Random bits of my so-called life.

No plush toyz here…

January 28th, 2015 by kayak woman

bluepurple

We do not buy stuffed aminals any more. We have a frickin’ TON of those in the Landfill Dungeon. We do not need any more and we did not buy any goddamn plush monkey in mid-January and actually, we haven’t received one. And we don’t want one…

More to this story than I will tell on them thar tubes…

Sunshine here today but maybe not so much tomorrow. I’ll still take it over last winter. Love y’all and g’night!

I love to go swimmin’ with bow-legged women and dive between their legs

January 27th, 2015 by kayak woman

plantThis loverly plant surprised me this weekend. I swear that several days before I took this pitcher, I was Sittin’ On the Green Couch Watchin’ All the Dogz Go By (YouTube link) and there was one little green bud-looking thingy. This weekend, I sat down on the Green Couch to (you know) and… WOW! Mouse buys me one of these every year for xmas. Or is this last year’s that she took home to “foster” for the duration? I can’t remember but I love it! A plant that blooms in the the Great White North in the dead of winter (albeit indoors).

Hey, let’s paint the Hall Closet. You know the one. The one that I cleaned out on Sunday. What color should we paint it? Teal Blue? Sunflower Yellow? Prob’ly not but it does need painting. I am still amazed at how little was actually *in* that closet. It was a disaster area but now it’s practically empty and all I did was take everything out, fill about a half a banker’s box with potential discards and put everything else back in. The GG “rescued” a few items out of the banker’s box (you knew he would [wink]) but he is pretty much with me on the flinging thing and he left some things *in* the banker’s box and I earned a “Good Jorb!” from him so YAY! I am GOING AFTER the Landfill closets this year. WATCH OUT!!!

Rooooomba seems to have lost her groove suctioning up capabilities. Her brush cage still winds up hair but that’s about it. I have just alerted the GG that I am gonna order a new Roooomba. How many vacuum cleaners can one household have? I have four at the moment and I use all of them… One of them is an Electrolux from the Jurassic Age and it still works. How many vacuum cleaners do *you* have? Do you use all of them?

Man oh man, it was difficult to find a version of the girl-watching song that I could link to. Copyright stuff and I have mixed feelings about all of that. My dad used to sing / play (on the radio) that song when I was a very small child. Were they violating [the extremely byzantine] copyright law? I don’t remember The Comm singing that song but I do remember her singing Around the Corner and Under a Tree, The Sergeant Major Made Love to Me. I cannot find that song anywhere on YouTube. Maybe I’m not trying hard enough…

Update: The Four Lads are still doing the girlwatching song! Oh man! Love love love!

Dry roads? I’ll take it!

January 26th, 2015 by kayak woman

jackgunDry roads. Brilliant sunshine (of the kind that makes you feel warm in your vee-hickle even though it’s something like 11 degrees out). Coffee / breakfast with my “son” [facebook calls her that even though her fb name is Lizzy and she is a girl albeit a powerful one] at the neighborhood coffee-shop in the neighborhood upscale grokkery store. Not that the neighborhood is all that upscale. Maybe you saw the Blue and Only Bathroom yesterday… Big grin…

So, I received a bunch of photos of the Veteran Greenhorns today via snail mail from a McNaughton friend that I grew up with and probably doesn’t know about this blahg. I was ecstatic about these photos. I *think* my dad was still in high school when this photo was taken. That was waaayyy before I was born, in the 1930s or so. I don’t want to go into this in any kind of detail but it took my parents 11 years before they had their first child. Meeeee. I have said this before here. The Commander was married at the age of 22 and they didn’t have meeeee until she was 33. They had some pretty good fun in the intervening years although I am pretty sure they were happy to [eventually] have meeeee. In her later years, the Comm would often say something like, “Just remember, you were a wanted child.” I knew that but my response to it was always something like, “I may have been a wanted child but I’m not sure I turned out quite like what you wanted.” I don’t think I exactly did but I think she thought I turned out okay and we would always laugh about that or at least I did.

We are getting toward the end of January and the dern SUN was out in full force today. I almost didn’t need to turn on the heat in the Ninja on the way home today. The roads were dry. The roads were not dry for most of last winter. Those who clear the roads didn’t get the job done after the first snowfalls and then everything froze. Just try to scrape up a layer of ice off the road at zero temps. Not gonna happen. A lot of us here in southeast Michigan have PTSD just thinking about last winter. But we will cope and continue on.

How many crevice tools does anyone need?

January 25th, 2015 by kayak woman

I’m talking about vacuum cleaner attachments here just in case you are veering over into some kind of weird dark side…

Anyway, my Mouse and the Twinz of Terror have spent the weekend skiing hiking Up North. Actually there was a bit of skiing on Thursday but not enough snow after that. So here they are having fun on one of my fave hiking trails, the Mason Tract.

masontract

Yer fav-o-rite blahgger is envious of course but Mouse needed a bit of vacay more than yer fav-o-rite blahgger and it was probably more fun for her to be in the Great White North with*out* *both* of her parental units. So. Yer fav-o-rite blaggher hung around The Planet Ann Arbor working for her pay (Thursday and Friday) and cleaning / de-acquisitioning (Saturday and Sunday). Among other things, she pulled everything out of the Hall Closet and reorganized it. The after photo is below. I do not have a before photo. It didn’t look all that bad before but doesn’t it look empty now? That’s the look that KW was after. There’s a gratuitous view of the Blue and Only Bathroom in there too.

broomcloset

I am sorry I am not Up North hiking with all those folks. Down here the walking is really bad with black ice everywhere (but I did it *anyway*). But here is my Lizard cooking bibimbap for me. And staying the night to watch a moooovie with me. We did walk over to the Plum Market to get ingredients this afternoon. Walking? Icy as all getout. I already said that…

bapper

Bap was wonderful and we’re having fun up in the land of the ice and snow. Where the cold winds blow…

Watching Napoleon Dynamite. G’night!

