Random bits of my so-called life.

In my kitchen…

January 19th, 2021 by kayak woman

No way could I get a decent pic of this. It was moving waaaay too fast and flipping around all over the place. Yes, it was a flying saucer sent from the planet Zephron III to my kitchen. The life-forms there are very small so if you wanted to conquer them, all you’d have to do is step on them (Old Man’s War).

So a package arrived from China today. It wasn’t addressed to me and I had no clue. I was thinking something like, “Not another remote controlled helicopter” but I think we bought those over at the old Ryder’s Hobby Shop here on the Planet Ann Arbor, not China. I’m trying to think what toys we *did* buy from China… And this was labeled “child’s toy” on the package. Yup. Child’s toy.

So I left it on the table for the GG to open when he got home from visiting FlaMan’s domicile where he exchanged full beer cans for (sorta) empty ones but otherwise seemed a bit disgruntled. I mean, this is a 100 mile round trip beer run and around a year ago, he and Mooon Yooonit almost bit the dust when somebody spun out on a lightly iced road surface at 70 mph. Roads were okay today though and the arrival of this new Flying Saucer gave him something to do to decompress.

So we have fewer than 24 more hours left of this chaotic American presidency. I don’t share memes on facebook but there was one cartoon on the Saturday that Biden was first declared the winner… It was the statue of liberty launching tRump outta town in a sling shot made out of a face mask. I mean the mask was around his butt. I can’t find it anywhere on the internet. I can find Liberty knocking him off a wall with a golf club and any number of other things. I think that face mask slingshot says it the best.

I hope we make it through tomorrow without any more violence. I hope I am able to concentrate on my job tomorrow. I have a training session to run tomorrow afternoon…

We’ll talk about Donny Osmond some other day🐲

Corn chowder at the moominbeach and cousins of all degrees

January 18th, 2021 by kayak woman

I wanted to respond to a FB/highschool acquaintance in the Trump camp about what I thought Biden’s accomplishments were. But I don’t [usually] get into polly-tickal crapola on FB so I am thinking about what to write about that here in my own “private” space, private in the sense that most of that set of FB friends don’t know about it and probably aren’t interested in and/or capable of finding it. I’ll get into Biden another day, maybe Inauguration Day? With fingers crossed for the promised (begrudgingly, in my opinion) “peaceful transition” but also knocking on wood.

So I’ll talk about corn chowder instead. Specifically the corn chowder recipe The Commander left behind when she joined the Ghost Ship Ryerson Party Bote in the Sky. I’m not gonna share it right now. First, I’d have to dredge it up. Also, it is GOOD and we love it but I’m sure a lot of people have equally good corn chowder recipes. Ours does involve bacon…

Anyway, last night a MacMu cousin’s 20-something daughter (my 1st cousin once removed) was making “our” corn chowder and posted pics on FB. Her mom and aunt “Salwa” began bringing her to visit the moomincabin for a few days each summer when she was a toddler and my kids were I dunno somewhere in elementary school. Corn chowder was often on the menu, cooked by the Commander. This toddler was a Force of Nature and is now through college with a corporate job at one of our state’s large grocery chains. We are so proud of her. She and her mom still try to visit us each summer but we missed them last summer because COVID. But we missed our own adult children up there too because COVID.

Here is a pic of my Mouse making corn chowder at the moomincabin with a FinFam cousin’s *granddaughter* Cap’n *Queen* Leila (my 1st cousin twice removed). Another force of nature. See how she’s standing on a stool there? She is in middle school now, almost 13 I think, and I think she’s taller than any of us.

For a number of years her family lived next door to the moomincabin in the house/cabin her great-grandparents (my aunt and uncle) built when I was a young baby. Since C*Q*L is an extreme extrovert she was a constant visitor to the moomincabin. Especially when the GG was around. I’m not really very interesting but the GG is always doing something interesting in the GARAAAAGE or re-placing beach chair webbing on the beach or teaching her how to drive our little putt-putt motor botes.

We didn’t see her a lot last summer. Her family moved to a little town a couple miles down the road and, well, COVID. I miss this (once little) Force of Nature and I will have to make some corn chowder soon!

Yay! We picked up the Frog Hopper this afternoon to the tune of $3000 (brakes, suspension, taaaars, exhaust system and I fergit what else and not all of that was in this repair session, I don’t think). Oh, exhaust system. Yeah. I mean, I remember hearing how noisy that vee-hickle was a few weeks ago when it was out in our street. And I am now getting ads for some sorta little Subaru SUV-like aminal (Crosstrek?) every time I look at any kind of social media. Stay tuned.

A picture is worth a thousand words?

January 17th, 2021 by kayak woman

This terlet carousel about sums up my feelings about today🐽 Lemme see… Light snow flurries ALL day. Not the pretty kind although that’s a good thing because my Ninja is being droven as a commuter car at the moment and it is not really a good snow vee-hickle with its performance taaaaars. I am a moom. I worry.

Oh man, almost NO space-ification the last I dunno how many days. I got a wee bit of space-ification yesterday when the GG went out to buy me a bday gift. It turned out to be the wrong size, so I got a wee bit more today while he went out to replace it. It’s a bamboo dish drainer. I use one for air drying the dishes I don’t put in Bertie. I took a close look at mine a while back and realized there was MOLD all over the bottom of it so I put it on my xmas list but somehow there was a communication snafu so I got it for my bday. Except the 18″ inch is too big for my counter.

