Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

This happened today

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

I was not there. This photooo was probably taken around the time I was sitting in my loverly once-dog-poopy cube staring out through the lunchroom windows (seriously, I think I have the only cube with a window view). FZ came around the corner for some reason and started laughing out loud. I didn’t really need to ask what he was laughing at (meeeee) but I did and he confirmed that I looked like I was cogitating upon life, the universe, and everything. Well, no, not really. Just SWIFT. That brought gales of laughter from multiple people. Yes, I was down a rabbit hole involving translating information from one file format to a totally different one. I spent all day working down in one little rabbit hole. It was almost as much fun as the archaeological digs I often find myself doing. Good times.

Later on I was the recipient of a photo of our Griz bartender at the Session House Brewery following the purchase of a brand new vee-hickle. Again, I was not there. I dunno. I kind of know what retaaaarrrrment feels like because I actually “retired” once upon a time. That would be the 14 years I spent between my childhood job and my adult job (the one I have now). Not that I didn’t do a whole heckuva lotta *work* during those 14 years but we won’t go into that. The good parts of those years involved the complete flexibility to pack up and head to HL or Siberia or wherever *whenever* the GG could get time off, and he had a *lot* of time off! The bad thing was that I really wanted to work my way into earning money again but could not for the life of me figure out what to do or how I would ever get hired again. I have an odd set of rather amorphous skills, plus I am probably the worst interviewee on earth. As it turned out, I *fell* into the coziest job on earth and I was happy to be there today.

Maybe kayaking this weekend? I have not done any “extreme” kayaking for a few years now, so I will have to start out slowly. And by “extreme” kayaking, I do not mean running river rapids or going over the Upper Tahquamenon Falls or anything like that. I am just talking flat-water kayaking for more than a mile or so.

But we’ll see. I am going to go in and wash my face and then we are heading over to Ypsilanti for a little reunion with some of the folks we know from the Haisley Mafia (the elementary school our kids went to). We have moved apart via various means (distance, busy-ness, etc.) but we were always good friends and still are. Gotta go, KW!

New profile pic? Or… not…

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

Just don’t look at the shirt. He has a Shakey Jake shirt too. That shirt is a lot more PC than this one but the Shakey Jake *tank top* didn’t cut it with me the day (a billion years ago) we took many thousands of dollars out of one savings account in cash and DROVE it over to another bank to deposit it. We were concentrating cash for the impending purchase of The Landfill. I made him put a shirt on *over* the Shakey Jake tank top. We paid $65K for this place back then and I was counting one-a-thousand, two-a-thousand, three-a-thousand, ten every night. I will not tell you what Zillow says this place is worth nowadays. Doesn’t matter because we aren’t selling. Cracks me up that one of the primary functions of the banking product I work on nowadays is to concentrate cash.

Anyway, I never know what I am going to come home to these days. Yesterday the GG was nowhere to be found. About the time I texted to ask if he was out walking somewhere, he texted that he was at Nicola’s Books. Today? He was out the door as soon as I drove in! Whaaaa? “I’m taking your car and going to Kroger!” Okay. We were apparently out of fake sausage. It’s okay. He spacified me for a bit and even topped off my gas tank. I HATE trying to fill ‘er up during work commutes. That’s zen time for me.

So, the Shed. The GG CLEANED THE SHED OUT TODAY! Oh, not that we don’t do it every other year or two or five. We probably did it last year. I *used* to occasionally do it all by myself. Alas, it always involved hauling ten tons of crap out on to the lawn and shoehorning it back in. Old pieces of lumber that we might use someday. You know the drill. I kind of gave up after I got a job somewhat simultaneously with starting to inherit a whole bunch of crap from my parents, may they rest in peace! But today, the GG GOT RID OF A WHOLE BUNCH OF CRAP! HURRAH!!!! I would really like to replace The Shed with something more aesthetically pleasing. This is just an ancient tin thingy with doors that are difficult to deal with. We’ll see what we get up to. It’s not like it’s a chitchen or water closet that we visit multiple times per day.

When we bought the place, the previous owner (who put the shed in) alerted us to the fact that he had caught young boys UrbanP-ing off the roof of the shed on their way to school. I don’t think we have ever had that kind of incident although I have caught a guy urbanP-ing *behind* the shed a few times.

I like to drive lawnmowers with tornadoes approaching and keep an eye on them

Monday, June 5th, 2017

Y’all have seen the viral story, roight? The guy is mowing his lawn. His 9-year-old daughter rouses her moom from a nap (I do not take naps so I do not understand this) to alert moom that Dad is outside mowing the lawn and there is something that looks like a tornado in the sky. And dad won’t come inside. Yeah.

The rest of this I do understand. A version of this happened at the Landfill many moons ago. Except that we don’t usually *see* tornadoes outside the Landfill windows. There are so many trees and houses, etc., that what we see is an ugly dark-green sky. Who the heck knows where the tornado is or even if there *is* one. Maybe it’s just a “mere” derecho.

Anyway, the viral lawn mowing dad made his way around the internet and all I could think about (and some other people thought about this too) was a time back in the Jurassic Age when the tornado siren was blowing and:

Hans (I miss Hans) and the GG were carefully photographing two BIG moths breeding in a crack between sidewalk panes (“panes”? Is that a correct term or am I crazy. The great Google says I am crazy).

