Author Archive

Camping in the rain

Wednesday, July 20th, 2022

Rain is not a bad thing. Actually it felt really really good and we needed it. Fun tonight with cFam members and now to bed.

Overheard: I got my skirt stuck in my computer

Tuesday, July 19th, 2022

Michigan’s Designated Helper spends whole afternoons out in the driveway behind Mooon Yooonit with her hatch open. Today he also had Cygnus’s hatch open. I do not know why. When I asked I got some cockamamie explanation about it was HOT out and they needed to keep cool. It is hot. I think it got up to about 90 today. But they are automotive vee-hickles and I don’t think they generally suffer too much from sitting in 90 degree ambient temps. And we were not driving them anywhere this afternoon and if we did decide to drive one of them, they both have air conditioning. Anyway.

Our beach urchin ordered gourmet pizza tonight: pepperoni, pineapple (yes), green pepper, and black olives. She paid for it and then both of us, simultaneously and without consulting each other, repaid her. The GG gave her cash and I did venmo. It’s okay. I scrimp on some things and spend with wild abandon on others. Pay it forward is about all I’ve got to say.

I don’t really have a lot tonight. I’m taking a three-day vacay starting tomorrow, not one I’ve been enthusiastic about. For one thing, it’s a Lyme Lounge trip and given the park diagram, somehow my brain expected it to be a big parking lot with no trees. Our brother who arrived there today sent a little video and there are definitely trees and apparently a little river. I’ve been advised it wouldn’t be a good idea to woodsP outside the Lyme Lounge in the middle of the night but I’ve made sure the LL is equipped with Kleenex just in case. I mean I woodsP at the moomin all the time and not always even in the middle of the night. If you are far enough down the beach, no one can see you.

Last I looked it was still 83 here but there is at least a bit of a breeze now but I am dead taaaarrred so sayonara for now.

Flashin’ again

Monday, July 18th, 2022

Transitions are happening. Good ones I think. The Detroit beach urchin decided it was time to make a job move and so has obtained a new one right here on The Planet Ann Arbor. I’m not gonna say anything more about that because it is her life and story to tell but for now she is hanging out with us a few nights a week to make her commute a bit easier. NO she does not want to move back into our house! Who would wanna live with their baggy old bickering parents at her age? Gah!

Anyway, it’s hot here so we’ve been eating outside and I got up to take dishes into the Landfill and… Moom, you have a big hole in the back of your skirt! Oh no, not again. I had that problem last summer and I was flashing everybody at the Sault Ste. Siberia Meijer… My mouse fixed it all up and I forgot about it.

This time I went inside and pulled my skirt down and inspected where the LABEL was. The label was in FRONT so I turned it halfway ’round, went back outside, turned around to show my backside and asked if she could still see my butt. Uh, no. Well. I had my skirt on backwards! Not that there is really a front and back side. It’s an elastic-waist tiered maxi skirt.

Anyway, the question is did I flash the guys at the Whine Castle or was my skirt on straight at that time? I made an excursion over there this afternoon and was the ONLY woman in the store (not always the case). I do not THINK there was anyone behind me as I approached the counter and paid, etc. But who knows.

No one else had a mask on. I am accustomed to this as the GG does not EVER wear a mask anywhere. I do have to say that the Whine Castle was WONDERFUL about curbside pickup during the early scary pre-vax days of covid. It was also the last place I shopped inside before we got shut down. I was at work Thursday, 3/12/2020 and we were discussing whether we should come into the office or not the next day. I decided I needed to stop at the liqwire store just in case. I did and then when I got home, I received a text from Amazon Woman that we were all telecommuting. We switched over just like that. Whomp.

Outhouse saga

Sunday, July 17th, 2022

An outhouse is born, starring Jack and Fran Fin. No door.

The end of an outhouse, starring my brother the engineer.

Looking a bit worse for the wear after many years. No door.

The engineer gets to work.

And over it goes.

“Send this to my work buddies.” — My brother the engineer and outhouse destroyer.

Memorial with a twist

Saturday, July 16th, 2022

First of all, I stole the photo of kayaking in Arizona from a text message from a beach urchin who was visiting there.

She returned to the Great Lake State yesterday and accompanied us to a memorial ceremony today for the father of one of our nieces (her cousin). I was apprehensive about this as I continue to be iffy about all social events but I couldn’t miss it. I was so apprehensive that the GG suggested we take the Lyme Lounge (it was held at a state park) so there would be a Freakout Chamber for anti-social folks. Yes! That had also been on my mind.

