Archive for May, 2017

Twitter play #1a890e6c

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

@kayakwoman: Where is my Trump truck board book?

@tmotu: In the Lyme Lounge.

@kayakwoman: It needs to come home.

Yes, I have been wanting to bring my Trump board book (board book as in small child’s cardboard pitcher book (pitcher intentionally misspelled)) to Thursday coffee to show MMCB2 and I keep forgetting and today I wanted to put it out where I wouldn’t fergit it and I COULD NOT FIND IT! Who’da thunk it would be in the Lyme Lounge? Oh well, I had fergotten that MMCB1 was off globe-trotting this week, so I’ll bring it to coffee next week. If I remember. And yes, we are all some o’ them thar Planet Ann Arbor Librats although one of us (not me) flirted with Romney in 2012 and one of us (not me) felt the Bern.

For the record, it’s fine with me if my Trump truck board book becomes part of the Lyme Lounge library for the long term.

I know how boring my little twitter play is compared to covfefe. I could never in a million years come up with something that funny. At least someone among Trump’s sycophants (Ivanka maybe?) seems to have somehow convinced him to make a joke out of it after the internet blew up instead of get angry. Jeebus.

In a Lincoln in the Bardo redux, I read some reviews and discussions on GoodReads and a New Yorker review and although I certainly don’t totally understand the book, I was heartened for a few reasons. One was that I was on the right track that a bardo is kind of a space “in between”. The people are dead but can’t move on. Not that I personally believe in such a space but I know it is a concept that has been discussed a lot throughout human history. Another was that other people were even more confused than I was and some may have been pretty freaked out. A third was that apparently some of the “historical” snippets were from actual published documents and others were fictional and I kind of liked that. And finally, I’m not sure I will read that book again but one article I read (this was in the New Yorker, not GoodReads) pointed me in the direction of other fictional works about Lincoln, stories told from various people’s points of view. But not for now. I’m working on a palate cleanser for now in a direction I have no clue about so more later.

Hmmmm… Now that I look at covfefe again, I wonder if he was just trying to say something like, “I need coffee to finish this tweet?” It has all of the letters in “coffee” except for the “v”. I am kidding! (Does Trump drink coffee?)

Land of the midnight sun

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

The title represents fake news. I don’t know what time these photos were taken but it was well before midnight. But, at this time of the year, the sun sets pretty late in the Yooperland (where these photos were taken (I did not take them)) and in a few weeks, when we hit the summer solstice, we will still see evidence of the Mr. Golden Sun at 11 PM. With luck and strategic planning, I will be there shortly after that, meeting up with what’s left of my rather ragged branch of the FinFam. But I *will* be there with bells on and filet mignon to grill!

So, an evening beach walk with the GG. He is at the Doelle (say it like “Doley”) end of the beach. It is not as long a beach as the one on Long Boat Key (that one goes for MILES) but it is a beautiful sugar sand beach, therefore not *all* that different.

Alas, a “Florida Tower House” is being built at the other end of the beach. I think you can see it if you click, click, and squint. I am not crazy about this kind of rather ostentatious development on our beach but I certainly can’t do anything about it except accept it. (“except accept”? Is there a name for that kind of juxtaposition of words?)

And here is the Doelle house. It’s an old lighthouse keeper’s house. There were lighthouses there when I was a kid. Front lighthouse vandalized. Back Light deteriorated and fell over and Radical Betty heard it fall. Too many stories about those to tell tonight. Some other day. For now, just bask in the northern evening sunlight.

And finally the sunset, apparently intermixed with a bit of rain.

I am down here on The Planet Ann Arbor though and it isn’t all that bad here. I have put down some pretty darn deep roots here and my job cannot be beat (for a baggy old bag like me, at least), so that was fun today. We gained a new Building Mom and my Amazon Boss engineered an ice cream party to welcome her.

And now I am sitting out in the back yard writing this and trying to process the book I just finished, Lincoln in the Bardo. I am not qualified in any way, shape, or form, to review books, so I won’t try. Did I like it? Yes but I dunno. In a technical sense, I struggled at first with the snippety quote style (from published [or not] books about Lincoln) the author used to describe the Lincoln family and political atmosphere at the time (early Civil War) but eventually, that writing device worked for me. The rest of it? Well, read it if you dare! I’m glad I did. I think. I’ll admit that I don’t totally understand it. But what an imagination that author has! What book is next? I’m not sure.

P.S. I sure hope the GG remembered to pot the Commander Memorial Impatiens Lizard Breath bought at the new Meijer the other day. And I want pics of them!

North and South

Monday, May 29th, 2017

I hugged my cFam in-laws Becky and Jim goodbye this morning and left the Cfam cabin at Houghton Lake RELUCTANTLY. What a beautiful day. But I didn’t want to deal with the typical holiday weekend traffic on the southbound I75 SUV Speedway, so I got outta dodge. Lizard Breath was of the same mind. We drove “tandem” for a while but split up after stopping at a rest area a bit north of the Zilwaukee Bridge. That may have been a relief for both of us. I thought of the days when my beach urchins were new drivers and I would travel to the UP in tandem with them in order to get two vee-hickles up there. Once, long ago, we stopped at Indian River to put gas in the POC and I think probably the Dogha but anyway two vee-hickles and I saw some young parents changing their newborn baby girl in the vee-hickle next to us. That baby may have her own driver’s license now or is at least close to it and my babies are Amazon Women.

