Random bits of my so-called life.

Got my Electric Jack-O-Lantern out. Am I good to go? 🎃

October 6th, 2015 by kayak woman

jacky0This is The Commander’s Electric Jack-O-Lantern and I am sure I am repeating this story but that cute li’l Timehop app produced a pic of The Comm’s Jacky-O today and it brought me back a bit.

Spring/summer of 2011 was when I was forced by life, the universe, and everything to move The Commander to an assisted living facility (FV) and take away her driving privileges. The decision to move to FV was made right out in open plain sight with me (and other relatives and friends) extolling the virtues of living at FV and some wonderful social workers (who loved and respected The Comm) mediating the conversation. I knew that she could not live alone in her house any more and FV was 1) a familiar entity, 2) one of her BFFs lived there, and 3) it was a half-mile from her house, which we were not in a hurry to sell while she was alive. She didn’t really want to move to FV but she accepted it. She was less interested in giving up her car and it took some cagey-ness on my part (and hers too, actually) to make that happen. In the end, we helped her “save face”. She sold her car willingly but she left the earth with a valid Michigan driver’s license. Very important to someone as independent as The Commander, who had learned to drive in the field behind her house in Garden City at the age of 12 or whatever.

Fall of 2011, she was [not particularly happily but that’d be a whole ‘nother story] ensconced in her beautiful studio apartment at FV. A demand! I want my Electric Jack-O-Lantern! Saaaaay what? I could not figger out what the heck she was talking about. Of course, she wanted to decorate her apartment. (I felt awful for not proactively thinking about that, by the way.) It was either The Beautiful Jan or The Goddess Connie who said something like, “I know where that is.” And so the pumpkin-type artifact in the photooo graced her apartment there that fall. And my living space ever since.

We’ll eventually put some other Halloween-type decorations out and maybe a certain mad scientist will even don a lab coat and use a power drill to make a jack-o-lantern at some point. I dunno if I’ll stuff VanDeGriffe this year or not. I don’t think I did it last year.

For now, I have Jacky-O out there. We’ll go from there.

With some stuff left unsaid because Internet

October 5th, 2015 by kayak woman

doellesSo, the old lighthouse keepers house at the end of the moominbeach has been vandalized. I do not have the complete details. I am not sure having those details would matter.

If I am remembering correctly, it was teenagers who destroyed the old front range light way back when I was also a teenager. It wasn’t me or my cousins or our PiedyMcNott friends who did it. It was some kids [that I didn’t know very well] whose parents rented the Yellow Cabin that Our Northern Correspondent has now owned for years. She did NOT own it then. The Stevens did and they sometimes rented it out to folks who had destructive teenage children but they also rented it out to some good folks too and I’m trying to think of my friend Jenny’s last name, whose parents were friends of mine.

Me and my cousins and our friends would walk down to the old lighthouse keepers’ house late every night in the summer. We walked down there in the dark and once we got down there, we would sit on the steps and some people would do their best to spook the beejeebus outta their cuzzints and friends. I was spooked more often than not! But I am not spooked any more and can I just say that when my beloved young cousin C*Q*L and I recently talked about the Doelle house being haunted, I asked her if she really thought the Doelle place was haunted and I asked her if she knew which one of her great uncles was good at freaking people out about ghosts and things. She doesn’t believe in the haunting and she knew *exactly* which great uncle and we shared a huuuuge laugh.

When we were kids, there was no road down into the old lighthouse keepers’ house. The guy who owned that place had to drive a motorboat across our bay to get there. It’s sad that there is now a road into there, even though it often resembles a canal. I’m not sure what the folks who built that road were thinking. It provides a way into the place and that means that people can more easily vandalize it. With no one living there and no adjacent neighbors, it’s an easy target.

Because they are Pokeberries / Pokeweed

October 4th, 2015 by kayak woman

fallcolorThanks for the plant ID from yesterday. I guess I was close, at least in the sense that pokeberries rhymes with chokecherries. As I think I have said before, I am random at plant/bird/etc. identification.

Today? I dunno what kind of leaves these are. They are red and signify some of the first fall color we’ve seen around here. Even at Tahq last weekend, there was very little. Actually, it was like summer up there last weekend except that there were very few bothersome insects.

This wee bit of color is on the Losee Lake Trail, accessible from Silver Lake Beach in the Pinckney State Rec Area. Way back when, before the beach urchins, we used to sometimes park at Silver Lake and hike parts of the Potawatomi Trail. It is something like 17-18 miles in total. We would usually plan on five or thereabouts. Once we managed to get *lost* on that trail. That was not a terribly good thing, given that I was four months pregnant at the time and we did not have water with us. Why? Because we only planned our usual five mile hike, which is kind of a quick no-brainer on that trail, or so we thought, since we knew the trail… Roight. We ended up hiking something like 15 miles that day… … … It was okay. I was okay. Lizard Breath was okay. We had a loverly dinner at Seva that night and I felt LB kick for the first time. (Hope that’s not all TMI! 🐗)

It was just a *few* years before we managed to find time to venture back onto the Poto again. We had two young children by then and, boy oh boy, were things different! Mountain bikes everywhere, coming [fast] out of nowhere, given that the trail is twisty-turny up-and-down in many places. I have nothing against mountain biking or bikers whatsoever, just that I had no idea that the trail we used to hike was now so busy with bikers. It’s okay. There are MANY trails around here that are designated specifically for foot traffic so we have a lot of choices, actually a lot more than bikers do.