I needn’t have worried and I never needed to use the Freakout Chamber. Our niece’s parents split up and both remarried long ago but everyone got along well despite whatever differences put them asunder. Everybody who could reasonably get to the memorial was there and it was great reconnecting with a lot of the GG’s siblings, nieces, nephews, and great-nieces/nephews. The star of the show was probably the newest great-niece, a beautiful three-month-old.

The twist? In the middle of the whole thing, a couple of people crashed the party. Actually our niece encountered them somewhere and told them to go ahead and get some food. Which they did. They had nothing to do with our niece’s dad or anyone’s family. But. They were our neighbors! I mean they have lived around the corner from us on the Planet Ann Arbor forever. They were on a hike through the park when they encountered our niece and her party. What a riot!

Michigan’s Designated Helper goes Toadily Roto

Friday, July 15th, 2022

Michigan’s Designated Helper was on and off the frickin’ phone all morning trying to solve all kinds of problems that other folks could probably be called upon to help with. Lemme just say I do NOT want to haul a trailer behind Cygnus for a few hours up to the UP. Yes. I have hauled trailers before. I am just FINE with hauling empty bote trailers the few miles from the moominbeach to the Brimley State Park bote launch. I once drove The Trashmobile from Hoton Lake to The Planet Ann Arbor on a day when the GG had a vomiting illness. And I drove parts of a trip up from Fla when we were pulling a small U-Haul behind our Subie Outback, rescuing a family member from a substandard living condition. I even drove it through Cincinnati, which can be a frickin’ mess.

I am okay hauling a small trailer (actually I even did the Lyme Lounge once) when I have OTHER PEOPLE in my vee-hickle. I mean OTHER PEOPLE WHO KNOW WHAT TO DO WHEN SOMETHING GOES WRONG. This plan involved MEEEE hauling a small trailer ALONE behind Mooon Yooonit and the Lyme Lounge for MANY MOILES. No thanks. There must be some other VOLUNTEER who can handle this… … …

Also it was not planned to happen on the day I plan to travel back to the yooperland. I take a lot of the blame for that. I haven’t adequately communicated my vacay days to either the GG or my work this summer. I mainly take vacay in the summer because when you own your own vacation property and it’s seasonal property on Lake Superior, you go there when you can drive in [no snowbank]… And heat the place [again, no snowbank]… And be with your kids/cousins/etc. I count myself as fortunate that my adult children and cousins of various degrees want to be there when weeeee are 🧡🧡🧡 But as a permanent telecommuter, I can also be up there whenever I want, vacay or working. But I ALSO want to hang out on The Planet Ann Arbor.

It’s okay. We have it sorted out now, I think.

Social anxiety

Thursday, July 14th, 2022

Yick. It’s mid-summer and covid doesn’t exist any more (NOT!!!) and people are pushing me to y’know, SOCIALIZE. Restaurants, indoor parties, memorial events (outdoor at least), camping trips. Masking optional. I am really struggling with all of this. I almost always have fun when I do get dragged out even if I have to spend time with the unwashed unmasked. Even if I am unmasked myself (I am ALWAYS washed). But I remain a bit nervous plus I reeeallly need alone time. Lots of it.

This is largely my own musing and not intended to point fingers at anyone else. But that’s where I am in my journey through life and covid. I will do my best to participate in social events when I can psych myself up for them and hope folks will understand when I need space.

Oh dear! I just heard the words “Trump” and “died” on the radio. But. It was his first wife Ivana. I am sorry for her death and I don’t wish death on anyone unless they have made their peace with it but is it okay if my hopes jumped just a bit on hearing those words? I cannot look forward to another presidential election with The Orange Baboon as a candidate. Then again, I don’t much care for DeSantis either. Mean mean mean fits the GQP these days.

After work today I finished a book I was struggling with a bit. I liked another book by the same author a LOT (10,000 Doors of January). This one was a mix of witches and suffragettes. I am certainly all for women’s rights and witches are entertaining but this one didn’t really hang together for me.

Kind of beside the point, I remember when my kids were in middle school there were kids (mostly girls I think) who dabbled in Wicca (the women in the book were NOT Wiccan). I am unimpressed with Wicca but then I have always been unimpressed with any kind of religion. People, do your own damn thinking and please please please don’t try to force your views onto other people. I think I figured that out when I was about three. I did like to sing hymns and xmas carols though! Loudly and IN TUNE. Onward Christian So-o-old-jer-ers, Marching as to War. With the cross of Jeeeeeezus going on before. Funny not funny.

