Archive for February, 2009

Eet’s not a TV set, eet’s a boat anchor!

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

woods1I didn’t much like the snow today but I tried to be a sport about it. It was icy and fast and I like the fast part of it but I don’t like icy snow. Part of this is sour grapes about not really being able to get myself skate skiing when it seems like everybody in the world except for baggy old overdressed mooms can do it. Oh wait. Maybe that’s me. Except not exactly. Because I am not really slow. And I don’t overdress. And I can do the uphill stuff just fine, thank you very much. But still. All the ski geeks were bantering with the beautiful young skinny little mooms in the ski ranch today about whether they were traditional skiing or skate skiing. I had a moment of panic. My whole ski life flashed by, including the days when I was a skinny little moom teaching my beach urchins how to ski. I was freaking out more than I usually do in that kind of situation for who knows what reason and I just wanted to get outta there.

Sigh. I am remembering the old days when I skied up there in the UP and Duke and Grandroobly carved out a ski trail out back behind Fin Family Moominbeach. Lewie even helped them with that, even though I’m not sure Lewie was ever on XC skis in his life (but I may well be wrong about that). We’d take off somewhere past Radical Betty’s place and cross the light line and it wasn’t a long loop but it was a beautiful loop. Our loop. When the moon was full and the skies were clear, we even skied it at night. I loved to break trail then and I miss having to do that now. It is hard work and slow going to beat through a foot of new snow on a bush trail but I enjoy that and I was missing it today on a regularly groomed trail with a track over on the right and a big area for skate skiers. I love the ski ranch though. It’s where I taught my beach urchins to ski and it is the best.

I used to ski those black diamonds. I can’t say I skied them with any style, grace, or speed.

Friday, February 27th, 2009

pengiesNever broke a bone. Never ran into a tree. Never flew off the edge at the dog leg on old number 1. Too terrified of the old ski jump at Minneapolis Woods to try that. It was mostly boys who were into that anyway. That was sorta before girls did sports in a big way. Whole ‘nother topic, I guess. But I wouldda been scared anyway. Nevertheless, I do not do downhill any more. XC only.

In a way, I wanted to stay at the blasted Landfill this weekend. I can’t remember the last time I was there for a whole weekend. What a gadabout I am getting to be. I wanted to get some stuff done. But. It is the end of February. We figured that this might be the last reliable weekend of skiing. And it’s even iffy this weekend. The snow is crusted over with ice. Between that and the pin oak leaves or whatever they are, the skiing may very well be crappy.

It’s okay. The company’ll be good. And the drive up? Dry pavement. No traffic jams. Cloudy skies clearing almost completely as we drove. When we got off the freeway, there was just a slight little smidge of light at the western horizon. With the Moon and Venus in conjunction hanging in the darkness above. Both in crescent phase. Gorgeous.

Oh yeah, forgot to mention that Blind Boys of Alabama were on the radio!

Helter Skelter doo doo doo doo doo doo doo

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

doghaY’all know the tune, even some o’ you 20-somethings.

I started my day by getting up at 5 AM and taking a shower and slugging around in the kitchen/computer room until about 6 when I took my walk. Everything thawed out yesterday afternoon but the temperatures dipped back into the 20s last night so there was ice here and there. It wasn’t too bad and I figgered the main roads were fine. And they were, mostly.

I took the freeway today but I wanted to stop at the Saline Rd. Meijer on the way to work, so I got off there. Roads were fine. Meijer parking lot was icy but not really very slippery. No big deal. I turned onto Lohr and the Dogha grabbed the road quickly enough that I couldn’t quite tell if it was slippery or not. But I noticed just a little something. It was enough of a little something that when I got to the Lohr/Ellsworth intersection, I approached with great caution. I don’t like that intersection even on a hot, sunny day. Too much development for the surrounding roads and people are impatient and yadda yadda.