I didn’t really NEED or WANT ANYTHING for xmas or my bday. I mean, I’ve got a new laptop on order somewhere out there. And I am in a deacquisitional mode anyway. But I humored people by making a little list of items that I don’t really need or don’t really need yet. I’m angling to get back into some fiber arts stuff but haven’t really gotten geared up yet.

At the end of the day, I pulled some veggies out of one of the crispers and there was LIQUID splashing around in the bottom of it. That meant I had to PULL OUT THE REFRIGIMATATOR so I could get the drawer out (you don’t wanna now know) so I could clean it and repackage some of the produce. I think it was just water and I DON’T think anything is wrong with the fridge but now that I’ve said that, I expect it to crap out any minute🐽

So that was today. Oh, except I am re-reading The Firebrand, a “retelling” of the story of the Trojan war by Marion Zimmer Bradley told from Cassandra’s point of view. I am no expert on mythology in any way shape or form but I know this is a “loose” retelling. Still, it was a fun book the first time I read it and it’s fun the second time around. I identify with Cassandra because there was a period in my life when I predicted some horrible family events and no one would listen to me. We may or may not talk about that some time. Oh, rest assured, awful as it was, our “war” was a first world late 20th century American war involving lawyers and real estate developers and a land “conservancy”. No one died. (AND NO ONE STORMED ANY GD CAPITOL BUILDING.)

Happy No Politics Day

January 16th, 2021 by kayak woman

Actually people had to remind MEEEEE that today was No Politics Day. I mean, I well remembered what day it was but I started to veer off in a political direction on a “zoom” call that was set up to honor No Politics Day. Our daughters and a niece and a couple of significant others.

This set of people (more or less) has been occasionally meeting online since COVID, more so in the beginning when we were all trying to figger our COVID lives. One of our members moved to Hawai’i over the summer and I think we’ve met with her since then. The rest of us are all in the eastern time zone. Planet Ann Arbor, Manchester, Detroit, and Poughkeepsie.

All of the usual folks were online this afternoon and then another person joined. npJane! My “baby” cousin. For whatever reason, I didn’t realize she would be on the call. The more the merrier! I was eight when she was born and so old enough not to be jealous of a younger child and therefore “fight” with her as siblings and cousins sometimes do when they are relatively close in age. She was soooo cute and we all loved her.

As adults, she and the GG do moominbeach cabin stuff together and we carpooled up there quite a few times before COVID. Not this year, alas.

So it was great to hear from her and I am LOVING that her dad, my Dear Uncle Harry, is (at 90-something) walking around his neighborhood taking books out of Little Free Libraries and returning them to OTHER Little Free Libraries. I want a LFL in my front yard and if we ever get one installed, I will put non-perishable food items in it too. Every little bit helps.

Not to mention THANKS to all of the others on our call. I wanted to do so many things today, like go out to lunch somewhere, but no way. I had a great day and love y’all, KW


January 15th, 2021 by kayak woman

So where were we. I spent the day digging into file formats including a fixed format file with *490* character records. That was fun.

Some of us have been texting about automotive vee-hickles a lot today. The GG apparently thinks that “wimmen” like to drive cars that are “high” enough up that they can see out zee veeendsheeeld. This totally p*ssed me off. I have droven all kinds of cars in my life.

I liked driving minivans and jeeps and things and being higher than other vee-hickles. But I edge in close to 5’6″ or so, so I am not all that short (and he is barely taller than me!). Then we got the Dogha (2001 top dollah Honda Accord) and man oh man, I loved that thing. It was pretty low slung but I had no problem seeing whatever I needed to see and it was a V6, so well…

Anyway, the GG was taken down a notch or two after he expressed that particular opinion and various “wimmen” in his life ‘splained that what they were looking for was CLEARANCE between the ground and the chassis so they could drive on back roads, etc. Jaybus.

I love when some of these “wimmen” have polly-tickle disagreements with the GG and CALMLY remind him that, “YOU raised us on The Planet Ann Arbor AND you allowed us to enter the Community High School lottery.” Which they both won. Yes. We could’ve chosen to live in Oakland County where the GG grew up and lived/worked when we met. I have loved the Planet since I was a kid visiting my cousins here and this is where we ended up. I think it was a good choice.

Here is my box from Luke’s Lobster. I ordered lobster claws. I am sorry, I do not think I could EVER put a live lobster into a pot. But I like lobster meat and this wee bit will work well with the beef filet kebabs we’re cooking tomorrow night. I bought some tuna kebabs from Luke’s back in the fall and I think I will try their Jonah crab meat next. Everything flash frozen off the boat and delivered overnight.

My dear [late] sister-in-law Suzie loved what she called Red Slobster and I miss her.

HB to the Mean Old Grunchy Old Grinchy and Our Northern Correspondent 🧡🧡🧡

This is your passive-aggressive hint to…

January 14th, 2021 by kayak woman

…put some music on satty-lite radio. The GG is responsible for turning on satty-lite radio at the end of the day. 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, country, folk, whatever. I don’t really know how to “do” it. My laptop doesn’t connect to our “pod” or whatever it is. I am tech savvy. I could learn this. But it’s something I like him to do. I never know what music he’s going to choose next.

