Archive for May, 2007

A Perfect Example of Why I Usually Turn My Land Line Ringer Off

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Grrrrr. Yaknow? I am not one o’ them thar stay-at-home moms who sits around eating bon-bons and watching soap operas. I betcha I did about thirty chores and errands this morning and I have more to do this afternoon and I have some work to do on the computer/internet and I am trying — really — to start a business. I don’t have a whole lot of clients yet but I am working on it and I have a lot to do. So when the land line rang this morning, my thoughts went along these lines:

  1. Damn, I forgot to turn off the ringer.
  2. I wonder if it’s a solicitor. (Yes, I am on the do not call list. It’s pretty good but it isn’t perfect.)
  3. Or someone who just wants to chit-chat.
  4. Or a relative in dire need of some piece of paperwork that I’ll have to spend the next twenty minutes frantically rummaging for. With an emergency trip to the safe deposit or the post office uscan (or Kalamazoo (love you Mouse ;-))) thrown in for good measure.
  5. I won’t even mention the “who died” calls. 😐 (In all truth, I didn’t get this far down the list this morning.)

Seriously, I love y’all, but I haven’t ever been crazy about telephones. Phone calls are *interruptions* that too often bring bad news or annoying solicitors. And I have to be in the *mood* for chit-chat. If I’m not, you’ll just think I’m ticked off at you or depressed or distant or whatever. Chances are almost 100% that I am not, rather that I am merely preoccupied with whatever I’ve got going at the moment and can’t get into the chit-chat groove.

If I had caller ID on the land line, then I could at least triage the calls. If I were Mouse, I could just figure that anyone who wanted to call me would call my cell and I’d ignore the land line. (I love you, Mouse. :-)) But I don’t have caller ID on the land line and some people have my cell phone number and some don’t and some who have both tend to call either on a random basis.

When I answered the phone this morning, it was “Kaiser.” I don’t know how he spells his name but he said he was from Network Solutions. He told me that my domain name, ababsurdo.com, was about to expire and tried to sell me ten years of renewals at a “special” price. Hmmm. mousesnest.com *was* due to expire a couple weeks ago and I had already renewed it. I was pretty sure that ababsurdo was nowhere near expiration. I should’ve just hung up on him like I usually do, but I decided to ask him *when* ababsurdo was due to expire. “In a few weeks,” was his response. “Can you give me the exact date?” I asked. “No, I don’t have the date, but in a few weeks,” he replied. I said, “I’ll deal with this on-line, thank you,” and hung up. Turns out that ababsurdo does not expire until late September. Definitely not “in a few weeks.”

So, who was this guy? Was he *with* Network Solutions? Or was he just trolling through the whois records? Usually, I get email reminders from Netsol. And even then, I don’t click any of the email links. I go over to my browser of choice (which is Firefox, by the way) and enter www.networksolutions.com all on my own and go from there.

Several things to be learned from this:

  1. Beware of anyone (ANYONE) calling you on the phone trying to sell you something. Even if (especially if) you have an account with the business they supposedly represent.
  2. The best way to get my attention is to EMAIL me! You can just hit the link over on the right rail. If we need to communicate telephonically, it can be arranged.
  3. If you are calling up for random chit-chat and I sound “distant” or “bothered” or whatever, it’s not (usually) because I don’t like you. It is because I have about umpteen-gazillion things going through my head and I am not in a chit-chat type mood. Unless you happen to have REALLY GOOD NEWS! That will cause my mood to shift pretty fast. But it’s been quite a while since I’ve had a phone call that qualifies as good news.

Sincerely yours,
Kayak Woman

P.S. I’m actually gonna go do something fun now. I’ve earned it today. Don’t call. I won’t answer. 😉

Fast Forward

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Among the things that are not easy to process is realizing that some of those cool kiddos sauntering sleepily over to the Pioneer bus stop were kindergartners when my little lizard was in eighth grade.

