Random bits of my so-called life.

Terabytical glare ice

October 13th, 2019 by kayak woman

Four terabytes? I remember learning the word terabyte. It wasn’t all that many years ago. I am sure that I was working at Cubelandia when we bought a ONE terabyte backup drive. I was like “tera” means four roight. Four gigs? Roight? Or not. Anyway, the GG spent most of the day haaaaannnnggging around with the computooooor. Two trips to the Apple store. No, I did not want to go. I HATE going to the Apple store. But now we have FOUR terabytes of backup storage.

Plus I was doing slow cooking/shopping today in between reading sessions. Octavia Butler’s Dawn this time. I’ve been trying to read Halloweeny type books, not sure this fits the bill or not but I like Octavia’s writing and I am enjoying this book. So I was sitting outside in the mid afternoon and it was really windy and *things* kept falling out of the trees. I finally moved myself closer to the house so I was under the eaves and hopefully out of the line of faaaar. So I was sitting there and ka-whomp holy crap. It wasn’t a whole tree. It was a smallish branch and it bounced off the power lines (eek) and the new shed’s roof. Fortunately no damage but jeebus.

So a facebook/high school friend reported GLARE ICE on I75 north of the Big Mac bridge today. Looking at the weather, I don’t see temps that low up there butcha nevah know what kind of micro-climate yer gonna encounter here in the Great Lake State. And that is why we do not EVER schedule a moomincabin closing as late as Halloween. WTF? Here on the Planet Ann Arbor, I am thankful that we hit 60 today.

Purple Pinocchio

October 12th, 2019 by kayak woman

So okay, you ask yer husband to take a pitcher of you in yer balaclava and he makes you look like Pinocchio. Not sure if that was on purpose or not but I cannot stop laughing!

I’m not sure what else I have to say tonight. I dredged out a couple of yearbooks to do a little research. First, I wanted to know how to spell Mr. Pfifer’s name. My yearbooks say it was spelled “Fifer” and that is how he pronounced it. But. I sooooo thought there was a silent P in there somewhere and I feel like I can even remember him saying he didn’t like when people mis-pronounced his name and called him “Mr. Piffer”. But maybe people were calling him “Mr. Fiffer”.

Second, I was looking for a person I recently accepted a FB friend request from. She’s from Sault Ste. Siberia and her name is familiar (and she seems really nice) but… I can’t place her. I *think* I figgered out that she graduated from high school a year ahead of me. I can’t find anyone with her name in that yearbook. (I did find Bad Boyfriend 🐽) I’m not sure what to do in these kinds of situations. Do I [sheepishly] ask her who she is? Or do I ask The Beautiful Mimi, who knows EVERYONE?

This kind of thing has happened to me a few times. Please please please please, if you are on Facebook, consider providing just enough information to make things click for friends like me. Particularly provide your “maiden name” if you use your husband’s name. I used my husband’s surname informally when my kids were in school but I never legally changed to it and I have always used my birth surname professionally and on social media. If I did legally use my husband’s name, I think I would still include my FinFam name on social media so people I friend would have a clue about who I was.

I am wearing a balaclava in the pic because it was fricking cold out in the back yard. The ambient temperature was not all that bad but it was windy as all getout. At least that kept the mo-skee-toes and wasps away.

To dot or not to dot

October 11th, 2019 by kayak woman

My first ‘hattan at the Red Hawk mitigated a work day plagued with fixing punctuation crapola in help pages. So much fun. One of my Indian colleagues caught all of that stuff. I can’t remember if he is the one who knows eight languages or not but he is totally fluent in English and catches many mistakes. Many of today’s mistakes were ambiguous things about whether or not various lines of text needed to end with a period. You do not want to know the complexities involved but we have no design standards for this particular kind of thing so I had to make some difficult executive decisions. Somehow I powered through it. (Thank you to Mrs. Bishop, Mrs. Pratt, and Mr. Pfifer* for teaching me the English language and to Mrs. Velde for teaching me Latin, which raised English to a new level for me.)

I guess the first ‘hattan also mitigated my commute home. It was fine for most of the way until I got to the Road Diet that starts at the intersection immediately preceding the turnoff into my neighborhood. Some sort of accident had occurred a few houses AFTER my turnoff so I don’t really know what the heck was going on but it took FOREVER to GET to and through the preceding intersection.

My second ‘hattan at the Red Hawk mitigated a typical ordering session for our group. Like, NO, DON’T ORDER THE SQUID! Not because the squid is bad, just… [insert unblahggable stuff here]. And then there is the salmon, which is also dangereuse territory but a couple of us kept our mouths shut. I began the ordering session by asking for a second ‘hattan and the salmon pita. By the end of it, I reminded our long-suffering waiter that I needed a second ‘hattan, suggesting that he may also need a ‘hattan after the ordering session.