I turned left — cautiously — onto Ellsworth. Accelerated and got a little grumpy that the person in front of me wasn’t going the speed limit, which is 45 there, but I don’t remember feeling terribly impatient. Up ahead, a taxi pulled out of a sidestreet on the left. Way ahead of me. But. Suddenly everything went haywire. The vee-hickle ahead of me was going sideways and I *think* a few vee-hickles ahead of it were sliding around too but I’m wasn’t sure because I was hitting the brakes and… Was the Dogha gonna stop in time or not? I wasn’t sure. I had no control. It turned to the left. I was still trying to stop. Turn in the direction of the skid. I was headed into the opposing lane and I saw cars coming the other direction. Then I stopped. And I thought something like, “What about the vee-hickles coming up behind me? Will they stop?” Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a couple of those vee-hickles careering at top speed onto the field on the right side of the road. Helter skelter. The car ahead of me was sitting sideways in the road. I’m sure the driver was okay but I’ll bet he was shell-shocked. I slowly but deliberately skirted around him on the left and continued on my way. It all happened literally in a very long five seconds or so and eventually I stopped shaking.

What if? I’m not sure the Ninja vee-hickle would’ve stopped in time with its “performance” tires. The Indefatigable? I bet I’d have been doing donuts. Wranglers are great at driving through deep snow. Black ice? Not so much. I don’t know what I’d’ve done if my beloved Dogha had been hit. I love that dirty old vee-hickle, dirty being the operative word, as you can see from the pic, which is not from today but a few weeks ago when it was safely parked behind Jeep and Pan’s house.

Somehow today, I avoided having a second car accident in my life. The first (only?) was when I was 17 and it’s a long story but it involved ice. And I was not at fault.

I love winter but I think I am about done with it for this year.

Good night and drive safely,
KW

Is it pussy willow season already?

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

mylifeBecause if had known that, I’d’ve picked up a rose/pussy willow bouquet for Sister Mary Ignatius Mouse last Sunday. I thought about it on Saturday but I just figgered there weren’t any pussy willows anywhere. And there are old dead, dried-up roses everywhere around the Landfill. I figgered Mouse didn’t need to start cluttering up her apartment with old dried-up roses, so I didn’t want to get those without some pussy willows. Yes, I know that doesn’t make sense. Anyway, today there were pussy willows at Whole Foods. Where they got ’em, I dunno. It’s in the 40s again today but I am thinking it’s been too cold. But I have a black thumb, so who knows. If I’d known they were available, I might’ve picked some up.

And I dunno what else. Mystery ice-clinkers were not about the landfill last night. I think that’s because they were busy throwing thunderbolts and buckets of cow you-know-what down from wherever they are onto the 21st century crop of idjit bankers. I have no further words other than do not let your banker talk you into financial suicide. He/she is probably stupider than you are. In this day and age, yes really. Or else totally consumed with buying $300K commodes or whatever the heck it was. Does the word “greed” ring a bell? Kee-reist!

And, yes, as I’ve said before, one of the perks of my job is that I get to drive by the Planet Ann Arbor airport on my way to and from work. I know, y’all are scratching your heads wondering why that is a perk. I don’t know. I’m sure it isn’t a perk for most of the other impatient drivers who have to take that stretch of State St. to get to work. Most of them are yapping on their cell phones. But I love it. Most of the planes at that airport are small ones but there are commuter-type jets and helicopters, and occasionally the Goodyear Blimp lands there. Whenever I am driving by and something lands or takes off, I feel just a little tiny bit of an upbeat. I guess it comes from slugging around on Fin Family Moominbeach watching the lake freighters go by. No matter how many times you see one coming up or going down, it never seems to get old. Why? I do not know.

Are y’all as tired o’ wearin’ yer balaclava as I am?

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

crowsnestAlas and alack, ababsurdo did *not* make Time Magazine’s 25 top blahgs. Sigh. I think I’ll crawl back under my rock and die. Or not. Because, do I really care? Naaaawww.

Guess what? I don’t read any of the blahgs on that list. Why? Well… One reason is that when I go to something like Huffpo, the site is so blasted “busy” that I can’t find the blahg! Like today. First I have to scroll down below some absolutely trenormous photo and then, when I finally get to the actual content, it is a chaotic mess of adds, photos, and bits of copy linking to other pages. It’d be a blast to try to code that sucker but it’s too much for the below-average user. Like me. And maybe there is a blahg on there somewhere but I don’t think the site itself qualifies as a blahg. So.

