Random bits of my so-called life.

A mountain lion salute on Prince Day

June 30th, 2016 by kayak woman

catlionI tried to catch this customer on “film” two mornings in a row this week. He avoided me the first day but yesterday he sat there and glared me down for a long enough time that I could get a picture. And yes, I mean “glared”, not “stared”.

I do *not* have a pic of the Prince Triplets at Cubelandia today. Me, Mary, and KennyP were all wearing royal purple tops. In keeping with her wonderful over-the-top personality, KennyP had the most flamboyent outfit. Mary and I were wearing purple sweaters over whatever, in my case, the regular Chico’s traveler black tank top that is a staple of my “uniform”. We’ll go into “uniforms” some other day but that term (for me) originated with The Commander and I could go on and on about where I think that kind of thing came from (lunches at Kenny’s Pitchen) but I won’t. At least not today.

It wasn’t until the end of the day that someone mentioned our clothing in terms of Prince. I don’t know what Prince’s timeline was exactly but I sort of think he might have hit the big time when people like Mouse were demanding things like, “Dinosaurs on!” whenever I got into the car. Wee Sing Dinosaurs. I did the 60s and most of the 70s. The 80s are [arguably] lost to me. The 90s? I was driving tweens and teens all over The Planet Ann Arbor in the POC with 89X (alternative rock) playing in the background and the car clock seven minutes fast. They may not have known it (or maybe they did [wink]) but I LOVED IT! Oasis was one of my faves. Actually, all of the kids knew about the POC clock. 💜

Anyway, we decided that since so many of us were wearing purple today that we were honoring Prince, whether or not he gives a god damn that we are doing that, given where he is now. Mary is only a couple years younger than me (and has teenage grandchildren) but she is a fan. I’m not sure what KennyP thinks about Prince. I’m thinking I should revisit his music…

What I get paid to do

June 29th, 2016 by kayak woman

Can I just say that today I went to about the nicest retirement party ever? I have been to a few. I have been to bland buffets and cash bars in banquet halls and I have been to small affairs in nice restaurants and once a couple of long time EPA employees arranged to be helicoptered off the EPA roof and there was music and dancing at that one. I didn’t go to The Pensioner’s event at all. I can’t even exactly remember what it was. Lunch or drinks or something. I’m sure he was happy with it. I know he didn’t want a whole bunch of folderol.

The Queen Bee’s retirement party? It was today and can I just say that she herself provided the entertainment?

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Like The Pensioner, she did not want a whole big bunch of folderol. She didn’t want a big fancy event somewhere and she implored The Benevolent Despot not to say a bunch of nice things about her. He of course turned that on its head, pointing out all of the reasons we were “getting rid” of her. You had to be there and if we weren’t all a big bunch of nerds, there wouldn’t have been a dry eye in the house. We are gonna miss the QB. She has something like 40 years with the company (actually several companies, as the fintech industry has morphed over the years, I myself have worked for the most recent two) and she is greatly beloved by many.

The party? Well, we had a release celebration with a pizza lunch in one of the large conference rooms but that wasn’t really all about the QB although she was given her last “award”. Later in the afternoon, there were baked goods from Zingerman’s in the lunch room for everyone in the building, quite a few of whom worked with the QB in some of her earlier incarnations. She played her harp for the duration and beyond and her husband (who works there too and also plays the harp) took over when people (like me) started asking her a gazillion questions about playing the harp. She was making me think about dusting off my musical instruments again (and buying a harp?) but we’ll talk about that some other day… … …

She has also been passing out gifts. I refused the BAI documentation that she had collected and bound with one o’ them thar handy dandy binding musheens. I remember when we were all learning about BAI files, their structure and format. Nowadays I could spout off BAI file structure and format at length and at the drop of a hat. I don’t need that documentation and she knows it. But she also printed out copies of the diagram below for all of us and it is now hanging in my cube. I will frame it after I [eventually] leave that place.

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I did not create this diagram. My handwriting is much more meticulous than that even on a bad day. The guy who DID create it (FZ) is a GENIUS! Is this diagram easy to follow? No, it is not. But follow it we did, one chunk at a time, which is how you eat an elephant. A number of years ago we embarked upon a prodject to move a major piece of functionality onto a new platform. We are almost there now and this was our starting point.

And so, when I got home tonight, there were various recyclables sitting around including a sales receipt from a pet supply store. What?!? What pet? It turns out that one of The Pensioner’s Prodjects today was to create a terrarium and he needed activated charcoal.

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Apparently he picked this big jug out of someone’s trash. I had seen it from the bathroom window and was kind of wondering where it came from. I love the terrarium. I won’t detail some of our earlier conversations in which I bugged the GG to make a Kiwanis run tomorrow morning and then asked him to impulse-buy a garden peacock at Downtown Home and Garden as a buddy for ‘hicken. I am not into buying a lot of stuff but I covet the peacock. And the terrarium bottle is okay with me too. I do want to get rid of some of the billion lamps we have around here but maybe that needs to wait for a future entry.

Love you all. Especially love the Queen Bee (who doesn’t read this blahg of blather). -Kayak Woman

Much ado about nothing. Really.

June 28th, 2016 by kayak woman

Ho hum. My team (all two of us) met with our new supervisor (as of next week after the Queen Bee retires). Although I love the new QB (don’t have a blahg handle for her yet), it was kind of a no-brainer since I have been working *with* her for umpteen gazillion years and she knows me/us pretty well and can grasp the relatively few challenges we face in our jobs because she also knows all of the other personnel that we *all* work with and I expect things to go on pretty much as they have albeit maybe with a bit more interaction.

