Random bits of my so-called life.


May 20th, 2019 by kayak woman

It’ll be fine! Airbag recall on the Frog Hopper. On a day the GG wanted to hike. It’ll be fine. I’ll telecommute. I’ll walk over to the Aldi’s bus stop and take the 31 over to the Jackson/Wagner stop and walk from there. It’ll be fine. It really isn’t too far to just *walk* but most of it is not user-friendly walking, no sidewalks, etc. Plus I was, uh, WORKING today.

So, that’s what I did. The bus was a minute or so late but that was fine and I can watch where the bus is via an app. So, I got on and, as always, I was nervous about managing to get OFF the bus at an unfamiliar stop. My stop today was at the turnaround point so if I missed it, I would have to ride the bus all the way downtown and back… I was stressing about this when… DING DING DING STOP REQUESTED! While I was stressing about when to pull the cord, the only other passenger had pulled the cord for the stop I wanted to get off on.

From there, there was a sidewalk to the car dealer. It was kind of like walking in a wind tunnel today but okay.

I got into the Frog Hopper. I noticed the temperature light. That was okay. It was blue, meaning the vee-hickle wasn’t warmed up yet (it wasn’t all that warm this morning, welcome to the Great Lake State). I was almost home when I noticed the AIRBAG light was on. Wait, what? It was not on when we dropped the FH off yesterday afternoon. And we took it in to get an AIRBAG fixed/replaced/whatever?

I tried to call the dealership. I got lost in their phone system. They wanted me to accept a callback but their system quoted a bizarre phone number to me. Was this my number? Or even the GG’s? Noooooooo. I called again. This time I got to a service person PDQ. I ‘splained the problem. He wasn’t sure how simple the fix would be and asked if I would hold BRIEFLY while he checked on that. Okay. 30 seconds later, he did not return. Instead, a ringy-dingy started up and I landed at some other person’s voicemail. “Leave a brief message and I’ll get back to you.” Uh, I couldn’t figger how to even start a “brief” message to this unknown person although I did leave my number.

I never heard back from the mystery person or even the person who put me on a “brief” hold. I was about done by then. Fortunately, the GG had cell service on his hike today and HE called the dern dealer. When he got home, he schlepped the Frog Hopper over there and they found that “something” hadn’t been “plugged in” correctly. JEEEEEEEBUS!

So all is well in the end but I will be schlepping my work laptop up to the yooperland this weekend just in case we have some kind of a problem with the Frog Hopper and have to wait for parts. The GG seems to think I ALWAYS schlep my work laptop everywhere. He is obviously not remembering the time we were at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota Fla and I had to call home and talk my Mouse through how to navigate that beast in order to publish some documents I had forgotten to publish before I left. Mouse RANDOMLY happened to be doing some laundry at The Landfill that day. My Mouse is as smart as all getout and I am so grateful that she helped me that day.

Looking back on that period of time, we were struggling to get a bunch of things done at my work so it was hard to leave there but it also ended up being the last time we saw our beautiful sister Susie. We didn’t know how close she was to the end of her life then and we still miss her so much.

The bird? That’s a Little Brown Bird. The GG would probably call it something like a house sparrow. The LBBs hang out in front of the Landfill and I watch them when I am telecommuting. They use a birdhouse above the window.

Laaaaazy daaaaay

May 19th, 2019 by kayak woman

Some weekends don’t work out exactly how you “planned” them and this one didn’t but that is A-okay! We are about to mobilize northward to open up the moomincabin for the summer and, as has been the pattern for the last few years, The Pensioner will precede me. The pattern also includes me hitting the Jackson Road Meijer the weekend before he leaves to stock up on non-perishable food items, cleaning supplies and a few toiletries.

I failed to do that yesterday because our plans were up in the air and then I failed to do it today because an opportunity to meet up with a bunch of folks for brunch at Cafe Zola came up. That was a whole heckuva lot more fun than going to Meijer to buy terlet paper.

We lucked out with Zola and got there in time to be seated so no one had to wait in line as often happens there for Sunday brunch. I even had a mimosa. Hey, the waiter approached us with “What would you like to drink? Bloody Mary? Mimosa or coffee? I looooove a good Bloody Mary but often the restaurants here spice them up to the point where I can’t drink them. Mimosas are safe.

So I did NOT want to go to Meijer this afternoon and I didn’t. It’s okay. There is a Meijer (thank you god or whoever) in Sault Ste. Siberia now and I will patronize that one to buy all of that stuff (plus impatiens) and maybe that will give a mini-boost to the always tenuous economy in the Eastern yooperland. The yooperland weather for the next week is not supposed to be all that great so shopping at Meijer up there might be a good distraction from not being able to sit on Bill’s Birch Point Beach Bank Bench. Also, lunch at Clyde’s or Penny’s Kitchen or the Palace or Pickles or Karl’s or wherever. Seeya on the beach!


May 18th, 2019 by kayak woman

We had planned to go outta town for lunch today but those plans were quashed due to fugly unblahggable reasons 🐗. So we did the usual Saturday Griz Lunch. Janelli was not there today but one of our other faves was and since most folks were sitting outside, we enjoyed an empty barrroooom. Toward the end, a grandmotherly looking woman came in solo to order a beer and we got to talking to her a bit. Turns out she had a long (25-year) career as a SKYDIVER!!! Jeebus!

