Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Signed, C19

Saturday, April 25th, 2020

Okay, we are getting all kinds of deliveries these days. Household cleaning items (but not Clorox wipes) and various non-perishable grocery items plus some exotic perishable grocery items. I sit in here at TeleCubelandia and watch stuff get delivered. I quarantine it or not depending on what it is.

Yesterday a *phone* was delivered to my house. Not my phone, mind you. A young friend’s phone was scheduled to be delivered and he lives in a prime porch poaching area. No one is gonna poach off my porch in any way shape or form during this period of time because I meet EVERY delivery person from behind our glass door with a big THANK YOU!

So this phone was delivered by a UPS person. Technically a signature was required. The UPS guy took one look at me and said something like, “Is it okay if I just sign this C19?” Yes yes yes it is okay. In fact it totally cracked me up. He looked younger than me but he wasn’t a spring chicken and I’m sure neither of us wanted contact. Daisy zoomed over to pick up the new phone.

I put in a Sparrow Market order this morning and picked it up curbside. And then a kinda secret order and then… I actually went to the bank drive-thru. The last time I went through a bank drive-thru was back in 2007 when I was working as an intern at Cubelandia and was getting paid with paper checks. After I got hired as a full-time employee, my paycheck was deposited directly and nowadays whenever I do get a check from something, I can deposit it via my phone.

Today I cashed a $100 check and asked for five dollar bills. I need those to leave tips for Argus Farm Stop delivery folks. I can’t tell an ATM to give me five dollar bills.

I get to post this pic once in a while

Friday, April 24th, 2020

“It’s my birthday and I’m two and I can talk as well as you and this new skort outfit is so cute, I will just take off the outfit I’m wearing and put this one on, right here in the Landfill Back Room in front of everybody. And I have a new hat from my Gramma and these fancy high-heeled shoes that belong to my sister. And… My Mouse!”

I won’t say how many years ago this was. More than I am strong enough to count, that’s for sure. A few years ago we celebrated this one’s bday by attending a play she was acting in, dinner at the Landfill, then a wee bit of a nightcap in the Lyme Lounge, where we sang along to 90s alternative rock. This totally cracked our then neighbor up. Our driveway is a few feet from their house. No social distancing there so good thing there are walls.

This year. Well. Hmmm. We are not gathering. I don’t even have an actual gift, you know, the kind you can actually open. I venmoed some money instead. It’ll have to do. I did make sure to stipulate that it was BIRTHDAY money, not money to buy me groceries.

In the beginning? Not to get TMI but this one was three weeks early. Given the personality that immediately emerged, we figgered we knew why. GET ME OUTTA HERE!!! Early though it was, we expected all was well and it was and we were bounced outta the hoosegow after about 24 hours. And so it began.

Aside from the typical kinds of struggles that happen with a mother and daughter who are both “spirited”, I never had one iota of trouble with this person. Highly intelligent, creative, empathetic, and many-talented. A total force of nature. In this difficult time an essential worker who volunteers to shop for her parents and other households who need food and can’t or shouldn’t go shopping.

HB 🐭🧡🧡🧡


Thursday, April 23rd, 2020

My company is really good at supporting us in general, aside from a Black Thursday once in a while, but it’s at-will employment and that goes with the territory. It’s why I have an empty grocery bag over at Cubelandia and nowhere near enough personal possessions to fill it up.

During the pandemic? Almost everyone world-wide is working from home with the company’s blessing. HR has created a fund for folks who are struggling financially despite being employed. They’re even trying to provide things for young students stuck at home to do. Hip hop dance lessons, etc. It’s all good.

A notice sent out today struck me a little weird though. They are asking people to take vacation time. I don’t mean furlough. I mean our regular *paid* vacation. I know why this is. It’s because they don’t want everyone to save up all of their vacation time and take it all at once at the end of the year. Assuming we are back to normal even by then, which I am skeptical about. Anyway I get five weeks and the last thing I want to do is take the last five weeks of the year off. Yuck.

But. Vacation now? Lemme see. I can’t go anywhere. The weather pretty much sucks, like it often does in April. I don’t really mind the weather. I walk every morning and my “office” is the Green Couch, which is right next to the window so I just watch whatever comes down. But… I usually *go* somewhere when I take vacation time, usually to the moomincabin, which I doubt I will get to this year. I’m not sure I have *ever* used more than a day or two of vacation time for a staycation except sometimes at xmas. Could I get psychologically motivated to get back to cleaning out the dungeon? I need to but I’m not sure. Anyway you can’t donate anything right now.

I suppose one thing I could handle if this thing drags on forever is to take a day here and there. But working and communicating with co-workers is saving my SANITY! And I only have a bit more than another week for FZ to download his brain into mine. Taking a week or whatever off to hang out at the Landfill? Not happening.

Happy birthday to FlaMan (and my grandma Margaret, long dead). I can’t help thinking about FlaMan’s last birthday. I took the afternoon off and the GG and I drove up to Grand Blanc and took him out to lunch along with two of their other sibs. He wore a magnificent cake-with-candles birthday hat and everyone treated him like a king. Today? The GG drove up to drop off some rum and coke and butter and I fergit what else, braving a morning trip to Kroger to pick up some things left off the original list. I was not a fan of that last but he wore a balaclava over his nose/mouth and *claims* he put on his North Country Trail bandanna over that. And blue gloves. Why we have a box of those I do not know but they predate the pandemic by a few years.