Like the Losee Lake Trail, accessible via the same parking lot as the Poto. We drove into the Silver Lake parking lot during the polar vortex winter and I saw a sign for the Losee Lake Trail but there was no way I could navigate the huge snowbanks between the parking lot and the trail map to figure out where the trail went. I’ve always wanted to go back though and so today, we somewhat randomly found ourselves out at Silver Lake and we hiked the shortest loop. It was probably a couple of miles total but there is the potential for four or five or maybe even six if you do the whole thing. It’s a pretty quick drive from home and there’s a coffee kiosk along the way. We’ll be back!

I want to call these choke cherries but I don’t think that’s what they are 🐗

October 3rd, 2015 by kayak woman

berriesChilly and windy and rainy as today was, I would like to put it on repeat. I could say that my favorite part of the day was my pre-dawn trek downtown to the farmer’s market. It is getting toward the end of the season but I was still able to get things like local sweet corn, lima beans, and teensy tinesy brussel sprouts. And tomatoes but those seem to be available at the market much of the year nowadays. I suspect some of our farmers are using hoop houses and whatever.

We were surprised that our friend “Wan Oo” was not at her eclectic booth this morning but we liked “Sun”, her enthusiastic replacement (and long-time friend/neighbor). Sun said something about the “R” word. I can’t see that applying to Wan Oo but who knows. If that’s the case, I hope Wan Oo still visits at least part time. We traded in an empty kimchee jar for a discount on a new one and bought a wee acorn(?) squash.

After the usual Saturday morning Landfill chores, we decided to walk downtown and visit our fave new waitress for lunch at the Griz. Wouldn’t you know, my mouse child showed up just in time to horn in on our plans. So much fun. We found the beauteous berries (?) in the photoooo on the way home. I have seen these in the area before but never in such profusion. Alas, I do not know what they are. I tried to call them choke cherries but my mouse called me out on that and some subsequent googling suggests that they are probably not choke cherries. Anyone know?

We wore glubs today! Those little knit KMart/WalMart/Meijer glubs that cost something like $1.00. It is not really all that cold out there today but, with the wind and rain, they took the edge off. Y’all are taaaarrred of hearing about Titanium Pinky but she had an interesting time with the glubs. You know how when you put glubs on, your fingers kind of push themselves into them? Well, I didn’t. But now I do, because TP sort of *didn’t* push into her appointed spot. She has gotten a bit lazy and kind of whined and demanded, “*You* put me in there.” Well, okay. I helped her that first time but later on when I put glubs on for a late afternoon woods walk, TP was well on the way to relearning that particular Great Lake State skill.

BTW, I am not sure why I refer to TP with feminine pronouns. It feels right to me for whatever reason. I hope it isn’t too annoying.


October 2nd, 2015 by kayak woman

I dunno where to start here. I am just taaaarrrred. I was so tired tonight that I called a taxi to get us home from the Oscar Tango. Except I didn’t have to call anyone and it wasn’t an official taxi. I just asked the folks across the table from us if we could have a ride home. Of *course*! I mean, they are always offering rides. “It’s too cold to walk.” “It’s too hot to walk.” “It’s too windy to walk.” Whatever. We almost never take them up on a ride home. We *like* to walk home from the Oscar Tango after dinner on Friday night. Tonight? I dunno. I used the GG’s recent medical adventure as an excuse but really, I think he would’ve been fine (even though it was his *second* walk downtown today). I think it is meeeeee who is taaaaarrrred.

The last week has been quite something, beginning with an unscheduled visit to the surgical facilities at War Memorial Horsepittal, then a gorgeous weekend hiking and camping at the unseasonably warm (and green) Tahquamenon Falls area. I just about bit the bullet late last Saturday afternoon but I am not a napper and eventually caught myself a bit of a second wind. A long and somewhat complicated day of driving on Monday, then four days of work with a final visit to the bone doc squeezed into it all. It was all good. Just, goddamn, am I tired or what? I will be up and walking to the farmer’s market early tomorrow morning. I wonder if they’ll still have local corn down there. I hope they do. If so, it’ll be the last.

