Random bits of my so-called life.

Paint Can Man

May 5th, 2020 by kayak woman

1) I loooooove ordering grocks, etc., online.

2) I am gonna go craaaaaazy trying to keep up with my orders.

Where’s my coffee? I ordered coffee last week from our own local Roos Roast. This morning my main coffee maker aka the GG was rummaging around looking for coffee. We were getting dangerously low. Did I get my coffee order? I couldn’t remember. I got online to look at the tracking and immediately fell into a total state of confusion because I had actually made two orders. One for us and the second for some young relatives in NY. I was notified when they received theirs. Where was mine? I finally figured out it was sent via the post office and kept getting hung up at various “facilities”.

This is NOT a problem (at least not a 1st world problem) and I am NOT dissing the postal service. This is a challenging time for everyone and I know the postal workers are doing the best they can. I wouldn’t want their jobs and I greatly appreciate them. They are putting their lives on the line. Yesterday we had a sub and he was all excited about the GG’s mail from the Hornet aircraft carrier association and the GG was OUTSIDE and they were BOTH UNMASKED and I was like, “I love y’all but don’t fergit to social distance, you guys!” But next time I order Roos Roast coffee, I will include it in an Argus order, which is delivered from the farm stop downtown to my door. One fewer thing for the postal service to have to deal with not to mention Roos Roast. I’m sure it’s easier for them to schlep coffee over to Argus than to mail it to someone in town.

I haven’t (yet) had any more incidents like the 18 cranberry goat cheese logs, thank you very much to those who took the excess off my hands. I have noticed that Amazon is starting to prominently label its product photos with the number of items in the pack. Like 6 or 24 (!). I was ordering tomato paste yesterday and this helped me avoid ordering a package of 24 cans. Four I can deal with. 24 not so much.

Finally, here is Paint Can Man. He spent yesterday afternoon decanting blue paint into empty plastic peanut butter jars so North Country Trail volunteers can go out and paint blazes. Painting blazes is a safe, socially distancing activity in these pandemic times because most of the trail sections in the eastern yooperland are deep in the forest where most people don’t go.

Don’t look at the hair. Nothing to see there.

May 4th, 2020 by kayak woman

I mean I think I have said before I have what is now known as COVID Hair probably 95% of the time ANYWAY. Every once in a while I go to Liz’s special Detroit gal for what she won’t let me call a Mom Bob and she makes me all glamorous looking and I love her but it’s been a while and it’ll probably be a longer while until I see her again…

This mask is brought to you (me) by my grocery delivery rodent. The grocery gig (which she is good at) supports her creative side. I know that making masks isn’t anywhere near as interesting as some of her other artistic endeavors but so glad she’s making them. (Note that as an “essential worker” she isn’t making tons of them to donate or taking orders. She’s waaaay too busy working.)

It took a while for us to receive our masks, which is okay since we are not, uh, really GOING ANYWHERE. The few times the GG has ventured into public places, he has used a North Country Trail bandanna. On my 0-skunk-30 walks in the neighborhood, I can easily distance myself FAR from the few people who are out and so feel comfortable without a mask. There are even fewer people than usual because as so many folks are telecommuting or laid off (YUCK!), I don’t think most of them are up and out as early as usual.

I cracked up when I found out the REAL reason we didn’t get our masks sooner. It was because our rodent was agonizing over picking a fabric for the GG’s mask that she thought would actually encourage him to wear it. This cracked me up because it is soooo much like me it is beyond funny. She ended up with kind of a reptile green Kona cotton batik for him, which is perfect.

Oh just go to hell

May 3rd, 2020 by kayak woman

Hell, Michigan, that is.

I am down to seven cranberry goat cheese logs! A couple/few of those are designated for npJane and My Dear Uncle Harry and I want my original three but whatever is left, I am okay with. Our grocery delivery rodent picked up some logs for her and her old friend Lairi the Rake and dropped off two masks (yay!) and fancy pepperoni (inside joke🐽) and an old serger she isn’t using. We dropped a couple off over at Porterland and then a former YAG dad who I’m Instagram friends with said he’d take three. So all’s well that ends well with that little pandemic shopping misadventure. Note to KW: double and triple check QUANTITIES!

Today was chores, then Lyme Lounging out at Pinckney Rec, which was jammed with people. Social distancing? How do you tell who is a family group sheltering together? I do not know. I’m pretty sure that the mountain biking folks are not family groups and they interact a bit too close for my comfort. I’ll just stay in the Lyme Lounge and read my book, la la la. If the good weather continues I think we’ll have to re-schedule our Lyme Lounge escapades to earlier in the morning. Coffee instead of Liquid Courage.

