Author Archive

Good night

Friday, July 30th, 2021

I dunno what else to say here. I’m gonna get up in the morning and drive to Hoton Lake. I haven’t been there since
February 2020.

On this date last year…

Thursday, July 29th, 2021

…I was somewhere else. It was orange there. Orange was a difficult color for me for a few years🐽 I’m getting to like it again. I hope that doesn’t have to change. It’s always okay when a Gitchee Gumee sunset hits a red pine.

Where I was today was on the hot and swampy Planet Ann Arbor. Today started out promising with a little rain in the early hours and a “promise” of thunderstorms to come. Did they come? No they did not. I can’t really complain about 85 degrees knowing what other people are dealing with but there’s supposed to be a cold front coming through and I am looking forward to it, plus I will be heading north soon. I have tights, socks, sweaters, and leggings packed since the last trip (I did wash them).

The GG reports that he is at the Spikehorn bar at Hoton Lake. He rode his ebike over there after a bunch of woodchopping and stuff. A number of years ago, he took a solo trip up there. He walked (5 miles) to the Northshore Bar for one meal. He walked to the Spikehorn Bar (5 miles) for a meal. Then he walked to Ron’s Restaurant (5 miles) for breakfast. Problem? Ron’s was closed. Oops. Ron is pretty long dead now but it was such a great restaurant. A good old-fashioned kinda shabby greasy spoon.

In random news stories today some positive news about COVID, at least attitudes toward it. Corporate America is now saying get vaxxed or quit. Corporate America is not accepting the “I read a scary facebook article” excuse any more. There are reasons for SOME people not to get vaxxed but stoopid shared facebook crapola is not one of them. My company is apparently extending the dates for returning to offices (for those who are RETURNING to offices, which some people want to do). They have been wonderful about COVID safety since the beginning. To be clear, I am pretty sure they aren’t requiring vaxxes but we’ll see what happens.

And yes, federal workers should also be required to be Vaxxed so Go Biden.

This pandemic has gone on long enough. GET VAXXED OR QUIT!

P.S. Apparently Simone Biles was watching her former US gymnastics team from the audience and cheering them on like crazy. YOU GO GIRL!


Wednesday, July 28th, 2021

I was having a sorta slooooow day. A couple little things came up that I had to write about as much for posterity as anything else and I cleaned up some more bad html, an ongoing back-burner prodject. Then Amazon Woman pinged me and said something like, “I have a ‘fun’ prodject for you.” Well. “Fun” can be a loaded word but of course I said, “Sure!” But this is a file format mapping prodject and those ARE FUN! I’ve been doing stuff like that since my old childhood career and it’s even more fun now because I have great tools for making pictures and things. I’m sure we’ll come up with some gotchas but that goes with the program.

The “twisties”. I can identify. I mean I am NOT A GYMNAST. I think when I was a teenager I could manage a cartwheel, at least going to the right, not sure I could ever do it the other way. Most of that other stuff? Nope. Airborne? NO FRICKIN’ WAY!

What I DID do was play the flute. I was even pretty good at it and could’ve gone on to get advanced degrees. But I know what it feels like to be playing some virtuoso piece you’ve played umpteen gazillion times and all of a sudden you lose your muscle memory and are, uh, where am I? Of course losing your way in a flute piece is not likely to lead to a catastrophic injury. But I think that’s one reason I did not end up pursuing a career in music. There were certainly others. A big one being that classical music is not the easiest career to succeed in unless you want to teach and I didn’t (I’m TERRIBLE at teaching). The flute version of the “twisties” is something I have never had words for before. Thank you brave Simone and all of your supporters.

Fortunately what I do today is (mostly) not in front of an audience and I have plenty of opportunities to sit (or walk or whatever) and think quietly about what I want to do next.

I’m sorry but I can’t help adding this non sequitur. Hey, @mtgreenee? Shut your pie hole and slap a mask over it. I was about to add that mean does not win the race but then I remembered TFG (not to be confused with the BFG).

Good night! KW

P.S. The fugly is yer fav-o-rite blahgger playing first seat at Interlochen back in the Jurassic Age. I dunno where the girl playing second is these days but she was really nice. Third guy has a phd in flute and is a fellow member of the email floot loop groop I’ve been in forever. He was a great guy too but I lurk on that group so we aren’t connected. I doubt he remembers me anyway 🐸 Thinking back, I think I started out at third or fourth seat that year but quickly overtook everyone in the first week challenges and HELD MY SEAT the second week. A yooperlander with a year or two of lessons with a professional flute player years before going to Interlochen.

Whatchya gonna do when they come for you?

Tuesday, July 27th, 2021

I didn’t think I had a photoooo for today but then I opened the photo app on my phone and there was this LOVERLY note I encountered on a bench on my 0-skunk-30 route this morning. The bench is in the schoolyard so I’m thinking ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE sit on it every day. I even sat on it for a minute or so this morning to check the weather or moon phase or whatever. The police did not come for me. I think the stuff at the bottom is someone else’s response to the original note writer.

