Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Solo bote-ing

Saturday, August 17th, 2019

This beautiful young girl piloted a motor bote out to the island and around it and back on a solo trip. Most of us didn’t expect her to go BEHIND the island and when the moms on the beach (her mom and me) realized that she did that, I demanded that the GG take a kayak out just in case. I would have preferred a motor rescue bote but we pulled that bote out of the water earlier today.

We were all a bit nervous but as it turned out she was fine and when she got close to shore she even veered off a bit to wave to her grandparents (my cousins) down the beach.

We sat down on the bank forever tonight talking to relatives on both sides. We don’t wanna leave tomorrow but (alas) we have to.

Sayonara, KW.

Red light district or whatever

Friday, August 16th, 2019

I don’t have much to say. Our brother Jim and his wife came over from Tahq to spend a couple days with us. I was hanging out on Bill’s Birch Point Beach Bench when a familiar person walked up and said “hey”. OMG it was my beautiful siser-in-law Becky! Apparently there was a jaffic tram on our little two-track road and the GG and our brother Jim sent Becky off down on the beach to find me, which she did!

Late this afternoon Jim and Becky took the Tan Bote out into our beautiful moomincabin bay. A few people might have been wondering if this was safe. I am here to tell you that the Courtois Kids were brought up knowing to handle motor botes from a very early age. Also, this bote was purchased by our Grampa Garth who more or less gave it to the GG as a good bote for the St. Marys River.

I wasn’t worried for a minute that they would be okay and they were. I am so happy to share this beach and cabin with my in-laws and other beloved friends.

Hiking to the Den of Iniquity

Thursday, August 15th, 2019

Fun but long day. We headed over to the Tahquamenon area to meet up with our brother Jim and his wife The Beautiful Becky and I am still digesting the bison burger I could just barely finish (did not finish the loverly fries) at the Den of Iniquity Tahquamenon Falls Brewery at 5:00 PM or so, not my fave time to eat dinner but it worked out best for today’s time trajectory.

I guess I was a weeee bit cranky on the way over there. We are still trying to decipher our Toyota carplay app, which connects to our iPhones to play music from our phones (the beach urchins are cracking up if they are reading this). The GG played a couple of the worst pieces of music I think I have ever heard (the Vegetable Orchestra is better) by some person who covered old familiar rock songs in such a way that reminded me of our buddy JP telling one of his half-hour stories. This is one of the things we love about JP but it didn’t translate to this music and I hated the singer’s voice.

We were early but it was approaching noon and we hadn’t eaten any particular kind of breakfast so the GG suggested we de-crankify me by stopping at the Silver Creek Saloon for a bit of lunch. IT WAS CLOSED! So we drove all the way up to Paradise to The Inn Gastropub & Smokehouse and had a bowl of loverly Polish soup. That took the edge off my “hangry”.

Our brother and his wife are very active people but trail hiking is not really their go-to activity so when I heard something about hiking the trail between the lower and upper Tahquamenon Falls, I nixed that PDQ. It is not like hiking in the mountains but it is a difficult four mile trail with some steep ups and downs and many tree roots and rocks and things to trip over and mud holes and broken down infrastructure and, well, we’ll stop there.

Instead I suggested we walk some of the trail near the Tahquamenon River mouth. It is basically flat and I thought they might like to see some of the 20 or so “elevated walkways” that the GG and his North Country Trail friends built a few years ago. Most folks don’t even know this little part of the trail exists. Plus, the Tahquamenon River mouth area is drop-dead gorgeous and when we eventually dropped them off at their campsite, I pointed out *exactly* where they should sit and have a cocktail to watch the sun set. The light cannot be beat there, not even by our own sunset moominbeach.

My crankification returned for a bit when the GG started experimenting with the self-steering technology in Mooon Yooonit. I recognize that self-driving vee-hickles are in our future. I even wish the Comm had been able to own a car that would drive her around. I am not personally ready for it yet. I don’t even use cruise control and that has been around forever! I was in the back right seat when he started doing this and I was not a happy camper.

