship with np since she was an infant and UKW is just an all around superwoman, not unlike her mother (Radical).

It’s a pretty sweet pic (there’s that word again) in general, actual matriarchs or not. And I LOVE the crazy looking pano.

Dog drama

September 15th, 2021 by kayak woman

<dog-rant>Look ma, no fence.

This is the woods behind my house. It’s between my yard (and other neighbors’ yards) and the schoolyard. It was this woods that sold me the Landfill. I couldn’t believe we could actually afford a HOUSE on the Planet Ann Arbor with a WOODS behind it. The house is okay too, comfortable but nothing fancy (except for my gutted/remodeled kitchen🐽).

This being the Planet Ann Arbor certain things create a lot of drama. Like dogs. There is a leash law. I don’t think it gets enforced a lot. There are dogs with all kinds of personalities and other issues. There are responsible dog owners. Others are not so much. And there is DOG POOP.

Years ago when my children were still young, I walked by the woods one day and the gate was PADLOCKED! Whyyyyy? My kids were out of elementary school but I knew Kathy and Jacqui on the PTO. So I emailed them. Whaaa? The answer from the principal was “there’s a lot of science in those woods”. She went on to say there was too much dog poop in there for the kids to spend time in there. Doing science, I guess.

Well… I racked (I looked up the spelling) my brain trying to remember the last time I had seen a classroom-sized bunch of kids in the woods. I also walk in the woods nearly every day and I do not see dog poop, at least not on the path. And the kids should stay on the path because poison ivy and other stuff. My PTO friends talked to the principal and the gates were unlocked.

I had recently retaaaared from a few years as the PTO treasurer. There was a TON of money in those days and I couldn’t encourage people to spend it. I couldn’t help but think (facetiously) that the PTO could buy rubber boots for all the students (who didn’t actually “do science” in the woods) and hose their boots off before they came back into the school. Whatever.

This morning. I went for my 0-skunk-30 here on the planet for the first time in something like six weeks. Where’s the fence? To be clear, they only removed a half of one side of fencing. The other 3-1/2 remain intact. The answer came from an old Haisley Mafia member who knows a current PTO person on his street. Again, it is a Dog Problem. Over the years dog owners have learned that if they shut the gate, they can let their dog run untethered. There is dog poop (except I STILL never see any on the path). And the fence is compromised in some places so small dogs can get out and onto the playground, which is probably not good if there are little kids on the playground. So there is no longer an enclosed space for people to let their dogs run.

I have changed my own behavior regarding entering the woods over the years. I no longer go in there if the gate is closed unless I can see that the dog in there is Java, who has to be the calmest, best behaved dog on earth. I also close the gate behind me when I do go in there so others think there is a dangerous dog in there. I don’t have any guest dogs to walk any more but I never picked up Ernie’s and Alfred’s (my late brother’s dogs) or Bandit’s (Chloe Belle’s dog) poop in there. I would NEVER neglect that responsibility now but carrying a poop bag around is one of the more trivial reasons I am not a dog owner.

The answer to all of this is that people who own dogs need to be responsible. Dogs need to be leashed if out in public. Some people are terrified of dogs. Some of those have had horrifying experiences with them. I did not have that kind of experience but I was terrified of dogs until I was five and we adopted Tigger. She cured me of that overnight.

I am not convinced that dog poop in the woods is that much of a problem but maybe there’s some “science” that I am not familiar with. Or maybe I don’t see a lot of dog poop in there because most owners are picking it up?</dog-rant>

We’ll talk about bicycles some other day. Or not 😉


September 14th, 2021 by kayak woman

I left the Planet Ann Arbor on July 31. I arrived at the moomin on August 1 after a night at Hoton Lake. I finally returned to the planet today. This is the longest time I’ve been away from the planet since I moved here back in the Jurassic Age.