Some hired foresters across the street were chipping up big pieces of wood. That was louder than the tornado siren and it was louder than…

The beach urchins, who SCREAMED as they threw every single blasted stuffed aminal down the stairs into the basement. Some of them are still down there…

You can sorta “sing” the title to the tune of “I love to go swimming with bow-legged women and dive between their legs.” I cannot tell you how long it took me to find a version of this song that sounded like the song my dad sang when I was a little kid. This guy (who is wonderful!) has the tune right but, in my dad’s version of the song, he would *dive* between the bow-legged woman’s legs.

Anyway, no tornadoes or derechos here tonight and my planned vacay and telecommuting for the summer has been officially approved. Love y’all, KW!

Bean brained sluggo

Sunday, June 4th, 2017

Lemme see…Twitter play of the day:

Title: I am a man. I cannot find milk.

@tmotu [making a wee brek]: Do you want any eggs?

@kayakwoman: Just one, scrambled, and use some of that wee bottle of milk you bought yesterday.

[typical brek noises from the chitch]

@tmotu: Where is the milk?

@kayakwoman: In the refrigerator.

@tmotu: No it’s not.

@kayakwoman: Yes it is, it’s in the door, on the shelf with the orange juice.

@tmotu: No it’s not.

@kayakwoman [getting up to look for the milk that she saw on the shelf in the door with the orange juice earlier in the morning]: There it is!

Where was it? It was on Gertrude’s stovetop, where @tmotu had put it after he got it out of the refrigerator.

That was a rare moment of clarity for me today. I have been in a pretty big brain fog today due to the cold virus I keep yammering away about. I got my default 10K steps and then some in today but I also did a whole lot of chilling, which I needed, as groggy as I was this morning. I am immersed in a book. What the heck am I reading now? The Rabbit Back Literature Society, translated from the Finnish. “Speculative fiction in translation” is how @bookriot billed it. I am two thirds through it and am enjoying it greatly. Read it if you dare!

Beast of burden

Saturday, June 3rd, 2017

It was a pretty regular Saturday At Home for us with an 0-skunk-30 trip to the farmers market, chores up the wazoo (for me, at least), and a hike downtown to the Griz for lunch.

There was a Man Splainer down there today. He seems to be a friend of our bartender Jenel and although he was LOUD and OPINIONATED, I chose to keep a low profile and try to figger out what he was all about. One thing he [loudly] opined about was that vee-hickles don’t need trailer hitches or roof racks. Why not just rent a vee-hickle when you need something like that? Well, why not? If you *frequently* haul trailers, then you probably want a hitch. And we *frequently* do (and have for many years). Our own Lyme Lounge and the Cfam Trash Trailer. The roof rack? If you haul kayaks, you need some way to put them on the roof. That is all. That is the one time I spoke up, well except there was something about kids didn’t need backpacks, they could just carry their books in their arms. Well, friends, I am here to say that, walking to junior high and high school back in the days when we had to walk four miles uphill each way in waist deep snow, I (like most kiddos) carried a *clipboard* (remember those) with all of my books and papers and things stacked up on it. That was in my left arm. I carried my flute in my right hand. I can’t remember how the Man Splainer got onto that train of thought. I didn’t speak up to him (what would be the point) but I did an aside to the *other* bartender about the clipboard and the flute and all and I think he thought it was pretty funny, especially the flute, which I didn’t explain 😉 As he is more my kids’ age, I’m sure he carried a backpack.

Anyway it was all fun and, although he had plenty to say, I never did quite figger out the Man Splainer’s polly-ticks, which is what I was kinda trying to do. To make it short, “Trump is an idiot but Benghazi.” Okay, maybe I do have it figgered out.

And then we took a bus back over to the west side. We’ve been taking the 32, which is loverly but it takes us to Skyline High and then around to the freeway park-and-ride and that’s all cool but it takes a while so I, all by myself, discovered the 31, which goes out Huron, branches off onto Dexter and we can either get off at Aldi’s (like we did today) or across the intersection (which we will do next time). From either stop, we can easily walk to the Plum Market, which is what we did today. It was a super-quick ride.

Here is my own personal Beast of Burden hauling a backpack home from the Plum Market. There are a few grokkeries in it. He also hauled most of our load of produce, etc., from the farmers market to the Ninja this morning. I love shopping at the farmers market but I almost always wish I had a couple more pairs of arms and today I needed an extra brain or two. And then, this afternoon after we had already been to the Plum, I had the audacity to send my Beast of Burden BACK to the Plum to get an essential item that I had forgotten to obtain when we were over there earlier. I did let him take my vee-hickle 😉

Not my fave Rolling Stones song but here is Beast of Burden. I’d have to think about what my fave RS song is…

Mother Nature

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

I found this little robin’s egg while walking this morning. I wanted to take it home but I didn’t have a way to carry it without risking crushing it further as it had some other cracks and I wasn’t all that close to home. So I took a pic and left it there.