It might sound like I’m paranoid about the virus but although I don’t have a high comfort level with it, paranoia is really not the right word. I’m struggling with the staggering amount of “information” we are constantly dealing with. I know that scientists are working overtime to study and understand it but there’s still too much we don’t know. Okay, it “only” kills “old people”? Except it also kills others. Anyway, why is it okay for “old people” to die of it (like I’ve seen a few people say on facebook)? I’ll leave the Bad Orange Man and his crazy touting of “miracle cures” out of this for now.

On the good side, we arrived home to a big box of produce and other stuff from Argus and I scurried to get the pasties and ravioli (both frozen) into the freezer. Fortunately it wasn’t on the porch all that long and the sun hadn’t hit the west side of the house (where the porch is) yet. Note to KW: when you order from Argus, schedule the delivery on a week day when you are home!

Pandemic Shopping Misadventures #2309808

May 2nd, 2020 by kayak woman

This stuff is an integral part of our pandemic snack arsenal. The GG usually picks them up at the Aldi a couple blocks away but I won’t let him go inside there and I’m pretty sure they don’t have curbside or delivery, at least not easily schedule-able. So a while back I ordered one of these from some online outfit to try it out. It was good and the shipping was fine – i.e., it took a while for them to ship it but when they did it was FedEx overnight and it arrived cold and iced in an insulated bag.

So I ordered three more. Or so I thought. What arrived today was three CASES! Six in a case so 18 total! Holy Toledo! And it was MY ERROR! I guess this cancels out the duplicate coffee grinder that I received that I didn’t order or pay for? It was more or less the same price.

I started loading a bunch of them into my already jam-packed freezer and then I thought, hmmm, maybe my grocery delivery rodent would like a few and maybe this or that local friend/relative. So I put out some text messages and it looks like at least some of them will be taken off my hands. Anything left from that, I will freeze. I think it’ll freeze okay. Might change the texture but as another beach urchin pointed out, heating it up in the oven would probably mitigate that.

This stuff goes well with Triscuits! 🐽🐸

Four egger

May 2nd, 2020 by kayak woman

And then there were four. We don’t expect any more. As I have probably said before this nest is on the security light in the “lee” of our house, an inside corner between the east wall and the south wall of the A-ddition. It’s been quite a few years since robins nested in this spot but they’re doing it again. Five feet away chickadees are nesting in a bird house.

Yesterday was a day, beginning sorta slowly and accelerating and then all of a sudden it was 9:30 and I couldn’t have strung two words together to save my life. You’re welcome.

First, I remember at the beginning of all of this STUFF worrying about some of my fave places to shop, including the seafood market in Kerrytown. A seafood market in the midwest? Yes. A really good seafood market in the midwest. I found out they were doing curbside pickup and placed a big order. We were getting down to the bottom of that order so yesterday I made another one. I needn’t have worried about this place. They were so BUSY the order-taker had to put me on hold for a bit and then forgot to get my debit card info. When I got down there (and yes of course I paid), the owner brought my fish out and said that they were way beyond BUSY. More like CRAZY! They deliver both fish and lunch and I guess people are buying. Which is a good thing!

We were less successful picking up a hardware item later in the afternoon maybe in part because the GG didn’t read the DIRECTIONS for how to pick up but also because they LOST his order. After a half hour wait in that parking lot and a couple of employees disappearing inside never to return, we gave up.

I don’t get, you know, OUT very much these days and usually when I do the streets are pretty deserted. Not yesterday! I don’t know what was going on besides it was a nice day but there was just about as much traffic as, you know, before.

Maybe more later. Maybe not.

Eggs of blue

April 30th, 2020 by kayak woman

So what was today? A virtual retirement party for FZ and another long-time employee. One that I have never known well. We are mostly introverts at Cubelandia. Hearing his story I can only wish I had gotten to know him better.

I could’ve retaaaared today too but I chose not to. That was a good decision for me because my job is keeping me sane during the pandemic plus I think I am still needed. I am very very very fortunate to have this job, knock on wood. Today our CEO sent out a message saying that telecommuting has been working very well for our company and we can continue to work from home for the duration. The company will re-evaluate in MID-JULY and even then they will not require us to return to our offices if we don’t feel safe.

I remember when I first got this job. I was kinda pinching myself like “I have an actual job?” Yes. I had a job. A real actual job, one that pays money. After all these years (12), I am still kinda pinching myself but yes I still have that dern job. I have somehow survived a bunch of Black Thursdays, I’m not sure why but I am still around.

I am doing okay with telecommuting but I do miss my Zen Commute to Cubelandia. Slow-driving the Ninja over there and back, shifting up and down.

Love y’all and g’night. KW

Grocery shopping schizophrenia

April 29th, 2020 by kayak woman

So for about the third time since you-know-when, I started to put “canned sliced black olives” on a list of stuff for my main grocery delivery rodent to pick up for me. Then I thought, “WAIT A MINUTE!” Why am I onesy-twosy-ing her with an item that I can actually buy a *few* of and keep around? And then I thought, “In fact, why am I asking her to buy esoteric items like that at all?” I can probably buy them online.

