Random bits of my so-called life.

oooooof

June 27th, 2017 by kayak woman

So finally the wind died down enough that the GG could launch the Motor Bote. That means that someone has to drive with him over to the state park, launch him, and he drives the bote the three miles back to the moomincabin. Someone has to drive the empty bote trailer back to the moomincabin trailer. That someone is usually me but today Lizard Breath did the honors.

And here is the bote back on the beach with the GG and cBear ready to take off for a ride to meet a freighter.

We had steak and mashed potatoes and friends tonight and here is C*Q*L working on the potatoes. I was sooooo happy to have help with all of this stuff, especially since I worked all day and peeling potatoes was almost more than I could handle.

And then The Pensioner was grilling steaks and he saw the Mean Old Grunchie Old Grinchie’s truck came by and so I ran over there to try to entice the Grinch to come over for steak. And he did and then he actually came down to the beach with us.

G’night. KW.

A DAZ day of telecommuting from the Lyme Lounge

June 26th, 2017 by kayak woman

First of all, it was a RAINY day and here is @TMOTU makin’ bacon in the moomincabin chitchen. We are all so cozy here.

After breakfast in the moomincabin, I began my commute to work. I think I may have encountered one automotive vee-hickle along the way.

Here I am at the end of my commute already.

And here is my “office”.

It was pretty hilarious trying to present at a meeting from the Lyme Lounge. Actually I didn’t have any trouble getting in to the meeting but all the folks down at Cubelandia were scrambling because somehow the meeting room was double-booked or whatever and they ended up having to Skype in from their desks. Technology works when it works and ours finally did 20 minutes after the meeting was supposed to start.

I shared the pic with Amazon Woman (my supervisor) and Cube Nayber. Amazon Woman was concerned about Moosonee, wondering what crime he had committed to be hung. Cube Nayber said my workspace looked a lot like our former co-worker Broooooosie’s cube. Yes, it does.

The other folks plus C*Q*L went hiking out at Naomikong. In the rain. I have to admit I was kind of glad to have the “I have to work” excuse to not accompany them but Lizard Breath Instagrammed a fun Boomerang thingy of the others jumping up and down on the suspension bridge, so I knew they were having fun and I kind of felt like I was missing out. Our hikers got soaked through but we have a loverly hot shower here and some people also took naps (one accelerated his with some nap juice).

I got a DAZ from FZ today (those are hard to come by). I was moom alone for a few hours and when I was not, every time I walked into the moomincabin to use the water closet or whatever, somebody was cooking or sweeping or washing dishes. Which meant that I did very little in terms of household chores today. I am ecstatic about that although I have to admit that I did sneak in to wash dishes a few times. I am a compulsive dish processor. What can I say? 🐽

And now there are all these people here. Family members of all generations and all kinds of talk going on. This is what it’s all about here on the beach.

Love y’all, KW!

Kitchen Dancing and other Moomincabin Fun

June 25th, 2017 by kayak woman

My BFF posted an Instagram photooo of a mug this morning so I had to post my own Big Ass mug. My parents named this mug Big Ass many years ago. The Pensioner seems to always serve me coffee in this mug these days 💜

Eventually we made it in to the NEW SAULT STE. SIBERIA MEIJER STORE. We spent $200 there today. It was so much fun! YAY!

It is so wonderful to have adult kids who cook! Here is Liz with her helper C*Q*L making chicken tikka in the moomincabin chitchen. Liz had already made us a late pea soup lunch. I did my best to keep up with the dishes. I have always been a fanatic dish processor.

Meanwhile, the Hemulin was emulating Grandroobly by sweeping the deck and steps.

While C*Q*L was practicing her hula hoop routine.

The GG was carrying Turnstile the entire time.

Mouse is actually wearing a pair of pants of some sort under her skirt. And yes, smart wool socks were appropriate for today’s weather, at least on the beach.

G’night from the moominbeach. Love y’all, KW! Dum dum da daa da dum dum da daa da dum dum dadada dum… … …

Bi-peninsular

June 24th, 2017 by kayak woman

You’ve heard of bi-coastal folks who keep one place in New York City and another in Los Angeles. I have never been to NYC or Los Angeles. I am not bi-coastal, unless you include the third coast, aka, the huge number of miles of coastline along the Great Lakes. Since I own property on both of Michigan’s peninsulas, I guess I am bi-peninsular.

So we launched out of the Planet Ann Arbor early this morning and I can’t remember where we were when I took this pic of the GG’s onboard diagnostics app and his duck.

Here we are going across the Big Mac. Again. We couldn’t use our commuter card today because we were pulling the Lyme Lounge and that meant we had to pay more for the extra axle. Friends of ours posted a similar pic a few hours after I posted this one.

We stopped for grokkeries at the Family Fare in Iggy. We could not get lunch there because this weekend is a big old car show and they close the streets. We kept going on north and ended up with lunch at Jack’s Pub and Grub in Brimley (it used to be Lazy Bob’s). A BLT and a cab there hit the spot for me. It took a bit for the gals there to find the GG’s chosen beer but they managed it. We were the ONLY people in the restaurant/bar except for an old trucker who I was thinking might be polly-tickally different enough from meeee that I might have difficulties talking to him but he was actually in agreement with me, at least on the issue that got discussed.

