Archive for July, 2014

Introvert Overhang

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

sawdustThat thud that you make when you are an introvert and you have spent a couple days with more people than usual and it’s really really fun and you don’t want them to leave and then… Actually it’s kind of a ka-whomp. Thud is when you are drinking whine and talking about your kids and you decide to go for a beach walk and end up suddenly sitting on your you-know-what (thud) in the water. Although I have thudded a few times in my life, the thud I am referring to here involves The Commander and Radical Betty. There is a Thud Club. Wanna join?

This morning was not much fun at the moomincabin. Although I was annoyed by the behavior of the other people there, really it was meeeeee who was the problem. I could have solved the whole problem by packing up the Ninja and heading in to town to do my errands instead of waiting around until the Blueberry Harvesters left. Remove KW? Problem solved.

For I do not know what reason, I felt so freeeeee taking off all by myself in the Ninja this morning. Errands? Nothing exciting. A few things to the recycling center, mailed The Landfill property tax bill, checked out the laundromat (still there, doesn’t open until 9 AM????), drive by The Comm’s house, Glen’s. Boy oh boy, I cannot wait for Meijer to open up a store in Siberia. I wanted fresh basil leaves. Nowhere to be found. Not only has fresh basil become a grokkery store staple (where I live anyway), it isn’t even all that hard to grow in these northern climes. *I* can even grow it. I bet Woldemort probably had fresh basil but I refuse to shop there in Siberia. I hate the parking lot, the store makes me dizzy, and you always have to wait in line forever to check out. I bet Meijer will carry it. I can’t wait.

Back out to the moomincabin for chores: dishwashing, bathroom cleaning, stripping beds for a trip to the laundromat tomorrow, scrambling dinner together. By definition, chores are never done but I got enough done that I could sit on the beach / bank all afternoon and that’s what I did although I was *freezing* for a couple of hours. By the time The Grand Poohbah came down, I had un-grumpified myself enough that I could actually engage in conversation. (I think, Pooh may have a different opinion.) Hot down here now but time to go up and scramble dinner into the oven, etc.

The Blueberry Harvesters? 12-14 miles, depending on who you talk to. ONE GALLON of blueberries. And one tick. So far. Bonus? With much trepidation, KW logged into the work time off thingy to put her upcoming vacation days into it and found that she had something like twice as much time left as she expected. Yahoo!

P. S. Clankity bang. The Cognitive Dissonance when Porta Potties arrive in a place that could once have been called Outhouse City!

Cube away from cube

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

officeI treasure the annual pilgrimage that my MacMu cousins make to the yooperland to visit us. There is one sibling left in our parents’ generation and I am glad that the loss of the older generation seems to be making us become closer, rather than the opposite. The Fin and MacMu clans are not without problems but we do try to solve issues amicably and we are always there for each other.

I was thinking about how much I looked up to my cousin Salwa when I was a beach urchin. She is an artist and when I was a small child, she taught me how the Crayola crayon color-wheel worked. I spent uncountable hours exploring that and have never forgotten it. When I returned from a beach walk yesterday, she was collecting little bits of beach flotsam — feathers and tiny bits of driftwood, stuff that would (and did) fit into a plastic WalMart bag. This is what Salwa does when she is here and I loved seeing her doing it yet again. She is an artist and she sees things amongst the flotsam that I wouldn’t notice on my own but I am always amazed at what she collects.

We were visiting these MacMu cousins at their East Lansing home when my FinFam grandaddy died. That particular time, we had a room at one of those old fashioned Holiday Inn motels with the outdoor swimming pools. The Engineer and I were hell-bent to go swimming because we were all about swimming and that’s what you DID when you stayed at the Holiday Inn. When we got to the pool, it was CLOSED! What? It was too early in the season. C’mon, it’s 50 degrees, chilly and gray, let’s go swimming! My dad said something like, “We didn’t want to tell you this before you went swimming, but [since the pool is closed anyway] your grandfather died this morning.” I didn’t miss a beat. “We are going home NOW!” And so we did.

Do you like my cubicle? The one (Lyme Lounge) in the pitcher? If you have to telecommute, that is the place to do it. (Ignore the Green Pig. That’s our propane gas thingy.) There is lucky-shucky (with plenty of plugs) and wi-fi and if you tell the beach folks that you are working, they will not come out and try to converse with you. I even dialed in to a meeting today! It was so much fun. And then I checked in with my supervisor to make sure there wasn’t anything more I should do before I signed off for some vacay. She said something like, “Actually there is one more thing I want to talk to you about. Can I call you?” Of course. It was good news. A promotion. One that I was expecting but had largely forgotten about. My life [and job] won’t change at all because of this. I’m just thankful that I somehow landed in a place where people appreciate me and my contributions. And let me occasionally telecommute from places like the Lyme Lounge. Love to my work buddies even though they don’t read this bunch of blather (and if FZ did, he’d prob’ly find all of the typos [g]).

Don’t Chew Like a Fox — A Twitter play

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

fireplaceSetting: Fin Fam Moomincabin, a not-beach-day Monday afternoon.

