Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Blue flag

Thursday, May 30th, 2019

That’s what my great aunt Elizabeth used to call the irises that grow wild along the Cabin Road. She could be a wee bit cross with wayward smartassical children sometimes but she was a good soul and I remember walking down that road with her as a very small child. I also remember sleeping with my cousins on the front porch [it was enclosed] of The Old Cabin when a big thunderstorm rolled through. She came out to reassure us that it was just Thor, God of Thunder, rolling his bowling balls around. She died when I was in second grade, my first funeral.

Speaking of thunderstorms, I had heavy rain commutes both to and from Cubelandia today. When I got there this morning, there was so much lightning that I didn’t park over by the pond and in fact I didn’t even get out of the Swamp Monster until it had settled down a bit. Long driveway moment. Fortunately no tornadoes meandered into our area but coming home I was sitting trapped (by a stoplight) on the Scio Church bridge over I94 thinking a tornado could easily pick the Swamp Monster up and flip it over onto the freeway. Yes, I have an wild imagination.

I finished the 40th book of my Goodreads challenge today at lunch. Yes, I read at lunch sometimes. I was reading “The Man in the High Castle” (by long-time sci-fi writer Philip Dick) and I am still processing it. The idea is that the allies lost WWII. There is a recent TV series based on this 1962 novel that one of my friends recommends and I think I need to check that out. This friend happens to be Jewish so I have been curious about why she would be enthusiastic about a show that portrays a world in which the Nazis won the war… The next time she is off bubbe duty, I will ask her!

Random-ish thoughts: I liked the book. I wouldn’t give it the topmost rating. That’s complicated. It wasn’t what I expected. I didn’t totally understand it. I glimpsed some little shards where characters experienced moments of unreality throughout the story and I may have put more meaning into those than necessary. Or not. Did the Axis *really* win the war? Or…

A goodreads reviewer pointed out that the characters were not emotionally fleshed out. In other words, it’s a bit hard to get attached to any of the characters. I noticed that when I read the book but it didn’t totally put me off. I was thinking that one of the major characters *was* a woman and I struggled with her but I also thought she ROCKED!

Another thing that was a bit difficult was that the syntax often left out articles. I mean parts of speech like “a”, “an”, “the”. If you did you not have Mrs. Pratt for English, this may not have bothered you. I think this was intentional but might have been more effective if it was limited to dialogue and non-native-English speaking characters. Anyway, I thought it was worth reading (and I will seek out more of his novels) but I think I am also interested to see what modern TV producers have done with a 1962 sci-fi novel whose author died in 1982.

Next up is “The Voyageurs” by Margaret Elphinstone. A beach urchin was reading it at the moomincabin last weekend and I am interested in just about any novel that talks about Sault Ste. Marie at any time in history. John Johnston house? Yeah, been through/walked by that place many times. And donate to the local historical society that keeps it up 🐸

Just another Monday

Wednesday, May 29th, 2019

I almost forgot to meet up with MMCB today even though she texted me a reminder yesterday. I was soooooo sure it was Monday when I woke up this morning. We used to have coffee on Monday but it is *usually* on Wednesday nowadays.

I got there first and when we were getting up to leave, she said something like, “You can sure tell your car lives outside.” It does but I couldn’t process what the heck she was talking about until I remembered that we had some sort of huge tree drop of long stringy seed thingies or whatever and they were all over the Ninja this morning. And they were WET because we had thunderstorms sometime in the night. I turned on zeeee veeeeendsheeeeeld vipers to try to clear zem off zeeee veeeeeensheeeeeld and about all that zee vipers did was push them off to the sides. I thought maybe the wind would clear them off over at Cubelandia but nope. I am currently driving a swamp monster.

Anyway, yes the Ninja Swamp Monster lives outside. I know I have written recently about why we lack a proper garatchkey so I won’t bore y’all with it again.

It took me a while to get out of Long Weekend Fog over at Cubelandia but eventually I did and by mid-afternoon I was off on an archaeological dig of epic proportions. Fortunately I like when I have to dredge through old specifications, etc. For many years, I was part of a team of three who wrote these things. Nowadays that team is reduced to… me… I can usually remember *exactly* how something I specified works but not necessarily what someone else wrote. So, “Can you find the rules for this?” was the question. I was close by the end of the day, after a lot of digging.

The photo? Taken at 8:59 PM on Saturday at the moomincabin. We have a few weeks until the summer solstice. I’m not sure what time sunset happens on the solstice but if it’s clear around that time up at the moomincabin, you can still see light on the horizon at 11PM or so. One of the reasons I like daylight savings time.

Lef-tenant Fin

Tuesday, May 28th, 2019

I’m not sure if my old coot had become a lef-tenant by the time this pic was taken. I’m not really sure he was ever a lef-tenant but that hat sure looks like something a lef-tenant might wear. Or maybe just a fly-boy.

I posted this pic and a few others yesterday, Memorial Day. I don’t *usually* post pics of my dad that day on social media, at least I haven’t for a while. I sort of understand why other people do. I know many people had to endure the sacrifices of their fathers (mainly fathers but women died in that war too). I am happy that Germany and Japan, etc., did not win the war, in fact I am currently reading a sci-fi/dystopia-type book about the US if Germany/Japan *had* won WWII. I have to admit that I don’t totally understand the book but that’s because I did not live through WWII and am not a history buff in general. But I am working my brain overtime to understand this book. Maybe some further historical excursions will ensue.