Anyway, we got to the moomincabin and there were no dead squirrels and after I got a few things settled in, I headed down to the beach.

Lizard Breath arrived after a few hours and here she is with C*Q*L on Bill’s Birch Point Beach Bank Bench.

We had a beautiful day here at the Moomincabin but not sure what will happen tomorrow. These clouds looked threatening but I think they plassed over. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.

And finally, here is the “midnight” sun. It is actually around 10:00 PM when I took this photo but now we’re going on 11 and there is still light on the horizon.

Goodnight and love you all, KW

Early Bird Special

June 23rd, 2017 by kayak woman

I am such a big joker sometimes. I joked with the waitress at the Oscar Tango that The Pensioner and I had crossed the line into those sorts of folks who line up for the Early Bird Special. Well, no, we are not there yet. But it was an odd day and we ended up at the Oscar Tango at something like 5:00 PM, which is way earlier than I ever get there.

And tooooo early, I was thinking. But that’s how it all worked out. I had to drop off the Ninja at the body shop for her paint job before it closed at 5:00 and the GG needed the Frog Hopper today so he could run errands and pack it up for our next road trip, which begins early tomorrow morning. So I bagged work early, came home to dump off my work laptop and some toilet paper and stuff I bought for the moomincabin (even though I can easily buy it up there), and took the Ninja down to the body shop, which is downtown. I met The Pensioner there and we walked a few blocks up and over to the Oscar Tango.

A Drama unfolded outside our window. This is the best pic I could get because don’tcha know TP and I and the Civic Theatre folks at the round table were all jostling for a position to watch. It was a “kid” (although he had a bit of a receding hairline) and the cop had just put him into the squad car when I snuck this pic. They confiscated his car after a rather perfunctory search of his trunk, which was apparently full of backpacks? I didn’t see that part. I was thinking that when we dropped the Ninja off, there was almost nothing in it other than a GPS. An umbrella, a few microfiber rags, maybe some ice scrapers, a few shopping bags and almost nothing in the trunk.

We were sitting in the Oscar Tango kind of bored. We thought the Porters were in the Yooperland so The Pensioner texted them asking for a photooo of where they were. And so they did. We were both peering at the pic wondering where the heck it was taken and then I looked to my right and there they were, big as life, right next to our booth. In other words, they were still down here on The Planet Ann Arbor and the pic was from the parking lot behind the Ark and Conor O’Neil’s, etc.

So it turned out to be more of a regular night at the OT except that cHicks gave me a *third* ‘hattan. She knows I always get two but did not realize how early I got there, which means I had one *before* she got to work and took over our table. It’s all right. The OT does decent cocktails but they are NOTHING like Knights where ONE is usually more than enough.

So we are sitting here savoring the long light of a solstice evening, poising ourselves for a northward journey early tomorrow. My polartech jacket and a whole bunch of smart wool socks are packed!

Twitter play #1b687e9a

June 22nd, 2017 by kayak woman

@mothernature: Flash crash boom!

@tmotu via text message: Need a ride?

@kayakwoman [walking into Landfill front door]: No.

@tmotu: zzzzzzz

If you click and click again, you may be able to see the rain hitting the driveway pavement. In the grand scheme of things it was kind of a ho-hum storm. Just a little pop-up thingy that rolled through with only a couple flash crash booms. No tree shrapnel all over the neighborhood, etc. Heavy rain for a short time (thanks ma, we needed that), then it all moved on.

That little storm cramped my fitbit style, meaning I didn’t even hit the default 10K steps until sometime after 4:00 PM. But we’re walking over to Knight’s and maybe the Plum Market in a few minutes and that’ll help me get to my *real* default, which is 15K on an average weekday.

That’s about all I have today. I know. It isn’t much. You’re welcome. Happy solstice, a day late. Looking forward to the midnight 11 PM sun over Gitchee Gumee and smart wool socks next week even though I will be chained to my work laptop and Skype-ing in to meetings.

Totting it up

June 21st, 2017 by kayak woman

If I had shown you a before pic of the latest round of vee-hickle maintenance, which happened yesterday, it would’ve looked just like this. Lemme see, brakes, bushings, and probably an oil change, since that’s what the maintenance code was complaining about, and I’m not sure what else. I won’t tell you how much it all cost. You can probably make a good guess.

Next thing? The before pic looks just like yesterday’s. Because. New paint! Paid partly by us and partly by Honda. I won’t tell you how much that’s gonna cost. You can probably make a good guess.

The paint is happening next week at Ross-Beakes, conveniently timed in that I will be telecommuting from the Lyme Lounge in a remote location at that time so we will not need more than one vee-hickle.

What’s funny about all this is that when the GG went down to Ross-Beakes to make the necessary arrangements, everybody down there remembered him. I’m not sure exactly why this is except that we tend to take cars in there for body work for the most ridiculous reasons ever. Like…

1) The time we were pulling a bote trailer at Houghton Lake in the Frog Hopper and the bote trailer became disengaged from the hitch somehow and crashed into the back of the Frog Hopper and took a tail-light out. We remained calm and after the GG’s brother told us a story about his father-in-law seeing a boat he was towing try to PASS HIM, I am sure I started laughing.

