Random bits of my so-called life.


September 20th, 2014 by kayak woman

coffeeMan oh man, did we have a hard time finding our fave coffee spot down at the farmer’s market this morning! I don’t know the exact algorithm for getting a space at the farmer’s market but there is an element of first-come, first-pick involved. Some people seem to manage to get the same space every week. Roos Roast jumps around. For all I know, that’s their preference. Anyway, it took us a couple rounds through the market to find our coffee folks this morning. I ran into some other people who had given up and gone inside to Sweetwater’s for coffee (which is a great place too). But I knew Roos was there because I saw a Roos person schlepping one of their big jugs around and eventually we found it. For me, looking for Roos is part of the fun. Next time I guess our search will be a bit easier, since we’ve been advised to look UP for the YELLOW SIGN!

Eek! I thought the GG was dying out in the back there for a minute but then he said, “Fumble!” Oh yeah, U of M is playing this afternoon. The Champions of the West. Champions? West? It’s okay, I couldn’t care less about feetsball, although football Saturdays are fun [if you don't go to the Plum Market before one (note to self)] and I enjoy the ambiance of football on TV.

It was a pretty regular Saturday here at the Landfill even though I was sorely missing Kelley’s Island. I did all my usual chores, processed tons of veggies from the market, and picked away at flinging. Actually, I moved more of the stuff I plan to keep back into the Landfill Chichen. I even moved glassware into a cupboard. I have been storing a bunch of glasses in my loverly new dishwasher all this time. The GG has not been happy about this. I have plenty of cupboard space to store this stuff. The thing is that I don’t want to hide them away. I want a free-standing set of shelves to display them on. I have not had time to deal with this or maybe I just haven’t had the gazinto. We’ll get there.

The GG spent a lot of time cleaning and reorganizing the Lyme Lounge for next week when it will serve as his home base for trail-building up in the Tahquamenon area. Next weekend we’ll be camping and hiking at Tahq and then closing the moomincabin. I haven’t looked at the long-range forecast. I hope it doesn’t snow up there. It certainly wouldn’t be unheard of.

This was obviously a boring day and I am about done except to say that I’m glad I am not over at the stadium because it is raining and there is thunder and where there is thunder, there is lightning.

Oh yikes! PS. Our Partners in Porterization seem to have seen a TV story on my company’s kayak trip yesterday. I haven’t seen it. I hope my underwear is not visible! Here I thought that uglies of meeeeee would just appear in some obscure place on [my-company]andme.com. TV 7? Eek!

Update: They are calling the game because of lightning. How long will it take to get 100,000-plus people outta that stadium? Soooooo glad I am not there.

Indecent exposure

September 19th, 2014 by kayak woman

We’ve been talking all week about freezing down in the river on our sorta annual work kayak trip. Last year it was in the 90s when we took our trip. This week we are barely making it into the low 70s before the sun heads down toward the horizon in the late afternoon. It probably did only get into the 70s this afternoon but it was a glorious day and we had so much fun. We got dumped off at Argo, made our way through the cascades (here’s a youtube link of someone else kayaking the cascades) and then paddled on down to Gallup and here is my kayak as I paddled past Island Park.


I got some much-needed kudos today. I am not a fancy, extreme kayaker in any way, shape, or form. I am a strong paddler but I prefer calm water. I can handle a little bit of bounce and I can navigate the teensiest tinesiest of rapids. The cascades are about my limit and even on those, I take them slowly so I can maneuver myself to hit each rapids as straight-on as possible.

Once we finished with the cascades and got down on the shallow, relatively calm Huron River, I tended, as usual, to end up at or near the front of the pack. This year, I found myself up there amongst a bunch of younger men, not people I know well or at all. In the last quarter-mile or so, it seemed like a few of them were racing a bit to get to the dock. I hung back on purpose. Why? Well. I knew that I would have to more or less roll myself out of my kayak onto the dock and I was wearing a short hiking skirt and, uh, I really didn’t want anyone to see my underwear. I especially made sure that I got to the dock after Tock and his uber-camera did. I know he got some *other* photos of me and if any of them turn out, I’ll ask him if I can share them with you.

This party was not as well attended as some others have been and probably more people decided to hang out at Gallup than kayak and that was okay! There was plenty of food and drink and people were relaxing and having fun. I grabbed a cuppa whine and sat around in my wet clothes (wet by *water*, I’ll have you know) with the LSCHP and other co-workers for a good while. The kudos? One of the boyz that I had been kayaking with, however randomly, made it a point to tell me what a great paddler I was. “You have really good form.” I humbly told him that, although I own three kayaks and have spent a lot of time paddling, I am just an amateur and I always stick to situations I can handle. I really appreciated his words though, being that my last birthday had a goddamn zero in it and this young whippersnapper is probably about my daughter’s age.