And sigh… I don’t mind when people tag me on facebook even if the tag links to an Ugly or something. But please don’t tag me if you think I might be an expert at something. Plants in particular. There are a few people (beloved to me by the way, who I don’t think read this blahg of blather) who often seem to conflate my love of being outdoors and photographing flora and whatever fauna I can catch with my iPhone into plant identification expertise. I actually can identify some plants. They are mostly northern woods wildflowers and I know them after many years of hiking with people who KNOW what they are. Beyond that? People, plant identification is not my strong suit! I do not know what that thing is in your garden or what to do about it. I earn my pretty darn good pay by talking to computers.

That said, here is some flora that I encountered on our last morning at the moomincabin on Engineers Day weekend. It had rained and I always love to take photos in the rain. So here is a pine tree in flower. I wish I could tell you whether this is a red pine or a white pine. I do actually know the difference thanks to my granddaddy (I was VERY young when he took us cousins on a walk down the old road to the Three Sisters and taught us about the pine trees around our beach). But I couldn’t tell you which kind of tree this is in this close-up. I want to say White pine but… We have both in our forest and I’m just not sure. But look at that purple.

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Next up we have what I have come to know as service berry. I think that’s what it’s called but not sure because not plant identification person. When I was a beach urchin, we called these berries sugar plums. They turn into sorta big purple berries and they are edible and sweet. But not plentiful enough to make pies out of and maybe not the right thing either. Service berry pie? Hmmm….

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Lastly, I think this flower will eventually turn into red berries. We called them bunchberries. I’m not sure that’s the proper name for them. We were taught not to eat them. Not sure if they are poisonous or just unpalatable but we did not eat them.

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We also knew not to eat snakeberries, which are blue but are not blueberries.

Brexit Scexit [Texit]

June 27th, 2016 by kayak woman

crayfishSaid Mr. Nyet (Russian) to Mr. Luv (Scot). Or something like that. Me? This morning? I was running around tripping over myself like a chicken with its head cut off trying to git outta here and over to Cubelandia today. When I got there I was actually kind of exhausted. That’s not normally how I approach Monday mornings. I’m complicated when it comes to Mondays. I actually welcome the beginning of a new work week. It takes my brain a while to engage though. And that’s okay with the folks I work for/with. We had a rather epic Monday today. I heard Louie-Louiiiii say something like, “It’s weird here today.” Indeed.

11 years ago today it was also a weird Monday, a much weirder Monday than today. Backing up a day, we were at Houghton Lake and I actually had a blasted *argument* with the Uncly Uncle about garbage. Specifically who would schlep it home. I told him I didn’t have room for it in my handy dandy Planet Ann Arbor garbage cart and he sneaked it into the back of my vee-hickle *anyway*. This cracks me up nowadays because nowadays there is rarely more than one tall kitchen bag of garbage in my garbage cart. And it also cracks me up because arguing about garbage pales given what happened next and I hope I don’t ever argue with anyone about garbage again.

We got home that night and my brother’s wife @DogMomster emailed me a couple of times about his health. Which was bad due to a nasty chronic disease and had deteriorated to the point that he was struggling to breathe. I don’t remember all of the details of that awful night but I think that eventually The Commander got involved and said, “Call 911.” That call was made and I did not sleep well that night.

waveI touched base with @DogMomster early the next day and since things were uncertain, I went out and did some random shopping and stuff. I was antsy. Sometime in the mid-morning I got the call that my brother’s condition was unstable and it looked like he might not make it. I grabbed Froggy and got into the Dogha and about halfway down N. Maple I realized I didn’t have my purse or phone or anything important (except Froggy). I knew I would need those things later so I backtracked to get them.

As it turned out, I did end up helping with my brother’s exit from life that day. There’s no point in me recounting that moment. After some time with Jim and his family, I walked out to the parking lot with @DogMomster. It was a blazing hot day and we were both kind of reeling like what the hell did we just do?

I drove back down to the Planet Ann Arbor and then began a series of boomerang type trips. Sault Ste. Siberia the next day to pick up the parents. Back to the Landfill the next day *with* the parents. Funeral in Grand Blanc (@DogMomster has since moved to Bay City). Back to Sault Ste. Siberia. New vee-hickle (Daisy) purchased somewhere in the middle of all this. I drove her to work for a while but then I bought the Ninja and gave her to Mouse.

I guess I’m done with this for now. Miss you bro.

I’m back in the USSR Trollandia. You don’t know how lucky you are.

June 26th, 2016 by kayak woman

seicheYesterday’s post showed our seiche when the water was out. A seiche is kind of a sloshing phenomenon though and after the water goes out, it usually comes back in with a vengeance. We were eating dinner when the water came in so we missed it but when we got back down to the beach for a walk, we could see the high water line. That black stuff? We called it “sawdust” when we were kids. I’m not sure if that’s what it really is although in those days there was an active timber industry up in Cananananada. Or maybe it’s left over from when *our* beach was lumbered over in the 1800s??? Whatever that black stuff is, it is benign and can create some beautiful patterns on the sand. Pockets of it migrate around on our beach, which I think fits the description of “sugar sand”. Soft on bare feet, unlike some otherwise beautiful beaches I have traversed. And that’s okay. I can wear shoes on a beach. Heck, I wear them on *this* beach when it’s snowing! But it is nice to be able to walk barefoot.