We left the moomin this morning during the tail end of a HUGE thunderstorm. Apparently there was a gigantic seiche too but I didn’t go down to look at it because lightning. For a couple of miles on the yooperland stretch of the I75 SUV Speedway, it was raining so hard that Cygnus informed me that her Eyesight wasn’t working. It couldn’t see anything. I couldn’t see much but I could see Mooon Yooonit ahead of me and the lane markers on the freeway. I don’t really use Eyesight and I just hunkered down. Thankfully, the GG slowed down a bit during that episode…

There were big storms below the Big Mac during this period of time and for HOURS, Cygnus (via satty-lite radio) was shooting severe thunderstorm warnings at me. There is now a little smudge on my car touch screen from me canceling the warning umpteen bazillion times. We missed the big storms and the weather improved and eventually the warnings stopped. The traffic? BEAUTIFUL! Yeah, there were probably a FEW big frickin’ pickup trucks going 85 but nowhere near as many as on a southbound Sunday. It was almost always easy for me to jump out and pass slower traffic if I needed to.

So I am home again and it is hot and the only things I have seriously unpacked are perishable food items. I’m gonna take my time with the pantry stuff. I still have a bit of a pandemic stash going. I do not know how to minimize the huge numbers of things we schlep back and forth at the beginning and end of the summer. And I even worked on thinning it out over the weekend. So, I have put the perishables away and that will have to do for now.

The GG and I went our separate ways just north of Flint. I continued on down to the planet and he headed over to help FlaMan clean up his apartment. Don’t ask 🐽 I gave the GG a call about 10 miles north of Flint to check in about whether he was still planning to stop there. It is soooo cool to be able to phone each other when we are tandem driving. Some of the new vee-hickle technology drives me crazy (hello, out-of-lane warning) but plugging your phone into your car and calling via the touchscreen is much easier, not to mention SAFER than trying to call from an iPhone in your lap or wherever.

First world 1% problems

September 13th, 2021 by kayak woman

DISCLAIMER: I am not in the 1%.

I meet with Amazon Woman every Monday afternoon. The purpose of the meeting is to keep each other caught up on what I’m supposed to be doing but there’s a certain amount of general chit chat. There was more of that than usual today because when she began with the polite question “How are you?”, I replied that I was fine except for a few first world 1% problems (she knows I’m not in the 1%). We spent a good amount of time talking (and laughing) about our first world problems. And then we segued in to where the moomin is and she was looking it up on GooMaps and said, “I can’t see any buildings”. No. No you can’t. They are hidden by trees from above and it’s a private road so no Streetview. She did see our beautiful beach on GooMaps.

But First World Problems… UKW left this morning. She made me coffee and breakfast, then I went off to work while she embarked on making the Old Cabin cleaner than it was when she arrived, packing, and taking a last swim. She got off in the late morning and I felt more emotional about her departure than I let on. We have known each other our whole lives and although we are different in many ways there are certain thought processes we seem to share. I didn’t fully discover that until we were well into adulthood with adult children.

It was a fast two weeks and at one point I had to cancel my weekly facetime coffee klatch because people were piling up here at the moominbeach and life was moving at a dizzying speed for a while.

Although UKW is always welcome at the actual moomincabin, I had the brilliant idea that since the Old Cabin would be empty, she might enjoy having a separate space. Also it was the cabin our grandparents built 100 years ago and our families shared it in our early childhood. Many good memories permeate the place for all of us.

Even though UKW is as much a part of this place as I am, I was occasionally nervous that I wasn’t spending enough time “entertaining” her as I was working most weekdays. I finally came to the realization that both of us are happy with a lot of alone time and that was okay. We did do some things together and convened most evenings for Community Dinner. Other nights we ate separately to try to deal with leftovers, etc. On those nights, one of us would approach the other a bit tentatively and the other would say, “I was thinking that too.”

Miss my cuz. That is all.

P.S. I was trying to take pics of the sunset through the trees last night. They weren’t turning out well. Then I looked at my photo library this afternoon and found THIS! Accidental photos can be soooo much fun.


September 12th, 2021 by kayak woman

This is certainly not the best photoooo anyone has ever taken from the Spectacle Lake overlook. In fact I bet *I* have even taken better pics.

Even if you were born and raised in the eastern yooperland, there are certain things you revisit pretty much annually if not more often, Iroquois Lighthouse and the Spectacle Lake overlook being a couple of them. In recent years the Dancing Crane Coffeehouse is also in the area. It is a top-notch place and it’s open but I believe since COVID, they run a drive-thru only operation. The owner (I follow the DCC on facebook) is more concerned about COVID than a lot of folks. Actually I believe the tribe in general has acted very responsibly. These are GOOD THINGS! @RemoveRon DeathSantis, take a note.

