Random bits of my so-called life.

Where’d yesterday’s post go?

September 2nd, 2019 by kayak woman

Apparently I never hit the publish button 🐽 and that’s fine because I had almost nothing to say. The main gist of the post was that I didn’t go on the first bote ride yesterday because I was holding out for the Best Choice run. Nothing like driving a bote to the grokkery store.

I am mortified to report that I overreacted to a trivial incident this morning and left Hoton Lake in a huff. It was a quiet huff with no yelling or anything but people knew I was p*ssed. After an hour or so of wallowing in self pity and hugging Froggy (yes really, he’s my comfort aminal) in Mooon Yooonit’s passenger seat, I became occupied by the necessary business of finding alternate routes around the typical red-red-red of southbound I75 SUV Speedway holiday weekend traffic. By the time I got home I had gotten over feeling sorry for myself and had transitioned into feeling remorseful about my own stoopid behavior.

I am not perfect and never will be and I am not proud of myself today. I am a spirited person and I have come a long way in my journey to accept criticism, etc., without panicking and reacting badly. I still have a long way to go. One thing I will say is that I would NEVER hire lawyers to meddle in family polly-ticks 🐽🐽🐽 This was waaaaaaay too trivial for *anyone* to hire a lawyer to get involved in but I feel compelled to put that out there.

So, after a trip to the Plum Market on which I *forgot* my phone, I am here at the Landfill, sitting in the backyard drinking a glass of whine and listening to Erik Satie on my phone. More on him some other day…

Seesaws on the other side

August 31st, 2019 by kayak woman

Can I just say that this cap’n is the 4th generation of bote cap’ns in the cFam. We took the Flote Bote over to the restaurant at the big hotel across the bay. The restaurant was fine and service improved after the waitress seemed to ascertain that we were not going to be problem customers even though we had a couple of children with us. And Frooogggy. Still it took us a while to settle the bill…

As we trickled out to the bote, a young cap’n across the dock from us asked Cap’n Chris (father of our cap’n) if we could tow his small Motor Bote over to the other side of the lake. His motor was flooded and even the Twins of Terror were unable to get it started. We would’ve loved to have helped but it was getting dark and his bote was in a safe place. In the end, I think the UU let the bote owner borrow his phone to call for a ride.

Eventually we all got onto the flote bote, all eight of us, and our cap’n trundled across Houghton Lake to our spot on Long Point, only asking his dad for help at the end (and then it was his granddaddy who ended up landing the bote). It was prob’ly good that the small bote was stuck at the restaurant marina. It was a wee bit bumpy and although those of us on the flote bote had a comfortable ride, it would’ve been dicey for a small bote and it wouldn’t have been fun to tow one.

Oh, and, I did sneak the rest of a glass of whine out of the restaurant in one of the straw-cups they serve children’s drinks in. Not sure that was legal but it was fun and I won’t say who suggested it.

Toad caravans

August 30th, 2019 by kayak woman

We are all cracking up that we have this beauteous cabin second home at Houghton Lake and even though it is occupied at nowhere near full capacity this weekend, those of us who own camping trailers have dragged them here so we can camp out in the yard.(You *know* we will make ample use of the modern indoor plumbing, roight?)

Here is the simple encampment the GG and I have set up in front of the cabin.

We arrived a few minutes before the UU and The Beautiful Gay and here is their encampment, which is much fancier than ours but they will be bunking with some grandchildren.

I can’t help but remember when Toady of Wind in the Willows set off with a new “caravan”, I think it was horse-drawn. It was all fitted out with every little amenity you could imagine but it almost immediately got knocked off the road by a Motorcar. Poop poop! Toady was so smitten by the Motorcar (poop poop!) that he forgot all about the caravan and bought himself a motorcar instead. That came to a bad end and, well, go read the book if you haven’t. It is as appropriate for adults as it is for children and I have to report that a once 4-year-old child of mine saved up her money for an American Girl doll only to change her mind at the last minute and buy a hard copy of Wind in the Willows instead. Values, people 🐸

Last, here is a gratuitous shot of Daisy and Lexy and a reflection of yer fav-o-rite blahgger with a dirty door in between. (Daisy is a Runner so we are careful about doors when she is about.)