2) The time a random thunderstorm blew through at 3 AM and *random* lightning exploded a tree back in the woods, sending tree shrapnel over about a block radius and shattering the Frog Hopper’s sunroof.

3) Or maybe they just remember the GG because he is such a cool, memorable guy. A guy who tells all kinds of funny jokes. Ha ha ha. I think it is 1 or 2. 🐽

4) There is also another weird Frog Hopper incident that we used Ross-Beakes for but neither of us can remember it.

So this is the before pic for my new paint job. It’s a fancy, tricky bunch of paint but those guys are pretty good. I don’t like driving around in a vee-hickle with deteriorating paint (unless it is named The Indefatigable or The Venerable) and I am thinking about my next vee-hickle. But I am not quite ready to part with my beloved Ninja yet. I know that manual trannys are (maybe) gonna go by the way with the increasing trend toward self-driving vee-hickles. I love my 6-speed manual. What to do…

But, like, how do you go, you know, outside? Like to get from your house to your vee-hickle…

June 20th, 2017 by kayak woman

A beloved cube neighbor’s god-daughter flew home to Phoenix today (to meet her sister’s new baby). I guess you can fly *to* Phoenix. Flying *out* of Phoenix is apparently more of a challenge.

Okay, I know how to get from my house to my vee-hickle when it is 20 below zero. I put on every layer of winter clothing I possess and head out the door. It isn’t exactly a picnic to be outside at that temperature even for a short period of time but it can be done. 120 degrees? I cannot quite imagine it. Isn’t that the temperature when you put your oven on warm?

Maybe that’s a starting point for the book I couldn’t muster the guzzinta to write about yesterday, Arcadia. Because climate change crept into the book at the end and, in my opinion, that was the weakest theme in an overall gorgeous novel about growing up on a “hippie commune” and continuing life after the commune eventually came apart at the seams.

A dystopian utopia, to steal a phrase from Lizard Breath. I remember being a teenage hippie-wannabe although even then, I think I knew that communal living wasn’t really a good fit for me. The downsides to communal living portrayed in the book reaffirmed that feeling, mainly lack of food, cramped living areas in old vans and things, sharing rustic bathroom facilities with tooooo many people, struggling to figure out a way to become profitable. And yet, I loved the protagonist and many of the characters. I identified with how much they loved that beautiful piece of land and how hard many of them tried to make the commune work successfully. How some of them succeeded post commune and some did not and, well, read it.

I was never a hippie living on a commune but I experienced some of the best of that world spending summers at the moominbeach with my extended family. Running back and forth to my cousins’ cabins and opening the door WITHOUT KNOCKING! Afternoons on the beach when our mothers would confer after a Beer Lunch about making a “community” dinner and then mobilize to make it happen. Sharing boats and toys and things with other people (up to a point). Using outhouses. And yet the moominbeach was lightly populated, not to mention it was *private family land* and all of our parents had “real jobs” and we only lived like that in the summer. Come Labor Day, those of us who hadn’t already left the beach for Real Life in far-flung places would pack up our bushel baskets and head to town, back to our “real” houses in Sault Ste. Siberia, ready to start another school year.

Climate change and the book. I do not want to go into climate change today. I am NOT a denier but I am a pragmatist and I have complicated thoughts about the issue although I TOTALLY agree with reducing the kinds of activities that accelerate climate change (and 120 temps really freak me out!). I thought that Arcadia was a solid story without anything about climate change. But I may have missed something. Maybe the author is thinking about writing another book in which climate change is more relevant to the story? That might be cool! Read Arcadia for yourself and see what you think. As I said, I LOVED the book.

Little Red Photobomber

June 19th, 2017 by kayak woman

I wanted to do a book blahg today but it turns out I don’t really have the “chops” for that this evening. At least not for the book I want to blahg about, which is Arcadia by Lauren Groff. I loved the book enough that it deserves more than a cursory “5 stars and let’s move on”. Instead I will talk about little red photobombers.

Some of you are probably saying, “That’s a horrible photo!” And you are right. It’s kind of fuzzy and the lighting sucks, and there is a total lack of composition. But, y’know, in a way, this was point-and-shoot iPhoneography at its best! I mean, I wasn’t even sure I had actually *taken* a photo of the Three Segway Musketeers until I looked at what I had in my phone photos. I would probably have thrown the pic out if it hadn’t been for the Little Red Photobomber in the foreground. When I saw that, I cracked up, knowing I had a keeper.

So, we were driving into Downtown Deeeeetroit with Lizard Breath at the wheel of my cute li’l Ninja and we were approaching Campus Martius (I think that’s where we were) and she wanted to turn right at the next street but… We couldn’t turn right. There was some kind of construction or utility work or whatever going on and there was absolutely NO WARNING that the street was closed until you got RIGHT THERE and couldn’t make your turn. So we were kind of in limbo for a few minutes but, after some stressful backing up and other awkward maneuvering, she got us re-routed and I looked out my window and there were these Segway Musketeers and I fumbled with my phone a bit and we couldn’t *stop*, so even though I pushed the button on my iPhone cam, I could just as well have ended up with a pic of my arm or the inside of the Ninja.