I *know* I don’t look gorgeous but I’ll take what I can get

January 24th, 2015 by kayak woman

snowfleasIt was Ginger’s Mom. Ginger’s Mom is one of my walking buddies. As in people that I have been running into for years on my neighborhood power walks, not somebody I actually ever walk with. I love Ginger and her mom but I could never walk with them. Why? They keep getting stuck in the woods. Like the time that Ginger picked up a dead squirrel and would NOT let go of it no matter what Ginger’s Mom did. Or that time that Ginger got into the corner of the woods that’s behind our crappy old tin shed and REFUSED to come out. No matter what Ginger’s Mom did. My presence didn’t even get Ginger outta there. Ginger likes me (most dogs do, they liked my dad too) and she usually runs up to me. That was on a single-digit day during the Polar Vortex and even though Ginger’s Mom was well suited up for the weather, she was FREEZING.

Today, Ginger’s Mom hailed me in the schoolyard. It took me a minute to recognize her. Why? Well, she was standing next to a young man and their two *children* were running all over *with* Ginger, who was having so much fun with her human siblings that she didn’t even notice me. All these years, I *somehow* thought that Ginger’s Mom was a single woman! Not so much.

Kinda reminds me of the time I went on the most awful date ever with the most insipid guy ever and he had met one of my aunts and thought that she was a single woman! Not so much! Three daughters? Jeebus. I actually comiserated with The Comm about that date and we both laughed our you-know-what’s off. Imagine me hiding behind my play program years later at Commie High when bad date and I both ended up having kids there and one of them did theatre stuff and was in a play with Mouse. I figgered out who he was but not sure that he remembered me…

Anyway, Ginger’s Mom and I haven’t encountered each other in a while (maybe a month?) and I think she was ecstatic about seeing me because last winter, regular walkers who didn’t wear YakTrax were slipping on ice and breaking bones and disappearing for weeks. It was scary but YakTrax! I assured her that I was fine and walking every day and she told me I looked gorgeous. I don’t but I’ll take it.

BTW, those are actual insects arthropods in the photooo… Snow fleas. The Twinz of Terror and Mouse hiked at our fave Mason Tract today. Wish I was there but didn’t want to take vacay time. Also very happy that Mouse was able to take a long weekend for skiing / hiking with her dad and uncly-uncle. I hope they could keep up with her! It’s all too beautiful [Youtube link]!

Didja buy some o’ that feta spread?

January 23rd, 2015 by kayak woman

birdsWe have one credit card. Actually, I have a second credit card that the GG’s name is not on. Why not? Because it is my Childhood Credit Card. It’s not a secret. I got it when I was in college, well before I knew the GG. Did I have enough income then to get a credit card? No I did not. Did I have a credit history? No I did not. What I did have was a father in the banking business and a mother with very similar handwriting to mine. I called Sault Ste. Siberia and asked my bank CEO dad how hard it would be for me to get a credit card. Not very hard, it turned out. He guaranteed that it would be paid (if I defaulted) and The Commander signed my name on the application. It was approved and I got a MasterCard. I still have it although it turned into a VISA somewhere along the line (not that you care).

When we were young and newly married, I applied for a different VISA card for both of us. I could’ve probably added his name to my MasterCard but for who knows what reason, I never did. The “feminist” in me, maybe? (We’ll unpack “feminist” some other time, maybe when I’m 90.) I never did default on that old MasterCard. I don’t think I have even *activated* my most recent VISA card attached to that account. I never use it. But maybe I should activate it, because the GG’s debit card has stopped working this weekend and short of carrying a ton of cash, the only way he could pay for dinner at Mode’s Bum Steer in Traverse City or grokkeries at our fave Best Choice at Houghton Lake, was to use his VISA card. (His debit card is not working because the strip is worn out, not because there isn’t any money in the account.)

So here’s where the fun begins. I do not get paper statements for any accounts any more, except from a few holdout Luddite organizations. That would *not* be the banking biz. I also like to try to pay credit card expenses in real-time and not wait until the statement comes. So I have email alerts set up that let me know when someone (the GG) uses that card to pay for anything over $50.

So, last night, the GG and Mouse had dinner over at Mode’s Bum Steer in Traverse City after a day of skiing. I randomly checked my email, not having a clue about where they were, and there was an alert about a transaction at the Bum Steer. I texted the GG something like “Glad you got to eat at the Bum Steer for $59.85″. (And I *was* glad! I was just harassing him.) But what was weird (but funny) was that he received that text message from me *before* the waitress returned the bill and credit card to the table. I do hope he gave her a good tip.

I do not care what the heck the GG spends on that credit card. He earns a decent salary (and so do I, thank you very much!) and we have not been in debt for many many many years. I *never* had to ask my parents to bail me out of debt and neither did the GG. It is *fun* to harass the GG about his credit card expenditures when I receive notifications but, as far as I’m concerned, he can buy whatever he damn well wants to. Well, maybe not a Maserati, but I don’t think he wants one of those.

No boyz in the house!

January 22nd, 2015 by kayak woman

uhhhhThis weekend that is. But gee, does that mean I can’t invite that cute little old geezer who was shopping @PlumMarket today over? He was slowly shuffling along with his shopping cart, tappety-tapping on his phone. It was not a smart phone but it was love at first sight. For me anyway. I don’t think he even *saw* me [grin]. I remember when The Commander (who had an iPhone but didn’t use it at the grokkery store) got to a certain age, she started to become oblivious to who / what was around her and would do things at the grokkery store like lift her cane cudgel high above her head to point at something. “What is that?” Or come to a dead stop in the middle of the aisle, completely blocking traffic. Yikes!

