Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

I need a new studio

Monday, June 15th, 2020

So this is a pic my Delivery Rodent texted me of her new fiber arts studio. Well, at least in the summer and in good weather (click to embiggen and see my old owl soup bowl). Outdoor studios do not work out very well in the Great Lake State at least nine months out of the year not to mention we can certainly have inclement weather in the summer.

There is another pic in which she has an ironing board set up. She sent me that one because there was once another outdoor ironer in the FinFam. My aunt Katie was a busy doctor’s wife with four children and she was a WHIZ at cleaning and other household chores. Hence the nickname The White Tornado. The August I was 3-1/2 and my brother was being born, we were at the Old Cabin for the summer (this was before we built the moomincabin) and I stayed a week or so at Katie’s cabin. When my parents returned to pick me up, The Commander was amazed and not a little embarrassed at how clean the area behind my ears was. I don’t remember having my ears scrubbed but that otherwise tumultuous period of family history represents my earliest set of contiguous memories but we’ll talk about that another time.

Anyway, my uncle Don rigged up a lucky-shuckyal outlet on a big pine tree on the bank in front of their cabin and the White Tornado would set up an ironing board and plug in an iron so she could continue working while watching her kids (my cousins) swim. Mouse (of course) doesn’t personally remember this but I certainly do.

But back to the outdoor studio. Can I just say how ENVIOUS I am? The next pic is MY fugly fiber arts studio! Yes, it is in the Landfill Dungeon. YES IT IS A MESS DOWN THERE!!! About the only thing it doesn’t have is an oubliette.

To be fair, since I went back to college and subsequently sold my soul to Corporate America, I have not done a whole lot of fiber arts stuff. But that had already dropped off a bit. Let’s face it. Who wants to go down into a messy, badly lit dungeon to work on art (if you can call anything I do “art”). About lighting? I do have enough light to work down there. Unfortunately, there is almost NEVER anything resembling NATURAL LIGHT in the Landfill Dungeon.

I moved my “studio” from various places in the upstairs during various phases of our growing family. I mean I KNOOOOOWWW we only have two children but it’s a small house and as they grew they needed their own spaces. I moved my sewing musheen and associated crapola from an unused bedroom to the back room. But then I couldn’t keep the back room uncluttered with all of the sewing crapola so one day when the GG was somewhere else, I moved the desk and sewing musheen down to the dungeon. All by myself. And bought a whole bunch of Yaffa blocks (google it) to store my fabric.

I need to move back upstairs. I need a natural light source aka WINDOWS! I have my eye on the bigger “children’s” bedroom. This will be a prodject. I need to get some furniture outta that room (but not the bed because people do occasionally use it in non-pandemic times). But I am gonna need some more space… The Kiwanis drop-off will accept donations again someday and I am about ready.

RVAT (polly-tickle rant at the end)

Sunday, June 14th, 2020

Rather random thoughts today…

This is our house. It is not fancy or beautiful except for the chitchen and ONLY bathroom. But look at the beautiful green trees everywhere. We could have traded up to a different house but the kids (and their friends) loved this house and, well, location location location.

I am home alone for the evening and instead of heating up leftovers like I usually do, I am serving myself shrimp piccata with garlic bread and asparagus and salad.

The Ninja dragged me outta my driving stupor this morning and we explored Swan Corners and returned via Dexter and Joy Road. We took Joy because we knew there would be a lot of cyclists on Huron River Drive and we didn’t want to deal with slowing down for them simultaneously with impatient drivers behind us. We also hit downtown A2, where a lot of streets are shut down for construction and/or the pandemic.

Okay. I have said this before and I will say it again. I grew up with parents who voted for republicans. The republican party moved waaaaaay to the right of what my parents believed in and by the end of her life, The Commander was an avid Obama fan. Not sure what dad wouldda thought about Obama and will never know but I am gonna guess that he would not have supported Trump in any way shape or form.

If you are a republican voter who is struggling with Trump, here is a site you might be interested in.

And finally, I think I need to start a separate book blahg or journal maybe so I can keep better track of all the books I’ve been reading.

Strawmask

Saturday, June 13th, 2020

Today’s Rodent Delivery included these two boxes of strawberries from the farmers market and SIX 🐭 made masks, three for the GG ad three for meeeee! Mine are on the left.

These were the first strawberries of the year here (they’re a wee bit late) and we have our eyes peeled for shelling peas but I don’t think they’re available yet. Sugar peas probably are but I’m not all that crazy about those. A lot of people love them but they seem stringy to me. I DOOOOOO love to sit outside and shell peas. But we’ll get there!