From the overlook we can see Round Island, which is in front of the moominbeach, the Pickle Finger, the Birch Point range light, and other landmarks. Yesterday, due to the overcast conditions, they were a little harder to pick out, at least with the naked eye, which is what we were using. Ever since I put the Marine Traffic app on my phone, I don’t tend to tether myself to binoculars.

It isn’t technically very cold out today but there’s a pretty darn good nor’wester hitting our shores. As long as you are moving you are okay with maybe a polartech vest or jacket but later in the afternoon when I wanted to read on the deck, I found myself digging into my Extra Clothes Bag in Cygnus for my smartwool leggings.

Boring as it is, that’s about all I have today. Tonight is our last Community Dinner and tomorrow is our last day. So packing up and putting stuff away to get ready to migrate back down south.

Quality cousin time

September 11th, 2021 by kayak woman

Sweet isn’t a word I usually use unless I’m talking about something with sugar in it but today was a sweet day. The GG took off for a group hike at Tahq and me and my cuzz had the day to ourselves. A little work, a little play, lots of together time with some breaks in between.

We did a run to town to drop recycling and get a FEW grocks. After weeks of saying I needed to have a “Come to Jesus” meeting with the moomin refrigerator, I FINALLY DID!!! Got rid of a lot of dregs of things that I don’t want to schlep back to the Planet Ann Arbor and that added to the recycling stash, which started out the morning with ONE THING. We took back a bunch of returnables too and the Meijer uScan DOES INDEED accept returnable receipts. We were (that is, UKW was) RUTHLESS with the cans Meijer wouldn’t accept and THREW THEM OUT! I do NOT need to be traveling with those things rattling around in Cygnus and she doesn’t need them in her Subie either. On the other hand, all of my grocery bags were in Cygnus so I ended up with a couple more damn plastic bags, which I do NOT need! Can’t win…

We took a breather back at the moominbeach. I finished CLEANING the refrigerator and putting what’s left back in and I dunno what she did at the Old Cabin but probably similar stuff. Then we got back into her Subie and hauled two big Green Bags up to the res trash compactor.

Then… We drove through the res and up the shore. We hit the beach at Iroquois Lighthouse where UKW rockhounded for a bit. Me? We have enough rocks here 🐽 but I was happy to hang out and take pics. (Click and click again to embiggen enough to see the salty.) We continued on up the Whitefish Bay coast, then took the sharp turn onto Tower road and headed up and along the escarpment. The back way to the Spectacle Lake overlook and I wish I had taken a pic of driving along Tower Road, a beautiful tunnel of trees branching across a dirt/gravel road.

Up on the Spectacle Lake overlook, we spied Monocle Lake to the left. So we drove over there to explore a bit. My second high school boyfriend’s family had a cabin on that lake and I was curious in general. We didn’t look for old BF’s place, just drove in to the picnic area and through the GORGEOUS campground. I think there’s a separate entrance into the area where people have private property.

By the end of that it was getting to be time to get back to the moominbeach where we took another short break to do our own thing, then we reconvened for a glass of whine on the Old Cabin front porch. We’ll reconvene soon for Community Dinner.

End-of-summer laundry

September 10th, 2021 by kayak woman

Not a very exciting pic but I wanted to share a bit of my up north laundromat experience. I schlep my laundry inside, stuff it into however many triple load washing musheens I need, then I sit on one of these benches making my internet rounds and doing the xword and the bee.

This morning I sat on one of these benches for the fifth (I think) and last time this summer. For the first time, there was a bit of chill in the air when I first sat down. As Mr. Golden Sun got higher in the sky, that disappeared. I had a bunch of beach towels from the last round of guests so I did indeed use two triple loaders. We aren’t leaving for another few days and I’ll have laundry to take down to The Planet Ann Arbor but I wanted to get all those big towels washed and put away before I left. The beach urchins always offer to take laundry and sometimes I allow them to but really I am a Washerwoman and enjoy my solo trips to the laundromat.

