Random bits of my so-called life.

Back and thanks to all (nine) of you

August 21st, 2014 by kayak woman

barkNew cable modem, back on line and blathering on. And on and on and on. And on…

So easy these days. Just take your old dysfunctional cable modem over to Com[insert-expletive-here], get a new one, plug it in and all’s well that ends well. No serial killers or anything. Except for when they email you a BILL a couple hours later! A New Customer kind of bill. $140 was it? I couldn’t hear the exact amount because the GG’s voice was drowned out by National Petroleum Radio.

New customers? Hmmm… I can’t even remember the exact year we first had service with Com[insert-expletive-here]. Was it 1999? Or was that when we first tried to get Com[insert-expletive-here] and they told us they didn’t service Apple computers[!] Or was it 2001? Whenever it was, I had My Loverly Strawberry iMac and an “older” guy came out with an installation disk and some other stuff and every time he put the disk into My Loverly Strawberry iMac, My Loverly Strawberry iMac would crash. So I would climb down under the computer and power off / power on. This action total FREAKED OUT the “older” guy (older than me anyway). He seemed to think My Loverly Strawberry iMac would blow up or something. People, the only time in more years than I care to count in all the years I’ve been in the computer bizness that I ever saw a piece of computer equipment come even close to exploding was back in the 1980s or thereabouts. It was at That Darn EPA and one of our “terminals” puffed out a wee whiff of smoke. We unplugged it and the problem was solved.

Okay. A call to Com[insert-expletive-here] revealed that this was in fact our monthly bill. Yes, $140. We have cable TV too. I had to talk to the poor customer service rep to add the GG’s name to the bill (haven’t we done that before?) and I’m sure my irritation at her questions about my name and address was clear. Before I handed the phone back to the GG, I told her, “He’s much nicer than I am.” (I could hear her laughing as he took back the phone.)

This whole thing about having your name on the bill is new since about 2010 or so. The GG has always been the one to call Com[insert-expletive-here] because he *is* nicer (and also he is more knowledgeable about hubs and waaaars and things) and it seems like always before they handled things without asking me for a whole bunch of information. Before The Commander got sick, some sales snake from Charter (in the Yooperland) convinced her that she needed a new TV control box. The damn thing took something like SEVEN SECONDS to change from one channel to another. It was totally unusable. The GG went over to Charter with the damn box and asked them to change it back to whatever she had before. The Commander was waiting outside in the car. Charter said that they couldn’t do anything without permission from the person whose name was on the service. Well guess what? The person whose name was on the service was My Old Coot and by that time (2011), he had been dead for five years. Immediately and without questions, the Charter person made the change.

Ah well. We wanted to walk over to Zingerman’s Roadhouse tonight but it’s raining and there is LIGHTNING and I guess we will just drive instead. It is so beautiful here at The Landfill that I want to stay here but there isn’t any food so I guess we will go out.

Sayonara, KW

ababsurdo is up but my cable modem is not

August 20th, 2014 by kayak woman

Maybe I’ll be back. Maybe I’ll just take the night off. You’re welcome [insert error aminal here].

Just in time

August 19th, 2014 by kayak woman

reflectionsMade it home and *inside* with all of my work stuff and the mail and the tomatoes I bought from Farmer John today and oh heck, I even did a couple small chores. And then the clouds burst. Driving home, it looked really threatening and I had to quell a wee bit of panic when I was stuck on top of an overpass s-i-t-t-i-n-g behind a long line of traffic waiting for something like four traffic light cycles.

Hey, they are talking about K College on NPR tonight. Actually, it’s one of those pre-college news stories about how to prepare your kid for college. Sex, in this case. Unless K College has changed its schedule from terms to semesters, those parents will not be dropping their daughter off until mid-September or so. I know because both of my beach urchins graduated from K.

Was I nervous about dropping off my first child at college? Of course I was. I wasn’t nervous about sex. Fer kee-reist! It was a more generalized worry. My worries were unfounded because Lizard Breath and then Mouse both thrived at K college.

I remember when we drove home after dropping Lizard off at K. I was still working for YAG and had auditions to manage, so I made a ‘hattan for the GG and delivered it to him in his baby’s bedroom, and then I took off.

Dropping Mouse off? I was in an advanced class at WCC. It was group work and I had told the teacher that I would be the project manager for our group but that I had to miss part of the first group meeting because I was dropping my kid off at college and there was this whole convocation where folks walked down the green in their academic regalia, blah-de-blah.

That was okay but… I returned to chaos within our group — with my future friend S freaking out in the hallway with the teacher. I walked out of the stairwell and reiterated that I intended to handle project management. Everyone settled down immediately. I became better friends with S. Her daughter eventually went to K, of all things. She was a high school senior at that time and K was one of her top picks.

I miss driving over to Kalamazoo. Maybe we can still drive over there and meet up with our niece 1st-cuzzint-once-removed who will be a freshman at Western Michigan U this fall. Right next door to K!

Smells like something died in here!

