Random bits of my so-called life.

And when that trailer gets a-rockin’

March 29th, 2020 by kayak woman

Man oh man, were we rocking around in the Lyme Lounge this afternoon. And do NOT getcher mind in the gutter. Nothing exciting was going on INSIDE our trailer except for reading, “day-drinking”, and crafting (mainly the GG making knots). We were rocking because we were parked in a big, mostly empty parking lot in an urban state park on the shore of Lake Erie and the wind was blowing a gale.

When we first parked, I wasn’t sure I would like all of the rocking around but in a weird kind of way it turned out to help with the low-level anxiety issues I’ve been dealing with (as we all have!). Lake Erie ain’t Gitchee Gumee. For one thing, the Monroe nuclear power plant is visible just to the south of this state park. But I’ll take it.

I had a minor kerfuffle at the end of our trip involving the first Instacart order I’ve ever made. I’ll talk about that some other day. It worked out very well and those people need to be PAID MORE and I think when (if?) we ever get out onto the other side of this shitola, I may start using grocery delivery services more frequently, at least for things I don’t want to pick out myself. I WILL TIP WELL!

Sooo… KW… What are you reading? I have read a wide variety of books since the new year and I have read some very good ones. The book I am reading right now is “The Dollmaker” by Harriet Arnow. It’s about a woman from Kentucky who moves her family to the Detroit area during WWII. Her husband has been “drafted” to work in a factory near Willow Run (we drove past that area today on the freeway) and they go to join him. I read this book many years ago and loved it. It flew by somewhere on social media last week and I thought, “I NEED TO READ THAT BOOK AGAIN!” And so I am. And I am LOVING IT!

I’ve somehow gotten onto a jag of reading books with characters in and/or from Kentucky this year and someday I might try to coherently blahg about that.

“Day drinking?” A wee slow sipping of beer and whine. We were not sitting out there getting rip-roaring drunk.

Food gatherer

March 28th, 2020 by kayak woman

I was accused of being a “slug” today. Ohhh noooo noooo noooo noooo! I did NOT get up quiiiite as early as usual (more on that later) but when I did get up, I did NOT slug! I was up and engaged in food gathering! It may have been a Couch Potato version of food gathering but still.

So, in the last couple weeks, I have managed to schedule ONE successful curbside grocery pickup. That was at Kroger. It was a week ago and I had to schedule it three days ahead of time and they were out of a couple things on my list. The next time I tried to schedule a pickup, there were NO times available at all. I now have accounts with Instacart and Shipt. I have a small scheduled delivery from Instacart tomorrow to test it out but can’t seem to get any traction with Shipt. I do not fault these services or even the grocery stores they are associated with. I tend to shop small but I also love the large grocery stores and I think they were blindsided by panic buying and are not able to “turn on a dime” so to speak, to re-orient their business models.

Not the same thing for some of my fave small businesses. Several of them have, in the last few days, “turned on a dime” and, while they are still open for in-store shopping, they are now doing CURBSIDE PICKUP. I tried out two of these services today: Sparrow Market down in Kerrytown and A&L Wine Castle on Stadium across from Westgate. I ordered in the late morning and had picked up my groceries, etc., and returned home within about an hour.

Sparrow specializes in meat but it is also a comprehensive upscale specialty market with produce and all kinds of stuff. We don’t usually buy produce there because when we are down there (buying meat), we are buying produce from the adjacent (temporarily closed) farmers market. Today I bought all produce plus a few “pantry” items. The only thing they were out of was guacamole, which didn’t surprise me. Also, when I made my order I made sure to stress that I was NOT picky about brands, etc. Whatever you have! We are all in this together!

Since this morning, I have learned that Knight’s Market (mainly meat, I think) is also doing curbside pickup, as is Monahan’s Seafood, which is in the same space as Sparrow. Then, as I was driving the “back way” over to A&L Wine Castle (weird traffic pattern, don’t ask), I passed HOMES Brewery and they were selling their beer from a tent in the parking lot and that looked like drive-through too. Last but not least, Argus Farm Stop is committed to selling food from local farmers – the farmers that are USUALLY at the farmers market. It looks like they are still figuring out how to make it work so pickup seems to be available most days but delivery is still in the works.

Caveat: these stores do not carry toilet paper!

Slugging? Nope. But I did get up 45 minutes (or so) late this AM. Why? A beautiful thunderstorm rolled through around the time I usually get up. I do NOT walk in lightning and so I hung out for a while. No tornado sirens. No trees falling on The Landfill or exploding in the woods and sending shrapnel all over the neighborhood. Just regular old thunder and lightning.