After yet another confusing parking structure adventure complete with an elevator alarm and alley confusion, we got ourselves porterized in LymeLoungia. And… and… and… How do I end this? I guess I will just end it. G’night. KW

*I have probably mangled Mr. Pfifer’s name and will correct it tomorrow after dredging it out of my old yearbooks.

Ashes, ashes, we all fall down!

October 10th, 2019 by kayak woman

I was kinda grumpy when I got home today. The purple KAYAK was on top of a couple of garbage carts. Why??? I couldda moved it but why should *I* have to move it since *I* did not put it there. And would *never* think to store a KAYAK on top of some Working Garbage/Recycling Receptacles. I have to USE those! We mitigated that situation and my mood was significantly improved when I FINALLY walked into the back yard and saw this!

Yes. Except that I had left my laptop on the Red Chair (before the faaar actually got started) and it was covered with ashes. All is well and the faaaaar seems to be keeping the mo-skee-toes away. As well as the wasps. The wasps have been dogging our impatiens and therefore me. Over a week ago some kind of insect got into my hair next to my ear and I wasn’t quiiiite sure what it was but when I put my hand up to brush it away, it STUNG ME! It’s okay, I am the antithesis of being allergic to stinging insects. It hurt enough that I rummaged around for the Sting Kill that I SWEAR was in my way a few days before but I couldn’t find it to save my life. My finger (left hand middle) remained un-swollen for the duration although it itched occasionally for the next week.

I did not get stung by ANYTHING until well into my adult years. I do not get stung very often but one of my all-time faves was when I got stung under my EYE. I was walking and the velcro on my aging Teva sandals was in a failure mode and I kept having to reach down and re-attach the straps. This was very annoying. And then, I was walking up Doty and, while I was reaching down to re-attach my sandal straps, a stinging insect got trapped between my glasses and my EYE. And stung me. Would that have made a funny video or what?

I was upset enough that I curtailed my walk at that point. I was sure that there would be a big ugly swelling below my eye but when I looked in the mirror there was really nothing out of order. Later when I went over to the elementary school for whatever reason I told friends about my little adventure and they corroborated that my eye looked fine.

Gotta go cobble together some l’overs to heat up. G’night. KW

Visiting catsa

October 9th, 2019 by kayak woman

I spent some time working from home this afternoon and this loverly catsa came for a visit. Obviously a well taken care of outdoor catsa. Boy oh boy, some people can go crazy about outdoor cats. They eat birds, yada yada yada. I dunno which side of that issue I fall on. It’s as complicated as Syria.

At work today some of us were talking about how much we like to be ALONE in our houses. And yes we do, although we also like when family members (husband in my case) are around. Just that we need space.

I ventured to say that I also miss (greatly) the years when I had teenagers coming in and out the door at all hours of the night. Some people kind of gasped. But really. There were plenty of mooom moments during those years (and beyond). Like, blink awake! WHERE IS MY DAUGHTER? But in general, I knew who they were hanging around with and I trusted their driving skills. After all, their dad taught them (and all kinds of cousins and friends) to drive STICK when they were 10 or whatever out at the old Raco air base.

[Delete a whole bunch of incomprehensible crapola about life here] I was sitting in the back yard this afternoon and I kept going back inside to get more clothing. First a polartech vest, then a polartech jacket, and finally I dredged out my smartwool leggings for the first time this season. The outside temperature was 64, which is not really all that cold but there was a chill in the air… It’s coming…

Low-tech senility solution

October 8th, 2019 by kayak woman

My coffee klatch began (20 years or so ago? really?) on Mondays. I was a newcomer invited to an established group of middle school alternative school mooms down at Cafe Zola. My daughter chose to try to get in to the alternative school and I supported her choice. I was excited to be invited to this coffee klatch but also a little nervous. For one thing, I am an introvert.

For another, I am a fan of our city’s popular alternative “open” schools but not a rabid fanatic. So I was nervous because some of the alternative school parents in this town (and this is not limited to alternative school parents) have some pretty dern strong opinions about their kids’ educations and I, well, don’t, at least not usually. So I wasn’t sure if the conversation would turn into a lot of complaining. Or that I could even keep up with the conversation at all. (I mean, I can’t even keep up with conversations about the Bolshevik Revolution, roight? 🐽)

And then there is the angst that goes something like… Do they REALLY meet EVERY Monday at 8 AM? Are they meeting THIS Monday? What if I get there first and no one is there? What if no one else shows up? On and on ad infinitum. There were no smart phones in those days and some people didn’t check email so there was no way of texting everyone “Are we on?” These days if I get to a “date” of any sort early, I grab a coffee (or whine or whatever) and read on my phone. In fact I often *try* to get there early. The iPhone has changed my life!

