Random bits of my so-called life.

Orange is the New Black

October 31st, 2019 by kayak woman

This is my nod to a Halloween costume in 2019. I wore them to work. The Pensioner was a bit skeptical but heck, if FZ can show up in shorts and a tie-dyed t-shirt, I can certainly wear orange skull-and-crossbones tights. And you shouldda seen the getup Amazon Woman wore to work today. We do costumes. Or we don’t. It’s our choice. We DO have cider and donuts!

I post this next photo most years. It harks back to the years when I spent a lot of time making Halloween costumes. This particular year (1989) was probably my tour de force. Fairy costume for the older beach urchin and puffalump mouse costume for the younger. When we dropped the fairy off at kindergarten, her teacher said, “those wings won’t last through the morning”. Well. Hahaha! They were used many times after that and they are still in the Landfill Dungeon and I suppose I could actually wear them myself. Maybe next year… (P.S. We loved her teacher.)

Here are some of our decorations. The Pensioner did 99% of the work while I was slaving away over at Cubelandia to “pay the rent”. We are wondering if the masked mannequin is a little over the top. I think some kids are okay with it and some maybe not. I think it helps when I tell our trick-or-treaters that I am freaked out by it whenever I encounter it in the Landfill Dungeon.

I’m kind of amazed at how many trick-or-treaters we are getting tonight. The weather is just about as fugly as it can get without snow. Rain and wind. But there seem to be plenty of intrepid kids and parents out ANYWAY. Umbrellas galore both for kids and parents. I always buy more candy than we can possibly get rid of even though The Pensioner hands it out in fistfuls. I’m not sure how much we’ll be left with at the end but I am pretty sure I can put whatever leftovers we don’t want in the QA Food Cube at work and people will eat it.

Love y’all, KW

Blacker than the ace of spades

October 30th, 2019 by kayak woman

Well, that wouldda been this morning. With rain. Walking was okay but it wasn’t raining very hard yet. By the time I needed to leave to meet MMCB for coffee it was raining HARD! Of course I had an “accident” doing the Breaking My Neck Getting Out the Door dance. My car key ring snagged the storm door handle. You know. When you are going about a bazillion miles an hour and your purse (or car key ring) snags on something and YANKS YOU BACK! Yes. In my scramble to disengage my key ring, I hit the PANIC button. HONK! HONK! HONK! HONK! I FINALLY got that turned off. Good thing the neighbors were up and about because our driveway is about two feet from their bedroom window. And they have a BABY who I can only guess sleeps either in their room or the OTHER bedroom two feet from our driveway. But Jeebus. Oh, and there is currently a Noise Maker attached to our storm door so that was also screaming.

Anyway, Mr. Golden Sun does not rise until, hmmm, it was 8:05 this morning, and we were under heavy cloud cover so it was still pitch black by the time I got to Barry’s Mr. Golden Sun wasn’t rising [Youtube link that comes with an ad].

When I was a kid in Sault Ste. Siberia, whenever we would go “down bote”, i.e., drive down to the Soo Locks to look at whatever ships were coming through, us kids insisted we end our drive by going by The Oldest House In Town. Now, this house was not actually the oldest house in town. The oldest house in town was (I think but don’t grade me on this) the John Johnston House, which was built in 1794 according to WikiP.

The John Johnston was then and now a historically preserved tourist attraction. One of those places you can walk through and marvel at how people lived back in those days. Of course we lived not all that differently than that during our summers out at the moomincabin when we were kids. Except we had lucky-shucky and running water (cold, out of a garden hose). But we used an outhouse and heated with wood, etc.

*Our* Oldest House In Town was a long abandoned Victorian structure complete with a turret. It was situated in an overgrown yard. Spooky as all getout except that we were in the safety of our parents’ vee-hickle. But The Comm always used to say, dramatically, that it was Blacker then the Ace of Spades.

I don’t think our oldest house in town is there any more and I’m pretty sure nothing new has been built in its place. In another city maybe somebody might have tried to restore that old house but the yooperland is not a particularly wealthy area in general. I think a lot of yoopers who do have Big Bucks (and there are some) are more likely to buy property where they can build fancy new McMansions with a river view. Sigh.

We’re gettin’ there

October 29th, 2019 by kayak woman

First, everybody who has to access the areas south of the Planet Ann Arbor is hopping around about the traffic jams. Turns out my difficulties getting home last night were due to the construction closure of a short stretch of Ann Arbor-Saline Road. It’s a MAJOR road and the closure blocks access to freeway entrances/exits. The detour is long and circuitous and I won’t bore you with our planet’s crazy geography. The road commission is aware of it and although my homeward commute tonight was only marginally better, I noticed that they had changed the Scio Church/South Maple traffic light pattern so I think they are at least trying. This morning there were at least 100 vee-hickles lined up for that intersection, lotsa folks heading for Pi-Hi. Fortunately I was going the other way and didn’t have a problem.

I did a half-*ssed job of decorating for Halloween a couple weeks ago. My efforts consisted of dredging ‘lectric Jack (who I “inherited” from The Commander and have renamed from “I need My Electric Jack-o-Lantern”) up from the basement and a string of pumpkin lights. And ordering some new lights from Amazon or wherever. Including these skull lights. The GG spent a bunch of time today putting up a lot more stuff including my string of skull lights.