Characters: @kayakwoman and @tmotu.

[Strange crunching noise.]

@kayakwoman: What are you eating?

@tmotu: I’m not eating. It’s a fox eating a camera.

The End.

Here’s the link.

Other than that, do other families fight over who does the dishes? I don’t really mean fight fight. We don’t fight. But here I am at the moomincabin and one of my MacMu uber-cuzzints is visiting and we were laughing today about the dishwashing wars. Here’s the deal. Both of us are nuclear powered people who have a high need to feel useful. Plus I am OCD about dishwashing. I am OCD about some other things too but dishwashing is one of the things that I don’t forcibly banish to the shadows. Just ask UKW how many times I washed the dishes when we were out on Lopez. She had to stage an intervention to save her cast iron pans!

There are plenty of other people around here who also want to be useful and it’s a challenge because we want guests and family members who have way too little time to visit to chill out and enjoy the loverly beach weather. Another fog bank coming in? Yes. But part of the fun of being here is hanging out kitchen dancing and picking blueberries and running like hell to put the garbage out when Our Northern Correspondent texts to say something like, “If you have garbage, the truck is about to come by.” Pooh said she saw a streak of tie-dye flash by from the Old Cabin breakfast table. That was me, running out to the garage to grab my bag of garbage and drive it up the road — seatbelt, driver’s license and shoes be damned.

It’s a balance but for now I am loving having a whole bunch of family around and that is about all I have to say for tonight. Except that heehee, some wedding folks came into the wrong driveway (ours) tonight. Nope, it’s one more driveway down. Love.

Hey Gitchee Gumee, can we talk?

Monday, July 28th, 2014

highwaterMy Mouse [and her entire kitchen] arrived this afternoon and after sitting around on the bank (where it is waaaarrrrrm, don’tcha know, because it is not waaarrrm on the beach) for a while, she decided to take a beach walk. But first she needed to change her clothes. I almost *never* try to give the beach urchins advice. What would be the point? They are both very capable of taking care of themselves and they are far more successful in life than I ever was. Nevertheless, I provided some advice. Wear something short because you WILL get wet. How did I know this? Because I wore my loverly long blue skirt on *two* beach walks today and I GOT WET! Why did I not change into a *short* skirt for the second walk? I do not know.

The beach is ever-changing and I have lived long enough now to remember that I have seen the beach like this before. The last time I remember the bank being this washed out was back when I was maybe going into 5th or 6th grade. The parents went off on some bank-type junket somewhere and they left me behind! With Don & Katie! At the beach! How awwwwful [NOT]! It was June and it was c-c-c-cold and I wore my old pink ski jacket (and bare feet) to walk down to Doelle’s and back. I don’t remember the water being quite as high as it is this summer but there had been some kind of washout and I remember walking next to a bank that was almost as tall as me.

It’s okay. The lake changes and as long as the changes are as gradual as this one, we are okay. If it overfills up to the escarpment, we are in trouble. I don’t think my generation or the next few will have to deal with that kind of thing.

There is a FinFam wedding scheduled on the beach this weekend and the beach is filling up with Fin folks. I can hear the teenage triplets playing games behind Don & Katie’s house and I can hear their beautiful outgoing mom laughing and there are dogs barking. This is the kind of stuff I remember going on all summer when I was a beach urchin.


Not a beach day [mostly]

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

All day I have been thinking of interesting little tidbits of wisdom to write about. Can I remember what any of those are now that I have finally gotten around to writing my blahg? No, I cannot. A day in pitchers photos, then? Okay.

When I was a small child, there used to be an actual fog horn somewhere out there in the channel or thereabouts. I always loved lying in my little bunk bed listening to the fog horn. We don’t have stationary fog horns any more but when freighters are navigating the fog, they blow their horns. That’s what was going on this morning when I walked the beach. I couldn’t even see the island this morning.


What was really cool (and very 21st century) was that I could use Marine Traffic on my iPhone to look up the boats that were in the vicinity. One of those was the Algolake. It was sitting in Whitefish Bay. Hmmmm. So I pulled up face[book] and sure enough, they had posted a video all about sitting around waiting for the fog to clear so they could enter the river and go down through the Soo Locks.

Hmmm, what was next. Oh yeah, last night, I posted a photo on facebook of a whole bunch of hipsters down by the Amethyst Rock. I got a lot of facebook traffic (for meeeee [g]) about that photo. The truth is that I have no idea if that rock really has amethyst in it or not. It is a beautiful rock though and it went missing for the last couple years. Buried in sand. This year it is out in all its glory. Here’s a bit of a close-up.


And then, will we have a blueberry crop this year or not? Mouse is going to come up and wants to pick. I am gonna guess that there are ripe blueberries over by Raco and other places in the interior of the yooperland but I’m not sure. I thought we would have a good crop up on the moominbeach bank this year but not sure. I saw ONE ripe blueberry this morning. By this afternoon, things looked more like the photo below. We may get enough for muffins or pancakes from the front yard here but anything more than that may require an expotition.