The Little Red Photobomber brought back memories of Radical Betty’s sojourn at the Freighter View assisted living facility. She would tell various people about the little man outside her window (or somewhere around the building, I think, I can’t exactly remember), which turned out to be a fire hydrant, and some of those people were Concerned! and would tell us they thought she was experiencing dementia. I never thought of Radical Betty (or The Commander) as having dementia exactly but I have seen that there are many forms and manifestations of confusion that happen when people are nearing the end of their lives and dementia-like behavior can come and go. I don’t really know, but I’d like to think that Radical Betty knew darn well that the little red man was actually a fire hydrant and was just stringing some of those Concerned! people along.

Burping Tregurtha

June 18th, 2017 by kayak woman

A beautiful day with a few little pop-up storms and a lot of sun in between. A lot of people are posting their dads on facebook and that is okay. I have done it before myself and I’ll probably do it again. I’m not quite in the mood for looking back today so I’ll focus on the main dad in my life at the current time, The Pensioner, dad of my daughters.

So here he is on a sunset cruise ship on Lake Huron.

And kayaking.

And on the moon.

Actually not. Lizard Breath came over and we walked to HOMES, our new neighborhood brewery. It is within quick walking distance of our house, i.e., could be dangereuse. Not a full service restaurant at this time but GOOD FOOD! We noshed on Kimchi fries (Korean poutine) and fresh rolls.

And now we are hanging out in the back yard getting ready to grill some Father’s Day rib-eye caps.

Cheers to all of the fathers everywhere!

Summer head o’ hair

June 17th, 2017 by kayak woman

Today? A trip over to Detroit for a haircut by a self-described perfectionist.

It was time. When I showed the pic of how I wanted my hair cut, which was taken the first time (but not the last time) Kaitlyn cut my hair, last September, everyone marveled at how long it was now. Yes, my hair grows fast. Although the GG is saying he likes my Summer Hair, he also frequently says, “Grow it down to your butt.” There are a couple of problems with that. One is that my hair does not grow that long. Ever. I tried when I was young. The other is that if it did grow down to my butt, it would look like hell. I have to note here that the GG grew his hair down to his butt once upon a time (before I knew him). He has made noises about doing that again. I am not a fan…

And yes, there is a whine in both the before and after pics. My hair appointment was at 1 PM and, since the whole process takes an hour or so, we hit up the Green Dot for lunch beforehand. I got up at 5:30 and walked down to the farmers market today and did most of my usual Saturday chores before heading over to DayTwa and my “breakfast” consisted of a handful of (fresh, local!) strawberries, orange juice, and coffee. I needed food and figured that I could have some whine six hours after I got up. Man, 11:30 AM is the ONLY time to go to the Green Dot for lunch. There were actually empty tables at that time. By the time we left, there was a long line.

So then we drove Downtown and we were a little early so we walked over to the waterfront and watched the Edgar B. Speer go up the river. There was a bible-yeller kind of guy hanging around Hart Plaza and I had to laugh when he interrupted his spiel to call out how beautiful my “dress” was. This was the second person to compliment me on my “dress”, the first being a cook at the Green Dot that I encountered in the ladies powder room. This cracks me up because my “dress” today consisted of an ancient black Chico’s “travelers” tank top and a long black “tiered” kind of skirt from Soft Surroundings (I think). I love outfits like this but I do not feel like they flatter my baggy old body all that much. But maybe from a distance…

And then I got my hair cut and we weren’t sure what to do next. We weren’t quiiiite ready to part. We finally decided a small spot of whine would do the trick, so we went to Motor City Wine, which is where the after pic was taken. I think my MacMu shines through in this pic. Maybe because we were in Detroit where I used to go visit my MacMu relatives? But more likely because DNA.

And then Liz (who drives my Ninja when we are in Detroit because I have no clue where I’m going) took us back to her house and I reclaimed my car and trundled back to The Planet Ann Arbor, only to find the GG sitting outside the back door feeding peanuts to chipmunks. Oh don’t worry, he went out and purchased special peanuts (without salt or other contaminants) designed for wild rodents.

Being a crabby b*tch is part of my charm

June 16th, 2017 by kayak woman

I am sorry. I was cranky today. Once upon a time, when I had my childhood job over at That Darn EPA, I was almost *always* cranky about whatever ridiculous petty office polly-ticks were going on. For the first year or so of my tenure there, I was not very well respected. My boss Byron felt pressured to hire me (I think). I was a person who didn’t know doodly-squat about computers. Nowadays I would be skeptical about hiring meeeee too. The office “technical” “supervisor” was an insufferable young man (a Word of God guy) who (I sensed) had absolutely no respect for women and their potential capabilities in the info tech biz. I remember once when his wife visited the office and excitedly told us that she was taking a keypunching course and that she would leave all of that complicated computer stuff to her husband. Blech! At the time, my main job was to pull printouts off the Data 100 printer and put them into cubbies from where I could distribute them when people came to the “window” to pick them up.