I love the convenience of ordering stuff from Amazon Prime (or wherever). This day and age, I couldn’t be bothered with driving all over hell-and-gone looking for just the right thing. I’m talking about the kind of humdrum supplies that I always buy but the stores don’t always seem to be stocked with. My fave [CHEAP] shampoo, makeup (yes), certain cleaning supplies. Halloween lights that might be randomly available at Tarjay but that would mean I would have to DRIVE there and look for them… I can’t say I am not concerned about all of the packaging. As a rule, I don’t save cardboard boxes. I mean, how many cardboard boxes can you fill your dungeon with? What happens if somebody throws a match down there.

So… Is it more environmentally friendly to drive your vee-hickle all over town (like I used to do) looking for whatever it is you want to buy or is it more environmentally friendly to order your stuff on-line and kill umpteen gazillion trees to make cardboard boxes to ship things to consumers? Not sure what the answer is…

Capping off the Lyme Lounge Tiki Bar season with a wee bit of porterization

October 28th, 2019 by kayak woman

Except I didn’t think I would EVER get home from work to get to the evening’s porterization. Traffic was totally HOSED absolutely EVERYWHERE and I left work more than a half hour early today. It took me an hour to do my eight mile commute. The whole dern city was HOSED! I had to turn around and go the OTHER WAY once and at the Scio Church bridge over I94 aka The Bottleneck, I probably waited through about eight lights. But who knew? Being as far back in the queue as I was I couldn’t even see the traffic lights. My usual Zen Commute was anything but zen this afternoon.

For a while I was behind a motor-cyclist that I just about wanted to run over. rrrrrrrrmmmm rrrrrrmmmm rrrrmmmm rrrrmmm. Just shaddup! He kept riding up BESIDE the car in front of me and I was kind of freaking out about that until I saw he and the car driver pass water bottles back and forth. So they knew each other and I’m not sure what the heck was going on. New motorcycle driver riding behind/next to dad? And then they both turned left and I wasn’t plagued by them any more.

Finally. Home, dropped off my gear, hopped into Mooon Yooonit where the GG was reading War and Peace (or whatever) and we were off across town to Porterland with the Lyme Lounge Tiki Bar in tow. We arrived to see the new vee-hickle of porterization, a late-model (2017) Ford Escape. These days an SUV is an SUV is an SUV to me so I wasn’t all that interested in the details. After all, we bought Mooon Yooonit this summer and I have in no way droven her enough to figger out all of her bells and whistles. And all of these vee-hickles look kinda the same these days, which is probably why the first time I drove Mooon Yooonit farther than 50 feet, I put my laundry into somebody else’s vee-hickle, a brand new Honda CRV or whatever it was. But I am sooooo glad our friends bought a new car!

Our Lyme Lounge waiter/bartender had done it up big-time with a choice of ‘hattans or ‘tinis, plus some hors d’oeuvres (crackers and chips and TWO flavors of goat cheese and quac and some sausage). He did some serious shopping today: Kroger, Aldi, and Plum Market. There was some fancy beer (from fun porterization neighbor K across the street) and a wee (like maybe 2 ounce) bottle of peach-flavored moonshine from a trip to Tennessee. It is a School Night (for me anyway) so we kept it all under control and when it was Time, the GG brought out the Dogz and we were able to escape.

Palate cleansing

October 27th, 2019 by kayak woman

Hahahahaha! The beach urchins reported a convo in which they were laughing about me chasing a violent book (My Absolute Darling (MAD)) with a re-read of Borne. Not to say that Borne is not violent (it is) but the violence is not comparable to MAD’s violence. Borne is a dystopian fantasy and although the violence gets up close and personal from time to time, it is set in a society so different from the one MAD is set in that it doesn’t feel all that personal, if that makes any sense. That’s the best I can do to articulate that thought. Plus, Borne is filled with humor!

So… My Absolute Darling. Holy mackerel. How NOT to bring up a daughter, not to mention a *motherless* daughter. I can’t easily find it now but probably one of my favorite lines in the book was when the 14-year-old gun-totin’ Badass Girl’s boyfriend tells her something like, “Yes, I have talked to your dad. You weren’t home and he was sitting on the porch reading Descartes and.” [When he wasn’t making his daughter do horrible things.] I wanted to take Turtle/Julia/kibble home with me even though I know there’s no way I would ever be able to adequately parent a child who had grown up with the level of trauma she did. I won’t say anything more because spoilers but it was a good (if not perfect) book. I loved the nature writing, especially the sea stack descriptions. This book is set in and near Mendocino but we have sea stacks in the St. Ignace area of the yooperland.

Borne… I read it a few years ago. I am reading it again because Dead Astronauts (aka Borne 2) is out there and Borne is just crazy enough that I needed to read it again to refresh my memory about the landscape of the ruined city before reading Dead Astronauts.