I instagrammed it and a friend commented that it was a sad day for baby birds. Well, I know how sad life can be for baby birds (we’ll get there in a minute) but it hadn’t actually crossed my mind that this had been a tragedy. I’m not sure what I was thinking. It had fledged maybe and left its egg behind? I don’t really know much about birds or what happened to this particular baby bird but it is just possible that it is alive and well, in its nest, and its mooma flicked the egg halves out of the nest with her beak. Here’s a video cam of a hatching robin. It starts with an ad (you can click away in five seconds) and is a couple minutes long. After watching this, I have hope…

But not too much hope. Here on the Planet Ann Arbor, we have an ongoing saga at Swan Corners, which is a rural crossroads with several ponds right smack next to the roads and level with them. A few years ago, a swan family was killed at Swan Corners. It was initially thought that someone shot them and people (including me) got all into a dither and someone started a facebook page and I joined it. In the end, it turned out that they weren’t shot, they were hit by a car. Not a good thing either but like I said, the ponds are right next to the roads and the swans often cross the roads with their cygnets and sometimes the cygnets even nap on the roads. What do a bunch of concerned people do? As much as possible but unfortunately there isn’t much that *can* be done. I doubt that most drivers are out to hit baby swans but stuff happens…

Not to mention good old Mother Nature. Lemme see… This year, a pair of swans began nesting. The male was found dead in one of the ponds early in the season. Not shot or hit by a car. Just natural causes. The female went on to lay six eggs. Four of them hatched and lived for a while. As I write this, two of them remain. Someone reported to the facebook group that two cygnets were dead on the road, run over by a car. Turns out that it was two *goslings* that were run over. Just as tragic in my estimation, no matter what you think about Canada geese. The other missing cygnets? Snapping turtles or an eagle is the general consensus.

Me? I’m thinking about “hiding” the facebook group so I don’t have to read the cygnet countdown every day. We have had some baby bird tragedies in our own back yard over the years but I think I am done for the night. You’re welcome.

The epitome of today-osity

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

So today… Lemme see… Oh, it wasn’t *that* bad but…

The day started at midnight, right? I woke up at that Batscope Hour thinking, hmmm… Is my throat sore? Hmmm… It wasn’t exactly but I could tell it was teetering on the edge. I felt otherwise okay, maaaaayyybeeeee the slightest touch of loooooow grade fever, so I sucked down some water and kind of chilled out for a while, kicking that Batscope Hour Processing Stuff into the corner where it belongs, and by morning any hint of soreness was gone but I was a weeeee bit more congested than yesterday’s teensy tinesy little hint. And that is a long way of saying, “Dernit, I have got the GG’s cold virus.” Fortunately I think I skipped this cold’s sore throat.

I kicked you-know-what at work today. Not bragging, just saying I was very successful at doing what I get paid to do today. It’s not always that way.

But then… It was time to go home and can I just say it took me almost an hour to make my eight mile commute? On a beautiful sunny day with dry pavement. I could see via Google that the freeway was *hosed* in *both* directions. It looked like South State up to the Ellsworth roundabout was also hosed but it’s been hosed every day for the last two weeks so how hosed could it be? Worse than usual, as it turned out, probably because the freeway was hosed in both directions. So it was a looooonnnnng slog home.

We won’t talk about President Trump’s latest [rash, uninformed] decision. I was hoping Ivanka might at least have some influence on him but apparently she is not quiiiite like the Amazon Women that I am accustomed to dealing with, not that I want a handbag designer designing our venerable country’s policies, just that… Oh well… For tonight, I am gonna listen to the birdies sing and be thankful that we don’t have any ticks in my back yard [yet].

Twitter play #1a890e6c

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

@kayakwoman: Where is my Trump truck board book?

@tmotu: In the Lyme Lounge.

@kayakwoman: It needs to come home.

Yes, I have been wanting to bring my Trump board book (board book as in small child’s cardboard pitcher book (pitcher intentionally misspelled)) to Thursday coffee to show MMCB2 and I keep forgetting and today I wanted to put it out where I wouldn’t fergit it and I COULD NOT FIND IT! Who’da thunk it would be in the Lyme Lounge? Oh well, I had fergotten that MMCB1 was off globe-trotting this week, so I’ll bring it to coffee next week. If I remember. And yes, we are all some o’ them thar Planet Ann Arbor Librats although one of us (not me) flirted with Romney in 2012 and one of us (not me) felt the Bern.

For the record, it’s fine with me if my Trump truck board book becomes part of the Lyme Lounge library for the long term.

I know how boring my little twitter play is compared to covfefe. I could never in a million years come up with something that funny. At least someone among Trump’s sycophants (Ivanka maybe?) seems to have somehow convinced him to make a joke out of it after the internet blew up instead of get angry. Jeebus.

In a Lincoln in the Bardo redux, I read some reviews and discussions on GoodReads and a New Yorker review and although I certainly don’t totally understand the book, I was heartened for a few reasons. One was that I was on the right track that a bardo is kind of a space “in between”. The people are dead but can’t move on. Not that I personally believe in such a space but I know it is a concept that has been discussed a lot throughout human history. Another was that other people were even more confused than I was and some may have been pretty freaked out. A third was that apparently some of the “historical” snippets were from actual published documents and others were fictional and I kind of liked that. And finally, I’m not sure I will read that book again but one article I read (this was in the New Yorker, not GoodReads) pointed me in the direction of other fictional works about Lincoln, stories told from various people’s points of view. But not for now. I’m working on a palate cleanser for now in a direction I have no clue about so more later.