And then there is the issue of content itself. Political blahgs? I am just not that interested. I am not a political aminal and I get lost beyond the most basic of ideas over in that realm. Can’t we just all try to get along together. Oh, I know… Hmm. Mommy blahgs? I am slowly and systematically dumping those off my blogroll. It isn’t because of the poop. When you have babies, you talk about poop. It’s okay, it’s part of it all. I talked about it incessantly for a few years. Fortunately for the beach urchins, the Internet wasn’t a viable means of communication for us huddled masses back then. When your babies grow up, you move on. There are some wonderful mommy blahgs out there and I’ll keep reading the best of them. I rarely comment. When I was a young mom, I hated unsolicited advice. We all have to make our own way through the child-raising years. Find our own successes and make our own mistakes.

So, who else do I read? Well. Unfailingly, I read everybody I know in real life who has a blahg. Friends and relatives plus a couple of cool women out there in the Pacific NW that I’ve met online and share some similarities with. I comment if I have anything to say besides “*hugs*” or whatver. When I write some long screed about how ooaaawwwful my life is on ababsurdo, I am usually over it all by the time anybody reads it.

Now I am starting to branch out into quilt blahgs. Those may not interest a lot of you but in the short time I’ve been reading, they are inspirational if you’re trying to finish a UFP. And no, I’m not gonna start talking about quilting here every day. Given my track record, the UFP will get abandoned just like all the other UFPs down there in the great, grey-green, greasy, Limpopo Dungeon. But I’m’a gonna try. And y’all prob’ly won’t get much of either politics or poop either. Er, aren’t those things the same?

G’night and y’all keep blahgging, even if you don’t think you have anything to say,
KW

My UFP lives

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

ufpTake a break, KW. Yes, once upon a time, I had an Unfinished Prodject (project mispelled intentionally for all my fellow spelling nazis). I started it in the summer of 2007 and I figgered that if I kept whipping myself, I might finish the Unfinished Prodject by December of that year.

Not. At the end of that August, I went on a very short kayak ride around the island with UKW. It made me ride my edge just a bit and then we swam in Gitchee Gummee, had tea, and hit the I75 SUV Speedway. Southward. I was still a beach bum. But by the end of that day I had an unexpected internship with a real company and that led to a real job, the one y’all are taaaared of hearing about. So for a while I worked slowly and incrementally on my UFP but after MLK weekend of 2008, I sorta gave it up for a while. Yesterday, I got it out again. It lives. I worked on it in the car on the way to kzoo yesterday and on the way back. Despite some *seriously* bumpy stretches of the I94 18 Wheel Clogway. Clumpity-clumpity clump. Grandmothertrucker, how does your truck do on those? And then there were the hours hanging around in Mouse’s apartment yesterday morning, sewing and surfing the web at the same time. Hanging out while Mouse did whatever needed to be done to act the part of Sister Mary Ignatius and still get all her homework done for classes. And take a shower. Etc. I sewed my UFP and surfed and watched lake effect snow showers come and go from her window. Love…

I am enthused now. Will I finish it? I want to…

Sister Mary Ignatius Mouse *assesses* it all, while her baggy old moom yammers away in the cabin at Fin Family Moominbeach

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

mouseassessingYammering away with who? No doubt the usual Fin Family Moominbeach suspects. The Commander. Grandroobly. Radical Betty. I dunno who else was hanging around when this photo was taken. Honestly, even though most of my face is cut off, you can almost tell that I’m yammering away forcing my opinions on everyone in the room.

Sister Mary Ignatius Mouse was never one of those kids who had her eyes solely locked on her baggy old moom. Always looking around checking out what else was going on. In this pic, she was three months and I’m sure she was figuring out the older generation. I do think that in those days, she felt safest observing the world from a perch on her baggy old moom’s lap. Who *is* this Grandaddy person anyway?

Today, Mouse Sister Mary Ignatius *explained* it all. And shot somebody dead and knocked another person dead over the head with her gun, a brilliant stroke of improv when the gun didn’t do what was expected. “Oh, the janitor will help me clean up the bodies later,” said Mouse Sister. Bravo Mouse.