I had forgotten about this because after a quick [masked] trip to the Plum when it opened and a loooonnnnng [hot] day deep into a rabbit hole, by the end of it all, I could not focus on ANYTHING except scrolling mindlessly through facebook and twitter. Twitter was pretty good today with the January 6th hearings starting but facebook was what it always is, mostly mindless sharing of various BS crapola. Name a girl’s name without/with an A. Name a boy’s name with/without an E. Which picture is different? Which of these five related foods could you do without forever? I never comment on those things. For one thing, they are TOTALLY INANE. Also, if you’ve ever noticed, MILLIONS of people comment on those things. Who the heck cares about your comment? I THINK I am noticing fewer crappy clickbait polly-tickle memes these days. At least Mushie isn’t sharing as much of that stuff as he usually does. Maybe he has experienced a couple of temporary facebook bans? Mushie and I have never met in real life but he went to my high school five years ahead of me and idolizes my late Sault Ste. Siberian uncle, a popular town doc. Mushie actually seems like a great guy but I DO NOT AGREE with his polly-tickle views. Not one iota.

Enyway [snort], I was informed this afternoon that there is a table saw in Cygnus. Moooon Yooonit is apparently full. Man oh man, I have been trying for YEARS to reduce the amount of crapola that goes north and south with us. It isn’t easy but I’ve made progress. Last summer was hard because I tried to schlep almost all of the food, etc., I thought we needed from down here where it was easy to get curbside pickup/delivery. I think I’m still experiencing a bit of PTSD from that. So. A table saw? It is MDUH’s and he will not need it at his new apartment so it’s going up to the moomincabin garage for people to use if they need it. I hope no one loses any fingers. I will not because I will not be using it.

I guess I’m done. You’re welcome. Oh, except that if people would focus more on honing their critical thinking skills instead of thoughtlessly sharing stupid facebook memes and commenting on stoopid facebook questions, well… Maybe our society would be in a different place with a WANING pandemic (not) and citizens that care about each other enough to follow basic public health advice. And not think it’s okay to use the n_____ word over and over again while beating up on a capitol policeman who happens to be Black. I dunno if this is who YOU are but it is NOT who I am. Growing up WASP (White Anglo Saxon Protestant) in a VERY small VERY northern yooperland city I was taught by REPUBLICAN voting parents that a person’s color, race, religion, WHATEVER didn’t make them any less human than anyone else. What have we come to? Again I know I am probably mostly preaching to the choir.

All right, now I AM done!

Contrails wide and narrow

Monday, July 26th, 2021

We live under a Detroit Metro flight path, take-off and landing. We’re far enough away from the airport that the planes don’t disrupt our lives much. Actually I can go whole days without noticing them. In the summer when I hang out in the back yard at the end of a work day, they fly over about every minute or two although I don’t always see them.

Not like the time we stayed in a Days Inn at the end of the Knoxville airport runway. I didn’t think I’d be able to sleep but apparently the airport shut down at 11:00 PM. I didn’t know about the Ladies of the Evening operating out of the next room until the next morning 🐽 Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against sex workers, just that I’d rather not hang out in the next room from that kind of business. Who knows what else might be going on and we could potentially look like good candidates for crime victims. I can’t say we’ve never stayed at a Days Inn since then but it’s rare. But that’d be another story.

Once when we first lived in The Landfill, a really strange plane noise woke me up at 0-skunk-30. Like WHAT WAS THAT!?! It sounded like the plane gained altitude very quickly. Months later I read a news story about an airliner that had some kind of a near miss incident OVER WEST ANN ARBOR. Yeah. I think I heard that happen. Right above my house or thereabouts.

Last evening I looked up and saw these two contrails and was struck by the proximity and contrast. Clearly these planes did not have a near miss incident, at least not above my house.


Sunday, July 25th, 2021

Not as sleeeeepy today. Didn’t really get a chance for a sinking spell because npJane made a visit this afternoon. In part it was a bizness visit, MDUH’s upcoming move. Nothing tooooo serious though, mostly just jawboning away in the Landfill back yard where there was a bit of shade.

A cautionary tale for anyone taking to the friendly skies. Our mouse and raccoon took a trip to spend a week with his family on the Atlantic coast. Getting there was a snap. In fact, it was only a couple hours between the “boarding” text to the “landed” text. Getting home was a whole ‘nother story involving a flight delayed OVERNIGHT and THREE trips through security. Hotels were FULLY BOOKED so yes, they spent the night in the airport. This is really not my story to tell except that I am a mooooom and I was SOOOO glad when I got the “landed” text and a bit later the “HOME” text. I dunno how pandemic related this mess was but I suspect it played a part. Being a person who takes a shower EVERY MORNING, I wouldda been absolutely freaking out. My mouse is a backpacker and so has a bit more tolerance for missing a shower or two. Still, I know they are glad to be home.

The GG took this photoooo down in the Huron. It was very hot today. 80s though, not 100s. His trip was more of a float/reading trip. He went downriver a half mile or so and then upriver about the same distance and there WAS a lot of duckweed. I [finally] finished the xword (hint: Ursa Major/Minor) and then got reacquainted with the Landfill refrigimatator in order to think ahead for our next trip UP to the yooperland. It is unclear how many people I’ll be feeding here throughout the week (one or two) and I don’t want to get too much food stashed up.

