Random bits of my so-called life.

When you are down to five levels of headings to organize your content…

May 22nd, 2018 by kayak woman

…it means there is a better, more creative way to organize your content. Systems Analysis 101, lesson 2.

5th-level headings was the state of one of my current prodjects when I led a review of it at Cubelandia this morning. I feel for the folks who have been trying to decipher this document. *I* can’t even decipher the document and I *wrote* it. I have four nebulous sources. All of which were written in Word Salad and somewhat randomly organized, including going BEYOND five levels of headings 🐽.

I have been flailing and floundering with this prodject and this morning I felt like I might never pull myself out of the murky depths. And I’m scheduled for a wee bit of vacay this weekend. Just a weeee bit mind you, a day and a half. But it’s been a looooonnnng slodge with only 2.5 days PTO off since xmas. Still, I didn’t want to leave my colleagues with this big mess, even for a long weekend, even though I really need this and everyone knows it.🧡

Hark! I have been in this place with projects before and I usually manage to regroup myself and write something “sparkly”. And lo, I went from the review to another meeting and something sparked and I sat there and started the matrix that I have been struggling to create for the last week or so. I finished the matrix and then I attacked my stinky old five-level-heading word document and I am not finished with it yet but those horrible headings are gone and I am rocketing off to the stars with a new and sparkly version. With lots of pictures! A picture is worth 1,000 words. Systems Analysis 101, lesson 1.

Cheers to me and cheers to y’all and cheers to Bekket for running her parents’ lives and cheers to Ano for making a quick non-barking foray into the Landfill Backyard tonight.

P.S. When I got home today, the home pod (or whatever it is) was not tuned to NPR. For a minute I was disgruntled because I like to listen to news after work. But then I realized that it was ALSO not tuned in to some kind of Trumpian Bombasty Right Wing station. It is folk music. This is more like it. I love folk music. We all have to live together and I believe we have some responsibility to take care of each other and that’s a lot of what folk music is about. I won’t go any further with that for now.

Pink shacks and terlet talk

May 21st, 2018 by kayak woman

A while back I was telling Amazon Woman about the text I got from the boat show. The one where I was thinking something like, “What the heck did he buy at the boat show?” I knew the GG was going to the boat show but I didn’t really expect him to buy anything much there. $500? Whut? I mean, I don’t care if he spends money, just that curiosity was killin’ the cat. As it turned out, he hadn’t spent money at the boat show at all, he was mitigating a Floriduh situation while *at* the boat show. So, I was thinking this was a humorous (in a way) story but then I noticed AW looking at me in a kind of alarmed way like, are you okay? Do you need some help? I quickly shifted gears and assured her that all was well with us, no problem, this is just part of our life. Just a very high-level quick glimpse behind the [usually] mild-mannered systems analyst facade I put on at work. Like, you guys wouldn’t believe come some of the stuff that goes on in my Real Life 🐲

Today… I got a text message from the GG to meet him and npJane at HOMES The Wolverine after work. So I drove over to The Wolverine HOMES after work. And it was closed. It is always closed on Monday. I knew that. The GG and npJane were happily ensconced at The Wolverine talkin’ terlets and stuff. We agreed to regroup at Knight’s and so we did. Which is where the talk ranged from terlets to green bags to pink shacks to Devil’s Tower to Carload Spence to dangerous African aminals (and stupid people) and I dunno what else.

This is my annual baby bird photo. I think there are probably other baby birds in this birdhouse but this is the only one that showed up as I walked by and intruded upon the bird family’s privacy.

My train of thought has left the station. G’night. KW

He has a Grease Rock?

May 20th, 2018 by kayak woman

Yes, the GG has a Grease Rock somewhere out in the back yard. How do I know this? Because I left a pan with some olive oil (from sauteing chicken breasts) to chill on my loverly quartz countertop at the back of the chitchen, out of the way until I had time to pour the cooled off grease into the garbage. Of course I forgot about it but then the GG found it. He was all excited about dumping it on his Grease Rock, wherever that is. Mouse seemed to know about it but I don’t.

A morning of stress. I FORCED myself to go out to the Jackson Road Meijer to buy a bunch of stuff to take up to the moomincabin next weekend. Cleaning supplies, toiletries, and non-perishable food items for the summer. It’s not like I couldn’t have waited to purchase these items until we got up there. The yooperland does have comprehensive stores including a *Meijer* up in Sault Ste. Siberia and I bet I will even go to that Meijer while I’m up there. But I would rather spend as much of my time in the yooperland as possible at the *cabin*, not shopping. Better to do it down here and schlep it all up. It seems we will be schlepping up there in two vee-hickles and the Lyme Lounge so it isn’t like we won’t have enough room for all of it.

A series of text messages in various threads contributed to the stress, not to mention the road construction that suddenly began on the North Maple Speedway today. All I really wanted to do this morning was take a ride out into the luxuriantly green countryside and we did that. While we were out, the out-of-control text messages got pulled back into focus and I made another grokkery list of things to get at the Plum on the way home.