P.S. Despite an earlier Twitter, we did not call a tow truck today. “We” drove down what I thought was an iffy road (deep snow) for the Ninja’s “performance” tires, et al. I’m sure that “we” drove down that road because I was protesting nagging and since I wasn’t driving, testosterone took over. And we did get stuck but good. But yaknow, I am married to an engineer of sorts and despite my barrage of b*tchy verbal assaults and taunts, darned if he didn’t manage to rock the blasted Ninja outta there, “performance” tires and all.

A whomp on the head by a two-by-four

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

favoritetreeI am blessed on both sides of my family by longevity genes, so to speak. People tend to live into their late 80s, and some of them on into the 90s and I even have a great-aunt who lived to be, um, oh kee-reist, was it 101 or 103? I think it was 101. She was a wonderful but rather eccentric person and I might tell y’all about her 100th birthday party someday. I wasn’t there but those who were had an interesting time.

The downside of living a long, vibrant, active life is that, at least in our current society, it can be hard to keep up your lifestyle *and* your beloved home. So, you end up moving, temporarily or not, voluntarily or not, into some sort of assisted living facility. Probably without your automotive vee-hickle. The one that gave you the freedom to get out into the world and do your own shopping and banking and driving your grandchildren to Clyde’s Drive-In and maybe sometimes just joyfully driving around rubbernecking at whatever is out in the world.

Recently, a healthy, lucid nonagenarian aunt of mine has moved into a lovely facility right here on the Planet. She has been there for several months now and I am embarrassed to say that I haven’t visited her until today. Yeah, I work full-time. And I have a couple of octo-women up there in Yooperland. Er, The Comm will kill me if I don’t clarify that she is not in assisted living and is still a competent driver. Since I am at the top of the call list for The Comm but not for my aunt down here (The Comm’s big sis), it’s been easy to sort of put off the visiting and spend the weekends I’m at home doing chores and hiking with the GG and just kind of catching my breath. But still. Good niece? Not… Other nieces and nephews have been much more wonderful about helping with all of this.

Today, I *finally* picked up my aunt and took her out. I wasn’t sure what we’d do. I was envisioning grocery shopping? Why? Maybe because that’s what I spend half my life doing? I dunno. She can eat some meals at the facility and has food in her kitchen and older people get less interested in eating, etc., etc. She didn’t really want to shop. We were driving along and I thought, okay, I’ll drive her down to the scenic drive along the Huron River. It was snowing to beat the band and it was gorgeous and we rubbernecked at ducks and swams swans and talked about what it was like in the summer when the turtles and lily pads were out. She seemed to absolutely love getting out and seeing all that stuff. And I love to drive. Heck, I haven’t been a very good niece but I know lots of beautiful little roads around here and we’ll do that again.

P.S. There is a “tulip tree” (is that the name?) on my afternoon walk and I *think* it is budding? I think it is an early budding tree? I tried to take pics of the buds but they all turned out really fuzzy!!!!! So y’all get a tree in “my” little woods instead.

Knights — Knot worksafe, sorry

Friday, February 20th, 2009

I am being asked to take this post (or at least the picture) down. Whaddy’all think? Yes or no? Is it over the top for a normally family/work-safe blahgger?

alien

Okay, okay. I decided to cave. The other photo was of a guy in an oaklandy sort of t-shirt making a certain gesture that really doesn’t belong on a family type blahg. He was making the gesture because somebody (aka, yer favo-rite blahgger) was taking his picture in order to demonstrate to some others how easy it was to take a picture on an iPhone and upload it to a blahg. He was afraid that the picture might “come back to haunt” him someday. So here’s a replacement. Same venue. Earlier occasion.

TGIF.