Hmmmm… Now that I look at covfefe again, I wonder if he was just trying to say something like, “I need coffee to finish this tweet?” It has all of the letters in “coffee” except for the “v”. I am kidding! (Does Trump drink coffee?)

Land of the midnight sun

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

The title represents fake news. I don’t know what time these photos were taken but it was well before midnight. But, at this time of the year, the sun sets pretty late in the Yooperland (where these photos were taken (I did not take them)) and in a few weeks, when we hit the summer solstice, we will still see evidence of the Mr. Golden Sun at 11 PM. With luck and strategic planning, I will be there shortly after that, meeting up with what’s left of my rather ragged branch of the FinFam. But I *will* be there with bells on and filet mignon to grill!

So, an evening beach walk with the GG. He is at the Doelle (say it like “Doley”) end of the beach. It is not as long a beach as the one on Long Boat Key (that one goes for MILES) but it is a beautiful sugar sand beach, therefore not *all* that different.

Alas, a “Florida Tower House” is being built at the other end of the beach. I think you can see it if you click, click, and squint. I am not crazy about this kind of rather ostentatious development on our beach but I certainly can’t do anything about it except accept it. (“except accept”? Is there a name for that kind of juxtaposition of words?)

And here is the Doelle house. It’s an old lighthouse keeper’s house. There were lighthouses there when I was a kid. Front lighthouse vandalized. Back Light deteriorated and fell over and Radical Betty heard it fall. Too many stories about those to tell tonight. Some other day. For now, just bask in the northern evening sunlight.

And finally the sunset, apparently intermixed with a bit of rain.

I am down here on The Planet Ann Arbor though and it isn’t all that bad here. I have put down some pretty darn deep roots here and my job cannot be beat (for a baggy old bag like me, at least), so that was fun today. We gained a new Building Mom and my Amazon Boss engineered an ice cream party to welcome her.

And now I am sitting out in the back yard writing this and trying to process the book I just finished, Lincoln in the Bardo. I am not qualified in any way, shape, or form, to review books, so I won’t try. Did I like it? Yes but I dunno. In a technical sense, I struggled at first with the snippety quote style (from published [or not] books about Lincoln) the author used to describe the Lincoln family and political atmosphere at the time (early Civil War) but eventually, that writing device worked for me. The rest of it? Well, read it if you dare! I’m glad I did. I think. I’ll admit that I don’t totally understand it. But what an imagination that author has! What book is next? I’m not sure.

P.S. I sure hope the GG remembered to pot the Commander Memorial Impatiens Lizard Breath bought at the new Meijer the other day. And I want pics of them!

North and South

Monday, May 29th, 2017

I hugged my cFam in-laws Becky and Jim goodbye this morning and left the Cfam cabin at Houghton Lake RELUCTANTLY. What a beautiful day. But I didn’t want to deal with the typical holiday weekend traffic on the southbound I75 SUV Speedway, so I got outta dodge. Lizard Breath was of the same mind. We drove “tandem” for a while but split up after stopping at a rest area a bit north of the Zilwaukee Bridge. That may have been a relief for both of us. I thought of the days when my beach urchins were new drivers and I would travel to the UP in tandem with them in order to get two vee-hickles up there. Once, long ago, we stopped at Indian River to put gas in the POC and I think probably the Dogha but anyway two vee-hickles and I saw some young parents changing their newborn baby girl in the vee-hickle next to us. That baby may have her own driver’s license now or is at least close to it and my babies are Amazon Women.

We both got home safely and I don’t think either of us had anything more than a few minor slowdowns and neither of us had to take the I475 Flint bypass this time. I am loving the new 75 mph speed limit on the more rural stretches of I75 in the Great Lake State. I’m not sure I will love it in winter weather… Like when people are going 75 hauling big snowmobile trailers in ice storms and things… It’s the speed limit so I can go five over, roight? Roight. We’ll see. On a beautiful dry day without a lot of traffic, 75 mph is a good thing.

I had CMU NPR on and I was enjoying the patriotic music they were playing today. Mostly medleys of the old songs I used to sing up at the beach, Achors Aweigh and Off We Go Into The Wild Blue Yonder, etc. Back when there was still a serious air force base in the area of my childhood home and cabin (Kincheloe) and my dad and uncle Duke, who were pilots in WWII, would run down to the beach whenever B52 bombers would come over.

Alas, I was patriotic as a kid. I am still patriotic. I just wish that the folks I have the choice to vote for are also patriotic. I mean that I want those folks to care about our country above their political party.

I got down to the Planet Ann Arbor and I cannot believe how many clematis blooms we have here. Because I have a blasted black thumb.

But here is a pic from the Moomincabin with Bill’s Beautiful Birch Point Beach Bank Bench with a storm rolling in and C*Q*L sitting on the bench.