We both got home safely and I don’t think either of us had anything more than a few minor slowdowns and neither of us had to take the I475 Flint bypass this time. I am loving the new 75 mph speed limit on the more rural stretches of I75 in the Great Lake State. I’m not sure I will love it in winter weather… Like when people are going 75 hauling big snowmobile trailers in ice storms and things… It’s the speed limit so I can go five over, roight? Roight. We’ll see. On a beautiful dry day without a lot of traffic, 75 mph is a good thing.

I had CMU NPR on and I was enjoying the patriotic music they were playing today. Mostly medleys of the old songs I used to sing up at the beach, Achors Aweigh and Off We Go Into The Wild Blue Yonder, etc. Back when there was still a serious air force base in the area of my childhood home and cabin (Kincheloe) and my dad and uncle Duke, who were pilots in WWII, would run down to the beach whenever B52 bombers would come over.

Alas, I was patriotic as a kid. I am still patriotic. I just wish that the folks I have the choice to vote for are also patriotic. I mean that I want those folks to care about our country above their political party.

I got down to the Planet Ann Arbor and I cannot believe how many clematis blooms we have here. Because I have a blasted black thumb.

But here is a pic from the Moomincabin with Bill’s Beautiful Birch Point Beach Bank Bench with a storm rolling in and C*Q*L sitting on the bench.

One of the other things I listened to on NPR today was Terry Gross talking to Dion. I was like “who is Dion”. He was in the xword a couple days ago but I still didn’t know who he was and didn’t really want to listen to it but when I heard him talking about making his band emulate horns (musical instruments like trumpets and things), in Runaround Sue, I was hooked! Plus he was traveling on a bus with Buddy Holly and Ricthie Valens and did NOT take a plane that night. What an interesting guy!

The Landfill is beautiful tonight with birdsong everywhere but I am wishing I was at the Moomincabin or even the Sea Club… Love y’all. KW.

In which I meet up with Certified Kitchen Lady (Kami) at my fave Best Choice grokkery

Sunday, May 28th, 2017

That was probably the craziest thing that happened this weekend. The man next to me at the counter was wondering about Best Choice’s signature feta spread and I was saying “get it!” And then I got distracted by ordering my own stuff and a woman joined him and I was like, “is that CKL?” but I was being shy and then she grabbed me. “Anne?” Yes. We were both out of context. Did I have a place at HL? Well, yes. They got involved in ordering and I moved on to get some other stuff and just as I got to the checkout, I had an actual phone call from a real person that I actually know in person and so I got discombobulated and didn’t circle back to say goodbye to CKL.

My phone call was from Lizard Breath from the NEW Sault Ste. Siberia Meijer store (YAY!!!). She and npJane were there checking out the store and buying a couple flats of impatiens for the moomincabin.

It has been a wonderful weekend at the Group Home. Various people have been in and out. Nephew Dave and his daughter. Hale-bopp and her parents. The Lord and Lady of Linden. And our own Lizard Breath this afternoon. People in and out the whole time. And weather? Gorgeous for two days. Today we got to chill out a bit and read in the Lyme Lounge while little rainstorms rolled through. And then the weather cleared up again and the GG went out and got gas for the Pontoon Bote and when Lizard Breath arrived, we took a Bote Ride over to the Smiley Canal and back along the shore. And then we all sat outside for cocktails and The Beautiful Becky’s homemade minestrone soup. It was all great but I am kind of rambling and I am gonna crash out in the Lyme Lounge soon so good night!

Bote trip to the tiki bar (but not to the grocery store)

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

First Pontoon Bote of the season, for me at least, so here we are out on Houghton Lake.

That speck waaaaay back there in the background is a low-flying airplane, not a pontoon plane though.

The GG was the cap’n of the day.

He parked our big behemoth Pontoon Bote perfectly at the Tiki Bar. The Courtois Boyz learned to handle motor botes early on.

We’ve been going to the Northshore Lounge for many years. The tiki bar is new and it is so much fun and we get the idea that the Northshore folks have been incrementally fixing the place up. Cleaning and renovating bits and pieces. Here are the GG and the Lord of Linden.

In which beer puts a damper on Memorial Day weekend before it even begins

Friday, May 26th, 2017

I am a Road Warrior but after my last trip up to Houghton Lake, I felt Great Trepidation about the first 15 miles of my trip today. Launching offa Da Planet Ann Arbor going north is practically impossible these days unless you are doing it oh, maybe Sunday morning or whatever. This morning, when I got back from my Skunk Walk and was puttering around the Landfill getting ready to hit the road and WEMU was rolling along in the background and, say what? An overturned truck just south of North Territorial? Happened at 5:41 this AM. That’s about the time I hit the shower.

I didn’t plan to blast off toooooo early. It’s complicated and involves a camping trip Mouse and the GG were on the last few days. But still. The traffic report got worse and worse. Turns out it was a beer truck and the entire freeway was blocked both ways. Note that the whole freeway was closed at this point, both northbound and southbound. I dithered and dathered a bit and kexted the GG and Mouse to the point they were about ready to ghost me but finally I hitched up the Ninja, drove it down to the river and over the Foster bridge and took dirt roads and secondary highways up and around that area.

