Archive for October, 2013

Halloween costumes past and present

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Probably my all-time fave Halloween photooo and definitely a tour-de-force for home-made costumes.

halloween89

Mrs. Marans (wonderful kindergarten teacher) said, “those wings won’t survive the day”. I knew better (and anyway, I didn’t really care, even though I hand-sewed sequins all the way around the perimeter of those damn things). As it happened, not only did they survive, they became part of the Landfill costume stash. As in this:

mousewings2

And part of some people’s everyday wardrobe. As in this (also, The Commander made the apron):

mousewings

Those wings are still hanging around somewhere down in the Landfill Dungeon. The next one is for Margaret (yes, there was a hat too, it’s hanging around her neck in this photo).

tigermouse

Froooggy usually gets all decked out for Halloween.

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This year all he got was a couple strands of Hally-ween style mardy graw beads and a shocking pink sekint-hed-o-hare. But he did get to sit on his jacky-lantern in the Queen Bee’s office all day. She told me she was honored to have Froog in her office for the day. Then she peered at me and said, “He causes trouble, doesn’t he?” Oh, yes he does. But the LSCHP probably causes more trouble than Froog (after all, the LSCHP was responsible for “witching” the Queen Bee’s office). The Queen Bee? Well, I don’t post photooos of folks at work pretty much EVER but I think the one of TQB below is okay. Isn’t that tree costume fantabulous?

queenbee

Happy Halloween! It’s a soggy one here. But pretty dern warm. I’ll take that!

People of Woldemort

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

tamarackI took my annual trip to Walmart today. Me and Cube Nayber were dispatched to buy provisions for tomorrow’s Halloween party. And, uh, costumes. Last year I got away with wearing funky clothing and bringing taking? (No Commander to correct me) Frooogggy in. This year promised to be about the same until… Dun dun dun… The Queen Bee… Dun dun dun… saw a cool costume while she was driving to work and decided that we (she and her team, that’s three of us) could actually maybe kinda sorta replicate it. TQB usually dresses up as a witch (and shhh… don’t say anything but she may have a little surprise waiting for her tomorrow when she gets in, oh boy oh boy [wink]).

Anyway, about the last thing I wanted to do today was go to Walmart. Walmart makes me dizzy. Not quite as dizzy as Ikea but dizzy enough. I liked the OLD Walmart okay. At least the old one that we had up in Sault Ste. Siberia a bazillion years ago. It had a *fabric* department that I actually bought stuff in back in the days when I was doing quilt-type stuff. I bought an “emergency” bathing suit at that Walmart once and underwear for the beach urchins a couple times (adjustable, anyone?) and a cute little pink digital camera for The Commander and other stuff. It was a pretty cool store. “They” decided it was not big enough, so “they” closed it and built a *Super* Walmart in a *different* location. That means that “they” tore out about a billion trees *twice* but we won’t go there tonight. I hate the new Super Walmart but it seems like I find myself there at least once a year anyway… (We once bought The Comm a flat-screen TV there, which is now here at The Landfill.)

Today? I went to Walmart with Cube Nayber. It was a gorgeous Indian Summer day and I didn’t wanna make Cube Nayber do this stuff all by herself (even though she was also buying an Electric Jack-o-lantern for herself) and I felt like getting out, so I went. This store reminds me of the new Siberian store. Lots of lucky-shuckial crap (to keep the masses subdued?) for one thing. I don’t think they have a fabric department but I could be wrong. Halloween stuff? We found what we needed but only because Cube Nayber is apparently a better shopper than I am. Although I did figure out where our costumes were, which was *not* where the rest of the Halloween stuff was. In general, the Halloween stuff was pretty picked over and the xmas stuff was waiting in the wings…

People of Walmart? I dunno. This is probably quite politically incorrect but in general, if you live near The Planet Ann Arbor, you do not get tooooo many people in any store, even Walmart, who are dressed in outfits that are toooo inappropriate for their size, etc., etc., etc. Most people are appropriately covered and doing the best they can to look nice. At any rate, I am careful about commenting about someone else’s appearance or choice of clothing. After all, *I* was in Woldemort today. People of Walmart? That category includes meeeeee.

P. S. Froooog is sitting on his pumpkin by the front door making sure I don’t fergit him tomorrow.

Beards are the new black?

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

reflectionsI don’t pay any attention to sports as you know if you know me in real life or are one of my five regular readers. My friend MMCB is somewhat more of a sports fan. She goes to UM feetsball and hockey games and even attends her adult son’s amateur hockey games, even though they are often scheduled at ridiculous times like 10:45 PM. I do not know how MMCB does this (or why actually but that’d be a whole ‘nother story [wink]), at least not on a regular basis. She is as much a morning person as I am. We always meet at 8 AM and both of us have been up for over two hours by that time. I can only speculate that, because she is a jet-setting world traveler, she has learned how to roll with whatever Father Time throws at her. (And again, we are still trying to figure out why someone like MMCB would want to hang around with a baggy old kayak woman like me.)

The last time MMCB and I had coffee together (and it was two weeks ago because she has been in, hmmm, Barcelona I think, last week), she was kvetching a bit about things like the fancy long hairstyles a lot of feetsball players have been wearing (which I have actually seen on the internet or maybe it was TV). And those baseball players with their beards. Apparently there is even a guy on some team who has a really long beard that he ties with a bow at the bottom. I haven’t seen the guy with the bow (what team does he play for?) but I watched a wee bit of baseball off and on last night and there were beards galore, albeit short ones. What? I dunno. A man can grow a beard. (And so can some women. I will never forget the time a beautiful woman with a beard visited the moomincabin. My cousin Terri and her daughter Ana were visiting and Ana was about eight and, as The Comm and Grandroobly and I were welcoming this woman into our cabin, Terri and Ana exited very quickly out the back door.)

I would be following the World Series a bit more seriously if the Tigers were in it but they’re not but I did watch it long enough last night to see some beards. As long as I live, I will never forget when the Tigers won in 1984. Lizard Breath was due to be born any minute and I somehow got all wrapped up in the Tigers. I think they won before she was born (Oct. 23) and one of the Tigers had his first child a couple days before I had mine. Their baby was born at the same hoosegow as Lizard Breath. His wife and kid were picked up via limousine with flowers galore and the nurses were all excited about that. Our beautiful baby got a ride home in the back of a 1979 Ford Fiesta. I don’t know anything about that family. I don’t know whether there are more children or whether the parents are still married or how the children have turned out. I hope that family is intact and whatever children they have are doing as well as my baby and her younger sister are doing.

