Archive for September, 2017

Vintage and congratulations

Saturday, September 30th, 2017

Here is a vintage shot of Mouse, Liz, and Jess doing something on our big old PowerMac or whatever it was during the xmas season at The Landfill back in the day. I don’t remember exactly what year it was but I’m guessing by the big PowerMac computer they are using that it was around 1997 or 1998. Most probably 1998 because that’s the year that we bought our first digital camera, a Sony Mavica, which is what took the pic. That camera stored photos on floppy disks. Does anyone remember those?

It was 1996 when I first encountered Jess. Liz and I were over at the Middle Years Alternative office and there were Jess and her mom. We didn’t interact with them in any serious way that day but I remember thinking that Jess looked like someone who would be a good friend for Liz. I think they may have waved a shy little “hi” to each other but I don’t trust my memory on that.

Not more than a few weeks later, Liz and Jess were emailing and I/M-ing each other. That was back in the days of family email addresses and whatever and here the gals were doing I dunno what, maybe talking to some hot middle school boy with Mouse looking on. Ducking for cover here 🐽.

Liz and Jess remained the best of friends throughout the rest of middle school and then high school (they both got into our own Commie High) and then they went to Kalamazoo College together and *then*, after they graduated from college, they moved to San Francisco together. Liz moved back to SE Trollandia after six years (as planned) but she and Jess are still BFFs and visit each other frequently.

Today. Today. Today. Liz and Mouse (my beach urchins) are out in the San Francisco area at JESS and her new husband CHRIS’s wedding! Congratulations to Jess and Chris. 💜💜💜

Hoton Lake or bust

Friday, September 29th, 2017

Getting up here was like running a gauntlet. The good news is that I didn’t encounter any snow or tornadoes. That is about all. Except I wanted to sleep in the Lyme Lounge tonight but apparently after spending the week up at Tahq, it is a little too Man Cave-y for someone like me tonight. Or so I’m told. I haven’t actually seen the inside of it. Maybe I don’t want to. We’ll sleep in the Bear Room tonight and maybe the Lyme Lounge will get de-Man-Caved enough tomorrow that we can use it tomorrow night.

G’night. KW.

Point in the general direction and shoot (and then app 🐽)

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

This photooooo may not win any awards but I kinda like how it turned out. I parked Ninja over at Barry’s for Thursday Coffee with MMCB2 and they had sprinklers going and Mr. Golden Sun was shining like crazy in the background. A photo op? Yes! I hastily pulled my iPhone out of my purse and juggling those two items plus my car keys, I did a bit of a deep knee bend, pointed in the general direction of my subject and pressed the button a couple of times. And then I apped the photo, via Instagram in this case (cropped and used my fave go-to filter Clarendon).

Then it was an unexpectedly productive day at work followed by something like “the hurrier I go, the behinder I get”. Specifically, I am almost “out of food”. That is a good thing because I planned it that way and it is in quotes because there are condiments and milk boxes (for lunches) and newly frozen stuff like green beans, chopped peppers, and pesto. And a few other things. But there are not (I don’t think) science experiments and things hanging around and I pretty much know what is in my refrigerator/freezer, a challenge after a summer of schlepping back and forth up north and supplying the Lyme Lounge and whatever. The Pensioner has been MIA all week and I have been existing via Mother’s March on Leftovers, to use a phrase from My Dear Uncle Harry, who I sometimes emulate more than some of my “blood” elders.

So, I am about out of food today and I went to the Plum Market after work SPECIFICALLY to get something take-out plus I made a wee list of Other Stuff. Guess what? I got all of the Other Stuff (that was on the wee list) and FORGOT to get something take-out. It’s okay. I have a one-person container of frozen eggplant parm in the freezer and I can rustle something up to go with that. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted to eat tonight but it’ll do and get about the last “hanger-on” outta the freezer. Lunch tomorrow? I’ll figger it out. I might even order from Building Mom’s Lunch Service. I usually don’t because restaurant food is often more than I want to eat and some vague stuff about spending too much money, yada yada yada. (Ducking in case The Commander is somehow reading the “yada yada yada” because she HATED that!)

I think I am on track with laundry, etc. I can hear the never-ending washing musheen going down in the dungeon. I am a wee bit concerned that I can smell a sewage-y smell in the Landfill but it seems to dissipate as I walk down to the dungeon. We’ll see…

Hope I am able to lift off The Planet Ann Arbor tomorrow afternoon without any trouble, like a beer truck turnover on US23 (which happened the Friday before Memorial Day weekend). Yesterday, a semi hit an I96 bridge and that has closed *that* freeway for the duration. I hope that doesn’t cause problems on US23 but I am not optimistic.