August 18th, 2014 by kayak woman

chokecherriesIt isn’t the garbage! There’s NOTHING in the garbage. Okay, one used Kleenex. My snot does not smell like something dead. I can only guess that some specimen of Mus musculus got stuck somewhere and couldn’t get out. I suppose I will have to wait this out. It’s one of those things where you get used to it after a while. Kind of like living next to a farm, maybe? The Commander never got tired of telling people (including meeee) about the time they took me to a sheep farm when I was a very small child. Of *course* I wrinkled up my nose. What were you thinking?

At least I got IN the door this afternoon. Via the Disco Lock, that is. It has been intermittently ignoring me (and sometimes the GG but mostly meeeee) for a week now. He put a new battery in it yesterday and it seemed to be working better. Until this morning when it wouldn’t talk to me at all… I went out to the app to try [again] to figger out what was going on. I was not logged in. How did I get logged out? I do not know. Maybe changing the battery triggered it. I do not know. Don’t ask. YOU do not want to know. It works now. I got in this afternoon without a problem. Knock on wood.

From the “does anyone else ever do that?” category: National Petroleum Radio was talking tonight about folding atoms. Not atoms exactly, thin sheets of something. The idea is to create wearable computers and I do not mean watches or Google Glass. I’m talking about shirts and jackets, etc. I lost track though because it took me right back to when I was a very small child and used to sit around and ruminate about how many times I could fold a piece of paper in half until it was impossible to fold it any more. I suspect these thoughts came from my own experiments in actually *folding* pieces of paper. Possibly origami, which was one of my consuming passions as a child. Sitting in my bedroom in our shabby little bungalow down on Superior Street reading, drawing, counting and organizing various items of cosmic debris into notebook paper data bases, folding, thinking. Folding to infinity. Calculus.

I am not looking forward to wearable computers in the kind of form factor they were talking about on NPR tonight but I guess I’ll talk about that some other time. I’m not quite ready tonight.

A museum of Passeriformes Bombycillidae Bombycilla cedrorum

August 17th, 2014 by kayak woman

rainOr is it an ear-full?

Good morning Ann Arbor. What a good walk I had this morning! Rained like cats and dogs most of the entire loop. Came home, washed my feet (and my shoes), put a dry tie-dyed t-shirt on and left my umbrella on the porch fully opened to dry out. What was good about it? It was warm and there was NO LIGHTNING! I walk in rain but I do not do lightning.

Alas, the rain slowed waaaayyy down after I took this photo, so the people of The Planet Ann Arbor could not take to the streets in their kayaks.

You do not want to know about my boring day of chores, errands, and flinging / reorganizing. My eyes were normal (aka not itching, watering, crusting, reddish) today for the first time in a week. The GG is a few days behind me so he had a rather slow day (which is OKAY!). Eventually, we went out for a hike. I whined at first about where he wanted to hike. I really wanted to be in the woods and his hike would take us through the nearby village of Dexter. I got a grip and decided to go with the flow and boy oh boy was I glad I did that. Why?

First, we discovered that the Border-to-Border Trail has now been completed from Dexter to Hudson Mills Metropark. That introduces the possibility of us doing a death biathlon trip, dropping off kayaks in one metropark, driving down to another one, walking up to the drop-off park, then kayaking back down to the Frog Hopper. To me, the issue here is how to secure the kayaks…

We also discovered the Beer Grotto in Dexter. If I get it right, the grotto serves about a billion beers and wines curated from various craft outfits, mostly here in the Great Lake State.

Seemed like the perfect place to have a beer or whine after a hike. Alas, I didn’t link to the place because although I LOVED it, I can’t quiiiite recommend it. The people were wonderful but they were very overwhelmed and therefore very slow and the whine servings were extremely small. I could only order whine by one or two ounces (!) or by the litre or whatever. So I got a HUGE glass with a teensy tinesy wee little bit of whine in the bottom of it. What I wanted was a half-glass of whine to snuggle up to in the mid-afternoon before we walked the 1.5 miles or whatever it was back to our vee-hickle in the Dexter-Huron Metropark. I’d’ve probably gotten closer to that good old post-hike comfort whine over at our old fave Dexter’s Pub. It wouldn’t have been fancy whine but I wouldn’t have cared. Actually, I wasn’t even planning on whine this afternoon. I was thinking “woods”. No whine in the woods.

Nevertheless, I think the Beer Grotto is great and I want it to succeed.

Zoom Schwartz Profigliano (but mostly Zoom (KNOCK ON WOOD))

August 16th, 2014 by kayak woman

goosexstitchNote to self. Next time you take a whole (sorta) 2-week vacay, do NOT try to hit the ground running when you get back, exspecially [grin] if you are sick! All week I have been beating myself up about not running around being nuclear powered like a chicken with its head cut off. Chores and errands and work. I can do it all, roight? NOOOOOOO. You were SICK, KW! No passing it off as, “It’s just a cold”, even though it was. With cold viruses, your mileage may vary.

I am still coughing a bit but I was pretty much back to normal today, beginning with an early morning hike down to the farmer’s market, which is in high season at this time of the summer! Sweet corn? Yes. Except that I already got mine from Farmer John at work. It’s okay. I got plenty of other stuff, including kimchee, but not pasties. The pasty guys weren’t there today.

