Archive for July, 2017

M-I-C… K-E-Y… You know what comes next

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

We left Houghton Lake around 10 this morning. The Uncly Uncle and The Beautiful Gay were getting ready to head back to Gaylord and Lizard Breath will stay there as long as she wants to. When we left, it was warm and sunny and beautiful and it’s always hard to leave Houghton Lake when it is like that, especially when you are driving north and Gloom and Doom is on the radar screen.

Nevertheless, we had quite a few miles of good driving until a huge gust of wind hit the Ninja during a rain storm maybe 10 miles south of the Big Mac bridge. I slowed down to about 60 (speed limit 75) immediately and totally lost the GG, who was traveling ahead of me in the Frog Hopper.

We eventually reunited in the St. Ignace Family Fare grokkery store parking lot, a pre-arranged stop. As often happens, the Big Mac was relatively calm. At Family Fare I had to put on my rain jacket to get inside. For reasons I cannot explain, my rain jacket was in the passenger seat next to me. I bet the GG was surprised that I had that much foresight to have a rain jacket within easy reach *in* my car but it wasn’t foresight, it was a total accident.

After we got grokkeries (the GG gets breakfast stuff and I get everything else, which is efficient), we discussed whether or not to eat lunch in Iggy. We didn’t but then (after a torrential rainstorm between Iggy and Rudyard), we were driving thru Brimley and the GG signaled a right turn at Lazy Bob’s Jack’s Grub and Pub. As I followed him into the parking lot, none other than The Grinch (my cousin) was walking into Jack’s! So we ate lunch with my cousin and one of his co-workers. What a cool coincidence and a wonderful welcome back to the moominbeach!

It was still raining cats and dogs when we got here so schlepping all of our stuff into the moomincabin wasn’t as easy as it often is but it isn’t the first time I’ve unloaded in the rain here so been there done that. So, there’s a lot of rain here but maybe that will be good for the blueberry crop?

And to anyone who tries to decide if it is a beach day or not, EVERY DAY is a beach day. From the moomincabin picture window.

And from the bank at the top of the beach.

This is my second post today. Please read my first one about our manatee friend’s death.

Love y’all, KW

I neeeeeed a manatee emoji

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

I have another post for today (yes, you get a two-fer, you’re welcome) but Snooty deserves his own post. Snooty was our manatee friend down in Florida, a state I love to death albeit in small doses. He died in an accident two days after his 69th birthday.

We met Snooty umpteen bazillion years ago when we were visiting Grandma Sally and Grandpa Garth in Bradenton and took the beach urchins to the South Florida Museum for a morning of kid activities and a visit to Snooty’s aquarium. Back in those days, Snooty’s aquarium was very accessible to the public and you could get up close and personal with him (and smell his horrendously awful breath). The beach urchins fell head over heels in love with Snooty and even named an Easter egg after him a few weeks after that trip. They were heartbroken when the GG gave “Snooty” (the egg) away (or something, I can’t exactly remember what happened).

In 2015 the GG and I returned to Florida for the first time since that visit (that is, it was *my* first time in Fla since then, the GG went down there multiple times to deal with parental end-of-life stuff). I made sure Snooty was on our itinerary and somehow we arrived in Bradenton just before his feeding time. A minor skirmish erupted when the GG realized that each of us had to purchase a $19 museum ticket in order to visit Snooty’s aquarium but I am a strong blonde woman who CANNOT be intimidated and I won that battle hands down. This time Snooty had a new state-of-the-art aquarium in which he was separated from close contact with the public. There was also another, smaller manatee in his aquarium because the museum now runs a manatee rehab operation, getting injured manatees ready for return to their natural habitat.

Even though I couldn’t get up close and personal with Snooty (and smell his horrendously awful breath), I got what photos I could get, including this one, and I cannot describe my emotional state as I texted those pictures to the beach urchins. We went to Florida again last spring (2017) and although it crossed my mind to go and visit Snooty again, for various reasons it didn’t happen.

God speed Snooty. You are loved.

Watching the Bob and Bill show…

Saturday, July 22nd, 2017

Driving tandem (aka two vee-hickles on the freeway) can be comforting but it can also be difficult. It was the worst south of West Branch with construction and low visibility due to rain. I was going the speed limit (60 for the construction) and was totally annoyed that people were passing me at 70 or whatever. We got to Houghton Lake and The Beautiful Gay made breakfast, which we *neeeeeeeded*.

And then the Twinz of Terror pulled everything out of the garage, got rid of *some* of it, power-washed some of it and put the rest back in. Most of us watched.

The Twinz of Terror did not get rid of any of the gas cans.

They hauled out one of the old refrigerators from the original Cfam cabin.

Here it is out by the road waiting for a new owner.

All of the years I visited the moldy old cabin, this sticker was on the little refrigerator. (There were two.)

At the end of the day, we made a trip across the lake on the Pontoon Bote…

…to the grocery store.