I am a person who keeps her “ear to the ground” so I understood a lot of the issues recurrently discussed by the open school community even if I didn’t care all that much*. But these mooms were on the tame side when it came to “open” school “issues” and we all got along well and eventually we welcomed some mooms from the mainstream public middle school our school shared space with.

Our group eventually largely disbanded as kids went to high school and mooms got “real jobs” and the three of us who could still manage to meet moved our location (to Barry Bagels) and eventually our weekday moved around too. We all have successful 30-somethings and one has grandchildren. (And I am not senile.) But Wednesday is our usual day and the last time we changed it temporarily to Monday, I almost forgot, so this time I made a post-it note reminder and stuck it in a place I KNEW I would see in the morning. My MacBook Pro.

* I was happy with my child’s alternative middle school experience and I *did* care that our city *had* alternatives and when the school district reorganized and our little open middle school was threatened, I became a WARRIOR in the ultimately unsuccessful cause to save it, using my natural-born data base and writing skills to organize mailings, etc. PSMYA – Parents and Students for Middle Years Alternative.

From Tunisia to Bangalore Bangaluru to Sandy Cay

October 7th, 2019 by kayak woman

You never quiiiite know where a daily standup meeting is gonna take you. Today it took us around the world with Amazon Woman at the helm. In the course of solving a problem, one of our Indian/American folks was talking to Tunisia today. We are a large global company but nobody was previously aware that we had offices in Tunisia. And, hmmm, where the heck *is* Tunisia anyway…

So AW got the google going and we found Tunisia. From there we flipped the world around over to the Indian subcontinent where we talk daily with our Indian co-workers. I have said this before and I will say it again. India is going to take over the world. These guys are soooo smart. And they are young and friendly and fun and we love them. So we were trying to figure out their exact location and it turns out they are nowhere near Bangaluru which is in the south. They are in the north. And our local colleague can’t really see Sri Lanka from his family’s house, just like Sarah P probably can’t really see Russia from her house. I can see Cananananada from the Moomincabin though.

Our last stop was Sandy Cay, a place AW has visited. You have to visit it by bote but once you get there you can swim in its tropical waters. And then we landed with a bump back on The Planet Ann Arbor (and India).

I finished my booooook, A Gentleman in Russia, at lunch today. I really liked it a lot. I loved the title character. I loved the ending. It wasn’t what I might have been expecting while reading the book but it was perfect. I read online and somehow I landed on a page of questions about the book and a fair number of people didn’t seem to understand the ending. Oh boy oh boy, I got it! What book were they reading? I will say that although the book provided enough glimpses of history to pique my curiosity, it did not make me want to seek out a bunch of long, dense, man-‘splaining texts on the Bolshevik revolution, etc. Nope.

Memories from The Long Trip

October 6th, 2019 by kayak woman

Before my brother was born (I was 3-1/2 when he was born), my parents and I took what we called The Long Trip. We took lots of trips when I was a kid but usually we went south to megalopolis to visit my Detroit grandparents and various aunts, uncles, and cousins (Ann Arbor, Royal Oak, and Lansing). It took a day to get there and we stayed with our relatives, not in motels.

On this trip we traveled through Cananananada over to Niagara Falls and back and we stayed in motels most of the time. I have a few vague memories of that trip, which I will try to recount tonight since I have nothing much else to talk about today.

Our first night landed us in a motel in North Bay, Ontario, where I was THRILLED to discover that the bathroom fixtures were PINK!!! PINK! Who’da thunk there were pink terlets in the world? Many years later, The Comm and I were reminiscing about The Long Trip and I think she remembered the PINK bathroom but what she REALLY REMEMBERED was the SPIDER! The Comm did NOT LIKE SPIDERS. OH NO, NOT ONE LITTLE BIT!

We visited what the finFam called “The Hallidays” in Toronto (pronounced like “holiday”). These sisters were genteel older ladies who had never married. I would have to look up exactly how they are related to me. I believe they were more closely related (great-aunts?) to a Canadian third cousin I connected with a couple years ago and she remembers them much more clearly. Me? I sorta remember being served tea in a parlor or whatever. I’m sure my tea was heavily laced with milk and sugar.

