Random bits of my so-called life.

Orange arguments

June 20th, 2021 by kayak woman

That’s my title but it is not [mostly] my topic.

The Landfill Freezer has been outta control since March something 2020. I hit the wall on Friday when I had to empty it THREE TIMES to find a packet of Jonah crab meat I ordered from Luke’s Lobster a few months ago and never got around to using. I wanted to use it Friday and I COULD NOT FIND IT! FINALLY! On the third emptying, I spied my little packet of crab hanging off the back of the second shelf from the bottom. Whew! I won’t tell you how much that stuff costs (the GG does NOT want to know🐽) but I was happy to find it and made a crab, kale, cannellini, pasta, lemon casserole-style dish with it.

The refrigerator has somehow seemed easier to manage and is often quite empty. Over the last few days it has gone from quite empty to overstuffed. Dangerously so, especially in the form of some gazpacho I made yesterday. I put it in a big Copco bowl topped with a silicone flower lid. After maneuvering around that contraption for a couple days and slopping some soup on the adjacent egg carton, I decided it was an accident waiting to happen and found another container with a tightly fitting lid to put it in. And then cleaned most of the rest of the refrigerator out.

So nothing very exciting here today. We won’t talk about last night’s orange arguments. I’m reading a book published in 2021 (Legends of the North Cascades) where an “orange menace” is mentioned occasionally although (so far) he seems to be a momentarily passing theme. I like the book so far but I don’t think it’ll quite get a five from me but we’ll see. I’m not all that far into it. If the author tries to jam COVID-19 into it, my rating will sink but not sure that’s in the cards. Note that I HATE the “Orange Menace” too, just hope that this novel doesn’t handle him in a ham-fisted way.

I did give a five to “The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna”, a multi-generational Italian-American family saga. I really enjoyed this book but trigger warning for sexual abuse/incest survivors. There were hard things to read but I loved the overall story and the many strong female characters. Note that most of the male characters were also “good guys” but the protagonist(s) were female.

Peeeeeas pleeeeease

June 19th, 2021 by kayak woman

’tis the season and I am gonna make up for last year by hitting up the farmers market and/or Argus for as many shelling peas as I can get my hands on. This is half of what I shelled today. I like to shell them outside but had to wait until various rain storms moved through. I waited happily. We need rain.

I did manage to snag some shelling peas last year. I think I got some from Argus? And maybe my 🐭 snagged some from the actual market? At any rate, I was grateful for the peas I was able to snag last year but it’s nice to be able to obtain them in person. I am gonna go to the market every Wednesday and Saturday (the days it’s open) to buy more until pea season is over. It’s also cool that being a permanent telecommuter, I have TIME to hit up the market on WEDNESDAYS! A little bonus today, when I approached beautiful Cygnus with my peas, etc., the young man parked next to me started gushing over her. He’d owned a Crosstrek he loved but needed a twuk (as my brother used to call them).

Shelling peas are not to be confused with sugar snap peas and if the peas are not marked, I always have to ask. A lot of people love snap peas. You don’t have to shell them. I find the pods “stringy” and am not a fan. To each her own. The peas I got Wednesday and today (from two different vendors) were GORGEOUS!

So we have had dry weather here but the eastern yooperland is so dry that I got a weather alert today to watch for faaaars. Although rain is more typical of the yooperland, we periodically have dangerously dry summers and forest fires do happen. I became aware of this when we had a dry summer when I was about 10 and actually I believe a fire tried to get going a mile or so away from us. It was in a visible, accessible location and one of my aunts (I think) spotted it and it got put out before it was able to spread. Being a highly imaginative kid, I remember being scared to go to bed every night, expecting my parents to pull us out of bed in the middle of the night to flee a forest fire. And every time we drove past the DNR (or whatever) office on our way into town, we noted Smokey Bear’s faar danger rating – low to extremely high or whatever. Kinda like the daily COVID reports we get today.

Copper River salmon on the grill, asparagus and friends (scallions and garlic scapes), and leftover rice 🐽. Peeeeeas are in ithe freezer for now.

P.S. I didn’t see our friend Victoria of Protective Fish at the market today but her booth was set up. Yaaaay!

“Tlingit Indian, MacMullan ’52”

June 18th, 2021 by kayak woman

Another artifact from my aunt Roberta made its way across town today. I was sent a picture of it and I DECISIVELY said, “I’ll take it.” This is not a framed painting. It’s a three panel “screen” with this picture painted on each screen. Roooomba will probably topple it over from its temporary spot in the front living room tomorrow.

And so… Michigan is opening up and we are all vaxxed. Am I ready for big crowds in restaurants? No no no no… It isn’t so much COVID cowardice any more (although I do NOT think we are finished with COVID), just that I’m not ready for rah rah craziness.