On the edge of the art fair

Friday, July 21st, 2017

No I did not go to the art fair. Not exactly, that is. I walked downtown to the Oscar Tango, which is on the edge of the art fair. I do that just about every Friday night that we’re on The Planet Ann Arbor though, no matter what is going on downtown. The GG gets down there early and gets a seat so we don’t have to scramble for one. He was down there at something like 4:00 this afternoon, which was probably waaaaay earlier than he needed to be there but he was reading some Russion (Russion? Okay, you know I meant to type Russian, roight? Note that I do NOT mind when people correct my spelling 🐽!) revolution book or whatever so he was fine. Anyway, I walked downtown in 86 degrees (which is really not all that bad) and when I got there, the seats across the booth from us were reclaimed in the cause of global porterization. Last week, some long time Haisley Mafia friends usurped those seats. If you want to lollygag around in the yooperland, you might lose your seat, roight? 🙃

We took the bus home. I don’t want to blast outta here at 0-skunk-30 tomorrow but I wanta be out prob’ly between 7 and 8 so I wanted to conserve a bit of energy. We took the 32-whatever. We didn’t ride it all the way out to Skyline and the park-and-ride. We got off somewhere on Miller and cut through the neighborhood and schoolyard to get home. To get to the bus, we had to traverse a block or so of the art fair. I did not look at one single booth. My single-minded goal was to get to the bus and we made it with minutes to spare and we are home and poised for northward travel tomorrow.

Sitting out in the back yard for a bit, enjoying this last summertime night (for a while) on The Planet Ann Arbor.

G’night again, KW

Practicing art fair avoidance

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

Once again the Ann Arbor Art Fair has taken over our lovely garden planet. Note to art fair nitpickers. I KNOW that the art fair is really four art fairs or whatever. I don’t feel like using 500 words to explain that, so get a life 🐽

My opinion about the art fair is pretty much the same as my opinion about uMich football games. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that they happen in our town and I love the ambience when they are here. But. I so love that I can participate in them at whatever level I decide I want to, meaning I can sit over here at the Landfill and love that other people are enjoying these events without my participation.

Back in the Jurassic Age of my life in this city and even before I lived here, I loved to hang out at the art fair. I walked all over downtown salivating at all of the stuff I couldn’t afford to buy. Nowadays I really couldn’t be bothered. My financial situation has improved a lot but there is still a lot of stuff I can’t afford. But, after 10 years or so of on-and-off flinging, when I encounter an intriguing artifact at the art fair(s), the initial rush of “I want that” is followed quickly by a more pragmatic “where would I put it?”.

When I got home from work today, I did some chores and then we walked over to Knight’s Steakhouse for dinner. It was practically empty for Knight’s. Usually there are people overflowing into the vestibule and outdoors. We ran into the same old friends we had dinner with at the Oscar Tango last Friday. Substitute porterization friends. And then we made some new friends at the table next to us and there was even a Hillary Clinton look-alike at the table behind us. Knight’s is always so much fun.

We walked from Knight’s over to our fave Plum Market for orange juice and crackers and a Carolina chicken wrap for me to take for lunch tomorrow, since we have NO FOOD here at the Landfill, which is a good thing at this point in time, except that I need SOMETHING for lunch tomorrow so I don’t have to eat my arm. I kind of thought I would have leftovers from the salmon I ate tonight but I managed to clean my plate for once.

Watching faaaaarflies.

Love y’all and g’night,

Dum dum dah dah…

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

It is a hot kinda swampy day down here on the Planet Ann Arbor. It is art fair week so whaddya expect? The Art Fair(s) actually do not start until tomorrow morning but all of the streets downtown closed this morning. It’s okay. The art fair(s) are like the UMich football games. I love the ambience of having that stuff in town but I am glad I can manage to avoid the traffic.

My Ninja’s A/C is still not fixed but it does kick in after mile or so of driving. It has to do with some kind of “clutch” but not the one that I use to shit shift the gears with. Sigh.

As I was working today, folks were babbling and I was ignoring it all until I heard Mr. Luv say “Donald Duck”. I said something about that to cube neighbor Nik and she asked if my husband did a Donald Duck voice or whatever. My response was that the GG does a lot of weird interesting stuff but he does not do Donald Duck. And we gnoffed and gnoffed.

I don’t ever really know what The Pensioner is gonna do on any given day while I’m at work.

Nik and I kind of sneaked out at the same time (it was that kind of day) and when I got home and walked into the house, it smelled like gasoline! What! So here he is “exercising” our generator. Even though we don’t need it right now because the power is on here at the Landfill.

Full service dog park

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

This is the entrance to the woods behind my house. If you have a dog and want to walk it in our woods, there will be water if your dog needs it and a place to put the poop. Usually there are garbage bags stuck into the fence too. Grocery-style bags to put poop into and big trash bags to line the trash can. I suspect that my neighbors are responsible for this. I love my neighbors and I think this stuff is great and I’m glad people are buying in to it.