I was telling W1.5 and the LSCHP some of the possible reasons we might actually take a ride home from the OT. Thunderstorms? Definitely! Then there was the time the GG wore the wrong boots. It was a cold winter night and his feet hurt and we took an actual taxi. I mean one we found on the street, not a taxi of porterization. And one cold, windy night last winter when I was on the edge of a cold virus. I decided I didn’t want to walk home (not that a cold normally stops me) and then I woke up at that Batscope Hour with a low-grade fever and sore throat. Good decision, eh?

Tonight? Just tired. Thanks, friends.

You’re not Shuggy!

October 1st, 2015 by kayak woman

yukonBut you are absolutely welcome to use my Handy Dandy Planet Ann Arbor Garbage Cart anyway. Actually I didn’t say that to LofP when he rang my doorbell today. I said, “I’m so glad you are not a solicitor. I was ready to BITE!” And I did not mean “bite” in the sense of buying something I don’t need or want.

Once upon a time, we were expecting a visit from “Shuggy”, whose family lives around the corner and, as far as I know, has not gone by that nickname in many years. I have no memory of exactly what was going on at The Landfill that day but it seems like it was chaotic in a happy kind of way (YAG production? Maybe…). I swung open the door expecting Shuggy but it was *not* Shuggy, it was LofP from across the street. Instead of saying “hello”, my greeting was “You’re not Shuggy!” I am not anywhere near the so-called autism spectrum but my social skills obviously lack at times.

So, today he wanted to put something in my almost-empty garbage cart. Any time there’s room sir! Good neighbors. When we moved in here, LofP’s parents lived in that house and LofP was a single young guy with a motor-sickle. I don’t have an accurate timeline here but in the eight years between buying The Landfill and Mouse going to kindergarten, dad moved out, then died, mom began tottering around and was *moved* out (and died), and LofP got married, bought/inherited/Idunno the house, and had a child who is now a wonderful kindergarten teacher.

What did I say to the bone doc today when he asked how Titanium Pinky was? She is beautiful! And she is. She is not 100% functional yet but I’d give her 98%. Do I engage in any hard impact/extreme sports? Yes, he asked that. I said I was a hiker, kayaker, and CROSS-COUNTRY skier, in other words, no. Hiking and kayaking are no-brainers but I could see the wheels going around just a bit after he heard the word “ski”. He recovered quickly though and said something about when the snow flies, I should be good to go. And I will be and I am (these days) a pretty careful skier anyway, even XC. Strong in terms of endurance but not interested in too much treacherous downhill stuff. And then, my hands posed for some photooos, for teaching purposes. Apparently, my particular titanium screw is something new 🐸. I was honored to oblige.

BTW: “Bone doc?” Try “hand surgeon”. There are several places here that I could’ve accessed a hand surgeon to fix my pinky. I chose the one that was on my way to work. My hand surgeon (who I will not see again unless it’s at the “mall”) is working on starting a hand transplant program at the already world-reknowned university horsepittal here. That said, I am not gonna go on and on about big vs. small hoosegows and the differences between the docs at both. It is like comparing apples and oranges and papayas and durians and passion fruit. All I will say is that, if you have to deal with a Surprise Appendectomy up in the Yooperland, War Memorial is not the worst place to land and may even surpass the world class facilities available here on The Planet Ann Arbor. There was not much going on up at War Memorial that day so “we” got a *lot* of attention. And once he was out of surgery, I was cleared to go and deal with our hotel reservation (Ojibway!) and get his pain pills (Arfstroms) and I could walk to all of that except that I had to drive the Ninja to the hotel (3 blocks away) in order to get one vee-hickle down there and unload my personal luggage. And then drive the GG down there in the Frog Hopper, although he could’ve probably walked… … …

When in doubt (or bored), meta

September 30th, 2015 by kayak woman

metaphotoIt is fall. I couldda gotten away with wearing tights today. And a turtleneck sweater. Got my eye on this J.Jill skirt but not sure if I would really wear it. I think the basic color is dark/navy/whatever blue. I don’t dislike that color but my basic color (for bizcaz, anyway) is Black As the Ace of Spades so I don’t really want to start trying to deal with *another* basic color. The idea is to keep the Landfill Closet lean and mean. It looks like there *is* some black in the skirt. Still, not sure if it would make it into my Regular Rotation. Need thinking time.

The “patient”? Took yesterday and today off. Walked downtown and back today. I’m not all that crazy about the “back” part of that but he seems to be doing well. It is important to be active post-surgery (as we were told) but the issue with the GG can be *how* active is active. 17-mile hike? Nooooo. But it is only two miles or thereabouts to downtown so down and back is four altogether and although there are a few little hills and a small woods trail if you choose to walk through Miller Woods, walking to downtown on The Planet Ann Arbor is a stroll in the park compared to the rugged trail between the falls at Tahquamenon, which features long steep uphills, etc. I was very proud of myself last weekend that I could pretty much keep up with my children on the Tahq trail without getting all sweaty and out of breath. Or maybe they were just humoring me. I know that they are capable of hiking/climbing much more difficult trails.