One of the other things I listened to on NPR today was Terry Gross talking to Dion. I was like “who is Dion”. He was in the xword a couple days ago but I still didn’t know who he was and didn’t really want to listen to it but when I heard him talking about making his band emulate horns (musical instruments like trumpets and things), in Runaround Sue, I was hooked! Plus he was traveling on a bus with Buddy Holly and Ricthie Valens and did NOT take a plane that night. What an interesting guy!

The Landfill is beautiful tonight with birdsong everywhere but I am wishing I was at the Moomincabin or even the Sea Club… Love y’all. KW.

In which I meet up with Certified Kitchen Lady (Kami) at my fave Best Choice grokkery

Sunday, May 28th, 2017

That was probably the craziest thing that happened this weekend. The man next to me at the counter was wondering about Best Choice’s signature feta spread and I was saying “get it!” And then I got distracted by ordering my own stuff and a woman joined him and I was like, “is that CKL?” but I was being shy and then she grabbed me. “Anne?” Yes. We were both out of context. Did I have a place at HL? Well, yes. They got involved in ordering and I moved on to get some other stuff and just as I got to the checkout, I had an actual phone call from a real person that I actually know in person and so I got discombobulated and didn’t circle back to say goodbye to CKL.

My phone call was from Lizard Breath from the NEW Sault Ste. Siberia Meijer store (YAY!!!). She and npJane were there checking out the store and buying a couple flats of impatiens for the moomincabin.

It has been a wonderful weekend at the Group Home. Various people have been in and out. Nephew Dave and his daughter. Hale-bopp and her parents. The Lord and Lady of Linden. And our own Lizard Breath this afternoon. People in and out the whole time. And weather? Gorgeous for two days. Today we got to chill out a bit and read in the Lyme Lounge while little rainstorms rolled through. And then the weather cleared up again and the GG went out and got gas for the Pontoon Bote and when Lizard Breath arrived, we took a Bote Ride over to the Smiley Canal and back along the shore. And then we all sat outside for cocktails and The Beautiful Becky’s homemade minestrone soup. It was all great but I am kind of rambling and I am gonna crash out in the Lyme Lounge soon so good night!

Bote trip to the tiki bar (but not to the grocery store)

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

First Pontoon Bote of the season, for me at least, so here we are out on Houghton Lake.

That speck waaaaay back there in the background is a low-flying airplane, not a pontoon plane though.

The GG was the cap’n of the day.

He parked our big behemoth Pontoon Bote perfectly at the Tiki Bar. The Courtois Boyz learned to handle motor botes early on.

We’ve been going to the Northshore Lounge for many years. The tiki bar is new and it is so much fun and we get the idea that the Northshore folks have been incrementally fixing the place up. Cleaning and renovating bits and pieces. Here are the GG and the Lord of Linden.

In which beer puts a damper on Memorial Day weekend before it even begins

Friday, May 26th, 2017

I am a Road Warrior but after my last trip up to Houghton Lake, I felt Great Trepidation about the first 15 miles of my trip today. Launching offa Da Planet Ann Arbor going north is practically impossible these days unless you are doing it oh, maybe Sunday morning or whatever. This morning, when I got back from my Skunk Walk and was puttering around the Landfill getting ready to hit the road and WEMU was rolling along in the background and, say what? An overturned truck just south of North Territorial? Happened at 5:41 this AM. That’s about the time I hit the shower.

I didn’t plan to blast off toooooo early. It’s complicated and involves a camping trip Mouse and the GG were on the last few days. But still. The traffic report got worse and worse. Turns out it was a beer truck and the entire freeway was blocked both ways. Note that the whole freeway was closed at this point, both northbound and southbound. I dithered and dathered a bit and kexted the GG and Mouse to the point they were about ready to ghost me but finally I hitched up the Ninja, drove it down to the river and over the Foster bridge and took dirt roads and secondary highways up and around that area.

The rest of my trip was pretty smooth, just one short backup in Flint (yes, *that* Flint) where some sort of truck had overturned on the *southbound* side of the freeway. The backup on the northbound side seemed to be a rubbernecking type of thing. There were multiple emergency vee-hickles all over the place but I had the feeling the southbound would be backed up for a looooong time. It turned out that it was because Mouse was traveling *downstate* today and got routed around Flint on I475.

I’m not sure if any of that made any sense. Suffice it to say that I got here safely and Mouse got home safely and please please please everybody else be careful driving this weekend. Oh, and the pic is my first clematis blossom of the year!

Noodly doodly manatee dreams

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Man oh man, did I wish I was having manatee dreams or noodly-doodly dreams or even shoreline dreams this morning just before I had to drag myself outta REM-type sleep and mobilize for another day of making donuts and bringing home bacon.

None of those, though. First, I had a “driving a car up a hill that becomes virtually verticle at the top” dream. In these dreams, you are wondering whether you are going to: 1) get to the top, 2) get *over* the top, 3) or slide backwards. In these dreams, I always either: 1) get to the top and over it or 2) wake up. This particular dream took place on the International Bridge and had the added wrinkle that emergency vee-hickles were coming over the hill the other direction and everyone but *us* stopped at the bottom of the hill. The GG was driving in this dream and he would not stop… (I *think* I had *two* of those dreams last night/this morning but I can’t quite remember the first one…) The International Bridge has a gentle slope up and down over the locks, etc., and is never anything approaching scary except maybe for one time in the Jurassic Age when The Commander and I went over to shop at the Loon’s Nest in Station Mall in Canananada and we had to drive back through a snowstorm and it was a little slippery.