So we were considering getting ourselves porterized in our back yard tonight. I couldn’t do it. Not because of COVID. We have had occasional visitors to our backyard long before vaccinations were available. But I have had a busy week. The GG has been more sluggish than usual the last couple days (which is OKAY!). Then I looked around the front living room this afternoon and… This is not a hoarder house but… Boxes and grokkery bags and all kinds of other detritus. It was a cluttered mess. I’m sure that wouldn’t’ve bothered our friends but it was bothering meeeee and I didn’t have the right kind of energy to clean it up this afternoon (tomorrow) so we bagged out and did porterzoomation again.

That was all fun but… PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do NOT EVER volunteer me for a sewing prodject ever again. I own a sewing musheen. I know how to use it. I used to make my own clothes back in the day. I have done quilting and other fiber arts prodjects. I do not fix things unless I want to, especially if they involve canvas, which my trusty little Viking musheen does not really do.

I have a bit of PTSD about this dating from my days of working over at That Darn EPA when I was a 20-something. There was a guy who used to come to the window to pick up printouts and turn in test data sheets to be keypunched (yes), etc. He wasn’t creeeeeepy exactly (there were some who were) but he was older than me and not, uh, cute and I certainly didn’t look upon him as, say, boyfriend material. I was friendly with him although I always felt a bit On Guard. I suspected he had an eye toward me.

Somehow he figured out that I knew how to sew and asked me to make some sort of cover for a water bottle. Being a young woman without the wherewithal to say NOOOO, at least not to that kind of request, I agreed. I made an honest try only to figger out that my musheen could not really deal with the thick fabric/thread involved. I FREAKED OUT. I didn’t finish the prodject and avoided him like crazy about it FOREVER. We never did reconnect about it and I STILL feel guilty about that. I shouldda said NO from the getgo!

So tonight when asked to replace a canvas (I think) chair seat, I DECISIVELY answered NO! I am not a professional seamstress. I am not interested in that kind of sewing and I’m not gonna spend my non-work time on it. There are plenty of people who are and they will happily do your prodject for what I’m gonna guess would be a small fee. Some of them are on Nextdoor Neighbor. Reach out.

The GG is the one who suggested maybe I might wanna do a prodject like this. He should know better 🐽 It was all fun anyway as it always is.

Thoughts on our country’s flag

June 17th, 2021 by kayak woman

Or… not. I have been annoyed at the way I hear people (that I don’t agree with) attempt to assign meanings (that I don’t agree with) to our country’s flag. Guess what? I don’t have the writing chops for that today. Or even the thinking chops. You’re welcome! –“Lefty” Lulu 🐽🐽🐽

Today started out a little slow at teleCubelandia. I had sorta finished a few things up yesterday and a couple things I was looking forward to today got postponed. I spent a bit of time twiddling my thumbs and then I fell into a HUGE rabbit hole and I have no brainpower left.

So here are a couple more sunset pics, both sent to us by my mouse. The first is a straightforward sunset photo but 🐭 has a really good eye, not that Mr. Golden Sun doesn’t play his own starring role.

And then, as she walked back up from the beach, she realized that Oriole does a great job of reflecting a sunset.

Oriole is an orange Crosstrek and was the inspiration for me to buy Cygnus. Crosstreks had not been on my radar screen. In fact, they were so far off my radar screen that I have been walking by one in my neighbors’ driveway for YEARS and didn’t even know what it was. Of course now that my daughter and I both own Crosstreks, OF COURSE I see them EVERYWHERE, especially ORANGE ones. Cygnus is a sweet vee-hickle, especially now that the defective taaar sensor is fixed.

I am able to identify some vee-hickle makes/models but they are usually limited to those that I own or similar ones. I’m nowhere as good at it as my brother the engineer was. He knew them all by around the age of three and I will never forget one of the times my parents left us with our grandparents to travel to a banking industry meeting in Detroit. He told them OVER AND OVER to make sure to let him know if they saw a Corvette with the lights up (or was it down?🐽). And yes he became an automotive engineer (and jazz trombonist) when he grew up. Rebel that he was, it was my brother who as a GM employee originally steered us toward Japanese vee-hickles. Heck, he was already buying Hondas. I haven’t looked back. For those who disagree with that choice, a reminder that Japanese car companies employ a LOT of Americans at all levels.

Is Mercury still in retrograde?

June 16th, 2021 by kayak woman

I remain on pins and needles every time I have to boot up my work laptop. Actually I am not completely shutting it down at the end of the day like I usually do. It (so far) still boots up (with some weirdness) but after I allowed The Mother Ship to install a security patch yesterday, a popup started coming up saying “Executable blocked”. I have NO CLUE what that means. The scary part is the “program name” includes the word “Commandline”. I don’t EVER do anything at the command line on this laptop. I don’t think I can even *get* to the command line but this seems fishy to me. I am getting this popup every half hour.

I am not asking for help here. The GG was all hot to check it out but this laptop belongs to a fintech corporation and there ain’t no way he would be able to figger it out because it is LOCKED DOWN. I filed a support ticket and maybe someday they’ll get around to it? I mentioned that I had a hard crash I couldn’t recover from last week and provided that ticket number. I can’t help but wonder if this popup is related to that. Command line? Whatever happens, I still get paid so while I don’t want to experience a productivity outage, it isn’t the end of the world.