So, when dooya wanna leave, KW? How ’bout never? But leave we did. I like to get back to the Planet by about 5 or earlier and I think we actually drove out before 11 but I couldn’t tell you for sure. I won’t bore you with the details about closing up the cabin for whatever length of time it’ll be closed up. Dishes, food, garbage, laundry, sweeping, not exactly in that order and sometimes involving little infinite loops. Like when you pack up all of the garbage and then you have a paper towel or something. And the detritus that gets tracked in after I have done an admittedly cursory sweep and vacuum. It’s all organic material. It won’t kill anyone. We will never reach ground zero about all of that stuff and after the Old Cabin Sheet Incident (which defies description), all I can say to my OCD self is something like GET A GODDAMN GRIP! I did manage to convince the GG to leave the moomincabin curtains open. There is no reason to button up the moomincabin in that way in the summertime. Relatives live on either side and they damn well know when someone drives in. I would like them to feel like the place isn’t a tomb. Please. Don’t close the curtains.

Drove tandem with Lizard Breath today. I am a moom and in a strange kind of way it is comforting to have my, uh, “baby”, on the road behind me. Not sure if she agrees with that or not. We are both pretty darn good road warriors these days. Anyway, we stopped for gas at Indian River and I was remembering a long ago day when the beach urchins and I were driving tandem to the moominbeach. Liz was a new driver and she and Mouse were driving… Hmmm… What was Liz driving? Jeep or Dogha maybe, I can’t remember. I think I was driving the dern POC. We stopped at Indian River and next to us was a young fambly who were changing a newborn baby girl in the back seat of their vee-hickle. I did a time warpy kind of thing where I remembered doing that with our kids when they were babies and fast-forwarding to when that baby girl would be helping her parents schlep vee-hickles up north. Which is probably maybe next year for that young child. You go girl.

I won’t go into detail about our whole trip today but we lucked out today by taking the I475 Flint (yes, that Flint) bypass instead of sitting in traffic for hours. And the GG and I managed to snake through the Fenton area on US23 before a severe storm hit. I felt like the atmosphere was unstable but the weather radar didn’t show anything. We got a few big raindrops but then we drove out of it and later on it seemed that it had blown up into a big storm and traffic was slow there which may have meant that people couldn’t see jack-doodly. We all made it home without incident.

A beach day with (thankfully) a good ending

June 25th, 2016 by kayak woman

As much as I love watching the sun set over the water, mornings are also beautiful here. Note that the water is like glass in the next few early morning photos.

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A sort of surreal view from the water’s edge to Round Guano Island.

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And the mid-1800s (?) dock that I cannot stop taking pictures of. When I was a kid, you could still walk out on this thing over wooden boards.

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We took the Motor Bote down to the state park to launch it for the summer. Note that the water is still like glass.

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And the Motor Bote arrives at the moominbeach (and note that the water is *still* like glass).

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The GG and I decided to take the Motor Bote around Birch Point to see about what was going on in Port[er]landia, which was basically nothing despite the GG yelling from the water and probably waking up the entire neighborhood. Lizard Breath and I did become porterized today but it was a just a quicky at the park store. Here we are launching and note that the water is still calm albeit not quite glassy at this point.

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On the way home we circled Round Guano Island. It was bad enough when I heard something hit the water near the bote and the GG said that we had almost been shat on. When they started to attack I was like LET’S GET OUTTA HERE! The Birds anyone? The seagulls do nest on that island and we were definitely disturbing them.

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It wasn’t all fun and games. The Pensioner swabbed the deck. I cropped the photo because underwear. He doesn’t want you to look and you don’t want to see. I have to say that so far it can be handy to have a pensioner around. Except in the mornings when I am trying to get to work. And the afternoons when I need space after work. Anyway. The deck needed swabbing and he did a good job. And there was a decent breeze by this time but the lake was still safely navigable for small crafts like kayaks and the Motor Bote and we took both of them out.

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So then. Later in the afternoon, there was this.

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Yup, it’s big black clouds over Whitefish Bay. Will it be a plassover or will it hit us? You never quite know here at the moominbeach. But let me ask you this. If you saw clouds like this, would you take a flimsy little kayak out to an island a half mile away? An island where seagulls might see fit to attack you? I certainly would not. Who knew what kind of weather might hit where and how big the waves might get.

We watched a Darwin Award contestant launch and head toward the island. Surely he will notice the sky and turn around, we thought. Roight? No. He went BEHIND the island as the wind started to pick up. What to do? When do we call the Coast Guard? Lizard (and I) went down to the place the nincompoop was staying and talked to the *children* on the beach. Yes he had a life jacket (good). Not sure if he took his phone (bad, and I have a dry bag or two or three he could’ve borrowed). Those children were *thinking* about calling him. I was thinking about calling the Coast Guard. I did not want the GG to take the Motor Bote out in that threatening weather. Jeebus…

He did make it back safely. I stood on the beach in my rain jacket to watch his arrival. The water was not glassy any more. Whitecap waves. Not huge ones but big enough to swamp a small kayak. I hope he saw me standing there and I hope he knew that I was watching him because I was concerned about him and didn’t want to watch a tragedy. As it turned out (and often does) we didn’t get much of a storm but boy oh boy did we get a seiche! I am standing on the second sandbar here.

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So all’s well that ends well. Love y’all, KW. But please please please take water and bote safety seriously. And the water is again like glass.

Those buildings always looked like rocks

June 24th, 2016 by kayak woman

paulbunyanThe buildings at the Soo Locks. The ones we toured today. They are GORGEOUS inside. Stone and beautiful wood. I kind of knew that they were like that because I actually toured them once before. It was 1967 and I was 13 and Sault Ste. Siberia was 300 and they opened up the locks so that the public could walk across the gates and through those beautiful buildings. I was wearing a “tent” dress, a fashion that summer, even for skinny little girls like me, and orange high heels that matched it.

