Random bits of my so-called life.

36 years

July 3rd, 2018 by kayak woman

What did we do today? I telecommuted to my job. The GG went out in the county and played with implements of too much fun. Last night we were yelling at each other. Tonight we were singing.

We made a steak dinner and then we took an evening bote ride and here we are after that hanging around in the sunset with cousins. That is pretty much all I need. Love y’all, KW.

Not sentimental

July 2nd, 2018 by kayak woman

At least not in terms of this pic.

Oh man… When we moved The Commander into assisted living, she wanted a rocking chair. I mean one that fit into her small apartment. The GG swung into action and I fergit where we found this one but it used to be white.

I’m not sure how much The Comm actually used the chair. I think it is more a fave of the GG. It has sat out on the moomincabin deck for many years now and the last time I saw it the (white) paint was peeling like crazy.

Today… While I was hanging out in the Lyme Lounge telecommuting, the GG was scraping and painting like crazy (and there were big trucks going up and down our two-track road, which I hope is not a harbinger of something awful to come but I was working and trying not to pay attention).

So, the GG painted both sets of steps up to the moomincabin deck and then he painted this chair and here it is “baking” in the sun at the end of the day. I think it looks pretty dern good. This looks like a sentimental pic but it really isn’t.

I worked in the Lyme Lounge all day. It was loverly albeit a bit hot later on in the day. FZ ran our daily stand-up meeting and I had a great discussion with Amazon Woman during our weekly base-touching meeting. At the end of the day, I walked down to the beach and hung out on Bill’s Birch Point Beach Bank Bench with our family bridegroom for a while. I dunno what we do in our family, at least I’m not sure what I have done, but somehow we raise some good kiddos.

In which Homelandia is as hot as Hades

July 1st, 2018 by kayak woman

A year ago or so I was up here at the moominbeach telecommuting from the Lyme Lounge wearing smartwool socks and polar tech gear with a space heater blowing out warm air. Not to mention that it was raining cold cats and dogs for hours.

Before we headed north to the moomincabin today, we spent a lovely couple of days at Houghton lake with some of the GG’s beloved cFam members. It was hot there but a strong onshore breeze was blowing upon us most of the time, which helped to mitigate the heat situation. We headed off to the Yooperland at around 1:00 this afternoon, Lyme Lounge in tow. I think it was about 90 at Houghton Lake and I didn’t look at the Frog Hopper’s temperature readout for a long time. When I did, it was 98 degrees. What? We are in Michigan’s northern lower peninsula and every time we cross a freeway bridge, a sign warns us that bridges ice over. Yes, they do ice over, but not today. Because 98 degrees.

The temperature moderated to 80 as we crossed the Mackinac Bridge and then it headed up again. It was 90-something when we got to the moomincabin. Froggy and I went inside DIRECTLY to open all of the windows and put the screens in the doors and turn on the fans upstairs and down. We usually don’t have to do that kind of thing. It’s more frequent that the GG faaaaars up the propane stove… Last year when I was telecommuting during an equivalent week, I was wearing socks and polar tech stuff and had a space heater going in the Lyme Lounge. This year? Not so much. Distracted? Yes! Wanna make something of it?🐽 (I will be telecommuting though).

To my BELOVED cFam sisters-in-law: I LOVE YOU so much! During the whole weekend at Houghton Lake, I did not do one bit of cooking. I love to cook but given that I was focused on the next week at my own family’s place, it was wonderful to be able to sit back a bit. 🧡🧡🧡

R.I.P. Ernie

June 30th, 2018 by kayak woman

I knew that my old dog friend Ernie was nearing the end of his life and today is the day he was put down. He is the little black (technically brindle) puppy in this pic. The big yellow dog was Sam, who was nearing the end of his life, as was my brother, at the time Ernie was adopted. If you embiggen the pic, you may be able to see that Sam was tolerating a snuggle with Ernie but not necessarily all that happy about it. Nevertheless, he trained Ernie to use the backyard to crap (as my dad would’ve said) and other important life lessons.

My brother has been gone for 13 years and I have not seen Ernie in five but he and I were good buddies once, along with his annoying little “brother” Alfred (who was put down a year or two ago).

Once when Dogmomster and her kids went on a band trip to China, I offered to pick Ernie and Alfred up from the boarding kennel and drive them up to the Moomincabin. I was a little nervous about this because I had very limited experience with driving dogs anywhere and I expected that they would whine the whole way and want to get out to dogP every five minutes. As it turned out, they were uber-excited to see meeeee at the kennel and once we got into the car, after Ernie grabbed my arm with his paw (a Dog Hug, i.e., THANK YOU!), they went to sleep. They slept until the Mackinac Bridge (with one potty stop). They perked up for the crossing, then slept the rest of the way to the moomincabin.