Then there is a weird thing happening with my blahg but ONLY on my phone. I have comments emailed to me like I guess a lot of small time blahggers probably do. Lately, comments are getting put into the spam folder – on my phone, NOT on my laptop. But I still miss them because I often don’t look at my laptop until late afternoon. (This is my personal laptop, I can’t access my blahg on my work laptop AT ALL and you’re welcome.) So then a couple of my cousins commented on yesterday’s blahg and their comments not only got dumped into spam but when I found them in spam, they appeared to be coming from my PacNW blahggy friend Margaret. I have NO CLUE what’s going on here. It is NOT anything Margaret did or can do anything about. I will just have to be more vigilant about checking for spam comments on my phone and/or faaarrring up my laptop to look for comments.

BTW I love comments but I am NOT a Comment Whore. This space is mainly a brain dump for me. If I actually write something that resonates with you and you feel compelled to comment, I LOVE YOU and I will probably reply to you. But it’s also fine if you don’t. I lurk on most of the blahgs I follow. Oddly, most of the folks I follow nowadays, I know in real life. What happened to those trendy Mommy Blahggers? You know what happened. Their cute little babies became teenagers and found their mommy’s blahg… 🐽🐽🐽

Love y’all,

P.S. That photo is the “sunset” last Saturday. I am now here on the green green green Planet Ann Arbor.

A cabin in Glacier

June 15th, 2021 by kayak woman

This is one of four paintings that came my way today. They were painted by my mom’s oldest sister/sib (MacMu fam) and given to my dad’s youngest sister/sib (FinFam). They were newly discovered during preparation for a move (a *good* thing but not something I feel entitled to post about here) and when asked, I DECISIVELY replied, “Sure I’ll take ’em!”

Do I really want them? No, not really. I am also trying to get rid of things. But somehow I couldn’t give Roberta’s art work away, at least not without offering it up to my MacMu cousins, her nieces and nephews of various degrees.

This painting has a story and it’s part of one of the stories I grew up with, the ones that I regret not asking for more details about when that generation was still around. At some point well before I was born, these two aunts from different families took a trip together (by train, I think) out to the American west and Roberta painted this picture of the cabin they stayed in at Glacier National Park. I’m thinking maybe Roberta was a sort of chaperone for Bubs, a much younger woman? But who knows because I didn’t ask.

Roberta was quite eccentric and I have good memories of her but boy oh boy, The Commander (3rd sib out of five) had her own issues. I think they stem from the fact that their mom (my MacMu grandma) died when The Comm was 15. I think (but again I am just conjecturing here) that Roberta may have tried to take on a mother-type role. My mom needed a mother but she needed HER mother, not her older sister who was never all that motherly that I remember.

But the good memories? Roberta taught in Japan for a few years after WWII and when I was a child, she kept me well supplied with origami paper and instruction books. I spent HOURS making origami stuff and I lived in the yooperland where most people had no clue what origami was. When I turned 13, she sent me a pair of false eyelashes. They delighted me although I was AWFUL at applying them and I bet The Comm was not all that happy. And then there was the day she met my firstborn. And the time she wrote to my moom how she wished she could adopt me and the GG (who is my HUSBAND, not my BROTHER, just to be clear).

Roberta did not have children of her own. She met Tatsuo later in life and they married when she was 70 and he was 60. She died at 98, outliving Tatsuo and all but her youngest sibling.

We won’t talk about the time I took The Comm and Roberta out to lunch in Royal Oak. Or maybe we will. They were 86 and 91 or thereabouts and they had a “fight” and The Comm threatened to leave and it was POURING RAIN so I settled them down (SOMEHOW) and fetched the Dogha to pick them up outside the restaurant and then I had to go back because my mother had left her coat there.

But I was decisive about those paintings and I don’t regret it one iota.

The Talking Moose was NOT in the system folder

June 14th, 2021 by kayak woman

I was a nervous wreck this morning worried that my laptop would still be dead and I’d have to face ANOTHER support call. And I left the slip of paper I had written the support ticket on at the moomincabin so I didn’t even have that.

So. Procrastinate for a while. Put the moomincabin laundry into the warshing musheen. Timidly open my laptop. Take a deeeeeep breath. Hit the start button. Behavior started out the same as the last time I tried to boot it up. The Dell startup screen and then weird little messages on a black screen. A list of function keys that didn’t do anything. But then. It seemed to have a change of heart. It went back to the Dell startup screen and then. Voila! Everything came back.

I took this as a sign to put my archive of specs out onto Teams. They are also backed up in “old” places but a lot of the ones on my hard drive have special annotations and things in them. It was time. Hoping this is over but will be nervous about booting up again tomorrow.

Back in the day, we had a MacPlus of some sort. I used to do all kinds of spreadsheet stuff on it for various organizations and I had to boot it up with a “floppy” disk. Remember those? One day, over and over again, I would put the boot disk in the slot. It would get almost all the way done coming up and then it would crash and burn. After about five tries, I finally called tech support aka the GG over at That Darn EPA where he worked to ask WTF? His response? “The talking moose must be in the system folder again.” Again?

