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Ka-whomp! Or is it ho-hum?

Monday, January 4th, 2021

Back at teleCubelandia after one of the un-vacationy-est vacations ever. But really it was okay. I am surprisingly, well, I was gonna say sanguine but looking it up, it doesn’t exactly fit, as optimistic and positive are part of the definition. I don’t feel optimistic or positive exactly but I also don’t feel pessimistic or negative. I just am.

As I was slow-driving over to the Plum for curbside this morning I couldn’t help missing my old Zen Commute to Cubelandia. But once I got home, I faaarrred up my work laptop and got to it. I spent the morning like most others probably were, figuring out what the heck I do for a living. By afternoon I had a good to-do list and I had researched px/em font units and that’s about when I started getting pinged. What about this? What about that? By late afternoon I was head-first into a rabbit hole. Fortunately not a rabbit hole on the dark side of Mercury. Although the harmoniums might’ve been fun.

All of our usual meetings got canceled for the duration of the holidays and that was fine. But we did talk beforehand about how important these meetings are for all of us now that we all telecommute all the time. I may zone out if the dev team is going on and on about something technical that I have nothing to do with but I am there [bdah bdah bdah, what were you guyz talking about I was multi-tasking… or using the bathroom… or texting with someone… or whatever…] if they need me for something. American voices, Indian-American voices, Indian-India voices, and a special Russian voice.

It was good to get back to meeting with people even if remotely. We do daily “stand-up” meetings plus weekly touch-ins with our team. My team is me and Amazon woman and we spent most of our Monday meeting today talking about that funky shit that went down on the phone over the weekend. Our Indian sub-continent colleagues were apparently pretty horrified and she had to try to ‘splain current ‘murican polly-ticks to them this morning.

I do have to say I am thankful that we don’t have video on during our meetings. We can only see our badge photos. Mine is actually not that bad. It looks a lot like one of my OLD college ID pics believe it or not. Amazon Woman, who is GORGEOUS, once said, “I don’t want *anybody* looking at me this morning!”

White knuckling it

Sunday, January 3rd, 2021

I need to stop sneaking looks at Twitter I guess. I use it as a news aggregator but it’s making me CRAY-ZEE. Today the Orange Toddler-in-Chief spent an hour or so on the phone ranting and raving incoherently at Georgia’s Secretary of State, who VOTED for Trump. Really? REALLY? We’ve got to get him out. We’ve got to get him out. WE’VE GOT TO GET HIM OUT!

Oops. Sorry but I STILL don’t understand his popularity. Not to mention all the terrification about AOC and Bernie taking over and converting our country to socialism or whatever. George Soros is gonna pay for it, don’tcha know? [That’s SARCASM!]

The pic is what Old Man Winter was doing as I was walking into the schoolyard at 0-skunk-30. Multiple weather apps told me it was not snowing. Oh yeah? I was quite wet when I got back and I shivered for a while (in a comfortable way) under a blanket on the Green Couch. Eventually it stopped snowing except it looked like it was *still* snowing because the temperatures warmed up enough that big clumps of snow were falling out of the trees. I mean CONSTANTLY!

I finished Sirens of Titan. What a ride! I love books where people with no particular training just hop onto various “flying saucers”, push a button and zoom off to Mars or Mercury (forgot about Mercury) or wherever. No thought to supplies like food, etc., whatsoever. I’ll leave it at that in case you haven’t read it and want to. What an imagination!

In a complete shift of gears, Kristin Lavransdatter is next up. Another family read or partial one anyway. I used to eyeball this book/series down at the original Borders store on State and Liberty but never got around to reading it.

And I made my third batch of Chex mix for the season. We don’t really eat cereal so I am trying to get rid of it. Last year it hung around until it got stale and I threw it in the compost.

Back to teleCubelandia tomorrow, HI HO!

Lost in time

Saturday, January 2nd, 2021

The pic is from a couple years ago on a Friday evening walking downtown to meet up at the Oscar Tango or wherever for dinner. We don’t do that any more and we did NOT have a clear sky with a full moon today. Nope. Gray fugliness ALL day. Although my salted sidewalk was pretty much dry by this afternoon, it never got quiiiiite warm enough to melt the snow anywhere else. But this is the Great Lake State and it’s winter…

I remember a high school beach urchin once asking – in January – moom, is it gonna snow again? I kinda knew that she was really asking something like, in the next few hours or whatever but I couldn’t help cracking up. I start to relax about snow sometime in March here but we can get snow until sometime in May. When we open the moomincabin on Memorial Day weekend, there is always residual snow in the woods, sometimes a LOT of it.

I finished my Goodreads 2020 reading challenge at 112 books, 12 books over. Does that sound like a lot? My kids are kind of amazed but I think they need to remember all of the books I read to them when they were children. I read to them at night. I read to them at breakfast. I read to them long after they were independent readers. I read picture books when they were small but we started in with “chapter” books well before kindergarten, Charlotte’s Web and Wind in the Willows are two I remember off hand. And “Indian in the Cupboard” on the beach to multiple generations. I did a lot of things wrong as a parent. We all do. Reading was one thing I did right.