Back to flinging? I hesitate to write about that on-line, fearing I might jinx myself. I’ve been struggling for many moons now about how to sort out all of the random stuff that’s been left in this house by my earlier collecting habits, my mother’s death and my children’s exodus. I certainly helped my kids collect things but I think we’re all over that now, although I don’t dump their stuff without permission. Today I consigned a few items of mine to various donation destination boxes and trashed some things that were truly trash. Mostly I chipped away on getting Things That Are Like Other Things TOGETHER! So ZOOM! But also, KNOCK ON WOOD!

Zoom Schwartz Profigliano? Ever play it? It’s a drinking game. I played it one night back in the day with The Engineer and our friends, [the now] Doc W., Joel, and I cannot remember the 4th person but I bet it was Kev. We didn’t play it as a drinking game (like these people are) although we did drink that night. We had been at the Alpha Bar and I remember us driving over the Ashmun Street bridge (I think my bro’ was driving his VW bug that night) and we were doing something totally geeky by assigning each person a number, so it was Zoom 1, Schwartz 3, and Profigliano 4 or whatever. Look up the rules if you want. I did and I don’t totally recognize them. The rules probably vary, like cold viruses.

P.S. Doc W.? He is a Music Doc. Expert percussionist waaaayyy back in high school and also at MooU (I was there when he was). Unlike yer fav-o-rite blahgger, he went on into a music career, became a conductor and, from what I see on facebook (because we are friends), he is beloved by all of his students and a whole bunch of other folks in and out of the music world.

Deoxyribonucleic Acid

August 15th, 2014 by kayak woman

purpleDone any o’ that stuff lately? Oh, I know, it’s too expensive these days. (Snort snort snort…)

Friday night raucousness at the Oscar Tango tonight. Legal stuff abounds. A co-worker recently finished her tenure as the jury foreman on a high profile case in the Daytwa area. It’s none of my business to provide the details. I’ll just say that when the local news stations played the audio of her reading the jury’s verdict, everyone at work knew exactly who it was. I didn’t hear it. I was in the yooperland, where there’s no TV except in the Lockview Laundromat and Woldemort. I listen to National Petroleum Radio at the moomincabin and they didn’t play the audio. All I have to say is that this jury had a horrendous decision to make and I do NOT envy them.

Then there was the 30-something guy who ran away with his 13-year-old female “friend”. It’s complicated. He was a “family friend” and therefore her mother didn’t discourage the relationship. Did mom know how “serious” the relationship was? Who knows. If one of my beeyootiffel beach urchins had been hanging out with an icky 30-something guy at 13, family friend or not, I think I would have gone into big-time Mama Bear mode. Fortunately, my daughters seem to have inherited their baggy old mother’s sniff test. Yuck yuck yuck. The young woman is now 16 and has his baby. The guy is sentenced to a good long term in prison. I’m not sure if I agree with how long. As icky as this all was, it is far from black and white, at least in my mind.

Which gets me back to deoxyribonucleic acid. I am sick to death of the word “race”. What? We are the HOMO SAPIENS SPECIES. The homo sapiens species comes in all different shapes, sizes, and COLORS! Kind of like dogs, cats, horses, guinea pigs, you name it. Who knows who the heck we all share DNA with. Any one of us WASPy-type folks could have a scrap of DNA straight out of “deepest darkest” Africa. How the hell would we know?

Now. Do I ever get a little nervous when I see a black male in a hoodie or a do rag sauntering along toward me on the sidewalk? I will NOT deny that I do. But you have to know that 98% of the time, when I make eye contact with a person of that description, we end up SMILING at each other and maybe even interacting a bit: “Hello!” or “Howya doin’”. Another 1% of the time, he’s a person having a bad day and doesn’t want to interact with a baggy old kayak woman (or vice versa!). The other 1%? ONCE in the last eight years or so, I encountered a black kid in a hoodie who made me a little nervous. Afterward, I observed him walking down my street peering into every car parked in the street (including mine). Was he up to no good? Probably. Guess what? I have encountered people who look like me (aka, they have “white” skin) who make me nervous too.

Maybe you’ve guessed I’m now talking about #FERGUSON. I dunno what’s really going on over there in Ferguson. Although I’ve been to St. Louis a few times, I don’t think I’ve ever even heard of Ferguson before. I don’t think any of us have anywhere near a full set of details about what happened there but it sounds like serious overkill to me. We have somehow *got* to put “race” aside, not to mention “terrorism”, and pull together because the po-leese should not be treating ANYONE like that anywhere and weeeeee should not put up with it whatever color our skin presents to the world.

G’night, KW


August 14th, 2014 by kayak woman

knightsA few years ago, we were at our fave neighborhood pub / steakhouse and the GG spied my MacMu cuzzint Salwa. I didn’t see her so I was thinking something like, “Say what?” Salwa and D live 20 minutes to the east by freeway. But in addition to being a popular neighborhood steakhouse / pub, Knight’s is also a destination spot and a subsequent conversation with Salwa indicated that we had very likely spotted her there.