Frog jam and deodorant and other pandemic online ordering misadventures

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020

I received an Amazon delivery today (along with several others). It had a jar of frog jam and… drum roll… no fewer than EIGHT bottles of deodorant! I guess we’ll use it eventually.

EIGHT? Yes! It was my ERROR! Way back when this COVID crapola was just ramping up, I eyeballed our deodorant supply and it was pretty good but I thought I would try to order some anyway. I had switched to ordering deodorant online WELL before the pandemic. What surprised me this time was that it was almost as hard to find as toilet paper. At least the delivery dates were something like a month out. I mean, we’re all isolating so why do we need deodorant?

But I do like to use deodorant, so I ordered a pack of four. And then I FORGOT I ORDERED THOSE. You know what’s next, right? A couple weeks later, I ORDERED FOUR MORE! Yes, really. The delivery date was still waaaaay out there. Then… A few nights ago, the GG was grilling a chicken and he used up the last of his xmas frog jam. All right. I ordered THAT from Amazon. So today, ALL EIGHT deodorants and the frog jam arrived in the same package. I don’t really know why this seems so funny to me but it is cracking me up. Plus, I didn’t even know what frog jam WAS until we received some as a gift a couple years ago. And then it took me most of that two years to figger out that it was Fig Raspberry Orange Ginger jam, not just jam with a cute froooogggy on the label.

Because I don’t need either the jam or the deodorant right now, the package is in “quarantine” in a hidden spot outside. Why am I putting [some] packages in quarantine? Because I dunno what you have heard about how long COVID can live on various surfaces but I have heard – for cardboard alone – 1) 24 hours, 2) 3 days, and 3) it doesn’t matter because you aren’t going to get infected by touching a cardboard box that someone with COVID has touched. Plus a whole bunch of other “guidelines” or whatever. Who is right and who is wrong? Who knows?

So I follow my own “schizophrenic” set of “rules”. Because I DO quarantine packages until I DON’T. If I know what’s in the box and I don’t need it right away, it gets quarantined. If I need it or know it contains something perishable, I pull it inside and open it. I do wash my hands obsessively after touching anything, whether I have touched it to put it in quarantine or pulled it inside the Landfill.

I also use *one* Clorox wipe from my stash on the front door knobs every morning. A friend recently watched some YouTubes showing people going around licking door knobs in the wee hours of the morning. I know it is probably silly to worry about that kind of thing but I can’t get it out of my head. And then there is the whole grocery issue but we won’t go there today. So many rabbit holes, so little time.

Note to KW: It’s spelled deODORant, not deODERant. The key series of letters is ODOR!

Another day, another rant

Tuesday, April 21st, 2020

You’ve been warned and I’m sorry but these thoughts have been percolating for about the last 24 hours and I’ve gotta get ’em out. I’ll *try* to leave the Orange Baboon out of it for once. We’ll see if I succeed.

Open up the country? Open up the Great Lake State? Open up the rural areas of the Great Lake State? You know, those areas where there aren’t (yet) high enough numbers of sick people to overwhelm our wonderful but small out-state hospitals. Y’all can do all the opening up you want. *I* will not be participating in any of it. Store, restaurant, whatever. I won’t be there. Not until there is science-backed data that indicates we are finished with COVID. Right now, we have more questions than answers. Who and what to believe? I trust very little information from any news sources at this time. I think there are a *lot* of other people out there who agree with me. (Disclaimer: The Great Lake State is not opening soon. We have #ThatWomanInMichigan for guv!)

That doesn’t mean I won’t participate in keeping the economy going. I can and I will. But I will continue to find contact-less ways of consuming. That’s the only safe way to do business during this difficult period of time and a lot of businesses, at least here on The Planet Ann Arbor, are finding creative ways to serve their customers without contact.

If we open non-essential businesses, not only does it put patroons patrons [lol, what is a patroon anyway?] at risk, it puts the employees in a terrible position. I think *everyone* is afraid to go to their workplaces at this time. Do I risk getting sick? Will I get laid off if I try to take time off? Should I quit? What if I’m a salon worker? Do I know how to keep me and my customers safe? Is it even possible without hospital grade personal protective equipment? And many hospitals are scrambling to get PPE so how can a salon worker get it?

This will annoy some of my “five” regular readers (likely including my quarantine isolation pardner) but I think we need to strongly consider some kind of taxpayer-funded relief for people who can’t work at this time. I got really annoyed (but stayed out of it) when a facebook/high school friend who has always had a reputation for high intelligence complained that people receiving $2000 a month (or whatever) to sit on their you-know-whats wouldn’t ever want to go back to work. I DISAGREE! Yes, there are always some people out there looking for a handout and some employed people have a better work ethic than others. But I think most people are happier working and making their own money. This is a devastating situation but it is TEMPORARY. Although how temporary it is will depend on how vigilant we are about stopping the spread. Opening up non-essential businesses does not seem like it will help. And guess what? $2000 a month is hardly a King’s Ransom.

