Random bits of my so-called life.

In which a “murder hornet” 🐝 invades TeleCubelandia

June 4th, 2020 by kayak woman

Will I ever go back to RealCubelandia? Yes, probably. I remember the first time I walked into that place. I had never been inside a cube farm before and here I was and who was this big bear of a man who would become my beloved boss. 12 years now although the LSCHP has moved on and now I work for Amazon Woman.

I think we will re-open the office at some point. I don’t know when but when we do it sounds like we won’t be forced to return since things are working very well as they are.

I miss:
— my Zen Commute, purring over there in the Ninja (plus that I can telecommute when it snows)
— not having to be with the GG 24/7 (I married you for better or worse but not for lunch)
— having an accessible printer because sometimes a hard copy makes it easier to focus on a complex issue
— Farmer John’s lunchroom market!
— the “nature” surrounding RealCubelandia
— A/C, at least I’m starting to miss it (we have central A/C, I just don’t like to use it)
— FZ but he retaaaarrrred a month ago so he won’t be there when we do re-open

But here at TeleCubelandia, I have:
— the Green Couch
— nature, just different nature
— neighborhood goings on to monitor (dogz and their people, street cleaners, garbage trucks, whatever)
— my own personal bathroom
— being able to sit in the back yard (now that it’s usually warm enough) for breaks and an after-work cocktail

My fave @PlumMarket recently started up delivery and curbside pickup. I have a direct connection to that market so I have been getting personal deliveries from there since The Beginning but I also have been eye-balling their new service and today I made my first order, which I am scheduled to pick up tomorrow morning at 9:00 AM. They had afternoon pickup slots available but what the heck, I am a morning person. If all goes well, that may become my main shopping method although I will still use some of the others.

Because I didn’t know how the pickup would work over there, I made a little reconnaissance run over to their parking lot in the Ninja today. It needed to be “droven” anyway, since the last time anyone drove it was last Saturday when I moved it from the street to the driveway. It was covered with seeds and other organic material. We need a really good rain!

So I was oot and aboot for a bit today and wouldn’t you know, there was a PROTEST in Vet’s Park near the skate park (across N. Maple from the Plum). I saw a po-leese car with its lights flashing in the Aldi’s lot on my way OVER to the Plum but I didn’t see the protest until I was on my return trip. It looked VERY peaceful and quite sparsely attended. This is a liberal, relatively upscale city and our local police do not have a reputation for brutality but I know that bad things sometimes happen. Not today. Thank you Zeus.

Oh yeah, somehow some kind of fugly stinging insect made its way into TeleCubelandia this afternoon (I’m sure it is not an actual “murder hornet”). That kind of thing rarely happens at RealCubelandia. Sometimes there are fruit flies when Farmer John’s Market is in full swing and once a wolf spider and about a bazillion spider babies caused FZ to jump out of his skin at a meeting. But Amazon Woman swung into action and stage-managed them all OUT. As she does.

G’night, KW

Back to nature

June 3rd, 2020 by kayak woman

Not sure if we have more, uh, “nature” around here this year or if I’m just noticing it more because I am a COVID telecommuter.

Robins? Yes, we have robins. In spades. If you are one o’ my nine reglear nucular taggers, you’ve watched the first batch of robins from hatch to fledge. We now have a new nest of incubating eggs. It’s in a different location. We do not know if these parents are the same as those from the first nest or different parents. Apparently robins often raise more than one set of babies during a season. Sometimes they re-use the original nest, sometimes not.

Anyway, this is the “lee” of our beloved/crappy little house, The Landfill, where the AAAAA-dition walls meet the original house. The arrow pointing to the left is the original nest. The other is the new nest.

Yay for me for actually remembering how to photoshop those arrows into the photoooo. And yay for vector graphics! Although I have a full-fledged (albeit ancient) version of PS on my MacBook Pro, at work my main graphics app is Snagit. It is not as robust as Photoshop but it’s great for annotating screenshots in all kinds of creative ways and therefore crucial to my job. I love Snagit and I ROCK IT!

I believe there is yet another robin’s nest. I was untangling a snakus horribilis mess of garden hoses today (I needed to water my impatiens) and some of the horribilis got LOOPED on something around the corner behind where I’m standing in the first pic. As I rounded the corner (cursing!), I spooked a bird. I think it was a robin. I looked up and saw what looked like a robin’s nest (or nest in progress) on a little platform next to a drainpipe. We’ll see.

And there were chickadees nesting in the birdhouse but I think they fledged without telling me they were gonna do that.

Over at Cubelandia we see a different set of wildlife, mostly waterbirds. Geese geese geese. Ducks. Great Blues. Cranes. Egrets. Also EAGLES and things. And then there are killdeers and goldfinches and the red-wing blackbirds that didn’t poop all over Ninja’s mirrors this year because I wasn’t there because COVID. And I dunno what else but probably robins.

