Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Hotter than Hades

Monday, May 25th, 2020

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

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

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

Kitten box

Sunday, May 24th, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

Beach day start to finish

Sunday, May 24th, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

Pandemic road trip

Friday, May 22nd, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On faaaaaarrrr

Thursday, May 21st, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

Pandemic dishwashing…

Wednesday, May 20th, 2020

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

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

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

I have always been a dishwasher.

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

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

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

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

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

Declined

Tuesday, May 19th, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pandemic hoarding stash

Monday, May 18th, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why do bees hum?

Sunday, May 17th, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh darn

Saturday, May 16th, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh darn.

Writer’s block or maybe it’s just ennui

Friday, May 15th, 2020

I dunno. I take my shower. I walk. I do various chores. I log on to TeleCubelandia… … … I order things online and watch them get delivered. I remember to eat (sometimes). I turn around a few more times and it’s time to go to sleep watching Green Acres re-runs. Start it up all over again tomorrow.

We ordered carry-out food tonight for the first time since the pandemic shutdown. Those first few weeks I was nervous about take-out. We didn’t know (and still don’t) how the virus was transmitted other than close personal contact. What about the mail? What about clothing? What about the packaging surrounding take-out food? And in those early days take-out still involved (dun dun dun) going inside.

I decided I wanted to do my own cooking (and yes I was worried about grock packaging carrying the virus too). Cooking is never a problem for me except during the early days I struggled to decide what to cook. We have had plenty of food all through this, it was more a matter of what’s for tonight? I’ve been cooking enough that we can have leftovers for at least another night so as not to think about it for a couple days. But I kinda do that *anyway*.

We ordered from the Griz tonight for curb-side pickup. I fumbled the app just a bit. The pickup time option wasn’t tap-able so I clicked “Place my order” *anyway* and it said “ready in 15 minutes”. That meant something like 4:20 PM. Waaaay earlier than we wanted. It’s okay though. The Pensioner ordered short rib mac ‘n’ cheese and I got the salmon BLT. His’ll be easy to heat up and mine’ll be fine whatever temp.

I have said this before but I am soooo impressed at the restaurants and other small businesses who’ve been able to pivot their business model to serve their customers during this challenging time. Extra points to those who are also helping feed our essential workers. I don’t know which businesses will ultimately survive but my bet is on those who are creatively thinking out of the box.

We’ll be getting virtually porterized in just a bit and I sure hope it doesn’t get polly-tickle tonight because I am NOT IN THE MOOD! This IS a subtweet and the recipient knows who he is🐽

Oh yeah, there is a paper jail vapor trail in this pic (embiggen). We don’t see too many of those these days.

The ignorance and stupidity I put up with

Thursday, May 14th, 2020

I mean from some low-info facebook friends… They reference an article that “he” posted. [Disclaimer: y’all don’t know these people so no subtweets here.]

She commented: Get outdoors in the sun is about the best thing to ward off the covid.

He replied: stupid people will listen to government and stay indoors…until they die…

Someone else commented: Immune system going to shit that’s why!

He replied: yes…they never went out side or built up their imunities [sic]…. what did they expect…

Um, what? Okay…

1) The article shared in the first place (from MarketWatch, can’t find it now) quotes Cuomo saying that the folks they’re seeing in the hospitals in NYC now are people who have not left their homes. I think the article is incomplete. There’s a lot we don’t know about how the virus is transmitted but it’s pretty clear it doesn’t just waft inside people’s homes by itself. I wish the reporters had asked if these folks were letting others into their homes or if they were living with family members who were going out. I also have my suspicions that “staying home” for a lot of folks actually means staying home MOST OF THE TIME! “Oh I just went to the market across the street and forgot my mask”. Etc.

2) This exchange is one of the biggest displays of ignorance I’ve seen since this whole thing started. Sunshine makes you immune to a virus you have no natural immunity to? Really? I believe that being active and getting outside (and yes sunlight) can help boost a person’s immune system in general. Saying that those things can magically build immunity to COVID is uneducated uninformed dangerous thinking! Woefully so.

Happier things? Here is the GG using a selfie stick to get a pic of our robins. We have three babies and one egg. The last egg started to crack open today but then stopped. We are hoping for the best but are prepared for it to be a dud.

FINALLY!!! Bonus pic! Click and click again to embiggen and in front of the birdhouse to the left of the window, you will see none other than Mooma Chickadee. I posted the pic on Instagram yesterday and totally missed her until I emailed myself the full-size pic and opened it in Photoshop on my laptop!

