Random bits of my so-called life.

The error shot

April 24th, 2015 by kayak woman

atlantaGiven the tight timeline defining our little odyssey, we knew that we would have a few days of long freeway slodges. We did NOT plan on driving through Atlanta during the rush hour. Even we know better than that. But whatever, that is exactly what we ended up doing today.

I texted this phone screenshot to my Atlantan BFF today as we were slowly wending our way through the city. On the off chance that you aren’t familiar with Google maps on the iPhone, we are the blue dot in the northwest quadrant of the screen, just under the “401”. You can see Piedmont Park over to the right at about the same latitude as the blue dot and that is near Sam’s house. Of *course* Sam said COME OVER TO OUR HOUSE! And boy oh boy, did I want to right then. At least a part of me wanted to. The other half wanted to put a few more miles behind us. Our goal at that point was Chattanooga.

In the end, after some more texting and a phone call, we did continue to bite down hard on the bullet and stayed on the freeway. It took a while and *almost* more patience than my panicky personality could handle but we did eventually drive out of all that doggamn red stuff. We are now safely (?) ensconced in a hotel in Chattanooga. Would I drive through Atlanta on the freeway every day if I lived there? I would do everything I could possibly do to avoid it. Today? It was AWFUL but we only had to do it TODAY and (KNOCK ON WOOD BIGTIME — OHAAAAO, I AM LOOKING AT YOU), we have had almost zero traffic slowdowns this entire trip. I did not like some of the construction north of Tampa on the way down but that was because the pavement was awful and it rained, so there was standing water and I felt like I was hydroplaning a couple of times. The biggest problem I had on that stretch was that I wanted to go slower but it was unsafe to do that, despite the hydroplaning.

But here we are in Chattanooga and guess what? The weather forecast wants to bring us tornadoes tomorrow. Potentially, anyway. We’ll see. It sounds as though we will miss any big ugly storms if we drive north, so maybe it’s best we didn’t stop in Atlanta. I dunno. Taaaaarrred at the end of this day and feeling like we may have dodged a potential mugger downtown after dinner tonight. Toooooo friendly for my taste. Works in the carnival business and anxious to get back to work soon because he (and his girlfriend?) are currently living in a tent. Okay. Took a different direction back to the Frog Hopper than he was walking.

G’night, KW

Whirlwind

April 23rd, 2015 by kayak woman

snootyA nephew first cousin once removed in Knoxville, friends in Atlanta, sister, brother-in-law, and brother in Bradenton, niece in Gainesville. And then there’s Snooty, our manatee friend. Click here for a better photo and click here for his history. He is 66 years old. Yes, that is older than me!

We visited Snooty in 1992 and the beach urchins fell in love with him. They had Snooty t-shirts and somebody decorated an Easter egg to look like Snooty (and got really upset when a parental unit threw it out). One of the beach urchins was involved in a mascot naming event at school and her nose got a wee bit out of joint when her table voted to call themselves the Tigers rather than the Manatees.

I don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about Snooty but for one reason or another, he blipped on to my radar screen a few weeks ago and, duh, Snooty is right on the way to Aunt Susie’s house and we can *visit* him! And so we did and were lucky enough to get there at feeding time. The GG didn’t really want to spend $38 ($19 museum entrance fee) “just” to see Snooty but I put my foot down. We have driven all the way down here and we are gonna go visit our friend and I don’t *care* what it costs.

Snooty has a new tank since we were last there and you can’t get close to him any more. Back then he would get right up in your face and you could smell his breath. I’ll leave that to your imagination. And yes, there are two manatees there. Snooty is the bigger one. The facility now rehabs rescued manatees for return to the wild. Snooty is not being rehabbed. As he has lived in captivity his entire life, he doesn’t “know” he is a manatee. He forms personal relationships with each of the individuals who care for him and expects different feeding styles from different people. The young woman feeding Snooty the day we were there said that when she began her job, she couldn’t feed him for a couple weeks because he gets so excited about new people that he won’t eat.

I texted a photooo to the beach urchins and one of them immediately replied with, “Is that who I *think* it is!!!” Friends forever.