I did not lose anyone in WWII. My dad and his brother Don and my Uncle Duke were all in the war. As I’ve heard the story, my grandfather was on the local draft board and got upset about sending other people’s kids to war. My dad was in college and his older brother was in med school. My grandaddy told his boys to get their affairs in order, go downtown and volunteer. And they did. Our fam didn’t know Uncle Duke then. He met up with Radical Betty somewhere out west and became one o’ them thar outlaws. Most outlaws fit in with the Fin Fam though and he was one of them. He joined the service for his own reasons and ended up retiring as an Air Force colonel after service in Viet Nam.

In my old coot’s later years, one of the beach urchins interviewed him for a school prodject and he told her something like, “If you wanted to pick your job, you volunteered.” And he did. He volunteered to be a pilot and that is what he became. He was a very humble man and I never thought about this when I was young but I wonder whether he was a pilot they did not want to lose because for all of the war he was stateside teaching other pilots (not to say that there were not fantastic pilots who flew combat missions). But they were about to send him to fly missions in the South Pacific when our country dropped nuclear bombs on Japan. My old coot did not continue in the service after WWII and after various gyrations, ended up in Sault Ste. Siberia working in the small town banking biz.

While lighting up cocktail lights at the moomincabin last night, a beach urchin found the “yearbook” for one of my dad’s flight training classes. His scores were “very satisfactory”. I do NOT know what “Polish sir” or “Flying Finn” mean. My family is neither Polish or Finnish, although I wouldn’t be surprised if there is some sneaky Scandihoovian DNA somewhere in me. I think those quotations are the result of a “fraternity” of young men teasing each other. As they do.

So my dad (and uncles Don and Duke) made it through WWII intact and went on to have families and careers and love and lots of laughter. So many soldiers did not. And do not. In every war we have fought before and since WWII. In the US and in countries all over the world When will it ever end YouTube link.

P.S. I see a bit of one of my first cousins once removed (Rey) in that photo of my dad. It’s in the eyes somehow. <3

The cocktail light is lit.

Monday, May 27th, 2019

We are greatly missing the UU and TBG today. They took off with Daisy and their trailer this morning. npJane headed southward too.

So today was a day of rain. I made a trip into Meijer early this morning and I kind went nuts thinking we don’t have any lunchy stuff at the moomincabin so maybe we should eat at Penny’s Kitchen, knowing that would require a SECOND trip into town. I am savvy enough to know that some small Siberian businesses close on Memorial Day so I took a ride downtown to check up on Penny’s. Yes it was closed. So I drove over to Portage Ave. to see if the Palace Saloon might be open. It wasn’t open yet but there was no indication that it might be closed for Memorial Day.

Back out at the moomincabin, I checked facebook just after 11 and The Palace Saloon posted “we are open!”. Yes!!!! So that is where we went for lunch. It is a loverly place to eat lunch on a dark fugly rainy day. We ate ala carte enchiladas and then we traipsed over to Das Gift Haus to buy… Postcards! Then home for a sleepy afternoon.

Eventually we lit the cocktail lights (Liz did this) and became porterized for a while. A nice end to a wonderful weekend.

cFam gals at the moomincabin

Sunday, May 26th, 2019

All three of us can legitimately call ourselves cFam gals. Only one can claim actual heritage. So here are me and my sister-in-law, The Beautiful Gay (in the “Nope” shirt – you go girl!). We are married to the Twinz of Terror and so qualify as cFam outlaws. The young woman is my daughter, child of the GG and therefore a biological cFam member. We are at the FinFam moomincabin and we are having sooo much fun and I love this crazy reflective type pic.

That was last night. Today the Twinz of Terror took off on a hike and the rest of us all kind of slugged around for a while. We met up for lunch at Pickles and then my BFF and JCB met up with us for the late afternoon and dinner. They drove over to the Sault Ste. Siberian Meijer from the Green Cabin. We cooked a HUGE piece of salmon that has been in my freezer on The Planet Ann Arbor for a couple months. There was quite some discussion about how to cook this (even though the GG and I successfully cook salmon ALL THE TIME!). We grilled it tonight (after cutting in two so it would be easier to flip – quite some discussion about that toooooooo) and we determined that it turned out fine, in the middle between Ruby Tuesday and a certain horsepittle board meeting.

I had a LOT of help today for such a simple dinner. The Twinz did the salmon. I cooked rice. Lizard Breath worked her asparagus magic. And TBG Salad Master reformatted salad for about the third night in a row. We also reheated some leftover chicken and steak for a couple people who aren’t crazy about fish. TBG and Lizard Breath did the disheosios and I greatly appreciated that because it gave me some time with BFF and JCB before they left. And I think we have enough leftover food that we’ll be able to reheat it for dinner tomorrow night.

I’m not sure I have much else to say. I’m mostly posting this for posterity and so that people know we are all well. It’s kinda late for me so I hope I can suppress Second Wind Syndrome. My mission tomorrow is to buy some postcards and maybe make a mini-run to Meijer. Love y’all. KW

Manly men

Saturday, May 25th, 2019

“Now some days they last longer than others. But this day by the lake went too fast.”