I’m Just Sayin’ (Group Home Pantry Inventory)

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

pantry.jpgIt was a nice, loooong holiday weekend up there at the Houghton Lake Group Home. It was just the GG, me, Kathy, and Doug, and the weather was great, contrary to predictions and I had a great time and I’m not exactly sure when I’ll get there again. I can visualize about the next ten days with pretty good clarity, then it gets a little fuzzy. There’s something about China and some dogs and Fin Family Moominbeach a little later in June. Rumor has it that a cowgirl’ll be ridin’ into The Great White North for a bit in early August. And there’s something about Africa at the end of the summer that I don’t even want to think about yet. Other than that, I’m cleaning my house and learning php and some other stuff and trying to figure out how to obtain a few more small clients to reach a critical mass of freelance/consulting web jobs. (If you know of anyone, send ’em my way.)

Anyway, I know I’m likely to get into some kind of trouble for this but I got bored enough by this morning (a dangereuse thing) to pull everything out of the Group Home pantry and put it back in. It drives me nuts when I am out at the grocery store and buy something and then get back to the Group Home (or The Landfill or Fin Family Moominbeach) and find five copies of what I just bought. So, in an effort to save the rest of y’all a little grief, here’s a list of things that are *not* needed at Houghton Lake, as of this date and not in any particular order:

  • graham crackers: *5* packages of them, 2 of which are open already (I didn’t check for staleness)
  • aluminum foil: 3 packages
  • spaghetti: 3 packages
  • egg noodles: TONS
  • penne: 1 package that I wish I’d’ve known about before I bought *more* for pasta salad
  • macaroni and cheese: at least 3 boxes plus some packs of Easy Mac
  • various sauce mix packets: *lots* of gravy mix, some french onion soup mix, and other random stuff
  • marshmallows: only 1-1/2 packages but those things turn into rocks after about 10 minutes — so far, these seem okay though — they’re hanging in a plastic bag on a hook up on the left side of the pantry
  • peanut butter: crunchy, smooth and low-fat, not all are full
  • salad dressing: lots of ranch, a couple raspberry vinegar, of course if you like something different, knock yourself out 🙂
  • cooking spray: 5 cans, various kinds, some are half-empty
  • mayonnaise: enough to last ten years at my house
  • garlic: garlic powder, dried minced garlic (BIG jar), minced garlic in oil (two jars)
  • jam: a couple of jars that Kathy made (I had some of the strawberry/lemon on cinnamon-raisin toast and it is *dynamite*!) plus two industrial sized jars of grocery store strawberry
  • shrimp cocktail: 2-1/2 jars
  • tartar sauce: 1-1/2 jars

That is not an exhaustive list but covers things that we seem to have multiples of. If any of y’all are wondering about the existence of anything else in the pantry inventory, go ahead and ask me. I just might know. Or not… 😉

Love and looking forward to seeing y’all at the Group Home this summer, sometime in the fog of “what’s next”!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Mousiblogiversary

Monday, May 28th, 2007

Mouse writes that this is her first blogiversary and has posted a contest to celebrate. So click on over there and participate if you want chocolate and yarn.

I’ll participate in the contest when I figure out what my answer is to the “favorite word” question. That’s a hard one. Other than that, all I have to say is that I remember the years when I had a blahg and Mouse didn’t, and she would frequently refer to my blahg as, “your stooopid blawg” in a quite derogatory tone of voice. 😉

Happy Mousiblogiversary, Mouse!

Flowering Red Pine

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

redpinecone.jpgI am not much of a naturalist, as much as I love to be outdoors and away from crowds of people. I know lots of people who can identify all kinds of different natural things and I hold some envy of them. I usually just look at the whole picture. But there are two kinds of pine trees that I have been able to identify since a very early age, five or maybe even three. My granddaddy took me and a few cousins for a walk down the back road to about the Three Sisters and he showed us how to tell the difference between red and white pine trees. Red pines have groups of two needles, white have groups of five. Red pines have a rough, reddish bark, white have a smoother bark without any hint of red. The cones are different too, and the general shape of the trees. I don’t know how accurate this memory is. It may even be a composite of different memories. But I have always known how to tell red and white pine trees apart. And I have never noticed a red pine “flowering” like the one in the pic, from a little plantation at the Beaver Creek foot trail:

Get In, Sit Down, Hang On, & Shut Up

Saturday, May 26th, 2007

Bumper sticker on my new boyfriend’s pickup truck.