Yeah, I know…

April 23rd, 2015 by kayak woman

I’m pretty sure that a few folks were hoping I wouldn’t be back. You know who you are and sorry about that [wink]. Turned out that I took a [nice, hot] walk during pretty much the only blahgging time that ended up being available and never got back to it. [snort]

Yesterday I got up and took the SKI WAX out my backpack and we headed down the inland waterway for a gorgeous day of boating. Launched at the Manatee boat launch up here in Bradenton and cruised down to Sarasota and back. Saw a couple of dolphins but didn’t even try to get a photo. My nanny The GG was bugging the heck outta me about getting sunburnt. Geesh! I think I was the most bundled up person on the boat. Only my forearms were bare and I slathered them with sunscreen. I was a sun goddess in my youth but not so much now. Thanks to Cap’n Ed for the excellent piloting. Native Floridian and lifelong boater.

On the road again later today. Photos from yesterday…

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2nd verse, same as the first 

April 21st, 2015 by kayak woman

Once again, I am kind of out of words. Not to mention a certain amount of multitasking. So a few photos. Here is the GG at the neighborhood Robinson Preserve.

  
And then in the afternoon we made a run down to Longboat Key, stopping at Coquina Beach on the way back. Here’s the beach.

 
And the parking lot.

 
Hasn’t changed much since this photo was taken more years ago than I am strong enough to count. She was showing us a seagull, by the way.

 
G’night. KW. 

Snooty or bust 

April 20th, 2015 by kayak woman

I am dead tired & struggling with a difficult internet connection (and having interesting conversations with relatives) so I won’t tell you about visiting our old friend Snooty today. It’s too long and maybe a wee bit emo. You’ll have to make do with this beauteous pic of a gulf sunset from the Sand Bar restaurant on Anna Maria Island. G’night and stay tuned.

  

Meta-meta

April 19th, 2015 by kayak woman

A nice quiet start to the day.

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I love trips to the grokkery store when I can just kind of float along and let somebody else do the heavy brain-lifting. The Buford Farmer’s Market may be the most fascinating grokkery store I have ever been in (the Berkeley Bowl is pretty interesting too). I live in a multicultural area and can probably buy a *lot* of what was for sale back on the The Planet Ann Arbor but not all and definitely not in one place. I was entranced by these achoy sum veggies.

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The achoy sum prompted a lively discussion about vegetable production and marketing amongst an international crowd – Chinese, Bulgarian, and a few baggy old ‘muricans. We ran into the Bulgarian woman again at the checkout, where we held up the line just wee bit with our banter.

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I posted the achoy sum on Instagram and a beach urchin asked if it was sugar cane. Nope but they also had sugar cane.

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Onward to a pho lunch. My first pho actually, although I was not unfamiliar with what it was. Of course, I instagrammed it. Wouldn’t you?

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Up next? The Lenox Mall Apple Store. Yes, really, and no we were not there to buy a watch.

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How? Hanging it out a car window trying to get a picture of a street sign. What street sign? Gay Street, of course. Knoxville, Tennesee. For our beloved sister-in-law, The Beautiful Gay. We never did get a good pic and fortunately, the phone landed close enough to a parked car that nobody behind us ran over it. Thank you Rey for being such a calm driver as we were freaking out!

Fixed today to the tune of $130. Despite the fact that we live umpteen billion miles away from our friends, it seems like we often end up at the local Apple Store when we do meet up, so this was pretty traditional. (And no, it was not my iPhone, at least not this time… … …)

The Apple Store was packed today and after waiting what seemed like forever to get our own personal genius, we had another hour wait for the actual repair. Since we are NOT shoppers, *especially* not mall shoppers, JCB took us on a loverly Hotlanta parking lot tour. Waaayyy fun! Here is what’s left of the old Braves stadium. This is a must see, at least for me and my relatives, even those of us who are not sports fan[atic]s (inside joke [grin]).

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Here’s the view from another stop on our parking lot tour. This one overlooks a train yard and a CSX freight train arrived while we watched. No one dropped their iPhone over the edge and here is a photo of jcb’s video back at the Apple store. In full disclosure, today’s Atlanta tour was NOT just parking lots. I loved our tour today. I may or may not remember everything I saw. What I *will* remember is the parking lot stops.

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Throughout all of this, we were all taking photos and videos and uploading them to various internet platforms. We were interacting with each other in person and on the internet along with friends and relatives all over the country. I don’t see how this kind of technology has degraded personal communications. I think it has enhanced them. Instead of trying to make and enforce stoooopid little rules about handling rapidly changing technology, I think we should embrace it and invent how to move forward and use technology to make life better.