Pandemic shopping back at ground zero

Wednesday, May 13th, 2020

In the beginning there was… Rice! Waaaaay back in March we were all thinking we’d end up eating things like rice and beans. And who knows, we may still get to that point but so far we don’t seem to be. The coronavirus is not to be taken lightly but a comet has not hit the earth* so there’s that.

So a beach urchin found this huuuuge bag of rice at an Asian grocery somewhere over in Ypsi or whereever and asked if we wanted one. YES YES YES! I said that even though I had (and still have) rice and can probably still get it indefinitely.

It took me a while to open this big bag of rice. I was kinda thinking something like what happens if I open it and it spills all over hell-and-gone and I have to vacuum it all up. F*ck. I finally approached it a few days ago and guess what? IT HAS A FRICKIN’ ZIPPER!!! It is dern good rice. I do not know what I thought might be in there. Toads maybe? I’m gonna have to save that bag for posterity sorta like the old wooden Dewars scotch box that my childhood cat had kittens in behind the old wood stove at the moomincabin.

*Comet? I am re-reading the old sci-fi novel Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. It’s kinda cheesy in some ways like who is screwing who before and after “hammerfall”. I probably liked that stuff better when I read it the first time but I’m kind of surprised that I’m enjoying it as much as I am now in my re-read. I am a bit more than half way through and in that planet-wide disaster we’re just getting to the point where it’ll be hard to get food. In our COVID pandemic, we don’t seem to be anywhere near that. I hope we don’t get there.

Oh, and when Lucifer’s Hammer was written I don’t think we knew that a lot of comets looked like rubber duckies.

Edited to add: Comet “Kahoutek”? Comet *Kohoutek*! I hate misspellings. Sheesh!

Soccery Blue

Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

Okay, first we had a Blue Angel flyover this morning. The Landfill was not *quite* in the path but they flew straight down Dexter Ave., to downtown and beyond, low in the sky. Dexter is only a couple blocks away so I had a ringside seat from the Landfill backyard. When the GG found out about the flyover, he decided to walk downtown and he encountered them at the Huron-Dexter-Jackson Y-intersection, down by the party store.

I’ve encountered people in various venues online and off who have questioned or expressed disgust that our country is spending money on these flyovers, which (as I’m sure y’all know) have been staged to support essential workers, et al. I am not an expert on the military but I believe these pilots are *always* training – after all, their JOB is flying jets and we want them to have plenty of practice. Their normal training routes may not be over cities but I doubt it costs a whole lot to re-route them.

In other excitement, “our” Blue Eggs began hatching today. One baby robin hatched this afternoon and now there are two. The GG practiced human/robin social distancing by watching carefully until the parent(s) left the nest on their own before sneaking up to get a pic. And he used a selfie stick. One that I have never quite gotten the knack for. I am deferring to bird privacy by going out the back slider instead of the one right underneath the robin nest.

Other news is that I got a notification that the Plum Market is starting curbside pickup and delivery. I already have a personal shopper/delivery person there but I’m doing anything I can do to reduce her burden to supply us baggy old geezers with grocks. But we’ll see what I do because I have already cobbled together my own little curbside and delivery system from various specialty and farm markets. And what the heck, if she’s *at* work and coming over to pick stuff up here anyway (contact-free) and all I need is a couple tomatoes… Just don’t want her spending time wandering all over the place getting me all kinds of esoteric items that I “can’t live without”.

I cannot believe that every time I drive by a sizeable grocery store, the parking lot is packed. People are reporting on Next Door Neighbor that *many* customers are refusing to wear masks and sometimes being belligerent about it. I dunno what to say about the masks but at least here in this sorta upscale little city there ARE other ways to obtain grocks. (I ALSO know not everyone can pick and choose where they shop and I am WELL aware of my privilege.)

Soccery Blue? That was the name of my dad’s sunfish sailbote back when I was a new reader/speller. Of course its actual name was the Sacré Bleu. My dad did not know a lick of French except I guess for that phrase. I’m not sure where he picked it up. Maybe in the Army Air Corps where he WORKED on B29s, etc.? My little brain interpreted the spelling of that as “Soccery Blue”. Go figger.