Ernie was certainly not perfect (who is? I am not) but he was fiercely protective of his family and a very intelligent dog to boot. Our first night at the moomincabin during my dog-sitting gig they slept downstairs and when I came down in the morning, Alfred had left a little puddle. The Commander ALWAYS freaked out about any kind of liquid on the floor but calmed down when I swabbed it with a wet paper towel, then disinfected the area with a couple of Clorox wipes. Before I went to bed that night, I talked earnestly to Ernie, telling him that if Alfred had to go, he should wake me up. He did not wake me up and we had no more such incidents.

The second pic is one of my fave pics of all time. It was my 50th birthday and we were at Houghton Lake and I received this photo from my brother. Just about the best gift ever.

Godspeed Ernie! 🧡🧡🧡

It’s the Beverly Hillbillies Yooperland Snowbillies!

June 29th, 2018 by kayak woman

And it was one heckuva looooong day. I woke up with the usual trepidation that faces me before the kind of odyssey we are now on, weekend with the cFam at Hoton Lake, then a week at the moomincabin. Lemme see. Pack food, put the garbage/recycle out, minor cleaning chores, errand at Meijer, Cuuuuuuubelandia for a half day, then on the road with all the other 4th of July Holiday Warriors. I can’t call ’em Weekend Warriors because the 4th is on Wednesday this year, which means it’s a whole week of partying “up north”. I love when I overhear our newer Indian workers talk about going “up north”. It is such a Great Lake State thing.

I wanted to get to Cubelandia earlier than usual today so I only walked the woods this morning. Then I decided I needed a wee bit of zen before I got busy so I sat on a bench in the schoolyard, watching Mr. Golden Sun rise above the trees and listening to the Neighborhood Rooster. I’m gonna miss that guy. I sat there for maybe 15 minutes and then I stood tall and marched back to The Landfill, ready to face the day and the odyssey.

Wouldn’t you know, we were about a third of the way to Hoton Lake and we were pulling the cFam Trash Trailer and there was a slowdown and somebody in another car honked to get our attention and when we rolled down the window, he shouted that the Trash Trailer had a flat taaaaar… And no, it is not an old taaaar, in fact, it is a new taaaar, and I’ll spare you the details about what went wrong, valve and rim and whatever. I didn’t really understand it but fortunately, the GG is an expert Taaaar Wrangler but we didn’t really want to change the taaaar on the freeway shoulder because there were big lorries and whatnot barreling along right next to us and we needed to get a whole bunch of crapola outta the back of the Frog Hopper to get at the jack. The next exit was a mile and a half away and we stopped on the shoulder THREE times to pump up the taaaar enough to move us along just a wee bit more. Finally we were off the freeway and RIGHT THERE was an empty parking lot and 15 minutes later we were back on the road.

No further incidents but boy oh boy am I glad to be here at Hoton Lake. And yes, I am having a glass of whine. Er, actually it is a plastic cup. The blue one. There used to be red, pink, and olive drab versions of this cup too. For years, the Beach Urchins would fight over who got to use the pink cup. Just about when I thought I would go crazy if I had to referee another pink cup fight, they aged out of “pink is a girl color” and started fighting over who got the olive drab cup. I am Mooom. I cannot win.

I did not get a pic of the flat taaaaaar. It’s too bad because it was pretty much destroyed in a spectacular manner but I didn’t want to hang out on the freeway shoulder risking life and limb and by the time we got OFF the freeway, I was preoccupied with trying to dredge out the Black Phone Charging Cable, the one I rummage for EVERY time I get into the Frog Hopper. I found the cable but it turned out it WASN’T PLUGGED IN! So here’s a pic of my whine glass cup instead. Hoton Lake is a Group Home so you never know exactly whatchyer gonna find when you get here. The next time, the blue cup could be gone. Of course, on the flip side of that, the red, pink, and olive drab cups could potentially resurface some day.

Yes, these are first world problems! Cue the Beverly Hillbillies theme song [youtube link]. Y’all come back now!

Old fossils

June 28th, 2018 by kayak woman

Where is Mr. Flood when we need him? He might even be a better president than Mickey Mouse, who is my usual go-to preference for prez when I break down and badmouth (usually awkwardly) the Orange Baboon and someone asks me if I would prefer Hillary in the White House.

