Archive for May, 2015

If you need someone to cry at your wedding, hire me!

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

The first time I connected with Goose Mom was a loverly spring evening when Mouse and Goose and Lairi the Rake were out riding their beeceeclettes. They were 5th graders and were still out when it was starting to get dark and I started to get a little panicky. Where *were* those kids? Lairi the Rake’s moom and I had long been in the trenches of play-date and girl-scout-dom together and we were (and are) good buddies so I started by calling her. Or trying to. Meeeep meeeep meeeep meeeep. Busy. Again. Meeep meeep. Busy. Again. Can you guess what era this was? Did you guess Dial-up Modems? Ding ding ding! You win! Lairi the Rake’s big brother was using the family computer. Oh boy. KW who hates to make phone calls from the get-go decides she needs to call Goose Mom. Goose and Goose Mom were familiar entities but Goose was a new friend for Mouse and KW didn’t know Goose Mom very well at all. Would Goose Mom think KW was a neglectful mother because it was getting dark and she didn’t know where her child was? Heck, would Goose Mom know who I was?

I don’t remember exactly how that phone call transpired. I know I was awkward (because I am ALWAYS awkward on the phone) but the kids were safe (of course!), Goose and Mouse became good friends and sessions of Bagawking and Driving Bacon ensued. And I became good friends with Goose Mom, always a bonus! Sure miss her since she moved to TX but I still get to see her occasionally because Goose is now living on The Planet Ann Arbor again. With her new husband!

Is this a beautiful wedding venue or what? Mouse was one of the Readers and there she is, reading from The Velveteen Rabbit.


Yes, that’s a Pontoon Bote out there in the water. There were people water-skiing and whatnot during the ceremony. But not for long because…


We were near one of the two lower-most red pins. Couldn’t tell you which one. We had fun *anyway* and here is a view of the interior of the reception tent, photobombed 🐸 by some of our dear old Yag buddies (the parental variety, as you might guess).


Looks nice and warm and cozy. Well, not exactly although the temperature had not dropped yet. Turning my phone the other direction…


What you can’t see here is how hard the wind was blowing. Just about the time I was wishing I had brought a polartech jacket instead of my rain jacket (long boring backstory), the party got moved inside.

But before that, Mouse had a special gift for Goose and Karl.


Here’s a bit better view of the gift. The colors are some of Goose’s faves.


For months now, I have been receiving photos of this work in progress by text message. Sometimes those messages actually asked me for advice. Yikes… This Prodject was Top Secret and it is so much fun to finally show it off. I am very proud of my mouse for taking on a prodject like this and delivering a quality product on time (while working and acting in a play). I know how hard that is. I am the Queen of Unfinished Prodjects! (Well, except at work 🐸.)

Sittin’ in a shuttle bus…

Saturday, May 30th, 2015

With a movie on (for a five minute ride) (and some people who may have engaged in a wee bit too much fun — but been there done that so no judging 🐗). Tellya all about it tomorrow or whenever 🐸


Too taaarrred to write

Friday, May 29th, 2015


Oscar Tango and then home. Second shower tonight. So glad I live here in the Great Lake State where showers are not limited to five minutes (although I can do five minute showers when I need to). You’re stuck with this tie-dye photoooo. I wanted to make an animated gif of Kitsy but too taaarrred. Big fun weekend ahead! Farmer’s market, wedding and kinfolk from outta town, not necessarily involved in the wedding. Let’s go! But for now? Zzzzzzz….

Add Terlet Paper Run to tomorrow’s list. I just put the last roll onto the holder. I dunno whether the end is rolling off the top or the bottom and I could not care less! I have run out of terlet paper *once* in my adult life. That was back in the late 1990s when we were doing a play over at Eberwhite. Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. I think. I had to make a special run to the Westgate Kroger to get TP. Not gonna run out again. No sirree.

Quiet chaos

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

oldcabinThe Old Cabin is a lot different now than it was when I was a child and spent my summers there. Back then, over where the Lake Superior thingie Michigan map (roughy roight iPhone autocorrect on a blahg correction!) hangs behind the ladder, is where I was sometimes put to bed as a small child. There was a homemade bed there and curtains that could be drawn around the bed. The parents would tuck us in back there and pull the curtains closed and then they would sit in front of the faaaarrr and talk. Eventually I think we would be moved to whatever beds they had decided we should sleep in for the night or, if we lived in town, taken to town. I remember feeling so comfortable falling asleep hearing our parents and grandparents talking and laughing with the faaaar crackling in the background.

In my life, I usually fall asleep better if there is a little noise around. The quiet kind of noise, not jets taking off over my motel room, mind you. But I always feel more comfortable if there are folks around doing their business. Like once a long time ago after I drove over to Kzoo to pick up Lizard Breath and some friends on a Friday. Liz took Mouse out to a concert that night. The GG was rattling around up north somewhere and I was home alone. It was pretty quiet. I decided to I couldn’t continue to read whatever book in the Silence of the Lambs series book I had been reading so I picked up the most recent New Yorker only to read about “hamburger” on the sidewalks of Dresden in WWII… Finally turned on the TV only to find some awful horror movie. I did not get to sleep that night until my children came home at something like 2:00 AM and somebody took a shower. I think it was Mouse but it doesn’t matter. It was okay. I wasn’t home alone any more and there was some comfortable noise in the background of my life.