I vaguely remember Niagara Falls. I don’t really remember being at the Sherman house (in a town on the American side of the falls) but The Comm has told me that when we arrived at the Sherman’s, I took one look, yelled KIDS (they had three at that time), and basically disappeared. That doesn’t exactly sound like Shy-Me but I’ll take it. A few years later, the Shermans (with five kids by that time) started visiting us at the moomincabin in the summers and one summer, Danny and I had a bit of a thing going (we were six) and we re-enacted umpteen bazillion times (at his direction) a little scene where we got “married” at Niagara Falls. The last line of the skit was, “Let’s go, honeybunch!” and we would skip along down the beach, holding hands.

And a memory not related to a specific location… We owned a copy of the Golden Songbook (I still have it) and I demanded that The Comm sing the songs over and over and over. The Comm was not really a singer but I liked the music and I was entranced by the musical notations and the fact that the staffs were often colored in with yellow or pink or blue or whatever. The musical notations stayed with me although I don’t need colored musical staffs any more. Eventually I learned how to decode that language on my own.

Oh, what the heck? We didn’t doooo anything today? We drove across town to meet our most recent great-nephew, born a couple weeks ago. The GG held him for a while. He wasn’t totally happy. I refrained from holding him. I am not a “baby person”. I love babies. They are all miracles and this young man is gorgeous (like they all are). But unless a young parent needs to be spelled for a bit I doubt that the baby wants meeeee to hold them. So I sat and talked to the baby’s grandma (my beloved sister-in-law) and the baby’s wonderful erudite father and watched the baby’s big sis play with her new Paw Patrol toys. 🧡

B52 B29 B17!

October 5th, 2019 by kayak woman

Okay, so, yer fav-o-rite blahgger is not good at identifying military aircraft. I was all excited about seeing a “B52” bomber in the sky yesterday afternoon. Later on, thinking that the wings were too “straight” for a B52, I did The Google and I thought the plane I saw looked more like a B29. An Instagram/FB (and real life friend) kindly corrected me. It was a B17 and civilians can pay to book flights on it. Of course when I googled “B17” the first thing that came up was that a B17 with a similar mission in Connecticut crashed a couple days ago with paying customers on it.

A B52 bomber did fly over the Big House today, as scheduled. I heard it but it was from a decent distance. We are a mile and a bit from the Big House. I can hear the UMich band practicing at Elbel if the weather is right. I don’t really hear anything from the stadium. Anyway, I doubt the fly-over was anything like the fly-overs my brother and our cousins and I experienced as kids at the moominbeach. Those big old B52s were menacing but as most of us kids were born well after WWII, some of us with WWII pilot dads, we knew they were on “our side” and just practicing or whatever. I wonder what our WWII enemies’ children thought when those beasts approached, screaming outta the sky like that…

So then there is the whole mustache question. Did the GG look like a Russian in last night’s pic because he has a mustache? Uh… Mustache? The GG has a mustache? I was nonplussed. But. Yes. He does currently have a mustache. It is a historical fact of our marriage that I don’t seem to always know whether he has a mustache or not. I guess it’s because I don’t really care if he has a mustache or not. Now… a BEARD? I do not like the GG to have a beard. It does not suit him. When he starts growing a beard, I NOTICE! Nope.


October 4th, 2019 by kayak woman

I think the GG looks like an old Russian so-and-so in this pic although he is not Russian in any way shape or form. German-Irish-French-whatever like so many of us WASPy types although in my case, replace French with Scot and move Scot to the front of the line bigtime.

The GG has spent a lot of time reading about the Russian Revolution and once crashed a uMich seminar on the topic. I am fine with that except when I have to hear about it at great length. I was never a great student of history and have little patience for long boring man-‘splaining explanations about things in general. I have begun a *novel* that is set in the time of the Bolshevik revolution – A Gentleman in Moscow. I am enjoying it greatly so far. The GG is skeptical about whether it might reflect the reality of the times. He probably thinks it’s a romance novel or whatever🐽 I have suggested that it is likely well researched and will present history accurately if not exhaustively from a unique perspective without dwelling on the dry names and dates that put me off history as a kid. Names and dates are important but so often we don’t learn much about the the surrounding context, stories about how regular people in the population dealt with tumultuous change, etc. Often those people did not have the tools to document the stories of their lives. But we’ll see… *Maybe* it’ll serve to get me *interested* in the Russian Revolution enough to read some long boring man-‘splaining historical books about it. Don’t hold your breath.