We’re heading further south tomorrow. I have cherished my time here in my BFF’s beautiful house in beautiful Hotlanta but I am also looking forward to seeing our more southward relatives.

G’night and love y’all! KW

The usual customary visit

April 18th, 2015 by kayak woman

faarplaceWhat a perfect day! After a couple hundred miles of driving, we are ensconced in the best B&B the Atlanta area has to offer tonight. If I had to live in an urban area, this would be it. When we arrived, I sorta had to backtrack a bit because I was overwhelmed by how beautiful our friends’ house is. Of course, the azaleas were in full bloom but still, a gorgeous house.

Ordered lunch from a nearby restaurant, then parked over by Piedmont Park and walked all over the park and botanical gardens for 3-1/2 hours. We saw everything except the cacti, I am told. We are easy to entertain, I think. When we visit friends, we like to see the parts of their city that they love. Walking tours are a bonus and that is what we got today as we spent almost four hours touring Piedmont Park and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens on foot. I’m still not sure exactly which tour we got. The Usual. The Customary. This was discussed but, being a newbie, I had no clue. I just followed along and loved every moment of it. Even when it rained.

Back to our own personal B&B for a snacks, whine, and a lovely beef stew and now hanging out in the living room. We are all on the Internet on our own devices but we are also managing to hold conversations. So there!

Another day here in Hotlanta tomorrow. Love this place. G’night.

Bonus blahg (if you want to call it that)

April 18th, 2015 by kayak woman

Maybe I have been getting spoiled but I am thinking my days of staying in El Cheepo Chain motels is drawing to a close. I can deal with having one measly bath towel although I really require one for my hair and another for, you know. I can deal with a wee bit of noise from the room next door. It was just conversation, not you-know-what and it wasn’t loud enough that I could hear the words. What I wasn’t prepared for was What On Earth Is That Noise? Oh, it is jets taking off loudly immediately over my room every five minutes. (Actually a look at Google Maps this morning tells me that they probably were NOT directly over my room but it sure sounded like it.). Uh, no thank you. I will not be able to fall asleep with those things. Trains? Trucks? I can handle those.

So, I did not sleep well at all although I must have gotten my quota of REM because I feel rested this morning. The jets, like moe-skee-toes, went to bed. After all, this is not some big international airport like Metro or O’Hare or Seatac. I rarely suffer from insomnia except for the kind where you wake up at that Batscope hour. Getting to sleep? Not a problem. Last night? Every little noise. Drip drip drip… It was the bathtub. If I had investigated, I may have noticed that the drain had closed itself when I washed my feet last night and there was an inch or two of water in the bottom of the tub. Instead I just closed the door. Then… Bzzzzzz… A benign little electronic noise started up. I finally figured out it was the mini-fridge (which we didn’t use). Still. Couldn’t sleep.

It’s okay. I will live. I am spoiled by staying at our usual hotels, Sault Ste. Siberia’s historic (and nicely refurbished) Hotel Ojibway, and the brand-new Marriott in East Lansing. You get at least two nice thick bath towels and you never hear the neighbors and nobody takes a pitcher of your driver’s license. Seems as though the jets have woken back up for the morning but we are on the landing pattern now? Much better. And the birds are singing and we are mobilizing for a much shorter day of driving. Thank you very much.

Ya git whatcha pay fer

April 17th, 2015 by kayak woman

Yes, we are on an odyssey. Today? I dressed like any normal Planet Ann Arbor person would dress for 6:00 AM on a typical April day. By the time we got to the Woodford Reserve Distillery, my tights, smart wool socks, silk t-neck, and polartech vest were a wee bit much but I survived. (Wonderful tour and I would link to the site but it’s almost impossible to get to, due to alcohol rules maybe? Dunno but Google at your own risk.) A few pics. Fermenting.

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Funny coincidence type thing happened when I posted the next pic on facebook. A Planet Ann Arbor buddy saw it and said she had been on that tour three days earlier. Small world.

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I wanted to *walk* the little winding roads that led to the distillery so I could take some photos of that beautiful country. Horse country. Black fences like this all over the place and green green green. This half-hearted shot was about the best I got.