Besides all that, a while back I read “A Gentleman in Moscow”. Can I just say that this man was a person who made lemonade out of lemons? Without a bunch of sugar thrown in. I think of him every time I thread a needle and if you have read the book you might know what I am referring to. 🧡

Soggy football Saturday

October 26th, 2019 by kayak woman

It was not soggy early this morning. It was clear, cold, and beautiful and I was walking in the dark because the sun didn’t rise until almost 8 AM today and… All of a sudden I saw a bright fingernail up in the eastern sky. The waning crescent moon, rising. It was absolutely gorgeous but I didn’t bother trying to get a picture of it with my iPhone so you get this pic of “public art” utility box birdies instead.

We had lunch at the Griz, which was slammed because of the Notre Dame game. Sure am glad I won’t be at that game tonight because it will be a soggy one. The GG was talking about how wonderful it is to walk the North Country Trail in the rain. Well, that may have its charms in some ways but I remember the time Roger and I were ahead of everyone and we were walking along the beach in the rain and we were okay… Until… We got to the shallows and had to W-A-I-T F-O-R-E-V-E-R for everyone else including the GG (who was probably jawboning away like crazy). It was mid-October and I was wet (despite an umbrella) and freeeeeezing by the time everyone caught up with us. We decamped to the Silver Creek Saloon to warm up and that was fine until the power went out.

Anyway, today we took the bus home and for whatever reason, I could not figure out what the schedule was for the 31. I THINK it has changed somewhat. Okay! Nice young guy hanging out at the bus station to the rescue! “It comes in 20 minutes.” That was in agreement with what my phone app proclaimed so initially it felt “okay” to talk to him a bit. He was talking about growing up on the Planet Ann Arbor and being here in between job interviews in Oregon and New York. Or something. Then he started talking about how his mother had a whole bunch of property in Somalia and how he had *money* in an account there and he thought his cousins were stealing it…

Okay, that set off a bunch of big red alarms in my head and it was all I could do to keep from NUDGING the GG (who can sometimes be a bit, um, overly friendly) to indicate my discomfort with continuing any kind of relationship with this person, no matter how transient. I guess I was kinda waiting for him to hit me up with a Somali version of that Nigerian scheme. To my GREAT RELIEF, he did NOT get on the 31, even though he seemed to know when it would arrive. Thank you Zeus! I did NOT want him to know where we live. And I have to note that the first thing the GG said as we took seats on the bus was that something about the kid didn’t add up. Thank you!

If I had been alone waiting at the bus station, there would have been a LOT less conversation. I am not an unfriendly person but when you are a woman traveling solo you attract a different kind of attention than if you are with a male person or, really, *any* other person. I [usually] get a different kind of unwanted attention than I did when I was young, thin, and blonde but I still often get unwanted attention. I think this is something that many males do not “get” about the experience of being a woman.

Whatever. All is well and it has been raining cats and dogs ever since the moment we walked into the driveway. Kickoff is at 7:30 PM.

I am going to the outhouse and when I come back everyone will be gone

October 25th, 2019 by kayak woman

The title is a quote from My Dear Uncle Harry. He said this late in the night after a beach wedding when people were still hanging around in the Old Cabin drinking beer and eating cheerios outta the box and generally whooping it up. We managed to move the party over to the moomincabin. I think. My parents must’ve spent the night in their house in town because their moomincabin bed was right in the middle of the living room in those days…

So tonight, it took a looooonnng time for us to get porterized. We were at the Oscar Tango and I finally said, “I am going to the bathroom and when I come back, we’ll be porterized.” Well, hahahahaha. When I came out of the bathroom, there was JP walking by into the men’s room. I’m not sure what the yellow police tape was all about. It was either something to do with Halloween or the Notre Dame game tomorrow. It did not keep me from getting into the bathroom.

So I am about done tonight. As I have said before, My Dear Uncle Harry’s outhouse still exists and I use it once or twice a year, either when we are opening or closing the moomincabin or when there are so many people in the moomincabin that I can’t use the bathroom. I always make sure to donate a roll of terlet paper when I use that loverly old outhouse. May she stand forever.

Oh BTW, the reason we had to wait for so long to be porterized is because new vee-hickle. Yay!

Festival of lights

October 24th, 2019 by kayak woman

I know without sending my saliva anywhere that I have less Asian DNA than Liz Warren has native American DNA. My coffee buddies and I were talking a bit about genetic heritage yesterday at coffee. MMCB2 is heavily involved in researching her family as well as her husband’s. She has come up with some interesting information that I won’t repeat because it’s her business.

At one point I said that I don’t plan to send off my saliva anywhere but I am probably more Scot than anything. This was a surprise to my buddies. My blonde hair fools a lot of people into thinking I am Scandahoovian. And actually, I probably am, just that those ancestors probably preceded my Scot ancestors. I’m not a great student of history but I think the Vikings took over that whole area, raping and pillaging… Without sending out my saliva, I have documentation aplenty of when my Scot ancestors came over to Canada, so those are the ancestors I mostly identify with.

Replying to my friend’s surprise, I told her there was a Scottish Farquharson clan and that my family is part of that. (At least I was always told that but don’t really know 🐽) She lit up because knows an African-American family with the name Farquharson and wondered how he ended up with that name. I tentatively suggested “slavery”? But I don’t really know.