I was oot and aboot just a wee bit today on my own doing a weeeeee bit of curbside pickup. In the process, I drove by a few restaurants who have recently “opened up”. Oh dear. This is not going to work well. People waiting to get inside one place were NOT six feet apart. And anyway, is six feet apart an actual scientifically determined measurement? Who knows. I am more comfortable with maybe 20 feet away but whatever. I saw people pushing the envelope on even the six foot distance. Masks? I didn’t see them…

I am not going out to eat *in* a restaurant any time soon. If you are thinking about doing that, whatever you think about your own safety, please please please consider asking the folks who are serving you how they feel about “opening up”. We are ALL *still* vulnerable to contract COVID but we are MORE vulnerable if we are hanging out in restaurants and bars. What about the people who WORK there? Those folks are there for hours and hours and hours as people come in masked or unmasked. And how do you eat/drink with a mask on anyway?

If you DOOOOO dine at a restaurant (inside or out) PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tip extra well. Your servers are risking their lives to serve you.

So my Rodent Delivery Service dropped off this stuff today and since she had a half hour or so before her work started, she sat in the back yard with me (we were at least 20 feet apart). No whine today because she had to go to work.

G’night, KW

yooperguy

Friday, June 12th, 2020

I certainly dated yooper guys back in high school, etc. Like two serious relationships when I was a kid.

And then I left town and never totally connected with anyone for more years than I cared to count. Until I ran in to this character. He was not a yooper in any way shape or form. He grew up in Royal Joke but he did spend summers at his family’s rustic cabin at Houghton Lake… The first time I went up there for a winter weekend with him and a bunch of friends, I started thinking like we might have something in common. The second time (a few weeks later) we drove up with his beautiful sister Susie 🧡 and I met two of his brothers and it wasn’t long after that when we turned into a couple.

I was accepted into his family immediately and was always welcome at Hoton Lake. My fam accepted him too but, oh man, it was a bit difficult for him at the moomincabin in the beginning. My dad and my brother could be authoritarian about a lot of things, botes for one. The GG grew up with botes and was accustomed to taking them out on Hoton Lake whenever he wanted to. Not always so much at the moomincabin because “people” could be fussy about them. Sigh.

The GG, as a twin of terror and smack in the middle of a set of ten siblings, did not particularly respect “authority figures” and he got around that crapola by taking botes out *anyway* and eventually brought a cFam bote up to the moomincabin.

Man oh man. My brother died and then my dad died and the GG became the Boat Master. And one of my moom The Commander’s best friends. He took good care of her and her property in her later years of life. So there he is tonight, the Cabin Master. He opens and closes the moomincabin every year. He has fixed numerous plumbing problems over the years and and he helps with the Old Cabin if needed — he fixed a kitchen sink plumbing issue over there today.

Do you think I married the right guy? I certainly think so. Of course there is no question that we made good children! In a way, that’s all that matters.

Before. Waaaaay before…

Thursday, June 11th, 2020

First a disclaimer. I did not take this photo. My uber cuzzint Pooh sent it to me. I texted it to my dad’s grandchildren, then I posted it on Instagram, cropping it and apping it along the way. I did NOT ask for permission to use this photo and I didn’t ask permission to fold, spindle and mutilate it aka app it. So asking for forgiveness I guess 🐽. I LOVE this pic.

That’s my beloved aunt Radical Betty and my dad (her older brother) and we are all at their older brother Don’s 60th anniversary celebration with his wife Katie aka The White Tornado. These two people have been dead for a while along with their big brother and alas, their much younger sister Bubs, who died in March during the early waves of COVID, although she did not die of the disease. They were all so much fun and I miss them all. I don’t have words for why I miss them and if I did, it would take up many posts.

We hosted our first visitor today since *before*. It was my “baby” cousin npJane, whose mom was Bubs. She parked such that she didn’t have to enter the Landfill to access the back yard, where we could appropriately social distance. The main topic was a minor plumbing issue at the Old Cabin that npJane didn’t have time to research/fix when she was up there but the GG will definitely be able to sort out when he heads back up.

It felt soooo good to meet with my cousin in the back yard today. We’ve been wanting to meet since her mom’s death but so often spring weather in the Great Lake State is crappy enough that meeting outside is not feasible and so we haven’t really been able to do it.

I hope we can someday get back to some sort of “normalcy” but it has to be science-based, not political. We did talk about an afternoon backyard social distancing whine type event where My Dear Uncle Harry (npJane’s dad) could join us and I am totally on board with that🧡🧡🧡

Love y’all. But let’s “open up” slowly!!!

Schpilkas/Schpilkes

Wednesday, June 10th, 2020

I facetimed with MMCB from the back yard this morning. Hot and humid here but the breeze helped. We discussed (among many other things) our pandemic shopping habits. I have not been in a store since March 12. It was a liqwire store and I was on my way home from my last day working AT Cubelandia. I’m pretty sure some people think I am over the top but that’s my comfort level and it is what it is. Fortunately I live in a cornucopia of sorts and can get pretty much whatever I need with a little creativity.