Mr. Flood’s Party is a long-gone barrooom on the Planet Ann Arbor. It used to be next door to our fave Oscar Tango. Nowadays an upscale kind of place occupies Mr. Flood’s old space. I bet it has a better bathroom than Mr. Flood’s Party had, which was a dirty one-terlet affair that you had to close with a hook like an old outhouse — but not MY family’s old outhouse because my parents were too cheap to put a door on that one 💩

DISCLAIMER: Arguably non-G-rated content ahead. I had an odd bathroom encounter with a high school acquaintenance acquaintance at Mr. Flood’s once. In the first place it is really odd for me to run into someone from high school here on The Planet Ann Arbor since I can’t think of another person around my age from Sault Ste. Siberia who lives here and this woman did not in fact live on The Planet. The GG and I had returned to town from a weekend somewhere and went downtown to Mr. Flood’s. Some band was playing there but we weren’t really there for the band. I went to use the bathroom and my acquaintenance acquaintance [TWICE, jeebus] was in there with a woman. She said she guessed that I didn’t really want to know what was going on in the bathroom and I agreed. Frankly, I don’t really EVER want to know much about what ANYONE is doing in the bathroom. Up until that time, I had had no clue about her preferences for partners so I can’t say it wasn’t a little surprising but what the heck? Apparently the band was a favorite with the lesbian community so I guess she was probably curious about my preferences but I was there randomly that night with my male husband. I for one am happy that we are now able to discuss this kind of issue more openly than we could when I had that ancient encounter at Mr. Flood’s. I hope we continue that trend.

Mr. Flood closed his party by posting a sign on the door saying, “It’s been surreal.”

Despite my reference to the orange baboon, this is not really a polly-tickle post although I grow more and more dismayed by our current president and his administration with each ham-fisted tweet. I am NOT a democrat and my issues are NOT about Hillary losing. I yearn for elected officials who will sit down and ANALYZE the requirements necessary to make policy and THINK THROUGH some of the unintended consequences their policies might have on living, breathing, often suffering human beings. I am a humanitarian (even if I don’t give money to every single blasted panhandler who lunges at me in the Plum Market parking lot) and I want something better than what we’ve got.

In other news, the Ninja was intermittently *rattling* whenever I had to idle on the way to work today and that was a lot because of all the stop lights. As it turns out it’s just the heat shield on the catalytic converter. Yay and good night!

I need a spreadsheet

June 27th, 2018 by kayak woman

Since we are anticipating heading to the moominbeach for a week in the near future, I have been trying to use up every single blasted bit of food I possibly can so that I don’t have to return to rotting food. About face! Guests? Yes. I do like to make sure there is enough food for a decent dinner for guests. The Commander was better about that than I am but I think I rose to the occasion. I do have to say that it involved a stop at the Plum Market after a rather oogly commute along the Zen Route (the freeway was hosed), which is not always all that Zen on the homeward commute.

And it wasn’t Zen today but the Plum was fine and I got a whole salmon filet for tonight and a small piece of salmon filet to freeze and take up north for the few days the GG and I will be there along alone. And collard greens and rice and sesame oil (to cook the collards in). And I cooked the peas I shelled last Saturday. The GG grilled the salmon and Mouse engineered the collards and I think it all turned out relatively well.

And so we are once again strategizing how to get people from various places to the moominbeach. You can fly into the Chippewa County International Airport but it isn’t always that easy and it can be expensive. You can fly into Detroit Metro and rent a vee-hickle to drive the five hours to the moominbeach but…

We think we have figgered out how to schlep far-flung folks from Metro to the moominbeach and back and we will figure out how to loop the far-flung folks who may not be able to get there via Skype or whatever.

We are not using a spreadsheet… Yet… 🧡🧡🧡

I probably won’t stop on salami

June 26th, 2018 by kayak woman

But I can identify with the beach urchin who, at the age of five, came down for breakfast and said her brain was going around and around so fast she couldn’t stop it. Because mine is doing that today. In the beach urchin’s case, five minutes or so later, after all of the adults had gone on to other topics, the beach urchin said: “My brain just stopped. It stopped on salami.” And so her Grandmoom indulgently provided some salami for her breakfast.

My brain is not gonna stop today. I don’t think. Which means I either don’t write a blahg entry or you have to put up with a certain amount of Word Salad. Sorry. I know The Commander is reading this from somewhere, so I have to keep at it.

My main story today is that I actually bagged Cubelandia for a while and went OUT TO LUNCH! The GG and I met up with some of my MacMu fam over in Ypsilanti at the Sidetrack. Uncle Don and cousins Neil and Maija. My cousins both live out on the left coast and Maija is my doppelganger. She is maybe the cousin I knew the least as a child. She is two years younger and I flew with my mom from Sault Ste. Siberia to Ann Arbor when she was born so mom could help out but I have almost no memories of that trip besides that there were round windows on the airplane we took down and square windows on the return trip. And though we saw those cousins when we visited our grandparents as kids, I guess I gravitated to her brothers and other cousins who were closer to my age. So now we are making up for lost time🧡🧡🧡

We had so much fun at the Sidetrack and then I had to go back to Cubelandia, where I had a HUGE Sinking Spell. Yes I had some whine at lunch but not THAT much. But [nevertheless] I persisted and I got all the way through the “services” error messages today. A big chunk! How the heck did anyone ever get anything done back in the days of Three Martini Lunches? Should I try to watch Mad Men again? We tried Mad Men for a few episodes and I liked it but it doesn’t “work” for joint watching by me and the GG so maybe I need to binge-watch it by myself. My dad was an executive back in those days (albeit a small-town “suit”) and I’m sure there were boozy lunches from time to time but he took his job too seriously to do a three-drink lunch on anything approaching a regular basis. (Actually he ate homemade PBJ sandwiches more often than not, or just bread and butter.)

