Archive for May, 2011

Sunrise, sunset…

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

I suppose most people would kill for an office like this one. Well, except for the propane tank. And the moe-skee-toes that keep buzzing me. And the fact that there’s no broadband internet access here. Yet. That was on my list today but I just didn’t manage to get it done. And so, I have gotten absolutely no work done today. Which is okay because I told the long suffering cat herding person I was taking the day off today. And I needed a day off. To get things done, don’tcha know. The problem is, I really didn’t get much of anything done. And I can’t keep taking days off like this because if I do, I will not have any vacation time later in the summer. I will just have to deal with that when it happens, I guess. Anyway, I am here. It is the late afternoon. There is another seiche today. A smaller one. There are storms somewhere on Gitchee Gumee but they haven’t hit here yet. Just plassovers so far.

Tomorrow? DSL. Post office. Bank. Lawyer, probably. Accountant, maybe. Administrative assistant? I need one!

Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out.

P. S. I am not talking about some kind of exotic vacation to Europe or Asia or even Cancun or Florida. I just want to be able to take time off to be with my daughter Elizilla and my cousin Uber Kayak Woman when they visit the Great Lake State this summer…


Monday, May 30th, 2011

We had a big time seiche today. Usually there is a lot of water between meeee and where Dogmomster took the photoooo today. Dogmomster and I were sitting on the beach. We were the only people on the beach. We saw a couple of little sandbars form close to shore. The water is low this year and we just thought it was the same old same old. Except that it felt like a seiche to me. The water kept going out and out and more sand was exposed and then, Dogmomster and I walked down toward the Attie end of the beach and The Beautiful Jan came back home from taking up the garbage and she saw us walking out there at the edge of the universe, so she hailed us.

The seiche has ended. And so goodnight.

I am sill on the Edge network. Love you all. –KW


If you have your tricycles on, you just might be able to see Canada from here.

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

And if you are very lucky, those dark storm clouds over in the west (they are *not* in the photooo, it’s just a random beach photoooo from a few weeks ago) will plass right over into Canada. A plassover, don’tcha know. I don’t have much to say today. I mean, it was a fun-filled, action packed day but I am in a heavy-duty processing mode right now. I was hanging out at the Green Guy Cafe a while back and the skeeters were starting to hang out, so I gave it up and am trying to blahg on my iPad via the edge network. Not much looking forward to the coming week but it will have to be lived through…

Good night. Sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite. And yes. I will be installing a DSL up here soon.


In which implements of too much fun might be useful

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

We have a motley crew here this weekend. The Twinz of Terror, Dogmomster, The Commander and the mean old, grunchie old grinchie. Dogmomster engineered (and largely cooked solo) a wondrous mixed grill bbq dinner. We have (we think) convinced The Comm that it is okay for her to spend the night away from the long term care. I dunno why but it was not easy… But she is here for the night.

And so, in the late afternoon, Dogmomster declared that the sun was over the yardarm and I took a leetle glass of whine down into the hollow in front of the Old Cabin. While I was down there, I received a phone call from Our Northern Correspondent Paulette. She was warning me that there seemed to be more *bears* than usual around here this summer. Now, we do have bears here. I used to see their scat all the time back in the old days when I was walking in the old Read Corp. property with my old coot. I have never seen an actual bear around here and we don’t usually see their scat down here near the beach. Bear sightings *near* the beach usually happen in the spring before people inhabit the cabins.

I took Paulette’s warning seriously although I am not particularly afraid. Of course, there is the fact that the Twinz of Terror filled up the hummingbird feeder yesterday and something knocked it down during the night. And they *heard* that something do that. But I found myself cracking up. As I was talking to Paulette, I was also listening to the Twinz of Terror having great fun back in the swamp somewhere. With implements of too much fun. Bang bang bang. I said to Paulette, “Yaknow, the Twinz are shooting guns back there somewhere (they shoot at logs and things) and it was pretty annoying but, now that I’ve heard about the bears, I’m thinking maybe it is a positive thing!”

Signing off from the Green Guy Cafe! –Boomerang Woman!

Twelve radio buttons and a big black werewolf

Friday, May 27th, 2011

The photooooo is mainly for the GG’s benefit. It was taken from the Ninja by the Huron Urine River last night. I think it is the highest I have ever seen the water in the Huron. There was even a spot where water was running over the road. Fortunately, it was Ninja-able.

It’s not a very good photoooo. I very warily stopped on Huron River Drive, rolled down the passenger side window and aimed my iPhone, while sneaking frequent glances into the rear view mirror. Huron River Drive is a two-lane scenic drive. It has a speed limit of 35 mph but a lot of folks tend to go a whole lot faster. I couldn’t really get any closer, nor could I conveniently park and walk around. The park across the river was closed with police tape. There was a weird guy hanggggging out on the Delhi bridge (and no other people around). And there was a shareeef hanggggging around stopping some of those folks who insist on going faster than 35 mph. So, you get what you get. I think that the pic-a-nic tables in the park were at least partially under water.