MMCB? She likes to pick out her own groceries and doesn’t trust others to do it for her. She is not out every other day but she does shop in person. She is CAREFUL (wears a mask and follows the rules) and has cobbled together a short list of stores she’s comfortable enough to go inside. Costco, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s are her faves. Well, Costco is ALWAYS her fave. Whole Foods is not usually.

If she is shopping somewhere and employees are not wearing masks, she ASKS TO SEE THE MANAGER! She is not a “Karen”, rather she is the Quintessential Jewish Mother. She comes by that honestly as she *is* both Jewish and a mother. As I have always said, I would much rather be on the other side of a Barry Bagels table from her than the other end of a service call. I hope I AM on the other side of a Barry Bagels table from her again sometime. It won’t be soon.

I tried to point out that it is possible to do curbside pickup and get decent food if you are careful about where you shop and what you shop for but I’m not sure I was very convincing. She mentioned that she’d had to wait 20 minutes to get in to TJ’s and I said “I hate to wait” and apparently that’s something called schpilkas (or schpilkes, the inter-tubes are divided). I love Yiddish words. Radical Betty used to call people she didn’t like “schlecks”. I used that word with my Jewish buddies once and they were like “what is a schleck?” and gnoffing like crazy. I think the word RB was reaching for was “schlub”. But then she was a Scottish yooper.

I was telecommuting from the back yard today and all of a sudden, a, uh, TREE came around the corner and invaded my space.

Eventually we got some much-needed rainstorms. Intermittent drenching rain and high winds. Rumbly thunder all around us but no visible lightning that I saw. I won’t have to water my flowers for a couple days and The Ninja has lost its COVID hair (seed material) and it is 20-something degrees cooler (down from 93). But it’s summer [almost] and this is the Great Lake State and what the heck, we could have snow tomorrow. But probably won’t🐽

Extra thanks to Mouse/Raccoon for the booze/beer/Frito run for us and FlaMan today.

Love y’all, KW

More eggs!

Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

I think I have posted that we have a second robin nest and today the intrepid GG got my selfie-stick up there to check out what’s going on. Two eggs and “we” think that will be all for this nest.

The Big Question is, is it the same parents or a new pair? We do not know. We know that robins sometimes lay more than one set of eggs per season. We know (we think) that they sometimes re-use the old nest but they also sometimes build a new one. I am only guessing about this but I think this is the same set of parents. Why? Because it’s a rather unusual egg color for robin eggs (that I know of, I am NOT a bird expert by any stretch of the imagination), darker than the usual. This color matches my kitchen tile backsplash. So, I dunno. Actually, the GG says more-or-less NAY and that the color is more a function of what they eat. I dunno what HE knows but I guess WE probably dunno who the parents are.

I draaaaaggggged myself out of the Landfill and surrounding neighborhood on Sunday, faaaaaarrrring up the Ninja for a mini-roadtrip down to Swan Corners. There is a swan pair who have SEVEN cygnets this year. That seems like an astounding number to me. I could not get a picture. Although people DO park at Swan Corners, there isn’t what I regard as a safe place to park. Well unless there’s a RARE bird sighting down there, then the roads are lined with parked cars and people with scopes are everywhere.

Driving? It’s just weird to me these days. I can’t describe it. I mean I can certainly drive just fine but I’m going slower, at least around town, and I am hyper-aware of my surroundings. Well, maybe that’s not different. I have always concentrated when driving. I was talking to my boss and she was saying sorta the same thing so maybe I’m not crazy.

And just now I made an off-hand remark to the GG about how HOT it was this afternoon. His response? Is the FAAAAANN on? The faaaaannn is a “whole house” fan and it isn’t as good as the central A/C that we rarely turn on but it does have a decent cooling effect. How the heck could I have forgotten the FAAAAANNN? Jeebus. Of course, I COULD also work outside. Is there an outlet out here? Hmmmm… We have outdoor outlets at the moomincabin… Oh wait, I guess we doooo have an outdoor outlet, just where I need it.

Also brown…

Monday, June 8th, 2020

I don’t usually call people’s birthdays out on this boring blahg of blather but it is my youngest [biological] niece’s birthday today. I won’t tell you the number. That’s her business. Except to say that it is high enough to make me want to say what my dad once said to me, which was “happy UNbirthday”. That was because MY age reminded him of HIS age.

Anyway, it is pretty hard when you get to the part of the birthday song where you have to insert the person’s name to fit in “Pengo Janetto Cookie Tester Penguin Hoosh” (although it might extend the handwashing song during the coronavirus). It was the summer a lot of us were reading “Endurance” about Shackleton’s voyage to Antarctica. They ate a lot of what they called “penguin hoosh” and my niece is a long-time penguin lover so we started calling her Pengo Janetto Penguin Hoosh.