When I finally got home it was around noon and as I sorted out several hundred dollars (yes really) worth of groceries for various places and events, I began the zen of making enchiladas. I made chicken enchiladas and then made the sauce and grated the cheese for a veggie version that Lizard Breath dreamed up and assembled when she got here. By the time our guests (a cute 3-month old gosling and his parents) arrived, I was pretty well chilled out.

All I will say is that I hope the gosling reacts to his experience with the GG by SLEEPING rather than getting totally keyed up.

And I’ll have to figure out where the Grease Rock is.

Where was I?

May 19th, 2018 by kayak woman

I went to the Farmers Market alone this morning. The GG returned yesterday from a week of gallivanting around in the north country and I could tell he really needed to sleep.

I ran into a friend down there, one I haven’t seen for a while. I took classes with this woman at WCC 10 years ago or thereabouts. She apparently didn’t ever hook up with an IT job. She is still running her farm and selling stuff at the farmers market. She is successful at that. I cannot believe that I haven’t run in to her at the market in all these years. Today, we connected.

Seeing me somehow set her off a bit, ranting about how a lot of the young folks who took classes at WCC now have wonderful jobs in places like Chicago. I have loved Chicago when I have visited but I would not want to live there. I think I told her that I had an IT job but I don’t think she really wanted to know that, so I shut myself up because she was kind of going on and on about how the young folks got all the breaks and the “boomers” did not.

I felt for her. It isn’t easy to get an IT job when you are a 50-something woman. Somehow I totally fell into one when I was in that age range.

So, I have done well at my career although things feel shaky at this point in time but I am okay with whatever happens next. I am sad that my farmer friend never found an IT job. I can’t help her with that but I will definitely visit her market booth whenever she is there. It isn’t easy and after 10 years on the job, I sometimes have to pinch myself to remind myself that I am working for (decent) pay at all.

Thinking in fragments

May 18th, 2018 by kayak woman

It was an intense week at work.

But it was *mostly* just good puzzles to solve.

The same people were at work this week as were at work last week.

The city of Saline went without water for most of a day.

People without survivalist stores of water hanging about were a bit disgruntled about not being able to take a shower.

It made me remember the bag shower I bought to use at the moldy old Houghton Lake cabin in the winter back in the day.

That wouldn’t have helped my Saline co-worker because there was NO WATER AT ALL at her house.

Back at the moldy old Houghton Lake cabin, we could at least pump water out of the well.

The GG arrived home tonight after another 10 days or so away. He was [mostly] in the yooperland this time.

We did the usual Friday night Oscar Tango thing and got ourselves porterized for a while in the Landfill Backyard afterwards.

It is now late for me to be up but not for the Porters.

I will be up and out of bed hours before the Porters are tomorrow.

The red and purple plastic adirondacks are new and I wish I could find more of those beautiful round double-decker tables.

The table is metal, not plastic.

I have a lot to do this weekend.

Shopping trips for…

1) an enchilada partay on Sunday

2) supplies for the moomincabin for the summer (yes, summer, really)

3) food for us for the next week and the moomincabin NEXT WEEKEND. Yes, really!

Love y’all and g’night.

Donner at the Den of Iniquity

May 17th, 2018 by kayak woman

Er, actually that would be *dinner* at *The Wicked Sister*. The misspelling of “donner” for “dinner” (from The King of Cryptic Text Messages) was not lost on me 🐲 and we’ll talk about dens of iniquity in the yooperland some other time.

Seriously, The Wicked Sister is a wonderful new [within the last few years] restaurant/pub in Sault Ste. Siberia. It serves what I would call creative bar food (including a gluten-free menu) and a good beer selection that changes with what’s available, although they do not brew their own beer. This restaurant was once a bar called Benoit’s Gin Mill. I don’t think I was ever in that bar, even during the most “experimental” days of my formative youth. I did watch it burn from across the canal not too many years ago. Uber Kayak Woman and Radical Betty and I had just emerged from Penny’s Kitchen where we had had a mid-afternoon snack after a trip to Canananada to hike at Red Rocks when we saw the smoke.

I have only been to the Wicked Sister once. The only reason I haven’t been back is because when I get to the moomincabin, I kind of hate going into “town” (aka Sault Ste. Siberia). There are people who have been known to dis the selection of restaurants in The Soo. I think that the area has been trying very hard for a number of years to diversify the variety of restaurant experiences and, as far as I’m concerned, nay-sayers can go to some large city if they want something more uppity.

I spent a couple of years frequenting many of the restaurants up there while The Commander was going in out of the hoosegow and assisted living. Some of my faves from those years?

Hands down, The Palace Saloon was just about the best place to go and chill out with whine and food after a day of dealing with hoosegow stuff. Mexican food? I dunno if it qualifies as “authentic” but it is GOOD and the service is wonderful and, while we were luxury camping in the Dillon House, the wait-staff remembered us. (Easy walk from the hoosegow and assisted living.) Oh yeah! How could I fergit when we ate there on Mercury Retrograde Weekend after I picked up the GG from good ol’ War Memorial after a quick emergency surgery and fetched him over to the Hotel Ojibway (next door to the Palace)? Jeebus.