Batching parameters for the fungus amungus

Monday, October 28th, 2013

fungusThere aren’t any sharks around these parts that I know of (except for, oh you know, the one in the pond in my back yard) but there is a 20-pound carp in town and he is running for city council. I wish I could vote for him but I live in the 5th ward and he is running in the 4th ward. I am reasonably satisfied with the 5th ward incumbent so I suppose I will vote for him although there are a couple of write-ins (homo sapiens entities) also running. At least my man is not just another shill for the mayor’s agenda. I dunno if “shill” is exactly the right word here but it is close and after a day of pickity wordsmithing, I have no stamina left for discerning 50 shades of meaning.

Batching by things like account number and customer ID and service type is tricky enough and my most recent spec is a challenge to write and organize. It’s okay. I asked for it. I cannot even imagine how to batch moss and fungus and trees and rocks, etc. I’ve done enough data base design to know how hard it is to even work with basic things like name and address, etc. Like back when I was a PTO treasurer and kept track of the kid’s address plus the parent(s) address(es)… And names? I gathered all that stuff from all the forms and checks and whatever that came my way and when people wanted to know something like, “who is this person?” they knew to call email me and I would usually be able to quickly find out which kid that person was attached to, however loosely. As I write this, I am freaking myself out a little bit. That was back in the world wide web’s wild wild west days when a lot of folks didn’t have email and/or a fast web connection. I wonder what kind of policies have been developed to keep a nerdy PTO treasurer from storing information about people. And no, I don’t have any of that stuff any more. I couldn’t care less about old PTO treasury records and they are gone and don’t anybody bother me about them. Or I’ll sic my shark on you!

And then the GG came home and he had actually *noticed* what the gas prices were at no less than three gas stations. He did need gas. I was kinda like, “where’s the punchline here?” It finally came out that the new station at the intersection just north of us was much cheaper than whatever other ones he checked out. I said, “Okay go get me some gas” but he didn’t. In the grand scheme of things, the price of gas fluctuates constantly, sometimes for valid reasons, sometimes not. I don’t EVER look at the price of gas. If I need gas, I buy it. Of course, I am driving a Honda Civic but *my* Civic prefers that [more] expensive mid-grade gas. The GG thinks I am a spendthrift. I am not. Well, except for food and bizcaz and stuff for my kids when they will accept stuff. I will not EVER drive all over town to look for cheep gasoline. When I need it, I get it on my way to work.

Good night,
Kayak Woman

These potatoes would be good for breakfast (but I didn’t get ’em at Freeway Fritz)

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

pitcherplantWe didn’t get a terribly early start today but that was okay. When I got back from my 0-skunk-30 walk this morning, the GG was not up yet and I took the opportunity to make a cute little breakfast, a strategy for chiseling away at some of the half packages of breakfast sausage and stuff in the freezer. And some loverly leftover new potatoes from the farmer’s market, which sauteed up nicely in a wee vite of vutter.

Then it was off to the Gerald E. Eddy Discovery Geology Center. This state park has changed its name since we used to take the beach urchins there but it’ll always be the geology center to me. At the geology center, you can hike as little or as much as you want or are able to. Our all-time fave hike there is down to the floating bog. According to the sign, that’s 1.5 miles. I can only assume that’s round trip. It isn’t a very long hike, which makes it good for little kids and I can remember a five-year-old Mouse cantering along the trail in her Horse Outfit, a black velveteen dress with black tights and black leather boots.

geologycentermapWe did go to the bog today. Pitcher plants like these abound there as well as tamarack, which is turning yellow at this season. We also hiked all of the other little trails in the vicinity of the floating bog. Those trails are shown on the bottom right corner of the map*. The bog trail is black. We walked the red, blue, and purple trails, plus a little side trip along the shore of Cedar Lake. I am not a naturalist. On a good day I can tell the difference between red and white pines. I’ve learned (the hard way) how to identify poison ivy. I know what British Soldier moss lichen (learned something today) looks like because we have it in spades on the bank up at the moominbeach. And various other random things. I could not walk through the bog area of the geology center and identify trees and plants and things. But I love hiking down in there. It feels like the forest primeval to me.

We did not see one single other person down there in the bog area. We encountered our first fellow hikers as we were exiting that area. Then we walked the yellow trail and then… dun dun dun… The GG dragged me over to Belleville to Camping World, where he picked up some jack stands (or something) for the Lyme Lounge. They had a lot of fun stuff for trailers and RVs there but they did not have a mirror. We need a mirror. I hate putting on my make-up in the Ninja. I suppose most of those big fancy trailers with the push-outs and things have mirrors built in. I am not dissing those things. I think they are wonderful. I just always feel something like, “Wow! This thing is nicer than my house!” We’ll find a mirror for the LL. With luck, we’ll figure a way to mount it on the wall with velcro…

A couple responses to comments: 1) Yes, Cam and Ginny were sisters-in-law. It’s funny how well I knew the Siberian Boult family as a child but never knew Cam until much much later. I knew that the Boult kids had cousins somewhere else (Chicago, I think). I was always curious about them because I had so many cousins and I knew them all. Like, don’t you know your cousins??? I don’t think the Boult cousins met up as frequently as I did with my cousins and I didn’t meet Cam and Jim’s kids until I was an adult. 2) Pooh, I think you are right that The Comm topped her cakes with flowers instead of bride / groom figures. I have a (bad, fuzzy) photo of her with one of them.

*Note to self: It is a really cool idea to photograph a trail map but it would be even cooler if you would not cut off the top of the map. You know, the part that says Gerald E. Eddy Discovery Geology Center.

Sincerely yours, Garbage Woman…

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

piquettefordplantA rather grumpy old garbage woman at that. Can I blame the wind? Why was I not expecting that it would be chilly and blustery today? And why did it bother me so much? It wasn’t *that* bad. But here’s a warning. Today’s entry is just about as boring as it can get and my feelings will not be at all hurt if you click away. Maybe you would rather keep up with the Kardashians or whoever. If so, go for it! [grin]

I’m frustrated because, despite all of the work I have been doing the last few years to de-clutter and de-hoard, it feels messy and cluttered and dusty and grimy around here lately. I’m frustrated at how hard this process is. About how much stuff I *cannot* get rid of because it doesn’t belong to me. That was not a subtweet. Everybody else in the family is just as busy as I am (even the GG, now that the government has temporarily regained at least a modicum of sanity). That’s a good thing because it means that everyone is gainfully employed and therefore able to pay their own bills [not to mention they are taxpayers, ahem]. But the beach urchins do not have time to go through their stuff (and they don’t have room for it) and I don’t have time (or the will) to nag them. And *that* was also not a sub-tweet. Just a baggy old garbage woman baying at the moon.

