Archive for April, 2014

We got to install microwave ovens

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Oh, not tonight. We had a tentative plan for an expotition to investigate some cute retro-looking microwaves tonight. Fortunately someone had the foresight to actually call the store in advance, being that it is 45 minutes south of here or thereabouts. They do not actually *stock* them. You have to order one.

We wanted to get *out* though, so we jumped at the next opportunity that knocked. That involved a 45 minute drive (or thereabouts) *north* to have dinner with the Lord and Lady of Linden. The occasion being the Lady of Linden’s birthday. There are no fewer than seven members of the CFam who have birthdays in the second half of April. Actually there are probably more than seven but I cannot keep track of birthdays any more.

Once upon a time when this boring bunch of random blather was new, I tried my best to give birthday people a shout out. At some point I gave up on that — for a number of reasons. I suppose first and foremost, it was just too much. Between the GG’s huge family and my close-knit extended family of cousins, I couldn’t keep up. What if I forgot someone? Also, I realized that not everyone necessarily *wants* their birthday broadcast on the web. I don’t particularly want *mine* to be recognized in a public way. If I feel like mentioning it, I do. And then there’s the phenomena of our ever-growing contingent of G5 kiddos. Little kids who couldn’t care less who that baggy old kayak woman is and by the way, how the heck does she know it’s my birthday and where’s my present?

Facebook particularly annoys me. The first birthday after I joined facebook, I was disconcerted when people started coming out of the woodwork to wish me a happy birthday. I mean, it was *fine* that they went to the effort to express their sentiments and I appreciated their good wishes. But you and I both know that if facebook didn’t post people’s birthdays, I would not have received all that attention. Then there were all the blasted ads that showed up on the sidebar touting products that a “50-whatever-year-it-was woman” would be interested in. Really, facebook? Insulting as all getout is what I’d call that. Of course, I changed my facebook settings so my birthday is no longer broadcast. I don’t think… I don’t particularly trust facebook but I still use it.

All of this doesn’t mean I don’t ever wish someone a happy birthday via my blahg so, since we spent the evening with a birthday gal, happy birthday to her! And the other four (right?) people at the table who recently celebrated birthdays. It was a fun fun fun evening and I’m glad I made the effort to participate in the festivities, even though it was a “school” night!

I’m taaaarrrred and I’m gonna go rack it up for the night. Seeya tomorrow.

P. S. Look at them yoyos… (That links to a video just in case you are reading this on your phone.)

Warning! I don’t have much!

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

hickenWill ‘hicken do it for ya? I know, I know, he’s already been all over Instagram and Facebook, so I’m shamelessly recycling content all over the place willy-nilly-shally-shilly. ‘hicken is Head Sentinel of Mouse’s Garden. He keeps Henry and all the raccoons and ‘possums and groundhogs and deer and other little beasties out. I have never seen a deer on my street but I have spotted them only a few blocks away. Fox too. Strutting up the street like nobody’s business. No bares bears though, thank you very much.

I took this photo on Saturday. You can see we don’t have a whole lot of the Color Green going on yet but it increases every day. I was sitting outside having a ‘hattan at the end of a long Work Day. Not the kind of work you get paid for. The temperature was striving to be warm and as long as I was walking or working in the yard, it was warm. Sitting around required a bit of bundling up. Not anywhere near as much bundling up as the Polar Vortex required. Was that all just a dream? Seemed like it would never end and yet here we are. Sunshine and things growing in the woods and in Mouse’s Garden. And rain! Walking three rows of parking from the Ninja to my work this morning, I got totally soaked. It took a couple hours for my hair to dry out after that.

I don’t mind rain. I do not like tornadoes or derechoes (not sure about the plural there — “oes” or just “os”) or freezing rain. Thunderstorms upset me when they interfere with my 0-skunk-30 powerwalk but otherwise I like them all right. There is a word for being happy in the rain (or something like that). I saw it fly by on Twitter once via @oed but for the life of me, I cannot find it now and I can’t remember the definition well enough to google it. Anyone know this word (or what I’m talking about)? I know the feeling. After my old coot died (waaaay back in 2006) we had the sunniest spring ever and I wanted rain so badly. All that sun was somehow overstimulating to me.

Oh well, I am rambling kind of incoherently about mostly nothing so g’night!

Take that, Polar Vortex, the Trout Lilies are taking over!

Monday, April 28th, 2014

troutlilyPeople who live in warmer climes than the Great Lake State are posting all kinds of exotic fleur photos. Here things are just beginning to get a wee bit green. I was walking through “my” woods (it belongs to either the city or the school district (and I should know which) but it happens to abut my little bit of land) Saturday afternoon. Leaves were sprouting and I knew it was too early for Trillium or JITP but I was looking around for those beasties anyway. And then I saw Trout Lily!!! One cute little flower at first and then big patches of it. I do not remember ever seeing Trout Lily in “my” little woods before. Is it new this year or did I somehow miss it before?

How could I have missed it? Maybe it’s because I am not really the best at retaining plant / aminal identification stuff in my head. I know the difference between the Red and White Pines of the Great Lake State because when I was a small child, my grandfather took me and a few of my cuzzints on a walk down the old road at the moominbeach. He very carefully and kindly explained the difference in a way that very young children could understand and I will never forget it. I also know poison ivy oh boy oh boy!!! Learned that one the hard way. As much as I love to be outside rambling around *in* nature, I tend to bask in the big picture, only focusing on the details to get a photo or two or ten. Somehow, in the last decade or so, I am slowly learning some of the wildflowers that inhabit the northwoods in the spring. I credit Radical Betty and our beloved North Country Trail friends.