Talkin’ ’bout my annihilation

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

Oh, not really. I’m talking about Jeff VanderMeer’s book Annihilation. It is the first in the Area X trilogy. I devoured all three over the summer. Sci-fi or dystopian or a healthy dose of both? I’m sure there is a wide range of opinions about that along with some vociferous arguments. I have to admit that as much as I loved it, I didn’t really understand it 🐽 A second reading may therefore be in order. At any rate, somebody is making a moooooovie. This is one moooooovie I may have to actually watch. Here’s a trailer if you dare. But I will watch it at home. I can’t sit still long enough to watch a movie in a theatre.

The funny thing is that I didn’t realize that Annihilation was a best-seller. I first encountered it like maybe xmas 2015 (?) when Mouse was carrying the book around at our house. I thought it was an interesting title. Mouse didn’t think it would be my type of book. I’m not sure why she would think anything different. I read a lot of books to the beach urchins when they were children but certainly none of them were anything like Annihilation.

I was busy and I didn’t pursue Annihilation at the time. And then. Dun dun dun. I was driving solo to Hoton Lake last spring and Science Friday was on and they were interviewing none other than Jeff VanderMeer about his book Borne and that book sounded right up my alley so I downloaded it pretty much as soon as I got to our Hoton Lake cabin wifi. I figured out pretty quickly that he had also written the Area X trilogy and after diverging into some different fare for a bit, I downloaded that.

I *think* that Area X is (geographically) Florida but I am not sure. I was confused about a “rocky island” mentioned in the book. I CERTAINLY do NOT have anything close to a comprehensive knowledge of Florida geology (or even geography) but rocky islands do not seem to fit. Sand, sand, sand. But read the book anyway!

Traveling companions

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

What do you take on a plane trip? Do you take elephants? Four of them? I have been known to fly with Froggy before. I have to drug him beforehand so he doesn’t wreak havoc upon the other passengers. Oh, don’t worry, we’re not talking about meth or even pot. Londry detergent mixed with Listerine does the trick. And, as Mouse once discussed with her nursery school teacher about her Mouse, he isn’t real, he is just a toy.

These elephants traveled with Mouse to San Francisco along with a few other various prodjects. Before we left for Metro, she was sewing a button on to a new dress and cutting the thread with a tool that is not allowed on planes. I tried not to raise my eyebrows but it was okay, she left that tool in Daisy (her automotive vee-hickle, which is parked in my driveway for the duration). I was remembering when the GG flew to Fla shortly after 911 and they took his broker knife away. Why were you trying to take that on a plane? Duh.

I totally stole this pic from Mouse’s facebook. I didn’t even ask her. I doubt she cares. I’m sure she’s having a great time out there in California and isn’t (and *shouldn’t* be) thinking about what her baggy old moom is doing (which is sitting in the landfill backyard enjoying the late afternoon in beautiful hot weather).

Facebook is so weird sometimes. I kind of hate when friends “suggest” other friends. Sometimes it isn’t even a person I know, like it’s someone five or more years ahead of/behind me in school. Today it was a high school friend “suggesting” another high school friend. We were in the same grade and so I know her a bit but not very well (maybe wished to know her better but you know how high school can be if you are not part of the in-crowd). I am sure she is a great person. What to do? In the end, I sent her a friend request.

A while back, I woke up to a friend “acceptance” from someone I did not know and certainly didn’t knowingly friend. I am friends with one of his friends, a young woman connected to the CFam by a former marriage. But. I dunno, I must’ve accidentally clicked something. I am sure he is a great guy. I am just thinking maybe he doesn’t really want to be friends with meeeeeeee. Uncomfortable…

We won’t even talk about the spam direct message today. Something about god. I don’t know who sent it and I definitely “left the group”. On the other hand, one of my cousins direct messaged me last night to say he and his sister will be in town, can we get together. Yes! Yes! Yes!

P.S. I am once again listening to planes flying out of Metro but no one I know (that I know of) is on one.

A dumb person’s idea of a smart person

Monday, September 25th, 2017

I saw that line (or something like it) on Twitter today (or was it yesterday) and I can’t remember who tweeted it so I googled it and of course, it is something that has been around for years and the source is arguable or maybe just plain unknown. To me, just because someone uses big words doesn’t mean they are smart (and this is not a subtweet, a lot of people use big words, even including some people I think are smart). Just because someone jumps into every conversation that occurs, doesn’t mean they are smart. If they don’t have something constructive to add to the convo, they should just shut up. I’m just irritated because throughout my adult life, I have been hearing people talk about how smart somebody else is and then when I meet that person, I am not so sure. Sorry, I am not articulating my thoughts very well. Smart? Dumb? Definitions? Multiple intelligences? Continuum?