I’ve lived here for a long time and I have been walking the small trail through the woods for all that time. I’m not sure people have to be micro-managing dog poop in the woods. In all the time I’ve walked through the woods, I have never noticed any kind of poop on the trail. Dog, wildlife, or human. I will bet dollars that any dog that has to poop while being walked in the woods goes off trail to do it. Raccoons and opossums and groundhogs and skunks and things probably stay as far away from the trail as possible.

I like dogs but I have NEVER owned a dog in my adult life. I am a one-dog woman and that dog left the building when I was 19*. But I have walked my late brother’s dogs Ernie and Alfred (Alfred is dead) in the woods and I have walked the UU’s dog Bandit (also dead) over there. I didn’t take baggies with me any of those times. I let the dogs run, as people do nowadays. Well, Bandit didn’t really run very fast by that time but you get the idea.

I get that dog poop needs to get picked up on sidewalks and people’s lawns. Yuck! But I don’t see a need for that in a woods, no matter how small. But my young neighbors are obviously working together to make this place even better than it already is and I cannot complain.

* I was leaving the cabin for my sophomore year of college. I was driving my grandparents’ old Ford Fairlane (they were dead) but I only had that vee-hickle for a week (until Labor Day). I was about to drive out of the parking lot between the moomincabin and the Old Cabin when my parents brought my dog Tigger out to meet me. They said, “Say good-bye to your dog.” When I got back up there for Labor Day, Tigger was gone. She was 13 years old and failing. It sounds awful but I was really okay about it. But I have never owned another dog and neither did my parents.

Annihilation blah blah blah

Monday, July 17th, 2017

Oh. My. Whatever. I am listening to something on NPR about bosses who micro-manage their employees. This one poor woman went to the BATHROOM and her I/M status thingy turned from green (I’m available) to yellow (I’m away) in the TWO MINUTES she was gone and when she got back, her boss was standing by her cube asking why she wasn’t working. I do not have that problem, thank you very much. I can roll in and out of work whenever I want and telecommute when I need / want to (AS LONG AS I GET MY JOB DONE!). I don’t abuse those privileges. I stick pretty close to banker’s hours and only telecommute when there is more snow than I want to drive in or when I want to hang out in the yooperland. If I had somebody watching how much time I spent in the bathroom, I would QUIT PRONTO! Not that I ever spend much time in the bathroom. When you grow up using an outhouse, you don’t tend to linger about doing your business.

But this is a book blahg, I think. I can’t remember what books I last book-blahgged about so maybe I am repeating myself. Lemme see. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane (Lisa See)? Did not want it to end. Rich story about folks in a different (but earthly) culture. I got a little bored when the author geeked out about tea esoterica but that did not in any way, shape, or form, ruin the book for me. For a long time in my life, I could geek out about flute esoterica. I understand.

I dived into Parable of the Sower (Octavia Butler) after that. I loved that book too despite the violence. Dystopian California, people walking north on the freeways and a “recreational” drug that makes people want to set faaaars. That is all I will say.

I will read more of Octavia Butler’s series but I needed a bit of a palate cleanser after that one. I read The Red Tent MANY years ago. My beach urchins were (I’m thinking) high school and middle school at the time (I think Liz maybe could drive?) and I was working for YAG, which meant I worked when there was a play happening (and nobody EVER cared how long I was in the bathroom). Anyway, I was home with teenagers one afternoon and I was engrossed in the Red Tent and some sort of a FIGHT happened and I got so angry I grabbed my car keys and peeled outta the driveway in the POC. I know better than to drive mad though so after that little driveway squeal, I took a slow ride around the neighborhood and calmed down. I can’t remember what the fight was about. Froggy probably started it.

Anyway, Boston Girl, a little book by the Red Tent author (Anita Diamant) flew by somewhere on the internet and I grabbed it. It was a much “smaller” book than The Red Tent. That was a little disappointing but I did like the story as well as the protagonist’s outlook on life.

And then, I tackled Annihilation (Jeff VanderMeer). A Christmas ago or so, one of the beach urchins was carrying that book around. I asked about it and she thought I might not like it all that well. I read Station 11 (Emily St. John Mandel) instead, which I could not put down! I forgot about Annihilation until I was driving up to Houghton Lake in the spring and they interviewed Jeff about his book Borne, which I read and became entranced with and then I tackled Annihilation. And. Could. Not. Put. It. Down. When I finished it, I immediately downloaded the next book in the series (Authority). I’m not sure if I can articulate why I needed a palate cleanser between Octavia Butler’s first and second books but not Jeff VanderMeer’s books. If I figger it out enough to write about it, I’ll letcha know.

Visiting the Bathroom now. If my status turns from green to yellow, don’t worry. I’ll be back soon.

Penultimate big *ss

Sunday, July 16th, 2017

I had been mulling over the idea of walking over to HOMES for some mid-afternoon Sunday decadence but I bagged it.