I *finally* potted my Mother’s Day impatiens today and watered them in. They are beautiful. I’ll be doing a similar thing next weekend at the moomincabin to honor The Comm.

Finished another couple books: The Underground Railroad and The Buddha in the Attic. I loved both of them. They were both about immigrants although I’m not sure if “immigrant” is quite the correct term for human beings who have been forced from their ancestral African villages into bondage to other human beings in another country.

Lemme see… Buddha in the Attic is written in an unconventional style. It is a collective story rather than one person’s story. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I kind of “got it” and I was in tears at the end. More in a bit.

I had been reluctant to read the Underground Railroad for quite some time because people who reviewed it talked about how difficult it was to read. Yes it was!!! Human beings (you and me) should NEVER be comfortable with what happens when human beings (you and me) enslave other human beings (you and me). That said, this is a wonderful book. It isn’t intended to be a work of history or even historical fiction. It portrays examples of some of the many experiences that our country’s slaves endured told through the story of one young woman. There is also an element of fantasy involved. At one point I had to use the Google to double-check that I was remembering history correctly. What the heck?

The Buddha in the Attic was about Japanese women who traveled by sea to meet husbands in California that they knew only by photographs, usually false ones. You can imagine how they felt when the man’s face did not match the picture and how she felt when he beat her up (or not). When I was a young child, my [eccentric] aunt Roberta brought a BEAUTIFUL young Japanese woman to visit us at the moominbeach. Roberta had worked as a teacher in Japan after WWII. I LOVED the Japanese woman. I remember walking down the beach one night, six of us in pairs of two. My brother and dad were walking together doing whatever. The Commander and her sister Roberta were walking together jawboning away like the MacMus (including me) always do. I was walking with my beloved Japanese friend. I don’t remember what we talked about. I just remember her quiet kindness toward me. I was/am a blonde and some people even thought I was pretty back then but the ideal beauty to me in those days was Asian.

<sorry>Oh yeah, back to the craziness the USA has come to in this decade: donation to Planned Parenthood done. ACLU is next. Anyone who disagrees with how I spend my money can bite me! Gotta get the fossils *back* out of our bodies.</sorry>


May 17th, 2019 by kayak woman

We deviated from our Friday night OT habit via the Red Hawk tonight. Fortunately I only encountered drizzle on my walk downtown. It started pouring cats and dogs after I got there and I did not have any rain gear with me. I hope we are not finished with the OT although I have always liked the Red Hawk. We had a window seat but I didn’t see the crane over the Diag until we left the restaurant. Through Nickel’s Arcade, across the street to the old Jacobson’s parking lot, and home from there.

I used to “shop” at Jacobson’s a lot. Not that I bought a lot of stuff there. It was an upscale department store and therefore didn’t match my budget but I did buy a few things there over the years. Once a long time ago, the beach folk were down here on Black Friday and we were shopping downtown. I think we were at John Leidy (specialty gift shops (shops is not a typo) across the street from Jacobson’s) when Radical Betty asked where Grandroobly (her brother) was. Upon hearing he was at Jacobson’s she rather incredulously asked, “What is Jack doing at Jacobson’s?” Using the bathroom, of course. Oh. Yeah. And we both dissolved into laughter as we so often did.

I’m not sure if that parking lot ever really belonged to Jacobson’s or not. Certainly nowadays it is city-owned or contracted or whatever. Jacobson’s is long gone, as is John Leidy. Jacobson’s moved (or expanded, I can’t remember) to Briarwood Mall for a while, where it took over a Lord & Taylor store and eventually the whole thing closed. The downtown store was taken over by Borders when it moved from its original location on State Street and we all know what happened to Borders (alas). Nowadays Knight’s Steakhouse operates a restaurant in the old Jacobson’s location. It is a fine restaurant but we tend to prefer our neighborhood Knight’s location. When I *have* been to the downtown Knight’s the bathroom is in the basement and I can’t figger if it’s in the same location as the old Jacobson’s bathroom or not. Maybe my old coot knows.

Nowadays I avoid department stores and malls like poison and buy all my clothing online.

The crane. I’m not sure what this crane is all about but cranes are a regular sight in our small/mid-sized city (120K). I believe there’s something in the city zoning that allows 14 story buildings as a height max. And so for the last 10 years or so, developers have been building 14 story buildings like nobody’s business. I don’t want to be a NIMBY but it seems excessive to me. Also, given that a lot of folks in our city give lip service to “affordable” housing, many of these buildings are designed for “young professionals”. Whatever that means. University students with rich parents maybe? There are a lot of things I do not understand. This is one of them. For more reasons that I can begin to articulate tonight.

Anyway, the crane. As much as I hate the kind of progress that jams a beautiful little garden city with 14 story upscale apartment buildings, I enjoy the “art” involved in the juxtaposition of nature’s creations (i.e., trees in this case) and man-made feats of engineering.