The rest of my trip was pretty smooth, just one short backup in Flint (yes, *that* Flint) where some sort of truck had overturned on the *southbound* side of the freeway. The backup on the northbound side seemed to be a rubbernecking type of thing. There were multiple emergency vee-hickles all over the place but I had the feeling the southbound would be backed up for a looooong time. It turned out that it was because Mouse was traveling *downstate* today and got routed around Flint on I475.

I’m not sure if any of that made any sense. Suffice it to say that I got here safely and Mouse got home safely and please please please everybody else be careful driving this weekend. Oh, and the pic is my first clematis blossom of the year!

Noodly doodly manatee dreams

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Man oh man, did I wish I was having manatee dreams or noodly-doodly dreams or even shoreline dreams this morning just before I had to drag myself outta REM-type sleep and mobilize for another day of making donuts and bringing home bacon.

None of those, though. First, I had a “driving a car up a hill that becomes virtually verticle at the top” dream. In these dreams, you are wondering whether you are going to: 1) get to the top, 2) get *over* the top, 3) or slide backwards. In these dreams, I always either: 1) get to the top and over it or 2) wake up. This particular dream took place on the International Bridge and had the added wrinkle that emergency vee-hickles were coming over the hill the other direction and everyone but *us* stopped at the bottom of the hill. The GG was driving in this dream and he would not stop… (I *think* I had *two* of those dreams last night/this morning but I can’t quite remember the first one…) The International Bridge has a gentle slope up and down over the locks, etc., and is never anything approaching scary except maybe for one time in the Jurassic Age when The Commander and I went over to shop at the Loon’s Nest in Station Mall in Canananada and we had to drive back through a snowstorm and it was a little slippery.

And then there was the dreaded PACKING DREAM!!! Oh how I HATE those! In this one, I somehow segued from trying to find the bathroom in my high school (the old one that isn’t around any more) to some Borne version of the moomincabin. One where a whole bunch of “valuable” stuff had been left outside all winter and I was scrambling to get it inside except that there was no room “inside” and “inside” wasn’t exactly “inside” and every time I turned around, there were more things and I kept discovering caches of smaller things within the other things. And then I woke up… And dragged myself into the shower and forced myself to take a walk… Fortunately it was a beautiful warm rainy-without-lightning morning and my walk and coffee with MMCB (and work) brought me back to reality.

Did you read this all the way through? I don’t blame you if you didn’t. I really hate when people start telling my me about their dreams. But if you did read, did you see my reference to Borne? If you did or didn’t, if you are into dystopian literature (and I am!), read Borne, by Jeff VanderMeer. I wanted it to end. Except that I didn’t want it to end.

Love y’all, KW


Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

I never thought anything about ticks until I was well into adulthood with kids in college et al. I didn’t see one until the day when Radical Betty returned from a hike out at Naomikong and found a strange insect (or arachnid) crawling around on her body. She thought it was a tick. What? We actually put the tick into a plastic container and drove into town to the county health department to get them to identify it. It was a tick but it was a dog tick, which meant (at that time, anyway) that it was unlikely to transmit Lyme Disease. Not to mention that ticks in general can transmit all kinds of other awful stuff.

NPR repeated a story about ticks a few times today. We have encountered a lot more ticks here in the Great Lake State than I ever remember at any time of my life. I am taaaared of the news media telling us all how to avoid ticks. It is almost impossible to avoid ticks. You can slather yourself with [arguably poisonous] insect repellent but I don’t think that necessarily deters ticks and I *hate* being slathered with insect repellent (not to mention sunscreen). You can also cover your entire body with clothing of one sort or another but man oh man it gets got when you are hiking in high temperatures with all of those clothes on.

Whatever the media folks blather on about ticks, I think the best “tick check” is to take a shower after you have been in the woods. And a bath for your children and maybe dogs, although I think dogs need a more thorough check because of fur.

That’s about it. G’night.

Tog’s Great American Probability Musheen

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Manchester? I am weary. That is bad. But. Let’s talk about Tog’s Great American Probability Musheen instead! I actually remembered this thing as I was thinking about the randomness of terrorist events of all sorts, ISIS, homegrown, alien UFOs, whatever.

Way back in 1979, the GG bought a computer “for his mother”. I know it was 1979 because I *think* we still have the receipt. For his mother is in quotes because, of course, it was really for the GG. We had it hooked up to our fancy (at that time) Sony Trinitron color TV in our bedroom in the Rock and Roll Apartment down on 7th street. (I say Rock and Roll because the floors had “waves” in them.)

One of the “apps” we had on our Apple II+ was Tog’s Great American Probability Musheeen. I put “apps” in quotes because back then, when you wanted to use an application, you usually had to load one of those old-skool floppy disks into an external drive to be able to use it on the computer. And the floppy disk I am talking about was truly floppy, in that it wasn’t rigid, it kind of bent back and forth.

So when we weren’t watching M*A*S*H reruns or whatever other sit-coms we used to watch in the early 1980s, we would have the Probability Musheen on and watch it or not. I used to be freaked out that if we left the computer on when we weren’t home, it might catch faaaaar or something, so I would always make sure that the button indicating the computer was ON would not be lit up when we left the apartment.

The GG did not agree with me.