After all these years, tonight, drum roll…, we met up with Salwa and D (and our own lovely Lizard Breath) at Knight’s tonight. Oh my gosh, so much fun! Salwa and I gabbled and gabbled about our lives and family stuff from back when we were kids all the way up until now. The GG and D were gabbling on and on about the R word, that is, when D wasn’t gabbling with people that he knows from previous visits to Knight’s or wherever. I hope Lizard Breath had fun. I think she did. She can certainly hold her own in terms of conversation but I was so busy gabbling away with Salwa that I’m not sure. But maybe she was just sitting there listening to all of us and grinning to herself about all of our silliness.

The occasion for us to finally meet here in southeast Michigan (for something other than a dern funeral) is the delivery of a painting that Salwa bought when she visited us up in Sault Ste. Siberia a few weeks ago. An Anny Hubbard, one of my all-time fave artists, an indescribable Native American artist that The Commander and Radical Betty knew. Can I just say that she is sparkly? Anyway, the painting was too big for Salwa’s vee-hickle, especially with three other people and all of their luggage, so we offered to schlep it down for her. The idea was that we would meet at Knight’s to hand it off. And so we did.

We had so much fun! I hope we do this again soon and often. I know that not everyone knows all of their cousins (or even have any). I am glad that I grew up knowing all of my cousins in both families. Not only are they some of the best friends I will ever have, we have some shared memories that most of my other friends could never understand.

I’m about done. Lizard Breath is spending the night and she and the GG are figuring out via Spotify what kind of music yer fav-o-rite blahgger likes. A former aspiring classical flute virtuoso who also loved rock and roll from the top 40 to esoteric stuff. And then there’s Celtic fusion. Throw a little Iris Dement[ed] and some jazz into the mix (and a couple toads and bats and things) and you’ve about got it.

Love y’all and here’s to cousins especially. I love mine so much!

Don’t bother reading this, just look at the bunchberries

August 13th, 2014 by kayak woman

I mean, can I just rewind this whole week? I have not been a happy camper. I have grumped and growled and screamed and cried and sent an angry text message or two. I did not do any of this at work but I *did* get extremely annoyed at a co-worker today. Why? I do not know. She did a *good* thing! But it required meeeeeee to be temporarily inconvenienced — in a MINOR way. I got ahold of myself right quick (for about the 10th time this week minus a few times when I didn’t) and, telling myself “Count to 10, KW” as I walked out of the building, TOOK A WALK! When I came back, I was okay. Note to self…


I have blown up at various people throughout my life. Almost *always* close family members. I don’t know how else to say it except that I have thunderstorms sometimes. They aren’t any fun for anyone (including meeeee, believe me!) but they do blow through and I am okay again. I think things through and figure out how I will handle that conflict the next time it occurs but sometimes I get blindsided by something I can’t immediately think through. Kind of like play productions in a way but since plays only [arguably] imitate life, it is [sometimes] *fun* to handle the problem or solve the conflict or whatever. Not always so much in real life.


ONCE in my life I got angry enough on the job to yell at someone and storm out (I did NOT yell at anyone today). It was during my childhood IT career over at That Darn EPA and after I stormed out, I drove all the way home! I remember the person who set me off but, for the life of me, I can’t remember what he said or did that made me so angry. We were friends so much of the time. Fortunately, I didn’t do anything too stoopid and my good old boss Byron did not faaaar me (or even talk to me about it, the other guy was truly out of line). Nevertheless, I learned from that experience (and many others) that you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. I went on to be a well-respected SME at that job and was treated very well.


I am happily recovering from the not-Ebola virus. I [vigorously] went through my usual morning skunk walk today and was butt-in-seat at work around the usual time that I wander in to work. When the Queen Bee came in she said, “You look so much better today. You were so pale on Monday.” Yes. The GG is a bit behind me in his recovery but this is not Ebola and we will all survive.

I cannot rewind the week but I hope tomorrow is a better day.

It’s okay, it’s not Ebola

August 12th, 2014 by kayak woman

thelastnightThe title is not meant to be disrespectful in any way. The illness that results from the Ebola virus is horrific. I don’t wish it on anyone and I am horrified at the idea that there may be drugs that are helping (?) American health care workers that are not being distributed to those who are suffering over in Africa.

But here’s the truth. I don’t have Ebola. I have whatever blasted cold virus is going around The Planet Ann Arbor this summer. This virus has a weird trajectory. You feel just a hint of congestion in your throat, then there are about 5-6 days of just a wee bit of coughing and nose-blowing. Then. Ka-wham! I took a sick day today. I actually felt quite a bit better today than I did yesterday. I guess that says something about the kind of denial I was in yesterday. Today, I didn’t want to get out of bed. I bagged my walk. I got out to the couch and felt like I needed a nap. I emailed in sick. I dozed and then read a book (on my phone (Snow Child)). Mouse came over in the afternoon and told me my face looked congested. She knew. She had the same cold virus earlier in the summer.