Instead of asking him for “music”, I’ve been turning up National Petroleum Radio so he can actually hear it. He complains that it’s “socialist” radio. I’m not sure if he really believes that or if he’s just harassing me. I’m still trying to figure out why people think that AOC and Bernie are going to magically change our EXTREMELY complicated culture into socialism overnight and I highly doubt that even George Soros has enough cash to fund such a gargantuan endeavor. I fear the Orange Baboon’s unhinged “base” more, what with their flaunting of guns and refusal to wear masks even though masks have now been proven to slow the virus from spreading.

Make no mistake. I am not anti-gun at all. I *own* guns, albeit inherited ones that I hope I never feel like I need to learn to use. I think there are situations in which guns are appropriate and I know and love people who enjoy using them responsibly. I don’t believe it’s a good thing for elected officials to flaunt them inside the nation’s capitol building. On the other hand, I am a STRONG mask proponent (just ask the GG). People who refuse to wear masks often don’t seem to understand the science behind viruses and NO THIS IS NOT THE “REGULAR” “FLU”. Mask-refusers are endangering other people’s lives. This HAS to change.

I spent the last part of my workday rolling my eyes at a loverly little cFam “drama” that was unfolding on the GG’s phone out in the back room. It was a first world drama (in a way) and I won’t go into detail except to say that even though I could only hear the GG’s side of the convo, I knew what was happening.

I will say that there are a whole helluva lotta people in this country who don’t understand what the $600 COVID relief checks are FOR. Like they are not “bonuses” or some kind of fun money. They are to pay bills and buy food and whatever.

I will go a bit further to say that I wish there were some “requirements” surrounding who gets them. The GG and I are not Warren Buffett and it was nice to get a little boost to our finances but we didn’t need it. It would be better to target payments to those who do and maybe give them a little more than a token $600. There are MANY folks in our country who need more than that. But our country is in the throes of various crises and although I am not all that trustful of polly-ticians, I think we are doing the best we can under the circumstances. I hope we can start repairing some damage after next week. I am only somewhat optimistic.

The photo is not tonight. Although it is quite warm tonight, it isn’t foggy at all.

Doin’ the dishioshios

January 13th, 2021 by kayak woman

I really have no words for what when went down today. Lost the house (twice), lost the senate (barely but still), lost the presidency, impeached (twice). I am feeling [somewhat] upbeat. I am also weary. The Orange Baboon and his cult (yes) have taken a lot out of my faith in my fellow citizens and we still have another week. Or more…

So let’s talking about washin’ dishes. Somebody on facebook posted one of those memes that has a long list of things and did you do this or not? This one was about cooking. Like have you ever baked biscuits from scratch (yes and I am not good at them), made a jello salad (maybe but can’t remember), mashed potatoes from “scratch”, whatever that means in terms of mashed potatoes (always and I guess it means not *instant* potatoes, yuck). Etc, etc.

I don’t do memes but one question caught my attention. Have you ever lived in a house without a dishwasher? Well, yes! Many times. Most of my childhood our shabby little Superior St. bungalow did not have one. When we finally bought one, you had to wheel it over to the sink and connect it to the faucet to run it. The Comm moved it up to the Dillon house and she was still using until she died.

We *still* wash dishes by hand at the moomincabin. The main improvement we’ve made in 60 years is to install hot water so we no longer have to heat dishwater in a big teakettle.

Not surprisingly, neither of my grandmas had dishwashers when I was a kid. Grandma Margaret (a few blocks away from us in Sault Ste. Siberia) had dishwashing help if she needed it from the two single women that lived in that house, her sister and my granddaddy’s sister (my great aunts). Bolette (step-grandmother in Detroit) *always* pulled me into the kitchen to help her with the dishes while the rest of the adults hee-hawed at the dining table. I *loved* this. She let me squish the soap suds around in all kind of creative ways and when she asked me questions about school, etc., she *listened* to the answers.

When we bought the Landfill, there was a dishwasher but it was noisy and didn’t really work all that well. Eventually we replaced it and *that* one was noisy and didn’t really work very well. At some point I just gave up and for about I dunno 10 years, I hand-washed the dishes. What the heck, I had plenty of practice.

But then… We encountered a wonderful Certified Kitchen Lady who helped us gut and replace our 1970s kitch. I still dithered and dathered about getting a dishwasher. I know most people don’t want to buy houses without them but we weren’t/aren’t planning to sell this place and I figgered whoever ended up buying it would HATE my teal blue subway tile, etc., and unceremoniously tear everything out. It’s happened a couple times in this house. So I decided to buy a new dishwasher.

So that meant we had to, you know, *buy* one. Man oh man, it is fun [not] to buy appliances with the GG. There was the time the ancient washing musheen gave out and we spent at least an hour at Big George while the GG and the salesman took apart *every* washer on the sales floor to determine if it had the same crappy “controller” that our old one did. Not my idea of a good time. Why am I here?