G’night. KW

tilde delimited

August 29th, 2019 by kayak woman

The telescope was in the yard when I got home today. What was he viewing? Sunspots? Transit of some sort?

There was a “different” vee-hickle parked in the street outside the Landfill when I got home. It could easily have been someone visiting a neighbor but I “felt in my bones” that it somehow belonged to our house and yes it does. It belongs to a young relative’s friend and will be parked here for a while. That is FIIIIIINE with me. I’m glad our family’s young folks are not afraid to ask us baggy old bags for favors when they are down here going to college at the U of M.

Yes, the UMich is about to start up for the year and the traffic wasn’t tooooo terrible for meeeee today but I did not have to drive anywhere near downtown or campus.

The younger Obama child is at UMich. With her security detail. When I first read a tweet about this at 0-skunk-30, UMich would not confirm that she was a student. Privacy reasons and in this case security reasons. By my homeward drive-time, it seemed that the cat was outta the bag. Hope she has a wonderful time at our hometown university. I don’t expect Barack will frequent our fav-o-rite haunts when he visits but who knows.

I often deal with comma-delimited files. There’s the good old CSV file and BAI files are also comma delimited. We are now dealing with a tilde-delimited file format. Yes. Tilde. ~ This is throwing some of us off a bit (a tilde? really?) but it’s just a file format. Like operating systems, every file format is a file format and I’ve already got it all parsed out.

I have mixed feelings about the Black Flies Matter hat (I doooo get the yooper style humor) so we won’t talk about that except to say that at least it is not a MAGA hat. I will MUTILATE any MAGA (or KAG) hat that crosses my doorstep (or any of our carsteps or cabinsteps or camperstep or shedstep or garagestep). Just covering all the bases here.

Log pile Train

August 28th, 2019 by kayak woman

All I have to say about today is that yer fav-o-rite blahgger battled with a content management system ALL DAY. It won in the end and YFB had to file a support ticket. Wish her luck 🐽

So a couple days ago, the GG posted a comment that called me by my “government name”, Anne, and I commented back that I have never liked that name and to call me KW, at least on the internet. I won’t go into detail about why I don’t like my name, mostly that it has never “fit” me for reasons that are hard to articulate but also because whenever my moom used it, I was usually in some kind of trouble and her tone of voice made it sound a lot like a buzzer. (I did not figure the buzzer thing out until a few years ago.)

Some might think it’s unusual that one of my Uber Cuzzints (three of us who share the same birth year) is also named Anne. I was born first, in Michigan. She was born a few months later, in Colorado. Both sets of parents figured it was okay for us to have the same name because it didn’t seem likely we would know each other well. At least that’s the story I heard as a child. I don’t really see why there is NOT a reason to name two cousins the same name. Of course as it turned out her family moved “back” to Michigan and although our families never lived in the same city, we spent summers together and some xmases at our grandparents, and random weekends, etc. So we are BFFs along with our mutual cousin UKW (who has a different government name but it also starts with A).

I can only guess that the other Anne likes her government name better than I like mine but ironically, most of the family and a fair number of friends call her “Pooh”, which she also doesn’t seem to mind. This is after Winnie-the-Pooh, which various parents read aloud to us when we were children at the Old Cabin.

Here we are sitting on the Train outside the Old Cabin. The Train had “seats” cut into the logs and we played all kinds of fun games on it and once spent an afternoon sitting there waiting for my dad to bring home my family’s rescue puppy Tigger. (I was terrified of Tigger for about the first six hours of our relationship after which she became my best friend for [her] life and my only dog ever.) Well, we probably didn’t sit there ALL afternoon but we were there when they arrived. Looks like we’re eating lunch in this pic. That’s meeeee with the blonde hair, Pooh, her little sis Jay, and my little bro’ The Engineer.

Alert! Alert! Alert! We interrupt this blahg of blather to announce that a RIPE APPLE has fallen from the Landfill Backyard Apple Tree! And KW retrieved it for her lunch tomorrow!