Today was a day of pickety little chores instead. Lemme see…

Going through the refrigerator and freezer and cupboards and getting rid of anything that was past date or I couldn’t remember what it was (freezer) or had a moth in it. I found one moth. I had a couple boxes of lasagne noodles hanging around. Each of them had 2-3 noodles in it. One of them had a moth. I dumped the contents of both in the compost, recycled the boxes, and MOVED ON! I dumped a couple of unlabeled baggies of tomato-based “sauce” from the freezer. It was homemade sauce and I *think* it was BBQ sauce but I could not tell you for sure. It’s been in there for eons. Down the garbage disposal and MOVE ON!

I was ruthless about throwing old food out. When I get back from the yooperland, I do NOT want to have a SMELL! Two years ago, there was a SMELL! There was moldy old coffee in the coffee maker underneath the cupboard and I thought it was that at first. I got rid of the coffee and cleaned the coffee-maker within an inch of its life. The SMELL persisted. Eventually… I figured out that a box of chicken broth in the cupboard had LEAKED! What a mess! The GG ended up SANDING the cupboard shelf to try to get rid of the SMELL. It is long gone now. I do NOT want a mess ANYWHERE when I get back from the yooperland.

And then I sorted various baggies and other containers of coins. Yes coins. I was after quarters. I think I came up with enough quarters to do at least one load of laundry at the Lockview Up North laundromat in Sault Ste. Siberia. Look out Siberia. Yer fav-o-rite washerwoman is about to take over! I cannot believe how many strands of hair (mine, I think) I pulled out of all those baggies/containers of coins. Yuck!

Well, and then, there was the big *ss fan prodject. I did not know that we needed (wanted?) a ceiling fan in the back room. I was dragged out to Lowe’s against my will yesterday to look at fans. This was probably a good thing because there are soooo many rococo fans out there with fancy lamps and gewgaws and whatever. But do you know how hard it is to pick out a fan when you have to look up at the ceiling to do it? They had a dizzying array of fans up there and then just try to find a box that contains the fan you’ve chosen. Oy.

I was able to pick out a relatively PLAIN, non-rococo fan, without lots of decoration or a light (or lights). And then I was ready to go. Except OF COURSE we had to go through the lucky-shuckial aisle to look for oh, I dunno, cables and crap. I HATE looking at the lucky-shuckial stuff.

In the end, the fan project was cool. Any prodject that keeps The Pensioner busy and out of his wife’s hair is a good one. And now our Mouse is here for what seems to be turning in to a trend. Sunday Chicken on the grill.


Saturday, July 15th, 2017

The GG found this little abandoned nest in the street on our walk downtown to the Grizzly Peak for lunch. Again, our fave bar gal Janel was not there but Katie took good care of us. I was kind of concerned when the GG walked in to the Griz and put the bird nest right on the bar that it might not be an appropriate place to put organic material, but Katie and everyone else was excited about it so I guess it was okay.

On the way downtown, a cute little catsy was walking up the street toward us proud as punch about the dead chipmunk in its mouth. Someone got a wonderful “gift” today.

I am savoring this beautiful midsummer weekend on The Planet Ann Arbor. We will decamp to the Yooperland next Saturday for a few weeks. As much as I want to go north, I will miss our beautiful Garden Planet Ann Arbor.

Replacement porterization

Friday, July 14th, 2017

The last couple of times we have met for dinner down at the Oscar Tango, we have expected to spend a nice, quiet un-porterized evening. And both of those times, we were startled to look up and see team porter standing right next to our table! Tonight we knew for certain that Marquette was porterized and Paulding will be porterized soon enough. Look out Paulding!

Wouldn’t you know it, we ended up having dinner with some old Haisley Mafia friends, parents of one of Mouse’s BFFs (Lairi the Rake), who *randomly* showed up at the OT. There’s no way to “-ize” their name in any way that would not make it recognizable. Let’s just say that it was a welcome surprise. We’ve been teasing each other about getting together at Knight’s for a while now and that never happens because we are out of town or they are out of town, yada yada yada. Lots of fun, especially when the whole Civic Theatre table sang a round of la Marseillaise. They hit some rough spots where most people (including the GG who was trying to sing along) sorta hummed the words but that made it all the better.

The old car show that I thought was happening last weekend actually happened this weekend. I have seen enough old car shows in my life (not to mention old airplane shows) to last me forever and I was ready to go home. The GG of course wanted to walk through the show. Fortunately I was saved when we ran into one of *Lizard Breath’s* BFF’s parents (Shuggy), who were about to walk back to their house, which is around the corner from ours. We decided to walk together. It sure made the long slog up the “hill” seem shorter.

Not even to mention that we had breakfast with npJane, her nephew (my 1st cousin once removed), and his lovely GF. So it has been a more social day than usual around here. And oh yes, Howard Cooper Germain Honda decided that my cute li’l Ninja did NOT need a new A/C compressor. It just needed to be re-a-charged. Or something. I don’t quite understand it all. I just hope it is fixed. Some people around here are trying to gaslight me into thinking that the hot air blowing into my face with the A/C turned to MAX was a normal phenomenon but I am a Strong Blonde Woman and CANNOT be intimidated!

P.S. The Engineer’s fav-o-rite riddle when he was a little boy: “Why do bees hum?” “Because they don’t know the words.”