Dinner tonight at Knight’s with Jane and Vicki from the old Haisley Mafia and their significant others. Man oh man, did I ever need that! We’ve known Jane since the summer before Elizilla entered kindergarten. I was at work and the GG took the beach urchins to a band concert at West Park. Elizilla declared that she was going to *make a friend* that night. And so she did. It was Jane’s daughter, who ended up in Elizilla’s kindergarten class. They were good friends and are still friendly but Jane turned into one of my best friends here on The Planet. And Vicki… Wow. She is so exhuberantly outgoing that, when I first encountered her, I figured she was way out of my league. But somehow we clicked. So good to see those folks. I walked to Knight’s, of course, because it’s close and I don’t think they measure their drinks and I didn’t want to drive home. Afterwards, I was still pretty sober, so I walked to the Plum Market and picked up some whine and Tracklements smoked salmon to take north tomorrow.

Because I am back on the road tomorrow morning. Heading north yet again. And guess what? Since the wifi on my beloved but rather decrepit work laptop totally crapped out this week, I was more or less *ordered* by management folks to order myself a new one today. And make sure I ordered whatever the heck I needed on it. So I could telecommute when I needed to hang out with my pistol of a mother (yes, she is being a pistol and that’s not totally a bad thing!). Of course I won’t get the new laptop in time to use it this week but y’know what? I think this baggy old kayak woman stumbled into a pretty dern good job a few years ago! One she wasn’t even looking for…

It is late May and this is Michigan, episode #234387899

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Coffee at Barry’s with MMCB. The last time I had coffee at Barry’s with MMCB was that April morning I first drove north into the twilight zone. She has been in the midst of a similar-but-different situation to mine except her version of the Twilight Zone happens to be in the beeyootyful Sunshine State. So she is flying a lot. That would be driving me REALLY crazy but it’s pretty much business as usual for MMCB because MMCB is one o’ them thar jet-setters and, yes, you are right, we are still not sure why a jet-setter hanngggggs around with a baggy old kayak woman. Anyway, it has been a looonnnngggg time since I have seen MMCB and the gossip was flowing this morning.

And then, dinner with Mouse and NpJane at the Grizzly Peak. It was nuts downtown tonight. They are shooting some kind of moooovie down at the Old Town Barroooom. If you read this baggy old blahg with anything approaching regularity, you might remember that the OTB is one of our fav-o-rite hangouts. If you do not have NpJane’s parking karma, there is no place to park anywhere downtown, so I had to park way over on Third Street. Which was okay because it was free parking and I got to walk a few blocks. Which I needed. Even though it was raining (ho-hum). NpJane’s parking karma snagged her a spot across from the library.

And, so once again, I need to apologize for letting my emotions spill over onto my blahg. I like to keep those off of it, especially since people like my mother and my kids and many other relatives read it. The last couple of months have been excruciatingly hard and I have been second-guessing the decisions my mother and I have had to make every step of the way. This week has been one of the hardest periods, one in which I have had to back-pedal and re-think some things I really didn’t want to re-think. This baggy old blahg is also a *daily* blahg. On most of those bad days — the ones that we all have — I can hide whatever blackness might be lurking in my soul. I can kvetch about the weather or the traffic or some stupid thing I did. I can even galumph along in my own clumsy way into the political arena. Yesterday I was over the edge and could not climb out. I am sorry.

Was today a better day? Well, tomorrow is always a better day, roight? Not a bad philosophy in my opinion, thank you very much, Scarlett. I still have some excruciatingly hard decisions to make and difficult times ahead. But I am a person who cannot stay too far down for very long. I spent the day swimming back up toward the surface and I saw some interesting, thought-provoking things along the way. And that’s pretty much always how it goes after I take a trip down into the deep, dark depths of Mordor.

Good night,
Kayak Woman

If I’m not home in a few hours, call the Coast Guard please!

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Life was so bleak today that I entertained the idea of just not blahgging. I didn’t have one damn good thing to say. We are down to plans X, Y, and Z up in the Great White North and I had to hold my nose typing that because these are plans that I do not think will be good for ANYONE and I am totally pissed off about how things are working out, at least for the short term!!!! Of course, I am partly (largely?) to blame. But. Please will someone give me a wand with a phoenix feather at the core? I am *trying* to be as “zen” as I can about all this. Er, not that I actually have working knowledge of the concept of zen. But my life is not easy right now and I am not a very calm person from the getgo and I don’t think that is ALWAYS a bad thing. But it isn’t helping at the moment.

Anyway… I think a tornado has picked up my house and dumped me in Seattle. Except that I think it is raining a lot HARDER than it usually does in Seattle. I do not think we have had any bow echoes around here today and we have definitely not had any derechoes but we have had heavy rain and rumbly thunder literally all day. There are flood warnings up. Now, flood warnings do not mean the same thing on The Planet Ann Arbor as they do in other places where there are larger rivers. We’re talking wet basements and what “we” are apparently now calling “ponding” on the roads. I encountered a few of those “ponds” on the way home. They looked a little scary from the driver’s seat of the Ninja, my cute little 6-speed manual Honda Civic SI. How do performance taaarrrrs do in heavy rain, etc. It was okay and I made it.

Two unexpected little points of light in my day. 1) An old Haisley Mafia friend that I haven’t seen in a year or so and doesn’t know my current situation invited me (and the GG but he won’t be here) out to eat on Friday. YES YES YES YES!!!!! 2) I was using my iPhone to make a comment on Sam the Archaeologist’s blahg when I was interrupted by an incoming call. From Sam!!!! How bizarre. She and my webguy JCB aka her husband are traveling in Sicily at the moment and she skyped (or whatever) me! I needed that!