The sign is at my next-door neighbors’ house. As medical interns, they are themselves essential employees. At the moment, through low-key Gladys Kravitz style spying, I am pretty sure the wife isn’t going to work. They have a baby and I think she is staying home so they don’t inadvertently transmit to the nanny or vice versa.

I am staying home for my neighbors and all of the other essential workers.

Shoreline Dream #2349378

Monday, April 20th, 2020

I had a whopper of a Shoreline Dream during my last bout of REM sleep this morning. I had a frickin’ LOT of weird REM sleep last night and although I never woke up in some kind of sweaty panic (thank you very much because I’d’ve been thinking I had oh you know), this one was enough to force me out of bed and into the great outdoors, which calmed me down immensely.

I always hate when people try to recount their dreams in detail because YAWN! So I won’t but some of the features were 1) a strange version of our own Round Island with fancy artistic man-made bricks in place of regular old rocks, 2) realizing that there were SEVEN people on the island and only one small rowboat (without oars) to get all of us back home, 3) realizing that there was NO BOTE to launch from the moominbeach to rescue us 4) rowing the one small bote with via MY HANDS along the moominbeach shore looking for the moomincabin and encountering all kinds of tourist businesses and hotels and whatever instead. It all seemed real but YOU KNOW I FORCED MYSELF AWAKE AT THAT POINT!!! P.S. I do NOT think this was a coronavirus dream but who knows.

After I returned from my 0-skunk-30 walk and before it was time to faaaaar up my work laptop here at TeleCubelandia, I did some online shopping. Cleaning products that I had been typically ordering online pre-pandemic days ANYWAY because I would rather not spend all of my time in grokkery stores searching around for them. (No Clorox wipes online. I check every day, more out of curiosity than anything.) A couple of little Pandemic Snack items that aren’t easily available without going inside a store but I’ve found them online. Aaaannndddd… A decent sized order of produce from Argus Farm Stop to be delivered Wednesday.

I’m proselytizing now and I KNOOOOOW not everyone has something like Argus. A few years ago Argus Farm Stop opened a small grokkery store/cafe. They sell grocery items from area farmers including many of our favorite farmers market vendors. This has been a successful business and since they already had infrastructure in place, they easily adapted to the coronavirus’s shopping challenges by putting an inventory online and offering curbside pickup or delivery.

I ordered a few different greens from our long-time fave Goetz Family Farm in Blissfield and wild-picked ramps and various wintery rooty stuff from various others. No asparagus yet. We’ll probably still be isolating when the asparagus is ready. As much as I love the farmers market and those vendors, I sure am gonna miss Farmer John’s little produce shop in the Cubelandia lunchroom this year. Nothing like being able to buy some of your grokkeries at work!

Generation Gone

Sunday, April 19th, 2020

The title is not meant to be facetious in any way shape or form. It is the simple truth. We lost my father’s youngest sister in March. It was not COVID but I believe that the (necessary) precautions taken for potential COVID spread – NO visitors, for example – were likely a contributing factor.

Last night we lost my mother’s youngest brother. This time COVID was the culprit. Actually, he had RECOVERED from COVID. Symptoms (fever mainly from what little I know) had abated, he tested negative, and there had been talk of sending him home in a few days. Unfortunately the virus did a number on his 94-year-old body, he took a turn for the worse, and died after a brief hospice stay.

These were the last members of the generation above me and now they are gone.

I am not sitting here collapsing into a puddle of tears. These two beloved people were elderly and in failing health. I have laid my brother (only sib), father, and mother to rest, all after horrific accidents and/or illnesses. I don’t think I can put this into eloquent language but relief was in the mix of emotions I felt with those deaths. I remember CRYING while shopping in the PLUM MARKET right after my mom died. Not because I missed her (in that moment anyway) but because for a couple months I was sorta stuck in the yooperland and I had often wondered (ridiculously!) if I’d ever see the Plum Market again. Things get weird. (And NOW I can’t don’t go to the Plum because COVID.)

I am intimately familiar with my aunt’s children because I grew up with them summers at the moominbeach, even in the same cabin for my first six years of life, and we still meet up there. I knew my uncle’s children pretty well but didn’t see them that often. Facebook drives me CRAZY in so many ways but I have to give it credit for reconnecting me to them. Especially to the youngest one, Maija. I never got to know her well at all when we were kids. I interacted more with her big brothers. Come to find out we are DOPPELGANGERS! Both in our appearance and in the way we can just about finish each other’s sentences.

As much as I miss all of my aunts and uncles as individuals, what I’m thinking about now is the times we were all together when they were young and all of us kids were running around like crazy.

I would be remiss not to say that Bubs (aunt) and Grumpus (uncle) each leave behind a spouse and they are also family so it’s a bit of a misnomer to say that their generation is totally gone. I don’t know how many years either of these spouses have left but I hope it isn’t COVID that does them in.