This was stultifyingly dull for a woman who had excelled at school, whose favorite subject had always been mathematics. It was particularly difficult when they hired a complete nincompoop to do a higher level job than I had, at a higher pay rate. But not knowing what else to do with myself, I persevered. The Word of God guy left and, with his departure, a breath of fresh air came into the room. I discovered that I had a huge affinity for talking to computers and my boss Byron warmed to me. I learned everything there was to know about our data processing jobs, taught myself FORTRAN, got promoted and eventually became valued enough that I was offered ongoing part time employment with flexible time after I had my first beach urchin.

I rarely have anything to complain about regarding my adult job, that is, the one I have now. Maybe once or twice a year I get annoyed. Today was one of those days. I got tired of being echoed. I got tired of explaining something to the same person for the umpteenth time. I got annoyed at being asked to do something (by someone who is not my supervisor) that I was already planning on doing BECAUSE IT IS MY JOOOOOOB! DUH! Not to mention that the person asking this mis-addressed the message to my co-worker. I mean can’t these people remember ANYTHING! Honestly, I felt like I was five years old. I was very polite but I know that FZ (at the least) “got” that I was annoyed, especially after he heard me grumbling on the other side of the wall.

It’s okay. Patience has never been my strong suit in life but I am able to compartmentalize any anger/annoyance I experience in the workplace in order to move forward without p*ssing anyone off. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar, as the old saying goes. (It works. Try it.) I kept a low profile for the end of the afternoon today and I am pretty much over it except for writing this.

So the GG doesn’t usually have to hear me complain about work these days but I used to *constantly* complain about my childhood job, at least during the first couple years. It was during one of those complaint sessions that the GG was able to actually shut me up. We were downtown having dinner at the Whiffletree and I was going on and on (and on and on) he said something like, “Well, do you want to get married?” Ulp. Okay. I think the GG regrets that it is a strategy he can’t use again. At least not with me.

Twittering and yammering and yelling over the wall. Oh, and talking to the radio.

June 15th, 2017 by kayak woman

We’ll start with talking to the radio, which I do pretty much whenever I have NPR rolling along in the background of my life, except in the Ninja, because I am concentrating on driving then and about the most I can muster is an occasional fbomb under my breath and that fbomb might just as well be directed at an *ss*ole driver as the radio.

Talking to the radio…

“That man is crazy!” My great grandfather apparently said that about FDR while pacing the floor and listening to the radio. That would be my great grandfather MacMu (or *maybe* Lathers but I think MacMu). My Fin great grandfather died in northern Saskatchewan in the late 19th century and I doubt g-grandpa Raeburn was around for FDR either but I could be wrong. So, what are the initials of the person who *I* am talking about? Hint: times have changed since then and “crazy” might not be exactly the right word in either case. But.

“He is either lying or he’s suffering advanced dementia.” That is my quote and my quote alone. Who do you think I am talking about? I will tell you that I think he is lying pants-on-fire. I know enough about liars from my personal/”family” interactions in the last few years that I can spot one moiles away and that is about as far as I will go with that.

“*Why* under the *sun* do we have people like *that* in the *government*?” Who am I quoting? This sentiment, alas, applies to *many* people at all levels of government and I say it ALL THE TIME!

Twittering and yammering and yelling over the wall…

Our company locks our work laptops out of any kind of social media. This is for a number of good reasons, tantamount among them data security but I’m also gonna guess that they don’t want people frittering away their time posting cat videos on Facebook. So I’m not sure why the company has launched an in-house social media platform. Here I was, thinking it was a way for people to connect about *work* stuff? Even though if I want to connect to people about work stuff, I have email, Skype, phone, walkabout, and, if it is FZ I need to connect with, I just yell over the wall. (I rarely talk to anyone on the phone but the Benevolent Despot is over in Israel right now and called me yesterday to send him some files, so I had to include that.) But who am I? Apparently people are joining the company social thingy in droves and there are all kinds of groups for various hobbies and people are posting cat videos and the whole works. Go figure.

Me? What did I do at work today? Okay, I won’t lie. I did check email and text messages and social media (on my phone) multiple times. That’s how I got the loverly Elekayak photooo that Mouse sent me from Lake Huron today. I also did the xword and read a wee bit of my book (Arcadia and I read it at lunch). But mostly? I was picking away at writing and diagramming and spreadsheeting and screenshotting and fielding extremely complicated questions from highly talented people whose first language is Indian or Chinese. And some of these folks were dialing in from remote locations so it was hard to *hear* them. Not to mention the English-speaking folks who speak different “product” languages. We struggle to understand each other but, ultimately, we all have info-tech expertise and understand our product, so ultimately we get where we need to be.

And me today? Alas, to my colleagues, I probably sounded like Kellyanne Conway does to me. Babblety babblety babblety babblety babblety at a very high rate of speed. Hopefully my words made some sense to those for whom English is a second (or 3rd or 4th or whatever) language but not sure… Note to KW. S-L-O-W down!!! 🐽

Terrification

June 14th, 2017 by kayak woman

Multiple bad things happened during the last 24 hours, some while I was sleeping and some not. I hate when I wake up after a disaster of some sort. I am not going to address the gun violence that occurred in DC or the UPS shooting in SF. To me, all of these issues boil down to one big ball of rattlesnakes. I’ll sort those out (or stomp on their heads) some other day. I may be wrong but I am thinking that the phrase “going postal” originated from a shooting at the Royal Oak, Michigan post office. It was a disgruntled former employee and he killed multiple people. Fortunately, my mother-in-law was not among them. She had retired from her job at the Royal Oak post office by then.