Talkin’ on a [damn] bluetooth

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

If it’s Tuesday, life must suck. I *think* it was last Tuesday that life last sucked as much as it did today although Friday was not the best of days either. And today did suck, except for the part where I went to work.

And even that sucked a bit. Not because of the work I had to do or the people I work with. They are wonderful! But my wireless internet connection got disabled yesterday and I do not know why except that it happened sometime after I actually got to my cube for the first time in 10 days or so and plugged in and the mothership took over my laptop for a while. That is okay. I work for the on-line banking industry and I know first hand as an employee and as a bank CUSTOMER how important it is for my work laptop to be secure. Now, I am not on the front lines of dealing with banking customers. I am a designer sitting way back behind our customers. If a hacker found my work computer, he/she would not be able to find anything of value on it because I don’t have (or need) access to anything important. Meaning, I cannot move money! The corollary to all of that is that I don’t need to use my work computer if I want to surf the internet because I have three devices (count ’em, my own personal iPhone, iPad, and Macbook) that can get online whenever. Whatever. I will get my work laptop back online soon. I am grateful that my local management type people are on my side and helping me deal with this horrible interim duffle-bag-living situation.

I hate that our new Mean Green Frog-hoppin’ Machine (which, by the way, I have hardly had a chance to drive) has a bluetooth connection. I hate when I talk to the GG on that. He is loud and there is static. That is all…

Canadian Bacon

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

My fav-o-rite moooovie. Or not… I actually don’t remember much about the mooovie except that Cananananada attacked the United Snakes. Or was it the other way around? I am sure that I probably fell asleep. Well, here ya go. Actually, I liked John Candy and there are some other good actors in there too. But Michael Moore is who he is and maybe should not venture away from documentaries.

Anyway. The bomb squad was apparently called to the moominbeach this morning. The first text message I received was something like “Canada bombs the beach!” Well. Of COURSE, that message was sent by The Joker, aka The GG. OF COURSE, nobody in Canada tried to bomb the moominbeach. But there was apparently some interesting flotsam today: “A Canadian canister for search and rescue containing dye that could be dispersed by an explosive type part.” That is from Our Northern Correspondent. Apparently it washed ashore in front of The Old Cabin and Jeep and Pan hauled it down to their house and after a few law enforcement gyrations, the Bomb Squad arrived. Maybe Jan will comment with an accurate story. I have spent my life walking up and down the beach looking at flotsam: cigarettes, grapefruit rinds, onion bags, styrofoam bits, dead birds, old tires. I have never found a dye bomb.

And then there was the cabin formerly known as The Woodland Workshop. When I was young, we could *walk* to the Woodland Workshop. We walked to the end of our beach and around the bend (or through the woods, there used to be a path) and a few cabins down and there was The Woodland Workshop. The artist Olive Craig and her friend Helen Kent lived there and ran the shop, which sold jewelry and pottery et al. Kent and Craig are long deag dead (deag?) but sometime during the night, the cabin that once housed The Woodland Workshop burned to the ground. Lightning is suspected. No one died (which is why I have posted the photooo). No one was there. Still sad.

And so, I was loving being here in my loverly, dog-poopy cube on the Planet Ann Arbor, not to mention The Landfill, and yet, I missed a lotta stuff today!

Box office PTSD

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

I managed (just barely) to scrape up enough CASH to pay a five dollar parking fee and $20 ticket without panicking (too much). I eventually managed to figure which building the blasted theatre was in without panicking (too much). Note to UMich: When you build a fancy theatre arts center with a state of the art black box theatre — named after a famous playwright — you might want to think about putting up a SIGN that can be seen from the street!

It was when I was waiting in line for the box office that I sorta freaked out. It wasn’t that it was a long line. Actually, when I got in there, *I* was the only one in line and the box office wasn’t open quite yet. I leaned against a post and worked the NYT xword on my iPhone. Oh shoot, just as the guy opened the box office, a group cut in front of me. It was okay. But. They had questions… One of the patrons was in a wheelchair so lots of stuff about wheelchair seating and stuff. Now, I am NOT harping on people in wheelchairs. That would be pretty ridiculous since The Commander now uses a walker and although she is really quite mobile, I am now learning first-hand about coping with access issues. Taking someone like The Commander to a play and figuring out the best place for her to sit is probably in my future and it would be best if I took a note.

But, y’know. I spent six years of my life running box offices for the A-squared Young Actors Guild and I flashed back to the days *I* was behind the box office. I remember the wheelchair questions. And then there was the constant confusion about ticket prices, no matter what I did to try to make that clear. And the people who nervously called in ticket reservations even though we *never* sold anywhere near the whole house. I use to wish we had that problem!!! And the people who presented their debit card, not realizing that we only took cash or check. (I knew enough to check that out ahead of time for this play but totally forgot about UMich event parking highway robbery.) And the genuine weird-ohs. Like the guy who would always ask if the play was a musical. Uh, the AAYAG does not *do* musicals. And the belligerent dad who LOUDLY asked why he couldn’t get a free ticket because his son was in the show. We had some kind of family pass deal that I can’t remember but I think people had to buy at least ONE ticket. I mean, we had to be solvent, fer kee-reist!