Whatever DNA I’m made up of, I love holidays that involve lights and so I love Diwali. Cubelandia has a host of wonderful Indian-American employees (our off-shore colleagues over on the sub-continent are awesome too!). Today, our local folks provided a home-made potluck vegetarian lunch for everyone in the building. It was soooo good and many of them were dressed in traditional clothing, saris and whatever the men wear. We asked but I don’t remember exactly! Kurta maybe? That’s what they look like. Whatever, they put on a wonderful show!

So this lantern, which is also my “birthday” gift from yesterday, is a nod to Diwali. From here in the pretty-soon-to-be frozen Great Lake State to those in a scorching hot country.

Saliva P.S. Then again, there’s The Commander’s fam… We’re mostly Scotch-Irish (not that different from the FinFam) but MacMu family legend has us specifically related to Daniel Boone and Johnny Appleseed… To me this is more or less equivalent to the prevalent American legend of having a Native American ancestor in the fam. Maybe I’ll have to send in that saliva after all? We’ll see… Don’t hold your breath…

Park & Ride LSD Lunch

October 23rd, 2019 by kayak woman

Um, yeah. Coffee this AM was at MMCB2‘s HOUSE! Yes. She is on indefinite Bubbe duty these days so she can rarely meet us at Barry’s. But she recently had some beautiful work done on her house, a suite above her two-car garage in preparation for a couple of relatives to move in. MMCB1 and I really wanted to see it (before the relatives move in so as not to invade their privacy). So we came up with a plan to meet MMCB2 on her own turf for a quick tour and coffee and our long-time friend was only too happy to oblige. And can I just say that these two grandchildren are lucky lucky lucky to have this bubbe and zeyde as hands-on caretakers? Mensches! 🧡🧡🧡

Then to Cubelandia where I had to *reschedule* my Q3 conversation with Amazon Woman because…

I had scheduled it for 1:30 today but… The GG picked me up at the State Street park & ride at 11 AM and then we picked up one beach urchin at the Ypsi Huron Street park & ride and… then… We drove down into Deee-troit city on this beauteous day. We parked our car at MOCAD where we met up with the other beach urchin and walked over to Motor City Brewing Works for a loverly pizza lunch. After lunch we reversed the whole procedure (walked back to MOCAD, dropped a beach urchin off at the YPSI park & ride, dropped meeee at the State Street park & ride) and somehow I came home with a beauteous birthday gift even though it is NOT my birthday.

Back at Cubelandia there was a minor bit of a KW-instigated kerfuffle surrounding the rescheduled Q3 Convo (it defies description but it was FRIENDLY!) and we ended up doing it this afternoon, which was fine because now we each have one fewer meeting tomorrow. And yes the Q3 Convo is related to performance reviews and yes it went fine. In one way it isn’t all that necessary because AW and I have a scheduled meeting every week and many informal meetings whenever we need to meet. On the other hand, going through the exercise of listing the prodjects/goals I need to be focused on and making sure my list matches my supervisor’s list helps me, well, keep focused.

I dunno. For some reason I felt the need to post these old photoooos today. Oldies but goodies and posted various places more times than I can count.

Love y’all, KW. HB to all the October 23 folks, a set I am not included in, birthday present or not.

I have no words

October 22nd, 2019 by kayak woman

He took a chainsaw class up in the yooperland over the weekend. I asked for pics. This is what I got… er, he’s holding the chainsaw 🐽

And since my laptop is undergoing a long*ss backup tonight, this is about all y’all are getting.

Time to compost these?

October 21st, 2019 by kayak woman

They had a loooonnnnng run. Not even two weeks ago they were still in full-tilt boogie My Cup Runneth Over mode. I have good luck with impatiens (usually) but I don’t think I’ve ever had them do as well as they did this summer. I didn’t even have to water them too often. I’m talking about the impatiens in the Landfill Backyard. We won’t discuss the moomincabin impatiens, which did not do all that well. Except for the little pot on Bill’s Birch Point Beach Bank Bench. That one did fine except I never found a cute little Turquoise Buggy on it…

For comparison, I took this pic on October 6.

Today was NOT a fun day. I OVERSLEPT! I NEVER OVERSLEEP! Oh, not late enough that I was “late” to Cubelandia (whatever that means), but I had to skip my 0-skunk-30 walk. Then, when I got to Cubelandia, I felt “sleepier” than usual. I am a Morning Person! So, I got a cup of coffee. Just ONE cup, mind you. It was from the Brown-lidded Pot, which is regular strength. I do not go near the ultra-strength Blue-lidded Pot. Of course then I spent a couple hours on the ceiling until I finally got my Coffee High under control. And I was hot all day. I have switched over to my Winter Uniform and it was not cold enough today for that. Finally, I took an unusual length of time to get over the Monday “what do I do for a living?” thing. When I did find a direction, it took me immediately to a total rat’s nest in our high-fidelity prototype. One that’s gonna take a whole bunch of the boring kind of html coding to fix.