So, I needed some chill-out music for the drive home and I was rooting around trying to figger out how to play Enya from my phone, only to find out that Enya is NOT ON MY PHONE! I grumped to the GG about that and he said, “Plug *my* phone back in and we’ll play Enya.” He has Enya on HIS phone? Yes. And so we chilled out to Enya while sweeping down along the shores of Whitefish Bay back home to the moomincabin.

Suzy Homemaker mode

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019

Yeah, time got away from me yesterday. It was laundry day and guess what? I managed to put my own laundry into my own vee-hickle without incident. Also grokkery shopping as I have been press ganged into making lasagne. Oh, not that I wouldn’t have hit up Meijer anyway since I was in town and almost always have a list. Prepped lasagne sauce yesterday afternoon and ended the day with another adventure of porterization and by that time I was done done done.

The GG has been in Suzy Homemaker mode (and yer fav-o-rite blahgger to a lesser degree). Yesterday he washed windows. The day before he took “everything” (more or less) out of the garatchky, swept it and put back *some* of the stuff. Okay, a lot of the stuff but I believe there are a few items headed for the Kiwanis sale.

I am ecstatic that he is willing to work on the garatchky. I do not dooooo well with sorting garatchky kinds of crapola. Botes and motors and gasoline and any number of random things. The garatchky was our main staging area for the stuff left behind after the Commander left the building. Anything that didn’t get directly donated or trucked down to megalopolis was left in the garatchky for later sorting and distribution. I could manage to work on books and kitchenware, etc. but that stuff is down to a bare minimum now and I can’t get back on a roll with sorting the remaining bits and pieces. This is the kind of prodject perfectly suited to the GG.

For many years we did not have a garage. Botes that couldn’t over-winter outside went *inside* the moomincabin at the end of the season, making closing and opening the place more difficult. The garage was my brother’s idea and some of us were not particularly enthusiastic about it. If I’d had my druthers, we’d have built a bunk/bath house instead. Alas, that would’ve involved plumbing and the parents did not want to mess around with that.

I loved my brother but I’m not sure how amicably we could have shared this place. But I have long since made peace with the garage. After dad died, the Commander once began a little lament, “We have a garage…” I thought for about a split-second. I thought about how easy it was to store botes and other paraphernalia. I thought about how the garage provided 2-3 extra parking places (we had something like nine vee-hickles here that weekend). I said, “Yes, we have a garage. And that’s a good thing.”

Taking the night off here on gitchee gumee, all is well (EOM)

Tuesday, August 13th, 2019

Umbrella of porterization

Monday, August 12th, 2019

I am kinda outta words at the moment. I was gonna post photos of Suzy Homemaker aka the GG and his garatchkey cleaning prodject today. He got on a roll and I’ll talk about that tomorrow.

I did a small part in the ongoing sort-out of the remainder of The Commander’s stuff (plus my dad and brother’s). I took everything out of the dresser in the little downstairs bedroom and put back only the few things I thought belonged there. I also made minor inroads into the “upshairs” linens.

And then, I was sitting on the beach and the GG scrambled us to head over to the northern land of porterization. And so those legs underneath the 1970s era bumbershoot belong to the GG and JP. They eventually got the bumbershoot up and stabilized and we spent a couple of hours getting porterized before coming home to grill some tuna steaks on our own deck.

We have so much fun 🧡🧡🧡

Missing my Tent Monsters

Sunday, August 11th, 2019

So, the last couple of Tent Monsters left this morning and I am missing them. Fortunately, the GG seemed to expect that I might be a bit verklempt about this because as soon as they blew their Master Salute, he was all let’s go heckle the Porters. He meant our friends of porterization who live on the Planet Ann Arbor but have a cabin a mile or so down the beach (and a couple of small points) from us.

I asked, “You mean by bote?” “Yes!” So off we went. Even though it was almost noon we knew they would not likely be “out of bed” yet. So we blew our air horn outside their cabin. The GG warned me to put my fingers in my ears. The air horn is LOUD! But it did wake our friends up. And so once they were presentable for going out in a 14-foot bote, we motored down to the Brimley State Park. I had to sit next to the gas tank for most of the trip 🐽

We were amazed at how many huge McMansions have been built along that section of beach. Most of those folks do not have very large lots so it seems like these gargantuan homes might fill most of the lot. How many trees were cut to put these mansions in? I do not know. I can’t tell you how fortunate I feel to have a small rustic cabin on a decent-sized lot. We are a decent distance from our neighbors (who are also beloved family members) and we have plenty of trees around. Although my dad did cut down some small trees in front of this place when we built it way back when. He wanted to be able to look out at the water.