And so I can and I spent Sunday morning ordering “stuff” from Amazon: canned sliced black olives, canned diced green chiles, bread crumbs, pizza sauce, TRISCUITS🐽, pizza crust mix, tamari (LOL-private joke), and I fergit what else. I didn’t buy cases of these things but most of them came in multiples and I think six was the biggest pack I bought. These are things I will use eventually and I don’t want my rodent to be wandering all over the place looking for them every time she shops for me.

This is counter-intuitive to how I usually shop. I usually buy stuff only when I need it but that’s when *I* am doing my own shopping. Oh sure, mishaps occur. I get really annoyed when I buy something thinking I’m out of it only to find that I have something like FIVE at home. This MOSTLY happens at the end of the summer when the moomincabin and the Lyme Lounge get emptied out and I end up with like three half-full yellow mustards, etc. at the Landfill.

And the beat goes on…

P.S. In case you were wondering, I am on the other side of a big pane of glass from this masked rodent and actually a few feet back from that so yes we are social distancing. It was this rodent who convinced me to stop any kind of shopping back in early March. It didn’t take much convincing because I was already pretty freaked out. I suspected COVID was already lurking at that time via asymptomatic carriers and it turns out I was probably right. STAY HOME, no matter what the politicians tell you to do. Most of them, especially the Orange Baboon, have no clue how successful viruses spread.

Zooming

April 28th, 2020 by kayak woman

I am reading (occasionally) with mild interest about how workers are adapting to telecommuting. This was a non-issue for my work team. We do it all the time. Or at least some of us do and others of us do occasionally. Most of us telecommute whenever there’s a snowstorm and others telecommute at least some days a week because they have long congested commutes. And then there’s India and a long-time telecommuter in Chicago, etc.

I don’t think ANYONE was lacking the proper equipment, which for most of us consists of a laptop, power cable, and VPN key. And the VPN key has been a phone app for a couple years now. Oh, and wi-fi of course.

This NPR article mentioned some of the drawbacks of using the popular Zoom app. Besides getting everyone set up with it (and not mentioning the reported security issues), the article talks about what it’s like to be looking at everyone’s face throughout every meeting. From the article:

But the default setting on a lot of these videoconference technologies is a Brady Bunch grid, where everybody’s staring at you right in the face. It would be exhausting and superweird to have disembodied heads just staring at you for hours.

I think that would drive me crazy too. We don’t use Zoom at my work. We have been using MS Teams for a couple years now. It isn’t perfect but one thing we don’t have to do is look at each everyone’s fugly COVID-hair mug. Our badge photos show up as little cameos when we join and when we are talking. I think all of us are adept at ignoring those.

I am not trying to dis Zoom. We are using Teams because that’s what The Mother Ship decided we were going to use a while back and installed it on our laptops. We have no choice so we adapt to whatever they install. I know that others are scrambling to figure this stuff out. Imagine switching from in-person music lessons to online. That’s been a Hot Topic on my “floot loop groop”.

At home we are using Facetime to meet up for Friday Porterization, Happy Hours with our kids and niece et al, and I am doing Coffee with MMCB at Barry Bagels that way. It’s what works for us.

BTW, I have attended ONE Zoom meeting. It was set up by a client (I RARELY have any contact with clients). I quickly found the setting to go to Audio Only and so did everyone else!

P.S. My hair looks like COVID hair 95% of the time anyway🐽🐽🐽

Negative vibes

April 27th, 2020 by kayak woman

It was one of THOSE days when someone spent an inordinate amount of time on the computer/phone for very little gain (and it wasn’t me). They were trying to track down a missing stimulus check (not one of ours) and if I had known that, I could’ve shortened the phone wait time considerably. Why? Because I encountered an article on the WaPo this morning reporting that people in certain situations would not receive their stimulus until April 29 or thereabouts. I did not read the whole article but just the first couple paragraphs indicated that our person was likely in one of those situations and that turned out to be true. Anyway, negative vibes emanated from the Upstairs Man Cave for the duration and he never did get anywhere on the phone.

News on the internet annoys me in general, even from the more respectable sources. So often the headline has nothing to do with the article or else it gets buried “all the way down to the bottom” (say it in a British accent if you will) somewhere. Is that what they call “burying the lede”? As you might guess by this boring blahg of blather, I know nothing whatsoever about journalism, not that I am trying in any way shape or form to be a journalist. Also I find a lot of long online stories to be very boring. I want some background info but don’t overwhelm the story with it. On the other hand, if a story is too short, I’m often left wondering what the heck happened? TV9&10 I’m looking at you. Tune in at 11 for the story? Nope. Of course, that is related to TV news and I barely watch *anything* on TV. Here we are in the middle of a pandemic and I haven’t even seen Tiger King.