One day she was out of sorts about something. I have NO CLUE what it was. My parents ended up with four granddaughters (two and two) and when you have four young children in your cabin during the summer arguments sometimes happen. So I don’t remember what happened but The Commander came to the rescue as she always did. She was making chocolate chip cookies and she enlisted Pengo as a “cookie tester”. I dunno why that worked but Pengo got distracted and “Cookie Tester” became part of her “name”.

I can’t say that The Comm was as adept at handling sibling conflicts between my brother and I but she was great at dealing with her grandchildren and I believe she was probably a better influence on their lives than their parents were.

Brown? We aren’t sure what happened to this tree but all of a sudden, like two weeks ago, EVERY NEEDLE turned brown. Dead dead dead.

And… at the moment some of us are in an argument about whether states AUTOMATICALLY register all applicants for drivers licenses to VOTE. I say NAY. I am midway in the process to research this (for Michigan and California) and so far I don’t see anything on either website that they hand out a voter registration form to anyone who meets our country’s requirements to vote whether or not they get a driver’s license. Stay tuned… 🐽🐽🐽

Green green

Sunday, June 7th, 2020

Where do I start? I actually did some DUSTING (with WET microfiber towels) this weekend AND some sorting out of things to be donated once things can be donated again. For now, donations are mostly not accepted anywhere and I understand that.

I have been impressed by the folks who have spent their pandemic time cleaning out closets, etc. I have been doing that off and on over a number of years but having to intake deceased parents’ stuff slows the whole thing down. Even though The Commander spent YEARS doing what people are now calling Death Cleaning, we still have parental stuff to deal with… And then there’s the stuff the cFam doesn’t want to get rid of and some of it is in our house…

I have been COVID telecommuting since March and probably will be at least until the end of 2020 if the latest corporate missives are correct. Yes really and why was it that I didn’t want to work for Corporate America again? They treat me so well. Except I still have a grocery bag over at Cubelandia if they decide to RIF me. You never know. I will be okay no matter what happens but I remain happy to have a good job for now.

This weekend I was FINALLY able to stop feeling so NUMB from COVID fear that I could restart my off and on flinging project. Just a wee bit today but what I did made me sorta feel good. I can’t drop any of it off for now but one of these days I’ll be able to. When our fave drop-off places figger out contact-free dropoff, we’ll be there.

Here is the New Christy Minstrels on YouTube with Green Green. I remember this from when my grandparents used to take the whole fam out for a steak dinner at the old Holiday Inn up in the Yooperland (corner of old US2 and M28). People (not my grandfather) would play Green Green on the jukebox. This was an old-fashioned traveler’s type inn and not related to the Holiday Inn hotels we all know.

Social distance whine

Saturday, June 6th, 2020

So, okay, the request was something like, I get off at seven and I have a camp chair in my car so maybe we could have some whine together socially distanced in the Landfill backyard.

Yes yes yes yes! You don’t need to bring your camp chair, you can use the purple adirondack chair. But buy some decent whine because I’ve been living off box whine for the duration. And please use your Venmo Grock buxx to buy the whine. Oh and some plain yogurt because the yogurt container I opened today contained homemade sandwich thins which freaked me out for a split second. What? BTW, Box whine is fine but meeting up with your daughter for the first time in person since COVID (except for masked front door convos) calls for something a wee bit more refined.

So here is my setup for social distance whine with a grockery worker (who has *probably* already had COVID but we can’t be too careful, no tests available at the time). The purple adirondack is probably more like 20 feet away from where I’m seated on the red adirondack. And there is a table with whine glasses and a corkscrew out there in the yard. Later filled with two bottles of whine and I cleaned the bird poop off it💩

I am missing the days when this person and her SO would come over and do laundry and have dinner. They have their own laundry facilities now and since COVID our meetings have involved drop-offs and pick-ups at the front door (not laundry, they were doing that by hand). We are strategizing on how to arrange a family dinner later in the month utilizing our big back yard to social distance. These are challenging times but we will figger it all out somehow. At least we are not plane rides away from each other. That would be so hard.

Clorox success and other trivia

Friday, June 5th, 2020

Since the beginning, I have been scouting for Clorox wipes on Amazon. At first I was actually trying to BUY them, with no success, now it’s just curiosity about whether they are available (NOT). I had one canister going into this and Rodent Delivery brought me a couple more when they were available and I’ve been rationing them all. I don’t really NEED tons of them anyway. I can clean most things in my house with other cleaners. Dish detergent is what I usually use in the kitchen anyway and liquid barkeepers friend does a good job on the tub.

Of all things, on about Monday I did my usual search for wipes on Amazon and lo and behold, there was one canister. Not even marked “prioritized for health care workers” or whatever. So I ordered it. The delivery date window was June 11-16 and I figured it would get delivered or not and either way I didn’t really care. But it arrived today! I’ve also looked on Amazon every other day this week and NO LUCK.