Alert! Alert! Alert! Is it raining? It is raining. Getcher MacBook inside NOW, KW!

Okay, my brain just stopped. It did NOT stop on salami.

“It’s an obstacle course around here” (and there are carpenter ants)

June 25th, 2018 by kayak woman

Me, to the postal delivery person this afternoon (except I didn’t say anything about the carpenter ants). Yes. I got home and things were crazy around here. The garbage/recycle/compost bins were all over the driveway and I had to move one of them out of my way to get me and my work crapola (laptop, lunch bag, etc.) into the Landfill. And there were so many ladders around, for a minute I thought I was in Ladderlandia (aka Drywall Bucketlandia). And a sleeping bag was drying, draped across a chair in the back room. And I dunno what else. And then. No one had made the bed. The GG ALWAYS makes the bed, a long story I will tell some other day. So I was wondering, “Where the HELL?”

This is where it gets a little weird in a 21st century way. I grabbed my iPhone and called the GG. Where the heck *are* you? Well. He was in the one place I did not look, which was the back yard! He was right there in plain sight. Jeebus.

I never know what I might find when I get home from Cubelandia. Apparently today was a Work Day. I dunno what-all he did today but when I got home he was painting a couple of benches he snagged from a former neighbor. And then he was back up on a ladder dealing with rotten wood and carpenter ants. It was apparently a busy day and I don’t really care if he didn’t make the bed, I just couldn’t figger out what was going on.

Me, I continue to take a Deep Dive into error messages. It is more interesting than it sounds but really, you do not want to know.


June 24th, 2018 by kayak woman

Relatively lazy Sunday although I did motivate over to the Jackson Rd. Meijer to stock up on a few things to prepare for our upcoming week at the moomincabin. Utility beer (two 12-packs of Bell’s Two-Hearted) and canned tomatoes/sauce to pre-make lasagne and enchilada sauce. I’m not sure if we’ll use any of that stuff (except for the beer) but I am trying to have “emergency” food, etc., available at the moomincabin for the week, i.e., “it is a BEACH DAY and nobody wants to think about what to eat for dinner, let alone schlep out to a grokkery store, but we have these chicken thighs/steaks here and we can just throw ’em on the grill.”

Back in the day, there was a cute little meat/candy market in a re-purposed garage up on 6-Mile Road (where the “Aunt Jane’s What a Pickle” sign still is). We often did Community Dinners at the Old Cabin in those days and after a day of beach-sitting, our Moms (The Commander, Radical Betty, Bubs, and Esther Sherman if the Sherman Encampment was in residence) would schlep up there and get steak or ground beef for burgers. My granddaddy often helped complete our meals by showing up with a bushel of fresh corn from the local farmers he knew and/or a couple gallons of A&W root beer. We used to ask our parents if we could walk up to the Pickle-sign store. Oh c’mon mom, it’s only a mile and a half. No way Jose and knowing how much I hate to walk along highways now, they were right!

Okay, by the time I got back from Meijer, the GG was up and moving. He is fine, he was just slow this morning and that’s okay. It was a slow kind of day. He made a wee brek and then after the Sunday Morning song came on, we did a River Ride Plus, meaning after we were done with the river, we drove out to Chelsea and then down to Manchester and then through Bridgewater to Saline and up Wagner Road to home. I needed that today. I love the Moominbeach in the summer but I also love The Planet Ann Arbor area and I am torn between them.

When I took the flower photoooo, I did not notice ANY insects. If you embiggen it once or twice, you will see that there are MULTIPLE insects. I love when my camera sees things that I do not.

Love, KW

My annual pea-shelling operation

June 23rd, 2018 by kayak woman

Actually I shelled a sniggly bit of peas last weekend. It turned out they were mostly sugar snap peas, which supposedly don’t have to be shelled. I actually asked and the vendor said they were also shell-able. Well, sorta. I ended up with a few decent sized peas which I put raw into salads. I am really not all that crazy about sugar snap peas. I find them a bit stringy. But I think there were probably shelling peas last Saturday and I missed them and went to the wrong vendor.

Today? I *deliberately* looked for “shelling peas” and I hit the jackpot! Thick pods with big beautiful peas inside. I spent some good zen time shelling them here in the Landfill Backyard with the Neighborhood Rooster crowing in the background. I mean a real rooster, not ‘hicken there in the pic. *Look* at my “Mother’s Day” impatiens! I’m not sure you can see the water droplets on these petals even if you embiggen a couple of times but they are there. I can’t remember the last time I have had to water these flowers. Green green [youtube link].