Hiking the Mason Tract

Saturday, May 26th, 2007

Another terrifically exciting video from The Great White North:

Death Biathlon

Friday, May 25th, 2007

I wish I had a recording of Mouse, oh, at about the age of eight, saying, “Dad took us on a death march.” With a tone of complete, absolute, utter disgust, emphasis on the word “Dad.” I do not have such a recording and Mouse never actually said that. I’m paraphrasing something she did say one day, “Dad said the D word once and the P word twice!” I can remember it as clearly as a bell. The three of them had just emerged from the jeep after some sort of little Saturday afternoon junket around the Planet Ann Arbor and I do not remember just exactly what had happened but *nobody* looked very happy.

The GG is a master at leading people on death marches, one of the most famous of which happened in the badlands on The Lizard’s 10-year-old trip. I wasn’t there that time but I went there a few years later and I can easily see how a hike in the badlands could turn into a death march. That was also the trip on which they were in a tornado in a Minnesota campground and a tree fell on their tent and an Australian lady in the shelter said, “Oi miss moi mommy too but she’s moils away.”

Today, we went on a death biathlon. I got up at 5:45 am and we were out the door by 6:40. We hid our kayaks in the bushes at the Chase Bridge put-in on the South Branch of the Au Sable River north of Roscommon, then drove on up and parked in the Smith Bridge parking lot. We walked the Mason Tract foot-trail all the way down to the kayaks, then launched the kayaks and paddled back to the car. I think it’s somewhere around an eleven mile trip each way. It took us 3-1/4 hours to walk and a little less than 2-1/2 to paddle. The GG is dead to the world but he promises GPS-generated statistics a little later. Me? I think I’ll walk down to the point and back.

I love hate cruise control!

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

I am awake again today (or maybe alive is a better word?) and I am at Houghton Lake for the third time since Sunday and since the water is now turned on, I finally washed the dishes I left in the sink when The Commander and I blew through on Sunday. I could’ve used a couple days at home alone but I got up and dragged myself out and crammed myself into the car this morning anyway. I didn’t drive this time, at least not from the driver’s seat, and that felt pretty good for a change.

The waitress at Yvonne’s, whom we have met exactly *once* previously, somehow remembered that I am a student, so she asked me all about school and whether I was taking classes this summer but forgot to give us menus. And, no, I’m not taking classes this summer and I didn’t even try to explain to her about using javascript to traverse and modify the DOM, which is what I was working on in the car when I wasn’t backseat driving.

Gasoline was $3.63 a gallon pretty much everywhere except within orbit range of The Planet Ann Arbor, where it was higher (I’m can’t remember how much higher, I guess I’m blocking it) and Prudenville, where it was down around $3.47. Get it quick, you guys, before the hordes arrive for the holiday weekend! And Sam (archaeologist, not dog), if you’re reading this, if you *do* go to A2 on Monday, plan on getting gas somewhere else!!! We seem to be under some weird sort of siege there.

So far, it’s just me and the GG up here. Kathy and Doug are supposed to show up at some point and maybe some Courtoisclan members. Hope so anyway! 🙂 The Uncliest Uncle and The Beautiful Gay are hanging around down in Florida for Tim’s graduation and I should remember what his latest degree is but I am ashamed to say that I don’t, so somebody enlighten us please. Last Memorial Day weekend there were about a traquillion people up here at the cabin. I like it when there are a traquillion people here and I like it when there aren’t.