Amber and her owner were in the woods when I was looking at the Trout Lilies. Amber is a baaaaad doggie who has been known to keep her “mom” in the woods for a long period of time trying to get her to part with thedead squirrel in her mouth. But that’s a whole ‘nother story. On this day, Amber’s “mom” admitted to digging up a couple of wildflower plants from the woods over the years. Which is illegal. I just laughed. I am the daughter of the Trillium Bandit (aka The Commander). I once aided and abetted the Trillium Bandit in a wildflower heist on a back road off M129 south of Pickford. Doing the dirty deed, my mother was anxiously watching for traffic as if she were about to rob a bank. The Trillium Heist was successful. I think that one dirty old pickup truck drove by. They weren’t interested in anything we were doing and nobody from the Michigan DNR came along. The Comm would’ve been totally embarrassed if she had been caught by someone from the DNR, being that her long-dead brother once headed the DNR. I am thinking that if my uncle Austin had been alive and with us on that expotition, he may have helped his sister steal that Trillium plant.

Okay, Maple Bacon potato chips anyone? I am not a huge fan of flavored potato chips. I will go for the original Lays every time. I do like Salt & Vinegar and I will *occasionally* go for barbecued or sour cream. But not usually. Yesterday I sent The GG and his daughter over to the Plum Market for some hors d’oeuvres. They came back with a variety of things including Maple Bacon potato chips. What can I say? It wasn’t a family sized bag but it is gone today.

The zen of raking leaves by hand

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

aerialviewI needed a zen activity for a half hour or so on this beautiful but chilly morning, so I kicked myself outside to do some hand raking. It’s a bit of a challenge for me to turn a chore like raking leaves from watching paint dry to zen. But I can do it. I have a strategy. 15 minutes at a time. I set my iPhone clock timer for 15 minutes and focus on nothing but pulling leaves out of “gardens” for that duration. When crickets announce time’s up, I can quit or go for another 15.

I spent about a half hour out there this morning and I got a little zen time in but… Text messages started coming in. I needed that. I needed company this weekend. I cannot explain why exactly. I was fine and I made my own fun but I was really happy about those text messages. “Are you going to the Nieman thing this afternoon?” “Do you want to have a birthday dinner with dad afterwards?” Yes and yes. And so, after a little discussion about what to *cook* for dinner, I stopped my zen raking chore and mobilized myself to hoof it over to the Plum to buy ingredients.

And so, today shaped up into a fun day. I prepped all of the stuff for dinner, the GG came home from his chilly Lake Erie island camping spot (Kelley’s Island) and we walked downtown to attend a going away party for some longtime friends who are moving to Cally-Forny next month. Lizard Breath (main text messenger) met us there. So much fun with old friends.

The party was held in a little-known venue here on the Planet Ann Arbor. All I can say is that it is next door to the Lucky Monkey Tattoo parlor (which is next to Blimpy Burger’s new yet-to-be-opened location). Back in the day (long before I lived on The Planet and maybe long before I was born), it was once a polling place but we think it was also a bar. Nowadays it is open only for private parties to rent.

I love the aerial photo of The Planet on the wall there. The photo I took shows only my neighborhood. My house is in it and so is the Beach Urchins’ elementary school. The Queen Bee (my work supervisor) also attended Haisley Elementary School for a few years. Down in the southeast quadrant of the photo, you can see where streets had been roughed in but no houses were built yet.

We are all back at the Landfill now (except for Mouse, who is working). I can hear the old Electrolux vacuum cleaner going outside — Liz cleaning out Ruby. I washed the exterior of the Ninja this morning. Not sure why I bothered since my Redwing Blackbird buddy is back to hang out on my mirrors and poop on my vee-hicle at work.

Good night,
Kayak Woman

The seven thirty year itch?

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

crayfishclawWhenever my grandma had a birthday, zero at the end or not, the whole family (at least those who lived in Sault Ste. Siberia) would take her out to dinner at the Robin’s Nest. We would rent their small banquet room and everyone in the fan-damly would order the same thing: steak sandwich, medium rare. Except for my grandmother’s sister, our rather eccentric great aunt Anna, who got hers well-done (that’s not why she was eccentric!). I am not named after her. I am named after Anne of Green Gables.

Anyway, my accomplice of many years has a significant birthday today (and so does his identical twin, of course). Are we whooping it up big time with umpteen billion family members and friends here on the Planet Ann Arbor? No, we are not! The GG is Lyme Lounging on some island down in Lake Erie. By himself. Without lucky-shucky or showers. The pit toilets are on the beach. He is having fun and that is okay with me.

I had a hard time with life today but it wasn’t because the GG is away on his birthday. It was my own Melon Colly crap. I don’t think that calendar events always deserve planned celebrations. I am all about impromptu parties. And my own significant birthday back in the Polar Vortex we called January ended up being something like four outings with various friends and relatives, including several who are not usually anywhere near where I am on my birthday so that was extra special. I got to interact with people on an individual basis and, for an introvert like me, that was much better than putting everyone in the same room at once. It was myyyyyyyy birthday and that’s what I wanted.

I had a hard time with life today until I went outside! I am a pretty dern upbeat person in general but whenever I feel a bit tweaky aka depressed, a good long walk almost always settles me down a bit. Oh please, please, please don’t remember me when I was a teenager or 20-something. I know some folks do. Alas. Those were hard years… I have moved on… Today I got rid of the blasted Melon Colly crap by going outside. I raked leaves and sticks and later I walked to the Plum Market and then the Haisley woods, where a neighbor and I talked about the wildflowers that are now coming up!

Happy birthday to Twins of Terror, my husband and his beloved brother Bob.

See the USA in your Chevrolet

Friday, April 25th, 2014

treebonesLemme see… I have never personally owned a Chevrolet. I learned to drive on a Pontiac… … What the heck was that thing? Oh yeah, a Pontiac Tempest. How could I forget that? I know that’s not a Chevrolet but it is at least in the General Motors family. It did NOT have power steering or brakes. Not sure about the brakes. But probably not. It was an old-skool vee-hickle.