Eventually I drove home and reconfigured myself to schlep down to the Oscar Tango where a waitress quietly tipped me off that my tank top was INSIDE OUT! Sheesh! Why didn’t the West Park muskrats tell me that? I do not know. Inside out shirt and exposed undies all in one day.

I’m not sure how coherent all of this was but I think I am done. It has been weeks since we’ve eaten at the Oscar Tango and we haven’t been Porterized in as many weeks. So much fun. Last Friday, we ate at a very similar kind of place on Kelley’s Island. Except for the view. Wish I could walk to the Captain’s Corner pub more often…


Garbage in, garbage out

September 18th, 2014 by kayak woman

nofishTomorrow is Talk Like a Pirate Day Friday and that’s the day The Planet Ann Arbor’s fleet of garbage, recycle, and compost trucks roars into the neighborhood, lifts up all the handy dandy carts and dumps them.

I don’t have any compost this week, largely because nobody was around to do yardwork last weekend and I am saving my kitchen scraps in the freezer until there is enough yard vegetation in the bin to help cut the smell of rotting meat. I almost *always* have a bunch of stuff in the recycle cart so I grabbed that and rolled it down to the curb. Then I grabbed the garbage cart. Hmmm, this is reeeeallly light. Is there anything in it? Well, no there isn’t! I think that is a first. Alas, it was short-lived. I emptied a trash bin in the Landfill Dungeon, one that has been collecting various bits of cosmic debris for *months*. And there is a fairly full kitchen-sized bag that will go out in the morning.

A disclaimer or two. One of the reasons we have such a paltry amount of garbage this week is because we dumped the garbage from our little luxury camping expotition last weekend into a dumpster at the Kelley’s Island State Park. No fish, please. There’s a fish hut for that, a good distance away from the campground and picnic area, thank you very much. (If you embiggen the photoooo, you can better see the Frog Hopper and Lyme Lounge in the background.) But even that was a paltry bit of garbage.

At any rate, we have come a long way since I was a beach urchin and my family lived in a shabby little bungalow on Superior Street and my old coot would burn paper trash in an incinerator out by the alley. I don’t remember exactly when those incinerators were outlawed but I remember being a young adult living in various apartments and shoving *newspapers* into garbage bags.

The Planet Ann Arbor had a monthly pickup in those days. It was staffed by volunteers and I didn’t always manage to participate. When I bought a house and became a parent (those events were related, don’tcha know), I began recycling in earnest. The Planet has steadily improved its recycling operations over the years and so have I and nowadays I call myself the Queen of Recycling. That’s just in fun though because I know all too well that there are many folks who are waaaaayyy ahead of me in the challenge of reducing their personal footprint on the earth.

I am looking forward (sort of) to Talk Like a Pirate Day tomorrow (yes, it is a thing). Actually, I am thinking ahead to the aftermath of TLAPD, which is walking downtown to the Oscar Tango. How many weeks has it been? Toooooo looooonnnnng!

I said I didn’t have any compost. That’s not exactly true. For years, I have composted vegetable matter in the Landfill Back Yard. I am still doing that.

I’ve already found jeebus, so just leave me alone.

September 17th, 2014 by kayak woman

lichenThis solicitor didn’t even come to the house. He was waiting for me at the Shell station. I needed a dry bag so I swung by REI just before the lunch hour and got gasoline on the way.

“Hello! How are you today? Are you on your way to work?” [What is your name, rank, and serial number?]

Uuhhhh… I was fumbling with the pump to get the right gasoline selection. I have to *concentrate* on stuff like that and he was distracting me.

“This is Shell customer appreciation day. Can I wash your windshield?”

Uuuhhh… Okaaaayyy. I was still struggling with the pump but I forced myself to brighten up just a weeeee little bit and chirped, “It probably needs it.”

He went through some perfunctory swishing and swiping motions for 30 seconds or so. I *finally* got the correct grade of gasoline selected and flowing into my tank. And then… Dun dun dun.

“You have a crack in your windshield.”

Oh, really? He pointed it out and I had to squint to see the teensy tinesy wee little pit in the Ninja’s windshield. And then he launched into a long spiel about some program for fixing cracked windshields. Or replacing them. Or something.

My eyes glazed over. I stammered something lame like, “My husband takes care of this stuff.”

“Oh, well, that’s fine. You guys can come by any time to [take advantage of this wonderful program].”

Hee. “My husband takes care of this stuff” is true but, if that yay-hoo could see what the Frog Hopper’s windshield looks like at this moment, he would know that the GG is not likely to take advantage of his speshul offer any time in the near future. Actually, the GG’s modus operandi regarding windshield cracks is something like, “As soon as I fix the windshield, it gets hit by a rock.” Alas, all too true. The Indefatigable was particularly susceptible to this rule and I can remember him going out to talk to the driver’s license test people about the condition of that windshield before one of the beach urchins was scheduled to take her test. Did he really need to fix it? Because…

Will I go back to that particular station? Oh I probably will but the possibility of being assaulted by an intrusive person giving me the hard-sell on a repair that I don’t need will definitely make me think twice.