Alas, shelling peas have a very short season around here and today was probably my only chance to get them. We will not be at our farmers market for the next two weeks and when we get there again there won’t be any peas. Of course, there *may* be corn! And *maybe* even some freshly shelled lima beans so there’s that. (I would pay *gold* for fresh shelled lima beans if I had to but probably $5 for a pint box is what I actually pay.)

Friday night at the Oscar Tango and we were talking about septic tanks 💩

June 22nd, 2018 by kayak woman

Yes, really. Hey, it beats “open borders” and the like. We are NOT getting along well here these days. It’s okay, after all these years, we are not gonna split up over this wee difference of opinion. I still need somebody around here who can fix terlets and things and rescue me when I have a flat taaaaaar.

I bagged work at just after 4:00 this afternoon. Everyone on my team was either gone, working from home, or asleep (India) and when I looked out into the parking lot, there may have been five vee-hickles there. All roight, I am outta here.

It was also raining and then when I got home, THUNDER! Oops. I walk in almost any weather but I do not walk in lightning. Fortunately by the time I actually left the Landfill, the storm had moved on and it wasn’t even raining at that point so I tied my raincoat around my waist and hoofed it downtown.

This will be a Work Weekend for me. I’ll be shopping for some food staples for the moomincabin freezer and throwing together lasagne and enchilada sauce to freeze and take north for whenever. Earlier in June I was losing a week, somehow against all reason thinking that *next* week was 4th of July week. Eventually I came to my senses and I am happier than all getout to have another whole week here on The Planet Ann Arbor, working over at my beloved Cubelandia.

Greeeeen here on The Garden Planet and haven’t had to water flowers or veggies all week. So far a beautiful summer in my adopted homeland.

North Country Trail “widow”

June 21st, 2018 by kayak woman

So obviously he is home again. Along with my Cocktail Clock and this sign. I’m not really sure where the sign came from. It is right outside my front door but ironically, a mini-logging operation was going on just down the street. Just in case I didn’t notice it (I did), “Erick” (the mini-logging person) accosted me in the Landfill Driveway and handed me a door-hanger thingy offering his services. Apparently, he had approached The Pensioner TWICE before I got home.

Yes, we have a huge tree right outside our front door. No, we do not want to cut it down. Do you do driveways? We could use some work there.

Ever since we have lived in this house, Tree Guys have been stopping by asking if we wanted to hire them to cut it down. No, no, no, no, and no.

It has always looked like an accident waiting to happen and actually, in May 2000, the [probably dead] top third of it fell on our house. It was the middle of the night and a thunderstorm rolled through. The GG was all excited about that but I didn’t like the sound of the wind. After a couple of HUGE peals of thunder, the wind went WAAAAAAY up and there was a HUUUUUUGE peal of thunder! Except it wasn’t thunder, it was top third of the tree falling on our house.

No one (including our guinea pig and rat) was injured in the slightest but I could not go back to sleep so I took a shower and then got on the computer and did some YAG work. The GG dozed off but was up at 6 AM calling around for a tree service to remove the debris from the roof and the POC, which [unfortunately] the insurance company did not total because I was more than ready for a new vee-hickle at that point, even though it was only four years old.

Life went on and we figgered the rest of the tree was probably not going to fall after that loverly event. A year or so ago, The Pensioner called some tree experts who came out and assessed the health of the remaining parts of the tree. They cut off some more dead parts and the rest of the tree remains to this day. Another tree fell on our house a number of years later but that’d be a story for another day.

Oh man, I do not want to do polly-ticks on here but some stuff is just too weird. So, Melania visited some of the separated migrant children wearing a jacket saying, “I don’t care, do U?”. I am not a Melania-hater. I don’t know what she’s all about but I suspect she never in a million years expected to hold the position of US first lady and I don’t think she has any more of a clue about how to handle her “job” than the Orange Baboon does about his. I actually think she might truly care about the migrant children. And “fashion” is “fashion” aka “it’s just a jacket”. But. But. But. I don’t even have words. I mean, I wear some pretty weird stuff but I am not a public figure. Nevertheless, I do think about where I’m going and who I’m going to see there and mostly I like to dress “invisibly”, meaning that people are hopefully not distracted by my clothing so they can listen to my words. One day last week, I was halfway to work and realized I was sleeveless! I hadn’t totally changed from walking attire to bizcaz. Oh, horrors! What do I do? Do I go home and change? I talked myself down off that ledge. It was okay, we aren’t bizcaz at work any more and other people are often sleeveless. But still I THOUGHT about where I was going and what I was wearing and whether or not it was appropriate. So I’m wondering what Melania was thinking… And/or why none of her “handlers” pointed out the cognitive dissonance between the purpose of her trip and the words on her jacket.