New outlets!!!

June 2nd, 2020 by kayak woman

I kinda wanted to title this something like “The moomincabin joins the 21st century” but the moomincabin has joined the 21st century a few times now.

We’ve had computers and the internet at the moomincabin since the late 20th century but doing anything besides a simple email or webpage update was a pain in the U-KNOW-WHAT because dial-up. Nevertheless, we persisted and my boring blahg of blather was born the summer of 2003. I created it mainly because mus musculus and I were at the cabin and the GG and Lizard Breath (a rising college sophomore!) were on The Planet Ann Arbor. I hate talking on the phone so I started writing little entries about all the interesting things happening at the cabin. Grandaddy patrolling the old road, etc.

Late summer 2007!!! Still on dial-up at the moomincabin. But. After kvetching about how I would not be an early adopter of the iPhone, guess what? I became an early adopter of the iPhone. We bought TWO one Sunday afternoon and the next day I fetched Uber Kayak Woman from Metro and we blasted north. We only had the Edge service at the cabin and it was horrifically slow but I was able to post something on the internet (I fergit what, maybe I just sent an email) FROM MY PHONE!!!

2011: I was stuck up at the moomincabin because The Commander was in a rehab facility. Two things: 1) That was the summer that the 4G network came to the beach. 2) I got so frustrated by trying to actually WORK (i.e., telecommute) using a dial-up modem that I made the executive decision to obtain a DSL! Wow did that ever make a difference. And Jamadots does a great job. I don’t think we’ve ever had bad service.

2020: We drove down the cabin road when we arrived for Memorial Day weekend and there were little white flags and things everywhere. The GG was going on and on about marking for road grading and I was half listening. But then they were in our driveway too and road grading doesn’t include our driveway… I went to open the cabin door and there was an “excuse our mess” hanger thingy on the door handle. WE’RE PUTTING IN FIBER!!! What the heck? We don’t even have fiber here on the Planet Ann Arbor. Hopefully that means we can get rid of the DSL, which we don’t need.

So today, the GG (yes, he is at the cabin and I think he is social distancing although I know he went to Meijer and Ace Hardware today🐽) installed two new outlets. One is an outdoor outlet so people who mostly read booooooks on their phones can charge their phones while reading outside, weather permitting. The other is just a new-fangled outlet with USB ports.

When we built the moomincabin, it had lucky-shucky, cold running water in the kitchen sink from a garden hose hooked up to my uncle’s well, an OUTHOUSE, NO SHOWER, and NO TELEPHONE! We’ve come a looooonnnng way.

I am not ready

June 1st, 2020 by kayak woman

So what happened to the coronavirus? I mean while the country descended into various sorts of madness over the weekend. Is it over yet? I mean the madness. I know the coronavirus isn’t over. But can I come outta my bunker now? Are there tanks out there yet?

No. There are no tanks on the Planet Ann Arbor. With my Caucasian middle class privilege, I spent the weekend in my beloved little house in a nice albeit not fancy neighborhood. Woods behind me and green everywhere at this time of year. No tanks or rubber bullets or tear gas. Just families and dog-walkers going by my front window and birds and animals everywhere.

Fittingly, I finished “Them” (Joyce Carol Oates) during my lunch hour today. It is set in Detroit and ends with the Detroit riots. The riots that convinced my Detroit grandparents to move from their beautiful art deco house on Mark Twain out to the Oakland county upscale suburb Birmingham.

Sometime in the afternoon I checked Twitter and there was Big Gretch (who I like and support and it’s an affectionate nickname) announcing that the Great Lake State is opening up again. All of it, not just the yooperland. (Actually I don’t remember about Detroit but the Planet Ann Arbor is.) There are restrictions, of course. I haven’t internalized them but I think they involve fewer people in restaurants and other places of business at a time and masks. I don’t understand how you can eat with a face mask on but whatever.

The thing is… I AM NOT READY YET. I still don’t trust the virus. I know our guv is listening to scientific experts but I also think she is being politically pressured. I do not believe that COVID is anywhere near under control, especially with all of the protests. Yeah, people were outside where (“they’re” telling us) it doesn’t spread easily. Data please! Some of them were wearing masks. But there were also a lot of intimate interpersonal interactions, like when the police arrested people. And what about those who ended up crowded into jails?

Whether or not we see a “bump” in virus numbers from last weekend, I am not ready for prime time. I sincerely hope that my fave curbside pickup places continue to offer that service indefinitely. Actually, at least for restaurants, I would think that continuing curbside would be good for business, since they can’t (I don’t think) pack customers in like in “normal” times. Thinking fondly of all those days we would pack into Knight’s 3-4 deep at the bar before our table was ready. Making new friends every time. But not ready.