Anyway, I often wish there were more boyz around The Landfill but I had daughters*. A boy (or two or three) might’ve provided a different kind of energy around here. Like, I bet a boy (or two or three) would have eaten me out of house and home. It was hard enough to feed the beach urchins and their picky tastes**. A boy (or two or three) may have given me a run for my money in some other ways. Like I can count on one hand the number of times my [female] beach urchins ever got into anything remotely resembling “trouble”. They have turned out to be extremely responsible strong female adults. If I had had a boy (or two or three), would I have somebody living in my basement right now? Playing Halo, smoking pot, and eating me out of house and home?***

ALERT! WE INTERRUPT THIS BLAHG FOR A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT! Kayak Woman is having a fricking Sneezing Fit. She gets these things Once in a Blue Moon. It takes her about five minutes to make it go away and then it’s gone until the next Blue Moon. Well, it is the New Moon right now, but you get the point, roight? And no, she does NOT have allergies.

BACK TO YOUR NORMAL PROGRAMMING: No boyz in the house this weekend. Unless you count Froggy and Green Guy. And is Froggy a boy? We seem to use male pronouns to refer to him but I’m not really sure what the heck he identifies as. Actually, I’m not even sure those “guys” are in the house this weekend. I wonder if they hitched a ride up to the Great White North in the Frog Hopper…

Disclaimers:

*I think my girlz (sorry about the “z” Mouse [wink]) know that I was ecstatic each time I heard the words, “It’s a girl!”. And I *was*. I wasn’t surprised. I actually “knew” that both of my children were girls before they were born and it was not because of ultrasound pictures but that would be a whole ‘nother story.

**Those picky eaters (fluorescent orange box mac-n-cheese, ramen noodles, etc.) have much more interesting, healthy diets as adults than I currently do.

***I know this is a biased statement. It’s intended to be comedy. Given that my kids were raised by the FinFam and CFam “villages”, I can only guess that if I had birthed one (or two or three) boyz, they would turn into something like the wonderful male children both of those families produced. I just suspect it may have been a bumpier ride. Not that female children don’t ever provide bumps in the road but mine didn’t.

Finally, I don’t regret not having more than two children. For a while I thought about having a third. I don’t think I would ever have gone for a fourth. What the heck, if we’d had even three children, we may have felt the need to buy a New House. Sigh. I like The Landfill and I am glad that we were able to raise our children here.

Overachiever

January 21st, 2015 by kayak woman

burneratorIn case you can’t tell what this photoooo is, it is a burned building. I think it has been there for a while. I *think* it is in the city of Detroit, downriver a bit, but I’m not totally sure. I do know that it is highly unlikely that the remains of a fire that devastating would be left to fester here on the [arguably] upscale Planet Ann Arbor. Certainly not in many of the [definitely] upscale northern suburbs and exurbs of the bombed out [looking] city of Detroit.

This is a bad pitcher because I was in an automotive vee-hickle at the time. Whenever I go down into Detroit these days, I always want to walk around and take pictures but we are usually driving around and I don’t want us to stop every time I want to get out and take a pitcher. That would annoy me as a driver and even as an iPhoneographer. I hate jumping in and out of cars to take pictures. Anyway, I am not that good at photography or even iPhoneography. If you take 8,000 pitchers, some of them turn out.

Anyway. We play a little game of sorts whenever we are Downtown. There are the totally burned out buildings (like this one) that are beyond repair. But then there are the others. We ask each other, “Is that building being rehabbed? Or has it already been rehabbed? Or is it still abandoned?” Sometimes Liz knows what’s going on, at least in her neighborhood, which has a facebook page. No I do not follow it. My kid is 30, fer kee-reist! Although I’m gonna guess that she wouldn’t mind if I *did* follow it at this stage of the game…

I did not keep close track of the SOTU or the GOP replies last night. One of the issues that I am very interested in is the idea of providing free community college tuition to everyone. I spent a few years taking classes at a wonderful community college (as a 50-something who could easily afford the tuition) and it all ended in my loverly current career, so I know the value of these schools. Alas, I wish we would focus more on our public schools. So many students arrive at community college unprepared to read, write, and do basic arithmetic. It is sad that so many colleges need to enroll students in remedial classes. That’s not to say that public school teachers are bad (my mother was one), just that they cannot solve all of every students’ problems and the shrinking budgets and increasing paperwork do not help.

I didn’t hear the Iowa gal’s speech. I think she was trying to say something about how hard her childhood was and she wore bread bags on her feet (but she also castrated hogs). I understand her hard life because I used to have to walk the proverbial four miles to school through deep snow up and down hills (and I used an outhouse). I never wore bread bags on my feet (and I didn’t castrate hogs). Neither did any of my classmates (well, there may have been someone who castrated hogs). Most of us were not that poor. But just try to live in the dern Yooperland. There were plenty of families who were poor. If you want to find kids who are having a hard childhood, check out Detroit (and your own backyard). We need to help those kids. And their parents. Obama was right when he asked if a family could survive / thrive on $15,000 a year. No. Not so much. Not that those of us who are well above that income level should totally subsidize others. But just think about it. Hard-working people should be paid a living wage. We need to think about that.

Overachiever? That was what a premier meteorologist called today’s snowstorm. That means that it produced more snow than it was expected to. And so it did, at least for the morning commute, which was a looooong slooodge over to Cubeland. Going home the roads were actually cleared enough that I took the freeway. It was okay but nobody was going 85 or even 70.