Oh snap (a rant, and you’ve been warned)

June 20th, 2018 by kayak woman

I don’t really understand what “Oh snap” means, even though I have managed to put it into the xword a number of times. But I kinda snapped last night.

I hate door-to-door solicitors and I especially hate them at 8:52 PM. Last night the doorbell rang at that time. I was in my nightshirt (newly clean and smelling like Tide Pods) and a long skirt. My front door was closed and all of the lights were off except for the ambient twinkle-lights. Of course, on the flip side of that, the sun had not yet set so it was pretty bright outside. Still.

I didn’t want to open the door, not knowing who was on the other side, so I asked through the door. (I have had some weird people come to the door over the years.) Oh sigh, it was an “intern” from a clean water organization that has been sending idealistic young adult “interns” around soliciting money since forever. She was female and sounded young, so I opened the door. (But not without a lot of difficulty because our front door gets STUCK when it is hot and humid around here. I can kick it in from the outside but I can’t always pull it open from the inside.)

There was a beautiful, nice, polite young woman on my porch. Going door-to-door alone. I usually just say, “You’re preaching to the choir and no thank you.” But then I snapped. I said that I thought it was a little late to be soliciting. She agreed but said that she couldn’t end her “shift” until 9:00. Then, because I genuinely liked her, I told her that there are better “jobs” out there. I felt a bit bad for saying that so I added that I felt like I had to say it because I was a mom. She replied that her own mom had said the same thing to her.

I don’t like to have solicitors at my door at ANY time but I don’t blame this young woman. I think that this “clean water” org is exploiting young idealistic people. I got the impression that she was trying to follow whatever “rules” had been given to her and wasn’t going to quit until she had earned her pay (if she is indeed getting paid). I bet there are plenty of other “interns” who quit well before 9:00 and head out to the bar.

Going door-to-door alone is dangerous even in my knock-on-wood “safe” neighborhood and I am uncomfortable with any organization that employs young people to do it, especially if they are doing it alone. They are exploiting these young adults and I’m not even sure for what purpose. I am highly unlikely to hand money to anyone who rings my doorbell at any time of the day, not to mention lunge at me in the Plum Market parking lot. If you want to utilize low (or no?) pay “interns”, find them something meaningful to do that will benefit your org while enriching their own experience.

Okay, I am done…

Mr. Rank and Mr. Odiferous

June 19th, 2018 by kayak woman

Because you do NOT want to know my opinions about the concept of Zero Tolerance as applied to just about anything, particularly when it is applied to families by rogue governments, I will write about Mr. Rank and Mr. Odiferous. (Pleeeeease do not start railing at me about Open Borders and George Soros and all that kind of crapola. It is fake news, much more fake than what the Orange Baboon calls fake news.)

Anyway, it was swampy hot around here the last couple days and I could have turned on the central A/C but I preferred to listen to the birds and insects and the Neighborhood Rooster! So, when I visited the Water Closet at That Batscope Hour last night, I realized my nightshirt was, hmmm, a little ripe-smelling (I hope that’s not TMI). I am a CLEAN person. I shower and wash my hair EVERY morning and I have been known to take a second shower later in the day. I do laundry frequently and have been known to purchase multiples of some of my fave articles of clothing so if something is in the laundry I have a duplicate. I am clean enough that I can usually manage to go a week without laundering my nightshirt. Somehow or other it missed the train this weekend.

I washed my nightshirt today and it is dry and clean and smells like Tide Pods, which I do not eat. Once I somehow (and it was totally accidental) got an ATOM of laundry detergent in my mouth. I did a lot of spitting to get that thing out of there. So I don’t understand Tide Pod eating.

It all got me thinking about the year Radical Betty and My Dear Uncle Duck were building their ski chalet retaaaarment home on the shores of Gitchee Gumee, just down the beach from the moomincabin. There were places to borrow showers and Radical Betty (who was also a CLEAN person) made sure she got a shower whenever she wanted one. Uncle Duck and Grinchie (his son) were building the place themselves and they went a lot longer between showers than Radical Betty. I remember one day when they called the Dillon House in Sault Ste. Siberia (aka my parents’ house) to ask if Mr. Rank and Mr. Odiferous could come into town and take showers. Yes, yes, yes! And probably some bourbon or whatever ended up being involved too. (Word Nerds: I am aware that the “proper” spelling of “odiferous” is really “odoriferous” but the word used in that situation was “odiferous” and googling around, it seems to be recognized as a variant.)