It is a stormy day here in the Great Lake State and I was working (I mean doing that gig somebody actually pays me for) this afternoon and I finally got tired of hearing the constant storm warnings coming over NPR since Mrs. Kafooly is driving down to DayTwa today. I sometimes wonder how *I* managed to birth the calm, cool, and collected adult once called Mrs. Kafooly (by her grandma) but I did and I’m sure she will handle whatever comes her way. I will still be happy to hear that she arrived at home safely. (I am also elated that she agreed to take leftovers and a bag of garbage home with her). Anyway, the wind kept shifting all over the place today and so we were sitting down on the bank this afternoon and we were intermittently hot and cold as it shifted and this is probably not the Money Shot because that would be a sunset shot but here it is anyway. So you don’t have to scroll, I’ll say Good Night and love y’all!



Saturday, July 26th, 2014

rainThe Great Lake State is so greeeeen this summer. I mean the color, not necessarily an ecological trend. Just abundant green vegetation everywhere. Cattails upon cattails upon cattails everywhere. Yay for wetlands. So gorgeous.

I had a passenger today. My cuzzint Jay and I both took photos of the Big Mac as we were crossing it. Actually, she took the pitcher from my phone because I canNOT drive stick and do anything with my phone. I posted a photo (don’t worry, we were stopped at the rest area immediately north of the bridge) and tagged Jay and she posted a photo (from her phone) and tagged me. So much fun and I loved having a beloved cousin as a companion for the long drive.

It wasn’t exactly a beach day when I got here (see the pitcher) but the storms had subsided a bit by the late afternoon and it was so much fun to have a big crew of Fins sitting down on the beach watching botes and bantering with another big crew of Fins (and their loverly dogs) as they walked back and forth.

This afternoon reminded me of the old days when we all congregated on the beach every single day that we possibly could. In recent years, I have spent way too much time down there totally alone and missing Radical Betty schlepping her own chair and a basket of beer down in the late afternoon.

I am outta steam at this point but I will leave you with this green song that I remember hearing whenever my grandaddy took the whole fam (Sault Ste. Siberia part of the fam anyway) to the Holiday Inn for dinner. Not the Holiday Inn that y’all know.

It’s all okay. We’re going on and love you all. -KW.

No cleavage tonight but then we weren’t exactly looking for cleavage

Friday, July 25th, 2014

I am still processing this long but happy day. One event kind of stands out. It is the one in which, with quite some trepidation, I opened up the Panera app on my iPhone and ordered a You Pick Two. I don’t necessarily think that Panera is the absolute best restaurant on earth but it is pretty darn good for how fast it is and I remember it being one of the first restaurants that I could go to with *both* of the beach urchins, where all of us could find something we wanted to eat. (Note that this would be quite a while ago.) So, today, I ordered a lunch online. I normally pack a bag lunch of leftovers and salad but this week, by design, there is absolutely NO FOOD in The Landfill, except for all of the stuff that is frozen and packed up for the moomincabin (and yes, that includes the GG’s 16-year-old cheese and kimchee). As I drove over to Panera to pick up my food, I was wondering how I would actually connect with it. Walking in the door, I peered around for a bit until I saw that there was a big shelving unit right inside the front door and on the shelf was a bag with MY NAME on it. How cool is that? Actually, it was a relative pain the in butt to get *over* to Panera, given that our whole city is currently under road construction but I did need a break.

Turns out that my cuzzint Jay also ate at Panera, albeit a different Panera, given that she crashed at her parents’ house at 2AM following a long day of flying (four airports before it was all over). She is a morning person like yer fav-o-rite blahgger but I think she can be excused for not waking up until somewhere relatively closer to noon than not, especially given that her first airport was SeaTac. After whine with npJane and KW in the Landfill backyard, dinner with KW at the neighborhood @strongdrinks (Jay had coffee), and a short visit to the skate park, she is now ensconced in the messiest guest bedroom on earth. At least it is not hot and swampy on The Planet Ann Arbor tonight although there seems to be a party going on at Peter and John’s house. Is it breaking up? I hope so.

Tomorrow we launch to the Yooperland. And so I need to rack it up myself. It’ll be a long but fun drive.


Thursday, July 24th, 2014

mushroomeyeI hope this photooo is not toooooo freaky. It kind of freaks me out. Just a week ago, there were a couple of little mushrooms in this guy’s eye, look how much they have grown. A horror movie of false eyelashes.

I posted this photooo on facebook last night. I did it with some trepidation. I figured that it would freak some folks out a bit. I figured that other folks might like it. I was right that a few folks would like it. Those few that did are northern friends, etc. Many more folks liked the photo of my glass of cab at Bill’s Beer Garden while I was waiting for my spouse and my baby cuzzint to meet me. The weather was gorgeous and I was happy as a clam waiting there with my cab and my iPhone. Before the iPhone, I used to be nervous hanging about anywhere waiting for people to arrive. No more.