I may not have always paid for a ticket to see my kids act but that’s because I was running the box office and updating the website and running around backstage like a crazy woman and actually, I *rarely* sat in the audience in those days. I would sneak in to watch my kids when they were on stage and then I would sneak out again. Head backstage to hang out with Madame Producer. Backstage was always where the real play was anyway.

Nowadays, Mouse acts with various companies and I am always an audience member. I will pay whatever the ticket price is without argument and even donate money to those groups. Today, when they opened the house, I found myself a seat and, wouldn’t you know, Caspar Milquetoast and Meek Girl sat themselves down behind me. I was treated to Meek Girl telling a story in a teensy tinesy little voice about having a MOUSE (can you imagine!) in her apartment and her efforts to get some apartment superhero to eradicate it for her. Punctuated with frightened-sounding little giggles. Now, I know all about this because here at the Landfill the mice scurry in, the mice scurry out, the mice play pinochle on my snout. And I DO make “other people” eradicate them. Because I do NOT like to kill them, although I HAVE done it. The apartment superhero left her with some of that sticky tape that some people use to trap mice. I thought, “good luck with that, girl.” I guess it could’ve been worse. I once attended a musical over at Pi-Hi and the place was packed and, at intermission, the ding-dong behind me asked her friend, “Do you have any deodorant?” and a few minutes later said, “I’m putting on deodorant in a theatre, la la la…”. The GG, who had NOT heard any of this stuff, later remarked, “Smells like a locker room in here.” Indeed.

I am sorry. All of these people are good people and I have no right to snark at them. On another day, I would’ve giggled to myself at the Ann Arborness of all this stuff. The proverbial over-educated folks who can’t tie their own shoelaces. I might’ve even mustered up enough gregariousness and savoir faire to turn around and commiserate with Meek Girl about mus musculus. I would’ve said, “Don’t do that tape!!!” Today, after weeks (how many?) of schlepping up and down the I75 SUV Speedway and living out of an ancient LLBean duffle bag, I desperately needed to decompress and all I could think of was that, if great big bugs ever try to take over the earth and I have to fight them, Caspar and Meek will not be on my bus.

The play started. It was Arsenic and Old Lace. Mouse played Elaine. And made her own costumes, which were gorgeous. I relaxed and started to decompress. At the intermission, a Courtois contingent joined me! The Beautiful Becky and her daughter, The Beautiful Lacey. And The Beautiful Grandmother Trucker. Who isn’t trucking anymore but I still like that handle. I needed them and I was glad they were there. That is all I will say.

We said our goodbyes. The Courtois contingent was up for going out to eat. Part of me wanted to go with them but ultimately I slunk off to the Landfill. I will be working (in my loverly, dog-poopy cube) all week and I needed to get to the grokkery store and supply myself with just enough food for the duration. Stuff that I can chop up myself in my own chitchen and scrabble together for lunches, etc. I rarely eat prepared food at home.

And so, I am babbling and blathering away again. If you’ve read this far, thanks for putting up with me.

Love y’all,
Kayak Woman

Waiting for the raptor

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

Chloe Belle is all dressed up and waiting for the rapture. Isn’t she beeyootyful? Of course, if you are Chloe Belle, you are always waiting for the rapture. Or, I guess it would be the *raptor* in Chloe Belle’s case because Chloe Belle definitely qualifies as eagle bait.

The Beautiful Gay aka Chloe Belle’s dogmom is biding her time waiting for the raptor by shopping online for a cocktail light. I think a cocktail light would be a wondrous addition to the Houghton Lake Group Home decor. It would fit right in with the paint-by-number wolves and the “welcome to the cabin” doodlies and the bear toilet paper holder. The only thing I would worry about is, if our cocktail light was visible from the lake, all the boaters would float in looking for a, uh, cocktail. Kind of like the train whistle The Commander procured when I was a beach urchin. She would blow the train whistle and people like Duke and Radical Betty and/or Bugs and Horsey and/or Jeep and Pan would come a-runnin’. The only problem with that is that the train whistle is also what she used to call us beach urchins home with. Fortunately, I think most of those folks knew that if the whistle blew at nine AM, cocktails were not being served. Although I can remember Duke coming along and being served coffee royale on more than a few morning occasions. But Duke was a special case.

I am having just a wee leetle slice of normalcy here at Houghton Lake. My original plan was to beam down to The Planet Ann Arbor today and attend Mouse’s play tonight. But… It was GORGEOUS here this morning. I was EXHAUSTED. Psychologically, not physically. Aaaannnnddd… There is a Sunday matinee! “En famille” is what I think they call Sunday matinees. Something like that. So, I am here and I have done almost nothing today. My morning walk. The NYT xword. Hey, I FINISHED the Saturday xword without any googling. Angry birds. Angry birds. Angry birds. Stuck on levels everywhere. Then. I was drafted. Yes drafted. For what? To ride along with The Lord of Linden on the first voyage of the Pontoon Boat for 2011. What the heck? Nooooobody else wanted to go?

Just a couple years ago I was really snotty about powerboats. I still prefer my kayak but I have softened. I got a huge kick out of being invited on that trip. Some people were worried that the pontoon boat might have trouble starting and/or may crap out on the way back to the Group Home. Did we have enough supplies on the boat? Just in case we got stuck out there? Booze? I wasn’t worried. I know that The Lord of Linden is a seasoned boat captain and I knew we would make it across the lake. And we did. And I guess that is all.