Anyway, we hung out at the Oscar Tango for dinner on a big football weekend. On my drive home from Cubelandia I saw all kinds of big RVs festooned with uMich crapola coming toward me on Stadium. Heading over to the PiHi parking lot to start their tailgating early I guess. Can they really park there overnight? What if PiHi has its own football game? I do not know. Walking downtown I watched a great big plane with four engines fly lazily over the city. I did a double-take and yelled out “B52”, which caused a few people to look at me like I was nuts. I had heard that a B52 would do a fly-over at the Big House tomorrow but didn’t expect to see one in the sky tonight.

At any rate, my experience with B52 fly-overs is that when I was a kid at the moominbeach, the now long defunct air force base Kincheloe was 15 miles or so away and B52s would sometimes come screaming over our beach. I don’t think they were actually at tree-top level but they were pretty dern low in the sky. And SCARY! Of course my old coot and uncle Duke, both military pilots, got all excited and ran out to watch them with us kids in hot pursuit.

P.S. The Google tells me the plane I saw was likely a B29, not a B52. A B52 fly-over *is* scheduled for today though.

It was a good long run

October 3rd, 2019 by kayak woman

This had to be just about the nicest summer we’ve had in a while. Mostly warm to hot, breaking in to the 90s only a few times. One of those times was 4th of July at the moomincabin. Rain and sometimes lightning but never anything very threatening, at least not any place we were. Other Great Lake Staters may beg to differ. That’s okay, it’s a big state surrounded by big bodies of water and other folks may well have experienced some nastiness. September? Spectacular right up to the end and into the first couple days of October. It has cooled down the last couple days but I don’t see a need for glubs or a balaclava or leggings (or YakTrax, heaven forbid), at least for the next 10 days or so. After that, who knows?

Every summer is different. One of the most memorable for me here on the Planet Ann Arbor was 1988. Lemme see…

— It was hot (90s and even 100s) and dry for weeks on end.

— I think that was the year our *gorgeous* flowering crab tree began to die.

— I don’t remember what our “lawn” looked like but the schoolyard grass was totally brown. I think we were at least trying to water. I think the school district gave up.

— The beach urchins were almost 4 and almost 18 months.

— We did not own an air-conditioned vee-hickle.

— Once Grandma Sally was visiting and I drove her and the beach urchins to the mall in the Jetta. Did we have a name for that car or did naming vee-hickles start with the Exxon Tanker Valdez? Which DID have A/C. It’s not a dangerous city but you do have to lock your car doors. When we came out of the mall and got back in the Jetta, the younger beach urchin began screaming as soon as I put her in her car seat and didn’t stop until we got home. Rolling the windows all the way down did not help.

— [I don’t go to the mall any more but not because of that. Well, on the off-chance I have to visit the “Genius” bar, I have to go to the mall. I wish Apple would move their store…]

— And then there was the time the younger beach urchin came down with roseola. One afternoon, her temperature matched the outdoor temperature (104). We actually had her in one of those little K-Mart style kiddie pools in the back yard, something I would not normally do with a feverish kid.

Local corn and Farmer John’s green beans

October 2nd, 2019 by kayak woman

A feast of roast chicken on the grill, local corn on the cob (probably almost the last of it), green beans with almonds, mix of brown and wild rice, aaaand a simple salad (farmers market lettuce plus Farmer John’s tomatoes).

We were talking about how much corn each person wanted and some of us only wanted a half ear. I love corn on the cob but a little goes a long way these days. What we don’t eat, I scrape and put the kernels in salads.

I remember when we were kids up in the yooperland and my granddaddy would show up at the cabin on a Community Dinner day in high summer with a bushel of freshly picked corn from some farmer or other and a couple of big glass gallon jugs of A&W root beer. He was a wonderful granddaddy on any day but he was extra popular when he showed up with that kind of loot.

I can remember eating two or even three ears of corn and it used to be a great joke to eat the corn off a cob and throw the old cob on my dad’s plate. Even my dad thought it was funny (or at least he pretended it was funny 🐽).

I’ve posted this fugly old photooo before. It shows me and most of the G3 Fin cousins. I am second on the left with the glasses and my little brother is next to me. Our mother The Commander is the adult helping serve us. I remember so well sitting at that table in the back/kitchen porch of the Old Cabin. If you were sitting along one of the benches by the windows, like where my brother and I are in the pic, and you had to use the outhouse you had to Submarine, which is to go under the table to get out.

Beautiful rain on The Garden Planet Ann Arbor tonight. And g’night! 🧡

50 170 feet of bote

October 1st, 2019 by kayak woman

Somebody asked me how many botes we have. Lemme see…

Five Four kayaks. Three Walden Vistas of various colors. One green fishing-type kayak (can’t remember the brand). Don’t ask about the fifth (yellow Old Town) 🐽

— One 3-seat metal putt-putt motor bote.