The pics? First one is flooding at Riverside Park in Ypsilanti, a mouse pic posted without permission. The second is flooding in the Landfill backyard. Minor but has caused a bit of a trickle in the Dungeon. I also received a beautiful pic of a mouse and raccoon walking around in face masks 🐸.

Black is the new horns? Or is it the new orange?

March 27th, 2020 by kayak woman

I don’t have a lot to say tonight. Work (from home) continues to keep me sane, more or less. I was hoping it would be warm enough today for me to move my home office out to the Lyme Lounge but it wasn’t really. Hopefully soon. I am soooo glad I didn’t take the mothership up for knowledge transfer (aka retaaaarrrrment) last year because I do not know what I would do hanging around in isolation without the meetings and collaboration and the brain work.

Of course I also share this space with another person. He usually goes out walking. Today he stayed home and there was a heckuva lotta rummaging around today *inside* the Landfill and it took a lot of my best chill-out skills to ignore that. I know he was working on stuff that needed to be done but still. He usually bugs out to work on the North Country Trail and I am usually happy for him to bug out and do that. I like to be spacified. So I guess he was catching up with stuff.

We Virtual Porterized ourselves again tonight for Friday Cocktail Hour. And I am giving up on this crapola blahgola in order to get in to watch Green Acres. And then embark upon another long weekend of hanging out mostly inside…

What is it you call him again? The Orange…???

March 26th, 2020 by kayak woman

MMCB was asking the question and the answer is of course the Orange Baboon. No, I should not name-call but what the heck? Trump is the name-caller-in-chief so he’s in a class by himself and deserves what he gets. Like a growing number of news sources, I am trying to ignore him these days. The news is bad enough as it is without all of his self-congratulatory crapola. For what?

Am I disparaging baboons? No, I don’t think so. I am simply comparing a horrible man’s behavior to baboon behavior. Baboons are who they are and they live in the wild. The Orange Baboon is a human being and SHOULD be able to practice some self-control. [Delete a whole bunch of complicated uninformed gobblety-gook about how different humans actually are from other species.]

Years ago, we went to a North Country Trail dinner and presentation. The presenter had traveled to an African settlement to work with the people there on trail maintenance, which is not as simple as you might think. In addition to its human inhabitants, this settlement was overrun with a community of baboons. Among other behaviors they would walk in and out of the mess tent at will, grabbing bananas and whatever. Our presenter woke up his first morning there to see a big baboon hanging on his screen looking in to see who the new human was. And took a picture! I mean the presenter, not the baboon.

Anyway MMCB is my jet-setting friend and she had to cut a trip to Down Under waaaaay short because of you-know-what. She messaged me about it before she returned and asked if I wanted to meet at Barry’s that week, like we have been doing for umpteen-billion years. Since she was so far away, I told her yes but I knew we would not meet because I had already curtailed going out to restaurants. By the time she landed, everything was closed.

So we didn’t meet last week but we did FaceTime this morning and once she remembered to remove the black electrical tape she had used during some kind of Zoom meeting, I could actually see her!

Last but not least! Mouse took the pic of these Scarlet Elf Cups.

Shadows and reflections

March 25th, 2020 by kayak woman

As much as I love my telecommuting “office”, which is “sittin’ on the Green Couch watchin’ all the dogz go by”, I’ve been sittin’ on the GC a LOT in the last month so today I moved out into the Landfill Backyard in the late afternoon. You can see how sunny it was/is. It was something like 55 degrees (F) but I knew I would be sitting in the shade so I wore my balaclava anyway. I did not need glubs. I mean because of cold, not virus.

It was kind of crazy listening to the neighborhood sounds this afternoon. Because it was a warm sunny day and all of the kiddos are on (dare I say it?) “coronacation” (coined by 6th grade Slauson Middle School students). I understand why it’s funny to them – I was that age once too – but…

Anyway I could hear kids playing outside and having fun EVERYWHERE. That reminded me of when my beach urchins were young and THEY were part of that cacophony. The sounds that I WASN’T crazy about emanated from the schoolyard. I dunno what was going on. I thought I heard basketballs and whatever passes for boombox music today. Social distancing? Didn’t sound like it. People are being discouraged from going to playgrounds around here (and touching anything) so I did not go anywhere near the schoolyard.

A company executive has started a work-from-home photo contest. I appreciate his effort but I’m not sure it’s the right thing to do at this moment so I will not submit today’s photooo. Anyway, it’s not all that great a photo. As much as this photooo is a good work-from-home photo, I have better ones, like the ones I have from the moomincabin. They’re just not from now in this crazy situation. But maybe I should submit them anway? We’ll see. Prob’ly not.