Do you like your name? Because I am not crazy about mine, I do not mind that one of the beach urchins does not like her government name. In fact, I do not even tell people what that name is. She chose her own name at the ripe old age of two and has managed to convince people to call her by her chosen name ever since, including professionally. I am proud of her for standing up for herself. As new parents we can only guess at what name might fit our children.

P.S. I do definitely go by my government name everywhere but the internet. And government name simply means the name on your birth certificate.

Meaningful content

August 27th, 2019 by kayak woman

I posted this photooo from in front of my Cubelandia parking place on social media this morning. As I drive over to work I am mostly driving into the sun and there can be some spectacular views but I can’t really take any photos if I am driving and usually by the time I get over there, the view has faded (or it has started SNOWING or whatever). Today when I pulled into my spot, the morning sun was still doing its thing PLUS+++++ there were water droplets on the grasses (probably an invasive species) from yesterday’s rain. My iPhone did its own thing with the little green lens flare thingy. And it’ll be a while (I hope) before we see snow.

Besides this one little moment, my last two days at Cubelandia have been a cluster-f*ck but I couldn’t describe that to you if I tried so I won’t try. It’s all fine. It’s nice to have some days like that to balance out the Rabbit Hole days, etc.

I dunno where else to go with this but I got some nice comments on FB and somewhere along the line somebody made their own post about the [long defunct] New Marconi Italian restaurant over in Soo Canada and that brought back memories of eating there and other places on that side of the St. Marys (no apostrophe) River.

Riding in the back of Duck and Radical Betty’s VW squareback across the International Bridge going back to the moominbeach from dinner at the New Marconi (no seatbelts back there and nobody cared), me and UKW were drinking the dregs from two big gallon whine jugs (yes they were jug shaped and yes we were 13 or thereabouts). Note that there was basically NOTHING in them. I think our parents were taking them home to make them into candle holders or something.

I can’t remember the name of the Chinese restaurant over in Churchill Plaza but that was my FIRST experience with Chinese food and we went there frequently. My grandma, an elderly Scot woman, took to chopsticks without instruction. The rest of us maybe not so much.

The Girl in Red on Queen Street always beckoned with its fancy pastries. I only remember going there as a small child dressed up in a tartan plaid skirt (we bought those somewhere in Canananada). That was back when we could WALK to Canananada. Park our car on the American side, take a ferry across the lower St. Marys, and walk up to Queen Street.

Later on when I was a teenager, we used to cross the bridge to buy fabric at the Textile Shop (on Queen Street). I bought the fabric for the gown I wore to the military ball. It was my first formal dance, in 10th grade, and yes it is a long story (or not) why I went to the military ball (boyfriend, of course). The Commander made my dress and it was fancy as all getout. (And I still have it.)

We don’t go to Canananada much any more. Going back and forth across the International Bridge is not as simple as it used to be but we’ll talk about that some other time.


August 26th, 2019 by kayak woman

So, whaddya do when you become a pensioner? In this case it varies WILDLY. The very first day, I was about to leave for work and he was in the back yard with his telescope. What was he looking for? Mercury to transit the Sun. I think. When I left for work, he was nowhere. Until I drove down the street and there he was at the corner. With his telescope. Later that day he built me a new compost bin. I needed one.

His activities range from sublime (my She Shed) to just plain useful (he is great with a vacuum cleaner) to total absurdity (a tin foil hat). But I never know what I am gonna come home to. This weekend, in addition to leveling out the ground around the She Shed, he at one point was messing around with some pieces of faaarwood. He was wearing a hat and suspenders looking every bit a little old pensioner as you can see.

He was making a frankenmonster! I’m calling it Frankengrowler after its creator.

And then there was this… I bought the GG this little robutt (intentionally misspelled) a few xmases ago.

He played with it for a few minutes that day and I do not think I have seen him touch it since. Until tonight… The only sizeable non-carpeted space of floor in the Landfill is the Chitchen. So there he is. Which means I cannot comfortably hang out there. I manage to rumba with Rooooomba but this li’l robutt guy is tooooo small. Plus the GG is in myyyyy space. It’s okay, we’ll manage.