I remember random things about being a new driver. Tapping Backing into Marjorie in the high school parking lot as I was pulling out to drive her and my other friends down to the athletic field for marching band practice. I mean I tapped backed into *Marjorie* the person, not Marjorie’s car. She didn’t have a car or a license to drive, she was riding with meeeeee… I was NOT going fast and [thank you Zeus or whoever] she was not the slightest bit injured and I learned something the hard way. Then there was something about “skipping” school and driving my friends to Clyde’s for lunch. Was a cigarette involved? I am foggy on this detail but fortunately, I cannot inhale smoke in any way shape or form and I never became a smoker. Finally, there was Bad [Ex-]Boyfriend calling me a Mad Highway Driver on a chance encounter downtown. He was a year older than me and so was MUCH more experienced.

So, in my life so far, I have owned:

  • A crappy old green Ford Pinto wagon. I loved that vee-hickle but that was probably because it was the first vee-hickle I owned — a hand-me-down from my parents. If I had been in the habit of naming automotive vee-hickles in those days, probably Stinky would’ve been a good name.
  • The cute little gold Ford Fiesta that my parental units helped me buy NEW ($5000!) when it became clear that it would cost more to fix the damn rust on the Pinto than the value of the vee-hickle. I was not naming automotive vee-hickles yet but I still had that car when Lizard Breath was able to express herself verbally and it became Mama’s Little Gold Car. Other Ford Fiestas in her life were Daddy’s little Blue Car and The Orange Car (down the street).
  • The loverly 5-speed manual VW Jetta we bought when Lizard was about eight months old and we were sick to death of dealing with putting a kid into a car seat in the BACK seat of a vee-hickle with only two doors. We didn’t name that one either, at least that I remember. I think we were a little busy.
  • The Exxon Tanker Valdez! Minivan number 1. Plymouth Voyager. Yes we were naming vee-hickles by then.
  • The Indefatigable! Jeep Wrangler. Lasted 17 years and taught two young women and a whole host of their cuzzints and friends to drive STICK! YAY for manual transmissions!!!
  • The POC. My much coveted minivan number 2. It was a beeyootifful Island Teal color (not all that different than the new chitchen’s tile backsplash). Alas, it was kind of a lemon. I never exactly got stuck on the side of the road but it was a pain in the you-know-what.
  • The Dogha! [Dirty Old Green Honda Accord] Hands down, I think the Dogha is my fave ever! Top dollar Honda Accord EX-V6. All kinds of pick-up when you needed it and that thing did snow driving like nobody’s business! My brother the GENERAL MOTORS engineer steered me toward that vee-hickle but that would be a whole ‘nother blahg entry and one that I have probably written before.
  • Daisy: The Cute Little Blue Honda Civic With the Yellow Flower Sticking outta the Dash. We drove this for a few good years and then gifted it to Mouse, who still drives it.
  • The Ninja: Black inside and out. 6-speed manual “performance” Honda Civic. Unfortunately, that also means the taaaarrrs aren’t all that good in slippery conditions. This winter was a challenge. But I loooove that vee-hickle and I will have a hard time parting with it when it gets to be time…
  • The Mean Green Frog Hoppin’ Musheen: Yes, Subaru Outback. We needed something that could pull a trailer or boat and deal with “interesting” road conditions. The Frog Hopper is not comparable to the Indefatigable but it does handle snow and iffy back roads well. BTW, my blahggy buddy Margaret helped me name the Mean Green Frog Hoppin’ Musheen!

What vee-hickle will we buy next? I’m not ready to buy but my vote would be for another top dollar Honda Accord. I just hope it’s as good as the Dogha was.

I have never personally owned a General Motors vee-hickle of any sort. But, for whatever reason, that old Chevy commercial has become an earworm that I can’t get rid of (it’s been about a month). I have a couple other earworms going on including I Love the Flower Girl. Go figger.


Thursday, April 24th, 2014

microwaveI might not be as apprehensive about the R word as I am if I knew that I wouldn’t come home from work to little surprises like this.* It was a good microwave. It does not fit in the new chitchen. It is my not-so-humble-opinion that we do not NEED this Big Behemoth. It still works like a charm. *Someone* has apparently fixed the flickering display. But still. I can’t remember the last time I actually COOKED anything in it. Or even loaded it up with multiple dishes to keep warm. It is used to heat a plate or dish of leftovers or a cup of something here and there. Gertrude has TWO full-size ovens. If I need to keep multiple dishes warm, I load her up and set her oven(s) on warm. I do that two times a year — Thanksgiving and xmas — maybe one or two other occasions if I’m feeling frisky enough to actually invite folks over for dinner.

You are sick of hearing about my microwave. Again, I am not averse to having a microwave. I DO use it. Just that I would prefer a *white* microwave (or maybe turquoise / teal or red if they make them but they probably don’t or at least I can’t just run down to Big George and pick one up). A microwave with a smaller footprint. This one has had a long run. I think we should take it to Habitat. I will probably cry (see yesterday’s post). But. Onward.

Here on The Planet Ann Arbor down in the southeast quadrant of the Great Lake State, we have apparently flipped a switch. Winter = OFF. Construction season = ON. Oh, not that winter is totally OFF yet. Today is Mouse’s birthday and I have more than one photo hanging around of Mouse standing in snow on her birthday. It is not cold enough to snow today but it is not exactly warm. Still. Construction season has begun and my homeward commute absolutely SUCKED today. I won’t even begin to try to describe it. Not to mention that Pothole Season is still in full swing. Poor, poor little Ninja.

I am about outta words for now. Work was the best part of the day for me, well, except for breakfast at Cafe Zola with Mouse for her birthday. After two days of rambling around rather aimlessly in the fifth dimension, I finally figured out what I needed to write and, wonder of wonders, I emailed my epiphany to the CRD and WONDER OF WONDERS, THE CRD AGREED WITH ME!!! Alas, one of my main life mottos is “Pride goes before a fall” so I’ll shut up now.

*Full disclosure: The loverly old Big Behemoth is now in the Landfill Dungeon. Believe it or not, I think that’s a step in the direction of Habitat! Yay!