In which a baggy old kayak woman orders gochujang sauce on the internet (and upgrades her lamps)

January 20th, 2015 by kayak woman

goofylampYes, I really did just order food over the internet. I think I have reached a whole new level of laziness. We go to a [bibim]bap resty-raunt down in Kerrytown sometimes when Lizard Breath is in town. Bibimbap is kind of one of those everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-with-an-egg-on-top kind of things, as in clean out your refrigerator, cook it, put it over rice, and cook a raw egg over the top of it. So good! At Kosmo’s you actually have to tell them some of the ingredients you want in your bap. I am lazy so I always tell Lizzy B to order me whatever she orders for herself, which is always veggie and I always love it and I almost always take a box home because I can’t finish it. Bap is sooooo goooood and I always think something like, “I should make this at home.”

I haven’t eaten at Kosmo’s since Thanksgiving weekend but somehow bap came into my consciousness over the weekend so I started looking up recipes. Aaaaannnnddd they called for gochujang sauce aka Korean red chili sauce. I made a grokkery list. I went to the Plum Market. The Plum Market has an esoterically decent variety of Asian sauces and stuff but it did not have gochujang sauce. I *know* that I can buy gochujang sauce somewhere on The Planet Ann Arbor. I bet I don’t even have to go to a Korean grocer to get it. The brand is Annie Chun. That’s familiar. But, what the heck? I ordered a bottle from Amazon today. It’ll be here on Friday. Am I lame or what? Of course, now I am sure that facebook will show me ads for gochujang sauce along with the shop-vac filter ads. Facebook needs a different advertising algorithm. Why the heck would I want to buy *more* of either of those items any time soon?

ledlightsLamps. I love colored lights. Always have. We won’t go too deep into my history of that for now, we’ll save that for when I’m 90 and I can say whatever I want, okay? The top photooo is of the *first* goofy lamp I bought at Home Depot. It was an impulse purchase. We were at Houghton Lake when the new place was first built and I don’t think other folks liked that lamp all that well. That was okay because we just took it home. I loved that lamp so much. And then… Somehow we ended up with two more of them. I think at least one of them was over in Kzoo for a while but eventually, they all ended up at the Landfill, which was fine for a long time.

I dunno. In the last year or so, I got kind of taaaarred of those lamps. They are cool but we had too many of them and then some of The Comm’s old lamps ended up down here, including some that I do NOT want! Way more lamps than we need in any case. I prefer low light in general and rely on my laptop and iPhone to read, etc. I know that some people prefer a different thing, including the GG. So we still need lamps. (Although I am gonna get rid of some of the excessive lamps that we have. Watch me! Habitat would *love* them.)

Anyway, one of my No Politics Day gifts from the GG was LED light bulbs for some of the lamps in the back room. I can control these light bulbs with my iPhone and, as you can see, via the second photooo, I can make them do any color in the RGB rainbow. This is probably not what you would want your living room to look like every day but I think it is so cool that this kind of thing is possible. It will allow me to donate my beloved old goofy lamps and still have color (if I want it) in the Landfill Back Room.

Graaaaaaaayyyy

January 19th, 2015 by kayak woman

womenThe solstice holiday has been put away and the sun is starting its journey northward but it was one of those January days when Mr. Golden Sun did not make an appearance any time all day. There may have been a short period of “brightening” in the mid-afternoon. It was a little dicey walking this morning too. Icy wipe-out spots were few and far between but I knew they were there. So I couldn’t wear my YakTrax but I was a wee bit nervous (okay, very nervous) walking around in my Red Keens and stuck to rotting snow wherever possible. Crunch crunch. I wonder how many people I woke up with my crunching. Sorry about that.

I went to work today even though I could’ve taken a paid holiday. It’s okay with my employer if I work during a holiday and take the time off some other time. That was a good strategy for me today. The GG was home for the holiday and I figgered if I telecommuted, I might be distracted by his activities so I drove on over to Cubeland. In the Ninja. With the goddamn check engine light on. Again… Hint… And yes, that was passive-aggressive. I am very sick of passive-aggressive communications in general. If you have an issue with me, just say it to my face! That said, although I have been trying not to be passive-aggressive myself, I still… do… it… … …

Who else has MLK Day off as a paid holiday? I know that most public school employees do but I also remember when that wasn’t true. When I began my Adult Career, we had MLK Day off (and the day after Thanksgiving too… Sigh…). A couple years later, we merged with a larger company. No more MLK Day. No more day after Thanksgiving. Interestingly enough, MLK Day became a paid holiday again about a year later. I’ll leave you to speculate about the politics behind that choice. Not day after T-day though, alas… I am all for honoring folks who have done very important things but what about those very important mooms who have put together a big Thanksgiving Dinner? Don’t they deserve a day off too? Whatever. [grin] I know that all too many mooms provide Thanksgiving for their families and then head over to Waldemort or wherever to work. And some of them may even like that, or at least the pay… But still.

Although I do think Dr. Martin Luther King is worthy of great honor, this holiday has always felt a bit off kilter to me. Up here in the Great Lake State, there are many ceremonies and things to honor Dr. King. And then there are all the “rednecks” who take advantage of the long weekend to haul their snow-mos Up North. Alas, we are often on the I75 SUV Speedway with all of those sno-mo folks, although not this particular weekend and our cargo at this time of year is x-c skis and snowshoes, etc. I’m not sure that these activities honor Dr. King. Does anyone else find this ironic?