Last summer, my cuzzint Jay spent a night here at The Landfill in what was then the messiest guest bedroom on earth. It has since been almost totally decluttered and is a comfortable space for one person (usually Lizard but occasionally the UU). The point is that some neighbors were having a bit of a party that night. I was concerned that Jay might have trouble sleeping. Her response was that she slept better when there was a bit of noise and she thought that was because of spending summers in the Old Cabin as a small child. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

No solicitors tonight [knock on wood]. Front door is shut and locked. G’night. KW.

Tick Tock

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

ticksAnd so the tick collection grows. The GG and I have “adopted” the Brevort Lake segment of the Hiawatha-Shore-to-Shore section of the North Country Trail and while I am here slaving away in Cubeland, he is up there working on trail maintenance. It’s okay. Really. I am not all that good at anything but ad hoc type trail maintenance, like when I *encounter* debris that I can easily deal with without tools, I *remove* it. I don’t use tools with expertise — especially things like chainsaws — and I’m more interested in *hiking* than maintenance. Maybe if I had more time to be out hiking, I would be more interested in helping with the maintenance. For now, I greatly appreciate that other folks do it.

And then there are the ticks. Yick!

Ticks were not around our area of the Yooperland when I was a beach urchin. The first time I *ever* saw one was when Radical Betty had found one (on her body, I think). I’m not sure how many years ago that was but I’m pretty sure *my* beach urchins were in high school and early college. That’s more years ago than I am strong enough to count. It was when Radical Betty was still Amazon Woman*. She had been on some gnarly bushwhacking style hike somewhere when she picked up the tick. She put the tick’s carcass into a plastic container (with a lid, in case it wasn’t really dead) and we drove into Sault Ste. Siberia to the health department so they could identify it. They told us it was a dog tick (like those loverly little beasties in the photo) and therefore not the kind of tick that transmits Lyme Disease. I know that there is some dissent about that but I have read A LOT about ticks and most of the literature says no and that’s what I believe, albeit tentatively. But the literature also says that any kind of tick is Bad News and they frickin’ squick me out in any case!

I dunno. I cannot hike where there are ticks. I cannot wear long pants tucked into socks when it is HOT out. I like to hike in SKIRTS! Recently, I have been encountering information about “stuff” that you can treat your clothing with or even pre-treated clothing. I will have to look into this some more. Is it toxic? Will it ruin my fave clothes? If I buy the pre-treated clothing, will it be suitable (and comfortable) for me? Will I look like a baggy kind of boy scout? Khakis are not a good look for me. Will I be constantly tugging on things because they don’t fit my particular body? Research needed…

Anyway, Cheers! The GG’s tick collection has increased by four (and counting?) Let’s see if we can FILL this little tick collection vial!

* Radical Betty was an Amazon Woman until the end. She just couldn’t hike/ski/canoe/whatever [very far] any more.

Let it rain! (But give Texas a break, please)

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

So, this fancy gutter-cleaning implement was designed and built by none other than my old coot’s buddy Pete, an engineer of some sort. I don’t have a handle on what kind. Seems like one of my lots in life (besides large Catholic families🐸) is engineers but I don’t necessarily know much about that profession. I’m more a “patterns” person than a “story problem” person (ask my brother if you can figure out how to contact him). Anyway, the GG is “battening down” for huge rainstorms that didn’t exactly materialize. Still a good thing to clear the gutters though.


I’ve posted this photo of the Veteran Greenhorns [a few times] before. In the top row, Pete’s brother Jim is on the left, my old coot is second from the right. Pete is seated on the left. (I really need to get a-hold of a larger version of this picture. I have one somewhere.)


I reconnected with Pete’s son Danny after The Commander died. Danny was my first “boyfriend”. He doesn’t go by “Danny” any more and I respectfully use Dan when I communicate with him. I still love him. But Danny is what I remember calling my friend waaaayyyy back in the days when his family [five kids] drove their VW Bus and pop-up camper over to the yooperland from their home in the Niagara Falls area and camped in our back yard, right where we have later parked the Little Princess and nowadays the Lyme Lounge. Oh man, do I miss those days sometimes. The Commander and Danny’s mom Esther cooking together and Community Dinners at the Old Cabin and kids running flying in and out of the moomincabin all day long. Rules? WE DON’T THROW SAND! That was about the only rule. Who needed anything more.

The next photo (which I have *also* posted before) is me and Danny and my loverly dog Tigger. We were six. Yes, I was a lot taller than Dan but we are the same age. I turned into an average-sized adult but I was taller than everyone in my class in school except my beautiful friend Helen until about junior high. As a child, I aspired to be six feet tall! Like my dad and Dan’l Boone. Look at us. We are having so much fun and Tigger is a blur. She ran like the wind when she was young.


We could use a gutter tool down here on The Planet Ann Arbor. Maybe the GG will use Pete’s design and build one.