Have a nice blue day in the best of ways. Blue skies, blue eyes, blueberries, teal blue subway tile chitchen backsplash, whatever🧡🧡🧡

“But her emails…”

Monday, May 11th, 2020

Sorry, had to begin with a sick joke there…

I am gifted a few flats of impatiens every Mooma’s Day and this year was no exception although it required a bit of creativity to get them to me without potentially passing the coronavirus around. First, my Detroit beach urchin ordered them online from a Planet Ann Arbor area nursery. When they were ready, the GG hopped into the Ninja and drove down to snag them via curbside pop-the-trunk contact-free pickup.

Yesterday was too fugly out to pot them although I enjoyed that we got some rain. Today was worse in a way. One of those spring days that never gets outta the mid-40s, windy with no sun. Not pleasant to be outside at all. We have freeze warnings (again) tonight and although I have a suspicion it won’t get quiiiite that cold, I hauled my flowers in ANYWAY.

The last time I had to do this was a few years back when I potted some impatiens on Memorial Day weekend at the moomincabin. That night it DROPPED INTO THE 20s! It was okay. I pulled my pots into the kitchen through the back door. Oh not that it was all that warm INSIDE the moomincabin that night but we closed the upstairs off and ran the gas heating stove, and it was warm enough for the flowers to survive.

It’s spring and this is the Great Lake State and if the forecast is correct, we’ll be seeing 70s in a couple days. I am ready.

Was gonna end with another wee joke but decided it wasn’t really appropriate although I find it funny in a macabre sorta way.

Mooma Day

Sunday, May 10th, 2020

Here’s one of our backyard mothers – mooma robin on her nest incubating four eggs. She flees whenever I open the back door (it makes a big racket) but once I’ve been seated out there for a bit she returns to her nest. Five feet or so away and inside a birdhouse is mooma chickadee and we aren’t sure if her eggs have hatched yet or not. Then there’s Henrietta, who can frequently be seen lounging on the grass munching away. I occasionally also see a baby rabbit but I can’t tell how many she has because I have only seen one at any given time. Squirrels and chipmunks run around everywhere all the time but I suspect that’s because the GG has again hung a bird squirrel/chipmunk feeder🐽

Yesterday I played a small role (from afar) in a bird rescue. Lizard Breath and friends found a live, shivering baby bird in their furnace in Detroit. I am by no means an expert on wildlife rescue/rehab but a friend of mine works with squirrels and frequently shares facebook posts from legitimate sources. I have learned from her posts that if you find a fledgling, leave it alone and mooma will find it. If it hasn’t fledged and you don’t know where the nest is (not sure about that part), contact a rescue center. Most of these places accept birds/animals at a designated location, then place them with trained volunteers. This baby didn’t seem to have fledged, in any case it was pretty cold and therefore vulnerable and not in a place the mooma could find it.

My very small role in yesterday’s rescue was in knowing how this works and locating a rescue operation in an inner Detroit suburb. This one even had a big “I’ve found a bird” button to click. And contact-free delivery in these difficult times. They were able to take the baby there and hopefully all will be well.

Years ago, we had a baby bird foisted upon us via lack of knowledge on the part of a beach urchin’s friend’s parent. I’m sure we had the internet in those days but you couldn’t just load google maps up on an iPhone and type in “bird rescue”. I think the GG called the Humane Society or somebody and they told us what to feed the bird and then we were kinda on our own.

At the time we also had a guinea pig, rat, five anole lizards, two visiting hamsters and a visiting turtle (or am I dreaming the turtle). Anyway a living room full of cages during a hot un-air-conditioned summer.

We took a trip to Hoton Lake and the yooperland over a long 4th of July weekend. We left all of those aminals at home under the careful care of Shuggy. EXCEPT THE BABY BIRD! It fledged in its cage in the POC sometime during the trip. The GG bonded with it and I think he wanted to keep it for a pet even though it was what he calls a “junk bird” (house sparrow). We named it Willow. Alas, one morning he opened its cage in the Landfill back yard to provide food and LEFT THE CAGE OPEN. Yes, Willow flew away. I hope s/he lived a long happy life.

This baggy old mooma? First of all, EVERY DAY IS MOTHER’S DAY. But we rolled down to Lake Erie with the Lyme Lounge and parked in the day use lot at Ted Sperling State Park. We skedaddled before a storm rolled through and I had the foresight to bring the equipment to bottleP if I needed to but I didn’t. Oh yeah, bacon for breakfast, which was all good but if I had remembered that Monahan’s was serving up bagels and lox for curbside pickup, I think I’d’ve ordered some of that instead.