Saturday, April 18th, 2020

Lots to think about today but let’s stick to spring. And birds and whatever. Years and years ago when the beach urchins were young, robins used to nest on the motion light we installed in the corner just outside our back door. The GG would always discourage me from sitting on the “patio” so as not to disturb the robins and their nest.

And then, for many years, no robins chose that place to build a nest. We think they are doing it again this year! Plus, we have black-capped chickadees using various birdhouses around the Landfill. The GG affixed washers onto the openings of all of our birdhouses. The washers make the openings too small for “junk” birds to nest but other birds can. I have mixed feelings about this.

I am not actually having much trouble sheltering in place, knock on wood. In the online banking biz I often work from home *anyway* and so do many others so for us this is more or less bizness as usual. I facetimed last Wednesday with both MMCB coffee friends. We porterization factimed facetimed last night. And we did a FinFam facteime facetime tonight with three beach urchins and whichever significant others could attend. I love them all.

We got a grocery/booze delivery today. Our grockery worker is currently shopping for three households. Her own, ours, and a friend who has COVID. Symptoms are mild but she and her roommate have to stay home. A lot of our grockery worker’s orders end up being booze so, well just imagine if you are taking a bunch of booze/whine/etc. through the checkout every day at the place where you work. So she did the booze run at Meijer.

How many ways can you mis-type “facetime”? 🐽

Reporting from TeleCubelandia

Friday, April 17th, 2020

Date: April 17 and no this is NOT unusual weather for the Great Lake State at this time of year. Old Man Winter is not done throwing snowballs until he is done. It’s his decision. So remember those loverly flower pots I posted yesterday patiently waiting for me to curbside pick up some impatiens next month?

The kayak? It has been used at least once since last fall, down in the Huron River.

And finally can you see the wee bit of spiderweb in this pic? I did not notice it until I posted it on Instagram and Mouse pointed it out (click and click to embiggen). Apparently I am not dusting enough? Dust? What for?

We’ve made it through another work week. The GG has now spent THREE ENTIRE DAYS dealing with the Hoton Lake Web Cam. That means he has been largely parked in front of his computer for the duration. A spectacularly bad ending to the day. He opened up the food cupboard to check if we had Panko (we do, I think) and a bottle of tamari fell out, shattered, and sprayed sauce EVERYWHERE. He’s cleaning up the mess. I guess I need to re-organize the cupboard. Tomorrow.

P.S. The snow will melt by noon tomorrow.

Togetherness in isolation…

Thursday, April 16th, 2020

Okay it isn’t as bad as I expected. We are pretty good at keeping to our own business and nobody is sitting around noisily eating pistachios. (Note to self, do NOT buy pistachios.) But there are still *those* days. The ones where I can feel negative energy emanating from the Upstairs Lair, which is a little too close to TeleCubelandia (aka the Green Couch) for comfort.

Like the day the taxes got done for the THIRD time! First by the GG, second by the accountant, and third by the GG. Why? Because there were MINOR discrepancies between the GG’s numbers and the accountant’s numbers. I’d’ve just sent the dern taxes in at that point.

Then there was the day I (er, actually my dad, dead 14 years now) received an odd piece of mail from the Secretary of State (SOS) to renew a motor bote that is apparently still in his name. I have never received this renewal before and I had no clue. A morning of futzing around at the (SOS) website ensued with the effort only abandoned when it was determined that the SOS is CLOSED for the duration. As it should be and I knew it would be. Driver’s licenses and tags that expire during these months will be ignored by the poleese until I dunno when. July maybe? I don’t think that motor bote will see water this summer anyway.

The last TWO DAYS? The Houghton Lake webcams have been down. Or it is not refreshing? I dunno. FZ is bombarding me with stuff he’s off-loading before his impending (tooooo sooooon!) retaaaarment from TeleCubelandia and my super brain can’t keep up. So. The webcam issue. Calls to his brother who has been isolating at HL. Calls to the host service. UMPTEEN BAZILLION hours of futzing around.

I believe that I caused this issue. I have been paying for web hosting at this place since something like 2006. I thought we were on an auto-payment plan and thus deleted an email message without reading it last weekend. The result of that was that the bill didn’t get paid and our service was cut off. Okay. It took me all of 30 seconds to pay the bill and we thought we were back in business. Until we weren’t.

That’s about as far as I’m gonna go with that. Like I said, it’s a waaaaaay long story and my superbrain is taaaaared.

I dunno when these flower pots got filled with soil. The last time I took the compost out they weren’t there. It wasn’t THAT many days ago and my Isolation Pardner has been INSIDE THE LANDFILL for THREE WHOLE DAYS now! And BTW, it is NOT ILLEGAL to buy plants or seeds or gardening stuff in Michigan. I’m not really sure what the exact rules are surrounding big box stores but they are there to protect workers from having to provide non-essential services to bored people. Check out your smaller businesses who are better able to pivot their services to provide safe(r), contact-free ways to deliver their wares.

Nincompoops will y’all please stay home!

Wednesday, April 15th, 2020

Jeebus H. Mackinac Kee-reist! What the heck is wrong with all of these stoopid nincompoops? Have they lost their minds?