Simultaneously supplied and depleted

March 24th, 2020 by kayak woman

Supplied? We were not low on tp exactly but as I changed out a roll this morning it had me thinking about whether I should try to order it online somewhere. As it turned out, our grocery worker texted a pic of newly arrived tp this morning. I did snag some but I told her 8-12 rolls or whatever. Not hoarding it. Also snagged *one* newly arrived canister of disinfectant wipes since I am almost down to one and rationing them.

Comic relief? None of what’s going on right now is humorous of course but I did laugh in great relief once this morning. We were on a call with India and our young colleagues over there were talking about yet *another new* virus. My brain was going in all kinds of horrible directions until I finally *processed* that they were talking about *hantavirus*! Nope, that’s not a new virus. It is a horrible virus if you get it but it’s pretty easy to avoid as long as you keep your mouse traps set.

Depleted? On a sad note, we lost the last of my dad’s siblings this morning when his much younger sister died at 91. This was not COVID related in the sense that she didn’t *have* the virus but I suspect that necessary hospital precautions were a contributing factor. But I don’t have details and it wouldn’t be my place to report them if I did.

So long Bubs/Gene. We miss you. Godspeed. 🧡🧡🧡

You can’t fix stupid

March 23rd, 2020 by kayak woman

So says one of my Trumper facebook “friends” when he posts memes and articles from questionable sources that denigrate “democrats” or “socialists” or “communists”. You know, people like me, except not.

With That Virus afoot, would you – a week ago – have traveled to a foreign country (on a plane) to take a week’s vacation? I’m actually kinda wondering if I’ll even make it up to the moomincabin this summer and I can drive there without even stopping at a public restroom if I need to, via woodsP. But more on that some other day.

With That Virus afoot, if your parents returned (in the last couple days) from a vacation to a foreign country (on a plane), would you buy them groceries and go inside their house – with them there – to help them put said groceries away?

Asking for a friend.

I won’t go any further with this as it is not my story to tell. Suffice it to say that child custody issues were involved as were the police but it all turned out as it should have with no further potential exposure, at least not to my friend. And the police were on the good side here and acted appropriately.

But Jeebus, this kind of stoopid scenario is how That Virus is being spread. Stop Stop Stop people. Parents, our community health is more important than how many hours you spend with your kid. Always but especially now. STAY HOME and keep your child in whichever household has the least exposure.

Me? Somehow our overnight snowfall calmed me (for a while) this morning. I do not know why. I guess maybe it reminded me of the good old days. You know, a few weeks ago when it was winter and we were not afraid to go anywhere?

It is late March and this morning’s snow has completely melted even without much help from Mr. Golden Sun.

Vector math

March 22nd, 2020 by kayak woman

Another afternoon of reading in the Lyme Lounge parked in a state park parking lot. We are fortunate that we can tow a home-away-from-home with us and not have to get too close to anyone else. And I have to say there were a LOT of people out at the parks both yesterday and today, hiking and biking and whatever. Many of them were at least our age. Problem? I saw all of those folks as vectors. Stay away from me, please. When was the last time you went to the grocery store? For that reason, we did not hike. A bit of paranoia? Maybe… But “we” really don’t have anything approaching comprehensive knowledge about this virus, including how it spreads. Hiking near a bunch of people? How many of them are asymptomatic? Nope. I’m even a wee bit nervous about my 0-skunk-30 but so few people are out then…

We have neighbors who are self-quarantining at this moment following their return from a trip to Europe. I kind of figured out their quarantine low-key Gladys Kravitz style but apparently the GG had an actual appropriately distanced convo with them. They are being responsible and not coming over to borrow a cup of sugar, not that 1) they ever HAVE asked to borrow sugar from us or 2) that I reliably have sugar on hand for borrowing.

Anyway, we spent some time reading in the Lyme Lounge again this afternoon and here is the GG tinkering with an invention that has something to do with turning off the water switch if it gets left on while we are hauling the Lyme Lounge down the road. His invention didn’t work today but I’m pretty sure he isn’t done with it yet.

I love the North Country Trail badges on the wall there. I am less impressed with the TP button to the right of the sink and not in the pic.

And a funny? A couple of people (around our age and so shouldn’t have been walking around out at the geology center) walked by the LL at one point. The GG was outside (on the OTHER side of the LL from them). They told him they were peeping. He asked them if they had seen anything interesting. Their response was that if the trailer had been rocking, they wouldn’t have peeped. Of course nothing was rocking, just me reading on my iPhone and slowly sipping a glass of cab.

Weekend decadence, the virtual version

March 21st, 2020 by kayak woman

First up, Oscar Tangoing from a distance. We have been hanging out at the Oscar Tango with these beautiful folks on Friday nights for YEARS! Actually in the last year or so we vary our location a bit, sometimes going to the Griz or Red Hawk or Amadeus. Here’s what we did LAST night. We are sitting in our own Cozy Room getting virtually porterized via skype or whatever.