P.S. I shamelessly stole both of these pics. Mooma robin is by the GG and the baby bird is by Lizard Breath.

Rate my room

Saturday, May 9th, 2020

A recent Twitter sport is “room rater” where someone with the handle @ratemyskyperoom takes screenshots of talking heads working from home and their background decor. Plants, art, odd artifacts, and bookshelves (unless they are organized by color) get points. Bare walls and self-aggrandizing crapola (diplomas, awards etc.) not so much. So we’re doing a little contest here between the GG and Froooogggy.

First we have the GG in his upstairs lair. What is his rating? I’ll give him some points for the mask and beaucoup points for the, uh, shelf in the top background. Quite the collection. He gets points deducted for general background clutter and not very good lighting and that “artifact” in the top right. So I’ll give him 6/10 points.

And HERE WE HAVE FROOOGGY! He gets 10/10! Yay! Artwork in the background and just because he’s Froooggy. With his secint hed o’ hair and his milk cap ring bracelets and his green fringe of neck hair and his big goggly eyes. He’s one of a kind! Er, sorta except there’s also Frogette.

What say yall? BTW, I give myself 0/10 because I am in front of a blank wall and the angle at which my phone is placed is such that you can only see the top half of my face. Need to work on that…

The farmers market opened back up today. Although I understand the need to keep the economy going, I did not participate for several reasons even though there was curbside pickup. 1) Ordering is a mishmash of online, email, and making phone calls. Too complicated. I did register with Lake Divide Farm but I can get their stuff from Argus anyway (they use the same system as Argus). 2) In person shopping (which I am not “brave” enough to do) involves the same kind of pathway that the grocery stores are using. THIS IS GOOD AND I UNDERSTAND IT but… 3) I wasn’t sure how well curbside would work if I ordered stuff from multiple vendors. I guess I just figgered this is the first day they are trying this and I bet there were some kinks to be worked out.

That said, I had been wanting to put an Argus order in and I made a “rule” that I would do it as soon as asparagus appeared on their product list. Today was the day (I’ve been watching!). So I’ve got a box coming on Monday. This asparagus will be wonderful but I have to say I am missing Farmer John’s lunchroom produce store at Cubelandia.

Virtual OTing…

Friday, May 8th, 2020

But yaaarrrgggghhh. I am soooo taaared of hearing that I get all my opinions from listening to NPR “all day”. To set the record straight, at the beginning of all this, I didn’t listen to news on the radio at all. I almost never listen to TV news at all but that’s a whole ‘nother thing. When I was first directed to telecommute, I couldn’t bear to turn the radio on until after my 10:00 standup meeting. Jazz starts up at 10 AM and continues until 4 PM with short bits of news on the half hour. At 4:00 I would always ask the GG to put on Satty-lite radio folk music. He gdam well knows this.

After a few weeks of wondering if/when I could’ve been infected and after some of my young grocery worker relatives’ mild COVID type symptoms subsided (but who knows because no f*cking tests), my low-level background anxieties subsided a bit. I actually started to feel like eating again. There are all kinds of cartoons out there about big fat people hitting the beaches this summer after being in quarantine. I don’t actually think it’ll be safe to hit the beaches this summer but I won’t be one of those. Getting a better appetite but still having to remind myself to eat. I made lasagna tonight!!!

So I do not form my opinions about the virus based on NPR radio. More often than not I turn the radio off when the news comes on (YOU know that and YOU know who YOU are). Instead, I *read* a number of news sources and form my own opinions. I follow a lot of these sources on Twitter (in some cases backed by paid accounts), which is a decent way to aggregate news and any number of other things.

I follow Donald J. Trump on Twitter too. To those of you who think he is a reasonable president but don’t follow him on Twitter, please please please follow @realdonaldtrump and pay attention to what he says on that venue. As he says, it is his way of connecting with his “base” without the “fake news” getting in his way. I’m not sure why connecting with his “base” includes name-calling and being nasty to anyone who disagrees with him (including some of his supporters). But check out his twitter feed instead of getting your news filtered through Rush “Limbo” or whoever.

And I am still wondering why people seem to think calling me “stupid” is going to change my mind. I am not necessarily the most intelligent person who ever lived but “stupid”? Maybe y’all need to re-think that. I may not agree with your polly-tickle opinions but “stupid”? Hmmm…

Yes, I am sorta angry tonight. I do NOT like to be interrupted when I want to say something and I am tired of being disrespected and told I am stupid. To be honest, I wasn’t told I was stupid tonight but I have been in the years since the Orange Baboon was somehow elected president. Pretty sure it’s not me who’s stupid.