But. I am at a tough place in this process. Today I focused on the *dreaded* bunch of random items that are strewn about “Mouse’s room”. I want that room to be a *comfortable* place for a guest to sleep in. Right now? Not so much. I managed to pack up two boxes of random stuff that I am absolutely sure doesn’t have any monetary *or* sentimental value. Just stuff that The Comm acquired in the last few years and couldn’t quite manage to get rid of. I am not anywhere near 90 but I have seen 90 in primary colors and I know how difficult it can be to deal with “stuff” at that age.*

Other stuff, I’m not so sure of. A few random china items that could be Fin or Mac or who knows. I’m definitely saving those and maybe next summer, The Beautiful Jan can help me figure out if they are Fin or not because I sure don’t remember them. And there’s that damn broiler pan that I’m not sure I will *ever* use but cannot quite donate. And The Comm’s wedding cake pans. When I was a kid, The Comm had a reputation as a decent wedding cake baker. She did not make fancy Pinterest-worthy cakes with fondant or whatever. This was back in the days when wedding receptions were in the church basement and her cakes were the typical white tiered cakes with little bride and groom figurines on the top. Those cakes were good! Back in the day, The Engineer used to ask for wedding cake for his birthday cake. Of course she didn’t make a tiered wedding cake for The Engineer’s birthday. She made trains and firecrackers and things!

Anyway, I have her cake pans. I do not think I can get rid of them. Not yet. Does anyone in the family want them? I cannot just randomly donate them. But I doubt that I will *ever* use them. And I doubt that anybody who makes wedding cakes in any kind of professional way or even as a hobby would want them. I bet there are much more sophisticated smart cake baking products on the market these days.

I did make progress today but it was not easy. Three steps forward, two steps back.

*On the other hand, The Comm’s room at FV got quite cluttered as she cajoled people (me, the GG, and The Beautiful Jan, mostly) to help her bring stuff down there from her house. Wink wink wink!

In which I have lost a member of my village

Friday, October 25th, 2013

The Commander’s wonderful friend Ginny died last night. I was told she died peacefully in her sleep. She was 94.

The Comm and Ginny met when they moved to Sault Ste. Siberia with their husbands after WWII. My dad and his siblings were friends with the Boult boys growing up and mom and Ginny turned out to be fast friends. As it turned out, Ginny’s youngest daughter was my age and we also grew up as friends. I spent a lot of time over at that house (which was only a couple blocks from my grandparents’). I always felt welcome there and many many good times were had.

I can’t even begin to describe Ginny or the many accomplishments she made in her life. Like the popular “science room” she ran at Finlayson School, this woman who hadn’t even completed a college degree. And she didn’t learn to drive until much later in life than most people do. The Boult house was right next to the A&P grokkery store and close to downtown and it was possible in those days to live in Sault Ste. Siberia without driving a car. Mr. Boult and the kids drove but Ginny didn’t drive when I was a child. Many times, The Comm would pick up Ginny for various expotitions, sometimes with Helen and I, other times not. But always fun times. Trips to the woundrous Textile Shop over on Queen Street in Canada and whatever. Ginny did eventually learn to drive and continued to do so with aplomb until a botched hip surgery left her unable to get around at all except via a motorized chair. Sigh.

My memories from all of those good years are unorganized tonight. Ginny was one of FV’s first residents and, when The Comm got to the point where it was unsafe for her to live alone in her house, I hoped that living in the same place as one of her best friends would make it all okay. While I think it helped that Ginny was there, The Comm never did get accustomed to living away from her home and her beloved vee-hickle. When The Comm’s health rather unexpectedly took a turn for the worse, I’ll never forget Ginny telling me she wanted my mom to get better and how much she would miss my mom if she died. Mom and I were on a tortuous journey together at that point and I wanted so much to provide some reassuring words but I really didn’t have them…

I have kind of a love / hate relationship with that whole “it takes a village” saying. It was annoying when the beach urchins were young and the school tried to shove that down our throats. I put in a lot of time as a parent volunteer and couldn’t help but notice all the kids who had [seemingly] absolutely no support whatsoever outside of school. I often thought something like, “We cannot do it all! What about the parents?” But it *does* take a village. I was one of the fortunate ones with engaged parents, two sets of doting grandparents, and wonderful aunts, uncles, and cousins on both sides of my family. And I had people like Ginny who welcomed me into her home and family as I grew up alongside her daughter.

I am not all that sad about this. 94 years is a long time to live and I am going to guess that Ginny was ready to go. I’m glad that she went peacefully without having to endure multiple emergency trips to the damn hoosegow. My condolences go to her surviving children. I know how much they will miss her.

No, I am not ready!

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

dillonsnowIt was just 10 minutes or so of loud sleety stuff. It was over almost as soon as it started, leaving a light splattering of white stuff on the Ninjaís roof. Nothing on the ground whatsoever. No need to drag out my battered old boots (note to self Ė buy new boots!) or YakTraks. And I didn’t take a photo. Why bother?

That was last night. I am not ready! I know, I live in the Great Lake State. It snows here. Sometimes it even snows earlier than October. I can remember swimming at the moominbeach one Labor Day weekend with little bits of white stuff spitting out of the sky at us. Us beach urchins didnít care if it was snowing. We swam EVERY day all summer and we were gonna swim in snow. (And yes, I probably have written about that day before. What the heck? Itís my blahg and if you donít like my boring blather, go find something else to do.)

Anyway, I didnít grow up to be one of those polar bear swim people but I donít mind snow and cold as long as I’m not in the water. It wouldnít be winter without snow and cold. I can shovel with the best of them. But last winter was too long and I am not ready for it to start up again. I mean, just last April, we went up to the Great White North and encountered a big ice storm on the way. Huge drifts of snow surrounded the moomincabin (we didnít stay there of course, our headquarters that weekend was the Hotel Ojibway) and it snowed off and on all weekend. I had to wear my damn YakTrax fer kee-reist! It was April and we were in Michigan and I donít expect beautiful warm sunny weather in April in Michigan. April is a mixed bag around here. It can snow and often does! But that weekend was kind of ridiculous.