Karl’s Kitchen? Probably the “fanciest” food you can get in the area with locally sourced ingredients when possible. A plus is that it is located immediately adjacent to the Soo Locks so when freighters enter or leave the locks, you are right up close and personal with them. (Easy walk from the hoosegow and assisted living.)

Angio’s. Alas, Angio’s Italian restaurant is defunct now. Aside from one bad (slow) experience with the wait staff (years ago), this was a go-to place, especially when The Grinch was involved. I could order eggplant parmesan and whatever pasta it came with and take home enough to feed me for the next couple of days. (Not an easy walk from the hoosegow or assisted living but a quick drive. But gone now…)

Zorba! Greek food. What can I say about Zorba. It was once an adjunct bar to the Alpha (childhood bar, still exists, haven’t been there in decades). It was the Alpha Addition back then. We met the Grinch at Zorba’s for dinner after…

<Alert Alert Alert! Doorbell!>I only answered it because it’s trash night and I thought it might be lofpynet asking to put stuff in my carts (yes). But it was a young guy with papers in his hand (not election petition-type papers). I forestalled his pitch with “No thanks!” He backed off immediately. I wished him good luck and he thanked me for that. I hope he finds a better way to make money this summer because is nowhere near pushy enough to make money ringing doorbells.</Alert Alert Alert! Doorbell!>

…The Comm’s memorial get-together. Zorba serves wonderful Greek food and the Alpha owners are Greek so I wouldn’t be surprised if they also own Zorba. I’m not sure if I’ve been there since that night but only because of the same reason I haven’t been back to the Wicked Sister, that I am mainly in the area in the summer and I would rather hang out at the moomincabin. (Easy walk from the hoosegow and assisted living. Zorba, that is, not the moomincabin.)

I have skipped a whole bunch of Siberian restaurants that I like. There’s Clyde’s and Frank’s and The Antlers and PENNY’S KITCHEN(!) and then there are Brimley area restaurants like Jack’s and Pickles and The Cozy. And then there are childhood restaurants that don’t exist any more. We’ll do those some other day. For now, please please please support your good local restaurants whether they are big-city quality or not. AND TIP YOUR SERVERS WELL (if you possibly can)! They need the money and you will be rewarded 10 times over, especially if you are a regular customer.

The pic is a quick point-and-shoot from the GG at the moomincabin this morning as he was motivating to get out to some sort of NCT activity. I didn’t crop it or do much of anything to it because I wanted to show the big picture window that looks out onto our inland sea. When my parents built the cabin, they had very little money and our picture windows (there are three of them) were salvaged from an old storefront.

Love y’all,

No I am not on vacation!

May 16th, 2018 by kayak woman

I am not at the moomincabin but others are. Our Northern Correspondent texted me this pic today and I am posting it without permission so I hope it’s okay. It kinda looks stormy but apparently it was a great day and we have a WIDER BEACH this year. Last year our beach was pretty dern skimpy. It is ever-changing.

And then. Dun dun dun. The Jack-of-all-trades arrived with the Frog Hopper and Lyme Lounge and OPENED the moomincabin for the summer. YAAAAY!!! Apparently he really needed a shower after doing hard labor out on the north country trail. Don’t look at the pile of snow. Nothing to see there.

Finally, a beer or maybe some kind of little snort, it’s hidden but I know it’s there down on Bill’s Birch Point Beach Bank Bench.

What am I doing? Navigating the intricacies of ADA web accessibility requirements as they relate to our formerly table-formatted web app, dredging up functional requirements for a mini-prodject from some obscure documentation, and avoiding researching RUF and how to apply it to a new/old prodject. You don’t wanna know. I couldn’t describe it if I tried. I’b hodig by doze.

G’night, KW. Hey GG. Can we go to the moomincabin next weekend? It’s Memorial Day weekend and npJane will be there and maaaayybeeee Lizard Breath and I know I haven’t been to HL for a while but… but… but… I’ll even take a day off. Pretty please?

Cranky (and probably in sore need of a little vacay)

May 15th, 2018 by kayak woman

Lemme see… I have taken exactly 2-1/2 days off this year (out of five weeks). The Friday and Monday surrounding the weekend we spent at Tahquamenon in February and a half-day to schlep over to the Quiet Water(s?) Symposium at the beginning of March. (Why can I never remember if there is an “s” on “Water” or not?) Work has been good so far this year, both in what I do and the folks I work with. If you have been reading between the lines, our work *environment* has been a bit iffy and I am knocking on wood because SO FAR I am a survivor but I do have an exit plan if push comes to shove so don’t cry for me Argentina (or anybody else).