The other thing is that while the pandemic has caused a lot of readers to struggle with focus, it had the opposite effect on me. I TOTALLY understand those who are struggling and not sure why I’m not in that particular boat. I do veer toward fiction with a few memoirs thrown in. Beyond that I’m not sure how to define my preferences except I’m not crazy about romance, chick lit, beach reads (usually), or anything too “light” or formulaic. I have been getting more into, whaddya call ’em, crime novels? Well-written ones though. For example, I read Tana French’s Dublin murder books and I don’t consider them formulaic.

The last two books I read in 2020 were memoirs. A WILD one by a woman who defected from North Korea and then brought her family out. Another totally different one by a southern woman of color (black mother/white father) whose mother was brutally murdered by her second ex-husband (i.e., not the author’s father). I loved both of these books and their authors. Forces of nature.

I started “Mexican Gothic” on New Year’s Eve and it is my first finished book for 2021. My taste can be a little weird so it might not be everyone’s cuppa but I loved it, especially the protagonist who is a, uh, force of nature. It featured a wildly dysfunctional family living in a “mushroom house”, which I won’t explain. And then today, I started Vonnegut’s “The Sirens of Titan”. I read that book in high school and couldn’t remember ANYTHING about it. This is a kind of a family read although I don’t think we will be scheduling meetings to have deep intellectual discussions about it. We’re just having fun.

Noisy precipitation

Friday, January 1st, 2021

We had it all today: snow, sleet, rain, ice, you name it. Very little accumulation and overall too warm and wet to be very slippery, at least not when walking or driving at slow speeds. There were accidents on the freeways all day. People, slow down fer kee-reist! I did not drive today. No need to.

Luke of Perrynet shamed me into going out to “shovel” the maybe half inch of slush we got. I wore my Yax but not sure they were really necessary. I did put some salt down after I “shoveled”. If the temps go down overnight, the sidewalk will get slick. He may have beat me out there to shovel but I was the first to put my garbage carts out for early morning pickup. But LofPNet follows my lead on holiday weeks. He doesn’t really do Twitter, I don’t think.

This pic is another recycled one from pre-COVID days, 2019 at the cFam xmas party. Today’s wintry mix was anything but photogenic and I was sent a couple of pics of sleepy/lazy people out at the Mouse Nest but I’m sure nobody wants those posted. Today was a PERFECT day to be sleepy/lazy BTW. These folks are all good citizens and work VERY hard. Not all millennials (or whatever they are) are lazy, entitled kiddos living in their parents’ basements and I wish some of my facebook “friends” would stop posting memes to that effect. Uh, not that anyone would be comfortable living in the Landfill Dungeon.

So this is all just filler on a dreary New Year’s Day. We’re supposed to do Virtual OT in a few minutes so g’night and typos be damned.

My fav-o-rite spammer

Thursday, December 31st, 2020

Yeah, I and a group of other people received this photo FOUR times this afternoon! The spammer finally explained that his phone kept telling him it was not delverwd. Yes, delverwd. Autocorrect can get you into trouble but not using autocorrect has its own problems.

One of my worst autocorrect failures was when I was at the moomincabin one summer and a beach urchin texted me to let me know she had landed safely in SanFran, her then home. It was the middle of the night and I texted XO, then promptly crashed back out. In the morning I realized it had been corrected to SO. Like, so what. Indeed.

The spammer is up in the yooperland and was snowshoeing the Castle Rock section of the North Country Trail. No, I didn’t go. Traveling during the pandemic has caused me almost more stress than anything else. I did make it to the moomincabin a few times. I think it was four? The good thing about the moomincabin is that weeeee own it and we could be there alone, with the natural social distancing a sparsely populated beach offers. The hard thing was pre-planning meals for 10 days here on the Planet Ann Arbor and schlepping all of that food up there. I spent $400 for that particular trip, plus the GG braved our fave Best Choice at Hoton Lake for prime rib rib-eye steaks on the way up.

So, a kinda familiar looking vee-hickle pulled up in front of the Landfill this afternoon but who/what? When the driver emerged, I saw that it was my DayTwa beach urchin. She was on her way to spend the New Year with the Manchester woods beach urchin. We were able to visit a bit in the front room. Masked of course. Her sister arrived (with a whine drop for me) and they both left after that. Hug with DayTwa sis but not younger sis, who is a grocery worker but I do at least SEE her more often if on the other side of a glass storm door.

Both beach urchins seemed worried that their baggy old moom would be alone for the New Year. No no no no no! I am comfortable here. I have some leftovers for dinner tonight and a wee bit of filet for tomorrow night. I am finally seeing a faint light at the end of the pandemic stash. It’s easy enough to get contact-free food now (at least here on the Planet) that I no longer stock up like I did in the beginning. I mean back in March/April I would stock up and then… Every day at about 3:00, I would have to pull myself out of a total fog about what’s for dinner. It’s a lot easier to shop now, thank you Zeus.

I got rid of two out of four boxes of gallon freezer bags today. They were the results of one of those pandemic shopping debacles. I needed ONE box of the quart size. I ordered them from Amazon. Except I misread BOTH the bag size AND the QUANTITY I was ordering.