And yup, another sunset from the moominbeach. I don’t have much else in the way of pics today. A laundry basket that I texted to my mouse?

The I75 SUV Speedway

June 13th, 2021 by kayak woman

The pandemic has definitely caused my freeway driving confidence to take a hit. I can’t exactly figger out why. I75 has always had the capability of being intimidating. Aggressive drivers galore, monster backups, ice storms in the winter, and once we were HIT BY A TORNADO.

Somehow I am more freaked out by intense traffic since the pandemic started. I’m working on that but I did take a couple of adjacent by-ways today just to get away from it all for a while. I/we do that sometimes anyway. Eventually I had to suck it up and get back onto the freeway. I made it safely and even got gas. Oh, not that I haven’t pumped gas since the pandemic but somehow I have to “psych” myself up more now. The GG just galumphs along as usual. Male/female differences? Polly-tickle differences? Lingering low-level anxiety? I’m not sure. I *think* I like the late-model vee-hickle feature that alerts you when somebody is passing you by lighting a light on the mirror? I’ve had it on two vee-hickles now.

Haven’t used a rest area yet but I think that’s only a matter of time. First thing I did after my five hour drive (even before unloading Cygnus) was sit down to slowly drink a big glass of water.

Anyway. Mini-faaaar to put out upon returning to the Landfill. A paper car insurance bill had arrived in a batch of held mail and it was OVERDUE when I opened it. This was not our regular invoice. I know when that one is scheduled to be paid and I am ON IT. This was related to some changes we made recently and I was not expecting it. I had to muddle a bit because I couldn’t pay it via the website but was able to do it by phone and I see a pending transaction so hopefully all is well. (Yay for on-line banking 🐽)

All is well here. Our flowers are doing great and 🐭 didn’t even have to water them because there was enough rain. Maybe she’ll get the chance to water flowers at the moomincabin. And it actually isn’t tooooo hot here. Today. I didn’t look at the forecast.

The pic is from sometime last week. The freighter is the Stewart Cort, first 1000-footer on the Great Lakes back in 1971.

Back and forth

June 12th, 2021 by kayak woman

Today was such a fun day here. I dropped off some recycle in Sault Ste. Siberia and then hit up Meijer (masked) for a few items.

And then dropped off a green bag of garbage up at the res.

Later in the day the Twinz of Terror and the UU’s son-in-law came up for dinner. Salmon, rice, corn, and asparagus. This was sooo much fun and I had a great time talking to s-i-l. I was tasked to get some corn. I didn’t really want to drive all the way into Meijer to get corn so I took a chance on the park store a couple miles down the road and I scored.

The boyz have gone back to their campsite and I am settling down for the night and contemplating my re-entry onto The Planet Ann Arbor. It is soooo hard to go back and forth.

I sure hope tomorrow’s drive doesn’t feature lots of jaffick trams or severe weather…

Disconnected but tethered with Mercury in retrograde

June 11th, 2021 by kayak woman

What a craptastic day this was. As least in terms of work…

Booted up my laptop like I do every day. Everything was all right. Got my VPN going. Opened up email. Clicked on the first spam message and hit the delete button. Spinning ball… Okay, didn’t think anything of it. Sometimes computers need to take little cat naps. Then. Dun dun dun… Blue screen of death. There was a (somewhat) encouraging message that Windows was collecting data and would restart shortly. There was a (somewhat) comforting percentage informing me of how far Windows had gotten in the process. 0%. Okay, I’ll wait. 0%. After a looooong time still 0%.

I am pretty brave about hard rrre-astarts so that’s what I did. No love.

Texted my boss to get the support TELEPHONE NUMBER. I *usually* deal with technical issues (fortunately rare) via chat. But iffya can’t boot up yer ‘puter, ya can’t chat, roight?

On the third try, I got to a PERSON without getting disconnected. (I much prefer chat.) I described the problem (I had taken a picture of the blue screen message) and provided my laptop serial number and other requested info. My support guy was great as far as it went but he couldn’t do anything about my problem, which needed to be escalated to my nearest business unit, which is Detroit. Detroit? For a nano-second that threw me for a loop even though I knew Detroit was the closest OFFICE to my telecommuting location and that WAS my location as far as support was concerned. Just odd to work in Ann Arbor for 14 years and suddenly be working in Detroit except still working in A2 or wherever… I almost said something like, “actually I’m working on the Shores of Gitchee Gumee,” but I suspected this person was in India and who knew if he was familiar with Lake Superior. So I caught myself and said, “Yes, Detroit.”

So I waited ALL DAY for a call that never came. I decided not to pursue it further today. My boss’s reaction was something like, “Hey, you get a free day!” I had a nice day reading (and swatting *moe*-skee-*toes*) in a great location but I couldn’t GO anywhere because I needed to be near my laptop when my callback came, which it didn’t. But I will be back in my primary work location on The Planet Ann Arbor on Monday and I will be DOGGING it then.