I picked up my curbside grocery order from the Plum this morning and that worked like a charm, even snagged some Copper River salmon. I guess that’s gonna return to being my main place to get grocks. I’ll still use some of my other sources and save some little items for an occasional Rodent Delivery so we can have masked convos through the screen.

Absentee ballot APPLICATIONS arrived this week and I was able to photograph my completed app and EMAIL it to the city clerk. For a moment I was tempted to check the “always send me an absentee ballot” box but I am not ready to give up in-person voting just yet. I did sign up for both the August and November elections.

Finally managed to get Murder Hornet out of the Landfill. I wasn’t really trying although I do feel bad to let buggy things die if they are not pests. I will kill MOE-skee-TOES and biting flies without a second thought and I will fold, spindle, and mutilate ticks. But I couldn’t figure out how to corral him without the risk of getting stung so we were rather peacefully coexisting as he tried in vain to get out the front window by the Green Couch. A fair number of deliveries happened today and while I was out fetching one of them, I noticed that he was hovering by the screen door so I held it wide open and he found his way out.

Is that all? Yeah, I guess that’s all.

In which a “murder hornet” 🐝 invades TeleCubelandia

Thursday, June 4th, 2020

Will I ever go back to RealCubelandia? Yes, probably. I remember the first time I walked into that place. I had never been inside a cube farm before and here I was and who was this big bear of a man who would become my beloved boss. 12 years now although the LSCHP has moved on and now I work for Amazon Woman.

I think we will re-open the office at some point. I don’t know when but when we do it sounds like we won’t be forced to return since things are working very well as they are.

I miss:
— my Zen Commute, purring over there in the Ninja (plus that I can telecommute when it snows)
— not having to be with the GG 24/7 (I married you for better or worse but not for lunch)
— having an accessible printer because sometimes a hard copy makes it easier to focus on a complex issue
— Farmer John’s lunchroom market!
— the “nature” surrounding RealCubelandia
— A/C, at least I’m starting to miss it (we have central A/C, I just don’t like to use it)
— FZ but he retaaaarrrred a month ago so he won’t be there when we do re-open

But here at TeleCubelandia, I have:
— the Green Couch
— nature, just different nature
— neighborhood goings on to monitor (dogz and their people, street cleaners, garbage trucks, whatever)
— my own personal bathroom
— being able to sit in the back yard (now that it’s usually warm enough) for breaks and an after-work cocktail

My fave @PlumMarket recently started up delivery and curbside pickup. I have a direct connection to that market so I have been getting personal deliveries from there since The Beginning but I also have been eye-balling their new service and today I made my first order, which I am scheduled to pick up tomorrow morning at 9:00 AM. They had afternoon pickup slots available but what the heck, I am a morning person. If all goes well, that may become my main shopping method although I will still use some of the others.

Because I didn’t know how the pickup would work over there, I made a little reconnaissance run over to their parking lot in the Ninja today. It needed to be “droven” anyway, since the last time anyone drove it was last Saturday when I moved it from the street to the driveway. It was covered with seeds and other organic material. We need a really good rain!

So I was oot and aboot for a bit today and wouldn’t you know, there was a PROTEST in Vet’s Park near the skate park (across N. Maple from the Plum). I saw a po-leese car with its lights flashing in the Aldi’s lot on my way OVER to the Plum but I didn’t see the protest until I was on my return trip. It looked VERY peaceful and quite sparsely attended. This is a liberal, relatively upscale city and our local police do not have a reputation for brutality but I know that bad things sometimes happen. Not today. Thank you Zeus.

Oh yeah, somehow some kind of fugly stinging insect made its way into TeleCubelandia this afternoon (I’m sure it is not an actual “murder hornet”). That kind of thing rarely happens at RealCubelandia. Sometimes there are fruit flies when Farmer John’s Market is in full swing and once a wolf spider and about a bazillion spider babies caused FZ to jump out of his skin at a meeting. But Amazon Woman swung into action and stage-managed them all OUT. As she does.

G’night, KW

Back to nature

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020

Not sure if we have more, uh, “nature” around here this year or if I’m just noticing it more because I am a COVID telecommuter.

Robins? Yes, we have robins. In spades. If you are one o’ my nine reglear nucular taggers, you’ve watched the first batch of robins from hatch to fledge. We now have a new nest of incubating eggs. It’s in a different location. We do not know if these parents are the same as those from the first nest or different parents. Apparently robins often raise more than one set of babies during a season. Sometimes they re-use the original nest, sometimes not.

Anyway, this is the “lee” of our beloved/crappy little house, The Landfill, where the AAAAA-dition walls meet the original house. The arrow pointing to the left is the original nest. The other is the new nest.