I don’t have much else to say. UKW enjoyed a beautiful Beach Day, paddleboarding and riding with the GG over to Porterland in the Motor Bote. It was a Work Day for me and not the most exciting one but even though I wasn’t on the beach much until the end of the day, I was still HERE in this beautiful place. But fall is in the air and after my unplanned long stay here, I will have to transition away soon. A propane stove will not keep Old Man Winter out of a cabin on Gitchee Gumee with no insulation. And although I would love to make some improvements to this place (nod to hostile lurkers), I will NEVER agree to tear it down and replace it with a McMansion.

Roaring 20s faaaar drill

September 9th, 2021 by kayak woman

2020s that is. I am not wearing a flapper costume. Not anything close.

So I did pay the moomin proptaxes today. What happened is, like I said yesterday, our VERY friendly and with-it township treasurer and I were emailing. When I offered to drive a check over, she said, “I’ll be at work at the credit union in Brimley all day tomorrow so you can bring it over here.”

Okay. So I didn’t need an envelope. But I did need a pen. With ink in it. Could I find a working pen around here? No I could not. There are about a gazillion pencils. I made sure I had all the info I needed to write the check on my phone and headed out to Cygnus, planning to write the check at the bank. At the last minute I had the BRILLIANT idea to look in the glove box. Bingo. There was a nice new[ish] BIC pen and it worked. So my taxes are paid.

But is this what we’ve come to? I mean with office supplies. Once upon a time, I used to love to browse the aisles at Staples. Now I can’t find basic supplies like pens or envelopes in my house. Actually I have some of this stuff at my house, just not at the moomin.

Long time lurker, first time poster. I posted on the bird list today. They were talking about hummingbirds and how long they seem to be hanging around this year. I am a strictly casual bird watcher and have no clue about the migratory habits of any of them including hummingbirds. But I felt compelled to post where I was and that hummingbirds were still visiting my now-dying impatiens and that we don’t put feeders out because bears.

The pic? That’s Bucky Beaver’s work back there.

G’night, KW

Three-ring circus

September 8th, 2021 by kayak woman

Oh yeah. Just the usual. The “floater” laptop has everything I need except for two apps. One I was able to download today but the latest version is so different than what I had that I am on a steep learning curve. But it did what I wanted it to do today. The other is a purchase and I’d rather wait until I know the fate of my Real Laptop to initiate that for the floater. But I’ve been beating up on computers since mainframes (and the Apple II+). I don’t know it all but…

I finally did get a call on my support ticket this afternoon. I was in the middle of a meeting and it was an unrecognizable number so it was a good thing I was occupied or I’d’ve prob’ly blocked it. But. After I got outta my meeting, there was an email from support and in it was the info that somebody left me a voice mail. And yes, there was a voice mail. He said [in a polite way] he was done for the day and so was I so I’ll call him in the morning.

And then there was the property tax confuddlement. DISCLAIMER: If there are any hostile lurkers out there (you know who you are), unclutch yer pearls and don’t getchyer panties in a bunch. I know when the taxes are due (next week). The problem is that the tax bill is down on the Planet Ann Arbor and I am here. Why? Because I fully expected to get back down to the Planet in August to mail the tax bill. I did not. I asked the GG to bring it up here. He told me it was already packed. It was not. He did happen to have a check. I thought I packed some checks but. I did not. I can’t pay these taxes online but I WILL GET THEM PAID. ON TIME!

Once. In my adult life. I lost track of what date we were on and mailed the Planet Ann Arbor taxes a day late. One percent late fee (I think). I blame my parents. The Planet taxes are due July 31. My parents were married either on July 31 or August 1 and there has always been family confusion surrounding those dates. I *think* what happened was that The Comm was supposed to arrive out in the southwest in time for a July 31 wedding but the train was usurped (in favor of service personnel) or whatever so she didn’t quiiiite get out there in time. Her dad missed the wedding but I think her brother Austin was there. He may have been stationed not too far away though.