— One 4-seat metal putt-putt motor bote.

— One red Old Town canoe.

— Fifth share (or something like that) in a pontoon party bote.

— Half a metal canoe. That’s the one in the pic and no it is not cut in half. My old coot and his sister Radical Betty bought it together so I guess nowadays our two branches of the finFam still own it. Not that it’s been used in I can’t think how many years because once we discovered kayaks, we never looked back. A canoe is a fight, at least if it is shared by a husband and wife.

One of my fave sayings from the Gumper (my beloved father-in-law) was “Some men have 50 foot botes – I have 50 feet of bote”. We have 170 feet so maybe we have him beat? I dunno. He had a lot of botes and maybe 50 feet was a very loose [under]estimate. The GG actually organized bote records a while back and had pretty precise data at hand.

Last day of “summer” and I am sitting in the back yard, i.e., not at a birthday party🐸 Hot but… Tut tut, looks like rain.

Party pooper

September 30th, 2019 by kayak woman

We went to a birthday party tonight. We talked about this event last night and then I totally forgot about it. So after a looooong slodgy commute, I got home and flung various undergarments and washed my feet and threw some frozen scallop kebabs into cold water to thaw them for grilling. I was just about to make a cocktail and take it out into the back yard, where it was warm and sunny for what will probably one of the last such afternoons for the duration. Oh, you know what duration.

Suddenly the GG said, “We can go whenever you’re ready!” Uh, go WHERE? To Dexter. To said party. Oh, okay. All right. I have to change my clothes again and wash my face. And put the scallops in the refrigimitator to thaw for tomorrow night.

Was it fun? Of course it was fun. But I am an introvert and it kinda ripped my alone time away from me. We snagged a table with another couple we enjoy hanging out with and guess what? The wife was about as enthusiastic as I was. She is retired but as I started explaining my after-work ritual, she said something like, “I know just how you feel.”

In the end, we hung around just long enough. Someone tried to organize a group picture. I was not enthusiastic. Just try to get 50 (or whatever) people to organize for a group picture. Herding cats anyone? Then someone else – I have no clue who but they were also not enthusiastic about the group picture – said that he would be in a group picture if he could have another drink ticket. The group picture prodject fizzled out and eventually we got out but not until The Social Butterfly (the GG) went back inside TWICE!

Home now and sitting in the back room but not outside because skunks (and probably mo-skee-toes). G’night.

The perils of living in a garden city

September 29th, 2019 by kayak woman

It was a terribly boring day until it wasn’t… I actually made some good progress in unpacking from the summer (yes, really) and dismantling my huuuuuge shambling mound of clothing. I found my bathing suit (actually I found that a few days ago). I found two missing black Chico’s turtlenecks. I will be needing them soon. I found the second of two summer-weight biz-caz “jackets”. I organized a whole bunch of YakTrax. I will be needing them sooner than I want to. What else? I can’t remember but I definitely found multiple articles of clothing that I have been *missing* for a while. And I put a trash bag full of clothing to donate into the Ninja’s trunk. YAY ME!!!

All that plus pushing and pulling little bits and pieces of crapola around trying to neaten things up around here. Of course when the GG gets home in a couple hours, it’ll all go to hell in a hand-basket. But I tried. (I sure hope he doesn’t have a whole bunch of Kraft salad dressings because we already have a whole bunch of Kraft salad dressings 🐽)

So then… It was mid-afternoon and I had just scrubbed the chitchen floor and was settling in to my boooook (Opioid, Indiana) when deeeeer-deeeer-deeeer-deeeeeeer-whomp. What the heck was THAT noise. Oh, okay. ANOTHER tree has fallen. This tree fell into the street away from any structures except the stop sign and the street sign. No one was in the street or on the sidewalk when it fell. The neighbors must have great karma because three days ago, they had a new roof put on. The tree fell *away* from their house.

Why did the tree fall? It was not windy at all. Mary across the street (from the tree) was on her porch yelling that she thought one whole side of it was dead. (We’ve been wondering where Mary was lately. Now we know. And we know that whatever keeps her inside is probably not a lung problem.) Mary is not a tree specialist that I know of (and neither am I) but I’m guessing she is probably right. And I’m also guessing that the rain we got today may have waterlogged an already ailing tree enough to push it past its tipping point.

The city sent out a couple of trucks and after an hour or so of loud sawing noises, the tree is no longer blocking the street or sidewalk. I guess the neighbors have to deal with the rest of it, which is on their property. Been there, done that.