A version of that happened when we bought Bertie, our dishwasher. The GG pulled out the drawers on EVERY dishwasher on the floor and invited me to choose between them. Whut? While he was so occupied, I peered at the sales guy and said something like, “mid-price dishwasher that’ll clean the dishes.” I came home with an $800 or so Bosch and I started using a dishwasher again. It gets the dishes sparkly clean and it’s QUIET! There are still a lot of things I hand wash.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Don’t let those erderators get my baby

January 12th, 2021 by kayak woman

Looking for something else, I found this…

Myakka State Park, Fla, March 1986. She’s wearing some CUTE clothes we bought at some KMart store down there and a necklace of The Commander’s that I remember from when my fingers were small enough to stick them into the little half-spheres or whatever they were (my pinkies are still small enough).

I am puzzled by a few things here. One is that The Comm *gave* me that necklace all those years ago. Maybe she was taaaaared of it? And knew how much I liked it? And wanted to make sure I got it, even though she lived a few decades after that. I dunno. It’s not valuable in any way except that she always wore it when I was a baby and I remember it from then. The other thing is that I kinda panicked about where is that necklace? Do I still have it? Do I know where it is? And there it was in my “jewelry” box.

So that trip was my first Fla trip. We drove our 1985 VW Jetta down there with our baby and The Mean Old Grumpy Beautiful Aunt Suzie, the GG’s gorgeous little red-headed sister, to stay with their parents for a couple weeks. Suz is no longer with us. She never got around to having children but she loved her nieces and nephews to distraction and she and our little Lizard Breath had a great time bonding on that trip. They TALKED and Suz was who translated “erderator” from toddler speak to “alligator”.

Miss Suz a lot. We are infrequent Fla visitors. We went again with both our kids when they were young (Suz was living down there by then). And then I have been there a few times in the 2010s. The GG has been there more often than I have but many of his trips have been related to end-of-life stuff for family members and I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to get him to go there again.

Especially after our fall 2018 LSD Trip to rescue FlaMan from his crazy trailer home. The GG injured his hand cleaning it out and the Frog Hopper broke down and Hurricane Michael was on the way. We love FlaMan anyway although I will never forget driving up from Fla pulling a UHaul trailer, a guy on O2 24/7 and a DOG. We did escape the hurricane and there was no pandemic then, thank you very much. I was so glad to hit the Great Lake State border after that, bumpity clunkity roads and all.

We have so much fun!

100 miles

January 11th, 2021 by kayak woman

Okay. Got up this morning. Coffee (tooooo strong coffee) and oatmeal for breakfast. Packed up, said farewell to MC, and headed out. Two hours or so from Delphos to the Planet Ann Arbor. Horrible fugly gray drive but no snow, thank you very much.

We hadn’t been home for very long and it was sometime around noon. The GG started rummaging the refrigimatator. Okay. What are you doing? I asked because I had a dinner plan and I didn’t want him to eat it. He was making a peanut butter sandwich, which was okay because that had nothing to do with my dinner plan.

And then… He surprised me by saying he was leaving for ALBION like NOW. Why are you going to Albion, I asked? I mean, we had just driven a couple hours on the freeway and he’s leaving again? Turned out he had walked 94 miles out of the North Country Trail 100-mile yearly challenge. I mean he had walked that many miles since January 1, 2021. The NCT does NOT go through the Planet Ann Arbor so it takes some logistical planning to get to it.

So he had six miles to go. The closest section of the NCT to our house is in Albion, 50 miles or so away. He drove over there and did the last six miles.

This pic is from today. He and MC hiked something like 44 miles in O-haaa-o this weekend. He sent me a picture of HIMSELF from that trip but his hands were positioned in a kinda weird way that made him look like he might’ve been roadP-ing so I didn’t post it. He wasn’t. MC would’ve clobbered him if he had, with my enthusiastic support.

Me? I attended a meeting in the car in which I was basically USELESS, then an afternoon of uploading user guides to a client-accessible “portal”. I think this is the FIRST TIME I have ever managed to do this without all kinds of pain and grief related to dealing with a complicated content management system. “Unbucketed item”? Really? What is a bucket. In this context, I mean. This old dog has done this enough times to know what she’s doing.

Oh and hello? The UU (the GG’s identical twin) ALSO finished his 2021 100 mile NCT challenge today, hence the second pic. Not in the same place as the GG. He needed snowshoes.

So, the Twinz of Terror completed their 2021 NCT 100 mile challenges on the same day. It is also the bDay of The Beautiful Gay, wife of the UU (one half of the Twinz) and my own kinda identical twin, in spirit albeit not DNA.

HAHAHAHAHAHA! I’m not sure the Twinz of Terror would appreciate this bit of Kayak Woman humor but they accomplished their 100 day challenge in… Drum roll.. One Scaramucci!

Somewhere in O-haaa-oh

January 10th, 2021 by kayak woman

Ohio gets kind of a bad rap. I did a college trip in Ohio with a beach urchin and a couple of her friends and their parents. I had a good time but ultimately it might’ve been better for me not to be there because I was nervous about it all for unknown reasons. My kiddo ultimately went to Kalamazoo College here in Michigan and ROCKED IT, as she has been rocking life ever since. I do remember how much fun I had driving my brand-new Dogha on that trip throughout the hills and valleys of eastern Ohio. (The Dogha was a 2001 top dollar Honda Accord with a V6 engine with about as much vroom as I am interested in.)