One day we left the apartment and I glanced over at the computer/TV setup. I didn’t see a red light so we left. When we got back, I realized that he had put Rabbit (a small stuffed aminal from my high school years) on top of the red light button to hide it. It was okay. Nothing caught faaaaar.

How many of you have read this far? If you have, you will learn that I actually agree with one thing that The Orange Oligarch aka Donald Trump has said recently. He has called terrorist bombers “losers”. I agree with that totally. Alas, I do not expect that President Trump has a realistic plan to deal with terrorists of any ilk. A plan? Fancy “presidential” style rhetoric does not equal a plan. I don’t think any serious country (including countries infested with ISIS) have any kind of plan. I dunno. Donald, we are waiting… What is your plan?


Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Pop quiz: which great lakes freighter is this? And just so you know, I didn’t take the pic *from* the bote. Actually, it isn’t even the real bote. It is a photo of the bote in the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle. Think PERISCOPE!!!

I follow a couple of great lakes freighters on facebook, the Cason J. Callaway and the Motor Vessel Algolake. The Callaway (Storm Warrior) mainly posts pics of water, weather, and sunsets/sunrises. The Algolake also posts pics of the interior of the bote and the folks who work there. (Hint: the bote in the pic is not the Callaway or the Algolake.)

One day a few summers ago, I was walking the beach on a foggy morning. I looked at the Marine Traffic app and saw that the Algolake was sitting out on the other side of The Pickle Finger somewhere, waiting for the fog to burn off (which it eventually did) so it could go down the channel and through the Soo Locks without hitting Round Island or running up on our beach as freighters do occasionally in every moomincabin child’s dream. I couldn’t see the actual bote from the beach because fog.

For whatever reason, I checked facebook, and just a few moments before, The Algolake had posted pics of life inside the cabin (or whatever you call it), where people were sitting around drinking coffee and enjoying a beautiful morning while waiting for the fog to burn off.

Surreal? Yes. My brain was going booooooiiiiinnnnnnnggggggg. Thinking of the days when I was a *little* kid and remembering one night when the whole Fin Famdamly (including my grandparents) walked down the beach at twilight to see a multitude of boats going up and down the channel.

We needed binoculars then to actually see which bote was navigating the channel and I think we all still have multiple binocs. My Old Coot got technology going back in the day in the form of a scanner from which a person could hear the boats reporting their locations throughout the channel. We would all be down on the beach and the old coot would walk to the top of the bank and report that this or that freighter was on it’s way down. That would be before we could see even a mirage of the bote.

My Old Coot embraced new technology (B29 airplane anyone?) until he couldn’t absorb anything new any more. He did cordless phones and marine scanners but he never quiiiiite got into personal computers and he died maybe not before facebook (but not sure) but a year before the iPhone and apps like Marine Traffic. I know that he would not have been able to navigate the iPhone (but my mother did!). I am wondering what he would have done with that technology had it been available when he was young enough to embrace it. I know he would have enjoyed seeing the Algolake folks sitting in the cabin drinking their coffee out there in the fog waiting to continue down through the Soo Locks.

Women Men Who Work Cook

Sunday, May 21st, 2017

I know, I know. I should buy Ivanka’s book and actually read it. She works, right? I’m sure she does. Most *people* do, whether they get paid a commensurate amount of money (or whatever) for what they do or not. That can work in various directions, by the way.

A long time ago I got pounced on over at Bugs and Horsey’s house for saying that my sister-in-law (not *that* one) didn’t work. I was running my mouth and didn’t think know to add “outside the home” to the word “work” (and that branch of the fam parses language a bit differently than my branch does). This particular sister-in-law was raising five children and helping out with I dunno how many other people’s kids and whoever else needed her plus doing stuff for the family business at times. I don’t think she would’ve cared whether I told somebody she didn’t work but ever since then, I have at least tried to think my words through a little more carefully when I talk about whether or not women work, at least partly because I spent a 14-year mid-career stint of not working for a commensurate amount of money during which I felt like I was working my you-know-what off!

Today I (a woman) worked from home and at home. That is, I did the usual domestic kitchen/household maintenance-type stuff that I always do (and LIKE to do). The GG cooked a wee brek and made some coffee. I have come to depend upon him for Sunday / vacay breakfasts. I can do it but he is sooooo good at it. And then I commandeer the sink to do the dishioshios. We are in sync on that.

I also worked on paid prodjects. With permission from Amazon Woman (my supervisor, not Radical Betty), I did some work this weekend. I mean paid work. I am “creatively” scheduling some time so that I can enjoy the upcoming holiday weekend “up north” with my family without having to travel with the usual holiday weekend warriors. Knock on wood, I actually got *caught up* today. And then I washed some dishes and prepped some stuff for dinner.

Men who cook? The Pensioner has always been able to make his way around a kitchen with aplomb. He is *always* ready to cook an egg for a hungry adult child. “Daddy?” In the last couple years he has become a grill master, hence the pineapple chicken thingy that is currently on our gas grill. Other than schlepping a pineapple home from the Plum in my backpack today, I have had nothing to do with this. I think he googled the idea. I think it will work out well. I made a salad and have fingerling potatoes and Farmer John’s asparagus warming in Gertrude’s top oven.