It was an angsty kind of day for me with people traveling every which way and one out of cell service for a few days except for trips to Paradise. I am in a slow period at work, which didn’t help me focus. I enabled one trip this afternoon, which meant I needed to leave work early, like 2:00. I offered to get back on line later but Amazon Woman said, “Just leave and don’t worry about getting back on line.” I thanked her for that and said that it was likely that I wouldn’t be back on line today, despite my best intentions. We both gnoffed about that. I am so lucky to have this job and my current supervisor.

So now I am sitting in the Landfill backyard. The Ninja reported the temp as 91 on the way home from Metro today. It is not quite that hot now. I am on the shady side of the Landfill and it is comfortable except that the frickin’ moe-skee-toes are starting to come out. But look what I have!

So for the next hour or so I will be sitting here listening to the jets fly out from Metro heading to the left coast and wonder which one @mouseleen is on. With all of her elephants. I did this yesterday too. Different daughter. No elephants. Hmmmm, isn’t there a mug at Houghton Lake about no elephants or something?

I am a mouse (I think)

Sunday, September 24th, 2017

You can see the morning glories in the Haisley garden from all the way across the schoolyard. This pic is from quite early in the morning. We slept in the Lyme Lounge (in our driveway) last night and it was so comfortable that I didn’t get up until sunrise (7-ish) and then I had to draaaaag myself out.

We both did a whole bunch of chores this morning. I put two lasagnas together and four garlic baguettes and I fergit what else. I walked to the Plum to get the baguettes (and more butter) and after I put all of that stuff together, I kind of crashed for the afternoon. And so did the GG. He slept. I sat in the back yard and read The End of Mr. Y. It is a crazy weird book and I am almost halfway through it and I am having fun but we’ll see what I think about it at the end.

We had been kind of thinking of walking over to HOMES this afternoon for a beer/whine. We didn’t end up doing that. We love HOMES but walking was hot today and our back yard was beautiful and comfortable to sit in. So we stayed here. As I have said, we will not be sitting out here enjoying the Hot Donut much longer.

I 💜 the bus!

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

For a few years, it became our habit to walk downtown for a Saturday lunch, then walk home and maybe (usually) hit up the Plum Market on the way back. It is a little more than two miles downtown, no big deal. But then once we had reason to take the bus and I was AMAZED at how easy and FAST that beast was! So now I have morphed a bit. I still like walking downtown but I have decided that it is a better use of my time to grab the bus back, get off near the Plum and walk home from there. I don’t neeeeeed to get 30K steps every Saturday (I have 21K today as it is and it is only 4:30) and it leaves me enough energy to get through whatever afternoon chores I have in mind, which today was making a couple batches of lasagna sauce. Also, it gives me a little time to chill out in the back yard — or wherever, in a matter of weeks chilling out in the backyard will likely take on a whole new meaning here in SE Trollandia.

I love the *people* on the bus too. It is a wide variety of folks, today including the guy with the bag of bottles (Him: are you stopping at Kroger? Driver: Yes) and our neighborhood friend/fellow bus-rider Kathy who is carless by choice (I think) and was probably tired of carrying the three HEAVY brass candlesticks she bought at Kiwanis. She laughed when she saw us and said we cracked her up. I’m not sure why but I think because we were on the bus, which cracks *me* up 🐸.

I am intrigued by people who are diligent about picking up returnable bottles to earn income. I’m not sure what this Bottle Guy’s modus operandi is except that it involves the Westgate Kroger but let me tell you about the woman I talked to earlier this week. This woman WORKS WITH ME, that is, she is a professional *salaried* employee of a big high-tech company. We were at a work party and she offered to take the returnables back and, since she has been known to collect them for bottle drives at her teenager’s school, I asked, “Oh you mean for fundraisers?” I suspect if she wasn’t an over-the-top extrovert, she might’ve clocked me but she cheerfully replied, “Yes, a single mom fundraiser.” Oops. She went on to explain how she occasionally texts Retired Building Mom to say, “I’m out of grocery money, do you have any bottles?” And RBM replies something like, “I’ve got four bags.” That’s one way to feed a family, albeit a small one and I admire her resourcefulness. Maybe I’ll start giving her my returnables. For a while I thought maybe The Pensioner would take on that chore but it didn’t seem to “stick” 🐽

So, thinking our gal Jenel is out of town this weekend (vacationing in the northwest lower, what a GORGEOUS weekend for that), we went to the Blue Tractor instead of the Griz. I have to admit that, as we walked by the Griz I kind of ducked my head in case I was wrong and she was in there wondering which bartender we were seeing on the side. I’ve been getting the shrimp risotto side dish at the Griz lately but I also love getting a couple sliders at the Blue Tractor – today I got the black bean and the blue buffalo.