Friday, February 20th, 2009

leavesThat is the only title I have the energy for. My work is cyclical and sometimes it can be a little slow. Not lately. This week I was going hucklety-buck all week. When two of the eight or ten software applications I had been bouncing amongst all day crashed almost simultaneously in the late afternoon, I decided it was time to call it quits. I think I had probably edged just a bit over 40 hours this week anyway and I do not get paid for overtime. That is not a complaint and nobody is expecting me to work extra hours. So I came home and took a walk in the bitter cold partly sunny blustery weather. I miss my afternoon walk. This weekend? Tomorrow, I’m heading out early for gas and groceries and then taking Roberta out for lunch and/or groceries, whatever she wants to do. Laundry, vacuuming (yuck), slodging around in the dungeon. Prob’ly shoveling a heap of snow. Sunday over to kzoo for Mouse’s play and I am a terrible moom because even though I knew yesterday was Thursday and Thursday night was her opening night, I didn’t manage to connect those two facts in time to tell her to break a leg! Oh yeah, and in a few minutes, we’re walking over to Knight’s to eat and drink Manhattans with the Porters of The Planet Ann Arbor and Fin Family Moomintundra (or thereabouts). Just like us. Commencement stuff in the mail today. What commencement stuff? Ssshhh. I didn’t say that.

What’re y’all doing this weekend?

So, what *about* parents who do their kids’ schoolwork?

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

turkeyYes. It is a problem. There was the time that one of my kids did a joint project with another kid. They were in 5th grade and the other kid’s mom (a *good friend* of mine) rewrote their report. Yes. I said “rewrote.” Head slap. The kids were fit to be tied and so was I, although I certainly didn’t say anything to my friend. These kids *did* the required writing. But they were 10 years old. And most 10-year-olds do not write like 40-something-year-olds. And I don’t think that’s always a bad thing, in my not-always-humble opinion.

And then there was the science fair… My absolutely over-the-top extrovert friend and I ran a huge middle school science fair for a few years. One year, a science teacher came up to me in an absolute panic! He wanted to make sure that two of the entries did not win an award because it was obvious to him that their parents had done the project. I knew the parents and, yes, the parents did the project. Again, friends of mine. I told him not to worry. I knew from experience that our volunteer judges, who were highly educated, successful area professionals from many scientific fields, always had major discussions about just this issue during the judging orientation. Their radar was highly tuned to “parent project” and without any instruction from us, those two kids did not get awards.

Where is the line between doing the project and helping the kid do the project? I like the idea of making lots of craft supplies available (like my mother-in-law did, moom of 10, who I believe had official teaching credentials). Then there was a horrible dark weekend of deathly cold-type illnesses after which I helped one of my kids learn how to write a paragraph, a skill that no one at the grade school had apparently taught yet. Mrs. Scott taught me that in 4th grade. Or maybe it was Mrs. Bishop in 2nd. I don’t remember.

Mr. Klein, 3rd grade teacher of Haisley Multiplication Blues fame (he taught the plutification tables via the puano that he has in his classroom) was the most diplomatic about the whole thing. The class was supposed to do a science project of some sort. The GG really got into it all and our daughter ended up doing a comet project. With a lot of help from her dad. The projects were displayed at an open house at the school and Mr. Klein introduced the “science fair” by saying that he knew most of the projects were “family” projects and that was OK. And it was. It was 3rd grade and sometimes, in this day and age, doing a project with your dad is the best thing. But I’m sort of negating my thesis here. So I dunno…

Whaddy’all think? I like Pooh’s comment about the Pinewood Derby. I have my own story about that but I’m gonna keep this thing short. Sorta.

My own nun-experience (or not) post

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

forclosureI don’t really have a whole lot of experience with nuns. I grew up going to Sunday School, which, as I was frequently informed by my Catholic best friend all the way through grade school, was “Baby School”. We’d duke it out or whatever we did and regroup the next day when the Waisanen brothers (all four of them) would throw rocks at us in my alley and we would have to fight them instead.

She went to the Catholic grade school a couple blocks away and I went to the heathen school Stinkin’ Linkin, which was right across the street from my house and I could red-queen over there in seconds. After school and on Saturdays, we ruled the neighborhood. Or so we thought.

The trouble was that I was often pretty bored over at Stinkin’ Linkin. I dunno how I couldda been because when I went back to the local community college to brush up on some skills a few years ago, I had to absolutely work my you-know-what off to maintain a 4.0 average but, what the heck, at that late date for being a student, I didn’t need to maintain a social life too. My social life was constantly banging me over the head! Back in grade school, things were a little slow for a kid with a birthday not too far off the cutoff date and I got really tired of waiting for other kids to understand basic phonics and math facts, etc.