And then there was the dreaded PACKING DREAM!!! Oh how I HATE those! In this one, I somehow segued from trying to find the bathroom in my high school (the old one that isn’t around any more) to some Borne version of the moomincabin. One where a whole bunch of “valuable” stuff had been left outside all winter and I was scrambling to get it inside except that there was no room “inside” and “inside” wasn’t exactly “inside” and every time I turned around, there were more things and I kept discovering caches of smaller things within the other things. And then I woke up… And dragged myself into the shower and forced myself to take a walk… Fortunately it was a beautiful warm rainy-without-lightning morning and my walk and coffee with MMCB (and work) brought me back to reality.

Did you read this all the way through? I don’t blame you if you didn’t. I really hate when people start telling my me about their dreams. But if you did read, did you see my reference to Borne? If you did or didn’t, if you are into dystopian literature (and I am!), read Borne, by Jeff VanderMeer. I wanted it to end. Except that I didn’t want it to end.

Love y’all, KW

Blick

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

I never thought anything about ticks until I was well into adulthood with kids in college et al. I didn’t see one until the day when Radical Betty returned from a hike out at Naomikong and found a strange insect (or arachnid) crawling around on her body. She thought it was a tick. What? We actually put the tick into a plastic container and drove into town to the county health department to get them to identify it. It was a tick but it was a dog tick, which meant (at that time, anyway) that it was unlikely to transmit Lyme Disease. Not to mention that ticks in general can transmit all kinds of other awful stuff.

NPR repeated a story about ticks a few times today. We have encountered a lot more ticks here in the Great Lake State than I ever remember at any time of my life. I am taaaared of the news media telling us all how to avoid ticks. It is almost impossible to avoid ticks. You can slather yourself with [arguably poisonous] insect repellent but I don’t think that necessarily deters ticks and I *hate* being slathered with insect repellent (not to mention sunscreen). You can also cover your entire body with clothing of one sort or another but man oh man it gets got when you are hiking in high temperatures with all of those clothes on.

Whatever the media folks blather on about ticks, I think the best “tick check” is to take a shower after you have been in the woods. And a bath for your children and maybe dogs, although I think dogs need a more thorough check because of fur.

That’s about it. G’night.

Tog’s Great American Probability Musheen

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Manchester? I am weary. That is bad. But. Let’s talk about Tog’s Great American Probability Musheen instead! I actually remembered this thing as I was thinking about the randomness of terrorist events of all sorts, ISIS, homegrown, alien UFOs, whatever.

Way back in 1979, the GG bought a computer “for his mother”. I know it was 1979 because I *think* we still have the receipt. For his mother is in quotes because, of course, it was really for the GG. We had it hooked up to our fancy (at that time) Sony Trinitron color TV in our bedroom in the Rock and Roll Apartment down on 7th street. (I say Rock and Roll because the floors had “waves” in them.)

One of the “apps” we had on our Apple II+ was Tog’s Great American Probability Musheeen. I put “apps” in quotes because back then, when you wanted to use an application, you usually had to load one of those old-skool floppy disks into an external drive to be able to use it on the computer. And the floppy disk I am talking about was truly floppy, in that it wasn’t rigid, it kind of bent back and forth.

So when we weren’t watching M*A*S*H reruns or whatever other sit-coms we used to watch in the early 1980s, we would have the Probability Musheen on and watch it or not. I used to be freaked out that if we left the computer on when we weren’t home, it might catch faaaaar or something, so I would always make sure that the button indicating the computer was ON would not be lit up when we left the apartment.

The GG did not agree with me.

One day we left the apartment and I glanced over at the computer/TV setup. I didn’t see a red light so we left. When we got back, I realized that he had put Rabbit (a small stuffed aminal from my high school years) on top of the red light button to hide it. It was okay. Nothing caught faaaaar.

How many of you have read this far? If you have, you will learn that I actually agree with one thing that The Orange Oligarch aka Donald Trump has said recently. He has called terrorist bombers “losers”. I agree with that totally. Alas, I do not expect that President Trump has a realistic plan to deal with terrorists of any ilk. A plan? Fancy “presidential” style rhetoric does not equal a plan. I don’t think any serious country (including countries infested with ISIS) have any kind of plan. I dunno. Donald, we are waiting… What is your plan?

Surreality

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Pop quiz: which great lakes freighter is this? And just so you know, I didn’t take the pic *from* the bote. Actually, it isn’t even the real bote. It is a photo of the bote in the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle. Think PERISCOPE!!!

I follow a couple of great lakes freighters on facebook, the Cason J. Callaway and the Motor Vessel Algolake. The Callaway (Storm Warrior) mainly posts pics of water, weather, and sunsets/sunrises. The Algolake also posts pics of the interior of the bote and the folks who work there. (Hint: the bote in the pic is not the Callaway or the Algolake.)