Update on the proptax thing. The treasurer returned my email with an image of the tax bill and it’s not due until the 14th, which matched my expectations. So there’s time to mail it if I could just find an envelope around here… 🐽🐽🐽

No it’s not a hatch

September 7th, 2021 by kayak woman

Those streaky looking things? Those are not the latest insect hatch. Those are raindrops. BIG ONES!

It was a stormy day here in the Great Lake State. My NPR sub-station up here is attached to WCMU down in the middle of the lower peninsula and I was getting weather alerts for the lower every 20 minutes or so ALL DAY LONG. Severe thunderstorms, ping pong sized hail, tornado warnings, you name it. We had quite a bit of rain here in the yooperland but this is the best storm Ma Natchur threw at us. Thunder, lightning, a little wind, and these huge rain drops. That was about it. It was still beautiful and we watched it from the Old Cabin front porch.

Other than that, UKW did garbage dropoff and I did recycle dropoff and I think we both hit up grock stores but not for anything major. We are all trying to finesse the balance between eating well while we are here and having to deal with a bunch of leftover grocks when we leave, which will be more or less for the year. I don’t leave ANY food, perishable or not, in the moomincabin over the winter.

Other than that, after a rough start getting onto the internet, I was able to return to teleBeachLandia in a productive way today, the GG spent the day in the garatchkey building a bench, and UKW split wood with two left-handed gloves and cooked dinner for our group among other things.

G’night, KW

Hiking the Jim Fin

September 7th, 2021 by kayak woman

The Jim Fin (as I am calling it) is a nature trail named after my late brother. It is located on land our family used to own and there’s a long story involved that I won’t go into today.

My cousin UKW and I walked the nature trail today. At a certain point on the trail, you take a turn onto a path with straight lines of pine trees on either side. This is my dad’s friend Lewie Read’s pine plantation. I kind of remember the prehistory of this. There was a big barren area along the way down the road to our beach. Lewie planted pine trees and they grew and eventually they became tall like in the pic.

I posted this pic on Instagram and then out of curiosity, I flipped over to the Round Island Nature Preserve location. There are soooo many versions of this picture out there including some snow pics and others that I have taken.

We had flying pig tonight. That means that we grilled a couple dcuk breasts and warmed up a couple pork chops from yesterday. Rice, salad, and gloppy mushrooms. Yeah, I know how to make a roux. Roight. It’s okay. We’ll use it later in the week prob’ly.


September 5th, 2021 by kayak woman

This was this morning after I walked the beach and was hanging out on our bench. Eventually I cooked a bunch of bacon and some hash browns and left people to make their own eggs or whatever.

This was a day of leave-taking, which is always difficult. When I used to visit the moomin when I had little kids, The Commander would always get freaked out that I might forget something and would follow me around trying to make sure I didn’t fergit this and that and the other thing. This strategy caused me to totally lose focus such that I DID FERGIT THINGS! I eventually learned to give The Comm a grocery bag that she could put things she thought I might forget into. And that worked.

My strategy is to hang out on the beach or the deck while people pack. Stay outta the fray. And that’s what I did today. I was sorry to see my adult children leave today and I miss them terribly but I’ll see them on the Planet Ann Arbor soon enough.

And then… At the end of the day, my cuz UKW and her son came over and demanded ‘hattans. Of course I was up to that task. We had so much fun talking. He and his SO are flying out at 0-dark-30 tomorrow morning and I will miss them. How did my cousins and I raise such wonderful people?

We visited the Old Cabin after dinner and once again, I am turning into a pumpkin. G’night, KW

FinFam steak dinner

September 4th, 2021 by kayak woman

With a twist. In my life, a steak dinner is cooking big slabs of meat and each person cuts their own up and eats it. I’m calling this FinFam steak dinner because steak was one of my dad’s fave meals and as far back as I can remember, he grilled steaks on a rudimentary grill on our back deck. We learned to not leave the steaks unattended for even a second after our dog Tigger once grabbed one off the grill.

Anyway, a young cousin and his SO grilled the steaks tonight and while they grilled big slabs of meat, they then sliced them thinly and covered them with mushroom sauce. They were fantastic and they were rare, which is how I like steak and roast beast. And what a great form factor! I don’t actually (usually) eat big slabs of meat these days and this way I could take a smaller amount.