I have just about everything on earth packed for my vacation Busman’s Holiday. I have tons of meat and seafood frozen and I will haul up the cheese and veggies I have here. With luck, Farmer John at work will have eggplants again tomorrow. We will still undoubtedly have to make grokkery/farmer’s market runs but we will at least have an inventory to start with.

Kind of wishing I had encouraged the GG to come home tonight and drive up early tomorrow. I hope he made it to HL okay. Love you buddy and let me know. (And yes, he did make it up there safely.)

Good night, KW

Blahgiversary plus one

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

grandaddy-with-a-big-stick-and-samI started blahgging in 2003 but, for complicated reasons, I am never sure if I began it on July 22 or 23. According to the archive, it was the 22nd. That was back in the day when I “rolled my own” blahg, i.e., I didn’t use blahgging software, I hand-edited html files every day. Here’s a link to my first entry and here’s a link to my “roll-yer-own” archive page (lots of buttons on the left sidebar probably don’t work any more — click ’em atchyer own risk).

July 22 is also UKW’s birthday but I didn’t mention that back in 2003. There’s no particular reason for that (other than that I don’t usually call out people’s birthdays on my blahg but that’s a more recent phenomenon). I’m sure I thought about it. I hadn’t seen UKW in quite a while. Not that we were estranged in any way. Just that we lived across the country from each other and were both busy in the kind of way you get into when you have teenaged children who are getting ready to fly the coop. We reconnected in a big way a few years later when our octogenarians began to get frail and I will never forget the day I picked UKW from DTW after not seeing her in person in something like nine years and drove her to the yooperland. I don’t think we shut up the entire way there and I, who am usually totally focused on driving, missed at least one turn getting from DTW to the appropriate freeway.

My early entries were short and to the point. What did I do today? What did grandaddy do? Did the POC act up? How was the weather? Letting those who remained on The Planet Ann Arbor know I was alive and well. I evolved slowly into long unintelligible entries of blather. Going back to read my early entries, I’m not so sure that evolution was a good thing.

When I read these entries, I remember the things that were going on behind the scenes. Then, as now, there was that whole other category of things-I-can’t-blah-about. When I wrote about the “kayak powwow”, I remember that two of my cousins and I were hanging out in the middle of the bay talking about The Commander, who was spending the night at the hoosegow getting some blood pumped into her. Anemia with no specific cause (a *good* thing). Later that day, some shirt-tail relatives who had a long-standing invitation from my grandfather to visit the beach *visited* and, although they didn’t come inside, my dad and I had some fancy work to do to keep them from guessing that The Comm was actually *not* at the cabin. “Oh, she’s inside getting dinner ready.” Roight.

Grandaddy patrolling the old road and parts of the beach? This photooo was probably not from that day but there he is with his stick. Not that he needed a stick for actual walking even at that time of his life. He carried one as much as anything to deal with unexpected wild aminals and mad dogs. Or people like me, who took that photooo. That’s Sam directly in front of me. He looks like he’s protecting me but it was really all a big game. The parents are dead now and so are the shirt-tail relatives (well, not sure about the wife but *think* so).

So here it is 11 years later and I don’t always know why I am keeping this dern thing up but I guess it’s because I *can*. Tonight? Beautiful walk downtown to meet up with the GG and npJane at Bill’s Beer Garden and then dinner at the Grizzly. We had planned to walk home too but decided it would be smart to accept a ride home from npJane. Work tomorrow and then the GG begins his northward journey, picking up the Lyme Lounge along the way. All kinds of Fins (and a couple MacMullans) will convene at the moominbeach during the next couple weeks. C’mon, it’ll be fun!

Electrofragmothermoglobulators, no. Kimchee, yes.

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

refrigeratorLook look look at my refrigimatator! Look how empty it is — and clean too although you can’t see that. All of the expired food (not all that much actually) is in ziplock bags in the freezer ready to be dumped into the compost cart Friday morning (hope I remember). No owls or other dead birds are in the freezer (except for some chicken thighs and duck breasts). But no science experiments. No electrofragmothermoglobulators. Or bacon but I’ll definitely remedy that omission. I am bound and determined to return from my upcoming vacation busman’s holiday to a clean, uncluttered refrigerator.

I have made many crash landings on The Planet Ann Arbor after a Busman’s Holiday but the landing that prompted The Big Fling was after my brother’s death in 2005. Mustard anyone? I remember actually sitting on the floor in the old Landfill Chitchen with the refrigerator door open (I think I was cleaning something) and marveling in a horrific way at the number of jars of mustard. Etc. I knew that I wasn’t going to exit the building any time soon but I had visions of a dumpster in the driveway filled with jars and boxes of food (and other stuff). And that’s when I started flinging.