Shorter and sweeter? Oh not so much but it ended well

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

One of those mornings. Storms rolled through again around the time I normally get up and walk. As it turned out, I could’ve done my usual walk but I didn’t know that when I looked at the weather report so I did my usual morning chores instead… And found that the dishwasher did not adequately dispense its pellet of soap and so the dishes were not clean. I think this was operator error (don’t ask) and I ran it again this morning and everything was okay when I got home this afternoon, except that I had to unload the dern dishwasher plus deal with a bunch of other dishioshios.

My journey home was a bit longer than usual (but not that much so I was surprised that the GG noticed it). Before I left work, I checked the I94 18-Wheel Clogway and it was Orange going my way so I took the back surface roads. That was all fine and the traffic was light although I think I think I dodged a bullet on N. Maple, which was where all of the cops and eventually an ambulance headed to an accident. I got through the Dexter/Maple intersection just after the cops got there and before the ambulance, although I could see the ambulance in my rear view mirror as I (whew) turned off N. Maple onto my little neighborhood street.

The Pensioner tried to diagnose the Ninja’s A/C problem with his Zombie Detector. He went on to buy a cheep auto parts type store “kit” to “recharge” the A/C or whatever. I was skeptical. I thought this would end up being an expensive A/C repair and, since we now have an appointment over at the Honda dealer tomorrow, I expect it will be. It’s okay. It is a 9-year-old vee-hickle and we have had zero (knock on wood) problems with it ever.

Just to note that the GG is not an idiot when it comes to automotive vee-hickles. He put himself through college working summers at the Hamtramck assembly plant. I have known him to take a car apart and put it back together. I am glad he didn’t try to do that tonight.


Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Yeah, I don’t have much today. Today’s after-work chitchen crap…

1) GET THE NINJA IN TO FIX THE A/C. Fortunately this was shorter and sweeter than I may have made it sound. Knock on wood.

2) Finding pitchers of our 2014 chitchen reno to find where waaaars and lucky-shuckial stuff used to go. It’s long gone now and my attitude about all of it is something like c’est la vie. If you want to put a fan in the back room, maybe you need to hire some decent folks to do it. And while we’re at it, maybe we should just hire Certified Kitchen Lady to help us re-do the whole back room.

3) A complicated vaxxing convo that I do not want to try to repeat. Although I am a bit uncomfortable about the NUMBER of vaccines recommended nowadays, I am NOT an anti-vaxxer in any way shape or form. Neither is the GG and I won’t talk about what he was trying to say but it involves the government and waivers and his experience with all of that stuff as a co-op nursery school president long ago.

I’m not going to go into vax or anti-vax stuff too much tonight but I do know that people who have witnessed what polio can do are thankful for the polio vaccine.

I was born in 1954 with the specter of polio over my head. From a very wee bit of loose wiki-type research, apparently I didn’t get my polio vaccine until 1955 or so. But I did get it as soon as it was available because polio scared the crap out of my parents back in the early 1950s.

Before I was born, The Commander worked in downtown Sault Ste. Siberia at Monkey Wards. She worked for a man with three young children. All three of his children came down with polio. The kids recovered (they went to my high school, older than me) and the man’s wife came in to the store cheerfully reporting that all of her children had recovered without complications. The Commander’s next sentence was, “The next day she was dead.” Yes, the mother of those children got sick later that day and died of polio.

A boy I knew (via my parents) who was born the same year that I was survived a bout with polio but wore a great big metal brace on one (or both?) of his legs. To help him walk, I guess.

A brace? I was born with a foot that turned a little bit inward. It’s a *thing* but I don’t feel like looking it up right now. I wore what The Commander always called a “brace” when I was a baby. By the time she told me about the “brace” I had long outgrown it and didn’t remember it and I could only imagine I had worn something like the big metal brace the boy with polio wore. As it turns out, after looking at photos of me as an infant, it was a soft kind of extra sock-like thing.

The GG is over at Nicola’s listening to an author talk about his book about John Norman Collins, a serial killer here in these parts long before I lived here. I read a lot about Collins in the news when he was active down here and I am not sure I want to read the book or hear what the author has to say.

You’ve heard of the “love train” but I bet you’ve never seen a Fish Train 👀

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

Other than that, probably “Being a crabby b*tch is part of my charm” is the theme of the day.

So there was the work meeting during which I channeled the LSCHP, who is vacaying or whatever this week. Wherever is, he is not around to sit on people and I couldn’t get in to his office to retrieve his battle axe. (Note to self: obtain nerf battle axe. Soon!)

And then… … … It is in the upper 80s today. That’s okay. I can deal with those temps just fine. Except that when I faaarrred up the Ninja after work and turned on the A/C to the MAX setting, HOT AIR blew out at me. HOT AIR blew out at me for 1.5 miles. Just as I was getting onto the ramp to the I94 18-wheel Slogway, I felt a wee bit of cool. It worked the rest of the way home but I feel a failure mode coming on. I will be in the yooperland for a few weeks coming up and I do not want to be stuck in the yooperland with broken A/C since there is no Honda dealer on the American side and I do not particularly want to run the gauntlet into Cananananada. Better to get it done at Howard Cooper Germain down here on The Planet and be done with it.