Our contributions were mashed potatoes (me) and blueberry/peach pie (mouse) and we ate at the Old Cabin, where our cousins are staying. Our grandparents built the Old Cabin almost 100 years ago and us cousins spent summers there together until we were six and my parents built the moomincabin. I remember so many times coming in from swimming in a nor’wester and standing in front of that faaaarplace getting warmed up.

Nevertheless, I couldn’t tell a coherent story about anything tonight if I tried. Right now the Black Fly song is playing on somebody’s phone, you know up in North Ontar-i-o-i-o, and I am turning into a pumpkin. So, g’night.

William the Logsmith and his assistant Benny Branches

September 3rd, 2021 by kayak woman

Actually that’s not Benny Branches in the pic, it’s mouse. Benny Branches took over after this so mouse could swim.

Among other things, this was a day of deadheads. I don’t mean Grateful Deadheads. I mean Log Deadheads. Logs that get separated from wherever they are moored and “float” in to our bay and “hide”. These are very dangerous if they hide totally underwater because if you are motoring along all carefree in a Motor Bote and it hits a deadhead, well, you might guess what the outcome could be. Usually a deadhead pokes its head just enough above the surface that it is visible and we pull them outta the lake if we can.

Lately we have had two deadheads and today “we” (WL and BB) pulled BOTH of them out. Deadheads are waterlogged and HEAVIER than all getout so once they got towed to the beach, they used the bote winch to try to get them outta the water. This worked okay but it was slow hot work. And the second deadhead is not outta the water yet as you can see in the second pic.

Other stuff today…

Stuffed my laundry into a triple loader this morning at the laundromat (masked), then hit up Pat’s Groceries (masked) for a few things. The muzak was Aqualung! Yeah, Jethro Tull. I was dancing with my cart and I told the Uscan gal it was good muzak today. Not sure she knew what I said or meant but I love that store and I love Aqualung.

Got back to the laundromat a couple minutes before the washer was done so after I put my stuff in the dryers, I went to sit outside and do the xword and spelling bee. During that time, I walked the 10 FEET it takes to get to Cygnus to do a 10 SECOND chore. When I came back from that, two guys were sitting on MY BENCH, SMOKING CIGARETTES! I cannot stand the smell of cigarette smoke so I put my mask back on. They went inside. I dunno if it was because I put my mask on but I didn’t see them again. Were they actual people or zombies? I do not know.

I received another Fedex delivery today and it was the same gal who delivered my last Fedex thing. She has got my crazy moomin address DOWN now and I LOVE her. She is SOOO cheerful even having to deliver stuff down a dirt 2-track. Today it was a laptop and I was soooo happy to get it and then it took me a good amount of time to manage to get logged in. I eventually did and was able to email my co-workers that I am ALIVE. Hope it works out as well when I return to teleBeachLandia on Tuesday.

We were on the beach until forever today, which means we are eating even later than usual but that’s okay because we are at least here now. At the end of a hot afternoon, us gals went swimming and I always love the cool clean no underwear (TMI?) feeling after a late afternoon dip in Gitchee Gumee. Sooner than later we’ll be closing this place for the winter. Love y’all, KW.

Lamb burgers

September 2nd, 2021 by kayak woman

We had 11 people over here for lamb burgers tonight. All are descendants of my yooperland grandparents plus some very welcome significant others (including the Grumpy Growler and his identical twin).

It was loads of fun and mouse and raccoon deserve a free day tomorrow after all the work they did today. They arrived late last night and were very tired today and I’m kinda sorry I volunteered mouse to do lamb burgers tonight. It’s more of a production than you might think with special sauces and grilled veggie side dishes. Mouse did get a nap on the beach today and I stood at the ready to wash any dishioshios that came along so others didn’t have to deal with them. It’s one of the things I *do*, after all.

We’ve had some interesting discussions tonight but now that we are talking about the difference between government and online banking industry security, I am kinda done. There is no comparison and guess which is more secure. The younger generation eschewed those conversions to go down to the beach to watch for meteors.