Where was I? The GG is going to work tomorrow and that is significant in a couple of ways. One is that he is feeling well enough to go to work and the other is that they are not shutting down the damn government this year (at least not tomorrow). I have been trying to get used to the idea of having him home during the day. He earned his keep with me today via taking a short grokkery list to Meijer to get some things that the Plum Market doesn’t carry. Why oh why did I not also ask him to take back the growing number of bags of returnables I’ve been storing in the Ninja? I do not know. Returning cans and bottles is usually a Garbage Woman task but truly, anyone can do it.

I’ll end with a little story about The Commander. During the last couple years of her life, the Soo Supervalu grokkery store set up some bottle return musheens outside the store. OUTSIDE! IN SAULT STE. SIBERIA! IN THE WINTER! That wouldda been okay with me. It was not okay with The Commander. She marched her returnables inside and said something like, “I am not gonna use that thing.” Of COURSE, they took her bottles back at the cashier’s station (they are required to do that anyway if you ask). The Supervalu was good to her on other occasions. Like the one where she forgot her credit card and the cashier rang up her grokkeries ANYWAY and let her leave without paying for them, knowing that their elderly [frequent] customer would be back with the money. And that elderly [honest] customer did come back with the money and many apologies. That’s how things roll in a small town like Sault Ste. Siberia.

What color did I get?

September 29th, 2015 by kayak woman

Can you guess?


Not really all that excited. Here is my post when we got our first iPhones back in 2007. It was pouring rain the day we bought them and it poured most of the next day, during which Mouse and I did Senegal related errands and then I picked up UKW at Metro and we headed north. I don’t remember the photo being as fuzzy but whatever.


MMCB took the first pic on my first new iPhone back in 2007. We were at Barry Bagels and it was an accidental photo and she was soooo apologetic. I loved it and kept that photo on my phone for a long time but eventually it disappeared.


Mercury Retrograde Weekend

September 28th, 2015 by kayak woman

So, at 0-skunk-30 Friday morning, I was in the Blue and Only and an incoming text said something about being in the “Sault hospitdl”. I calmly schlepped the clean cabin laundry into the Ninja, ate a half-bowl of Cheerios and headed north. I was already in the process of packing to go north at 0-skunk-30 on Friday but my destination shifted 60 miles to the east. If I am gonna be at the Sault “Hospitdl”, I will most likely have a chance to take the damn laundry to the cabin.

Without giving TMI, yes, there was a Surprise Appendectomy on Friday afternoon. At War Memorial “Hospitdl”. Where I was born umpteen gazillion years ago (and initially had my broken pinky evaluated and splinted this summer). Again, without giving TMI, this was kind of a drive-by deal, where the “donor” was in and out in a wee bit more than 12 hours. Yay for laparascopy is about all I can say. Here we are in our loverly room at the Hotel Ojibway post-surgery. The GG is talking to one of our nieces (I think he called two of them that night) and I am taking a photo through the mirror to show to the beach urchins and others that he is alive and well and not languishing in a “hospitdl” bed at WMH. After I took this photo, we walked next door to the Palace Saloon, where he ate a cup of soup and drank some water. Yes.


I have to say that, at the end of that day, there were so many storms of text and other messages that I kind of lost track. Add to that the “interesting” messages that the “patient” himself sent when he was feeling fiiiiine and random selfies from some people at the Cozy Inn 🐸. If you messaged me in any way and did not receive an intelligible response, I apologize!

Against all odds, we managed by hook or by crook to join our North Country Trail buddies at Tahquamenon late Saturday morning. We had two vee-hickles and one fully functional driver in Sault Ste. Siberia and The Commander’s house has not been an option for dropping off a car for a few years although my brain kept going there… After running through various scenarios in my mind, on Saturday morning, I decided the GG was okay enough to drive the Frog Hopper out to the moomincabin. While he visited with Pete, I dropped off the Ninja for the weekend, then I drove us up to Tahquamenon.

The GG was well enough to hang out at our NCT chapter’s table at the lower falls. I hiked “solo” from the lower to the upper falls. I had so much fun. I ran into all kinds of people including the UU (the GG’s identical twin) and NCT folks and just all kinds of other folks. At the upper falls, the Beach Urchins were waiting! They had come up to help us schlep vee-hickles home. They had planned a Sister Camping Trip for the weekend to explore the Lake Michigan shore in the lower peninsula but they were concerned enough about their dad to change those plans and drive to the yooperland instead. And you know what? It was GORGEOUS in the yooperland this weekend. It felt like summer.

We all camped at the Tahquamenon State Park Rivermouth campground. We had the Lyme Lounge in the section with lucky-shucky. Our daughers chose tent camping in the more rustic section. I cannot describe how beautiful the Rivermouth campground is, so I will just post the pic below of my kids’ silhouettes down by the river on Saturday evening (can anyone guess what those round things are attached to the “kid” on the right?)