And then there were the beaches

September 16th, 2014 by kayak woman

I grew up spending my summers on my family’s beach on Gitchee Gumee. I think you could call the sand on our beach sugar sand but I’m not sure. A very quick google for “sugar sand” brought up the mineral content (or whatever) of sugar sand. That’s okay but to me, sugar sand is sand on which you can walk barefoot without cutting your feet. I don’t think I encountered a sand beach on which I couldn’t walk barefoot until I visited Florida as an adult.

There was one little hike on Kelley’s Island that we didn’t do until Sunday morning. It was a bird preserve and I talked the GG into doing the hike *before* breakfast and so we did that. The GG stipulated that we would drive the Frog Hopper over to the trailhead and take coffee and that is what we did. What I didn’t realize is that the trail ended at this beautiful beach.


Looks like this would be a regular old sugar sand great lakes type beach, roight? Well. It was chilly that morning so I was wearing socks and my purple Keens and, when I walked onto the beach, I felt crunching under my feet. Rocks do not crunch but *shells* do. Glad I had my shoes on because this was the rare (I think) great lakes beach made from shells.


I fergit exactly where we ran into this beach of stones. I think it was somewhere off the north loop trail?


Anyway, we finished our early morning preserve / beach walk Sunday morning and the GG cooked an excellent breakfast in the Lyme Lounge and then we went over to the north loop trail again and ended up on this rock “beach”.


The Kelley’s Island State Park does have a sugar sand beach but I have to guess that it is a man-made beach. I loved the state park although I wasn’t all that interested in hanging out on the beach. Especially loved that I could walk a short mile from “downtown” to our spot at the state park.

Quarry Kelley’s Island

September 15th, 2014 by kayak woman

You can’t grow up on the shores of Gitchee Gumee and NOT have an interest in rocks. At least when you are a child. I remember having a bit of a rudimentary rock collection. Did I collect it on the beach? Naw, I collected it on a trip around Gitchee Gumee during which my parental units let me buy cheap little rock specimens from various gift shops on the Canadian north shore. That was also the trip that my little brother talked to a French-speaking girl at a rest area and, when The Commander asked him how he communicated with her, he said something like, “You just have to put your mouth in a different way.” Sometimes I wish I had more of the DNA that my brother had. I wouldda been too shy to talk to anybody at that rest area at all…

So, I am not a geologist but one of the reasons I *loved* hanging out on Kelley’s Island this weekend was because we could walk everywhere from our loverly campsite, including old quarries. They were everywhere. Here is the GG in some old crumbling structure on the north loop trail.


We climbed over a rock wall to get to this area. I was grumpy about climbing up that wall and down the other side. When I got down to the other side, I was thinking it looked like a beaver pond. Not so much. Rock surfaces everywhere, some of them with fossils. I actually insisted upon going *back* there Sunday morning, rock wall be damned.


Then there was the East Quarry Horseshoe Lake. I won’t tell you about our vee-hickle expotitions to find out how to get to the trail for this quarry. It turned out that we could take a short walk over to the fish-cleaning hut at our state campground, then walk the beach to a trail that connected to this place. There was a guy trying to skip stones and he was semi-successful but when his mother (or mother-in-law or whoever) joined us to watch, I couldn’t help but spill out that my grandmother was a champion rock skipper. I hope I am not imagining that. I could be!


We walked from this beauteous quarry/lake down to the whinery, where I had a glass of whine and the GG had a wee leetle glass o’ bourbon. Then we walked into town (past the Chocolate Church, at which time I asked the GG if he had anything to confess, snort snort). We did the tourista type thing and then walked the mile up to our campsite to chill out a bit before heading back into town for dinner (this was all on foot). There was a “fancy” restaurant that we were interested in but we ended up at the Captain’s Corner for the second night in a row. It reminds me of the Oscar Tango but the view is better and we wanted that view. BTW, man has it been a while since we’ve been at the OT on a Friday night but we *will* be at the OT this Friday! Jeebus, I hope they remember us there!

P.S. There was poison ivy on all of the trails we walked on Kelley’s Island. Knock on wood, I do not have it. I shouldda tooken a pitcher o’ that but I was too busy making the sign of the cross (even though I am not Catholic).

Too Pooped to Post

September 14th, 2014 by kayak woman

Or not. The GG spent his last birthday (it had a goddamn zero in it, as did mine a few months earlier) camping on Kelley’s Island. This weekend, he went back and this time he dragged yer fav-o-rite blahgger along.

I took Friday afternoon off so that we weren’t fighting rush hour traffic down through the Great Lake State Megalopolis and then through northern Ohio. That turned out to be a good decision, well, except for the fact that we were STARVING so we grabbed small hamburgers and french fries from the Dundee McDonald’s. (Don’t tell our kids!)