One day a few summers ago, I was walking the beach on a foggy morning. I looked at the Marine Traffic app and saw that the Algolake was sitting out on the other side of The Pickle Finger somewhere, waiting for the fog to burn off (which it eventually did) so it could go down the channel and through the Soo Locks without hitting Round Island or running up on our beach as freighters do occasionally in every moomincabin child’s dream. I couldn’t see the actual bote from the beach because fog.

For whatever reason, I checked facebook, and just a few moments before, The Algolake had posted pics of life inside the cabin (or whatever you call it), where people were sitting around drinking coffee and enjoying a beautiful morning while waiting for the fog to burn off.

Surreal? Yes. My brain was going booooooiiiiinnnnnnnggggggg. Thinking of the days when I was a *little* kid and remembering one night when the whole Fin Famdamly (including my grandparents) walked down the beach at twilight to see a multitude of boats going up and down the channel.

We needed binoculars then to actually see which bote was navigating the channel and I think we all still have multiple binocs. My Old Coot got technology going back in the day in the form of a scanner from which a person could hear the boats reporting their locations throughout the channel. We would all be down on the beach and the old coot would walk to the top of the bank and report that this or that freighter was on it’s way down. That would be before we could see even a mirage of the bote.

My Old Coot embraced new technology (B29 airplane anyone?) until he couldn’t absorb anything new any more. He did cordless phones and marine scanners but he never quiiiiite got into personal computers and he died maybe not before facebook (but not sure) but a year before the iPhone and apps like Marine Traffic. I know that he would not have been able to navigate the iPhone (but my mother did!). I am wondering what he would have done with that technology had it been available when he was young enough to embrace it. I know he would have enjoyed seeing the Algolake folks sitting in the cabin drinking their coffee out there in the fog waiting to continue down through the Soo Locks.

Women Men Who Work Cook

Sunday, May 21st, 2017

I know, I know. I should buy Ivanka’s book and actually read it. She works, right? I’m sure she does. Most *people* do, whether they get paid a commensurate amount of money (or whatever) for what they do or not. That can work in various directions, by the way.

A long time ago I got pounced on over at Bugs and Horsey’s house for saying that my sister-in-law (not *that* one) didn’t work. I was running my mouth and didn’t think know to add “outside the home” to the word “work” (and that branch of the fam parses language a bit differently than my branch does). This particular sister-in-law was raising five children and helping out with I dunno how many other people’s kids and whoever else needed her plus doing stuff for the family business at times. I don’t think she would’ve cared whether I told somebody she didn’t work but ever since then, I have at least tried to think my words through a little more carefully when I talk about whether or not women work, at least partly because I spent a 14-year mid-career stint of not working for a commensurate amount of money during which I felt like I was working my you-know-what off!

Today I (a woman) worked from home and at home. That is, I did the usual domestic kitchen/household maintenance-type stuff that I always do (and LIKE to do). The GG cooked a wee brek and made some coffee. I have come to depend upon him for Sunday / vacay breakfasts. I can do it but he is sooooo good at it. And then I commandeer the sink to do the dishioshios. We are in sync on that.

I also worked on paid prodjects. With permission from Amazon Woman (my supervisor, not Radical Betty), I did some work this weekend. I mean paid work. I am “creatively” scheduling some time so that I can enjoy the upcoming holiday weekend “up north” with my family without having to travel with the usual holiday weekend warriors. Knock on wood, I actually got *caught up* today. And then I washed some dishes and prepped some stuff for dinner.

Men who cook? The Pensioner has always been able to make his way around a kitchen with aplomb. He is *always* ready to cook an egg for a hungry adult child. “Daddy?” In the last couple years he has become a grill master, hence the pineapple chicken thingy that is currently on our gas grill. Other than schlepping a pineapple home from the Plum in my backpack today, I have had nothing to do with this. I think he googled the idea. I think it will work out well. I made a salad and have fingerling potatoes and Farmer John’s asparagus warming in Gertrude’s top oven.

Oh yeah, Women Who Work? Ivanka posts cute pictures of her children and that is fine. I think she is probably a good, loving mother and is doing a fine job with them. Where I get off the train is the part where we all know she can afford nannies and drivers and household help, etc. I am not complaining about my life, the one in which my family and I have never been “rich” but we have always been able to afford whatever we need and a little bit more. I am thinking about folks who are struggling to find jobs that pay well enough to enable them to feed their families. Not sure Ivanka understands those situations. Maybe I don’t either? I certainly won’t be writing a book!

Conflicting trains of thought tonight so I doubt any of that made sense. G’night. KW.

I had the cutest title a while back…

Saturday, May 20th, 2017

…but now that I’m sitting down to write this blahg of watching paint dry, I cannot think of it for the life of me.

Actually, I am kinda bushed this afternoon. I mean tired, not “in” or “among” bushes. I blame it on the epic trip I took out to the Jackson Road Meijer to buy grokkeries and other supplies to stock the moomincabin for the summer. I did not buy Toilet Paper. I am pretty sure there were a few rolls or more when we left at the end of last summer, even minus the roll I donated to the Old Cabin outhouse. I hope I have everything else but if not, HEY GUESS WHAT? A new MEIJER store just opened in Sault Ste. Siberia this week. Meijer is moving into the yooperland. I won’t even have to cross the I75 SUV Speedway to get to it!