The GG and I had originally planned on driving back on Sunday but, given the circumstances, we both decided to take Monday off. Therefore, we were at the Rivermouth campground last night and were able to watch the total eclipse of the moon from the empty campsite next door to the beach urchins’ campsite. So beautiful!

Once today, twice tomorrow

September 27th, 2015 by kayak woman


Hiking between the falls alone was so much fun yesterday that I did both ways today. I had company this time. All is well. When we pick up the Ninja tomorrow, maybe I’ll use the wifi there to post a pic. Wonder of wonders, I accomplished that at the campground this morning. Update: Well, except that, when I got home to The Landfill today and looked at my blahg on my actual laptop (which I haven’t used since early Saturday morning), I realized that the hiking pic in this entry was sideways. I THINK it’s because it was a “portrait” oriented photo uploaded via my [old] iPhone. Should be fixed now.

Quick while I have some service

September 26th, 2015 by kayak woman


Beautiful solo hike between the falls today. All is well. KW is taaarrred.

Unintelligibility from the Hotel Ojibway

September 25th, 2015 by kayak woman

About all I have to say is that War Memorial seems to have some kind of strange hold on my family. All is well here in Sault Ste. Siberia and no it did not involve me or Titanium Pinky (who drove the Ninja and its 6-speed manual transmission the five hours it takes to get up here with the aplomb of the Flute Finger she once was and is going to be again soon!)

P. S. The moon is bee-yoo-ty-ful tonight. Wish you were here! 💜

(Oh my, I just caught myself acting like The Commander. You don’t want to know.)

Luuuuuv blahg [snort 🐗]

September 24th, 2015 by kayak woman

yarnsnakesHow many times did I say “I love” [this, that, or whatever] in yesterday’s blahg? Kee-reist. Whether you are one of my nine regulars or some poor soul who stumbled along looking for something else, all I can say is something like, “Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer chances.” — Sam (archaeologist, not dog, sometime back in the day but I bet she still says it).

Why do I bother slapping some words up here day after day after day so a few people who obviously do not have enough to do can watch the paint dry? I do not know. I have no interest in a writing career (although writing skills are necessary for ANY job in the info tech industry and probably quite a few others). I just like to journal. I never got along with keeping a written diary but somehow, when the internet came along, I couldn’t keep my hands off the keyboard. Yes, let’s tell everybody all about my life and I’ll post some pictures too. If I can, that is. Back in the 1990s, posting a photo to the internet was more often than not an exercise in total frustration (and it may be that way this weekend since I’ll be hanging around up at Tahq).

What do I have to offer here? Well, usually the spelling, although there are those moments when I omit and/or insert an apostrophe in a word that needs one or doesn’t. I know better and I am always mortified when I make those kinds of mistakes because spelling was something I was always good at as a kid and I remember clearly the “there/their/they’re” and “its/it’s” worksheets we got in second grade or whenever it was. I got 100% on just about every spelling test I ever took as a kid, yet I still make these kind of mistakes. I correct that kind of stuff but how the heck do you delete a whole crapload of “I love” stuff out of yer boring old paint-drying blahg. Tomorrow will be [today is] a new day. Onward.

Writing? I occasionally look back through the years, usually when I am looking for something like Mike Cat. Sometimes I used to be funnier. Sometimes I used to be more boring. I used to be… I am just a baggy old kayak woman making her way through life and writing about the parts that she can write about, sometimes more entertainingly than others.

Love y’all, especially those of you who have bothered to keep up.

Should I read this book?

September 23rd, 2015 by kayak woman

infinitejestWhen I go to art exhibits, I am capable of looking the “part” of the art intelligentsia, if you will. I’m pretty sure I don’t look like the kind of art intelligentsia person that The Commander taught me to be but I do fit in. The problem is that, although I like going to art exhibits, I usually do not have a clue in hell. As much as I LOVED our trek over to the Cranbrook Art Museum last Sunday and as much as I wanted to spend a day in DayTwa with my daughter, I struggled because I also wanted to go out and hike somewhere in the woods. Nick Cave’s exhibit (and Lizard Breath (and the Green Dot)) won and, of course, I loved the exhibit.

It was a bit difficult for me when we went down to book exhibit in the basement. I LOVED the exhibits down there but the young docent on duty down there kept trying to explain things to me. He was wonderful and he was just doing his job but I was kinda like mumble mumble. I think he thought I might be an art-type person. Little did he know I didn’t really understand a word he was saying. For one thing, there were a few handmade books that we were encouraged to actually touch (except that they were fragile). I was confused. There’s a rule but there’s a contradictory rule (touch but don’t touch). And then, there is Titanium Pinky. She is doing REALLY REALLY WELL! but somehow in some way that I cannot put into words, I was afraid to touch the touchable books with TP. Since I could not in any way put this feeling into words, I chose not to share it with the young docent. My pinky does not LOOK broken any more and I didn’t figure he would understand my reticence about touching touchable books. Or maybe I should’ve said something…

I have never been to Cranbrook before. I loved our trip over there and I loved the campus and the museum and I will go back there. If you can get me outta the dern woods.