Oh yeah, Women Who Work? Ivanka posts cute pictures of her children and that is fine. I think she is probably a good, loving mother and is doing a fine job with them. Where I get off the train is the part where we all know she can afford nannies and drivers and household help, etc. I am not complaining about my life, the one in which my family and I have never been “rich” but we have always been able to afford whatever we need and a little bit more. I am thinking about folks who are struggling to find jobs that pay well enough to enable them to feed their families. Not sure Ivanka understands those situations. Maybe I don’t either? I certainly won’t be writing a book!

Conflicting trains of thought tonight so I doubt any of that made sense. G’night. KW.

I had the cutest title a while back…

Saturday, May 20th, 2017

…but now that I’m sitting down to write this blahg of watching paint dry, I cannot think of it for the life of me.

Actually, I am kinda bushed this afternoon. I mean tired, not “in” or “among” bushes. I blame it on the epic trip I took out to the Jackson Road Meijer to buy grokkeries and other supplies to stock the moomincabin for the summer. I did not buy Toilet Paper. I am pretty sure there were a few rolls or more when we left at the end of last summer, even minus the roll I donated to the Old Cabin outhouse. I hope I have everything else but if not, HEY GUESS WHAT? A new MEIJER store just opened in Sault Ste. Siberia this week. Meijer is moving into the yooperland. I won’t even have to cross the I75 SUV Speedway to get to it!

Needless to say, many of my facebook buddies who live up there are excited about this, especially since our old fave Glen’s/Family Fare closed at the end of 2016. A lot of people up in Sault Ste. Siberia (and other places) have an attitude toward Waldemort and although I don’t want to dis the place it does make me kind of “dizzy”. At least the new store does. I didn’t mind the original store, which had fabric and adjustable underwear (but not grokkeries). I will not abandon the “park store” up by Brimley. It’s a quick trip from the moomincabin if you need something in a jiffy!

Anyway, my grokkery shopping habits have evolved over the years and I rarely have more items than what I can schlep through the express Uscan. Today not so much…

The Pensioner (not to be confused with Toilet Paper) worked on vee-hickles most of the morning, washing rinsing and vacuuming, etc. My cute l’il ninja needed a rinse, can you say big-time pollen drop?

Then we walked down to the Griz, where we met up with npJane! We were trying to figure out if we had seen each other since our Epic New Year’s Eve party. Eventually we figgered out yes, we met np and her sister Jay at the Wolverine Brewery in March. Still, we were overdue for all the usual family gossip, etc., none of which is anywhere near awful at this point (knock on wood) but still not really blahggable. Especially Junior. Sometime I will maybe tell that story on my blahg but not today. (It isn’t awful, it’s just not safe for work.)

Anyway I sensed a nap in the GG’s future and more work (paid and unpaid) for me so I was talking bus but instead we ended up hitching a ride with np to the Plum. As it turned out, that was a good idea because if we had walked home, we would probably have gotten wet. We were not prepared for rain today.

So that’s just about all I have at the moment. Mouse took this year’s obligatory mayapple pic.

I’ve been using a girl grill drill all day

Friday, May 19th, 2017

In the wonderful cacophony of the Oscar Tango early on a Friday night (before people start to turn into jungle aminals) someone at our table was talking about buying a grill, you know, one of those things that you cook food on when your power is out or any time. The GG said, “Oh, I’ve been been using a girl all day.” At least that’s what *I* thought he said. I was pretty sure that wasn’t true but you never know 👀 He texted me a pic at the end of the day from flat on his back on the couch that it was “desd” around here. I did not see a girl (or a grill or a drill in the pic). What he *actually* said was that he had been using a *drill* all day. Okay, that sounds more like the GG.

And so here is what he built today. It is a cart that will haul a chainsaw along the North Country Trail. I am calling it a Chainsaw Cozy. Maybe he could test it out in the mini-woods behind our house this weekend and *maybe* he could chainsaw a couple of the big old logs that are across the path. We won’t talk about the safety rules that might prohibit him from doing this. It’s okay. I can easily step over the current logs. A number of years ago I had to create a detour around a particularly difficult set of logs. It was fun for a while. I found a “door” leading to a “secret path”. Eventually I got sick of it and I think the GG finally went out there and mitigated the situation with my (late) brother’s malfunctioning chainsaw or maybe it was one he borrowed from Houghton Lake. Nowadays the GG has his own chainsaw.

The school district (which owns the woods) is lackadaisical about maintaining the woods. Trees fall down in there frequently enough that I sometimes wonder why I feel safe walking through there. Sometimes somebody comes out and moves them off the path, mostly not. I am all for leaving trees that fall in a forest alone. It’s part of the forest life cycle. But this is a *very* small woods where people walk (and walk their dogs), I mean it is probably a five minute walk at the most and I think the trail should at least remain clear. Occasionally the school PTO organizes a “work crew” to come out and put wood chips down on the trails. This is wonderful but it would be more wonderful if they would prioritize putting wood chips on the parts of the trail that flood when it’s wet.