Eventually winter ended and I breathed a sigh of relief thinking about the months ahead when I could just get into my vee-hickle and take off. No shoveling or scraping. Minimal or no outerwear to muck around with. Dry roads. Er, well, there was that one day that people were kayaking in the streets in downtown Ann ArborÖ

This photoooo is not anything recent of course and it is not my house. It is the Dillon house back in 2002(?), or so The Commander labeled that batch of photos. That looks to be a pretty good dumping of snow, possibly on top of another couple of dumpings of snow but let’s put it into perspective. A few years before that, I walked Mouse over to 3rd grade one morning and Mr. K (of multiplication blues fame) asked me if I had heard about the five feet of snow that had recently fallen in Sault Ste. Siberia. No, I had not. Come to think of it, I hadn’t talked to the parents in a while. I tried to call. Busy signal… Multiple times… The phone line into the Dillon house was *always* wonky. When I eventually got hold of The Commander, wow, what a story. Yes, they got five feet of snow. Yes (of course), the phone line wasn’t working. In fact, The Comm had called the phone company to complain. They said (from Detroit or someplace) that someone had already been out. Well, that was not true because after five feet of snow, NOBODY in Sault Ste. Siberia could get anywhere. That little city can deal with a mere foot of snow with no problem. Business as usual. Five feet? Not so much. You might be wondering something like how the heck did The Comm *call* the phone company if the phone line wasn’t working. She WADED through all that snow to the next door neighbor’s house. If you knew my mother, you might imagine that visual…

10-12 inches is about the upper snowfall limit here on The Planet Ann Arbor. That’s enough to clog up our city pretty darn well. I am not ready yet. I don’t even want to think about what five feet would do but at least I can work from home, assuming the power is on… Still. Please do not bring it on Old Man Winter. Not just yet.

I wore my [new] green dress today but I fur-got my [faux] fur trimmed glubs

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

plutoniumgirlAnd it was Fur Day at work today. How could I have fur-got? The Commander used to give me an elegant pair of leather “driving glubs” every xmas. I liked the red ones the best but black was okay too. One year she decided that Lizard Breath was old enough for a pair of leather driving glubs. She sent Liz some fancy fur-trimmed glubs and me a more elegant, unadorned black pair. Wouldn’t you know? The fur-trimmed glubs were a bit over the top for Liz. Mine were fine but I happily traded. I don’t remember if I ever told The Comm that. She wouldn’t know who was wearing what so why bother? I don’t get elegant pairs of driving glubs from anyone any more. It’s okay. I still have a few pairs hanging around. I wear them occasionally but my go-to glubs are those little 50-cent Walmart thingies. They are plenty warm down to about 10 degrees and can be easily doubled (i.e., layer two on each hand) below that.

Speaking of Liz… What were you doing oh, I dunno, more years ago than I care to admit to but at least the number doesn’t end in zero? Me, I was trying to figure out what to do with that thing in the photoooo… My Dear Uncle Harry declared her to be the Epitome of Cutosity. I think she takes after her dad, don’t you?

Anyway, when you are 30 and you have NEVER CHANGED A BABY’S DIAPER IN YOUR LIFE or even held a baby for more than the amount of time it takes to say, “Please take it back, I don’t think it likes me!” it is quite interesting when you HAVE ONE!!! Once I was alone in my hoosegow room with her and she did a wee bit of choking, not enough that an *experienced* parent or babysitter would’ve even thought twice about. Me? I was on the phone immediately. “I think she’s okay but I don’t really get the hang of the bulb aspirator.” Yes, I really said that bit about the bulb aspirator. Some well-meaning nurse had apparently left me with one along with a cursory explanation on when / how to use it. Which I didn’t understand at all… A nurse answered my call and reassured me that my baby was fine and she was. I kind of grew up a little. I didn’t call a nurse for anything relating to my baby again and don’t remember ever actually *using* a bulb aspirator with my healthy children. Ever.

We did birthdays up big back in the old days with wild parties at the Landfill and too many gifts. Those days are long gone and I think the only time I have spent Lizard’s birthday with her *on the actual date* since she turned 17 was three years ago when we all met in Asheville for The Beautiful Renee’s wedding, which was scheduled on Liz’s birthday. This year? It’s the usual. As I probably said yesterday, Liz is on the left coast and that is cool with me. Somehow the person who freaked out about the bulb aspirator all those years ago managed to raise successful, responsible citizens like Lizard Breath. Of course I have to give a lot of credit to that proverbial village. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins of many degrees on both sides of the fam (how many of you know your second cousins? I met a few of mine but I never knew them well well but my kids know theirs…). So happy birthday to Liz and thank you to the Fin, Mac, and Courtois families for all your help. I couldn’t have done it without you.

CPP here. Leftover but not purple.

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

shsmarchingbandTonight, for the first time since I was a kid and wanted to examine things like grains of sand or whatever, I asked the GG for a magnifying glass. I know we have them. He has carefully curated the three or five or whatever magnifying glasses that were in The Commander’s house. Why do I need a magnifying glass? Because I am sifting through old black and white photoooos that are I’m gonna guess 2×3 inches. The people are small and I am looking for faces. I *think* that the mystery girl in one of them is the woman I grew up knowing as Ag, who grew up with my dad and his siblings but had seven children before I was even born. She was photographed canoeing at the moominbeach. The GG wondered if it was Radical Betty. No. This beautiful young woman was not shaped like Radical Betty. But she obviously knew how to paddle a canoe, so it was unlikely she was a girlfriend from town or downstate or whatever. I found a somewhat larger image and thought I recognized some McNaughton facial features. So I’m guessing Ag.

I also scrutinized today’s photooo with the magnifying glass. It is the Soo High band marching past the relatively new Sault High building back in the 30s or thereabouts when it was relatively new. I attended 9th and 10th grade in that building, which was not all that new and wondrous by the late 60s. After a couple of failed millages, Sault Ste. Siberia built a wondrous new high school on the southern periphery of town and I attended *that* school for my junior and senior years. I was kind of hoping that if I used the magnifying glass on this marching band picture, I would find my dad playing the trombone in that marching band. Alas, I can’t find him in there.

My dad played the trombone in his youth. I suspect he may have had musical talent but all I ever heard him play was taps (once!) on some old trombone that was in our house and a bit of a chromatic scale on the piano. I could go on and on about that but I won’t. I got musical talent from somewhere, even though I don’t use it much any more.

And so good night. My Mouse is in a play in December and she is heavily into rehearsals now and she came over to eat some Plum Market food here and I gave her some leftover chicken pot pie to take home. And Lizard Breath is flying outta DTW to SFO tonight to spend her birthday on the left coast. Me, I am just schlepping along like usual, going to work, coming home and slogging through cosmic debris.