I am irritated by a few things today but most of my irritation is directed at all of the folks who insist upon posting and reposting and reposting stuff about Robin Williams and his death ad infinitum. I’m sorry. This is very sad. I think he was a talented, wonderful person with a dark side. Aren’t we all like that? I do not understand why anyone would commit suicide. I won’t because I love my life and I am still afraid of death. I have been with people who were ready to die and I was with my brother when he died. I don’t think any of those folks feared death and, in some cases wanted to hasten it. But those folks were old and/or ill. Who am I to judge someone else for taking their life? Let us mourn Robin Williams but let us also understand how complex each and every one of us is. And that successful folks like Robin have some of the same problems as the rest of us and maybe have fewer tools for handling them, as rich and/or famous as they are.

Good night. Love you all. Read Snow Child.


August 11th, 2014 by kayak woman

driftwoodMonday? Yeah, the Monday after a 2-week vacation. This morning. A little after 7:00 AM. I was standing on the front porch returning from my 0-skunk-30 walk waging the mother of all battles with the lock on the front door. It’s a disco lock and it opens (most of the time) if you have your phone with you and touch it. Today? Not so much. But wait! I have a physical key too! Would. Not. Turn. One. Iota. Jiggle the door. Restart the phone. No luck. Called the GG in tears. He was already at work or close to it and I did NOT want to ask him to come all the way back across town to rescue a beautiful young baggy old damsel washerwoman in distress. Why oh why can’t I do this myself? And then, eventually, I tried turning the key one more time and got success. After that the disco lock worked too. Go figger. Next time I leave for more than a couple days, I think I will test the whole thing out the NIGHT I get home, i.e., BEFORE I am scrambling to get inside to get ready for work the next morning.

Not the most auspicious start to the day but things improved (after a fashion) after I got to work. I won’t go into all of the details (very boring for one thing) but I will just say that as soon as I opened my mouth to greet the Queen Bee, she noticed that I was *not* quite 100%. We all commiserated about getting sick on your vacation and apparently plenty of others at work were in sick bay while I was gone. Have I mentioned before how much I love the folks I work with and for? Class A folks all.

Most of the stuff that happened today is unblahggable, either because it involves work or just family-type stuff that falls into the category of I-can’t-blahg-about-that. Oh, nothing terribly exciting. At the end of the day, I was pretty darn tired albeit ambulatory but am seriously considering working from home tomorrow, so as not to spread my toxic waste substances any further into the world.

Love y’all,


August 10th, 2014 by kayak woman

buoy23This photooo was taken back on Memorial Day weekend. There were still piles of dirty old snow in the yooperland on Memorial Day weekend. Everything was late this year and so there were almost leaves on the deciduous trees and bushes at the moombeach on Memorial Day weekend this year. We had so much fun *anyway*. The Twinz of Terror and I took the Motor Bote out into the channel. It was so much fun. The promise of a whole summer was ahead of us.

I managed to tweak two whole weeks to be at the moominbeach but I am home and crash-landed on The Planet Ann Arbor today. I walked to the Plum Market this afternoon and I didn’t cry, although I have been known to do that before. Congestion? Oh man, we only hit a couple of slowdowns on the I75 SUV Speedway today. We were driving in tandem, the GG in the Frog Hopper and me in the Ninja. I cannot do phone things when I am driving the Ninja. It is a loverly 6-speed manual. I called the GG a couple of times to say that he was going faster than I wanted to travel (77 mph, say what?) Alas, I did a couple accidental calls while trying to tell the GG to SLOW DOWN!

Congestion? I have a bad cold and so I didn’t hug the relatives we said goodbye to this morning. That doesn’t mean that I don’t love them. Because I so much do. And somehow, driving downstate in the Ninja, I didn’t feel all that conjested. Except for traffic but that’s a different kind of congestion. Missing the yooperland bigtime but loving being back on the Green Planet Ann Arbor again.

Good night and love y’all, Kayak Woman

Finnelsons on facebook

August 9th, 2014 by kayak woman

feathersIs it okay if I get to be friends with other Finnelsons on facebook? Actually, we are not “Finnelsons” at all. That’s just how some of the less literate folks in Sault Ste. Siberia pronounced my surname when I was a child. IT DROVE THE COMMANDER NUTS!!!! Not so much me. I sorta got the whole thing and was just trying to fit in with the kids in my neighborhood, some of whom were more intelligent than others and/or had better training in grammar. Like everywhere else on earth. Except maybe for the Planet Ann Arbor where everybody seems to be super-smart (or not) but I love that place anyway. And that’s a good thing, since I am headed down there tomorrow.

So, as of this afternoon, I am now Facebook friends with two Finnelsons that, as far as I know, are not directly related to me. I am not sure that they are related to each other either, since one of them seems to live in the USA and the other in Canananada. My Finnelson grandparents were born in Ontario but via a very long story, they ended up in Sault Ste. Siberia, Michigan, where I grew up. I am kind of loving meeting up with other Finnelsons on facebook. I don’t know if any of us are related. If we are, it might be something like 6th cuzzint 4 times removed. But that’s okay. As long as they don’t want to host a huge family reunion here at the moominbeach.

I also swam twice this afternoon. It was another hot day and I hung out watching boats come down outta Gitchee Gumee for hours. Baby Blue aka the Ken Booth will be up later tonight.