A night of perseveration

September 1st, 2021 by kayak woman

Did I spell that right? Spell-checker sure doesn’t like it and it’s one of my few bug-a-boo words, accommodate and susurrate (see below) being a couple others. Thanks to a couple recent appearances in the NYT Bee, I can now correctly spell titillate.

Anyway, pre-bedtime discussions about menu planning over the next few days and who would get groceries happened. My plan was to do laundry this morning with UKW going grock shopping. Suddenly I realized my laundry plan was a bad one because the GG returns from a backpacking trip tomorrow and will have changed his name to Mr. Stinkum. Meaning I may as well wait until Friday to do the laundry. It’s okay, I myself can last. But I couldn’t notify UKW that I would be available as a tandem shopper because the Old Cabin looked pitch black and I knew those folks were dead tired so didn’t want to wake them.

Also we were dealing with a mini-hatch of benign bugs.

So I went to bed but couldn’t get to sleep right away because my stupid brain kept looping around thinking about laundry and grock trips. Then. I did get to sleep but woke up at that Batscope Hour a wee bit chilly. My sleeping bag was technically warm enough but was mostly unzipped, allowing cold air to get in. I remembered that there was a blanket at the foot of the bed and regained just enough consciousness to dig that up and it did the trick. I did NOT become conscious enough to zip up my bag or SHUT THE WINDOWS!

The next time I surfaced (still pitch black), I became aware of an unusual noise in the distance. There is plenty of noise here at the moomin throughout the night but other than the occasional (comforting) chug of a freighter out in the channel, it is all natural noise. Wind susurrating in the pines or waves lapping (or crashing) onto the shore. This was sort of a mechanical noise. It wasn’t anywhere near and I could NOT figure out what it was. It would occasionally stop and start up again.

So I didn’t sleep through the night but I made my peace with that kind of thing years ago. I woke well rested in Real Morning. I got the windows [mostly] closed and Lizard Breath got the finicky propane stove going (I am not mechanically inclined and also terrified of gas stoves and things). I went next door to offer UKW my services as a tandem shopper and she (politely) refused my offer. And that was fine. Not only was it a relief to me, I understood her need for a solo trip. She has her own guests coming soon and is fantastic at menu planning for crowds. I knew she needed to make her own lists and be able to focus on shopping without any distractions and I would have been a distraction, especially given some lingering perseveration. We have had some great tandem shopping trips in the past. Today was not the day.

I made a quick recycle run instead because we HAVE to keep up with that stuff, then settled in to my “office” in the Lyme Lounge, where my work laptop still won’t boot up and my support ticket is still awaiting review. Fun.

“I dunno how anyone could do this who isn’t you”

August 31st, 2021 by kayak woman

This is my daughter talking to me after, well… My work laptop crashed and burned this morning. Again. It did this earlier this summer. I had to call tech support because I couldn’t “chat” with them because my laptop was dead, right? This was not a satisfactory experience. It took forever to get to an actual person and when I did that person couldn’t help me but said someone would CALL me back. They didn’t.

That time my laptop revived itself after the weekend although I have had a funny feeling ever since that it was not “right”. I did everything I could think of today but no cigar. I knew I had to call tech support. Again. So… I listened to the whole long COVID spiel and selected things from the menu and set myself to W-A-I-T for the 10 (I think, it was hard to hear) people ahead of me. There was cheesy, jangly music but it was occasionally interrupted by a mumbly female voice recording. I couldn’t always understand what it said (because mumbly) but it kept talking about the online support portal and I had an epiphany that MAYBE I could access it via my phone.

I never did catch the url but hey, Amazon Woman, can you send me a link? She did and I grabbed my phone and after maybe 10 minutes of fumbling, I had a ticket. I can even go back and check on that ticket.

One remaining problem I didn’t get solved. I wanted to upload a couple of pics of the errors I was getting. It wouldn’t accept them. Why not, they’re just jpgs? Except they weren’t just jpgs because the iPhone now makes heics. I airdropped them over to my MacBook Pro and converted them to jpgs and airdropped them back. Alas, clicking on the attach link didn’t do anything. Okay. I tried. At least this time around I can go out to the support site and check on my ticket and its progress or lack thereof in this case. I was able to join a meeting by phone this afternoon. Other than that I finished my book, Corrag, this afternoon. I loved this book. The main character reminds me a lot of my mouse with her affinity for nature.