Yeah, let’s just drive en masse to the state capitol to protest the #ThatWomanInMichigan. C’mon, it’ll be fun. We can gridlock the streets and block ambulances and, if I get it right, hospital ER entrances but who knows what to believe any more. And while we’re at it, we’ll just get out of our vee-hickles if we want and prance around in our stupid MAGA hats, social distancing be damned according to at least some of the pics I saw posted.

People no, this virus does NOT kill everyone who gets it. Nevertheless, it is DANGEROUS. It is dangerous because we are far from understanding it, including who it kills and why it kills them. We know that it’s transmitted when people are asymptomatic. That’s how most viruses work if I have it right. I am sure the virus was in Michigan before our first case was recorded.

But okay. #ThatWomanInMichigan is prohibiting us from playing golf and gardening (in the snow!) and all kinds of other things so because we don’t have anything to do, let’s go to Lansing and gridlock the streets. It’ll be fun. (Where ya gonna P you guys?) I will not feel shadenfreude when some of you nincompoops die. I will feel sadness for you and all of the people you have infected.

I am okay with people questioning some of the guv’s restrictions if they have reasonable arguments to present. I get extremely frustrated and angry when the talk boils over into how evil our governor is and how she is trying to take over our lives and freedoms. Martial law! No! She is trying to SAVE LIVES by attempting to keep the virus from spreading! All of this in the midst of a maelstrom of conflicting pieces of information. Who and what sources do we believe?

The guv makes sense to me, unlike the Orange Baboon, who randomly spews word vomit left and right including his recent statements about how HE is the PRESIDENT and can do whatever he wants yada yada. I am no constitutional scholar and not even all that well-versed in history and government but certain grade school lessons still ring true inside my head. He sounds crazier and crazier with every reckless proclamation. I am much more terrified of the Bad Orange Man (sorry youse guyz, y’all made that label but I *own* it now🐽) than I am of #ThatWomanInMichigan. Go Gretchen.

Disclaimer: I am WELL AWARE of how privileged I am to have a job that allows me to telecommute. I am home and it does get old but my paycheck gets deposited and I do NOT get bored! May we all get through this together.

Love y’all and STAY HOME,

P.S. Wash yer damn hands. Birthday Style, NOT Man Style.

Indian toilet paper!

Tuesday, April 14th, 2020

During a small I/M meeting this afternoon, Amazon Woman was kvetching about her trip to Costco which yielded. No. Toilet paper. The third person in our chat was an Indian-American colleague and he piped up gleefully with “Indian toilet paper!” Accompanied by a laughing out loud emoji. AW and I were simultaneously intrigued and sorta like, “Do we want to know?” It turned out he was talking about what we call a bidet. “Yes! $79.95 at the hardware store!” Hmmm, I have enough TP for now and can probably get more but that might be something to consider. I know of some other people who have bidets 🙃

After that we somehow meandered on to the old “If it’s yellow, let it mellow, if it’s brown…” You can fill in the rest. Yes. We used to have to do that at the old Searchmont ski hill in Canananada back in the day. There was no sewer infrastructure in the area and they didn’t have a robust septic system. Many years later, my parents got freaked out about all the flushing going on at the moomincabin when there were 10 people there (which never happened for more than a few days). They tried to institute the yellow/brown policy and we did it for a while until I NIXED it. Nope.

The real problem was that sometimes the moominterlet got plugged up. For my entire childhood and into my young adulthood, I was TERRIFIED of overflowing terlets. Why? Because my PARENTS always got freaked out when there were terlet problems. Then. Dun dun dun. I met the GG. And started going to the Moldy Old Hoton Lake Cabin. I learned how to throw a bucket of water down a terlet to flush it (this was in the winter) and I learned how to use a Plumber’s Helper. So. Up at the moomincabin, when the grandparents were freaking out about terlet trouble, I would swoop in, grab the plunger, and unclog the moominterlet.

I have to qualify that plunging a simple clog is the absolute limit of my terlet repair abilities. I cannot do any kind of snaking and we won’t even talk about ball-cocks. I’m convinced the industry chooses to call them ball-cocks to keep women away from becoming plumbers.

Avalanche testing

Monday, April 13th, 2020

Whatever That Virus has got on its mind, spring is coming to the Southeast Great Lake State. But not parts of the yooperland, which got DUMPED on. 16 inches in Marquette? Yes. But that is typical for ANYWHERE in the Great Lake State in April.

Here’s a big bunch of forsythia. This is just about the right time for forsythia to bloom or whatever you call it. I ain’t no botanist (or the daughter of one) 🐽 I took this pic out the passenger window of Mooon Yooonit yesterday as we were driving down to the river to tow the Lyme Lounge out to the geology center to do an Easter Sunday chill out. This huge cluster of forsythia bushes is next to a very crazy/tricky x-style intersection with yield signs (you do not wanna know) and I did my best because I didn’t want to ask the GG to stop.

It was funny though because just after we turned left onto Huron River Drive from this intersection, the GG pulled off into the gravel bote launch parking lot to let another driver pass us. Except he didn’t pass us. He pulled up beside us and rolled down his window. In this day and age, we are all nervous about any kind of social contact (although this was pretty distant) but the GG rolled his window down and asked, “What’s up?”