The beach urchins, like all millennials (or whatever the heck they are), have been [nicely] shaming me for overuse of ziplock bags for a few years now. They were right and by January 2020 I was hardly buying any at all. Then the pandemic hit. I still use fewer than I did pre-pandemic but probably more than a year ago. Sometimes, for various reasons, they are the only thing that works. The beach urchins recognize this reality and each of them took one box🧡🧡🧡

Happy New Year to all of my nine (or is it five) readers. I hope 2021 is better than 2020 but am only cautiously optimistic.

Towers of power

Wednesday, December 30th, 2020

I was feeling kinda grumptacious this morning. I bagged my walk because I wasn’t sure exactly what Old Man Winter was lobbing at us but it seemed like ICE, which I didn’t want to deal with in the dark, even with Yax. And I can’t find my green REI hiking pole, which got me through the icier parts of the Polar Vortex winter (2014) and the GG can’t even remember it even though he bought it for me🤷‍♀️ It used to rattle around the Frog Hopper so I thought maybe it’d been transferred to Mooon Yooonit but no luck.

I totally fergot about my Wednesday FaceTime with MMCB today until my phone “rang”. Oh yeah! MMCB2 is not on Bubbe duty this week so we had the pleasure of her company, always positive, cheerful, empathetic, whatever!🧡

We took a rain ride out into the county this afternoon. The GG had “a plan” and it turned out to be tracing the paths of various towers of power. Lucky-shuckial power, that is, not musical power. I might’ve picked a different trip but I was running on low psychological energy today, meaning I had no plan. So this one was interesting enough but I won’t go into detail about it. I do enjoy musing about the juxtaposition of the organized design of nature (trees) and the organized design of engineers (towers and power lines). It’s impossible for a bear of little brain (aka meeeee) to put that into intelligible words.

I shouldn’t leave on a negative note but I am SOOOOO frustrated by so many people’s (I think I used that apostrophe correctly? Mrs. Pratt?) approach toward COVID-19 prevention. People that attended a mask-optional Republican party function (in NY?) that featured a CONGA LINE have tested positive. What was the organizer’s response? Something like, “Adults can make their own decisions.” I AM SORRY! Yes, that is true! BUT! You want to take your own COVID risk? Fine. Except NOT FINE! You may get COVID and not have symptoms. But what about the folks YOU get sick by running around breathing in their faces? And how do you know that you will not, in fact, get sick? goddamn goddamn frickin’ dammit.

I’m pretty sure that who COVID kills is not [totally] random but us humans don’t know what the algorithm is. Yes, it mostly kills “old” people but it ALSO kills young people. Like the 41-year-old elected congressman in Louisiana who left two little kids behind. I dunno if he was attending maskless parties or what. It’s a tragedy no matter. He was a Republican. I’m not sure who will replace him but whatever party they embrace, I hope they understand how dangerous the coronavirus is and will try to encourage their constituents to comply with the rules, at least the ones that our epidemiologists have been able to cobble together.

People, de-politicize this. MASK UP and stop gathering in unsafe ways.

This post is LIGHTLY fact-checked. My googler is a bit outta steam today. As always, I welcome corrections. But not if they devolve into conspiracy theory diatribes🐽

Love y’all, KW

P.S. LOL. The GG and I just had the silliest “fight” in the Landfill Chitchen!🤣 His weapon was a tea towel and mine was a wet dishcloth. We have soooo much fun🤣 And now we’re listening to Rubberband Man…

Plutification Blues

Tuesday, December 29th, 2020

After yesterday’s puano blahg, my blahggy friend Margaret and I got into a wee side convo. It reminded me that waaayyyy back in the day, part of an aspiring elementary school teacher’s college curriculum was learning to play the piano!

I remember my Lincoln School kindergarten teacher Mrs. Ryan playing the piano and I think she was pretty good (and I would probably have noticed if she wasn’t). I have a hard time believing that the public schools actually expected people to learn how to play the piano in order to get a teaching certificate. A person is either musical or not. Not to mention that playing music in front of an audience (even kids) is very anxiety-inducing for most people. It figures into why I didn’t pursue a career in music in the long run. I fell into the IT biz and it’s been good. (Knock on wood.)

By the time the Planet Ann Arbor beach urchins went to kindergarten at the public school in our back yard, there were no pianos around. I don’t think elementary school teachers are required to learn basic piano nowadays. There were a lot of other things different about kindergarten at Haisley than my own Lincoln but we won’t go there for now.

My kids both had a WONDERFUL 3rd grade teacher who was a fantastic musician and kept a piano in his classroom. Whatever else he did with the piano, he taught the kids their multiplication tables by playing a piano piece of his own, the Multiplication Blues. He was wonderful and I thought it was great. I do have to wonder what my younger beach urchin thought. She had figured out how to count by threes before kindergarten and probably already had the times tables figgered.

At least none of us grew up in North Korea but that would be a whole ‘nother story.

Playing puano duets pre-COVID

Monday, December 28th, 2020

Note that neither of theez guyz (GG and Porter) are puano players! Oh nosiree. I cannot remember what “piece” they were playing that night but they are both pretty much one-trick ponies when it comes to playing da puano. I love them ANYWAY and whatever they were playing they were HILARIOUS!