I had to laugh when npJane was leaving today (after picking up her purse and the WATER BOTTLE that Lizard bought her for xmas and has finally been delivered AFTER MANY TRIPS UP TO THE YOOPERLAND AND BACK!) She noticed what’s left over from my Pandemic Stash, a cardboard box that was once stuffed with cans and pasta, etc. It holds much less now but last time Lizard was here, she wondered at the number of jars of capers in there. Well. I wanted capers in the early days of the pandemic but it was hard to get curbside then and Amazon sold a lot of things in packs of six. Lizard offered to take some of the capers home but we both forgot.

Remember when we all thought we’d be eating rice and beans? Thanks to our essential grocery and supply chain workers for providing us with the cornucopia we are accustomed to here in the land of plenty.


Saturday, July 24th, 2021

I could not keep my eyes open this afternoon. I dunno exactly why. I was up early jumping around at the farmers market and then at the Plum when it opened.

I think it is because I will be traveling to the moomincabin next weekend and am just sorting myself out for that. It is so hard to own two places that you love. Plus we also have the cFam place at Hoton Lake.

I’m just taarrred. I love the Planet Ann Arbor. I love the moomincabin. I love Hoton Lake.

And then there is Devil’s Tower. We visited Devil’s Tower umpteen billion years ago when our kids were middle/high school age. I always like to say that was the trip the kids got sick, the dog ran away, and the car broke down. In truth, none of that stuff happened. Nobody got sick. We didn’t have a dog. The POC did develop a squealy kind of noise our last day, as we left a TERRIBLE Holiday Inn near Chicago. It was the frickin’ fuel pump but we got home without a problem..

Crabby is how I felt when Trump won in 2016. When I recited that button’s sentiment in a bar in Waters, Michigan, the bartender cracked up. So did Mr. Bear at work. I don’t know who that bartender or Mr. Bear voted for. I’m gonna guess based on his location and gender that the bartender went orange. Mr. Bear? He grew up Russian and we stay waaaaay awaaaay from polly-ticks at work so who knows. Y’all know I did NOT vote for the former guy. The orange one.

Beyond annoyed

Friday, July 23rd, 2021

Really? We have to go through all of this again? You know I’m talking about COVID, right? I’m not sure I even know where to start. Things that annoy me:

— People who refuse to get vaxxed and when asked why not say things like they don’t trust the government and they don’t think the vaccine is “safe” but can’t provide anything but bullshit answers as to why. I was born a wee bit before the polio vaccine was available and you betcha my parents got me vaxxed ASAP when it was. Why? They were terrified! Before I was born, my mom worked for a man who had a wife and three sons. The dad and the sons all got mild cases of polio and made complete recoveries. His wife visited their workplace and was ecstatic about this. The next day she was dead. THE NEXT DAY SHE WAS DEAD! Of polio. I am not a virologist so I cannot compare polio to COVID but I do remember my uncle-doc saying that polio infected “everybody” but only killed some people. I’m sure glad my mom didn’t get it. Or maybe she did and was asymptomatic…

— What is so awful about wearing a little piece of cloth over your face while you shop? I have returned to in-store shopping but I spend VERY little time inside stores. That’s how I ALWAYS roll because I am not much of a shopper… I ALWAYS wear a mask, even when I am outdoor shopping at the farmers market. How do I know who is vaxxed and who is not? And I might be protected but we are now learning that those of us who are vaxxed can still be infected and while we may not get sick, we can still pass it to others. Yes, WE CAN STILL PASS IT TO OTHERS!.

— What the F*CK is all of this inane/insane! yammering about “freedom”. This is an ongoing public health emergency and we COLLECTIVELY need to be taking care of each other. That means masking, social distancing, and VACCINATING OURSELVES! Freedom is indeed wonderful but it comes with responsibility and part of that responsibility is to keep others safe whether we feel threatened by COVID ourselves or not.

All that said, I am done with restaurants for the duration. Sure, part of it is that I’m uncomfortable with being around a bunch of unmasked folks (including me) but I am also very concerned about those who are not vaxxed and I don’t understand why they don’t want to get the jab. Also, most restaurants are not really up to providing their regular level of service. I miss my fave restaurants but I can do home cooking and I’m gonna wait.

We porterized ourselves here at the Landfill tonight. We grilled a chicken and served it with rice, corn, and broccoli and our friends brought over mini tuna sandwich bites, which were loverly!

Please please please get vaccinated. You may run your own life and that’s important but please consider saving the lives of those you share your air with. This is a public health issue and should not EVER have been politicized. Again, I am pretty sure I’m preaching to the choir.

Halo Boy

Thursday, July 22nd, 2021

Does an orange halo indicate heaven or hell? Yesterday after we “raised our voices” about pollyticks, I wouldda said hell. Today after how he spent his time, maybe heaven. Actually he is haloed by a Gitchee Gumee sunset.