But here’s some random crankiness from news articles and things. What is this about people flying with “comfort aminals” that happen to be birds and insects and things. I TOTALLY understand how important trained service dogs are for people with disabilities of all sorts. I am a nervous flyer and I would probably find some comfort in a nice calm doggy myself. But insects and things? I mean, there are probably *other* passengers who are AFRAID of some insects. I am afraid of a very few of them myself, a few of those rather irrationally (please don’t ask or comment). Is this just me being insensitive to other people’s issues? Or does anyone else agree that the airlines should “crack down” on this stuff?

And then I made the mistake of scrolling through facebook crapola. Somebody shared a “wondrous” seatbelt for dogs. I couldn’t help wondering how long the dog would stay quietly suspended in that contraption.

When we “traveled” with my childhood Tigger dog, we did not restrain her at all. Of course, “traveling” with her meant driving 15 miles out to the cabin and back and there were no seat belts for anyone in those days. When we went *out* of town, you can dern well betchya we boarded her. We didn’t ever inflict our loverly doggy on the relatives we visited. If they wanted to enjoy her, they had to visit us and they did, often bringing dogs with them that were much more annoying than Tigger.

We boarded Tigger at the vet and so she would whine nervously as we began our trips to the moomincabin, knowing that we were going in the direction of the vet, on the same road. When we turned right on to Six Mile Road, she would settle down. Sorta. Because when we made the NEXT turn, on to Birch Point Road, my dad would take her collar off and let her out of the car and she would run like the wind the rest of the way to the cabin.

Once upon a time, when, well, uh, I was still “friends” with dogmomster (or so I thought), she went to China on a band trip and, after her dogz were in the kennel for a few days, I picked them up and drove them to the moomincabin (this was pre-arranged, I didn’t just do it on a whim like, “Oh, I think I’ll go pick up dogmomster’s dogs today”). I was nervous about this. I had never traveled more than 15 miles with a dog in the car and I figured they would whine and be noisy and I’d have to stop every half hour to let them out to P. What really happened was that… Well, first of all Ernie more or less HUGGED me. For picking them up from the kennel, I mean. Then they basically settled down, one in the front passenger seat and one in the back and WENT TO SLEEP! After a while, they woke up and switched seats. When we started across the Mackinac Bridge, they both perked up BIG TIME and then settled down again, I guess knowing that they were nearing the end of their journey. The moominbeach is Dog Heaven and all dogs love it there.

P.S. I did stop at the Grayling rest area to walk them and let them P. That seemed to be all they needed.

Close encounters

May 14th, 2018 by kayak woman

First, just around the time I wanted to leave for Cubelandia this morning, a big rainstorm with lightning and the whole works descended. I kinda wanted to snuggle up with all of the aminals on the Green Couch and work from home for a bit but the forecast didn’t look like it was gonna get any better for the next couple hours and we had an all-hands re-org-type meeting scheduled that I wanted to be IN THE OFFICE for, so I sucked it up and schlepped over.

First encounter? Driving s-l-o-w-l-y on Cubelandia’s squiggly little road, I could barely see *anything* in the rain but there was some sort of being heading out across the road. Daddy Goose along with Mama and a bunch of goslings. I stopped in time and no one rear-ended me.

Number 2: Driving home on a high-speed back road. WHAT IS *THAT*? I *think* it was a Sandhill Crane crossing the road. It was too big to be a turkey. I did not hit it but I had to SLAM on the brakes. Again, nobody rear-ended me although there was a sorta-tailgater behind me.

Three: Potting my Muddah’s Day impatiens, I got buzzed! By what I am sure was a hummingbird. I’m not sure what it was doing in our yard. We don’t put out food for them. Although we could, no bears around these parts.

And then, Bekket (3 years old and I have no clue how they spell her name and I hope I am spelling it wrong because I don’t want her to be google-able via my blahg) came crying into our yard but was stymied because she got to a place where two fences intersect, meaning she was trapped. Dad was in hot pursuit and managed to get her to calm down and go inside with him. The issue was that she didn’t *want* to go inside.

A few minutes after that, a pointy-eared mammal rounded the corner into the yard, taking the same path as Bekket had done a bit before. This mammal did what Bekket probably wanted to do, which was to scale the fence and drop down the other side into a neighbor’s back yard. And no, this pointy-eared mammal was not a cat. It was a raccoon.

Other than that, the usual birds and chippies and that is about all I have for today.

Hello Muddah, hello faddah

May 13th, 2018 by kayak woman

I am not a fan of celebrating Mother’s Day. I think that every day is Mother’s Day and I feel for those who struggle with motherhood. Those who want to have children but can’t and those who have strained relationships with their parents/children.

I have been blessed in my life both to have parents I could get along with (not that it was always easy) and children who dance in my chitchen. Somehow our little family has managed to establish its own little traditions. Like, the beach urchins always try to come over for dinner on Mother’s Day. One of them usually schleps over a couple of flats of impatiens. She did that today but I didn’t manage to pot them yet because it is pretty darn cold here today. I’ll pot them throughout the week as the weather warms.