Saturday in the middle of a plague. We often go out to lunch on Saturdays, usually at the Griz. Man oh man, the last time I was at the Griz was a Saturday toward the end of February when Lizard Breath and I walked down. One of the last things we were thinking about was viruses. THIS afternoon, the GG saddled the Lyme Lounge up to Mooon Yooonit and we trucked out to a state park and sat in the parking lot to read and have beer/whine for a bit. The place was pretty slammed with people for this time of year (cold but sunny), enough that I would’ve been uncomfortable walking around amongst them.

I picked up my first grocery order EVER today. I ordered from the Westgate Kroger. I ordered non-perishables only. I like to pick out my own meat/veg/etc. I do trust my own personal grocery worker to pick those things out for me because she is even pickier than me. Kroger was out of a couple things on my list but I have to say that other than that (which is understandable) I was 100% impressed with the service. Our pickup delivery person was wonderful (and brave) and I thanked her pretty profusely.

Social distancing out on the trails

March 20th, 2020 by kayak woman

Before I received this pic, I received a text message “SIX FEET, SIR”. Why did this alarm me? Because I *correctly* figured out that mouse/raccoon had met up with the GG out at the Geology Center. This was a coincidental meetup. Mouse had said they would be going hiking at “the bog”. I knew what bog they were talking about but not so sure the GG did.

But they did meet up and I was freaked out that the GG might have tried to hug his daughter. No. Do not hug your “millennial” kids you stoopid boomers and our millennial children are right in there with us on this, especially when some of them are grocery workers. Moom and dad, don’t go out in public.

So eventually, we all figgered out that mouse took this pic of the GG and he took a pic of mouse/raccoon. The pics were taken and sent at the same time but were not delivered simultaneously so I was a little freaked out like how long were these people distancing and how long does That Virus remain in the air. But not.

A plug for grocery workers in general. I never worked in a grocery store but I ran a cash register in a KMart-style discount store (Tempo) back when I was in college. I LOVED it. I was GOOD at it. I had to deal with any and all manner of stupidity and nastiness from customers but I HANDLED IT and I had people choosing to get in my line because they liked me (and I was FAST). One time some old farmer brought his whole family in to meet me because he liked me so much.

I made something like $1.75 an hour and I was paid in cash in a little envelope.

Back in those days I was not one bit afraid of catching a virus from one of my customers at the checkout. If I ever did it was mild and short-lived. I have a pretty dern good immune system and I can fend off the usual viruses. The COVID-19 virus is different. My retail job was years ago. Nowadays I have a fintech job and I am hunkering down telecommuting to it from the Landfill. Please please please remember how vulnerable your grocery store workers are and be extra nice to them.

I married you for better or worse but not for lunch

March 19th, 2020 by kayak woman

Yeah, so a couple days ago I was sittin’ on the Green Couch watchin’ all the dogz go by (and talking to India). What the heck? It sounded like everything in the refrigimatator was falling out onto the Landfill Chitchen Floor! Bumpity bumpity clunk. Huge rummaging sounds. I HATE rummaging sounds. They drive me absolutely crazy. So.

“What are you LOOKING FOR?” Chicken breast. Okay, I KNEW we had a package of chicken breast. It had been delivered a few days ago and I REMEMBERED putting it in the freezer. Tired of all the bumping and banging around, *I* went out to the chitchen and had a bit of a look. I COULD NOT FIND IT! Later in the afternoon after a conversation with my personal grocery shopper, I looked again. It was in the back of one of the shelves (it’s a side-by-side), tipped up so the top of the package was flat against the back freezer wall. A whole chicken (that *I* did NOT put in there) was pinning it in there and the bottom of the breast container was WHITE, so it blended in with the back wall.

And then there was a weird laundry prodject going on most of today. I was in the middle of an intense meeting with India et al and the GG picked that moment to start making phone calls to check in on his siblings, etc. I could NOT concentrate on my meeting with that going on in the bathroom background and the Landfill is a small house so I asked him to please go outside or somewhere. He went down to the dungeon. Okay, that’s fine. I had laundry in so when the meeting settled down a bit I texted, “As long as you’re down there, could you switch the laundry around?”

I didn’t keep track of whether he did or didn’t schlep laundry but later on I realized that all our laundry was upstairs but the laundry musheens were still, uh, running down there… What?

“Oh, I didn’t tell you about that!” Uh, what? He was out hiking around our deserted city yesterday and he found a BACKPACK in the woods. SO HE PICKED IT UP AND HAULED IT HOME! Before you get toooo freaked out (like I was), this backpack had been out there for something like six months, so not likely a virus vector. He found some identifying stuff in it and was able to figure out and verify that the owner works at the downtown Ahmo’s.