I have not walked across the locks in all those years but we did it today on Engineers Day. The GG was a wee bit amazed at how beautiful those buildings were when you got inside. He said something like, “They always looked like rocks to me.” I have probably misquoted that but you may get the idea.

This was probably one of the most beautiful days for Engineers Day that my beloved hometown Sault Ste. Siberia has ever had. Warm temperatures (70?) and a cloudless sky. We Porterized ourselves for lunch at our beloved Palace Saloon and then we toured the Cloverland hydro power plant that defines the geography of my home cit and then we cruised down Riverside Drive to 9-mile to our friends’ garden place. And then to the park store and home. Where the GG did a whole bunch of window cleaning and KW did some food prep and a bit of kayaking and then we met up with our friends of Porterization and while doing that, some of our McNott friends too.

How did the McNott friends know that I was here? My footprint on the beach. 💜

Listicle

June 23rd, 2016 by kayak woman

blueflagNot really a listicle in the strictest sense but about halfway through this semi-faaaardrill of a travel day I started wondering something like, “When can I sit down?” Except that I *was* sitting down for most of it because travel day and five hour drive. Anyway…

Launched from The Planet Ann Arbor about 20 minutes before 7 AM after a goodbye to The Prince of Denmark, who was just waking up for work.

Took the Lansing route for the first time in a loooonnng time.

Houghton Lake! Best Choice grocery for spinach pies and some of their good romaine lettuce and I fergit what else.

The CFam cabin to try to fix the webcam. Access blocked due to suspicious activity. Or something like that. Whaaaat? An eventual phone call to tech support yielded nothing helpful (as far as I know). The GG called, which was a a good thing.

Iggy! For more grokkeries (Family Fare), boat registration (Secretary of State), and lunch (Driftwood). Can I just say how different Iggy (St. Ignace if you don’t understand Yooper slang) is at this time of year than it is in December and/or April? So many businesses are closed in the winter. Today the place was hopping to the point where I didn’t think I was EVER gonna manage to make a left turn outta the SOS parking lot. But then, some folks who sat at the bar near us at the Driftwood… After one beer the barkeep asked them if they wanted another. “Oh no, we’re gonna catch the ferry and get drunk over on the island.” That would be Mackinac Island and they are probably drunk by now and I hope they are having fun. I mean that. We didn’t have another because we had miles to go and promises to keep.

Next stop? Moomincabin. Well, I was gonna get gas in Rudyard but the GG was so blissfully asleep when we got to Rudyard, even with all of the speed changes and stops to get there, that I decided we had more than enough gasoline in the Frog Hopper to do what we needed to do until tomorrow.

So, the Moomincabin. Get the propane stove going, turn on the water, flush the water heater, “adios” a bunch of big black flies, both dead and alive, and other random chores. Putting grokkeries away, putting laundered linens away, locating things like The Commander’s Riverside Shakespeare and the gardening glubs I bought a couple years ago. Two (count ’em) beach walks by KW (Fitbit tyranny). Finally, in the late afternoon, we sat up on the bank watching the botes go by. Or not. The Federal Baltic ambled over into the parking place, so not sure what’s going on with it. It is a salty and we get lots of Federal salties here. Baby Blue aka the Ken Boothe chugged on up and then I went up too, to the moomincabin to work on getting dinner ready.

Good night and love y’all,
KW

MandM, BandB, RandR. Your choice.

June 22nd, 2016 by kayak woman

kwhlMandM. My uncle Duke, a loooooong time ago, when I was a sweet young thing and he was I dunno how old but he died (too young) at the age I will be on my next birthday. I lost myself in that sentence so I’ll just skip to the next one. Duke arrived at the moomincabin early one morning to give his best bud (my old coot) The Morning Report, which was that the great black and white hunter Muksaslooie had eaten MandMs for breakfast. You know. Moles and Milk.

Which brings me to the kind of MandMs you guys are thinking about, the little colored candies that we never eat, not even during the Halloween Season. I’m thinking about a Road Trip that I took once with the GG and The Comm and Grandroobly. I know that I was well into blahgging at that time but, for the life of me, I cannot find the trip. It HAD to have taken place in 2005. Why? For a couple reasons. 1) We were driving Daisy, which we bought in 2005 a couple of days after The Engineer died. 2) Grandroobly was in the vee-hickle with us. I mean physically, not just his ghost. There was a pretty short window of time between when The Engineer died and Grandroobly died. Nine months. Still, I cannot find mention of that trip anywhere in my blahg.

Anyway, our road trip was a day trip from my parents’ house in Sault Ste. Siberia down along the lower St. Marys River, farther than usual. We checked that the Barbeau area was still there and looked in on the Neebish Island Ferry and we ogled Conley’s for about the umpteenth billion time in my life. There is some connection between my grandfather and maybe the church and Conley’s but I couldn’t tell you what it is but nowadays we have some friends who seem to have a connection with Conley’s so maybe we’ll be able to sort that out one of these days. And the Rock Cut, where there was a P party, which is why I know that Grandroobly was there because I was not invited to participate in that particular part of the trip.

On down the river and then a car picnic in the woods on some two-track somewhere, barely Daisy-able. PBJ sandwiches and fruit and whatever and BandBs, as The Commander excitedly said, “BandBs! My favorite.” Um, do you mean MandMs, moom? Yes.

I’m sure that The Comm was genuinely excited about the BandBs MandMs (even though she could easily buy them at any time and schlep them anywhere) but I have to note that our fam used to fairly frequently snort a wee bit of Benedictine & Brandy at the moomincabin in the evening. BandB. Not the same thing as MandMs at all and it has been a coon’s age since we have had any B&B around. Liqueur in the evening? That is now reserved for a couple of winter holidays.