Yes, the puano is red. My mother-in-law The Beautiful Sally painted it red. Red was HER COLOR! It is a player puano. The mechanism used to work when we adopted it (when my in-laws moved to Crazy Old Florida) but it doesn’t any more. I would like to hire a pro to refurbish and another pro to tune it but I live with a big-time DIY-er and it ain’t happening. Anyway, I haven’t played it in years.

I at least have years of training and serious practice behind me (many years ago). I was like three and I would be at my grandparents’ or aunt/uncle’s house(es) in Sault Ste. Siberia on holidays and I would be banging on their puanos like nobody’s business. I was NOT Mozart and I was NOT making music but I’ve never really met a musical instrument that I couldn’t QUICKLY master, at least in rudimentary terms. (Except the clarinet but we’ll talk about that some other time🐽 And flute has been one of the loves of my life but we’ll go there some other day too.)

My parents were not wealthy and a puano was a stretch for us. Nevertheless, my parents always encouraged any musical (and other) pursuits my brother and I had and I think I was in about third grade when The Commander finally came up with a puano.

My local cousins had all taken lessons and they used the Leila Fletcher series. I have always been a self-starter and I began with book 1 and got myself all the way up to about book 4. I couldn’t work out how to count dotted quarter note rhythms at first but my cuz Uber Kayak Woman set me straight on that during one of her family’s visits from Alaska or wherever they were at the time. (10-year-old successfully teaching 10-year-old.)

About that time, The Commander said something like, “You are going to take puano lessons.” I wasn’t crazy about that idea but she set me up with my local cousins’ teacher Mrs. Diecke and I quickly learned that having a private teacher was a GOOD thing.

Well, having a private teacher is a good thing unless your puano teacher tries to make a, you know, move on you, like happened to me my sophomore year in college. We’ve talked about that before and I GREW A PAIR at that point and have never really been seriously sexually harassed since.

The “puano”? That’s what my older beach urchin called pianos for a while when she was an early talker. Banana was buana and sometimes when I was doing something on whatever computer I had at the time, she would tell me “Mama, stop doing the puano.”

I am not your twin therefore I cannot read your mind

Sunday, December 27th, 2020

It was another quiet day at the Landfill. And then. About a half hour ago… WHAT WAS THAT? It was the sound of something falling in the Back Room. What was it? It was the xmas tree! Oh fun.

A not very fun half hour of trying to get the tree upright and stabilized ensued. It featured meeeeee standing for inordinate lengths of time holding the tree up while the GG tried (and failed) to screw it back into the stand. Those needles are SHARP! I had to grab glubs and the ones I grabbed were the 50-cent Meijer kind. I have about a gazillion pairs of those and they are GREAT for walkin’ in the winter wonderland but they were not much help protecting against poky pine needles.

It was also kinda grumpy. I do not do well working together with the GG on this kind of prodject. First of all, it required engineering and I am a “patterns” person, not a “story problem” person. Just ask my brother the engineer. If you can figger out how to contact someone who has passed into the great beyond. Second, the GG has an identical twin and he is NOT me. I do not think they communicate telepathically. I do think their brains work similarly and also that they spent many years in very close proximity and are accustomed to working on prodjects together. The Twinz of Terror together get sh*t done and I usually try to stay outta their way! His twin was not here today and I am a substandard substitute.

I did my best although I chafed at being told at least FIVE TIMES not to step in the spilled water from the tree stand. Eventually he banished me and managed to shore it up somehow with twine and I dunno what else. Apparently the tree stand is “worn out” so I guess that’s our first purchase of 2021. For now, hopefully his fix works out until it’s time to take it down.

Post holiday slothfulness

Saturday, December 26th, 2020

This roomrater is a mixed bag and I’d give it MAYBE 5 out of 10. I think RR would like the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Faaaarrarms, and Explosives back there behind yer fav-o-rite blahgger’s head. And there’s some interesting art on the back wall: a moon-phase calendar (ruined by glare), somebody’s old (waaaaay pre-MAGA) camouflage hat, and an old painting of boots and a knapsack by one of the Sherman brothers. I can’t remember if it was Pete or Jim but they were lifelong friends of my old coot, all members of the Veteran Greenhorns in the yooperland in the 1930s. I don’t remember a time in my life when that painting wasn’t around and now I own it. Alas, there’s a whole bunch of clutter crapola back there. We have GOT to restart our flinging prodject.

This was our first facetime session yesterday, with three of my parents’ four granddaughters and their SOs. Good times. We squeezed in dinner before another facetime session, this time involving porterization. We [almost] always get porterized on Friday night, virtually since March 20, 2020. More good times until the GG curtailed it. The Porters are night owls, we are larks. Something like that. In the summer, we love to drive our motor bote up the upper St. Marys River from our cabin to their cabin at the crack of noon and blow a loud horn from out in the water. GOOD MORNING! 🐽

It was a fairly slothful day for most of us. I walked early but it was a shorter walk than usual because I didn’t drag myself outta the rack until 6:30 or so. At this time of year, I like to be home in time to sit by the front window and contemplate the world while it’s still dark. After that? Cleaned up the chitchen and some other minor chores and read.