One more memory of that period of time. I was “home” at the Dillon House for some reason and was taking a shower when the frickin’ phone rang. Br-r-r-r-rrrrringgggg! This was in the days of landlines and for reasons I can’t remember, when the phone rang, people felt they needed to answer it. I grabbed a towel and as I was opening the bathroom door, Mr. Rank aka Uncle Duck was barging in the front door yelling, “I’ll get it!” Thank you! Nowadays, I have no landline and my phone is usually in the bathroom with me 🐽. If I do not know exactly who’s calling, I do not answer my phone, especially not when I am in the shower!

Lake Superior Cocktail

June 18th, 2018 by kayak woman

When I was a kid up in Sault Ste. Siberia near the Shores of Gitchee Gumee, I can remember being really annoyed when I asked my parents for something to drink, expecting Coke or 7-up or some crazy cherry-flavored pop, and they would offer me a Lake Superior Cocktail. Do you know what a Lake Superior cocktail is? It is WATER. That is all it is. I would be disappointed and they would laugh like crazy.

So, have you ever wondered what looking down into the environs of a septic tank would be like? I have… …not. Those crazy Phecal Phreaks (the GG and npJane) got two septic tanks pumped out today. As I think I said a while back, we are not sure when either of these tanks have been pumped out before, if ever. I have a vague memory that my parents got ours pumped out at some point but can’t remember when…

The Phecal Phreaks also got water test kits. We have well water from something like 110 feet down and I don’t think anything is wrong with it but why not? And the GG spent some time flushing out pipes and water heaters and cleaning up terlet pipes. Knock on wood (because man plans and God laughs, as my Jewish buddies say), the terlet is better than ever and we should have a smooth plumbing summer ahead of us, which’ll be good because we will have a few guests around from time to time. Albeit not guests that won’t be able to handle My Dear Uncle Harry’s Outhouse if absolutely necessary.

I made a small contribution today, which was to put in an order to fill our propane tank, the one that powers the gas stove that heats the cabin when we need heat. When I was a kid, we had a huge wood stove and we were constantly gathering kindling, etc., for that thing. It was fine on truly cold days, although once I was warming up next to it after swimming on a cold windy day and I managed to burn my hand on it. Then there were the days when it was FREEZING in the morning and hot as blazes later. On those days, we would start a faaaar to get through breakfast, etc., and then the place wouldn’t cool off. I don’t really like the propane stove (it’s difficult to start up at the beginning of the season) but it is efficient and doesn’t take up much space. I guess I would probably like a modern, newfangled propane stove. I know they exist. (I don’t really like the ancient fuses either but that would be a whole ‘nother story.)

Oh where, oh where did my Cocktail Clock go? Oh where, oh where can it beeeeeeee?

June 17th, 2018 by kayak woman

So, I obtained two Father’s Day gifts. I mean they were gifts for meeeee, not the GG, although I gave him a small collection of token gifts. I received a Cocktail Clock and (another) Kentucky Derby Hat. We obtained these from the garage sale across the street at $2 a piece. Not that I really need to obtain more artifacts for myself or the Landfill but… LofPNet did a good sales job on me for the hat, “It’ll go great with your outfit!” And, I dunno, I just couldn’t get the Cocktail Clock outta my mind after I first saw it. I hope their garage sale went well. They managed to sell MY Yaffa Blocks, of mynah bird cage fame (see a couple days ago). That was fine with me. I put them out by the curb with a FREE sign on them a few years ago and LofPnet’s daughter snagged them. There was a time when I couldn’t get enough Yaffa Blocks. I still have a few but I am OVER THEM!

So where the heck did my Cocktail Clock go? Did it go to the moomincabin? As a matter of fact, yes it did. I had thought that it might be a good fit for the Landfill Chitchen, mid-century modern-ish that it is now that it has been renovated. Apparently the GG had other ideas. Oh dear, I hope I will not be accused of “hoarding” or growing a “collection” at the moomincabin again. In the early years after The Commander’s death I was either “hoarding” or getting rid of things without “permission”. Never a specific accusation of a *specific* thing that I did, just passive-aggressive crapola. Well, yeah, we did take our old gas grill up there, so now there are two grills. The other one is charcoal. The GG prefers gas. If he is the main grillmaster up there, who the f*ck cares what kind of grill he prefers? On the other hand, the kind of things I have gotten rid of at the moomincabin include a few lingering pairs of The Comm’s underwear and extraneous office supplies that we don’t need. I’m not “supposed” to talk about this stuff but jeebus kee-reist…

The reality of my life is that I work very hard not to acquire things but, as I am, you know, alive, I do indulge myself from time to time. On the flip side of that, I do NOT normally get rid of things other people might want to claim but I am pretty sure I know what was valuable to my mother.

Sorry about that rant, it is hot here and I am a wee bit cranky. On the other hand, when I finish reading a book, I often have a bit of trouble figuring out what to read next. Not today. 90-something degrees? “Florida” by one of my fave authors, Lauren Groff. It is a series of short stories and I usually shy away from those but these are not disappointing me one iota! And I have found that I have read one of them before, probably in the New Yorker.