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Back onto the I75 SUV Speedway and on down to Knoxville, where we toured that city courtesy of my nephew first cousin once removed, who is pursuing a master’s degree in information science there. (He feels like a nephew because he is my kids’ age or thereabouts but he is my cousin’s child.) If I could do it all over again, info science would be my chosen field of study but I digress. We had barbecue at Sweet P’s Barbecue and Soul House. They were so nice. They didn’t have whine (liquor laws are not as loose here as they are in the Great Lake State), so I ordered a Sam Adams, and when I didn’t know what *kind* of Sam Adams I wanted, they graciously chose one for me. It was perfect with my food! You can’t see the river and docks and stuff outside this place. Not exactly a tiki bar but close.

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Knoxville was hopping tonight and here we are next to some Public Art in Market Square. Public Art probably does not provoke the same controversial reactions in Knoxville as it does on The Planet Ann Arbor.

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Stopped for a beer (whine for me, this place had it) here at Boyd’s Jig and Reel.

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Finally a walk down to the river. The last couple blocks took us down a hill that *almost* made me feel as dizzy as The Hill Between The Yarn Stores (in SanFran) but I managed. The trip *up* was much easier and here is the Henley Street Bridge.

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It is late and we are safely(?) ensconced in our lovely(?) hotel a few miles down the road. Stay tuned to see where we end up tomorrow.

Hit publish, KW. Typos, run-on sentences, and other word-smithing sins be damned.

Omigosh! I will not tell you about trying to navigate Knoxville’s freeways, et al, while taking a phone call from a relative back in Michigan. One who had no clue about the chaos that was going on at the other end.

Answer yer dern phone, KW

April 16th, 2015 by kayak woman

knightsIt started out like any other [Thursday] morning. Got up, took my walk, had a mini-breakfast, packed a lunch, didn’t do my reglear nucular chores because on Thursdays I have to get out a bit earlier than I do when I am heading to my no-clock-punching job because Thursday is [of course] coffee at Barry’s with MMCB(2) so I *don’t* usually do my chores because I have to be somewhere at 8:00, not 8/8:30/9-ish.

So, lots of fun mensch-y type gossip at Barry’s and then I schlepped over to Cubeland. I set up my work laptop and checked my phone while it was faarrin’ up aka getting its daily orders from the Mothership. Missed call and voicemail from an Unknown Number. You know what I do with calls like that, don’t you? I ignore them, mostly. Actually, I google the number before I do anything. 99% of the time, it is some damn spammer. This time? Well, it was a 989 area code and that is the same area code as Houghton Lake and a whole bunch of other places in the Great White North so I kind of wondered if it was actually *not* a scam but some real business or whatever that was actually trying to contact *me*. I mean, if it were somebody looking for a Group Home Owner, they would be calling one of the Twinz of Terror or their sibs, not me. But still.

Well guess what? The Google told me that the missed call number belonged to Central Michigan University’s public radio station, which is definitely in the 989 area code. I am a member of that station. When I canceled The Commander’s subscription after she died, I began my own “legacy” subscription as a sustaining member. CMU radio is available all over the Great White North and we listen to it frequently and love it! As a sustaining member, I pay monthly until forever (or I stop the membership). But why would they be calling me? Had my credit card expired? I didn’t think so.

So I listened to the voicemail message. “This is ‘Sandra’. You have won an iPad Air!” Uhhhhh… … … Won? What? I didn’t even know I had been in the running for winning an iPad Air. I do not usually win things, especially not things like computing musheens. Of course I called back. I was in a drawing because (as a sustaining member) I had donated prior to their current pledge drive. They will be sending me a certificate in the mail and after I sign and return that, they will send me my new musheen. “Will [insert shipping company here] be okay?” Yes it will. In fact, I will track the pkg and telecommute that day to make sure I receive it safely.

Will I actually use it? Errrr, we’ll see. [insert a whole bunch of baggage here about how I already own one of the original iPads and basically gave up on it because I don’t like to deal with more than about two devices…] To be continued…

G’night, KW

P.S. If I *had* actually answered my dern phone, I wouldda been skeptical (except that I didn’t *hear* my phone ring because it was silent and I was driving). Because I did my homework by looking up the number, I am 99.999% certain that this was not some kind of scam.