Pilot to co-pilot

Monday, May 25th, 2015

sandSince the GG is a wee bit closer to the [dreaded] “R” word than yer fav-o-rite blahgger and has umpteen-bazillion more hours per year of PTO than her, trips up to the Great White North more often than not are horrendously complicated affairs that end up requiring us to drive in separate vee-hickles. I don’t mind driving up and back (unless we’re having snow or cyclonic storms) but I was ecstatic when I found out that my cuzzint npJane was going up to open up the Old Cabin this weekend and, “Do you want to carpool?” Yes. Yes I do.

The GG and I drove up together but today I served as npJane’s co-pilot on the trip down, helping keep the pilot abreast of traffic (plenty of holiday weekend crazies on the road but only a few slowdowns, yay!) and weather (pop-up storms with heavy rain but nothing like the Armageddon that’s going on down in Texas) via my personal assistant. You know the one. We took the Lansing Route, much calmer traffic than all the Weekend Warriors over on the I75 SUV Speedway. Red was appearing on Google maps early on in the trip, so we figured that the Speedway could potentially turn into a parking lot even with the Zilwaukee Bridge being open this summer (knock on wood).

It’s always interesting to me to contemplate the scraps of DNA that I seem to have in common with various cousins as well as the scraps of DNA that I must’ve gotten from the other side or some alien from Zephron III or wherever. One of the things npJane and I have in common is that we like to pack minimally for trips (we are also entranced with “tiny houses” but don’t think we could live in one and we aren’t all that crazy about horses, at least not up close and personal). Given the minimal packing thing, we spent quite some time marveling at the ton of crap we hauled back to the Planet Ann Arbor today. FOUR BAGS OF GARBAGE! One from the Old Cabin, two from the moomincabin, and one filled with trash the GG picked up on the beach. Laundry, recycling, perishable food, a couple boxes of items from The Comm’s house now destined for Kiwanis — *ancient* thermoses and a big coffee maker that we took apart (to see if all the parts were there) and could barely get back together. Terrible design and somebody else can deal with it. I did save another *gorgeous* old coffee maker even though I bet it’ll never get used (we saved a thermos too). Question: why did my mother have so many coffee makers? Answer: I do not know. And yes, I am still sorting out her stuff. And no, she was *not* a hoarder. (Hmmm… the thought just popped into my head that the coffee maker I saved may have been my grandmother’s…)

So. Home. Everything is put away except for the second load of laundry, which is currently in the dryer. Floated over to the Plum for food having no idea what on earth I wanted to eat/cook tonight. Copper River salmon and fresh basil brought a plan into focus: baked salmon, penne rigate with pesto, and a green salad. But first things first, a glass of whine in the backyard. Work tomorrow, chop chop.

P.S. My Dear Uncle Harry’s loverly Honda Accord was our ride today (npJane hangs on to vee-hickles as long as we do, so she’s ready for a new one). So thanks to Bubs and Harry too!

Lions Mice and tigers squirrels and bears powderpost beetles, oh my

Sunday, May 24th, 2015

beetlesOld Cabin Aminal Count: four mice, all deceased, one in the terlet. One squirrel currently in residence (plus evidence of a big squirrel party over the winter). Powderpost beetles? I dunno how many…

Moomincabin Aminal Count: zero. unless you count a few wispy little dead insects around the chitchen sink that were easily cleaned up. I’m not sure why but the moomincabin has never had a mouse problem. Or a squirrel problem. I am lying a wee bit about the squirrel problem. Two times, we have found a dead squirrel in here. Both times, we think that the squirrel got in while we were closing the cabin and had a door propped open so we could load the car. They get in but they can’t get out. In the Old Cabin, squirrels are able to get in *and* out.

Powderpost Beetles? I do not know what kind of damage they do exactly. I know that the squirrel is a much more immediate concern for npJane than the powderpost beetles. Who wants a squirrel running across their shoulder in the middle of the night? Been there, done that! But not at the moomincabin.

We may not have an ongoing aminal problem here at the moomincabin but we sure do down there on The Planet Ann Arbor. The mice move in, the mice move out, the mice play pinochle on… I *have* had a squirrel run across my shoulder in the middle of the night. It was our own fault. During a hot dry bugless summer, we left a doorwall wide open one evening. Bad idea. And then there was the BAT that came in on some faarrrrwood once. That was an interesting Thanksgiving weekend. And before we “fixed” the chimney (years ago), birds used to get inside sometimes. Oh, man. I do NOT like to have birds flying around inside my house. Not to mention finding dried out bird bones in the water heater… And how could I fergit about the chipmunk incident…

I really shouldn’t have crossed out “bear” in the title. We do have black bears here. The only bear I have ever encountered was the dead bear at Tahquamenon Falls last fall. But other folks in the neighborhood have definitely seen them and occasionally send me photoos. They are out there. They try to stay away from people. That said, we are extremely careful about garbage here. Anything with food scraps is locked into a garbage can in the garage until it gets packed and “tooken” down to The Planet Ann Arbor.

G’night. Heading down south to The Planet Ann Arbor tomorrow with npJane. The GG will take off with the Lyme Lounge to spend a few days maintaining *our* section of the Hiawatha Shore-to-Shore North Country Trail. I wish I could join him but somebody has to work to pay the bills 🐸.