After I finished that book, I picked up The Book Thief, which I am enjoying GREATLY! It’s been on my TBR for a while now. I’m not sure if my MAGAt friends would like it or not mainly because I don’t really understand their current viewpoints. It’s set in WWII Germany and there’s a lot of talk about Nazis and Kommunists [sic] and it seems like those terms may have skewed a bit in recent years. But it’s also about people making their way through those horrible years and and and. I am only 100-some pages into 600-some pages so I’ll reserve further judgment. Oh, yeah, the narrator seems to be Death, which is pretty fun.

Back on the Planet, ka-whomp

Wednesday, July 13th, 2022

It was a slog of a drive although the traffic was mostly not all that bad, sometimes light enough to be relaxing.

We took the Lansing route and made umpteen bazillion stops along the way or so it seems. In fact, we were probably fewer than two miles away from the moominbeach when the GG pulled off onto the side of Brimley Road and walked back to me in Cygnus. What is wrong? Can you call my phone? Jeebus. Where is your phone? I mean, MY phone is almost ALWAYS in my pocket. I called his phone umpteen bazillion times. He thought he heard it? Somewhere? In the end it was locked in the Lyme Lounge and we didn’t have to go back to the moomincabin and look for it, which wouldda been a major pain in the you-know-what, even though it was only a couple miles away.

After that. Gas (for Cygnus) and the post office at Brimley. Iggy to transfer things in and out of the North Country Trail museum (or whatever it is). A minor kerfuffle at the BigMac tollbooths where a trucker apparently didn’t understand that he couldn’t go through the MacPass lane and had to back up. The GG got ahead of me at that point and it took me a while to catch up to him. Rest area north of Gaillard, which is how Cygnus translated Gaylord in my voice text to the beach urchins. Gas (for Mooon Yooonit) at Houghton Lake. More North Country Trail stuff transferred at the Clare rest area. They had COVID testing there. We did not partake.

Did we stop after that? I don’t think so. Got home to a soaking wet neighborhood but brilliant sun. We NEEDED the rain. My impatiens are BEAUCOUP! I’m glad I didn’t have to drive in any blasted rainstorms today though.

Another day on the road. G’night, KW


Tuesday, July 12th, 2022

Gaaah. That little white camping trailer is my workplace here in the yooperland. It is very small but it is soooo comfortable. Except this morning when it was windy and cold here and I decided to work inside the moomincabin at least to start.

I spent most of the day working inside the moomincabin and the GG was kind enough to pick up a pesto grill sandwich for me from Penny’s Kitchen. I listened (sorta) to the day’s January 6th hearings. I do know about toddlers. It was kind of odd listening to this at the same time the GG was listening to stories about the Mount St. Helen’s eruption. Yes, they were both on at the same time. It’s okay. My brain can (usually) process conflicting stuff and it certainly did today. My work may have suffered a bit but when my brain was drifting a bit and I heard my name during a meeting, I perked up like nobody’s business.

We are heading back down to the Planet Ann Arbor tomorrow. Man oh man I do not want to go back. On the flip side, once I get there I will not want to come back up here. Which will be in a few weeks.

Boing boing boing.

Sleepy time

Monday, July 11th, 2022

The older sneaky type beach urchin is sneaking off onto a plane to San Fran Arizona, I think. She kept this quiet to us and that’s okay. She is an adult and is uber-masking like we should ALL be doing wherever we are. Like I do at the grocery store. Me and the GG are gonna crash out in the Lyme Lounge soon and that’s about all I have.

Marine layer

Sunday, July 10th, 2022

Are we gonna get rain tonight? We sure need it. I love our sunsets here but I also love when we get this marine layer during the sunset hour. Last summer it was hotter than hades all summer and every afternoon/evening, there was bright hot sunshine.

In other news I happened to look at Marine Traffic at around noon and noticed that the Wilfred Sykes was upbound at the Soo Locks. i watched its progress up from the locks to here and when it got into Mosquito Bay, I headed down to the beach to watch it go up. The Sykes doesn’t venture into Gitchee Gumee very often these days and I usually miss it when it does.

Taaared again this evening. I have hit close to the bottom of the food supply here. That’s good in one way but I was also hungry this afternoon. I am also not particularly enthusiastic about working this week. Think I just need a break… … …

Love y’all, KW.