It was also filled with DIRTY WET STINKY CLOTHING! So what did the GG do? He WASHED the clothes. And then drove it down to Ahmo’s so they could return it to their employee, which I was NOT a fan of because I think he actually went inside. I asked, “WHY DID YOU DO HIS LAUNDRY?” Apparently this is a young (?) man with four children and two or whatever jobs *and* a history of losing things. Oh, so you were just being a good Samaritan right? Yes. Okay. Love you buddy (but glad you didn’t involve MEEEEE in this prodject).

Maintaining a social distance – from India and the yooperland

March 18th, 2020 by kayak woman

Every morning I spend at least an hour talking to folks on the Indian subcontinent. I love these young men. They are smart and they are funny. I remember a few years ago when there was a going away party for someone over there and they were giggling to beat the band telling us “we had alcoholic party”. I’m not sure whether the GG is crazy about listening to our morning meetings. American and Indian accents with a wee bit o’ Russian thrown in from you-know-who or maybe you don’t. Yingling and yangling talking over each other like a bunch of wild aminals. But also fun. Once we get past all the virus crapola.

So now that my workday is done, the GG has joined an online North Country Trail meeting. I am not involved in this meeting but I can hear it and I am loving the voices of all my beloved trail friends. Pat/Bob, John, M-Carol, Tom, and I’m not sure who else. Some people I don’t know. There is apparently an “Eric” but he does not have a Russian accent. This group is going through the usual crapola that my team does every day. “Who’s making that noise? Can you mute?” as Gabe’s dog barks or Maggie’s clock chimes or we hear Indian street noise or… And then there is stuff like “Hey KW, if you are *talking* you are on *mute*.” Etc., etc. And somebody on the call actually just asked what the point of muting was? It’s so nobody can hear your dog or your clock or, well, whatever else it is you might be doing. Chewing? *Noisily breathing*, like the LSCHP used to do? Or worse…

The pic? I wish I was in a bar drinking a margarita and the pic kind of represents my fuzzy brain during this excruciatingly difficult time. But I am not. All the bars in the Great Lake State (and other states) are closed for an indefinite period of time.

Namaste and may the force be with you.

No you can’t have mine!

March 17th, 2020 by kayak woman

We’ve had a few Landfill “Twitter plays” since our self-imposed isolation (or is it quarantine?). This afternoon’s?

[The GG starts putting his shoes on.]

KW: Where are you going?

GG: Wyandotte Electric. [holds up some sort of Lyme Lounge-related lucky-shuckial thingy that apparently needs replacing]

KW: Where the heck is that?

GG: [gives location, then, anticipating next question] There’s a big counter with a guy waaaaay over on the other side and I hold this thingy up and he gets me one.

KW: [silently thinks, “and you use your debit card, etc.”]

[A little while later, the Ninja returns. KW grabs the Clorox wipes she’s been rationing, ready to wipe down the front door handles and Ninja door handle/steering wheel/stick shift/key/whatever.]

GG: It was closed.

KW: [silent whew]

Finis.

I buy Clorox wipes all the time. I mainly use them to wipe Eco Terlet’s rim on a daily basis. I currently have this half used up canister and an unopened full canister. I bought the full canister 12 days ago, when I ventured into the Saline Road Meijer on the way home from work and, hmmm… the aisle was largely empty. I was already concerned about virus exposure but just sorta getting a handle on how to deal with it, like I actually did not use Meijer’s hand sanitizer that day. Otherwise I wouldda bought two canisters (but probably not more than that). I also sometimes buy Clorox wipes on Amazon Prime (because I am lazy and hate shopping) but as you might know, they are not available there now. Oh, I’m not all that freaked out about Clorox wipes. I have Scrubbing Bubbles and other cleaners and I can use them with a paper towel to clean Eco Terlet. Man oh man, life has changed so much in the last couple weeks. The last time I was in a grocery store after that trip to Meijer was three days later and I used hand sanitizer on the way in and out that time.

Long and lonesome road

March 16th, 2020 by kayak woman

Oh where the hell am I today. The GG finished the taxes and took a walk to mail them to our accountant and then down through downtown with many admonishments from meeee to not patronize stores or restaurants. He was down there before all of the bars and restaurants closed for the duration, which was at 3:00 PM today and probably not soon enough but thank you to our governor. I’m pretty sure he didn’t go into any stores but he did extract cash from an ATM…

He continued on down by the river and I can’t exactly remember where this pic is from but I see the railroad tracks and what looks like a freeway overpass. He was not all that happy this morning as his planned trip to hike a part of the Pennsylvania North Country Trail with a couple of his girlfriends next weekend got canceled. Normally I wouldda been “Go meet your girls and I’ll hang out on The Planet Ann Arbor.” This time I did NOT want him to go. I was vociferous about this! I was anxious about this all morning until he finally ‘fessed up that the trip was canceled and I was GREATLY relieved. His girlfriends had a reservation at a hotel!!!