RandR? Man do I need more than the two days I am getting to extend this weekend into a four-day. We hit up Knight’s for dinner tonight and wouldn’t you know it, our waittress began the evening by spilling my tall glass of water all over everywhere. It was okay. We were unharmed and she was wonderful. And I am kinda done. I need more than a few long weekends here and there. I need a couple weeks. I hope to get that later this summer. Until then, I’ll take what I can get. I just hope it doesn’t come with any ticks. Yick!

Love y’all,
KW

It doesn’t take much

June 21st, 2016 by kayak woman

waxinggibbousSoooo, last week, The Queen Bee brought some chocolate to a potentially contentious meeting. It was teensy tinesy Hershey candy bars, nothing fancy, in a big bowl. Oh, and by the way, meetings at Cubelandia are rarely contentious, at least not in the way some of y’all might think, because we do NOT play pollyticks at Cubelandia. But that would be a whole ‘nother story.

We didn’t eat all of the QB’s candy at the meeting so it landed in the empty Printer/Food Cube next door to mine. And I was enjoying having it there, picking away at the chocolate, a few pieces a day. Yesterday it looked like pickings were getting slim. This morning I stopped at Meijer on the way to work because toilet paper. And I bought chocolate too. I topped off the bowl and throughout the day, I could hear people kind of whispering about “candy”. At some point, the bowl ended up at the edge of Louie-Louiiiii’s cube. I think that M did not want that continual temptation across from her cube. We were laughing about that because M probably weighs about 90 pounds soaking wet and runs marathon-type races frequently. But maybe not eating chocolate is how she keeps her girlish figure (besides running races). And her figure *is* girlish despite the fact that I heard her make a phone call recently and say to the person on the other end, “Hi, it’s Granny.” Love.

Me, I spent my day untangling a couple of the ultra-complex defects that FZ loves to file. Wrapping my brain around the convolutions that surround these defects in order to write about how to fix them makes my brain explode. I love doing the archaeological digs through previous versions of our product but sometimes the processing requires a few walking and/or xword breaks. Ultimately the detailed stuff FZ provides gives me the information I need to write up the required specification. If you understood any of that maybe you should be doing my job. I certainly don’t always understand what I’m doing. Maybe you would do better 🐸

I was aware of the Strawberry Moon last night (and the accompanying solstice) and I think that there were storms to the south of The Planet Ann Arbor that provided some beautiful skies. I could not see the Strawberry Moon as it rose because of all the trees behind our house. We’d have had to walk to the schoolyard or somewhere to see the moon rise but we were watching Shameless. A lot of people on The Planet also watched a beautiful thunderstorm to the south of us. We saw some lightning but didn’t pursue it any further. My pic today is the waxing gibbous moon on Saturday night at Houghton Lake. And ducks. And folks hanging out in the Pontoon Bote.

Hey Moom, do you have white vinegar?

June 20th, 2016 by kayak woman

Why yes, of course I do. Or not.

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Don’t worry, I had plenty of other kinds of vinegar around and one of them sufficed for potato salad. But. Am I turning into my mother? Once, in her later years, I called her at the Moomincabin from Houghton Lake. We were on the way up and I wanted to make sure we had Certain Provisions, one of them being cream for coffee. She looked in the fridge. Yes! And yes she did indeed but a sniff test may have told her that *really* she did not have coffee cream. It’s okay, that’s what the park store is for.

And then there was this. You have to click on it. Jeebus, I will have to get a better iPhone gif maker app. But not tonight.

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He did sweep up a lot of stuff today. For one thing, yer fav-o-rite blahgger has been negligent about housework lately (and also absent). And you know? Being a prince gives you a lot of privileges but one of the requirements of being the Prince of Denmark is that you have to sew your own clothing. So there is probably some detritus floating into the Landfill Chitchen from that prodject, which is set up on the dining table just outside the chitchen. Don’t worry, being a prince also comes with plenty of privileges and perks.

It was very hot today. I mean hovering around 90, not 100 or 115(!) or whatever. I was grateful for A/C in my automotive vee-hickle and office but I hate it to be on in The Landfill. I’d rather fill one of those kiddie-type swimming pools with cold water and sit in that. I can’t quite process what it is like to live through a summer in some of the hotter parts of our country and would certainly use my central A/C if I lived there. 115? What?

For now, here in the beautiful green northern tier of our country, where we have had a hot day, The Pensioner emailed me a couple of pics to remind me of how much I love whatever heat our summers gift us with. There’s TP walking into Miller Woods back in November.

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And here is yer fav-o-rite blahgger hamming it up after shoveling a ton of snow (I really *did* shovel a ton of snow that day) back in hmmm… Was it February? It was late in the winter and I could look it up but I won’t.

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It is hot here today but only around 90 and there is a wonderful breeze and our big “whole house” fan is doing the job for us. Love you all and stay cool!

A pint is a pound the world round

June 19th, 2016 by kayak woman

So it is Fathers Day and we were spending it in stellar fashion at the Group Home at Houghton Lake. It was a gorgeous morning an I did my usual 0-skunk-30 walk and the GG was chomping at the bit to go out for breakfast and so we did and then various chores and a little Pontoon Bote ride ensued. And then our Lizard texted us about maybe coming over from Deetroit for Fathers Day? Okay. I am a Road Warrior but I was taaarrred on the way down the I75 SUV Speedway. Sleepier than I wanted to be. If I had been driving alone, I wouldda gotten off and boughten some coffee. As it happened, the GG had taken a wee nap and was able to take over the last 45 miles of driving.