Against all odds, a beach day materialized

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015

I fergit what my iPhone proclaimed about the outdoor temperature this morning but npJane “rounded” it [up] to 30. Close enough. We were actually fairly toasty here at the moomincabin because, since we’re the only ones here, we kept the upstairs closed off and slept downstairs. I had a bit of a rude awakening when the shower experienced a little hiccup AFTER I had already soaped up. The GG had a bit of a rude awakening when I woke him from what looked like a pretty sound sleep so he could fix it. A few minutes of tinkering and all’s well that ends well. Worst-case scenario, I could’ve finished my shower at the Old Cabin or (brrrr) dunked into Gitchee Gumee.

Bundled up for a beach walk and here is some new growth down at the Doelle end.


Now I’m at the Stevens/Morgan Attie/Piedmont end of the beach and this is where the Big Rock is this year. Sometimes it is totally on shore.


npJane and I apparently both inherited the same scrap of DNA that makes us a bit acrophobic, especially when we are Near The Edge (not to be confused with The Grate). Nevertheless, she was up for some roof-sweeping over at the Old Cabin. The GG has been doing this particular little chore the last few years but he graciously allowed 😉 npJ to take over.


I potted my annual Commander Memorial impatiens. The forest is beautiful here but I think The Comm liked just a touch of more brilliant color here and there so, at some point, she began to pot impatiens. When she died, I took over for her. Fortunately impatiens are one of the few plants that I actually don’t kill with my big black thumb.


I’ve been tinking around with little cleaning prodjects here and there and I think the moomincabin chitchen is just about the cleanest I’ve ever seen it. Please understand that the lack of clutter is kind of a lie. I removed some things for the photo. The dish drainer is back now and a few other items of clutter. (Don’t ask me about the oven. The last time I *remember* it being cleaned was summer of about 2008 and The Commander cleaned it and THAT was a whole ‘nother story… … … I’ll have to gather the strength to take a peek soon. It may not be too awful since it doesn’t get used very often.)


Everyone put in a good day’s work today and we made an appearance at Clyde’s Drive-in, which I didn’t take a pitcher of so here’s a whored-up file foto.


The temps warmed up considerably throughout the day (although the Old Cabin is still pretty cold) and against all odds we ended up with a decent beach day. Who you can’t see in this pic is our McNott friend Pat, whose dad Otto died December 2014 at 93. Long time friend of my old coot’s and so we braved horrible road conditions to attend his funeral. So good to check in with Pat and get a reading on how her family’s journey into the future is going without Otto. 💚


And then there was dinner at the Old Cabin via npJane (carbonara, sooooo good). And so much fun talking about our childhood days in the Old Cabin.


I guess we’ll talk about aminals in cabins tomorrow (or whenever). Oh, don’t get panicky, moomincabin folks. There were NO aminals here beyond a very few, small, benign, dead, easily cleaned-up insects 🐸 🐗. Not even Froggy and crew, since we FORGOT them. Sorry.

Three by land, one by sea aka terlet…

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Exit here or you’ll end up in da Yooperland.


The yooperland is becoming springlike by now but the leaves are just beginning to appear in the woods along the cabin road.


I have not seen any snow in the woods this year but there is this loverly snowpile at the Glen’s Family Fare supermarket in town. Gratuitous shot of the Froghopper with the Purple Kayak on top.


The usual boring shot of our Lake Superior Beach. Dreaming of Bradenton Beach at this point. Love my beach but missing Florida. Suz & Cap’n Ed, Pengo et al, and all the alligators and manatees. But no, I will never move to Fla.


A UFO aka Unidentified Floating Object. I was walking the beach and texting with Our Northern Correspondent Paulette when I encountered this thing. I love when we text while one of us is walking the beach. Why (again) is technology a bad thing? Just askin’.


It is not warm here and so I have had to suspend my childhood rule of Swimming Every Day. You can see my tights and Smartwool socks in this photo. What you can’t see is my ski-band and glubs.


Thank you, my Dear Uncle Harry for keeping the old outhouse going. I used it today before we got our water going. I even contributed a roll of terlet paper to the cause. Love you Bubs and Harry!


We had a wonderful afternoon visitor today, first cuzzint twice removed to both npJane and I. She texted with her friend / second cuzzint once removed Lizard Breath about fave bands and Liz’s work and I’m not sure what else. I did not obtain permission from her mom or grandma to post this and I will happily remove it if it isn’t okay. (I was careful not to include her face.) BTW: She *has* swum in the lake already this year (yay!) and I have received information that her older brother was observed paddle-boarding an ice floe. Been there, done that [sorta]. Love it.


And then, as we finally got around to eating, the sun was heading toward the horizon.


We watched Gitchee Gumee swallow up the sun, then npJane went home to start a faaaar in the kitchen stove and I finished washing the dishes and we are setting up to sleep downstairs tonight. Tomorrow includes cleaning and lunch at Clydes and purchasing / potting impatiens and I dunno what else.