Buyer’s remorse?

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

I will admit that at a random moment during the afternoon, I actually mourned my ugly old chitchen. What is it with people (like me) who assign feelings to inanimate objects. Stuffed aminals? Okay, they are at least anthropomorphic. Vee-hickles sometimes. But furniture and chitchens and snowballs (um, they melt) and some random plastic toy that’s still floating around from a Happy Meal back in the Jurassic Age?

Once upon a time, we were hit by a tornado on a 4th of July weekend odyssey to Houghton Lake and the yooperland. The POC was sandblasted but its occupants were only rocked around a wee bit. Rough weather had also hit the Landfill and so when we got to Houghton Lake, we *called* the Landfill landline and left a message for all of our stuffed friends. That message served a dual purpose. It reassured the beach urchins (and us) that the aminals were okay [grin] and it indicated that our house was probably still standing, since the answering musheen was working.

Probably the stupidest example of this phenomenon was the time that The Planet Ann Arbor set aside a Garbage Day for folks to put their crappy old-skool metal garbage cans out. We had just received our new handy-dandy planet-issued garbage cart that got picked up by a garbage truck with a mechanical arm. Our garbage cans were old and beaten up when we moved in to the Landfill and I was excited to be able to get rid of them in a legal way (instead of dumping them in a parking structure or something…) But then, after I put them out by the curb on the morning of the pickup, the GG saw them there and asked something like, “You’re getting rid of those [loverly old garbage cans that have been here since we moved in]?” Instant tears! WTF? (But I DID get rid of them.)

I don’t understand why I have feelings like this toward inanimate objects. I am actually pretty good at flinging, although I have to take breaks from it sometimes. I think that this is one of the *many* reasons that some people become hoarders. Hoarders are people and their psychological makeup is just as complicated as all of the rest of us.

Hoarder or not, does anybody else assign feelings to inanimate objects? No obligation to answer this question.

P.S. The GG is on his second trip to the hardware store this evening [lol].

Emerging from the depths of Spreadsheet Zen

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

submarineHello! No, yer fav-o-rite blahgger did not blahg yesterday. It wasn’t because she didn’t have anything to say, even though she in fact *didn’t* have anything to say. It was because she could not get onto her site during her sorta regular blahgging time. It’s okay. She needed a break. Like I said, she didn’t have anything to say. Is it easy to write a blahg every day? No.

Today, yer fav-o-rite blahgger has managed to descend far enough down into the depths of Spreadsheet Zen that she has had to go to extreme lengths to dredge herself up and outta that in order to do things like, oh you know, cook dinner…

KW still remembers the first spreadsheet application she met. It was called Visicalc and KW immediately started entering all of her checkbook entries into it. Guess what? It was not useful for balancing your checkbook. Still, KW was entranced and Visicalc evolved into something called Excel and KW has a long, happy relationship with Excel (but she refuses to refer to it as *Microsoft* Excel, even though that’s who makes it now).

Spreadsheet Zen? Entering data into spreadsheets and manipulating it is soooooothing for me. I now use it mainly at work but one of my favorite Spreadsheet Zen memories is dragging all of the elementary school PTO treasury records into Excel, balancing the checking account (after five years), and figuring out the tax reporting mess (don’t ask). This prodject took me a few weeks and, given the era, involved a lot of paper documents, which I kept on the floor beside the computer so I had to keep diving down there to look stuff up…

At some point one afternoon, I dredged myself up out of Spreadsheet Zen and ambled out into the Old Landfill Chitchen and found that someone had cooked spaghettios. Apparently the Beach Urchins could not get my attention to tell me they were hungry so they took matters into their own hands. It was okay. They didn’t burn down the house or even the pan.

We all live in a yellow submarine…

American Epotitionary Forces at the Canton Zoo on an impromptu Easter Sunday

Sunday, April 20th, 2014

aefThere’s a zoo in Canton? Say what? Somebody commented in the Ann Arbor Snooze or somewhere that their wife had made them spend the afternoon at the Canton Zoo. Guess who’s wife made him spend the afternoon an hour or so at the Canton Zoo? If you guessed the GG, you are correct. Did KW buy anything at the Canton Zoo? Noooooo. (Did she get dizzy in the self-serve furniture area? No but only because she looked straight ahead.*) Did the GG buy anything at the Canton Zoo? Yes, he did. Also Lizard Breath, who met up with us at the CZ and then continued homeward with us to the Landfill to see what the heck we did with her childhood chitchen up close and do some laundry.

What’s that? You still don’t know what the Canton Zoo is? Oops. It’s Ikea, of course. I have an iffy relationship with Ikea but I do like to go there once every couple years or so. Even though it makes me dizzy. Grundtal rails were the main thing on my agenda today. I want to hang pots and pans on the wall. I do not do well with cupboard or drawer diving for pots and pans. Do not even talk to me about organizing pot lids. I had a loverly system in the old chitchen but it will not work in the new world. In the end we didn’t buy any Grundtal rails today. We hadn’t really hashed out exactly where they will go. After we got home, I think I got it figured out.

We made our first MESS today! We had a party! NpJane was scheduled to inspect the place so Lizard and I bought a bunch of snacky stuff from the Plum Market. We were quaking in our boots [grin] about this particular inspection but npJane placed her stamp of approval upon it albeit with the recommendation that we install a disco ball and some strobe lights to bring out the “sparkly” in the quartz counters. Why the heck didn’t WE think of that??? She also brought over a bottle of some sparkly stuff and two of the four of us passed out on couches for a couple hours or thereabouts after a glass or so of that. npJane went home to garden aka rake out old dead leaves and things and KW did the same.