Moom Moments (and crappy bird photos)

May 16th, 2019 by kayak woman

Ever have a Moom Moment? It’s when your teenager (or whatever) is out late and all of a sudden you WAKE UP and FREAK OUT! Where is my kid? You imagine all kinds of scenarios. Car crash. Dumpster. Whatever. I wrote about this the other day but I *always* breathed a sigh of relief when I heard our old Jeep Wrangler “The Indefatigable” turn off the main road onto our street.

Today, a beach urchin (or maybe two), had a Moom Moment. My Mouse is camping over in the western parts of the lower peninsula and she was texting pictures and other information all day. I enjoyed the pics but failed to reply. So. I was in the usual crazy-*ss “road diet” traffic jam a couple blocks from home when my phone started vibrating like crazy. A phone call, not a text. There was no way I could look at my phone then because traffic was nutso and I really needed eyes on three or four sides of my head to deal with it.

I pulled into the driveway and pulled out my phone. Turns out that people were worried about my whereabouts. Yes, I am fine! I was in meetings on and off all day and I loved the pics but kept getting interrupted before I could manage to send a 🧡 or whatever.

I wrote earlier that I worried when my teenagers were not home on time. The truth is that I worried about them when they were 20-somethings and now (gulp) 30-somethings. My parents didn’t stop worrying about me until, well, I have to think about when so we’ll go there some other day. I do know that when I was 40-something, I attended a beach faaaaar up at the moomincabin (after putting the beach urchins to bed) and the parents were very relieved when I came home. Uh, you guys, I was down on the BEACH (which I can WALK to), with people I’ve known my entire life. Who knows, a bare bear might’ve come along (not). This is all okay though. We all need to take care of each other and noticing when someone is not available when they usually are is a good thing.

The pic is Mooma Robin (or maybe Dooda Robin) feeding her (his) babies. I know it’s hard to see what’s going on in the pic. It’s from a webcam. We don’t want our human bodies to get close enough to invade the bird family’s space.

Birds and bees, flowers and trees, and grubs

May 15th, 2019 by kayak woman

Our so-called lawn is speckled with these little “violet” flowers. I don’t really know what they are but they come in two color variations, this one and a more solid purple. Although we *do* have a lawn, it is not one of those perfectly immaculate lawns like The Prosecutor’s Mother used to have. Every time I walked by her house at a certain time of day she would be outside, dressed immaculately with nylons and heels and the whole works, picking up miniscule sticks and leaves. I am sure she didn’t handle her whole lawn by herself. She *must* have had a lawn service of some sort. Or else The Prosecutor did her lawn. But I kind of doubt it.

She doesn’t live there any more. Some years ago I walked by her house and her automotive vee-hickle was replaced by a different one and it looked like cleaning/moving activities were going on inside the house. I strongly suspect that she had been moved to a different living situation and is probably on the other side by now. When she was still around, we would chat a *bit* (I am not *usually* much of a chatter) and I could never figure out if she was totally with it or not. She was certainly well “manicured” and well-spoken but my dementia-dar detected something might be amiss.

I don’t want a lawn like The Prosecutor’s Mom had but I have always wondered about a few things about her but didn’t ever ask (because chatting…). Mainly, who is your son? Because I think I know who he was. His kids went to grade school with my kids and my main memory of him was the first day of fourth grade. A bunch of us parents were slugging around outside the classroom whooping it up until the teacher came out and asked us to please move it on down the road. We left and the prosecutor said, “I’ve been getting kicked outta this school for 40 years.”

Today after a long slodge home from Cubelandia, we were sitting outside watching all of the bird activity in our yard. Daddy Robin snagged a grub and the Little Brown Birds were mating. I now know (sorta) what a cloaca is. Do you? I had a good Bird Story to blahg about but by the time I got around to blahgging, I couldn’t for the life of me remember which one it was. You get this one instead.

EOD selfie

May 14th, 2019 by kayak woman

This afternoon it was actually warm enough to sit outside after work. So this is me reflected against my laptop wallpaper or whatever you want to call it. You can see that I use a MacBook Pro (at home, at Cubelandia I have a windows musheen).

Anyway, my laptop wallpaper is a cavern photo from Ruby Falls, where we took a tour on our way home from Crazy Old Florida spring of 2015. We lucked out on that tour in that we were in a group of something like eight rather than 60. That meant that we could take a bit more time to look around, talk to the guide, and take photooos, etc. The folks we saw on the 60-person tours were going along at a pretty good clip and not sure they had that luxury.

I was nervous about being inside a cave inside a mountain at first. Like what if there’s an earthquake and the whole thing collapses upon us. In Chattanooga Tennessee? Not likely but earthquakes happen everywhere all the time (I even experienced one on The Planet Ann Arbor a long time ago). I forced myself to calm down and I enjoyed the tour. But that was in 2015 so maybe I should change my wallpaper some day…

Bonus! Do you want Trump Socks? Here they are! Oh boy oh boy, I had to sit on my hands to not order these for the Trumpers in my life. I dunno, I may order a pair *anyway* (for me, since these are “women’s” socks, is there a difference?). Just for fun. Except that I also read an article today about how a lot of the clothing that people are Marie Kondo-ing are ending up filling up landfills, so I will not buy those socks for anyone because I strongly believe most of them will end up in one landfill or another.