Lemme see, this morning. We were a little slow to get moving. By that I mean I didn’t get out of “bed” (I was sleeping on the couch) until after 7:00 AM. We did have a decent brek, no thanks to me. The Twinz of Terror took care of that. I did do some disheoshios but I DOOOO disheoshios.

The Twinz of Terror then mobilized to take a wee trip to the Land of Porterization to remove the window covering of terror.

Eventually the GG and I mobilized with npJane to take a trip into Siberia. We had three errands. One was to drop off an old beeceeclette at the Salvation Army. It is a good bike but needs some work (taaaars, etc.) and npJane and I found ourselves having to talk the GG off the ledge of salvaging it himself. No. No. No. No. You do not ride beeceeclettes. You are a hiker. Not to mention you do NOT have time to renovate this bike. We put it on a small boat trailer and drove it into town to donate (and the Salvation Army was more than happy to receive it). And then. We picked up a couple 4x4s of plywood to solve a problem at the Old Cabin and those went onto the trailer for the trip back out.

We checked out the new half-finished but usable roundabout at the dangereuse old US2/3-Mile intersection and then hit up Meijer for various things. That was kind of nutso and we forgot a few things but then… We were halfway back out to the moomincabin and we noticed that it was 12:14 PM. Yikes! It felt like about 10 AM.

We got back to the moomincabin and it turned into a beach day that was so hot some of us had to take a break once in a while. Until. In the late afternoon, a beautiful little Tstorm rolled through and we high-tailed it up to the moomincabin.

So here are the Manly Men drinkin’ and smokin’ on Bill’s Birch Point Beach Bank Bench. Disclaimer: They did not do this all afternoon and they do not smoke anything other than the VERY occasional cee-gar.

Old Man Winter lingers as another moomincabin season begins

Friday, May 24th, 2019

I hitched a ride with npJane this year but I’ll be riding back down with The Sawyer aka the GG. Smoothest ride EVER today. Until. We got to the last major intersection of the trip. And major is a relative term given that this is the end of (the very short) highway 221. At Brimley. Normally we would make a right turn at this point but our plan was to have lunch at Pickles and that required a left turn. Due to road construction, we had to wait something like 10 minutes to make that turn. The good news is that the road will be totally open in both directions for the Memorial Day weekend.

So we got here. I am not as well organized as I would like to be but I think we’ll manage. And we are having COMPANY this weekend! The UU and TBG are on their way up and I *think* a beach urchin is arriving tomorrow and BFF and The Guru are scheduled to day-trip over here on Sunday. Fun fun fun! npJane is not “company”. She is FAMILY and she is opening the Old Cabin, which her branch of the family owns nowadays. I have no clue when people are leaving and I am just gonna ROLL with it all. Dish detergent? I don’t have any. I’m not sure npJane has any (that I can borrow) either. Maybe UU/TBG have some in their fancy trailer. If all else fails, I can probably beg some from C*Q*L’s mom next door. Just enough to get us through tonight and b’fast. I will be making a big Meijer run tomorrow and we will NOT be lacking for dish detergent (or anything else) all summer.

It was HOT and SUNNY when we got here via an off-shore breeze. Sun-deprived as us Michiganders can be, we slugged on the beach for a while, shirking our chores. I won’t try to describe all of the gyrations that led to the double sawyer situation. One person was using a handsaw to cut up driftwood. Another was overjoyed to use his chainsaw to cut up a deadfall between the Old Cabin and the Old Cabin Outhouse.

The UU is approaching the area of the moomincabin and the GG is going out to meet him to make sure he doesn’t get lost. I don’t totally understand this but since I am being spacified, I’m not sure I care.

Love y’all, KW

Zesty Italian hot dogs

Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

First of all, Mouse took this frooog pic, along with a bunch of others.

So tonight talking to the GG on the phone was almost like talking to The Commander on the phone the last couple years of her life. As Uber Kayak Woman once said about phone convos with HER mother at the end of her life, “it’s kind of like being in a Fellini film.”

I would be trying to ask a very specific question about something and The Comm would be rambling along on her own tangent. At one point, she had received a couple units of blood during a bout in the hoosegow. She was on the mend and we returned home and I was on the phone with her at Cubelandia. I asked her if she was feeling better after getting the blood. She could not process the word blood, at least not coming at her through our iPhones. I was practically YELLING “blood, blood, blood” over and over walking around Cubelandia’s lunchroom. And people at Cubelandia think I am mild-mannered and quiet… FINALLY I said something like, “You know, that red stuff that runs through your veins.” Oh. Yeah. Blood. Was her reply.

The Comm was not always like that. When the beach urchins were young, I called her because it was *fun* to talk to her. She was sharp as a whip and would dish up all kinds of stuff. My brother used to refer to her as something like “The Birch Point Beach Telegraph”. We would gossip forever and I am NOT a telephone talker so that says something.

Mom never lost her marbles so to speak but she did have trouble processing language at the end of her life. A speech therapist friend of Liz’s once put a name to this for me but I can’t remember it. Oddly, I could *usually* understand her. Like one time she landed in the hoosegow and we made an emergency trip up to the yooperland. We expected her to be gravely ill but when we got there she was talking a blue streak and at one point sung the praises of the local university. “It has a wonderful bicycle program.” I think I was the only person in the room who knew that she was talking about the “nursing” program. And then there was “the woman with the two boys.” I eventually figured out “the woman with the two boys” was Mrs. Wilcox and her two boys had taken classes with my mom when they were in high school. Mrs. Wilcox also has two daughters.