On the way back from Porterization North, the wind kicked up a bit. There were a few whitecaps and I kind of panicked when the GG insisted on driving our little bote over to the island before heading to shore and we encountered some larger waves than I was happy with. He had in his head a cute little pic-a-nic on the way home but I am here to tell you that eating a cold slice of pizza in a bouncing bote is not my idea of a cute little pic-a-nic.

But we got home safely and for the most part it was fun fun fun!

Three Day Blow

Saturday, August 10th, 2019

With any luck, we are about done with the northwest wind that has prevailed the last few days. We are at the end of what we typically call a Three Day Blow. Thursday was the start of the blow. Yesterday was the worst of the blow (see pic, we were sheltering behind the pines in front of the Old Cabin). Today the wind is still coming outta the northwest but it is nowhere near as strong as yesterday, warmer and no serious whitecaps and this evening things seem to be calming down. According to twitter, even @lakesuperior is getting taaaaared of blowing at us.

I was just about outta ideas for dinner after planning menus for varying numbers for a couple weeks. And then pizza got onto my brain. Now. I could make pizza but I didn’t really feel like doing that. Where can we get pizza without driving all the way in to Sault Ste. Siberia? Because I doubt anyone will deliver all the way out here. There MUST be someplace in Brimley that has pizza. These days we have such wonderful technology so I loaded up Google maps and typed in pizza and YES! A couple miles up the road just past the park store (where we go ALL THE TIME) is a pizza joint. We checked out their menu online and somehow managed to coordinate with the GG, who was traveling back from the Two-hearted area, to pick a couple pizzas up. Good pizza and lots of other good-looking stuff on the menu too.

This pizza joint has been through a number of different incarnations over the years. I remember it best when it was the Teepee Cone. A friend of my parents owned it and whenever my parents and Duck and Radical Betty went there for lunch, the owner would lock the door as soon as he saw my dad coming up the steps. It was all in fun.

The other technology we have today is texting. Oh, not that we haven’t had texting for a long time. But sitting down here on the beach all afternoon as Mouse and I did, I couldn’t help thinking about how useful texting would’ve been when my beach urchins and their cousins were young. I would be sitting down here watching them swim, etc., like my parents et al did when I was young. But y’know, us parent lifeguards do need bathroom breaks, etc., and it didn’t seem like my brother and his wife ever thought much about that and I didn’t feel like I could leave the kids alone on the beach. If only I could have texted them “hey, your turn”.

The Old Cabin

Friday, August 9th, 2019

This is the cabin I spent my first six summers in. (My branch of the fam owns the cabin next door to it now.) I have written before about how one of my earliest memories (6 months old or so) was the susurration of the wind in the pine trees when we approached the cabin.

As our families grew cousins (we are 11 in all) the old cabin became a bit too small for all of us. Fortunately our grandparents owned enough land to be able to divide it so all four of their children could build their own places. A “compound” if you want to call it that but don’t think “Kennedy Compound” because we are much more rustic than that.

My youngest aunt (still living, thank you very much) and her husband (My Dear Uncle Harry) ended up with the Old Cabin and they did some renovations a few years ago. The Old Cabin was built in 1924 and to quote Harry, “Some people have cabins but I have a Museum.”

We took our guests over for an Old Cabin tour last evening and My Dear Uncle Harry was happy to oblige. I remember things about being a small child there but Harry remembers things that happened well before I was born. He is a wonderful tour guide in his own museum.

When I was a kid, the Old Cabin had a front sleeping porch and a back kitchen/dining porch. The kitchen/dining porch was changed to be a more modern kitchen/bathroom/bedroom/dining area a while back and the front sleeping porch is still a sleeping porch but has also been remodeled.