But Jeebus H. Mackinaw Kee-reist! That fire in London! I’m pausing here for a moment of silence.

I have always been terrified of fire. I *think* my fear originates from the time I was a very small child and we were living in our shabby little bungalow on Superior Street in Sault Ste. Siberia. I think my mother was using an electric frying pan and somehow its cloth cord caught fire. It was big flames, at least to me, like six or eight or 10 inches. The Commander put it out immediately and all was well, not to mention, if there had been a *real* fire, we could probably have run out the back door. But I don’t think I ever forgot it (and we’ll talk about my ridiculous fear of lighting matches some other day).

And then I was in kindergarten and the teacher said there would be a fire grill. Oh, good, I thought. It sounds like we are going to grill hamburgers! Alas, not. The fire “grill” turned out to be an awful buzzing sound. Drill, duh! Our kindergarten room was on the first floor of the school and exited directly onto the school yard, so it is likely that we could escape any fire in the school just by walking outside, unless a bomb landed on our room and that was [arguably] not likely to happen back in 1960 in Sault Ste. Siberia.

A few years later (I think I was in the 4th grade), we watched a movie in the gym about fire safety. Except this particular movie scared the bejeebus out of me. It was set in a crappy old building and kids in one of the classrooms saw smoke coming over the transom. A boy ran out of the room to find his sister and the teacher ran out after him. At the end of the movie, we were looking at the school from outside and there were big flames in some of the windows and they hauled out the boy and his teacher unconscious without telling us whether or not they lived. Everyone else followed the “rules” and survived. I was terrified. Every night when I went to bed (in my first floor bedroom) I would look over and over again under the card table that was set up near my bed at that time, hoping there weren’t flames under it.

So I have always been terrified of fire. I was terrified when I lived on a third floor college dorm room (and there was a fire in that complex once but it was in a disjointed wing and we didn’t have to evacuate). I am a little squeamish when I stay on the higher floors of hotels nowadays although I rationalize that, statistically, it’s unlikely a devastating fire will happen while we are there for 12 hours.

That London incident was the stuff of my nightmares. A whole building going up in flames in a very short time. People dying in their flats. People jumping out windows. A mother dropping a baby out a window hoping that someone below would catch it, knowing that she herself would not survive either the fire or the jump but calculating that the baby might. I am so glad I have never had to make a decision like that.

Sorry about the downer post. I am sitting here in the Landfill back yard behind my single story house. The one that has fully functioning smoke alarms, even though they sometimes annoy us by activating when it RAINS!

Good night, KW

Ah don’t recollect…

June 13th, 2017 by kayak woman

Yeah, heard a version of that on the radio all the way home today, except I think “recall” was the wiggle word of the day. As my colleague FZ often says when interrogating a person who is asking for help with something to do with our product but can’t articulate the issue, “Answer the question!” Indeed.

I guess we’ve moved on from “recollect”. Ah don’t even know what hearings (or whatever) I’m thinking of from back in the Jurassic Age but it seemed like every time I turned on the TV, there would be a baggy old guy demonstrating his lack of recollect (or more likely his lack of *intellect*) when questioned about some kind of polly-tickle hoodwinkery. A newsperson at the time told of a frazzled mom of toddlers turning on the TV looking for Sesame Street and finding a baggy old guy rambling on and on and on (and on). Kid: He not Cookie Monster. Indeed. I wasn’t a mother yet but I understood.

Sorry to go on about this stuff but y’all know that being a crabby b*tch is part of my charm 🐸

It’s Jeep and Pan’s wedding anniversary today. That’s my cousin and her husband. Their wedding was the first wedding I ever went to and I was absolutely enchanted by the whole thing, the beautiful dresses and the pageantry and the cake and the excitement about the idea of getting married and having your own family. (I hadn’t yet thought about the actual facts involved in having a *baby*.)

I always admired my cousin greatly and her new husband was a lot of fun joking around with us kids. I still admire and love them. Happy Anniversary!

I won’t go on and on and on (and on) about all of that. But here’s a pic of the Kids’ Table. The “big” girls who are talking oh, so seriously, are my cousin Pooh and me. What could we have been talking about? I don’t *think* it was prime numbers but who knows. The little kid next to her is none other than npJane, big as life. And their sister Jay next to np. In front of me is my little bro’ The Engineer. Two of the others are our good friends Kathie and Kevin Mullin and, for the life of me, I don’t know recollect who the other boy is.

We were in the Methodist church basement for this reception and that is the door to the ladies bathroom behind the table there. I remember it all too well. Church basement wedding receptions were what a lot of people did back in those days and for many years after that. It was a beautiful wedding and a great reception and I’m not sure that a destination wedding where everyone flies in and then arrives at the venue in a fancy horse-drawn carriage or parachute or whatever is necessarily destined to last as long as Jeep and Pan’s has.

Trust me, you do *not* want a photo today 🐽

June 12th, 2017 by kayak woman

How not to start off the week on an otherwise loverly Monday morning.