I love when the GG gets outta the house (walking) while I’m working. I also worry that he’ll have some kind of social distancing mishap. Even though I know he’s careful and carries hand sanitizer and a bandanna. We have masks of sorts but not anything “official”. On the other hand, if he obtains an “official” mask, I worry that he will get into macho mode and start shopping *inside* stores, which we really don’t need to do since I have cobbled together a number of ways to obtain goods in a contact free way. What do I mean by “official” masks? I’m not even sure.

Day what? I do not know. I do know that the last time I ventured *inside* a store was Thursday March 12 when I hit up the liqwire store on the way home from my last day at Cubelandia. I arrived home to a text message from Amazon Woman saying everyone was to telecommute starting the next morning and here we are.

Breaking news is that we lost another relative to COVID. Wife of the 94-year-old uncle who died, when was that? It was 10 days ago or so. Nursing homes and similar facilities are NOT SAFE because we have no way to keep asymptomatic employees out of them without TESTING!

STAY HOME! Love y’all, KW

Identical twin coffee grinders for an identical twin

April 26th, 2020 by kayak woman

I didn’t think I had any gifts for the GG this year, I mean the kind you can actually open. But then a while back when I made my first online order from Argus, I accidentally ordered Roos Roast coffee BEANS, not ground. We did not have a coffee grinder. Actually for a while we didn’t even have a coffee MAKER but I relented after we renovated the Landfill Chitchen and we use a small Mr. Coffee now.

This (BEANS) was not a huge problem. We had enough ground coffee for a while and then Mouse bought us some GROUND Roos and exchanged it for our beans (she definitely has a grinder). But then I thought what the heck, we can OWN a coffee grinder (again). So, I got online and looked around and ordered this one from OXO. Except, after a loooonnnnng wait (this is NOT a complaint), when it arrived, it was TWO! Hmm… Did I accidentally double my cart? Nope. I ordered and PAID for one grinder. I’m feeling a bit guilty about this but I decided not to try to figure out how to return the extra one or pay for it. I’ve been through this kind of thing before and the company’s line is usually just keep it (i.e., we don’t wanna deal with it). The extra one will live at the moomincabin if we can ever get it up there.

So here is the GG with his haul this morning after opening a whole bunch of boxes. Two coffee grinders, three jars of fancy maraschino cherries including one SUPER fancy one dropped off no-contact style by npJane last night, a jar of FROG jam, a nice letter from his sister Liz, and, uh, a fifth of Woodford Reserve Double Oaked. That last was my “secret” errand yesterday. So all in all a pretty good haul. I mean last year I gave him the choice of drone or vacuum cleaner and he chose vacuum cleaner so go figger.

This afternoon we did our new pandemic thing where we drive the Lyme Lounge to a local state park and sit in the parking lot reading and having a bit of liquid courage. Too many unmasked people on the trails for my taste (I continue to walk early early early) but the GG took a bit of a hike while I held down the fort. I cannot tell you how many people walked by on their way to the trails saying things like, “That is so cute!” and “I want one” and other appreciative comments about our wee camping trailer. And taking pictures!

Oh yeah, and one more bday “gift”, probably his fave! On the way out of the rec area, we pulled into a primitive bote launch so he could put the window covering up on the LL. I suspect this was an excuse though. The real reason we pulled in there was because he had walked down there on his mini-hike and found this EMPTY PEANUT BUTTER JAR and had to go back and retrieve it. Whaddya want with that (I had to ask). Paint container for North Country Trail paint.

HB to the GG and the UU aka the Twinz of Terror.

Signed, C19

April 25th, 2020 by kayak woman

Okay, we are getting all kinds of deliveries these days. Household cleaning items (but not Clorox wipes) and various non-perishable grocery items plus some exotic perishable grocery items. I sit in here at TeleCubelandia and watch stuff get delivered. I quarantine it or not depending on what it is.

Yesterday a *phone* was delivered to my house. Not my phone, mind you. A young friend’s phone was scheduled to be delivered and he lives in a prime porch poaching area. No one is gonna poach off my porch in any way shape or form during this period of time because I meet EVERY delivery person from behind our glass door with a big THANK YOU!

So this phone was delivered by a UPS person. Technically a signature was required. The UPS guy took one look at me and said something like, “Is it okay if I just sign this C19?” Yes yes yes it is okay. In fact it totally cracked me up. He looked younger than me but he wasn’t a spring chicken and I’m sure neither of us wanted contact. Daisy zoomed over to pick up the new phone.

I put in a Sparrow Market order this morning and picked it up curbside. And then a kinda secret order and then… I actually went to the bank drive-thru. The last time I went through a bank drive-thru was back in 2007 when I was working as an intern at Cubelandia and was getting paid with paper checks. After I got hired as a full-time employee, my paycheck was deposited directly and nowadays whenever I do get a check from something, I can deposit it via my phone.