As we were doing our tour, The Marquis asked if I had the infamous “feeding” pic. Yes I did but I knew that I couldn’t find it quickly last night. So here it is. We all look pretty dorky in this pic. What can I say. Depending upon where you were sitting, if you had to get out (to go to the outhouse), you “submarined” under the table. The adult back there serving people is The Commander and this was a Community Dinner where the whole fandamily ate together even though a couple of families had their own cabins at this point in time.

We don’t often do Community Dinners these days because our families have expanded to children and grandchildren of the original four siblings (my dad’s generation) and it is just not all that easy. But we love each other and remain very friendly and those old Community Dinners were soooo much fun.

I’ll sic Mocha on you

Thursday, August 8th, 2019

A little marital discord anyone? This marital discord involves windows at the moomincabin. It is a really windy day with the wind out of the northwest, which means it is coming straight onto the beach with big waves, etc. The ambient temperature is not all that cold and if Uber Kayak Woman were here, she would’ve dragged us all into the lake for body surfing.

On a beautiful warm sunny WINDY day like today it is perfectly comfortable to sit down on the bank but at a certain point, the wind kind of wears you down and eventually you feel like you need to get inside. So when I came up to the moomincabin after a sojourn of sitting on the moominbeach, the GG was nowhere to be seen (nap time) and I made a ‘hattan for me and a freezer ‘hattan for the GG and went out to sit on the deck. The kitchen window was open pretty much as far as it goes, as is shown in the pic.

Then the GG surfaced from his NAP. And proceeded to mostly close the window, as you can see in the second pic. Grrrr… Today was an okay day for most of the windows to be closed and for the glass to be in the front door. The kitchen window and the back door? We need those to be open. We argued about it for a bit and then he went in the bathroom or wherever and while he was there, I opened the window again.

We have guests in the moomincabin so we kept our marital discord as quiet as possible and I am kidding about sic-ing Mocha the dog on him. As if I could get Mocha to obey any command I might give her. She is a loverly little doggie but she seems to exist to bark, be cute, and steal shoes and socks. We love her anyway. The cutosity helps.

Oh, by the way, when I was a kid, there were a few times The Commander managed to lock us out of the moomincabin and I got us inside by crawling through the window in the pic, across the kitchen sink and onto the floor to scamper over to one of the doors to unlock it. I can’t remember how we did this without breaking the screen but we somehow managed it.

Adventures in driving or laundry or whatever

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019

Today I drove Mooon Yooonit more than a few feet for the first time and I debated about whether to tell the GG about the adventure I had with it. Nooooo I did not crash it or lose the fob (fob fob fob).

I drove Mooon Yooonit into town to do laundry. The washing part of laundry got done and I put everything into dryers except for my Keen sandals and two long skirts because I don’t put those in dryers. I took those out to Mooon Yooonit. I beeped the car unlocked and tried to open the rear passenger side door. It didn’t open “out” like I expected it to, instead it started slowly sliding. Hmmm… Do we have a slider on this side of our new vee-hickle? I don’t remember anything about that…

I put my skirts and shoes in the car and went back in the laudromat. A few minutes later, some lovely ladies came in carrying my skirts and shoes and asking if they were mine! I was very confused until they said I had put them in THEIR CAR! Jeebus! How the heck did I do that? In fact, I think it was because I went out a different door (of the laundromat) than usual and approached the first gray SUV-like entity I saw.

I explained that I was driving a new car for the first time ever and was totally unfamiliar with it and we all had a good laugh.

The conversation went on for a bit. They love to vacation here and I mentioned that I had grown up here and still owned a summer cabin in the area. At that another person got interested in the conversation. I refrained from mentioning my name or saying anything much about my family. Certain people (he knows who he is) have a tendency to try to name-drop my family name and it drives me nuts. We were once a rather prominent family in the area and while there are a few folks around who still remember the name, I think most people don’t and I prefer to keep my identity private for the most part. Especially when I have just done something as stoopid as putting my laundry in someone else’s car! 🐽

In the end, I wished all my new friends a good day and left – with MY laundry in MY car!

In which Gitchee Gumee shows off a bit of her “stuff” for our guests

Tuesday, August 6th, 2019

It’s always loverly to entertain people at the moominbeach when we have actual Beach Days. I mean the ones where it is so hot that going swimming actually feels good.