Crepuscular Rays and Grab Ass Enchiladas

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

crepuscularDon’t you love the word “crepuscular”? It is one of my fave words ever. Maybe that’s because it is a “big” word that I can actually use in a sentence without wondering if I know what the heck I’m talking about or whether I’m using it correctly. The Commander did not shy away from using “big” words around young children and my neighborhood buddy Laurie would actually tease me about that. Of course Laurie teased me about a lot of things, like “Sunday School is baby school”, she being Catholic and therefore attending Catechism (on Saturdays) and having to sit through a Latin (?) mass on Sundays. I didn’t care. I wasn’t all that crazy about Sunday School all on my own without any teasing and we were best friends anyway. At least through grade school, even though she went to St. Joe’s and I went to Stinkin’ Lincoln. We drifted apart when we hit junior high. She got into “kissin’ and stuff”. I wanted to be into “kissin’ and stuff” too but didn’t quite know how to accomplish that. TMI, roight? I’m sure the Beach Urchins think it is… 🐗

This pitcher doesn’t really do justice to the crepuscular rays the sun was throwing out on our drive up the I75 SUV Speedway from The Planet Ann Arbor to the Group Home @ Houghton Lake. As we were coming down the home stretch to the Group Home, we were carefully watching for the GPS to switch from day to night mode. We arrived at 9:01 and it had not switched yet but I’m sure it happened shortly thereafter. I don’t like to arrive that late at night these days. I am missing the years when I was “retired” (aka, between IT careers (by choice)) and the GG had a lot of time off and so we could travel at convenient times. Now that I have a full-tilt boogie career and the GG still has a lot of time off, traveling is just a pain in the *ss. Today the Queen Bee released me early. The GG did not leave early but it was okay, I got a few things done while waiting for him. I walked over to pick up prepared Enchiladas from the Plum and even had time to sip a wee bit of whine before we got on the road. It’s okay. We’re pulling the Lyme Lounge this weekend, therefore I was not driving (although I can pull a trailer if I have to, just don’t ask me to back up).

Tomorrow? Birch Point Beach or bust, although I don’t think we will blast outta here quite at 0-Skunk-30. We’re opening up the moomincabin tomorrow. Just for the record, we are doing that tomorrow because common sense: 1) Mother Nature says it’s okay (aka the pipes will no longer be in danger of freezing (although it doesn’t look like it’ll be a particularly WARM weekend)), 2) no one else seems to be available to open up the cabin any time soon, and 3) we *are* available and have time to open it up. The bulk of the work takes a couple hours most years. I sincerely hope that more family members are able to get up there and use it this summer. Alas, it sits empty most of the season, which I do not view as a good thing… (And no, it is not a suitable place to rent out. Please don’t go there.)

I guess I should eat. I get the Grab Ass Enchiladas. Don’t ask. You don’t wanna know. G’night. KW

Think that’s enough toilet paper?

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

packingOnce upon a time, school would end for the year at Stinkin’ Lincoln and the kid who Red-Queened to school from 1304 Superior Street and her little bro’ would actively lobby to move out to the cabin the NEXT DAY. This was not a hard sell, since Grandroobly could easily drive to work every day, so The Commander would give each of us a bushel basket and we would pack all of our clothing and worldly belongings into it. I remember packing color-by-number books and the colored pencils that went with them, a Jon Gnagy drawing book, and whatever five biographies I currently had checked out from the library (crushing on Dan’l Boone & Kit Carson, what can I say…). And I fergit what else. Oh yeah, my origami stuff and whatever musical instrument I was currently working on: recorder in the early years and later on, flute. Puano? Sorry, it didn’t move for the summer. I could always go next door to Don & Katie’s and make horrible sounds on their pump organ though. (I knew better than to do that very often 🐗)

It didn’t matter to us if the outside temperatures dropped to 39 degrees overnight and the wind was blowing a gale. The Commander would build a big faarrrr in the old wood stove and we would do our thing. And of COURSE, our daily schedule included a swim in Gitchee Gumee. You could not go one single day without swimming. As I have said umpteen bazillion times before, we were required to find a parent to watch us and I don’t remember anyone *ever* saying no, even if they had to wear a ski jacket to sit on the beach. There was a rule for no swimming an hour after a meal. I actually think that, given the kind of shallow-water swimming we were doing, that was unnecessary and instituted to give our parents a little bit of down time. Kind of like the Three O’clock Snack rule the Comm instituted many years later when her four young granddaughters made nearly constant requests for food.

Anyway, Moving Out to the Cabin was never all that big a production. We just kind of packed up and went. These days, it’s a whole different ballgame and that mess in the Landfill Front Room is what we are taking up there with us this weekend. Cleaning supplies, toiletries, *some* non-perishable food items, stuff that *I* use and will want to take home at the end of the season if they aren’t used up by anyone else. And some stuff that the GG will use in the Lyme Lounge for its 2015 Shakedown Cruise.

This will be a relatively complicated trip with various connections to make. NpJane will be there! That means we don’t have to drive two vee-hickles up there. We’ll drive up with the Frog Hopper and Lyme Lounge and I’ll catch a ride back to Megalopolis on Monday with NpJane! The GG will mosey off with the Lyme Lounge to meet up with our NCT buddies for spring trail maintenance next week. I wish I could hang out with that crew too but I’m not ready for the “R” word yet.