We’re over on the western side of Ohio this weekend and it is beautiful but it’s FLAT and I haven’t figgered out how to photograph it. So here is the interior of our room in our Victorian style Air B&B.

If you ever find yourself wanting to go to Delphos, Ohio, this is a GREAT place to stay and it is NOT expensive, at least not right now (it’s prob’ly less than the average Days Inn 🐽). The owner opened it in April 2020, yes really. We got gasoline yesterday morning and another person getting gas had seen us get into our cars outside the B&B and approached the GG to say that he had worked on the renovation of our home away from home and also owned a similar place. There are a number of these “mansions” here in Delphos and I walked around the area looking at some of them today. With turrets and cupolas they remind me of some areas of Sault Ste. Siberia although those areas have largely fallen into disrepair starting well before I was born.

100 years

January 9th, 2021 by kayak woman

Going on 10 years ago, The Commander was unhappily (albeit temporarily) residing at the long term care facility connected to War Memorial Hoosegow in Sault Ste. Siberia and we were figuring out what was NEXT. A social worker was visiting and it was a little crazy because I was telecommuting and the LSCHP (who almost NEVER called me) CALLED ME in the middle of it all so there was his big booming voice that you can hear even if you’re not on speaker.

The social worker was talking to mom about her life and was quite fascinated by mom’s stories of the travels she and my pilot dad took out in the American southwest during WWII. I will tell one of those stories here. When they decided to get married, mom had a plane reservation to get out there but got bumped in favor of a service person. So she took a train. When she reached her destination, she got dumped off the train in the middle of the night. It was pitch black and the station was locked up. And then… Dun dun dun… A MAN loomed in the darkness. Who was it? It was my dad! They were 22 and 24 when they married.

At one point the social worker said something about talking to mom in 10 years (conversationally, not officially). Mom replied with some horror that she wouldn’t be around in 10 years. I kind of rolled my eyes at that but it turned out she did only last most of another year. We moved her to assisted living and although I hoped she would be happy there, she never really got over losing her independence.

Today is the 100th anniversary of The Commander’s birth. Here she is in “god’s country” aka the yooperland threatening me with her cudgel for who knows what. Some snarky remark probably. Even though I know her birthdate, I was distracted this morning by trying to pay my car insurance. It’s due on my mom’s birthday and even though I’ve been paying it online for YEARS, I couldn’t manage to do it that way today (infinite loop anyone?) so I had to call. A beach urchin did remember her grandma’s birthday and a text from her reminded me 🧡

P.S. Last but not least, today is also the birthday of the “better half” of our friends of porterization. HB DP 🧡 Wish we were at Weber’s or The Earle or Real Seafood tonight 🐽

B-r-r-r-ring, tinnnng, doodle-oop, nehnehnehnehne

January 8th, 2021 by kayak woman

That was the GG’s phone beginning I dunno when, about 6AM or so? He was dead to the world and didn’t react to any of them. Probably just news alerts or dog whistles or whatever. I got up late (after 7) because I’m in an unfamiliar city and so didn’t want to do an 0-skunk-30. I know the Landfill neighborhood like the back of my hand.

Anyway, I got up and managed to navigate our gorgeous claw-foot tub. I don’t think I’ve had anything to do with a claw-foot tub since I was a little kid and my friend Helen’s family had one. Theirs was not fancy and had no shower. This one is all tarted up with a fancy shower. Still, using a *different* shower setup is a learning curve and I figger by about the last morning we’re here, I’ll be a pro.

Okay, then the GG went out to grab McDonald’s for breakfast. We could cook here but it’s a shared kitchen (although there’s nobody else here) and schlepping a whole bunch of food seemed overwhelming to me. So I got a hash brown and coffee and supplemented that with one of the clementines I did schlep. Plum Market Carolina Chicken salad for lunch, kept cold in the refrigerator aka Mooon Yooonit.

Problem… The GG: I can’t find my phone? I called it. No answer. I called it again. No answer. Now. I KNEW that it was ringing SOMEWHERE. What the heck, it made noise all night. Where was it? He went down to Mooon Yooonit and I called again. And again. And again. Five times. Finally I went downstairs and outside onto the porch and YELLED, “DID YOU FIND IT?.” He THOUGHT he could hear it. I called it one more time and he finally found it. UNDERNEATH SOME PAPERS!!! All you did was drive a couple blocks to McDonald’s and back. Why didn’t you just put it in your pocket or maybe the cupholder between the seats? Who knows.

He and MC road-hiked umpteen bazillion miles. I earned my pay big time, doing my part on a hot prodject we decided (overnight) we needed “yesterday”. I got kudos from my boss and even a bit of, well, not exactly kudos because he doesn’t really do that kind of thing but positive feedback from Mr. Bear. The GG said something like, “So now your ego is all inflated.” Not really. My boss is always supportive but Mr. Bear specializes in knocking down egos so any pride surely comes before a fall. We love him ANYWAY 🐽

I went to Indiana

January 7th, 2021 by kayak woman

A couple days before xmas we did a roundabout to drop off a few xmas packages (and some beer). As we were starting out, the GG said, “You haven’t been on an excursion in months.” My QUICK retort was, “I went to Indiana!” And I DID go to Indiana, with him, in November, to buy Everclear at Gay’s.