But we got here and so did Liz and she helped us put together a feast tonight and then The Prince of Denmark managed to squeak home from rehearsal in time to help us eat it. I bought a LOT of food and there’ll be leftovers for all the next couple of days. Here are some Fathers Day pics, lightly commentated.

My dad with his 1st and 3rd grandaughters (Liz and Mouse), late 1987 or so.

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If I tried hard enough, I could probably find a pic of Grandpa Garth, aka the Gumper, with his 12th and 13th granddaughters, aka his little chickies. I’m not gonna bother with that but he was a wonderful grandpa to my daughters but I would rather post this fish pic.

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Here is my old coot threatening me with his walking stick. I was his favorite daughter. Also his only daughter.

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From there, here is the old coot skiing.

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At two or three.

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With his sister, my aunt Radical Betty (one of my best friends in life) at Penny’s Kitchen.

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Sitting on the beach with The Commander and Bob.

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And finally my parents building an outhouse back when I was six or so.

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Happy father’s day and g’night. KW

Ninja Rocket Trip

June 18th, 2016 by kayak woman

Oh man I had some moments of trepidation about going north to the Cfam Group Home for a weekend overnight. It’s a three hour drive and and and… But we schlepped outta the rack early this morning and launched the Ninja up the I75 SUV Speedway. Destination, Houghton Lake.

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There are a whole heckuva lot more Trump signs here than there are on The Planet Ann Arbor. No Tina Fey signs in either place though.

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It may have been 5:00 somewhere but it was 11-something when the beer got broken out on the Pontoon Bote this morning. Don’t worry, the cap’n of the day aka The Lord of Linden didn’t touch a drop.

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The Lord of Linden piloted us over to the state park and we anchored off the shore for a while. There are no alligators, crocodiles, or piranhas here. Maybe some leeches and things…

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This fish hung around the dock at the Group Home for much of the day. Yes, there are a lot of minnows too.

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How long has it been since I’ve taken a kayak out? Too long. The Lord of Linden was kind enough to dredge out the steps that attach to the end of the dock and install them so I could get out of the kayak without making an ungraceful exit.

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And so Jim and Haley are collaborating on building a faaaar, The Lord and Lady of Linden are entertaining friends out on the Pontoon Bote (firmly docked in its hoist), The GG is reading Hamlet, and The Beautiful Becky and Chelsea are cleaning up the dishes. A beautiful ending to a gorgeous day. Good night, KW.

Not the Prince of Denmark

June 17th, 2016 by kayak woman

hamletnotI am too taaaarrred to write a coherent post tonight but here is the Prince of Denmark holding up his script at our Oscar Tango table tonight. As luck (or habit) would have it, the folks at the table behind him are our long-time friends of Civic Theatre fame.

Actually this is *not* The Prince of Denmark. That title belongs to another family member, at least for a few more weeks. But the GG is reading Hamlet. He spied this little book on one of the bookshelves in the Munster Bedroom. Turns out that it was his sister Kathy’s book from 1967. Her name (Kathi) and the old Woodsboro phone number are written on the first page.

On our beautiful walk home tonight, we encountered old friends (mom and daughter) from our Save MYA days, MYA being an alternative middle school we loved and failed to save. It was great to see them but I am still puzzling over why they initially pegged me as “Skye’s mom”. Uh, no no no nooooooo. I am sorry but I have no words for this. Blonde moms and children all the way around but beyond the blonde, the resemblance ends abruptly. Liz and Mouse’s moom, thank you very much. I’m not sure if she really remembered me or my children or not but whatever.

And then there was how happy she was to see that I was “still” walking. What? I walk. That’s what I do. Alas, I remember a billion years ago when I encountered this woman in the woods and she said something about how wonderful it was that I could do so much walking despite my arthritis. WHAT ARTHRITIS? Clearly she had me mistaken for someone else or had been misinformed by I dunno who. Or maybe she was mistaking me for Skye’s mom, who actually couldn’t walk for a long time after a horrific head-on car crash. (She is doing fine now and has been for many years and you might be able to tell I have mixed feelings about her.)

Okay, KW, get off it. Up early tomorrow and off on a little Ninja Rocket Trip. Uncle Bill partay!

Great gray-green greasy limpopo

June 16th, 2016 by kayak woman

goosesteppingNot here. Not any time. I don’t care how hot and swampy it gets around here. “We” are not quite ready to descend into senile old man-dom. Not there yet. ‘course, what KW doesn’t see, KW doesn’t know about and she is predictable in terms of ETA work-to-home 🐽.

That said… Do y’all see the orange construction type pole sticking out of Mrs. Goose’s back? Embiggen once or twice if you need to. I (and everyone else at Cubelandia) have been watching her walk around with this pole stuck in her back for a couple of MONTHS!!! In that time, she has laid and hatched eggs and her goslings are starting to look like teenagers. This is the first time I have had a close enough encounter with her to get a pic. NZO (my *sweet* and closest cube nayber) was also out walking around the building and she got one too.

Yes, the Humane Society has been called. Multiple times by multiple people. They have sent folks out to Cubelandia a few times but haven’t been able to get close enough to Mrs. G to manage to remove the pole. Apparently one person was in danger of losing a finger. We’re all into helping wildlife when we can but certainly not at the expense of someone’s finger. I know about that kind of thing. Titanium Pinky was “only” broken and she is probably 99% back and is even growing wrinkles on her knuckle. Losing her would have been unthinkable.

And so, our humane society has sent folks out to Cubelandia multiple times to observe Mrs. G and/or try to remove the pole. They believe she is healthy but plan to revisit and hopefully by August her goslings will be old enough that a person might be able to approach her and remove the pole, assuming that act doesn’t compromise her health (or the person’s fingers).