Love you all and good night,
KW

Home sweet home…

Monday, October 21st, 2013

My childhood friend Dan is writing a book and he wanted photos of my parents from during WWII and man oh man, I knew there were a few around somewhere but you know how it is when you find yourself tripping over something at every turn until you are actually LOOKING FOR IT! Where? I could not find them. I have scans on my laptop but the resolution isn’t high enough.

So, we were up in the yooperland closing up the moomincabin a couple weeks ago and I knew there were some photooos there and the next thing I knew, I had a whole trunk full of photooos and 8mm film and letters from my moom to her dad back in WWII, the guy I called Funny Grandaddy. The photos? Can I just say RANDOM? Old photooos of me when I was a kid, the Veteran Greenhorns, my grandma at various ages, the beach urchins, crummy photos of the parents’ trips “across the pond”, my uncle Austin with Mitt Romney’s moom (yes, really), all kinds of awful moominbeach sunset photos. Back in those days, everybody had film cameras and you didn’t throw anything away, even the bad out-of-focus photos with part of your hand in front of the lens, etc.

And there was this photooo of my childhood house, which was not the house I sold back in September. Humble, isn’t it? So was the house I sold but marginally not as much.

1304superior

I’m not sure when this photo was taken but by the time my memories gain clarity about the details, there was more vegetation around it. A big bushy flowering crab tree on the right and a spruce tree on the left. Boy oh boy, do I know that house. My parents’ bedroom was behind the two little windows above the front door. The downstairs window on the right is the [small] living room. On the left is my bedroom from age six until I left for college and my parents moved to the Dillon house. The short window is the bathroom (no shower), and behind that is the dining room (and underneath that is the window into the Silence of the Lambs room… I mean that it was the part of the basement that scared me the most. (Are all kids afraid of the basement?) What the heck? Sometimes *I* am *still* afraid of the basement. I mean the Landfill Dungeon of course.

My brain is bouncing around tonight, thinking about how to process all of the photooos that my parents left behind, some of which I care about, others I do not!!!! So here are a couple of photooos of the interior of the Superior Street house. First, The Commander working at her stove in what was actually a pretty cool kitchen for such a humble house. I vaguely remember the stove in the photooo. I have clearer memories of the stove that she replaced it with, which had a light saying that “Units” were on. I loved bugging The Comm with, “Mooooom, units is on!” My moom (and that stove) must’ve been ahead of their time because Gertrude does a similar thing. The Commander would’ve LOVED Gertrude!!!

commanderstove

And here is me in my bedroom. I don’t know exactly what I am doing at that yellow table. I kind of remember the table but I have no clue about what I am doing. I did not have a closet so that rack of clothes behind me was where I hung my clothes but I would have to think for a while whether or not I remember any individual items, including what I’m wearing…

inmybedroom

Lots of photoooos and other media to sort out. Including my own iPhoto…

P.S. Hey, there’s Medicine Duck kind of thrown over there on my bed. He’s yellow. I still have him!

Insert error aminal here…

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

lymeloungedrivewayLemme see… A morning of chores followed by an expotition very much different than yesterday’s urban exploration, except that we hopped on and off the I94 18-wheel Clogway a few times. In this expotition, we traversed a long and winding road through fall color along the glacial moraine that runs on and off north of the Clogway.

What was the purpose of this trip? Of course there was a purpose. Our western end point was a park-and-ride lot on I69 just south of the Clogway. It was there that we met up with the Uncly Uncle to pick up the Lyme Lounge and haul it back to the Planet Ann Arbor for another week or two or whatever until it travels up to Gaylord for the winter. The Uncly Uncle and TBGay took the Lyme Lounge down to an event in Indiana involving their newest grandchild. The Lyme Lounge is not fancy but it can be handy if you want to visit someone but don’t want them to have to make a special place for you to sleep, adding to whatever chaos is going on in their house.

So, we were meeting up with the UU to pick up the LL and I was juggling my purse, phone, keys, brush (yes) and I dunno what else at the park-and-ride lot and ceee-rash! went my iPhone on to the pavement, unprotected. Yes, the whole back was cracked up. I didn’t take a picture. I’ve been grousing at the GG for keeping a whole bunch of crap in the Frog Hopper. Today? It didn’t take him a whole lot of time to find the duct tape. And that means that my phone is usable. Not that it *wasn’t* usable anyway, just that I didn’t want microscopic little bits of glass to get into my flute / systems analyst fingers.

There are a couple odd things about this event. One is that a relative did the same thing I did a couple weeks ago. I texted her immediately today, even before I made a “genius” bar appointment for tomorrow morning (and I did that *in* that park-and-ride lot). You are not alone! The other is that I have recently had a recurrent (prescient?) dream in which my iPhone breaks in half horizontally (like a pair of Chaco sandals of mine did a few years ago). I had that dream last night. I was desperately trying to call someone and I was having to hold the two pieces of phone together to make the call. The phone would open up and show all the apps but the call wouldn’t go through. Of *course* in real life, a cut-in-half iPhone would be totally dead! But. Throughout my life, I have often been plagued with phone dreams. Dialing old black rotary phones or push-button phones or whatever. I couldn’t get through to whoever I was calling. I wonder if this is just the 21st century version of those dreams. In those days, it was usually my parents I was trying to call (the Dillon house phone line was *always* problematical). I hope that I am not trying to call the other side [insert error aminal here].

Anyway, we picked up the Lyme Lounge and headed back to The Planet Ann Arbor by way of the Haehnle Audubon Sanctuary, where sandhill cranes (and occasionally whooping cranes) descend for the night after feeding in area farm fields. We saw some of those cranes in farm fields on our trip over.

I have some old 8mm films that I want to transfer to a digital format. I’m not sure how interesting they are but I don’t care. Does anyone have any experience with this kind of thing? I definitely expect to pay someone else to do this and I have done some minimal web research but…

We’re eating in the Lyme Lounge tonight. In our DRIVEWAY! This is so much fun!

Birthday fishes

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

lizselfportraitSo, it is not Lizard Breath’s birthday for another few days but our “bi-coastal” beach urchin will be on the left coast for her actual birthday. (Whaddya mean, the Great Lakes shoreline is not a coast?)