Freakout of the day? Where is that other balaclava? “We” have three Smartwool balaclavas. *I* had ONE a few years ago and I was getting suited up early one frigid morning and couldn’t find it ANYWHERE! The GG was rattling around up north somewhere and HE HAD ABSCONDED WITH IT! I immediately ordered two more! So today? He sheepishly admitted he had LOST one in Ohio(!?!?!?!) And couldn’t find the other one. Oh yeah, oops, it’s in my North Country Trail “stuff”. So if you are having trouble keeping score here, we now have TWO Smartwool balaclavas. Until the other two that I IMMEDIATELY ordered from REI arrive.

As much as I hate MAGA, I kinda wish I could order a couple red balaclavas just for the GG. They come in black and gray and I prefer black but maybe if he had some RED ones, he wouldn’t keep stealing my black ones. Marriage is sooooo much fun 🐽

P.S. I chose well🧡

Surprise surprise surprise

Friday, December 25th, 2020

I’m not sure WHY I was surprised when I woke up to a couple inches of snow at 0-skunk-30. This IS Michigan and that’s what it does here. But it wasn’t really in the forecast. And then it went on almost ALL day. Mr. Golden Sun made a mid-morning attempt if you can see that little bit of light in the photooo (between the trees, behind the waaaarrrrs). That’s what we sometimes call a “weak sun”. And then he totally disappeared.

Oh well, at least nobody had to drive anywhere today. Like many other people, my family did NOT “gather” for xmas this year. My family at this point consists mainly of us, two daughters and their SOs. I mean I have a huge number of cousins but we don’t gather with them for holidays. The GG’s fam usually has a big party the weekend before xmas or thereabouts but we did not do that this year. It’s always a lot of fun but I don’t think anyone felt deprived because it didn’t happen.

If anything, it was a less stressful holiday than usual. My s-i-l The Lady of Linden, who has a big enough house to be able to host the 50 or so people the cFam has become for the pre-xmas party, has GOT to be feeling more relaxed this year. It’s a HUGE undertaking even with take-out food and she deserves a break even if the reason sucks. Here we usually have our adult daughters over (their SOs have families too!) for xmas eve and day, so it isn’t really a big deal but this year it was much less. And fewer gifts too. I think EVERYONE was relieved about that. We all have tooooo much stuff.

I was feeling a wee bit down earlier in the week because I hadn’t seen the Detroit urchin since July… Oh wait, she stopped by Saturday after Thanksgiving for an outdoor visit. Anyway, we did a masked gift exchange with her on Wednesday and I felt better for doing that.

So, neither kiddo was alone for the holiday and we were all texting ALL day! We usually avoid that kind of thing. I know parents who constantly text with their adult children and I am not a fan. But on a holiday it’s A-OK. And in a few minutes, we are meeting up online with our kids and our Hawai’i niece. Gotta go!

Back just quick! Fun Facetime. Duck and mashed potatoes were great. Parsnips a bit “fiber-y” and I over-roasted the brussel sprouts and we both managed to make what amounts to gravy🐽 But it’s all good. Would rather be facetiming with kiddos than micro-managing xmas side dishes.

Merry merry, g’night, and typos be damned. KW

Pandemic holiday grokkery fumbles 🐽

Thursday, December 24th, 2020

I started a curbside pickup order at the Plum on Monday. It was Tuesday by the time I got to the $50 minimum. It doesn’t take much to get to that. It’s an “upscale” grokkery and I buy “upscale” foods. I mean I don’t neeeeeed much of anything else, at least not very often. 12 year old vee-hickle, seven year old laptop… In 2019 we replaced a dryer that was old enough to drink. You get the idea. And I don’t really need clothes any more although if I see something I like I order it. Hello black and metallic red ribbed Chico’s turtleneck.

I am off the track already. By the time I topped the Plum order threshold on Tuesday, it was looking like the pickup slots were going fast so I pulled the trigger and scheduled it for this morning. After that I had until 8:00 this morning to add things to it. I thought I had it all but then the GG decided to walk over there and did I need anything? Well. I don’t like him hanging around inside stores but that’s a whole ‘nother convo. Yes… I need scallions and mushrooms (actually I shouldda checked on mushrooms because I DID have mushrooms, oh well).

All right, now we really are set. Or so I thought. I was banking on the last time I cleaned out the refrigerator, like two weeks ago, I had horseradish. I could NOT find horseradish today to save my life. The GG offered his help. I mean, this is a man who has been known to miss KETCHUP when it’s staring him in the face and I can see it from the next room. But what the heck. Another pair of eyes can be helpful. He could not find it. Did he take it on one of his boondoggles and use it up? He couldn’t remember.