Umich football on TV and hanger steaks and corn on the cob on the grill tonight courtesy of The Pensioner!

Can I make lasagna?

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Can I make a couple of lasagnas? When? This weekend? Of course I can make a couple of lasagnas. Actually it will give me a mission for the weekend besides the usual chores and errands. So, let’s go. I’ll make the sauces tomorrow and I’ll put them together on Sunday and throw them into the freezer for consumption later in the week up at Tahq.

I am kind of done done done other than that. I think I overdid it yesterday. I’m sorry. I am trying to leave some stupid crapola from recent years behind. I know that it’s best to take the high road but that isn’t always easy and I do backslide. Patience please.

I am loving the Hot Donut weather we’re having (except for the mo-skee-toes). We didn’t have enough hot days this summer for me to get sick of them. I’m glad we’re getting them now. They’ll be gone soon enough.

Love y’all, KW.

A new bench and some history, for better or worse

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

This bench is destined for somewhere on the North Country Trail, probably in the Tahquamenon area.

We have one on the bank at the moominbeach and we LOVE it. It is especially good for elderly relatives who can no longer easily get to the beach but I formed a loverly habit of taking coffee down there on calm mornings this summer, not to mention hanging out there in the afternoon when the sun comes over the yardarm.

But what about the cryptobiotic soil, you are asking? Or maybe you are not. The first time I encountered that term was in an email from someone who was passive-aggressively trying to pick a fight with me. The strategy was to underestimate my intelligence and use a term that I probably didn’t know. And I didn’t but what is Google for anyway? It is for someone like me, who has a decent vocabulary but does not know it all to look up things like “cryptobiotic soil”. I went along with the passive-aggressive crap for a while but, after a few inscrutable emails where words I had written were twisted beyond recognition, I said DIRECTLY, “I am sorry but I am angry”. A few billion tweets from a couple of Twitter Dogz howling at the moon ensued and then silence. Until the xmas season rolled around, when there was a “thawing” with a few “hugs” or whatever you want to call them. I accepted the “hugs” although I remained very wary, which turned out to be a good thing given what happened later after The Commander died.

I understand what cryptobiotic soil is but I’m not sure we have that on our bank, where historically, we have *always* stored boats and chairs and pieces of wood and whatever. I remember a very hot day when my grandma was very elderly. Her children installed her on the bank in a lawn chair wearing only her slip (that was because of *heat* and no one could see her except her immediate family, who were all empathetic) and slipped her a minor mickey (weak whiskey sour or something) to help her nap a bit. (Grandma was a teetotaler and probably didn’t know what was in her “pop”. Her kids respected that in general but this did help her nod off into a comfortable nap.)

I have always agreed with treading as lightly as possible in terms of building things on the bank (or anywhere on the moomincabin land although I have come to appreciate the garage that my brother built). But we also own the land and we need to be able to use the little bits of it that are directly in front of our cabins without feeling guilt.

Sorry for letting out a bit of long-simmering anger, albeit in a cryptic fashion. There are some stories that cannot be told in a straightforward manner at least for now, in part because I still do not understand them myself! What did I do? I do not know!

A hot donut of fuzzy logic

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

First of all, I’m thinking I need to start sleeping in the Lyme Lounge or somewhere. I am accustomed to waking up at that Batscope Hour. In fact, for the most part, I think I get a better night’s sleep when I *do* wake up sometime during the night. But waking up to The Pensioner singing “La Marseille Marseillaise? Not so much. Was he sleep-singing? I do not know. Shaaaaaddddup! (Thanks, Margaret, for the spelling correction! Yes, the French national anthem 🐽)

His choice of song didn’t really surprise me that much. We sing “La Marseillaise” quite a bit around here. I’m sure we totally mangle the pronunciation and some of us are not always in tune. But really, in the middle of the night?

Of all things, we are in the middle of a Hot Donut right now, courtesy of Hurricane Maria. Hurricanes that hit further west (Texas, for instance) sometimes dump heavy rain on us, I wonder if there’s a name for that… Feeling sorry for the devastation left by Maria though. I’d take September snowstorms here in Trollandia over a Maria Hot Donut any day if that would save lives and property in Maria’s path.