We have had a few days like that and then there was yesterday during which two severe thunderstorms rolled in. The one in the pic is the morning storm. Can you see the rain coming down over there by Mission Hill? It eventually hit us here at the beach. I was puzzled when I heard the tornado siren go off in Brimley though because this was not tornado weather. But then one of my weather apps reported a marine warning for the area, meaning the water was not safe for small craft so I think that was why they blew the siren.

The afternoon storm was not quite as pretty in terms of color but it did kick up the water in our bay with great ferocity and it got dark enough that we lit a few Cocktail Lights. A couple of our guests live in San Francisco where thunderstorms are rare so I’m sure this was a treat for them.

The other great excitement (not) is that I managed to snag the only iPhone XS in Sault Ste. Siberia this morning. My iPhone has been in an intermittent failure mode for a month or so. It would 1) [sometimes] open and close apps or move to different pages or type random characters in the text entry box all by itself and 2) [sometimes] not respond to my touch. Once (of many times) I tried to re-a-start it, I found myself on the shutdown page unable to get it to respond. I was terrified that it would decide to dial 9-1-1.

Yesterday I happened to look at one of its edges and realized the screen was kind of bowed outward and separated from the side. This did not seem good. In fact it seemed downright dangerous. Bad battery maybe? So I spent f-o-r-e-v-e-r backing it up to iTunes on my laptop and we headed in to pick up a new phone. The GG fake-cried when I handed over the $1000 plus payment.

Our guests have left for a couple days so we did a good sweep/vacuum and I sorted out the refrigerator. It really wasn’t all that dirty here. It used to be AWFUL when my brother’s dogs came here (I liked the dogs though). And the refrigerator yielded enough leftovers that we’ll be able to get by on those until the crowd comes back.

And what a GREAT crowd! Nine adults in this rustic little cabin is a tight squeeze but all of our guests were cheerful, good at taking care of themselves, and making positive contributions to our little community. The youngest among us is now old enough to buy beer and she did when we thought we were in danger of running out (not). I miss them and I’m glad they are coming back 🧡🧡🧡

The GG is crashed out somewhere recovering from his strenuous morning of watching me spend a bunch of money and my new iPhone has been loading up apps for HOURS. Mostly apps that I never use… Note to self…

Sunfish race

Monday, August 5th, 2019

When I was a wee girlie, my dad owned a wee sunfish sailbote. Here’s my dad and there’s no sunfish sailbote in the pic but there is a gratuitous shot of one (of many) of the old forts us kids built out of the paper pulp logs that used to wash up on the moominbeach.

Here is the sunfish sailbote. One of the blokes is undoubtedly my dad, not sure which one or who the other is.

Here is yer fav-o-rite blahgger suited up and ready for a sail.

Back during the summer of 1961, there were a few folks along Birch Point Beach who owned sunfish sailbotes and someone organized a RACE! It was soooooo exciting! My dad and his sunfish WON THE RACE! Here is the plaque he was awarded. The loon feather is a recent adornment.

Yesterday a neighbor arranged a modern day version of our old sunfish race. We did not participate in the race because we no longer have sunfish sailbotes (and don’t really know the neighbor). I do not have any pics of the race because I limit my photo technology to whatever iPhone cam I have (X at the moment). The botes were far enough away that there wasn’t any point. Click here for a couple good ones including my cuzz Pooh’s pic of the one bote that capsized (all was well).

Yesterday was a totally fun day with people on the beach ALL DAY, including the race watching denizens (and their photobomber) in the pic below. Most of our guests had such a good time that they did not leave today as was sorta planned. I am happy about this (daughters and friends). Teriana did have to leave (sadly) but we all ate lunch at Pickles before their departure.

Butts Up

Sunday, August 4th, 2019

In the blueberry patch, that is. I have (more or less) permission to post this pic but I did not take it. Blueberry picking DNA missed me and I sat this expotition out. I love to go inland into Chippewa County but I don’t have the attention span for blueberry picking so I stayed back at the moomincabin and put a lasagne and some garlic bread loaves together.

I asked people to take butts up pics and send them to me. This is not always the posture for blueberry picking but it can happen but I suspect these photos were staged 🐸. I love them anyway.