Anyway, I slodged over to Cubeland today and when I got home, the GG asked if I wanted to cook or go out to eat. I wanted to cook and he said something like, “Okay, I’m taking the Ninja over to wash it [yay, (it needed it)] and then I’ll make a faaarrrr.” Yes yes yes yes…

No iPhone flashlights here please

January 18th, 2015 by kayak woman

Got up, walked, ate a snacky kind of breakfast (English muffins), drove over to DayTwa, picked up Lizard Breath… Well, that’s not accurate. Whenever we head over to spend a day in Detroit, Lizard Breath commandeers whatever vee-hickle we are driving. She knows how to get around. We don’t. Funny Grandaddy (my Detroit grandfather MacMullan) would be proud of her. Anyway, we went to the DIA. It has been a long time since I’ve been there. The last time I went there it was as a chaperone with an entire class of sixth graders. I’ll say no more. Today? We spent our time on the third floor, which included a special Rembrandt exhibit. It’s only a small part of the museum but I was exhausted at the end of it but I still had enough art-type energy to get a photo of Liz, the GG (note the Red Plaid), and a beautiful photo bomber in the Rivera Court.

detroit1

After the DIA, we hit up the Traffic Jam and Snug for lunch. I have actually been there before. A billion years ago when the LSCHP arranged a “team bonding” trip to DayTwa to see a Star Trek exhibit. I don’t think I had any whine that day. I had two cabernets today.

detroit2

So, what next? We wanted a ruin porn kind of tour or maybe just a river tour. Our uber-good driver took us southwest just about down to River Rouge. Zug Island is where we turned around. We were surprised to see the lake freighter Edmund Gott parked on the Detroit River. Not where we usually see it.

detroit3   detroit4

We hit up St. Cece’s on the way back to Lizard’s beautiful apartment and got beer/whine there. What a wonderful place. Friendly bartenders and the GG acquired a bar-buddy and the guys next to me were singing and, well, it was just fun!

detroit5

When we got over to Liz’s place this morning, a faaaar was going on in the neighborhood. It was a *large* abandoned building — very scary. Liz’s friend of Sister Pie fame moved out of a house next door to that building *yesterday*. At the end of the day, after a drink at St. Cece’s, there were *still* faaarrr trucks at this faaarr. What you can’t see in this photooo is a faaarrr truck spewing water onto the building.

detroit6

We’re back here on the Planet Ann Arbor and so good night and love y’all.

Onward and upward (knock on wood)

January 17th, 2015 by kayak woman

No, I was not in the best of moods on No Politics Day. Somehow I was thinking that it didn’t turn out how I expected it to. Except that, after a night’s sleep, I realized that it turned out EXACTLY how I expected. That is, I didn’t expect anything of it other than dinner out with whoever happened to be around and we did that and we had a good time, so what the heck was the problem? I think that it’s because *last* year, I had similar expectations and various serendipitous visits from young out-of-town relatives (my niece and my cousin’s son) caused reality to completely exceed my expectations resulting in No Politics Day going on for something like five days. This year was much more typical. It was just what I wanted and it was lovely. I think I was in mourning because I knew that it would all be over so soon.

640-1

But guess what? Today I woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, filled with positive energy for moving forward, so what did we do? Along with the usual Saturday chores and errands, we dropped off some stuff at Kiwanis and then the GG said, “Let’s go clean out 640.” I was in mid-blurt, “NO!” and then I thought, well, why not at least go over and *visit* 640 because, outside of a couple of oriental rugs that don’t fit in the Landfill, I do not really remember what’s over there!

Two years ago, we were feeling overwhelmed by all of the STUFF in the Landfill Dungeon. Our stuff. Stuff from the C-fam Archives. The Commander’s Stuff. The Beach Urchins’ Stuff. We rented a storage unit. That’s what I asked for for No Politics Day that year and that’s what I got and I was *very* happy. We schlepped 13 boxes (and the oriental rugs) and… Well… I think when we rented it, we had visions of filling it up with stuff, cleaning out the dungeon, and I do not know from there. That never exactly happened. In fact, I’m not sure we ever got back over there until today. Seem like a waste of money? Maybe. But both of us agree that renting 640 was the right thing to do at the time. We were overwhelmed and somehow knowing that we had a little bit of extra space somewhere allowed us to move on. Not that we did that right away but that might be a whole ‘nother story.

640-2

Anyway, we pulled four boxes out of that place this morning and after I had “processed” those down to approximately one-and-a-half boxes (lots of bubble-wrap…) we went back over there and grabbed four more boxes and I am partly through *those* too! There’s not much left in there. It’s not like we have left a vee-hickle with a dead flutist in there, or even a dead cat…

Also, I have found a *second* home for some of my quilt fabric. Of all things, the art gallery / museum where Lizard Breath works is looking for fabric for an upcoming quilting prodject. I have been packaging my fabric in plastic grocery store bags, like the one below. I figure they hold a small enough amount of fabric that no one will be overwhelmed, plus they are easy to carry. So these are my “units”. As in “How many bags of fabric do you want?”

fabric

Oooohhhhh yes. January Thaw anyone? 42 degrees and sunny as all getout when I hiked to the Plum Market (for the second time) this afternoon. Felt soooooooooooooooooooooooooo goooooooooooooood! Mouse is here for dinner (trout) and she and the GG are walking over there now. It’s still warm but probably not so much tomorrow. Still, we didn’t get any kind of a blasted thaw throughout last year’s “polar vortex” winter. I’ll take it!

Love y’all,
KW

Another trip around the sun

January 16th, 2015 by kayak woman

regenhouseAbout all I can say about today is that I managed to survive No Politics Day with, um, *no* politics. I won’t tell you about the fatal car / bicycle accident that occurred near Cubeland this morning. I was fortunate enough to not see the aftermath, as I take the north entrance into work. A police car and some flares were blocking traffic from going any further south but that didn’t affect me. Those who approach Cubeland from the south could not un-see the mangled bicycle and some unidentified stuff the police were photographing in the middle of the road. Poor Brooosie was still talking about it this afternoon, along with various tidbits of “knowledge” about bike safety even though I don’t think Broooosie has probably ridden a bike since he was a small child, if ever.