I just told the GG that if he didn’t want to hear me talking to the radio, he needed to get some music on his pod or whatever it is PDQ. Why? Because the Orange Baboon was talking on the radio and I am just about at the end of my rope with that Gomer (as a friend once called a crush of mine that she didn’t approve of and guess what, she was RIGHT!). Now we have some Celtic fusion on and I am lovin’ it.

Binders full of women ancestors

October 20th, 2019 by kayak woman

Where is Mitt Romney when you need him?

A birthday (in a few days) beach urchin and I walked over to HOMES Brewery for lunch with our cuz npJane. On the way home we visited our mouse at plum. We bought some coffee (Roos Roast Badass Woman) there for the GG. I had bought coffee for him earlier in the day but I didn’t notice that it was BEANS. We don’t have a grinder right now. So. Lizard and I bought another package of Badass Woman and *ground* it in the store. So now the GG has ground coffee and Lizard is taking the whole bean coffee home because she has a grinder. Actually there is some ground coffee here at the Landfill but I didn’t notice it. It isn’t Badass Woman coffee but he now has some of that.

I won’t say how this conversation got started but waaaaay back in the day when I was a skinny little music student, one of my uniforms was blue-jean overalls. Even though I did not EVER get along with marijuana, I wore a roach clip on my overalls. It clamped a loon feather. I thought I was pretty “cool” back in those days. I’m not sure why. I knew quite a few folks who smoked pot in those days and I loved them. Not me? Not only did it make me paranoid, I was very much focused on playing my flute in those days.

Today, Liz and I spent a loverly afternoon basking in warm sunlight in the Landfill backyard and then we decamped inside where Lizard Breath cozied up the back room by turning on some lights and then found a BINDER full of ancient letters from my family and notes from folks who lived on our beach before we owned it. It was stuff I hadn’t encountered before and I need to find some time to look through this binder. Graves on Round Island? No reason to disbelieve but not a story I’m familiar with.

“But her emails”

October 19th, 2019 by kayak woman

I cannot keep track of what’s going on in the government on a day to day basis so I didn’t even know Her Emails were still the subject of an investigation until I woke up to it this morning. It sounds like the investigation concluded with just about what I have always thought. Whether you like Hillary Clinton or not, Her Emails are not and shouldn’t ever have been an issue. The findings are apparently that no one SYSTEMATICALLY or DELIBERATELY mishandled classified information.

I work in the online banking industry. I do not deal with sensitive information in any way shape or form. As a designer/analyst, I sit waaaaay behind anything real. I am not even privy to which banks we provide services to. Nevertheless. My work laptop is totally locked down. I cannot look at my personal email on my laptop. I cannot look at facebook or twitter or blogs. I am strongly discouraged from emailing anything to/from my work laptop to my personal phone although I occasionally do if I need to capture a whiteboard diagram.

Ladies and gentlemen (and ooloi), I do not believe that the US government systematically supplies ALL of its personnel (elected, appointed, employed) with secured computer devices commensurate with our position as a world “superpower”. I don’t really know what went on with Hillary’s “personal server” but I have always wondered if the folks involved: 1) Were given effective tools to communicate (by email) with other folks they had to work with. 2) Had a CLUE about what they were doing.

I can also guess that there are STILL many people who work for the government who have NO CLUE how to handle email, etc., in a secure way. If our country’s government wants to get serious about battening down their computer systems, it should take a page from the online banking industry.

And now we have the Orange Baboon twittering away on his personal phone (I am guessing) but that’d be a whole ‘nother blahg entry… 💩

G’night. KW. [and edited to get rid of a whole bunch of extraneous word salad🐽]


October 18th, 2019 by kayak woman

It is Friday and since no one else was home this afternoon, I changed coordinates and telecommuted from the Green Couch. Watching all the dogs go by. I actually sang my dog-watching song to a couple of co-workers this morning. We were the only three left in Gizmos after the daily stand-up/defect meetings and we kinda let our hair down for a while, talking about life and kids, etc. I wasn’t sure if they knew about the old Standing on the Corner song that I remember from my EARLY childhood. But they did, so I sang the first line of my own song “Sitting on the Green Couch Watching all the Dogz Go By”. And we all laughed. I am an okay singer and can carry a tune, just not trained.

I porterized myself this evening at not one of our usual Friday night resty-raunts. We met at a local restaurant that specializes in Polish food. The food is to die for and the whine is good. It is not the kind of place you would go for cocktails. I don’t think they have a clue about how to make a ‘hattan and the martinis my friends ordered tonight tasted more like gin and tonics. Kinda reminded me of the time The Commander made *gin* margaritas 🐽. But PLEASE go there ANYWAY and don’t be a cocktail snob. Because the food? Soooo good. I did not finish my food. When the waitress came back, she noticed and said something like I wasn’t a big eater. And I am not but I had also planned to take half of my food home in a box and she was pleased about that.

So. Answers to unspoken questions. Toyota RAV4 (instead of Ford something-or-other). Biden (or Warren) if I have to. Not crazy about either but did NOT vote for Trump before and will NOT vote for Trump in 2020. Women for Trump? Who and why? We talked about some other stuff but some of it I can’t really remember and some of it is un-fricking-blahggable.