I had been feeling kind of guilty that I hadn’t called someone out there myself (I HATE making phone calls) but I kind of figgered that other folks were on it, like the inimitable KennyP. And of course she did make that call. When the Humane Society explained the situation to her, she said something like, “I’m not a mom but I get it.” Actually she is a mom. She’s our building mom and we love her!

And yes, I do know that the Kiwanis Thrift Shop has drop-off hours during the week. I do not try to make my brain remember what those hours are because I *work* during the week. But. Please put some pants on and take advantage of those weekday drop-offs. Drop off some of those old-fashioned lamps we’ve inherited from various sources! For one thing… I’m sure there’s more stuff we could get rid of.

Grindr

June 15th, 2016 by kayak woman

fishyThe grinding of an axe, that is, not the app. EeeeeeeeeeEEEEeeeeEEEEEeeeee. The story of my life the last few years, the chapter that I hope is over. That aside, when someone calls me “dear” (even/especially my long-suffering accomplice), I feel the grind of the axe, or, in other words, it sets my teeth on edge. This was a term of, uh, en*dear*ment that drove The Commander nuts too. Fortunately, my old coot did not call her “dear”. Ever. At least not that I remember.

By the time I was born, the parents had been married 11 years and I remember a happy childhood with much love between my parents but I don’t remember token terms of endearment EVER. The Old Coot *did* have a term of endearment for The Commander in their later years. It was “You Peckerwood”. That term of endearment fit their personalities and relationship perfectly. Please take a note that I also do not want to be called a “peckerwood”. That term of endearment is forever reserved for my parents. In some other life, my given name might work. The problem is that I HATE that name and it just sets off the damn grinder thingy.

When I call someone “dear” it is usually a preface to calling them out on something that I have an issue with. Like, “We need to talk.” Usually a pretty dern friendly thing though. Being a Fin (one with probably quite some Scandahoovian DNA), I am loathe to confront people about serious “issues”. Bad thing? Maybe? Yeah probably. Or maybe not. Sometimes sitting things out is the best course.

I knew that this fishy pic wouldn’t really turn out but it turns out (hee hee) that I like it better than I thought I would. Underwater. Sorta.

Love y’all,
KW

Free stuff

June 14th, 2016 by kayak woman

freestuffIt wasn’t until I uploaded this photoooo into photoshop this afternoon that I processed the word “FREE”. Free stuff. I wasn’t quite sure. We have had sporadic little rashes of car break-ins over on this side of town. The modus operandi seems to be to enter the car (some unlocked, some not) and strew stuff all over the neighborhood without stealing anything, i.e., purses and wallets are found intact. This stuff kind of looked like that. Pink stuff. The car break-ins and strewing happen in the wee hours while the rest of us are sleeping or dealing with Batscope Hour stuff. I encountered some randomly strewn detritus a couple weeks ago on my my skunk walk and kind of wondered if the perpetrator had started up again and sure enough, some time later the victim reported the incident on my neighborhood app. Her car TEXTED HER (I don’t think she saw the text until morning though) and someone found her wallet intact. ((((I knooooowwwww.))))

I have not heard of *one* such incident over here on this side of Haisley but I am being extra vigilant about locking up my vee-hickles, at least overnight. It is easy to slack off in this neighborhood. In all of the years we have lived here [KNOCK ON WOOD], the only incidents we have encountered were unlocked vee-hickle entry things. Most of them were long ago. In one of them, the thief got away with a cassette tape of Tickly Toddle.

Then there was the time the guy got bored at an AA meeting across Maple and ransacked neighborhood vee-hickles. I won’t go in to all of the gory details but he didn’t get into our [unlocked] vee-hickle, I *believe* because I slammed our front door shut as he was about to try the car door handle. Luke of Perrynet watched him go from house to driveway to house to driveway all the way down the street and called the poleese. So we were all standing out in the street talking to the nice policeman when the idjit came back down the street. THERE HE IS! From Luke. A short scuffle ensued and the perp was taken into custody. And then, even though we did not lose anything at all, we went to court a couple times as witnesses. The perp never showed up. Judge Libby (during a break) asked the court (as jocularly as a judge can do in court), “Mr. and Mrs. Cfam, are you here for an exam or are you witnesses?”

I am not particularly worried about these recent sporadic spates of incidents although I am making a concerted effort to be vigilant about locking vee-hickles overnight and have notified The Prince of Denmark to consider the same. I have not heard of one of these things happening on this side of Haisley. They seem to be occurring down in W1.5’s neighborhood. I think it is teenagers who live in the neighborhood. I can’t figger why they are not keeping money or credit cards. Maybe because they don’t *need* money? They probably don’t but I dunno.

Anyway, to close this blahg of blather off for the night: 1) the stuff in the pic seems to actually be Free Stuff that somebody put out on the curb and it was gone this morning, 2) her car TEXTED her? I want a washing musheen that texts me!, and 3) SHE LEFT HER PURSE/WALLET/MONEY/ETC. IN HER CAR!!! WHAAAAAT? No. Just no. People, get a grip.

G’night and tomorrow night we may well be talking about Purple Beachglass or something. But I’ll probably save that for when the Queen Bee retires…

A day of silence? Please?

June 13th, 2016 by kayak woman

deerfenceYes, my entry yesterday was an incoherent disaster. Between being bombarded with every facebook “journalist” on earth and having fun (yes!) with my family, I couldn’t even begin to do the sorting/analyzing process that leads to a coherent, meaningful piece of writing and I decided that having fun with my family was more important.