As this little Landfill play was taking place, there was an incoming text message from my Plum beach urchin. “Do you guys need any dessert?” We don’t eat a lot of desserts and we have a generous piece of pineapple upside down cake from my s-i-l The Beautiful Gay, one of her signature dishes. I figgered we’d eat that. So I asked for horseradish! We’re also getting a half pecan pie because the GG requested it. I hope we finish it…

Horseradish? I like it with filet and we’re having that tonight. I soooooo often fergit the horseradish. But I’m also gonna mash it into some turnips with sour cream and scallions. Hey, turnips are pretty dern good when you get them straight from actual farmers and I did since these were part of an Argus Farm Stop delivery. Goetz Family Farm. Blissville. Lettuce all winter.

The GG took this pic. It was one of those “I’m at the grokkery store, is this what you want” throw away shots but I think it’s a pretty good one.

Roundabout

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

Stop 0: Kroger for beer. Stop 0? Because I hadn’t climbed onto the roundabout at this point. I was putting my work laptop to bed for the duration. Timesheets and Outlook away message. Oh, and putting on some eye make-up, which I have worn maybe five times since about April.

Stop 1: Plum Market to give our beach urchin her new iPhone with its restored backup from the GG’s computer. Purchased yesterday and dropped off at the Landfill at 0-skunk-30 this morning for the restore.

Stop 2: yule logs to the Planet Ann Arbor House of Porterization. Fire wood is impossible to get this year. Who knows why? You can’t use it to, uh, wipe and it doesn’t disinfect anything, in fact sometimes it brings vermin (aka bats) into the house. Yes really. We ordered wood waaaaay early, like August, and managed to snag some.

Stop 3: Detroit to exchange gifts with our other beach urchin, everyone masked. GG snooped around as always and absconded with a book. Quite a bit of “not all of your gifts have arrived yet” on both sides. ’tis the 2020 season 🐽

Stop 4: Flint to deliver a gift (and beer, Bud, from Kroger) to FlaMan. Gift? Mini-drone. We’re wondering how long it’ll take him to crash it into the ceiling🐽 It’s okay. He’s our brother and we love him *anyway*🧡🧡🧡

Stop 5: Hooooommmmme.

Oh man, the GG’s mood at the beginning of the roundabout? Twitchy as all get out. I finally said something like, “If you don’t settle down the impatient driving style and quit fidgeting, just take me home.” It reminded me of the day we dropped our first beach urchin off at college. He just wouldn’t settle down and *she* finally took me aside and said, “Can you get dad to settle down?” (She remembers this to this very day.) You’d’ve thought it was *his* first day at college. Except not. His parents didn’t drop him off at college. They said something like, “You’re just going to college. We’re going to Houghton Lake.” Fifth out of 10 kids… It’s okay. His high school girlfriend drove him.

Shortly after we got home, I heard the distinctive sound of a beer can (Two-Hearted, from Plum) being opened and maybe a half hour after that, he was sound asleep. Nap in a can. He slept for a loooonnng time 🐽 To be fair, he has “done” most of our hunkered down xmas this year plus trying to make spirits bright for others. I’m sure he is tired.

Use it or lose it

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020

’tis the season and I’m bumping up against use or lose as usual. I got a lot of good productive stuff done at teleCubelandia today so I am about 80% done with organizing the training session I have to run sometime next month. Feels good to get that much outta the way although knowing me, I’ll fergit it all by the time I have to dredge it up again 🐽

So last year at this time, I had (I thought) kicked a post-Thanksgiving cold virus to the curb. Except I sorta started coughing again, or was I *still* coughing? Did that cough ever completely go away? I couldn’t figger it out. I wasn’t terribly sick except I was coughing a LOT! Knowing I wouldn’t be missed at Cubelandia at this time of year (NO ONE was ever there during the holidays), I took a sick day in amongst my remaining vacay. Even though I was not that sick. Except for the insane coughing. And a lot of nose blowing.

Y’all are guessing where I’m going with this. I KNOW, intellectually at least, that COVID was not supposed to have been in the US last December. My symptoms were limited to extreme coughing and nose-blowing (Kleenex anyone) and I didn’t get anyone else sick that I know of. I don’t spend a lot of time dwelling on this possible conundrum. It probably was just a regular cold but it does continue to tickle my brain, just because there are so many things about the coronavirus “we” still don’t know. I know I could get tested for antibodies but I’m not sure I would get a definitive answer, not to mention that other people are in greater need of testing, not to mention vaccines. But still.

Whatever I had a year ago, I continue to follow the virus “rules” and hope it doesn’t sneak in through the corners of my drafty windows and doors. Which “we” now know it can’t really do. It is transmitted by breathing infected people’s air. Even those who are asymptomatic!

Mask up, people, and don’t gather.

Musings on the winter solstice if not about the winter solstice

Monday, December 21st, 2020

Today is a snowy solstice but not anywhere near as snowy as this one from a few years ago. It’s in the mid-30s tonight and I dunno how serious the snow will get but I doubt we’ll be shoveling and maybe not even de-icing the sidewalks.

If it’s possible, the last month of 2020 has been even crazier for my little immediate family than the rest of the whole steaming bunch of crapola. Our problems are of the first world variety involving automotive vee-hickles and technological crapola, etc. KNOCK ON WOOD! Because I don’t even want to think what’s next. Praying in my own godless way for NOTHING!