But then…

<polly-tickle-rant-read-if-you-dare>Please please please stop with the Hillary Clinton stuff (you know who you are). My dislike of Trump and his entourage has nothing to do with the fact that Hillary lost the election except well, if she HADN’T lost the election I wouldn’t have to think about Trump (and his entourage). But GET REAL! Yes, I voted for Hillary. I SUPPORTED Hillary. I supported Hillary so I could get some swag to counteract the Trump swag that a certain Prankster (you know who you are) stuck onto the Lyme Lounge (no the GG was not the prankster). Did I think that Hillary was the best candidate for president? No, I did not. I voted for her because I thought she was the only candidate who could beat Trump. The election has been over for months now and although I lament that Mr. Trump won, I do not lament Hillary’s loss. SO STOP TRYING TO TELL ME IT’S ALL ABOUT HILLARY. THAT IS NOT TRUE. I will not fall for that sh*t and I do not want to hear about it again. GOT IT? Okay.</polly-tickle-rant-read-if-you-dare>

Seriously, I would prefer Mickey Mouse in the White House to who is in there now.

But let’s chill a bit with The O’Jays and Love Train, since I don’t think it would be all that comfortable to ride in a fish train.

Don’t worry. It’s all good. Just had to let off a bit of steam! I will survive the Trumpian Bombasty albeit with permanently rolled eyes and clenched teeth.

Surprise swan update

Monday, July 10th, 2017

So, last I wrote about this, Mooma Swan and her cygnets were reunited and relocated to a private pond near Swan Corners but not directly adjacent to any roads, meaning mooma and cygnets couldn’t swim to the edge of the pond and climb out directly onto the narrow shoulder (or even hang out in the middle of the road). Someone in the Swanfriends facebook group predicted that maybe a few weeks from now when Mooma was finished with the molting process, they would make their way back to Swan Corners.

Well, Mooma is still molting but they returned to Swan Corners over the weekend. Apparently Mooma waddled from the private pond, herding her cygnets. She cannot fly yet and I do not think the cygnets have fledged. Swanfriends folks are of two minds about this, glad to see their swans again while worried about their safety. These swans are trumpeter swans, not mute swans, so they are not the invasive species. @tmotu was cross-examining me about that yesterday and although I do not knooooowwww for a fact, the Swanfriends folk, who have been in contact with wildlife rehabbers and the DNR, etc., refer to them as trumpeters. I choose to believe, via the reputation of the groups involved, that this is not fake news.

The swans in the pic are not at Swan Corners. We saw them at Crosswinds Marsh yesterday. I do not know anything about this group of swans. It wasn’t close enough to figure out whether this was a family group – mooma and dad and almost grown-up cygnets, or just a random group of swans. I do not know enough about swan behavior to have a clue.

Sorry about the crappy iPhone photoooo. I will reiterate that a number of years ago, I decided I was tired of schlepping more than one camera around. I opted to embrace iPhoneography. The iPhone has a pretty darn good camera that can do some really cool things although most of *my* best photos result from taking a billion pics and finding that a few of them are good. This one is not so much but it does document a part of our beautiful hike at Crosswinds yesterday. BTW, I am not apologizing, just explaining. I love iPhoneography but I appreciate those who choose to use other cameras too.

Nature and Beer

Sunday, July 9th, 2017

Our Mouse cooked up a little adventure for us today, an early morning hike down at Crosswinds Marsh. We have known about Crosswinds Marsh for years but have never ventured down there to check out the trails. Mouse discovered it recently and served as a great guide.

Here are some photoooos, lightly captioned. First, wild roses with pollinator.

And a water lily flower. When we got to the marsh, none of the flowers were open. Later in the morning, they were everywhere.

Mouse taking a pic of a snake. (She has a couple of BEAUTIFUL pics of the snake. I wasn’t that patient.) And this is a garter snake, which is not poisonous or dangerous in any way. Our state has only one rattler and it is VERY RARELY SEEN!

I liked this pic because of the colors, blue and green.

As you can see, Crosswinds is not all that far from civilization. I could hear buzzing when I took this pic. Not sure if it was waaaaars or flies but suspect a bit of both. Also many jets overhead, flying out of Metro to the north of us.

And then we switched over to beer.

This beer is 27 ounces! Our waitress at the Sidetrack Saloon strong-armed the GG into ordering this thing! Seriously, she was a great waitress and a whole lot of fun.

Oh yeah, a train went by. Fast!

And then there were the after effects. I dunno why but my phone would NOT focus for this pic but I’m sure @tmotu is happy about that.

I suppose it (phone) was just emulating its owner, who did not take a nap but had a HUGE Sinking Spell in the back yard. I think I said something about how I was gonna sit in the backyard and read all afternoon but I didn’t really mean it. But in the end, that is exactly what I did. I did FINALLY, at about 4:30, manage to muster enough energy to walk over to the Plum.