There are a lot of issues involved in the Orlando Shooting and they are all very complex issues. Terrorism in all of its form factors, religion, LGBTQ issues. Mental illness. Gun control. Every single one of these these issues is EXTREMELY complicated in its own right. One of the first facebook posts I saw yesterday morning (well before any actual facts about the shooting emerged) seemed to suggest that the shooting was “Obummer’s” fault. I was heartened to see that some folks kicked back at that post. Whether you like Obama or not (and I know that some of my nine readers do not), this is not the kind of thing that you can blame on any president. Or any *person* or organization except the shooter, who has been described by multiple people as mentally ill. I dunno how to munge all of that stuff into a fail-safe way to prevent these kinds of incidents. As The Professor said the last time I saw him, “These incidents are like natural disasters”. At any rate, I am done with all of that tonight. And man do I miss The Professor but I am sure that we are both happy that he hasn’t camped in my basement for umpteen billion years.

This morning? Neighborhood drama! An injured deer managed to get stuck in the woods behind my house. I was on the return part of my walking loop and there were Bob and Java hanging out between the north and south sections of woods. A deer, a stag with antlers, had apparently found his way in there and somehow became injured. It was one of his antlers but we didn’t know that this morning. I decided that I didn’t need to walk the woods behind my house this morning. I figured the deer might be in distress and I didn’t want to bother him.

When I drove the Ninja up into the end of the Landfill Driveway at the end of my workday, Bob and Java (and Beckit (hopefully misspelled)) were walking over to the woods. Beckit is a relatively new walker!. I snagged them! What happened to the deer? Someone called a wildlife rescue type person. The stag’s main injury was apparently a broken antler. Not nice but not life threatening. So, how the heck do you get a deer get out of a small woods with high chain-link fences and the small opening shown in the pic. I mean, I have known *people* who probably couldn’t fit through that gate. It was a long story of amateur herding efforts but as far as we know the deer escaped alive and well and bounded away.

Hanging out with my cat

June 12th, 2016 by kayak woman

decayExcept that I do not have a cat. Or a dog. Or a mini-horse. Or a guinea pig. Or a goldfish. Or any pet. I did get to hang out with my grown-up beach urchins today. The Prince of Denmark was up and into the house before 8:00 AM and sewing all morning. Apparently she began the night in the hammock but eventually moved into the Lyme Lounge.

Lizard Breath arrived in the late morning and we all headed downtown for lunch at the Griz. Everyone except The Prince of Denmark walked down and back. The Prince had to get to work and so she drove Daisy. She also had barely enough time to eat and could only take a couple sips of the GG’s beer. The rest of us were able to have a second round. After that we headed up to Literati, then back down to Downtown Home and Garden and the Argus Farm Stop and back up the long hill to home.

I have been enjoying having my Mouse aka The Prince of Denmark around this month and I had a great time with my Quick Green Lizard today. She engineered some wonderful risotto to go with the chicken the GG cooked and I built the risotto while she soaked her feet [blister from hiking] in our loverly summery back yard. That kind of thing is what life is for me.

I’m kind of done done done with life today. Good night. KW.

Windex and Black Pepper and That Closet

June 11th, 2016 by kayak woman

closetYou know the one. The closet that little ticky-tacky houses 1950s houses like the Landfill have. The one right inside the front door where, if you don’t have a garage, all of the automotive vee-hickle related stuff gets stored. Plus a whole bunch of tools and maybe a vacuum cleaner or three or four. Yeah. That Closet.

I have not taken up Louie-Louiiiii’s suggestion of creating a Job Jar for The Pensioner but it has long been on my personal bucket list to 1) remove EVERYTHING from That Closet, 2) CLEAN That Closet, and 3) put only the stuff we actually NEED back in. This is an activity that I would willingly take on myself except that there is a LOT of truly useful stuff in that closet but I would have no clue about the utility of many individual items. Tools? I am not all that handy in a mechanical sense. I own ONE screwdriver. I use it to screw the handles back onto my red colander when they come loose. My screwdriver is even labeled KAYAK WOMAN’S! That’s so people The Pensioner will know to put it back in my kitchen drawer when they borrow it. Which they may well do because I’m not sure if anyone could find *any* specific item in That Closet at any given time, even a simple screwdriver, which is why I have my own labeled screwdriver. As the Gumper used to say, “I am always missing 10% of my stuff but it’s always a different 10%.” You know how it goes.

Anyway, I was ecstatic when I noticed that Stuff was coming outta That Closet today. Even though it meant that I couldn’t run Rooooomba in the front living room. I was sooooo ecstatic that I vacuumed the heck out of the closet floor, ran some hot soapy water in the kitchen sink, grabbed a microfiber towel, and scrubbed the heck out of the floor and surrounding baseboards. I don’t know exactly how much Stuff went back *in* to That Closet. It looks like more Stuff that I would have wanted. I will guess that the big old half-gallon booze bottles filled with pennies went back in. But I’ll take it.

Windex? I wish I knew why, whenever I need a bottle of Windex, I cannot find one. I KNOOOOOOWWWWW that we have Windex around here. Or is it at the moomincabin? Or in the Lyme Lounge? Or in the Frog Hopper? (I KNOW it isn’t in the Ninja because I almost always know pretty much *exactly* what’s in the Ninja.) I think that something like THREE bottles of Windex were in That Closet. Remind me not to put Windex on my grokkery list any time soon. WE HAVE WINDEX!!! Same thing with black pepper (actually peppercorns) but I’m not gonna go on and on and on (and on) tonight and there was definitely not any black pepper in That Closet.

P.S. Yes, my bucket list is reeeeeallly boring. G’night!