September 28th, 2019 by kayak woman

I went to the farmers market this morning. Managing yer bags and money, etc. can be a challenge at the farmers market. I hang a few Chico bags on my left arm. My purse is slung over my shoulder. My phone is in my left zippered pocket. Cash and MY CARKEYS are in my right zippered pocket.

Most of the farm booths only take cash. A few of them use Square apps or whatever on their iPads. I pay for fish and meat at Monahan’s and Sparrow inside the main Kerrytown building with my debit card.

Today I visited 4-5 booths outside and both the fish and meat markets inside. After all that, when I got to the parking lot, I reached into my right pocket to get my keys to beep the Ninja open… No keys… Yikes

What do I do? I panicked for a split-second. The GG was not home. Liz lives in Detroit. Mouse is outta town and anyway, she lives in Ypsi. There wasn’t really anyone I could call. So, I could walk home and get the other set of keys and walk back but I had a pretty heavy load of produce, etc. by that time. I could take the bus (32A) but…

I calmed myself down and schlepped back into the farmers market and headed back to the last booth I had visited. I had bought stuffed cabbage from the Polish folks. I usually use my debit card with them. Today their iPad app wasn’t working. It’s okay, I said, I have plenty of cash. Somehow, when I pulled my cash out of my right pocket, I also pulled my KEYS out… and left them on the damn table. AND. They were still there when I got back to look for them. WHEW!

After I got home, a light bulb came on that if I had not been able to find my keys, I could’ve downloaded the Lyft app and hitched a ride home (and back) via that.

P.S. I bought a whole chicken from Sparrow. The GG likes to grill those and others like to eat them so maybe sometime this week. Lemme know 🐸

In the deep dark gray-green greasy limpopo landfill dungeon

September 27th, 2019 by kayak woman

I steeled myself to go down into the dungeon tonight to get this LOVERLY photo of something I don’t really want in my house. It is an ancient mannequin with a horrible MASK on and every single blasted time I pass by it as I schlep laundry up and downstairs, it freaks me out AGAIN.

A beach urchin pointed out the confederate flag at the mannequin’s “feet”. What? I squinted at the pic a bit and then I saw it. Honestly, I do not have a clue why there is a confederate flag in my dungeon. Both the GG and I are northerners and I have quite a bit of Canuck mixed in. I can only guess that the flag is some sort of cFam artifact. As far as I know, there is no political significance to this flag within the fam. It is just an artifact.

So, porterization adventures anyone? Lemme see… Being stuck in an unfamiliar parking structure with someone who doesn’t remember where they parked their car, not to mention where the parking structure is? Fun times but next time I think I will take the bus. Or an Uber? Just kidding!

Lots of beautiful rain storms rolling through this afternoon and evening with more to come if we’re lucky.

More KW vee-hickle idiocy

September 26th, 2019 by kayak woman

No, I did not confuse my vee-hickle with someone else’s and deposit my laundry there. I’m driving my Ninja this week and it’s pretty hard to mix up with any other vee-hickle. But… I got home from Cubelandia today after one of the longest slogs I’ve experienced in a while. I was swinging around dealing with laundry and garbage and compost and dishes and mail. Basically I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

Someone was at the door. It wasn’t Luke of Perrynet. It turned out to be the young student who is parking his car in our driveway. He’s a friend of our young cousin (my cousin’s grandchild), who parked a vee-hickle in our driveway for a while *last* fall. He wanted to get his car out. No prob. I pulled the Ninja out, he pulled his out, I pulled the Ninja back in. Everything was fine.

Not five minutes later he was back and here is where the conversation went crazy. He asked if “that car” ever went anywhere. I thought he was pointing at the Ninja so I said, “Yeah, I drive it to work every day.” He started talking about it making some grinding noises. Did I not hear them? He said something about bearings. I do know that grinding noises are not good and I know about bearings, oh boy oh boy. LSD trip to Fla anyone? Bearings…

But no, I hadn’t heard anything grinding or bumping, etc. Yesterday on the way home I was momentarily alarmed by some squeaking noises but that turned out to be some birds in an NPR story.

Then he asked if I needed to go anywhere soon. He needed to figure out what was wrong with the car. Now I was totally in the twilight zone. I mean, I can telecommute but why was he talking about getting my car fixed? Did I mention that this is the first time I have ever met him?

Suddenly!!! A light bulb came on. He was not talking about MY CAR! He was talking about HIS CAR! Can you say EMBARRASSED? JEEBUS! OF COURSE I AM NOT DRIVING YOUR CAR TO WORK. I HAVE NOT DRIVEN YOUR CAR AT ALL. I WOULD NEVER DRIVE YOUR CAR! He apparently got a short way down Maple and decided his car was unsafe to drive. [Unsaid: I am so relieved that you didn’t hear any bearing noise from MY car when I pulled it out of the driveway and back.]