In between peas and corn

Saturday, July 8th, 2017

I saw sugar snap peas and snow peas at the farmers market this morning. Both of those are fine vegetables but I didn’t buy either. Alas, I like to buy the kind of peas I can sit out in the back yard and shell. I have missed two Saturdays at the farmers market and we are now past the season for those. And a bit early for sweet corn. Lemme see though… Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, broccoli, green onions, sweet onions, small red cabbage, cherries, pasties from Uncle Peter, swordfish kebabs, and a whole chicken. I have got to be forgetting something.

As much as I love summer at my “homeland”, aka the moominbeach, I love hanging around The Planet Ann Arbor in the summer too. Last Saturday we were at the moominbeach and I was counting down the days until we had to return to Trollandia, not wanting to return to our Trollandia home and encouraging myself to “live in the moment”. And now we have been here in Trollandia for five days and I love it here too. We are very fortunate in life and that is as far as I will go with that tonight. Also, KNOCK ON WOOD!

I did the usual Saturday Landfill chores plus some desperately needed dusting and de-cluttering and then we headed on down to the Griz for lunch. Our fave gal Janel was not there today so Tammy (who hired our gal) took care of us instead. Sitting at the bar, we always get a bit of the view of life behind the scenes and today there was a guy with a dog at a table outside that seemed to be driving our friends crazy. I heard a dog barking but there were multiple dogs out there so not sure who it was or even if the barking dog belonged to the problem customer. I don’t enjoy al fresco dining all that much, at least not Planet Ann Arbor style where, in most cases, you are sitting in a narrow space on the sidewalk between vee-hickular and pedestrian traffic.

We finished lunch just in time to catch the 31 for a quick ride out to the Plum Market. Today’s ride was lively. A bunch of fun folks were behind us, one of them doing what I can only describe as a very slow rap about the people getting on and off the bus. Until *he* got off the bus, at the homeless shelter, with a whole bunch of other folks. A couple stops later, our neighborhood friend Carless-by-choice Kathy got on. We got off at the same stop as her so we chattered away until we got to the intersection, where we split off to the Plum Market. Then home and I finished a not-very-satisfying book while The Master of the Universe napped. I’ll do a book blahg soon but have to clarify that today’s book was *not* “The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane”, which I *loved* (and might still be showing up on goodreads). But. Book blahg later. (Er, not that I am a reputable book critic in any way, shape, or form!)

I had to get a pic of Mr. Miller there on our way downtown (through Miller Woods) before he succumbs to further deterioration and becomes unrecognizable. Just a few years ago he was healthy enough to grow huge fungal eyebrows.

Lickety split!

Friday, July 7th, 2017

I was lucky to get even the default 10,000 steps in today. I could hear thunder in the distance well before my usual wake-up time this morning (5:30 AM) and wouldn’t you know by 5:30, we were in the thick of it, so I didn’t take my usual 0-skunk-30 walk today. In fact, I didn’t even get up until after six. Shower? With lightning around? Isn’t there some way you can be electrocuted by taking a shower during a thunderstorm? I didn’t want to find out.

Our weather forecast only predicted thunderstorms into the early afternoon but we didn’t get any storms the entire time I was at work today. And then, as I was driving home, I was looking at some pretty iffy clouds. By the time I got home, I was hearing thunder and phone weather was showing what the GG called “popcorn” storms coming through. Okay. I will wait a bit before walking downtown. I do NOT walk in lightning. I waited for a while but the “popcorn” storms didn’t exactly blow through. Instead, more kept forming.

I was thinking about driving down but I hated that idea. The GG texted, “what about the bus?” I had been thinking about the bus too but when and where would I catch the bus to go downtown?

Okay, Google Maps said the 31 would stop, well, somewhere near, at 5:43. It was 5:30. I scrambled myself and headed out the door running through heavy rain (I did have a rain jacket). I wasn’t exactly sure where the bus stop was but, as I approached the Dexter/Maple intersection, I saw a bus stop sign across from Aldi’s. So I knew where to go.

I was watching like a hawk for the bus as I approached the intersection. And THERE IT WAS! About to come around the corner. But I was stuck at the dern LIGHT and there was all kinds of traffic (and a cop) and I couldn’t get across the street. I didn’t know what to do. I gave a bit of a wave to the bus but didn’t expect it to stop for me. I figgered I’d have to go back and get the Ninja and drive down. The bus turned the corner and STOPPED at the bus stop. I scrambled across the street through the traffic and found out that yes, the bus driver was waiting for meeeee. I got on and texted the GG, “On bus. Whew!”

I was the only passenger on the bus and it was a quick ride downtown. I got off at Huron and Main and hoofed quickly over to the Oscar Tango, where the GG said, “You got down here lickety split!” This is the first time I have ever taken the bus to get anywhere by myself, not to mention a bus stop near home, so this is a new and handy skill for me.

We were hit with storms again as we were leaving the OT so we took a porter-cab home and hung out here for a small nightcap.