Today I cashed a $100 check and asked for five dollar bills. I need those to leave tips for Argus Farm Stop delivery folks. I can’t tell an ATM to give me five dollar bills.

I get to post this pic once in a while

April 24th, 2020 by kayak woman

“It’s my birthday and I’m two and I can talk as well as you and this new skort outfit is so cute, I will just take off the outfit I’m wearing and put this one on, right here in the Landfill Back Room in front of everybody. And I have a new hat from my Gramma and these fancy high-heeled shoes that belong to my sister. And… My Mouse!”

I won’t say how many years ago this was. More than I am strong enough to count, that’s for sure. A few years ago we celebrated this one’s bday by attending a play she was acting in, dinner at the Landfill, then a wee bit of a nightcap in the Lyme Lounge, where we sang along to 90s alternative rock. This totally cracked our then neighbor up. Our driveway is a few feet from their house. No social distancing there so good thing there are walls.

This year. Well. Hmmm. We are not gathering. I don’t even have an actual gift, you know, the kind you can actually open. I venmoed some money instead. It’ll have to do. I did make sure to stipulate that it was BIRTHDAY money, not money to buy me groceries.

In the beginning? Not to get TMI but this one was three weeks early. Given the personality that immediately emerged, we figgered we knew why. GET ME OUTTA HERE!!! Early though it was, we expected all was well and it was and we were bounced outta the hoosegow after about 24 hours. And so it began.

Aside from the typical kinds of struggles that happen with a mother and daughter who are both “spirited”, I never had one iota of trouble with this person. Highly intelligent, creative, empathetic, and many-talented. A total force of nature. In this difficult time an essential worker who volunteers to shop for her parents and other households who need food and can’t or shouldn’t go shopping.

HB 🐭🧡🧡🧡

Vacationland

April 23rd, 2020 by kayak woman

My company is really good at supporting us in general, aside from a Black Thursday once in a while, but it’s at-will employment and that goes with the territory. It’s why I have an empty grocery bag over at Cubelandia and nowhere near enough personal possessions to fill it up.

During the pandemic? Almost everyone world-wide is working from home with the company’s blessing. HR has created a fund for folks who are struggling financially despite being employed. They’re even trying to provide things for young students stuck at home to do. Hip hop dance lessons, etc. It’s all good.

A notice sent out today struck me a little weird though. They are asking people to take vacation time. I don’t mean furlough. I mean our regular *paid* vacation. I know why this is. It’s because they don’t want everyone to save up all of their vacation time and take it all at once at the end of the year. Assuming we are back to normal even by then, which I am skeptical about. Anyway I get five weeks and the last thing I want to do is take the last five weeks of the year off. Yuck.

But. Vacation now? Lemme see. I can’t go anywhere. The weather pretty much sucks, like it often does in April. I don’t really mind the weather. I walk every morning and my “office” is the Green Couch, which is right next to the window so I just watch whatever comes down. But… I usually *go* somewhere when I take vacation time, usually to the moomincabin, which I doubt I will get to this year. I’m not sure I have *ever* used more than a day or two of vacation time for a staycation except sometimes at xmas. Could I get psychologically motivated to get back to cleaning out the dungeon? I need to but I’m not sure. Anyway you can’t donate anything right now.

I suppose one thing I could handle if this thing drags on forever is to take a day here and there. But working and communicating with co-workers is saving my SANITY! And I only have a bit more than another week for FZ to download his brain into mine. Taking a week or whatever off to hang out at the Landfill? Not happening.

Happy birthday to FlaMan (and my grandma Margaret, long dead). I can’t help thinking about FlaMan’s last birthday. I took the afternoon off and the GG and I drove up to Grand Blanc and took him out to lunch along with two of their other sibs. He wore a magnificent cake-with-candles birthday hat and everyone treated him like a king. Today? The GG drove up to drop off some rum and coke and butter and I fergit what else, braving a morning trip to Kroger to pick up some things left off the original list. I was not a fan of that last but he wore a balaclava over his nose/mouth and *claims* he put on his North Country Trail bandanna over that. And blue gloves. Why we have a box of those I do not know but they predate the pandemic by a few years.

Frog jam and deodorant and other pandemic online ordering misadventures

April 22nd, 2020 by kayak woman

I received an Amazon delivery today (along with several others). It had a jar of frog jam and… drum roll… no fewer than EIGHT bottles of deodorant! I guess we’ll use it eventually.

EIGHT? Yes! It was my ERROR! Way back when this COVID crapola was just ramping up, I eyeballed our deodorant supply and it was pretty good but I thought I would try to order some anyway. I had switched to ordering deodorant online WELL before the pandemic. What surprised me this time was that it was almost as hard to find as toilet paper. At least the delivery dates were something like a month out. I mean, we’re all isolating so why do we need deodorant?