So, we drove through northern Ohio and, miraculously, when we arrived at the Kelley’s Island ferry, we were ushered on immediately. I was a bit nervous at first. My last car ferry experience was out on the huge ferries that service the San Juan Islands. This ferry was kind of small and the weather was a bit rough albeit not enough that I had a problem walking up the stairs to where I could observe what was going on. There are two ferries and this is the other one.


And so we got off the ferry and drove a mile up from town to the gorgeous state park on the north side of the island. Here is where we parked the Mean Green Frog Hoppin’ Musheen and Lyme Lounge. We were a very short walk away from the flushy terlets and showers and that was a good thing fer yer fav-o-rite blahgger. And we could walk from this space to anywhere on the island. Beaches and old quarries and dinner downtown.


I loved Kelley’s Island and I will write more about it this week. And we’ll be back!

Poker Paddle postponed

September 13th, 2014 by kayak woman

Pretty decent wind and waves around the entirety of Kelley’s Island today. We weren’t scheduled to participate in the poker paddle anyway. We didn’t schlep kayaks down here & I haven’t played poker since my old banker coot slipped me a roll of pennies for the band bus in 7th grade. Our plan for the weekend was to park the Frog Hopper & Lyme Lounge and walk everywhere, untethered from any schedule except our own. And that is what we have done. That is about all for now since I am posting from my loverly iPhone again (what did we do before smart phones?).

Here are some fossils I saw this morning. I thought they were seagull poop at first. Not. Goodnight, KW.



September 12th, 2014 by kayak woman

I have wonderful service here at the Captain’s Corner barrooom on Kelley’s Island but I don’t have my loverly MacBook Pro with me. It is in the Lyme Lounge up at the state park — where there is spotty service with side trips to the Edge and Canananada. Walked the long way round to get here — 5 miles? Just over a mile back. Note to self: this is a populated island so use the woods when you have the chance whether you have to, you know, goooo, or not, because, unlike on the Planet Ann Arbor, there are not a whole lot of good urbanP places.

So you aren’t gonna get much but you can have this beauteous pitcher of glacial grooves.


Pick a title!

September 11th, 2014 by kayak woman

horsiesI have four in mind:

  1. Mouse would have a horse in the back yard if The Planet Ann Arbor allowed people to keep horses in their backyards.
  2. The annual Thermostat Wars have begun.
  3. This is none of my business but don’t you guys usually go north?
  4. The GG needs a new facebook profile pitcher.

Read the rest of this and pick a title! Or don’t read it and pick a title. Either way. (Or don’t pick a title.)

So, I got over to Cubeland this morning and emailed the Queen Bee to ask for tomorrow afternoon off. Of course this was okay with her as she replied when she got in and read my message. But then, she came over to my cube and kind of tentatively said something like, “This isn’t any of my business but don’t you guys usually go north?” I won’t say where we are going for the weekend but for once, we are actually not going north. We aren’t going all that far south either. I’ll let y’all guess.

Of *course* I told the Queen Bee (and Cube Nayber) exactly where we were going and they were wondering how we would manage with the cooler weather that is expected this weekend. Well, we will do fine because we will be taking the Lyme Lounge, which has heat. I am told there are showers available in the state park we are camping at. I hope that’s true because I will not be a happy camper if there are not showers. I do like to be clean and I don’t wanna swim in Lake Erie! (Oops, I just gave y’all a hint…)

When I got home today, I took a serious look at the weather and, hmmmm, I packed a few more things than I might usually pack at this time of year, especially going south. I *always* pack leggings, wool/silk turtleneck sweater, polartech vest and jacket, smartwool socks, and even a little pair of knit glubs. I pack this stuff year-round. In the Yooperland and even the northern part of Troll-land, morning temps can get down into the 30s even in July. Tonight I added a second pair of socks, ski-band, and scarf, albeit a heavy cotton summer scarf, not one of my winter wools, to my suitcase. I did not pack my YakTrax. I DID NOT PACK MY YAKTRAX!!!! I DID NOT PACK MY YAKTRAX!!! Noooooooooo!

We have had quite a few cold mornings this summer, even down here in the armpit of Troll-land. It [almost] always warmed up later or at least the next day. Today it was as cold when I walked out the Cubeland door in the late afternoon as it was when I got there this morning. I am warm enough in The Landfill that I don’t need the furnace to come on. But it’s coming and the Thermostat Wars have begun.

Love y’all,

Vote early and often (or not at all) on my title.

P.S. Rest in peace, Perry Ping[atore]. My grade school BFF’s dad, a hard-working dry-cleaner up in Sault Ste. Siberia. I remember him speaking at my old coot’s bank retirement party and saying how much the community would miss my dad’s participation in the business community. Dad continued to be a participant in the community for quite a few years, just not at the bank. I don’t know how many years Mr. Ping[atore] continued to work at his business but he was also a wonderful contributor to the community and he will be sorely missed.