Anyway, I am in the pre-travel freakout stage. It’ll be fun, roight? Think through it, KW. You can provide updates on NpJanes rodent count!

P.S. Last year, that was more than enough toilet paper.

In which every light in the house is on and Sam (kid next door, not dog or archaeologist) is yelling his head off 🐸

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

reflectionsI realize that I never followed up on The Shakespeare Play from Saturday night. As we were leaving to head downtown for Dinnah and a Play, the neighbors were outside and I said to them, “It’s Shakespeare so it’ll be a miracle if I stay awake”. They loved it!

I did stay awake. There were a few moments of being on the verge. It was a small venue, which meant that we were right up close and personal with the actors. I do better in that kind of venue. My Mouse was on stage a lot and that also helps me pay attention. Make no mistake, it is not because I am worried that she’ll forget her lines, etc., because I don’t think she ever does and IF she ever does, I would never know it. That would be particularly true in this play because her character’s lines were in French. Lemme tell you. I took three years of Latin in high school and it was of great help to me in learning the doggamn *English* language but… Other than that, I mainly know computer languages. Not exactly the same although my uneducated opinion is that there are some similarities. Anyway, I didn’t always understand what Mouse was saying but I did “get” the play, more or less. Good actors!

Danger Will Robinson! A little bug is scuttling up my laptop screen.

Can you see the Easter Egg in the photooo? (Hint: it is red and black.) The GG took this pic during intermission and I walked outside after him [and caught him drinkin’ a wee bitsy of some substance from a flask]. I did not partake in the substance from the flask. I wanted to stay awake for the rest of the play.

I don’t really know much about Henry V (except that my daughter married him this weekend) but I sure do know about Henry VIII. I wouldn’t take a Willy or a Sam.

Common sense, please

Monday, May 18th, 2015


Common sense. That is all I ask. I am sooooo taaaarrrred. But aren’t these Mayapples in my back yard beautiful? Don’t they kind of make up for all of the snow and ice that we dealt with throughout the winter. Mouse took the pic and I stole it from facebook. I doubt she cares.

94 and 75’ll get you back to Novi

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

riveraThat was [one of] the Money Quote[s] today. I didn’t end up with a Money Photo (at least not one that I want to post on the internet). This hastily taken one will have to do. It’s a portion of one of the Diego Rivera murals at the Detroit Institute of Art (DIA).

An exhibit of Rivera’s and his wife Frida Kahlo’s work was our reason for heading over to Daytwa today. A bit of bungling was involved in our outing today. Without giving you the whole gory details, we have had a long-standing (since a January visit to the DIA) but loose plan to meet up with Liz (who works a few blocks away from the DIA) for this exhibit. It’s halfway through May now and I got panicky about us getting to it at *all* because once we hit Memorial Day, life kind of gets away from us somehow in a way I can’t even describe because living through it, it sure seems like I am mostly going to work and doing chores and errands every day. Like usual… Somehow we figgered if we didn’t get there today, we might not get there at all. We also wanted the earliest tickets possible (in the day, that is) and Liz was helping put a party on last night and didn’t want to have to scramble at some ungodly KW-type hour, so [mumble mumble mumble] we bought tickets and didn’t tell her…

I regret that but I love her because she totally understood my long explanation and many mea culpas for not communicating clearly.

Our tickets for the exhibit were for the museum’s opening time, which is 10 AM on Sunday. We got there 20 minutes early and were just about the first in the door. I loved the exhibit but I won’t try to tell you about it because I am really not all that knowledgeable about art or art history. What was probably the coolest thing was exiting the exhibit and heading over to the Rivera murals to look at them with new eyes.

After that, we met our Detroit beach urchin over at MOCAD, her workplace. We parked the Frog Hopper there and hopped into Ruby and from there we went all over the place. Sister Pie, where we bought savory hand pies and cookies. The Green Dot for lunch. It has a wonderfully accessible menu of sliders and some sides. I always get three sliders when I eat there. Today, mine were quinoa with chimichurri, black bean, and bacon BBQ. The GG got (among other things) the Mystery Meat of the day, which was llama. [He is not dead yet.] After that, we hit up the Two James Spirits distillery, for a little snort to toast Grandroobly. Y’know, since we have been on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, we are experts [snort].

Home and walked to the Plum for a few supplies and just guessing that Mouse will be over here for dinner. I have a [small] gift for her 🐸💜🐭.

Just remember, we have to watch Shakespeare tonight…

Saturday, May 16th, 2015

hoophousesquashYes, our Mousket beach urchin is acting in Henry V with the Brass Tacks Ensemble tonight. This is the last performance. We will be there. I have no idea what role she’s playing. In fact, I do not even know what roles are *in* Henry V. (If you clicked the link, Mouse is currently the Brass Tacks profile pic, looks like they’re rotating cast members.) Anyway. I love to watch my Mouse on stage (I feel a bit of deja vu, I must’ve said that in the recent past but too lazy to look…) but I am not the best at understanding Shakespearean plays. Especially not the historical plays, well plus, I do not SIT!