What books have I finished? I read Blackfish City, a dystopian sci-fi type novel about an asterisk-shaped city in the north Atlantic Ocean, constructed after climate change made cities like New York uninhabitable. I enjoyed the story and the author’s creation of a viable world atop the ocean. And I found plenty of flaws. But here I am still thinking about the book a while after reading it. And then I read Pachinko, which I liked but am still processing.

Man Grokkery List

June 16th, 2018 by kayak woman

I did a lot of heavy lifting in terms of grokkery-type stuff today but at the end of the day, there was stuff I forgot about or whatever.

So this is the list I sent to the Plum Market with the GG. I knew I had to be specific and, on top of that, we had further conversations about things like the particular mushrooms I wanted and the size container I wanted. And celery. Yes I want it to be already cut up. Don’t look at the price. And pimientos. Pimientos were actually optional but The Pensioner couldn’t easily find them so he asked for help and eventually they were found.

Does the Plum Market sell cocktail clocks? No, but the GG managed to come up with a cocktail clock anyway. We’ll talk about that another day. For now I am about to call it a night.

We don’t really care much about Mother’s or Father’s Day around here but since the Beach Urchins have become adults, those made-up holidays provide excuses for them to spend time with us. 🧡🧡🧡

Maintenance entry

June 15th, 2018 by kayak woman

Just so y’all know, I am alive on this beautiful Friday night. Most of the people who (occasionally) worry about my existence already know where I am because they are my kids and I have been texting with them off and on throughout the evening. Other than that? Hot night. Oscar Tango. Porterization. YAG mini-reunification. We won’t talk about how many times I had to hoorrrrrn at some other idiot driver today. That is about all for tonight.

I wanna turn my terlet into a nightlight, don’t you?

June 14th, 2018 by kayak woman

So here is the Purple Room. Long ago it was a “guest room”, mostly for The Grandparents. When The Baby arrived, it was The Baby’s Room. Well, sorta. The Baby slept with us at first (yes, we were safe about it), so it was still available for The Grandparents. Eventually The Baby moved into her own room and EVENTUALLY, Baby #2 ended up in there with her. The Baby started to get her nose out of joint just a weeeee bit when I told her her sister would be sharing the room with her but then I said a Silly Mom thing like, “Don’t you want that little warm breather in your room with you?” Well, hmmm, yes, maybe she did.

The Grandparents were banished to the foldout couch in the Back Room at that point and the kids more or less happily shared that room until The Baby entered middle school and then we converted the “middle” room (for lack of anything better to call it) into a bedroom and they split up. I’m digressing a bit here but I will never forget the day we dropped The Baby off at college. When we got home, I had to scuttle over to a YAG rehearsal. The GG was looking a bit the worse for wear so before I left, I made him a ‘hattan and when I left, he was sitting in her bedroom sipping it. I’m digressing again but it wasn’t long before he completely rearranged that room and the first time The Baby came home for a weekend, she was LIVID that he had disturbed it. I said, “He’s at Hoton Lake. You’ll have to call him.” And she did and boy oh boy did she let him have it! (I refrained from telling him, “I told you so!”)

Eventually, we promised Baby #2 that if she cleaned and painted her room, we would buy new carpet. This process was ultimately successful but it took quite a while and a threat that Thanksgiving wouldn’t happen until all of the Stuff was out of the living room. Amongst that Stuff was a Yaffa Block (plastic storage unit). One day LofPNet came over and sheepishly admitted that his then middle-school daughter had been spying on our living room with binoculars thinking that our Yaffa Block was a cage for a mynah bird! Can I just say ROFL!?!?! (And ROFL does *not* stand for Righteous Old Farts League, although that is not a bad translation 🙃)

The Purple Room has now been turned back into a guest room albeit the usual guest is one of the Landfill kiddos spending the night for some reason or The Pensioner taking a nap. The Middle Room has turned into a Man Cave. We have at least two Man Caves now. And a Freakout Chamber, which is an Uber Man Cave. And yes, that is Marilyn Monroe on the wall there.

I think I want a perple terlet night-light. But maybe blue would go better with my bathroom, which is no longer blue but gives blue a nod via accent tiles. Maybe we could make the Moomincabin Terlet into a purple nightlight. What about you? What color do you want yer terlet nightlight to be?

P.S. I’m referring to my now (ulp) 30-something kiddos as “babies” ONLY for this historical (if not hysterical) post. We’ll talk about Klondike bars some other day.

P.P.S. The GG just turned up the sound on a fave song of mine, Suzanne, by Leonard Cohen. My best memories of this song are of riding home from evenings at the Baptist Church Camp (you probably don’t wanna know) in the Piedy Gals’ VW Bug. I swear I had never heard of Leonard Cohen until a couple years ago when the Pentatonix did his “Hallelujah”.