I am not writing this stuff to disrespect my mom. This was hard to deal with for both of us and I was her only living child although I had wonderful hands-on help from the GG and some of my cousins along the way. What got us through it was that we were able to maintain a sense of humor. Mostly anyway, there were some fugly moments but that is life.

The GG is not anywhere near in the same shape as The Commander was. He is up at the moomincabin to open it and will be doing North Country Trail maintenance tomorrow. With luck he will not be there when I arrive so that I can orient myself a bit. Our phone/text miscommunications are more related to typical male/female stuff or engineer/designer stuff, if you will.

Oh man, this was certainly not what I planned to write about tonight but then I had a phone convo with the GG in which he said he had bought Zesty Italian Hotdogs and my brain went from there.


Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

I have complicated feelings about Black History Month (and history education in general). I understand why we designate a particular month to educate our children about the contributions of black Americans. I don’t understand why we don’t fashion our history curriculum to include the contributions of all people, whatever color/gender/whatever.

I did not get along well with history classes when I was in high school and I did not take them in college. Whew! Some people feel that way about mathematics. Not me! Gimme more math! History was mostly (to me) memorizing dates and generals and battles and presidents and whatever. Old white men all of them, oh, not that all of them were not important or anywhere near any of the fossils that we keep electing to office in this day and age. I think I would have been more interested in history classes if they had discussed the experience of poor/female/black/whatever people in those times as a backdrop to the dates, etc. I do know that most of our country’s written records come from educated folks, therefore most of our information is from rich white people. A lot of poor/female/black/whatever people were illiterate. This is a conundrum that probably cannot be solved.

So, I cannot find Harriet Tubman today. I mean the papier-mâché Harriet Tubman that I thought was in the Landfill Dungeon. I was looking for her because I saw some news story about how Harriet’s image on the USD twenty dollar bill was being delayed or whatever. I don’t know if this is because of the typical Trumpian Crapola or if there is an actual business reason that makes it difficult to change images on currency. I would love to see Harriet on US currency but I do understand the need for adhering to business rules. After all, it’s just paper money and I use plastic for almost all my transactions. But still.

I am remembering the Haisley upper el Black History Month prodjects. One of the beach urchins chose Harriet Tubman a couple years in a row. That was fine with me. I did have to laugh when she told me that one of the teacher’s requirements for the prodject was that they could *not* do the prodject on what she called “some magic guy”.

OMG! Has anyone ever heard of Magic Johnson? Basketball Star? Yes. My beach urchin had NO CLUE who Magic Johnson was. Her teacher (Mr. K of Multiplication Blues piano playing) gnoffed and gnoffed when I told him about that. I regard the fact that my kid didn’t know a basketball star as a parenting success.

Especially since… Before Magic Johnson became a Laker, he grew up in Lansing. He was a star player at Moo-U and sometimes visited the Big Boy near where I once lived in East Lansing. A friend of mine was a waitress there and reported that he came in there expecting free food. He was a star and had received free food there before. Nope. But he was still a poor kid then. I doubt he asks for free restaurant food any more.

Button my buttons, I’m a reindeer!

Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

I could not for the life of me figger what to blahg about today. I know that you guys don’t want to know anything about non-reporting accounts and BAI codes. You would prob’ly rather let us on-line banking folks keep that world running for you as smoothly as we possibly can. We aren’t perfect but our system is much better designed than the phone system at the car dealership I kvetched about yesterday.

So this is The Commander. She was a high school “home economics” teacher at this time of her life. 40-something. I don’t feel like doing the math right now. This photo is from my brother’s and my friend Matt. I highly doubt that Matt reads this blahg and if he did, I’m pretty sure he would be okay with me posting it. That dark thing just above her lip is not some sort of ugly cancerous growth, just an artifact of this old b/w photo.

Without going through The Comm’s whole life story, the year I began high school was the year she became a high school teacher. The subject she taught was called “home-ec” back in those days. I think it is called any number of things now. I took “home-ec” in junior high (boys took “shop”) and I remember it as cooking and sewing and that was about it.

The Commander did teach cooking and sewing skills but she also helped carry the program into new frontiers. I remember when she ran a child-care situation in her classroom. I mean with real children. Thinking about how daycare works nowadays and even when I had children, I can’t remember how these children were recruited. I doubt this program could’ve lasted more than a few weeks. But they were likely children of friends and co-workers who trusted my mother (and most people in town trusted my fam in general).

The other thing that she did was help spearhead a school store. You could buy school supplies and a limited supply of Blue Devil clothing there, some stuffed aminals and things. Without going into too much detail about mom’s education, after graduating from college, she began her career as a buyer at the downtown Detroit J.L. Hudson’s store. When she moved to the yooperland with her new husband (my dad), she worked for the local Montgomery Wards store. Until she FINALLY birthed a child after 11 years of trying — meeeeeee.