This week we have two vee-hickles in the driveway instead of zero. My laptop has returned from an overnight. It wasn’t in the shop. It was enlisted as a possible backup for a phone problem. I didn’t miss it that much. Although I do have some important files on here, I mainly use it to write my blahg. Those important files? Recipes and photos mostly. I pulled up a recipe tonight. Shrimp Scampi Portofino from I dunno where. Nothing financial is on my laptop.

I am not George Soros 🐽🐽🐽 but I don’t usually pay attention to what I’m spending. I don’t do a whole lot of discretionary spending except on grocks. This month has been an expensive one and I am finding myself at least eye-balling our balances.

Like I could definitely use a new laptop but this one (2013 MacBook Pro) isn’t actually BROKEN, except for the sound and about half of the keyboard lights. Automotive vee-hickle? Hmmmm… Last year somewhere pre-pandemic, I was reluctantly thinking about replacing my Ninja. We like Mooon Yooonit (RAV4) a lot and I was kinda thinking about another one of those. And then… I wasn’t driving to Cubelandia any more and the Ninja was a perfect curbside pickup vee-hickle. So I bagged the whole new car idea.

The new Kayak Woman car issue has resurfaced recently when Ninja (Honda Civic SI) needed new brakes and therefore wasn’t available for others who needed an emergency car. Where are we now? She’s 12 years old. Maaaayyybeee a new Ninja? At this point, we don’t need two cars that can tow things and I don’t need to do snow drives to Cubelandia or anywhere any more, so… We’re thinking about a new Ninja. But. I really want a manual tranny and have been getting mixed signals about that. Man oh man, I still want to drive manual. Please don’t make that go away.

Good solstice to y’all. Cheers!

This is all yer gonna git

Sunday, December 20th, 2020

I was hoping against hope that I would get a glimpse of the Saturn/Jupiter conjunction. Things didn’t look promising. It has been fugly cloudy and gray for daaaaayyyys. This afternoon Mr. Golden Sun peeked out from behind a cloud bank and then destroyed it!

In the end I *think* I saw the conjunction. I was in the driveway using SkyView on my iPhone to figger out where the planets were. I knew they were pretty low on the horizon and I probably couldn’t see them through the houses and trees in the neighborhood. So I walked over to the schoolyard and eventually got to a place where I could see it. Hello. There were other PEOPLE over there doing what I was doing so I had to do a bit of hopscotch because I was maskless. I had one in my pocket but getting the straps around my ears *inside* my balaclava was too much.

The pic is a screenshot from SkyView, an app I downloaded years ago to track objects in the sky. You may be using a different app. I’m sure there are a bajillion of them out there. No way was I gonna get a pic with my iPhone.

I’m trying…

Saturday, December 19th, 2020

I’m trying to grab onto a bit of xmas spirit. Today I planned to decorate the tree that the GG got and put up on Friday and put out my Santa collection. I didn’t get either of those things done but I did manage to de-clutter the front living room, enough that Roooooomba could run pretty much everywhere, i.e., no boxes or bags on the floor anywhere.

I am now working on a FOURTH bag of bags. For YEARS, I backpacked my grocks from the Plum. When I drove somewhere for grocks, I brought my own Chico bags or whatever. When I do curbside pickup from the Plum they very carefully pack my grocks into double paper grocery bags. Problem? You know what the problem is. Go back to the first sentence in this paragraph. (And do NOT get me wrong, the Plum curbside pickup is the BEST and I LOVE those folks!)

I *could* just throw these bags in the recycle cart and for a while, I was doing that. But they are beautiful, pristine bags so it’s a little hard to send them to wherever for whatever they do with them. The Scrap Box has advertised that they accept paper grocery bags but their rules for donating things are a bit unclear to me at the moment. Yes, Garbage Woman is falling down on the job. I reorganized that mess today and put it in another room besides the front living room.

I *did* turn on the lights today! I mean I plugged in the string of multi-colored xmas lights that has been along the front overhang for YEARS. People say things like, “It was warm out this weekend so I put up the xmas lights”. I always reply with, “Yeah, I plugged mine in.” So that’s what I did today. Late in the afternoon after the gloomiest day on earth. I don’t get depressed but this was a little much. On days like this, I actually love the dark at the beginning and end of the day.

The lights in the pic? Xmas morning 2011 at The Commander’s house in Sault Ste. Siberia. She was living at Freighter View assisted living then (but still owned her house) and this turned out to be her last xmas but we won’t go there today. We drove up there with our contingent of her grandchildren to cook xmas dinner for her in her house. I’m sure she was totally p*ssed off that she hadn’t cooked it herself. We put up a string of xmas lights on her front window and this is a pic I took when I was up early and enjoying a few quiet minutes of Moom Alone.

Flashing white and lime green…

Friday, December 18th, 2020

Those are not the first colors I knew. I think the first colors I knew the names for were red and green. Xmas related? I’m not sure but probably. These were followed by yellow and blue and until I got to kindergarten, whenever I thought about colors, my brain went red-green-yellow-blue. Kindergarten opened me up to rainbow colors. I am not an indigo fan, at least not in rainbow colors.