I don’t want the GG *OR* his lovely girlfriends to get That Virus! I hope they are able to reschedule this trip and if they can I will totally support it.

I think we need to send out a Virus Primer to everyone in the United Snakes. Today is the first day that I have heard medical experts being quoted as saying that asymptomatic/pre-symptomatic people are probably spreading the virus. This is VIRUS 101 and I don’t need to be medically educated to know how viruses work.

STAY HOME STAY HOME STAY HOME. And here is the long and winding road waaaay pre corona fucking virus. Of everything, the long and winding road always led me to the moomincabin and eventually it led the GG to my homeland where he got along with my family, especially my Moom. Love you buddy.

Dishpan hands

March 15th, 2020 by kayak woman

I am NOT faulting how our grocery stores have handled the panic buying. I KNOW they don’t have systems in place to do anything but react to the constantly changing shopping conditions. But in a perfect world, we would have closed all grocery stores to customers. I mean don’t let the general public in the doors at all. Let people order online, by phone, even by handing a paper list to an employee. Groceries would be available *outside* the doors. *Reasonable* rationing would be in place. If you know you can come back again when you are outta terlet paper, then maybe you wouldn’t feel like you had to buy a year’s supply.

Same kind of thing with restaurants. We have driven downtown a couple times (not getting out of the car) and I am amazed at how busy our downtown is. Restaurants and bars are all open and people are all over everywhere. Our governor has banned all gatherings of over 250 (or is it 100?) people for the duration. I don’t see the difference between a planned gathering or a busy restaurant. And do NOT get me started on the bars. Yes, these kinds of drastic changes would be difficult for businesses. But they would likely save lives.

Us? We did various chores off and on throughout the day and took a long drive “down south” where the land flattens out a bit. Not that The Planet Ann Arbor is mountainous but it does have glacially-created hilly terrain. It was a glorious sunny day and I guess I will take it.

My skin is normally on the oily side and we won’t even talk about my hair, let’s just say I STILL shower at least once a day and ALWAYS wash my hair EVERY day. Despite that, the happy birthday hand-washing is taking its toll and the backs of my hands are getting chapped. Fortunately this is a small thing because oily skin and an ancient tub of vaseline (that I liberated from the moomincabin to use it up) is mitigating it.

We turned off NPR jazz a bit before five o’clock when our grocery/whine delivery person arrived so we could hear each other talk. (The store is out of chicken in all form factors but apparently not whine – or shrimp.) When that person left, I was gonna turn the radio back on but then I read that the Orange Baboon was scheduled to speak at five so we turned on satty-lite radio folk music instead. I did not want to listen to that idiot rave about the economy and how wonderfully he and his “team” (or whatever, I mean Jared Kushner? really?) has responded to That Virus and blame everybody on earth (“fake” news, Obama, you name it) for his own shortcomings.

Squirrel Cow

March 14th, 2020 by kayak woman

We went out for a Mooon Yooonit drive in the county this morning. My anxiety level was high (the cup-and-a-half of coffee this morning prob’ly didn’t help with that) and I was hoping a drive would be calming but it wasn’t particularly even though it was niiiiice and slooooow like I like country drives. (Thank you @tmotu.)

After a very minor discussion about radio stations – 60s vs. Willie’s Roadhouse – Willie’s won. When the heck did I start liking country music? I sure didn’t like it *in* the 60s. Acid rock, yeah.

It’s very hard to get good photos at this time of year unless you are walking, which we weren’t today. The main color scheme is brown and gray, at least it is this year. Some years white is also featured. Up close and personal, little bits of green are sometimes visible.

This Cow Palace had a pasture or whatever with a bunch of cows mostly lying down. I knew I couldn’t get a good pic of the actual cows with my iPhone unless we *stopped* the car and I got out and got closer, etc. I am always iffy about doing that kind of thing because I wonder if the farm owners might see me. Do they know I’m just a simple “tourist” or maybe a spyyyyy 👀? We were out in Washtenaw County Trump country so who knows.

This isn’t the best pic ever but when I saw the cow on the white barn, I made the GG inch back and forth until I got the best shot I possibly could without getting out of the car. It is what it is and I am committed to iPhoneography so bite me if you don’t like it.