When I was in 10th grade, our lovely English teacher, Mrs. Ewing, enthusiastically led us through A Midsummer Night’s Dream because it was going to be on TV. She did a bang-up job and I understood the play when I did watch it on TV! Can’t remember much about it now — fairies and things, roight? YAG did it in the summer academy but I was too busy with making the “trains run on time” (programs and tickets and informational crap for families, and taking out the garbage, etc., etc., ad nauseam) to spend time re-learning the play.

Historical Shakespeare? Zzzzzz… Once back in the Jurassic Age, I went to one of the Richard plays. It was at the Power Center and I *think* it was the Royal Shakespeare Company in town. They do come here sometimes. All my Planet Ann Arbor Fin relatives were excited and I think Radical Betty (and Duke!) came down from the Yooperland to attend. Of course I went. But I didn’t understand it and I was, you know, *sitting*… So… I started to nod off… Until… A horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse!” Oooohhhhh… That’s where that came from.

My Mouse has been crazy about Shakespeare since about middle school and I can remember her spending much of a summer reading through The Commander’s copy of the complete works. If I remember right, The Comm ended up gifting Mouse with her own personal copy. The other beach urchin takes after KW a bit more although that beach urchin has acted in a few Shakespearean plays herself. That was back in high school. Although she has a BA with a theatre arts major and knows her way around a stage, her career is more in the administrative side of the arts. (And BTW I hope no one out there is inclined to dis people with theatre arts degrees. Most of them have a heckuva lot more going on than the stereotypical starstruck actress waitress “I wanna be in the Hollywood pitchers” type thing.)

She has already seen her sister’s play. She saw it last Sunday while her wayward parents were slogging along various goat tracks trying to get back to the freeway and skedaddle home. Our whole family is so busy this month that we can’t seem to do much of anything together but that’s not a bad thing and we did all meet up for a Mother’s Garbage Woman’s Day dinner! I asked her how the play was and she said something like, “Oh it was fine but it was Shakespeare.” I started reminiscing about how hard it was sitting in the audience watching her play Hermione in The Winter’s Tale back in high school and my successful adult child matter-of-factly reminded me, “that’s because it was pretty bad, Moom.” Bad? I dunno about bad but quite ambitious for our group maybe. Even with all the 22-year-old college theatre-major guys acting in it but we’ll talk about that some other time (or prob’ly not). 🐸

I worked hard at one thing or another all day today. I hope I don’t nod off during Henry V… Wish me luck!

The photoooo? Boy oh boy, I got to the farmer’s market at 0-skunk-30 as usual and it was in Full Tilt Boogie mode! Flowers and starter plants everywhere and all kinds of veggies and eggs and meat and fish and kimchee 🐗 (but Wan Oo also has gorgeous little packs of bean sprouts!) We couldn’t find Uncle Peter and his pasties. Oh well, he’ll be back. Did I say veggies? You might be thinking it is early for the squashes in the pic here in the southern Great Lake State and you would be right. But. Hoop Houses! Yes. No tomatoes or cukes or eggplant or sweet corn yet. Not until mid-summer. That’s okay. We’re happy with our haul today. I hope we can eat it all!

Paper Jails

Friday, May 15th, 2015

I did not take the pic of the red-tailed hawk. I did not want to listen to its story. Eight brand-new ducklings [minus one] and this guy spent MUCH time hanging out waiting for the ducklings to reappear. I know that this kind of thing is life but I still didn’t really want to hear about what the GG witnessed this morning. A couple years ago, a red-tailed hawk spent MUCH time sitting on a stump in the Landfill backyard. I wonder what he was waiting to eat. But y’know, I eat meat. All the time. Somebody has to kill it. Probably another member of my species… … … I’m not gonna stop eating meat [especially bacon].


Speaking of life, shelf fungus is out in full force here on this tree in Miller Woods.


A few years ago, we were at the Oscar Tango and I envied a long kind of oh-I-dunno foofy / spangly red skirt that a young woman was wearing. I coveted that skirt to no end. I have acquired a couple of shorter bizcaz-type red skirts since then and I LOVE them but they aren’t quite the same. And then. Earlier this month, the latest Soft Surroundings catalog arrived. Soft Surroundings is a catalog that I *occasionally* buy stuff from so I thumbed through it quickly. But all of a sudden, there was a bright red “cha cha” skirt. Just what I was looking for. Clickety-clickety-click, add to cart. The pic below is a wee bit fuzzy but whatever. A few pages later, there was the “knit layers” skirt. It’s shown in a zebra print but there’s also “cerise” aka red. Clickety-clickety-click, add to cart! [Hee, “addtocart” was a recent xword answer.]


Paper Jails on the way home (only one in this pic (and you’ll have to click once or twice to embiggen) but later there were more like three). Paper Jails? My childhood friend Kathie got confused when she was small and people on the beach looked up and exclaimed about the vapor trails from jets passing high over head. Paper Jails.


Busy weekend in the works. Farmer’s market, thrift shop dropoff, shopping for Moomincabin supplies for the summer, and a Shakespeare play tomorrow and I fergit what else (besides the usual chores and errands), oh yeah, I have to pot my impatiens!!!! Sunday? Rivera/Kahlo exhibit down at the DIA. Costs a few dollars more than visiting Snooty the manatee. Lunch at the Green Dot afterwards? And then more chores and errands. And I have to fit a day’s worth of work (the paid kind) in there somewhere so I can take next Friday off without having to eat up a doggamn vacation day.