And I have been using the term Fuzzy Logic for many years but it wasn’t until today that I knew anything about the man who coined the term, Lofti Zadeh, memorialized in the New Yorker (so you may hit a paywall if you follow the link). If only more of our politicians were intelligent and thoughtful enough to embrace Fuzzy Logic. The nuances of creating extremely complex systems (such as affordable health care or immigration policies) do not lend themselves to binary choices. Godspeed, Mr. Zadeh.

And then there’s this other kind of fuzz. Do we like it? I am not a fan. We had pre-retirement discussions about facial hair and appropriate attire. We’ve already done Underwear-in-the-Front-Yard. Fortunately a beach urchin was here to witness that incident and rat him out. Now there is facial hair. Whaddya think?

Is it okay that I wimped out on kayaking because it was pouring rain?

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

Because I did. It was our annual work river trip at Gallup Park and I have previously been an enthusiast, not to mention usually the first person to get down the river, well ahead of the others. Of course, I don’t take a cooler of beer with me in my kayak.

The last *two* (count ’em) years, the outing has been held on the Friday of our annual trip to Tahquamenon so I missed those two years. This year it was today, a Tuesday, and I don’t think we’re going to Tahquamenon this year, at least I am not. So no excuses. But. Rain? Meh. I huuuuuung around at our shelter at Gallup and that was okay but the acoustics were such that my ears were doing their usual Party Thing of picking up bits and pieces of the multiple conversations that surround me such that I don’t really understand *anything* anyone is saying. What *was* funny was that so many people were talking about all of the issues they were having with their teenage or 20-something kids. I just sat there and gnoffed to myself. 30 and almost-33? The worst problem I have is that I sometimes feel like I have to remind my kids that I am NOT goddamn 90, fer kee-reist! The funny thing is that I couldn’t participate in those kinds of conversations when they were teenagers or 20-somethings either because I didn’t have any serious issues with them then.

The rain stopped and eventually I took a walk. I walked through the Furstenberg Nature Area and then, as I was returning, I ran into Xenny. She had made a loop around the main area of the park and wanted to do another one, so I joined her for that. She has recovered from a serious illness that has left her arms too weak to paddle and I am sure that the fact that English is not her first language makes it even harder for her to process conversation during a party in an acoustically live room than it than it is for me.

So we had fun walking and talking and I got this cheep iPhone photo of the Gallup Park canoe sculpture, which has probably been instagrammed in all kinds of artistic ways many times before.

And then I got home early and I dunno why but the GG didn’t even ask me if I was carrying a pink slip. And I will leave you with this Rocketman YouTube video, which doesn’t have anything to do with kayaking but. I. Do. Not. Have. Any. Words… … …

I like the bull but not the fuzz

Monday, September 18th, 2017

So, every Monday or thereabouts, my teensy tinsey team of two meets with Amazon Woman to catch up on what we’re doing and if we need her to “poke” anyone for more information or whatever. We usually start out gossiping about our lives and today Amazon Woman had had a rather rough start, given that westbound I94 was hosed by two (count ’em) accidents. That is her current route to work from over in Megalopolis and about the best she had to say was that her day hadn’t gotten any worse. I know how she feels although today, I floated over to work via my Zen Route and picked away at the nerdy details surrounding a couple complicated pieces of functionality that I was tasked with turning into functional specifications. I love my job. I am a nerd.

Anyway, somehow we got onto ultra-smart people with large vocabularies and the fact that they were usually prolific readers from an early age. I floated along talking about how both of my children fit that category. I was NOT bragging, I HATE when parents brag about their kids. But then, I remembered my own childhood. I did read books. I liked to read books. I was more or less a prolific reader. I didn’t read as many books as my cousin The Grand Poohbah by a long shot. But I read books.

But what I probably spent *more* of my time doing — hours and hours and hours and hours and and and — was playing music. I mean playing the flute, which was my main instrument, and the piano, which was my first *real* instrument and one that EVERY musician should learn how to play if it is at all possible.

I loved playing the piano and I was not bad at it but the flute? Oh. My. God. I got assigned probably the crappiest of the three crappy old flutes available to us fifth graders. I think I was the first to get a sound out of it and by about a week later, I had been pretty much through the whole beginner method book. Fingering charts were my friend and I already knew about staffs and clefs and notes and rhythm because I had taught myself piano (until The Commander forced me to take lessons — a GOOD THING!). My parents supported my musical habit and I practiced diligently because I LOVED IT! Scales and arpeggios and tone exercises and etudes and every single blasted piece of repertoire I could get my hands on. I spent hours and hours and hours (and hours) practicing and I was very focused, with a set procedure through my exercises and pieces every day. And I was a HUGE music theory nerd.