As we were heading back toward home on Huron River Drive, I suggested we make a swing through Downtown Planet Ann Arbor and then the Plum Market parking lot. I wanted to assess how many people were oot and aboot with the virus afoot. Downtown was surprisingly busy and I silently saluted the Oscar Tango and the Griz as we passed by them. The Plum parking lot looked full too. Apparently they ran out of chicken sometime in the morning.

A mid-afternoon glass of whine and a goooood booook (Last Bus to Wisdom – Ivan Doig) finally settled me down. Making spaghetti now.

New normal?

March 13th, 2020 by kayak woman

I did one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life this morning. I think maybe holding my brother as he left life on earth may have been harder but I was in some other space at that time.

What the heck did I do this morning? I made a grocery list. I have made so many grocery lists in my life I couldn’t count them if I tried. This one I emailed to the beach urchin who works in a grocery store and she went to at least three or four stores to fulfill it. She was worried about me going to the grocery store with the corona virus afoot and finally convinced me to let her shop for me. I venmo-ed her a bunch of money and a list that was excruciating to make and we have a ton of food here today.

I won’t try to detail her long winding journey but the big “cheap” grocery stores were sold out of all kinds of stuff, even including things like chicken thighs. Upscale stores like Whole Foods and Plum (her store) not so much. We suspect that’s because they are more expensive. The GG also walked down to Kerrytown to pick up some specialty stuff, including the chickens he likes to grill. He was happy to take hand sanitizer with him and Sparrow is a low density store.

Today I woke up to the news that our governor ordered all public schools to shut down beginning Monday until I fergit when. I think a couple weeks but that could change. Other entities have posted updates throughout the day. The farmers market is closed but Argus Farm Stop has partnered with local farmers so folks can order food online and receive it curbside. The Library is closed. Literati bookstore is closed. Knights Steakhouse is not closing but it is expanding its services on Monday to provide curbside service for takeouts. I could go on and on.

I am soooo fortunate to be able to afford the upscale grocery stores and plan to pay it forward by donating to organizations who can provide food to needy public school students who might go without while the schools are closed.

I telecommuted today and will probably do so for the duration. Amazon Woman is encouraging it. We had tentative plans to eat downtown tonight but I wimped out and instead we grilled one of the two chickens the GG bought at Sparrow today and porterized ourselves at home. Our friends were worried that eating with us might deplete our food supply. I hope I discouraged them from that idea because we have plenty and the means to obtain more. A good time was had by all, the Amish do pay taxes, and I discouraged any clinking of glasses in toasts, instead encouraging “May the force be with you” or “namaste” gestures.

Google “Italians singing together” if you need a ray of hope in these scary times.

Preppers?

March 12th, 2020 by kayak woman

Okay. So I am nervous enough about That Virus that I am obsessively washing my hands. I know that this is important but it is driving me a little crazy because, well, talking about bathroom habits is TMI but suffice it to say that I am freaked out thinking about what have my hands touched last and do I need to wash them. This leads to Escher-like handwashing thoughts.

I would like to think that Cubelandia is relatively safe. We certainly practice “social distance” there. We are in a highly underutilized building and I am in a “neighborhood” of 8 cubes. ALL OF THEM EXCEPT FOR MINE AND NIKIO’s are empty. And Nikio only comes in to work on Mondays and Tuesdays. Purell is everywhere and the cleaning crew cleans table surfaces and door handles and whatever every night. I don’t think we’ve had anyone returning from overseas lately but I don’t interact with the other team that shares our building so who knows. I still sing happy birthday to myself in the Cubelandia bathroom multiple times a day.

We’ve been talking all week about working from home and this afternoon when I got home, I received a text from Amazon Woman ordering *everyone* to telecommute tomorrow. This is not because there is any kind of problem on The Planet Ann Arbor (knock on wood!). It is because we are an online banking company and we are trying to be prepared for everyone to work from home. We have done this before, at least at Cubelandia. That was a few years ago when we renovated the building. This time the directive came from corporate headquarters.

And then… I have not been to a grocery store since last Sunday. I was able to buy everything I needed/wanted that day including terlet paper. I think it is nutso to hoard terlet paper but who knows. Here we are though. A beach urchin is volunteering to buy me groceries and convincing me to prep, at least lightly. Oh man, I am taking her up on it even though I am extremely averse to stockpiling groceries!

But I have to say that I am now worried about the supply chain. When I drove by the Saline Road Meijer this afternoon, the parking lot was slammed.

It’s hard to make light of COVID-19 and I may regret this but… MooU (and a whole bunch of other state universities) suspended in-person classes yesterday. Was this a good decision or not? I thought so but news from East Lansing was that after the announcement there were long lines at every bar in town, which sounds like a better way to spread a virus then to attend a class together.