But I do like to use deodorant, so I ordered a pack of four. And then I FORGOT I ORDERED THOSE. You know what’s next, right? A couple weeks later, I ORDERED FOUR MORE! Yes, really. The delivery date was still waaaaay out there. Then… A few nights ago, the GG was grilling a chicken and he used up the last of his xmas frog jam. All right. I ordered THAT from Amazon. So today, ALL EIGHT deodorants and the frog jam arrived in the same package. I don’t really know why this seems so funny to me but it is cracking me up. Plus, I didn’t even know what frog jam WAS until we received some as a gift a couple years ago. And then it took me most of that two years to figger out that it was Fig Raspberry Orange Ginger jam, not just jam with a cute froooogggy on the label.

Because I don’t need either the jam or the deodorant right now, the package is in “quarantine” in a hidden spot outside. Why am I putting [some] packages in quarantine? Because I dunno what you have heard about how long COVID can live on various surfaces but I have heard – for cardboard alone – 1) 24 hours, 2) 3 days, and 3) it doesn’t matter because you aren’t going to get infected by touching a cardboard box that someone with COVID has touched. Plus a whole bunch of other “guidelines” or whatever. Who is right and who is wrong? Who knows?

So I follow my own “schizophrenic” set of “rules”. Because I DO quarantine packages until I DON’T. If I know what’s in the box and I don’t need it right away, it gets quarantined. If I need it or know it contains something perishable, I pull it inside and open it. I do wash my hands obsessively after touching anything, whether I have touched it to put it in quarantine or pulled it inside the Landfill.

I also use *one* Clorox wipe from my stash on the front door knobs every morning. A friend recently watched some YouTubes showing people going around licking door knobs in the wee hours of the morning. I know it is probably silly to worry about that kind of thing but I can’t get it out of my head. And then there is the whole grocery issue but we won’t go there today. So many rabbit holes, so little time.

Note to KW: It’s spelled deODORant, not deODERant. The key series of letters is ODOR!

Another day, another rant

April 21st, 2020 by kayak woman

You’ve been warned and I’m sorry but these thoughts have been percolating for about the last 24 hours and I’ve gotta get ’em out. I’ll *try* to leave the Orange Baboon out of it for once. We’ll see if I succeed.

Open up the country? Open up the Great Lake State? Open up the rural areas of the Great Lake State? You know, those areas where there aren’t (yet) high enough numbers of sick people to overwhelm our wonderful but small out-state hospitals. Y’all can do all the opening up you want. *I* will not be participating in any of it. Store, restaurant, whatever. I won’t be there. Not until there is science-backed data that indicates we are finished with COVID. Right now, we have more questions than answers. Who and what to believe? I trust very little information from any news sources at this time. I think there are a *lot* of other people out there who agree with me. (Disclaimer: The Great Lake State is not opening soon. We have #ThatWomanInMichigan for guv!)

That doesn’t mean I won’t participate in keeping the economy going. I can and I will. But I will continue to find contact-less ways of consuming. That’s the only safe way to do business during this difficult period of time and a lot of businesses, at least here on The Planet Ann Arbor, are finding creative ways to serve their customers without contact.

If we open non-essential businesses, not only does it put patroons patrons [lol, what is a patroon anyway?] at risk, it puts the employees in a terrible position. I think *everyone* is afraid to go to their workplaces at this time. Do I risk getting sick? Will I get laid off if I try to take time off? Should I quit? What if I’m a salon worker? Do I know how to keep me and my customers safe? Is it even possible without hospital grade personal protective equipment? And many hospitals are scrambling to get PPE so how can a salon worker get it?

This will annoy some of my “five” regular readers (likely including my quarantine isolation pardner) but I think we need to strongly consider some kind of taxpayer-funded relief for people who can’t work at this time. I got really annoyed (but stayed out of it) when a facebook/high school friend who has always had a reputation for high intelligence complained that people receiving $2000 a month (or whatever) to sit on their you-know-whats wouldn’t ever want to go back to work. I DISAGREE! Yes, there are always some people out there looking for a handout and some employed people have a better work ethic than others. But I think most people are happier working and making their own money. This is a devastating situation but it is TEMPORARY. Although how temporary it is will depend on how vigilant we are about stopping the spread. Opening up non-essential businesses does not seem like it will help. And guess what? $2000 a month is hardly a King’s Ransom.

The sign is at my next-door neighbors’ house. As medical interns, they are themselves essential employees. At the moment, through low-key Gladys Kravitz style spying, I am pretty sure the wife isn’t going to work. They have a baby and I think she is staying home so they don’t inadvertently transmit to the nanny or vice versa.