I said, “You must think I am an absolute idiot!” He is a really nice young man and it all ended well and we discussed the logistics for when he needs to drop it off or pick it up and exchanged phone numbers (so far he has only had the GG’s). And then he and his buddy Uber’d back to campus.

We are always happy to help out our multitude of wonderful relatives and their friends. Pay it forward if you can 🧡

Fling flang flumpity dump

September 25th, 2019 by kayak woman

Not only did I wake up a little later than I wanted to this morning, I had to drag myself out of one of the worst REM dreams I think I have ever had. It was a Packing Dream and the setting was a sorta facsimile of the house I grew up in, a shabby little bungalow on Superior Street in Sault Ste. Siberia. I *think* my parents were in it somewhere off-stage but I owned the house and we were moving and WHAT A MESS! I won’t bore you with the details. I can’t remember them well enough to put them into words anyway. But jeebus! I REALLY NEED TO GET BACK TO FLINGING!!!

I tumbled out of that dream and started to reach for my phone to check the weather, etc., and then I thought something like, “Do I want to know the news?” Uh, not really. I couldn’t help but remember the morning back in 2017 when my clock radio switched on with the words, “James Comey was fired.” Nowadays I have the radio volume turned down so low that all I hear is a little click when it comes on. 99% of the time I am awake before it comes on anyway.

Fortunately (for my morning, if not for our country) there was nothing *new* in the news this morning, at least not at 0-skunk-30. Probably my favorite quote today came from an article about the “transcript” (or whatever it is) and was something like, “it was hard to tell what Trump was asking for because his side of the conversation was incoherent”. I think it was the New Yorker but I can’t easily find it now. Say what? The Orange Baboon Buffoon is rarely anything but incoherent, at least in my not-so-humble opinion. I know a couple of my five readers disagree and I *still* don’t understand why.

I don’t really want to get into all that tonight. I do not have comprehensive information. I “pay the rent” around here and I was busy doing that all day. I also don’t expect anything to come out of the impeachment “inquiry”. I think there’ll be a lot of talk and then we’ll go back to business as usual, incoherent word salad vomit, hate speech (yes), and all.

Fortunately, it was my Coffee Day and here is a view from my seat at Barry’s where I was sitting waiting for MMCB1 to arrive. I took this pic to reply to a pic my mouse texted about her current whereabouts, which is a lot more exotic than mine.

Last but not least, my work buddy FZ traded his old-enough-to-drink vee-hickle in for a – drum roll – new Toyota RAV4 today! The old car finally bit the dust and YAY for the RAV4!

I’m not holding my breath

September 24th, 2019 by kayak woman

Guess why 🐽🐽🐽 I don’t think I’ll go there though. There’s not really any point at least for now. Although I did see a very interesting tweet a little while ago…

Instead, here is yet another episode of, dun dun dun, The Neighborhood Shoe Thief! We were hanging out in the moomincabin Saturday afternoon and the GG was out in the Little Motor Bote. Along came my cousin (once removed), merrily delivering a Keen sandal that looked a lot like it belonged to the GG. I wasn’t totally sure until I found its mate down on the beach along with a pair of socks. I am not sure how our thief Mocha, who is a mini-creature, gets a big clod-hopper like this all the way to her house. I think this shoe is probably half her weight.

My cousin and her fam have probably spent half the summer returning stolen shoes back to their owners. moomincabin residents have gotten pretty good at keeping our shoes inside. We typically leave them on the deck but we learned our lesson early this summer. The McPiedy clan is a different story. Historically (and I’m going back a few generations here), they put up with a mess (chairs, toys, you-name-it) on the beach in front of their Old Cabin. Being of the Fin clan, that drove me nuts enough as a kid that when I walked by, I would often grab things that looked like they might get washed away by Gitchee Gumee and throw them up higher on the beach. I don’t think the McPiedys cared at all and I don’t [usually] try to rescue their beach stuff any more. This is NOT to say that they live like, oh, you know, the proverbial “pigs”. Their living space is always neat and clean. I just think that with a large family they drew a line at cleaning up the beach at the end of every day. In front of the moomincabin, you have to know that The Engineer’s Tonka construction trucks were always put away at the end of every day.

Anyway, if Mocha dragged a small flip-flop home, the place to return it was the McPiedy beach.

Also, don’t leave yer shoes on the beach if you are taking a bote out.