Oh, except for the part that I am feeling VERY guilty that I am here hanging around with fun people and The Commander is hanging out at the long term care wishing she was young and beautiful and totally in control of her life.

Dinner at the Spikehorn. Goodnight. –Kayak Woman.

I am at Houghton Lake! It is summer here! There is a flyyyyy in my whine!!!

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Oooookaaayyy. I am here at Houghton Lake. I have not been here for a while and I can’t quite believe I am here. It’s been a while. The GG and the Lord of Linden and The Beautiful Kathy and the Uncly Uncle and The Beautiful Gay are here too. The GG actually cooked dinner with a bit of help from his sister and sister-in-law. I did not help. I feel like I am made of rubber today. Make salad? Duh. How do I make salad? It’s okay. The Beautiful Gay jumped to that cause. Her salads are legendary.

It was not easy to get out of the restaurant at the end of the universe today. Both of the main exits outta that town are more or less blocked. I grew up there and I managed to get outta town successfully but it took some doing. Oi did say goodbye to moi moom before I left her today. It was not easy to leave her at the ltc, even though the folks who work there are absolutely top-notch and The Comm’s most recent roommate is sentient, outgoing, and positive. And yes, oi called moi moom when I got down here.


Yay for facebook!

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

For me, facebook is not a place to play games. I don’t care if others do but I don’t wanna know how many sheep you have, so I hide those posts. Er, don’t ask me about the iPhone. NYT Xword? Solitaire? Angry Birds? King of Frogs? Yes. Hey, wait a minute? I have an game named King of Frogs on my iPhone? Frooooooggggggyyyyy!!!!!!

For me, Facebook is not a place to spout political opinions. I think it’s okay for people to express political opionions on fb but I prefer well thought-out and researched opinions from an open-minded person who can graciously accept and consider contradictory opinions. I’m not completely sure what my political opinions are anyway. That said, I think that facebook *can* be an effective political organizing tool. I saw it happen when the Planet Ann Arbor’s city council tried to shove a Martian toaster down its citizens’ throats and we roared back!

I am not into collecting as many facebook friends as possible. My “friends” fall largely into a few categories: relatives (and I use that term loosely), childhood friends (and I use *that* term loosely), and a few real-life friends on The Planet Ann Arbor or the Sault Ste. Siberia area. Oh, and a few Internet buddies. Gals around my age. I don’t wildly friend anyone whose name or photo seems remotely familiar. When I do “friend” someone, I do it nervously, wondering whether they will want to friend me back. What if they don’t remember me? What if they don’t *want* to be facebook friends with me? On the other hand, I always *accept* friend requests from people who are even remotely familiar.

My “relationship” status on fb is *married*. I can understand those who don’t want to advertise their status. Being broken up with on fb is, well, I have no words. Me? I am *married* and I do not want *anyone* to think that I am in the market for a boyfriend. In fact, if the GG gets hit by a beer truck this weekend (heaven forbid!), I will not be looking for a boyfriend! Although I *will* miss having a hiking/kayaking/skiing/driving pardner at the ready… Note to GG: Do NOT get hit by a beer truck!

Where am I going with this? I had lunch today with The Beautiful Mimi, a person who only a few years ago was stuffed into a long-unused table somewhere in the dustier recesses of the overstuffed database in my brain. A place where SELECT statements rarely ventured. She was someone I figured I’d probably never see again in life. I mean, I could actually go to a high school reunion again some day and maybe I will and there’s a good chance she will be there. Alas, my streak of Asperger’s (or whatever the heck it is) makes those events very challenging for me. It’s not that I don’t like the people. It’s just that I get very overwhelmed by the crowd and the loud rock ‘n’ roll music. Today, it was just two of us. Mimi is a highly intelligent, down-to-earth, open-minded person and I thoroughly enjoyed our lunch. It was exactly what I needed. I have reconnected with her because of facebook and I knew she would be in town this week because of facebook.

I woke up very nervous about today, wondering what I would have to cope with and how well I would cope with it. This afternoon, I was telecommuting from the solarium. Mooma was wandering in and out. The Commander was foisting candy on me when she wasn’t enlisted to join a residents’ council meeting or mucking with the boob tube. Things were pretty calm. Zen. We ended the day by driving out to the Cozy Inn for Thursday “fish”. The Comm pronounced the folks who gathered there tonight the Top Row! Er, something like that! Whatever it was she said, I agreed. Barb, Jan, Dave, Gina, & George. Almost (but not quite) made me wish I lived here.

One day at a time. Love y’all and thanks for your support!

Good night,

In which life is (once again) like a river…

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Some days are better than others, roight? Was today a *good* day? I dunno. When I finally get the “you are in” call from FV, it will be a *good* day. Today was okay though. For me, anyway. It was the little things. The friendly RN/LPN/CNA/whatever (they are all goddesses to me at War Memorial Hospital and I can’t always keep them straight) who greeted me with a big hello as I walked with quite some trepidation toward the ltc door this morning. Did I know her from somewhere? High school? She looked too young to have gone to high school with me. Then again… She was followed by Doc M, who was in The Engineer’s class in high school. Good morning! And then, The Comm and I were wheeling along the sidewalk toward the Ninja, neither of us too terribly happy about the curve ball that life has thrown us. But there was this beautiful woman walking toward us. She looked so familiar. From high school. And from facebook. I have a lunch date with her tomorrow but didn’t expect to see her today! Another person who is walking alongside an elderly mother and doing it more or less alone, without any living siblings. I think she is doing it a lot more gracefully than I am.