The pic is courtesy of the GG and he actually sent me a full-size pic for once so you can embiggen it (and it’s not a goddamn bear). The presence of these deer in our front yard delayed yesterday’s early morning laundromat trip for five minutes or so. The freighter behind them only adds to the pic (embiggen). There are certainly a lot of deer around here but we don’t see them all that often, I think because there is a huge forest habitat for them around here and we don’t have gardens to entice them.

We do seem to have a resident hare this year. I haven’t gotten a pic yet and not sure what to name him/her.

Mr. Clean

June 10th, 2021 by kayak woman

I. Took. A. BIG. Load. Of. Laundry. To. The. Laundromat. Today. Yay! Another step back into life. I went EARLY. It opens at 7:00 AM and I didn’t quiiiite make it that early but I was there well before eight. Woke up at 5-something, made a trip down to the Water Closet, got buzzed by a f*cking *moe*-skee-*toe* for 20 minutes or so, then fell back asleep. It was okay. Almost no one was in there. There were a couple un-maskers around (despite the fact that there is a sign on the door saying masks are required). I wore a mask. The GG did not. He also did not stay around to doooo the laundry. He had breakfast at Frank’s. With my enthusiastic blessing. I am a Washer Woman extroardinaire and I prefer to do it myself although I do miss the days when various beach urchins would accompany me to the laundromat. BTW, it was warm enough here in the yooperland this morning that I sat outside (unmasked) while my laundry did its thing.

One of the reasons I allowed the GG to come with me is because it’s been TWO YEARS since I have gone to the laundromat. I needed him to drive so I could make sure I was prepared. Laundry pods? Check. $20 bill (to get quarters)? Check. Ziplock bag to put the quarters in? Check. Do I know my NEW CAR well enough to not put my laundry into somebody else’s new car? Check. Mask? That’s not something I needed two years ago but I had one in my pocket. Check. It’s okay, I did it all just fine.

So then. The GG got on a ROLL and moved EVERYTHING in the moomincabin living area outside or at least out of the way and CLEANED from top to bottom. It doesn’t look all that different but it FEELS clean and there’s a lingering smell of Pine-Sol, his fave cleaner. There may be some who don’t like that smell. I’m just happy that it’s CLEAN here and somebody else did it (while I earned money working-from-camping-trailer-in-the-moomincabin-yard).

It is excruciatingly hard to keep the floors clean in this place (not to mention that we have ANCIENT linoleum tiles that are FUGLY as all getout). The main problem these days is pine needles and other forest floor debris. When there are little kids around, SAND is a big problem. When there are DOGS around, DOG FUR is a big problem. We don’t have dogs around here any more, at least not usually. Mia visited a few years ago for a couple days and she was fine.

When I was a kid, we had Tigger. She was a stray we adopted and whatever mix of breeds were in her resulted in the look of a small golden retriever. So long hair. The Commander was strict about where she was allowed. At the moomincabin she had a comfy box although she often slept under the cabin next to the warm chimney but she was NOT allowed on the couch. At our shabby little bungalow in town she was NOT allowed anywhere near the living room and NOT allowed on the couch. We had one of those dangereuse expandable child gates to keep her from getting to the living room and she was TERRIFIED of it. But also. One day we were gone and somebody had forgotten to put the gate up. When we got home, we caught her SHEEPISHLY getting down off the couch. Did we punish her? No we did not. We laughed. She was a wonderful wonderful VERY intelligent doggy and we loved her.

My brother had dogs and I loved them and so did my mom but she didn’t like them on the couch. Me? I was a one-dog woman and Tigger was my dog.

P.S. We adopted Tig when I was five because I was TERRIFIED of dogs as a young child. After maybe six hours of being terrified of Tigger and after a whole bunch of non-terrified cousins played with her, she fell asleep. In a box. By the next morning I was petting her and picking her up and I have never been categorically afraid of dogs since.

A beach urchin wearing her dad’s expression

June 9th, 2021 by kayak woman

…and orthopedic shoes (I think) to correct a toe that pointed in. The first shoes I remember were little old navy blue lace-up Keds tennis shoes. But yeah, that particular expression mimics my dad. Other times I look more like a MacMu. “My MacMullan is showing,” is what I like to say.

When I first worked for the LSCHP, he once told me I looked scary. After a split-second I realized I was making an expression my dad used to make. It wasn’t scary to me when my dad made it because I knew it was made for fun but I could understand why someone else might think it was. It’s all kind of funny because the LSCHP is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever known but he could be VERY scary when he needed to be although he didn’t exactly let his face show it. But that’s because if you need to be scary (even if you don’t want to be), you can’t let your face show it. My dad and granddaddy knew that too as small town bankers.

A minor mystery about this pic is that it is in COLOR. This was the mid-50s and I don’t think my parents owned a color camera until much later. So I’m guessing my uncle took this pic? He was an avid photographer and early adopter of various camera gear. He also excelled at getting uglies of all of us, which provided many good laughs when he presented family slide shows. I can still remember Radical Betty saying, “What was said?” every time a certain slide showed up where she, Susel, and npJane were lined up on a couch making absolutely awful faces.