The GG asked me if I wanted the American Expotitionary Forces tile in the photo to be incorporated into the backsplash. That was an intriguing idea but in the end, I said no. I don’t want it to have to be carefully extricated some day. I think I want to display it but I will frame it separately or figure another way to mount it. I remember making the picture in this tile or maybe another one billion like it. I don’t remember why there are five fingers on my left hand and two on my right (blue ones at that). I don’t know why there aren’t about eight crossbars on the E in Emily. More is better, right? That thing on my head is NOT a crown, it is a BOW! Can’t you see the two loops (rounded) in the middle and the ribbon ends (more or less rectangular)? Man oh man, I had to explain that to so many people! I found this tile at the bottom of one of the tall skinny built-in dish cupboards in The Commander’s kitchen when we were cleaning out her house after she died. There is an exact copy in Radical Betty’s Grinch’s kitchen, along with tiles her kids and our cousins made. Maybe the Grinchie will give me my tile someday. I’m sure he doesn’t want it [grin].

Impromptu Easter dinner here. I didn’t know who would be here so I bought the smallest ham I could find that might still feed four people, just in case. Lizard plans to stay for dinner. Mouse may stop by after hanging around with fellow cast members. Whatever happens is fine with me. If you want to come home for whatever, that’s great. If you are busy with your own life, no guilt! Love you and please continue to make the world a better place!

* The Commander would never have gotten dizzy at Ikea. She never made it to Ikea but she would’ve loved it! She would’ve swung her cane cudgel up at everything she had questions about, like she did at the grokkery store the last couple years of her life. Uh, moom, please do not hit anyone. Ikea would’ve been fun with that old babe, especially since she grew up not too many miles away from it…

Growing beef and visiting Poland

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

Loooonnnnngg day beginning down at the Farmer’s Market, where we bought lettuce and kimchee and radishes and scallions and whitefish (did you know there’s been a great lakes whitefish shortage this winter?) and, yes, a couple of wee beef sirloin filets. We seem to be gravitating a bit towards buying hunks of protein down there at Monahan’s and Sparrow Market. I guess that’s a good thing but when it gets to be high harvest season, somebody in addition to me is going to have to start schlepping a backpack.


The GG spent the morning installing this spice drawer in the three-inch space between the end of the counter on the north side of the kitchen and the wall.


Spent a good chunk of the afternoon running around to the big box stores chasing after just the right lumber for a new raised garden bed for Mouse’s Garden, then Ace Hardware because it is so much fun, two walks to the Plum Market and, and, and, just when I felt like totally crashing, it was time to head over to Ypsilanti, where the GG channeled Grandroobly by pretend shooting me.


Dinner at Haab’s, then over to the Riverside to watch Mouse play Roseaura in Life is a Dream (that’s a facebook page). Here’s a commercial (it’s a youtube video). As a child, Mouse used to ask for pussywillow bouquets when she acted in plays. Her fuddy-duddy parents had planned to get some at the farmer’s market today but they forgot. Fortunately, big sis was on the ball.


Good night! -Kayak Woman

P. S. Oh yeah, there is a clown of sorts but she is a cute, sparkly little blonde woman who wears a black shirt and pants and a jester hat. No scary makeup [grin].

Coming soon to a facebook page near you

Friday, April 18th, 2014

kwpostholingMy kitchen! Today was the day that CKL and a marketing colleague came over to take photographs. They brought some of their own props but they liked my little chicken and The Commander’s old wooden salt and pepper shakers and my Le Creuset crocks. So we’ll see what lands on DreamMaker’s facebook page, if anything does.

Everybody seems to love the backsplash. I knew they would. The marketing gal was talking about all of the dark colors people are putting in kitchens. That’s okay. It can certainly work. Not in my kitchen. I had to laugh though. Today I showed my kitchen photos to W1.5, who lives in an adjacent neighborhood (his wife and her friend are regulars on my 0-skunk-30 walking route). When I showed him the before pic, he said, “That looks like our kitchen!” When I showed him the after pics, he was amazed at the backsplash. If he and his wife are thinking about renovating, I hope my photos encouraged him because I am sure happy with the result. I still haven’t moved back in. That’ll happen this weekend. Except for whatever I decide to fling.

Weird weird workday today. I telecommuted until 10 AM when CKL came over. I got to work a bit after 11 to find that we were on “half power” or whatever it is. Some people had power in their cubes. Others, including me, did not. Well, not exactly… It’s hard for me to believe that I have FOUR lucky-shuckial outlets in my cube (as do all cubes). There is a power strip attached to ONE of those. The others are UNUSED! It was even odder that I plugged both my phone and my laptop into the power strip and my phone charged but not my laptop. At any rate, my laptop died around 2:40, so I bagged work early. But not all that early because they let us go at 3:00 today anyway for Good Friday.

I knew that the GG was home futzing around with various prodjects and I knew that would drive me nuts so I went shopping (yes, really) on the way home. The traffic was AWFUL! I didn’t buy anything. I was looking at dish-draining racks (SimpleHuman), organizing systems for my huge drawers, and doing some initial research for a new and smaller microwave. Anyone have any experience with late-model microwave brands? I think that my beloved behemoth came from JC Penney but I’m not particularly inclined to shop there at this point (not for any particular reason besides the fact that I hate going to the mall). I need a white countertop model and it’ll be used mostly to heat up small quantities of food (think salad plate) or a cup of something.

Enough is enough so good night!

Hey, I’m thinking in five dimensions here. I do not have any words!

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

bloughIn my particular little corner of the systems analyst world, the job varies greatly from day to day. I might spend a week or two making mindless changes to our very hi-fi prototype, a huge trove of html web pages augmented by some old-skool javascript. Then there are times when it might take me a few days or even weeks (yes) to flowchart or matrix some extremely complicated piece of functionality. Yes, they really pay me for this stuff.

A meeting was scheduled this morning to talk the CRD off the ledge. He had six questions. We hashed out all of them. I believe number five was actually answered via some of the previous questions. This morning was my coffee morning. The morning I meet MMCB and today TBS, who has the week off for Passover, so I was jazzed up on coffee when I got to work. It doesn’t take much coffee to jazz me up and that became a running joke (KW has a coffee high so watch out) throughout the meeting. That wasn’t as funny as W1.5 finding out that he was in the Electric Chair though.