Many mooooooons ago, I went on a blueberry picking trip with Lewie, Uncle Duke, Radical Betty and Uber KW. I was basically along for the ride because I wanted to spend time with UKW et al, not because I like to pick blueberries. Uncle Duke was CRAZY about picking blueberries and after about the fourth stop we had to kind of put our collective feet down and say something like, we are not stopping again. On that trip I got the song “I got my thrill on blueberry hill” into my head and it hasn’t ever really left me.

Other things I remember from that trip is when Lewie, a lifelong yooper, was going on and on about a cathouse in the small town of Raco. Radical Betty thought he was talking about a a a you know, whorehouse and she was wondering what the heck her childhood friend knew about a whorehouse. It turned out that he was talking about a place that stored bulldozers, which made much more sense given that it was Lewie. There was also something about carnivorous testicles but we won’t go there tonight.

And oh yeah. I got distracted and didn’t finish this post last night. I’m not sure I can count how many people were in the moomincabin living room but it was enough that we had to bring some of the deck chairs inside. Cousins of all degrees on both sides of the fam, friends, and significant others. The Commander would’ve loved this.

Toooooo hot on the moominbeach

Friday, August 2nd, 2019

So we decamped to the moomincabin deck.

I adore the “intermittent” railings the GG designed and built a number of years ago when my parents were still alive. When we first built the moomincabin back when I was six years old, we didn’t have a deck. You walked directly out the doors and down the steps. Or, if you were a six-year-old athlete, you launched yourself out the door and jumped to the ground at the end of the steps.

I don’t remember when we added the deck but it was probably only a few years later. We had no railings anywhere in those days and with the deck, you could get a running start to jump over the steps.

Many years later, my parents were starting to get a bit fragile. We began worrying about my dad falling off the deck during one of his nocturnal deckP expotitions, not to mention general falling incidents. So the GG built railings for both sets of steps and the intermittent railings along the sides of the deck, like the one in the pic. I think he did a great job. I did not allow him to put a railing on the front end of the deck. There’s a water view there and I didn’t want to disrupt it.

I bagged off work a bit early today. Teriana (my MacMu cousin and her daughter) arrived a little earlier than we expected them (which was FINE). I emailed Amazon Woman telling her what was going on and that she was welcome to text me if she needed anything from me this afternoon.

And so, I am officially on two weeks of vacay. We’re going to have a crowd this weekend and I’m sure there will be moments when I will panic about our overstuffed refrigerator and lament that I do not have Master Chef Uber KW to help me manage the menu planning but it’ll be FUN.

Mooon Yooonit has landed

Thursday, August 1st, 2019

Here it is. Our newest version of financial suicide. 2019 Toyota RAV4 Adventure. Lunar Rock. We were eyeballing a red color for a while. The GG knows I like colorful cars and things. In the end it was me who flip-flopped to Lunar Rock. I have to admit my switcheroo was partly due to the naming opportunities.

We ordered this loverly vee-hickle a couple weeks ago and it became available earlier this week so the GG drove the Frog Hopper down to The Planet Ann Arbor to pick it up. I *think* I will be able to drive this vee-hickle into Meijer tomorrow morning for a grokkery run. It has a fob. Fob. Fob. Put your foot on the brake and push the start button. I am not accustomed to this kind of functionality although I did manage to drive npJane’s VW down from the yooperland last summer without incident. As for communicating with my car with an iPhone app, I will muddle through that as I go. I do NOT need “lessons”.

So. Why Toyota? I think American vee-hickles are great if you are going to lease them for a couple years or whatever. We do not do that. We keep our vee-hickles FOREVER. We both have memories of our beauteous Island Teal POC (Chrysler minivan) and how it plagued us with issues in its older years (and even when it was relatively new). We bought our first Honda while we still owned the POC and have been going with Japanese vee-hickles ever since, driving them FOREVER with minimal problems.

The GG researched Honda, Toyota, and Subaru SUVs and determined that the RAV4 fit our needs because it has a bigger towing capacity (3600 lbs.) than the others. Our towing requirements do not require a 5th wheel outfit but we do tow things so towing is always a consideration.