Oh just sit still for once

August 25th, 2019 by kayak woman

Yesterday I was all let’s go somewhere for lunch tomorrow. I meant someplace like Grand Blanc or Daytwa or whatever. This morning? When I got back from my walk, the GG was up with coffee going so I took a cuppa out in the back yard and THIS was my view. Can you say greeeeeen? The forecast was something like this ALL DAY so I decided I was gonna hang out HERE. And I did.

I did a lot of reading, finishing the second of two mediocre books. You probably don’t wanna know. I “previewed” both of them and thought they might be intriguing. The first was, well… Kind of shallow although I’m not sure the author intended that. But really. Hollywood movie star comes from nothing with no acting experience (but she’s BEAUTIFUL), makes it big-time in the movies and marries SEVEN men, none of whom were the love of her life. There was a shocking twist at the end. Meh. The second one promised one-way travel to colonize Mars and a kind of “reversal” of Darwin’s evolutionary theories. It gave a nod to climate change but didn’t tie it in to any of the other “science-y” stuff. Alas, the book did not “hang together” well for me, focusing way too much on a dysfunctional blended family and their not-very-interesting issues. Ho hum.

I also did a lot of cooking/food prep, not that I spent much time slaving over a hot stove. Tonight we’re having pheasant (grilled), eggplant parmesan, corn (grilled), pasta with pesto, lima beans, and salad. Sound like a lot? Yes it is. I’m hoping we can coast on it for a couple of days. It’s a short week and I’m trying to simultaneously keep the refrigimatator inventory under control and binge on the beautiful fresh produce we get at this season. Cognitive dissonance.

Loima beans

August 24th, 2019 by kayak woman

The last time I went to the farmers market I got shelling peas. Today. Today. Today. No one had shelling peas. I didn’t think they would. But… I GOT LIMA BEANS! I paid $20 for four little boxes. They were shelled. I LOVE lima beans. I know not everyone does and that’s okay. But just once you should try them fresh. With a little vite of vutter 😉 and/or some lemon pepper.

What else did I get? Little potatoes, corn, and a beautiful box of mixed lettuces. I didn’t go too bananas because we need to be able to eat this stuff up. I also got tomatoes and beautiful round eggplants from Farmer John yesterday at work.

We didn’t do the Oscar Tango last night. Our friends of porterization were heading downstate at the time so we did Knights instead. Tonight we got porterized down at the Red Hawk. They have demoted the duck quesadillas from a “small plate” to an appetizer but I love them so that’s what I got. The drinks are also decent and our server, who we’ve had before, was wonderful.

That’s about all I have for now. Pretty benign entry but wanted to make sure the beach urchins knew I was still sentient 🐽

Number nine Number nine

August 23rd, 2019 by kayak woman

Okay, this was just odd enough that I have to write about it. (Not the pic, that’s bizness as usual.)

I was stopped at the Jackson/Maple intersection this morning on my way to Cubelandia. It is the third intersection out of something like 13 on my eight mile trip and it is a big fugly intersection with all kinds of turn lanes and things and this ancient white vee-hickle came cruising along in the right turn lane next to me at a kind of high rate of speed. As it passed me, I saw “Trans am” on the back. An old muscle car. If the Engineer was still around he probably could’ve told you what model year it was and any number of details. I am lucky if I can manage to put my laundry into my own vee-hickle so obviously I am not talented at recognizing anything about automotive vee-hickles, including the model year. As it swung around the corner, I could see that it had a big numeral 9 on the side, like a race car I guess.

The light finally turned and I trundled along over to Cubelandia along the “back” roads. I figgered the Trans am was headed over to get onto the I94 18-wheel Slogway and I soon forgot about it.

After I turned into Cubelandia, I realized there was an old white car behind me, not exactly tailgating but close. I certainly couldn’t tell what it was from the rear view mirror but I had this sneaking suspicion… When I turned onto Technology from Avis, it went straight and I craned my neck around to look at the side. Sure enough, there was a big numeral 9! (In case I wasn’t clear, it was the SAME DERN (weird) VEE-HICKLE I saw at the beginning of my commute.)

Of course the driver gunned the engine like crazy after being stuck behind meeeee for a whole 10th of a mile. The speed limit is 25 in Cubelandia and the poleese do sometimes patrol.