It is hot, hazy, and windy here. Way too windy to kayak, even if you like your boat to bounce around a bit. And lemme see. The little mousey is spending the weekend contemplating the end of her college sophomore year, junior year study abroad in Sénégal, and whatever comes after. Or maybe she’s just contemplating sheep. And even cowgirls get the blues. Or not. Given that my favorite Berkeley cowgirls are taking off on a Memorial Day joyride “up north” to a music festival. The west coast version of “up north,” not the Great Lake State version.

Blaaaaaahhhhhh[g]

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

Jetlagged. You’re wondering how I could be jetlagged, right? You’re thinking, “she’s been driving a cute little blue honda civic around for the last two weeks. It stays on the ground and she hasn’t even jumped one lousy time zone.” And you’re absolutely right. But the last time I felt as tired and unmotivated as I do today was when I had a stupid little 24-hour flu-like virus back in March, just after I got back from California. Except that was a nice, comfortable kind of tired feeling and I just lay down and tinkered with my homework for the afternoon. Today I just feel dragged out. Probably has something to do with the heat. I am not acclimated to 80 degrees yet this year. Lake Superior, where are you when I need you?

Anyway, I was sitting in my favorite blahgging spot by the front window, when a young woman with a bag and some pamphlet-y looking stuff in her hand started up my driveway. Oh no, a solicitor. What could she want? I do not need that old tree cut down and I don’t want replacement windows or a bathtub liner. I don’t have time to read the magazines I already subscribe to and I do not want to sponsor some juvenile delinquent in a stupid contest or buy candy bars to keep a kid from turning into a drug dealer. Stay off drugs and get a real job.

She asked me if I was the mom of the house. Hmmm. How do I answer that? I mean, I *am* the mom of the house, except that there aren’t usually any kids living here. I was apprehensive but tentatively told her, “yes.” She started to launch into a spiel about some “knowledge” program, today’s version of the Encyclopedia Brittanica, I guess. I was actually a little flattered that she seemed to think I might have young children but I had to say, “My kids are in their twenties.” I figured she’d just go on and try to sell it to me for my non-existent grandchildren or guinea pig or whatever. To my amazement, she said — in a *friendly* voice, “I guess I’m at the wrong house,” and then proceeded to ask me if there were any kids next door because if there weren’t, she wouldn’t bother with that house.

Other than that, I accomplished the bare minimum of what was on my list today. I tried to go to the post office this afternoon but I couldn’t get anybody to let me switch lanes so I decided to bag it and go early in the morning tomorrow. Yes, it was that bad. And I don’t mean the traffic, which was actually pretty typical. I just didn’t have the psychic energy to deal with it. Go home and park your car, Volcano Mama, before you hurt someone or get hurt. But I better get myself moving because Sandy has got me going to some networking type event tonight. Onward and upward.

Toadily Roto

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

beargrizbob.jpgIs about how I feel after the latest 5-hour jaunt down the I75 SUV Speedway. St. Ignace McD’s drive-thru for coffee, Indian River for gas ($3.49), Houghton Lake to drop off a couple of sleeping bags, and a rest area somewhere in the Saginaw/Bay City area. Construction everywhere but no problem with the relatively light traffic.

Froog! Sheesh! Yeah, I could hear your froggerwauling all the way down on the beach this morning. Yes, I know how sad you are to leave Green Guy, Bear, and GrizBob (Bear/GrizBob in pic). But Smokie and Clammy and Moley and all the crew have missed you down here and the little Mousey will be home soon and maybe Pengie’ll come for a visit. Chin up. We’ll get back up there.

Beach Folk: Click on over to Mouse’s Nest to read about her latest shoreline dream. Comments are welcomed.

Houghton Lake Folk: I’m puzzled. I thought that Liz was going to head up there on Sunday but a couple of dishes I left undone (water not turned on) when *I* stopped through there that day were still undone today and it didn’t appear that anyone had been there. Except that there was a *boat* in the driveway that wasn’t there before. Are we now *growing* boats?