Yay for me for actually remembering how to photoshop those arrows into the photoooo. And yay for vector graphics! Although I have a full-fledged (albeit ancient) version of PS on my MacBook Pro, at work my main graphics app is Snagit. It is not as robust as Photoshop but it’s great for annotating screenshots in all kinds of creative ways and therefore crucial to my job. I love Snagit and I ROCK IT!

I believe there is yet another robin’s nest. I was untangling a snakus horribilis mess of garden hoses today (I needed to water my impatiens) and some of the horribilis got LOOPED on something around the corner behind where I’m standing in the first pic. As I rounded the corner (cursing!), I spooked a bird. I think it was a robin. I looked up and saw what looked like a robin’s nest (or nest in progress) on a little platform next to a drainpipe. We’ll see.

And there were chickadees nesting in the birdhouse but I think they fledged without telling me they were gonna do that.

Over at Cubelandia we see a different set of wildlife, mostly waterbirds. Geese geese geese. Ducks. Great Blues. Cranes. Egrets. Also EAGLES and things. And then there are killdeers and goldfinches and the red-wing blackbirds that didn’t poop all over Ninja’s mirrors this year because I wasn’t there because COVID. And I dunno what else but probably robins.

New outlets!!!

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020

I kinda wanted to title this something like “The moomincabin joins the 21st century” but the moomincabin has joined the 21st century a few times now.

We’ve had computers and the internet at the moomincabin since the late 20th century but doing anything besides a simple email or webpage update was a pain in the U-KNOW-WHAT because dial-up. Nevertheless, we persisted and my boring blahg of blather was born the summer of 2003. I created it mainly because mus musculus and I were at the cabin and the GG and Lizard Breath (a rising college sophomore!) were on The Planet Ann Arbor. I hate talking on the phone so I started writing little entries about all the interesting things happening at the cabin. Grandaddy patrolling the old road, etc.

Late summer 2007!!! Still on dial-up at the moomincabin. But. After kvetching about how I would not be an early adopter of the iPhone, guess what? I became an early adopter of the iPhone. We bought TWO one Sunday afternoon and the next day I fetched Uber Kayak Woman from Metro and we blasted north. We only had the Edge service at the cabin and it was horrifically slow but I was able to post something on the internet (I fergit what, maybe I just sent an email) FROM MY PHONE!!!

2011: I was stuck up at the moomincabin because The Commander was in a rehab facility. Two things: 1) That was the summer that the 4G network came to the beach. 2) I got so frustrated by trying to actually WORK (i.e., telecommute) using a dial-up modem that I made the executive decision to obtain a DSL! Wow did that ever make a difference. And Jamadots does a great job. I don’t think we’ve ever had bad service.

2020: We drove down the cabin road when we arrived for Memorial Day weekend and there were little white flags and things everywhere. The GG was going on and on about marking for road grading and I was half listening. But then they were in our driveway too and road grading doesn’t include our driveway… I went to open the cabin door and there was an “excuse our mess” hanger thingy on the door handle. WE’RE PUTTING IN FIBER!!! What the heck? We don’t even have fiber here on the Planet Ann Arbor. Hopefully that means we can get rid of the DSL, which we don’t need.

So today, the GG (yes, he is at the cabin and I think he is social distancing although I know he went to Meijer and Ace Hardware today🐽) installed two new outlets. One is an outdoor outlet so people who mostly read booooooks on their phones can charge their phones while reading outside, weather permitting. The other is just a new-fangled outlet with USB ports.

When we built the moomincabin, it had lucky-shucky, cold running water in the kitchen sink from a garden hose hooked up to my uncle’s well, an OUTHOUSE, NO SHOWER, and NO TELEPHONE! We’ve come a looooonnnng way.

I am not ready

Monday, June 1st, 2020

So what happened to the coronavirus? I mean while the country descended into various sorts of madness over the weekend. Is it over yet? I mean the madness. I know the coronavirus isn’t over. But can I come outta my bunker now? Are there tanks out there yet?

No. There are no tanks on the Planet Ann Arbor. With my Caucasian middle class privilege, I spent the weekend in my beloved little house in a nice albeit not fancy neighborhood. Woods behind me and green everywhere at this time of year. No tanks or rubber bullets or tear gas. Just families and dog-walkers going by my front window and birds and animals everywhere.

Fittingly, I finished “Them” (Joyce Carol Oates) during my lunch hour today. It is set in Detroit and ends with the Detroit riots. The riots that convinced my Detroit grandparents to move from their beautiful art deco house on Mark Twain out to the Oakland county upscale suburb Birmingham.

Sometime in the afternoon I checked Twitter and there was Big Gretch (who I like and support and it’s an affectionate nickname) announcing that the Great Lake State is opening up again. All of it, not just the yooperland. (Actually I don’t remember about Detroit but the Planet Ann Arbor is.) There are restrictions, of course. I haven’t internalized them but I think they involve fewer people in restaurants and other places of business at a time and masks. I don’t understand how you can eat with a face mask on but whatever.