May 13th, 2019 by kayak woman

This is a crappy photo of one of my fave roads (except for The Cabin Road). This is Jerusalem Road. It is “out in the county” and is a two-lane gravel/dirt road.

I drove part of it (and several other out-county roads) on Sunday morning on a slow Frog Hopper trip to Swan Corners and back. Along most of this road, big deciduous trees overhang from both sides. I love the bare “bones” of the tree on the right. It is good to drive s-l-o-w-l-y along Jerusalem Road, especially at this time of year because there are many many many potholes (if that’s even what you call them) and if you get going too fast, you will be bouncing up and down wondering if your taaaars are okay. I move over and let the yay-hooos in the big twuks roar past me. I didn’t encounter any of those Twuk People Sunday morning. I had Jerusalem Road to myself. Maybe they were still all slug-a-bed-hungover.

So tonight I felt obligated to ‘fess up to the GG that he should not use the 20 stamps I recently ordered. Why? Well. Because I bought the stamps based on the picture and FAILED to notice that they were POSTCARD STAMPS! When is the last time either of us sent a postcard to someone? I cannot remember.

Why was I nervous about ‘fessing up to him about this? Because “wasting” money aka penny pinching is *sometimes* on his radar screen. Unless he wants to buy something for himself🐽 (or me). We’ll talk about The Commander buying me the first Apple laptop I ever owned (2003) some other day. Thank you Moom.

And then the conversation started to devolve. GG: Well, how many of the postcard stamps would I have to use to mail a regular letter? KW: Two, but you would lose some money because regular stamps are 55 cents and postcard stamps are 35 cents, so if you use two of them on a letter, you are losing 15 cents. Okay, then I started to get really creative and suggested we buy 20 postcards when we are at the Moomincabin for Memorial Day (which is coming up waaaaay too fast in my opinion) and mail them out. Which immediately cracked me/us up because “send them to who?” and I wonder how much postcards cost nowadays. In other words, buying postcards would NOT save us money, roight?

All that said, let’s turn this around and pay it forward! If you would like to receive a yooperland postcard (Soo Locks or Tahquamenon Falls or whatever, you don’t get to choose) with a short hand-written message from me, lemme know! I’ll do my best to remember to send you one 🐸 My limit is 20 postcards because that’s how many postcard stamps I have. After that you are outta luck!!! 🐲 But I doubt I have 20 followers sooo… 🐸)

Love y’all, even those who won’t get postcards. -KW.

Playing my Mother’s Day card

May 12th, 2019 by kayak woman

I am not a fan of Mother’s Day. It’s nice that people appreciate their mothers but I have mixed feelings about the celebrations.

I certainly don’t ever expect to be honored for being a mother. For years when my daughters were young, I spent Mother’s Day helping the YAG theatre guild move into the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre for our spring production. Mother’s Day brunch? No time for that. Every day is Mother’s Day!

Today I did my shopping and a bunch of chores and checked out Swan Corners and then I settled in to listen to Sunday jazz and finish the Earthsea cycle and do some xwords and hang out. Alone. On a rather dreary day. And then I heard a familiar kind of an automotive purr turning off of N. Maple. Hmmmm. The GG and I both remember feeling relief when, in the wee hours of the morning, we would hear the Indefatigable enter the neighborhood. Our [teenage] kids are home. The Ninja makes a totally different noise but I knew it as soon as it turned of N. Maple.

I was kind of thinking what the heck is he doing home so early? I wanted more time alone. But then I thought something like, “What the heck, maybe I can play my Mother’s Day Card and we can go out to lunch at the Session Room.” Neither of us had eaten yet and so that is what we did. At the end of lunch, the GG said, “I need a nap”. Well I guess so, after yesterday: at least four hours of driving, four hours of chainsawing, eight miles of hiking, a dinner and presentation. Not in that particular order.

While we were at the Session Room, I spied a Mother’s Day luncheon complete with gift bags and flowers and whatever for all the mooms. I pointed it out to the GG. He asked if I was envious. NO NO NO NO NO! I was happy having a quiet lunch with him at the Session Room bar and then… We got home and the GG did take a nap and then the beach urchins et al started trickling in.

We slugged around for a while and eventually burned a fake log in the faaaarplace. It’s a little late for a faaaar around these parts but it was “clammy” in the Landfill today so it was the right thing to do. The GG grilled filets and Lizard Breath made fancy potatoes and there was Farmer John’s asparagus and garlic bread and salad. We watched Mooma Robin feed her hatchlings via the webcam and Archie the baby rabbit ventured out into the yard. Watch out for hawks!

All in all a wonderful day and thanks all for honoring me on Mother’s Day even though I could really not care less. 🧡🧡🧡

From my yard to yours

May 11th, 2019 by kayak woman

I don’t have much to say about today. Chores and grokkery shopping and that was about it.

Skyyyyyyy Pilot

May 10th, 2019 by kayak woman

Apparently I have taken sky pictures including vapor trails on this date for two years. Y’all may know them as contrails. When I was a kid we called them vapor trails. Or some of us did but more later. This is this year’s pic, with a thin vapor trail. I think the plane was still above me at the time or had only recently passed over.