On the other hand, the school district has a hissy fit about dog poop and once upon a time they PADLOCKED the woods shut. I was only a year or two past being the PTO treasurer at the school so I still knew some folks over there and I emailed them to ask WTF? I was forwarded a response from the [new] principal saying that we couldn’t have dog poop in the woods because there was “science” going on in there. I called b*llsh*t on that for a number of reasons but mainly that school kids are almost never in the woods on supervised school missions (science or not) and I don’t *ever* encounter dog poop in there. I’m sure dogs *do* poop in there but they don’t poop on the trail, they poop where all of the *wild* aminals who live there poop. I guess the principal had forgotten about squirrel poop and raccoon poop and opossum poop and rabbit poop and bird poop and deer poop and feral cat poop and the occasional drunk or homeless human poop. And what else? Anyway, my PTO contact wrote the principal a nice polite email reminding her that “our neighbors” like to walk in the woods and the padlocks were soon removed from the woods.

Nowadays, a bunch of responsible dog owners have set up a system where there are always plastic bags available for dog poop and a trash can is at the entrance to dump them in. I love that they are doing that but really, dog poop has never been a problem. Don’t tell the school (or my neighbors) but when Bandit or Ernie and Alfred were visiting and I walked them in the woods, I never picked up their damn poop or even paid attention to whether or not they were doing the deed.

And on that note, g’night!

When kw tfs takes an afternoon nap and other sniggly little annoyances

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

tfs is a Microsoft product and don’t bother to google it. It’s just a versioning app that a lot of companies use. I use it all the time. The last few days, it has gotten “tired” in the mid-to-late afternoon. Kind of like I do sometimes. Fortunately I have not fallen out of my chair yet. tfs doesn’t sit in a chair. It just goes somewhere and leaves me with a spinning “I’m working” thingy. Working? Or sleeping?

And then I got home to a letter from FDOT (Florida tollway system) notifying meeeeee (but not the GG, whose name is first on the Frog Hopper’s car title) that I owed them $4.88. They had a pic of my(our) license plate and everything. Whut? We were on tollways exactly *two* days. One was the day we took the Sunshine Skyway bridge down into Bradenton and the second was when we were navigating the area surrounding Mouseland. We stopped for *every* *single* *blasted* toll booth we encountered. We couldn’t get *through* without stopping, fer kee-reist. It’s kind of like crossing the Mackinac Bridge. You have to pay or you don’t get to go through. We eventually figured out it had something to do with the tollway that we took down to the Sunshine Skyway bridge. If I were MMCB1 I might have spent a few hours on the phone contesting this thing. But I am KW and it was $4.88 (fer kee-reist) and so I bludgeoned my way through the difficult FDOT UI and paid the dern thing. (I still like Florida. I still don’t want to live there.)

Last and least, I texted the GG to ask him to buy orange juice today. Unfortunately, I wasn’t specific enough in my request to ask for fresh-squeezed OJ from the Plum Market. So he bought it from Kroger and that would be okay except that he bought the OJ that is fortified with calcium and vitamin D. It’s okay. The taste isn’t as bad as it was when “they” first introduced this swill. But, when I want OJ, I want the fresh-squeezed stuff from the Plum. But this will pass, eventually.

Polly-ticks? Whut? I continue to watch in horrified fascination and I hope that the checks of balance between our executive, legislative, and judicial branches of power remain intact throughout the Trump era.

Nothing is ever wrong in the Lyme Lounge

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

In which The Pensioner plans a trip across town to Porterland with the Traveling Lyme Lounge and Tiki Bar for a Happy Hour. He arranges every kind of supply anyone might want, various kinds of booze, a few beers, glasses of various sorts, ice, and cocktail making supplies. So here we are backed in to Porterland. You have to know that as we were driving over we were kind of wondering if we were turning on to the right street, and then… Is this the right driveway? What would you think if an outfit like the Frog Hopper and Lyme Lounge backed up into your driveway? Fortunately we were at the right address.

Here is the Mad Scientist himself, shaking up a ‘hattan. We used the 2002 Commie High prom ‘tini glasses tonight. The ones that I kind of wanted to get rid of a couple months ago. I guess they are keepers.

Man oh man, this was a fun thing to do. A long-time Porter neighbor invited herself in (with a six-pack of beer) and we had great fun meeting and talking to her. Fun as it all was, it was only planned to be a happy hour, so the Bartender (aka TP) closed the bar in time for us to get back across town to The Landfill and cook a simple dinner. Closing time [Youtube link]. It wasn’t always my fave song (it’s from driving teenagers around in the 1990s, not from my childhood) but it was appropriate tonight. Except that closing time was something like 7:30 PM, not 2:00 AM (or whatever it is).

And from my morning walk where I saw big dogs deer.

Saying goodbye to Peaceable Kingdom

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

On our mother’s day trek downtown, Lizard Breath suddenly veered off the sidewalk and into Peaceable Kingdom. (I am trying to post a pic but WordPress will not let me access my “media”. Click click click. Click click click. Nothing happening. I’ll keep trying. FIXED!!!! When in doubt, switch browsers.) Anyway, I was not really all that interested in going into Peaceable Kingdom, at least not that day. I have been shopping at Peaceable Kingdom since [probably] before I lived on The Planet Ann Arbor. As a young woman and then a young mother, I was enthralled by the eclectic mix of stuff. The trinket table, toys for all ages, and more sophisticated items like art quilts, jewelry, and other esoterica. Now that I have been in and out of an epic multi-generational Flinging Prodject, I am less enthralled by stuff…

But still, we have been shopping there for so many years. All the years Shakey Jake would clear the sidewalk of snow and ice there. All of the birthday party favor bags we filled from the trinket table. The time I had my kids and their cousins Valdemort and Pengo Janetto in there with me and the then two-year-old Pengo spied the Store Dog and PICKED IT UP!!! To the horror of the store owner. And my total embarrassment. My kids NEVER approached dogs. They were afraid of them! Pengo was growing up with Sam (dog, not archaeologist). Or maybe Pengo’s dog at that time was Laker. Whichever, both dogs were BIG DOGS and she had no fear of dogs, especially small ones like the Store Dog. I stuttered and stammered an apology and tried to explain that these were my nieces and I would’ve been way more vigilant if I’d had any clue Pengo might pick up the Store Dog.