Honda remains my fave and I love the idea of a CRV but not just yet. (Ssshhhh, don’t tell Ninja I am even whispering about replacing her.) But maybe that’s my next vee-hickle. It will tow lightweight things like kayaks and small botes and maybe the Trash Trailer if it doesn’t have a heavy load.

As of today, I have droven Mooon Yooonit from its location in the pic to a parking spot literally feet away. Tomorrow will be my first real test drive.

Oh yeah, if you are one o’ them thar Buy American folks… I’m not sure where the RAV4 was built but only one of our Hondas (the Ninja) was built in Japan. The rest were built in the USA or Cananananada (in one case). These Japanese companies are employing plenty of American workers.

The Tadoussac just went up and I am done for now

Wednesday, July 31st, 2019

The Tadoussac is a great lakes freighter but Tadoussac is also a city in Quebec. One of the perks of telecommuting from the moominbeach is that I can walk down to the beach to watch freighters as they pass. The Marine Traffic iPhone app is of great help to this endeavor. I use this app to check out which lake boats (and salties) are in the area and when they are approaching, I can walk down to the beach to check them out. In a way it’s kind of a stupid activity since I have seen many of these botes a gazillion times before, even some of the salties.

When I was a teensy tinesy little girl, we would often drive from our shabby little South Side Superior St. house in Sault Ste. Siberia downtown to the waterfront to watch botes go through the Soo Locks. I learned early on to demand that we go “Down Boat”! It was okay. My parents loved to watch boats go through the locks too.

Some people think I wasn’t very nice to my mother as a young person (teenager, mostly). I don’t want to go in to that in any kind of detail tonight or maybe ever. My moom and I had a complicated relationship like most mothers have with their daughters but we got along better than a lot of people might realize.

A couple years after this loverly pic was taken, my baby brother was born. I was 3-and-a-half (demanding 4-year-old straight pickles for lunch) and I can still remember asking my mom where the baby was when I finally saw her again, a week after she went to the hospital. I had been staying with my grandma and aunts and cousins at the Old Cabin but I heard the news at my uncle Don and aunt Katie’s cabin.

Mom told me that my brother might not come home. As it turned out, my brother lived and thrived for 47 years and life went on for me. But there must have been some trauma for me as a young child. And since I am a “spirited” person, it must have been hard for my mom to deal with meeeee and a potentially fragile child. I feel very very lucky that both of my children were born without any problems and my mouse could come home after 24 hours and therefore begin bonding with the whole family including her older sister.

Grand Theft

Tuesday, July 30th, 2019

So the last time I took my shoes off I left them on the moomincabin deck like I always do. This morning I went out to get them… And. There. Was. Only. One. I immediately came up with a suspect, the cute little rapscallion in the pic, named Mocha. This is the best pic I could get.

The reason I guessed the culprit so quickly was due to a sock stealing incident earlier in the summer. In that incident, the loot made it all the way back to the culprit’s lair. My shoe was located nearby. I suspect it was not as easy for such a small culprit to carry as the sock was.

And then, after an interesting morning in which I spent more than an hour on my phone in meetings… During which my phone kept doing weird things like turning off the speaker or turning off mute or switching to the phone keypad and randomly selecting numbers… Phone failure mode anyone? And NOOOOO it is not drunk. We eventually got everything sorted out and I took a beach walk.

It was a windy day and I was lucky to catch this seagull. I’m not sure whether he is healthy. He seems to be hanging around on the beach. Seagulls generally live on the island. This time of year is when seagulls that are not going to successfully migrate die. They often die on the beach and sometimes it takes them a while to do so. Way back when, when we were all young, I watched a dying seagull struggle for a week or so as I walked the beach. My brother finally came up here and I knew he had a gun. I wanted to put that seagull out of its misery so I asked my brother to walk down with me and shoot it. He agreed but by the time we got there, it was already dead.

Trouble in River City

Monday, July 29th, 2019

I’ve talked about the Bird List before. It is a [usually] loverly email list where people can post sightings of birds in their own backyards or wherever.

When I was a kid bird watchers were often portrayed as the Epitome of Nerdosity. On TV at least, think the Beverly Hillbillies character Miss Jane [Hathaway], who occasionally dressed up in a boy scout-ish khaki outfit in hot pursuit of the Yellow Bellied Sapsucker, which is an actual bird, if I am not mistaken.