OK [grumptastic] boomer

May 31st, 2020 by kayak woman

I had planned a reading/mending day and I largely did that. I guess I had also been planning hoping to read/mend OUTSIDE. It was a very pretty day but chilly enough for most of the morning that I hung in my TeleCube aka the Green Couch and even bundled up a bit in a blanket early in the morning. Eventually I moved outside. Sun? Yes. Tooooo HOT. Shade? Needed a polartech jacket.

Today’s mending prodject was this tiered skirt and I reattached tiers that are in the process of disconnecting from the skirt. This is not the first time I have done this. It’s a pretty dern cheaply made skirt but I love it and want to keep wearing it. It’s from Soft Surroundings and I shouldda bought two or three because they do not HAVE them any more. I hate when that happens. I like Soft Surroundings but a lot of the stuff they sell kinda looks like what the GG calls Women’s Bedclothes. Including this tiered skirt I suppose. I didn’t do a fancy creative mending job, just black thread.

Bird update: robins are hanging about but not working on the nest that I can tell. But maybe they finished it? Chickadee-dee-dee-dees actively feeding babies all afternoon.

News? I cannot process the week’s current events. There are so many moving parts that my brain has pretty much shut down. I had an OK boomer moment today with our Rodent Delivery Service. I’m not sure what “generation” my children belong to. Are they millennials? Or are they older than that? They are not Gen-Xers. Where do they fit in? Anyway, during a brief masked convo through the front door, I opined that the protests are going to spread the virus. I felt chastened when my rodent gently reminded me why the protests are happening. I do understand. Here I am sheltering myself from a randomly deadly disease and I am also sheltered from the violence happening in so many of our cities. Note that this wasn’t an argument in any way, shape, or form. It was simply a moment of clarity for me. I am proud of our younger generation and their sense of justice.

So a rather slodgy day for me in some ways. Thinking back, I should’ve taken the Ninja for a drive down to Swan Corners where I see on facebook there is a brood of SIX SEVEN cygnets!


Flora and (mostly) fauna

May 30th, 2020 by kayak woman

I took this (badly framed) photo yesterday and wouldn’t you know, this morning a “memory” popped up of an identical (but better framed) pic from one year ago. I didn’t even remember we HAD any irises in the yard.

Fauna? Wow! After a morning of chores and errands, I decamped to the Landfill back yard where various beings were BUSY! Chickadee parents feeding babies in their birdhouse, robin parents building a nest, hummingbearsbirds buzzing me, and Henrietta’s baby hopping around. Squirrels and chippies running all over the place doing their thing too.

What did I unbox today?
— Soap (8 bars of white non-antibacterial Dial bath soap). This transaction is the one for which my debit card got declined. I mean buying SOAP on the Internet is suspicious activity?
— A new red colander to replace one that recently disentegrated disintegrated.
— A reusable gold 4-cup coffee filter for our little Mr. Coffee (because try as I did, I couldn’t get paper ones on the internet).
— A new Patagonia polartech vest to replace the one on which the zipper disintegrated and I didn’t have the oomph to replace it (oddly enough I am contemplating “slow” mending for other garments).
— Two (yes, really) copies of the Bantam needlecraft “encyclopedia” that I scrambled to find (in my house) a few weeks ago. I now own four copies, three here and one at the moomincabin.
— A book on darning that I ordered from the UK (plus already received one that 🐭 pointed me to).
— I did NOT unbox an item from Williams Sonoma because that one is for Father’s Day.

Note that some of these boxes have been sitting around here for a while. I wasn’t exactly “quarantining” them. More often I knew what was in them and had no need to open them when they arrived. I save most of my unboxing for the weekend. The only box that arrived TODAY was laundry detergent pods and that just arrived so I haven’t opened it yet because I’m hanging out with a ‘hattan in the back yard. Also I have a couple weeks worth of laundry pods around but I ordered these earlier than I usually would because the last time I tried to order them I had trouble finding them…

What did I order today?
— 2 large bottles of dish detergent
— ketchup
— balsamic vinegar
— corn oil
— pine nuts and sliced almonds from nuts.com (great source!)
— Mophie iPhone charging case for use at the moomincabin (not a replacement for my beauteous Pickle Finger case)

And so goodnight

May 29th, 2020 by kayak woman

This is a placeholder blahg entry. I have nothing to say. A day of work and then some face-time porterization not to mention a lot of “processing”. That woman wearing women’s bedclothes is on now and I am heading in to that other room. Love y’all… KW.

Potato chips and upsleeve panty hose

May 28th, 2020 by kayak woman

Throughout most of the pandemic, I have been ordering a lot of non-perishable grocery items from Amazon (or wherever). Maybe after this is all over (whenever that may be), I will make a list of everything I ordered on Amazon and post it.