Other than that…

Grocks this morning at Plum. I spent an obscene amount of money on meat and fish/seafood. A lot of it is in the freezer because I’m stocking up ahead of our next northern trip. I’m enjoying a young guy at the meat counter who is energetic like me and always asks me what I’m gonna do with this or that and offers suggestions. Today it was beef filet and I’m gonna actually slice it up and make stroganoff. He was all excited, like what herbs are you gonna use, etc. We then had a discussion about how this wasn’t really the right season to make stroganoff but it was sooooo good, wasn’t it so why not cook it? This is not the first time I’ve had this kind of discussion with him and I “love” him!

My fave cashier Joyce checked me out today. She has long hair now too and it looks gorgeous on her especially with a few gray streaks. She has dark hair. She wondered where one of her fave employees had been throughout the week. My Plum Market employee (her friend) is on vacay this week. My Plum Market employee is well known at her work place and people do miss her when she’s on vacation.

After that, the GG and one of his sisters converged upon FlaMan’s apartment and spent something like four hours cleaning it up. I won’t get into detail about this. I love FlaMan but I’m mostly glad I wasn’t conscripted. I enjoyed a nice quiet day here at teleCubelandia. How much do cigarettes cost these days? I was asked that. I have no clue.

I love my Fauci Microchip

Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

Things I would tell our new neighbors if I could remember which of the people hanging around their house *are* the new neighbors. They are having some vermiculite insulation replaced before they move in so there are all kinds of vee-hickles and people in and out. I dunno how long this prodject will take but it’s a good chance by the time they move in, we’ll be outta town for a while. And then we’ll be back and they’ll have settled in and I’ll be back to my usual hermit mode. But I would tell them:

1) I am an extreme introvert. I am also a FRIENDLY introvert but I won’t be coming by YOO-HOO-ing to borrow cups of sugar or whatever. You are probably happy about that.

2) I am NOT retired (but “he” is…). I am a permanent full-time telecommuter. That means I’m ALWAYS home (but “he” isn’t always). Except when I am working from The Shores of Gitchee Gumee. Which I can only do during a few months of the year because WEATHER. My Planet Ann Arbor office is the Green Couch, which is right by my front window, which means I see everyone going by.

3) That said, I am not NOSY, at least not in an intrusive Gladys Kravitz kind of way. I do figure things out though. Like the neighbors on one side operated a teaching “pod” for four kindergartners all year. And when the neighbors on the other side (who are the ones that moved out) came back from a European trip in early 2020, they quarantined. And that they were expecting their second child before they moved.

4) I don’t mind noise and commotion as long as you are not doing something like selling drugs at all hours of the day and night. (I doubt these folks will be doing that). I even like a little noise. Our first [beloved] neighbors here were the Burkes and they certainly weren’t always noisy but they threw some good parties over the years and shot off a lot of faaaarworks.

5) We are pretty quiet but we do occasionally “raise our voices” like we did this afternoon when Anthony Fauci was interviewed on the radio about, among other things, his little “blow-up” with Rand Paul, which I watched on my phone this morning. I think Rand Paul is a TOTAL IDIOT. That is a pre-COVID opinion. My loverly partner thinks a similar thing about Fauci. I do not understand this in any way/shape/form but then again, I am one o’ them thar “socialists” or whatever even though I HAPPILY WORK FOR “CORPORATE AMERICA”? Doesn’t that mean I could also be labeled as a “capitalist”? 🤣🤣🤣 I am some of both of those isms and a few others and also none of them because I critically think my way into MY OWN OPINIONS! At any rate, we may yell at each other but we never get violent.

We’ll talk about the critical thinking skills I have used CONSTANTLY in every one of my jobs/careers throughout my life some other day. I don’t always end up being right but I *am* able to think most things through and I seem to be doing all right.

Love y’all, KW

Boooook blaaaaahhhhhgggg

Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

Because what else is there today? Not necessarily in order…

Hamnet. What can I say? “Everyone” (almost) loves Hamnet and I am definitely in that category. Some people on goodreads complained that Shakespeare was never mentioned by name. I disagree completely with that complaint. I won’t try to analyze this book (I am not intellectually equipped to competently analyze literature). I just felt that it angled into Shakespeare’s life mainly through the imagined viewpoints of his wife and other family members. I loved this. I am not intimately familiar with Shakespeare’s plays even though my kids have acted in quite a few (mouse played Hamlet in an all-female cast a few years ago) and in a weird interim career, I supported production teams for a local youth theatre organization’s plays. Hamnet is completely a FICTIONAL work, as disclaimed by the author. Facts about Shakespeare’s family are not easily verifiable.

Ivory Shoals. Setting: Florida, weeks after the Civil War ends. A boy’s mother dies and he embarks on a solo journey across the swamplands of Florida from a small town in the Jacksonville area to the Tampa area to find the father he has never met. I love Florida (although I am always ready to leave after about a week) and I LOVE reading books set in Florida. I loved this book. I loved Swamplandia, which I read years ago and Carl Hiaasen is funny as all getout albeit a genre that I read only sometimes.

The Sweetness of Water. Setting: Georgia, weeks after the Civil War ends. I only gave this book four (out of five) stars. It was wonderful but some little bit of something was lacking to get me to five stars. But. More was good than bad and this author is a very young man and this is his first novel.