Valdemort: No, the gumbo hasn’t changed.

Sayonara for now. I gotta go knock this place back into shape and, unfortunately, that means getting back into a vee-hickle. But I’ve got a *lot* to do for what’s left of this week and Houghton Lake this weekend.

Seiches and Minimalism

Monday, May 21st, 2007

Not only is the water in Lake Superior two whole feet lower than average — that’s near a record low — this afternoon there was a seiche! Click on the pics below to enlarge.

seiche01.jpgseiche02.jpgseiche03.jpgseiche04.jpg

That said, after a whole day (minus lunch at Kenny’s Pitchen, a couple beach walks and a short kayak trip) of moving furniture around, vacuuming spider webs, washing and waxing floors, washing windows, cleaning under the kitchen sink, and hauling garbage around, I declare that we are going to minimize this summer. If it isn’t absolutely essential, don’t bring it here. I’m not kvetching about all the years we all hauled everything under the sun up here and bought *stuff* with reckless abandon. Those were good years. But we are hurtling along into the future and we are leaving behind all the *stuff* we don’t need. And anyone who even *thinks* about adding a new mug or baseball cap to the current collection will be shot on sight! With a nerf gun, that is.

Sincerely yours, Garbage Woman.

Get it outta my head!

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

Despite a vociferous volley of cawing outside The Landfill this morning, “do-re-mi” is what was in my head when I woke up. Over and over and over. At about 160 M. M. By the time I was finished walking, it was gone. And replaced by, “Bunnies go hop, hop, hop. They don’t like foxes.”

Meeting of the Great Matriarchal Society

Saturday, May 19th, 2007

And one male and two eunuchs. And we’ll return the dog dishes tomorrow on the way north tomorrow.

dogdishes1.jpg

Speaking of Stuff

Friday, May 18th, 2007

I’ll let the GG deal with Karen about television sets. I’m overwhelmed by that *stuff*. But what *do* you do with *stuff*? What kind of *stuff* is worth keeping? What kind of *stuff* is worth passing on to the next generation? Do the members of the next generation really want any of that old *stuff*?

Yesterday, The Commander and I drove over to Royal Oak to have lunch with her sister Roberta and the conversation frequently touched on what to do with *stuff*. You know, old books and dishes and heaven knows what else. All of us have *stuff*. Or know someone who does. Or have had to clean it out of someone else’s house.

So what *do* you do with old *stuff*? Let’s narrow it down to old china and silver and glassware for the moment. *Stuff* that belonged to great-grandparents that you never knew. *Stuff* that was used in an old farmhouse you saw the inside of once, long after your ancestors had moved away. A place that was eventually razed and replaced with a Burger King. Life and bulldozers do go on.

*Is* it important to pass down old family china and *stuff*? Do you really think your great-grandparents cared what might happen to all of their *stuff*? I dunno. We had some of Uncle Harry’s highball glasses in the basement for a long time. Not my own Dear Uncle Harry of canoe galumphing fame, Grandma Sally’s (my mother-in-law) uncle by marriage. He lived with the GG’s family for a while when the Twinz of Terror were very small, helped with the kids and once saved the family from a fire. I have a lot of *stuff* in my basement and it gets harder and harder to clean the place all the time because I have to move mountains of *stuff* to be able to do it. Actually, I have more or less given up. Yeah, that’s right. Spider city.

Before I more or less gave up, every time I would have to move Uncle Harry’s highball glasses around to clean, I would think, “Why are we keeping these?” We didn’t use them. We don’t have room for them in the kitchen. We have our own *stuff*. But I couldn’t quite get rid of them. He didn’t have any kids to pass *stuff* on to and Grandma Sally was dead and I just sort of felt like they were a little reminder that he had lived.