Crab, whitefish, and kimchee (and some TMI so enter at your own risk 🐸)

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

redmiteI like the crab salad and the whitefish spread from our fave Best Choice Market up at Houghton Lake. I love Wan Oo’s [phonetic spelling] kimchee. But, kimchee? I’m just not crazy about the smell. I think I said something about “morning sickness” yesterday. At the risk of TMI, I never had the kind of morning sickness that makes you throw up. Not even close. With the first child, smells could put me off various things. I don’t remember anything in particular at this point. Just that there were things I didn’t really want to eat. That faded (as it usually does) when the second trimester arrived. With the second child, nothing ever bothered me at all. It was to the point that I happened to read an article that said something to the effect that if you didn’t feel “funny” during the first trimester, your pregnancy probably wasn’t viable. Well, I am here to say, NOT TRUE! At least not in my case, because that would be Mouse and she is definitely viable! Sorry both for the TMI and also for anyone who happens to randomly land here and has lost a pregnancy.

I feel truly lucky about my child-bearing experiences. I know not everyone has that kind of luck and one of those was my moom, who tried to have children for the better part of the 11 years of their marriage before I was born. She lost someone between me and my brother and then expected she would lose my brother shortly after birth (Rh-negative crap). I have vivid memories of those days. He ended up living a vibrant life but she/we lost him at 47 and that’s a long story for another day.

Anyway, tonight, somebody finished off what was left of of the crab salad, whitefish spread and kimchee and dumped the remains in the kitchen sink right next to where I was on KP (really, I was peeling potatoes). Not only was the smell AWFUL, there was kimchee juice mixed in with the dishwater and, well, you are happy that I didn’t take a pic. I kicked the GG outta the chitchen and cleaned up the mess. For the record, Wan Oo makes excellent kimchee. I’m just not crazy about kimchee. She also sells some other wonderful little delicacies that I AM crazy about. And she’s one of the GG’s farmer’s market girlfriends so she is A-OK in my book.

Oh yeah, that red insect arachnid in the photooo? We found that little beastie while hiking the ski ranch trails last weekend. We had never seen a totally red insect arachnid before. It looked like a tick. We hate ticks. The Google told us that it was a mite and that mites are Good Citizens. I suppose ticks are also Good Citizens too in some way but my encounters with ticks have not been all that friendly.

[mumble mumble] years ago today

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

goldfiestaoriginalYes, I have posted this photoooo before (and I’ll prob’ly post it again). It is my 1979 Ford Fiesta aka Mama’s Little Gold Car. It is the second vee-hickle I have owned, after the piece of sh*t Ford Pinto Wagon I bought from my parents. The Pinto rusted to pieces and when the body shop guy gave us something like an $800 quote, the ‘rents gave a little boost to my not-very-good financial situation so that I could buy a *new* vee-hickle. Funny that $800 doesn’t seem like all that much money for extensive body work but I don’t *think* I’m mis-remembering.

The Engineer helped with my vee-hickle search. We were buying in Sault Ste. Siberia, so our choices (in those days) were limited to Ford, GM, and Chrysler. Given my “budget”, we were looking at teensy tinesy Econoboxes and quickly decided against the Shovette Chevette. We looked at a Dodge Omni that had been used as a demo but it smelled like cigarettes. Nope.

I ended up with this cute little vee-hickle. It matched my hair! (💩) Seriously, I was so proud of myself for owning this humble vee-hickle. This photooo was taken five years later (go ahead, do the math). In that time, I had moved to The Planet Ann Arbor, gotten a job at CSC, married a guy who bought his own Ford Fiesta aka Daddy’s Little Blue Car aannndddddd… when we took the pitcher, Lizard Breath was on the way. (And the car was long-ago paid off because KW does NOT like to owe money!)

We had been at Houghton Lake that weekend. It was cold and rainy the whole weekend, then on Sunday (the 13th), the clouds started spitting snow at us. Unusual? Naw, not for the Great Lake State. Unpleasant? You betcha. Lemme see. I was just past the “morning sickness” stage and, although I never had a lick of trouble with either pregnancy, I was a little moody and so, “Let’s get outta here!” So we did and we took M18 down and got caught in a pretty good snowstorm, as you can see. About 20 miles south of where we took this pic, the precipitation changed to a liquid form and the rest of the drive home was as smooth as it ever is.

The next weekend? We closed on The Landfill (which has also been paid off for umpteen billion years (because KW does NOT like to owe money)) and drove up to Houghton Lake again. It was hot and sunny. Go figger…

Cookie crumbs in the printer…

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

So, we have been having trouble printing things for a while now. Turns out there are cookie crumbs in the printer. Which is really strange since no one around here makes cookies, at least not frequently…


Fortunately, Staples is a half mile (or so) away.


And then there was this beautiful gift from my Mouse. From Treasure Mart.


Red glass. The tall skinny one. The other red glass item was an xmas gift a couple years ago. I don’t like to collect a whole lot of *stuff* but I do like some decent glass, especially colored glass, and my Mouse understands this very well. Love you, my beautiful daughter.