I didn’t end up pursuing a music career (it would take umpteen gazillion blahg entries to talk about that but I’m not doing it tonight, for one thing because I don’t really have it all sorted out yet) but let me repeat the old adage that musicians are usually also good mathematicians (I am) and a lot of the skills acquired via music translate well to the IT industry. Especially for us music theory nerds.

This entry does NOT represent me bragging about myself. It is a glimpse into my childhood and young adulthood and what makes me tick. It’s been a loooooong time since I practiced my flute in the driven way I did when I was young. Children and jobs-that-helped-pay-the-mortgage intervened. Maybe one of these days if I ever become The Pensioness, I will dredge out my beautiful Haynes flute and reinstate my regimented childhood practice routine. Or maybe I will just play for the joy of playing. I still have the chops and the fingers, although Titanium Pinky may need a bit of retraining.

Oh yeah. That posture in the pic is TERRIBLE!!!! The best posture for playing the flute is standing up. When I was at college, I practiced standing up. At the moomincabin, I slouched on the couch.

P.S. Congratulations to my long-time internet buddy Agate Gal, on her new GRANDSON! He is absolutely gorgeous!


Sunday, September 17th, 2017

I dunno, it was after noon when the GG asked me if I had been reading a book all day. I [snarkily] replied that I had been reading anti-Trump stuff all day. That wasn’t true although I did see some of his latest tweets, including the retweeted GIF of him knocking Hillary over with a golf ball, a poorly constructed GIF created by someone in his “base”. I don’t care what y’all think of Hillary. I think it is in poor taste for the blasted POTUS to retweet something like that. But I digress.

I did finish a book today, Salt Houses, recommended by one of the beach urchins. I enjoyed this book, a multi-generational saga involving a well-to-do, well-educated Palestinian family buffeted about the mid-East and eventually America (and back again) by various wars. There are people who try to tell me that the Islamic faith is inherently violent. I do not believe that. I believe that people of every faith (and *people* in general) run the gamut and that *anyone* of *any* faith (including those who share my own agnostic mainstream protestant-based beliefs) can be violent. The folks in this fictional family ran that gamut although no one ever became violent. In the end, they were a family, in so many ways a lot like my own family.

But that’s not all I did today. It was a peaceful domestic sort of day, well, except for the intermittent noise of the GG’s power tools a few feet away from me. I did laundry and minor cleaning chores and I walked to the Plum Market and I processed food. I put baggies of pesto from farmer’s market basil and chopped bell peppers from Farmer John’s lunchroom market at work in the freezer. I remember when I used to make pesto with *spinach*, adding dried basil flakes for flavor. Nowadays fresh basil is everywhere, even in the winter. Anyway, I did all of this in slow motion. I would finish one prodject (hey, autocorrect, quit correcting that!), wash the dishes and put them in my bamboo rack to let them air-dry and go and read. When the dishes from one prodject were dry, I would begin the next prodject (autocorrect? STOP!).

I did my reading in the back yard today. It is gorgeous here this weekend. This is not Indian Summer. This is summer. Indian Summer happens in October or even November when we have had some truly cold weather and then a spate of sun and heat. The pic shows a different view of our back yard than usual. It is so green now but in a few months it will be cold and gray and I will be driving to and from work in the dark and coping with whatever style of precipitation Old Man Winter decides to throw at us. La Nina? Not gonna be good.

Kitchen dancing

Saturday, September 16th, 2017

The first photoooo showed up on my Facebook memories today. From 2011. I know that UKW and I were not at the moomincabin on September 16, 2011. She was there earlier that summer and I *think* this photooo was taken then but I’m not sure because I cannot find it anywhere except for Facebook memories.

But hey, I did find the next pic. These are our mothers, Radical Betty and The Commander in roughly the same positions in the kitchen. They were sisters-in-law, not biological siblings but they met in college and that led to The Comm marrying my dad so they ended up being best friends for the rest of their lives.

I dunno exactly what was going on in either pic but it doesn’t matter. We were having fun and probably laughing at something totally ridiculous. That’s what my family does. As I said on Facebook today, I am blessed to have wonderful cousins on both the Fin and Mac sides of my family. Anyone who is not interested in loving other family members unconditionally and is not blessed with tolerance and a good sense of humor need not apply.

See the dart board and the upside down kid chair in the upper background? I remember my dad using the dart board on a few occasions before it got hung forever in the back of the kitchen. The kid chair I THINK (but not sure) was a gift to me from my Great Aunt Elizabeth, my grandaddy’s sister. I remember sitting on that chair in the back of the moomincabin kitchen getting my feet washed and de-slivered. I would look up at the ceiling from there, fascinated by how the 2x4s slanted to create the corner of that room.