Oops, sorry, I guess I just did tell you about it…

It’s okay. A walk downtown to meet the GG and Mouse and various elements of Porterization for cocktails and dinner at the Oscar Tango helped once we got a bit of table confusion worked out. Looking back, I was more stressed out about that than I needed to be. Sheesh. Sometimes I really need to get over myself. Anyway, I particularly needed that walk back up the “hill” at the end of the night. I managed both trips in my Red Keens *without* any YakTrax. That was a positive. Too many large stretches of dry pavement for ice cleats and most snow was “grippy” as we like to say, that is, soft, uneven, and mixed with a fair amount of dirt.

I don’t have much else tonight. It’s been a good year for the most part with some great highs (new chitchen, anyone?). Still hoping the next one will be better. In any case, I’ll keep on trucking. It’s what I do. One foot in front of the other.

G’night,
Kayak Woman

Sunset watershed

January 15th, 2015 by kayak woman

sunsetI think that the true sunset watershed is when it is light enough that I can take a photo of the old Regenhouse on Crest Street on my way downtown to the Oscar Tango after work on a Friday. 111 to be exact. I have nothing but good memories of staying there when my fam schlepped down from the Yooperland to The Planet Ann Arbor. Mostly we traveled to go to a UMich football game but occasionally for a Bank Meeting. Football weekends were very much fun. Bank meetings not so much. Well, I was old enough by that time to be left with The Engineer and npJane at the dino-house for a few hours, where npJane was freaked out about the Tyrannosaur. She was about eight then. She is definitely not afraid of dinosaurs any more. And she is an *ace* at taking down xmas trees!

I schlepped over to the Plum Market after work this afternoon. Of course, that was not an unusual event. What was unusual about it was that it was light enough tonight that I managed that trek in my red Keen sandals (over tights and Smartwool socks). Meaning that I could see the potentially slippery spots and therefore avoid them or “ride” them. Again, this winter is not like last winter… … … Yet…

I am gonna guess that it’ll be light enough tomorrow afternoon that I’ll be able to capture the RegenHouse on my way down to the Oscar Tango. We’ll see…

This photooo is on my way back home from the Plum Market today.

Who the heck is Kitty Forman?

January 14th, 2015 by kayak woman

lymeloungeYes, I took a facebook quiz. I do that sometimes. I know that facebook is probably collecting “data” every time I take one of those quizzes but probably not any more “data” than Google or Amazon collects and I’m not sure what they do with that “data” besides show me ads for shop vac filters on every commercial site I navigate to. Am I naive?

Okaaaayyyy. Break here. The GG came out into the chitchen to get some kimchee (yes really) and I happened to drum my fists on my quartz counter while he was out here. I think he thought that I was angry about something???? Noooooo. I felt a need to play the drums for a minute and I do not own a drum or drumsticks so all I could do was bang my fists against my quartz counter. It was rhythmic, at least to me.

Anyway, I hope facebook doesn’t tell you when I take quizzes because I never tell the quiz to share my result but I don’t really trust those quiz sites and I don’t really trust facebook. MMCB doesn’t EVER post anything on facebook. She direct messages and plays word games with her sister. Still, once when she attained some stratospherically high score in a word game, facebook announced it. Of course I told her about that. (Oh yeah, she has also sent links to fad diet products a couple times. Hacked.) I was gonna say to please tell me if facebook reports my quiz results but, on second thought, I’m not sure I care…

The quiz I took this evening was something like which TV mom are you. I couldn’t feature which TV mom I could possibly be. I am certainly not Beaver’s mom. I am nowhere near that classy. And I can only aspire to be Lucy Ricardo. Actually, I couldn’t even think of anyone else. Oh yeah, Edith Bunker. I don’t think so but you never know. (I’m dating myself, I know…) Anyway, Google tells me that Kitty Forman is the mom on “That 70s Show”. And Wiki-pee tells me that I am NOTHING like her. I’m probably (eek) more like Edith Bunker… … … Is “That 70s Show” a good show? Should we watch it? I don’t watch TV except that we have watched the whole Firefly season since xmas and we *loved* it. There are no moms in the Faaarfly crew and that makes me think of my fave Lost in Space. June Lockhart was the mom. I’m nothing like her either. Too cowardly.

What else? I fergot. Oh, the photooooo… This is where the Lyme Lounge winters. This is the Uncly Uncle’s wonderful garage up in Gaylord. As you might be able to see, there are *three* automotive vee-hickles in his garage in this photo. One of them is our Frog Hopper. You can see a wee bit of that vee-hickle’s green in this photo. It’s wonderful for us to arrive at the UU’s house and be able to drive our vee-hickle right into his garage car palace. I wish I could return the favor but we don’t have a garage down here on The Planet. It is what it is and we’re happy with it.

Pay it forward

January 13th, 2015 by kayak woman

annarborDesignated driver today, that was me, driving a couple of co-workers to a company-sponsored luncheon at a bar down in Saline. I would’ve loved a nice glass of cab but I stuck to water. Nobody else imbibed either that I could figger but there were 30 of us, so who knows. Fun anyway.

On the way there? A break-through in de-hoarding! I have no idea how we got onto the subject but I was talking about majorly culling my fabric stash. I’ve mentioned that on here before. I made some pretty good progress a while back by RUTHLESSLY picking out fabric to fling. I had something like five bankers boxes filled up. And then I stalled a bit. Partly it was the holiday season but partly I needed to find the right place to donate this stuff. It is high quality cotton quilt fabric and I was reluctant to drop it off at the PTO Thrift, even though they take fabric. It’s also a *lot* of fabric and may be overwhelming.

The Queen Bee said something like, “Wait a minute! Is this quilt fabric?” Yes, it is. She and a group of women meet monthly to make quilts for cancer patients. They rely on donated fabric. This is a perfect match for me and my fabric. I know the woman who runs this project because, until a few years ago, she worked for my company. I can take fabric to work and hand it off to the QB. And it is for a good cause.