I am perched on the beach bank playing with a pail and there are pulp logs visible behind me. We had tons of those on the moominbeach back in those days, escapees from big log booms floated (herded) down the St. Marys to the paper plant in Soo Ontario. They were great building material for forts and cocktail tables on the beach and play structures wherever and I think there were even some beds made from them in the Old Cabin back in the day.

There are sunsets and sunsets and sunsets. I dunno how many sunsets were captured on film by the generation above me. I do know that now that I can pull a phone/computer/camera out of my pocket and capture a high resolution COLOR image, there are tons of them. On my phone/computer/camera alone, not to mention all the other members of the moominbeach community, friends and family. This was last night’s. My cousin-neighbor Judd got a Scary Face version of this same sunset and I have seen other people’s photos posted.

Love y’all and g’night, KW


June 8th, 2021 by kayak woman

It was a nice quiet six days here alone at the moomincabin and now the GG is back and sitting around on the deck in his underwear. Green underwear no less. Grass green. What is the world coming to? At least nobody can see him unless they come over to visit and people really aren’t that much. I don’t think we’re all quiiiiite over COVID yet, especially introverts like me.

I hit up Meijer again today, just after eight. Knock on wood, I am okay with stores again. All of the employees are masked. Most of the customers are masked (including me) and I can stay away from those who are not. The ingredient I couldn’t find today was dry sherry. I have a couple recipes that I put a splash of sherry into, therefore I don’t buy it very often and it seems to be one of those things that gets moved around. I wanted to make one of those recipes tonight and there’s no sherry at the moomincabin. My gal found it today (yay). This was not a young person although probably younger than me and I always wonder when I encounter older folks working with the public if they have worked throughout COVID. I admit to feeling some guilt that I could so easily hole up for the duration. We’re all human beings and I was maybe luckier than some. I ran a cash register (an old fashioned one) as a kid and I LOVED it. Except for the pay.

And then my debit card didn’t work AGAIN. I had another card that did. I may have to order something online to make sure it hasn’t been blocked for suspected fraud or something AGAIN. Nope. It’s just me sitting on my you-know-what ordering stuff online during a pandemic.

The rest of the day was work work work and hot hot hot. It culminated in an email bout with Mr. Bear that turned my brain into Swiss cheese. And then Mr. Green Undies arrived. Hey, that reminded me of Mr. Green Jeans! I couldn’t remember what show he was on so I did the google (Captain Kangaroo) and couldn’t help but notice that at the top of the google’s “people also ask” questions was an eye-opening “Was Mr. Green Jeans Frank Zappa’s father?” No. He wasn’t.

I think I’ll stop now. Like I said, my brain is Swiss cheese 🐽

Bear bait

June 7th, 2021 by kayak woman

Can you tell that the aminal on the left is a bare bear? I swear the GG cannot seem to RELIABLY text me a FULL SIZE pic of anything. Embiggening this one doesn’t help much. But a bear is what it is and we (me and the beach urchins) received this pic sometime late this morning. BTW, the GG is WALKING down that road and he is walking ALONE! No harem today.

Okay, so yes it is a bare bear and he is solo hiking. I already said that. The next text was that THE BARE BEAR started WALKING TOWARD HIM! He scared it away and I will have to be a bit cryptic about how he did that on my blahg. It involved an Implement Of Too Much Fun and while I am not rabidly anti-IOTMF, I am not sure that this particular IOTMF would be very handy in the event that the bare bear was not deterred by the warning.

Okay. But then. I didn’t hear from the GG again for HOURS!!! That is normally okay but… Like… Did the bear STAY away? Did it come back? I wanted to know that he was alive. Unfortunately there is VERY spotty service in the Porcupine Mountains and I did not hear until very recently. To be honest I figgered he was okay but was still glad to hear from him. He couldda waited until the end of the day to let us know about the bear encounter and its successful outcome.

Oh, the whole bare bear thing? We do NOT have ANY BEARS in southeast lower Michigan. They do not live there. A number of years ago there were bear sightings in the village of Dexter, 10 miles west of my house the Landfill, on the far west side of the Planet Ann Arbor. Except I don’t think anyone ever actually SAW a REAL bear. Because they are NOT THERE! The cub reporter who was assigned to follow the story on mLive (our online local news source) insisted on spelling it “bare”. A bare bear? I gnoffed and gnoffed at that but only after I realized it took me most of the way through the article to notice the misspelling. None of us are perfect, are we?

Hot or Not

June 6th, 2021 by kayak woman

Serious heat wave. I walked and hung out on the beach early this morning. By the time I was ready to head back down there again, Mr. Golden Sun was waaaaay too hot and bright for me so I hung out on the deck instead. A late afternoon breeze mitigated the heat a bit but also brought down a branch out by the garage. I haven’t investigated that yet but it didn’t sound big. It’s a wee bit early in the season for a dip in Gitchee Gumee so I’m contemplating Second Shower. I’ll try the beach again at sunset. The pic is from last night.