I dunno why it was at Cubelandia or if it took the freeway to get there or not but if it did take the freeway, apparently my route to work doesn’t take any longer than taking the freeway. I don’t take the freeway because the entrance ramp involves a hairpin turn. I am not afraid of that entrance ramp but I think if I navigated it *every* day, I would be tempting fate.

The pic? Some might guess that we ate at our neighborhood pub/steakhouse Knights tonight and we were lucky enough to be seated next to the railing on the balcony, where there can be some good, uh, “people-watching”. (He was concerned about that strange “point” in his shirt. It is a benign artifact related to how his body is twisted.)

Peace (except for the golf balls that keep ricocheting off the wall and over to my chair 😠)

August 22nd, 2019 by kayak woman

When I meekly tell someone I have a blahg, if they get all excited, I am quick to say, “My blahg is like watching paint dry.” It’s not that I don’t want people to follow it, it’s more that I don’t want them to have high expectations for enlightening content written up in sparkling prose and illustrated by beautiful photooos only to find that it’s just some baggy old bag’s daily life. Watching paint dry.

But boy oh boy, did I get things stirred up this week! I managed to actually create Comment Contentiousness after my “flag” post. I am sorry. It was a clumsy post, mainly because I’m not exactly sure what I was trying to say. It’s like today when FZ and I were digging down into a deeeeeeep Rabbit Hole and I found a vague statement in an old spec that I thought might shine a light onto the issue. It didn’t (exactly) and I finally said, “y’know, that one sentence there is exactly the kind of thing a BA writes when she[he] has no clue what the heck people are talking about.”

I finished Beloved by Toni Morrison, a black writer who died recently if you have no clue (and I’m guessing I have a couple of readers who don’t and I know who they are 🐽). I LOVED this book and it has me casting about a bit for what to read next. Probably something different but this one is a hard act to follow.

A couple disclaimers: I am a blonde WASPy type person who has NO clue what a black American’s experience is like (shaddup you guys and you know who you are). I grew up in a northern outpost where there were (and are) few black folks and while there are plenty of people of all colors here on the largely liberal college town Planet Ann Arbor, the majority of us are white and most people of all colors are pretty well educated. Also, I am not a Toni Morrison scholar or even an English major (although I was once invited to be one – thank you very much, I’ll play my flute [she said but little did she know…]).

Before reading the book, I read a GoodReads review by someone who didn’t understand the book. Why read it, he asked? Well. Toni tells this story in an incremental way in which she travels back and forth in time and provides details about things and later fits them into a coherent story line. Could I always follow/understand what was going on? No, at least not in “the moment”. But overall, it was a beautiful story with a definite, identifiable sequence of events and a wee bit of weirdness, which I *always* love.

Hahahahah! For context, the book I read *before* Beloved was a Haruki Murakami book, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, which I also loved.

So my Beach Basket contains several items besides this rainbow of sunglasses. (I like the yellow ones the best because I can still see my phone screen when I’m reading.) Guess what some of those items are.

Breaking my own rules

August 21st, 2019 by kayak woman

I sorta broke my own rules yesterday when I referred to “patriotism” without attempting to define it. I’m not gonna try to define it now but I get frustrated when I hear various groups of people labeled this that or the other thing. Socialist is what I have been hearing a lot, often directed at the political party that I usually vote for nowadays, you know, the “Democrat” party.

On a more intellectually energetic day, I looked up “socialism” (Merriam-Webster) and I do not understand how people like me who (in this day and age) vote for Democrats can be labeled as socialists. That’s as far as I’ma gonna go with that. Look up “socialism” yourself and if you know me (a systems analyst who can pay my own way but cares about others who can’t), ask yourself if I am a “socialist”. We need to stop labeling and build a society that has room for everyone.

I broke another rule a couple days ago when I replied to a comment a “relative” made on social media (it was on another person’s social media and that person is blameless). The comment, although vague, was highly inaccurate if you happen to know the backstory. I am all too intimately familiar with the backstory and I have saved a well-organized collection of documentation about it along with other FinFam documents.