A good cause. When The Commander officially signed up for hospice care, she received a handmade quilt. The Commander didn’t really need a quilt. She didn’t need anything. She had everything she needed on earth. Nevertheless, it is a beautiful quilt and we so appreciated that someone had made it with the intention of providing comfort to someone who was dying. When The Comm retired from her teaching career many years ago, she volunteered for the local hospice, mostly visiting people who were dying. I am at a bit of a loss here because when The Comm was *in* hospice care, I’m not sure if I remembered that or not. I was basically overwhelmed at that time. One foot in front of the other.

I can’t (at this time) set aside one Saturday a month to donate my sewing skills to make quilts. We are often out of town and when we are in town, I am doing chores and flinging, etc. But maybe giving up some of my beautiful fabric will be appreciated by those who are designing and making quilts and the people who receive them. For now, I have packaged up three plastic grocery bags with fabric. I don’t want to overwhelm my boss with more than that. She has to schlep it out to her car and then over to the quilting bee venue. We will do this three bags at a time…

The logical bus is the bane of my existence

January 12th, 2015 by kayak woman

leggingsAnother snow morning. I returned from my 0-skunk-30 powerwalk to find the Yooper Scooper sitting in the middle of the driveway and little to no snow shoveled, at least that I could tell. I was a little confused. Was the GG all right? Since there was only one vee-hickle in the driveway, I figgered yes, he was. I guess he forgot what he was doing? It’s okay. I actually like to shovel snow (up to a point). The Yooper Scooper is a bit big for my taste, so I put it away and grabbed my trusty little shovel and did the minimum, meaning the sidewalk. There isn’t enough snow to make the driveway a challenge even for the Ninja and it doesn’t sound like we’re getting any more for a few days.

No, we do not have a snowblower. Actually that is not totally accurate. We do not have a snowblower down here at The Landfill on the Planet Ann Arbor. We do have my old coot’s snowblower at Houghton Lake. He bought it when he was 75! It’s a big Yooper Snowblower and I think the CFam boyz love playing with it. I can’t feature why people think they need one of those things here on The Planet Ann Arbor. I mean young, healthy people, not folks who cannot safely shovel snow. I think those folks ought to hire a plow / shoveling service (eh, if they can afford it). The Comm had one during her last few years and I cannot tell you how good it felt to tell UKW and npJane, when they were hanging out with me while The Comm was in the hoosegow on a trajectory toward death, “No, we do not have to shovel the driveway out!” Anyway, I am always annoyed by the whiiiiiine of those things when we have a mere couple inches of snow. Took me about five minutes to do my sidewalk today and I wasn’t the slightest bit winded after it was done.

And then driving was pretty okay because most people were going slow (and I had the AWD Frog Hopper). I probably annoyed a few people behind me by going 20 or thereabouts on the road into my business park but there was a reason I was going slow and that is that because the road is as curvy as all getout and they do not salt it and there are ponds everywhere. Today? I did not end up off the road in a pond! I’ve been working down there for quite a few years now and I have seen a lot of vee-hickles off the road. Oh yeah there was the 10 minutes I spent sitting *in* the State / Ellsworth roundabout. At least it *felt* like 10 minutes. Probably more like three.

I shared the photo on facebook (with permission) but it hasn’t been on the blahg yet. This is what you improvise when you haven’t thoroughly checked the weather forecast before you head into town and are wearing a dress and tights with nothing over them. Been there, done that, walking to high school in Sault Ste. Siberia in the early 1970s. I’m not sure we were using plastic garbage bags yet in those days but if we were, I might’ve been embarrassed to wear them on my legs. I know that I was totally embarrassed about wearing pants under a skirt. I do it all the time now and I actually rock that look! Nowadays I would NOT be embarrassed to wear garbage bags on my legs.

Man, the GG came home and returned a bad car battery (Ninja) and installed new veeeeendsheeeeld vipers in the Frog Hopper and I dunno what else. All I did today (besides go to work) was shovel a little bit.

Add Joan Baez to the list

January 11th, 2015 by kayak woman

What list? The January 9th birthday list, of course! The Commander, One Half of the Porterization Team, Richard Milhous Nixon, Joan Baez. Today is not January 9th. It is January 11th and it is the birthday of my wonderful sister-in-law, The Beautiful Gay. I will not say what age she has reached except that she and I will be the same age for a few days. I don’t have the words to describe why and how much I love TBG but I feel lucky that she is a part of my life.

Other than that, I don’t have a whole lot. Got a lot done this weekend, large and small chores and tasks and errands and whatever. Weather predictions for today said it would be warmer (in the 20s). And it was and that made life marginally easier. Then, mid-afternoon, I was about to suit up for a second trip to the Plum Market and I happened to check the indoor-outdoor thermometer. 35 degrees? Say what? I don’t think “they” predicted that. I woke up to minus three yesterday. Jeebus.

The GG returned from The Great White North and we were both on the same page about taking a Sunday Sunset Walk down by the river. I guess that’s A Thing now. The sun shone for a while in the late morning but otherwise it has been one of those January black and white days. So, here’s ice on the Huron River. This photo is not fuzzy, it’s the way the ice has formed. I felt almost dizzy when I first saw it. The GG said I should take a picture. I was nervous about *that* because I would have to hold my iPhone out over the river! Yes, I can be a ninny. I took my glubs off (so I would have a better grip) and did the deed.

barton1

And then there were some rodent tracks. Mice? Weasels!

barton2

This is just a random pic of our loverly river.

barton3

Here’s the dam.

barton4

Love y’all and hope you had a good weekend,
Kayak Woman

Getting up close and personal with drudge toys

January 10th, 2015 by kayak woman

pinsortingIn which xmas is officially put away, except for a few glass ornaments hanging in the front window that I’ll take down when we get a February Thaw. If we do, that is. I don’t think we got any kind of a thaw until about April last year. Still, this winter is NOT last winter.