I am nowhere near done flinging yet and I cannot fling other people’s stuff without their permission but I have made slow and steady progress (with a few set-backs!). Today? Four grokkery bags to the Scrap Box. Those bags have been in the Ninja’s trunk for months now. That’s due to my social anxiety, not a lack of will to get rid of things. I mean, I actually have to walk inside the Scrap Box with my bags of stuff and talk to the NICE LADIES in there. And obsess over whether I have anything in my bag(s) that they don’t want. Being meeeeeeeee, I had their wish list (and don’t want list) in hand as I assembled this stuff (months ago). I double-checked it all last weekend and they were all “this is all good stuff” today. Yay! Love those Scrap Box ladies so much.

Love y’all and hope your refrigimitator is as clean and un-cluttered as mine is. For the moment anyway.


Monday, July 21st, 2014

ellyActually, I have always hated the word “awesome” in its modern slang usage or whatever you call it. I prefer words like fantabulous. So how come I have been using “awesome” lately? I do not know. At least in part because people that I LIKE use it all the time. So, what are some things that I think are awesome? Lemme see…

The “tiny house” trend. Sooooo awesome. Get rid of STUFF, downsize, SIMPLIFY! A while back, The Beautiful Sari and I were talking about this and I said that I didn’t think I could (at this point in my life) live in a TRULY tiny house (you know, 100-300 square feet or whatever) but I could CERTAINLY live very well in the space I have (1400? I fergit).

Speaking of TBS? Awesome that she is currently not employed (by choice) and is therefore able to return to Monday Morning Coffee at Barry’s (which actually happens on Thursday these days but MMCB is a better, less tongue-twisting acronym than TMCB). I got to know TBS in middle school. Our kids were friends and she was also an active participant in the unsuccessful activism I mentioned the other day — “let’s save MYA”. Nowadays, she is also known as Bubbe, at least to one very important learning-to-talk-type person.

My cuzzint Jay of Raincharm is riding up to the yooperland with me at the end of the week! Looking forward to the awesome company and all the cackling, babbling stuff that cuzzints who grew up together but don’t see each other too often nowadays do.

Yer fav-o-rite blahgger is awesome for getting The Landfill Chitchen in order almost a whole week before traveling to the yooperland. Leftovers tonight, pasties tomorrow night. If we are outta food by Wednesday, we’ll go to Knights or walk downtown. Yer fav-o-rite blahgger hesitates to EVER say that she herself is awesome though because she is definitely an imperfect person and pride always comes before a fall. So knock on wood bigtime here.

Finally, the Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe. I remember my parents, who were young during WWII, playing this song when I was a kid. They loved it and were having fun and it is an AWESOME song.

My five NINE blahg readers are awesome.

No, I do not choose his clothing

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

metaCamouflage hat and tie-dyed t-shirt? Whaddya mean, those patterns clash? Oooooold raggedy camouflage hat, I might add. Was it something The Gumper fished outta Houghton Lake?

(Excuse me a minute while I deal with a certain bit of Cognitive Dissonance, namely that WKAR is playing jazz whilst talking about the folk music shows we listen to every Sunday night. Okay, the jazz ended. I love jazz, just…)

I knew I couldn’t get a decent photooo of The Admiral. I knew that if I got any closer, he would take off into the wild blue foggy yonder. So instead I got a pitcher [g] of the weird guy (who can’t decide who he is) taking a pitcher [g] of The Admiral. (The LSCHP says “pitcher” too.) R U a hippie or R U in the army?

So gorgeous down by the Urine River this morning. Kayaking probably would’ve been a good choice but we were kind of not prepared. The GG did go down in the middle of the day to float around and read. I opted to stay at The Landfill and do some chores and errands. Well, actually, I wasn’t *invited* to go down to the river. I think he wanted his own trip so he could go at his own pace and midday is not my fave time to be out on the river. I prefer the early morning hours. Anyway, I was space-i-fied for a couple hours and that is always appreciated on a Work Weekend.

I have done a lot of stuff with food this weekend. Shopping for it, cleaning it (farmer’s market stuff), cooking it, eating (some of) it, throwing (a lot of) it in the freezer. You name it. Planning ahead so that I can sit on the moominbeach instead of cook. Although cooking at the moomincabin is really not that much of a chore. It is fun for the most part, except when you are constantly besieged by demands for food from small children but that’s when you institute the 3:00 Snack!

The Commander loved cooking with her four granddaughters and I remember her teaching the 3-1/2-year-old Lizard Breath how to cut veggies with a Sharp Knife. Yes really. Not sure if that became a tradition or not. You can do things with your eldest grandchild that aren’t always possible with others due to logistical problems. Like I remember a time when The Comm navigated the teensy cabin kitchen along with ALL FOUR granddaughters on various stools — probably Liz was tall enough by then to not need a stool. I’m pretty sure that she wasn’t teaching kitchen knife skills to that many small children! I am sure that she would have liked to spend that kind of quality time with each and every one of them though and maybe she did more than I know about.

One of the Fun Activities up at the moomincabin is to spy on people at the Old Cabin and Don & Katie’s. (I kid you not, The Comm told me that *my* grandma (the beautiful Margaret Fin) used to come over to our cabin to do just that [lol]). So yes, there was The Comm cooking in the moomincabin, surrounded by cute little blonde girls on stools, watching Bugs and Horsey sitting on their back deck eating a nice, quiet lunch. Process that, if you will. I am still laughing about it.