The thing is… I AM NOT READY YET. I still don’t trust the virus. I know our guv is listening to scientific experts but I also think she is being politically pressured. I do not believe that COVID is anywhere near under control, especially with all of the protests. Yeah, people were outside where (“they’re” telling us) it doesn’t spread easily. Data please! Some of them were wearing masks. But there were also a lot of intimate interpersonal interactions, like when the police arrested people. And what about those who ended up crowded into jails?

Whether or not we see a “bump” in virus numbers from last weekend, I am not ready for prime time. I sincerely hope that my fave curbside pickup places continue to offer that service indefinitely. Actually, at least for restaurants, I would think that continuing curbside would be good for business, since they can’t (I don’t think) pack customers in like in “normal” times. Thinking fondly of all those days we would pack into Knight’s 3-4 deep at the bar before our table was ready. Making new friends every time. But not ready.

OK [grumptastic] boomer

Sunday, May 31st, 2020

I had planned a reading/mending day and I largely did that. I guess I had also been planning hoping to read/mend OUTSIDE. It was a very pretty day but chilly enough for most of the morning that I hung in my TeleCube aka the Green Couch and even bundled up a bit in a blanket early in the morning. Eventually I moved outside. Sun? Yes. Tooooo HOT. Shade? Needed a polartech jacket.

Today’s mending prodject was this tiered skirt and I reattached tiers that are in the process of disconnecting from the skirt. This is not the first time I have done this. It’s a pretty dern cheaply made skirt but I love it and want to keep wearing it. It’s from Soft Surroundings and I shouldda bought two or three because they do not HAVE them any more. I hate when that happens. I like Soft Surroundings but a lot of the stuff they sell kinda looks like what the GG calls Women’s Bedclothes. Including this tiered skirt I suppose. I didn’t do a fancy creative mending job, just black thread.

Bird update: robins are hanging about but not working on the nest that I can tell. But maybe they finished it? Chickadee-dee-dee-dees actively feeding babies all afternoon.

News? I cannot process the week’s current events. There are so many moving parts that my brain has pretty much shut down. I had an OK boomer moment today with our Rodent Delivery Service. I’m not sure what “generation” my children belong to. Are they millennials? Or are they older than that? They are not Gen-Xers. Where do they fit in? Anyway, during a brief masked convo through the front door, I opined that the protests are going to spread the virus. I felt chastened when my rodent gently reminded me why the protests are happening. I do understand. Here I am sheltering myself from a randomly deadly disease and I am also sheltered from the violence happening in so many of our cities. Note that this wasn’t an argument in any way, shape, or form. It was simply a moment of clarity for me. I am proud of our younger generation and their sense of justice.

So a rather slodgy day for me in some ways. Thinking back, I should’ve taken the Ninja for a drive down to Swan Corners where I see on facebook there is a brood of SIX SEVEN cygnets!

Onward!

Flora and (mostly) fauna

Saturday, May 30th, 2020

I took this (badly framed) photo yesterday and wouldn’t you know, this morning a “memory” popped up of an identical (but better framed) pic from one year ago. I didn’t even remember we HAD any irises in the yard.

Fauna? Wow! After a morning of chores and errands, I decamped to the Landfill back yard where various beings were BUSY! Chickadee parents feeding babies in their birdhouse, robin parents building a nest, hummingbearsbirds buzzing me, and Henrietta’s baby hopping around. Squirrels and chippies running all over the place doing their thing too.

What did I unbox today?
— Soap (8 bars of white non-antibacterial Dial bath soap). This transaction is the one for which my debit card got declined. I mean buying SOAP on the Internet is suspicious activity?
— A new red colander to replace one that recently disentegrated disintegrated.
— A reusable gold 4-cup coffee filter for our little Mr. Coffee (because try as I did, I couldn’t get paper ones on the internet).
— A new Patagonia polartech vest to replace the one on which the zipper disintegrated and I didn’t have the oomph to replace it (oddly enough I am contemplating “slow” mending for other garments).
— Two (yes, really) copies of the Bantam needlecraft “encyclopedia” that I scrambled to find (in my house) a few weeks ago. I now own four copies, three here and one at the moomincabin.
— A book on darning that I ordered from the UK (plus already received one that 🐭 pointed me to).
— I did NOT unbox an item from Williams Sonoma because that one is for Father’s Day.