Last year, I got this beautiful dissipating vapor trail, almost like lace. Another beautiful day in the southeast Great Lake State with leaves just coming out.

When I was a kid, I had a good friend at the moominbeach who called vapor trails “paper jails”. She was a couple years younger than me and mis-heard the words. We were good friends anyway but I could sometimes be mean to her, something I have always regretted. There was the one time I gave her an “Indian Burn” where I twisted the skin on her arm in two different directions. Did you guys ever give someone an Indian Burn? My parents marched me down to her family’s moominbeach cabin to apologize.

I did apologize but inside my 10-year-old head I was thinking something like, “But my older boy cousins did this to me and it hurt a bit but but but… why was this so bad?” Us younger cousins learned this and practiced it on our own younger siblings and friends.

Indian Burns hurt but don’t cause lasting damage. Of course I know now that given the right circumstances benign things like Indian Burns could maybe escalate into enjoying hurting (or even killing) other people/animals. I definitely didn’t get to that point and neither did my cousins.

To be CRYSTAL CLEAR: My male cousins are wonderful people who take care of their friends and animals. I love them. Sad that my brother didn’t live long enough to a part of that benevolent fraternity…

The junk side of the yard

May 9th, 2019 by kayak woman

This is where the garatchkey would be if we had a garatchkey. What is a garatchkey, you might wanna know? Well, it is a word The Commander used to use to refer to a garage. We do not have a garage. When we bought The Landfill (more years ago than I care to count), you could buy a house for under $100K on The Planet Ann Arbor but it would come with *either* a garage or a dungeon. We opted for the dungeon ($65K was what we paid). I think we made the right choice as much as I hate the crapola we have collected in the dungeon. Yes, we could’ve built a garatchkey but it would have destroyed our big back yard not to mention all of the crapola that would’ve been involved in building it. (((Last I looked at Zillow, this house’s value was something like $300K. Really? I know this is The Planet Ann Arbor but still. I fear another economic/credit crisis but that’d be a whole ‘nother blahg entry.)))

So this pic is where the garatchkey would’ve been. It is kind of filled with junk for now but not as much as it has been in the recent past. This is where the GG de-cockroached FlaMan’s stuff when we moved him up to the Great Lake State last fall. Some of that stuff over-wintered here if I have it right but most of it has been returned to FlaMan now. The rest of the stuff is what’s been moved out of the old shed in preparation for The Castle’s arrival and is residing there temporarily. Oh, and that’s an old dead A/C unit sticking out of the wall. It is useless now that we have central A/C (which we almost NEVER use but it can be handy in a pinch).

The thing is that usually at this time of year, when I walk past those birdhouses, there are chirping noises coming out of them and baby bird mouths stretched wide waiting for mooma bird. They are all quiet today. I dunno what that means. Are they abandoned or do they contain eggs that haven’t hatched yet?

Here on the other side of the Landfill, all kinds of nature is happening. Mooma Robin has been out in the yard. Is she feeding hatchlings yet? I’m not sure. Henrietta Long Ears (rabbit, not lion or tiger 🙃) is out and about and one of her babies (Archie, maybe?) ventured beyond their safe haven underneath Sugar and Jealousy until I startled him by opening the squeaky sliding doorwall screen. I also witnessed a Bird Fight that happened in the gutter just above the Log Cabin Birdhouse, where birds usually nest a couple times a year so not sure what’s happening there.

That’s the animal news from the Landfill and so goodnight.

P.S. I do not know what’s going on right now but Mooma Robin is hopping around the yard and the Log Cabin is rocking and chirping. Hope everyone is okay.

Master of the Uuuuuuniverse 🎶 Master of the Uuuuuniverse 🎶

May 8th, 2019 by kayak woman

“This is the *Master* of the Universe” was an early cell phone voice mail greeting for the GG. At one point in time a beach urchin “inherited” his old phone (and number) and re-created an identical message in her own voice. It was absolutely hilarious when a relative called that number once and no one answered. We were at Hoton Lake, so the relative called the landline there, greeting me with, “I called that master of the universe phone”. Something like that anyway, I’m pretty sure I’m mangling that story.

Nowadays, “Master of the Universe” is a sort of song that some of us use to get the Master of the Universe’s attention or sometimes even to send [pretend] praises to him. We do crazy-*ssed harmonies with this ovation. We all (me and my Fin daughters) have some natural talent in music. Although some of us have more official training than others, we all seem to be able to carry a tune in or outside of a bucket and something makes us be able to do harmony. Or maybe counterpoint would be a better word. I, who have the most musical training and experience, should know these terms off the top of my head… But we sound pretty dern good when we sing the praises of the Master of the Universe. (Some of us are pretty dern good at “Dum Dum Da Da” too 🧡)

So here is @tmotu (The Master Of The Universe) out in his Landfill Backyard fiefdom. He is gazing at a robin’s nest that is out of the frame. He has (I think) delayed the delivery of The Castle (our new shed) because the robin’s eggs have hatched (I think) and he does not want to cut down the rest of the apple tree (not in frame) and maybe the bushes until the birdies have fledged. He did remove an arbor, one that he built.