It’s not over until it’s over. Summer, that is.

Friday, September 15th, 2017

We did the usual Friday Night Oscar Tango thing with our friends of poterization tonight and then we all had a nightcap in the Landfill backyard.

It was a “fun” night in which we learned a few things. Like when you lose track of your parking ticket and subsequently have to pay for a parking ticket. That’s as far as I’ll go with that. And then there is when a CAT gets into your house. And you didn’t see the cat get in and you are not quite sure what your friend is talking about when he reports a small mammal with pointy ears coming into your house. Really? What? Hope it isn’t a skunk. Okay I got the Orange Cat out. He has a collar so I suppose he/she/it I think he belongs to someone somewhere. I picked him up to get him out. I know that I’m lucky he didn’t bite me or something. Muksaslooie probably would have.

Love this bonfaaarrr and those who shared our back yard with us tonight.

double coffee and breakfast to go

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

8:00 AM: Coffee at Barry’s with MMCB2. Five minutes into our meeting, I alarmed everyone with a huge spasm of hacking up a lung. I realized it was because I was TALKING A BLUE STREAK! First I was yammering away about my Man Cold and then somebody said something about lawyers and if you know anything about my life for a good portion of the last five years, you KNOW that got me going big time. I managed to cough up the rest of my story and then I said, “Okay, now you guys talk and I will sit here and try to recover from that.” Jeebus. (Overall, today was a *much* better day in terms of coughing although I still have “tennis elbow” and a couple other annoying muscle aches.)

9:00 AM: Breakfast (and more coffee) at Nick’s Original House of Pancakes with my work team, sponsored by Amazon Woman. I knew exactly (I thought) where Nick’s was and I could see it but somehow I still had to go through the Ann Arbor Saline/Waters intersection *three* times before I figured out how to get there. It was worth it and I think every single one of us ended up putting half of our food in a go box. GoGrannyGo ordered the “Fruit Explosion”, which was three large pancakes covered with fruit on a huge platter. Yes, half of that came back to the office and we were still talking about it at the end of the day. I ordered something a bit more pedestrian but it was still enough food that I never got around to eating my packed lunch, so I will have leftover breakfast tomorrow morning and today’s lunch for lunch (it’s okay, I stashed it all in the mini-fridge in the empty cube next to mine).

I am feeling both better and totally beat up right now, if that makes any sense. I am about done. Yeah, that’s our shed in the pic there. It is so clean! We are gearing up to figure out how to get rid of that one and put up a new one. We have differing ideas about how to go about that. I vote to hire an architect to help create something small, cheap, and beautiful. The GG is more in a DIY mode. Of course he will win that “battle”. What I do NOT want is another blasted TIN thing. And I would love to have some windows.

I slept well last night. Here’s to another of those kind of nights. G’night. -KW

Irma dies a gentle death in southern Trollandia

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

According to my fave Mlive weatherman Irma accounted for the warm, gentle rains we had this morning. We do sometimes get touched by hurricanes, usually those that hit the Gulf of Mexico. We get maybe 1% at most (today 0%) of the damage anyone in the south have suffered. I love Florida and we have relatives down there and I am very happy that everyone is safe. It won’t be long before our weather will be forecasting snow and I will be wishing I could apparate down to Florida and back in the winter. It is a beautiful state.

Meanwhile, KW had a difficult night and most of the rest of this is intended to be HUMOROUS. So, I went to bed last night and slept well for quite some time but that Batscope Hour came around and I moved my leg wrong (I was sleeping next to a cement block and had NOOOOO space) and got a charley horse. Okay… Dealing with a charley horse in a kayak (or, uh, while giving birth (TMI?)) can be a challenge but I have been getting those since I was a little kid and I know that if you get one in the middle of the night, all you have to do is get outta bed and PUSH YOUR HEEL INTO THE FLOOR! It seems counter-intuitive but it works. So I did. And then I was awake enough that I felt like I needed to visit the Water Closet…

After the Water Closet Visit, I thought I would settle back down to sleep. Alas, the walk to the Water Closet and back (it is like 10 steps away, fer Kee-reist), resulted in a bunch of coughing that WOULD NOT END! There were some REM dreams in there. Shoreline dreams in which it was so golden out in the bay in front of the Moomincabin that I couldn’t figure where the GG was in the Motor Bote. And then when I wanted to schlep up to the cabin, there were 10-foot banks that I struggled to climb up. I finally got up there somehow and my moom and brother were in the cabin with me helping me find appropriate boxes to take my own record collections out of there (Pink Floyd, anyone?). This was a packing dream but it was kind of a positive packing dream.