I am staying home for my neighbors and all of the other essential workers.

Shoreline Dream #2349378

April 20th, 2020 by kayak woman

I had a whopper of a Shoreline Dream during my last bout of REM sleep this morning. I had a frickin’ LOT of weird REM sleep last night and although I never woke up in some kind of sweaty panic (thank you very much because I’d’ve been thinking I had oh you know), this one was enough to force me out of bed and into the great outdoors, which calmed me down immensely.

I always hate when people try to recount their dreams in detail because YAWN! So I won’t but some of the features were 1) a strange version of our own Round Island with fancy artistic man-made bricks in place of regular old rocks, 2) realizing that there were SEVEN people on the island and only one small rowboat (without oars) to get all of us back home, 3) realizing that there was NO BOTE to launch from the moominbeach to rescue us 4) rowing the one small bote with via MY HANDS along the moominbeach shore looking for the moomincabin and encountering all kinds of tourist businesses and hotels and whatever instead. It all seemed real but YOU KNOW I FORCED MYSELF AWAKE AT THAT POINT!!! P.S. I do NOT think this was a coronavirus dream but who knows.

After I returned from my 0-skunk-30 walk and before it was time to faaaaar up my work laptop here at TeleCubelandia, I did some online shopping. Cleaning products that I had been typically ordering online pre-pandemic days ANYWAY because I would rather not spend all of my time in grokkery stores searching around for them. (No Clorox wipes online. I check every day, more out of curiosity than anything.) A couple of little Pandemic Snack items that aren’t easily available without going inside a store but I’ve found them online. Aaaannndddd… A decent sized order of produce from Argus Farm Stop to be delivered Wednesday.

I’m proselytizing now and I KNOOOOOW not everyone has something like Argus. A few years ago Argus Farm Stop opened a small grokkery store/cafe. They sell grocery items from area farmers including many of our favorite farmers market vendors. This has been a successful business and since they already had infrastructure in place, they easily adapted to the coronavirus’s shopping challenges by putting an inventory online and offering curbside pickup or delivery.

I ordered a few different greens from our long-time fave Goetz Family Farm in Blissfield and wild-picked ramps and various wintery rooty stuff from various others. No asparagus yet. We’ll probably still be isolating when the asparagus is ready. As much as I love the farmers market and those vendors, I sure am gonna miss Farmer John’s little produce shop in the Cubelandia lunchroom this year. Nothing like being able to buy some of your grokkeries at work!

Generation Gone

April 19th, 2020 by kayak woman

The title is not meant to be facetious in any way shape or form. It is the simple truth. We lost my father’s youngest sister in March. It was not COVID but I believe that the (necessary) precautions taken for potential COVID spread – NO visitors, for example – were likely a contributing factor.

Last night we lost my mother’s youngest brother. This time COVID was the culprit. Actually, he had RECOVERED from COVID. Symptoms (fever mainly from what little I know) had abated, he tested negative, and there had been talk of sending him home in a few days. Unfortunately the virus did a number on his 94-year-old body, he took a turn for the worse, and died after a brief hospice stay.

These were the last members of the generation above me and now they are gone.

I am not sitting here collapsing into a puddle of tears. These two beloved people were elderly and in failing health. I have laid my brother (only sib), father, and mother to rest, all after horrific accidents and/or illnesses. I don’t think I can put this into eloquent language but relief was in the mix of emotions I felt with those deaths. I remember CRYING while shopping in the PLUM MARKET right after my mom died. Not because I missed her (in that moment anyway) but because for a couple months I was sorta stuck in the yooperland and I had often wondered (ridiculously!) if I’d ever see the Plum Market again. Things get weird. (And NOW I can’t don’t go to the Plum because COVID.)

I am intimately familiar with my aunt’s children because I grew up with them summers at the moominbeach, even in the same cabin for my first six years of life, and we still meet up there. I knew my uncle’s children pretty well but didn’t see them that often. Facebook drives me CRAZY in so many ways but I have to give it credit for reconnecting me to them. Especially to the youngest one, Maija. I never got to know her well at all when we were kids. I interacted more with her big brothers. Come to find out we are DOPPELGANGERS! Both in our appearance and in the way we can just about finish each other’s sentences.

As much as I miss all of my aunts and uncles as individuals, what I’m thinking about now is the times we were all together when they were young and all of us kids were running around like crazy.

I would be remiss not to say that Bubs (aunt) and Grumpus (uncle) each leave behind a spouse and they are also family so it’s a bit of a misnomer to say that their generation is totally gone. I don’t know how many years either of these spouses have left but I hope it isn’t COVID that does them in.

STAY HOME!!!

Birdies

April 18th, 2020 by kayak woman

Lots to think about today but let’s stick to spring. And birds and whatever. Years and years ago when the beach urchins were young, robins used to nest on the motion light we installed in the corner just outside our back door. The GG would always discourage me from sitting on the “patio” so as not to disturb the robins and their nest.