Apologies to anyone who is a DNA expert for my frivolous use of “predominating genes”. I know this stuff is waaaay more complicated. My blahg is not targeted to phd scientists of any sort. I am intelligent enough to know how stupid/uninformed I am.

And Jay, you definitely have the layout of my childhood house down pat. I’m wondering how the heck we ever fit that piano into that dining room but we did and that’s where I taught myself to play…

What to blahg about? What to blahg about?

May 7th, 2019 by kayak woman

Y’all’d be totally bored with today’s work rabbit holes. So what do I have? Often if I wait long enough, something will come up. Today it came up via my friend Margaret who was questioned on instagram about her childhood blonde hair.

I had light blonde hair as a child. When I approached adolescence, it darkened into what some people call “dishwater blonde”. Googling that term, yes, that’s what my hair did. By the time I had little blonde toddlers, people sometimes (rudely) asked me how my kids ended up with blonde hair when mine was clearly not (not). In the first place, DNA is extremely complicated and there are kids everywhere who do not have their mother’s hair color (not to mention adopted children…). I happened to marry a man with a similar hair color to mine and I guess those genes predominated. The GG really really really wanted a red-headed child like his beautiful sister Susie but as much as I loved Susie, I somehow knew that wouldn’t happen for us and it didn’t. Blonde and blonde.

There are some people who are born light blonde and stay that way into adulthood. My [late] MacMu cousin Cathy was one of them. Beautiful platinum white hair her whole life. I miss her and the natural platinum hair I may have been envious of when I was a teenager and my hair was darkening. Cousins on both sides (Fin and MacMU) have varying hair color though. We are a beautiful mixed bag.

Whenever I got asked that (rude) question, I would always respond with something like, “This *is* blonde hair. It’s just *old* blonde hair.” In time my beach urchins’ hair darkened in a similar manner to mine. They are still beautiful! And, circle coming back again, now that my hair is mostly white/gray, I almost look like a blonde again if you aren’t scrutinizing me too closely 🙃.

Oh the pic. My childhood bedroom. I am in 1st grade (I think) and working on art stuff at the Yellow Table, painting or something, I’m not sure what. All of my clothing is hung up on that rod there next to me. There were several shelves above that to hold various things, I don’t remember what at the moment. Behind me is my new fancy bed. You can’t see the silver headboard. Our house was just a shabby little bungalow but I don’t have bad memories of it at all. It was clean and I had my own space and The Commander did her best to make it comfortable for me and my brother.

P.S. I musta been in 2nd grade because I think that yellow thing on the bed is Medicine Duck, who I got when they took out my tonsils and 2nd grade is when that happened because I kept getting strep infections one after the other. I stopped getting sick after that and I still have that old friend.

Sloooooodddddgggin’ along

May 6th, 2019 by kayak woman

Man oh man, what a slodgy day. I began it by sleeping an extra 40 minutes. I NEVER do that. I ALWAYS wake up “on time”, usually with a few REM dreams behind me. I don’t even set an audible alarm any more. For a long time I had NPR wake me up. One morning, I awoke to, “The Orange Baboon has fired James Comey.” I didn’t turn off the sound at that point but it wasn’t long afterward that the clock decided to turn off the sound all on its own. Anyway, I was not a happy camper this morning.

Work was okay but I was sleeeeepier than usual and for whatever reason, coffee didn’t seem like the right antidote. Probably that I didn’t want to end up bouncing off the ceiling. And then there was the part where we had to scramble to get a client notification published. Problem? Everyone who usually publishes these notifications suddenly had their access to the publishing tool revoked. Why? We do not know. That did not get resolved today… 🐽

Because I am crazy, I have read five out of the six books in Ursula’s Earthsea cycle in the last few weeks. I definitely intend to read the sixth but I also got myself distracted by reading a couple of “cult” novels. I mean novels about lost teenagers or young adults who get sucked in by “families” headed up by charismatic male (usually) assholes who run their lives. Think Charles Manson. I read “The Ash Family” and am part way through “The Girls”.

I may blahg about this in more detail some other day but can I just say that, as a teenager (and young woman), the absolute filth described in these books would be enough to send me running straight back to my parents’ house. Sharing [not necessarily washed] clothing with a whole bunch of people and walking around barefoot through dog poop? No thank you. I would definitely not get myself enthralled with a charismatic cult leader but that would be another blahg entry.

<short story> When I was in high school, I went with Good Boyfriend over to his friend’s mom’s house one night. This was not a cult/commune house, just a family who endured a constant struggle with money but were pretty solid citizens in general. I was a bit squicked out that the friend’s 5-year-old nephew asked his great-uncle (I think) for another beer and received one without question. When I was that kid’s age, if I asked my parents for a Coke or Seven-Up or something, I was often offered a Lake Superior Cocktail and you know that is plain water out of the tap up in Sault Ste. Siberia.

The Commander asked me what it was like inside that house and I apparently thought about it for a few minutes and replied, “Well, I wouldn’t want to walk around there barefoot.” I remember being in the house but the only reason I remember the convo with the Comm is because The Comm did, pretty much until the end of her life.</short story>

That photo is a trout lily. Mouse took the photo in the woods behind The Landfill. She is much better at photography than I am, not to mention plant identification.