This year, the GG is outta town and the beach urchins made home-made ravioli for dinner. In my chitchen. We had several courses of ravioli and it was all good. Thinking about my moom (Frances) and my grandmothers. My dad’s mom Margaret who I knew and often stayed with at her house a few blocks away from mine. My mom’s mom Emily who I didn’t know because she was killed in a car accident when my mom was 15. And my step-grandmother Bolette who did not have any children but loved me as if I were her biological grandchild.

Vapor trail

May 12th, 2018 by kayak woman

I think most of us can look up at the sky at almost any time and see a contrail. I looked up a couple of evenings ago and saw this one! We certainly watched them when we were little kids on the moominbeach and I remember when my friend Kathie mis-heard “vapor trail” as “paper jail”. She and her twin brother were sweet friends of ours (my brother and I). Kathie died a few years ago after a long period of problems that began with a horrific car accident.

But today. I met my mouse down at the farmers market as early as we could both get there, which was 7:00 AM-ish. The market is starting to hop into the season and we saw the GG’s girlfriend Victoria of Protective Fish fame and we bought stuff from the beautiful Helen of Lake Divide Farm and a few other booths and then we sat inside for a bit checking our phones and whatever. My mouse and I hugged goodbye and went off our separate ways which was okay because we both had stuff to do. Still, I wanted to hold on a bit longer. How did I end up with my beautiful daughters? It is so scary to initiate a pregnancy and there are so many things that can go wrong. And then when everything goes right and you manage to birth a perfect baby you have all those years of raising that kid. I won the lottery with my kids. That is about all.

I didn’t see any contrails today. It was rainy all morning with occasional thunderstorms rolling through. The rumbly kind, nothing severe. Not very warm, mid 40s. Beautiful weather. I do wish I could be sitting outside this afternoon but it isn’t quiiiiite warm enough for that.

Small world

May 11th, 2018 by kayak woman

After another difficult work week, those of us who have survived closed ranks yet again today. We didn’t physically hug but we talked about our lives and possible futures more candidly than is usual. I remember when I first decided to take this job and I somehow can’t believe I’ve had an 11 year run at it.

I had a premonition that FZ would bring bagels to work today and it turned out I was correct. We needed those. There were more bagels than people in the office today. We have multiple people on vacation or telecommuting. It was okay. We shared FZ’s bagels with others in the building.

Of all things, it turns out that one our friends of porterization knows (from way back) my work friend FZ. I have been hanging out with FZ going on *eleven* years now. For many of those years, I have lived on the other side of the wall from FZ. I mean, every time I need something from FZ, I can just yell at him across the wall. He is one of my best resources 🧡 at work. I can’t wait to get him into the way-back musheen on Monday.

This photo was from sunrise in the neighborhood early this morning. Such a beautiful morning but then it all turned to rain and I don’t think the temperature ever got out of the low 40s today. It’s okay. This is not all that bad for May in the Great Lake State.

#maga #maga #maga, drip drip drip, #maga #maga #maga, drip drip drip

May 10th, 2018 by kayak woman

Orange Barrel Season? I guess it’s easy to forget that not everyone lives in the Great White Frozen North 🧡. Orange Barrel Season is also known as Road Construction Season and it usually gets into high gear at the beginning of May. At the end of Arctic Spring when we are *finally* beyond Ice Road Asteroid stage, the roads are dry, the traffic is light (sorta, sometimes) and everything is smooth sailing (sorta, sometimes). And then. Dun dun dun. We’re sorry, we cannot complete your commute. This will go on all summer and well into the fall. Very little construction goes on in the winter because the ground is frozen. Maybe a little cold-patching of the worst of the potholes and we have plenty of those. The roads in the Great Lake State are horrible pretty much everywhere.

That’s about all I have to say about that. The GG ran a wonderful errand for me today, picking up two more plastic Adirondack chairs over at Ace Hardware, one red and one purple. This is something I could’ve done by myself but I wasn’t sure if they would fit in the Ninja or not. And yes, plastic! I looooove the authentic wooden ones but they weigh a ton and I can easily move the plastic ones anywhere I want. I’ll probably post a pic sometime this weekend, not that you care about a couple of plastic yard chairs 🐽

Oh and now he is putting soil into big pots that I can stuff impatiens into. This is another thing I can do myself but it has taken him something like three minutes to do what would take me more like a half hour to do. Doy de doy de doy. Where is the soil? Doy de doy de doy. Where are the pots…

The parts of my life that I can write about online are mostly boring and this is about as exciting as it gets, at least today. Not that I don’t every throw a few nasty little sub-tweets into my blahg here and there [winkity-wink]. I can’t *always* be “good” [winkity-wink] but for today I am sitting out in the Landfill backyard enjoying life and ignoring the negatives. Hope you are too.

P.S. This is your annual jack-in-the-pulpit pic. Looks like a wee bit of blood root leaf below the jitp. Enjoy.

Disclaimer: I am NOT a Trump fan, in case you didn’t already know that.