And now it’s cousin-y here again. npJane late Sunday night. Lizard Breath yesterday afternoon. Road Warrior UKW this afternoon.

The rice will be okay

August 30th, 2021 by kayak woman

I’ve been alone except for a brief drive-by from the GG for quite a while here. It’s okay. There are plenty of neighbors around and a cousin-neighbor next door. Late last night npJane arrived at the Old Cabin. And this afternoon a beach urchin arrived at the moomincabin. I worked a full day today but will rachet back for the rest of the week.

I love how we share at this place. I hit up Pat’s grocery store this morning. Soy sauce was on the list sent to me by my beach urchin but I didn’t buy any because I thought I had it. I did but not very much. But npJane ducked her head into my office to ask if I needed anything from Ace Hardware. Well, not but Pat’s Groceries is two doors down and soy sauce? She checked the Old Cabin’s copious supply of stuff but didn’t find soy sauce so she got me (as instructed) the smallest bottle available.

That’s how this beach works. We share supplies with each other if we need to and are welcome to snag things from other people’s pantries if we need them, whether or not they are home. It all evens out in the end. Way back when I remember The Commander needing tuna fish in a pinch and going next door to The White Tornado’s cabin to steal some when The White Tornado was not even there.

The rice wasn’t really okay. It was boiling over and its owner was making a quick trip to the beach to catch the sunset. KW managed to turn the WRONG burner down. It all worked out in the end and it was a WONDERFUL tofu dish. And I WILL clean the burner pan, which is no doubt filthy as all getout. And the rice pan is soaking over night. So nice to have adult children cook for you and let you do the dishioshios.

More folks to arrive throughout the week. And some of them also to leave. Lots of people in and out. Love them all!

A welcome lack of sunset

August 29th, 2021 by kayak woman

It wasn’t a spectacular sunset (last night) but that was okay because it was FINALLY cool enough to slug around down on the beach.

Today was a totally different kind of day weather-wise. Hot and sunny again but more air moving around. Then. What time was it? I’ll just check my Dark Sky weather app… It was between noon and two. A huge storm rolled through. There was so much water coming down outta the sky that I had to decamp to INSIDE the moomincabin. I did not get an alert for that but boy oh boy, did we need it! It only cooled us off for a short time though and we were back to relentless heat and sun. Until… A nor’wester kicked up and as I write this another smaller storm is making its way through.

After the Big Storm, I headed down to the beach to take a look and I heard the freighter distress signal coming from… Where? No freighters were in sight and I couldn’t tell which direction it was coming from. Marine Traffic told me the Oberstar was upbound entering Whitefish Bay and The H. Lee White was downbound in the St. Marys River between here and the locks. I looked at Marine Traffic again a few minutes later and the H. Lee white was SIDEWAYS in the river. Then stopped. Finally it was downbound again and is now making its way through the rock cut toward DeTour and wherever. I do not know what was going on and hope no one was hurt. I mean the Cuyahoga recently went viral in a video of its near miss with a sailboat in the St. Clair River. If you are in a small bote and a FREIGHTER is coming along GET OUTTA THE WAY! JEEBUS! Follow @asailoratnight or other Great Lakes cap’ns on instagram for a view of what they see from the bridge on those huge botes.

Thinking of that, somebody posted on FB about attending a funeral recently where there wasn’t a dry eye. Turns out it was a young man (25) who had died in a boating accident in Brimley. I didn’t recognize his name but eventually an obit was posted and I clicked over and… His aunt was my best friend throughout grade school, even though she went to the Catholic school and I went to Stinkin’ Linkin’, a few blocks away. His mom was my friend’s younger sister and I have to admit we were not always (ahem) very nice to her. We were sorta holy terrors in general but in our defense, we had to deal with the neighborhood BOYZ, including dodging the rock throwers (four, yeah FOUR, brothers) along my alley. I haven’t seen any of these folks in umpteen gazillion years and didn’t know of his existence but very sorry about his death. It sounded like he was a good person with a promising future and all I can say is water accidents can happen fast even if you are following all the rules. I don’t know what happened, just saying.