Shoreline Dreams

September 10th, 2014 by kayak woman

highwaterI am not at the moomincabin this week (of course, since I, yaknow, WORK! ROIGHT?) but I wish I had been there last week because apparently this happened. If you read the article, it isn’t exactly a tidal wave. More of a seiche tide phenomenon. Gitchee Gumee is not the ocean and is therefore not affected much by the moon but it is affected by storms, hence the 3-foot seiche tide the article talks about.

Who witnessed this at our beach? We were thinking that 3-5 feet of high water might flote the Motor Bote. Good thing we pulled it out on Labor Day weekend. The kayaks are up on the bank. I don’t *think* the water got over the bank. As it turned out, our loverly friend Dashie commented on a facebook post that there was no walkable beach between Our Northern Correspondent’s place at one end of the beach until Doelle’s at the other end of the beach. Say what?

Folks, this is the stuff of my dreams. I dream all kinds of weird things about the shoreline, like extra islands in the bay and lakes behind the cabins and canals and even freighters coming inside the island. And water on the beach, and coming up through the woods, splashing around outside the cabin. I’m not sure what the beach looked like that day and how deep the water was. Wishing I could’ve been there but I can’t be in two places at once. After a pretty long hiatus from Shoreline Dreams, you can bet this phenomenon has kicked off a spate of them!

Walkin’ about with Boris and his lady friends

September 9th, 2014 by kayak woman

borisI dunno where Boris is walkin’ about these days but it is not on the Planet Earth.

When we got to Dexter to begin our 10-mile Sunday morning walkabout, we (or at least the GG) had a certain expectation about breakfast. Yeah, we’ll just go to that red-white-and-blue God Bless America resty-raunt. The Lighthouse or something? We’ve been there before. It was always fine. Regular breakfast food. Eggs over easy, hash browns, and toast. You know the drill. Say what? It is CLOSED? When’s the last time we ate there? I could swear it was last fall. And why did we not notice that it was closed a few weeks ago when we walked a different section of the Border2Border trail that ended up in Dexter?

I dunno. I always had the feeling that the place changed hands rather frequently. I dunno why. It was always a decent restaurant. I never got sick from the food there. About the only complaint I might make is that the restroom feels like a refrigerator but I’m accustomed to that from Kenny’s Pitchen so it kind of feels like home. And that makes me miss when I would walk into KP with The Comm and then Radical Betty would arrive and, at some point, Cam would announce that she was going to the refrigerator.

Anyway… I didn’t really want a big eggy, meaty breakfast that morning but I know better than to mess with the GG’s need for one (most of the time). The Dexter Bakery was open and they had loverly Danishes and croissants and what have you and something like that would’ve been fine for me. Walking breakfast. Not the GG. Heeeee had the Gall to ask if there was a BREAKFAST RESTAURANT anywhere near! No worries though. The gal behind the counter enthusiastically directed us across the street to the Chuckwagon.

We have walked past this cute little place more than a few times but I didn’t know they served breakfast. Actually, it’s mainly a pickup place. They do not have a huge breakfast menu but they had what the GG wanted and I (who wanted less food) found something completely satisfying. This is not a sit-down restaurant, except in the summer when it’s warm enough to sit outside. We shared the few seats in the indoor space with a couple who looked like they were having a more difficult time with power outages than we were (i.e., no water) and everyone there talked incessantly the whole time.

Anyway, that is Boris up there. Oh, I am sure that his name is not Boris. When you eat breakfast inside the Chuckwagon, you eat underneath this loverly longhorn bull. He is mounted on the wall because in his cantankerous old age, he learned how to use his horns to open up a gate. When his owner (who also owns the restaurant) got home to find a note on her door alerting her that Boris and his girls were out on a walkabout, she apparently decided he would be better off on a restaurant wall.

I think we will return to the Chuckwagon Restaurant!

Death march(es)

September 8th, 2014 by kayak woman

bordertoborderOkay, let’s just walk 14 miles. C’mon, it’ll be fun.

A few weeks ago, we discovered that a new section of the Border-to-Border Trail had been completed since the last time we ventured out to the Dexter area to do a little walkabout. So yesterday, we parked in downtown Dexter and walked to the Hudson Mills Metropark (approximately five miles) and back.

I’m not sure that this trail segment will be on our go-to list although we will definitely hike it again. It is a beautiful wide paved trail that supports multiple kinds of non-motorized traffic: walkers, runners, cyclists, roller-bladdersbladers (roller-bladders?), people pushing strollers or wheelchairs. There is a porta-potty (a rather tippy one) along the way and someone wonderful left a cooler of ice water and some Dixie cups on a bench. At first we thought it was for some kind of race-type event but on the return trip, I was a little thirsty and, as there didn’t seem to be any organized events going on, I helped myself. Note to self. If you *know* you are going on a 10 mile hike, schlep yer own dern water. You know that!

It was lovely but our preferences run more to woodsy foot trails, where you are walking on the ground and need to navigate over fallen trees and around water holes or posthole through deep, rotten spring Yooperland snow.