We have a small, scattered little family these days, so instead of planning some kind of big celebration, we made an expotition to Detroit. Lemme see… Breakfast at the Brooklyn Street Local and a trip to the Eastern Market. It was cold and rainy and ugly so we took a little jog up to Royal Oak to Haberman’s Fabrics so Mouse could buy fabric for a costume and I marveled that Ervin has built a flute house right next to Haberman’s. Dropped Mouse off and the rest of us went a couple of blocks down to one of my fave grokkery stores, the Holiday Market. After all of that, Woodward back down to Lizard’s place in Detroit, where the GG messed around with her computer a bit and I helped chop veggies for a lasagne dinner she is making tonight. Then home…

Gifts? I’ve been wracking my brain this year. Many years into my adulthood, The Commander would send a box of small but very carefully selected items that were either beautiful or useful or both on my birthday. I don’t remember exactly the point at which that became overwhelming for her to do but it was probably about at the point that I was starting to deacquisition stuff. No, Moom, I don’t need anything. For a few more years she would still send a bit of money whether or not I needed it.

I have not bought anything (yet) for Liz’s birthday. I jumped the shark on birthday presents long ago. My kids have seen my attempts (and those of others in the family) to de-hoard and neither of them want me to send them a whole bunch of crap to jam into their apartments. When I do give them material gifts it is always with the caveat that they can re-gift or donate or whatever. I will not EVER expect to see any of my gifts used in their homes.

So, today. What did I do to gift my child on her not-quite-yet birthday? I washed the dishes. What else? There were maybe *two* dishes to be washed. But I am meeeee and I saw them right away. I didn’t wash them until the GG said something like, “Your mom is *sitting* without something to do. That is not her natural state. Can she do your dishes?” And so I did. I think that Bolette was there with me down in Liz’s beautiful apartment in Detroit… Later on I (as previously stated) helped chop veggies for lasagne. Keep yer moom busy and she will be happy!

That photooo is a piece that I snagged outta The Commander’s house. It is a self-portrait of that Lizard Breath made of herself at school. It was a prodject that was supposed to be a gift and, as Liz said, if she was supposed to give someone a gift, it would be her Grandma. And the apron to the right of the self portrait was one The Comm made and gave to Liz.

deep in the darkest hour of a very heavy week…

Friday, October 18th, 2013

oscartangoI am taaaarrrred tonight. Too taaarrred to monkey around with stoopid tech stuff. Like why aren’t my most recent photoooo stream photos getting over to my MacBook. And why won’t this stinky little YouTube video plaaayyyy. I mean I like the song (and Seatrain) but the video is not loading for me at all. Whatever. I know the lyrics. Or some of them anyway. The first line and the chorus. I remember that song from riding in the Piedmont VW late at night. I would often get to ride with the Piedy girls when they drove their cousin from the moomincabin to her parents’ house in Sault Ste. Siberia. I think that VW (and most of the vee-hickles we all drove then) only had AM radio and that song (and a few others) would sometimes come on in between “20/20 news news news!” and The Archies and Hamm’s beer commercials (“From the land of sky blue wa-a-ter”) and whatever else.

Okay, I r-r-re-a-started my MacBook and now the video loads. So this has been a weird period of time and the GG went back to work yesterday but not today but that wasn’t because he was furloughed, it was because he usually doesn’t work on Fridays. We did a goofed-up version of our usual meetup at the Oscar Tango but he was driving in from 50 miles away or so (long story) and I got there first (and late) and we were forced to sit at the bar instead of our usual table. All I have to say is that The Planet Ann Arbor was slammed tonight! We paid a visit to Mouse at her place of employment and none other than Goose and her dad popped in while we were there! So fun! Remembering those dark, wet, xmas vacay type days when Mouse and Goose were in middle school and they did back-to-back sleepovers until they were totally sick of each other and then, after an hour or so of separation, they would be back over here watching videos in the bedroom. Bagawk! Bagawk! Bagawk! Or they’d be at Goose’s house calling Lizard Breath asking her to drive bacon over to them, a block or so away…

And then the GG had a rather strange idea that would’ve involved me driving him back downtown for a few minutes. Town was absolutely crazed tonight and I totally REFUSED!!! [Please do NOT shut the gov’t down again any time soon! It has made the GG cray-zee!] So he went by himself and I sat here with my fingers crossed that he would not get arrested for being weird or whatever. Of course, there is a feetsball game going on tomorrow so I’m sure the po-leese have much bigger fish to fry than the GG being harmlessly weird.

Anyway. Did you seeeee the moooon tooo-night???? Good night,
KW

Earth back on axis? Check. Mercury in retrograde? Not today (apparently)

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

tahqriverActually there are some people who say that Mercury cannot *be* in retrograde, at least not from the perspective of a person on the earth. I am suuuuuure that I remember Mr. Schultz teaching us about retrograde motion in our physics class astronomy unit and I am almost positive that Mercury was one of the planets that exhibited perceived retrograde motion. Mr. Shultz was a wonderful teacher. He even got yer fav-o-rite blahgger reading articles in Scientific American. And yes, contrary to popular belief, she could actually understand them. Mostly…

One of the things I remember the best about Mr. Shultz is the day that my class of high-achievers (even me who spent my teen years trying to downplay any scrap of intelligence I happened to be blessed with) came to his class after our previous class, trigonometry. Every day we traversed from trig to physics. That day… Our also wonderful trig teacher, Mr. K, threw Stuart across the room. I fergit what Stuart did that day. He was definitely not someone who normally mouthed off but I think he did that day. Mr. K had probably had enough of the “general math” students he taught in other classes telling him things like, “I ain’t gonna be no milk man and I ain’t gonna do no milk man problem on the board”, and he cracked and threw Stuart across the room. I was just kind of like, “well these things happen” but a good friend of mine was very upset and told Mr. Schultz about it when we went to physics. Mr. S. assuaged her concerns by, “Oh, he probably just had a fight with his wife this morning.” That was in 1972. A wonderful and encouraging math teacher like Mr. K would be [wrongfully] fired for that these days — *Stuart* apologized and made it clear that he was in the wrong. And Mr. S. may have faced disciplinary action for reassuring students that the earth was back on axis and Mercury was not in retrograde.

You guys? Let’s not do this stooopid shutdown thing again. I am sick and tired of Congress lurching from crisis to crisis. Yes. I agree with Obama about that. I once worked for a certain theatre organization that operated by lurching from crisis to crisis. Very small potatoes compared to the United Snakes of America federal government but I do know the drill. That method of doing business is not a good thing. Smaller government? I am not the extreme left-wing radical that some people might think I am. I actually do believe (like the damn tea baggers) in smaller government. But holding 800,000 federal employees and I dunno how many times that number of contractors and peripheral businesses hostage for that vague goal is not how to achieve it. I guess I don’t really think that small government is even the tea baggers’ goal but I will not post what I really think about that on my blahg. Sorry.