Back when I was a Bikini Girl (in the Jurassic Age🐽) I was a sun worshiper. I am a “blonde” but my skin tans pretty well (after burning) and back in the day I’d’ve been all Hawaiian Tropic’ed up on my striped beach towel in the sand. Before y’all get toooo judgmental about this, consider that the moominbeach is in the great lake state’s yooperland, not Fla. We have like nine months outta the year when we completely cover our skin BECAUSE WE ARE COLD! And some summers are COLD! I remember meeting Radical Betty on the beach one July day and she had a winter jacket and GLOVES on and said, “We just get a little BOX of summer!” in a disgusted tone of voice.

I stopped exposing my skin to Mr. Golden Sun a while back. I mean I stopped STUPIDLY exposing my skin. I think some exposure is good, especially in a northern clime. I do NOT wear bikinis any more (you’re welcome) and I simply don’t care about getting a tan any more. I have a bunch of GREAT sunhats from Sunday Afternoon. Three or four of them are at the moomincabin and are available for any visitors to use. I wash my hair EVERY DAY and haven’t had lice since my adult children were in elementary school. Oh man that was fun. I had a three day diarrhea bug and lice at the same time… 🐽

Green Bags on the Road to Nowhere

June 5th, 2021 by kayak woman

I almost can’t believe I took this pic 18 years ago! Holy mackerel. It is one of a series of pics showing the process my parents went through each week when they hauled their garbage up the road for pickup. For reasons I can’t adequately articulate, this process was an ORDEAL! Garbage went into big blue bags and plenty of blue language was flung about as they argued their way through the process, which happened EVERY WEEK!

DISCLAIMER: Blue language or not, these folks allowed me to photograph them doing this and even hammed it up a bit. It was a source of stress but they knew it and I think it was all part of their “routine”.

After The Commander died, I had no clue what to do with moomincabin garbage. I think the first post-Commander summer my cousin the Mean Old Grunchie Old Grinchie took it somewhere 🧡🧡🧡

The next year I had to get serious about the garbage. I can schlep a long weekend’s garbage home to The Planet Ann Arbor. Any more than that and it’s difficult. But I didn’t want to pay for a weekly service because I wasn’t going to be here all summer. What to do…

The answer came via our friends of porterzoomation, who have a cabin a bit to the west of us. The solution was GREEN BAGS! So we have switched colors since 2003 from blue to green. But we no longer have to struggle with hauling a big can up to the top of the two-track every week. Instead… We buy our green bags at the Bay Mart gas station, fill them up, and drop them off whenever the Bay Mills Indian Community trash compactor is open.

I dropped a bag off today. Our friends of porterzoomation texted me an alert that the trash compactor has moved from its former location across the street from the casino up to a facility off Plantation Road aka the road to nowhere. We’ll talk about Plantation Road and the old dump some other day. I had a great experience taking a green bag up there today in Cygnus and the young trash compactor attendant had Cygnus’s trunk open and my green bag out before I could even put my mask on and go back there to pop the trunk.

I also went to MEIJER this morning! I masked because. I felt fine there and even asked an employee where the bread crumbs were!

And I got the homemade bread 🐽

June 4th, 2021 by kayak woman

My cousin-neighbors and Our Northern Correspondent know I’m here but I’m hidden from the view of the nearest Piedy cabin by the Old Cabin. So when B stopped by the Old Cabin to gift My Dear Uncle Harry with homemade bread this afternoon, I was hanging out on our deck after my work day and I think I startled her a bit when I called out, “Nobody’s there.”

I have known B my whole life. She’s the youngest of seven and almost a year older than me (but who’s counting). I didn’t see her at all last summer because you know why. So there we were standing fewer than six feet apart talking like we always have. Unmasked. Oh the awkwardness we experience as we re-enter physical social spaces. I did a little back beat and said, “BTW I am fully vaxxed.” I figured she was too and I was right. I don’t think there are many COVIDiots on this beach.

I explained my work situation (she’s been retaaarrred from teaching/counseling for a few years). I told her how Harry was doing (fine!) and about the Little Free Library habit he has developed since his wife (my dad’s baby sis) died. She died at the beginning of COVID but not FROM COVID although the [necessary] protocols established for COVID probably contributed.

I have a balaclava here with me? Yes. I have not used it since a week ago. The moomincabin was a bit chilly this morning so I wore my polartech jacket inside until I realized that it was warmer OUTSIDE than IN. That’s a common summer condition here depending on the wind direction, etc. So I put the screen in the back door and opened up some windows. It was hotter than Hades on the beach this afternoon so here I am on the deck and those are this year’s Memorial Day impatiens to commemorate The Commander aka my mother. This year I am here to water them. Hooray!

TGIF and a chore/errand day tomorrow. Cheers! KW

Tree face

June 3rd, 2021 by kayak woman

I am not one of those people who look for faces everywhere but last Friday night Mr. Golden Sun was almost blindingly bright and I happened to look out of one of our picture windows to see this face staring back at me on this red pine! I have never noticed the face before.