G’night y’all. Love y’all. KW.


October 17th, 2019 by kayak woman

The GG got to open these lovelies, which arrived today. And of course, there is a story behind them.

Sometime back in the Jurassic Age, the UU and TBG bought us a set of two of these glasses as a xmas gift. They came in a fancy gift box with a bottle of whine. Now, I’m not sure if I would have purchased these if I had randomly encountered them somewhere but I love colored glass and somehow they spoke to me. (I’m sure the whine did too but it’s long gone.)

We valued them greatly enough that we didn’t use them all that often, because breakage. Also, I always hand-washed them, knowing that the gold lettering would not survive too many trips through the dishwasher. Although it must be said that I went without a dishwasher for 15 years or thereabouts so I hand-washed *everything* for that duration. (The Bosch we bought when we renovated the Landfill Chitchen has turned me back on to dishwashers.)

Anyway, we were whooping it up in LymeLoungia last Friday night, highly porterized, and we served our friends a wee bit o’ bourbon in these glasses. And… The inevitable happened and one of them got broken. No, it was not porterized into smithereens. The GG accidentally broke it as he hauled our supplies back into the Landfill. And no, he was not drunk.

For a split second I was devastated. Where could we get a replacement after all these years? And then… A light bulb came on. It was an eBay light bulb. Sometime Saturday I let my fingers do the typing and lo and behold, tons of these things turned up. I considered a singlet but then I saw a listing that had four and I decided “the more the merrier”. So I ordered the set. (I even saw a set of 16 but we don’t need *that* many.) But now that we have five and I know how easy it is to find them, maybe I will order a singleton after all and then we’ll have six. Which is an even number. And OF COURSE one needs an even number of glasses/plates/whatever when entertaining because guests only come in couples. Roight? But that would be a topic for some other day. A tangly one that I doubt I’ll tackle.

2018 October LSD trip (rambly rambly bumpity bump)

October 16th, 2019 by kayak woman

Let’s drive to Florida. Road trip! It’ll be fun. We can hang out on the beach and get a loverly tan. We can walk boardwalk trails through mangrove swamps. We can dine out in restaurants on the beach. Not last October…

First, on the way down, we were taking a circuitous route through Chattanoooooooga to get to our Best Western motel. I was driving and the GG was navigating and all of a sudden, we took a turn and found ourselves in THIS tunnel. I don’t think I could EVER find it again. He must have taken the pic…

The next day we visited Pengie and cBear at their home in Fla. This is their catsa Citra doing, y’know, what catsas do. We had a great dinner at the Top, then headed down the road to our room at not one of my fave chains.

All of that WAS fun. But. Next day BRADENTON! YAY! Except. A couple things. 1) We landed in a Home Depot parking lot and I looked at my phone and it reported a Red Tide Alert. Welcome to Fla! 2) We had been hearing a suspicious bumpity-bumpity-bump noise in the back of the Frog Hopper for the last two days. I was magical-thinking it to be random crapola floating around. As we got off the freeway at the Bradenton exit, we finally admitted to each other that it was the damn rear bearings. We made it to Mr. Ed’s house (he’s our brother[-in-law]) and he and the GG jacked it up and diagnosed the problem. They hoped. The conversation was laced with “If it’s the U-joint, you may have to buy a new vee-hickle down here”, etc.* The next pic is not from that day (the FH was fixed by then, thanks to a wonderful Subaru dealer near our hotel), it is from when they were trying to get a power inverter working in the Frog Hopper so we could plug oxygen equipment into the car for the drive back up north. These guys can do ANYTHING and they got it working!

It was kinda fun dialing in to work meetings from a hotel in Fla. A *nice* hotel actually (brand new Best Western), albeit in downtown Bradenton, not on the beach. I wouldn’t let him book us a room in the place where the druggies hang out. It was especially fun when this loverly afternoon storm rolled through. Palm trees are not my usual scenery.

We had sorta been on tenterhooks that whole day. In part because we weren’t sure if the dealership could fix the Frog Hopper (the GG kinda begged and they came through with BELLS ON). And he was working on the trailer we were moving our brother out of and that’s about as far as I will go with that. Aaaaaand… When we first got to Mr. Ed’s house, he said something like, “I dunno if you guys have been watching the weather but there’s something going on in the Yucatan.” The Yucatan? I NEVER watch the weather in the Yucatan. Well. Hello, Hurricane Michael. Are we having fun yet? But we still had to eat and some of us were HUNGRY so here is a Large Meat Lover’s pizza at a restaurant near Mr. Ed’s house.

We had originally planned to stay a few days in Fla but with Michael’s approach we elected to scramble outta there. We weren’t worried about Michael hitting Bradenton but we wanted to avoid dealing with heavy rain traveling through Georgia and that looked possible. So here we are at the [hic] HiWay Bar. Okay, we were NOT at the bar, we were at the feed store across the street. And we were heading SOUTH, which is not the direction you want to go to get outta Fla. But we had an oxygen stop to make in Sarasota before heading north.