Spring Green Brown

April 15th, 2015 by kayak woman

I unwound this afternoon by ghosting through the schoolyard overhearing the kind of conversations between parents that I remember having back when the Beach Urchins were young. My goal was to end up in “my” woods and so I did. Love that brown color? I actually do. Won’t last long. Early spring flowers are starting to go to town and a few other things are beginning to bud. Forsythia. The Great White North will become more colorful soon.

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Remember when “my” woods looked like this back in early February? This was at the end of the second (of two) days (not contiguous) I telecommuted because of weather this winter. I think I logged six weather-related telecommuting days during the 2014 polar vortex winter and there were a number of other days when the commute was so horribilis that I wished I had worked from home. Not sure what value is added to a systems analyst’s work / life when it takes her at least twice as long to get to / from Cubeland than it usually does.

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We won’t talk about the Orange Barrel season. It officially began today for me although the impact on my commute was relatively minimal. It’ll get worse but our roads are bad and we need to fix them. I’ll be checking the traffic on Google maps before my commute and taking my usual back road routes when I need to, crossing my fingers that *those* are not snarfed.

P.S. Second pic. Snow. Blue or white? [wink]

Dedicated follower of fashion [snort]

April 14th, 2015 by kayak woman

tahqYes, I already posted this pic somewhere. I posted it on facebook. It was late Friday night and I was having a sorta Second Wind. I hate when I get a Second Wind late on a Friday night. I prefer to slodge up the hill after dinner, wash my feet or even take a shower if it’s hot enough (or cold enough or rainy enough or I just feel like taking a Damn Second Shower). That wasn’t *exactly* what happened last Friday night. What happened was great fun but then I got a damn Second Wind. And so I was cruising facebook and all kinds of folks were posting Sibling Pics, mostly old photooos of young folks (but not all because there were my MacMu Cuzzints Austin & Neal looking just about as baggy as I do). One of my facebook rules is that I don’t share links, especially links from questionable sources or 5 minute videos where all the action happens at 4:30 (please edit! 30 seconds is long enough). Except sometimes I do share links and sometimes I even post videos and occasionally they are longer than 30 seconds. Another of my internet rules is that I don’t participate in memes, even good ones. Except when I do. And I did last Friday night. I was bored. Deal with it.

This photooo is what I posted. Siblings (KW and The Engineer) and their moom, The Commander. I (and others) called him Jimbo back in those days. Not necessarily the nicest nickname, at least not when it was uttered by my sassy lips. Poor kid. Sorry bro’. I’ll betcha that nickname was much more welcome from Radical Betty and Duke. But hey, we were *siblings* and we had some good times too. I think we were having fun here at Tahquamenon Falls back in the day. It wasn’t all that easy to get to Tahq when I was a kid. If you drove the lake route the entire way, it took all morning to get there, at least that’s how I remember it. It was bumpy old gravel [two-track?] roads then. I have vague memories of when they built a straightened, paved road from Paradise to Tahq, at least I think that’s what I’m remembering — neatly stacked piles of lumber all over along the sides of the road. Tahq is so different nowadays with the paved roads and modern bathrooms and warning signs all over the place. And the brewery. And tourists from all over the world. I don’t know why that fascinates me so much since I have lived and worked my entire adult life amongst people from all over the world. But welcome to all of the folks who come to Tahquamenon Falls from wherever!

Don’t you love my outfit? A skirt over pants. A green fuzzy jacket with a fancy hood that I can actually sorta remember. I probably hated those boots and I’ll bet my feet were cold in them, even though it doesn’t look like it was terribly cold that day. Certainly not as cold as it was when the GG and I went up there for a gorgeous and fun weekend in February. The funny thing is that I still dress a bit lot like that. I’m a bit more careful about matching colors and patterns these days (think lots of black) but I’m not afraid to get a wee bit on the wild side, like yesterday when I went over to the QA area to pick up a printout and everyone noticed (and loved) my PURPLE tights. welovecolors.com is where it’s at! I do have a black, sparkly bomber Fargo hat with black fake fur. It is not that different from the green jacket’s hood in the photo and, if you are one of my nine reglear nucular taggers, you have seen it.

This is my blahg, not facebook, so I can break any rule I want here, so here is The Kinks with Dedicated Follower of Fashion. It may start with an ad… But Carnaby Street? So many years ago. Imagine being a teenager in a small northern outpost city and trying to emulate all the cool kids in London (or NYC or LA or SanFran or even my cuzzints in the DayTwa area). Not easy.