Today I ordered potato chips! Lays Ruffles, three 8-oz. bags. Potato chips are one of my fave snacks in life but since we’ve been hunkering down, my appetite has been pretty dern low. Last night? I. WANTED. POTATO CHIPS. So… I ordered them online. Part of me can’t believe I did this. Yes, Rodent Grock Delivery could’ve picked them up from her trip to Meijer today. But why should RGD have to spend time wandering around finding things I can order online. But we’ll see how this works out and whether I actually eat potato chips when they get here. Probably will though🐽

And YES, I once (see yesterday’s comments 🐸) had the loverly experience of pulling a pair of panty hose out of my ski jacket in front of my parents as I was trying to put it (the jacket) on for, uh, church. Yes. We were going to church. I’m not sure I’m remembering all of this accurately but it was the day after my cousin Mac’s wedding and a bunch of us had ended up in a sauna or something at the now-defunct Ramada Inn in Sault Ste. Siberia the night before. Did we have clothes on? I can’t remember THAT. But I definitely took my panty hose off. And stuffed them up my jacket sleeve… Girl gone wild? Wannabee maybe. It was all so much fun and a great memory!

And then I grew up. With one foot solidly on the ground. And the other waving around having fun and thinking outta the box! No nude saunas for me ever again though🐽

Love y’all, KW

Face mask scramble (not entirely safe for work)

May 27th, 2020 by kayak woman

So, after our return from our contact-free (almost) junket to the yooperland over the weekend, I washed both of our beautiful batik rodent-made face masks.

Okay, first… Almost contact-free? I stayed totally outside the prescribed 6-foot distance from anyone and acted as the Social Distancing Police to keep those I wanted to hug like crazy from touching each other. I do want to ask who came up with 6-foot number and how they tested its efficacy but that’s a whole ‘nother thing. There were a few momentary instances of closer contact, masked and not touching the folks we want so much to hug as tightly as we can. And the short (masked) trip the GG made into a small hardware store that I reported yesterday.

So we got home and I washed our masks along with a bunch of other laundry. I was SURE I washed both masks and I was SURE that they were both around when I was sorting the cleaned laundry. TODAY? I could NOT find my mask ANYWHERE! Mind you I wasn’t GOING anywhere so no need for it but I was devastated that I might have lost it. Did I really see it AFTER the laundry was done? I was missing a SOCK too.

Okay. The GG found the sock PDQ. It was stuck inside one of his fancy outdoor garments that attract other fabrics. Large garments announce their presence by getting tangled up. Small garments like socks, bikini underwear, and MASKS get hidden.

I was really upset about losing this mask… But then… I was sitting outside having an after-work cocktail and the GG came out WITH MY MASK IN HIS HAND. Wanna know where he found it? This is kind of embarrassing but he folded up a pair of pants yesterday and threw them in the closet. He unfolded them ONE MORE TIME today and there was my MASK stuck in the, uh, crotch. “Crotch” is a word The Commander used unabashedly, usually to refer to children who managed to encrust that area of their anatomy with sand up at the moominbeach but sometimes she used it for other purposes🐽 At least the “crotch” of his pants was clean, having been freshly laundered with a bunch of other laundry, including my mask.

The pic is just as we were turning in for Monday night in the Lyme Lounge, which we have tucked up next to the moomincabin for the duration. It is a tiny 13-foot Scamp trailer, easy to pull without a 5th-wheel or whatever but no bathroom facilities. The moomincabin has modern (but basic) plumbing including a SMALL bathroom so we use that for showers and whatever. If I have to P at 3AM, I just walk outside and hope I don’t take a whole bunch of MOE-skee-TOES back in with me like I did Monday night🐽 Nyeeeeeeeee Nyeeeeeee. Yuck.

Our trailer is not built for people much taller than the GG and I. We are somewhere around 5-and-a-half feet each. I think he edges me out a bit. We are comfortable sleeping in the Scamp. Anyone much taller than us would not be. We could certainly sleep inside the moomincabin (and often do) but the Lyme Lounge is SO comfortable🧡


May 26th, 2020 by kayak woman

I don’t remember which day this pic was taken but it was sometime last week. Daddy (?) Robin in the nest with two of three babies visible.

Today! We arrived home from our (self-contained) trip to the yooperland to find that the first baby robin had JUST FLEDGED! Within ten minutes the remaining two babies had also fledged. The family is still hanging around the yard for now but the nest has been abandoned. Unless they decide to lay a second batch of eggs. That does happen sometimes.

We are sitting underneath the chickadee house with the parents flying in and out carrying food. They are apparently not as skittish about humans as robins are.

Road trip? Returned to the Planet Ann Arbor today. We (the GG) entered our only store today, which was the hardware store in Brimley to get batteries for FlaMan. The GG was a masked man. I didn’t see any other masks (I sat in Mooon Yooonit). The eastern yooperland is not (yet) a hot spot. I hope it stays that way. We have been isolating for soooo long that I doubt we are virus vectors but are trying to be safe and keep others safe anyway. I am appalled at the reports of people flooding parts of the northern Great Lake State and not following the “rules”, such that rules can be cobbled together given the unknowns of the virus.