So, I hacked up a lung most of the night and most of my workday today. I do not feel bad at all, except for the frickin’ coughing. When I got home this afternoon, I went to pull the mail outta the mailbox. My elbow did not hold (a whole lot of) weight. What the? It’ll be fine. I think I slept on it wrong last night.


Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

Alas, in my memory this photo was nowhere near this blurry. It is a recursive photo of my blahg showing our two brand new iPhones with the photo on the blahg showing the two new iPhones and on and on ad infinitum. Obviously it was carefully set up and taken via a “real” camera. Why is it so blurry? I do not know. Did I accidentally get rid of a better version of it. I wish I knew. Anyway, this was the dawn of the iPhone era for us, a few weeks more than 10 years ago today.

We bit the bullet and picked these things up on a Sunday afternoon in a pouring rainstorm. The next day, again in a pouring rainstorm, I picked up UKW at Metro and we headed up to the Great White North. Was that the time we were talking so much I missed my turn at US23 and we ended up in Lansing? I can’t remember.

This was the first photo my newfangled iPhone took. It was an accidental photo taken by MMCB at Barry Bagels where we met for coffee that morning. I kept that photo as my main screen photo for a really long time until one of the beach urchins unknowingly changed it.

We still had dial-up internet at the moomincabin in those days and I remember being totally flabbergasted that I had enough service via my new iPhone (the Edge) to post something somewhere. Twitter? I don’t remember. And then on a Yarn Store Boondoggle to the northern lower, we posted (probably Twitter) that we were crossing the Mackinac Bridge. We took the photo below but couldn’t post it because the technology wasn’t quite there yet. I remember Mouse trying and saying that she needed to find a file to post a pic (like on a laptop). Amazing how phone technology has evolved since then…

Here are UKW, Radical Betty, and Mouse on the beach. When I got that first iPhone, somehow I was all into these slanted photos for a while. Not sure why. They were sorta cool and yet… I suppose I still do that from time to time.

We are on the 6S version of the iPhone these days and ours are two years old (I think). I *think* that is our fifth iPhone? Not sure. Are “we” hot to get the X? I dunno. The $1,000 price point gives me great pause. But we paid $600 each for our first iPhones and that was a pretty big leap too. I titled that original iPhone blahg post “An Irresponsible Purchase”. At any rate, my phone works well for now…

Goodbye Irma, all is well

Monday, September 11th, 2017

I am relieved to report that all of our Floridian relatives, cFam and Fin, have ridden Irma out with minimal damage. There was some worry here this weekend although I had my own personal hunch that things would be okay. Hurricanes (that I know of) tend to weaken upon landfall and as big as Irma was, Florida is a large peninsula. I know, I drove all over it last April!

Our cFam relatives are in the Bradenton area, which was expected to get hit pretty hard, so they lucked out with the weakening storm. Fin niece Pengo and her BF and two tortoiseshell catsas (she was calling them “purricanes”) are farther inland in Gainesville, although she posted a lovely pic of their flooded parking lot complete with some rafters, which I couldn’t help but smile at because I’d’ve probably been wanting to launch a kayak, well, except gators 🐊. I think everyone is without power. I would suggest generators for all but generators require gasoline and if you cannot get to a gas station, you cannot refill your generator. Also, they are not inexpensive. Sure loved having one when we lost power for a couple days last March, when it was NOT all that warm out. But we could easily get to the gas station (not to mention stores and restaurants, etc., were open).

I don’t know how our loverly old-school Sea Club resort fared out on Long Boat Key. I saw a random video of waterspouts in the gulf somebody posted from Long Boat Key. What little I saw of the actual *key* in that video indicated that it was still there, so I am optimistic. (Actually, it *looked* like the videographer was on a *boat*.) It is sad to me that Florida seems so over-developed in an unsustainable way. I loved our low-profile little rental. I did not love all of the high rise buildings along the beach to either side of it. I love Florida in small doses. I can’t imagine moving down there permanently or even for the winter. (Delete long, rambling, unintelligible thoughts about Florida and snowbirdism, and retiring to a place far from home and family. Don’t get it. Never have. Not sure I ever will.)

Meanwhile it is gorgeous here on The Planet Ann Arbor and here is a pic Lizard Breath took from the back of the back yard yesterday. Green, kind of messy, and overgrown gardens. Love this place anyway.

Good night and love to Florida and Georgia family and friends who are on the other side of Irma or getting there.