Not that this was not fun. Not at all. Just a few more people than I am accustomed to seeing on the North Country Trail or wherever. Although we did run into one of my co-workers and her husband, who happened to be on bikes, and that was really fun! I was glad we were out there on the early side because by the time we began to approach Dexter on the return trip, there were whole pelatons of cyclists coming along and a few zippety-doo-dah-fast roller-uh-bladers and just more people than I generally like to encounter on a Sunday morning. How many times can you say Good Morning? But I am glad to see people getting out and about!

So we came home and the GG grilled some brats for lunch that I rescued from the freezer and… and… then… we walked down to Kerrytown (two miles or thereabouts) for the annual Kerrytown BookFest. I have been trying to get to this event for years but we are always either out of town or I FORGET(!) about it. It is a really cool event but we were both a bit overwhelmed. When we were about at the absolute end, the GG started to head off toward downtown and I said something like, “The bathroom is that way, so why are you going this other way.” He replied with something like, “The bathroom might be that way but the Grizzly Peak (brewpub) is *this* way. Which way do you think I went?

Walk 14 miles? Was it fun? Yes yes yes it was. Move. Use it or lose it!

Love y’all,
Kayak Woman


September 7th, 2014 by kayak woman

Such a fun weekend! Almost nothing went as planned. A baggy old kayak woman needs to be shooken up from time to time though, at least in the ways she was shooken up this weekend.

So, Friday? BFF Sam (archaeologist, not dawg) and my web guru were scheduled to spend the evening with us. The loosely-laid plan was to pick up some easy take-out food and whine from The Plum and hang out at the Landfill. That slacker the GG walked downtown Friday AM and found a small Design Exhibit and our plans shifted to check out the exhibit and then eat somewhere downtown. The Oscar Tango or Jolly Pumpkin or the Grizzly or wherever. I would link to the exhibit but I’m not finding Google very helpful at the moment. It’s a Taubman thing and Tom Tjaarda is the designer. Even in that small space, there was waaaaay more than my poor little brain could take in, but waaaaay back in the corner was a sketch of the first automotive vee-hickle that I ever bought new from a dealership. The Ford Fiesta (mine was a 1979). My soon-to-be automotive engineer brother went with me to look at cars but that would be a whole ‘nother story.


So, we went to the exhibit and then we walked a couple blocks into town thinking about where we might want to eat. It was in the goddamn 90s and very humid. I wasn’t complaining too much because it has been a cool summer here but our Hotlantian friends really wanted some cool weather. Anyway, somebody mentioned our neighborhood pub, Knight’s Steakhouse (which is not downtown). I didn’t expect that they would have tables until sometime next week but the GG called and they said they could get us in. So we went back to our parking place on 2nd Street and headed over to Knight’s. (You might get a small glimpse of a real live (beautiful) archaeologist in this photo if you look carefully.)


It was loverly but ugly storm clouds were moving in and for a few minutes we were in the dark at Knights but they do have a generator so all was well and we ate and drank and danced on the tables (oh not really!) and, when we got back to The Landfill to have a wee leetle nightcap, the lights were all on. And then. Dun dun dun. Some ugly stuff happened and the power went out. It was okay. It’s still summer here and we all unplugged a bunch of things and sat and talked in the iPhone glow. So beautiful and so much fun. (And the decision to go to Knights was fortuitous because Second Street (where we parked) was heavily hit by downed trees and branches after we had parked there.)

Generally my modus operandi is to move forward and that is what we did yesterday. Gertrude got a vacation day.


We cooked The Meat on our new gas grill in the back yard. I cooked a bunch of veggies from the farmer’s market on the gas stove in the Lyme Lounge, which just happens to be in the Landfill Driveway. It is not always here. Just so you know, I managed to turn on the blasted gas burner all by myself (after instruction by the GG). I won’t go into detail here but I am afraid of matches and gas. But we’ll get to that in some other blahg entry. I am making progress! And here is my pan of veggies on the Lyme Lounge stove!


It was dark and we still didn’t know when the power would be back and here is the GG using his iPad in the Lyme Lounge. I think he needs a new facebook profile pic, don’t you?


After this, we took a walk. It was pitch black throughout the neighborhood when we began our walk and a lot of people were outside. At some point, we noticed that porch lights, etc., were on and, when we got back home, we were greeted by our loverly 4th of July red white and blue light string *lit* up. The parts of it that still light up…


We slept out in the Lyme Lounge *anyway*. It is so much fun. And I will tell you about today’s Death Walk(s) and Boris the Bull later this week.

Sorry this is so long. Love y’all,

Trailer trash

September 6th, 2014 by kayak woman

We are still without lucky-shucky. It’s actually kind of fun. At least it became fun after the GG reminded me that we could charge an iPhone via the USB port in the Lyme Lounge. Of course, that was *after* I took a shower in total pitch blackness to save my iPhone battery. What an experience! Then, when I put a new garbage bag in the Blue and Only Bathroom garbage receptacle (in pitch blackness), I was wondering why I kept seeing flickers of light. Those would be sparks, KW. Static lucky-shucky. Who knew. Alas, not something I could harness to drive all of The Landfill’s lucky-shuckial needs oak. Oak?