Thug Boss

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

rivermouthtreeDay what? I can’t remember. 16, I guess. This particular morning, I checked to make sure the GG was breathing before I left for the salt mines. That’s not my usual habit but it was 8:00 AM and he was sleeping the sleep of the dead and that was unusual for him. Oh, sometimes on the weekend if I don’t drag him out of whatever sleep cycle he happens to be in for some kind of death march or whatever.

I’ve been far from freaked out about the current government shutdown but my nerves have been a bit frayed, not to mention that they were already frayed via some other weird albeit not deadly things that have been going on in my life. I could go on and on about how annoyed I am at the teabaggers (we have a different name for them here at The Landfill but it’s not blahg-able and no, it isn’t a four-letter word) but I won’t. Suffice it to say that I SWORE OFF polly-tickal news today. I did peek once in a while…

Fortunately I work with a bunch of folks who do *not* talk polly-ticks on a regular basis. I think it was several days into the shutdown before anyone even realized that my husband was furloughed. That was a good thing. We don’t need help or sympathy. I am there to do my job and the shutdown hasn’t affected my family in a dramatic way. It has surely devastated families with fewer financial resources than we have and I am highly annoyed by the cavalier way that the teabaggers have played around with those people’s livelihoods…

I got to work today and the LSCHP kind of straggled in booming about, well I wasn’t sure but it most certainly wasn’t the government shutdown or the debt default. I heard words like Smaug and Bilbo and Gandalf and I realized he was talking about The Hobbit and then he introduced me and Cube Nayber to Thug Notes (beware, it auto-starts a video with sound). It was Boss’s Day today. Boss’s Day isn’t something that’s on my radar screen and I don’t think the LSCHP was aware of it either. Somebody sent a card around and I said what I honestly feel about the LSCHP, something like “I’m so glad I work for you.” And I am. He eventually replied to us that he wasn’t really the boss, he just helps us do our jobs. And that’s the truth. The best kind of boss, don’tcha think?

May the votes go as predicted tonight and end the chaos that the teabaggers have introduced into our government and potentially our economy.

Let’s not talk about the trailer in my driveway

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

I’ll write about “that dock” instead. The one in the background of the photooo in this post. Our Northern Correspondent asked about it. Oh yeah, *that* “dock”. Forgot all about that “dock”. ONC has lived at the end of the moominbeach for enough years now to know that installing a dock on the beach is an exercise in futility. A few good nor’westers (or even one really big one) would reduce any kind of dock your average everyday motorboat driver might erect to smithereens in short order.

So, that is not a dock back there. That photooo was taken the year I was six and there was a big dredging operation going on out in the shipping channel that whole summer and, as NpJane commented on that post, “that dock” was a “runaway”. Specifically, a bunch of pipes associated with the dredging operation floated into the moominbeach shore during one of those nor’westers (you know the ones). I have a few pictures from the Sherman Archives. Like this one (click to embiggen).

dredge1

Imagine if you walked down to the beach some morning and saw all of those things down there. A child’s paradise! Playground equipment in the water! Here’s one of the Sherman Boys hanging out on the pipes. (The Shermans had Beth and four boys. We had so much fun.)

dredge2

And here are a whole bunch of beach urchins hanging out. Yer fav-o-rite blahgger is the tow-head in the diamond-pattern pants. (Wonder if I liked those pants…) The closest thing to an adult that I can see at first glance looks like it might be my cuzzint Suze. She was nowhere near adulthood at the time but very responsible. Of course nowadays we are the same age.

dredge3

These old pipes were so much fun. Eventually the dredging company retrieved them, I guess. But someone with a cabin on the way to Birch Point managed to snag one of them and made an actual dock out of it. For several years, every time we walked to Birch Point, it was part of our routine to crawl *through* that pipe and jump out the other end. It’s okay, it was shallow water. We were not stupid.

I’ll write about the trailer in my driveway when the cows come home somebody opens up the damn government. If you have a cray-zee conservative Republican congressman, please put pressure on them. Just tell ’em KW will not vote for them. That’ll *surely* get ’em to return to sanity. [sarcasm of course]

P.S. I may have snarfed up some of the details regarding those pipes. If any aunts or cuzzints remember that summer with more clarity than my 6-year-old mind does, I’ll happily accept corrections! Any memories posted by NpJane are not to be trusted. She was not born yet! Grok grok grok grok!

Do you have your umbrella? Because it’s gonna rain!

Monday, October 14th, 2013

I woke up at 0-dark-30 on Saturday morning and checked my phone for the weather report (like I always do). Sunny and warm aaaallll the live-long day… Until about 7:00 PM, then a few raindrops… The Twinz of Terror thought differently. They wanted to pack rain gear and they shamed me into carrying an umbrella in my backpack for our whole hike that day. Guess what? The sky looked like this all morning and all through our hike on the Clark Lake Trail.

clarklake

We were supposed to hike a section of the North Country Trail but we did not because of the Government Shutdown. Don’t even ask… Fortunately, there are many trails in the Tahq area and most of the Clark Lake Trail is a state trail.

I have hiked and skied parts of the Clark Lake trail before. This is the first time I have *ever* encountered the actual Clark Lake! Years and years and years ago, I went hiking with my dad and his sister Radical Betty and her husband Duke and Lewie Read and I fergit who else. It was June and it was wet and the moe-skee-toes were fierce. We started out from the upper falls and we fully intended to get to the Clark Lake Loop but we somehow took a wrong turn and I don’t exactly remember what happened but we ended up bagging and heading back to the upper falls, where were parked (alas, there was no brewery there then but there were probably some cans of beer in the car…). I *do* remember that I was walking behind (aka trying to keep up with) my old coot and there were about a gazillion moe-skee-toes hanging about his sweater.

I finally got to see Clark Lake on Saturday and then, after a bit of cat-herding and a very loooonnnngggg wait, we ate a late lunch at the brewery. And then we walked with a gazillion tourists down to the upper falls. Here’s your obligatory (and crappy) falls photooo…

tahqfalls

I was kind of shutting down by that point. Got up early, hiked, brewery, yada yada. It wasn’t just that. I sat on a bench at the bottom of the stairs to the upper falls wondering where the Twinz of Terror were. I remembered how difficult it was to get anywhere near Tahq even when I was a kid. You could take M28 and then head up 123 but it felt long even though it was the “short” way. I remember a trip with my extended family when I was something like five or six. We drove the shore route. We had *lunch* (aka peanut butter sandwiches) at the mouth of the Tahquamenon River, near where we camped this weekend. It probably took two hours to get there from the moominbeach on the old gravel shore road. It felt like about five to me. It takes about an hour now on the Curley Lewis scenic by-way. Last Friday afternoon, the GG actually asked me if I wanted to take the Curley Lewis up. YES YES YES YES. It was so cool to follow the Frog Hopper and Lyme Lounge on a leisurely drive up the Curley Lewis.