Blood root redux

May 9th, 2018 by kayak woman

A while back I posted a photooo of a blood root flower all folded up before Mr. Golden Sun traveled above the horizon. I didn’t know what it was but Mouse did. Here is another blood root in full flower. Now that I know what the LEAF looks like, MAYBE I will remember it again next spring? “We” (aka Mouse) pronounced this a rather late blood root. This was the only one we saw in bloom in the Nan Weston Nature Preserve and the flowers are all gone from the ones in the woods.

I kinda fergot that the Orange Barrel Season begins in early May. That hit me upside the head on Monday and I am still trying to figger out my homeward commute. I still get to do my Zen Commute in the morning (J$ thinks “Zen Commute” is pretty funny, I’m not sure why). Afternoon? Highway to Hell. I can no longer take the I94 18-wheel Slogway home. It’s not that the Slogway is under construction, crowded, or backed up. It’s that I cannot GET to the Slogway. At least not in under a half hour. I think it is maybe two miles from Cubelandia to the Slogway? Jeebus H Mackinac Kee-reist!

So, for the duration, I am taking the “Go All the Way Down to the Bottom” route home (say that in a British accent if you will). It is longer than the Slogway route but at least I am moving. Except for when I am not. Like that whole Scio Church bridge over the Slogway and other bottlenecks.

In the category of You Need A Job? I was a wee bit “late” (whatever late means, I think it was 10 minutes and I don’t punch a clock) getting home from Cubelandia on Monday because… You’ve already read all of my kvetching. He was sorta pacing around. I finally asked if he was worried about my whereabouts. Well, yes. As a matter of fact, he was envisioning me crumpled up in my Ninja somewhere. It wouldda been pretty hard to get into a serious accident given where I was driving and how slow everyone was going. Knock on wood.


May 8th, 2018 by kayak woman

Yes, it is okay with me when people correct or question spelling and other word-smithing on my blahg. I mean, I’m not really looking for full-blown critiques of my writing “style” or whatever it is. But spelling does matter to me. FZ catches stuff for me at work (“weeky” / “weekly”?). He is at least as picky as I am. Y’all can do it on my blahg. FZ doesn’t read it – I hope!

I don’t think I have ever gotten less than maybe one wrong on a spelling test going back all the way to 1st or maybe it was 2nd grade. I bailed out of a classroom spelling bee once by spelling “congratulations” with a “d” – “congradulations”. That’s the last time I ever spelled that word incorrectly. I have never lost a spelling bee because of spelling “accommodate” with one “m” but it is one of my bugaboos, a word I have to think twice about just about every time I type it. It’s/its? Let’s not go there. Yes, I know the rules. I still screw up.

When I *don’t* know how to spell a word, or more likely I am unsure I am using the correct word, I look it up. The Google is a keystroke away. But stuff happens, especially if you are writing at the end of the day while multi-tasking away at getting dinner and talking to the radio. I am not ashamed to make mistakes.

Lilly was an interesting one though given that I have had some interesting times with not only flowers with lily in their names but an ancestor whose last name was “Lillie”. It is one of my great grandmothers and I never knew her. I grew up occasionally hearing the name though and it always caught my attention. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized that this ancestor was on my *dad’s* side, not my mother’s. For some reason, I always thought there was a Lily Road near where my mother grew up but now the Great Google tells me I am probably wrong about that. Anyway, I have now internalized the fact that my Lillie ancestor was on my dad’s side and have stopped myself from trying to spell it “Lilley”. But that wasn’t why I spelled the flower wrong, that was just sloppy typing.

One last thing. I do sometimes spell things wrong *intentionally*. Like “blahg.”

P.S. I was voter number 2 today. Mr. Mxyzptlk beat me there as usual. Smooth voting experience despite a new ballot-eating musheen.

One of the few wildflowers I haven’t had to relearn since childhood

May 7th, 2018 by kayak woman

The Commander was always going on and on about flowers and things, or so it seemed. Her brother (my uncle Austin) was a naturalist and she once told me she had wished one of her children would inherit his particular kind of talent. I’m not sure if she was remembering that he put dead owls and things in the family freezer or not.

Alas, it was not to be. Both of her children had many interests. The Engineer knew just about every automotive vee-hickle on the road at about age 3. Yer fav-o-rite blahgger was fascinated by flutes. How did all of those keys and mechanisms work, anyway? My brother and I were both good musicians in our day and we had many other interests and talents but we made our living in what people now call STEM fields. No owls in the freezer. The Comm did luck out with her son-in-law, as the GG has been known to put dead birds in the moomincabin freezer, right next to his tick collection. But he is only an amateur naturalist.

We were not always very polite when The Comm dramatically exclaimed over some beautiful specimen or vista or whatever. Once on a spring trip to Detroit there were so many of these exclamations that I finally said, “Look at the crooked barn door!” That sent me and the Engineer into huge gales of laughter for many miles. No, it doesn’t take much.