So. My Catholic friend was often given *projects* to do by the nuns over at St. Joe’s. Projects that involved making multi-page reports that featured pictures cut out of the National Geographic and pasted onto pages with a little copy underneath them. Wow! I wanted to do that too! And I did! Whenever my Catholic friend was assigned a project like that, I would make my own similar project right along with her! And once she told Sister Agnes Mary (or whoever) that her buddy from the heathen school Stinkin’ Linkin did those projects too. Guess what? That nun expressed pleasant surprise that she had inspired another kid not even in her class. I think she was probably one of the good ones.

Can you go home or not?

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

sunriseSome say no. I go home all the time. I don’t mean to the Landfill. I mean, I do go home to the Landfill all the time but I also go back to Yooperland pretty darn frequently. What the heck? On a good day with a reliable vee-hickle and dry pavement and minimal traffic and one gas/bathroom stop, it can be done in four hours and forty minutes. And what is home anyway? My parents moved out of our house on the South Side after I went to college. Grandma Margaret died that year and they moved into her house. And that house wasn’t even her *real* house. Her *real* house was five or six blocks away from my house on the South Side. I can remember when we would drive a big ladder back and forth to and from Grandberry and Grandma’s house there. The Commander would drive and Grandroobly would hang out the passenger-side window holding onto the ladder. You’d prob’ly get arrested for that nowadays. Anyway, the house The Commander lives in now was once my first (and wonderful) piano teacher’s house. Mrs. Diecke (spelling, anyone?). Mrs. Commander’s computer/sewing room was where I waited for the student ahead of me to finish with his/her lesson so I could have mine. The Comm’s puano is right where Mrs. Diecke’s was.

I don’t know who lives in my house on Superior Street any more. I only haunt the South Side in the winter. In the summer, I hang a left onto M28 and hit Piche Side Road and go straight to the beach. The heck with the South Side. But in the winter of the last few years, when the beach turns into a tundra, I have been haunting the South Side when I have the chance. I want to take pictures but it’s hard. I feel like a time traveler and I don’t really want to invade people’s privacy. And I’m not good at photographing buildings anyway, so…

Prob’ly the craziest time-warpiest thing was last April. I was walking right in front of my old house. I was talking on my iPhone to my cuzzint NPJane, who was down here on the Planet, checking out the damage from the tree that had fallen on the Landfill the day before. A resident of the neighborhood spotted me and asked me if I was okay. Probably wondering what dimension I was from. I was unnerved. I wish I had told her that I was just looking at my old house. And school. And neighborhood. I am such a social klutz! Alas, she’d’ve prob’ly invited me in for tea and cookies. The slideshow today has nothing to do with the South Side of Siberia. Totally the other side of town. But click here or on the pic anyway. It’s another early morning walk up in the land of the ice and snow.

Can you go home or not? Or do you live at home? Or what?

Love y’all, KW

Sunrise, sunset. Sunrise, sunset…

46.5° N. 84.4° W.

Monday, February 16th, 2009

boilerplateicePopulation? 14,400, according to the 2000 census. I’ve seen several numbers attributed to the 2000 census. I’m going with 14,400.

Area? 14.8 square miles of land, 5.4 square miles of water. That makes the population density about 950. Not really very dense. A *lot* of undeveloped land. McMansions exist but developments don’t blanket the countryside.

Elevation? 650 feet average.

Age? 341 years. From memory, the only cities older are St. Augustine, FL and Sante Fe, NM. At least that’s what I learned in grade school. Them thar tubes seem to say otherwise. Whatever.

Average snowfall? 128 inches per year.

Seasons? Winter and the 4th of July.

Median family income? $40,333.

Seasons? Winter and 4th of July. At least that’s what it feels like in February. Or April.

Street conditions in February? Almost totally covered with thick potholed boiler-plate ice and eight-foot snowbanks at every corner. Er, not at *this* corner.