When you get designers and developers and legacy folks into the same room, it often sounds like you are in the Tower of Babel and although I was on my game this morning (coffee, maybe? hmmm…), the Cube Farm hallways reverberated all afternoon with follow-up questions. At one point, I threw up my hands and said something like today’s title. But then somehow, a few minutes later, I had a simple answer. I was mentally exhausted by the last half hour of my day. Fortunately I have some mindless html / javascript coding to do for one of my other prodjects. Exciting or not, it needs to be done and it was a relief to switch to mindless coding for a bit.

And then I came home and I am thinking in five dimensions with this gorgeous new kitchen too. What do I put where? What do I even *want* back in? Pot racks? Dish drainer? Paper towels? Cupboard / drawer organizers? I have some huge drawers here. They are gorgeous but I’m still not sure how I will want to use them. And CKL is coming tomorrow morning to take pictures and collect DreamMaker’s storage bins (and also whatever dollars we still owe) so I need to make sure it isn’t cluttered with dish drainers and lunch bags and things.

I hope you are thinking in fewer than five dimensions tonight, unless that’s the kind of thing that turns you on of course. If so, GO FOR IT! (It does turn me on but I also need downtime.)

Okay, so this was largely a work blahg. Deal with it! [grin]

Chitchen Sicken

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

chitchensickenI won’t tell you which of the beach urchins called chickens “sickens” as an early talker. If you know anything about the beach urchins, you know which one it *wasn’t*.

I *think* that this cute rooster belongs to the one it *wasn’t* but I’m not sure. It has been bubble-wrapped in a milk carton in the Landfill Dungeon along with some other bubble-wrapped things that belong to that urchin (I think). I have been eye-balling it throughout this whole renovation and thinking it would be a good artifact for the new chitchen. I hope that urchin doesn’t care if I UN-bubble-wrapped it and put it on my new shelf. Alas, some of the stuff I had in the Old Chitchen will probably be bubble-wrapped. Unless somebody in the family or a friend wants it. Meaning that there are a few things I’m not ready to part with. Yet.

Guess what is on my grokkery list? Dishwasher detergent! Guess what? I am USING MY NEW DISHWASHER! And I am loving it! A few little detergent pods came with it but I have used them up. I looked for dishwasher detergent today on a lunchtime Whole Foods expotition. I was not successful, at least not in the form factor I was looking for. I kind of knew that would happen. BTW, I am not all that happy about the Whole Foods checkout experience these days. Sometimes it’s okay, sometimes not. The hipster cashier today rhapsodized about my single serving tetra-packs of chocolate coconut milk. I couldn’t understand him at first. You work here and you do not know about these non-dairy milk packs? What? That was okay. At least he didn’t ask me if I wanted to donate to the cause of the day. A few weeks ago, I was asked that and I said, “Okay, I’ll donate $5.” Next thing, the clerk set off a bunch of noise-makers. Yay, somebody donated. KW is a very shy, private person who likes to make donations anonymously and that was not a good thing. Next time somebody asks me something like that I will say, “Only if you don’t broadcast my meager donation.” Way to get customers, Whole Foods…

I am still “moving in” slowly. I have some shopping trips ahead of me. Wall-mounted pot racks. Possibly a few of those newfangled drawer / cupboard organizer thingies. A new dish drainer because I will still hand wash some things but I need something I can stash if I want to. What else? There are some other things. I need to make a list, I guess. Requirements anyone? Oh yeah, a storage system for a subset of my cookbooks. Although looking through them, I could do some flinging. And a new small microwave? I could probably live without one but they can be handy and I think that the GG wants one. And that’s okay. We’ll find a small one.

Haisley Mafia

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

taxdaysnowWe used to be the Haisley Mafia. The volunteer moms who kept the trains running on time at the neighborhood elementary school. And yes of *course* there were volunteer dads too! But today, I met up with two of my best friends from those days and they are both female. Make no mistake! It is not parent volunteers who make the school trains run on time. I think we have a role in the schools but it is the teachers and their support staff who do the dirty work.

I met up with The Beautiful Jane when Lizard Breath went to kindergarten. Actually, the GG met her first, the summer before kindergarten. I worked evenings in those days and the GG took the beach urchins to West Park for a band concert. Four-year-old Lizard Breath made a plan to Make a Friend! And so she did. It was TBJ’s daughter and they ended up in the same kindergarten class. I think they are still friends although during their years on The Planet Ann Arbor, they went on to different schools and social circles. I do not see TBJ a whole lot any more and I will see her even less when she moves out to the left coast in a month or so. But she is still my friend.

The Beautiful Vicki? Sheesh! Before I got to know her I always figured she was waaayyyy outta my league. One of those over-the-top people that just had to have been a cheerleader in high school. Not, but we won’t go into that. I forget exactly when we started being friends. Her children are others-who-are-not-girls, so it wasn’t our kids who got us together. Oh, no. There have been a few people in my life who have seen something in me that I do not see and have kept after me to be friends. She is one of them and so we are still friends. I remember the days when we dropped our kids off at school and walked all over town. We ran the HUGE middle school science fair together for a few years. I remember the weekend she painted her living room royal purple while her husband and kids were off on a boy scout camping trip. Yes, really.

Moving s-l-o-w-l-y back into the Landfill Chitchen. I have been without Gertrude for approximately three weeks. You’d think I might still know how to use her. Not exactly but at least I didn’t burn the damn house down. Trying to figger out how to use the new space. What should I put where? What should I get rid of? I am reeeallly not wanting to put my old microwave back in. Today the digital display is doing a funky kind of flickering. I think it’s a sign. I only use that microwave to heat small containers of things up anymore. Maybe it’s time to choose a smaller one. Maybe a white one. To go with the new chitchen, of course.