Anyway, we can also use the gas stove and refrigerator in the Lyme Lounge for cooking and keeping food cold. So we are doing fine. We have running hot water and we don’t need the furnace. Winter would be a different story so I suspect that a generator is in our future.

I am about at the end of iPhone typing for the day. Please try to ignore any typos. Cheers! -KW

Update! Our power is now back on. Sleeping in the Lyme Lounge tonight *anyway*. Because it’s so much fun! Love y’all!

The power is out here at the landfill

September 5th, 2014 by kayak woman

Loving having Sam & JCB here in the dark with glowing iPhones but that’s about it for tonight. I don’t want to waste lucky-shucky. You’re welcome.


September 4th, 2014 by kayak woman

beachOne of my oldest friends (H) tagged me on the Facebook “grateful” meme. Our mothers were friends waaaayyy before we were born and I believe that when H was a baby, she stayed at my house for a couple weeks or whatever. I don’t remember that (I was less than a year old and she is five months younger than me) and I don’t remember why she stayed there. That’s how far we go back.

I have lots of memories of playing with H at her house, which was a couple blocks from my grandma Margaret’s house, meaning I could *walk* there from my house, since I could walk to my grandma Margaret’s house. On the days that I stayed at my grandma’s house when the ‘rents were at bank meetings in Daytwa, etc., H and I would walk to Lincoln School together. My house was right across the street from Stinkin’ Lincoln so when I was home, I would just Red Queen over there, hoping that The Commander didn’t see that I had stashed my rubbers under the front porch.

H’s mom did not drive when we were kids. She grew up on the east coast in a city where automotive vee-hickles were not needed. The Commander, who grew up on a farm outside of Daytwa learned how to drive in a field when she was something like 12. We drove me and H and her mom and sometimes her sister all over the place (including our beloved Textile Shop in Canananada) all the time. The Commander never minded. She loved those trips with her friend and us kids. Like me, The Comm liked to drive. H’s mom eventually learned to drive!

When The Commander and I had to make the excruciatingly difficult decision to move her into assisted living, one of the reasons we chose Freighter View was because H’s mom was there. Mom never really adjusted to living there, although in her last months, she appreciated the fact that if she had not been there, she would be dead. H’s mom lived on a couple more years than The Comm and died in her sleep last fall.

H and I tried to stay in touch for a while when our kids were young but life gets complicated and then the whole time our mothers were in the same assisted living facility (I hate that word but), we never ran into each other. And then. Soo High class of 1972! Our lovely friend and classmate The Beautiful Mimi arranged an, ulp, 60th birthday party for all of us. On the Valley Camp lake freighter museum, of all places. H and I reconnected there. She is beautiful and wonderful and very sweet and I still love her.

I’m in a quandary. I think I might do the meme but I will have to do it in a KW kind of way.

But today, here is what I am grateful for (these are not in any order): 1) my coffee buddies (yes, it’s budd*ies* now that Sari has quit her job) 2) my job and co-workers, all of whom treat other human beings with some modicum of respect even on the rare bad day 3) my family(ies), Fin, Cfam, Mac, etc., I think I only needed to name three things but reconnecting with H is one of the things I am grateful for so I guess that’s number 4.

Love y’all,

P.S. Last but not least! My BFF Sam, who is scheduled to arrive here tomorrow for dinner! Man, how could I fergit my Sam? And, oh man, my blahg friends! How did I fergit them? Kee-reist!

Tagging everyone!

No Blue Angels today

September 3rd, 2014 by kayak woman

grillmeisterIt turned out that yesterday’s fighter jets were indeed the Blue Angels. I figured this out via facebook when a friend over in the Lansing area posted about them flying around over there.

I love watching fighter jets although they always make me ride my edge a bit. Back in the Jurassic Age, when Kincheloe AFB was situated 15 miles or so south of Sault Ste. Siberia, all kinds of jets used to fly over our beach, including low-flying B52s. I will remember forever the days when my dad and my uncle Duke (who were both WWII pilots) would hear a B52 coming up from the south and RUN LIKE HELL out of the cabin and down to the beach to watch it. With Tigger and usually a ragtag bunch of us kids in hot pursuit.

Later on, I think after Kincheloe closed down, a Piedy-type Beach Urchin became a Navy pilot and one day those of us who were on the beach were astounded by the sight of a fighter jet speeding in over the island and right straight across the bay. I was sure he was gonna hit Don & Katie’s cabin but he hopped up over it at the last possible nano-second. At least it seemed like that to me. We knew who it was. I think both of those old coots (dad and Duke) were there then but I can’t totally remember.