Note that some of these boxes have been sitting around here for a while. I wasn’t exactly “quarantining” them. More often I knew what was in them and had no need to open them when they arrived. I save most of my unboxing for the weekend. The only box that arrived TODAY was laundry detergent pods and that just arrived so I haven’t opened it yet because I’m hanging out with a ‘hattan in the back yard. Also I have a couple weeks worth of laundry pods around but I ordered these earlier than I usually would because the last time I tried to order them I had trouble finding them…

What did I order today?
— 2 large bottles of dish detergent
— ketchup
— balsamic vinegar
— corn oil
— pine nuts and sliced almonds from nuts.com (great source!)
— Mophie iPhone charging case for use at the moomincabin (not a replacement for my beauteous Pickle Finger case)

And so goodnight

Friday, May 29th, 2020

This is a placeholder blahg entry. I have nothing to say. A day of work and then some face-time porterization not to mention a lot of “processing”. That woman wearing women’s bedclothes is on now and I am heading in to that other room. Love y’all… KW.

Potato chips and upsleeve panty hose

Thursday, May 28th, 2020

Throughout most of the pandemic, I have been ordering a lot of non-perishable grocery items from Amazon (or wherever). Maybe after this is all over (whenever that may be), I will make a list of everything I ordered on Amazon and post it.

Today I ordered potato chips! Lays Ruffles, three 8-oz. bags. Potato chips are one of my fave snacks in life but since we’ve been hunkering down, my appetite has been pretty dern low. Last night? I. WANTED. POTATO CHIPS. So… I ordered them online. Part of me can’t believe I did this. Yes, Rodent Grock Delivery could’ve picked them up from her trip to Meijer today. But why should RGD have to spend time wandering around finding things I can order online. But we’ll see how this works out and whether I actually eat potato chips when they get here. Probably will though🐽

And YES, I once (see yesterday’s comments 🐸) had the loverly experience of pulling a pair of panty hose out of my ski jacket in front of my parents as I was trying to put it (the jacket) on for, uh, church. Yes. We were going to church. I’m not sure I’m remembering all of this accurately but it was the day after my cousin Mac’s wedding and a bunch of us had ended up in a sauna or something at the now-defunct Ramada Inn in Sault Ste. Siberia the night before. Did we have clothes on? I can’t remember THAT. But I definitely took my panty hose off. And stuffed them up my jacket sleeve… Girl gone wild? Wannabee maybe. It was all so much fun and a great memory!

And then I grew up. With one foot solidly on the ground. And the other waving around having fun and thinking outta the box! No nude saunas for me ever again though🐽

Love y’all, KW

Face mask scramble (not entirely safe for work)

Wednesday, May 27th, 2020

So, after our return from our contact-free (almost) junket to the yooperland over the weekend, I washed both of our beautiful batik rodent-made face masks.

Okay, first… Almost contact-free? I stayed totally outside the prescribed 6-foot distance from anyone and acted as the Social Distancing Police to keep those I wanted to hug like crazy from touching each other. I do want to ask who came up with 6-foot number and how they tested its efficacy but that’s a whole ‘nother thing. There were a few momentary instances of closer contact, masked and not touching the folks we want so much to hug as tightly as we can. And the short (masked) trip the GG made into a small hardware store that I reported yesterday.

So we got home and I washed our masks along with a bunch of other laundry. I was SURE I washed both masks and I was SURE that they were both around when I was sorting the cleaned laundry. TODAY? I could NOT find my mask ANYWHERE! Mind you I wasn’t GOING anywhere so no need for it but I was devastated that I might have lost it. Did I really see it AFTER the laundry was done? I was missing a SOCK too.

Okay. The GG found the sock PDQ. It was stuck inside one of his fancy outdoor garments that attract other fabrics. Large garments announce their presence by getting tangled up. Small garments like socks, bikini underwear, and MASKS get hidden.

I was really upset about losing this mask… But then… I was sitting outside having an after-work cocktail and the GG came out WITH MY MASK IN HIS HAND. Wanna know where he found it? This is kind of embarrassing but he folded up a pair of pants yesterday and threw them in the closet. He unfolded them ONE MORE TIME today and there was my MASK stuck in the, uh, crotch. “Crotch” is a word The Commander used unabashedly, usually to refer to children who managed to encrust that area of their anatomy with sand up at the moominbeach but sometimes she used it for other purposes🐽 At least the “crotch” of his pants was clean, having been freshly laundered with a bunch of other laundry, including my mask.

The pic is just as we were turning in for Monday night in the Lyme Lounge, which we have tucked up next to the moomincabin for the duration. It is a tiny 13-foot Scamp trailer, easy to pull without a 5th-wheel or whatever but no bathroom facilities. The moomincabin has modern (but basic) plumbing including a SMALL bathroom so we use that for showers and whatever. If I have to P at 3AM, I just walk outside and hope I don’t take a whole bunch of MOE-skee-TOES back in with me like I did Monday night🐽 Nyeeeeeeeee Nyeeeeeee. Yuck.

Our trailer is not built for people much taller than the GG and I. We are somewhere around 5-and-a-half feet each. I think he edges me out a bit. We are comfortable sleeping in the Scamp. Anyone much taller than us would not be. We could certainly sleep inside the moomincabin (and often do) but the Lyme Lounge is SO comfortable🧡