The photooo? That was what was out there this morning. I wavered a bit about footwear. Boots with Yaktrax? Or Keen sandals. I went with the Keens and it was okay. There were intermittently slippery spots but the ground has warmed up enough that glare ice didn’t form. But still. F-word anybody about the weather? Even though this is not really abnormal for the Great Lake State… Really, it’s not.

Done done done!

Monday, April 14th, 2014

I am cooking in here tonight! I cannot find anything! Big-time Box Diving Expotitions!


I have not moved anything in yet. Well, except for a bottle of bourbon and a roll of aluminum foil. And my phone and laptop and their chargers.


Thanks to Kami the Certified Kitchen Lady and Gerry the Genius (the GG’s words) and the young man who installed the tile backsplash and all of the folks on the crew. (And no, they don’t know I have a glahg.)


In case anyone has forgotten, here’s the old kitchen.


My plan is to move back in slowly. I don’t want to jump ahead. If something somehow doesn’t “fit”, I will donate it. The GG is already asking me where I want the microwave. I’m not sure. I kind of want a new microwave but I kind of don’t because this one (that he and Lizard Breath gave me for xmas in 1984) is loverly.

Oh well, bdah bdah bdah. I do not want to blather on about the new Landfill Chitchen. I want to *bask* in it!

Where are the po-leese when you want them? And why am I slappin’ Mo-skee-toes?

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

backsplashThe po-leese are down at the Carbide dock, watching the Roger Blough, roight? You thought I was gonna say they were at the donut shoppe, roight? No.

We did not get stopped by any of the men in blue this weekend (we rarely do) but we had some interesting encounters / discussions about them. On Friday we were taking a slow trip from Gaylord to Sault Ste. Siberia via The I75 SUV Speedway and some old highways. It was a BEAUTIFUL day and we were enjoying life. A cop car came up behind me (I was going about 67, it was a SLOW trip, roight?), then cut over to the Indian River exit, where some big double trailer semi was SLOWLY getting off. Was the cop gonna stop that semi? Naw. A few minutes later, he was behind me again, uncomfortably so. I was still going about 67. I wasn’t doing anything weird and whatever antics Froggy and his buddies were engaging in was going on below window level. So we were cool, roight? The last thing I ever want to do is get stopped by the po-leese.

And we didn’t get stopped. We got off the Speedway at Topinabee that morning. And so did the cop. I have a cop behind me… I moseyed along at five *under* (the speed limit) and he finally got taaarrred of that so he passed me. We watched him follow some others in more or less the same way. The discussion veered off into something like, “He’s scanning license plates and running them to figger out who’s done what…” Well, maybe. I think that we need police in this country but I think sometimes they get a bit out of control and over-step our constitution’s limits. I do not want someone scanning my license plate (even though I have nothing to hide). But I’m still not sure that’s what was going on. I have to wonder if it wasn’t just a slow day in the northern lower (of Michigan) and this guy was just driving along…

And then, the Roger Blough finally got done plowing through the ice and ensconced itself at the old carbide dock. We had nothing to do for an hour or two so we drove down by the carbide dock to watch the fun and, whaddya know, a city cop car drove up next to us. Did they bug us? No. I honestly think that cop was just looking at the Blough. We may have attracted his attention but it was pretty obvious we weren’t terrorists.

Anyway, watching the Blough pull into its ultimate position was like watching paint dry, so we drove down the river and back to the park next to the carbide dock to see what progress had been made. When we got back, the Blough was parked where *tourists* (like us, roight?) could see it. And there were two (count ’em) cop cars there. We got out of the Frog Hopper to take pictures. I tried to put some Frog Hopper trash into the trash receptacles but they were all locked up for the winter. Thanks to the Ojibway Hotel for taking that stuff.

countertopI dunno why there were local cop cars down there where the Blough was parked. I think that most of the folks who may have been down there were just boat nerds trying to get close-up photos of the boat. I think the local po-leese know that. So, I dunno why those po-leese were tasked to hang out down there. Or maybe they were just hanging out watching the Blough like all of the rest of us. I think they may actually have been tasked to “watch” the Blough but c’mon, this was a sleepy Saturday morning in Sault Ste. Siberia. I walked the riverfront from our berth at the Hotel Ojibway early in the morning and there was NOTHING going on anywhere. I grew up in Sault Ste. Siberia and I know that there are bar fights and things at night but I have walked around that town early in the morning so many times that I know that one rarely sees anything nefarious going on at that time. Dooya think maybe those coppers were partly tasked to hang out down there by the Blough because there was nothing else going on? I think so and I do not totally think that’s a bad thing.

Today, after the second small vee-hickle tried to cut me off on the I75 SUV Speedway, I wondered where the dern cops were. Nowhere to be seen. I did not see one dern copper all day today. I somehow managed to survive those two horrific encounters. The second one was just outside The Planet Ann Arbor when somebody in the lane to the right of me suddenly decided they needed to take the left exit. Kee-reist. And then. Jupiter or whoever decided to rub my damn nose into this whole thing and so I was trying to back the Frog Hopper into the driveway and I hit the back of the Ninja. YES, I HIT THE BACK OF THE NINJA! How did I do that? I do not know. I was absolutely looking at the backup cam. Still.

P.S. It got over 70 degrees here today. I do not know how to dress for that without feeling like I am naked but also, MO-SKEE-TOES? Yes. MO-SKEE-TOES! NOOOOOO! It is too early for those. Where are they coming from? I was thinking we could leave the doors to the Landfill open because it’s so early in the spring. No. Mo-skee-toes. No. I was just post-holing through deep snow yesterday. No bugs. No.

C’mon, let’s do the Blough Plow

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

postholingI keep talking about post-holing but have I ever explained exactly what it is? It is when you are walking on snow and you take a step and all of a sudden your foot goes down through the snow so that it is up to your knee or hip or even your waist. I did some post-holing yesterday but only from the road behind the moomincabin to the bank overlooking the beach. I didn’t even try to go down on the beach.