I still pop in to Peaceable Kingdom from time to time, usually around xmas time when I am struggling to find gifts for people who don’t need any more *stuff*. One of my last trips in there (a while back), they had cute ice crystal deely-bobbers. Okay, Froooogggy and Green Guy NEEDED those! I bought two pair and as the owner was ringing them up, she instructed a worker to save a couple of them for her young granddaughters. They were from the movie “Frozen”. Of course.

Anyway, we walked into the store and I was thinking it seemed a little sparse and then we got to the trinket table and a whole bunch of bins were EMPTY. And it hit me than then that the store was CLOSING! Alas. Even though I don’t often shop there any more, it is still an interesting and very popular place. I will miss it greatly.

Still can’t post a pic. I’ll keep trying… Okay, there’s a link to the pic now…

Whoof! Did I earn my pay today!

Monday, May 15th, 2017

More than the usual morning chores but that was my bad for not rounding up every single piece of china/glassware after yesterday’s big mother’s day blowout before starting the dishiosio washer, plus there were alien artifacts like empty beer cans from a boondoggle up north. And laundry. The laundry I threw into the washer last evening but never managed to get into the dryer. Fortunately, 90% of it was the GG’s and I don’t have to deal with sorting his stuff out. I just fling it over onto his side of the bed and he puts it away. That’s how it works around here. Growing up in a 10-kid fam, he learned early that if you wanted your laundry to get done and back to you any time in the near future, you were better off doing it yourself.

Work was work. I was dealing with updating the picky little stuff that is *not* all that interesting. Ancillary spreadsheets, etc., plus a morning Skype session with iDeep, who has been picking up little rocks and finding boggarts and things under them.

Home to more chores or maybe continuing chores would be a better word because I was still catching up with dishes and laundry. But I did get my mother’s day impatiens potted! I had two flats to pot into three pots and there I was, laboriously taking each individual plant out of its whatchamacallit, poking a hole in the soil and… The GG: Why aren’t you pulling out all four of them together? Like your *mother* used to do? Say what? Um, because I didn’t know you could do it that way? Suffice it to say the 2nd and 3rd pot went a lot faster than the first one.

Actually my day doesn’t hold a candle to what the The Pensioner did today. I don’t remember all of it. There was a trip to Kroger for fake breakfast sausage and things and something about topsoil. And then there was the part where he put the NEW WHEEL on the Trashmobile and was driving along (with topsoil in the trailer) and heard some kind of THUMPING noises. He stopped immediately and found that the NEW WHEEL was about to fall off the axle or whatever it is. Somehow (this is the GG, roight?) he limped to an auto parts store (?) where he got some bolts (or something) to secure the NEW WHEEL. Anything to avoid a tow truck. BTW, TP is more than welcome to provide his own story about this in the comments. I am sure I have mangled it.

Metamoom Day

Sunday, May 14th, 2017

I am not one to get sappy about what has turned into a greeting card / brunch holiday. In fact, I spent part of the morning pre-cooking parts of tonight’s dinner and walking to the Plum for a few basic ingredients that I don’t usually keep around, like milk (don’t ask). And working. I mean faaaaring up my work laptop to get some things done that were nagging at me but I couldn’t quite think through during the week because interruptions.

The beach urchins didn’t forget though. They arrived at 11:30 AM *sharp* to walk me downtown for lunch at the Jolly Pumpkin. I was a wee bit worried that we might have to wait for a seat since downtown seemed slammed with Mother’s Day brunch/lunch folks but the JP was pretty empty when we got there and there were a billion seats at the bar and that’s where we chose to sit, i.e., we are not the usual Mother’s Day crowd…

On our way down Main Street, we stopped at Peaceable Kingdom, which is CLOSING!!!! !!! !!! I’ll blahg about that some other time but we rescued a couple of pigs and a cow. The pigs were a pair. The cow was one of three and there was lots of conversation about whether to get a cow or not or maybe two cows but if we bought two cows, the third cow would be left ALONE. Yes, these are inanimate objects. Yes, we were all thinking these things. We ended up with one cow.

And then we went on to the JP for lunch and here is the photoooo Mouse took of the pigs and cow.

And here is the photo I took of Mouse taking a pic of the pigs and cow.

And here is a pic that Lizard Breath took of me and Mouse instagramming our pig and cow photoooos.

We had a wonderful lunch at the Jolly Pumpkin and I didn’t even manage to pay for it because my second whine got comped by the bartender and Lizard Breath grabbed the check. A wee bit more retail therapy happened at Downtown Home and Garden and then we schlepped up the hill to the Landfill where we are hanging out in the back yard looking forward to grilling some steaks, etc., when the GG wakes up from his nap.