We have red pines and white pines and tamarack and birch and all kinds of other yooperland trees here. I know the difference between red and white pine because my FinFam granddaddy walked me and some cousins down the old two-track when I was a little kid and pointed out the differences between them.

Only cousins of a certain age were invited on that walk. Older cousins were busy with older cousin stuff and had probably already had this lesson. Younger cousins were not deemed ready for a nature lesson. He loved babies (I remember his gentle touch with me when I was a small child) but didn’t want to deal with them on an educational forest walk.

I worked from “home” today. Like I always do. Home can be pretty much anywhere now for people in my now defunct office and for me it was on the Shores of Gitchee Gumee. I got a lot of work done today. I also swatted a helluva lot of MOE-skee-TOES.

Thank you granddaddy for buying this beach for our family. It’s going on 100 years now and your grandchildren are keeping it going. I hope you are happy about that as well as the fact that this granddaughter (meeee) earns a good living and can do it working from the cabin her parents built on the beach you bought. You probably had no idea this kind of thing would ever happen and it kind of blows my mind too 🧡🧡🧡

The Daily Bear-On-Deck Report

June 2nd, 2021 by kayak woman

First of all no, the pic has nothing to do with bears or yooperland decks. This is Cubelandia. Empty. My cube was somewhere in the vicinity of that pole. I think it was in the QA Food Cube, which was next to my cube. A couple of those doors to the right of the pole lead to the lunchroom, which I had a view of from my cube. I stole the pic from Amazon Woman who was there ALL DAY the last day and took a bunch of pics. I was always careful about posting pics of Cubelandia because it is a secure workplace and you can’t be too careful. But since we are now out for good, I think this one is okay and apologies to AW for stealing her pic (she doesn’t know about my blahg). The last pic was of her finger hitting the light switch.

So. The Daily Bear-On-Deck Report. For several days in a row Our Northern Correspondent has texted me the location (her deck, P&G’s deck, whatever) and time of bear sightings. Dog vs. bear behavior if the deck-owners also own dogs. This morning I did not get a DECK report exactly. What I got was a pic of BIG BEAR POOP on the ground in front of her house. I had a half thought of posting it but in the end decided it wasn’t really appropriate for a [mostly] G-rated blahg. I did text it to a few people and the GG replied with a question that wasn’t very polite 🐽

I have never actually seen a bear here although I have certainly seen scat, just not near the moomincabin. I think one possible reason we don’t see them is because there is nothing much on our deck that would attract attention. We stopped feeding hummingbirds many years ago (because neighbors were finding bears at their feeders) and I keep garbage securely locked up in the garage until I’m ready to take it up to the res to dump (a wonderful service!). Not that others are not doing what they can to discourage bears. At this time of year I think most people keep bird feeders empty.

Years ago, we had a rare hot night and I wanted to keep the screens in the doors all night. My old coot was adamant that we put the glass windows back in so bears wouldn’t get in. I thought he was being overly cautious but my parents did live here all summer. They “moved out” around 4th of July and returned to their house in Sault Ste. Siberia at the sight of the first snowflake. He may have known more than I did and with the Daily Bear-On-Deck Report, I am re-thinking a bit.

I would probably do something like my parents did if I lived in Sault Ste. Siberia as an adult. But. I live on The Planet Ann Arbor. I have LOVED A2 since I was a little kid visiting my cousins there and I LOVED bringing up my kids there, and I LOVE living there now. And I LOVE it in the summer. So I forever struggle with life as a hybrid yooper/annarborite, traveling back and forth.

And… Bear-On-Deck hyphens are poetically intentional 👺.

Missed opportunity

June 1st, 2021 by kayak woman

Do you want to go for a bote ride? Well, no… I wouldda had to change my clothes. I had some kitchen work to do, cooking prep and putting back together the under-sink area that I cleaned within an inch of its life today. And I was reading a really good book and wanted to finish it. I am telecommuting this week but The Mother Ship gave us a freebie day off today so my work “week” starts tomorrow. But then again (duh), I telecommute EVERY day but I am doing it from the moomincabin this week.

Anyway, I missed a beautiful trip over dead calm seas to check out the salty in the parking place. The Whistler has been there since last evening. I think it had to stop there because of some kind of problem but not sure what because usually the pilot botes are quick to assist salties through the St Marys.

I follow a pilot boat guy on Insty. He posts a lot of pics and video of climbing up and down ladders onto salties to drive them through the St. Marys River system. These are interspersed with pics of tornado chasing out in Colorado. I can’t figger out his schedule. One minute he’s piloting freighters through the Soo Locks, the next he’s chasing tornadoes (which are almost non-existent in Lake Superior). All I can say is what a job! Except I wouldn’t like those ladders… But this pilot bote guy wasn’t around to deal with Whistler or the Finnborg, which came down late this afternoon.

Dinner tonight? Beef tenderloin and sea scallop kebabs with veggie kebabs, rice, and sliced heirloom tomatoes. Plenty leftover for tomorrow night!