Needless to say, many of my facebook buddies who live up there are excited about this, especially since our old fave Glen’s/Family Fare closed at the end of 2016. A lot of people up in Sault Ste. Siberia (and other places) have an attitude toward Waldemort and although I don’t want to dis the place it does make me kind of “dizzy”. At least the new store does. I didn’t mind the original store, which had fabric and adjustable underwear (but not grokkeries). I will not abandon the “park store” up by Brimley. It’s a quick trip from the moomincabin if you need something in a jiffy!

Anyway, my grokkery shopping habits have evolved over the years and I rarely have more items than what I can schlep through the express Uscan. Today not so much…

The Pensioner (not to be confused with Toilet Paper) worked on vee-hickles most of the morning, washing rinsing and vacuuming, etc. My cute l’il ninja needed a rinse, can you say big-time pollen drop?

Then we walked down to the Griz, where we met up with npJane! We were trying to figure out if we had seen each other since our Epic New Year’s Eve party. Eventually we figgered out yes, we met np and her sister Jay at the Wolverine Brewery in March. Still, we were overdue for all the usual family gossip, etc., none of which is anywhere near awful at this point (knock on wood) but still not really blahggable. Especially Junior. Sometime I will maybe tell that story on my blahg but not today. (It isn’t awful, it’s just not safe for work.)

Anyway I sensed a nap in the GG’s future and more work (paid and unpaid) for me so I was talking bus but instead we ended up hitching a ride with np to the Plum. As it turned out, that was a good idea because if we had walked home, we would probably have gotten wet. We were not prepared for rain today.

So that’s just about all I have at the moment. Mouse took this year’s obligatory mayapple pic.

I’ve been using a girl grill drill all day

Friday, May 19th, 2017

In the wonderful cacophony of the Oscar Tango early on a Friday night (before people start to turn into jungle aminals) someone at our table was talking about buying a grill, you know, one of those things that you cook food on when your power is out or any time. The GG said, “Oh, I’ve been been using a girl all day.” At least that’s what *I* thought he said. I was pretty sure that wasn’t true but you never know 👀 He texted me a pic at the end of the day from flat on his back on the couch that it was “desd” around here. I did not see a girl (or a grill or a drill in the pic). What he *actually* said was that he had been using a *drill* all day. Okay, that sounds more like the GG.

And so here is what he built today. It is a cart that will haul a chainsaw along the North Country Trail. I am calling it a Chainsaw Cozy. Maybe he could test it out in the mini-woods behind our house this weekend and *maybe* he could chainsaw a couple of the big old logs that are across the path. We won’t talk about the safety rules that might prohibit him from doing this. It’s okay. I can easily step over the current logs. A number of years ago I had to create a detour around a particularly difficult set of logs. It was fun for a while. I found a “door” leading to a “secret path”. Eventually I got sick of it and I think the GG finally went out there and mitigated the situation with my (late) brother’s malfunctioning chainsaw or maybe it was one he borrowed from Houghton Lake. Nowadays the GG has his own chainsaw.

The school district (which owns the woods) is lackadaisical about maintaining the woods. Trees fall down in there frequently enough that I sometimes wonder why I feel safe walking through there. Sometimes somebody comes out and moves them off the path, mostly not. I am all for leaving trees that fall in a forest alone. It’s part of the forest life cycle. But this is a *very* small woods where people walk (and walk their dogs), I mean it is probably a five minute walk at the most and I think the trail should at least remain clear. Occasionally the school PTO organizes a “work crew” to come out and put wood chips down on the trails. This is wonderful but it would be more wonderful if they would prioritize putting wood chips on the parts of the trail that flood when it’s wet.

On the other hand, the school district has a hissy fit about dog poop and once upon a time they PADLOCKED the woods shut. I was only a year or two past being the PTO treasurer at the school so I still knew some folks over there and I emailed them to ask WTF? I was forwarded a response from the [new] principal saying that we couldn’t have dog poop in the woods because there was “science” going on in there. I called b*llsh*t on that for a number of reasons but mainly that school kids are almost never in the woods on supervised school missions (science or not) and I don’t *ever* encounter dog poop in there. I’m sure dogs *do* poop in there but they don’t poop on the trail, they poop where all of the *wild* aminals who live there poop. I guess the principal had forgotten about squirrel poop and raccoon poop and opossum poop and rabbit poop and bird poop and deer poop and feral cat poop and the occasional drunk or homeless human poop. And what else? Anyway, my PTO contact wrote the principal a nice polite email reminding her that “our neighbors” like to walk in the woods and the padlocks were soon removed from the woods.

Nowadays, a bunch of responsible dog owners have set up a system where there are always plastic bags available for dog poop and a trash can is at the entrance to dump them in. I love that they are doing that but really, dog poop has never been a problem. Don’t tell the school (or my neighbors) but when Bandit or Ernie and Alfred were visiting and I walked them in the woods, I never picked up their damn poop or even paid attention to whether or not they were doing the deed.

And on that note, g’night!