I am loving that Don & Katie’s house is being used this summer and that there are KIDS on the beach. Playing, swimming, kayaking, whatever. I love having all sorts of relatives of every degree of relationship all over the place up there! I love when I am not the only person hanging around on the dern beach. Like I was the day the Uncly Uncle’s flip flops disappeared and I was flummoxed! The Twinz of Terror went out in the Motor Bote and the ONLY person on the whole beach the entire time they were gone was MEEEEEE….

There is a town in north Ontario… Helpless… On the folk radio show I’m listening to. You know I turned the volume up. Good night, -KW

Wanna buy Ile Parisienne?

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

markethaulYes, really. It’s for sale. I won’t be buying it. Go for it. You’ll need a big bote. Or a helicopter.

Market haul today? Lemme see, tomatoes, cukes, chard, sweet peppers, little potatoes, CORN!!! First local corn of the year! Lamb cubes for kebabs. Lake trout from Monahan’s and huge ribeye steaks from Sparrow Market (in the freezer to schlep to the yooperland next weekend). I walked down to the market but I did not schlep all of this stuff home. My decent market assistant drove down and met me there. He is still evolving whether he wants to or not.

Chores: laundry (including sheets and shower curtain (every Saturday)), Roooooomba in the bathroom, front entry, kitchen, front living room, and the half of the messter bedroom that she can actually get to (and I had to untangle her once). Think I’ll schlep Rooooomba up to the yooperland and put her to work there. I tried that once before but The Commander was still around and, as much as she embraced new technology in her later years, I think Rooooomba flummoxed her a bit. What else? Lasagne sauce and two batches of BBQ sauce to freeze for the yooperland. Donations gathered for the Scrap Box and / or PTO Thrift Shop. Various things into the Ninja trunk to take north: returnable razberita cans (not returnable around here), clean linens, I fergit what else. Oh, a bag of miscellaneous things I’ve been buying / collecting to take up there. These are all the kinds of things I might well forget to pack in the heat of the moment of breaking my neck trying to get out the dern door.

Errands: A box of very miscellaneous stuff to Kiwanis, two (count ’em) trips to the Plum Market. Carefully planned trips, BTW. Second trip began with a walk through Miller Woods.

Sue! Sue! Sue! I love when I run into folks at the farmer’s market that I haven’t seen in a gazillion years. Sue and Jim. Sue peered at me and said, “What did we work on together? Was it girl scouts?” It took me a moment to formulate the words but I said, “It was ‘let’s save MYA’.” Yes. We met in middle school. Our daughters were friends. The school board decided to redistrict and our beloved alternative middle school was a victim. We became part of a small group of parents, teachers, and students who tried to save our school. We were unsuccessful and all I will say about that is that the middle school experience of the older beach urchin (who went to the alternative) was a lot better than that of the younger beach urchin (who went to the “traditional” middle school, you know the kind, where the “cool” kids rule the roost). Both of them ultimately grew up to be successful adults, as I’m sure Jim and Sue’s daughter has. We had a bit of a laugh about our activism back in the day and I think we all agreed we would like to forget that chapter of our lives. Yes, let’s just talk about how many veggies we’ve already schlepped back to the car so we can buy more!

Love y’all and g’night,
Kayak Woman

Got something in your eye?

Friday, July 18th, 2014

tikimushroomI do but it is not a mushroom. Oh well. What do you on The Planet Ann Arbor during the third week in July? You go to the Art Fairs (yes, that is plural) of course! Or not… If you are a curmudgeonly old townie, like me. Although I am not exactly a townie because you have to know that you can take the kid out of the yooperland but you can’t completely exorcise the yooperland out of the kid.

I am pretty darn blase about the art fairs these days. When I was still a “kid” in my 20s without my own children, I would walk downtown from the west side and walk all over the fairs, drooling over all of the “art” I couldn’t afford. Reality hit the year that Lizard Breath was a baby and Radical Betty (visiting from the yooperland) and I took her to the fair in a stroller. It is usually hotter than Hades during the art fair and that was the case that year and by the time we were done, all of us were hot and probably a bit dehydrated, so I was dealing with an uncomfortable, fussy baby. Still, for years, I would take the beach urchins to the fair and buy them the cheap little trinkety stuff that we could afford.

Then there were the years when we were involved in the summer theatre academy day camp *during* the art fairs. Our performances were right in the thick of things in the old Trueblood Theatre, replaced now by some big fancy dorm for rich kids. I miss that old un-airconditioned place. Anyway. The challenge during those years was how to navigate the art fair traffic, park and schlep about a billion things into the venue, then find a safe parking place for the day. I mean a place where your vee-hickle wouldn’t get ticketed or towed. During those years, I would manage to escape the ticket booth just long enough to *run* down Huron to Main and hit the second booth off Huron to buy earrings from my favorite jewelers. They are both long dead now. I first ran into them at the Sault Ste. Siberia art fair. I miss them so much.