I am sooo taaared

Saturday, July 9th, 2022

I am alone here at the moomin and I am enjoying it soooo much. It wasn’t all that hot today which was really nice. I alternated from the beach and the deck throughout the day.

Quick trip to Meijer and the recycle this morning, then I took a green bag up to drop off at the res this afternoon. I didn’t feel like coming directly home so I drove Old Brimley Grade Road to Raco, then hopped over to Ranger Road, down to the lake and took the lakeshore drive home.

I was treated to Pad Thai over at the Old Cabin dinner tonight. It was fantastic. And followed by a great iPad slideshow of us cuzzints and others.

I did not get chocolate at Meijer this morning (I forgot) but I WILL cook bacon tomorrow morning.


Friday, July 8th, 2022

How many butts do you have? I have one butt. The GG took the Lyme Lounge aka my yooperland office over to Tahq today so I migrated inside the moomincabin and that meant that I listened to NPR science Friday for a while. And they were talking about anuses, particularly organisms that have more than one anus. This was hilarious!

We seem to be covid free at this point but we were notified that someone at a party we attended on Monday (four days ago) tested positive. Yeesh! I was nervous about attending the party because it was indoors because rain. But I sucked it up and went. I do not have symptoms and neither does anyone else that I’ve spent time with since then. The GG apparently has a home test over in the Lyme Lounge at Tahq. Does he really need it? I’m not sure. We’ve done this rodeo before. I know that some folks get covid more than once. I am kinda thinking I’m not one of those. I don’t really understand human immune systems all that well but I am thinking mine is pretty darn good, like many of my cousins. As near as I can figger, I am the only one of my Fin first cousins who has actually had covid. And that is because I slept with a covid positive person (the GG) for three nights. And I was barely sick. Not to say that it’s a good thing to be cavalier about covid. I am still all for vaxxing, masking, and distancing.

I am craving chocolate and potato chips tonight. I don’t have any of that stuff here at the moomincabin. It’s okay. I don’t crave either of those all that often. I’m gonna hit up Meijer tomorrow morning and if I am STILL craving that stuff, I will get it. I don’t think I’ll be able to get salmon spread. Oh well.


Thursday, July 7th, 2022

I was working inside the Lyme Lounge and the GG was working or whatever outside. Repainting or whatever.

The GG directed my cousin Sandy to visit me at my Lyme Lounge office and she did and I had the best time talking to her.

I began my day at the Up North Laundromat. It is the best laundromat ever and I did NOT put my clean laundry in someone else’s car like I did when we first bought Mooon Yooonit. I can recognize Cygnus a mile away. I was sitting outside waiting for my laundry to do whatever and a younger man schlepping a long tall laundry basket came by and proclaimed, “It’s laundry day.” I replied, “Me too!”

These chairs were occupied this afternoon!

Wednesday, July 6th, 2022

It was soooo much fun. Our globe-trotting friends decided not to tempt covid this summer by flying somewhere exotic. Instead they are traveling the yooperland and some of the northern lower.

This would be MMCB1, who I have been meeting with for coffee since our children were in middle school. I was a little nervous about inviting them out to the moomincabin because it is in many ways a much more humble place than a lot of the places they travel to. On the other hand, it is a gorgeous place and I love sharing it with others. After all, it is MY beloved little corner of the globe.

As it turned out, it was a GORGEOUS afternoon. The wind was just enough to keep (most of) the moe-skee-toes away. MMCB and a bunch of others took a short beach walk while her husband chilled with us on Bill’s Birch Point Beach Bank Bench. He told us he wanted to sit there all afternoon. In the end, that’s more or less what we all did. We ended the afternoon with a tour through the Old Cabin, our family’s “museum” next door.

Retreating back into hermit-hood

Tuesday, July 5th, 2022

After two days of indoor unmasked socializing, I hope we will be lucky enough to win on the covid roulette wheel. After those events I will definitely be diving back into hermit-hood for a while. I had a GREAT time tonight but man oh man does socializing take a lot out of me. The pic is this morning when I was returning to the moomincabin after my walk. G’night!

Hauling the lasagna trailer in the rain

Monday, July 4th, 2022

It was the annual Piedy 4th of July party and I contributed lasagna, which I jokingly told people was the only thing I know how to make any more. The party was at Dashie’s place this year, which meant a short trek along the beach and so we dredged out the lasagna trailer. We had a great time but I am done done done, stick me with a fork done. We have another social event tomorrow evening and I will enjoy that and then I think I am gonna dive back into introvert hibernation for a good long time.