Beach day

August 8th, 2014 by kayak woman

beachdayI was absolutely torn today. Do I head over to the Two-Hearted River to camp with the GG and hike along Gitchee Gumee with the North Country Trail folks? Or do I hang out here at the moomincabin all aloooooone? If I had one more week to spend here, the decision would have been easy and I’d’ve been on the road. But I do not have another week. The Yooperland is kicking me out on Sunday, back down to the Planet Ann Arbor and Cubeland. I’m not sure if we’ll get back up here again until Mother Nature decides it’s time to close the place down before the arrival of Old Man Winter. I needed to be here.

Guess what? It was a Beach Day! Hotter than Hades down there all afternoon. So hot that I eventually wandered out into the biggest air-conditioner in the world to cool off a bit. I didn’t expose a lot of skin to Mr. Golden Sun but somehow, I am still feeling a bit burnt. By the way, I took today’s pitcher this morning. There’s the John B. Aird, Round Guano Island, and the American Century. I took another photooo in the late afternoon and the light was just about the same as this morning. A little more golden now that the sun is setting but still similar.

Did I get anything constructive done today? No, I did not. I could blame my cold virus but that wasn’t really it. Heat and I was READING A BOOK! Yes, I am engrossed in the book 1Q84. It’s one of those books where I actually *care* about the characters (unlike the traveling funeral book [wink]). Reading was actually one of my goals for this summer. Oh, not that I ever have goals, exactly. My goals are simple. Let’s just get through this day without some kind of ridiculous disaster or conflict with somebody or whatever. But I am engrossed in a book and for a person like me who has had a difficult time focusing on anything but work over the last few years, that is a good thing! I think it’s okay that I’m reading it on my phone, don’t you? (heehee)

KW alone? Let’s invite her for dinner! I am blessed! My Dear Uncle Harry was the first to ask! I knew (since Bugs and Horsey are between guests) that he would be on a Mother’s March on Leftovers crusade and so he was. Been there, done that and always glad to help with leftover eradication efforts! He is so much more creative about using up leftovers than yer fav-o-rite blahgger. Ham and shrimp curry with brownies for dessert. So good. I had another loverly invitation to become porterized for dinner but I was already included in the seating at the Old Cabin. It’s okay. We porterized the Lyme Lounge last night and I’ll get porterized again soon enough down at the Oscar Tango.

With luck it’ll be a while until Old Man Winter makes his appearance but there are always Canadian cold fronts moving in if you live anywhere near the Great Lake State. Speaking of Canadian cold fronts moving in this song (Youtube link) was just on the radio. I’m not sure why I never knew this but it seems like The Band originally did this? Why the heck did I not know this?

Some bad shit went down today too but, as it happened moiles from me, I tried my best to ignore it. Just for today. Note to the MDEQ: bulldozers do not belong anywhere near wetlands. That is all.

Except I love you all. I mean that.


August 7th, 2014 by kayak woman

laundryFirst of all, KW is annoyed at *herself*! Why? Because she got up a half hour (or there-abouts) late and therefore didn’t get to the Lockview Laundromat EXACTLY at 9 AM, when it opens. When she did get there (maybe 9:10?), there were something like FIVE vee-hickles there already. KW panicked for a moment but fortunately, her CORNER of the laundromat — the one with the triple-loaders — was not yet populated. Whew. But then. She was annoyed by the people *in* the laundromat. She didn’t really want to talk to anyone this morning. She didn’t want to talk to the folks that are ekscaping (yes) Fla, TX, AZ, you name it, for the summer. She didn’t want to talk to the woman who didn’t seem to be able to articulate words. She CERTAINLY didn’t want to talk to the young man who asked her if she had a *light*. Say what!?! Do I look like a smoker? I do not know whether or not I *look* like a smoker but I definitely *sound* like a smoker this week. Hack hack cough cough. Sigh… And I do NOT have anything against people who smoke. All of these people were perfectly nice people and I’m gonna guess that the inarticulate woman has prob’ly had a stroke or something. And the laundromat is loverly under the management of a friendly and energetic young man who keeps the water and the dryers hot and is johnny-on-the-spot when a washer starts leaking.

Okay, then there was Glen’s. First, the bottle return. I had ONE plastic bottle, a few cans, and seven glass beer bottles. The cans and plastic were easy peasy (is that really a word?). Glass? Only one musheen and it was occupied by a guy with a whole grokkery cart full. All right, I’ll take my glass bottles to the service desk. No one was there. I stood there for five minutes 60 seconds and no one noticed me. I fled, picked up the FOUR items on my list and checked out. Later, long after I got back to the moomincabin, my brain finally got out of the box. Why did I not just give my *seven* glass bottles to the guy ahead of me? My main objective here is to get rid of bottles, not to collect 70 cents. Note to self. I will be sad when Glen’s succumbs to Meijer when it moves in. I think Glen’s is already suffering since Woldemort hopped across Old US-2 and turned into Super Woldemort. I don’t patronize Woldemort (except sometimes at Houghton Lake) but I *will* patronize Meijer.