Mom could be kind of a snob. When I was about six, I had a sometimes friend (Wanda) who (according to mom) “didn’t even know what a J was” [the letter J, I mean]. In other words, she didn’t really want me to hang out with this child. When she began teaching, she learned to understand the children of the eastern yooperland – and their families – in a different light. The kids and their families warmed up to her too. “You honky”, said one Native American girl, affectionately. Mom felt honored.

I can’t leave this story without mentioning about how, when I was a senior in high school, a bunch of guys on the football team took the child care class with my mom. These guys were [mostly] good students who were taking an elective to finish out their senior year (my elective that year, besides band, was math-related, wish I could remember what it was but jeebus). I’m sure the football guys figgered my mom’s class would be an easy A and it probably was! What I remember is that they LOVED hanging out with the small children and my mom and she had a lot of fun “teaching” them.

Love you moom and thanks to Margaret Stargazer Teacher Woman for inspiring this overly long bunch of blather.


Monday, May 20th, 2019

It’ll be fine! Airbag recall on the Frog Hopper. On a day the GG wanted to hike. It’ll be fine. I’ll telecommute. I’ll walk over to the Aldi’s bus stop and take the 31 over to the Jackson/Wagner stop and walk from there. It’ll be fine. It really isn’t too far to just *walk* but most of it is not user-friendly walking, no sidewalks, etc. Plus I was, uh, WORKING today.

So, that’s what I did. The bus was a minute or so late but that was fine and I can watch where the bus is via an app. So, I got on and, as always, I was nervous about managing to get OFF the bus at an unfamiliar stop. My stop today was at the turnaround point so if I missed it, I would have to ride the bus all the way downtown and back… I was stressing about this when… DING DING DING STOP REQUESTED! While I was stressing about when to pull the cord, the only other passenger had pulled the cord for the stop I wanted to get off on.

From there, there was a sidewalk to the car dealer. It was kind of like walking in a wind tunnel today but okay.

I got into the Frog Hopper. I noticed the temperature light. That was okay. It was blue, meaning the vee-hickle wasn’t warmed up yet (it wasn’t all that warm this morning, welcome to the Great Lake State). I was almost home when I noticed the AIRBAG light was on. Wait, what? It was not on when we dropped the FH off yesterday afternoon. And we took it in to get an AIRBAG fixed/replaced/whatever?

I tried to call the dealership. I got lost in their phone system. They wanted me to accept a callback but their system quoted a bizarre phone number to me. Was this my number? Or even the GG’s? Noooooooo. I called again. This time I got to a service person PDQ. I ‘splained the problem. He wasn’t sure how simple the fix would be and asked if I would hold BRIEFLY while he checked on that. Okay. 30 seconds later, he did not return. Instead, a ringy-dingy started up and I landed at some other person’s voicemail. “Leave a brief message and I’ll get back to you.” Uh, I couldn’t figger how to even start a “brief” message to this unknown person although I did leave my number.

I never heard back from the mystery person or even the person who put me on a “brief” hold. I was about done by then. Fortunately, the GG had cell service on his hike today and HE called the dern dealer. When he got home, he schlepped the Frog Hopper over there and they found that “something” hadn’t been “plugged in” correctly. JEEEEEEEBUS!

So all is well in the end but I will be schlepping my work laptop up to the yooperland this weekend just in case we have some kind of a problem with the Frog Hopper and have to wait for parts. The GG seems to think I ALWAYS schlep my work laptop everywhere. He is obviously not remembering the time we were at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota Fla and I had to call home and talk my Mouse through how to navigate that beast in order to publish some documents I had forgotten to publish before I left. Mouse RANDOMLY happened to be doing some laundry at The Landfill that day. My Mouse is as smart as all getout and I am so grateful that she helped me that day.

Looking back on that period of time, we were struggling to get a bunch of things done at my work so it was hard to leave there but it also ended up being the last time we saw our beautiful sister Susie. We didn’t know how close she was to the end of her life then and we still miss her so much.

The bird? That’s a Little Brown Bird. The GG would probably call it something like a house sparrow. The LBBs hang out in front of the Landfill and I watch them when I am telecommuting. They use a birdhouse above the window.

Laaaaazy daaaaay

Sunday, May 19th, 2019

Some weekends don’t work out exactly how you “planned” them and this one didn’t but that is A-okay! We are about to mobilize northward to open up the moomincabin for the summer and, as has been the pattern for the last few years, The Pensioner will precede me. The pattern also includes me hitting the Jackson Road Meijer the weekend before he leaves to stock up on non-perishable food items, cleaning supplies and a few toiletries.

I failed to do that yesterday because our plans were up in the air and then I failed to do it today because an opportunity to meet up with a bunch of folks for brunch at Cafe Zola came up. That was a whole heckuva lot more fun than going to Meijer to buy terlet paper.

We lucked out with Zola and got there in time to be seated so no one had to wait in line as often happens there for Sunday brunch. I even had a mimosa. Hey, the waiter approached us with “What would you like to drink? Bloody Mary? Mimosa or coffee? I looooove a good Bloody Mary but often the restaurants here spice them up to the point where I can’t drink them. Mimosas are safe.