A year or so after that, my lovely and talented teenage cousin Sally, who ended up formally studying art and teaching it, added a whole bunch more rainbow colors to my palette via the 64-crayon Crayola box. Red, Orange Red, Red Orange, Orange, Yellow Orange, Orange Yellow… Maybe you get the idea? I bet she doesn’t remember teaching me about that but I sure do.

I made many crayon “designs” cycling through those colors and was not a happy camper when Crayola “retired” some of them or renamed them with “sexy” names. Like Razzle Dazzle Rose and (HEY) Electric Lime. I was well into adulthood and parenthood by that time but what the heck? They messed with my System! I’m gonna bet it’s possible to buy the original colors on eBay or somewhere but I have enough crapola around here.

I *think* we’re doing virtual Oscar Tango tonight. The GG is rattling around up north somewhere. Yes, again. It’s okay (as long as he doesn’t bring the damn virus home) because I get a chance to be spacified this weekend.

The photooo is a picture from last December over at the House of Porterization. We had JP’s wonderful chili there and I think we did BYOB or something like that. I actually have a pic of their tan and only bathroom from that night which I will not share. Really, the only reason I took a pic of it was because it was a copy of my old blue and only bathroom except in tan and in better shape than mine was. I have heard of a pink “colorway” of this bathroom. Maybe there are others.

We are obviously not gathering in person this year and I am not sure how this turned into a color post but somehow it did. Sometimes I just start randomly blathering and I end up where I end up.

We did do virtual Oscar Tango and as a bonus, we also got to hang out a bit with the Uncly Uncle and The Beautiful Gay, who was driving the getaway car. 🧡🧡🧡

I think hope we’re done having fun for a while

Thursday, December 17th, 2020

Man oh man, what a busy and EXPENSIVE day! You don’t want to know about the work stuff but the automotive vee-hickle crapola may be of more general interest.

So, where were we? We took the Frog Hopper in for suspension work LAST WEEK! They ordered the WRONG PARTS TWICE. It was FINALLY done today so the GG walked over there to pick it up. But. It was still making the rattling noise that was the original reason to take it in. Sooooo. He took it back. It needs further work but that has been ruled non-critical. BUT. They had failed to tighten up some bolts… … … It is now back home just for the record.

If you’ve been playing along for any length of time, yes, the Frog Hopper was once our vee-hickle. We keep vee-hickles FOREVER and it is now 10 years old with more miles on it than I am strong enough to count. A beach urchin owns it now. We (mainly the GG) were involved in this repair because she is an essential worker (grocery and yes they ARE essential) and the GG is, well, one of his alternate monikers is The Pensioner. Meaning that he has more time to deal with this crapola than she does. Not to mention that he knows cars inside and out and is a MAN so doesn’t take any bullsh*t from mechanics. That shouldn’t still be a THING but it IS. Alas.

And then there is my loverly Ninja, who needed brakes. Even this normally mundane repair turned into a bit of an odyssey. The GG took Ninja over to the Honda dealer and THEY HAD TO ORDER SOME PARTS! Apparently this is a theme. I dunno if it’s related to the pandemic or not. Anyway, after he 1) picked up the Frog Hopper 2) took it back and came home again, he walked over to Honda to get the Ninja. No issues with the Ninja, knock on wood.

Oh yeah, and yesterday we got a recall notice on Mooon Yooonit for fuel pump issues that may cause stalling. They do NOT have a fix for that yet. AWESOME, as some people say. Automotive vee-hickle issues are never ending. But we knew that.

My fave vee-hickle manufacturer remains Honda. Subaru makes great cars but if you own them forever (like we do) the dealer doesn’t really like to schedule you for repairs. Toyota is still an unknown because our first Toyota is a 2019. It was my late automotive engineer brother who steered us toward Honda in the first place and my all-time favorite car was the Dogha, our 2001 Honda Accord. And my brother worked for GM.

The pic is from sometime last year ago when I was stuck in snow and traffic on my drive home, in Mooon Yooonit at a standstill.

Back in the day… You know, when we went downtown and shopped

Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

Yes, this is an old photoooo. Probably 2016 judging by my iPhone. It was a 6S and that PINK Mophie charging case was a perfect fit.

Anyway, I *think* this pic is in 10,000 Villages downtown on the Planet Ann Arbor. Oh, the good old days when we could walk downtown on a Saturday, have lunch at the Griz and, during the xmas season, we would wander the Planet Ann Arbor shops for trinkets and things for the beach urchins. We are *obviously* not doing that this year.

And those WERE the days. One of the things my cousin Julie and I were able to reminisce about during our phone call yesterday was the good old J.L. Hudson department downtown Detroit store. We both loved to shop there and The Commander worked there as a buyer after college. Julie really lit up when I told her I remembered Northland Mall. It probably wasn’t the first mall in the country but it was very early and an easy Hudson’s satellite store for folks not living in downtown Detroit to get to. I have a pic of me with Santa there when I was a very small child, maybe three. I’m not sure if I remember that or not. I think I remember some of the bling at least. I’ll have to look for the pic.

I loved to shop for quite a bit of my life. At some point in time I just got taaarred of the whole acquisitional lifestyle. I am struggling with xmas this year but I have some ideas and we will get through this.