Nowadays? There are plenty of things at the art fairs that are way too rich for my budget but, if I were not in a deacquisitional mode, I could drop a few bucks if I wanted too. Not today. Not that there wasn’t anything interesting there but I kept thinking stuff like, “Where would I put that?” So, no nothing bought. Well, except that the GG bought a bunch of tie-dyed tshirts in various sizes to put out on the Houghton Lake Group Home Pontoon Bote. For anyone who wants to wear one. But we were only down there tonight because of our habit to hang out at the Oscar Tango on Friday night after KW gets done working for the week. The art fair was somewhat incidental.

And then we jungled home through the woods.

Good night and good art,

I don’t think there’s enough water in Arizona for me

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

mystoolsNot to “dis” Arizona at all. I have a couple of cousins living there and I know that they love it. I know that if I ever get down to that area of the country, I would probably love it too. I also know that the climate can vary depending upon where you are in Arizona but I dunno, 110 degrees in the summer folks? Here’s the thing. I love some hot sweaty weather in the summer. Some summers, we have more of that than others, and I suffer through those with long strings of 90-100 degree days. I do not like central air conditioning. I have it in my house but I don’t like to use it. Disclaimer: You better believe I love the a/c in our vee-hickles, stores, and Cubeland. Home? I want to hear the birds and insects and feel whatever breezes might come my way.

I am a shower gal. I ALWAYS take a shower every morning. It’s the first thing I do. If I am in a place without hot water, I take a cold shower. Yes, really. Back when we had to shut off the running water at the Moldy Old Courtois Cabin for the winter, I had a whole system going with a camping shower, pumped water, teakettles, and a bucket. (Here’s a link to that procedure. This was back when I was “rolling my own” blahg. Scroll down to January 20.) I like to be clean! When it is reeealllly hot or I have been out post-holing through the snow in the yooperland, I take a SECOND SHOWER! If I am in the yooperland in the summer, a dip in Gitchee Gumee suffices. I know that I am kind of on the extreme end of things about bathing. I do not care. Water = comfort for me. Oh, not that there isn’t water in Arizona, just that I might need more than two showers if I lived there. Is that acceptable? I will ask my Arizona cousins when I see them in a couple weeks.

Don’tcha love this fuzzy photo? This was taken from the Landfill Back Room under the huge window into the Chitchen. On the bottom left is our Raspberry Pi computer, which runs ISS Above. I wanted it to flash for the photoooo but it wouldn’t cooperate. I dunno where the ISS is but it is apparently NOT above. Next there is the old vintage bar workbench stool that belonged to the GG’s Grandpa Courtois, who died before the GG was born (he thinks). We love this stool and we were looking for a couple more stools that might fit in. We randomly found these red stools from Bed Bath and Beyond and we love them. They are simple(!) and they do fit in, at least to us. And lately, I have been seeing them on the various design blogs that I follow. Who knew.

The grocery store can be the best theatre around

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

mousegarden2And I was the star this morning. It was at the Saline Road Meijer, which is on my way to work. I had a few things on my list that could stand to sit in a bag in the Ninja for a whole Polar Vortex relatively typical southern Great Lake State summer day (temps began at 55 and topped out at about 70) and a bunch of bottles to return.

Long story short, the flimsy paper bag I tried to re-use for my grokkeries disintegrated and everything fell on the floor and somehow (thank you Zeus), the bottle of whine did not break. Arlene helped me put everything into my Plum Market bag, after clearing me for buying a bottle of whine. Of course, she knows that I am well over the age but I told her that the bottle return slips that she helped me process (because I always screw those up) were from the last couple months load of beer bottles my DayTwa daughter brought over here for me to return. Of course, she could return them herself and reap a teensy tinesy bit of income but she is uber-busy and there isn’t a store like Meijer down in Detroit (except now there is but it’s at 8 Mile, which isn’t exactly downtown), so it can be difficult. I told Arlene that I was the Queen of Recycling and getting a bunch of stuff to return / recycle excites me (yes, really) and that I love to see my daughters and even though they are perfectly capable of doing laundry and recycling and whatever without me, I am so glad when they come “home” sometimes to do those things.

The photo? Well, that is Mouse if you couldn’t figure it out (and didn’t see it on facebook or instagram). I was just about to rack it up last night when I got a text from Mouse that she was gonna come over and check out her garden. Yes!

Good night,
Kayak Woman

P. S. Is Meijer moving in to Detroit? Yes, beware, this link plays audio. I have also heard that Meijer is going to build a store in Sault Ste. Siberia. Meijer will be greatly welcomed in the yooperland.


Tuesday, July 15th, 2014


This is not the view from my cube but it is a short walk away, through a parking lot and past a few goose families, today anyway.

I walked over to this pond today. It’s about a five minute walk. As I was returning to Cubeland, I spied Cube Nayber walking too. It was one of those days. I’m taaarrred and I think I will rack it up for the night.