Today? I post-holed all afternoon. We hiked a section of the North Country Trail near Brevort Lake. I’m not sure how many miles we hiked. My trusty old iPhone pedometer kicked the bucket with the upgrade to I dunno what, IOS7, was it? Somebody said he thought we walked six miles. I think it was more like three unless you count the seasonal road snowmo trail at the end (more about that later). I think it just felt like six miles because you didn’t know from step to step how deep into the snow you were going to end up. It was a long, slow slodge with some people on snowshoes and others (including yer fav-o-rite blahgger) in boots. Boots people did the most post-holing but snowshoers had their own problems mainly that when they post-holed (and they did), they had to pull a long, snow-laden piece of footwear out from under the snow. We made kind of a train, plowing through the snow, taking turns breaking trail. A human version of the Blough Plow? The first photooo does not really show what we were actually doing and don’t let that bare ground up ahead fool you. That was the 1%!

Were we wet at the end of all this? Did I mention it was also raining throughout this hike? Yer fav-o-rite blahgger is still drying out hours later. And she changed out of the wettest of her clothing (in the Frog Hopper) after the hike. Ever try to put on tights in the back seat of an automotive vee-hickle?

backingupOh yeah, the seasonal road snowmo trail? The one where we stuffed eight people into a Subaru Forester and BACKED ALL THE WAY UP IT because there wasn’t any way to turn around without sinking into the soft snow on the shoulders. It was Marilyn’s vee-hickle but the GG was driving and she kept telling him to CREEP or the taaarrrrs would spin and finally we made it outta there. I think we probably drove in reverse for maybe about a mile but it seemed more like 10. And now we have a new meaning to the term “Creeper”. And the second photooo doesn’t really show you exactly what we were actually doing but yes, there were people sitting in the “way back” of the Forester (but no dogs (this time)) and I don’t think anyone was wearing a seatbelt. So arrest us!

Annual HSS NCT dinner in St. Ignace, then a nasty drive down to Gaylord through intermittently heavy rain and wind but NO ICE — although we are ALL skittish about any kind of precipitation after our loverly polar vortex winter.

Can I just say that it is totally surreal to be post-holing along in the back woods and receive a text message asking, “Do you guys have a copy of Microsoft Office that is newer than 2004?” Well. Yes. But. I don’t have a disk. And I can’t really stop to write a text because we are all chained up doing the Blough Plow and, well, I can’t really describe what it is like out here today.

P.S. I love you Mousey and I love the surreal-ness of texts like that when I get them in the back woods, so keep ’em coming.

The Blough Plows and The North Shall Rise Again

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Nice slow *dry* trip from Gaylord to the yooperland this morning, no ice anywhere, well not on the roads anyway, thank you Zeus! Veered off the I75 SUV Speedway at Topinabee, taking the old highway up along Mullett Lake to the beautiful metropolis of Cheboygan, where we took care of a wee bit of business, then on up to cross the Big Mac.


Made a beeline for Clyde’s Drive-in down by the Sugar Island ferry dock. First Clyde’s (for us) of the season – hamburg on a bun with everything but. There’s the Mean Green Frog Hoppin’ Musheen facing in the *proper* direction toward the river.


Just for good measure, here is the ferry herself! The water is open enough here that she can do her job without interference but boats are stuck everywhere and I have a loverly little video on facebook of the Roger Blough plowing its way slowly down to the locks. The Blough aka Big Butt was on its way up to Marquette with a convoy of other ships and an icebreaker but it sustained some hull damage and had to return to the Sault. The convoy, as of this morning, was stuck near Whitefish Point.


We had a couple hours between check-in time at the Ojibway, so we headed out to the moominbeach to see what we could see. Good thing we didn’t entertain thoughts of staying in the moomincabin this weekend.


The obligatory photo of the huge drift that typically forms between the moomincabin and the Old Cabin every winter.


It took quite a bit of post-holing through soft, sometimes deceptively deep snow but we finally made it to the top of the bank. Did not even try to navigate the beach. Note that it is 50 degrees today with brilliant sunlight and no wind. A beach day under other circumstances.


The Blough has locked down. An Algo (forget which one) is locking up. We’re settled in to our room at the Ojibway and are meeting Jeep and Pan at Karl’s for dinner in a little while. It was a long fun day and it feels like an early night tonight.

Good night,
Kayak Woman

Already establishing a junk drawer, are we?

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

I was just taking a picture. I didn’t notice him eyeballing a possible junk drawer until one of my sisters-in-law pointed it out on facebook.


Major scramble getting offa the Planet Ann Arbor today. Last-minute stuff at work, Panera takeouts at the lunch rush hour, Jackson / N. Maple left turn during rush hour complete with temporarily stalled vee-hickle. What’s that noise? What’s that noise? What’s that noise? Oh, it is my phone vibrating. Phone call? I am sandwiched in between trucks at the Dexter / N. Maple intersection with one hand on the steering wheel and the other on the gear shift. I cannot drive stick and answer the damn phone at the same time. Turned out it was the GG, who was walking over to pick up the Frog Hopper from scheduled maintenance. Could I make a left turn? No, I could not. I did eventually pick him up but not after stopping off at The Landfill to drop off my work laptop. And there, after a quiet week, was a big truck in the driveway and some sort of cutting musheen or whatever and the *countertops* were in (but they are covered up (but yes, they are (largely) white)) and somebody was putting up our loverly turquoise backsplash (which looks a little darker here than in reality but I was not shy about color).


As much fun as it would be to hang out at The Landfill for the weekend, because they are pretty darn close to being DONE — I mean really, this outfit is FAST — we are not at The Landfill. Can you guess where we are? Here’s Chloe Belle. That’s a big hint.


Also, there is snow here. Not as much snow as the trip we took here a year ago and drove the last 100 miles or so through an ice storm. But still. Snow. Maybe more tomorrow? On the ground, I mean. *Probably* not coming outta the sky.