I named it “cat”. That’s why I couldn’t find it.

September 22nd, 2015 by kayak woman

Not sure if I had anything interesting to blahg about or not today but whatever may have been in the hopper got displaced by Pengo’s facebook post about how one of her cats (Simcoe) sat on her homework. Which meant that she couldn’t turn her homework in and her teacher didn’t believe her so she’ll flunk the class and never get the PhD she’s working on. Of course I am kidding about all of that. As if! But it reminded me of when the character below would come along and sit on my virtuoso-type flute music sheet as I was trying to play it.


Man oh man, did it take me a long time to find this photo. I knew I had it. I searched for “Mike” and “Muksaslouie” and “Muksaslooie”. Nada. Guess what? The photo is named “cat”. Who’da thunk I would name a photo of Muksaslouie “cat”? Jeebus. (If the Guru sees this, he will be shaking his head and muttering about tagging and yada yada and he is right but KW would need to implement the dreaded “R” word to find the time to nitz around with photos. Siiiiiighhh…)

So this big badass-looking cat was actually a badass cat. He ate aminals! Mice and squirrels and moles and whatever. I have mentioned him before. Technically, he belonged to my cousin but we were all young then and she left him with her parents, who doted on him as did the rest of us. Even The Commander (not a cat lover) used to let him into the moomincabin when she felt that I had been abed a wee bit too long so that he could walk on my head. Yes, it did wake me up. And I couldn’t even get mad because it was my fave CAT!

Below is me with Muksaslooie and I can’t exactly remember the circumstances (but I know that it was after I got married because I got that sweater in Nova Scotia) but I am pretty sure he was about to bite me. He didn’t put up with a whole lot of you-know-what and I’m sure I deserved it!


And so, how does a cat manage to walk on your music when you are practicing the flute? It is because yer fav-o-rite blahgger had the laziest flute playing posture on earth when practicing. At least at the moomincabin. She knew better and definitely stood to play when practicing at college. But here I am and I wonder if that yellow milk crate that I used to keep my music in is still around. (It’s probably down in the Landfill Dungeon…)



September 21st, 2015 by kayak woman

owlyAnd so it is the end of summer. We closed the moomincabin on Labor Day weekend. A little bit early but no one else indicated that they wanted to use it and we weren’t sure we could manage to get back up there between Labor Day and the Drop-Dead weekend, which is about the second weekend in October. When Mother Nature says something like, “If you do not button that place up, I am gonna hit you with a blizzard”. It is the Yooperland. Sh*t happens. If we lived 15 minutes away (like my parents did) or even a couple hours away, we could hang loose and take a quick drive up to close it if the weather looked threatening. Five hour drive and full-time careers? Not so much. Sorry.

Closing the cabin is not a big deal. After my parents retired, they stayed at the cabin hanging around with Radical Betty, etc., until sometime in October. Their signal to move back to town was when they encountered a wee bit of snow either on the ground or in the air. Okay, let’s go. They would drain the water, turn off the lucky-shucky, put the storm windows on and go. It takes a couple hours to close that place up.

This year, on our chosen closing weekend, we hosted some of our Sherman friends over at the Old Cabin, which is the log cabin my grandparents built in 1924. Yes, it is going on 100 years old. I was born when it was 30. And that makes me… Okay…

I use the term “host” lightly because my childhood friend Dan did all of the heavy lifting for hosting his family members on our beach. I provided a sewing needle and thread to his lovely cousin Lee, who I hadn’t even met before. If you knew The Commander, you know that she left sewing supplies behind and that her sometimes wayward daughter (who does know how to sew) *kept* a nice little container of sewing supplies at the moomincabin for just such an occasion. Note to self, what I had worked but we need a wider variety of hand-sewing needle sizes up there. It’s okay to have more than enough needles. Take some up.)

None of the usual Old Cabin inhabitants were up there when the Shermans were there but they graciously lent their cabin to our guests and npJane and I collaborated on schlepping the aftermath, laundry and recycling, mainly. I think npJane and I even “argued” a bit (with laughter dominating the “argument”) about who would do the laundry. I won. I know that most of it came from the moomincabin and what little came from the Old Cabin will be easily sorted out. (Sssh. Don’t let anyone know that there might be a few bits and pieces of Old Cabin laundry here at my house. You guys will get it back.)

I also sorted out a bunch of recycling, retrieving the egg cartons that I can drop off at work and a few returnables. I am programmed to do this kind of stuff and I usually smell like beer after a fun recycling session like today’s 🐸.