I was slow to get started on today’s main chore, putting xmas away. The tree went outside last night but all of the lights and ornaments were sitting on various surfaces waiting to be put away and there were needles all over the floor. The GG had warned me something like, “Pine needles cannot be vacuumed. They will clog the vacuum cleaner.” I knew that he was right if he was thinking about the Tornado Vacuum or the Electric Dog. I also knew that Rooooomba would not pick them up. But hey, we have a “shop vac”. I haven’t ever gotten along very well with the shop vac. Today. I got it out, cleaned up 99% of the pine needles, figured out how to open it up (to empty it), discovered that the filter was FILTHY! Found an unused filter in the “Hall” Closet, CHANGED THE FILTER ALL BY MYSELF WITH NO HELP, NOT EVEN YOUTUBE, and ordered a new filter online. I am waaaaayy prouder of myself for doing this than I should be because I know that this stuff is not hard to do for people who are “handy”, which I am not except for various esoteric things that don’t matter much in terms of keeping mechanical systems going (aka, I am not Kaylee). But pride goeth before a fall and my own personal fall is that now “wet/dry vacuum filters” are dominating my facebook ads. Kee-reist, like I am gonna hoard a whole bunch of those…

I went on to re-vacuum with the Tornado Vacuum, then I let Roooomba have a go at it and then a final run-thru with the Tornado again. It *feels* cleaner in the back room now although I did not pull out the couches and clean behind them. I’ll do that in the spring. I’m sure I’ll find pine needles…

And then I sorted pins. Did you know that The Commander had / has a Twitter account? @finfran. We were up at Command Central once and I went “somewhere” (probably for a walk) and the GG set up The Comm with a Twitter account. One of her [very few] tweets was, “I’ve been sorting pins.” I sorted safety pins today. And paper clips and related thingies. I am fast at this and it is fun for me. I have been sorting / organizing / data-basing things my whole life.) I put a whole bunch of safety pins into a baggy for donation. I put a whole bunch of paper clips and a few other fasteners into a baggy for donation. I did not get rid of the heart paperclip. It has special significance.

I did not note that yesterday was The Commander’s birthday. I definitely remembered it. What the heck, it was also Richard Nixon’s birthday. We used to laugh about that! So, most of yesterday was a sort of challenging day and if I believed people could reach down into here from the other side, I would’ve figgered The Comm was messing with me. But then Mouse and npJane came over to help me get the dern xmas tree out and we had so much fun going out to dinner afterwards. Maybe The Comm was messing with me then too, but in a good way.

I don’t really believe that those who are on the other side are actually interacting with us. But ice cubes clinked in the back room a few minutes ago and the GG is outta town this weekend…

Love y’all and wish I was hanging out in Gaylord tonight!

Trial by fire ice

January 9th, 2015 by kayak woman

squallsSubtitle: Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Beautiful 0-skunk-30 walk today, then some fun with shoveling and Egregious Idling. The GG launched for the yooperland and I was running late but finally I got out there and faaaaared up the Ninja to head over to Cubeland. [insert error aminal here] Neighborhood streets were fine, even though they weren’t plowed. Could. Not. Get. Onto. North. Maple. Took something like five tries. Dangerous because traffic on N. Maple is not slow — even on ice — and I have to make a left turn. Finally. Made it through the Dexter / N. Maple light (green) and the little light by Maple Village (green). Stopped at the Big Maple / Jackson intersection. Could. Not. Get. Going. Again. On flat pavement. I was the first vee-hickle. Jeebus.

Yes, I bailed. I can work from home. [insert error aminal here] Faaarrred up my work laptop and. and. and. No internet… Oh yeah, *that* problem. My laptop could connect to the wifi but I could not get to the internet. Been there done that. Earlier this week. I knew that with all of the mother-ship stuff on my work laptop, I wouldn’t be able to trouble-shoot this by myself. I emailed the Queen Bee via ababsurdo and then (where there’s a will, there’s a way) I schlepped over to the Plum Market “lounge” with my work laptop in my Maple Leaf Backpack, bought a big coffee, and connected to work via their wifi. I couldn’t make the VPN work but I could manage without that for the duration.

snowbridgeI had thought maybe I would try to make the trek to Cubeland later but today was a terrifically blustery day of Snow Squalls (see above pic from my seat at the Plum) and I ended up bagging that idea. Checking weather news throughout the day yielded *three* huge multi-vee-hickle accidents in our Great Lake State. The worst being on I94 over by Kalamazoo, featuring a semi carrying fireworks that caught on fire. Here’s a video (sorry, it begins with an ad). Closer to home, US23 was closed for a similar accident. Fatalities in both. Whiteout conditions in both. Third? Somewhere on 131. That one [sadly] got lost in the shuffle.

I tried not to be nervous about the GG’s trip to the yooperland. At long last, I received this photoooo along with the message that his driving was done. Whew! Not a good week to drive. Earlier this week, a family traveling in the Great White North rear-ended a semi in whiteout conditions, became attached to it and was dragged 16 miles! Jeebus. Here’s a link.

To add insult to injury, during my brief drive this morning, I had no blasted radio. The radio display said something like “Enter code”. Enter code. Enter code? What code? How do I enter it? I wasn’t in a panic about this. I figured that it had something to do with the new battery the GG installed last night. And it did. I googled it but haven’t fixed it yet. Annoying? Yes.

What did I fix? With a little help from my fam, aka Mouse and npJane, that is, the ($95) xmas tree is now outside the back door. We celebrated that endeavor with dinner at Knight’s. Good times!

Good night,
KW