I was annoyed by beach company (or lack thereof) today. The GG has different prodjects whenever he is here and this year, one of his prodjects seems to be walking up and down the beach with a plastic bag collecting garbage. I do not know why this annoys me. It shouldn’t. It is a good thing. Maybe I’m remembering when I was a kid and all sorts of garbage floated up on the beach. Onion bags, grapefruit rinds, dead dogs (once), all forms and colors of styrofoam (which we used in various beach construction prodjects). So, at the end of the day, the GG joined me up on the bank (northwest wind today) and I took off for a walk and was then annoyed when I got back and he wasn’t there.

Last of all, KW remains annoyed at herself for not seizing the day properly. I have a frickin’ cold but I am not *sick* with that cold, just coughing sneezing and blowig by dose and I couldda done better. Tomorrow is another day, roight?

P.S. The photo is old and I am so missing having these beach urchins help with laundry. We had so much fun! Were donuts involved?

I hate leave-takings

August 6th, 2014 by kayak woman

carlsbeachartI also hate long good-byes. You know the kind (or maybe you don’t). You have have mobilized everyone and scrambled everything into your vee-hickle and you are backing out of the driveway and somebody starts up a NEW TOPIC of conversation! This drives me absolutely totally utterly bonkers! My in-laws used to do that, may their beautiful souls rest in peace, and the Twinz of Terror sometimes show some tendencies in that direction. Me? It’s time to go so LET’S GO! This is not the time to go count how many old gas cans are in the garage or discuss fifth cuzzints eight times removed or or or.

I lost my train of thought. There were two leave-takings today and fortunately for me, I only had to be there when people were actually getting into their vee-hickles. Oh, my cuzzints (first cuzzints, zero times removed, thank you very much) were using the Old Cabin Outhouse. I occasionally use that outhouse but usually that’s when I have to goooo after we’ve shut down the moomincabin, which usually happens in October but is dictated by Mother Nature.

Today. I really kind of wanted a road trip but I didn’t know how to articulate that… I / we took a few short trips instead. I went up to the Dancing Crane Coffehouse today to buy sweet grass soap for my DayTwa beach urchin. Then I asked the GG, “Do you wanna go to Clyde’s for lunch?” I can’t always tell if he can hear me because he is listening to a book on his iPhone but this particular time, his face lit up into a smile. Okayyyy. I drove us over to Clyde’s Drive-In via the back roads. The downriver fields of the eastern UP are so beautiful at this time of year. My final trip today was the Sault Ste. Siberia farmer’s market. This farmer’s market is not quite as comprehensive as the venerable Ann Arbor farmer’s market but it’s high season here so there was a lot of good produce there and SWARMS of people. I support locally grown produce whenever I can.

I got back in time to see the Regenstreif Harms family leave. I will miss them… BTW, it was Carl of that family who created the beach art in the photoooo. I posted this on facebook and people are loving it. Calendar anyone? Would need a better photographer.

Buying stuff in Sault Ste. Siberia and taking it to the Planet Ann Arbor

August 5th, 2014 by kayak woman

targetLots of weird little errands today. Fuel pump for the Motor Bote. Check. Art fair. Check. Yooperland nightlight, Native American card, Besteman maple syrup, raffle ticket for a bee-yoo-tiffel wooden canoe, schmoozefest between the GG and the folks at the Historical Society (who did a double-take when he told them my name — yeah, I am Jack & Fran’s daughter). We’re pretty sure that The Comm donated a collection of Great Lakes Red Books to the historical society. If so, they went to a good organization.

MICROWAVE OVEN! Yes. The GG found one he thought I might like at The Commander’s fave appliance store here in Sault Ste. Siberia. A family-owned place. He dragged me in there today to look at it. I wasn’t 100% impressed. I would’ve liked a smaller one but this one isn’t tooooooo big and it has 1200 watts and we wanted wattage. I was prepared to nix it but a little voice said something like, “Just buy it KW.” The GG wants a microwave and you will use it sometimes too. And so we did…

The fun began when I handed over my debit card. The one with my name on it. The woman looked at my card and said, “We are related!” And yes, I think we are. She was talking so fast I had a little trouble processing all of it at the time but later, after I had scrounged a lunch and dragged a whole lot of stuff out on to the deck in order to run Rooooomba and was sitting on the beach, I figured out that, if I followed my new-found relative’s narrative accurately, she is my dad’s 2nd cousin, which means that she and I are 2nd cousins once removed. It wasn’t until then that I realized that the somewhere-around-my-age son who was working there today was probably my [drum roll] THIRD COUSIN.

What fun! I was processing a *lot* of information but I was also looking for a family resemblance. I’m not sure I found one in terms of appearance, well not much with meeee anyway, but then I realized that the resemblance was that she and I both keep track of family stories and relationships, or at least we try to. And we both talk fast (although I think she is more social than I am) and we are both pretty damn spry! This doesn’t mean that we will start meeting for lunch or spending Christmas together but a whole new dimension was added to my life today.

I do like to buy things up here in the yooperland if the stars are aligned in the right way. The 2008 meltdown is kind of a long time ago now but I remember being on a North Country Trail hike around that time and somebody asked various Eastern Upper Peninsula folks how the meltdown was affecting folks in the area. The answer was something along the lines of, “It’s been bad here forever and it isn’t any different now.” Good answer. There are folks up here who do well (my fam, for example (make no mistake, we are not within the ranks of Donald Trump or whoever, I just mean we can pay the rent)) but many many many people do not. My appliance store relatives seem to be doing just fine but I am glad to buy a microwave oven from a relative rather than Lowe’s or even Big George.