Anyway, we left the Lyme Lounge (on purpose) and bucketP (accidentally) at the moomincabin but still avoided the public rest areas by doing roadP. We got off at the Ski Ranch exit and immediately found a little back road with no traffic. I didn’t even feel like I had to go off into the woods, it was that secluded. I’m starting to wonder why we bother with rest areas at all…

Our last little adventure was a social call to FlaMan’s apartment in Flint. It’s an independent living facility which is locked down for now but he has a first floor apartment and so was able to sit and have a beer with us outside. At a safe distance because he has many challenges, one of the main ones being BREATHING. He looked great today though and it’s always fun to listen to him complain about things and tell stories, many of them a bit off-color. Like, did he really just say that? It has to be extra hard for people like FlaMan to be locked down during this pandemic but he is a force of nature and seems to be doing pretty dern well.

Anyway, home to robin fledglings and beautiful new tie-dyed t-shirts from an Etsy shop and BOOOOOOOKS from Lopez Island! And heat… And work tomorrow HI HO!

Hotter than Hades

May 25th, 2020 by kayak woman

It was hotter than Hades on the beach this afternoon. We’ve had an offshore breeze since we got here, meaning Gitchee Gumee is not blowing a gale at us. We are in the “lee” for now and it is hot. Am I complaining? No I am not! I’ve been here on Memorial Day weekends when it was 40 degrees. But it was hot hot hot and the water is too cold for swimming, at least for meeeee.

So I finally decamped to the deck where a nice breeze was coming out of the swamp. Alas, it wasn’t enough to keep the mo-skee-toes down so we finally beat a hasty retreat INTO the cabin.

Back to the Planet Ann Arbor tomorrow. Where curbside pickup is easy to arrange from small specialty shops and we have rodent and Argus and Amazon delivery. As always I struggle with the transition between my home (the yooperland) and my adopted home (the Planet Ann Arbor). I love them both very dearly and it’s particularly hard this summer with COVID lurking wherever. Missing the days when we could just pack up and head north. Rest area? Yes, next one. What did we fergit? We’ll just stop at Best Choice in HL or Family Fare in Iggy to stock up. No prob. Not this time…

Kitten box

May 24th, 2020 by kayak woman

I was thinking about the old Dewar’s box a while back and wondering (hoping) it was still around.

I can remember this box being around my entire life. It was at the Old Cabin before we built the moomincabin and it moved to the moomincabin with us (I was six). That means it belonged to my old coot, which I came to know because his dad (my granddad) was a teetotaler. I found it under the sink yesterday when I cleaned that area out. It was behind that green garbage can.

My cat Twinkle had her second litter of kittens in the Dewar’s box. We knew she was pregnant and she was nesting in the box and one morning (a while after she “peed” on the floor), we noticed a tiny orange tabby kitten in the box. We didn’t have a phone at the cabin in those days so The Commander sent us running down to the Mullin cabin to grab the Mullin twins so they could watch the rest of the births (that was by arrangement with the Mullin parents BTW).

So we watched the rest of the kittens be born and I named every one of them. Butterball, Silk, Spook, Sneezy, and Shelly. But you can read it for yourself if you want because here is a letter I wrote to Grandaddy and Bolette in Detroit. I was a rising second grader and I have posted this letter before🐽

As the kittens grew, we moved the box out underneath the back deck and if you came anywhere near the box, you were on my dog Tigger’s sh*t list.

Beach day start to finish

May 24th, 2020 by kayak woman

I don’t have much to say today except that this is stellar weather for Memorial Day weekend. At least the last couple days. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.

So this pic is from this morning when the sun rises over the swamp and lights up our front yard.

It was so frickin’ hot on the beach this afternoon that I (again) had to decamp to the deck where a breeze out of the southeast (swamp) kept us a bit cool. I did a bit of kayaking and even though I wore one of my big sun hats, my face got mildly burned, I suspect from a water reflection. It isn’t anything approaching a serious burn and I prob’ly needed it.

After some facetime with the younger generation and dinner, we sat on Bill’s Birch Point Beach Bank Bench to watch the sun go down. Until the mo-skee-toes started to come out…

G’night, y’all. Glad we came up here during the pandemic but not sure we’ll be able to sustain a several week visit without robust contact-free curbside pickup services. I know no one in town will want to deliver all the way out here (and I don’t blame them) and I’m not sure Amazon delivers to the yooperland… This will be a challenging summer.

Pandemic road trip

May 22nd, 2020 by kayak woman

Yesterday people on facebook were (irresponsibly) posting pictures of huge traffic jams and labeling them northbound I75 – I think without knowing where they were. We encountered exactly one 2-mile backup on our trip up the northbound I75 SUV Speedway today and I highly doubt that one was holiday traffic related because it was there all day. I don’t know what caused it because we were able to exit and hop around it on the old Mackinaw Road.