Got up, took a shower and a walk. Actually NOT hacking up a lung as much FINALLY! But still haven’t totally kicked it. But still, everything was all right.

Got home. Did some chores. Everything was all right. Ate a wee breakfast while surfing the internet. Everything was all right. And then. Less than a quarter inch of orange juice remained in my glass. I nonchalantly raised the glass to drink the rest of it. ONE BLASTED MOLECULE of orange juice went down the wrong pipe. Now, normally this kind of event would set off a minor bit of choking and I would move on with life pretty darn quick and not look back. This time? That minor bit of choking set off an EPIC COUGHING FIT! And THAT, my friends, set off my gag reflex and…

I will stop right there.

I got through it all and decided to sit and chill in front of my laptop for 10 minutes or so and recuperate from that loverly little chain reaction of spasms.

And so I did and then I finished my morning chores and schlepped off to Cubelandia and everything was all right and I only had maybe like five minor coughing fits today instead of the 50 hacking-up-a-lung fits I had last Friday.

Onward and upward?

Raspberry juice, pancakes, and dance music from America

June 11th, 2017 by kayak woman

Is it 90 degrees yet? It probably isn’t but it is definitely somewhere in the upper 80s. I expended all of my day’s energy in the early hours. Walking alone, walking with the GG down by the river, walking to the Plum. Going to Meijer. Doing a few small hoard-wrangling chores, like pulling everything out of the bench in the front room, organizing it and putting it back in. Except for a couple of veeeendsheeeeld ice scrapers… I think I’ll put those in our vee-hickles. Changing out my old fitbit to a new one. I didn’t upgrade. It was just that my old one was starting to get low on battery often enough to be annoying. After some dicey-ness (403 error), I was ecstatic that I didn’t have to jump through hoops to get my existing statistics to transfer to the new bit. Not sure why I care since I don’t ever really *look* at the stats. Just that I am a database type person and neeeeeed to know where my data is!

So onto books. I finished the Rabbit Back Literature Society a few days ago. Did I write that already? I can’t remember… I greatly enjoyed the book but would have liked the ending to tie a few things up a little better. Book virus? And what happened to Laura? Twin Peaks-ish, I know.

And then I read Finn Family Moomintroll (just the first book for now). Because, believe it or not, I have never read Finn Family Moomintroll before. As much as I always talk about the moominbeach and the moomincabin blah blah blah. I kind of vaguely remember finding Finn Family Moomintroll at Borders or wherever and thinking it looked like it might be a good read-aloud. It probably would’ve been a good read-aloud and I think I may have even started reading it aloud, during breakfast, if I remember accurately. I don’t think I even got through the first chapter before the beach urchins took off reading the books (all of them, as far as I know) on their own. They had long been independent readers by that time but they would still let me read out loud to them, which I loved because I love to read out loud. I read umpteen gazillion books out loud to those kids, including “The Chronicles of Narnia” (all seven of them), many Roald Dahl books, and “The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet”, to name a few. But I lost track of Finn Family Moomintroll and so when people would talk about the hemulen (a botanist!) or the Groke or the hattifatteners, I didn’t really know who they were talking about. But now I do and I won’t say anything more about that. In my not-so-humble opinion, it is a worthwhile book for audiences of all ages.

Can I also say that I discovered today that a young relative shares my love of dystopian novels? I like lots of fictional genres and I have merely scratched the surface of the dystopian novel genre. But I really get a kick out of that kind of book even if I don’t always totally understand what’s going on.

G’night and what have you been reading?

P.S. Never count the ducklings.

Tis the season of strawberries and shelling peas in the back yard

June 10th, 2017 by kayak woman

Here is my annual pic of the sun rising behind the greenhouse down at Mack School. Of course I took it as I walked downtown.

Here is today’s haul (minus the boneless chicken thighs and ribeye heart steaks). It’s a smaller haul than sometimes but just trying to not buy more than we can eat. I have some produce in the refrigerator right now that is a bit past its prime and I hate to throw it out, even though that means throwing it in the compost bin. Or maybe I could freeze it to make veggie stock, as Pengo suggested on FB. Intriguing idea.

After a few billion morning chores, we walked down for lunch at the Griz at our fave Griz bartender’s new digs over on the west side of the bar. We made “friends” with a guy there who also seems to spend Saturday lunch at the Griz. I enjoyed conversing with him but I was careful about providing a whole lot of personal info, as I always am when I first meet someone.

But then, we were gonna catch a bus back over to WestArborLandia and I cut things short so we could catch the bus. On the way there, we dealt with the fact that Peaceable Kingdom is closed forever.

I don’t really have any words about that but we did get on the bus and, at some point, our neighborhood friend *Kathy* also got on the bus. We were debating about which stop to get off and I said, let’s see what Kathy does and we’ll do what she does and then we can talk to her! So that is what we did and we all [safely] crossed the streets to the Plum Market together and she went to get her hair cut somewhere and we did some shopping at the Plum and…

I love June at the farmers market here on the Garden Planet Ann Arbor. Strawberries are galore and so are peas. One of my fave things to do on a hot sunny Saturday afternoon in the backyard is to shell peas.