Henry. Or Henrietta…

May 5th, 2019 by kayak woman

First of all, my life seems to be run by apps. I connected to my new dryer this morning and not only does it send me a notification when it finishes, I can check on its progress any time. And then, I had something to drop off at the post office and I caught a glimpse of a banner above the front door and I thought it said something about an app. And yes, there is an app. I used it today to order stamps. It’s been a long time since I’ve been inside the post office. I used to be a frequent customer. As friendly as the clerks there were back in those days, I do not miss the lines. And then there was the time that I was in line behind a fellow elementary school mother and my innocuous question “How are you?” somehow incited her to go on and on (loudly) about her husband’s inappropriate activities with their baby. Ugh. (What is it about me that seems to make people tell me things I don’t want to know about?)

I got off the track there big time. I am loving my new dryer and so did my mouse/raccoon when they came over to do laundry this afternoon. It was a gorgeous day and I was sitting outside for a lot of the afternoon watching bird activity. And Henry (or so I thought) kept running back and forth across the back yard. Henry is a rabbit, whichever rabbit currently inhabits the Landfill Backyard.

Today it turned out that our current Henry is probably Henrietta, as our racoon spied baby rabbits underneath Sugar and Jealousy. The pic was taken from a Landfill Dungeon window so as not to spook the babies or Henrietta. The Pensioner opines that a hawk will likely destroy the baby rabbits. I’m not so sure about that as long as they are underneath Sugar and Jealousy. Maybe later when they are able to navigate the yard and neighborhood.

This is not my pic. A racoon sneaked down into the dungeon to snag it.

“Ma’am, did you used to work with YAG?”

May 4th, 2019 by kayak woman

So the new dryer arrived but it did not arrive within the time window I was told about. I didn’t know if they were just late or if maybe the Submit button hadn’t worked correctly. So I sucked up and called the service number.

After the young man on the other end of the phone looked up my address, he asked, “Ma’am, did you used to work with YAG?” I just about fell on the floor. Yes, yes I did used to work with YAG. He turned out to be Madame Producer’s son. Madame was on our board and produced a lot of our Lydia Mendelssohn plays and I LOVED working with her. I am good with all of the “trains-on-time” stuff involved in managing a youth theatre guild (or any organization) but I am NOT good with the people stuff. Madame was wonderful about dealing with all that stuff – green room actor meltdowns and panicky Planet Ann Arbor helicopter parents and whatever. And she was always positive and upbeat about everything and FUN to hang out with. We would gnoff and gnoff and gnoff, even when things were going totally nutso.

As it turned out, my dryer was indeed on the truck and they were just late and that was okay with me because I was just hanging out. They had legitimate reasons for being late with a person calling off and The Planet Ann Arbor being slammed with traffic due to the 2019 uMich graduation ceremonies.

The GG had figured they wouldn’t be able to get the dryer in through the front door but the delivery folks measured the back door and found it to be too small. I panicked to myself a bit but then they said they could bring it through the front door. The path was just a wee bit twistier, move this and that outta the way and no problem. Whew! And they suggested (ahem) I might want to vac up the dust etc. that was under/behind the old dryer during the five minutes there was an empty space there. “Don’t worry, it isn’t anywhere near as bad as a lot of places I’ve seen around town”, he said. And actually he was right that it wasn’t that bad but I did take advantage of the opportunity to vacuum up whatever stuff was there.

So, who will be the first to use the new dryer? Will KW motivate herself to warsh some stuff early tomorrow or will Mouse get to do the honors? We shall see.

When your dryer is old enough to drink

May 3rd, 2019 by kayak woman

When your dryer is old enough to drink, that usually means *you* are old enough to be in a No Panic Zone about first world problems like broken dryers. So the 21-year-old dryer went on the fritz on Monday and the new one will arrive tomorrow afternoon if the text I received from Big George is accurate.

In the meantime, lemme see… The GG fixed the drunken dryer well enough to dry the load I put into it on Monday morning. I have managed without it since then. I did warsh some undies and tights in the warshing musheen this morning and hung them up to air-dry before I went to Cubelandia.

Broken laundry musheens have intermittently made me crazy in my life but I do know how to use laundromats if I need to and I am capable of hand-warshing and/or air-drying things if I need to. Like I did today.

And then I porterized myself at Knight’s. We had a 5:30 reservation, which is early but was probably a good thing because we didn’t actually get seated until just after 6:00 and, well, when did I get home? 9:00? We knew that the place would be slammed because it is UMich grad weekend (which I thought was last weekend but not…).

The Metavante Vultures

May 2nd, 2019 by kayak woman

I was sitting in a meeting today in a conference room. I had my back to the window. Suddenly Amazon Woman hit the Panic Button. I wasn’t sure why, since all we were doing was discussing defects and the attendees were all the familiar suspects. Mr. Bear was particularly bearish today but that’s nothing new.

Anyway, she said (to those of us with our backs to the window), “Turn around!” And there, on the outside ledge was one of the Metavante Vultures. The other one was wheeling around in the air. (Yes, I know that these are turkey vultures so y’all don’t need to correct me 🐸.)