Well… This guy wanted to know if the Lyme Lounge was for sale. No. No, it’s not. The conversation went on and the guy looked familiar and we (and he) think he has approached us at the Landfill to ask this same question.

Avalanche testing? Jeebus. Talking about COVID testing via text messages with the fam today, I tried to type “available” (tests) and autocorrect turned that into “avalanche” tests. I actually LAUGHED OUT LOUD for the first time in recent memory. I am not depressed but boy did I need that laugh!

Northern Cities Vowel Shift

Sunday, April 12th, 2020

So my long-time blahggy friend Agate Gal is pretty much polly-tickly aligned with yer fav-o-rite blahgger (aka meeee). She commented to say that she liked #ThatWomanInMichigan (our guv Gretchen) and that she loved her accent. Accent? Accent? What accent? Oh yeah, it’s probably the Northern Cities Vowel Shift. Google it if you dare.

I more often *read* news so I couldn’t think off-hand how Gretchen sounds when she speaks. But yes, that accent is A Thing and Gretchen does it. In fact, when I was a young yooperlander it used to drive me a little crazy. Some of my Mac relatives from around the Detroit area had that accent and when I first went to college, there were a lot of southeast Michiganders in my dorm who spoke the same way. Coming from a yooperland town on the Canuckian border with grandparents born in Cananananada, I am better able to affect a Canuckian accent and I don’t think I personally do the NCVS accent. And neither does the GG, even though he grew up in Royal Joke, where it is endemic. In his case, I’m not sure why except that his parents grew up in Milwaukee and moved here after their third(?) child (of 10) was born and his mom was a stickler for English pronunciation and grammar, etc.

The NCVS accent does not bother me one iota any more. What the heck, I spend a lot of my time deciphering English heavily accented with who-knows-what Indian dialects, with some Angry Russian thrown in there just for fun. I love them all. And I love our guv. These last few days have been difficult as people struggle to decipher how her latest COVID-based directives will affect their lives. Yes, motor botes are prohibited, even if you can launch from your own property. The reasoning is that motor botes are more dependent upon services like gasoline and possibly parts, etc. I have mixed feelings about this but I do understand the issues.

She is basically trying to separate “essential” employees from non-essentials. It gets complicated very quickly. Like if you are running a big-box grocery like Meijer (for sake of argument) do you tape off the toy aisles? In my opinion, yes. And I know that it potentially lays off workers…

I have gotten very creative about getting food via curbside pickup and delivery from small local businesses (I know not everyone has access to that kind of service and I feel VERY fortunate that I can do this). If I want some kind of toiletry or cleaning supply or frivolous Pandemic Snack item, I try order it online. I’m aware that deliveries may take longer than they usually do so I try to think ahead. Our family grocery worker is willing to deliver stuff to her decrepit old parents (and friends who HAVE COVID, mild but yes) but I do NOT want her wandering all over the stores buying shampoo or whatever. I can get that stuff online. TP and Clorox wipes are still challenges but we are okay for now.

So, the top pic is my grocery worker taking a selfie of herself balancing in a weird way to get a pic of the bottom pic, which is a trout lily (both pics posted with permission and isn’t she beautiful?). I am sure there are trout lilies coming up in the small woods behind my house but I am staying out of that woods for the duration. A lot of people visit that woods throughout the day. They are not wearing masks and neither am I (yet). We all have our own comfort levels about where we travel. I am uncomfortable with the constantly fluctuating information/misinformation about how long COVID can live in the air or anywhere else. Sorry but that’s where I’m at.

Yabba dabba doo

Saturday, April 11th, 2020

So, I dunno. I have been ordering food and other stuff from wherever I can manage to get it. I cannot always remember how my food or whatever is getting delivered. So yesterday a Fedex truck pulled up in front of the Landfill and I couldn’t remember what I had ordered but I figgered it was delivering SOMETHING. Okay. So the Fedex truck sat out there for like 10 minutes and I could hear music but it didn’t seem like there were any deliveries anywhere. And then it drove off…

Today it seemed like the Fedex truck was doing the same thing. It sat out there forever. But then… After hanging out for 10 minutes or so, it made a delivery. To our house. THREE packages of Columbus peppered salami, which is a fave pandemic snack for us. I ordered these March 29th from some “Little Italy” place in Pennsylvania or wherever. Later on I found out that Sparrow Market carried them and *then* our own grocery worker got back to work and of course Plum has them. But now we have something like FIVE peppered salamis and we will HAVE to remember to eat our xmas smoked salmon from Raymond James tomorrow.

I hate to get into internet p*ssing matches but I also don’t like when people repeat false information on the internet. So I got into it today. For one thing… Camping facilities at Michigan’s state parks ARE NOT OPEN! NOT AT ALL! Nor are the blasted bathrooms. Where are people getting this stuff? I do not know. And yes, our governor has forbidden all usage of motorbotes. I love our guv but this is one thing I disagree with. The problem is that people are not Social Distancing at boat launch ramps. The solution to that problem should be to close (or carefully manage) the boat ramps.