As we FINALLY got onto the northbound I75 Snowbird Geezerway, someone said something like, “Be careful with my TVs” (they were in the back and they are important!) and we were on our way. Our next stop was Macon and I’ll spare you the details about that, including the flashing dashboard lights that lit up a half hour outta that town (this time it was all okay, we think it was a gas-cap incident). We crossed the Tennessee River the NEXT day and I was so happy to feel free of Michael.

We stayed near Dayton the next night and then the next day… Yay for The Great Lake State! We were going bumpity bump again but this time it was our loverly Michigan pavement, not the Frog Hopper’s bearings.

For a while some of us were obsessed with keeping Fla cockroaches out of our relatively clean little 1959 ticky-tacky house on the western hemisphere of the Planet Ann Arbor. To end that story, “we” seem to have been successful but there are still Roach Hotels hanging around.

*We were thinking about buying a new vee-hickle at that time *anyway* and I would’ve been okay with buying one in Fla but I’m glad we didn’t have to buy a new car under duress. The Frog Hopper made another trip to Fla, a trip to Colorado, and multiple trips north and we eventually we bought Mooon Yooonit (new Toyota RAV4 Adventure) to replace it. The FH was a great car for us and it is still in service within the family, going on camping trips and a trip to North Carolina.

Barefoot in October (in the yooperland)

October 15th, 2019 by kayak woman

I keep saying there is no way we can wait until Halloween to close the moomincabin. But. This is the Great Lake State and weather can be very weird sometimes. The year was 2011 and the month was October and we were up visiting The Commander. We had moved her into assisted living and… And she was adjusting to that situation somewhat… We were soooo fortunate that we didn’t have to sell her house, which was a half-mile up the hill. If she could get a ride there, she could visit and tink around with her stuff. In retrospect, I’m not sure if that made things better or not but that might be something to think about some other day. I remember asking her if she could take a taxi up there. Comm: “Anne [buzzer sound]! Do you know how much a taxi costs?” Me: How much? Comm: Five dollars. Me [thinking]: Okay I could give her $100 worth of five-dollar bills and she could take 20 taxis. And then I could give her more… Or maybe I could make an arrangement to pay the taxi company ahead of time… Sigh… Magical thinking.

The thing is, that particular fall was WARM up in the yooperland. In fact, most days were warmer than The Planet Ann Arbor, which is 350 miles south. We spent a weekend up there in early October and the first pic is my bare foot on the moomincabin deck. We had grilled some kind of beast and ate dinner with The Grinch. On the deck. It was WARM out! And I don’t think there were even any mo-skee-toes. I’m not sure if we closed the moomincabin that weekend or not. My blahg is not coughing up that information but I bet we did. You can keep a seasonal yooperland cabin open for as long as the weather is good. We would keep it open longer if we lived a shorter distance away, like 20 minutes (like my parents did) or even an hour or two. Five hours? Nope.

Gitchee Gumee had very low water that year (not so much now) and the next pic is one I took walking down to the ZAt end of the beach. Barefoot of course. Both photos are heavily apped via Hipstagram filters/lenses, etc. The moominbeach NEVER looks red like that! I like playing with photo apps but nowadays I usually limit that to Instagram.

During the fall of 2011 I called The Commander every afternoon before dinner and she would always tell me how warm/hot it was up there in the yooperland. There was a bit of magical thinking on my part that said Mother Nature was giving her one last beautiful autumn. I pushed that out of my mind. I didn’t actually think she was going to die soon but, alas, she died the next year in February. I have to say that after her death, we had a HOT spring (90s for days on end in March and the Dexter Tornado) and all of the flowering trees bloomed in MARCH. I know that it was just a fluke of Mother Nature but magical thinking says it was my mother’s doing.

I am not barefoot tonight. I am in the Landfill Backyard and it is not all that cold but I am wearing a polartech jacket and Smartwool socks. No leggings though. Or balaclava.

10 years, 1 week ago

October 14th, 2019 by kayak woman

In an effort to try to liven up this watching paint dry blahg, I’m going to try harder to tell stories from other years, starring other people, instead of recounting my boring daily activities.

So I kinda randomly searched photos back to October 2006 and this is one of the photoooos that showed up. It is Radical Betty and she is sitting on the moomincabin deck (with whine) and that was one of the most gorgeous days ever.

It was the day The Commander and I closed the moomincabin for the season. My old coot had died the March before and this was the first time The Comm had to deal with closing it up without her partner. She was nervous and I knew nothing. Again, in closing the moomincabin for the winter, the most critical thing is to drain the water system and drain it correctly. I’m not all that sure that it was any easier for her to do it with the old coot. In fact, I can just about guess that their procedure was laced with intermittent barrages of Blue Language given all their garbage adventures.

The GG (who is a whiz at managing rustic cabin plumbing, etc.) was out gallivanting around in Cally-forny so I headed on up. No paying career then, so I was on my own time. We managed to get the water drained properly and had a take-out lunch from Karl’s (with whine) on the deck to celebrate.