At the end of it all, I thanked everyone for not buying me anything besides lunch but actually Lizard Breath did buy me impatiens from the Eastern Market down in Detroit. She has been doing that ever since she moved back to Detroit from San Francisco.

For me, being happy on Mother’s Day means that I have somehow managed to randomly raise two *30*-something daughters who make their own way through life with minimal help from me. They are good citizens who pay their good fortune forward whenever possible.

Good night and happy Mother’s Day to all, including dog moms, etc.

When the Master of the Universe disappears, moom reads

Saturday, May 13th, 2017

I started a new book “Borne” today. It is a palate cleanser from Marlena and a couple of the other books I’ve read lately. Sci-fi novel of the dystopian sort with a giant flying bear and what starts out as a small sea-anenome-like creature that I think needs to live in Mouse’s house. Is the anenome-like creature a good “guy” or a bad “guy”. I am maybe a third of the way through the book and so far he is a good guy but he has grown a lot and we’ll see. I heard about this book on NPR Science Friday last week when I was driving up to Houghton Lake. I’m liking it so far.

I did a lot of stuff today but I think the only picture I took was of a bottle of wool washing soap that I found when doing some random cleaning/organizing chores. I took the pic so I could send it to Mouse because I was thinking that’s who owns it. And yes.

Besides that, I stocked up at the farmer’s market, which is now open at 7 AM and because my market assistant was not around, I had to drive down there. Full parking lot at 7 AM. Chores and a few more errands filled my morning and part of the afternoon. Partly the regular Saturday chores that I do when I’m in town but I did a few other little random chores too.

Somebody on facebook posted a thingy of dogs that have been taught to say “I love you” [it’s a Youtube link]. My brother’s old dog Sam was taught to say a few things, “Mom” and “GrrrrMom” (aka Grandmom) are what I remember the most. I don’t think Sam was taught to say “I love you”. It’s okay. I loved him *anyway* and I think he loved me back, even when I had to make him take aspirin.

Book blahg Life blahg Navel gazing

Friday, May 12th, 2017

I finished Marlena. One wee little chapter left when I finally crashed out last night and I stole a few minutes at lunch to knock it off. Did I like it? Yes. I think I did. Still processing. Sad? Yes but not overwhelmingly so. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that Marlena dies, because we are told about that right at the start of the book and it is reiterated many times throughout. I’m not sure why. I remember being told in a high school English class that “it’s not a tragedy unless it’s Shakespeare.” Sorry Mrs. Ewing (who was a great teacher and I loved her) but I beg to differ.

I won’t say much more mainly because I’m not sure I can coherently verbalize my thoughts, at least not yet and anyway, read the book!

I do remember being a young child in a small northern Michigan town and making friends with a few kids that The Commander didn’t really “approve” of (Marlena would definitely have been one of them, living in a barn and sorta taking care of a much younger brother with no mother around and a dad cooking meth in a railroad car out in the back 40). The Comm was a bit of a snob in those days, a college educated Detroit native from when Detroit was in its first heyday, and I was kind of flummoxed when she complained that one of my friends “didn’t even know how to make a J.” Whaaa? And yet I kind of knew what she meant even at age six. We were not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination but our shabby little bungalow was always warm and clean and there was always enough to eat and I vaguely remember being spanked a few times but never anything approaching a beating. There were books and magazines and atlases and encyclopedias and a record player and when I *needed* a piano (and yes I did), The Comm wrangled a good one and figured out how to shoehorn it into the dining room. And my dad would take us flying in rented planes sometimes. Some of those “J” kids I knew lived in squalor and were probably beaten up regularly. They didn’t have pianos or even books and they definitely did not fly.

As a tween and young teenager, I kind of envied the more popular of those “J” kids. I *wanted* to be friends with them. I wanted to live on the wild side a little bit and not always have to “remember who I was and act accordingly” as The Commander would often remind me to do. Who am I, I wondered? Alas, I was an awkward nerd (or “brain” or whatever it was we were called in those days) and after a disastrous episode in 7th grade when I let a couple of those girls copy my homework and Mrs. Loye caught us, I sort of came to my senses. I sometimes still wonder who I am but I am much further along than I was in 7th grade.

I’m not exactly sure where I am at this point but I cannot close this without reminiscing a bit more about my mother, The Commander. When I was 10, she took a very part time teaching job and in the next few years, she got a masters degree in education and took a job teaching at my high school. She taught home-ec related courses but was a pioneer in that she started a school store and an in-school child care program. She got to know some of the kids who were in that former “can’t make a J” category and developed great compassion for people who were maybe a bit different than her and hadn’t had as many opportunities, etc.

But then… The last few years of her life, she kind of became snobby again. This time it was maybe more toward people who had *had* advantages throughout their lives and didn’t, in The Comm’s estimation, live up to them. But also because they had strange shoes or other clothing or weird hair or their bodies were too fat or skinny or whatever. Sorry but I am laughing my *ss off at this point, being one of the people she was judgemental about. In my case, for wanting to dress more flamboyantly than she would’ve preferred.

Just wait until you see my LED light-up skirt, moom! Love you!

But also, read Marlena because what happened to her is what can happen to any spirited young woman who does not have reasonable parental/community support and even some who do.