Nostalgia for Foster Friess?

June 9th, 2017 by kayak woman

Noooooo. We were at the Oscar Tango and we were arguing about nebulously defined phrases like “open borders” and some of us were rather vocally complaining about our loverly orange Tweeter in Chief. I mean seriously, I am not a Democrat *or* a Republican. I am sick and taaaarrred of arguing over buzzwords that no one can define or provide credible sources of information about or evidence of what is going on. I want facts and evidence so I can form my own opinions. I want our leaders to answer questions directly if they are at liberty to provide an answer at all and I want COMMON SENSE to reign! These days I think we have all taken leave of our senses.

For a few moments I was actually nostalgic for the Foster Friess days. I was thinking back to a similar argument at the Oscar Tango a few years ago (back when Rayanne still worked there) when a man named Foster Friess made a totally outrageous “joke” to someone in the media about aspirin placed between a woman’s legs being a means of contraception. The OT was pretty loud that night and so were we and then (ahem) someone at our table used the F word and immediately realized she was outta line. And apologized to Rayanne, who was fine with it, having heard a lot worse. After all, the OT is a BARRRROOOOOM!

So I found myself thinking about how “simple” life was back in the Foster Friess era but then I got home and googled him and noooooo we don’t want to go back to that. Except that he supported our Orange Oligarch too so we really haven’t left it, just that somebody (a WOMAN maybe?) has managed to get him to unhinge his brain (or whatever it is that controls his bodily functions) from his lip-flappers when it comes to the extremely complex, sensitive issues surrounding female human beings and the ongoing battle over who has control over their reproductive organs. I’m not going any further than that tonight. I am not afraid to express my opinions on my blahg but I know that I cannot write anything coherent about those issues tonight. Or maybe ever…

Anyway, I am dead taaaarrrred tonight. This is one of those colds that comes with a lingering cough and mine is still lingering although I feel fine in every other way and got some ungodly number of steps (24K or whatever) in today. It is supposed to get HOT here this weekend. Am I looking forward to that or not? I am not sure. At least I am caught up at work enough that I think I can relegate my work laptop to the corner it belongs in. It has been a while!

G’night and hope y’all have a great weekend and don’t find any ticks in your bed like we did last night. Yes, really. It was a dog tick, so not the Lyme kind but still icky and creepy. We are *hoping* that it hitched a ride in from a trip out to the Lyme Lounge (currently parked in our driveway) and not from our yard. Suffice it to say that the Lyme Lounge and the Frog Hopper both got a thorough clean-out today. Which they both desperately needed!

Penguin Island

June 8th, 2017 by kayak woman

Our moominbeach island is not a penguin island. It is a seagull/cormorant/guano island, take your pick. Penguin Island is a gorgeously illustrated book we found at Westside Books down on Liberty, kinda catty-corner from the Oscar Tango. I can’t remember what the GG was looking for but I zeroed in on Penguin Island and though I lusted after it that night, I didn’t buy it. We are *not* collecting hoarding and have a loose “no impulse purchases” policy in place. The next Friday (the night before we road-tripped to Fla), I got to the Oscar Tango and mentioned that I wanted to go to Westside before we went home. The GG’s reply was, “Oh, do you want that Penguin Island book? I’ll go get it right now.” Our brains are closer together than a lot of people who know us might think (including meeeee sometimes) but I wasn’t all that surprised that he also coveted the book. And he did, so he ran over there and snagged it. I have no clue what the story is. I just like the pitchers.

<beep beep beep anti-Trump content alert>Speaking of books, I wrestled “The President and the Big Boy Truck” “baby” board book outta the Lyme Lounge and it made MMCB2 totally crack up over at Barry’s today. A palate cleanser before today’s Comey hearings. I have given the book back to the Lyme Lounge Library. You can buy it here if you want to.</beep beep beep anti-Trump content alert>

Speaking of penguins, it is Pengie’s birthday today and the second pic is of my brother’s younger daughter and mine. Facts:

— My brother and I each had two daughters.

— Pengie is my brother’s 2nd (of two) daughters.

— My parents have four grandchildren, all girls.

— My mother loved them all equally, as she would say over and over and over ad nauseam. It was true!

— The eldest of the grandchildren (Liz) is four years older than the youngest (Pengie). Well, four-and-a-half but that doesn’t make any difference any more.

— My older child (Liz) is two years older than my brother’s older child (Val).

— My younger child (Mouse) is approximately two years older than my brother’s younger child (Pengie).

I thought for a while about having a third child but ultimately decided not to. I do not regret that decision at all. I can’t remember whether my brother wanted more than his two or not (I think not plus he was having health problems early on) but ultimately, we both had kids that turned into good citizens and that’s about all a person can ask for, at least in my estimation.

I wanted my children to know their cousins, as I knew mine. Us cousins aren’t quiiiite like siblings but we are pretty close. Well, except there were a few years that “Mac and Mike” harassed us younger kids like crazy but we were probably bugging the heck out of them too. I certainly love them now and I have fond memories of all those years. Whatever else was going on, we were all having so much fun!

So, HB to Pengie. I love being a member of the FinFam and I love all of the folks in the fandamily.