This Tender Land. I finished this after work today and at one point I told the GG that I was NOT crying because I was sad, it was because the book I had just finished made me cry. Note that it wasn’t a BAD ending. It just made me emotional. I was introduced to this author’s works a few years ago by my uber cousin UKW. This author often writes about Minnesota and Gitchee Gumee often makes an appearance (not in this book though). He often writes detective(?) series novels and I read three or four of the Cork O’Connor novels before I turned to other things. I will probably read more of those at some point. Although crimes did happen in this story, This Tender Land was not a detective story.

P.S. ALL of my cousins are uber cousins no matter what degree cousin they are. Just that on the Fin side, I have two female cousins who were born the same year as me. We grew up together, spending our summers on the shores of gitchee gumee, and were a dynamic trio as kids, not that we didn’t ever squabble. We are the proverbial three-legged stool.

Swan Corners

Monday, July 19th, 2021

First a disclaimer. NO BOMB was found anywhere on the Mackinac Bridge yesterday. I do NOT know how these bomb squads can manage to “sweep” (or whatever) a five-mile suspension bridge but apparently nothing was amiss in the end. Also, how would a bomber manage to implant a bomb on the Big Mac without someone seeing them do it? Especially on the underside of it. I’m trying to envision what kind of equipment that might require. It kinda reminds me of when I was a kid going to the old Soo Junior High and High School and we would periodically get a bomb scare and have to shlep a couple blocks north to the Pullar Stadium (ice hockey and figure skating) and sit there being bored forever.

According to the GG, the call came from a gas station in Mackinaw City (south end of the bridge) but they haven’t found the person who made it or the car it came from. If they do, they should throw the book at him, like my blahggy friend Margaret said.

So here’s Swan Corners. This year there are two living parents and all EIGHT cygnets are still alive. Usually a couple/three cygnets get pulled under by turtles. This year (knock on wood), all eight are still alive. They sometimes rest by the side of the road here. This is a horrible pic taken from Mooon Yooonit’s driver side window. I didn’t want to stop and get outta the car and I am also afraid of Daddy Swan. So this is whatcha get. Embiggen if you want.

Long distance lawn chair excitement

Sunday, July 18th, 2021

My day was progressing on the boring side. A quick trip for a few grocks and a run by Swan Corners. A few chores. xWord. A boooook. The GG arrived home and promptly fell into a deep sleep on one of the couches in the back room. It was not nap-in-a-bottle but an empty cereal bowl indicated his recent potato chip snack.

2:30 or so? Text message from the Mackinac Bridge Authority. Bridge is CLOSED. Emergency situation. What could have happened? The weather was perfect. Did somebody drive over the guardrails? It has happened twice. Did someone jump? The google yielded NO information. I could find the incident back in June(?) when a couple of nutsos drew guns over a traffic altercation. Today? Nothing.

I turned to Facebook. Childhood friend BC posted that he was traveling down from a Bay Mills campsite to Onaway. I thought, “Oh no you are not.” I didn’t comment but other people did and one of them said something about a bomb threat. And yes, that is exactly what closed the bridge.

The bridge is back open now and BC has posted a video of them crossing the bridge, so traffic is clearing. A comment to THAT post was that something was found under one of the towers. This is unofficial third hand input from somebody I don’t know so PLEASE TAKE IT WITH A GRAIN OF SALT! I will say that the bridge sometimes closes for high winds or falling ice but I have NEVER known it to close because of a bomb threat so apparently it was deemed serious.

Those of us who frequently travel to the yooperland take the bridge for granted these days and it got me thinking that if somebody had blown up the bridge or even seriously damaged it, it would not be fixed quickly and would HOSE the Great Lake State. There are no car ferries across the Straits of Mackinac any more (I vaguely remember the ferries) so getting from the lower to the upper would require either a drive down around Chicago and up Wisconsin, or over to Canananada and up through Ontario. And Canananda is (wisely) not letting us nutso vax-haters in yet. (I and everyone I know is vaxxed, just so many in our crayzee country are not.)

The yooperland has always (in my lifetime) been a tourist destination. I think one of the first words I remember learning is “vacancy”, being driven by all of the cute little mom-and-pop motels in our little city of Sault Ste. Siberia as a small child. I do not know the statistics on this but I am gonna guess there are gazillions more people visiting the yooperland than there were before the Big Mac was built and people didn’t have to queue up for ferries. Big hotels have encroached on the small mom-and-pop motels and their there are Air-bnbs and a lot of people have fancy camping rigs.

This scanned slide, which I’ve posted before, was taken from a light plane (Cessna maybe?) when the Mac Bridge was being built. I’m not sure who was flying but I think it was my dad’s friend Sandy Sanderson who ran the little local airport. Dad was a WWII flight instructor. My granddaddy was in the plane with them and I’m gonna guess my dad took the pic. We’ll talk about the ferries some other day.

Trusting Black Thumb Banana to babysit your plants

Saturday, July 17th, 2021

Fortunately the two hanging plant pots will only be under the supervision of Black Thumb Banana for a week or so. I thought this one was a fuchsia until I got up close and personal. Caterpillar plant?