So I did NOT want to go to Meijer this afternoon and I didn’t. It’s okay. There is a Meijer (thank you god or whoever) in Sault Ste. Siberia now and I will patronize that one to buy all of that stuff (plus impatiens) and maybe that will give a mini-boost to the always tenuous economy in the Eastern yooperland. The yooperland weather for the next week is not supposed to be all that great so shopping at Meijer up there might be a good distraction from not being able to sit on Bill’s Birch Point Beach Bank Bench. Also, lunch at Clyde’s or Penny’s Kitchen or the Palace or Pickles or Karl’s or wherever. Seeya on the beach!


Saturday, May 18th, 2019

We had planned to go outta town for lunch today but those plans were quashed due to fugly unblahggable reasons 🐗. So we did the usual Saturday Griz Lunch. Janelli was not there today but one of our other faves was and since most folks were sitting outside, we enjoyed an empty barrroooom. Toward the end, a grandmotherly looking woman came in solo to order a beer and we got to talking to her a bit. Turns out she had a long (25-year) career as a SKYDIVER!!! Jeebus!

I *finally* potted my Mother’s Day impatiens today and watered them in. They are beautiful. I’ll be doing a similar thing next weekend at the moomincabin to honor The Comm.

Finished another couple books: The Underground Railroad and The Buddha in the Attic. I loved both of them. They were both about immigrants although I’m not sure if “immigrant” is quite the correct term for human beings who have been forced from their ancestral African villages into bondage to other human beings in another country.

Lemme see… Buddha in the Attic is written in an unconventional style. It is a collective story rather than one person’s story. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I kind of “got it” and I was in tears at the end. More in a bit.

I had been reluctant to read the Underground Railroad for quite some time because people who reviewed it talked about how difficult it was to read. Yes it was!!! Human beings (you and me) should NEVER be comfortable with what happens when human beings (you and me) enslave other human beings (you and me). That said, this is a wonderful book. It isn’t intended to be a work of history or even historical fiction. It portrays examples of some of the many experiences that our country’s slaves endured told through the story of one young woman. There is also an element of fantasy involved. At one point I had to use the Google to double-check that I was remembering history correctly. What the heck?

The Buddha in the Attic was about Japanese women who traveled by sea to meet husbands in California that they knew only by photographs, usually false ones. You can imagine how they felt when the man’s face did not match the picture and how she felt when he beat her up (or not). When I was a young child, my [eccentric] aunt Roberta brought a BEAUTIFUL young Japanese woman to visit us at the moominbeach. Roberta had worked as a teacher in Japan after WWII. I LOVED the Japanese woman. I remember walking down the beach one night, six of us in pairs of two. My brother and dad were walking together doing whatever. The Commander and her sister Roberta were walking together jawboning away like the MacMus (including me) always do. I was walking with my beloved Japanese friend. I don’t remember what we talked about. I just remember her quiet kindness toward me. I was/am a blonde and some people even thought I was pretty back then but the ideal beauty to me in those days was Asian.

<sorry>Oh yeah, back to the craziness the USA has come to in this decade: donation to Planned Parenthood done. ACLU is next. Anyone who disagrees with how I spend my money can bite me! Gotta get the fossils *back* out of our bodies.</sorry>


Friday, May 17th, 2019

We deviated from our Friday night OT habit via the Red Hawk tonight. Fortunately I only encountered drizzle on my walk downtown. It started pouring cats and dogs after I got there and I did not have any rain gear with me. I hope we are not finished with the OT although I have always liked the Red Hawk. We had a window seat but I didn’t see the crane over the Diag until we left the restaurant. Through Nickel’s Arcade, across the street to the old Jacobson’s parking lot, and home from there.

I used to “shop” at Jacobson’s a lot. Not that I bought a lot of stuff there. It was an upscale department store and therefore didn’t match my budget but I did buy a few things there over the years. Once a long time ago, the beach folk were down here on Black Friday and we were shopping downtown. I think we were at John Leidy (specialty gift shops (shops is not a typo) across the street from Jacobson’s) when Radical Betty asked where Grandroobly (her brother) was. Upon hearing he was at Jacobson’s she rather incredulously asked, “What is Jack doing at Jacobson’s?” Using the bathroom, of course. Oh. Yeah. And we both dissolved into laughter as we so often did.

I’m not sure if that parking lot ever really belonged to Jacobson’s or not. Certainly nowadays it is city-owned or contracted or whatever. Jacobson’s is long gone, as is John Leidy. Jacobson’s moved (or expanded, I can’t remember) to Briarwood Mall for a while, where it took over a Lord & Taylor store and eventually the whole thing closed. The downtown store was taken over by Borders when it moved from its original location on State Street and we all know what happened to Borders (alas). Nowadays Knight’s Steakhouse operates a restaurant in the old Jacobson’s location. It is a fine restaurant but we tend to prefer our neighborhood Knight’s location. When I *have* been to the downtown Knight’s the bathroom is in the basement and I can’t figger if it’s in the same location as the old Jacobson’s bathroom or not. Maybe my old coot knows.

Nowadays I avoid department stores and malls like poison and buy all my clothing online.

The crane. I’m not sure what this crane is all about but cranes are a regular sight in our small/mid-sized city (120K). I believe there’s something in the city zoning that allows 14 story buildings as a height max. And so for the last 10 years or so, developers have been building 14 story buildings like nobody’s business. I don’t want to be a NIMBY but it seems excessive to me. Also, given that a lot of folks in our city give lip service to “affordable” housing, many of these buildings are designed for “young professionals”. Whatever that means. University students with rich parents maybe? There are a lot of things I do not understand. This is one of them. For more reasons that I can begin to articulate tonight.