The GG thinks I don’t get oot and aboot enough despite the four(?) times I traveled to the yooperland during the “season”. I am not holing up in my house because I am depressed. I am trying to survive a pandemic. I am comfortable in my own home where I can easily get curbside pickup and delivery of any number of items. I can work and there’s all kinds of activity out my front window all the time. Walkers, runners, dogs, birds, delivery trucks, gas meter guys, you name it. When I am in the yooperland I am also home, in my childhood home, where I can interact with that community at a safe distance. And work…

Anyway, the GG convinced me to accompany him to an air B&B in Oh-haaa-o for a long weekend (it’s a long boring story) and after much trepidation, here I am.

I don’t like to take vacay at this time of year so I am working all day tomorrow and I did two meetings in the car on the way down, always such fun. We are kind of in the middle of nowhere (which is fine) but can I just say the back roads down here are a LOT different than they are in the Great Lake State. In the GLS, you can usually navigate the back roads to get from one place to another simply by making right angle turns, say south and east and south and east and south and east. Down here in Oh-haaa-o we seemed to be wildly wheeling and looping around every which way, every turn an acute or obtuse angle. I couldn’t really keep track because I was head down into work and had to trust that the GG knew where he was going.

It’s a nice place and I’m gonna try to ignore that we’re prob’ly in tRump country. The whole thing would be a lot easier without the pandemic. And no we’re not staying in the buildings by the green car. That’s a random photooo… It’s in Napoleon, OH, if anyone cares. It’s a cool car but I wouldn’t let the GG buy it 🐽

Wake up happy

January 6th, 2021 by kayak woman

First of all, disclaimer. I stole this beautiful woods house pic (without permission) from a text message. I did not take it and it is not my house although I have two woods houses of my own, beautiful too albeit in different ways.

As a bluuuuuue person (nowadays), I didn’t expect to wake up happy but this morning when I grabbed my phone to check the weather, there was an Apple News alert on the lockscreen proclaiming that one of the peach state races had been called in favor of the blue guy. Yay!!! What about the other one? At 0-skunk-30 it was still close but “we” were cautiously optimistic. And YES! I don’t think it was until afternoon that it was called in favor of the OTHER blue guy! YAY said this social liberal/fiscal (but COMPASSIONATE) conservative who grew up in a “red” family back when the GOP still had a heart.

Of course by that time, we were focused on some other HORRIFIC happenings. Things that flashed through my mind and others were on the order of “I feel like I’m reading the Handmaid’s Tale” and “this is probably the worst thing I’ve experienced since 911.” Yes, I KNOW that neither of those things exactly equal this. Handmaid’s Tale is fictional and my terrification about 911 was immediately overwhelming while my attempted coup terrification came in bits and pieces as I slowly came to realize the potential implications of what kind of shit was going down in D.C.

And yes, I believe it’s an attempted coup. No matter who started it, the Orange Baboon has used incendiary language in his incessant attempts to undermine our carefully constructed electoral system. Woe to those of us who do not believe his conspiracy theories and woe to those who do and don’t understand that they’ve been hoodwinked. I understand that his followers feel they have been wronged by our society but we’ll go there some other day. If we survive the coup.

Enough for now. I couldn’t look away from news all day but I STILL managed to get a lot of work done. “Wake up happy” is what my sweet [long-dead] mother-in-law said to her 10 children to avoid the Grumpus-in-the-morning thing. That was passed on to many of her grandchildren albeit not mine, who responded to different things. I mean what do you do when a kid won’t get outta bed because a “bad aminal has glued her into her bed”? Jeebus, it is soooo much fun to be a moom 🧡🧡🧡

Kicking it

January 5th, 2021 by kayak woman

Er, not kicking it at teleCubelandia, at least not today. Spent all morning deep into I fergit what archaeological digs and all afternoon trying to pull umpteen gazillion little bits and pieces of “stuff” into a coherent “story” about how something works. I meandered around our product “sandbox” for hours setting things this way and that and “processing” (in my brain) the results. I’m getting there. I do NOT want to bug dev/QA who are getting into the busy season of ramping up to the next software release. Better if I learn it myself anyway. At least then I can [maybe] ask intelligent questions.

“We” kicked xmas to the curb today. I helped by holding the xmas tree up while the GG released it from the tree stand. I had proper glubs this time, leather. The last time I had to hold up the tree was after it fell over and I had those crappy little knit glubs. He did all of the rest. I’ll leave the outdoor string of xmas lights on for a while… March maybe? You never know. My s-i-l The Beautiful Gay keeps a xmas tree up year-round and once we were there during a TORRENTIAL rainstorm in July and she turned it on. It was MAGICAL!

We doggedly stick to the tradition of getting a “real” once-live tree. Our method of tree removal was quite mundane. The GG simply dragged it out the back door. We’ll eventually burn it in the back yard faaaarrr pit. Our Manchester woods beach urchin sent a dramatic video in which their xmas tree was thrown off their second story deck and it sailed down into the ravine below. Well done sir!

Ka-whomp! Or is it ho-hum?

January 4th, 2021 by kayak woman

Back at teleCubelandia after one of the un-vacationy-est vacations ever. But really it was okay. I am surprisingly, well, I was gonna say sanguine but looking it up, it doesn’t exactly fit, as optimistic and positive are part of the definition. I don’t feel optimistic or positive exactly but I also don’t feel pessimistic or negative. I just am.