Miss those old characters. They would have Coffee Royale in the morning and I would hide my NYT crossword puzzle books from Duke, who would invariably fill in the puzzles in my book and sometimes annotate the answers. If he managed to find my books. I have the NYT xword app on my iPhone these days and I am getting pretty good at those things. Although this particular week, I have not finished either the Tuesday or Wednesday puzz. What is up with that?

Love y’all,

P.S. I need another book to read. After a bit of a hiatus from reading books, I read THREE of them this summer and LOVED each one of them, different as they were. Lemme see… 1Q84, The Snow Child (read it in a few hours, the day I was actually sick enough to take a sick day), and The Goldfinch. Need something new! Fiction. Not too light, not too heavy, I do like to care about the characters.

Oh right, I do have a blahg

September 2nd, 2014 by kayak woman

And I have a sunflower, or two. Well, I do not actually have my own personal sunflower. The GG planted these and they actually grew this year! Rabbit Proof Fence. (Watch the movie some time. It’s a good one.)


It is the Tuesday after Labor Day and I bet that all the schools are full of excitement, since it’s the first day. The rest of us systems analysts and things are kind of asking something like, “What was I doing last week?” Traffic this morning? Kee-reist! At least the big double-trailer gravel hauler that turned over on the freeway didn’t hamper my commute. Those things are everywhere this year and why the heck are they allowed on the freeway anyway. I hate when I have to merge behind one.

Fun stuff! I needed to clear my head before a meeting this afternoon, so I took a walk. I heard a low-flying jet and stopped to scan the skies for one. Sometimes passenger jets approach Detroit Metro kind of low over Ann Arbor. Finally the “jet” came into view. Except it wasn’t one jet. It was five fighter jets flying in formation around the Ann Arbor airport. No fancy tricks, just flying around. One of the perks of working where I do but not the only one.

It is impossible to “sneak” if you are towing the Lyme Lounge

September 1st, 2014 by kayak woman

It was a great weekend but this morning it was time to pack up and go. Since the next time we return to the moomincabin, it will be to close the place for the season, packing took a bit more thinking than usual but since we have decluttered quite a bit and don’t have The Commander’s food to deal with (miss The Comm but don’t miss moving her to town), it’s really not all that bad. We said farewell to Bugs and Horsey and reluctantly pulled the Frog Hopper out of our pine-needle-paved parking lot. Oh how I wished we were just heading off to Naomikong or Duck Lake or the Niagara Escarpment for a hiking trip. Not.

One of these days I will do the annual Labor Day Mackinac Bridge walk. I guess you could say it’s on my bucket list? I suppose it would be if I *had* a bucket list. Today, again, we drove. It was a smoother drive than, say, the year Radical Betty died and we held a memorial celebration the day before Labor Day. A couple of vee-hickles broke down on the bridge that year and it was a MESS! Mouse and her sekint cuzzint Robyn and I c-r-a-w-l-e-d over the bridge. The GG did do the walk that year along with a bunch of my Cfam out-laws and some NCT folks. Wouldn’t you know that we *saw* him riding the bus back over the bridge after his walk. I would link to that day back in 2009 (how can it be five years already?) but I was so frazzled I didn’t even write about the bridge! Anyway, people are only allowed to walk the bridge once a year and this is what it looks like when they do.


We picked up the Lyme Lounge at the Uncly Uncle’s house in Gaylord and continued on down and I was feeling a little Melon Collie (oh, nothing “pacific”, just end of summer type doldrums). And then phone calls and text messages started to arrive. First, Mouse was driving down from a northern lower camping expotition to Daytwa. For some ridiculous reason, I interpreted this to mean that she was about at the same latitude as we were so, when we hit a slowdown at Standish, I texted her about that. I didn’t hear back right away (which was OKAY because she was DRIVING) but she texted when she arrived in the D — she was waaaayyy ahead of us!

Then there was some fun Twittering and texting back and forth with Lizard Breath. Several threads but one of the funnier ones was about someone who has a kid that looks a lot like yer fave blahgger when she was little. She sent me a pic, which I won’t share but there is a resemblance and here is yers trooly making kind of a Duck Face. The friend’s kid is much cuter than meeeeee. Probably nicer and smarter too…


It was a good thing that we were direct about cleaning up and packing today (we usually are) and it was a good thing that Mouse also got outta Dodge when she did because the next communications were about severe storms in the north country. Our Partners in Porterization were also driving down today and they called to ask about weather reports. Just as I was about to call them and tell them to STOP for a while, Our Northern Correspondent Paulette texted to warn me about storms. I greatly appreciated that and I was happy to report that we were in the Birch Run area by then, which was waaaayyyy south of the storms. But I was worried about our our PiPs. Hopefully they made it back to The Planet Ann Arbor safely. Here is what the radar looked like.


Home. Unpacking. Chores. Errands. Rain! Lotsa water coming down but only a bit of the rumbly sort of thunder. Nothing severe.