On the other hand, I find that I really don’t give a rat’s you-know-what about what happens to my own dishes and *stuff*. In fact, I’m tired of all my *stuff*. If I ever get around to cleaning out and remodeling my kitchen/dining area, I will definitely buy new dishes. I don’t think there’s any law that you have to use the same dishes your entire adult life and if there is, I intend to break it.

There is a happy ending for Uncle Harry’s highball glasses. They now reside in the Courtois Group Home at Houghton Lake, where members of Uncle Harry’s family can use them. I have mixed feelings about the whole subject though. Honestly, what I would much rather have from my ancestors is some glimpse of what their life was like, their thoughts and interests, friends, likes and dislikes. Who were you? How am I like you? How am I different? I just do not think I can learn that kind of thing from a bunch of old dishes and *stuff*. Honestly, if I died and left all the *stuff* that’s in my house behind, people might actually think I *valued* all of it. In fact, the exact opposite is the truth. I am desperately trying to downsize and get rid of it all.

What *is* important? Is there *stuff* you want to inherit from your ancestors? Do you have *stuff* you want to leave to future generations? What do you think?

Summer school rocks and don’t forget the tequila!!!

Thursday, May 17th, 2007

As much as I love to take classes, I don’t do it in the summer. It’s just too hard for me to do a “regular” schedule with all the bouncing back and forth to the Great White North. I do have a few little projects in self-teaching on tap though. And there *will* be mother-and-daughter drinking. In fact, there’s just a teensy weensy tiny little itsy bitsy bit of that going on at this very moment in the “back room” of The Landfill. And that’s all not to mention sil-and-sil drinking. And cousin-and-cousin drinking. And aunt-and-niece drinking. And grandma-and-granddaughter drinking, etc., etc., ad nauseam. Er, hopefully not the ad nauseam part. Pass the tequila, willya Ma? Hic.

[Thanks for the MD cards, little Lizard. ;-)]

You guys, can we talk? (aka Yeek!)

Thursday, May 17th, 2007

Early in life at The Landfill, we had a little black and white Zenith, vintage 1960s. And a nice, new Sony Trinitron. You would think that would be plenty of TV sets. We even watched TV sometimes back in those days. I was partial to Dallas. Who did shoot JR, anyway? I don’t remember. Come to think of it, we had some of those little Fisher Price people around in those days and there was one with a big white 10-gallon hat that the newly talking baby Lizard called “JR.” Bet she doesn’t remember that!

Anyway, for some odd reason, everybody and his cousin decided that our house would be a good dumping ground for old TVs. You know, a young, married couple with a new house and no money and all that rot. Bolette gave us one that smoked when we turned it on. I don’t really mind operating a landfill up to a point. But we have limited space here and I’m trying to get rid of stuff as it is, so if any new TVs come into this place, an old one has GOT to go!!!!! Except that it will *cost* us to dump it. This is The Planet Ann Arbor. I can’t just put trash out on the curb.

Frankly, I would just as soon watch DVDs on my 13″ screen Intel MacBook. With Sam the Archaeologist and a bucket of rotten tomatoes. 😉

Adventure Shopping. Or Television. Or Something…

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

Oh, Kee-reist. I wanted to do a big blahg about me and The Commander doing adventure shopping today. But right now, The Commander is trying to convince The Grumpy Growler that the 30-something TV in our back room that used to be in the moldy old Houghton Lake cabin needs to be trashed and that’s distracting me from writing what I want to write. And, although I do occasionally appreciate having a TV around, I CERTAINLY DID NOT want this old poc of a TV. Anyone want it? We have a couple of *somewhat* newer TVs here and one of those is in the basement now because this stupid old thing is in the back room. And I don’t give a you-know-what about hi-def or large screen TVs.

Ohmigod. Now the GG is asking me if I want a new TV. Say what? NOOOOOOOOOOOOO……….