And then, for many years, no robins chose that place to build a nest. We think they are doing it again this year! Plus, we have black-capped chickadees using various birdhouses around the Landfill. The GG affixed washers onto the openings of all of our birdhouses. The washers make the openings too small for “junk” birds to nest but other birds can. I have mixed feelings about this.

I am not actually having much trouble sheltering in place, knock on wood. In the online banking biz I often work from home *anyway* and so do many others so for us this is more or less bizness as usual. I facetimed last Wednesday with both MMCB coffee friends. We porterization factimed facetimed last night. And we did a FinFam facteime facetime tonight with three beach urchins and whichever significant others could attend. I love them all.

We got a grocery/booze delivery today. Our grockery worker is currently shopping for three households. Her own, ours, and a friend who has COVID. Symptoms are mild but she and her roommate have to stay home. A lot of our grockery worker’s orders end up being booze so, well just imagine if you are taking a bunch of booze/whine/etc. through the checkout every day at the place where you work. So she did the booze run at Meijer.

How many ways can you mis-type “facetime”? 🐽

Reporting from TeleCubelandia

April 17th, 2020 by kayak woman

Date: April 17 and no this is NOT unusual weather for the Great Lake State at this time of year. Old Man Winter is not done throwing snowballs until he is done. It’s his decision. So remember those loverly flower pots I posted yesterday patiently waiting for me to curbside pick up some impatiens next month?

The kayak? It has been used at least once since last fall, down in the Huron River.

And finally can you see the wee bit of spiderweb in this pic? I did not notice it until I posted it on Instagram and Mouse pointed it out (click and click to embiggen). Apparently I am not dusting enough? Dust? What for?

We’ve made it through another work week. The GG has now spent THREE ENTIRE DAYS dealing with the Hoton Lake Web Cam. That means he has been largely parked in front of his computer for the duration. A spectacularly bad ending to the day. He opened up the food cupboard to check if we had Panko (we do, I think) and a bottle of tamari fell out, shattered, and sprayed sauce EVERYWHERE. He’s cleaning up the mess. I guess I need to re-organize the cupboard. Tomorrow.

P.S. The snow will melt by noon tomorrow.

Togetherness in isolation…

April 16th, 2020 by kayak woman

Okay it isn’t as bad as I expected. We are pretty good at keeping to our own business and nobody is sitting around noisily eating pistachios. (Note to self, do NOT buy pistachios.) But there are still *those* days. The ones where I can feel negative energy emanating from the Upstairs Lair, which is a little too close to TeleCubelandia (aka the Green Couch) for comfort.

Like the day the taxes got done for the THIRD time! First by the GG, second by the accountant, and third by the GG. Why? Because there were MINOR discrepancies between the GG’s numbers and the accountant’s numbers. I’d’ve just sent the dern taxes in at that point.

Then there was the day I (er, actually my dad, dead 14 years now) received an odd piece of mail from the Secretary of State (SOS) to renew a motor bote that is apparently still in his name. I have never received this renewal before and I had no clue. A morning of futzing around at the (SOS) website ensued with the effort only abandoned when it was determined that the SOS is CLOSED for the duration. As it should be and I knew it would be. Driver’s licenses and tags that expire during these months will be ignored by the poleese until I dunno when. July maybe? I don’t think that motor bote will see water this summer anyway.

The last TWO DAYS? The Houghton Lake webcams have been down. Or it is not refreshing? I dunno. FZ is bombarding me with stuff he’s off-loading before his impending (tooooo sooooon!) retaaaarment from TeleCubelandia and my super brain can’t keep up. So. The webcam issue. Calls to his brother who has been isolating at HL. Calls to the host service. UMPTEEN BAZILLION hours of futzing around.

I believe that I caused this issue. I have been paying for web hosting at this place since something like 2006. I thought we were on an auto-payment plan and thus deleted an email message without reading it last weekend. The result of that was that the bill didn’t get paid and our service was cut off. Okay. It took me all of 30 seconds to pay the bill and we thought we were back in business. Until we weren’t.

That’s about as far as I’m gonna go with that. Like I said, it’s a waaaaaay long story and my superbrain is taaaaared.

I dunno when these flower pots got filled with soil. The last time I took the compost out they weren’t there. It wasn’t THAT many days ago and my Isolation Pardner has been INSIDE THE LANDFILL for THREE WHOLE DAYS now! And BTW, it is NOT ILLEGAL to buy plants or seeds or gardening stuff in Michigan. I’m not really sure what the exact rules are surrounding big box stores but they are there to protect workers from having to provide non-essential services to bored people. Check out your smaller businesses who are better able to pivot their services to provide safe(r), contact-free ways to deliver their wares.