Snippets of my day. Kerrytown/farmers market at 0-skunk-30. Mostly snagged fish/seafood and meat from inside plus some sweet corn. I had an Argus delivery yesterday so I didn’t go pig wild on produce. Oh yeah! I got some cabbage rolls from the Polish folks! They sell their stuff through Argus but I have not seen the cabbage rolls there so I was glad to get some today. I’m sure I could MAKE cabbage rolls but I couldn’t be bothered.

New neighbors moved in today. Four cars/trucks and a big trailer dropping stuff off. Seems like a nice young couple but makes me feel old and baggy thinking of when we moved in back when Lizard was on the way.

Got a text this morning that MDUH wanted to take any relative around out to dinner. That turned out to be me and his daughter and son-in-law, who are at his house this weekend. They chose Zola’s Bistro, which is an offshoot of the downtown Cafe Zola, where I began meeting up with my coffee buddies back in our kids’ years at the alternative middle school. (Alternative in this case meant a non-traditional format public school of choice, not that they were kids with “problems”.)

This turned out to be another slow post-pandemic restaurant experience. The food was wonderful but it took a long time to arrive. Our waiter comped MDUH some bread and butter and apologized over and over for the wait. Folks it wasn’t his fault. It seems to be a fact that restaurants are struggling to hire enough staff. You can argue that this is because people are making so much money on enhanced unemployment benefits that they would rather sit on their duffs and watch TV. I believe it is a much more complicated situation than that – although there probably ARE a few folks in that category.

If I have a point here it is that when you visit restaurants, please please please be kind to the servers and other staff. Tip them well. This will all even out eventually but it will no doubt take a while. We’ve all been through a traumatic period and it is likely not over yet. Patience please. (I know I’m likely preaching to the choir here 🐸)

Vee-hickle logistics made it easier for me to pick people up in Mooon Yooonit. I had to move a whole bunch of crapola from MY’s back seat to the boot to be able to allow people to sit there (grrr). Anyway, when I dropped them back off, MDUH invited me in. Alas, I was ready to crash by then so I slowly motored my way back across town toward the setting sun and am now comfortably ensconced (except for a few stray moe-skee-toes) in the Landfill back yard. Henrys and faaaarflies now too. Summer on The Planet Ann Arbor has its perks.

Art fair avoidance

Friday, July 16th, 2021

Actually this year I have been so disengaged from the art fair that I didn’t even know when it was, which is this weekend. That’s despite the fact that the art fair has frequently been in the news as it has been on again/off again because COVID. It ended up being ON with some sort of social distancing stuff in place. Me? I just said no.

I don’t need any more STUFF. The GG has pulled a couple carloads of MDUH’s STUFF over here for eventual disposal at Kiwanis or wherever. I said, “I’m not even gonna look at it.” And I mean it. As I once read somewhere (Fly Lady maybe?), “Your home is not a museum for somebody else’s stuff.” Also, there’s (from TBGay, my wise sister-in-law), “Just because someone once owned something doesn’t mean it’s worth anything.” MDUH is being direct and decisive about getting rid of his stuff, I applaud him 👏👏👏, and we are happy to help!

Today must’ve been a fun day at the art fair as torrential rain poured all morning with lighter rain continuing throughout the afternoon. Not that it never rains during the art fair. It’s not a bug, its a feature 🤣🤣🤣

I did enjoy the rain over here at teleCubelandia. Much cooler but not chilly at all. The Landfill was pitch black all day because I don’t turn on lights (except “fairy” lights) unless I specifically need them, i.e., I don’t need them to interact with “screens”. And my flowers are happy. I had one pot of impatiens that was starting to look a little “leggy”. I think it’s positioned such that it gets more sun than the others. A year of actively watching the trajectory of Mr. Golden Sun across the sky at The Landfill has made me more aware of how it affects stuff (mostly weeds) in the yard. After yesterday I was thinking I would have to water that pot this morning but that did not come to pass. We won’t talk about Detroit, which suffered major freeway flooding again. My daughter lives/works over there.

In other developments I keep hearing thumping and crashing noises around the outside of The Landfill. Some of it can be attributed to activity at the bird squirrel feeder outside the bathroom window. But noises in the driveway had me looking for fallen branches.

Oh, that was why I felt so slodgy this afternoon

Thursday, July 15th, 2021

Early morning was fine when I did my 0-skunk-30 and then a quick run for a couple grocks. After I got settled in to teleCubelandia I was thinking what the heck is the humidity today? High, that is all I can say. By the end of the afternoon it was so hot and humid I had to move outside to finish my day and then I took a second shower, which only marginally helped. Where is Gitchee Gumee when I need her (that pic is not from today). Later the GG told me that the temp briefly topped 90 this afternoon. Oh, okay. That explains it.

Of course we have central air and I could always turn that on but I am hard core about keeping doors and windows open. If it gets to 100-110 I WILL turn on the A/C but then I have to wonder if our lucky-shuckial infrastructure can handle everybody turning on their A/C at once. Back in the days before A/C when the beach urchins were small, we had a little plastic kiddie pool in the back yard…

Can I just say I HATE canned goods? I mean I don’t use too many of them but there are a few that I do. Tomatoes and tomato sauce for pasta sauce, black olives (not Greek) for enchiladas. And mushrooms for pizza. I don’t hate canned goods because they are not as healthy as fresh produce although I believe they are NOT. I hate them because it’s so dern easy to cut the heck out of your finger, especially when the can has one of them thar ring-tops, where you have to pull up the ring to get the can top off.