Stream-of-consciousness blahg in case anyone doesn’t get the concept. G’night folks!

Maybe they scammed me because I post nude pictures?

April 13th, 2015 by kayak woman

nudeI think that this was my favorite puppet at Festifools yesterday, although I LOVED LOVED LOVED all of the little cardboard box robots from 826 Michigan but I couldn’t even begin to get a pitcher of any of those cute robot-box-kiddos from where I was standing. I did get a halfway decent photoooo of this character. Not sure why one of his legs was waaaaay more disconnected from his torso then the other leg but hey this was the Festifool parade and just about anything can (and does) happen. That’s what it’s all about.

So today, facebook friends (including my daughter) posted on my “wall” [or whatever it is] that they had received friend requests from me. If you know me, you know that I have not unfriended ANYONE on my FB friend list EVER. There are a couple of folks that I have hidden posts from but, if you are reading this boring bunch of blather, you are not one of them.

I am not all that concerned that some facebook scammer will steal my identity via this kind of scam. I am more concerned that it will harass my legitimate friends with bogus offers and Grandma Scams, etc. (Grandma, I’m in [name a foreign country] and I need money to [get outta jail, get a flight home, whatever].) Jeebus!

If you have received a facebook friend request from me recently, do not accept it. But please consider reporting it to facebook. And if you have received such a request, I would love it if you would send me a link to the fake profile so I can also report it. Here’s what Facecrooks has to say.

Also, I sure hope Apple has an upgrade to the OS upgrade I installed on my Macbook Pro yesterday because I am getting the damn spinning ball ALL THE TIME. PLUS, my laptop is getting HOT. None of this stuff was happening before that upgrade.

This is a busy busy week. G’night and love y’all!

Slap!

April 12th, 2015 by kayak woman

moe-skee-toe

And so begins the season.

I worked another four hours (for my paid job, I mean) today and I am very happy with the progress I made. I also made a run to put gas into the Ninja and re-supply various household stuff at Meijer and a couple of backpack trips to the Plum and there were a few other chores in there. Working from home on this particular weekend was absolutely optional by the way but it will pay off.

The GG spent a lot of time cleaning out the Frog Hopper today. Happy dance! We had a plan to walk down to the annual Festifool parade in the afternoon. I was ecstatic to receive a text from Lizard Breath that she wanted to do laundry here visit us and walk downtown to the Festifool parade with us. We did all of that and also met up with Tuck (a friend of Liz’s since middle school and we know his parents (and grandparents)) for beer / whine at the Grizzly Peak.

This Festifool puppet resonated with me somehow. Her hair is not the same color as mine but I think her attitude matches in some weird way, although I’m gonna guess she’s a wee bit more assertive than I am. But I am assertive when I need to be so don’t mess with me too much.

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Banishing winter from my vocabulary (and house)

April 11th, 2015 by kayak woman

First, the obligatory crocus pic. Note to self. Plant a big bunch of crocus bulbs next fall. The existing umpteen gazillion year old bulbs that were here when we bought The Landfill are slowly dying off (or whatever crocus bulbs do). Anyway, not a whole lot of crocus this year but they *are* coming up along with some other things.

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Lots of good work done around here today. Yard work (the GG) and storm window removal (the GG) and research into how to replace the glass in our doorwalls instead of installing new ones, which we are both deciding that we don’t want because it would require a carpenter and probably more changes to the Back Room than we want. Plus it would cost something like $8,000 to do two doors. It’s not that we can’t afford that much money, it’s about what value we would get for that money? Sorry about the stream of consciousness stuff.

Me? I did my regular Saturday chores, which are too boring to detail, and cleaned the refrigerator and took a couple walks over to the Plum for grokkeries and prepped food for tonight’s dinner and somewhat beyond. And I worked for 4.5 hours. For my paying job, I mean. And then I steeled myself to flip the faaarplace over to its summer mode. Put all of the unburned wood back on the woodpile, put the the small chunks into the yard waste compost, shoveled out the ashes… You don’t wanna know… It’s really hard to take a good photo of our faaarplace unless it’s dark out and there’s an actual faaar in there. So this is what you get. Gratuitous shots of the GG at his big iMac, the Red Puano, a Cat Mobile that one of the Beach Urchins made, and some of the other funky stuff we live with. Disc drives anyone?