Shot across the bow: If and when the more sordid bits of my family’s business and/or history are aired on the internet, anywhere and no matter how vaguely, I WILL call it out. (I think we ALL have family stuff that doesn’t belong on the internet.)

On a lighter note, I was picking away at whatever at work this afternoon and I heard a familiar voice say something about “Apple Dapple Cake”. Lewie-Lewiiiii was in for a visit! I can’t believe we lost him THREE years ago, on that year’s Black Thursday. He is not gainfully employed but is retirement age and seems to be doing fine. We run a Skeleton Crew nowadays.

Finally… A whole bunch of golf balls floated up on the moominbeach this summer. The Beautiful Teri took some home to her golf obsessed husband but a few of them made it back to the Landfill. Is this the new hobby? Where did that golf club come from? Is golf preferable to fly fishing? Or is it better to pursue both, like our beloved brother JimC?

Bunny hop

August 20th, 2019 by kayak woman

So now I am lugging TWO laptops back and forth to Cubelandia every day. I emailed “Bunny” today to ask if there was any progress on getting my serial number set up. The reply was mostly incomprehensible, something like he didn’t “build” my musheen yet. But how could that be since it was delivered three weeks ago? I forwarded this on to Amazon Woman and her response was basically “Ugh” and “I remember that name”… So I wait. I don’t really care if I have a new laptop or not (unless the old one throws the Black Screen of Death and Cursor at me again). I just hate to be in Blue Cable Limbo.

I did finally get back into Cubelandia mode though, with the result that once when I was “feet up” thinking about how to write something, I almost fell asleep. I ‘fessed up to AW and FZ and FZ said something like, “it was probably that sequence number thingy, roight?” Yes. Yes it was. Simple enough on the surface and then you are in a rabbit hole a mile deep.

And she wrote all of the above BS and then we met up at Sessions with npJane, Pooh, and the Marquis. A good time was had by all.

Some of the younger generation are not all that crazy about having an American flag on the beach in front of the moomincabin. I understand but I have some mixed feelings. I am a patriot but I do not agree with a lot of the things the Orange Baboon and other leaders are trying to shove down our throats. Fortunately, I am free (for now) to disagree with them. Let’s hope that doesn’t change soon. It is actually a sorta raggedy flag but I feel as though that matches the current state of our country’s values and ideals.

Also, since our beach borders Canananada, the American flag indicates to Canadians who have washed up in the fog or whatever that they are approaching a beach in a “foreign” country and may be subject to border patrol or ICE activities. Putting up a flag seems like the least we can do. It is rare for a Canadian to wash up on our beach and NONE of those who ever have were immigrants. More likely wealthy Canadian folks with bote trouble.

Growin’ a pair…

August 19th, 2019 by kayak woman

Yeah, back at Cubelandia today. Me and FZ have not been in the office together in at least three weeks. Today, we both knew we were there but we didn’t talk until about mid-morning, around the time the stand-up got canceled. Two outta three switches were “hard” down and connectivity was sporadic although I had it.

About a split second after I re-occupied my cube after three weeks away, Building Mom dumped off my NEW laptop. So… I spent a lot of the morning copying stuff out to the company cloud just in case the Blue Cable failed (it has been known to). Unfortunately I accidentally copied a folder out to the cloud that happened to have a file in it with confidential data so my boss got an email… She knew exactly what I was doing and also knew that I didn’t know I had a file like that. It was seven years ago, fer kee-reist. Anyway, I don’t think the file got uploaded successfully and I was all sheepish and whatever.

The file transfer to my new laptop got stymied a couple of times, the second when I got to the new laptop and the transfer program did not recognize the serial number…

Here is the Owl and Pussycat cloth that I grew up with. I found it in the moomincabin and I think it belongs to Mouse.

So I am done for now and we are hanging out in the back yard. Good night, KW

“I thought I saw a tornado over there”

August 18th, 2019 by kayak woman

Just like that we are back on the Planet Ann Arbor and I am toadily roto from the long tandem (two vee-hickles, one hauling a trailer) drive down the I75 SUV Speedway, following along behind the Lyme Lounge forever.