I had a HORRIBLE experience opening a can like that when I was a teenager and sliced up a finger but good. It wasn’t bad enough for the ER but I had a loverly bunch of bandages on it for a few days. Being an invulnerable teenager, I had fun with this. There was a band concert a couple days later. I was first seat flute so I was right up front and center and it didn’t affect my playing one iota. I flaunted my bandaged finger with glee. Which was the middle finger of my right hand.

Teenage invulnerability or not, I have been nervous about that kind of can ever since. Tonight I opened a ring-top mushroom can with a can opener. It was all fine until I tried to pull the last of the mushrooms outta the can with my hand. Yes, I scraped a finger but fortunately not enough to draw blood. Hey KW, next time use a spoon or something to dig out the mushrooms that are stuck to the inner side of the can.

Barry’s “dining room” is open again

Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

March 2020 MMCB1 was two weeks into a trip to Australia that was supposed to last a month. You might guess what happened. They scrambled to find a flight outta there before they got stuck there indefinitely. She messaged me from wherever she was — it was the middle of the night — to let me know and maybe we could meet at Barry’s for coffee when she got back. I told her yes we can meet when you get back even though I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I figured we would reconnect about it when she DID get back and I would gently explain that I was not going to restaurants for the duration. As it turned out when she DID return, SHE was the one to suggest we shouldn’t meet that week. We’ve been meeting on facetime ever since.

I was thinking about Barry’s yesterday and craving a tuna bagel, something I haven’t ordered in forever. I wasn’t going to order one that day but the other thing that’s been going on with Barry’s is that they FINALLY did a long-planned renovation and I went out on their website to see if they had photos of it. They didn’t, at least not on the mobile version of their site. This is an old photo. Both of my coffee buddies have been complaining for YEARS about the tables and chairs and yada yada at Barry’s. I get it but I don’t really care that much. I can sleep on almost anything and the ancient cFam Green Couch that has become my office is horrible but I manage it.

Anyway, this morning was my scheduled facetime call with MMCB and even though Barry’s is now open, I declined to meet in person. Reason? I am guessing it was SLAMMED there this morning. No thanks. She was on board with that and we agreed to think about an in-person meet-up at Barry’s when she returns from, uh, Iceland. In August. Yes.

I am looking forward to seeing Barry’s renovation and If I get a SERIOUS tuna bagel craving, I’ll order it online and go pick it up. The pic is what Barry’s has looked like ever since I started going there, which was long before we moved our weekly MMCB coffee there from Zola. I learned how to order a double cap with hazelnut from my friend Vicki but I just get a medium black coffee now. I sat there with my [late] parents forever one time talking about parenting styles and lack thereof in certain cases. I wish I couldda found the pic I once took of the coffee I knocked on the floor and had to hail help to get it cleaned up. And all the times the manager “shamed” me for not using my plastic Barry’s card (hope she’s still there to shame me again). And the young gal who always asked me if I worked somewhere in Westgate and gave me a discount ANYWAY when I told her no, I work south of the Planet Ann Arbor airport.

Squirrel electrification failure

Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

The GG has tried over and over throughout the years to put up birdhouses that don’t mainly attract squoils. This one is electrified. I am not crazy about ‘lectrification but it is a very low current that discourages the rodents and I don’t think it bothers the birds at all. It is not his first lucky-shuckial birdhouse but it’s the first one that has actually WORKED to deter shirrels.

Until today. I went into the water closet this afternoon and right outside the window was this big fluffy tail hanging out of the feeder. The cirker was totally inside gorging on birdseed. I managed to get a pic before flushing Eco Terlet, which was wise because the sound of the flush scared off the squirrel. TMI? Sorry, it was just peeeee. Anyway, I texted the pic to the GG…

It’s pretty fascinating listening to little kids learn to talk although for the most part, I only paid attention to my own daughters and nieces. As it happened, my brother’s two daughters and mine were born within a four year period. My older, his older, my younger, and his younger. My younger and his older are six months apart. I spent a lot of time with those kids when they were young and helped take care of them. And I loved them.

Squirrel is not the easiest word to pronounce when you are learning to talk and each one of those kids had their own way of pronouncing it. Oldest (mine): Shirrel. Next (my brother’s): Cirker. Next (mine): Squirrel. Last (my brother’s): [SHRIEK!] All of these kids spoke English fluently “on time” (two years old or so). The middle two were early talkers and my second (the one who pronounced “squirrel” accurately) was SUPER early. “Bye bye mama” accompanied by a wave at eight months. Of course my family was dropping me off at work that day and she didn’t quiiiite get it together to do it until I was outta the car but still…

Not bragging here. Just reminiscing. I still remember my mom telling me that I was working on walking and then I stopped and then one day I said clear as a bell, “I want a cracker.” After that I was walking like crazy. And then my poor moom had to deal with me as an angsty teenager… Bad Boyfriend and all of that.