I am a fan of our guv but this was a bad decision. But we are dealing with a difficult problem. COVID19 is new to us and we don’t really have a clue about how to manage it. She is doing the best she can, better than the Orange Baboon. Mistakes are going to happen…

Distancing with graupel in the air

Saturday, April 11th, 2020

We had something like three hailstorms yesterday. At least I thought that’s what they were. This morning my fave Great Lake State weatherman reported on mLive that we had *graupel* yesterday. Yes, it is a thing and it is NOT hail. I’ve actually heard of it before. And the pic is snow, not graupel. It’s a better pic and even has a bit of a lens flare if you look closely.

So now our state is locked down in that if we own vacation homes we are prohibited from traveling to and from them. I am not sure how that can realistically be enforced but I am in total support of our governor’s (aka #thatWomanInMichigan) directive and I still plan to follow it.

People need to start taking this seriously. I know a lot of people are but… Last night, a yooperland facebook friend was complaining that she couldn’t go out and get gardening supplies. If she could work in her garden (in April in the yooperland? Roight) she would feel less stress yada yada. Jeebus. Her own adult child (who I do not know but is an “essential” worker at a big box home store somewhere) shut her down PDQ by saying something like if you are buying something for fun or to ease boredom, STAY HOME! As the moom of a grocery worker, I TOTALLY AGREE!

After writing that last paragraph, I think I am done done done. I worked today and it was a pretty interesting day but I was HOME and didn’t have to go anywhere. I feel a bit guilty that I am able to telecommute when so many others are suiting up to go into hazardous areas for work.

P.S. My refuse carts are distancing according to the pickup rules, not social distancing 🐽

Can’t find the Wheat Thins pics

Thursday, April 9th, 2020

So you get this instead. My blonde beach urchins hauling a piece of driftwood along the moominbeach. The grandparents were more welcoming of this artifact than they were with the old tire the beach urchins hauled home on another occasion. How old are these scrappy little urchins? I’m guessing 10 and 8. Back in the day when everybody wore extra large t-shirts even if they were skinny little minis.

I don’t have the Photo Search Stamina to locate the Wheat Thins pics today. Most moomincabin summers had/have food themes and one summer Wheat Thins was a theme. Somewhere on this beast I have a pic of various beach urchins and probably Sam (dog, not archaeologist) over at Cedar Point eating a box of Wheat Thins.

We USED to be able to WALK the shore to Cedar Point from the moomincabin. There are lots of boulder beach sections along the way and back in the day, I knew every single blasted rock all the way over there and exactly where to put my foot next when rock-hopping. Eventually some real estate sharks gained an inroad into that area and a couple of interlopers gained access, built houses, and took an Orange Doodly out on the shore and IN THE WATER to TERRAFORM THE ROCKS! I’m not sure what their plan was or whether they intended to make it impossible for people to walk past their homes. If that was their intent, they did a fantastic job. The odd thing is that their shorefront is now really ugly. So many people seem not to understand that Ma Natcher knows best.

I am somewhat comforted by the fact that they didn’t destroy the old submerged dock and I can still float over it in my kayak. It is a leftover from when the area was logged in the 1800s or whenever. There are/were a bunch of them in our bay and my old coot used to point them out to me when I was a little kid and we were sailing or canoeing or whatever. He called them “cribs”. This is the only one I can locate these days. I wonder if our new neighbors have any clue it exists or what it is, even though it’s almost directly in front of their house. Soooo glad the Orange Doodly missed this ancient dock/crib.

Pandemic Hoarding

Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

Yes, I bought a case of these. You buy 50 cases of tp (or maybe you don’t) and I buy… Sesmark rice thins, original flavor thank you very much. We go through these things and we were out last weekend and I couldn’t find them at any pop-the-trunk or delivery stores and I wasn’t gonna go inside a big store for rice thins🐽 That’s okay. I looked online. Amazon does not have Clorox wipes but they do have Sesmark rice thins. In a case of 12 pkg. Okay, I will buy a case. We WILL use them eventually and they are individual packages so they won’t go stale. I’m not even sure why we buy these. They’re kind of dry and flavorless and Triscuits are better as crackers go. But they go well with some of our other Pandemic Snacks so…

I actually bought these for the GG (even though I also eat them). I thought he would get a kick out of unboxing a case of rice thins. And he did. But I did not let him open them until he PROMISED me he would wash his hands immediately afterward. I meant Happy Birthday Style, not Man Style. And that’s as far as we’ll go with that because TMI.

Speaking of Clorox wipes. I have two mostly full containers and I am rationing them to like 2-3 wipes a day. Front door knobs mainly. Er, except when “someone” absconds with them to clean “tools” in the back yard. No no no no! Use scrubbing bubbles or plain dish detergent or something. It’s doubtful that anything in our back yard is virus infected. I find myself checking Amazon for Clorox wipes nearly every day ANYWAY, mainly as an exercise in curiosity. For weeks, they were totally unavailable. Now they are showing up in 6-packs and other weird form factors but they are “prioritized” for hospitals, etc. That’s okay with me and I haven’t tried to pass myself off as a hospital in order to try to buy them.