As I was slow-driving over to the Plum for curbside this morning I couldn’t help missing my old Zen Commute to Cubelandia. But once I got home, I faaarrred up my work laptop and got to it. I spent the morning like most others probably were, figuring out what the heck I do for a living. By afternoon I had a good to-do list and I had researched px/em font units and that’s about when I started getting pinged. What about this? What about that? By late afternoon I was head-first into a rabbit hole. Fortunately not a rabbit hole on the dark side of Mercury. Although the harmoniums might’ve been fun.

All of our usual meetings got canceled for the duration of the holidays and that was fine. But we did talk beforehand about how important these meetings are for all of us now that we all telecommute all the time. I may zone out if the dev team is going on and on about something technical that I have nothing to do with but I am there [bdah bdah bdah, what were you guyz talking about I was multi-tasking… or using the bathroom… or texting with someone… or whatever…] if they need me for something. American voices, Indian-American voices, Indian-India voices, and a special Russian voice.

It was good to get back to meeting with people even if remotely. We do daily “stand-up” meetings plus weekly touch-ins with our team. My team is me and Amazon woman and we spent most of our Monday meeting today talking about that funky shit that went down on the phone over the weekend. Our Indian sub-continent colleagues were apparently pretty horrified and she had to try to ‘splain current ‘murican polly-ticks to them this morning.

I do have to say I am thankful that we don’t have video on during our meetings. We can only see our badge photos. Mine is actually not that bad. It looks a lot like one of my OLD college ID pics believe it or not. Amazon Woman, who is GORGEOUS, once said, “I don’t want *anybody* looking at me this morning!”

White knuckling it

January 3rd, 2021 by kayak woman

I need to stop sneaking looks at Twitter I guess. I use it as a news aggregator but it’s making me CRAY-ZEE. Today the Orange Toddler-in-Chief spent an hour or so on the phone ranting and raving incoherently at Georgia’s Secretary of State, who VOTED for Trump. Really? REALLY? We’ve got to get him out. We’ve got to get him out. WE’VE GOT TO GET HIM OUT!

Oops. Sorry but I STILL don’t understand his popularity. Not to mention all the terrification about AOC and Bernie taking over and converting our country to socialism or whatever. George Soros is gonna pay for it, don’tcha know? [That’s SARCASM!]

The pic is what Old Man Winter was doing as I was walking into the schoolyard at 0-skunk-30. Multiple weather apps told me it was not snowing. Oh yeah? I was quite wet when I got back and I shivered for a while (in a comfortable way) under a blanket on the Green Couch. Eventually it stopped snowing except it looked like it was *still* snowing because the temperatures warmed up enough that big clumps of snow were falling out of the trees. I mean CONSTANTLY!

I finished Sirens of Titan. What a ride! I love books where people with no particular training just hop onto various “flying saucers”, push a button and zoom off to Mars or Mercury (forgot about Mercury) or wherever. No thought to supplies like food, etc., whatsoever. I’ll leave it at that in case you haven’t read it and want to. What an imagination!

In a complete shift of gears, Kristin Lavransdatter is next up. Another family read or partial one anyway. I used to eyeball this book/series down at the original Borders store on State and Liberty but never got around to reading it.

And I made my third batch of Chex mix for the season. We don’t really eat cereal so I am trying to get rid of it. Last year it hung around until it got stale and I threw it in the compost.

Back to teleCubelandia tomorrow, HI HO!

Lost in time

January 2nd, 2021 by kayak woman

The pic is from a couple years ago on a Friday evening walking downtown to meet up at the Oscar Tango or wherever for dinner. We don’t do that any more and we did NOT have a clear sky with a full moon today. Nope. Gray fugliness ALL day. Although my salted sidewalk was pretty much dry by this afternoon, it never got quiiiiite warm enough to melt the snow anywhere else. But this is the Great Lake State and it’s winter…

I remember a high school beach urchin once asking – in January – moom, is it gonna snow again? I kinda knew that she was really asking something like, in the next few hours or whatever but I couldn’t help cracking up. I start to relax about snow sometime in March here but we can get snow until sometime in May. When we open the moomincabin on Memorial Day weekend, there is always residual snow in the woods, sometimes a LOT of it.

I finished my Goodreads 2020 reading challenge at 112 books, 12 books over. Does that sound like a lot? My kids are kind of amazed but I think they need to remember all of the books I read to them when they were children. I read to them at night. I read to them at breakfast. I read to them long after they were independent readers. I read picture books when they were small but we started in with “chapter” books well before kindergarten, Charlotte’s Web and Wind in the Willows are two I remember off hand. And “Indian in the Cupboard” on the beach to multiple generations. I did a lot of things wrong as a parent. We all do. Reading was one thing I did right.

The other thing is that while the pandemic has caused a lot of readers to struggle with focus, it had the opposite effect on me. I TOTALLY understand those who are struggling and not sure why I’m not in that particular boat. I do veer toward fiction with a few memoirs thrown in. Beyond that I’m not sure how to define my preferences except I’m not crazy about romance, chick lit, beach reads (usually), or anything too “light” or formulaic. I have been getting more into, whaddya call ’em, crime novels? Well-written ones though. For example, I read Tana French’s Dublin murder books and I don’t consider them formulaic.