The GG spent a lot of the day (including during a heavy rainstorm on that side of town) hanging out with MDUH helping him to empty some of the rest of his stuff before his upcoming move. We love MDUH and are happy to help 🧡

Tie-dye cuzzints at the moomincabin

Monday, July 12th, 2021

I’ve written before about my MacMu cousin Teri and that she died in April. A memorial was not immediately scheduled because you know why but as the vax rate has risen in our state, it was scheduled for today at Beggar’s Banquet, a restaurant in East Lansing. My cousin worked there when she was very young and still figuring out what she wanted to do with her life. The guy who became her husband was a frequent patron. This restaurant is also a fave of the GG and I and pre-COVID we would always eat there with our North Country Trail buddies the Friday night before the annual Quiet Water Symposium.

I resolved to attend this event even though I am an introvert and figured I would know ONE person there for sure and MAYBE two more. I have met Teri’s husband but it was a long time ago and I was distracted because it was at my daughter’s high school graduation party so I vaguely remembered him and I’m not sure he really remembered me at all. I was kind of silently on pins and needles all the way over there, self-medicating by working on a few xword puzzles that I wasn’t able to finish in the last few days. Fortunately the GG didn’t spend too much time huffing pistachio nuts and drove sanely and only put FOX radio on to listen to news about Cuba, which was interesting enough that I could tolerate FOX.

I needn’t have worried about the party. Yes, when we walked in, the place was filled (this was a private party) and I didn’t recognize anyone. As we walked “deeper” into the restaurant, we spotted the one person I KNEW I would know, Teri’s daughter Ana. As the GG leaned in to hug her, I noticed the other two people I thought might be there. Teri’s sister Sally (also my cousin of course) and her husband. I was overwhelmed by emotion and the choice of who to hug first. I chose Sally. She is 10 years older than me and Teri and I hadn’t seen her in a few years. I love them both equally.

Sally and I immediately started in with gabbling and cackling about our lives and the MacMu family’s own version of craziness and we could’ve gone on forever even though we both identify as introverts (which Teri was CERTAINLY not!).

Of course I also hugged Ana and before we left I made it a point to formally meet Teri’s husband Bee (Bill). When he heard my name, he asked if my last name was Finlayson. When I said yes, he asked for a hug and I gave him a good one.

So glad I attended that event and it didn’t matter how many people I knew because the main person I talked to (Sally) is one of my inner circle of most important people to me in my life. I’ve known her my entire life and she taught me an extensive color wheel through the Crayola 64-crayon box when I was something like five and I have never forgotten it.

Love y’all, KW

P.S. There are other friends and relatives who died throughout COVID, some from COVID, some not, who have still not had memorial events. I hope all of us can lay our dead to rest appropriately and as we need to.


Sunday, July 11th, 2021

I don’t usually post pics of people (except sometimes the GG but he deserves it🐽) because I am REALLY REALLY BAD at photographing people, so a disclaimer that these cousin-y people look much better in real life. I’m hoping that the sun rays obscure my bad photography and that this is okay to post. This is a small set of the cousin-type people who frequent the moomincabin. When I say cousin-type, I mean the generation of me and my cousins and below and our significant others.

Oooooohhh man. We drove two vee-hickles down the I75 SUV Speedway today. A SUNDAY! AGAIN! Long complicated story about why. This trip was marginally better than the solo trip I took a few weeks ago. I seem to be regaining confidence in my freeway driving skills “post” pandemic but I am still annoyed by the constant stream of 85 mph drivers everywhere. The speed limit is ***75***. I remember when it was 55 (which was AWFUL). 75 is fine but 85? Not here in the Great Lake State. Too many frickin’ cars.

And then there was brunch in Gaylord. OMG, Gaylord? What was I thinking when I agreed to that? (BIG DISCLAIMER BELOW!) We agreed to meet the Uncly Uncle and The Beautiful Gay (it’s her name) at a popular restaurant in downtown Gaylord for brunch. Gaylord was a Crossroads when I was a kid and it is a HUGE crossroads now, with big box stores galore. Gaylord is CRAYZEE now.

So we were driving two vee-hickles today. Liz drove Cygnus from the moominbeach to Gaylord while I sat in the passenger seat ticking away at the xword. After Gaylord, she went with the GG and I drove solo. He drove her to her home in Detroit and I went straight down to The Planet Ann Arbor.

I did WELL with the freeway today but a couple moiles above the US14 interchange, I’d had enough. I bailed onto North Territorial and then took Joy over to North Maple and down. They are both dirt roads in that area and it was raining and I was thinking that the GG would notice the dirt on Cygnus when he got home. And that is exactly what he did. The first thing he said when he walked in the door was, “How’d your car get so dirty?” Sigh.

DISCLAIMER: It was SOOOOO nice to see the Uncly Uncle and TBG IN PERSON today. The GG has seen them since you know when… but I have not. When I started hanging out with the GG, his identical twin brother and TBG had two children and pretty quickly another one was on the way. I didn’t have children yet and wasn’t sure if I had anything in common with her but boy oh boy I sure do. Such a wonderful sister-in-law. She ordered whine for “brunch” in Gaylord. I sure wanted to but couldn’t because I had warrior driving to do. And dammit. I did it!