A programmable road sign somewhere in the Grayling area warned us that there were traffic backups south of Standish. Okay. It didn’t warn us about the severe thunderstorm that hit us in that area. I white-knuckled it through that thing because I could barely see ANYTHING. I forced myself to focus on the Lyme Lounge’s tail lights ahead of me thinking of all the horrible things that could happen, like hydroplaning or being swept away by deep water on the road.

It wasn’t until we got home that the GG casually mentioned that he thought he might have seen a tornado over to the west of us. I’m not sure how he could see ANYTHING over to the west or anywhere else but I am also glad that *I* did not notice the maybe tornado over to the west because *I* wouldda been in full-tilt boogie freak-out mode. Y’know, having lived through a cyclonic storm in an automotive vee-hickle, it is not an experience I ever want to y’know, experience ever again.

The good thing is that when the storm (cyclonic or not) hit, we were in one of the predicted backups so everybody was going S-L-O-W anyway and therefore no one slammed on their brakes and hydroplaned or whatever.

Waaaaay before the storm when we were not too far south of the Big Mac, a beach urchin called to ask if she and her sister could come over and make dinner for us. Yes yes yes yes! We did not close the moomincabin today but we pulled every single little scrap of food out of it, perishable or not, and dragged it down here and the Planet Ann Arbor refrigimatator is a mess (THREE BOTTLES OF SRIRACHA???) and it’ll probably be a while before the refrigimatator is in the kind of state I prefer it to be in. I could’ve scrambled a leftover dinner together for the two of us but it is sooooo much fun to not have to do that. And the “kids” are even making their own ‘hattans.

The pic is from a few moominbeach mornings ago but this morning looked a lot like this.

Solo bote-ing

August 17th, 2019 by kayak woman

This beautiful young girl piloted a motor bote out to the island and around it and back on a solo trip. Most of us didn’t expect her to go BEHIND the island and when the moms on the beach (her mom and me) realized that she did that, I demanded that the GG take a kayak out just in case. I would have preferred a motor rescue bote but we pulled that bote out of the water earlier today.

We were all a bit nervous but as it turned out she was fine and when she got close to shore she even veered off a bit to wave to her grandparents (my cousins) down the beach.

We sat down on the bank forever tonight talking to relatives on both sides. We don’t wanna leave tomorrow but (alas) we have to.

Sayonara, KW.

Red light district or whatever

August 16th, 2019 by kayak woman

I don’t have much to say. Our brother Jim and his wife came over from Tahq to spend a couple days with us. I was hanging out on Bill’s Birch Point Beach Bench when a familiar person walked up and said “hey”. OMG it was my beautiful siser-in-law Becky! Apparently there was a jaffic tram on our little two-track road and the GG and our brother Jim sent Becky off down on the beach to find me, which she did!

Late this afternoon Jim and Becky took the Tan Bote out into our beautiful moomincabin bay. A few people might have been wondering if this was safe. I am here to tell you that the Courtois Kids were brought up knowing to handle motor botes from a very early age. Also, this bote was purchased by our Grampa Garth who more or less gave it to the GG as a good bote for the St. Marys River.

I wasn’t worried for a minute that they would be okay and they were. I am so happy to share this beach and cabin with my in-laws and other beloved friends.

Hiking to the Den of Iniquity

August 15th, 2019 by kayak woman

Fun but long day. We headed over to the Tahquamenon area to meet up with our brother Jim and his wife The Beautiful Becky and I am still digesting the bison burger I could just barely finish (did not finish the loverly fries) at the Den of Iniquity Tahquamenon Falls Brewery at 5:00 PM or so, not my fave time to eat dinner but it worked out best for today’s time trajectory.

I guess I was a weeee bit cranky on the way over there. We are still trying to decipher our Toyota carplay app, which connects to our iPhones to play music from our phones (the beach urchins are cracking up if they are reading this). The GG played a couple of the worst pieces of music I think I have ever heard (the Vegetable Orchestra is better) by some person who covered old familiar rock songs in such a way that reminded me of our buddy JP telling one of his half-hour stories. This is one of the things we love about JP but it didn’t translate to this music and I hated the singer’s voice.