There was the meeting I dialed into this morning at my work. Listening to the Long Suffering Cat Herding Person’s voice… And emails from my job… A brood of ducklings apparently mis-stepped into a sewer this morning and various people from my work managed to rescue most of them. Sad for the one or two that couldn’t be saved but I work with a bunch of wonderful people.

There was an upward adjustment in The Comm’s quality of life today that I won’t go into detail about. I think it will make it more comfortable for her to go oot and aboot. And I was encouraged when the uber-nurse-admin-goddess-type-person grabbed me in the hallway and told me about some previous residents of the ltc who checked in there only to sleep. They spent the rest of the day at the library, the casino, various restaurants, or wherever. Well, The Comm wouldn’t be caught dead at a casino (and they know that at the ltc, heck she doesn’t even play bingo!) but I got the point…

Still, waiting on tenterhooks for FV to call with a room… And thinking that if The Engineer were here, The Comm would’ve been at FV a while ago. My bro’ would’ve made it seem okay for her in a way that I could not have, even though I know that she has been struggling a bit with some of the details of being independent for a while.

I like ’em old but I don’t like ’em black

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Okay. I know that the title sounds a bit politically incorrect but I promise you it is not, so please do not getcher underwear up in a bunch. 30 years or so ago, I walked into the computer room at my job over at That Darn EPA. Two of my loverly co-workers, Jim and Manuel, were in there and as I walked in, I heard Jim say, “I like ’em old but I don’t like ’em black.” Say what?!? I was totally flabbergasted! Until I looked at what they were doing. Which was eating lunch. And, in Manuel’s case, lunch back in those days included I can’t remember how many bananas. Three or thereabouts. So. Nooooooo, they were NOT talking about women! They were talking about bananas!

As you can see, I DO have bananas in my tree. Or, to be totally accurate, The Commander’s tree. I am just a squatter here, after all. It isn’t even the house I grew up in. Jim and Manuel would *not* have liked these bananas.

I had to start out with a bit of humor today because, well, one of these days I will look back on this period of time and laugh (because it *will* end) but today was an exceedingly bad day and about the only title I could think of before I remembered the derned bananas was FML. If you do not know what FML means, ask someone under 30. Hint: the first letter stands for a four-letter word. (I tweeted “FML” earlier today. The GG texted to ask what that meant. Elizilla tweeted back something like “What’s wrong?”.)

I won’t give the specifics about everything that slid downhill today. I couldn’t write about it if I tried. It was a day of big-time second-guessing and constant reassurance about the future (and the present) and button-pushing in both directions and many, many, many repetitive conversations. And a bit of anger that I deeply regret. But… I was repeatedly asked questions that I could not answer and I was asked (I think) to move the sun and moon. I cannot do that. And, oh yeah. I *worked* today too. *I* have a job. I *have* a job. I have a *job*. I love my job and I want to keep having it. Anger. Sorry. Where are all the sisters and brothers I don’t have? How do other black-sheep-type “only” children manage this? Where is the instruction manual?

Tomorrow will be a better day. That is all.

Hey, did you know you have a banana in your tree?

Monday, May 16th, 2011

The Beautiful Connie asked me that this morning as she tidied up after my slovenly housekeeping behavior here at the Squatter’s Paradise. How one medium-sized person with a minimal amount of stuff can make such a mess, I do not know. And I do not even flake drywall dust all over everything. Anyway. No, I did not know there was a banana in my tree. But for days now, I admit that I’ve been looking out the window wondering exactly what that banana-shaped object hanging in the tree was. Finally. When I got home this evening, I went out there to check and, yaknow what? It is a banana. Actually it is *two* very old bananas. How did they get there? I do not know.

It’s been a rather interesting day in general although I am not jumping up and down screaming with excitement and I bet y’all can guess why. It was the Monday lunch gathering at Kenny’s Pitchen, so I walked with The Commander from the LTC over to KP. Since we seemed to be on a roll, I asked if she felt up to walking the couple blocks to the post office. Well, yes! And so, we did. And then back to the LTC. A more or less triangular walk and arguably the longest one she has taken yet.

The Comm and I both worked from the LTC Solarium this afternoon. I was telecommuting to my job and The Comm was writing checks and sorting paperwork. An alarm went off!!! The Trickster had “escaped” outdoors to the terrace. I won’t try to describe The Trickster but he is one of my favorites. A bit later, after the hubbub died down, the reason for his escape became clear as a flock of seagulls descended! The Trickster had placed a container of popcorn out on the terrace! Alas. A nice, beautiful young female administrator type came along and removed the popcorn from the terrace. “The birds will poop.” Roight. I understood but I loved the look on The Trickster’s face as he watched all those birds wheel around to eat his popcorn. (Actually, I think Sault Ste. Siberia has a city ordinance against feeding wild birds. Clarification: Geese and something else, can’t remember what the sign said but possibly seagulls, since they can be a nuisance around here. Not songbirds and things.)