Good night,
Garbage Woman

Dragging Woodward in Ruby with the Ninja in hot pursuit

September 20th, 2015 by kayak woman

The GG and his sibs (all 10 of them) grew up in Royal Joke a few blocks from the legendary Woodward Boulevard, so they have many many many memories of that thoroughfare. Going to school and church at the Shrine of the Little Flower. Walking over to Woodward to get candy at the gas station and maybe even find a nice boyfriend there. Taking buses down to Daytwa and across (or under) the river to Cananananada and usually getting sent home (the Twinz of Terror did that anyway).

Growing up in Sault Ste. Siberia, we dragged Ash (or slashed it, depending upon your high school era). Ashmun was a whole heckuva lot shorter than Woodward and Woodward is a lot faster and scarier these days than it probably was back in the day.

Anyway, we began our outing today by driving over to the Cranbrook Art Museum to meet Lizard Breath and see the Nick Cave exhibit. Google it if you care. I am taaarrred. But here is yer fav-o-rite blahgger checking out part of the exhibit.


Cranbrook is way north of Detroit in the wealthy Bloomfield Hills suburb. Google it if you care. Beautiful school and museum. I rode with Liz in Ruby from Cranbrook down to Detroit. Should we take the Lodge Freeway or Woodward, moom? It was a gorgeous day and, on a whim, I said, “Let’s take Woodward!” So much fun. Here we go, quite a bit south of Bloomfield Hills and Cranbrook, entering the city of Detroit. Look at that beautiful sky!


On down into the “inner city” past a crazy looking police-type situation and the DIA and MOCAD and eventually we got to our fave Green Dot restaurant, following a red-light-running incident (someone was channeling Grandroobly) and a loud rock’n’roll singing thing that I wish I had a pitcher of. “Talkin’ ’bout my generation.” Liz may have wanted to take us somewhere else to eat but the GG was expecting Green Dot and that’s where we went. It is a loverly place where you can choose as many sliders or sides as you want. I got three sliders today: quinoa (yes I eat that stuff), mystery meat, and catfish.


Home again jiggety-jig and soooo taaaaarrred but took a walk to re-energize and then nPJane stopped by to drop off moomincabin laundry that we didn’t have room for after Labor Day and a wee bit of whine, commiseration, and laughter before we all have to jump back into the Adult World after this beautiful weekend.

Hope your weekend was good. Love y’all, KW.

Should we do this with the Blue and Only Terlet?

September 19th, 2015 by kayak woman

goldterletAll right! It is Saturday on the Planet Ann Arbor and it is a Football Saturday! I did not walk down to the farmer’s market this morning and lived to regret it. The problem? Thunderstorms in the area off and on throughout the night. Nice non-severe storms but I am not all that great at interpreting weather radar maps and could not tell if we were gonna get more of them or not so I hitched a ride with the GG. It turned out that I’d’ve had a dry, non-luckyshuckyal walk down there so I was pretty annoyed at myself.

It was all right though. For the second Football Saturday in a row, we hoofed it downtown for a beer and lunch at the Grizzly. It seems that we are becoming regulars there as we are now on a first name basis with the (lovely) bartender. I think this is a good habit to continue, as it fits in well with my weekend goal of walking as many miles as possible in between doing my chores. I did *not* do a good job on my chores today. I did *not* accomplish a comprehensive cleaning of the Blue and Only Bathroom. I think that’s partly because I know darn well its days are numbered but it is still not a good thing because we have to *use* The Blue and Only as is until around Thanksgiving and I do not like dirty bathrooms. That said, there are areas of The Blue and Only that were not what I’d call clean when we moved in (before our first child was born) and, as they are more or less un-cleanable, at least by yer fav-o-rite blahgger, I have learned to ignore them. Kami says the new floor and wall tiles will be installed with minimal space between them, so less opportunity for dirt and mold, etc.

A trip to the dump was also in order. Actually two trips, since we got there before it opened on the first attempt. And it wasn’t really the dump. It was the re-use center. They actually wanted the cloudy old glass panes from our Doorwall Glass Replacement Prodject and even some old completely flat Trashmobile trailer taaaarrrs. People might use those taaaarrrs for planters. Yes. As you can see, people use all kinds of artifacts for planters. I’m not sure I want to use the Blue Terlet for a planter but Someone seems to want to keep the dern thing, so we’ll see. Being that we live on The Planet Ann Arbor, it’s doubtful that anyone would bug us about keeping a terlet in the yard. Or a Bathtub Madonna but we’ll talk about those some other day.

The GG is cooking a chicken on the grill tonight. He has been chomping at the bit to cook a chicken on the grill but last weekend was too soon because he cooked a chicken on the grill up at the moomincabin on Labor Day weekend. It has now been two weeks and so I guess it is okay for him to cook a chicken. And a squash. And we’ll have penne with pesto (basil from the market) and fresh lima beans (from the market) and a simple green salad. And Mouse is coming over! Yay for Mouse!

Six-speed manual transmission!