Needless to say, many plants and wildflowers were pointed out to me when I was a beach urchin. One of the few that I can actually recognize after all those years is Dutchman’s Breeches. I have had to relearn many others. Spring Beauty, Trout Lilly Lily, Trillium, Blood Root, and more. In all fairness, not all of these were in *our* woods when I was a kid, although I have seen at least some of them in other yooperland forests. So maybe I am actually learning some of them for the first time.

Then again, maybe the “naturalist DNA” skipped a generation (or more) because my mouse is intensely interested in plants and knows a lot about them, hence a lot of my new-found knowledge about spring wildflowers in the Great Lake State. Where did that interest come from for my child and my uncle. Were there other naturalists amongst our ancestors? Or is it simply an individual trait based on the infinite possibilities that recombinant DNA allows, a synergy of genetic material percolating within a person living in particular circumstances in a particular time.

P.S. That last paragraph is not about Mouse, just baggy old KW ruminations about life, the universe, and everything.

Drinkin’ in the mornin’

May 6th, 2018 by kayak woman

Okay, we were at HOMES Brewery and technically it’s possible that Mouse snagged this pic a weeeee bit before noon. But this was after a full morning of hiking out in the Nan Weston Preserve in the western parts of our own Washtenaw County.

We began the day with an egg/asparagus breakfast. With BACON, of course. We didn’t want a lot to eat and this hit the spot. And then, our Mouse drove all of us in the Frog Hopper out to the Sharon Hollow area of western Washtenaw County to check out the new Nan Weston preserve. So gorgeous! Spring wildflowers everywhere on a hike down to the River Raisin and back and no insects to speak of. At least no biting insects. I did encounter a few buzzers and some gnat-like thingies at one point. I have not found any ticks. I wore tights to keep the ticks off but I’m thinking there wasn’t enough grass out there to harbor any ticks.

We were out there for a couple hours and then we took a slow drive east along Pleasant Lake Road past the Rossettie Airport back onto The Planet Ann Arbor, where we ended up at HOMES for lunch and this silly pic. I needed a new facebook profile pic anyway.

If I happen to get to the yooperland at the right time, I will see a lot of the wildflowers we saw today again.

We were all using our iPhones a *lot* out there in the preserve, mostly to take photos. Some folks think it’s a bad thing to be tethered to your phone computer when you are out “communing with nature”. I think there are times to put your phone computer in your pocket and leave it there. But it can also be a valuable tool for documenting plants and other phenomena and learning more about them.

Sigh. We missed the Waterhill music fest today. It was in our original plans for today but our hike with our Mouse was well worth changing plans for. I mean, we could’ve still done Waterhill but I wanted some downtime today and the GG absolutely crashed out about an hour after HOMES.

I do regret missing Sax on the Roof but we may have missed that anyway given our typical random meanderings through the Waterhill music fest. We would be more likely to see Mrs. Henderson’s piano students or the Bach Elementary School Brass band. Do NOT get me wrong. I love Waterhill and LOVE that musicians of all levels can participate. Just didn’t make it this year.

G’night, KW. Wildflower pics throughout the week if nothing interesting happens, which will probably be the case.

In which the Lyme Lounge and Tiki Bar invades an otherwise loverly neighborhood

May 5th, 2018 by kayak woman

It was Kentucky Derby day and we have long celebrated that day by watching the race with a wee bit of bourbon in some format or another. Mint juleps are traditional, I think, and we have mint in our yard but I was never crazy about drinking bourbon in a mint “slurry” so we sorta switched to regular old ‘hattans quite a while back.

Today we schlepped the Lyme Lounge and Tiki Bar over to Porterland to watch the Derby with our friends of porterization in their driveway. Today we taste-tested weeeeee bits of Woodford Reserve bourbon of various sorts while watching the Derby on the Porters’ iPad with sound via our cute li’l bluetooth speaker. I’m not sure what the porterland neighborhood thought about the Lyme Lounge’s presence in their driveway.

Did we win or not? The two horses I picked were at the absolute BOTTOM of the race. The GG picked another horse for me that came in third (show, right?) so I have maybe won enough money to buy, lemme see, maybe a li’l box of microgreens at the farmers market. We’ll talk about that “indulgence” some other day.

I’m a bit puzzled about “our” gambling habits. It used to be that we would choose a Kentucky Derby horse for FUN and not bet anything on it. And then, since we have friends who drive over to Northville Downs *anyway*, we started placing $2 bets. All of a sudden we seem to be placing $10 bets. I am still in it all just for the fun. I make my own money by working for Corporate America (knock on wood). So fun to watch the derby with friends though.

So bacon? We were at the Plum Market today and, as usual, I sent the GG off so I could concentrate on my grokkery list. We reconvened at the checkout and he greeted me with, “Are you buying bacon?” Jeebus. Yes, yes, yes, I am buying bacon. Bacon is goooooood.