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Oh, and then the mail came! I can’t figger this particular postman. He knocked LOUDLY on our door. I went to answer the door and he was nonchalantly putting mail in the box like he must do every day (but we usually aren’t here, does he knock then?). He handed me the mail and I picked up THE BOX ON THE PORCH! Remember when I couldn’t find gochujang sauce for a Korean cooking adventure here a while back? I ordered some from Amazon and we later found it at the Plum (behind a sign) but now I have some gochujang sauce straight from South Korea, courtesy of my internet buddy Margaret! Long story about how we “met” but she (and a couple of others) have become good friends via the internet. I don’t make a lot of friends on the internet (or in life) but there are a few people who haven’t given up on me and Margaret is one of them. Flinger that I am, I will have a hard time flinging these bottles when they are empty.

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Last and least, the skies were not cloudy all day but somehow every time I walked anywhere, I remembered that I had forgotten my new sunnies. It was okay. I am not all that bothered by bright sunlight. I dunno if that is a function of spending summers on a beach or not. Not that our particular beach was always bright and sunny. But still. I was happier than I looked when I took the pic.

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Fool Moon Fail

April 10th, 2015 by kayak woman

billsbeer

A warm day. A windy day. Cloudy turning into brilliant cloudless skies for my walk downtown to the Oscar Tango tonight. I wore my cute new Warby Parker sunnies, not because I exactly needed them, just because. I packed my backpack but good though. It was warm but this is April and you just don’t ever know. So, polartech jacket, ski band, and glubs. And and and and… Umbrella. Yes. Even though the skies were not cloudy all day the way downtown. Guess what? When we walked out the door at the Oscar Tango, it was raining cats and dogs. Jeebus. I swear that 10 minutes earlier when I was waiting for the Water Closet, it was not raining. We wanted to hang around at Fool Moon tonight. Guess what? We bagged it. We hitched a ride with Porter’s Free Cab Service and then we porterized the Lyme Lounge. Good times. Wish I had bothered to take some pics. It’s way past my bedtime here in EDT Land so G’night!

Altpage hell

April 9th, 2015 by kayak woman

hopscotchLightning! It curtailed my Skunk Walk this morning. Except that “curtailed” isn’t exactly the right word. It kept me in the rack just a wee bit longer than usual. I was thinking back to my childhood when I was taught not to use the sink, etc., when there was lightning. As the first and long-awaited child (they were married 11 years before I came along), my moom was so concerned about my safety that, to this day, I am afraid to light a match (for example). I am also terrified of lucky-shucky although I can certainly turn light switches on and off and operate appliances, etc. But I’m still afraid of lightning. Having an iPhone weather app that tells me (sometimes accurately, sometimes not) how close lightning is to my location does not necessarily help. I will say that few years of hanging around with the GG cured me of my once-petrifying fear of overflowing terlets. Thanks buddy! Anyway, I left late for my Skunk Walk and had to limit it to a measly mile or so, so I’d be on time for work Coffee at Barry’s with MMCB.

Unlike my moom, I didn’t have to wait all that long for my first beach urchin to arrive but I know I was a wee bit more of a nervous parent with her than I was with the second one. Like when the second one got her driver’s license and I allowed her to drive downtown to go to a concert(?) until late at night two days after her license became valid (she passed the test a week before her birthday). The first BU was in *college* by then but was so totally incensed about this that she called/emailed/whatever to complain that *she* wouldn’t have been allowed to do that. I’m sorry. I really am. But, although both of my BUs are (and always have been) highly skilled drivers, I am a mother and I will always worry about them driving. As my moom did with me. Always, always, “be careful driving. Watch out for deer and the police are watching.” Yes moom.

Alert! Alert! We interrupt this boring blahg for a news flash. The GG is eating the bitsy piece of leftover salmon filet that was supposed to be my lunch tomorrow. That means I will have to buy something for lunch somewhere. It’s okay. I will manage. Back to the boring blahg.