Anyway, the crane. As much as I hate the kind of progress that jams a beautiful little garden city with 14 story upscale apartment buildings, I enjoy the “art” involved in the juxtaposition of nature’s creations (i.e., trees in this case) and man-made feats of engineering.

Moom Moments (and crappy bird photos)

Thursday, May 16th, 2019

Ever have a Moom Moment? It’s when your teenager (or whatever) is out late and all of a sudden you WAKE UP and FREAK OUT! Where is my kid? You imagine all kinds of scenarios. Car crash. Dumpster. Whatever. I wrote about this the other day but I *always* breathed a sigh of relief when I heard our old Jeep Wrangler “The Indefatigable” turn off the main road onto our street.

Today, a beach urchin (or maybe two), had a Moom Moment. My Mouse is camping over in the western parts of the lower peninsula and she was texting pictures and other information all day. I enjoyed the pics but failed to reply. So. I was in the usual crazy-*ss “road diet” traffic jam a couple blocks from home when my phone started vibrating like crazy. A phone call, not a text. There was no way I could look at my phone then because traffic was nutso and I really needed eyes on three or four sides of my head to deal with it.

I pulled into the driveway and pulled out my phone. Turns out that people were worried about my whereabouts. Yes, I am fine! I was in meetings on and off all day and I loved the pics but kept getting interrupted before I could manage to send a 🧡 or whatever.

I wrote earlier that I worried when my teenagers were not home on time. The truth is that I worried about them when they were 20-somethings and now (gulp) 30-somethings. My parents didn’t stop worrying about me until, well, I have to think about when so we’ll go there some other day. I do know that when I was 40-something, I attended a beach faaaaar up at the moomincabin (after putting the beach urchins to bed) and the parents were very relieved when I came home. Uh, you guys, I was down on the BEACH (which I can WALK to), with people I’ve known my entire life. Who knows, a bare bear might’ve come along (not). This is all okay though. We all need to take care of each other and noticing when someone is not available when they usually are is a good thing.

The pic is Mooma Robin (or maybe Dooda Robin) feeding her (his) babies. I know it’s hard to see what’s going on in the pic. It’s from a webcam. We don’t want our human bodies to get close enough to invade the bird family’s space.

Birds and bees, flowers and trees, and grubs

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

Our so-called lawn is speckled with these little “violet” flowers. I don’t really know what they are but they come in two color variations, this one and a more solid purple. Although we *do* have a lawn, it is not one of those perfectly immaculate lawns like The Prosecutor’s Mother used to have. Every time I walked by her house at a certain time of day she would be outside, dressed immaculately with nylons and heels and the whole works, picking up miniscule sticks and leaves. I am sure she didn’t handle her whole lawn by herself. She *must* have had a lawn service of some sort. Or else The Prosecutor did her lawn. But I kind of doubt it.

She doesn’t live there any more. Some years ago I walked by her house and her automotive vee-hickle was replaced by a different one and it looked like cleaning/moving activities were going on inside the house. I strongly suspect that she had been moved to a different living situation and is probably on the other side by now. When she was still around, we would chat a *bit* (I am not *usually* much of a chatter) and I could never figure out if she was totally with it or not. She was certainly well “manicured” and well-spoken but my dementia-dar detected something might be amiss.

I don’t want a lawn like The Prosecutor’s Mom had but I have always wondered about a few things about her but didn’t ever ask (because chatting…). Mainly, who is your son? Because I think I know who he was. His kids went to grade school with my kids and my main memory of him was the first day of fourth grade. A bunch of us parents were slugging around outside the classroom whooping it up until the teacher came out and asked us to please move it on down the road. We left and the prosecutor said, “I’ve been getting kicked outta this school for 40 years.”

Today after a long slodge home from Cubelandia, we were sitting outside watching all of the bird activity in our yard. Daddy Robin snagged a grub and the Little Brown Birds were mating. I now know (sorta) what a cloaca is. Do you? I had a good Bird Story to blahg about but by the time I got around to blahgging, I couldn’t for the life of me remember which one it was. You get this one instead.

EOD selfie

Tuesday, May 14th, 2019

This afternoon it was actually warm enough to sit outside after work. So this is me reflected against my laptop wallpaper or whatever you want to call it. You can see that I use a MacBook Pro (at home, at Cubelandia I have a windows musheen).

Anyway, my laptop wallpaper is a cavern photo from Ruby Falls, where we took a tour on our way home from Crazy Old Florida spring of 2015. We lucked out on that tour in that we were in a group of something like eight rather than 60. That meant that we could take a bit more time to look around, talk to the guide, and take photooos, etc. The folks we saw on the 60-person tours were going along at a pretty good clip and not sure they had that luxury.