G’night. Sleep tight. KW

Catchin’ a few rays at the end of the day before the Polar Vortex deep freeze sets in

Thursday, May 7th, 2020

My work friends have short memories about what Old Man Winter is capable of in the merry merry month of May. Snow? Snow? Really? Yes. We do get snow in May. We don’t get it every year and the cold temps are usually not sustained. It was in the 60s today. It’s gonna go below freezing over the next few days. Will it snow? I dunnow. I’m just gonna hang out on the Green Couch aka TeleCubelandia, watching whatever comes down and whoever goes by, which’ll prob’ly include a rodent picking up a flour delivery.

I was cranky about the GG not starting up Satty-lite radio tonight. I wanted to turn the news off and then I realized the news was actually providing some feel-good stories.

1) More and more businesses in our area have PIVOTED to meet the needs of their customers with curbside delivery, etc. I hope that story runs again because I came into it half-way and there were some resources I didn’t quite catch.

2) I almost turned the next story off. It was about testing sewage for the coronavirus. I was like NOOOOOO but then the young post-doc woman they were interviewing was LAUGHING and I kept listening and realized that testing sewage might have a role in controlling the virus. You can kvetch and gnoff about phd equaling “piled higher and deeper” but we need people who can FOCUS in this kind of way. I am sure this woman takes the whole situation very seriously and I think she was laughing in part because she was actually being interviewed about “poo” on NPR 🧡

3) This is not technically a feel-good story. The Ann Arbor Art Fair(s) are not happening in 2020. I used to go to the art fairs all the time when I was a “kid”. For many years now I have practiced Art Fair Avoidance. I’ve been kinda over the crowds, etc., for a LOOOOONG time and my fave jeweler couple died. It’s very sad that it’s canceled but I agree that 400,000 people wandering around everywhere in downtown Planet Ann Arbor (population approximately 120,000) any time soon is a bad thing.

Pandemic camping

Wednesday, May 6th, 2020

A while back (how many weeks ago was it?), our governor Big Gretch/ThatWomanInMichigan extended her stay-at-home order and ordered that Michiganders could not travel to their second homes or cabins. Boy oh boy did this raise a ruckus. “Who is she to be telling us we can’t travel to those places? We pay taxes.” And worse. “She’s taking away our rights and freedoms.” Y’all have probably seen the covidiots protesting in our state capital. With their assault rifles, etc. What those have to do with the virus I do not know. I don’t think you can kill a virus with a gun. But you can’t fix stupid, as a lot of Trump supporters love to say. (For the record, I am not anti-gun.)

I’m not gonna go into all that in detail. I LIKE Big Gretch and before she issued that order, I had already made my own decision not to travel to the yooperland. I don’t think people should be traveling anywhere unless they can be safe about it and that’s pretty hard to do since we can’t SEE the virus and don’t fully understand its “rules”. I am hunkered down here on the Planet Ann Arbor and have cobbled together a nice little system for obtaining grock and other stuff via contact-free services. That would not be possible at the moomincabin, or at least not as easy, and I would probably have to venture inside stores. I am not comfortable doing that.

That said, the GG took a rocket trip to the yooperland this week and I “blessed” it. He had a drop-off to make at the North Country Trail Center in Iggy and some random stuff for the moomincabin.

So why did I bless his trip? Because he could do it with (almost) no interaction with anything or anybody. He towed the Lyme Lounge up there and parked it in the moomincabin parking lot. We’re not opening the moomincabin any time soon but the Lyme Lounge has a water supply and a mini-fridge so he was self sufficient on food and water. No bathroom but woodsP is good for providing nitrogen to plants and anything else can happen in My Dear Uncle Harry’s outhouse (yes, TMI). He has a key to the [closed] trail center in Iggy and a commuter card for the Big Mac bridge. That leaves gasoline. Paper towels and hand sanitizer and a few prayers to who/whatever you believe in.

I alerted neighbors that he would be there and wave at them from afar. Or maybe he did a Master Salute. His plan was for one or two nights but he is on his way home after one. I suspect ol’ Gitchee Gumee was not all that accommodating in terms of weather. I thought I saw a text fly by about northwest winds 🐽

I should add that the order against travel between two residences was lifted a while back so he wasn’t doing anything illegal.