Garbage Processing, then and now

August 4th, 2014 by kayak woman

We don’t argue about the garbage, like the loverly and greatly missed octogenarians were doing in the photooo below. Yes, they were arguing, do not ask! I had a whole series of photos about this particular iteration of Garbage Processing. I’ll spare you for now. Kee-reist!


We do not have garbage service up here for the time being. We are not here long enough to hire a garbage service and I will NOT just dump my household garbage in some tourist rest area (I might get arrested!). Last year, The Comm’s house was still available for putting out garbage (and doing laundry) but not any more, so I have been relying on my kids to haul garbage home for me. All I have to say about that is thank you thank you thank you. Both of my [adult] children left today and each of them readily agreed to take a huge bag of garbage home with them. THANK YOU! Of course, weeeee will also be hauling garbage home next weekend but not sure that we could haul two weeks of garbage even with two vee-hickles, especially since we will be hauling a big Annie Hubbard painting to Ann Arbor to pass off to Salwa, plus all the usual stuff.

We are going to miss Mia-pet, who returned to Detroit to her owner with Lizard Breath today. What a wonderful Beach Dog! Liz asked if she could bring a friend’s dog up here and my initial reaction was hmmm… But I had met her before and dogs love this beach and so I said something like, sure! What a good beach dog. Only a year old but well trained already. After a day of trying to leash her, we figured out that she was well-behaved enough that we could take off the leash. Pheww! Here she is in the Lyme Lounge last night. There were also eight people out there…


So people left today and the GG took a long nap and the sun finally warmed up the bank, so I sat with npJane most of the afternoon, reading and sometimes talking. Dinner was ready at the Old Cabin and the GG appeared, so we had a Franhattan. How do you like my table?


Boyz just wanna have fun

August 3rd, 2014 by kayak woman

There is a lot of beer around here this year. The folks next door aka my cuzzints and the folks that threw the big wedding shindig on the beach Friday somehow ended up with one more keg of beer than the wedding guests (including us, although I switched to sangria pretty early) could finish. So they have been pushing pitchers of beer at us for the last couple of days, hoping that they don’t have to return a full keg tomorrow. We have been doing our share to help. So much fun to talk to my cuzzints Sandal and Susal and their husbands. Love them. Most other folks left today and that allowed the GG to sit on the back deck and shoot off his cannons. Why does he have two cannons? Because he asked for one for xmas once and didn’t think that I would buy one for him so he bought his own.


For the most part it was a beach day and here is a pic that I took of one of this summer’s Beach Tables. Back when the pulp mills were still operating, it used to be that more material suitable for beach furniture would wash up on the beach and somewhat elaborate constructions could be cobbled together. Nowadays, a piece of driftwood with artfully arranged rocks will have to do.


People are reading the 1Q84 book this summer. I was reading the 100-year-old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared this summer (on my phone) and I tried to quietly download 1Q84 today but Mouse caught me and asked me what I was reading and I had to tell her. And no, I didn’t download the book because anyone stole it from me. I downloaded it because I like to read books on my phone. Pooh is the only biblio-klept in the family that I know of and she has probably already read that book.

Oh yeah and then there was this morning when I drove up to the park store in washerwoman-type clothes and wouldn’t you know that I ran into someone from high school and he recognized me!

Love y’all and goodnight.

No ham hocks here!

August 2nd, 2014 by kayak woman

miaIt’s getting to be time to try to declutter the moomincabin refrigerator and we had some black beans among other things so I googled black bean soup and picked the first recipe that didn’t require Ham Hocks. No thank you. We are not vegetarians here (steak tonight) but I do not have ham hocks and I do not know where the go-to place for ham hocks is around here in the yooperland. Our version was mostly veggie except for the chicken broth and we used up some leftover rice tooooo. Beans and rice make a complete protein. Yes.

I swam in Gitchee Gumee for the first time this summer. It is August 2nd. That is late for me. For a while I was wondering if I would swim at all. When I was a child, I swam EVERY DAY, not matter how cold it was on the beach or how big the waves were. When I was a young adult, I bathed in the lake every day. I had a procedure and I wore a bathing suit, don’t ask. If there were medium sized or big waves, I would ask The Commander to come down and lifeguard. It’s always a good thing to have someone watch you swim in any lake and my mother would *always* watch me when I asked. That The Comm could not swim only entered the corners of my mind (and probably hers too). But I was always careful about how far I went out into the water.

We had the dog Mia here on the moominbeach today. Mia lives in Detroit where there are probably plenty of smelly things to investigate but the yooperlad is Dog Heaven. We kept her on a leash most of the day but we eventually let her run a bit. That was successful, except for the part where she dug like crazy and threw sand all over the place. The Main Rule of the moominbeach is WE DON’T THROW SAND! Mia threw sand everywhere today. It was okay. She doesn’t know any better and we love her anyway.