The last two books I read in 2020 were memoirs. A WILD one by a woman who defected from North Korea and then brought her family out. Another totally different one by a southern woman of color (black mother/white father) whose mother was brutally murdered by her second ex-husband (i.e., not the author’s father). I loved both of these books and their authors. Forces of nature.

I started “Mexican Gothic” on New Year’s Eve and it is my first finished book for 2021. My taste can be a little weird so it might not be everyone’s cuppa but I loved it, especially the protagonist who is a, uh, force of nature. It featured a wildly dysfunctional family living in a “mushroom house”, which I won’t explain. And then today, I started Vonnegut’s “The Sirens of Titan”. I read that book in high school and couldn’t remember ANYTHING about it. This is a kind of a family read although I don’t think we will be scheduling meetings to have deep intellectual discussions about it. We’re just having fun.

Noisy precipitation

January 1st, 2021 by kayak woman

We had it all today: snow, sleet, rain, ice, you name it. Very little accumulation and overall too warm and wet to be very slippery, at least not when walking or driving at slow speeds. There were accidents on the freeways all day. People, slow down fer kee-reist! I did not drive today. No need to.

Luke of Perrynet shamed me into going out to “shovel” the maybe half inch of slush we got. I wore my Yax but not sure they were really necessary. I did put some salt down after I “shoveled”. If the temps go down overnight, the sidewalk will get slick. He may have beat me out there to shovel but I was the first to put my garbage carts out for early morning pickup. But LofPNet follows my lead on holiday weeks. He doesn’t really do Twitter, I don’t think.

This pic is another recycled one from pre-COVID days, 2019 at the cFam xmas party. Today’s wintry mix was anything but photogenic and I was sent a couple of pics of sleepy/lazy people out at the Mouse Nest but I’m sure nobody wants those posted. Today was a PERFECT day to be sleepy/lazy BTW. These folks are all good citizens and work VERY hard. Not all millennials (or whatever they are) are lazy, entitled kiddos living in their parents’ basements and I wish some of my facebook “friends” would stop posting memes to that effect. Uh, not that anyone would be comfortable living in the Landfill Dungeon.

So this is all just filler on a dreary New Year’s Day. We’re supposed to do Virtual OT in a few minutes so g’night and typos be damned.

My fav-o-rite spammer

December 31st, 2020 by kayak woman

Yeah, I and a group of other people received this photo FOUR times this afternoon! The spammer finally explained that his phone kept telling him it was not delverwd. Yes, delverwd. Autocorrect can get you into trouble but not using autocorrect has its own problems.

One of my worst autocorrect failures was when I was at the moomincabin one summer and a beach urchin texted me to let me know she had landed safely in SanFran, her then home. It was the middle of the night and I texted XO, then promptly crashed back out. In the morning I realized it had been corrected to SO. Like, so what. Indeed.

The spammer is up in the yooperland and was snowshoeing the Castle Rock section of the North Country Trail. No, I didn’t go. Traveling during the pandemic has caused me almost more stress than anything else. I did make it to the moomincabin a few times. I think it was four? The good thing about the moomincabin is that weeeee own it and we could be there alone, with the natural social distancing a sparsely populated beach offers. The hard thing was pre-planning meals for 10 days here on the Planet Ann Arbor and schlepping all of that food up there. I spent $400 for that particular trip, plus the GG braved our fave Best Choice at Hoton Lake for prime rib rib-eye steaks on the way up.

So, a kinda familiar looking vee-hickle pulled up in front of the Landfill this afternoon but who/what? When the driver emerged, I saw that it was my DayTwa beach urchin. She was on her way to spend the New Year with the Manchester woods beach urchin. We were able to visit a bit in the front room. Masked of course. Her sister arrived (with a whine drop for me) and they both left after that. Hug with DayTwa sis but not younger sis, who is a grocery worker but I do at least SEE her more often if on the other side of a glass storm door.

Both beach urchins seemed worried that their baggy old moom would be alone for the New Year. No no no no no! I am comfortable here. I have some leftovers for dinner tonight and a wee bit of filet for tomorrow night. I am finally seeing a faint light at the end of the pandemic stash. It’s easy enough to get contact-free food now (at least here on the Planet) that I no longer stock up like I did in the beginning. I mean back in March/April I would stock up and then… Every day at about 3:00, I would have to pull myself out of a total fog about what’s for dinner. It’s a lot easier to shop now, thank you Zeus.

I got rid of two out of four boxes of gallon freezer bags today. They were the results of one of those pandemic shopping debacles. I needed ONE box of the quart size. I ordered them from Amazon. Except I misread BOTH the bag size AND the QUANTITY I was ordering.

The beach urchins, like all millennials (or whatever the heck they are), have been [nicely] shaming me for overuse of ziplock bags for a few years now. They were right and by January 2020 I was hardly buying any at all. Then the pandemic hit. I still use fewer than I did pre-pandemic but probably more than a year ago. Sometimes, for various reasons, they are the only thing that works. The beach urchins recognize this reality and each of them took one box🧡🧡🧡

Happy New Year to all of my nine (or is it five) readers. I hope 2021 is better than 2020 but am only cautiously optimistic.