Click here or on the pic for a few more pics of a frozen early-morning walk.

Another quick one for Mouse

Monday, February 16th, 2009

Mouse’s play is this weekend. Performances are this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 8 PM and Sunday afternoon at 2 PM. Dungeon Theatre at Light Fine Arts Building, Academy Street at Kalamazoo College. I believe the tickets are free. The play is Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You, by Christopher Durang, and Mouse is Sister Mary Ignatius. Click here to see the poster. Comment or email for more explicit directions if you are interested in driving out to kzoo. I think we’re going on Sunday.

Dear God, it’s supposedly your country, so can you please make the UP just a little closer to my planet?

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

rockettripI mean without any major geological upheavals and the associated “collateral damage”, that is. Maybe the Great White North is so beautiful because it takes so blasted long to get there and back. We are back and we were almost home when I decided to check outta the freeway at North Territorial Road and take the backroads home. Whitmore Lake and Joy and N. Maple. It takes longer to get home that way and today it took particularly long because Joy and N. Maple are gravel/dirt roads and there was about a six inch layer of ice on both of those and TRENORMOUS potholes. And then, when I was turning onto N. Maple from Joy, I almost totally lost control of the Dogha, which is just about the most stable vee-hickle I have ever owned. As the GG says, you couldn’t do a donut with this vee-hickle if you tried! Well, I dunno about donuts but I almost landed us in the drink. At the last minute, the Dogha gripped back onto the old dirt/gravel road and we made it home. Yaknow, I was only going about five miles per hour…

It is wonderful but hard to live in two (or more) places. But now, I am home in my other house, the real house, where I live some of the days. It’s here on the blasted planet, and I am home… G’night.

“Bridges connect people” and other Yooper Bloopers.

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

snowpilesWarning, this rant may not be politically correct but I gotta do it.

The blooper in the title is from a conversation The Commander had a teachers’ meeting downstate. That’s below the Macky-Nack Bridge, folks, but maybe y’all knew that. Another teacher was trying to be charitable (or something) to her northern counterpart. And then there was the time that some supposedly edumicated woman from Coldwater or someplace asked The Commander why the heck she would ever want her kids to go to college anywhere but in Da Yoop. Well, what is the answer to *that* question? There is no answer. And, fer Kee-reist. The Commander grew up in the Dee-troit area and worked at the now-demolished Downtown Hudsons back in its heyday. So, um, who y’all callin’ a Yooper???

Fast forward. We are now in the 21st century. Year 2009. Aren’t we? Sigh… I recently heard a report that a citizen of a northern Great Lakes State town believes that there are no Jewish folk left on earth. I don’t know the person and neither do you and the person was from a different town from The Soo. But. SAY WHAT!!!??? It is true that the Great White North does not have a huge Jewish population but Jewish folks do live here (not to mention all over the earth!) and they are just as positive contributors to the society of the Great White North as anyone else who lives here. When I was a little kid, a Jewish family lived across the alley from our house and I don’t ever remember thinking that they were any different than we were except that they lit candles on Friday night and didn’t go to church and Sunday School. So what! And I wasn’t always all that crazy about Sunday School for my own very personal 3-year-old reasons, i.e., it was tolerable if I could manage to snag the red chair.

Ah well. I might be able to write a book about all of this but I won’t for now. Wherever we live or whatever our ethnic/religious background, can’t we just all get along together?

Quick one for Mouse

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

If you have nun stories, Mouse is looking for them. So head on over there if you are (or were) Catholic or just used to sneak into the neighborhood Catholic church with your (Catholic) friend, looking for stray holy cards.

Fin Family Moomintundra

Friday, February 13th, 2009

We’re here in Sault Ste. Siberia and we spent hours out on the ice today and it was gorgeous and I dunno if I can say anything much else that’s worth anything, so look at my pics of Fin Family Moomintundra. Y’all are prob’ly taaarrred o’ my blather anyway. Thanks Jeep and Pan for letting us park at the end of your driveway. Love. Click here on the pic. Er, Pooh, do you remember a similar pic from 1999? A little more snow and wind maybe.

tundra

Say ya to da UP, eh?

Friday, February 13th, 2009