I’m repeating myself here but this story bears an occasional repeat. There was the time that I was at the moomincabin with my blasted POC (1996 Island Teal Plymouth Voyager SE, if you haven’t been keeping up) and it was over at the Chrysler dealer getting something (I fergit what) done to it so I drove the ‘rent’s loverly little Traf (GEO Tracker) for a couple days. The then octogenarians went to town for the day and left a post-it note on the table. “Don’t drive it over 50 or the engine will blow up.” It was signed “Jack” but it was written in The Commander’s handwriting, including the signature. Say what? I emailed The Engineer to ask if he knew of any problems with the Traf that might cause the engine to blow up. My automotive engineer brother emailed directly back, “WHO THE HELL SAID THAT?” Indeed. In truth, when I drove that vee-hickle over 50, it didn’t quite feel quite right to me but it didn’t seem like the engine was about to blow up. Nevertheless, it motored along for quite a few years after that incident and my dad’s death until The Comm finally sold it.

In later years and particularly in the last horrible year of The Comm’s life, she told me over and over and over ad infinitum [ad nauseam] that I was a *wanted* child. When she was still well, I would banter with her about that. Moom, I may have been a “wanted child” but I am not sure I turned out to the child you *wanted*.

We are ending the day as we started it, with thunder and lightning. This time it’s pretty far away and I was not planning to go out walking.

Oh, except our phones just alerted us to a tornado warning. It’s not looking that threatening out there right now but we’ll see. The GG is doing what he usually does when there’s a tornado warning, which is going outside to look for mating moths around.

The days are just packed (and so is Whitefish Bay)

April 8th, 2015 by kayak woman

marinetrafficIs it really Wednesday already? Are those of us who work Banker’s Hours [another post someday about this] really over the hump already? Where did the time go? How does time manage to go so darn fast? And yet, I always seem to be looking forward to something (or wishing I had something to look forward to). This is how all of a sudden we end up being 90 (or whatever) and not able to live alone any more after a long, happy lifetime of independence.

I go out and skate drive whenever I want to, like I always have. One fender bender (knock on wood big time) in my life. Age 17, Sault Ste. Siberia, glare ice, and a guy came across the center line. Right outside the Hovie Funeral Home. Yes, really. You can imagine my parents’ reaction when they drove by a few minutes later and saw a couple of smashed up vee-hickles, including our Ford Fairlane 500, plus a cop car in the funeral home parking lot. I was found to be not at fault (pre-no-fault). That Ford Fairlane 500 that I was driving was my grandmother’s previous vee-hickle, which our family acquired after *she* got into a similar accident IN THE SAME DOGGAMN LOCATION RIGHT OUTSIDE THE HOVIE FUNERAL HOME and she willingly stopped driving.

Of course, stopping driving was not as difficult for my grandma Margaret as it is for a lot of elderly folks because she had two sons and their wives (The Comm and the White Tornado) and sometimes grandchildren in close proximity and they could and did drive her wherever she wanted to go. Alas, my moom was not as lucky because my brother and I both landed fairly far from home and therefore could not be at her beck and call at any old time, plus my brother died almost 10 years ago…

I dunno how I got off on this ridiculously depressing track. Live in the moment, KW! For the second year in a row, great lakes shipping is struggling due to ice in Lake Superior. Particularly in Whitefish Bay, which is directly upstream from the Moomincabin. It looks like the ships are finally moving thanks to the help of various ice-breaker ships, including The Pierre Radisson, an arctic ice-breaker.

Hanging around…

April 7th, 2015 by kayak woman

hangingaround

This is what people do at the Houghton Lake Group Home on an average Saturday night. Actually, they were trying to get the speakers to work.

At least they weren’t pacing.

G’night. KW

Let’s get the lawn mowers out

April 6th, 2015 by kayak woman

easterA couple weekends ago, in my ongoing de-hoarding prodject, I was looking through appliance manuals. We can mostly get appliance manuals online nowadays but we have some really old stuff.

The GG went over to a lawn mower store tonight. I’m not sure why. We have three lawn mowers. I told him we didn’t need any more lawn mowers. He said he would bring back a couple more. We have so much fun!

Easter is not much of a holiday for us anymore, since our Beach Urchins have grown into Responsible Adults. Easter Baskets? Not so much. For a long time, we didn’t do any kind of Easter celebration at all. Nowadays, it is the one day of the year that I cook ham and here is our dinner table with candles and butter and pepper and stuff. Yesterday was a wonderful bonus with both beach urchins. And no doggamn snow!

Ice out didn’t happen at Houghton Lake yesterday. Five eagles stood out on the ice for at least an hour. There was a carcass out there too but we couldn’t tell what it was. Too far out and the ice was not safe! Ice out happened today. The North Has Risen!