So I was sitting on that bench and the upper falls was totally filled with people that day. Beautiful people from all over the world. Foreign languages all around me. I love that all of those folks are visiting our own beautiful yooperland but I felt kind of like I wanted to tell them about when *I* used to go there as a kid and it wasn’t all that easy to get there. I wanted to show them pictures of my family at Tahq back then. But I was tired and probably most of those folks didn’t care so I sat and picked away at the NYT xword and waited for the Twinz of Terror to catch up with me. Wondering where they were… Turned out that one of them was taking a short nap on a bench…

I don’t have the right words to say what I want to say so I will put in a plug for the iPhone. One thing that the iPhone can do, whether or not it can find a signal anywhere, is take pictures. And so now, when I am hiking or skiing, I take a photo of the trail map and we can refer to it later.

tahqtrailmap

Good night,
Kayak Woman

Glampin’ with them thar tubes in the wild and woolly great not-very-white north

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

I was of two minds Friday afternoon. I reeeeallly didn’t want to leave the moomincabin! This shot is early-ish in the morning when it was still overcast and I was just getting back from a beach walk and the GG was making breakfast and he had every damn light in the place on but it was okay somehow and I love how it lights up the cabin. He is getting good at breakfast (heck, he always was and I just forgot) but that’d be a whole ‘nother blahg entry. That cute little black beastie is my loverly little Ninja, who served me very well on this weekend’s 800 (?) mile trip. The Ninja is kind of a photo bomber in this pic but I decided to just take the photoooo without moving her to the back forty (aka behind the gaaaarage). It seems like I am forever looking for photooos of old vee-hickles so more photooos are better… Anyway, I saved her life (aka mine, perhaps [wink]) this afternoon when, after a pretty smooth trip down from the Yooperland, traffic got really squirrelly a few miles north of The Planet and I decided that I had HAD IT and bailed out onto the North Territorial exit to take dirt roads the rest of the way home. I’m sure it wasn’t faster but we were within a few miles of home at that point and Ninja and I are alive and well. (And *that* decision allowed me to stop and answer a text from Lizard Breath who has reached the age of making sure that her parents are where they are expected to be when they are expected to be there. I remember that age…)

ninjacabin

So I didn’t really want to leave the moominbeach but at the same time, I was kind of excited about taking the Lyme Lounge on a glamping adventure over to the Tahquamenon area and hiking with our North Country Trail friends on Saturday. And so we are off. I will not go into detail about why we drove separate vee-hickles this weekend. That was NOT the original plan but it *was* helpful to have the Ninja because she hauled quite a bit of stuff down from the moomincabin garage today that wouldn’t have fit into the Frog Hopper with all the camping gear.

lymeloungeninja

We did not expect to have any reasonable kind of internet service for the weekend. The last time I was near Tahquamenon Falls or Paradise was July 5 and we were looking for any kind of signal so we could text the Marquis, who was about a half hour behind us or so. We finally found the Edge or something for about 400 feet and I can’t remember if The Marquis got our text or not but we did meet up so something worked. So I was astounded when we arrived at the Tahquamenon Rivermouth campground aannnddd… we… had… the 4G (????) I have to say that it was a bit intermittent but people *were* able to get online and at breakfast in Paradise Saturday morning, we had full service. Nothing at either of the falls but I will guess it’ll be there soon. (I *think* The Twinz of Terror were checking the weather in this photooo but more on that in a later post…)

tahqinternet

Here’s our glamping spot — within an easy walking distance of flushy toilets and private showers, thank you. There’s the Ninja (little black car), the Uncly Uncle’s trusty old red Jeep Liberty, The Frog Hopper (green) and the Lyme Lounge (white) back there.

tahqcamping

I gave myself a blahgging pass yesterday. I missed all five of you. I hope you were out doing something fun or cool or productive or whatever. I certainly hope you didn’t miss meeeeeee!

P.S. Thank you [again] Pete for organizing the cabin road repair. You did a great job! Doesn’t look all that different and the Ninja-eating crevasse crevice (crevasse is ice, crevice is rock) is gone.

Eerie bits

Friday, October 11th, 2013

sunsetThis was last night. By sunset tonight, we’ll be over in a campsite at Tahquamenon.

There have been some eerie bits this trip. Like when I got into the Ninja down on The Planet Ann Arbor yesterday morning and I went to set my GPS and I thought, hmmmm… What do I set it to? There was no point in setting it to the moomincabin because I had a wee bit of business to take care of in Sault Ste. Siberia first. My saved addresses in Sault Ste. Siberia were 514 Dillon and Freighterview. It didn’t take much hemming and hawing to just set the darn thing to Dillon even though, when I got to Siberia, I would be getting off the I75 SUV Speedway at exit 394 like I always do — do not cross the International Bridge. But I would not be making a right turn at Meridian like I’ve been doing since I was a college sophomore.

And then there are all the little things. Like I can’t just run into the Dillon house to use the bathroom or do a quick load of laundry or put some trash out. Even though I still have a garage door opener (and the Frog Hopper even has the garage door programmed into it).

Nevertheless, we’ve wrapped up another summer of trips to the moomincabin. It seemed like a short one! This was an easier closing than in the last 5-6 years or so. Up until two years ago, closing was kind of a mish-mash of moving The Commander into town and closing. Then she was at Freighterview and we had to go to *town* after closing to say goodbye. She wasn’t around last year but I barely remember last year except for some bits about the weather. I know it was a maelstrom of hauling boxes and furniture and stuff down to The Planet and sorting it out to gift or donate or whatever.

This year, finally, a lot of extraneous “stuff” has been removed and for the first time in a long time THERE WAS HARDLY ANY FOOD TO PACK UP! A bag of non-perishables and a few things in the cooler. The water is off and as soon as The GG helps Jeep and Pan with a little annual task over at Don’s, we’ll be on the road. I have boxes and boxes of stuff filling up the Ninja. Christmas stuff to sort out, old photos, and some of the art work that I have been looking at as long as I’ve been alive.

Seeya tomorrow or maybe Sunday if I don’t get to an internet connection again before then. Sam (archaeologist, not dog) says there’s one at the brewery. I think she’s right! I will DEFINITELY get to the brewery!