Yes I did the default 10K steps in today despite the inclement weather and walking conditions!

I cannot count

Thursday, July 6th, 2017

This is actually gonna turn into a swan story in a minute but I don’t have a pic of those so here are the teenage ducklings that were gathered outside Cubelandia yesterday afternoon. I suspect that Dreadlock Guy is feeding them occasionally. I’m not sure that feeding ducks is a good idea but he’s such a sweet person that I’m not going to say anything to him. Anyway whaddo I know?

I’m not sure if I wrote about Swan Corners here or not. I *think* I did write about it back in the spring. At that time Daddy Swan had succumbed to death by some kind of natural cause. He and Mooma Swan had seven eggs. Four of them hatched. Two of the cygnets eventually went missing. There was some speculation that they had been run over by an automotive vee-hickle but it turns out that the fuzzy little remains on the road were goslings. So snapping turtle was the next guess. This is Mother Nature at work, maybe sadder to humans than to wildlife mooms.

Last weekend, someone caught a glimpse of one of Mooma Swan’s wings and it looked broken. Many feathers were missing and it looked like she was bloody, etc. A minor panic ensued and someone called the humane society. The result of that is the live-trapping of the two remaining cygnets and transportation to a rehab facility. They had a bit more trouble snagging Mooma.

And this is where it got a bit ugly, given that there is a Swanfriends facebook group, which is on the Internet… People started to weigh in saying that the ugly looking wing was a normal part of molting (which we know Mooma is doing) and that when new feathers come in, blood is visible in that it is an important part of growing new feathers. It isn’t like her wing is dripping blood on the ground.

I don’t know anything about swan physiology (except that they are BIG and do not get in Daddy Swan’s way) or wing structure or molting processes. All I can say is that I am happy to report that Mooma Swan was eventually captured and reunited with her cygnets. They are in a safer area now. At Swan Corners, all of the ponds are directly adjacent a couple feet from the roads and the swans hang out near or *on* the road because it is warm there (I think).

Dude, where’s my car? (chapter 2)

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

Took a while to locate my loverly little beastie. Turns out that the collision shop was NOT closed this week (just yesterday but we expected that). It is just running a skeleton crew, certainly enough people to accept payment for a paint job and release a vee-hickle. However, they were still waiting for parts this morning so the Ninja wasn’t ready until I dunno, sometime in the afternoon, so there must’ve been someone there to do that.

I’m pretty impressed with my Ninja’s new paint job and when the GG told me they fixed all of the dents, I was like, “Whaaaaa? What dents? I didn’t run into anybody.” Certainly if you looked at the Ninja pre paint job, you didn’t see big dents. But it is a 9-year-old vee-hickle and “dent” in this case means car door dings and tree branch falling dings and KW putting “stuff” on the top of the trunk dings, etc., etc., ad nauseam. Of COURSE they had to smooth out the DENTS to repaint the car! So here it is in all of its glory. Er, maybe we need to defrog the headlamps…

I was thinking about faaaaarworks today and how people love or hate them. I don’t remember anyone hating them when I was a kid. We loved them. My dad was a WWII vet and they didn’t freak him out but that could well have something to do with the fact that he spent his service time rattling around the American southwest teaching other people to fly planes. He was about to get sent over to the South Pacific when we dropped The Bomb and he spent the rest of his life as a “successful failure” (much like his daughter, aka yer fav-o-rite blahgger, both of us in the banking industry if that makes any sense). I think he would be proud of me working at what I do even though he might not exactly understand it! (I hope no one ever decides to drop/lob/whatever a nuclear bomb anywhere on earth ever again.)

Last night, the typical neighborhood fireworks kind of lulled me to sleep, if you can believe that. I have to remember a long ago incident though. One that scared the bejeebus outta me. It was the summer before Lizard Breath entered kindergarten (or maybe it was even 1st grade) and she and Mouse and the GG were safely tucked in, snoozing in their bedrooms while moom had some moom-alone time in the back room. It wasn’t 4th of July but there had been some “explosions” off and on for a few weeks. All of a sudden KABOOM. A large explosion from the school yard. I didn’t know what it was. I high-tailed it into the bedroom. The GG hadn’t heard it.

I kind of forgot about the Big Bang over the summer and then, days before school started, I came home from my childhood career and was processing laundry and I could hear people having fun over in the schoolyard and it was still light out and all of a sudden… KABOOM. Alas, this time the KABOOM was followed quickly by “call the ambulance”, followed shortly by sirens. Amazing to me now to think how fast 911 got called back in an age when NO ONE had a cell phone!

What happened? A 20-year-old kid and his friends had been experimenting with making “bombs” by putting black powder into gas cylinders. They were not bad kids. They were trying to blow up the old tire playground structure over there and they carefully aimed the bomb so that it would not hit the kids playing baseball quite a way past the structure. Alas. The bomb exploded prematurely and almost killed one of the girls in the group. I haven’t heard anything about her in a long time but last I knew, she was still partially paralyzed.