Berkeley Bowl

May 4th, 2018 by kayak woman

Okay, so I am not the biggest flyer around. I don’t do crazy things like fly to Alaska and stay there for a few days and then spend 30 hours back home on the Planet Ann Arbor before flying over to England for a week. I don’t spend five weeks (or whatever) in Australia (taking a few flights around to visit places in that country/continent just for fun) and then, after a week at home (on the Planet Ann Arbor), fly to Korea for a week. South Korea, that is. MMCB1 does these kinds of things on a regular basis. I cannot keep up with her travels.

A long time ago when the beach urchin Lizard Breath first moved out to Californy and was living in Berkeley, her baggy old moom actually boarded an airplane and went to visit her. As it turned out, LB’s vee-hickle ended up going into a shop for some sort of repair that day so she couldn’t meet her moom at the airport. Ulp. It’s okay, said moom (aka meeeee). I’ll figger out the BART. And I did, oh boy oh boy, albeit not without instructions and some interesting moments along the way.

By the time we got to the Berkeley Bowl that evening, I was pretty roto, having been awake for I fergit how many hours. I was wandering around in the Bowl and some guy asked me where some kind of esoteric vegetable was. Um I did not know but I *think* I remember trying to point him in the right direction. There was some kind of conversation that I can’t remember in which I told him I did not work at the Berkeley Bowl. Apparently he thought I looked like a regular Berkeley-type person. This cracked me up but I was also flattered by it. Hey, yooper gal here in Californ-iii-aaa.

I loved the Berkeley Bowl and I loved every little bit of California I saw while I was out there although I was ready at the end to schlep back across the country to good old DayTwa Metro, the Planet Ann Arbor, and the Yooperland, where The Commander and Radical Betty and a lot of their friends were still alive and kicking you know what. I still wish for an apparation app. There is now a Berkeley Bowl coooookboooook and I think I might just buy a copy.

I am up later than I want to be especially since tomorrow is a BIG DAY with the Kain-tucky Derby going on and it seems that we will be putting the Lyme Lounge Traveling Tiki Bar to use.


May 3rd, 2018 by kayak woman

And so ends 9 (?) days of spacification. Just meeeee in my gorgeous kinda landfill-y house all by myself, taking my Zen Drive to work and sitting out in the back yard after work. I eat [mostly] leftovers and the beach urchins check up on me and text me pics from camping trips and other fun adventures. The GG took off with the Frog Hopper and Lyme Lounge down to some sorta North Country Trail cluster f*@k at Hocking Hills in O-haaaa-o and after that he headed down to Mammoth Cave and other places.

I am fine about being spacified (as long as I know there will be an endpoint) here at the Landfill. I like it less at the Moomincabin. Seven (!!!) years ago, I was “stuck” up there alone dealing with what became The Commander’s last year of life. I was able to telecommute and when it got warm enough for me to move my base of operations from luxury camping at Command Central (her house in Sault Ste. Siberia) to the moomincabin, I was happy to move there. Even though it was still cold enough that I usually slept in leggings, socks, and a jacket.

Random memory. I had an *ancient* work laptop at that time and one day the wireless “radio” (so the error message said) just plain stopped working. That and the fact that we still had dial-up internet at the moomincabin was the straw that broke the camel’s back and I high-tailed it up to jamadots and had a DSL installed. The guy who installed it was also able to provide me with a cable so I could hook my rickety old work laptop up to the DSL without wifi. He rocked! Within the next couple weeks, I bought a new MacBook Pro *and* received a new Windows musheen from work.

Anyway, I found that I was lonely sitting around at the moomincabin in the evening. I missed having the GG around there after work. Although I don’t mind being there alone from time to time and I am not a-skeered [mostly] of bears and things (actually I have never *seen* a bear there with my own eyes but they *are* there), it is a place to be with family. To The Commander (and me, for the most part*), it was fun to be there with as many of our “branch” of the fam who could fit in, at least for short periods of time. Fortunately my brother and I each stopped at two kids. Otherwise it would have been a squeeze.

Since my brother, father, and mother died and the grandchildren all grew up and got busy with their own lives, all too often it can be too quiet there with just the GG and me, or just me, or just the GG. We love being there whenever but we also love when our kids and niece(s?) (and any SOs they happen to have) can visit as well as cousins on both sides of the family. It can be a tight squeeze but nowadays we have the Lyme Lounge to help handle the overflow (usually it’s the GG and me who sleep out there). Anyway I am getting adjusted to having the GG back at the Landfill and looking forward to a great summer. Come and join us!

*The time we hosted a memorial party for my dad, there were so many people in the moomincabin that I ended up sleeping on the floor upstairs – which I DIDN’T mind – wedged up against The Comm’s old Train Trunk from WWII – which was pretty awful. That was an uncomfortable circumstance on an otherwise extremely stressful weekend and I remember *greatly* enjoying decompressing on an overnight trip to the Green Cabin after it was all over. 🧡🧡🧡

G’night and don’t fergit to pick yer horse. Mendelssohn and Magnum Moon for me and maybe others. I haven’t looked at the list yet. And yes I bet these days but not very much.