It was a pretty calm day here in Telecubelandia. I facetimed with MMCB1 this morning after which I watched a weird little scene unfold in front of the Landfill as I attended work meetings. A car pulled up and a woman got out (with the car still running) and smoked a cigarette. She leaned in the open passenger window once to (I think) talk to a child strapped in the back seat. Finished her cig and drove off. I wonder if she had any clue she was being watched. I guess I am turning into Luke of Perrynet across the street who sees EVERYTHING 🐽.

I knocked off a little early today because it is 70 degrees and I wanted to sit in the back yard in the sun for a bit. It’s April and this is Michigan and it ain’t gonna stay this warm for long.

I’m not going north

Tuesday, April 7th, 2020

This is meeeee at six years old. I am on “my” beach wearing beloved clothing The Commander made for me and my dad’s buddy Pete Sherman took this photooo.

I put this on facebook last night:

I’m not going north . Although I have lived and worked “down south” on the Planet Ann Arbor my entire adult life and raised my children here, I grew up in Sault Ste. Siberia and my family has owned shorefront property and cabins there for almost 100 years. I spent EVERY day of EVERY summer there as a kid, moving out to the cabin the day after school got out and returning to town on Labor Day. As an adult I haven’t ever been able to spend the whole summer there but there isn’t one single summer I haven’t spent a few weeks there plus multiple weekends. I wanted my daughters/nieces to have the family beach experience and they love it as much as I do. Maybe things will change before summer but for now I am prepared for the possibility that I may not be able to go there this summer. This will be the first time ever. I am not upset about this. It is what it is. A yooperland facebook friend reminded me that War Memorial Hospital has SIX ICU beds. I have visited elderly relatives in that ICU and although I didn’t count the beds, I remember well how small it is and maybe not well prepared for the coronavirus. Stay home if you possibly can wherever you are. I can and I will.🧡🧡🧡

I got a lot of comments and “likes” for my statement that I would not be traveling to the yooperland for whatever the duration of COVID19 turns out to be. Please please please do not travel to the yooperland unless you have a NEGATIVE test for COVID. If you can get a test… Just try. I have been thinking since the beginning of this whole thing that the virus is being spread by asymptomatic carriers. That’s how successful viruses spread. Stay home. Don’t go north. You can’t escape the virus by going north. It is everywhere. If you have severe symptoms, the hospitals in the northland may not be able to accommodate you. STAY HOME!

Please follow handwashing and social distancing rules. Love y’all. KW (Beautiful lightning and thunder here on the Planet Ann Arbor!)

Hydroxychloroquine Blues

Monday, April 6th, 2020

Since I am apparently not allowed to express my opinions out loud these days even in my own house, I am going to use my own little platform to say what I was trying to say yesterday when I was “overruled” by a mansplainer who wouldn’t shaddup long enough for me to even attempt to state my position.

A disclaimer: I am NOT good at debating. I am shy in general and often struggle to “think on my feet” when engaged in a face-to-face debate. I get upset, my brain shuts down, and angry gibberish spews out.

There’s a lot of talk floating around about how hydroxychloroquine could be a “miracle” drug for That Virus. I don’t know if that’s true or not. I suspect very much not but I will also freely admit that I do not know anything about hydroxychloroquine. But neither does the Orange Baboon for all the crowing he is doing about it.

A while back a news story was making the rounds that a couple heard about hydroxychloroquine from one of Trump’s TV coronavirus briefings campaign rallies. They *apparently* believed their wonderful president and dosed themselves with some kind of aquarium chemical. The man died.

The accusation leveled at me was that I think Trump was responsible for this death. THAT IS NOT WHAT I THINK! Of *course* Trump cannot be held responsible for that death. What I DOOOOO think is that:

1) Trump says (often loudly) anything he pleases, true or not, whether he understands it or not. And name-calls (we’ve talked about this before) or shuts down anyone who contradicts him.

2) Trump has somehow managed to attract a cult (yes, I’m gonna use that word) of followers who seem incapable of sorting out his constant stream of Word Vomit from facts and data.

So when Trump started throwing the hydroxychloroquine word around with wild abandon, NOOOOO he did not deliberately try to entice his “base” into ingesting aquarium chemicals. BUT. People who are often, well, “not all there”, do listen to him because they idolize him. It sure would be nice if he would use his position of power to disseminate ACCURATE INFORMATION, deferring to ACTUAL EXPERTS if he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. And it is my opinion that he doesn’t give a load of crap about what anybody else thinks, whatever their credentials are.

All that said. I just read a story about our own Henry Ford Hospital beginning a STUDY to see if hydroxychloroquine is effective as a preventative for the disease. I can get behind this idea. Taking a bad orange man’s (I’m owning that label youse guyz) ranting and raving as the gospel truth without evaluating it, I cannot.

Man I am getting tired of typing hydroxychloroquine. I wonder how many times I misspelled it!

Aside from disease news, I am noticing a small but somewhat heartening polly-tickle trend on my facebook feed. People are kicking back at some of my more rabid conservative Trump-backing “friends”. And I have even seen comments from people who were Trump supporters in 2016 saying they are DONE with Trump. Keep it up folks. Dump Trump. Bad orange man. We can do better.