When I was a Cubelandia Newbie, my company was called Metavante. Turkey vultures used to hang out along the window ledges then. I bet I even have an iPhone photo of them from back then. Back then (fall 2007), I was an early iPhone owner and people who hadn’t switched over from flip phones were all excited when they discovered that someone had an iPhone (including the Long Suffering Cat Herding Person aka my boss). Can I see it? Hold it? Etc. And they were prob’ly wondering how a student intern, albeit a non-traditional one, could afford to buy one… It was the GG’s idea and it felt like financial suicide at the time but we did it *anyway*. (Of course nowadays everyone has an iPhone (or Android).)

Many moons ago, a larger corporation bought Metavante and I survived that merger and have worked for that corporation ever since. My job hasn’t changed all that much except that every prodject is different, much like when I used to help produce plays because every play is different. Long ago, I became a SME (Subject Matter Expert) at my work, although I have to say that I do not know it all. I am constantly learning.

I haven’t seen the Metavante Vultures since around the time we were still Metavante. Today they were there and I bet this iPhone photo (from the X) is a bit better than the original iPhone but maybe not much, given the circumstances.

I will never forget Mouse using my first iPhone to tweet from the Mackinac Bridge. She couldn’t post a photooo that time but it wasn’t long before that became possible.

That long-ago trip across the BigMac with my first iPhone? Mouse and I were on a Yarn Store Boondoggle to Petoskey and the Northern Lower Peninsula with The Commander, Radical Betty, and Uber Kayak Woman. We had so much fun that day. I will never fergit The Comm talking about our friend Cam’s “second head of hair”. Cam had a wig and we all gnoffed and gnoffed when we figgered out what the heck The Comm was talking about. I miss The Comm and Radical Betty and Cam…

Orangeya glad I didn’t rant about the Orange Baboon again today? 🧡

I wish I had a picture but I don’t

May 1st, 2019 by kayak woman

I mean I wish I had a picture of what happened to me a little after noon today. I was stopped at the S. Maple/Liberty light and I caught motion (s-l-o-w motion) outta the corner of my eye. It was a TIRE rolling into the intersection on a trajectory to hit the Ninja. Which it did. A man was “running” (slowly) after it. He picked it up and took it away. The light then turned green. I was thinking, what the hell just happened? Fortunately, there was no damage. It was a taaaaar, it’s rubber…

I was at that stoplight at that time because I worked from home this afternoon. The “Amish” shed guy came out to take a look at the backyard so he would know what to expect when he delivers the new shed in a few weeks. The GG was all worried that he might not want to talk to a woman because he’s Amish. That sounded pretty weird to me and anyway, I don’t think he is personally Amish since he did not drive up in a horse-drawn buggy. Big pick-up truck and huge trailer thingy. He was here for five minutes tops and all is well.

My friends and I met up at Barry Bagels this morning. This is the first time MMCB2 has been able to meet us since I dunno when. The grandchildren she and her pensioner watch are on a trip to Callyforny with their parents. It was so good to see her. My coffee buddies are both Jewish and are heartsick over the latest synagogue shooting. Apparently people at their temple have connections with Poway. I am just plain numb thinking about the fact that there are so many random shootings that I hadn’t even heard about the UNCC shooter (and I even know someone from Charlotte…). I peek at news throughout the day until about 3PM, then I am about done.


If you know me in life, you probably know that I am pro-choice. I have been pro-choice ever since I reached adolescence during the Coat Hanger Days. We do NOT want to go back to those days. No no no no. Do I think that women (and their partners (if they have partners)) should be using late-term abortion as a method of birth control? No no no no noooooooo! But what the f*ck is the Orange Baboon talking about when he “gins up” his “base” (whatever the hell that is) about mothers and doctors discussing whether or not to “execute” babies after their birth? What the HELL? Oh man, I’m not even sure I can put what’s in my brain into words. Almost *all* women who carry unborn children to the third trimester WANT THEM! They are devastated when they are told their baby will not survive until birth or die shortly after birth. It is a fact that not all children survive pregnancy and childbirth. That blanket that the Orange Baboon was talking about is a comfort to those parents who have birthed a child who cannot survive so that they can hold their dying baby as long as possible. He isn’t clarifying that to his “base”, assuming he even understands these issues, which I highly doubt.

We need to have compassion for parents who are forced to deal with nonviable pregnancies and we need to support their choices. If a baby doesn’t have a brain, what is the point in continuing the pregnancy? “All God’s Children?” I don’t think so. I am a small voice but I think this issue is important!

I have to wonder if there were any parents in the OB’s “rally” who experienced a situation in which they had to choose life or death for a nonviable child? I dunno how many people were at his “rally” but babies do die. So I wonder how those possible parents at the “rally” felt about the OB’s inflammatory rhetoric. To me, demonizing parents who choose to abort a nonviable pregnancy or choose to sing a dying newborn baby (wrapped in a blanket) to eternal sleep is one step upon a slippery slope. What’s next? A loving, caring parent who gets distracted for a few seconds only to have grieve her healthy child’s accidental death for the rest of her life — in prison? No. No. No. No.

Again, to those who ask me if I will vote for Trump if Bernie Sanders is his opponent? No No No Noooooo. Bernie is not my choice but I will vote for him if it comes to that.

Okay KW, hit the submit button now…