Actually bird watchers or Birders in today’s lingo are all over the map including but not limited to nerdy people. I am a nerdy person but I am not a Birder. I identify as a Casual Nature Observer. And so although I have been on the Bird List since back in the Wild Wild West days of the intertubes, I have never contributed to it. I use it to learn about places to hike, etc. If an unusual species for our area is sighted, I am all about it. We once saw an ibis. We failed to see whooping cranes both times they were posted.

Usually the Bird List is extremely focused on BIRDS and very polite. Over the weekend someone got a bit incensed that disclosing the location of a nesting site incited many people to come out to see (and photograph) the birds. That caused the nest to fail. A list member who is very knowledgeable used an unfortunate choice of words that managed to pit “birders” against “photographers”. And it went from there.

Fortunately things calmed down and eventually someone with a lick of sense opined that pet CATS probably kill more birds than birders disturbing nests, not that anyone should disturb nesting birds. Except in my back yard. I mean, I OWN the property and if they decide to nest there – in one of our loverly birdhouses – they need to learn to put up with my comings and goings.

So the pic is my afternoon break beachwalk from telecommuting to Cubelandia. And wouldn’t you know, my new work laptop arrived this morning. Building Mom I/M’d me when I first faaaaared up my laptop in the Lyme Lounge. I told her where I was and thanked her for locking it up until I get back. Hopefully I won’t get a BLACK SCREEN OF DEATH (WITH CURSOR) that I can’t recover from while I am telecommuting this week.

BBQ chicken (or not)

Sunday, July 28th, 2019

Lemme see, grocery stores yesterday and today: Kerrytown (Planet Ann Arbor farmers market/Monahan’s Seafood) yesterday morning, Best Choice (Hoton Lake) yesterday afternoon, bonus trip to Best Choice on the Flote Bote noon-ish today (second pic, more cherry brats), St. Iggy Family Fare (just north of the Big Mac bridge) for more stuff than I thought we needed but we probably do need it.

I have been to enough grocery-type stores in the last two days that when we finally got to the moomincabin this afternoon and discovered that we did not have KETCHUP (or cider vinegar or brown sugar), I decided I was NOT going to go to another grocery store to get those ingredients to make BBQ sauce for the chicken I bought in Iggy, even though the park store is only a few miles up the road. Nope.

What the heck, the GG is coming up with another strategy involving balsamic viniagrette and paprika and bread crumbs and I dunno what else. We will still be cooking the chicken on the grill but it’ll probably be more like baking than grilling. It is actually almost too hot here to run the oven. The first thing we did when we got here was open all the windows, put the screens in the doors, and turn on the mini-fan.

We had the best time at Hoton Lake with JimC and The Beautiful Becky. I was so focused on our upcoming sojourn at the moominbeach that I didn’t really have anything for US to eat at Hoton Lake. I figgered we would go out to eat. Instead, THEY FED US!!! We had the most loverly omelets this morning, so good that I am only now getting hungry again. I think it took her like five minutes to cook them.

Then we took a LOVERLY morning flote bote ride! All of the people on the bote who used fishing poles have licenses. Those who fished caught Weed Fish. Those are the best kind of fish because you don’t have to worry if they’ll die while you are trying to dig the hook out before you throw them back. We were going slow-as-she-goes when I took this pic of dragonflies doing the deed on one of the fishing poles. It was as hot as Hades and eventually we sped up and I dunno where the dragonflies went.

As we were leaving (1:00-something), the Hoton Lake “crowd” was fixing Bloody Marys with ZingZang (which I have never tried). It was gorgeous there and I wanted to try a ZingZang Bloody Mary but I had to DRIVE. Plus, I need to be butt-in-seat tomorrow morning in the Lyme Lounge, hooked up to Cubelandia.

We arrived at the moominbeach to a beautiful afternoon and after we jumped around unloading all our crapola and flushing the water heater (the GG does that), I shelled peas down on Bill’s Birch Point Beach Bank Bench. It was a beautiful beach day and C*Q*L skipped in and out. Life is good.