I will say that there were a LOT more people on the road today than I expected. Not sure why I didn’t expect that since we have “opened up” the northern Great Lake State. The usual “redneck” road warriors flew by us in their big pickup trucks – “Daddy” was one of them. We tried to stop at one gas station and it was MOBBED with people (no pumps available) so we headed up to the next exit. Masks? I wasn’t counting but I didn’t see many.

Rest area? Need to P? There is no way in hell I will use a public restroom until I am comfortable that it’s safe and I was NOT comfortable with the number of vee-hickles in the rest area parking lots. Did I mention the lack of masks? It was okay. We were pulling the Lyme Lounge. While it is not equipped with a terlet (no black water for us), it does feature a plastic bucket so we pulled off at an exit and I did bucketP in privacy and dumped it out. Here is the GG opening up the trailer for me to y’know, P. I think he also Pd at this location but I’m pretty sure he didn’t use the bucket.

The trip was uneventful and here we are crossing the Big Mac.

It is hot here (or at least it was when we got here). The leaves are not quiiiiite out on Chickadee Lane yet but for the first year in quiiiite a while, there is no residual snow here in late May.

And HOME. Beautiful hot sunny day. Young cousins out paddle boarding and I saw my first upbound lake bote, the Kaye Barker, before I decamped to the moomincabin deck.

P.S. We arrived to find that jamadots is laying fiber! At the moominbeach. Hip hip hooray!

On faaaaaarrrr

May 21st, 2020 by kayak woman

And you are right. Nothing is on faaaarrr. Except Mr. Golden Sun, who is rising behind “my” woods in all his splendor. Also, the photo is apped via an Instagram filter to bring out the “golden”. I app a lot of photooooos so bite me 💩

I am taking tomorrow and Tuesday off and. We. Are. Going. Toooooo. The moomincabin! I know I said I wasn’t going to go up there this summer but we have been isolating for months now and I think we can insulate ourselves from others. I don’t know how available curbside pickup is up there except for some restaurants but I’m pretty sure I have enough food to sustain us for the duration including all our fave Pandemic Snacks. Fingers crossed that we won’t need any hardware.

I do have to say that I am VERY stressed out about this trip. I have asked my grocery delivery rodent to make TWO drop-offs this week and I made two curbside orders today plus I got an Argus produce drop-off. This is operation “Keep Dad Out of Stores” and it is not fun because “Dad” is chomping at the bit for some freedom and driving me nuts in the process. Do you have your mask? How about hand sanitizer? Yes I am nagging. It’s important. But I also understand although I am doing fine with all of the stay-at-home stuff it’s probably in part because I can telecommute…

I am pretty appalled about “opening up”. I think we are using the wrong set of numbers. Instead of looking at the metrics surrounding COVID cases, we are looking at dates. Guess what? The virus does not care what the date is. You say it’s your birthday? The virus is not gonna say, “Oh, it’s your birthday, I’ll leave you alone.” It’s gonna say, “Hey, here’s a host! All aboard!” Again, I KNOW people are struggling economically and I will say AGAIN that we need to help them! These are not normal times and I think politicizing the issues is nutso.

I am also stressed out because it seems like we are taking 10 thousand tons of crapola up to the moomincabin. I like to pack lightly (except for food). My clothing and technological gear mostly. And finally I am stressed out because for me the moomincabin has always been a place for family members to gather. This weekend, it will just be us. Alone. No grown up daughters or nieces or cousins of any degree except for those who *live* there. And we’ll have to settle for waving to those cousins from afar.

Pandemic dishwashing…

May 20th, 2020 by kayak woman

…is the same here as it always is. I DOOOOO the dishes 99% of the time and I am HAPPY with that arrangement.

This WaPo article about dishwashing during the pandemic flew by today (the Tiktok link in the article doesn’t work for me). I mean people are actually LETTING THEIR DIRTY DISHES PILE UP IN THE SINK FOR DAAAAAYYYYYS??? Whaaaaaat?

What the be-jeebus is so hard about washing a few dishes? Or putting them in the dishwasher…

I have always been a dishwasher.

One of my fave things to do as a 3-year-old or whatever was to wash the dern “dishes”. I’m sure The Commander set me up with unbreakables to do that. Or maybe not because I was a pretty careful kid. At approximately the same age, when I wanted her to mind her own beeswax so to speak, I would tell her to “go wash the dishes”.

When we went to visit “Funny” Grandaddy and Bolette in Detroit, Bolette would always let me help with the dishes while her husband (my grandad) and his grown children (my parents and aunts and uncles) yee-hawed in the other room over whatever liqwire they were sipping. They were having fun and Bolette always sincerely asked me about school and LISTENED to my answers. She was a retired teacher with no biological children and I was born a year or so after she married my grandaddy. I loved her and I think she loved me.