I didn’t get the coveted call from FV today but I did get a call from RJ in the late afternoon and after that I packed up my work laptop for the day. As I surveyed my work area to make sure I hadn’t left anything, I saw one of Mooma’s dolls in the wastebasket. She had been working with that doll earlier and I can only guess that she had been trying to give it a bath. And one of her shoes was on the table. I picked up her baby and her shoe and put them on her bed before I left The Commander for the night. Mooma is another of my faves.

Walked the freezing cold beach tonight and took an extra long-cut home. Feeling okay today except for the tenterhooks. Trying to think *through* to the next reality (which I think will be really good) and string along through this interim reality.

Good night. I hope you do not have bananas in your tree. Unless, of course, you have a banana tree!

It’ll be just like a picnic except we’ll have an oven

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

It only took me two days to get a blasted enchilada dinner together. In the end, I decided it would be a little like a picnic. Except that we were indoors and had access to an oven. And hot running water. But there were other picnic-like aspects to the whole affair. Finding where just the right utensil had been carefully packed away last fall. Scrounging a roll of paper towels to use in lieu of cloth napkins.

As far as I know, this is the first dinner at the moomincabin for the summer of 2011. At least it is the first one with invited guests. Jeep and Pan and the mean old, grunchie old grinchie. As hard as it was for yer fav-o-rite blahgger to pull it together, it was just the ticket for The Commander, who had somebody to talk to besides, well, yer fav-o-rite blahgger.

If it were about 10 degrees warmer, I think I would get jamadots to install a DSL and move out to the moomincabin for the duration. I think I am gonna install a DSL out there *anyway* but that does not mean I won’t still hang out at the Green Guy Cafe from time to time.

It was a beautiful day, if a little chilly. Some of us were a little out of sorts today. That included me. I do not like to wait and we are waiting. Tap tap tap. That’s my foot. People keep asking, “FV has a wait-list?” Well. Of course it has a wait list. It has a wait list because yer fav-o-rite blahgger is in need of a room there. What were you thinking? I will be tearing my hair out if this goes on much longer. If it goes on past Memorial Day, I *will* move out to the moomincabin but gawd, I hope it is resolved by then!!!

That is about all the aimless blather either of us can stand. The Beautiful Connie is coming tomorrow morning to tidy up and that means I need to, uh, tidy up… Incoherently yours, –KW.

Oh, and, P. S. The Commander had absolutely NO trouble getting up the three steps to the deck at the cabin and then, when it came time to leave, she totally ignored my “order” to *wait* to begin her descent until I had her walking machine at the ready at the bottom. When I turned around, she was halfway down the steps and The Beautiful Jan was cracking up, like, “You go, girl!”.

Yes, we have no enchiladas

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

Actually, we do have enchiladas but we haven’t actually managed to do our little dinner party yet. I won’t even try to describe today except to say that we did a *lot* and, when I finally got around to calling The Beautiful Jan (our main guest, although the Grinchie needs to show up too) at around two this afternoon, I didn’t realize how exhausted I was until I described to her what we had done so far. We were tootling around at the “Spring Show” by then and Jan said something like, “The Commander might need a nap don’t you think?” Well… How now… The Commander did *not* need a nap, thank you very much! [Or so she said when I tentatively made such a suggestion…] But KW realized she herself was about to drop in her tracks. Two o’clock is a familiar time for KW. It is about the time she tends to start nodding off in her loverly, dog-poopy cubicle. If you hear a thud, that is KW falling out of her chair.

At any rate, it was rainy and cold all morning and that did not bode well for the weather out at the moomincabin. “We” (aka, the GG) have turned on the water and lucky-shucky for the summer and since we now have the garage that I once complained about (what was I thinking?), we don’t have to schlep kayaks and sailboats and things outta the cabin any more. But the the place isn’t really summer-ready quiiiite yet and I was worried about whether we could get it warm enough to be comfortable eating dinner there. So, KW made the executive decision that enchiladas would happen tomorrow instead and the Beautiful Jan *graciously* agreed to that plan, even though I’m sure she thinks yer fav-o-rite blahgger is nuts! Just because I am living moment to moment doesn’t mean everybody else has to! Anyway, I usually get a whiff of a second wind a little later, around the cocktail hour, don’tcha know. And I did. But honestly, you do not want the paint-drying details of my day so I won’t disclose them.

Aaaannndd… Happy Mother’s Day to me! (Hey, every day is Mother’s Day!) The GG is down there on The Planet Ann Arbor and he filled my ugly plastic pots with multi-colored Impatiens today. He even texted me to ask what kind of fleurs I wanted in there. Thank you very much! Love you, old boy!

Tourist trap?

Friday, May 13th, 2011

I guess it’s a positive thing that I am getting good at manhandling a four-wheeled walker in and out of the back seat of a Honda Civic SI because apparently they are not gonna let me leave town. I mean, this is the main road outta town, don’tcha know. At least it was when I was a street urchin over on the South Side of Sault Ste. Siberia. The truth is that nowadays, the I75 SUV Speedway is the main road outta town. Actually, its northern terminus is here. If you are driving a load of, uh, paraphernalia up to your headshop and you forget that you have already crossed over the Big Mac bridge, you might even overshoot the northern terminus of the I75 SUV Speedway. You will very shortly cross another big bridge and, on the other side of that bridge, you will find yourself answering questions from a jovial (or not) Canadian customs agent.