We were early but it was approaching noon and we hadn’t eaten any particular kind of breakfast so the GG suggested we de-crankify me by stopping at the Silver Creek Saloon for a bit of lunch. IT WAS CLOSED! So we drove all the way up to Paradise to The Inn Gastropub & Smokehouse and had a bowl of loverly Polish soup. That took the edge off my “hangry”.

Our brother and his wife are very active people but trail hiking is not really their go-to activity so when I heard something about hiking the trail between the lower and upper Tahquamenon Falls, I nixed that PDQ. It is not like hiking in the mountains but it is a difficult four mile trail with some steep ups and downs and many tree roots and rocks and things to trip over and mud holes and broken down infrastructure and, well, we’ll stop there.

Instead I suggested we walk some of the trail near the Tahquamenon River mouth. It is basically flat and I thought they might like to see some of the 20 or so “elevated walkways” that the GG and his North Country Trail friends built a few years ago. Most folks don’t even know this little part of the trail exists. Plus, the Tahquamenon River mouth area is drop-dead gorgeous and when we eventually dropped them off at their campsite, I pointed out *exactly* where they should sit and have a cocktail to watch the sun set. The light cannot be beat there, not even by our own sunset moominbeach.

My crankification returned for a bit when the GG started experimenting with the self-steering technology in Mooon Yooonit. I recognize that self-driving vee-hickles are in our future. I even wish the Comm had been able to own a car that would drive her around. I am not personally ready for it yet. I don’t even use cruise control and that has been around forever! I was in the back right seat when he started doing this and I was not a happy camper.

So, I needed some chill-out music for the drive home and I was rooting around trying to figger out how to play Enya from my phone, only to find out that Enya is NOT ON MY PHONE! I grumped to the GG about that and he said, “Plug *my* phone back in and we’ll play Enya.” He has Enya on HIS phone? Yes. And so we chilled out to Enya while sweeping down along the shores of Whitefish Bay back home to the moomincabin.

Suzy Homemaker mode

August 14th, 2019 by kayak woman

Yeah, time got away from me yesterday. It was laundry day and guess what? I managed to put my own laundry into my own vee-hickle without incident. Also grokkery shopping as I have been press ganged into making lasagne. Oh, not that I wouldn’t have hit up Meijer anyway since I was in town and almost always have a list. Prepped lasagne sauce yesterday afternoon and ended the day with another adventure of porterization and by that time I was done done done.

The GG has been in Suzy Homemaker mode (and yer fav-o-rite blahgger to a lesser degree). Yesterday he washed windows. The day before he took “everything” (more or less) out of the garatchky, swept it and put back *some* of the stuff. Okay, a lot of the stuff but I believe there are a few items headed for the Kiwanis sale.

I am ecstatic that he is willing to work on the garatchky. I do not dooooo well with sorting garatchky kinds of crapola. Botes and motors and gasoline and any number of random things. The garatchky was our main staging area for the stuff left behind after the Commander left the building. Anything that didn’t get directly donated or trucked down to megalopolis was left in the garatchky for later sorting and distribution. I could manage to work on books and kitchenware, etc. but that stuff is down to a bare minimum now and I can’t get back on a roll with sorting the remaining bits and pieces. This is the kind of prodject perfectly suited to the GG.

For many years we did not have a garage. Botes that couldn’t over-winter outside went *inside* the moomincabin at the end of the season, making closing and opening the place more difficult. The garage was my brother’s idea and some of us were not particularly enthusiastic about it. If I’d had my druthers, we’d have built a bunk/bath house instead. Alas, that would’ve involved plumbing and the parents did not want to mess around with that.

I loved my brother but I’m not sure how amicably we could have shared this place. But I have long since made peace with the garage. After dad died, the Commander once began a little lament, “We have a garage…” I thought for about a split-second. I thought about how easy it was to store botes and other paraphernalia. I thought about how the garage provided 2-3 extra parking places (we had something like nine vee-hickles here that weekend). I said, “Yes, we have a garage. And that’s a good thing.”

Taking the night off here on gitchee gumee, all is well (EOM)

August 13th, 2019 by kayak woman