And then there were all those beautiful summer evenings next door at the Old Cabin when my FinFam uber-cousins were assigned to do the dishes and I would help. In those days, the running water came from a garden hose connected to my uncle’s well. It was cold water and we had to heat it on the stove in big tea kettles. It was fun and we would sing – or maybe we sang *after* doing the dishes out in one of the rowboats.

At any rate, doing dishes has almost always been FUN for me. If you clicked over to the article, I am one of those people who has been known to grab dishes from people almost before they are finished with them. My dishes are almost always washed immediately and put in the dishwasher if appropriate (and if there IS a dishwasher). How can people leave dishes in the sink for three days? Even if doing the dishes isn’t FUN, it is one chore that can actually be FINISHED if you are diligent about keeping up with it.

Love y’all and learn to love doing yer dishes, KW


May 19th, 2020 by kayak woman

Here I am crowing about all the online shopping and ordering I’ve been doing and acting like I’m totally ROCKING IT!

Not today. I made an Amazon order this morning. About the umpteenth Amazon order I’ve made since March 13, 2020. This time I got an email that my trusty plastic card had been declined. It’s on file as my main/only payment method with Amazon. The expiration date is a couple years away and there is way more than enough money in the attached account for the transaction I had just made.

I futzed around a bit and thought I fixed the issue but every time I looked at the order, an error message persisted. Late in the afternoon I put in an order to Argus and my card info was not accepted. Okay. I used a different card and then I called the bank support line. Actually I didn’t call the bank support line at first. I tried to figger out how to fix it online. Alas, there didn’t seem to be a way and I was turned off by all the COVID-19 disclaimers.

I am a total klutz with phone calls so I HATE them but I finally called the support number. After wading through the long rambling COVID-19 message (hey, shorten it to “slow service due to COVID-19” – that’s all you really need to say) and the usual menus and some other fumbling that I won’t try to describe, I got connected to a person PDQ. I’m gonna guess this is because I said “debit card declined” when I stated my problem to the electronic voice.

What was the problem? Somebody “flagged” something I did as suspicious… I have no clue what that could be. I am mainly buying groceries and household cleaning “stuff”. I have bought a few books from various sources and some t-shirts from Etsy and more coffee grinders than I need and a secret gift for someone from Williams Sonoma. And I fergit what else. I have bought things from a few sources that I thought were a little sketchy but they turned out okay. But I got knocked out TODAY and guess what I ordered TODAY? Bars of DIAL SOAP!!! A 8-pack of white (not antibacterial) from Amazon. The bank gal couldn’t tell me EXACTLY what the problem was but she did say that these “incidents” have risen since the pandemic.

Alas, to fix it, I have to schlep out to the bank branch tomorrow and throw my card and my driver’s license into the pneumatic tube. I am not a particularly happy camper.

BTW: I am not dissing the bank support gal. I work in the online banking industry and security is of the utmost importance and I’m sure they ARE dealing with unpresidented unprecedented call volumes with COVID and who knows what kind of hackers. She answered quickly and was friendly and professional.

The GG provided the pics and I didn’t ask permission to post them but I don’t think he cares 🐸

Pandemic hoarding stash

May 18th, 2020 by kayak woman

This is my stash or part of it at least. Not shown is beer/liqwire and toilet paper, etc. This is stuff I ordered from Amazon or wherever I could get it. I can order this kind of stuff locally but I’ve found that it isn’t always simple even when you provide specific instructions. A while back, I emailed a curbside order to a specialty grocery that included two 28 oz. cans of *tomatoes* and two 14.5 oz. cans of tomato *sauce*. When they called me to get my payment info, there were questions about big cans and small cans, etc. and in the end, I received 28 oz. cans of *sauce* and 14.5 oz. cans of *tomatoes*, which was the reverse of what I ordered.

It was okay. The lasagna sauce I made with the reversed ingredient quantities was fine. And I am not dissing the employees at this wonderful little store. I have been buying these sauce ingredients in these quantities for more years than they’ve been alive and I can believe my instructions were confusing and they can’t read my baggy old mind. I will definitely keep ordering meat (this store’s specialty) and produce and stuff there. One of the things I miss about The Commander is that she used to can fresh tomatoes from the short yooperland season every year and send me home from the moomincabin with a bunch of big jars.

After that though, I decided to start buying stuff like that online. Rodent Grock Delivery could get it for me but (as I keeeeeeep saying), I want to limit her time buying for us. If you spend your whole day working in a grokkery store, I imagine the last thing you want to do after work is buy groceries for your baggy old parents. She did drop a pretty big delivery on our porch today. 🧡🧡🧡

I’ve been pretty successful at buying online but sometimes there’s a miss. I tried to buy four cup coffee filters from Amazon and after promising me the moon, that ended up being a miss. I guess people are lining their face masks with them? It’s okay. I got a refund and then put in an order for a reusable gold filter for our little Mr. Coffee. (We can use the percolator at the moomincabin but that’s a whole ‘nother story😉)

And then there were the six cans of mushrooms (I use them on pizza so bite me) that were supposed to be delivered today. Not. I tapped through to the details and… They arrived at a facility in Brownstown (Lake Erie Metro Park area, where we were yesterday) at 5:30 AM. Why did they not arrive? I dunno but it could be because all of SE Michigan got dumped with torrential rain all day and I bet that gloobered things up a bit.