September 18th, 2015 by kayak woman

mirrorI pulled in to my regular parking space this morning just as Louie-Louiiii was pulling his fancy new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon into *his* parking space. He NOTICED that I was driving my Ninja! He said something like, “You must be feeling better to be driving that vee-hickle”. He meant that Titanium Pinky and the hand she is attached to feel better, of course, not KW overall (although it is amazing how one teensy tinesy broken bone can affect an entire person’s body and sense of well-being).

Louie-Louiiii is a car freak and he notices what vee-hickles people own. I’ll never fergit when the Ninja was relatively young (we bought it new in 2008) and Louie-Louiiii approached my cube one day asking if he could ask me a “personal” question. Hmmm. Well okay. Why not? “Is that Honda Civic SI 6-speed manual *your* car?” I love L-L (in a co-worker kind of way, of course) and I just about cracked up. I mean, the GG and I own vee-hickles jointly but it is true that I tend to gravitate toward driving the Ninja more often than not. I *think* that L-L was a bit flabbergasted that a baggy old bag would prefer to drive something like the Ninja rather than, oh, I dunno what, a top-dollah Honda Accord (like my old Dogha) or some sort of soccer theatre mom vee-hickle like my old POC or a [loverly] Subaru Outback like the one I’ve been driving the past month or so because I couldn’t drive stick with a damn broken pinky.

Not only did I drive the Ninja to work today, I dipped out at lunchtime to sign on the big black line over at DreamMaker. The pic is Kami’s from a week ago of yer fav-o-rite blahgger and her chosen mirror. I look a bit upset (or grumpy or whatever) in the pic. I am not. I am merely in the throes of making an Executive Decision. This mirror’s brown/black/gold frame will riff off our new black-stained cabinet doors nicely.

Walked downtown to the Oscar Tango and back on this beautiful warm September evening. So many people outside in the neighborhood tonight. How many warm nights are left to us? Here’s Sting with one of my fave songs ever, Fields of Gold (probably preceded by an ad, sorry).

If we meet again, I hope it’s at the mall!

September 17th, 2015 by kayak woman

workpondSecond and last visit with the occupational therapists today. Couldn’t get Heather this time but I loved Ida just as much. She immediately started talking about that head transplant article that I keep seeing on the side of my facebook timeline (or whatever the heck it is). Apparently it’s real? At any rate, they are having a laugh over there at the bone doc’s office. We segued from there to the rich man’s version of texting via a Rolls Royce with a built-in pipe organ that you can play from the driver’s seat. We overheard this via another patient and Ida was googling like crazy. It’s okay, she was also multi-tasking, as she had me all wrapped up in towels and hot pads of some sort and was waiting for Titanium Pinky to “cook” before she got to the point of “manipulating” it. That was my word and she spooked a bit at that and said the word “courtroom’. I told her I would NEVER take her to court but I know that kind of thing happens because well, there are people who will sue someone or some entity whether they have a valid reason to or not. I don’t think that my OT has been in court. I think that the Umich health system has experienced something like this and has advised everyone how to be careful to avoid court. Sigh.

Anyway, we had fun with Titanium Pinky and I “graduated” to a couple of additional exercises and a “buddy” thingy to use during my hand exercises to make sure my fingers re-learn how to make a proper fist without any crossover. Since I have to drive the Ninja next week anyway, I am doing an experimental trip to work with it tomorrow. I will be okay *anyway* but I think that the new buddy thingies will help. Yikes! Rocks had shoulder surgery a while back and her ex would not trade vee-hickles with her so she was reaching over with her left hand to shift. 1) We all take things like driving for granted and 2) I can’t even imagine being married to someone who wouldn’t let me drive the automatic until my finger healed, let alone days when there is too damn much ice on my commute for the Ninja’s performance taaaars to handle.

Before my first OT session, I filled out a form about my injury. There were lots of questions about how much pain doing various activities caused. You know the 1-10 pain scale, roight? My answers were 1 at the most. I have not had a lot of pain throughout this whole thing and I am not stupid enough to try to do things that I KNOW will stress my finger enough to cause excruciating pain.

Do I care about my hand’s appearance? I was initially puzzled by that question because I have always loved how my fingers looked. They are strong, flexible, functional fingers and I have used them to do many things in my life, including some specialized things like playing musical instruments. I quickly realized that there are probably many folks who are dealing with the kind of arduous multi-surgery process involved in re-building a completely mangled hand. My heart goes out to them.

That said, Ida and I were talking about the wrinkles that we all have at our knuckles and wrists. Apparently some folks (as they age?) get freaked out about those wrinkles and want plastic surgeons to remove them or smooth them out or whatever. I LOVE those wrinkles. They aren’t really all that different than they were when I was a child. They are there for the purpose of allowing us to bend our fingers at their joints. It would never have occurred to me to ask someone to remove those wrinkles.

At the end, we bid farewell and Ida said that if we met again, she hoped it was at the mall. I don’t go to the mall (unless I am forced to go to the “genius” bar) but she doesn’t know that and I got the point!