So glad our Quiet Water Symposium happened during MooU’s spring break but also hoping COVID-19 was not lurking there then.

Fush

March 11th, 2020 by kayak woman

This will be (mostly) polly-tickle so if yer taaaarrred of yer fav-o-rite blahgger’s rantin’ and ravin’, go click over to Pandemic News or somewhere.

So, “Sleepy Joe” as the Orange Baboon sometimes calls him won The Great Lake State democratic primary. I’m not sure why the OB calls him that but most of the OB’s nasty nicknames don’t make a lot of sense to me. BTW, his name-calling is one big reason I can’t stand him but the purpose of this rant is not to list 10 100 things I hate about Trump. I know that politicians (if you can call him a politician) name-call but he does it spuriously and 100 times a day.

What follows is my OPINION and it could be WRONG even though if it’s on the internet, it must be true, roight? I think that the reason Biden won our state is because Michigan democratic voters realize that Biden is probably our best bet to 86 Trump this fall.

Warren is a woman. I am sorry. A woman cannot beat Trump. I am a woman. I am a highly intelligent woman (except when I am not, which is frequently because I am also HUMAN). I would love for us to elect a woman to the presidency. Warren is not it at least not this time around and I am glad she dropped out.

Oh Bernie. I dunno exactly what to say here. I think he won the 2016 Dem primary in this state because a lot of people HATE Hillary. I know a lot of people love Bernie and his ideas but I also don’t think he can beat Trump. I do think we all need to listen to what the Bernie supporters are saying, especially those of younger demographics. They are the ones who will have to live with whatever policies we put in place now.

I did not “warm up” to Bernie or Biden (or Warren, although I do like her dog) but this year the goal is to Dump Trump. I can only hope we can turn out the vote for Biden to accomplish that. With any luck we can move on from there.

I have more to say but I’ll stop now.

That’s a Protective Fish in the pic. I titled this “Fush” because the youngest beach urchin loved Pepperidge Farms goldfish when she was still an emergent speaker of the English language and she would always ask for “fush”. Don’t ask me about the time I (her aunt and babysitter for a couple hours at the moomincabin) had an argument with her about a doggone juice box. Of course she won! As she usually does! Although she doesn’t usually sound like a foghorn anymore 🧡

My election experience…

March 10th, 2020 by kayak woman

Now that we’re back on DST, it’s dark in the morning again. This morning it was also wet. Not raining but everything was dripping a bit from overnight rain. It was almost a little spooky and I wish I had thought to get a pic. At least there was no damned ICE!

As I rounded the back corner of Haisley, SANTA CLAUS was hanging out in front of the school enthusiastically welcoming arriving voters! Oh not really Santa Claus, more of a Santa Claus-like persona, a big African American guy in flame-colored clothing. I knew right then that my voting experience would be fantastic!

It was 6:45 AM when I took my place in line behind Mr. Mxyzptlk, keeping a bit of distance because you know why. He is almost always first in line but he was second today so that means I was third. In the last moments before the polls officially opened, I was looking at a display with all of the teachers currently teaching there. The only name I recognized was Mr. Weindorf who didn’t teach either of my kids. It’s been a while.

There was Purell on the counter. Duh? Even though (last I knew, but…) there have been no *confirmed* coronavirus cases in the Great Lake State, I worried about the poll workers. I know Jackie and Kathie personally and some of the others are familiar to me.

Voting was smooth. There was no problem with anything including the ballot eater. I think things went pretty fast throughout the day but that may be in part because there were only two thingies to fill in on the ballot. Presidential candidate and WCC millage.

I voted FOR the WCC millage because WCC totally and unexpectedly enhanced my life in a huge way. I voted for B or B for presidential candidate and I ain’t going any farther than that. I’m sure you might guess that I took a “blue” ballot. That doesn’t mean I favor “socialism” or “communism”. It means I want the Orange Baboon OUT. And make no mistake, I am not forming my opinion about the OB based on what Nancy Pelosi or NPR or any other people say. I listen to what he says and watch what he does and form my own opinions. Like I have always done throughout my life.

I forgot to get my “I voted” sticker. I bailed out the back door that was propped open because it was HOT in the room.

The “but…” from a couple paragraphs up? Two people from the Bay Mills Indian Community returned to the yooperland after a trip to DC and think they may have been exposed to the coronavirus. They have self-quarantined as they await test results. Although there are apparently other unconfirmed cases in the Great Lake State, I kind of expected the first case would be “down south” like Washtenaw County (my county) or Wayne or Oakland or… I have many friends and family members in the Bay Mills area and it’s where our beloved moomincabin is located. I so hope they are not contaminated.

P.S. There was no sign of this crocus even two days ago.