My sources say that the TP supply is flowing pretty well these days. Maybe that industry is finally pivoting to meet the needs of all the folks now using their home bathrooms?

Why do bees hum?

May 17th, 2020 by kayak woman

One of the things I am missing about Cubelandia is watching the life cycle of the Canada Goose population. We drove down to Lake Erie Metro Park this morning, parked in the boat launch area and the GG cooked omelets and coffee in the Lyme Lounge. This is the first time we’ve had to pay to get into a park since, you know… before…

Actually, I’m not really sure what the metro park system’s policies are about entrance fees at the moment because we’ve been going to state parks. The state parks are not staffing their entrance booths but we pay for state park passes when we renew our license tags. If most people are doing that (which the state would know), it probably isn’t that much of an issue (the campgrounds and facilities remain closed). Also Lake Erie Metro Park has a busy boat launch so I guess they need to collect revenue to pay for folks to watch that but I don’t really know how that all works. There was (as usual) both a po-leese and border patrol presence there today. No one seemed to care that we were parked with a trailer in a vee-hickle only lot but for all I know, we may have been thoroughly checked out…

Not very nice weather – rainy, windy, chilly – but pretty and great for the geese and reading. I finished re-reading “Lucifer’s Hammer”. I gave it 4/5 stars. Good story but maybe a little “loose”. I mean I had trouble keeping track of all the characters (reading it on my phone did help with that because I could search), not to mention the geography and some of the plot. I did have fun comparing this reading experience to when I read it 40 years ago or so. I remembered something about driving alongside a comet-created “sea” but did NOT remember that the vee-hickle was driving on *rails*. I remembered a character seeing a contrail for the first time since, you know… before… I had totally forgotten about the astronauts and the [working] nuclear power plant.

Then I started “Hum If You Don’t Know the Words”, which is totally different and I am enjoying it so much that I had trouble putting it down to do my reckoning with the Landfill Chitchen and its relationship with dinner. One of the reasons I was intrigued with this book was because when my brother was very young, his favorite riddle was:

Question: Why do bees hum?
Answer: Because they don’t know the words.

Dinner? Hanger steaks and Yukon Golds from Sparrow Market, asparagus (local!!!) from Argus, salad from Argus and rodent delivery (tomato). All in all a pretty dern good Sunday!

Oh darn

May 16th, 2020 by kayak woman

I can vaguely remember my moom and other relatives darning socks when I was a kid. I’ve always been the kind of person who finds a hole in their sock and “darns” it by saying “Oh darn” and throwing it into the trash. What the heck? I can just order more socks, right? I might even be able to subscribe to socks these days.

Except I also get holes in the right elbows of my turtlenecks. The loverly ones that I buy from Chico’s. They are a staple in my wardrobe, both biz caz (which we haven’t even had to adhere to for a few years) and as a general cold weather inner layer. Alas, at Cubelandia I tend to lean on my right elbow a lot and holes happen. Until now I have been ordering new turtlenecks and throwing the old ones out.

Okay, the big problem is that Chico’s doesn’t sell these turtlenecks at this time of year. It’s all summer clothes, a lot of which are not my fave. So for whatever reason (pandemic thinking but maybe not), I started thinking about mending the elbows. In a creative kind of way… I even looked up patches on the intertubes. Of all things, RANDOMLY (or maybe not…), a post flew by my Instagram tagged #visiblemending and WOW! I gotta check this out.

THAT got me thinking about a book I have owned forever and I was kinda thinking it might have instructions for darning things. It’s a large, thick paperback encyclopedia of needlework techniques. So I went to the bookshelf where I thought the book was and… It was NOT THERE! Where could it be? I looked in every place I could possibly think of. I googled all over hell and gone to try and find a replacement but I couldn’t remember the exact title. I even texted my grocery delivery rodent to ask if she might have it. She knew exactly what I was talking about but is overwhelmed with work and moving house. So nada on all fronts.

Eventually, I sat down on my bed and studied the bookshelf I thought this book was on one more time and… I spied a big paperback book shelved on its side. It was about the right size and YES. It was my book! We actually own two copies but both 🐭 and I think the other copy is at the moomincabin. For posterity, I ordered two more copies from eBay today. That’s kind of against my usual anti-hoarding policies but for some reason it felt like the right thing to do. I mean, you never know when a comet might hit the Earth. (Oh, don’t worry, it was not expensive.)

After all that, the original topic I was interested in researching, which was darning, is not included in the book at all.

Oh darn.