I’ll leave the rest of that cute little story to your imagination (no, it wasn’t me or my headshop, fer kee-reist, I am way too boring for that, don’tcha know…). I *will* get outta town again (actually I *do*, most days, if only to get out to the Moominbeach) and I *am* getting good at manhandling a four-wheeled walker in and out of the back of the Ninja. And, although we still haven’t heard from FV, I can see a new routine of sorts forming. Now that The Commander is officially finished with prescribed rehab, she is on a “maintenance” routine to make sure she doesn’t backslide. Okay. That means that someone comes around once a day and takes her for a little walk. And that’s okay. But she needs (and *wants*, yes) more than that and I will betcha she gets a lot more PT / OT when yer fav-o-rite blahgger takes her out. She has to walk across the parking lot just to get in and out of the Ninja*. Today and yesterday, she spent hours up here at the Squatter’s Paradise, where she did laundry and worked on mail and her checkbook and I don’t even know what else because I was telecommuting to my work. Tomorrow? I am picking her up early and we are gonna hit the grokkery store and she has some stuff to do here and we are gonna make enchiladas for dinner and, if it is not 36 degrees and snowing we *might* even bake them at the moomincabin because I think that my stubborn old bag of a moom can get up the three steps to the deck out there, thanks to the PT Goddess Alice’s training and the GG’s railing. And her own damn determination!

I am scouting out other things we can do. We can drive down to the locks and walk through the park down there. As long as The Comm doesn’t stash her nail file underneath her walker seat, ’cause they might confiscate that in this age of terrorism, don’tcha know. And we were sizing up the walk from FV to Karl’s Cuisine. I definitely think she could walk that distance with a companion. And we are strategizing how she will be able to attend LSSU Elders events and meetings without her own personal automotive vee-hickle at her beck and command. Heck, it’s only a few blocks up the hill from FV. The Commander and Radical Betty were founding members of that organization and I bet there will be younger members who would be willing to pick her up. If she asks!!! Or… Hey, maybe the Elders could arrange to hold some events at FV! It *is* the “Elders”, roight? Hmmm…

This interim period is really, really hard but we are gonna make it! Yes. We will. One of these days, I think I will be able to return to the Landfill knowing that The Commander is safe and living with friends, thriving without her only not-caretakerly-type daughter.

P.S. If you are a Moominbeach reader, you are invited for enchiladas tomorrow. Not sure where or what time or how ragged around the edges I’ll be. But there will be plenty of food, so lemme know if you are interested!

*Disclaimer: Of course, I am *not* a physical or occupational therapist! But the therapists “we” worked with were absolutely fabulous! I listened to their suggestions about appropriate activities and asked lots of questions. So I am pretty convinced that I will not push The Comm beyond her capabilities. Yes, even with my impatient personality. I think that The Comm is chompin’ at the bit to regain as much independence in her life as possible and I want to help her do that safely.

We don’t need no stinkin’ handicap sticker

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Aaannnnddd… The truth is that “we” really don’t. Walking even a block to and from the car is not a problem. It isn’t even all that slow. I’m impressed. The hard part about this is that “we” are still in limbo here. No call from FV yet. No real need to be living in the long-term care. I am sorry. I schlepped the five hour trip up the I75 SUV Speedway this morning and sprung The Commander for the afternoon. I brought her up to the Squatter’s Paradise (her house), where she puttered and I telecommuted to my work. And then we went to “fish” out at the Cozy Inn. It was all great and fish was really a good thing to do. I know The Comm had a good time talking to *friends*! People who know who she is and what she’s all about. People who know who and where they are and can carry on a sentient conversation. Alas, I had to take her back to long-term for the night. I cannot do 24-hour care here. I am alone in this venture. I do not live here and I do not want to move here. I am not a care-taker type of person from the get-go and I am just about stretched to my limit. Nevertheless, I continue to second-guess myself.

I am really pretty okay tonight. I was going back in time today as I was driving up through the northern lower. Thinking about all the *fun* expotitions over the years. Junkets to Petoskey or Charlevoix or through the Jordan River Valley with the Beach Urchins in the back of the old POC playing with their puppets, reading, drawing, whatever. Yarn store boondoggles to Alanson and Mackinaw City ending with lasagne and “gin margueritas” (margaritas?) back at the moomincabin. Death biathlons along the south branch of the Au Sable River with the Twinz of Terror. Arriving back at the Ski Ranch after a good ski and finding The Engineer (!!!) and his family there. I wanted to be doing those things today instead of driving up the Speedway… (I guess I am *still* doing death biathlons with the Twinz but none of the other stuff will ever be quite the same again.)

Anyway. I am here again, telecommuting from the Squatter’s Paradise and waiting not very patiently to hear from FV. This trip I *am* gonna resume my walking schedule. I neeeeeeed that! And we really do not need a handicap sticker. At the beginning of all this, I thought we might. But anyone who can walk three blocks to eat Monday lunch at Penny’s Kitchen does not need one.

Incoherently yours,
Boomerang Woman

P.S. Speaking of old minivans, thank you to Isa for the Mother’s Day card. It has an old minivan like my red one and it says, “Mom, thanks for always picking me up.” I was not always the best at being a mother but you can bet I was *always* there to pick my kids (and usually half the neighborhood kids) up! (Er, I still haven’t sent you your Easter candy…)

Oh, and thanks to the Goddess Esther for the call and support tonight. She does not read this blahg but I am thinking I owe *her* a Mother’s Day card.