I was nervous about being inside a cave inside a mountain at first. Like what if there’s an earthquake and the whole thing collapses upon us. In Chattanooga Tennessee? Not likely but earthquakes happen everywhere all the time (I even experienced one on The Planet Ann Arbor a long time ago). I forced myself to calm down and I enjoyed the tour. But that was in 2015 so maybe I should change my wallpaper some day…

Bonus! Do you want Trump Socks? Here they are! Oh boy oh boy, I had to sit on my hands to not order these for the Trumpers in my life. I dunno, I may order a pair *anyway* (for me, since these are “women’s” socks, is there a difference?). Just for fun. Except that I also read an article today about how a lot of the clothing that people are Marie Kondo-ing are ending up filling up landfills, so I will not buy those socks for anyone because I strongly believe most of them will end up in one landfill or another.


Monday, May 13th, 2019

This is a crappy photo of one of my fave roads (except for The Cabin Road). This is Jerusalem Road. It is “out in the county” and is a two-lane gravel/dirt road.

I drove part of it (and several other out-county roads) on Sunday morning on a slow Frog Hopper trip to Swan Corners and back. Along most of this road, big deciduous trees overhang from both sides. I love the bare “bones” of the tree on the right. It is good to drive s-l-o-w-l-y along Jerusalem Road, especially at this time of year because there are many many many potholes (if that’s even what you call them) and if you get going too fast, you will be bouncing up and down wondering if your taaaars are okay. I move over and let the yay-hooos in the big twuks roar past me. I didn’t encounter any of those Twuk People Sunday morning. I had Jerusalem Road to myself. Maybe they were still all slug-a-bed-hungover.

So tonight I felt obligated to ‘fess up to the GG that he should not use the 20 stamps I recently ordered. Why? Well. Because I bought the stamps based on the picture and FAILED to notice that they were POSTCARD STAMPS! When is the last time either of us sent a postcard to someone? I cannot remember.

Why was I nervous about ‘fessing up to him about this? Because “wasting” money aka penny pinching is *sometimes* on his radar screen. Unless he wants to buy something for himself🐽 (or me). We’ll talk about The Commander buying me the first Apple laptop I ever owned (2003) some other day. Thank you Moom.

And then the conversation started to devolve. GG: Well, how many of the postcard stamps would I have to use to mail a regular letter? KW: Two, but you would lose some money because regular stamps are 55 cents and postcard stamps are 35 cents, so if you use two of them on a letter, you are losing 15 cents. Okay, then I started to get really creative and suggested we buy 20 postcards when we are at the Moomincabin for Memorial Day (which is coming up waaaaay too fast in my opinion) and mail them out. Which immediately cracked me/us up because “send them to who?” and I wonder how much postcards cost nowadays. In other words, buying postcards would NOT save us money, roight?

All that said, let’s turn this around and pay it forward! If you would like to receive a yooperland postcard (Soo Locks or Tahquamenon Falls or whatever, you don’t get to choose) with a short hand-written message from me, lemme know! I’ll do my best to remember to send you one 🐸 My limit is 20 postcards because that’s how many postcard stamps I have. After that you are outta luck!!! 🐲 But I doubt I have 20 followers sooo… 🐸)

Love y’all, even those who won’t get postcards. -KW.

Playing my Mother’s Day card

Sunday, May 12th, 2019

I am not a fan of Mother’s Day. It’s nice that people appreciate their mothers but I have mixed feelings about the celebrations.

I certainly don’t ever expect to be honored for being a mother. For years when my daughters were young, I spent Mother’s Day helping the YAG theatre guild move into the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre for our spring production. Mother’s Day brunch? No time for that. Every day is Mother’s Day!

Today I did my shopping and a bunch of chores and checked out Swan Corners and then I settled in to listen to Sunday jazz and finish the Earthsea cycle and do some xwords and hang out. Alone. On a rather dreary day. And then I heard a familiar kind of an automotive purr turning off of N. Maple. Hmmmm. The GG and I both remember feeling relief when, in the wee hours of the morning, we would hear the Indefatigable enter the neighborhood. Our [teenage] kids are home. The Ninja makes a totally different noise but I knew it as soon as it turned of N. Maple.

I was kind of thinking what the heck is he doing home so early? I wanted more time alone. But then I thought something like, “What the heck, maybe I can play my Mother’s Day Card and we can go out to lunch at the Session Room.” Neither of us had eaten yet and so that is what we did. At the end of lunch, the GG said, “I need a nap”. Well I guess so, after yesterday: at least four hours of driving, four hours of chainsawing, eight miles of hiking, a dinner and presentation. Not in that particular order.

While we were at the Session Room, I spied a Mother’s Day luncheon complete with gift bags and flowers and whatever for all the mooms. I pointed it out to the GG. He asked if I was envious. NO NO NO NO NO! I was happy having a quiet lunch with him at the Session Room bar and then… We got home and the GG did take a nap and then the beach urchins et al started trickling in.

We slugged around for a while and eventually burned a fake log in the faaaarplace. It’s a little late for a faaaar around these parts but it was “clammy” in the Landfill today so it was the right thing to do. The GG grilled filets and Lizard Breath made fancy potatoes and there was Farmer John’s asparagus and garlic bread and salad. We watched Mooma Robin feed her hatchlings via the webcam and Archie the baby rabbit ventured out into the yard. Watch out for hawks!

All in all a wonderful day and thanks all for honoring me on Mother’s Day even though I could really not care less. 🧡🧡🧡

From my yard to yours

Saturday, May 11th, 2019

I don’t have much to say about today. Chores and grokkery shopping and that was about it.