I for one am hoping for faaaarworks over on the res across the bay tonight. I know they are hard for many people and their aminals. I love them though. G’night and love y’all. KW.

A few (40) years ago

Sunday, July 3rd, 2022

The Commander was giving me fits. “You have to wear shoes!” There was NO WAY IN HELL that I was gonna wear shoes on the beach. In July. On my wedding day. What are you, nuts? I did not put shoes on. When I got down to the beach, there was my dad waiting for me. In bare feet with a sly look on his face.

So what do you do to celebrate a significant anniversary? Well, for quite some time this morning, the GG was on the phone dealing with an ongoing saga involving someone giving out their credit card info to a phone solicitor. I’m not gonna out our bank on here but if your bank is the same as ours, did you know there is a “feature” called VISA Updater? We did not. If you have a recurring payment, it updates your credit card info when you get a new card. I (as an online banking app designer) think this feature should be an opt-in feature. It isn’t and we had to turn it off in order to block a scammer. WE CANCELED THE CARD ON PURPOSE to keep the scammer away from our friend.

After that episode, we went on a cruise. Oh not the kind of cruise a lot of folks take on a significant anniversary. We hopped into Cygnus and drove Forrest Side Road from its northern terminus at 6-Mile Road down to the end. And back. We THOUGHT we could get through to Mackinac Trail via the Clear Lake campground but both Cygnus’s and my iPhone’s mapping stuff lied. Two-tracking is fine with me but I don’t like to goat-track, where you are navigating through deep sand or water holes or whatever. Fortunately we didn’t have much of that. An afternoon on the deck and/or beach.

Love y’all, KW

Colliding worlds

Saturday, July 2nd, 2022

Where was I? I am settling in to the moomincabin for my second stint this summer. I made two grock trips today, the first an early one into Meijer, the second up to the park store. I am still mostly the only masked bandit anywhere although there were a couple customers at Meijer who were masked.

After the park store trip, I was hanging out in the moomincabin kitchen. I run NPR just about everywhere and so NPR was running along in the background. Up here we listen to a station from Central Michigan University and this afternoon they were playing rock music from my earlier teen years, stuff my cousins and I listened to here at the moominbeach when we were young.

I was kind of rocking out to all this old music and then a set of songs ended and the radio listed the songs and artists, etc. I was thunderstruck to hear that the Woolies was one of the groups in the set. They were a Lansing group back in the day and they covered a 60s rock song so well that I didn’t notice that it wasn’t the original group.

I was too young to know about the Woolies and did not live in their city (Lansing) in their heyday. I just have to say that the Woolies drummer married my (late, ugh) cousin and they had a beautiful daughter who has spent time here at the moomincabin many times throughout her life. She is a force of nature and I really miss her mom.

I still have many living cousins and I spent a good part of this afternoon hanging out with Pooh at the Old Cabin.

In my office…

Friday, July 1st, 2022

Waaaay back in the day I can remember the Twinz of Terror going through the moldy old Hoton Lake cabin taking out hundreds (it seemed that way anyway) of empty cardboard boxes and BURNING them. This box? “It’s a good box, we have to save it.” So I get to look at it whenever I telecommute from the Lyme Lounge.

We relocated from Hoton Lake to the moominbeach today. We left early enough that there was no jam at the BigMac tollbooths yet. As we left HL, I felt a little pang thinking about all the fun holiday weekends I’ve spent there. But it is Friday and I could feel the place start to fill up. I remembered a 4th of July drive to a grocery store there. I saw TWO accidents within a couple miles and there was a group of middle-aged men at the store buying liquor who had to ask the clerk to write the check. Yes, that was a long time ago.

A stop at our now fave Best Choice grocery today confirmed that I was doing the right thing by leaving that area. It was JAM-PACKED and I didn’t see ANYONE but me wearing a mask. Including the GG but he stopped wearing one a long time ago when the CDC said it was okay not to… Anyway, he left me (in my mask) at Best Choice to gas up Mooon Yooonit and waited for me with that beastie and the Lyme Lounge on the freeway entrance.

I arrived to a message from a friend inviting us to meet at a local bar this afternoon. I kind of wanted to but I was wearing washer-woman type clothing and did not want to change. Not to mention that I don’t really know this person very well. I hung out on and off the beach instead.