Keepin’ up with an octo! (pant, pant)

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

spiderweb.jpgSheesh! On NPR this afternoon, there was a discussion about people having babies when they’re in their 40s and 50s. I have a lot of mixed feelings about that and one of them is that some of those parents have got to be exhausted. I was a very young, energetic 30 when I had Lizard and Mouse came along a couple years later. That was a perfect age for me. On the flip side (sort of) of all that, here I am hanging around with The Commander this week and I think keeping up with an octogenarian can be every bit as exhausting as chasing after a toddler! She may not move quite as fast as a little kid but we are doing anything but sitting around on our you-know-whats. Nosiree! Lemme see, we’ve only been here two full days and so far:

  • Monday: Monday coffee with Marci and *her* mom (also visiting) at Barry’s. Video Source to get an ancient Russian VHS tape converted to DVD. Gasoline. Macy’s. Chico’s. Talbot’s. Panera. Kroger.
  • Tuesday: Kalamazoo, early, for a quick breakfast with Mouse at the Crow’s Nest. Side trip to the graveyard (Fort Custer National Cemetery) to visit Charlotte’s grave on the way home. And no, The Commander did not leave her purse there. Back to Macy’s to look for a necklace lost there yesterday. Found, wonder of wonders! Video Source to pick up DVD. Joann Fabrics (the big one out on Carpenter) for bathing suit fabric. Trader Joe’s.

Severe storm watch this afternoon, lightning alarms are going off and lights are flickering. Still on the schedule for this week: another graveyard, Royal Oak, Knight’s, visitors from Grand Blanc, maybe Williamston (fabric store), maybe a return trip to Trader Joe (overwhelming on a first visit). Back up north on Sunday. Sincerely yours, Boomerang Woman.

P.S. I forgot to post one set of pictures from the beach. On Thursday morning, the day Aimée left for Maine, we took a sunrise walk around on the rocks in a beautiful light fog. Click here or on the pic for slides.

Tick Tock (don’t read if you’re squeamish about 6 8-legged beasties)

Monday, May 14th, 2007

What is the world coming to now? I was in the shower this morning and there was a kind of scabby thing on my shoulder and I didn’t think much about it because I was in the Great White North all last week and I always seem to get all bumped and scratched up when I’m up there. No big deal.

Except that the scabby thing had six eight legs! Actually, it was identical to a six eight-legged scabby thing that invaded Radical Betty’s space in a similar way just last week. A tick! And yes, we do know that it was a dog tick, not a deer tick, because we took Radical Betty’s tick into the MSU Extension office to get it identified. So I am not in danger of developing Lyme Disease and I *think* that we were also told that there weren’t any deer ticks around the Eastern Yoop.

But I have to wonder what this means. Radical Betty’s tick was the first tick I think I’ve ever seen. Does this mean I’m going to have to start inspecting for ticks after every outing? Will I have to start wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts in the woods? When it’s hot and the bugs aren’t out, my favorite hiking outfit is tank top, shorts, and sandals. Except that I actually *had* long pants and a long-sleeved shirt on in the woods on Saturday and I still seem to have picked up a tick. So what difference does it make? *If* that’s where I picked it up, that is.

And then there’s the question of why all of a sudden, after a lifetime of blissful ignorance about the appearance of a tick, I have seen two of them in one week. And at this point, my brain goes off in all kinds of tangential directions. Like, are we getting ticks now because of global warming? And what about all those sandbars and exposed rocks on the edges of Lake Superior. And *is* there global warming? I mean, I’m not trying to say that there isn’t. Just that I get tired of hearing people that I *know* have absolutely no iota of scientific background making statements that just because it was a warm winter or whatever, there must be global warming. I just think it’s all more complicated than that and I for one, do not have the data *or* the expertise to make a prediction like that. But then I think that maybe it’s a *good* thing if people believe in global warming even if they don’t have any evidence because I figure maybe then they’ll all stop driving around so much. Except that I’m one of those people who drives around all the time. I dunno, I guess I better quit while I’m ahead here. My brain hurts and so does yours if you’ve gotten this far. I guess I’ll go back to picking around for ticks.

At least I’m not going on and on about tablecloths. 😈