Love all nine of you. That’s how many followers Feedly says I have. I always figgered I had five readers. Who knew. Whatever. Nine readers. Okay. Good night. Clearly I am not one of those popular blahggers. Do I care? A resounding NOOOOO!

P. S. I think we need some more maple / bacon potato chips here…

Bazaar / bizarre

Monday, July 14th, 2014

I have a lot of thoughts going on on this beautiful midsummer’s night but I don’t have a lot of stuff to say to the world. Except I love you all. All of my nine readers. Yes.


Looooo-La! (la-LA lah la)

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

susanLong day down here on The Planet Ann Arbor in Slodge City. My dad sent yet another lightning bolt down today — GET OUT AND WALK! Well, I tried this morning but a heavy rainstorm cut a mile or so off of my 0-skunk-30 walk and two (count ’em) little jaunts over to the Plum Market didn’t provide enough exercise to set my antsy where-do-I-start kind of mood to the right “temperature”, if you will. I fixed that by taking a jaunt down and around Miller Woods. No doubt, I need a LOT of exercise.

In the late afternoon, I noticed that the GG was surfacing out of his afternoon nap (and make no mistake, I love when he takes naps because it gives me space [grin]). I dragged him off the couch and we headed out to Zeeb Road to take a short hike on one of our favorite preserves, the Burns-Stokes. Yikes. We should’ve known it would be a zoo out there — a hot, sunny day on the Huron River. The parking lot was full and people were hauling coolers out to the river. Ai-yi-yi! I have never walked the Burns-Stokes Preserve trails in the summer before. The last time I hiked that preserve, we were the only ones there and we were post-holing through knee-deep snow.

I love that people get out on the river and party. When I was young, I would’ve probably been out there hanging out in the bitsy little tube-friendly rapids, flirting with boyz (yes), getting wet and having a good time in general. Nowadays, when I want to kayak a popular river, I get out there as early as possible. (Well heck, given the right circumstances, I might still want to party out on the river.)

Anyway we were surprised by all of the people in one of our go-to walking places today but we got over there LATE in the day and I couldn’t help but remember another river trip. This one was on the South Branch of the Au Sable River in northern Michigan. The UU and I kayaked while the GG hiked. It was so much fun and we were on and *off* the river before the fun beer crowd arrived.

Here’s my original post about that. Froggy sings Lola… And here’s a Youtube link to the Lola I remember.

Beam me west! (Or north!)

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

beebalmEverybody who is anybody is doing something more exciting than I am today. Lizard Breath is traipsing around through the Cally-forny whine country. Mouse is camping at a music festival somewhere up north of my fave northern city Petoskey. Petoskey, I miss you! I will have to finagle a trip to see you soon. I know the traffic is bad this summer. Maybe in the fall?

Things were not that exciting here at the Landfill. I schlepped down to the Farmer’s Market alone this morning. The GG drove down to meet me there and we schlepped a couple hunks of protein and a TON of greens and other veggies home. And some kimchee. And chicken divan pasties. Eek, as I was walking downtown, the GG texted me his progress on getting up and out (first text was “shower”) via a GROUP THREAD from I dunno when. I texted back without noticing it was a GROUP THREAD and several more text messages ensued. Oops! We woke up Mouse and probably Lizard Breath too (on the left coast, no less!). Sorry, you guys!

I continued the theme of waking people up by calling my uber-cuzzint Pooh up at the old cabin and WAKING HER UP!!! I was thinking, “why does she sound so groggy?” Oh, oops! I have apologized to her umpteen times today. Now I am doing it publicly. Obviously she sleeps with her iPhone close by too. I’m doing a time-warpy thing here remembering summers in the Old Cabin when my grandmother and her sister-in-law, my great-aunt Elizabeth were around and there was NO PHONE IN THE ENTIRE CABIN! If you needed to call someone, you had to go over to my uncle Don’s house. There was a period of time when I was about 15 that I went over there every day at something like 4:00 PM to call Bad Boyfriend. Can I just say this was awkward? I always wished that we had our own phone in our own cabin but that might’ve been even worse because, when we finally *did* get a phone in there, it was right in the middle of the main room. Don’s was at least in the bedroom between the front bathroom and the living room so there was some privacy there. And now that once-15-year-old is living on into the 21st century with her own personal iPhone, freaking out when people actually call her out of the blue without texting her first to ask, “Can I call you?” Sigh…

I dunno what else. Regular Saturday laundry and vacuuming chores and the GG did a bunch of horrible drain cleaning in the Blue and Only Bathroom. Can’t wait to gut that room and put New Everything in it. But not quite yet.

In the later part of the afternoon, I was feeling a wee bit sorry for myself. My dad sent a lightning bolt down from wherever he is. GO FOR A WALK FER KEE-REIST! Yes. The GG and I went down to Barton Dam and did our urban hike through the meadows along the river. So many beautiful wildflowers (including the wild bee balm in the photo (at least I think that’s what it is)). Hot and humid but I can’t complain much about 85 degrees because 100 is a heckuva lot worse! Thankfully, we are not getting that this summer.