I don’t remember too much about doing the closing that day and that is because… While we were sitting there with our lunch (and whine), a tree decided to fall. It was a TOTALLY calm day and I can only guess this tree had simply decided “I’m done!” This tree did not fall OVER. It kinda “spiraled” (only word I can come up with) a bit, making a very weird noise, then sorta fell IN PLACE. So that’s the big thing I remember.

This was a gorgeous October day and we had so much fun. And then… Dun dun dun… About Wednesday of the next week (after I had left), The Commander and Radical Betty tried to take a shopping trip to Petoskey. When they got down into the Northern Lower, they drove into a BLIZZARD and it got fuglier and fuglier until The Comm finally said, “Betty, we need to turn around and go home.” And they did.

As I have said, I think the GG has done all of the moomincabin openings and closings after 2006, which GREATLY RELIEVED The Comm. I still do not know the procedure and I KNOW that there would be barrages of Blue Language if I tried to “help” the GG, probably one long barrage. One of the Beach Urchins scheduled some time to go up there this year and “learn” how to do the closing this year. “Learn” is in quotes because I overheard him say to our daughter something like, “We keep saying there’s a ‘procedure’ but really we just wing it.” I dunno if that is *exactly* true or whether every closing/opening comes with a surprise or two or three that you have to be creative about, hopefully small but sometimes not. Arriving to open the place in the spring to find a broken pipe under the cabin in 40 degree weather with the wind screaming offa Gitchee Gumee was probably the worst. The cabin is up on cement blocks and the plumbing is underneath. The GG persevered and fixed it. He was COLD!

I do think that the GG has probably streamlined whatever procedure my parents used. A friend with a similar story tells of her (extremely intelligent) dad using what I think was a Bucket to drain parts of his water system. But maybe that was generational so I will close with my dad’s definition of Running Water. “You grab a bucket and run down to the lake, fill up the bucket, and run back up.” That would be from the days his dad (my grand-dad) could still take a train from Sault Ste. Siberia out to the moomincabin but that’d be a story for another day…

Terabytical glare ice

October 13th, 2019 by kayak woman

Four terabytes? I remember learning the word terabyte. It wasn’t all that many years ago. I am sure that I was working at Cubelandia when we bought a ONE terabyte backup drive. I was like “tera” means four roight. Four gigs? Roight? Or not. Anyway, the GG spent most of the day haaaaannnnggging around with the computooooor. Two trips to the Apple store. No, I did not want to go. I HATE going to the Apple store. But now we have FOUR terabytes of backup storage.

Plus I was doing slow cooking/shopping today in between reading sessions. Octavia Butler’s Dawn this time. I’ve been trying to read Halloweeny type books, not sure this fits the bill or not but I like Octavia’s writing and I am enjoying this book. So I was sitting outside in the mid afternoon and it was really windy and *things* kept falling out of the trees. I finally moved myself closer to the house so I was under the eaves and hopefully out of the line of faaaar. So I was sitting there and ka-whomp holy crap. It wasn’t a whole tree. It was a smallish branch and it bounced off the power lines (eek) and the new shed’s roof. Fortunately no damage but jeebus.

So a facebook/high school friend reported GLARE ICE on I75 north of the Big Mac bridge today. Looking at the weather, I don’t see temps that low up there butcha nevah know what kind of micro-climate yer gonna encounter here in the Great Lake State. And that is why we do not EVER schedule a moomincabin closing as late as Halloween. WTF? Here on the Planet Ann Arbor, I am thankful that we hit 60 today.

Purple Pinocchio

October 12th, 2019 by kayak woman

So okay, you ask yer husband to take a pitcher of you in yer balaclava and he makes you look like Pinocchio. Not sure if that was on purpose or not but I cannot stop laughing!

I’m not sure what else I have to say tonight. I dredged out a couple of yearbooks to do a little research. First, I wanted to know how to spell Mr. Pfifer’s name. My yearbooks say it was spelled “Fifer” and that is how he pronounced it. But. I sooooo thought there was a silent P in there somewhere and I feel like I can even remember him saying he didn’t like when people mis-pronounced his name and called him “Mr. Piffer”. But maybe people were calling him “Mr. Fiffer”.

Second, I was looking for a person I recently accepted a FB friend request from. She’s from Sault Ste. Siberia and her name is familiar (and she seems really nice) but… I can’t place her. I *think* I figgered out that she graduated from high school a year ahead of me. I can’t find anyone with her name in that yearbook. (I did find Bad Boyfriend 🐽) I’m not sure what to do in these kinds of situations. Do I [sheepishly] ask her who she is? Or do I ask The Beautiful Mimi, who knows EVERYONE?

This kind of thing has happened to me a few times. Please please please please, if you are on Facebook, consider providing just enough information to make things click for friends like me. Particularly provide your “maiden name” if you use your husband’s name. I used my husband’s surname informally when my kids were in school but I never legally changed to it and I have always used my birth surname professionally and on social media. If I did legally use my husband’s name, I think I would still include my FinFam name on social media so people I friend would have a clue about who I was.

I am wearing a balaclava in the pic because it was fricking cold out in the back yard. The ambient temperature was not all that bad but it was windy as all getout. At least that kept the mo-skee-toes and wasps away.